of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the
serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which
Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to
regard it as an idol and "burn incense to it." The lapse of
nearly one thousand years had invested the "brazen serpent" with
a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from
their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its
worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, "Nehushtan," a
brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).
dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near
its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with
the ruin Y'anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less
than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.
cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has
with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles
east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount
day of God.
(1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called
also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and
brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
(Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left
untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish
tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew
gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, "mighty men."
opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border
between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been
identified with 'Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles
north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it
with 'Ain' Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is
conveyed through "Pilate's aqueduct" to the Haram area at
light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be
read, "Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner,
were the sons of Abiel." And hence this Kish and Ner were
brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr.
a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom.
the great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the
Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and
hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.
Nergal, protect the king!
(1.) One of the "princes of the king
of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against
Jerusalem" (Jer. 39:3, 13).
(2.) Another of the "princes," who bore the title of "Rabmag."
He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from
prison (Jer. 39:13) by "the captain of the guard." He was a
Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the
inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar
who murdered Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and
succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (B.C. 559-556). He was
married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace,
the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear
inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was
succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign
of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom,
Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period
of seventeen years (B.C. 555-538), at the close of which period
Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in
connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to
have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called
Nebuchadnezzar's son (Dan. 5:11, 18, 22), because he had married
his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that
Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his
father's associate on the throne at the time of the fall of
Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of
Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered
"father," to represent also such a relationship as that of
"grandfather" or "great-grandfather."
occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious,
and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to
Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen
years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character
of a cruel tyrant and heathen debauchee. In May A.D. 64, a
terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six
days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the
city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time,
and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime.
"Hence, to suppress the rumour," says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44),
"he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most
exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who
are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that
name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate,
procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the
pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again,
not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but
through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and
disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle,
and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were
seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their
information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the
charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in
their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they
were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death
by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day
declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his
own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game,
indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of
a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling
of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and
deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because
they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims
to the ferocity of one man." Another Roman historian, Suetonius
(Nero, xvi.), says of him: "He likewise inflicted punishments on
the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious
superstition" (Forbes's Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60).
Nero was the emperor before whom Paul was brought on his first
imprisonment at Rome, and the apostle is supposed to have
suffered martyrdom during this persecution. He is repeatedly
alluded to in Scripture (Acts 25:11; Phil. 1:12, 13; 4:22). He
died A.D. 68.
in use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The
fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used
by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets.
(1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size,
and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from
the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat,
as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The
hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown
from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt.
4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of
circular form, "like the top of a tent." (3.) The bag-net (Gr.
diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).
The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread
over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it
fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, "gin;" Ps. 69:22; Job
18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch
birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The
decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27).
Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.
given of God.
(1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of
Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).
(2.) One of David's brothers (1 Chr. 2:14).
(3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was
brought up to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr.
(6.) One of the "princes" appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach
the law through the cities of Judah (2 Chr. 17:7).
(7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(8.) Ezra 10:22.
(9.) Neh. 12:21.
(10.) A priest's son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of
the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).
given of Jehovah.
(1.) One of Asaph's sons, appointed by David
to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).
(2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chr.
(3.) Jer. 36:14.
(4.) 2 Kings 25:23, 25.
the name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the
post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e.,
"those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for
the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case
in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s",
"Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s"
(Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the
Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards
called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from
captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David
to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e.,
the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only
612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were
under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh.
7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament,
because it is probable that they became merged in the general
body of the Jewish people.
distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood,
probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David's
guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been
identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the
north-east of Bethlehem.
(1.) Heb. haral, "pricking" or "burning," Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V.
marg., "wild vetches"); Job 30:7; Zeph. 2:9. Many have supposed
that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such
as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or
prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the
Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in
corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word "designates the
prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and
troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine."
(2.) Heb. qimmosh, Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Prov. 24:31 (in both
versions, "thorns"). This word has been regarded as denoting
thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly
rendered "nettle," the Urtica pilulifera, "a tall and vigorous
plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe
and irritating than that of our common nettle."
New Moon, Feast of
Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month
(Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)
(Luke 22:20), rather "New Covenant," in contrast to the old
covenant of works, which is superseded. "The covenant of grace
is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works.
It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the
gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive,
and powerful manner than of old" (Brown of Haddington). Hence is
derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See TESTAMENT.)
victory; pure, Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56.
a town in the "plain" of Judah. It has been identified with Beit
Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur
barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the
Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31),
probably in the form of a dog.
fertile; light soil, a city somewhere "in the wilderness" of
Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.
conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic
Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.
the people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.
He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for
the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord
then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of
being "born again." He is next met with in the Sanhedrin
(7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were
taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as
taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of
the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him.
There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the
"deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is
blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (15). They
were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to
introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness,
thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16,
19), and were probably identical with those who held the
doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.
the victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the
seven deacons (Acts 6:5).
city of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12).
There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to
was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus
Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C.
31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., "Old Prevesa." The
subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it "Nicopolis of
Macedonia", i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably
black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so
called from his dark complexion.
(Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev.
11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar
(Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived
from a root meaning "to scratch or tear the face," and may be
best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, "an owl"
(Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders "night-hawk."
dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to
in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., "the black
stream" (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply "the river" (Gen. 41:1;
Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the "flood of Egypt" (Amos 8:8). It consists
of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the
Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the
Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum,
whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the
Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided
a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch.
pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the
same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with
the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from
Nimrim, Waters of
the stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer.
48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant
spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who
claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the
beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen.
10:8-10). The "land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6) is a designation of
Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
saved. Jehu was "the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi" (2
Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).
First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised
Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded
Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when
it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city,
the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36;
Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively
taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its
ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.).
Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the
fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time
there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in
gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).
This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of
the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles,
having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river
back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now
one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the
great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean,
thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from
many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient
About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of
weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who
subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians
and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed
to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the
Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them.
"After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous
tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the
Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and
Egypt, it vanished like a dream" (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was
strange, sudden, tragic. It was God's doing, his judgement on
Assyria's pride (Isa. 10:5-19).
Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and
of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague
memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but
very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which
had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins
to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of
this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to
remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter
of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made "an utter end
of the place." It became a "desolation."
In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had
become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian
passed the place in the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand," the very
memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight,
and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its
At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years,
the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the
French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay
along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed
in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the
ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further
exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of
the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive
courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths
many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient
The work of exploration has been carried on almost
continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and
others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and
Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art
has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with
their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life
and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace,
the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture,
and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city
have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets
and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of
their history have been brought to light.
One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of
the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians
call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See ASNAPPER.) This library consists of about ten thousand
flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian
characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and
the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange
clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of
all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The
library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the
oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as
probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON.)
"The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our
century [reign of Assur-bani-pa]...Its victories and conquests,
uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the
spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the
Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of
Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and
Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities,
Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates...Now foreign
merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most
valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from
South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and
glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths' work, tin, silver,
Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by
worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia" (Ancient Egypt
and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271).
The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments
found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to
confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The
appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city
was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and
the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it.
"The recent excavations," says Rawlinson, "have shown that fire
was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh
palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal,
colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts
of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy."
Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an "exceeding great city
of three days' journey", i.e., probably in circuit. This would
give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of
an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud,
Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with
the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by
lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as
composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.
month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish
sacred year. (See ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu,
probably connected with the Hebrew word nesher, an eagle. An
Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of
an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2
Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
(Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., "soda"), properly "natron," a
substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake
Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the
soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a
carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally
denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. "lye").
or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient
capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or
Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer. 46:25) is more
correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No",
i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16
it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew
Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the
name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8
the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised
Version correctly rendered "No-Amon."
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for
its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both
sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included
Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared
to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to,
which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the
Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards
"delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal
(Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525),
further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81)
by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the
most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great
storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two
thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing
amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt
that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and
medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall
far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single
Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
meeting with the Lord.
(1.) A Levite who returned from Babylon
(2.) A false prophetess who assisted Tobiah and Sanballat
against the Jews (Neh. 6:14). Being bribed by them, she tried to
stir up discontent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so to
embarrass Nehemiah in his great work of rebuilding the ruined
walls of the city.
rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who
was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and
the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of
Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the
connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the
second great progenitor of the human family.
The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have
been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a
type of Him who is the true "rest and comfort" of men under the
burden of life (Matt.11:28).
He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him
three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a "just
man and perfect in his generation," and "walked with God" (comp.
Ezek. 14:14,20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth
began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race
distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more
corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked
population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a
covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened
deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark
(6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval
of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being
built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against
the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20;
2 Pet. 2:5).
When the ark of "gopher-wood" (mentioned only here) was at
length completed according to the command of the Lord, the
living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and
then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it,
and the "Lord shut him in" (Gen.7:16). The judgment-threatened
now fell on the guilty world, "the world that then was, being
overflowed with water, perished" (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated
on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on
the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3,4); but not for a considerable
time after this was divine permission given him to leave the
ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within
it (Gen. 6-14).
On leaving the ark Noah's first act was to erect an altar, the
first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of
adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant
with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him
possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which
remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign
and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set
apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth
be destroyed by a flood.
But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21);
and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable
prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah
"lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he
died" (28:29). (See DELUGE).
Noah, motion, (Heb. No'ah) one of the five daughters of
Zelophehad (Num.26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).
high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the
history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle
was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been
near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh,
one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But
according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the
road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This
identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others
(as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount
Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was
the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16,
at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and
girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from
behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the
court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into
prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
(1.) Num. 32:42.
(2.) The name given to Kenath (q.v.) by Nobah when he
conquered it. It was on the east of Gilead (Judg. 8:11).
(Gr. basilikos, i.e., "king's man"), an officer of state (John
4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have
been the Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife was one of those
women who "ministered unto the Lord of their substance" (Luke
8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go
down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point
of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that
his son was alive.
exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which
Cain fled (Gen.4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.
noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of
Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1
splendour, one of David's sons, born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:7).
the Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer.2:16; 44:1;
46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is
Moph, and is translated "Memphis," which is its Greek and Latin
form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of
Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on
the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt.
Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of
Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS.)
blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num.
a general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine.
Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north
(Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14,15; 50:3,9,41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
(Heb. tsaphon), a "hidden" or "dark place," as opposed to the
sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of
the compass was considered as always having his face to the
east, and hence "the left hand" (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes
the north. The "kingdoms of the north" are Chaldea, Assyria,
Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47,
Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of
ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and
occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter,
and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was
of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women
in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of
the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in
Numbering of the people
Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of
the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a
general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which
David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very
reluctantly began to carry out the king's command.
This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose
from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance
on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not
by the divine favour but by the material resources of his
kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and
forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned
against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart
smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in
profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in
what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before
him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for "seven years"
in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have "three years"),
three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of
these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months
before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account
of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said,
"Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out
among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At
David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the
threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel
was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there
offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1).
The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at
least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that
time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See CENSUS.)
Numbers, Book of
the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew
be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is
called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the
book. It is so called because it contains a record of the
numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of
their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).
This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us
with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness
and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three
1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for
their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an
account of the vow of a Nazarite.
2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending
out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the
murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the
3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the
Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).
The period comprehended in the history extends from the second
month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of
the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about
thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of
wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in
the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their
wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this
history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty
over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the
other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended
their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his
displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter
into his rest" because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19).
This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence
of having been written by Moses.
The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring
in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all,
"what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel
not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained
songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which
Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of
heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12)."
Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is
known of him (Ex. 33:11).
were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of
conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the
pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of
an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word ('egoz), which
means "walnuts," is used.
nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a
member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).
There are six Hebrew words rendered "oak."
(1.) 'El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen. 14:6). The
LXX. renders by "terebinth." In the plural form this word occurs
in Isa. 1:29; 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., "among the oaks"); 61:3
("trees"). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a
(2.) 'Elah, Gen. 35:4, "under the oak which was by Shechem"
(R.V. marg., "terebinth"). Isa. 6:13, A.V., "teil-tree;" R.V.,
"terebinth." Isa. 1:30, R.V. marg., "terebinth." Absalom in his
flight was caught in the branches of a "great oak" (2 Sam. 18:9;
R.V. marg., "terebinth").
(3.) 'Elon, Judg. 4:11; 9:6 (R.V., "oak;" A.V., following the
Targum, "plain") properly the deciduous species of oak shedding
its foliage in autumn.
(4.) 'Elan, only in Dan. 4:11,14,20, rendered "tree" in
Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Probably some species of the oak is
(5.) 'Allah, Josh. 24:26. The place here referred to is called
Allon-moreh ("the oak of Moreh," as in R.V.) in Gen. 12:6 and
(6.) 'Allon, always rendered "oak." Probably the evergreen oak
(called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of
Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6). Three
species of oaks are found in Palestine, of which the "prickly
evergreen oak" (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. "It
covers the rocky hills of Palestine with a dense brushwood of
trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly
covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns
copiously." The so-called Abraham's oak at Hebron is of this
species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron "has for
several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth
which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city.
The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and
under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared
about A.D. 330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The
present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Palestine, being 23
feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is
unsymmetrical, being about 90 feet." (See HEBRON;
a solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut.
6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth
1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen.
14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath
(Heb. 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom.
9:1; Gal. 1:20; Phil. 1:8). The precept, "Swear not at all,"
refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man
(Matt. 5:34,37). But if the words are taken as referring to
oaths, then their intention may have been to show "that the
proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that when
evil is expelled from among them every yea and nay will be as
decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow."
servant of the Lord.
(1.) An Israelite who was chief in the
household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great spiritual
degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to
protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great
personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah
in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5,
6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to
Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand
(9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way,
"go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here."
(2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3).
(3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38).
(4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16).
(5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9).
(6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19).
(7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the
people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple
under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
(9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra
(10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew
canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with
Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.
Obadiah, Book of
consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending doom
(1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the
shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem,
(1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by
the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr.
21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of
Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians, when
Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586).
Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He
sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the
Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in
bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not
indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the
Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this
explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the
judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was thus in or
about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Edom is the type of Israel's and of God's last foe (Isa.
63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom
will be the Lord's (comp. Ps. 22:28).
stripped, the eight son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28); called also Ebal
(1 Chr. 1:22).
(1.) A son of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:21,
22), and the grandfather of David (Matt. 1:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:34-38.
(3.) 1 Chr. 26:7.
(4.) 2 Chr. 23:1.
servant of Edom.
(1.) "The Gittite" (probably so called because
he was a native of Gath-rimmon), a Levite of the family of the
Korhites (1 Chr. 26:1, 4-8), to whom was specially intrusted the
custody of the ark (1 Chr. 15:18). When David was bringing up
the ark "from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah"
(probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had
reached Nachon's threshing-floor, he became afraid because of
the "breach upon Uzzah," and carried it aside into the house of
Obededom (2 Sam. 6:1-12). There it remained for six months, and
was to him and his house the occasion of great blessing. David
then removed it with great rejoicing to Jerusalem, and set it in
the midst of the tabernacle he had pitched for it.
(2.) A Merarite Levite, a temple porter, who with his eight
sons guarded the southern gate (1 Chr. 15:18, 21; 26:4, 8, 15).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple treasures (2 Chr.
homage or reverence to any one (Gen. 37:7; 43:28).
a keeper of camels, an Ishmaelite who was "over the camels" in
the time of David (1 Chr. 27:30).
bottles, an encampment of the Israelites during the wanderings
in the wilderness (Num. 33:43), the first after the setting up
of the brazen serpent.
restoring, or setting up.
(1.) Father of the prophet Azariah (2
Chr. 15:1, 8).
(2.) A prophet in the time of Ahaz and Pekah (2 Chr. 28:9-15).
(1.) An injury or wrong done to one (1 Sam. 25:31; Rom. 5:15).
(2.) A stumbling-block or cause of temptation (Isa. 8:14;
Matt. 16:23; 18:7). Greek skandalon, properly that at which one
stumbles or takes offence. The "offence of the cross" (Gal.
5:11) is the offence the Jews took at the teaching that
salvation was by the crucified One, and by him alone. Salvation
by the cross was a stumbling-block to their national pride.
an oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of
the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the
flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds
of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their
presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
gigantic, the king of Bashan, who was defeated by Moses in a
pitched battle at Edrei, and was slain along with his sons
(Deut. 1:4), and whose kingdom was given to the tribes of Reuben
and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 21:32-35; Deut.
3:1-13). His bedstead (or rather sarcophagus) was of iron (or
ironstone), 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in breadth. His
overthrow was afterwards celebrated in song (Ps. 135:11;
136:20). (See SIHON.)
united, or power, the third son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10).
a house; tent, the fourth son of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:20).
Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was
used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex.
29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some
of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but
was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the
jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6;
27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke
10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12;
It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut.
32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce
with Tyre (27:17).
The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3),
and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It
was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE.)
(Isa. 41:19; R.V. marg., "oleaster"), Heb. 'etz shemen, rendered
"olive tree" in 1 Kings 6:23, 31, 32, 33 (R.V., "olive wood")
and "pine branches" in Neh. 8:15 (R.V., "branches of wild
olive"), was some tree distinct from the olive. It was probably
the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolius), which grows abundantly in
almost all parts of Palestine, especially about Hebron and
Samaria. "It has a fine hard wood," says Tristram, "and yields
an inferior oil, but it has no relationship to the olive, which,
however, it resembles in general appearance."
Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical
purposes, are so called (Ex. 30:25; Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6; Amos
6:6; John 12:3; Rev. 18:13).
one of the gates in the north wall of Jerusalem, so called
because built by the Jebusites (Neh. 3:6; 12:39).
the fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was
highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked
before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deut.
24:20; Isa. 17:6; 24:13). It was called "beaten," or "fresh oil"
(Ex. 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was
trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the
fruit "olive berries." The phrase "vineyards and olives" (Judg.
15:5, A.V.) should be simply "olive-yard," or "olive-garden," as
in the Revised Version. (See OIL.)
is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark
brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned
among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was
cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11;
8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that
of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the
"good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic
tree of Palestine. The oldest olive-trees in the country are
those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is
referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious
privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses"
mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees
standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or
cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up
to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice
of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which
has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good
olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a
good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a
"wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only
through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed.
This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
Olves, Mount of
so called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed,
is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7;
Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the
valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with
David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom
(2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old
Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23).
It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1;
26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e.,
"Mount of the Summit;" also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun,
i.e., "Mount of Olives." It is about 200 feet above the level of
the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over
this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept
over Jerusalem. "No name in Scripture," says Dr. Porter, "calls
up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of
Olivet. The 'mount' is so intimately connected with the private,
the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look
at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he
often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events
yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the
sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his
followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables
of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont
to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest
of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of
the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his
betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, 'O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt' (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God's wrath
had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his
disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after
a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts
This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or
peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that
the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts
1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that
event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany
(Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its
side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of
Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected
there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "Mount of Offence").
a Roman Christian whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:15).
eloquent, the son of Eliphaz, who was Esau's eldest son (Gen.
(Rev. 1:8), the last letter in the Greek alphabet. (See A.)
a handful, one-tenth of an ephah=half a gallon dry measure (Ex.
16:22, 32, 33, 36)="tenth deal."
servant of Jehovah. When Elah was murdered by Zimri at Tirzah (1
Kings 16:15-27), Omri, his captain, was made king (B.C. 931).
For four years there was continued opposition to his reign,
Tibni, another claimant to the throne, leading the opposing
party; but at the close of that period all his rivals were
defeated, and he became king of Israel, "Tibni died and Omri
reigned" (B.C. 927). By his vigour and power he gained great
eminence and consolidated the kingdom. He fixed his dynasty on
the throne so firmly that it continued during four succeeding
reigns. Tirza was for six years the seat of his government. He
then removed the capital to Samaria (q.v.), where he died, and
was succeeded by his son Ahab. "He wrought evil in the eyes of
the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him."
Beth-omri, "the house" or "city of Omri," is the name usually
found on Assyrian inscriptions for Samaria. In the stele of
Mesha (the "Moabite stone"), which was erected in Moab about
twenty or thirty years after Omri's death, it is recorded that
Omri oppressed Moab till Mesha delivered the land: "Omri, king
of Israel, oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with
his land. His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will
oppress Moab" (comp. 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4, 5). The "Moabite stone"
also records that "Omri took the land of Medeba, and occupied it
in his day and in the days of his son forty years."
light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship,
called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17),
stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of
Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east. The Vulgate and the
LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the sun") instead of
On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The "city of destruction"
Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. "of Heres;" Heb. 'Ir-ha-heres,
which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., "city of the sun") may
be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will
come when that city which was known as the "city of the sun-god"
shall become the "city of destruction" of the sun-god, i.e.,
when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be
In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to
the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. "Cleopatra's
Needle" was one of those which stood in this city in front of
the Temple of Tum, i.e., "the sun." It is now erected on the
Thames Embankment, London.
"It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned
Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple."
This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his
acquaintance with "all the wisdom of the Egyptians."
strong, the second son of Judah (Gen. 38:4-10; comp. Deut. 25:5;
Matt. 22:24). He died before the going down of Jacob and his
family into Egypt.
useful, a slave who, after robbing his master Philemon (q.v.) at
Colosse, fled to Rome, where he was converted by the apostle
Paul, who sent him back to his master with the epistle which
bears his name. In it he beseeches Philemon to receive his slave
as a "faithful and beloved brother." Paul offers to pay to
Philemon anything his slave had taken, and to bear the wrong he
had done him. He was accompanied on his return by Tychicus, the
bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians (Philemon 1:16, 18).
The story of this fugitive Colossian slave is a remarkable
evidence of the freedom of access to the prisoner which was
granted to all, and "a beautiful illustration both of the
character of St. Paul and the transfiguring power and righteous
principles of the gospel."
bringing profit, an Ephesian Christian who showed great kindness
to Paul at Rome. He served him in many things, and had oft
refreshed him. Paul expresses a warm interest in him and his
household (2 Tim. 1:16-18; 4:19).
The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the "onions and
garlick of Egypt" (Num. 11:5). This was the betsel of the
Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that
there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Palestine.
The onion is "the 'undivided' leek, unio_, _unus, one."
a town of Benjamin, in the "plain of Ono" (1 Chr. 8:12; Ezra
2:33); now Kefr 'Ana, 5 miles north of Lydda, and about 30 miles
north-west of Jerusalem. Not succeeding in their attempts to
deter Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat
and Tobiah resorted to strategem, and pretending to wish a
conference with him, they invited him to meet them at Ono. Four
times they made the request, and every time Nehemiah refused to
come. Their object was to take him prisoner.
a nail; claw; hoof, (Heb. sheheleth; Ex. 30:34), a Latin word
applied to the operculum, i.e., the claw or nail of the strombus
or wing-shell, a univalve common in the Red Sea. The opercula of
these shell-fish when burned emit a strong odour "like
castoreum." This was an ingredient in the sacred incense.
a hail; claw; hoof, (Heb. shoham), a precious stone adorning the
breast-plate of the high priest and the shoulders of the ephod
(Ex. 28:9-12, 20; 35:27; Job 28:16; Ezek. 28:13). It was found
in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:12). The LXX. translates the
Hebrew word by smaragdos, an emerald. Some think that the
sardonyx is meant. But the onyx differs from the sardonyx in
this, that while the latter has two layers (black and white) the
former has three (black, white, and red).
Gen. 38:14, 21, mar. Enaim; the same probably as Enam (Josh.
15:34), a city in the lowland or Shephelah.
hill; mound, the long, narrow, rounded promontory on the
southern slope of the temple hill, between the Tyropoeon and the
Kedron valley (2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14; Neh. 3:26, 27). It was
surrounded by a separate wall, and was occupied by the Nethinim
after the Captivity. This wall has been discovered by the
engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund at the south-eastern
angle of the temple area. It is 4 feet below the present
surface. In 2 Kings 5:24 this word is translated "tower" (R.V.,
"hill"), denoting probably some eminence near Elisha's house.
(1.) One of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29).
(2.) Some region famous for its gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11;
22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In the LXX. this word is
rendered "Sophir," and "Sofir" is the Coptic name for India,
which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as also of the
Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden Chersonese,
i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally identified with
Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said, however, in
favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
mouldy, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:24).
a fawn. 1 Chr. 4:14.
(1.) A city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:23);
probably identical with Ephron (2 Chr. 13:19) and Ephraim (John
(2.) "Of the Abi-ezrites." A city of Manasseh, 6 miles
south-west of Shechem, the residence of Gideon (Judg. 6:11;
8:27, 32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew
at this place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the
function of high priest, and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh
should have been. This thing "became a snare" to Gideon and his
house. After Gideon's death his family resided here till they
were put to death by Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). It is identified
In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to
denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23;
8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired
"at the oracle of God" by means of the Urim and Thummim in the
breastplate on the high priest's ephod. In the New Testament it
is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God
(Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called "living
oracles" (comp. Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power