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Aaron (a teacher, or lofty), the son of Amram and Jochebed, and the elder brother of Moses and Miriam. Num. 26:59; 33:30. He was born in 1597 B.C. and died in 1474 B.C. at the age of 123 years. (Nu 33:39) He was a Levite and is first mentioned in Ex. 4:14. He was appointed by Jehovah to be the interpreter, Ex. 4:16, of his brother Moses, who was “slow of speech”; and accordingly he was not only the organ of communication with the Israelites and with Pharaoh, Ex. 4:30; 7:2, but also the actual instrument of working most of the miracles of the Exodus. Ex. 7:19, etc. On the way to Mount Sinai, during the battle with Amalek, Aaron with Hur stayed up the weary hands of Moses, when they were lifted up for the victory of Israel. Ex. 17:9. He is mentioned as dependent upon his brother and deriving all his authority from him. Left, on Moses’ departure into Sinai, to guide the people, Aaron is tried for a moment on his own responsibility, and he fails from a weak inability to withstand the demand of the people for visible “gods to go before them,” by making an image of Jehovah, in the well-known form of Egyptian idolatry (Apis or Mnevis). He repented of his sin, and Moses gained forgiveness for him. Deut. 9:20. Aaron was now consecrated by Moses to the new office of the high priesthood. Ex. 29:9. From this time the history of Aaron is almost entirely that of the priesthood, and its chief feature is the great rebellion of Korah and the Levites. Leaning, as he seems to have done, wholly on Moses, it is not strange that he should have shared his sin at Meribah and its punishment. See Moses. Num. 20:10–12. Aaron’s death seems to have followed very speedily. It took place on Mount Hor, after the transference of his robes and office to Eleazar. Num. 20:28. This mount is still called the “Mountain of Aaron.” See Hor. The wife of Aaron was Elisheba, Ex. 6:23; and the two sons who survived him, Eleazar and Ithamar. The high priesthood descended to the former, and to his descendants until the time of Eli, who, although of the house of Ithamar, received the high priesthood and transmitted it to his children; with them, it continued till the accession of Solomon, who took it from Abiathar and restored it to Zadok (of the house of Eleazar). See Abiathar.
Aaronites, 1 Chron. 12:27, priests of the family of Aaron.
Ab (father), an element in the composition of many proper names, of which Abba is a Chaldaic form, having the sense of “endowed with,” “possessed of.”
Ab. See Month.
Abaddon. See Apollyon.
Abagtha (God-given), one of the seven eunuchs in the Persian court of Ahasuerus. Esther 1:10.
Abana (perennial, stony), one of the “rivers of Damascus.” 2 Kings 5:12. The Barada and the Awaj are now the chief streams of Damascus, the former representing the Abana and the latter the Pharpar of the text. The Barada (Abana) rises in the Antilibanus, at about 23 miles from the city, after flowing through which it runs across the plain, of whose fertility it is the chief source, till it loses itself in the lake or marsh Bahret-el-Kibliyeh.
River Abana (now Barada) and Damascus.
Abarim (regions beyond), a mountain or range of highlands on the east of the Jordan, in the land of Moab, facing Jericho, and forming the eastern wall of the Jordan valley at that part. Its most elevated spot was “the Mount Nebo, ‘head’ of ‘the’ Pisgah,” from which Moses viewed the Promised Land before his death. These mountains are mentioned in Num. 27:12; 33:47, 48, and Deut. 32:49.
Abba. Abba: (Ἀββά Abba) A Greek transliteration of an Aramaic word that means “O Father!” It is similar to our English words like “daddy” or “papa.” It has the additional implied meaning of familiarity and intimacy. “Father” is a title used in communication with God. – Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6.
- Father of Adoniram. 1 Kings 4:6.
- Son of Shammua, Neh. 11:17; called Obadiah in 1 Chron. 9:16.
Abdeel, Father of Shelemiah, one of three men sent by King Jehoiakim to seize the prophet Jeremiah and his secretary Baruch. Jer. 36:26.
Abdi (my servant).
- A Merarite, and ancestor of Ethan the singer. 1 Chron. 6:44. (b.c. before 1015.)
- The father of Kish, a Merarite, in the reign of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 29:12. (b.c. before 736.)
- One of the Bene-Elam in the time of Ezra, who had married a foreign wife. Ezra 10:26. (b.c. 659.)
Abdiel (the servant of God), son of Guni and father of Ahi, one of the Gadites who were settled in the land of Bashan, 1 Chron. 5:15, in the days of Jotham king of Judah. (b.c. 758.)
- A judge of Israel, Judg. 12:13, 15; perhaps the same person as Bedan, in 1 Sam. 12:11. (b.c. 1233–1225.)
- Son of Shashak. 1 Chron. 8:23.
- First-born son of Jehiel, son of Gideon. 1 Chron. 8:30; 9:35, 36.
- Son of Micah, a contemporary of Josiah, 2 Chron. 34:20, called Achbor in 2 Kings 22:12. (b.c. 628.)
- A city in the tribe of Asher, given to the Gershonites, Josh. 21:30; 1 Chron. 6:74; the modern Abdeh, 10 miles northeast of Accho.
Abednego (i.e., servant of Nego, perhaps the same as Nebo), the Chaldæan name given to Azariah, one of the three friends of Daniel, miraculously saved from the fiery furnace. Dan. 3. (b.c. about 600.)
Abel (i.e., breath, possibly, Exhalation; Vanity, probably so called from the shortness of his life), the second son of Adam, murdered by his brother Cain, Gen. 4:1–16; he was a keeper or feeder of sheep. Our Lord spoke of Abel as the first martyr, Matt. 23:35; so did the early Church subsequently. The traditional site of his murder and his grave are pointed out near Damascus.
Abel, the name of several places in Palestine, probably signifies a meadow.
Abel Beth Maacah (meadow of the house of oppression), a town of some importance, 2 Sam. 20:15, in the extreme north of Palestine, which fell an early prey to the invading kings of Syria, 1 Kings 15:20, and Assyria. 2 Kings 15:29.
Abel maim (Abel on the waters), also called simply Abel, 2 Sam. 20:14, 18, another name for Abel-beth-maachah. 2 Chron. 16:4.
Abel Meholah (meadow of the dance), in the northern part of the Jordan valley, 1 Kings 4:12, to which the routed Bedouin host fled from Gideon. Judg. 7:22. Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah returning up the valley from Horeb. 1 Kings 19:16–19.
Abel Mizraim (meadow of Egypt), the name given by the Canaanites to the floor of Atad, at which Joseph, his brothers and the Egyptians made their mourning for Jacob. Gen. 50:11. It was beyond (on the east of) Jordan. See Atad. (Schaff and others say it was on the west bank, for the writer was on the east of Jordan. It was near Jericho, or perhaps Hebron.)
Abel Shittim (the meadow of the acacias), in the “plains” of Moab, on the low level of the Jordan valley, opposite Jericho. The last resting-place of Israel before crossing the Jordan. Num. 33:49. The place is most frequently mentioned by its shorter name of Shittim. See Shittim.
Abel, Stone of (“the great abel”), the place where the ark rested in the field of Joshua at Beth-shemesh. 1 Sam. 6:18.
Abez (lofty), a town in the possession of Issachar, named between Kishion and Remeth in Josh. 19:20 only.
Abi, mother of King Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:2; written Abijah in 2 Chron. 29:1.
Abia, Abiah, or Abijah.
- Son of Becher, the son of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 7:8.
- Wife of Hezron. 1 Chron. 2:24.
- Second son of Samuel. 1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chron. 7:28.
- The son of Rehoboam. 1 Chron. 3:10; Matt. 1:7. See Abijah, 1.
- Mother of King Hezekiah. [Abi.]
- Same as Abijah, 4.
Abia, Course of, the eighth of the 24 courses or classes into which the priests were divided for serving at the altar. 1 Chron. 24; Luke 1:5. See Abijah, 4.
Abialbon (father of strength). See Abiel.
Abiasaph (father of gathering, i.e., gathered), Ex. 6:24, otherwise written Ebi´asaph. 1 Chron. 6:23, 37; 9:19. One of the descendants of Korah, and head of the Korhites. Among the remarkable descendants of Abiasaph were Samuel the prophet, 1 Sam. 1:11, and Heman the singer.
Abiathar (father of abundance, i.e., liberal), high priest and fourth in descent from Eli. (b.c. 1060–1012.) Abiathar was the only one of all the sons of Ahimelech the high priest who escaped the slaughter inflicted upon his father’s house by Saul, in revenge for his having inquired of the Lord for David and given him the shew-bread to eat. 1 Sam. 22. Abiathar having become high priest, fled to David, and was thus enabled to inquire of the Lord for him. 1 Sam. 23:9; 30:7; 2 Sam. 2:1; 5:19, etc. He adhered to David in his wanderings while pursued by Saul; he was with him while he reigned in Hebron, and afterwards in Jerusalem. 2 Sam. 2:1–3. He continued faithful to him in Absalom’s rebellion. 2 Sam. 15:24, 29, 35, 36; 17:15–17; 19:11. When, however, Adonijah set himself up for David’s successor on the throne, in opposition to Solomon, Abiathar sided with him, while Zadok was on Solomon’s side. For this Abiathar was deprived of the high priesthood. Zadok had joined David at Hebron, 1 Chron. 12:28, so that there were henceforth two high priests in the reign of David, and till the deposition of Abiathar by Solomon, when Zadok became the sole high priest.
Abib (green fruits). [Month.]
Abida, or Abidah (father of knowledge), a son of Midian. Gen. 25:4; 1 Chron. 1:33.
Abidan (father of the judge), chief of the tribe of Benjamin at the time of the Exodus. (b.c. 1491.) Num. 1:11; 2:22; 7:60, 65; 10:24.
Abiel (father of strength, i.e., strong).
- Father of Kish, and consequently grandfather of Saul, 1 Sam. 9:1, as well as of Abner, Saul’s commander-in-chief. 1 Sam. 14:51. (b.c. 1093–1055.)
- One of David’s mighty men. 1 Chron. 11:32. In 2 Sam. 23:31 he is called Abi-albon. (b.c. 1053.)
Abiezer (father of help, helpful).
- Eldest son of Gilead, and descendant of Manasseh. Josh. 17:2; 1 Chron. 7:18. (b.c. 1450.) He was the ancestor of the great judge Gideon. [Gideon.]
- One of David’s mighty men. 2 Sam. 23:27; 1 Chron. 11:28; 27:12. (b.c. 1014.)
Abigail (father, i.e., source, of joy).
- The beautiful wife of Nabal, a wealthy owner of goats and sheep in Carmel. (b.c. 1060.) When David’s messengers were slighted by Nabal, Abigail supplied David and his followers with provisions, and succeeded in appeasing his anger. Ten days after this Nabal died, and David sent for Abigail and made her his wife. 1 Sam. 25:14, etc. By her he had a son, called Chileab in 2 Sam. 3:3, but Daniel in 1 Chron. 3:1.
- A sister of David, married to Jether the Ishmaelite, and mother, by him, of Amasa. 1 Chron. 2:17. In 2 Sam. 17:25, for Israelite read Ishmaelite. (b.c. 1068.)
Abihail (father of, i.e., possessing, strength).
- Father of Zuriel, chief of the Levitical family of Merari, a contemporary of Moses. Num. 3:35. (b.c. 1490.)
- Wife of Abishur. 1 Chron. 2:29.
- Son of Huri, of the tribe of Gad. 1 Chron. 5:14.
- Wife of Rehoboam. She is called the daughter, i.e., descendant, of Aliab, the elder brother of David. 2 Chron. 11:18. (b.c. 972.)
- Father of Esther and uncle of Mordecai. Esther 2:15; 9:29.
Abihu (he (God) is my father), the second son, Num. 3:2, of Aaron by Elisheba. Ex. 6:23. Being, together with his elder brother Nadab, guilty of offering strange fire to the Lord, he was consumed by fire from heaven. Lev. 10:1, 2. (b.c. 1490.)
Abihud (father of renown, famous), son of Bela and grandson of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 8:3.
Abijah or Abi´jam (my father is Jerhovah).
- Son and successor of Rehoboam on the throne of Judah. 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Chron. 12:16. He is called Abijah in Chronicles, Abijam in Kings. He began to reign b.c. 959, and reigned three years. He endeavored to recover the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, and made war on Jeroboam. He was successful in battle, and took several of the cities of Israel. We are told that he walked in all the sins of Rehoboam. 1 Kings 14:23, 24.
- The second son of Samuel, called Abiah in our version. [Abia, Abiah, 3.]
- Son of Jeroboam I, king of Israel; died in his childhood. 1 Kings 14.
- A descendant of Eleazar, who gave his name to the eighth of the 24 courses into which the priests were divided by David. 1 Chron. 24:10; 2 Chron. 8:14; Neh. 12:4, 17.
- One of the priests who entered into a covenant with Nehemiah to walk in God’s law, Neh. 10:7; unless the name is rather that of a family, and the same with the preceding.
Abijam. [Abijah, 1.]
Abilene (land of meadows), Luke 3:1, a city situated on the eastern slope of Antilibanus, in a district fertilized by the river Barada (Abana). The city was 18 miles from Damascus, and stood in a remarkable gorge called Sûk Wady Barada.
Ability; able; adequately qualified; sufficient in degree: (ἱκανός hikanos; from ἵκνεομαι hikneomai) The Greek adjective means to be competent, worthy, adequately, sufficiently trained and qualified to a satisfactory or acceptable extent or degree to teach others the Word of God. – 2 Cor. 2:6, 16; 3:5; 2 Tim. 2:2.
Abimael (father of Mael), a descendant of Joktan, Gen. 10:28; 1 Chron. 1:22, and probably the progenitor of an Arab tribe (Mali).
Abimelech (father of the king), the name of several Philistine kings, was probably a common title of these kings, like that of Pharaoh among the Egyptians and that of Cæsar and Augustus among the Romans. Hence in the title of Ps. 34 the name of Abimelech is given to the king, who is called Achish in 1 Sam. 21:11.
- A Philistine, king of Gerar, Gen. 20, 21, who, exercising the right claimed by Eastern princes of collecting all the beautiful women of their dominions into their harem, Gen. 12:15; Esther 2:3, sent for and took Sarah. A similar account is given of Abraham’s conduct on this occasion to that of his behavior towards Pharaoh. [Abraham.] (b.c. 1920.)
- Another king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, of whom a similar narrative is recorded in relation to Rebekah. Gen. 26:1, etc. (b.c. 1817.)
- Son of the judge Gideon by his Shechemite concubine. Judg. 8:31. (b.c. 1322–1319.) After his father’s death he murdered all his brethren, 70 in number, with the exception of Jotham, the youngest, who concealed himself; and he then persuaded the Shechemites to elect him king. Shechem now became an independent state. After Abimelech had reigned three years, the citizens of Shechem rebelled. He was absent at the time, but he returned and quelled the insurrection. Shortly after he stormed and took Thebez, but was struck on the head by a woman with the fragment of a millstone, comp. 2 Sam. 11:21; and lest he should be said to have died by a woman, he bade his armor-bearer slay him.
- A son of Abiathar. 1 Chron. 18:16.
- A Levite, a native of Kirjath-jearim, in whose house the ark remained 20 years. 1 Sam. 7:1, 2; 1 Chron. 13:7. (b.c. 1124.)
- Second son of Jesse, who followed Saul to his war against the Philistines. 1 Sam. 16:8; 17:13. (b.c. 1063.)
- A son of Saul, who was slain with his brothers at the fatal battle on Mount Gilboa. 1 Sam. 31:2. (b.c. 1053.)
- Father of one of the twelve chief officers of Solomon. 1 Kings 4:11. (b.c. before 1014.)
Abiner (father of light). Same as Abner. 1 Sam. 14:50, margin.
Abinoam, the father of Barak. Judg. 4:6, 12; 5:1, 12. (b.c. 1300.)
- A Reubenite, son of Eliab, who with Korah, a Levite, organized a conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. Num. 16. [For details, see Korah.] (b.c. 1490.)
- Eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite, who died when his father laid the foundations of Jericho, 1 Kings 16:34, and thus accomplished the first part of the curse of Joshua. Josh. 6:26. (b.c. after 905.)
Abishag, a beautiful Shunammite (from Shunem, in the tribe of Issachar), taken into David’s harem to comfort him in his extreme old age. 1 Kings 1:1–4.
Abishai, or Abish´a-i (father of a gift), the eldest of the three sons of Zeruiah, David’s sister, and brother to Joab and Asahel. 1 Chron. 2:16. Like his two brothers he was the devoted follower of David. He was his companion in the desperate night expedition to the camp of Saul. 1 Sam. 26:6–9. (b.c. 1055.) On the outbreak of Absalom’s rebellion he remained true to the king, and commanded a third part of the army in the decisive battle against Absalom. He rescued David from the hands of a gigantic Philistine, Ishbi-benob. 2 Sam. 21:17. His personal prowess on this, as on another occasion, when he fought single-handed against three hundred, won for him a place as captain of the second three of David’s mighty men. 2 Sam. 23:18; 1 Chron. 11:20.
Abishalom (father of peace), father or grandfather of Maachah, who was the wife of Rehoboam and mother of Abijah. 1 Kings 15:2, 10. He is called Absalom in 2 Chron. 11:20, 21. This person must be David’s son. See LXX; 2 Sam. 14:27.
Abishua (father of deliverance).
- Son of Bela, of the tribe of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 8:4.
- Son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, and father of Bukki, in the genealogy of the high priests. 1 Chron. 6:4, 5, 50, 51; Ezra 7:4, 5.
Abishur (father of the wall), son of Shammai. 1 Chron. 2:28.
Abital (father of the dew), one of David’s wives. 2 Sam. 3:4; 1 Chron. 3:3.
Abitub (father of goodness), son of Shaharaim by Hushim. 1 Chron. 8:11.
Abiud (father of praise), descendant of Zorobabel in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Matt. 1:13.
Abner (father of light).
- Son of Ner, who was the brother of Kish, 1 Chron. 9:36, the father of Saul. (b.c. 1063.) Abner, therefore, was Saul’s first cousin, and was made by him commander-in-chief of his army. 1 Sam. 14:51; 17:57; 26:5–14. After the death of Saul David was proclaimed king of Judah; and some time subsequently Abner proclaimed Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, king of Israel. War soon broke out between the two rival kings, and a “very sore battle” was fought at Gideon between the men of Israel under Abner and the men of Judah under Joab. 1 Chron. 2:16. Abner had married Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, and this, according to the views of Oriental courts, might be so interpreted as to imply a design upon the throne. Rightly or wrongly, Ish-bosheth so understood it, and he even ventured to reproach Abner with it. Abner, incensed at his ingratitude, opened negotiations with David, by whom he was most favorably received at Hebron. He then undertook to procure his recognition throughout Israel; but after leaving his presence for the purpose was enticed back by Joab, and treacherously murdered by him and his brother Abishai, at the gate of the city, partly, no doubt, from fear lest so distinguished a convert to their cause should gain too high a place in David’s favor, but ostensibly in retaliation for the death of Asahel. David, in sorrow and indignation, poured forth a simple dirge over the slain hero. 2 Sam. 3:33, 34.
- The father of Jaasiel, chief of the Benjamites in David’s reign, 1 Chron. 27:21; probably the same as the preceding.
Abomination: (תּוֹעֵבָה toebah or תֹּעֵבָה toebah) It is a repulsion, abhorrence, that is, an object or person that is loathsome or repulsive. The sense of toebah is a detestable thing or person that causes horror and disgust in another person. – Dt 32:16; 2Ch 34:33; Jer 16:18; Eze 5:9; 7:20; 11:18, 21; 16:36.
Abomination: (שִׁקּוּץ shiqquts or שִׁקֻּץ shiqquts) It means abhorrence, an object to abhor, horror, monster, filth. The sense of shiqquts is that of a pagan idol that is worshiped, emphasizing the result of the idol worshiper becoming detestable, implying that it can make a person unclean. – 2 Ki 23:13; Ez. 5:11; 11:21; Dan. 9:27; 11:31; Hos. 9:10.
Abomination of Desolation: (Heb. שִׁקּוּץ shiqquts or שִׁקֻּץ shiqquts שָׁמֵם shamem Gr. βδέλυγμα bdelugma ἐρήμωσις erēmōsis) An expression by Jesus recorded in Mathew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 referring to Daniel 11:31 and 12:11. Bdelugma refers to an unclean abomination that horrifies clean persons, leaving them disgusted. Eremoseos has the sense of an extensive desolating act or destruction, which caused total ruin, leaving no place for shelter. The prophecy referred ultimately to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and consequently, the “abomination” must describe some occurrence connected with that event. It appears most probable that the profanities of the Zealots constituted the abomination, which was the sign of impending ruin; but most people refer it to the standards or banners of the Roman army. They were abomination because there were idolatrous images upon them.
Abraham (father of a multitude) was the son of Terah, and founder of the great Hebrew nation. (b.c. 1996–1822.) His family, a branch of the descendants of Shem, was settled in Ur of the Chaldees, beyond the Euphrates, where Abraham was born. Terah had two other sons, Nahor and Haran. Haran died before his father in Ur of the Chaldees, leaving a son, Lot; and Terah, taking with him Abram, with Sarai his wife and his grandson Lot, emigrated to Haran in Mesopotamia, where he died. On the death of his father, Abram, then in the 75th year of his age, with Sarai and Lot, pursued his course to the land of Canaan, whither he was directed by divine command, Gen. 12:5, when he received the general promise that he should become the founder of a great nation, and that all the families of the earth should be blessed in him. He passed through the heart of the country by the great highway to Shechem, and pitched his tent beneath the terbinth of Moreh. Gen. 12:6. Here he received in vision from Jehovah the further revelation that this was the land which his descendants should inherit. Gen. 12:7. The next halting-place of the wanderer was on a mountain between Bethel and Ai, Gen. 12:8; but the country was suffering from famine, and Abram journeyed still southward to the rich cornlands of Egypt. There, fearing that the great beauty of Sarai might tempt the powerful monarch of Egypt and expose his own life to peril, he arranged that Sarai should represent herself as his sister, which her actual relationship to him, as probably the daughter of his brother Haran, allowed her to do with some semblance of truth. But her beauty was reported to the king, and she was taken into the royal harem. The deception was discovered, and Pharaoh with some indignation dismissed Abram from the country. Gen. 12:10–20. He left Egypt with great possessions, and, accompanied by Lot, returned by the south of Palestine to his former encampment between Bethel and Ai. The increased wealth of the two kinsmen was the ultimate cause of their separation. Lot chose the fertile plain of the Jordan near Sodom, while Abram pitched his tent among the oak groves of Mamre, close to Hebron. Gen. 13. Lot with his family and possessions having been carried away captive by Chedorlaomer king of Elam, who had invaded Sodom, Abram pursued the conquerors and utterly routed them not far from Damascus. The captives and plunder were all recovered, and Abram was greeted on his return by the king of Sodom, and by Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who mysteriously appears upon the scene to bless the patriarch and receive from him a tenth of the spoil. Gen. 14. After this the thrice-repeated promise that his descendants should become a mighty nation and possess the land in which he was a stranger was confirmed with all the solemnity of a religious ceremony. Gen. 15. Ten years had passed since he had left his father’s house, and the fulfillment of the promise was apparently more distant than at first. At the suggestion of Sarai, who despaired of having children of her own, he took as his concubine Hagar, her Egyptian maid, who bore him Ishmael in the 86th year of his age. Gen. 16. [Hagar; Ishmael.] But this was not the accomplishment of the promise. Thirteen years elapsed, during which Abram still dwelt in Hebron, when the covenant was renewed, and the rite of circumcision established as its sign. This most important crisis in Abram’s life, when he was 99 years old, is marked by the significant change of his name to Abraham, “father of a multitude”; while his wife’s from Sarai became Sarah. The promise that Sarah should have a son was repeated in the remarkable scene described in ch. 18. Three men stood before Abraham as he sat in his tent door in the heat of the day. The patriarch, with true Eastern hospitality, welcomed the strangers, and bade them rest and refresh themselves. The meal ended, they foretold the birth of Isaac, and went on their way to Sodom. Abraham accompanied them, and is represented as an interlocutor in a dialogue with Jehovah, in which he pleaded in vain to avert the vengeance threatened to the devoted cities of the plain. Gen. 18:17–33. In remarkable contrast with Abraham’s firm faith with regard to the magnificent fortunes of his posterity stands the incident which occurred during his temporary residence among the Philistines in Gerar, whither he had for some cause removed after the destruction of Sodom. It was almost a repetition of what took place in Egypt a few years before. At length Isaac, the long-looked-for child, was born. Sarah’s jealousy, aroused by the mockery of Ishmael at the “great banquet” which Abraham made to celebrate the weaning of her son, Gen. 21:9, demanded that, with his mother Hagar, he should be driven out. Gen. 21:10. But the severest trial of his faith was yet to come. For a long period the history is almost silent. At length he receives the strange command to take Isaac, his only son, and offer him for a burnt offering at an appointed place. Abraham hesitated not to obey. His faith, hitherto unshaken, supported him in this final trial, “accounting that God was able to raise up his son, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure.” Heb. 11:19. The sacrifice was stayed by the angel of Jehovah, the promise of spiritual blessing made for the first time, and Abraham with his son returned to Beersheba, and for a time dwelt there. Gen. 22. But we find him after a few years in his original residence at Hebron, for there Sarah died, Gen. 23:2, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah. The remaining years of Abraham’s life are marked by but few incidents. After Isaac’s marriage with Rebekah and his removal to Lahai-roi, Abraham took to wife Keturah, by whom he had six children, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbok and Shuah, who became the ancestors of nomadic tribes inhabiting the countries south and southeast of Palestine. Abraham lived to see the gradual accomplishment of the promise in the birth of his grandchildren Jacob and Esau, and witnessed their growth to manhood. Gen. 25:26. At the goodly age of 175 he was “gathered to his people,” and laid beside Sarah in the tomb of Machpelah by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Gen. 25:7–10.
Abram (a high father), the earlier name of Abraham.
Abrek: An Egyptian word which is a Semitic loan word (related to בָּרַךְ barak and בֶּרֶךְ berek) meaning attention or a Hebrew word (אַבְרֵךְ abrek) meaning to kneel, bow the knee, make way, public acclamation of high status, used as a command or interjection, suggesting that honor and dignity are to be shown. – Genesis 41:43.
Absalom (father of peace), third son of David by Maachah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, a Syrian district adjoining the northeast frontier of the Holy Land. (Born b.c. 1050.) Absalom had a sister, Tamar, who was violated by her half-brother Amnon. The natural avenger of such an outrage would be Tamar’s full brother Absalom. He brooded over the wrong for two years, and then invited all the princes to a sheep-shearing feast at his estate in Baalhazor, on the borders of Ephraim and Benjamin. Here he ordered his servants to murder Amnon, and then fled for safety to his grandfather’s court at Geshur, where he remained for three years. At the end of that time he was brought back by an artifice of Joab. David, however, would not see Absalom for two more years; but at length Joab brought about a reconciliation. Absalom now began at once to prepare for rebellion. He tried to supplant his father by courting popularity, standing in the gate, conversing with every suitor, and lamenting the difficulty which he would find in getting a hearing. He also maintained a splendid retinue, 2 Sam. 15:1, and was admired for his personal beauty. It is probable too that the great tribe of Judah had taken some offence at David’s government. Absalom raised the standard of revolt at Hebron, the old capital of Judah, now supplanted by Jerusalem. The revolt was at first completely successful; David fled from his capital over the Jordan to Mahanaim in Gilead, and Absalom occupied Jerusalem. At last, after being solemnly anointed king at Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 19:10, Absalom crossed the Jordan to attack his father, who by this time had rallied round him a considerable force. A decisive battle was fought in Gilead, in the wood of Ephraim. Here Absalom’s forces were totally defeated, and as he himself was escaping his long hair was entangled in the branches of a terebinth, where he was left hanging while the mule on which he was riding ran away from under him. He was dispatched by Joab in spite of the prohibition of David, who, loving him to the last, had desired that his life might be spared. He was buried in a great pit in the forest, and the conquerors threw stones over his grave, an old proof of bitter hostility. Josh. 7:26.
Absalom’s Pillar, or Place, a monument or tomb which Absalom had built during his lifetime in the king’s dale, i.e., the valley of the Kedron, at the foot of Mount Olivet, near Jerusalem, 2 Sam. 18:18, comp. with 14:27, for his three sons, and where he probably expected to be buried. The tomb there now, and called by Absalom’s name, was probably built at a later date.
Abusive Words: (βλασφημία blasphēmia) This refers to reviling, malicious talk, abusive words, slander (Matt. 15:19); blasphemy, the content of defamation or slander (Lu 5:21). These are abusive words that are spoken in anger, which could be intentionally or unintentionally hurting another and damaging their reputation.
Abyss: (ἄβυσσος abussos) It is a very deep place, which is rendered “the bottomless pit” in some versions (KJV). This is found in the NT and refers to a place or condition, where Satan and his demons will be confined for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3) Abaddon rules over the abyss (Rev. 9:11) The beast is of Satan’s design and will rise from the abyss in the last days. (Rev. 11:7) The beast will go off into destruction. (Rev 17:8) It is used at times to refer to the grave as well. – Lu 8:31; Rom. 10:7; Rev. 20:3.
Accad, one of the cities in the land of Shinar. Gen. 10:10. Its position is quite uncertain.
Accho (the Ptolemais of the Maccabees and New Testament), now called Acca, or more usually by Europeans St. Jean d’Acre, the most important seaport town on the Syrian coast, about 30 miles south of Tyre. It was situated on a slightly projecting headland, at the northern extremity of that spacious bay which is formed by the bold promontory of Carmel on the opposite side. Later it was named Ptolemais, after one of the Ptolemies, probably Soter. The only notice of it in the New Testament is in Acts 21:7, where it is called Ptolemais.
Accurate Knowledge: (ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis) This is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. It is a personal recognition where one understands something clearly and distinctly or as true and valid. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis. Paul uses the term fifteen times, while Peter uses it four times. Paul wrote about some who were “always learning and yet never able to come to accurate knowledge of truth.” (2Ti 3:6-7) He also prayed for those in the Colossian church, who clearly had some knowledge of the will and purposes of the Father, for they had become Christians, “that [they] may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Col 1:9) All Christians should desire to obtain or achieve accurate knowledge of God’s Word. (Eph 1:15-17; Php 1:9; 1Ti 2:3-4), It is crucial in one’s effort at putting on the new person that Paul spoke of, and in gaining peace. – Rom. 1:28; Eph. 1:17; Phil. 1:9; Col. 1:9-10; 3:10; 1 Tim 2:4; 2Pe 1:2.
Aceldama (the field of blood) (Akeldama in the Revised Version), the name given by the Jews of Jerusalem to a field near Jerusalem purchased by Judas with the money which he received for the betrayal of Christ, and so called from his violent death therein. Acts 1:19. The “field of blood” is now shown on the steep southern face of the valley or ravine of Hinnom, “southwest of the supposed pool of Siloam.”
Achaia (trouble) signifies in the New Testament a Roman province which included the whole of the Peloponnesus and the greater part of Hellas proper, with the adjacent islands. This province, with that of Macedonia, comprehended the whole of Greece; hence Achaia and Macedonia are frequently mentioned together in the New Testament to indicate all Greece. Acts 18:12; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:15; 2 Cor. 7:5; 9:2; 11:10; 1 Thess. 1:7, 8. In the time of the emperor Claudius it was governed by a proconsul, translated in the Authorized Version “deputy,” of Achaia. Acts 18:12.
Achaicus (belonging to Achaia), a name of a Christian. 1 Cor. 16:17.
Achan (troubler), an Israelite of the tribe of Judah, who, when Jericho and all that it contained were accursed and devoted to destruction, secreted a portion of the spoil in his tent. For this sin he was stoned to death with his whole family by the people, in a valley situated between Ai and Jericho, and their remains, together with his property, were burnt. Josh. 7:19–26. From this event the valley received the name of Achor (i.e., trouble). [Achor.] (b.c. 1450.)
Achar = Achan. 1 Chron. 2:7.
Achaz = Ahaz, king of Judah. Matt. 1:9.
- Father of Baalhanan king of Edom. Gen. 36:38, 39; 1 Chron. 1:49.
- Son of Michaiah, a contemporary of Josiah, 2 Kings 22:12, 14; Jer. 26:22; 36:12, called Abdon in 2 Chron. 34:20. (b.c. 623.)
Achim, son of Sadoc and father of Eliud in our Lord’s genealogy. Matt. 1:14. The Hebrew form of the name would be Jachin, which is a short form of Jehoiachin, the Lord will establish.
Achish (angry), a Philistine king of Gath, who in the title to the 34th Psalm is called Abimelech. David twice found a refuge with him when he fled from Saul. (b.c. 1061.) On the first occasion he was alarmed for his safety, feigned madness, and was sent away.
Achor, Valley of (valley of trouble), the spot at which Achan was stoned. Josh. 7:24, 26. On the northern boundary of Judah, Josh. 15:7, near Jericho.
Achsa. 1 Chron. 2:49. [Achsah.]
Achsah (ankle-chain, anklet), daughter of Caleb. Her father promised her in marriage to whoever should take Debir. Othniel, her father’s younger brother, took that city, and accordingly received the hand of Achsah as his reward. Caleb added to her dowry the upper and lower springs. (b.c. 1450–1426.) Josh. 15:15–19; Judg. 1:11–15.
Ach´shaph (fascination), a city within the territory of Asher, named between Beten and Alammelech, Josh. 19:25; originally the seat of a Canaanite king. Josh. 11:1; 12:20.
Achzib (lying, false).
- A city in the lowlands of Judah, named with Keilah and Mareshah. Josh. 15:44; Micah 1:14. It is probably the same with Chezib and Chozeba, which see.
- A town belonging to Asher, Josh. 19:29, from which the Canaanites were not expelled, Judg. 1:31; afterwards Ecdippa. It is now es-Zib, on the seashore, 2 h. 20 m. north of Acre.
Acrabbim. See Maaleh-Acrabbim, Josh. 15:3, in the margin.
Acts of the Apostles, the fifth book in the New Testament and the second treatise by the author of the third Gospel, traditionally known as Luke. The book commences with an inscription to one Theophilus, who was probably a man of birth and station. The readers were evidently intended to be the members of the Christian Church, whether Jews or Gentiles; for its contents are such as are of the utmost consequence to the whole Church. They are the fulfillment of the promise of the Father by the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the results of that outpouring by the dispersion of the gospel among Jews and Gentiles. Under these leading heads all the personal and subordinate details may be arranged. First, St. Peter becomes the prime actor under God in the founding of the Church. He is the center of the first group of sayings and doings. The opening of the door to Jews, ch. 2, and Gentiles, ch. 10, is his office, and by him, in good time, is accomplished. Then the preparation of Saul of Tarsus for the work to be done, the progress, in his hand, of that work, his journeying, preaching, and perils, his stripes and imprisonments, his testifying in Jerusalem and being brought to testify in Rome—these are the subjects of the latter half of the book, of which the great central figure is the apostle Paul. The history given in the Acts occupies about 33 years, and the reigns of the Roman emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. It seems most probable that the place of writing was Rome, and the time about two years from the date of St. Paul’s arrival there, as related in ch. 28:30. This would give us the publication of about 61 A.D.
Adadah (festival or boundary), one of the cities in the extreme south of Judah, named with Dimonah and Kedesh. Josh. 15:22.
Adah (ornament, beauty).
- The first of the two wives of Lamech, by whom were borne to him Jabal and Jubal. Gen. 4:19. (b.c. 3600.)
- A Hittitess, one of the three wives of Esau, mother of Eliphaz. Gen. 36:2, 10, 12, 16. In Gen. 26:34 she is called Bashemath. (b.c. 1797.)
Adaiah (adorned by Jehovah).
- Maternal grandfather of King Josiah, and native of Boscath in the lowlands of Judah. 2 Kings 22:1. (B.C. 648.)
- A Levite of the Gershonite branch, and ancestor of Asaph. 1 Chron. 6:41. In v. 21 he is called Iddo.
- A Benjamite, son of Shimhi, 1 Chron. 8:21, who is apparently the same as Shema in v. 13.
- A priest, son of Jehoram. 1 Chron. 9:12; Neh. 11:12.
- Ancestor of Maaseiah, one of the captains who supported Jehoiada. 2 Chron. 23:1.
- One of the descendants of Bani, who had married a foreign wife after the return from Babylon. Ezra 10:29 (B.C. 459.)
- The descendant of another Bani, who had also taken a foreign wife. Ezra 10:39.
- A man of Judah, of the line of Pharez. Neh. 11:5.
Adalia (a fire-god), the fifth son of Haman. Esther 9:8.
Adam [Earthling Man; Mankind; Humankind; from a root meaning “red”], is the name given in Scripture to the first man. It apparently has reference to the ground from which he was formed, which is called in Hebrew Adamah. The idea of redness of color seems to be inherent in either word. The creation of man was the work of the sixth day—the last and crowning, act of creation. Adam was created (not born) a perfect man in body and spirit, but as innocent and completely inexperienced as a child. The man Adam was placed in a garden which the Lord God had planted “eastward in Eden,” for the purpose of dressing it and keeping it. [Eden.] Adam was permitted to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden but one, which was called (“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” because it was the test of Adam’s obedience. By it Adam could know good and evil in the divine way through obedience; thus knowing good by experience in resisting temptation and forming a strong and holy character, while he knew evil only by observation and inference. Or he could “know good and evil,” in Satan’s way, by experiencing the evil and knowing good only by contrast.—Ed.) The prohibition to taste the fruit of this tree was enforced by the menace of death. There was also another tree which was called “the tree of life.” While Adam was in the garden of Eden, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air were brought to him to be named. After this, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him and took one of his ribs from him, which he fashioned into a woman and brought her to the man. At this time they are both described as being naked without the consciousness of shame. By the subtlety of the serpent, the woman who was given to be with Adam was beguiled into a violation of the one command which had been imposed upon them. She took of the fruit of the forbidden tree and gave it to her husband. The propriety of its name was immediately shown in the results which followed: self-consciousness was the first fruits of sin; their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. Though the curse of Adam’s rebellion of necessity fell upon him, yet the very prohibition to eat of the tree of life after his transgression was probably a manifestation of divine mercy because the greatest malediction of all would have been to have the gift of indestructible life superadded to a state of wretchedness and sin. The divine mercy was also shown in the promise of a deliverer given at the very time the curse was imposed, Gen. 3:15, and opening a door of hope to paradise regained for him and his descendants. Adam is stated to have lived 930 years. His sons mentioned in Scripture are Cain, Abel, and Seth; it is implied, however, that he had others.
Adam. Man, generically, for the name Adam was not confined to the father of the human race, but like homo was applicable to woman as well as to man. Gen. 5:2.
Adam, a city on the Jordan, “beside Zaretan,” in the time of Joshua. Josh. 3:16.
Adamah (red earth), one of the “fenced cities” of Naphtali, named between Chinnereth and Ramah. Josh. 19:36.
Adamant, the translation of the Hebrew word Shamir in Ezek. 3:9 and Zech. 7:12. In Jer. 17:1 it is translated “diamond.” In these three passages the word is the representative of some stone of excessive hardness, and is used metaphorically. It is very probable that by Shamir is intended emery, a variety of corundum, a mineral inferior only to the diamond in hardness.
Adami (my man, earth), a place on the border of Naphtali. Josh. 19:33.
Adar (high), a place on the south boundary of Judah. Josh. 15:3.
Adasa (new), a place in Judea, about four miles from Beth-horon. 1 Macc. 7:40, 45. [Hadashah.]
Adbeel (offspring of God), a son of Ishmael, Gen. 25:13; 1 Chron. 1:29, and probably the progenitor of an Arab tribe. (b.c. about 1850.)
Addan (strong or stony), one of the places from which some of the captivity returned with Zerubbabel to Judea who could not show their pedigree as Israelites. Ezra 2:59. Called Addon. Neh. 7:61.
Addar (mighty one), son of Bela, 1 Chron. 8:3; called Ard in Num. 26:40.
Adder, Horned Viper. [Heb., ʽakh·shuvʹ; shephi·phonʹ] This word is used for any poisonous snake and is applied in this general sense by the translators of the Authorized Version. The word adder occurs five times in the text of the Authorized Version (see below), and three times in the margin as synonymous with cockatrice, viz., Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5.
Cerastes cerastes, commonly known as the Saharan horned viper or the desert horned viper, is a venomous species of viper native to the deserts of N Africa from Algeria to Egypt and also in Arabia and S Palestine. It often is easily recognized by the presence of a pair of supraocular “horns,” although hornless individuals do occur. Three subspecies have been described.
The average total length (body and tail) is 30–60 cm (12–24 in), with a maximum total length of 85 cm (33 in). Females are larger than males. One of the most distinctive characteristics of this species is the presence of supraorbital “horns,” one over each eye. However, these may be reduced in size or absent. The eyes are prominent and set on the sides of the head. There is significant sexual dimorphism, with males having larger heads and larger eyes than females. Compared to C. gasperettii, the relative head size of C. cerastes is larger and there is a greater frequency of horned individuals (13% versus 48%, respectively). The color pattern consists of a yellowish, pale grey, pinkish, reddish or pale brown ground color, which almost always matches the substrate color where the animal is found. Dorsally, a series of dark, semi-rectangular blotches runs the length of the body. These blotches may or may not be fused into crossbars. The belly is white. The tail, which may have a black tip, is usually thin.
They typically move about by sidewinding, during which they press their weight into the sand or soil, leaving whole-body impressions. Often, it is even possible to use these impressions to make ventral scale counts. They have a reasonably placid temperament, but if threatened, they may assume a C-shaped posture and rapidly rub their coils together. Because they have strongly keeled scales, this rubbing produces a rasping noise, similar to the sound produced by snakes of the genus Echis. In the wild, they are typically ambush predators, lying submerged in sand adjacent to rocks or under vegetation. When approached, they strike very rapidly, holding on to the captured prey (small birds and rodents) until the venom takes effect. Figurative Use. The horned viper, which is alert and strikes with great swiftness, has been known to attack horses; thus the comparison given in Genesis 49:17 of the tribe of Dan with the “horned snake” is most fitting. There Jacob likened Dan to a serpent, a horned snake, “that bites the heels of the horse so that its rider falls backward.” This was not to downgrade Dan, as if he were a vile snake in the grass fit only to be crushed under the heel. Rather, in the capacity of a snake, Dan would serve a great national purpose. By lying in wait like the horned viper, he could, in effect, bite the heels of the horse carrying an enemy warrior and cause it to rear up and dump its rider off backward. So, though small, Dan would be as dangerous as a horned viper to Israel’s disturbers.
It represents four Hebrew words:
- Acshub is found only in Ps. 140:3, and may be represented by the Toxicoa of Egypt and North Africa.
- Pethen. [Asp.]
- Tsepha, or Tsiphoni, occurs five times in the Hebrew Bible. In Prov. 23:32 it is translated adder, and in Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17, it is rendered cockatrice. From Jeremiah we learn that it was of a hostile nature, and from the parallelism of Isa. 11:8 it appears that the Tsiphoni was considered even more dreadful than the Pethen.
- Shephiphon occurs only in Gen. 49:17, where it is used to characterize the tribe of Dan. The habit of lurking in the sand and biting at the horse’s heels here alluded to suits the character of a well-known species of venomous snake, and helps to identify it with the celebrated horned viper, the asp of Cleopatra (Cerastes), which is found abundantly in the dry sandy deserts of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia. The cerastes is extremely venomous. Bruce compelled a specimen to scratch eighteen pigeons upon the thigh as quickly as possible, and they all died in nearly the same interval of time.
Addi (ornament). Luke 3:28. Son of Cosam, and father of Melchi in our Lord’s genealogy; the third above Salathiel.
Addon (lord). [Addan.]
Ader (flock), a Benjamite, son of Beriah, chief of the inhabitants of Aijalon. 1 Chron. 8:15. The name is more correctly Eder.
Adida, a fortified town near Jerusalem, probably the Hadid of Ezra 2:33, and referred to in 1 Macc. 12:38.
Adiel (ornament of God).
- A prince of the tribe of Simeon, descended from the prosperous family of Shimei. 1 Chron. 4:36. He took part in the murderous raid made by his tribe upon the peaceable Hamite shepherds of the valley of Gedor in the reign of Hezekiah. (b.c. about 711.)
- A priest, ancestor of Maasiai. 1 Chron. 9:12.
- Ancestor of Azmaveth, David’s treasurer. 1 Chron. 27:25. (b.c. 1050.)
Adin (dainty, delicate), ancestor of a family who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel, to the number of 454, Ezra 2:15, or 655 according to the parallel list in Neh. 7:20. (b.c. 536.) They joined with Nehemiah in a covenant to separate themselves from the heathen. Neh. 10:16. (b.c. 410.)
Adina (slender), one of David’s captains beyond the Jordan, and a chief of the Reubenites. 1 Chron. 11:42.
Adino, or Adino, The Eznite. 2 Sam. 23:8. See Jashobeam.
Adithaim (double ornament), a town belonging to Judah, lying in the low country, and named, between Sharaim and hag-Gederah, in Josh. 15:36 only.
Adlai, or Ad´la-i (justice of Jehovah), ancestor of Shaphat, the overseer of David’s herds that fed in the broad valleys. 1 Chron. 27:29. (b.c. before 1050.)
Admah (earthy, fortress), one of the “cities of the plain,” always coupled with Zeboim. Gen. 10:19; 14:2, 8; Deut. 29:23; Hos. 11:8.
Admatha (given by the highest), one of the seven princes of Persia. Esther 1:14.
Adna (rest, pleasure).
- One of the family of Pahath-moab, who returned with Ezra and married a foreign wife. Ezra 10:30. (b.c. 459.)
- A priest, descendant of Harim in the days of Joiakim, the son of Jeshua. Neh. 12:15. (b.c. 500.)
- A Manassite who deserted from Saul and joined the fortunes of David on his road to Ziklag from the camp of the Philistines. He was captain of a thousand of his tribe, and fought at David’s side in the pursuit of the Amalekites. 1 Chron. 12:20. (b.c. 1054.)
- The captain of over 300,000 men of Judah who were in Jehoshaphat’s army. 2 Chron. 17:14. (b.c. 908.)
Adoni-Bezek (lord of Bezek), king of Bezek, a city of the Canaanites. [Bezek.] This chieftain was vanquished by the tribe of Judah, Judg. 1:3–7, who cut off his thumbs and great toes, and brought him prisoner to Jerusalem, where he died. He confessed that he had inflicted the same cruelty upon 70 petty kings whom he had conquered. (b.c. 1425.)
Adonijah (my Lord is Jehovah).
- The fourth son of David by Haggith, born at Hebron while his father was king of Judah. 2 Sam. 3:4. (b.c. about 1050.) After the death of his three brothers, Amnon, Chileab, and Absalom, he became eldest son; and when his father’s strength was visibly declining, put forward his pretensions to the crown. Adonijah’s cause was espoused by Abiathar and by Joab the famous commander of David’s army. [Joab.] His name and influence secured a large number of followers among the captains of the royal army belonging to the tribe of Judah, comp. 1 Kings 1:4; and these, together with all the princes except Solomon, were entertained by Adonijah at a great sacrificial feast held “by the stone Zoheleth, which is by En-rogel.” [En-rogel.] Apprised of these proceedings, David immediately caused Solomon to be proclaimed king, 1 Kings 1:33, 34, at Gihon. [Gihon.] This decisive measure struck terror into the opposite party, and Adonijah fled to the sanctuary, but was pardoned by Solomon on condition that he should “show himself a worthy man.” 1 Kings 1:52. The death of David quickly followed on these events; and Adonijah begged Bath-sheba to procure Solomon’s consent to his marriage with Abishag, who had been the wife of David in his old age. 1 Kings 1:3. This was regarded as equivalent to a fresh attempt on the throne [Absalom; Abner]; and therefore Solomon ordered him to be put to death by Benaiah. 1 Kings 2:25.
- A Levite in the reign of Jehoshaphat. 2 Chron. 17:8.
- The same as Adonikam. Neh. 10:16. [Adonikam.]
Adonikam, or Adonikam. The sons of Adonikam, 666 in number, were among those who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:13; Neh. 7:18; 1 Esd. 5:14. (b.c. 506–410.) The name is given as Adonijah in Neh. 10:16.
Adoniram (lord of heights), 1 Kings 4:6. By an unusual contraction Adoram, 2 Sam. 20:24 and 1 Kings 12:18; also Hadoram, 2 Chron. 10:18, chief receiver of the tribute during the reigns of David, 2 Sam. 20:24, Solomon, 1 Kings 4:6, and Rehoboam. 1 Kings 12:18. This last monarch sent him to collect the tribute from the rebellious Israelites, by whom he was stoned to death. (b.c. 1014–973.)
Adonizedek (lord of justice), the Amorite king of Jerusalem who organized a league with four other Amorite princes against Joshua. The confederate kings having laid siege to Gibeon, Joshua marched to the relief of his new allies and put the besiegers to flight. The five kings took refuge in a cave at Makkedah, whence they were taken and slain, their bodies hung on trees, and then buried in the place of their concealment. Josh. 10:1–27. (B.C. 1450.)
Adoption: (υἱοθεσία huiothesia) The Greek noun is a legal term that literally means “adoption as a son,” which means taking or accepting a son or daughter who is not naturally such by relationship, including full inheritance rights. The apostle Paul mentions adoption several times, referring to those with a new status as called and chosen by God. Born as offspring of the imperfect Adam, these were formerly in slavery to sin. Through purchase through Jesus’ life as a ransom, many have received the adoption as sons and daughters becoming heirs with the only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. The term is used figuratively to show the close relationship to God of the Christian. – Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5.
Ador, or Adora. [Adoraim.]
Adoraim (double mound), a fortified city built by Rehoboam, 2 Chron. 11:9, in Judah. Adoraim is probably the same place with Adora, 1 Macc. 13:20, unless that be Dor, on the seacoast below Carmel. Robinson identifies it with Dura, a “large village” on a rising ground west of Hebron.
Adoram. [Adoniram; Hadoram.]
Adoration. Obeisance is the act of bowing, kneeling, prostrating the body, or making some other gesture to betoken submission; or simply the paying of respect. It adequately translates the Hebrew hish·ta·chawahʹ and the Greek pro·sky·neʹo in many cases. Hish·ta·chawahʹ means, basically, “bow down.” (Gen 18:2) The acts and postures by which the Hebrews expressed adoration bear a great similarity to those still in use among Oriental nations. To rise up and suddenly prostrate the body was the most simple method; but, generally speaking, the prostration was conducted in a more formal manner, the person falling upon the knee and then gradually inclining the body until the forehead touched the ground. Such prostration was usual in the worship of Jehovah, Gen. 17:3; Ps. 95:6; it was the formal mode of receiving visitors, Gen. 18:2, of doing obeisance to one of superior station, 2 Sam. 14:4, and of showing respect to equals. 1 Kings 2:19. It was accompanied by such acts as a kiss, Ex. 18:7, laying hold of the knees or feet of the person to whom the adoration was paid, Matt. 28:9, and kissing the ground on which he stood. Ps. 72:9; Micah 7:17. Similar adoration was paid to idols, 1 Kings 19:18; sometimes, however, the act consisted simply in kissing the hand to the object of reverence, Job 31:27, and in kissing the statue itself. Hos. 13:2.
Adrammelech (splendor of the king).
- The name of an idol introduced into Samaria by the colonists from Sepharvaim. 2 Kings 17:31. He was worshipped with rites resembling those of Molech, children being burnt in his honor. Adrammelech was probably the male power of the sun, and Anammelech, who is mentioned with Adrammelech as a companion god, the female power of the sun.
- Son of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, who, with his brother Sharezer, murdered their father in the temple of Nisroch at Nineveh, after the failure of the Assyrian attack on Jerusalem. The parricides escaped into Armenia. 2 Kings 19:37; 2 Chron. 32:21; Isa. 37:38.
Adramyttium, named from Adramys, brother of Crœsus king of Lydia, a seaport in the province of Asia [Asia], situated on a bay of the Ægean Sea, about 70 miles north of Smyrna, in the district anciently called Æolis, and also Mysia. See Acts 16:7. [Mitlene.] Acts 27:2. The modern Adramyti is a poor village.
Adria, more properly A´drias, the Adriatic Sea. Acts 27:27. The word seems to have been derived from the town of Adria, near the Po. In Paul’s time it included the whole sea between Greece and Italy, reaching south from Crete to Sicily. [Melita.]
Adri-el (flock of God), son of Barzillai, to whom Saul gave his daughter Merab, although he had previously promised her to David. 1 Sam. 18:19. (b.c. about 1062.) His five sons were amongst the seven descendants of Saul whom David surrendered to the Gibeonites. 2 Sam. 21:8.
Adul´lam (justice of the people), Apocr. Odollam, a city of Judah in the lowland of the Shefelah, Josh. 15:35; the seat of a Canaanite king, Josh. 12:15, and evidently a place of great antiquity. Gen. 38:1, 12, 20. Fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chron. 11:7, it was one of the towns reoccupied by the Jews after their return from Babylon, Neh. 11:30, and still a city in the time of the Maccabees. 2 Macc. 12:38. Adullam was probably near Deir Dubban, five or six miles north of Eleutheropolis. The limestone cliffs of the whole of that locality are pierced with extensive excavations, some one of which is doubtless the “cave of Adullam,” the refuge of David. 1 Sam. 22:1; 2 Sam. 23:13; 1 Chron. 11:15.
Adultery. Ex. 20:14. The parties to this crime, according to Jewish law, were a married woman and a man who was not her husband. The Mosaic penalty was that both the guilty parties should be stoned, and it applied as well to the betrothed as to the married woman, provided she was free. Deut. 22:22–24. A bondwoman so offending was to be scourged, and the man was to make a trespass offering. Lev. 19:20–22. At a later time, and when, owing to Gentile example, the marriage tie became a looser bond of union, public feeling in regard to adultery changed, and the penalty of death was seldom or never inflicted. The famous trial by the waters of jealousy, Num. 5:11–29, was probably an ancient custom, which Moses found deeply seated. (But this ordeal was wholly in favor of the innocent, and exactly opposite to most ordeals. For the water which the accused drank was perfectly harmless, and only by a miracle could it produce a bad effect; while in most ordeals the accused must suffer what naturally produces death, and be proved innocent only by a miracle. Symbolically, adultery is used to express unfaithfulness to covenant vows to God, who is represented as the husband of his people.) Spiritual adultery: In a spiritual sense, adultery denotes unfaithfulness to Jehovah on the part of those who are joined to him in a covenant. Natural Israel in the Law covenant was, therefore, guilty of spiritual adultery because of false religious practices, some of which included sex-worship rites and disregard for the seventh commandment. (Jer 3:8, 9; 5:7, 8; 9:2; 13:27; 23:10; Ho 7:4) For similar reasons, Jesus denounced as adulterous the generation of Jews in his day. (Mt 12:39; Mr 8:38) Likewise, today, if Christians who are dedicated to Jehovah and who are in the new covenant defile themselves with the present system of things, they commit spiritual adultery.—Jams 4:4.
Adummim (the going up to), a rising ground or pass “over against Gilgal,” and “on the south side of the ‘torrent,’ ” Josh. 15:7; 18:17, which is the position still occupied by the road leading up from Jericho and the Jordan valley to Jerusalem, on the south face of the gorge of the Wady Kelt. Luke 10:30–36.
Adversaries: (צַר tsar) An enemy, foe, adversary, opponent, or oppressor, i.e., a personal enemy, in a state of open hostility or conflict. – Gen. 14:20; Num. 10:9; Ezra 4:1; Ps 44:5, 7.
Advocate, or Paraclete, one that pleads the cause of another. 1 John 2:1. Used by Christ, John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, to describe the office and work of the Holy Spirit, and translated Comforter, i.e., (see margin of Revised Version) Advocate, Helper, Intercessor. This use of the word is derived from the fact that the Jews, being largely ignorant of the Roman law and the Roman language, had to employ Roman advocates in their trials before Roman courts. Applied to Christ, 1 John 2:1.
Æne´as (laudable), a paralytic at Lydda healed by St. Peter. Acts 9:33, 34.
Ænon (springs), a place “near to Salim,” at which John baptized. John 3:23. It was evidently west of the Jordan, comp. 3:22 with 26, and with 1:28, and abounded in water. It is given in the Onomasticon as eight miles south of Scythopolis, “near Salem and the Jordan.”
Affliction; Afflicted: (עֳנִי oni) The Hebrew word means to do or be evil or bad, treat badly, harm, and do wrong. The sense is to afflict distress, cause serious harm, or be in the state of being afflicted, distressed, disturbed, or miserable. – Ruth 1:21; 1 Ki 8:35; Ps. 9:13; 119:67, 71; Isa. 48:10; 53:7; Lam. 3:3.
Agabus (a locust), a Christian prophet in the apostolic age, mentioned in Acts 11:28 and 21:10. He predicted, Acts 11:28, that a famine would take place in the reign of Claudius. Josephus mentions a famine which prevailed in Judea in the reign of Claudius, and swept away many of the inhabitants. (In Acts 21:10 we learn that Agabus and Paul met at Cæsarea some time after this.)
Agag (flame), possibly the title of the kings of Amalek, like Pharaoh of Egypt. One king of this name is mentioned in Num. 24:7, and another in 1 Sam. 15:8, 9, 20, 32. The latter was the king of the Amalekites, whom Saul spared contrary to Jehovah’s well-known will. Ex. 17:14; Deut. 25:17. For this act of disobedience Samuel was commissioned to declare to Saul his rejection, and he himself sent for Agag and cut him in pieces. (b.c. about 1070.) [Samuel.] Haman is called the Agagite in Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5. The Jews consider him a descendant of Agag the Amalekite.
Agate, a beautifully-veined semi-transparent precious stone, a variety of quartz. Its colors are delicately arranged in stripes or bands or blended in clouds. It is mentioned four times in the text of the Authorized Version, viz., in Ex. 28:19; 39:12; Isa. 54:12; Ezek. 27:16. In the two former passages, where it is represented by the Hebrew word shebo, it is spoken of as forming the second stone in the third row of the high priest’s breastplate; in each of the two latter places the original word is cadced, by which, no doubt, is intended a different stone. [Ruby.] Our English agate derives its name from the Achates, on the banks of which it was first found.
Age, Old. The aged occupied a prominent place in the social and political system of the Jews. In private life they were looked up to as the depositories of knowledge, Job 15:10; the young were ordered to rise up in their presence, Lev. 19:32; they allowed them to give their opinion first, Job 32:4; they were taught to regard gray hairs as a “crown of glory,” Prov. 16:31; 20:29. The attainment of old age was regarded as a special blessing. Job 5:26. In public affairs, age formed under Moses the main qualification of those who acted as the representatives of the people in all matters of difficulty and deliberation. [Elders.]
Agee (fugitive), a Hararite, father of Shammah, one of David’s three mightiest heroes. 2 Sam. 23:11. (b.c. 1050.)
Agriculture. This was little cared for by the patriarchs. The pastoral life, however, was the means of keeping the sacred race, whilst yet a family, distinct from mixture and locally unattached, especially whilst in Egypt. When grown into a nation it supplied a similar check on the foreign intercourse, and became the basis of the Mosaic commonwealth. “The land is mine,” Lev. 25:23, was a dictum which made agriculture likewise the basis of the theocratic relation. Thus every family felt its own life with intense keenness, and had its divine tenure which it was to guard from alienation. The prohibition of culture in the sabbatical year formed a kind of rent reserved by the divine Owner. Landmarks were deemed sacred, Deut. 19:14, and the inalienability of the heritage was insured by its reversion to the owner in the year of jubilee; so that only so many years of occupancy could be sold. Lev. 25:8–16, 23–35.
Rain.—Water was abundant in Palestine from natural sources. Deut. 8:7; 11:8–12. Rain was commonly expected soon after the autumnal equinox. The period denoted by the common scriptural expressions of the “early” and the “latter rain,” Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Zech. 10:1; Jas. 5:7, generally reaching from November to April, constituted the “rainy season,” and the remainder of the year the “dry season.”
Crops.—The cereal crops of constant mention are wheat and barley, and more rarely rye and millet(?). Of the two former, together with the vine, olive, and fig, the use of irrigation, the plough, and the harrow, mention is made in the book of Job 31:40; 15:33; 24:6; 29:19; 39:10. Two kinds of cumin (the black variety called “fitches,” Isa. 28:27), and such podded plants as beans and lentiles, may be named among the staple produce.
Ploughing and Sowing.—The plough was probably very light, one yoke of oxen usually sufficing to draw it. Mountains and steep places were hoed. Isa. 7:25. New ground and fallows, Jer. 4:3; Hos. 10:12, were cleared of stones and of thorns, Isa. 5:2, early in the year, sowing or gathering from “among thorns” being a proverb for slovenly husbandry. Job 5:5; Prov. 24:30, 31. Sowing also took place without previous ploughing, the seed being scattered broadcast and ploughed in afterwards. The soil was then brushed over with a light harrow, often of thorn bushes. In high-irrigated spots the seed was trampled in by cattle. Isa. 32:20. Seventy days before the passover was the time prescribed for sowing. The oxen were urged on by a goad like a spear. Judg. 3:31. The proportion of harvest gathered to seed sown was often vast; a hundred fold is mentioned, but in such a way as to signify that it was a limit rarely attained. Gen. 26:12; Matt. 13:8. Sowing a field with divers seed was forbidden. Deut. 22:9.
Reaping and Threshing.—The wheat, etc., was reaped by the sickle or pulled up by the roots. It was bound in sheaves. The sheaves or heaps were carted, Amos 2:13, to the floor—a circular spot of hard ground, probably, as now, from 50 to 80 or 100 feet in diameter. Gen. 1:10, 11; 2 Sam. 24:16, 18. On these the oxen, etc., forbidden to be muzzled, Deut. 25:4, trampled out the grain. At a later time the Jews used a threshing sledge called morag, Isa. 41:15; 2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chron. 21:23, probably resembling the noreg, still employed in Egypt—a stage with three rollers ridged with iron, which, aided by the driver’s weight, crushed out, often injuring, the grain, as well as cut or tore the straw, which thus became fit for fodder. Lighter grains were beaten out with a stick. Isa. 28:27. The use of animal manure was frequent. Ps. 83:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2, etc.
Winnowing.—The shovel and fan, Isa. 30:24, indicate the process of winnowing—a conspicuous part of ancient husbandry. Ps. 35:5; Job 21:18; Isa. 17:13. Evening was the favorite time, Ruth 3:2, when there was mostly a breeze. The fan, Matt. 3:12, was perhaps a broad shovel which threw the grain up against the wind. The last process was the shaking in a sieve to separate dirt and refuse. Amos 9:9. Fields and floors were not commonly enclosed; vineyards mostly were, with a tower and other buildings. Num. 22:24; Ps. 80:13; Isa. 5:5; Matt. 21:33; comp. Judg. 6:11. The gardens also and orchards were enclosed, frequently by banks of mud from ditches.
With regard to occupany, a tenant might pay a fixed money rent, Song 8:11, or a stipulated share of the fruits. 2 Sam. 9:10; Matt. 21:34. A passerby might eat any quantity of corn or grapes, but not reap or carry off fruit. Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1. The rights of the corner to be left, and of gleaning
[Corner; Gleaning], formed the poor man’s claim on the soil for support. For his benefit, too, a sheaf forgotten in carrying to the floor was to be left; so also with regard to the vineyard and the olive grove. Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19.
Agrippa. [Herod.] Herod Agrippa, also known as Herod II or Agrippa I (Hebrew: אגריפס; 11 BC – AD 44), was a King of Judea from AD 41 to 44. He was the last ruler with the royal title reigning over Judea and the father of Herod Agrippa II, the last king from the Herodian dynasty. The grandson of Herod the Great and son of Aristobulus IV and Berenice, he is the king named Herod in the Acts of the Apostles 12:1: “Herod (Agrippa)” (Ἡρῴδης Ἀγρίππας). Agrippa’s territory comprised most of the territory defined after 136 CE as Roman Palestine, including Judea, Galilee, Batanaea, and Perea. From Galilee his territory extended east to Trachonitis.
He was born Marcus Julius Agrippa, so named in honor of Roman statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Josephus informs us that, after the execution of his father, young Agrippa was sent by his grandfather, Herod the Great, to the imperial court in Rome. There, Tiberius conceived a great affection for him and had him educated alongside his son Drusus, who also befriended him, and future emperor Claudius. On the death of Drusus, Agrippa, who had been recklessly extravagant and was deeply in debt, was obliged to leave Rome, fleeing to the fortress of Malatha in Idumaea. There, it was said, he contemplated suicide.
After a brief seclusion, through the mediation of his wife Cypros and his sister Herodias, Agrippa was given a sum of money by his brother-in-law and uncle, Herodias’ husband, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, and was allowed to take up residence in Tiberias, and received the rank of aedile in that city, with a small yearly income. But after quarrelling with Antipas, he fled to Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, governor of Syria. Soon afterwards he was convicted, through information provided by his brother Aristobulus, of having received a bribe from the Damascenes, who wished to purchase his influence with the proconsul, and was again compelled to flee. As he was about to sail for Italy, he was arrested in connection with a debt which he owed to the treasury of Caesar, but made his escape, and reached Alexandria, where his wife succeeded in procuring a sum of money from Alexander the Alabarch. He then set sail and landed at Puteoli. He was favorably received by Tiberius, who entrusted him with the education of his grandson Tiberius Gemellus. He also became friends with Caligula, then a popular favorite. However, one day he was overheard by his freedman Eutyches expressing a wish for Tiberius’s death and the advancement of Caligula, and for this he was cast into prison.
Following Tiberius’ death and the ascension of Agrippa’s friend Caligula in AD 37, Agrippa was set free and made king of the territories of Gaulanitis (the Golan Heights), Auranitis, Batanaea, and Trachonitis, which his uncle Philip the Tetrarch had held, with the addition of Abila. Agrippa was also awarded the ornamenta praetoria and could use the title amicus Caesaris (“friend of Caesar”). Caligula also presented him with a gold chain equal in weight to the iron one he had worn in prison, which Agrippa dedicated to the Temple of Jerusalem on his return to his ancestral homeland. In AD 39, Agrippa returned to Rome, and arranged for the banishment of his uncle, Herod Antipas. He was then granted his uncle’s tetrarchy, consisting of Galilee and Peraea. This created a Jewish kingdom, however one which did not include Judea at its centre.
After the assassination of Caligula in AD 41, Agrippa was involved in the struggle over the accession between Claudius, the Praetorian Guard, and the Senate. How big a part Agrippa played is uncertain; the various sources differ. Cassius Dio simply writes that Agrippa cooperated with Claudius in his seeking to rule. Flavius Josephus gives us two versions. In The Jewish War, Agrippa is presented as only a messenger to a confident and energetic Claudius. But in The Antiquities of the Jews, Agrippa’s role is central and crucial: he convinces Claudius to stand up to the Senate and convinces the Senate to avoid attacking Claudius. After becoming Emperor, Claudius gave Agrippa dominion over Judea and Samaria and granted him the ornamenta consularia, and, at his request, gave the kingdom of Chalcis in Lebanon to Agrippa’s brother Herod of Chalcis. Thus Agrippa became one of the most powerful kings of the east. His domain more or less equalled that which had been held by his grandfather Herod the Great.
In the city of Berytus, Agrippa built a theatre and amphitheater, baths and porticoes. He was equally generous in Sebaste, Heliopolis and Caesarea. Agrippa began the building of the third and outer wall of Jerusalem, but Claudius was not thrilled with the prospect of a strongly fortified Jerusalem, and he prevented him from completing the fortifications. Agrippa’s friendship was courted by many of the neighboring kings and rulers, some of whom he housed in Tiberias, which also caused Claudius some displeasure.
Agrippa governed Judea to the satisfaction of the Jews. His zeal, private and public, for Judaism is recorded by Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, and the rabbis. Perhaps because of this, his passage through Alexandria in AD 38 instigated anti-Jewish riots. He minted coins without a human figure head or Roman deity in deference to the biblical commandments not to make graven images. At the risk of his own life, or at least of his liberty, he interceded with Caligula on behalf of the Jews, when that emperor was attempting to set up his statue in the Temple at Jerusalem shortly before his death in AD 41. Agrippa’s efforts bore fruit and he persuaded Caligula to temporarily rescind his order, thus preventing the Temple’s desecration. However, Philo of Alexandria recounts that Caligula issued a second order to have his statue erected in the Temple, which was only prevented by Caligula’s death.
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 12 (Acts 12:1–23), where Herod Agrippa is called “King Herod”, reports that he persecuted the Jerusalem church, having James son of Zebedee killed and imprisoning Peter around the time of a Passover. Blastus is mentioned in Acts as Herod’s chamberlain (Acts 12:20).
After Passover in AD 44, Agrippa went to Caesarea, where he had games performed in honour of Claudius. In the midst of his speech to the public a cry went out that he was a god, and Agrippa did not publicly react. At this time he saw an owl perched over his head. During his imprisonment by Tiberius a similar omen had been interpreted as portending his speedy release and future kingship, with the warning that should he behold the same sight again, he would die. He was immediately smitten with violent pains, scolded his friends for flattering him and accepted his imminent death. He experienced heart pains and a pain in his abdomen and died after five days. Josephus then relates how Agrippa’s brother, Herod of Chalcis, and Helcias sent Aristo to kill Silas.
From Josephus, Antiquities 19.8.2 343-361: “Now when Agrippa had reigned three years over all Judea he came to the city Caesarea, which was formerly called Strato’s Tower; and there he exhibited spectacles in honor of Caesar, for whose well-being he’d been informed that a certain festival was being celebrated. At this festival a great number were gathered together of the principal persons of dignity of his province. On the second day of the spectacles he put on a garment made wholly of silver, of a truly wonderful texture, and came into the theater early in the morning. There the silver of his garment, being illuminated by the fresh reflection of the sun’s rays, shone out in a wonderful manner, and was so resplendent as to spread awe over those that looked intently upon him. Presently his flatterers cried out, one from one place, and another from another, (though not for his good) that he was a god; and they added, “Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.” Upon this the king neither rebuked them nor rejected their impious flattery. But he shortly afterward looked up and saw an owl sitting on a certain rope over his head, and immediately understood that this bird was the messenger of ill tidings, just as it had once been the messenger of good tidings to him; and fell into the deepest sorrow. A severe pain arose in his belly, striking with a most violent intensity. He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, “I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life; while Providence thus reproves the lying words you just now said to me; and I, who was by you called immortal, am immediately to be hurried away by death. But I am bound to accept what Providence allots, as it pleases God; for we have by no means lived ill, but in a splendid and happy manner.” When he had said this, his pain became violent. Accordingly he was carried into the palace, and the rumor went abroad everywhere that he would certainly die soon. The multitude sat in sackcloth, men, women and children, after the law of their country, and besought God for the king’s recovery. All places were also full of mourning and lamentation. Now the king rested in a high chamber, and as he saw them below lying prostrate on the ground he could not keep himself from weeping. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life, being in the fifty-fourth year of his age and in the seventh year of his reign. He ruled four years under Caius Caesar, three of them were over Philip’s tetrarchy only, and on the fourth that of Herod was added to it; and he reigned, besides those, three years under Claudius Caesar, during which time he had Judea added to his lands, as well as Samaria and Cesarea. The revenues that he received out of them were very great, no less than twelve millions of drachmae. But he borrowed great sums from others, for he was so very liberal that his expenses exceeded his incomes, and his generosity was boundless.”
Acts 12 gives a similar account of Agrippa’s death, adding that “an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms”:
20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they came to him in a body; and after winning over Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for a reconciliation, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. 22 The people kept shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!” 23 And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.— Acts 12:20-23.
Agur (a gatherer, i.e., together of wise men), the son of Jakeh, an unknown Hebrew sage, who uttered or collected the sayings of wisdom recorded in Prov. 30.
- Son of Omri, seventh king of Israel, reigned b.c. 919–896. He married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal king of Tyre; and in obedience to her wishes, caused a temple to be built to Baal in Samaria itself, and an oracular grove to be consecrated to Astarte. See 1 Kings 18:19. One of Ahab’s chief tastes was for splendid architecture, which he showed by building an ivory house and several cities. Desiring to add to his pleasure-grounds at Jezreel the vineyard of his neighbor Naboth, he proposed to buy it or give land in exchange for it; and when this was refused by Naboth in accordance with the Levitical law, Lev. 25:23, a false accusation of blasphemy was brought against him, and he was murdered, and Ahab took possession of the coveted fields. 2 Kings 9:26. Thereupon Elijah declared that the entire extirpation of Ahab’s house was the penalty appointed for his long course of wickedness. [Elijah.] The execution, however, of the sentence was delayed in consequence of Ahab’s deep repentance. 1 Kings 21.
Ahab undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II king of Damascus, two defensive and one offensive. In the first Ben-hadad laid siege to Samaria, but was repulsed with great loss. 1 Kings 20:1–21. Next year Ben-hadad again invaded Israel by way of Aphek, on the east of Jordan; yet Ahab’s victory was so complete that Ben-hadad himself fell into his hands, but was released contrary to God’s will, 1 Kings 20:22–34, on condition of restoring the cities of Israel, and admitting Hebrew commissioners into Damascus. After this great success Ahab enjoyed peace for three years, when he attacked Ramoth in Gilead, on the east of Jordan, in conjunction with Jehoshaphat king of Judah, which town he claimed as belonging to Israel. Being told by the prophet Micaiah that he would fall, he disguised himself, but was slain by “a certain man who drew a bow at a venture.” When buried in Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood as a servant was washing his chariot; a partial fulfillment of Elijah’s prediction, 1 Kings 21:19, which was more literally accomplished in the case of his son. 2 Kings 9:26.
- A lying prophet, who deceived the captive Israelites in Babylon, and was burnt to death by Nebuchadnezzar. Jer. 29:21.
Aharah (after the brother), third son of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 8:1. [Aher; Ahiram.]
Aharhel (behind the breastwork), a name occurring in an obscure fragment of the genealogies of Judah. 1 Chron. 4:8.
Ahasai (whom Jehovah holds), a priest, ancestor of Maasiai, Neh. 11:13; called Jahzerah in 1 Chron. 9:12.
Ahasbai (blooming), father of Eliphelet, one of David’s thirty-seven captains. 2 Sam. 23:34. In the corrupt list in 1 Chron. 11:35, Eliphelet appears as “Eliphal the son of Ur.” (b.c. about 1050.)
Ahashverosh. Another (the Hebrew) form of Ahasuerus. Ezra 4:6, in margin.
Ahasuerus (lion-king), the name of one Median and two Persian kings mentioned in the Old Testament.
- In Dan. 9:1 Ahasuerus is said to be the father of Darius the Mede. [Darius.] This first Ahasuerus is Cyaxares, the conqueror of Nineveh. (Began to reign b.c. 634.)
- The Ahasuerus king of Persia, referred to in Ezra 4:6, must be Cambyses, thought to be Cyrus’ successor, and perhaps his son. (b.c. 529.)
- The third is the Ahasuerus of the book of Esther. This Ahasuerus is probably Xerxes of history, Esther 1:1 (b.c. 485), and this conclusion is fortified by the resemblance of character and by certain chronological indications, the accounts of his life and character agreeing with the book of Esther. In the third year of Ahasuerus was held a great feast and assembly in Shushan the palace, Esther 1:3, following a council held to consider the invasion of Greece. He divorced his queen Vashti for refusing to appear in public at this banquet, and married, four years afterwards, the Jewess Esther, cousin and ward of Mordecai. Five years after this, Haman, one of his counsellors, having been slighted by Mordecai, prevailed upon the king to order the destruction of all the Jews in the empire. But before the day appointed for the massacre, Esther and Mordecai induced the king to put Haman to death, and to give the Jews the right of self-defence.
Ahava (water), a place, Ezra 8:15, or a river, 8:21, on the banks of which Ezra collected the second expedition which returned with him from Babylon to Jerusalem. Perhaps it is the modern Hit, on the Euphrates due east of Damascus.
Ahaz (possessor), eleventh king of Judah, son of Jotham, reigned 741–726, about sixteen years. At the time of his accession, Rezin king of Damascus and Pekah king of Israel had recently formed a league against Judah, and they proceeded to lay siege to Jerusalem. Upon this Isaiah hastened to give advice and encouragement to Ahaz, and the allies failed in their attack on Jerusalem. Isa. 7, 8, 9. But the allies inflicted a most severe injury on Judah by the capture of Elath, a flourishing port on the Red Sea, while the Philistines invaded the west and south. 2 Kings 16; 2 Chron. 28. Ahaz, having forfeited God’s favor by his wickedness, sought deliverance from these numerous troubles by appealing to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, who freed him from his most formidable enemies. But Ahaz had to purchase this help at a costly price; he became tributary to Tiglath-pileser. He was weak, a gross idolater, and sought safety in heathen ceremonies, making his son pass through the fire to Molech, consulting wizards and necromancers, Isa. 8:19, and other idolatrous practices. 2 Kings 23:12. His only service of permanent value was the introduction of the sun-dial. He died at the age of 36, but was refused a burial with the kings his ancestors. 2 Chron. 28:27.
- Son of Micah. 1 Chron. 8:35, 36; 9:42.
Ahaziah (sustained by the Lord).
- Son of Ahab and Jezebel, eighth king of Israel, reigned b.c. 896–895. After the battle of Ramoth in Gilead, in which Ahab perished [Ahab], the vassal king of Moab refused his yearly tribute; comp. Isa. 16:1. Before Ahaziah could take measures for enforcing his claim, he was seriously injured by a fall through a lattice in his palace at Samaria. Being an idolater, he sent to inquire of the oracle of Baalzebub in the Philistine city of Ekron whether he should recover his health. But Elijah, who now for the last time exercised the prophetic office, rebuked him for this impiety, and announced to him his approaching death. The only other recorded transaction of his reign, his endeavor to join the king of Judah in trading to Ophir, is related under Jehoshaphat. 1 Kings 22:49–53; 2 Kings 1; 2 Chron. 20:35–37.
- Fifth king of Judah, son of Jehoram and Athaliah (daughter of Ahab), and therefore nephew of the preceding Ahaziah, reigned one year, b.c. 884. He is called Azariah, 2 Chron. 22:6, probably by a copyist’s error, and Jehoahaz. 2 Chron. 21:17. He was 22 years old at his accession. 2 Kings 8:26 (his age 42, in 2 Chron. 22:2, is a copyist’s error). Ahaziah was an idolater, and he allied himself with his uncle Jehoram king of Israel against Hazael, the new king of Syria. The two kings were, however, defeated at Ramoth, where Jehoram was severely wounded. The revolution carried out in Israel by Jehu under the guidance of Elisha broke out while Ahaziah was visiting his uncle at Jezreel. As Jehu approached the town, Jehoram and Ahaziah went out to meet him; the former was shot through the heart by Jehu, and Ahaziah was pursued and mortally wounded. He died when he reached Megiddo.
Ahban (brother of the wise; discreet), son of Abishur by his wife Abihail. 1 Chron. 2:29. He was of the tribe of Judah.
Aher (following), ancestor of Hushim, a Benjamite. The name occurs in the genealogy of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 7:12. It is not improbable that Aher and Ahiram, Num. 26:38, are the same.
Ahi (a brother).
- A Gadite, chief of a family who lived in Gilead in Bashan, 1 Chron. 5:15, in the days of Jotham king of Judah. (b.c. 758.)
- A descendant of Shamer, of the tribe of Asher. 1 Chron. 7:34.
Ahiah (friend of Jehovah).
- Son of Ahitub, grandson of Phinehas and great-grandson of Eli, succeeded his father as high priest in the reign of Saul. 1 Sam. 14:3, 18. Ahiah is probably the same person as Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. (b.c. 980.)
- One of Solomon’s princes. 1 Kings 4:3.
- A prophet if Shiloh, 1 Kings 14:2, hence called the Shilonite, 11:29, of whom we have two remarkable prophecies extant, the one in 1 Kings 11:30–39, addressed to Jeroboam, announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; the other in 1 Kings 14:6–16, in which he foretold the death of Abijah, the king’s son, who was sick, and the destruction of Jeroboam’s house on account of the images which he had set up. 1 Kings 14:2, 3. (b.c. about 956.)
- Father of Baasha king of Israel. 1 Kings 15:27, 33.
- Son of Jerahmeel. 1 Chron. 2:25.
- Son of Bela. 1 Chron. 8:7.
- One of David’s mighty men. 1 Chron. 11:36.
- A Levite in David’s reign. 1 Chron. 26:20.
- One of the “heads of the people” who joined in the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:26.
Ahiam, son of Sharar the Hararite (or of Sacar, 1 Chron. 11:35), one of David’s thirty mighty men. 2 Sam. 23:33. (b.c. 1050.)
Ahian, a Manassite of the family of Shemidah. 1 Chron. 7:19.
Ahiezer (brother of help).
- Son of Ammishaddai, hereditary chieftain of the tribe of Dan. Num. 1:12; 2:25; 7:66. (b.c. 1490.)
- The Benjamite chief of a body of archers in the time of David. 1 Chron. 12:3. (b.c. 1050.)
Ahihud (brother of renown).
- The son of Shelomi and prince of the tribe of Asher. Num. 34:27.
- Chieftain of the tribe of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 8:7.
Ahikam (a brother who raises up), son of Shaphan the scribe, an influential officer at the court of Josiah, was one of the delegates sent by Hilkiah to consult Huldah. 2 Kings 22:12–14. In the reign of Jehoiakim he successfully used his influence to protect the prophet Jeremiah. Jer. 26:24. He was the father of Gedaliah. [Gedaliah.] (b.c. 641.)
Ahilud (a brother of one born, i.e., before him).
- Father of Jehoshaphat, the recorder or chronicler of the kingdom in the reigns of David and Solomon. 2 Sam. 8:16; 20:24; 1 Kings 4:3; 1 Chron. 18:15. (b.c. before 1015.)
- The father of Baana, one of Solomon’s twelve commissariat officers. 1 Kings 4:12. It is uncertain whether he is the same with the foregoing.
Ahimaaz (brother of anger).
- Son of Zadok, the high priest in David’s reign, and celebrated for his swiftness of foot. During Absalom’s rebellion he carried to David the important intelligence that Ahithophel had counselled an immediate attack upon David and his followers. 2 Sam. 15:24–37; 17:15–22. Shortly afterwards he was the first to bring to the king the good news of Absalom’s defeat. 2 Sam. 18:19–33. (b.c. 972–956.)
- Saul’s wife’s father. 1 Sam. 14:50. (b.c. before 1093.)
- Solomon’s son-in-law. 1 Kings 4:15. (b.c. after 1014.)
Ahiman (brother of the right hand).
- One of the three giant Anakim who inhabited Mount Hebron, Num. 13:22, 23, seen by Caleb and the spies. (b.c. 1490.) The whole race was cut off by Joshua, Josh. 11:21, and the three brothers were slain by the tribe of Judah. Judg. 1:10.
- A Levite porter. 1 Chron. 9:17.
Ahimelech (brother of the king).
- Son of Ahitub, 1 Sam. 22:11, 12, and high priest at Nob in the days of Saul. He gave David the shew-bread to eat, and the sword of Goliath; and for so doing was put to death, with his whole house, by Saul’s order. Abiathar alone escaped. [Abiathar.] (b.c. 1085–1060.)
- A Hittite. 1 Sam. 26:6.
Ahimoth (brother of death), a Levite apparently in the time of David. 1 Chron. 6:25. In v. 35, for Ahimoth we find Mahath, as in Luke 3:26.
Ahinadab (brother the noble, i.e., a noble brother), son of Iddo, one of Solomon’s twelve commissaries who supplied provisions for the royal household. 1 Kings 4:14. (b.c. 1014–975.)
Ahino-am (brother of grace, i.e., gracious).
- The daughter of Ahimaaz and wife of Saul. 1 Sam. 14:50. (b.c. about 1090.)
- A native of Jezreel who was married to David during his wandering life. 1 Sam. 25:43. (b.c. 1060.) She lived with him and his other wife Abigail at the court of Achish, 27:3; was taken prisoner with her by the Amallekites when they plundered Ziklag, 30:5, but was rescued by David. 30:18.
- Son of Abinadab, who accompanied the ark when it was brought out of his father’s house. 2 Sam. 6:3, 4; 1 Chron. 13:7. (b.c. 1043.)
- A Benjamite, one of the sons of Beriah. 1 Chron. 8:14.
- A Benjamite, son of Jehiel. 1 Chron. 8:31; 9:37.
Ahira (brother of evil, i.e., unlucky), chief of the tribe of Naphtali. Num. 1:15; 2:29; 7:78, 83; 10:27.
Ahiram (brother of height, lofty), one of the sons of Benjamin, and ancestor of the Ahiramites. Num. 26:38. In Gen. 46:21 the name appears as “Ehi and Rosh.” It is uncertain whether Ahiram is the same as Aher, 1 Chron. 7:12, or Aharah, 1 Chron. 8:1.
Ahisamach (brother of help), a Danite, father of Aholiab, one of the architects of the tabernacle. Ex. 31:6; 35:34; 38:23. (b.c. 1490.)
Ahish´ahar (brother of the dawn), one of the sons of Bilhan, the grandson of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 7:10.
Ahishar, the controller of Solomon’s household. 1 Kings 4:6.
Ahithophel (brother of foolishness), a native of Giloh, was a privy councillor of David, whose wisdom was highly esteemed, though his name had an exactly opposite signification. 2 Sam. 16:23. (b.c. 1055–1023.) He was the grandfather of Bath-sheba. Comp. 2 Sam. 11:3 with 23:34. Ahithophel joined the conspiracy of Absalom against David, and persuaded him to take possession of the royal harem, 2 Sam. 16:21, and recommended an immediate pursuit of David. His advice was wise; but Hushai advised otherwise. When Ahithophel saw that Hushai’s advice prevailed, he despaired of success, and returning to his own home “put his household in order and hanged himself.” 2 Sam. 17:1–23.
Ahi´tub (brother of goodness).
- The son of Phinehas and grandson of Eli, and therefore of the family of Ithamar. 1 Sam. 14:3; 22:9, 11. (b.c. 1125.) He was succeeded by his son Ahijah (Ahimelech). (b.c. 1085.)
- Son of Amariah, and father of Zadok the high priest, 1 Chron. 6:7, 8; 2 Sam. 8:17, of the house of Eleazar. (b.c. before 1045.)
Ahlab (fertile), a city of Asher from which the Canaanites were not driven out. Judg. 1:31.
Ahlai (ornamental), daughter of Sheshan, whom, having no issue, he gave in marriage to his Egyptian slave Jarha. 1 Chron. 2:31, 35. From her were descended Zabad, one of David’s mighty men, 1 Chron. 11:41, and Azariah, one of the captains of hundreds in the reign of Joash. 2 Chron. 23:1.
Ahoah (brotherly), son of Bela, the son of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 8:4. In 1 Chron. 8:7 he is called Ahiah. The patronymic, Ahohite, is found in 2 Sam. 23:9, 28; 1 Chron. 11:12, 29; 27:4.
Aholah and Aho´libah (my tabernacle), two symbolical names, are described as harlots, the former representing Samaria and the latter Judah. Ezek. 23.
Aholi-ab, a Danite of great skill as a weaver and embroiderer, whom Moses appointed with Bezaleel to erect the tabernacle. Ex. 35:30–35. (b.c. 1490.)
Aholibamah (my tabernacle is exalted), one of the three wives of Esau. (b.c. 1797.) She was the daughter of Anah. Gen. 36:2, 25. In the earlier narrative, Gen. 26:34 Aholibamah is called Judith, which may have been her original name.
Ahumai (brother of water, i.e., cowardly), son of Jabath, a descendant of Judah, and head of one of the families of the Zorathites. 1 Chron. 4:2.
Ahuzam (possession), properly Ahuzzam, son of Ashur, the father or founder of Tekoa, by his wife Naarah. 1 Chron. 4:6.
Ahuzzath (possessions), one of the friends of the Philistine king Abimelech, who accompanied him at his interview with Isaac. Gen. 26:26. (b.c. about 1877.)
Ai (heap of ruins).
- A city lying east of Bethel and “beside Bethaven.” Josh. 7:2; 8:9. It was the second city taken by Israel after the passage of the Jordan, and was “utterly destroyed.” Josh. 7:3–5; 8; 9:3; 10:1, 2; 12:9.
- A city of the Ammonites, apparently attached to Heshbon. Jer. 49:3.
- Son of Zibeon, a descendant of Seir and ancestor of one of the wives of Esau, 1 Chron. 1:40, called in Gen. 36:24 Ajah. He probably died before his father, as the succession fell to his brother Anah.
- Father of Rizpah, the concubine of Saul. 2 Sam. 3:7; 21:8, 10, 11. (b.c. before 1040.)
Aiath (feminine of Ai), a place named by Isaiah, Isa. 10:28, in connection with Migron and Michmash, probably the same as Ai.
Aija, like Aiath probably a variation of the name Ai, mentioned with Michmash and Bethel. Neh. 11:31.
Aijalon, or Ajalon (place of gazelles).
- A city of the Kohathites. Josh. 21:24; 1 Chron. 6:69. It was a Levitical city and a city of refuge. It was originally allotted to the tribe of Dan, Josh. 19:42; Authorized Version, Ajalon, which tribe, however, was unable to dispossess the Amorites of the place. Judg. 1:35. Aijalon was one of the towns fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chron. 11:10, and the last we hear of it is as being in the hands of the Philistines. 2 Chron. 28:18. Being on the very frontier of the two kingdoms, we can understand how Aijalon should be spoken of sometimes, 1 Chron. 6:69, comp. with 66, as in Ephraim, and sometimes, 2 Chron. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31, as in Judah and Benjamin. It is represented by the modern Yalo, a little to the north of the Jaffa road, about 14 miles out of Jerusalem.
- A broad and beautiful valley near the city of Aijalon over which Joshua commanded the moon to stand still during the pursuit after the battle of Gibeon. Josh. 10:12.
- A place in Zebulon, mentioned as the burial-place of Elon, one of the Judges. Judg. 12:12.
Aijeleth Shahar (the hind of the morning dawn), found once only in the Bible, in the title of Psa. 22. It probably describes to the musician the melody to which the psalm was to be played.
Ain (spring, well).
- One of the landmarks on the eastern boundary of Palestine. Num. 34:11. It is probably ’Ain el-’Azy, the main source of the Orontes.
- One of the southernmost cities of Judah, Josh. 15:32; afterwards allotted to Simeon, Josh. 19:7; 1 Chron. 4:32, and given to the priests. Josh. 21:16.
Ajah = Aiah,
- Gen. 36:24.
Akan (sharp-sighted), son of Ezer, one of the “dukes” or chieftains of the Horites, and descendant of Seir. Gen. 36:27. He is called Jakan in 1 Chron. 1:42.
Akeldama. Revised Version of Acts 1:19 for Aceldama.
- A descendant of Zerubbabel and son of Elioenai. 1 Chron. 3:24.
- One of the porters or doorkeepers at the east gate of the temple. (b.c. 536–440.)
- One of the Nethinim, whose family returned with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:45. (b.c. 536.)
- A Levite who assisted Ezra in expounding the law to the people. Neh. 8:7.
Akrabbim (the ascent of, or the going up to); also Maaleh-acrabbim (the scorpion pass), a pass between the south end of the Dead Sea and Zin, forming one of the landmarks on the south boundary at once of Judah, Josh. 15:3, and of the Holy Land. Num. 34:4. Also the boundary of the Amorites. Judg. 1:36. As to the name, scorpions abound in the whole of this district.
Alabaster, from the Arabic al bastraton, a whitish stone, or from Albastron, the place in Egypt where it is found. It occurs only in Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37. The ancients considered alabaster to be the best material in which to preserve their ointments. The Oriental alabaster (referred to in the Bible) is a translucent carbonate of lime, formed on the floors of limestone caves by the percolation of water. It is of the same material as our marbles but differently formed. It is usually clouded or banded like agate, hence sometimes called onyx marble.
Our common alabaster is different from this, being a variety of gypsum or sulphate of lime, used in its finer forms for vases, etc.; in the coarser it is ground up for plaster of Paris. The noted sculptured slabs from Nineveh are made of this material.
Alabaster Vases. Inscription on the center vessel denotes the quantity it holds.
Alameth, properly Alemeth (covering), one of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 7:8.
Alammelech (king’s oak), a place within the limits of Asher, named between Achshaph and Amad. Josh. 19:26 only.
Alamoth (virgins). Ps. 46, title; 1 Chron. 15:20. Some interpret it to mean a musical instrument, and others a melody.
Alemeth (covering), a Benjamite, son of Jehoadah or Jarah, 1 Chron. 8:36; 9:42, and descended from Jonathan the son of Saul. (b.c. after 1077.)
Alexander III. (helper of men—brave), king of Macedon, surnamed the Great, the son of Philip and Olympias, was born at Pella B.C. 356, and succeeded his father b.c. 336. Two years afterwards he crossed the Hellespont (b.c. 334) to carry out the plans of his father, and execute the mission of Greece to the civilized world. He subjugated Syria and Palestine B.C. 334–332. Egypt next submitted to him b.c. 332, and in this year he founded Alexandria. In the same year, he finally defeated Darius at Gaugamela, who in b.c. 330 was murdered. The next two years were occupied by Alexander in the consolidation of his Persian conquests and the reduction of Bactria. In b.c. 327 he crossed the Indus; turning westward he reached Susa b.c. 325, and proceeded to Babylon b.c. 324, which he chose as the capital of his empire. In the next year (b.c. 323) he died there of intemperance, at the early age of 32, in the midst of his gigantic plans; and those who inherited his conquests left his designs unachieved and unattempted. cf. Dan. 7:6; 8:5; 11:3. Alexander is intended in Dan. 2:39 and also Dan. 7:6; 8:5–7; 11:3, 4, the latter indicating the rapidity of his conquests and his power. He ruled with great dominion, and did according to his will, Dan. 11:3; “and there was none that could deliver … out of his hand.” Dan. 8:7.
- Son of Simon the Cyrenian, who was compelled to bear the cross for our Lord. Mark 15:21.
- One of the kindred of Annas the high priest. Acts 4:6.
- A Jew at Ephesus whom his countrymen put forward during the tumult raised by Demetrius the silversmith, Acts 19:33, to plead their cause with the mob.
- An Ephesian Christian reprobated by St. Paul in 1 Tim. 1:20 as having, together with one Hymenæus, put from him faith and a good conscience, and so made shipwreck concerning the faith. This may be the same with …
- Alexander the coppersmith, mentioned by the same apostle, 2 Tim. 4:14, as having done him many mischiefs.
Alexandria (from Alexander), 3 Macc. 3:1; Acts 18:24; 6:9, the Hellenic, Roman, and Christian capital of Egypt.
Situation.—(Alexandria was situated on the Mediterranean Sea, directly opposite the island of Pharos, 12 miles west of the Canopic branch of the Nile and 120 miles from the present city of Cairo.) It was founded by Alexander the Great, b.c. 332, who himself traced the ground plan of the city. The work thus begun was continued after the death of Alexander by the Ptolemies.
Description.—Under the despotism of the later Ptolemies the trade of Alexandria declined, but its population and wealth were enormous. Its importance as one of the chief corn-ports of Rome secured for it the general favor of the first emperors. Its population was mixed from the first. According to Josephus, Alexander himself assigned to the Jews a place in his new city. Philo estimates the number of the Alexandrine Jews in his time at a little less than 1,000,000; and adds that two of the five districts of Alexandria were called “Jewish districts,” and that many Jews lived scattered in the remaining three. “For a long period, Alexandria was the greatest of known cities.” After Rome became the chief city of the world, Alexandria ranked second to Rome in wealth and importance, and second to Athens only in literature and science. Its collection of books grew to be the greatest library of ancient times, and contained at one time 700,000 rolls or volumes. Here was made the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament into Greek, begun about b.c. 285. The commerce of Alexandria, especially in grain, was very great. According to the common legend, St. Mark first “preached the gospel in Egypt, and founded the first church in Alexandria.” At the beginning of the second century the number of Christians at Alexandria must have been very large, and the great leaders of Gnosticism who arose there (Basilides, Valentinus) exhibit an exaggeration of the tendency of the Church.
Christianity.—Alexandria was once considered the third-most important see in Christianity, after Rome and Constantinople. Until 430, the Pope of Alexandria was second only to the bishop of Rome. The Church of Alexandria had jurisdiction over most of the continent of Africa. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Alexandrian Church split between the Miaphysites and the Melkites. The Miaphysites went on to constitute what is known today as the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Melkites went on to constitute what is known today as the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria. In the 19th century, Catholic and Protestant missionaries converted some of the adherents of the Orthodox churches to their respective faiths.
Today, the Patriarchal seat of the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church is Saint Mark Cathedral (though in practice the Patriarch has long resided in Cairo). The most important Coptic Orthodox churches in Alexandria include Pope Cyril I Church in Cleopatra, Saint George’s Church in Sporting, Saint Mark & Pope Peter I Church in Sidi Bishr, Saint Mary Church in Assafra, Saint Mary Church in Gianaclis, Saint Mina Church in Fleming, Saint Mina Church in Mandara and Saint Takla Haymanot’s Church in Ibrahimeya.
The most important Eastern Orthodox churches in Alexandria are Agioi Anárgyroi Church, Church of the Annunciation, Saint Anthony Church, Archangels Gabriel & Michael Church, Taxiarchon Church, Saint Catherine Church, Cathedral of the Dormition in Mansheya, Church of the Dormition, Prophet Elijah Church, Saint George Church, Saint Joseph Church in Fleming, Saint Joseph of Arimathea Church, Saint Mark & Saint Nektarios Chapel in Ramleh, Saint Nicholas Church, Saint Paraskevi Church, Saint Sava Cathedral in Ramleh, Saint Theodore Chapel and the Russian church of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Alexandria, which serves the Russian speaking community in the city.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Alexandria in Egypt-Heliopolis-Port Said has jurisdiction over all Latin Catholics in Egypt. Member churches include Saint Catherine Church in Mansheya and Church of the Jesuits in Cleopatra. The city is also the nominal see of the Melkite Greek Catholic titular Patriarchate of Alexandria (generally vested in its leading Patriarch of Antioch) and the actual cathedral see of its Patriarchal territory of Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan, which uses the Byzantine Rite, and the nominal see of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Alexandria (for all Egypt and Sudan, whose actual cathedral is in Cairo), a suffragan of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, using the Armenian Rite.
The Saint Mark Church in Shatby, founded as part of Collège Saint Marc, is multi-denominational and holds liturgies according to Latin Catholic, Coptic Catholic and Coptic Orthodox rites.
In antiquity Alexandria was a major center of the cosmopolitan religious movement called Gnosticism (today mainly remembered as a Christian heresy).
Alexandrians, the Jewish colonists of Alexandria, who were admitted to the privileges of citizenship and had had a synagogue at Jerusalem. Acts 6:9.
Algum or Almug Trees, the former occurring in 2 Chron. 2:8; 9:10, 11, the latter in 1 Kings 10:11, 12. These words are identical. From 1 Kings 10:11, 12; 2 Chron. 9:10, 11, we learn that the almug was brought in great plenty from Ophir for Solomon’s temple and house, and for the construction of musical instruments. It is probable that this tree is the red sandal wood, which is a native of India and Ceylon. The wood is very heavy, hard and fine grained, and of a beautiful garnet color. A tree included by Solomon in his request to Hiram of Tyre for timbers for the construction of the temple and from which stairs and supports as well as harps and stringed instruments were constructed. The algum tree of this account cannot be identified with certainty. It is traditionally suggested to be the red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) now found in India and Sri Lanka, although some favor the white sandalwood (Santalum album), perhaps because of Josephus’ statement that it is whitish in color. (Jewish Antiquities, VIII, 177 [vii, 1]) The red sandalwood grows to heights of about 7.5 to 9 m (25 to 30 ft) and has a hard, fine-grained, reddish-brown wood that takes a high polish. It is suggested as suitable for musical instruments of the type mentioned in the Bible account. The wood has a sweet scent and is highly resistant to insects. The red sandalwood does not grow in Lebanon at the present time. However, the record is not definite whether the “algum” trees were native to Lebanon or not. At any rate, Hiram later saw fit to bring them from Ophir, and here again, the timbers may have been imports even in Ophir, as it was in position to act as a trading center dealing with India, Egypt, and other places in Africa. (1Ki 10:11, 22) The rarity and preciousness of the wood delivered by Hiram is indicated by the statement that “timbers of algum trees like this have not come in nor have they been seen down to this day.”—1Ki 10:12.
Allegory, Allegorical Interpretation (Gr. ἀλληγορέω allēgoreō) is an approach in which the characters and events are viewed as being beyond the plain literal sense of a text, to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual or moral meaning. For example, Genesis 3:22 in Bagster’s Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament, which says, “The Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and clothed them.” Philo found symbolism in that verse and stated, “The real meaning, then the garment of skins is a figurative expression for the natural skin, that is to say, our body; for God, when first of all he made the intellect, called it Adam; after that he created the outward sense, to which he gave the name of Life. In the third place, he of necessity also made a body, calling that by a figurative expression, a garment of skins.” Thus, Philo endeavored to make the historical act of God clothing Adam and Eve an allegory. Consider also the historical and geographical account of Genesis 2:10-14.
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
Philo made an effort to go beyond the words and look to a so-called deeper meaning. He wrote,
Perhaps this passage also contains an allegorical meaning; for the four rivers are the signs of four virtues: Phison being the sign of prudence, as deriving its name from parsimony; and Gihon being the sign of sobriety, as having its employment in the regulation of meat and drink, and as restraining the appetites of the belly, and of those parts which are blow the belly, as being earthly; the Tigris again is the sign of fortitude, for this it is which regulates the raging commotion of anger within us; and the Euphrates is the sign of justice, since there is nothing in which the thoughts of men exult more than in justice.
Certainly, one can see the danger of allegorical interpretation, because the interpreter can align it with whatever he wants it to mean. If we could talk with many of the liberal Bible scholars today, they would say things like, “the book of Genesis, including Adam and Eve, are allegorical.” In other words, Adam and Eve are fictional characters, not real persons. This is why the reformers of the Reformation of the 16th century abandoned allegorical interpretation. However, it has hung on through the writings of some religious groups, as well as some Bible scholars. Did any of the New Testament writers use allegorical interpretation in their writings? Moreover, should we mimic them if they did use allegorical interpretation? Please see what Paul wrote to the Galatians below, which is one of the few places that are viewed as allegorical.
24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
The first part of verse 24 could be rendered differently. Such as, “these things are illustrations” or “these things are symbolic.” Regardless, Paul sounds pretty much like what Philo sounded like, correct? Thus, for the sake of making our point, we will say Paul is interpreting allegorically here. What is the difference between Philo and Paul? Yes, Paul is an inspired Bible writer, who is penning his book under inspiration, and it is subjective. Subjective means that something is based on somebody’s opinions or feelings rather than by facts or evidence. Objective means that something is free of any bias or prejudice caused by personal feelings, based on facts rather than thoughts or opinions.
Allegorical interpretation is subjective, based on opinion. Paul’s opinion just so happens to be under the inspiration of God, as the Holy Spirit moved him along. In other words, it is God’s opinion. This is perfectly acceptable. Philo’s allegorical interpretation is subjective too, meaning it is not based on any facts, but rather based on his personal feelings and is his opinion. This is not acceptable. Thus, we do not interpret Scripture allegorically. If the New Testament writer has done it for us; then, we accept it as the Word of God. We also arrive at our understanding based on historical-grammatical interpretation, which is primarily objective. The New Testament writer did not need to use historical-grammatical hermeneutics because the Holy Spirit led him. We, on the other hand, are not led by Holy Spirit in the same sense and the same way as were inspired Bible writers.
Finally, if a New Testament writer uses allegory for an Old Testament people, object, institution or event, this does not mean that the New Testament writer’s allegorical interpretation is to be carried back to the Old Testament, as though that was what the Old Testament writer meant to convey. That allegorical meaning would be a different meaning, belonging to the New Testament writer alone. Finally, we are not inspired, so we do not use allegorical interpretation unless it is what the New Testament writer penned.
Alleluia, so written in Rev. 19:6, foll., or more properly Hallelujah, praise ye Jehovah, as it is found in the margin of Ps. 104:35; 105:45; 106; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1; comp. Ps. 113:9; 115:18; 116:19; 117:2. The literal meaning of “hallelujah” sufficiently indicates the character of the Psalms in which it occurs as hymns of praise and thanksgiving.
Alliances. On the first establishment of the Hebrews in Palestine no connections were formed between them and the surrounding nations. But with the extension of their power under the kings alliances became essential to the security of their commerce. Solomon concluded two important treaties exclusively for commercial purposes; the first with Hiram king of Tyre, 1 Kings 5:2–12; 9:27, the second with a Pharaoh, king of Egypt. 1 Kings 10:28, 29. When war broke out between Amaziah and Jeroboam II, a coalition was formed between Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah on the one side, and Ahaz and Tiglathpileser, king of Assyria, on the other. 2 Kings 16:5–9.
The formation of an alliance was attended with various religious rites. A victim was slain and divided into two parts, between which the contracting parties passed. Gen. 15:10. Generally speaking, the oath alone is mentioned in the contracting of alliances, either between nations, Josh. 9:15, or individuals. Gen. 25:28; 31:53; 1 Sam. 20:17; 2 Kings 11:4. The event was celebrated by a feast. Gen. l.c.; Ex. 24:11; 2 Sam. 3:12, 20. Salt, as symbolical of fidelity, was used on these occasions. Occasionally a pillar or a heap of stones was set up as a memorial of the alliance. Gen. 31:52. Presents were also sent by the parties soliciting the alliance. 1 Kings 15:18; Isa. 30:6; 1 Macc. 15:18. The fidelity of the Jews to their engagements was conspicuous at all periods of their history, Josh. 9:18, and any breach of covenant was visited with very severe punishment. 2 Sam. 21:1; Ezek. 17:16.
Allon (an oak), a Simeonite, ancestor of Ziza, a prince of his tribe in the reign of Hezekiah. 1 Chron. 4:37. (b.c. 727.)
Allon, a large strong tree of some description, probably an oak.
- Allon, more accurately Elon, a place named among the cities of Naphtali. Josh. 19:33. Probably the more correct construction is to take it with the following word, i.e., “the oak by Zaanannim.” [Elon.]
- Allon-bachuth (oak of weeping), the tree under which Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah, was buried. Gen. 35:8.
Almighty (Heb. אֵל שַׁדַּי El Shaddai; Gr. παντοκράτωρ pantokratōr) convey the idea of strength or power. This is a title for the true God, often with a focus on the power to complete promises of blessing and prosperity. In the Hebrew text, Shaddai is used seven times with God (אֵל el), giving us the title “God Almighty.” (Ge 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 43:14; 48:3; Ex 6:3; Eze 10:5) There are another 41 occurrences where it is used alone and is translated as “the Almighty” or “the Almighty One.” In the Christian Greek New Testament, the word (παντοκράτωρ pantokratōr) occurs ten times, nine of which are found in the book of Revelation. – Ge 49:25; Nu 24:4, 16; Ru 1:20, 21; Job 5:17; 6:4, 14; 8:3, 5; 11:7; 13:3; 15:25; 21:15, 20; 22:3, 17, 23, 25, 26; 23:16; 24:1; 27:2, 10, 11, 13; 29:5; 31:2, 35; 32:8; 33:4; 34:10, 12; 35:13; 37:23; 40:2; Ps 68:14; 91:1; Isa 13:6; Eze 1:24; Joel 1:15; 2Co 6:18; Rev 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22.
Almodad (measure), the first in order of the descendants of Joktan. Gen. 10:26; 1 Chron. 1:20.
Almon (concealed), a city within the tribe of Benjamin, with “suburbs” given to the priests. Josh. 21:18. [Alemeth.]
Almon-diblathaim (concealing the two cakes), one of the latest stations of the Israelites, between Dibon-gad and the mountains of Abarim. Num. 33:46, 47. It is probably identical with Beth-diblathaim.
Almond Tree; Almond. This word is found in Gen. 43:11; Ex. 25:33, 34; 37:19, 20; Num. 17:8; Eccles. 12:5; Jer. 1:11, in the text of the Authorized Version. It is invariably represented by the same Hebrew word, shaked, meaning hasten. Jer. 1:11, 12. The almond tree is a native of Asia and North Africa, but it is cultivated in the milder parts of Europe. “It resembles the peach tree in form, blossom and fruit. It is in fact only another species of the same genus.” The height of the tree is about 12 or 14 feet; the flowers are pink, and arranged for the most part in pairs; the leaves are long, ovate, with a serrated margin and an acute point. The covering of the fruit is downy and succulent, enclosing the hard shell which contains the kernel. It is this nut for which the tree is chiefly valued. It is curious to observe, in connection with the almond-bowls of the golden candlestick, that, in the language of lapidaries, almonds are pieces of rock crystal, even now used in adorning branch candlesticks.
Alms. The duty of alms-giving, especially in kind, consisting chiefly in portions to be left designedly from produce of the field, the vineyard and the oliveyard, Lev. 19:9, 10; 23:22; Deut. 15:11; 24:19; 26:2–13; Ruth 2:2, is strictly enjoined by the law. Every third year also, Deut. 14:28, each proprietor was directed to share the tithe of his produce with “the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow.” The theological estimate of alms-giving among the Jews is indicated in the following passages: Job 31:17; Prov. 10:2; 11:4; Esther 9:22; Ps. 112:9; Acts 9:36, the case of Dorcas; Acts 10:2, of Cornelius; to which may be added Tobit 4:10, 11; 14:10, 11, and Ecclus. 3:30; 40:24. The Pharisees were zealous in alms-giving, but too ostentatious in their mode of performance, for which our Lord finds fault with them. Matt. 6:2. The duty of relieving the poor was not neglected by the Christians. Matt. 6:1–4; Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Gal. 2:10. Regular proportionate giving was expected. Acts 11:30; Rom. 15:25–27; 1 Cor. 16:1–4.
Almug Trees. [Algum Trees.]
Aloes, Lign Aloes (in Heb. Ahalim, Ahaloth), the name of a costly and sweet-smelling wood which is mentioned in Num. 24:6; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Song. 4:14; John 19:39. It is usually identified with the Aquilaria agallochum, an aromatic wood much valued in India. This tree sometimes grows to the height of 120 feet, being 12 feet in girth.
A´loth, a place or district, forming with Asher the jurisdiction of the ninth of Solomon’s commissariat officers. 1 Kings 4:16.
Alpha (Α), the first letter of the Greek alphabet. With Omega (Ω), the last letter, it is used in the Old Testament and in the New to express the eternity of God, as including both the beginning and the end. Rev. 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; hence these letters became a favorite symbol of the eternal divinity of our Lord, and were used for this purpose in connection with the cross, or the monogram of Christ (i.e., the first two letters, ch, and r, of Christ’s name in Greek). Both Greeks and Hebrews employed the letters of the alphabet as numerals.
Alpha and Omega: (Ἄλφα καὶ τὸ Ὦ Alpha kai Omega) These are the names of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The phrase is used three times in the book of Revelation. It is explained as “the beginning and the end” (21:6) and “first and the last.” (22:13) It is a title for the Father, which is used to emphasize his sovereignty, power, and supremacy. – Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13.
Alphæus (changing), the father of the apostle James the Less, Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13, and husband of Mary. John 19:25. [Mary.] In this latter place he is called Clopas (not, as in the Authorized Version, Cleophas).
Altar. The first altar of which we have any account is that built by Noah when he left the ark. Gen. 8:20. In the early times altars were usually built in certain spots hallowed by religious associations, e.g., where God appeared. Gen. 12:7; 13:18; 26:25; 35:1. Though generally erected for the offering of sacrifice, in some instances they appear to have been only memorials. Gen. 12:7; Ex. 17:15, 16. Altars were most probably originally made of earth. The law of Moses allowed them to be made of either earth or unhewn stones. Ex. 20:24, 25.
- The Altar of Burnt Offering. It differed in construction at different times. (1) In the tabernacle, Ex. 27:1 ff.; 38:1 ff., it was comparatively small and portable. In shape it was square. It was five cubits in length, the same in breadth, and three cubits high. It was made of planks of shittim (or acacia) wood overlaid with brass. The interior was hollow. Ex. 27:8. At the four corners were four projections called horns, made, like the altar itself, of shittim wood overlaid with brass, Ex. 27:2, and to them the victim was bound when about to be sacrificed. Ps. 118:27. Round the altar, midway between the top and bottom, ran a projecting ledge, on which perhaps the priest stood when officiating. To the outer edge of this, again, a grating or network of brass was affixed, and reached to the bottom of the altar. At the four corners of the network were four brazen rings, into which were inserted the staves by which the altar was carried. These staves were of the same materials as the altar itself. As the priests were forbidden to ascend the altar by steps, Ex. 20:26, it has been conjectured that a slope of earth led gradually up to the ledge from which they officiated. The place of the altar was at “the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Ex. 40:29. (2) In Solomon’s temple the altar was considerably larger in its dimensions. It differed too in the material of which it was made, being entirely of brass. 1 Kings 8:64; 2 Chron. 7:7. It had no grating, and instead of a single gradual slope, the ascent to it was probably made by three successive platforms, to each of which it has been supposed that steps led. The altar erected by Herod in front of the temple was 15 cubits in height and 50 cubits in length and breadth. According to Lev. 6:12, 13, a perpetual fire was to be kept burning on the altar.
- The Altar of Incense, called also the golden altar to distinguish it from the altar of burnt offering, which was called the brazen altar. Ex. 38:30. (a) That in the tabernacle was made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold. In shape it was square, being a cubit in length and breadth and two cubits in height. Like the altar of burnt offering it had horns at the four corners, which were of one piece with the rest of the altar. This altar stood in the holy place, “before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony.” Ex. 30:6; 40:5. (b) The altar of Solomon’s temple was similar, 1 Kings 7:48; 1 Chron. 28:18, but was made of cedar overlaid with gold.
III. Other Altars. In Acts 17:23 reference is made to an altar to an unknown god. There were several altars in Athens with this inscription, erected during the time of a plague, since they knew not what god was offended and required to be propitiated.
Al-taschith (destroy not), found in the introductory verse to Psalms 57, 58, 59, 75. It was probably the beginning of some song or poem to the tune of which those psalms were to be chanted.
Alush (a crowd of men), one of the stations of the Israelites on their journey to Sinai, the last before Rephidim. Num. 33:13, 14.
Alvah (evil), a duke of Edom, Gen. 36:40; written Aliah in 1 Chron. 1:51.
Alvan (tall), a Horite, son of Shobal, Gen. 36:23; written Alian in 1 Chron. 1:40.
Amad (enduring), an unknown place in Asher, between Alammelech and Misheal. Josh. 19:26 only.
Amad´atha, Esther 16:10, 17, and Amad´athus. Esther 12:6. [Hammedatha.]
Amal (labor), an Asherite, son of Helem. 1 Chron. 7:35.
Amalek (dweller in a valley), a son of Eliphaz by his concubine Timnah, grandson of Esau, and chieftain (“duke,” Authorized Version) of Edom. Gen. 36:12, 16; 1 Chron. 1:36. (b.c. about 1700.)
Amalekites, a nomadic tribe of uncertain origin, which occupied the peninsula of Sinai and the wilderness intervening between the southern hill-ranges of Palestine and the border of Egypt. Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7; 27:8. Their wealth consisted in flocks and herds. Mention is made of a “town,” 1 Sam. 15:5, but their towns could have been little more than stations or nomadic enclosures. The Amalekites first came in contact with the Israelites at Rephidim, but were signally defeated. Ex. 17:8–16. In union with the Canaanites they again attacked the Israelites on the borders of Palestine, and defeated them near Hormah. Num. 14:45. Saul undertook an expedition against them. 1 Sam. 14:48. Their power was thenceforth broken, and they degenerated into a horde of banditti. Their destruction was completed by David. 1 Sam. 30:1–17.
Amalekites, Mount of, a mountain in Ephraim, Judges 12:15, probably so named because the Amalekites once held possession of it.
Amam (gathering place), a city in the south of Judah, named with Shema and Moladah in Josh. 15:26 only.
Aman. [Haman.] Esther 10:7; 12:6; 13:3, 12; 14:17; 16:10, 17.
Amana (a covenant), apparently a mountain in or near Lebanon. Song. 4:8. It is commonly assumed that this is the mountain in which the river Abana, 2 Kings 5:12, has its source.
Amariah (the Lord says, i.e., promises).
- Father of Ahitub, according to 1 Chron. 6:7, 52, and son of Meraioth, in the line of the high priests.
- The high priest in the reign of Jehoshaphat. 2 Chron. 19:11. He was the son of Azariah.
- The head of a Levitical house of the Kohathites. 1 Chron. 23:19; 24:23.
- The head of one of the twenty-four courses of priests. 2 Chron. 31:15; Neh. 10:3; 12:2, 13.
- One of the sons of Bani in the time of Ezra. Ezra 10:42.
- A priest who returned with Zerubbabel. Neh. 10:3; 12:2, 13.
- A descendant of Pharez. Neh. 11:4.
- An ancestor of Zephaniah the prophet. Zeph. 1:1.
Amasa (a burden).
- Son of Ithra or Jether, by Abigail, David’s sister. 2 Sam. 17:25. He joined in Absalom’s rebellion, b.c. 1023, was appointed commander-in-chief, and suffered defeat by Joab. 2 Sam. 18:6. David, incensed against Joab for killing Absalom, forgave Amasa and appointed him Joab’s successor. 2 Sam. 19:13. Joab afterwards, when they were both in pursuit of the rebel Sheba, pretending to salute Amasa, stabbed him with his sword. 2 Sam. 20:10.
- A prince of Ephraim, son of Hadlai, in the reign of Ahaz. 2 Chron. 28:12.
- A Kohathite, father of Mahath and ancestor of Samuel. 1 Chron. 6:25, 35.
- Chief of the captains of Judah and Benjamin, who deserted to David while an outlaw at Ziklag. 1 Chron. 12:18. (b.c. 1060.)
- One of the priests who blew trumpets before the ark. 1 Chron. 15:24.
- Another Kohathite, in the reign of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 29:12.
Amashai (burdensome), son of Azareel, a priest in the time of Nehemiah, Neh. 11:13; apparently the same as Maasiai. 1 Chron. 9:12. (b.c. 440.)
Amasiah (whom Jehovah bears), son of Zichri and captain of 200,000 warriors of Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat. 2 Chron. 17:16. (b.c. 910.)
Amaziah (the strength of the Lord).
- Son of Joash, and eighth king of Judah, reigned b.c. 837–809. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 25, on the murder of his father, and punished the murderers. In order to restore his kingdom to the greatness of Jehoshaphat’s days, he made war on the Edomites, defeated them in the Valley of Salt, south of the Dead Sea, and took their capital, Selah or Petra, to which he gave the name of Jokteel, i.e., “God-subdued.” Flushed with his success, he challenged Joash king of Israel to battle, but was completely defeated, and himself was taken prisoner and conveyed by Joash to Jerusalem, which opened its gates to the conqueror. Amaziah lived 15 years after the death of Joash; and in the 29th year of his reign was murdered by conspirators at Lachish, whither he had retired from Jerusalem for safety. 2 Chron. 25:27.
- A descendant of Simeon. 1 Chron. 4:34.
- A Levite. 1 Chron. 6:45.
- Priest of the golden calf at Bethel, who endeavored to drive the prophet Amos from Israel into Judah. Amos 7:10, 12, 14.
Ambassador, a person of high rank employed by a government to represent it and transact its business at the seat of government of some other power. The earliest examples of ambassadors employed occur in Num. 20:14; 21:21; Judges 11:7–19; afterwards in that of the fraudulent Gibeonites, Josh. 9:4, etc., and in the instances of civic strife mentioned Judges 11:12 and 20:12. Ambassadors are found to have been employed not only on occasions of hostile challenge or insolent menace, 1 Kings 20:2, 6; 2 Kings 14:8, but of friendly compliment, of request for alliance or other aid, of submissive deprecation and of curious inquiry. 2 Kings 14:8; 16:7; 18:14; 2 Chron. 32:31. Ministers are called ambassadors of Christ.
Ambassage, embassy, a message of a public nature brought by ambassadors. The word also sometimes includes the ambassadors themselves. Luke 14:32.
Amber (Heb. chasmal) occurs only in Ezek. 1:4, 27; 8:2. It is usually supposed that the Hebrew word chasmal denotes a metal, and not the fossil resin called amber.
Amen, literally “true”; and, used as a substantive, “that which is true,” “truth,” Isa. 65:16; a word used in strong asseverations, fixing, as it were, the stamp of truth upon the assertion which it accompanied, and making it binding as an oath. Comp. Num. 5:22. In the synagogues and private houses it was customary for the people or members of the family who were present to say “amen” to the prayers which were offered. Matt. 6:13; 1 Cor. 14:16. And not only public prayers, but those offered in private, and doxologies, were appropriately concluded with “amen.” Rom. 9:5; 11:36; 15:33; 16:27; 2 Cor. 13:14, etc.
Amethyst (Heb. achlamah), a subspecies of quartz of a bluish-violet color. Mention is made of this precious stone, which formed the third in the third row of the high priest’s breastplate, in Ex. 28:19; 39:12. It occurs also in Rev. 21:20.
Ami (builder), one of Solomon’s servants, Ezra 2:57; called Amon in Neh. 7:59.
Aminadab. Matt. 1:4; Luke 3:33. [Amminadab, 1.]
Amittai (true), father of the prophet Jonah. 2 Kings 14:25; Jonah 1:1.
Ammah (head), The hill of, a hill facing Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon, named as the point to which Joab pursued Abner. 2 Sam. 2:24.
Ammi, i.e., as explained in the margin of the Authorized Version, my people. Hos. 2:1.
Ammiel (people of God).
- The spy from the tribe of Dan. Num. 13:12. (b.c. 1490.) He perished by the plague for his evil report.
- Father of Machir of Lo-debar. 2 Sam. 9:4, 5; 17:27.
- Father of Bath-sheba, 1 Chron. 3:5, called Eliam in 2 Sam. 11:3.
- The sixth son of Obed-edom, 1 Chron. 26:5, and one of the doorkeepers of the temple. (b.c. 1014.)
Ammihud (people of praise).
- An Ephraimite, father of Elishama, the chief of the tribe at the time of the Exodus. Num. 1:10; 2:18; 7:48, 53; 10:22; 1 Chron. 7:26, and, through him, ancestor of Joshua. (b.c. 1491.)
- A Simeonite, father of Shemuel. Num. 34:20.
- The father of Pedahel, prince of the tribe of Naphtali. Num. 34:28.
- The father of Talmai king of Geshur. 2 Sam. 13:37.
- A descendant of Pharez, son of Judah. 1 Chron. 9:4.
Amminadab (one of the prince’s people).
- Son of Ram or Aram, and father of Nahshon, or Naasson (as it is written, Matt. 1:4; Luke 3:32); Num. 1:7; 2:3; Ruth 4:19, 20; 1 Chron. 2:10. One of the ancestors of Jesus Christ.
- The chief of the 112 sons of Uzziel, a junior Levitical house of the family of the Kohathites. Ex. 6:23; 1 Chron. 15:10, 11.
- In 1 Chron. 6:22, Izhar, the son of Kohath, is called Amminadib; probably a clerical error.
Amminadib. Probably another form of Amminadab. He was noted for the swiftness of his chariots. Song. 6:12. It is uncertain whether we ought to read here Amminadib, with the Authorized Version, or my willing people, as in the margin.
Ammishaddai (people of the Almighty), the father of Ahiezer, prince of the tribe of Dan at the time of the Exodus. Num. 1:12; 2:25; 7:66, 71; 10:25. (b.c. 1491.)
Ammizabad (people of the Giver, i.e., God), the son of Benaiah, who commanded the third division of David’s army. 1 Chron. 27:6. (b.c. 1050.)
Ammon (sons of renown, mountaineers), Ammonites, Sons of Ammon, a people descended from Ben-ammi, the son of Lot by his younger daughter. Gen. 19:38; comp. Ps. 83:7, 8. The Ammonites are frequently mentioned with the Moabites (descendants of Ben-ammi’s half-brother), and sometimes under the same name. Comp. Judges 10:6; 2 Chron. 20:1; Zeph. 2:8, etc. The precise position of the territory of the Ammonites is not ascertainable. In the earliest mention of them, Deut. 2:20, they are said to have dwelt in their place, Jabbok being their border. Num. 21:24; Deut. 2:37; 3:16. Land or country is, however, but rarely ascribed to them. Their capital city was Rabbath, called also Rabbath Ammon, on the Jabbok. We find everywhere traces of the fierce habits of marauders in their incursions. 1 Sam. 11:2; Amos 1:13, and a very high degree of crafty cruelty to their foes. Jer. 41:6, 7; Judges 7:11, 12. Moab was the settled and civilized half of the nation of Lot, and Ammon formed its predatory and Bedouin section. On the west of Jordan they never obtained a footing. The hatred in which the Ammonites were held by Israel is stated to have arisen partly from their denial of assistance, Deut. 23:4, to the Israelites on their approach to Canaan. But whatever its origin, the animosity continued in force to the latest date. The tribe was governed by a king, Judges 11:12, etc.; 1 Sam. 12:12; 2 Sam. 10:1; Jer. 40:14, and by “princes.” 2 Sam. 10:3; 1 Chron. 19:3. The divinity of the tribe was Molech [Molech], and they were gross idolaters.
Ammonitess, a woman of Ammonite race. 1 Kings 14:21, 31; 2 Chron. 12:13.
Ammon-no. See No-amon.
- Eldest son of David. (b.c. 1052.) He dishonored his half-sister Tamar, and was in consequence murdered by her brother. 2 Sam. 13:1–29.
- Son of Shimon. 1 Chron. 4:20.
Amok, a priest who returned with Zerubbabel. Neh. 12:7, 20. (b.c. 536.)
Amon, or A´men (the mysterious), an Egyptian divinity, whose name occurs in that of No-amon. Nah. 3:8. Amen was one of the eight gods of the first order, and chief of the triad of Thebes. He was worshipped at that city as Amen-Ra, or “Amen the Sun.”
- One of Ahab’s governors. 1 Kings 22:26; 2 Chron. 18:25.
- King of Judah, son and successor of Manasseh, reigned two years, from b.c. 642 to 640. Amon devoted himself wholly to the service of false gods, but was killed in a conspiracy, and was succeeded by his son Josiah.
Amorite, the Amorites (dwellers on the summits, mountaineers), one of the chief nations who possessed the land of Canaan before its conquest by the Israelites. As dwelling on the elevated portions of the country, they are contrasted with the Canaanites, who were the dwellers in the lowlands; and the two thus formed the main broad divisions of the Holy Land, Num. 13:29; and see Gen. 14:7; Deut. 1:7, 20, “mountain of the Amorites”; 44; Josh. 5:1; 10:6; 11:3. They first occupied the barren heights west of the Dead Sea, at the place called afterwards Engedi. From this point they stretched west to Hebron. At the date of the invasion of the country, Sihon, their then king, had taken the rich pasture land south of the Jabbok. This rich tract, bounded by the Jabbok on the north, the Arnon on the south, the Jordan on the west, and “the wilderness” on the east, Judges 11:21, 22, was, perhaps, in the most special sense the “land of the Amorites,” Num. 21:31; Josh. 12:2, 3; 13:10; Judges 11:21, 22; but their possessions are distinctly stated to have extended to the very foot of Hermon, Deut. 3:8; 4:48, embracing “Gilead and all Bashan,” 3:10, with the Jordan valley on the east of the river. 4:49. After the conquest of Canaan nothing of importance is heard of the Amorites in the Bible.
Amos (burden), native of Tekoa in Judah, about six miles south of Bethlehem, originally a shepherd and dresser of sycamore trees, who was called by God’s Spirit to be a prophet, although not trained in any of the regular prophetic schools. Amos 1:1; 7:14, 15. He travelled from Judah into the northern kingdom of Israel or Ephraim, and there exercised his ministry, apparently not for any long time. (His date cannot be later than b.c. 808, for he lived in the reigns of Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel; but his ministry probably took place at an earlier date, perhaps about the middle of the Jeroboam’s reign. Nothing is known of the time or manner of his death.—Ed.)
Amos, Book of. The book of the prophecies of Amos seems to be divided into four principal portions closely connected together. (1) From 1:1 to 2:3 he denounces the sins of the nations bordering on Israel and Judah. (2) From 2:4 to 6:14 he describes the state of those two kingdoms, especially the former. (3) From 7:1 to 9:10 he relates his visit to Bethel, and sketches the impending punishment of Israel. At last he promises blessings. The chief peculiarity of the style consists in the number of allusions to natural objects and agricultural occupations, as might be expected from the early life of the author.
Amoz (strong), father of the prophet Isaiah, and, according to rabbinical tradition, brother of Amaziah king of Judah. 2 Kings 19:2, 20; 20:1; Isa. 1:1. (b.c. before 756.)
Amphipolis (a city surrounded by the sea), a city of Macedonia, through which Paul and Silas passed on their way from Philippi to Thessalonica. Acts 17:1. It was distant 33 Roman miles from Philippi, to the southwest, and about three miles from the sea. Its site is now occupied by a village called Neokhorio; in Turkish Jeni-Keni, or “New Town.”
View of Amphipolis.
Amplias (large), a Christian at Rome. Rom. 16:8. (a.d. 55.)
Ampliatus (Revised Version, Rom. 16:8) (the full name of which Amplias, above, is the contraction. The name in this form is “common in the sepulchral inscriptions of persons connected with Cæsar’s household.” (a.d. 55.)—Ed.)
Amram (an exalted people).
- A Levite of the family of the Kohathites, and father of Moses. Ex. 6:18, 20. (b.c. 1571.)
- A son of Dishon and descendant of Seir, 1 Chron. 1:41; properly “Hamram” = Hemdan in Gen. 36:26.
- One of the sons of Bani in the time of Ezra, who had married a foreign wife. Ezra 10:34. (b.c. 459.)
Amramites. A branch of the great Kohathite family of the tribe of Levi, Num. 3:27; 1 Chron. 26:23; descended from Amram, the father of Moses.
Amraphel (keeper of the gods), perhaps a Hamite king of Shinar or Babylonia, who joined the victorious incursion of the Elamite Chedorlaomer against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain. Gen. 14. (b.c. 1898.)
Amulets were ornaments, gems, scrolls, etc., worn as preservatives against the power of enchantments, and generally inscribed with mystic forms or characters. The “earrings” in Gen. 35:4 were obviously connected with idolatrous worship, and were probably amulets taken from the bodies of the slain Shechemites. They are subsequently mentioned among the spoils of Midian. Judges 8:24. In Hos. 2:13 is another like reference. The “earrings” in Isa. 3:20 were also amulets.
- A Levite of the family of Merari. 1 Chron. 6:46.
- A priest. Neh. 11:12.
Anab (grape-town), a town in the mountains of Judah, Josh. 15:50, named with Debir and Hebron as once belonging to the Anakim. Josh. 11:21.
Anah (one who answers), the son of Zibeon and father of Aholibamah, one of Esau’s wives. Gen. 36:2, 14, 25. He is supposed to have discovered the “hot springs” (not “mules,” as in the Authorized Version) in the desert as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. (b.c. 1797.)
Anaharath (gorge or pass), a place within the border of Issachar, named with Shihon and Rabbith. Josh. 19:19.
Anai´ah (whom Jehovah answers).
- Probably a priest. Neh. 8:4.
- One of the “heads of the people” who signed the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:22.
Anakim (long-necked), a race of people of extraordinary size who inhabited the mountainous regions of Canaan, as well as some coastal areas, particularly in the S thereof., Josh. 15:13; 21:11, dwelling in the southern part of Canaan, and particularly at Hebron, which from their progenitor received the name of “city of Arba.” Anak was the name of the race rather than that of an individual. Josh. 14:15. The race appears to have been divided into three tribes or families, bearing the names Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. Though the warlike appearance of the Anakim had struck the Israelites with terror in the time of Moses, Num. 13:28; Deut. 9:2, they were nevertheless dispossessed by Joshua, Josh. 11:21, 22, and their chief city, Hebron, became the possession of Caleb. Josh. 15:14; Judges 1:20. Three prominent men of the Anakim, Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, resided at Hebron. (Num. 13:22) It was here that the twelve Hebrew spies first saw the Anakim, and ten of the spies subsequently gave a frightening report of the experience, alleging that these men were descendants of the pre-Flood Nephilim and that, by comparison with them, the Hebrews were like “grasshoppers.” (Num. 13:28-33; Deut. 1:28) Their great stature caused them to be used as a standard of comparison in describing even the giantlike men of the Emim and the Rephaim. Their strength apparently produced the proverbial saying: “Who can make a firm stand before the sons of Anak?” (Deut. 2:10, 11, 20, 21; 9:1-3) In Joshua’s rapid sweep through Canaan he gained victories over the Anakim in the mountainous regions, destroying their cities, but others remained in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Ashdod and Gath. Whether the Anakim were related to the Philistines, as some suggest, or were only associated with them, is not stated in the record. (Josh. 11:21, 22) Later, Caleb requested the city of Hebron (or Kiriath-arba) and its territory, as promised him by God. (Josh. 14:12-15; Num. 14:24) It appears that the Anakim had reestablished themselves in this area, perhaps while Joshua and his army were continuing their conquest in the northern parts of Canaan, and hence Caleb was now obliged to reconquer the territory. (Judg. 1:10, 20.) After this time they vanish from history. Egyptian Execration Texts (from pottery on which the names of enemies of the pharaoh were written and which was then broken as a curse) make reference to a tribe of Anak in Palestine.
Anamim, a Mizraite people or tribe. Gen. 10:13; 1 Chron. 1:11.
Anammelech (image of the king), one of the idols worshipped by the colonists introduced into Samaria from Sepharvaim. 2 Kings 17:31. He was worshipped with rites resembling those of Molech, and is the companion-god to Adrammelech.
Anan (a cloud), one of the “heads of the people” who signed the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:26. (b.c. 410.)
Anani (protected by Jehovah), the seventh son of Elioenai, descended from the royal line of Judah. 1 Chron. 3:24.
Ananiah (protected by Jehovah), probably a priest, and ancestor of Azariah, who assisted in rebuilding the city wall in the days of Nehemiah. Neh. 3:23. (b.c. before 446.)
Anani´ah, a place, named between Nob and Hazor, in which the Benjamites lived after their return from captivity. Neh. 11:32.
Ananias (whom Jehovah has graciously given).
- A high priest in Acts 23:2–5; 24:1. He was the son of Nebedæus. He was nominated to the office by Herod king of Chalcis, in a.d. 48; was deposed shortly before Felix left the province, and assassinated by the Sicarii at the beginning of the last Jewish war.
- A disciple at Jerusalem, husband of Sapphira. Acts 5:1–11. Having sold his goods for the benefit of the church, he kept back a part of the price, bringing to the apostles the remainder as if it was the whole, his wife being privy to the scheme. St. Peter denounced the fraud, and Ananias fell down and expired.
- A Jewish disciple at Damascus, Acts 9:10–17, of high repute, Acts 22:12, who sought out Saul during the period of blindness which followed his conversion, and announced to him his future commission as a preacher of the gospel. Tradition makes him to have been afterwards bishop of Damascus, and to have died by martyrdom.
Anath (answer), father of Shamgar. Judges 3:31; 5:6.
Anathema, which literally means a thing suspended, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word signifying a thing or person devoted. Any object so devoted to Jehovah was irredeemable. If an inanimate object, it was to be given to the priests, Num. 18:14; if a living creature or even a man, it was to be slain. Lev. 27:28, 29. The word anathema frequently occurs in St. Paul’s writings, and is generally translated accursed. An examination of the passages in which it occurs shows that it had acquired a more general sense as expressive either of strong feeling, Rom. 9:3, or of dislike and condemnation. 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22; Gal. 1:9.
Anathoth (answers to prayer).
- Son of Becher, a son of Benjamin. 1 Chron. 7:8.
- One of the “heads of the people” who signed the covenant in the time of Nehemiah. Neh. 10:19. (b.c. 410.)
Anathoth, a priests’ city belonging to the tribe of Benjamin, with “suburbs.” Josh. 21:18; 1 Chron. 6:60. Anathoth lay about three miles from Jerusalem. Isa. 10:30. The cultivation of the priests survives in tilled fields of grain, with figs and olives. There are the remains of walls and strong foundations, and the quarries still supply Jerusalem with building stones.
Anchor. Acts 27:29.
Andrew (manly), one of the apostles of our Lord, John 1:40; Matt. 4:18, brother of Simon Peter. He was of Bethsaida, and had been a disciple of John the Baptist, leaving him to follow our Lord. By his means his brother Simon was brought to Jesus. John 1:41. His place among the apostles seems to have been fourth, next after the three Peter, James, and John, and in company with Philip. Mark 3:18; Acts 1:13. The traditions about him are various. He is said to have preached in Scythia, in Greece, in Asia Minor and Thrace, and to have been crucified at Patræ in Achaia.
- An officer left as viceroy, 2 Macc. 4:31, in Antioch by Antiochus Epiphanes during his absence. 2 Macc. 4:31–38. (b.c. 171.)
- Another officer of Antiochus Epiphanes who was left by him on Garizem. 2 Macc. 5:23.
- A Christian at Rome, saluted by St. Paul, Rom. 16:7, together with Junia.
Anem (two springs), a city of Issachar, with “suburbs,” belonging to the Gershonites. 1 Chron. 6:73.
Aner (boy), a city of Manasseh, west of Jordan, with “suburbs,” given to the Kohathites. 1 Chron. 6:70.
Aner, one of the three Amorite chiefs of Hebron who aided Abraham in the pursuit after the four invading kings. Gen. 14:13, 24.
Anethothite, 2 Sam. 23:27, Anetothite, 1 Chron. 27:12, and Antothite, 1 Chron. 11:28; 12:3, an inhabitant of Anathoth, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Angel of Jehovah. Gen. 16:7, etc. (The special form in which God manifested himself to man, and hence Christ’s visible form before the incarnation. Compare Acts 7:30–38 with the corresponding Old Testament history; and Gen. 18:1, 13, 14, 33 and 19:1.)
Angel: (מַלְאָךְ malak; Gr. ἄγγελος aggelos) A supernatural spirit person who attends upon or serves as a messenger or worker for the Father and the Son. These spirit persons are far wiser and more powerful than humans, but their power and knowledge are absolutely nothing compared to their Creator. (Ps. 103:20; Matt. 24:36; 1 Pet. 1:1-12) Angels have the power to be able to material in human form. (Gen. 18:1-2, 8, 20-22; 19:1-11; Josh. 5:13-15) Some of these angels became rebels, as they rejected the sovereignty, power, and supremacy of their Creator. Jude tells us “the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place [heaven]” (1:6), to take on human form, and have relations that were contrary to nature with the “the daughters of man.” (Gen 6:1-4; Dan. 7:9-10) The Bible intimates that these rebel angels were stripped of their power to take on human form, as you never hear of it taking place again after the Flood, only spirit possession after that. These disobedient angels are now “spirits in prison,” who have been thrown into “eternal chains under gloomy darkness [Tartarus],” which is more of a condition of limited powers (1 Pet. 3:19; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6), not so much a place, like a maximum-security prison. (Matt. 28:2; Rev. 22:8) We ordinarily understand a race of spiritual beings of a nature exalted far above that of man, although infinitely removed from that of God—whose office is “to do him service in heaven, and by his appointment to succor and defend men on earth.” I. Scriptural use of the word.—There are many passages in which the expression “angel of God” is certainly used for a manifestation of God himself. Gen. 22:11, 12, and Ex. 3:2, 6, 14. It is to be observed, also, that side by side with these expressions we read of God’s being manifested in the form of man—as to Abraham at Mamre, Gen. 18:2, 22, comp. 19:1; to Jacob at Pennel, Gen. 32:24, 30; to Joshua at Gilgal, Josh. 5:13, 15, etc. Besides this, which is the highest application of the word angel, we find the phrase used of any messengers of God, such as the prophets, Isa. 42:19; Hag. 1:13; Mal. 3:1, the priests, Mal. 2:7, and the rulers of the Christian churches. Rev. 1:20.
- Nature of angels.—Angels are termed “spirits,” as in Heb. 1:14; but it is not asserted that the angelic nature is incorporeal. The contrary seems expressly implied in Luke 20:36; Phil. 3:21. The angels are revealed to us as beings such as man might be, and will be when the power of sin and death is removed, because always beholding his face, Matt. 18:10, and therefore being “made like him.” 1 John 3:2. Their number must be very large, 1 Kings 22:19; Matt. 26:53; Heb. 12:22; their strength is great, Ps. 103:20; Rev. 5:2; 18:21; their activity marvelous, Isa. 6:2–6; Matt. 26:53; Rev. 8:13; their appearance varied according to circumstances, but was often brilliant and dazzling. Matt. 28:2–7; Rev. 10:1, 2. Of the nature of “fallen angels,” the circumstances and nature of the temptation by which they fell, we know absolutely nothing. All that is certain is that they “left their first estate,” and that they are now “angels of the devil.” Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7, 9. On the other hand, the title specially assigned to the angels of God—that of the “holy ones,” see Dan. 4:13, 23; 8:13; Matt. 25:31—is precisely the one which is given to those men who are renewed in Christ’s image. Comp. Heb. 2:10; 5:9; 12:23.
III. Office of the angels.—Of their office in heaven we have only vague prophetic glimpses, as in 1 Kings 22:19; Isa. 6:1–3; Dan. 7:9, 10; Rev. 6:11, etc., which show us nothing but a never-ceasing adoration. They are represented as being, in the widest sense, agents of God’s providence, natural and supernatural, to the body and to the soul. In one word, they are Christ’s ministers of grace now, as they shall be of judgment hereafter. Matt. 13:39, 41, 49; 16:27; 24:31, etc. That there are degrees of the angelic nature, both fallen and unfallen, and special titles and agencies belonging to each, is clearly declared by St. Paul, Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38; but what their general nature is it is useless to speculate.
Anger/Wrath: (Heb. אַף aph Gr. ὀργή orgē) The Hebrew term basically means “nose; nostril.” It is frequently used figuratively for “anger” because of the enraged person’s intense, vicious breathing or snorting. The sense of the Greek term is wrath, which is a feeling of intense anger that does not lessen, often on an extreme level. This is a state of fury, not some righteous indignation. – Ps 18:7-8; Eze 38:18; Mk 3:5; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8; 1Ti 2:8; Heb 3:11; 4:3; Jas 1:19-20.
Aniam (sighing of the people), a Manassite, son of Shemidah. 1 Chron. 7:19.
Anim (fountains), a city in the mountains of Judah, named with Eshtemoh and Goshen. Josh. 15:50.
Anise. This word occurs only in Matt. 23:23. It is by no means a matter of certainty whether the anise (Pimpinella anisum, Lin.) or the dill (Anethum graveolens) is here intended, though the probability is more in favor of the latter plant. “Anise is an annual plant growing to the height of one foot, carries a white flower, and blooms from June till August. The seeds are imported and used in large quantities on account of their aromatic and carminative properties. It grows wild in Egypt, in Syria, Palestine and all parts of the Levant. Among the ancients anise seems to have been a common pot-herb in every garden. Although it is less used in medicine by the moderns than by the ancients, it still retains its former reputation as an excellent stomachic, particularly for delicate women and young children. The Romans chewed it in order to keep up an agreeable moisture in the mouth and to sweeten the breath, while some Orientals still do the same.” Dill, a somewhat similar plant, is an annual, bearing small aromatic seeds, used also for cookery and medicine.
Anklet. This word does not occur in the Authorized Version; but anklets are referred to in Isa. 3:16, 18, 20. They were fastened to the ankle band of each leg; were as common as bracelets and armlets, and made of much the same materials. The pleasant jingling and tinkling which they made as they knocked against each other was no doubt one of the reasons why they were admired. They are still worn in the East.
Anna (grace), a “prophetess” in Jerusalem at the time of our Lord’s presentation in the temple. Luke 2:36. She was of the tribe of Asher.
Annas (humble), the son of one Seth, was appointed high priest a.d. 7 by Quirinus, the imperial governor of Syria, but was obliged by Valerius Gratus, procurator of Judea, to give way to Ismael, son of Phabi, at the beginning of the reign of Tiberius, a.d. 14. About a.d. 25 Joseph Caiaphas, son-in-law of Annas, became high priest, John 18:13; but in Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas are both called high priests. Our Lord’s first hearing, John 18:13, was before Annas, who then sent him bound to Caiaphas. Some maintain that the two, Annas and Caiaphas, were together at the head of the Jewish people—Caiaphas as actual high priest, Annas as president of the Sanhedrin. Acts 4:6. Others again suppose that Annas held the office of sagan, or substitute of the high priest; others still that Annas held the title and was really the ruling power. He lived to old age, having had five sons high priests.
Anoint: (מָשַׁח mashach; Gr. χρίω chriō) In the Hebrew OT, the word meant to anoint, smear, rub an object or person (a prophet, priest, or king) with a liquid, which symbolized a dedication or consecration for a special service. In the Greek NT, the word meant anoint with oil, assigning one to a duty, role, or office. It is also used to pour out the Holy Spirit on those who are anointed in Christ. – Ex 28:41; 1 Sam 16:13; 2 Cor. 1:21.
Anointing, in Holy Scripture, is either, I. Material—with oil—or II. Spiritual—with the Holy Ghost. I. Material.—
- Ordinary. Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations. Deut. 28:40; Ruth 3:3; Micah 6:15. Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests. Luke 7:46 and Ps. 23:5. 2. Official. It was a rite of inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish commonwealth. a. Prophets were occasionally anointed to their office, 1 Kings 19:16, and were called messiahs, or anointed. 1 Chron. 16:22; Ps. 105:15. b. Priests, at the first institution of the Levitical priesthood, were all anointed to their offices, Ex. 40:15; Num. 3:3; but afterwards anointing seems to have been specially reserved for the high priest, Ex. 29:29; Lev. 16:32; so that “the priest that is anointed,” Lev. 4:3, is generally thought to mean the high priest. c. Kings. Anointing was the principal and divinely-appointed ceremony in the inauguration of the Jewish kings. 1 Sam. 9:16; 10:1; 1 Kings 1:34, 39. The rite was sometimes performed more than once. David was thrice anointed. d. Inanimate objects also were anointed with oil, in token of their being set apart for religious service. Thus Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel. Gen. 31:13; Ex. 30:26–28. 3. Ecclesiastical. Anointing with oil is prescribed by St. James to be used for the recovery of the sick. James 5:14. Analogous to this is the anointing with oil practiced by the twelve. Mark 6:13. II. Spiritual.—
- In the Old Testament a Deliverer is promised under the title of Messiah, or Anointed, Ps. 2:2; Dan. 9:25, 26; and the nature of his anointing is described to be spiritual, with the Holy Ghost. Isa. 61:1; see Luke 4:18. In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is shown to be the Messiah, or Christ, or Anointed, of the Old Testament, John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2, 3; 18:4, 28; and the historical fact of his being anointed with the Holy Ghost is asserted and recorded. John 1:32, 33; Acts 4:27; 10:38. Christ was anointed as prophet, priest, and king. 2. Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God. 2 Cor. 1:21. “Anointing” expresses the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit upon Christians, who are priests and kings unto God.
Ant (Heb. nemâlâh). This insect is mentioned twice in the Old Testament: in Prov. 6:6; 30:25. In the former of these passages the diligence of this insect is instanced by the wise man as an example worthy of imitation; in the second passage the ant’s wisdom is especially alluded to; for these insects, “though they be little on the earth, are exceeding wise.” (For a long time European commentators and naturalists denied that ants stored up grain for future use, as was asserted in Proverbs; but while this is true of most of the 104 European species, two of those species do lay up food, and are called harvesting ants. Like species have been found in Texas and South America, and are known to exist in Palestine. They show many other proofs of their skill. Some of them build wonderful houses; these are often several stories high, sometimes five hundred times the height of the builders, with rooms, corridors, and vaulted roofs supported by pillars. Some species keep a kind of cows; others have a regular army of soldiers; some keep slaves. “No closer imitation of the ways of man could be found in the entire animal economy.” (See Encyc. Brit.) McCook’s “The Honey Ants” gives many curious facts about the habits of this peculiar kind of ant, and of the harvesting ants of the American plains.—Ed.)
Antichrist. This term is employed by the apostle John alone and is defined by him in a manner that leaves no doubt as to its intrinsic meaning. With regard to its application, there is less certainty. In the first passage—1 John 2:18.
1 John 2:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; whereby we know that it is the last hour.
If we were sitting by the radio, and the newscaster came on to warn us about an escaped murderer from the county jail, we would listen intently as they described what he looked like. We would be very cautious until we heard he had been captured.
As Christians, we have received a very similar warning about the Antichrist being on the loose, and we want to listen intently as the Bible tells us about how we can identify him, her, or it. John writes, “Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is in the world already.” (UASV) Was the Antichrist in the world only in the tomb of the apostle John, or is the Antichrist present now, or is the Antichrist coming at a future time?
In chapter 1, we discovered that it is John alone, who uses the term “Antichrist,” of which he does five times. From those five times, we gather this entity is “against” (i.e. denies Christ) or “instead of” (i.e., false Christs) Jesus Christ. The Bible gives us clear insight into the Antichrist, but as we saw in the introduction, interpreters have run amuck into speculation. Misidentifying the Antichrist.
The greatest misidentification has been the interpretation that the Antichrist is just one particular person. Moreover, there have been many who have been suggested as contenders. Early on, it was thought that Roman Emperor Nero was the Antichrist. He was definitely antichristian, which is, in essence, an antichrist. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) More recently, it was suggested that Adolf Hitler was the Antichrist. Again, Hitler was certainly antichristian. Many have pointed to Revelation 13 in reference to the Antichrist, but they are not so in the sense that many might think. Yes, these beasts or governmental powers of Revelation 13 are against Christ, consequently, they are antichrists, as we saw in chapter 1. However, some suggest that the mark of the beat, 666, will be the mark of the Antichrist. Yes, while chapter 1 helped us appreciate what 666 might stand for, it does not fit the misidentification of the Antichrist being but one person. It does fit the biblical truth that there are many antichrists, i.e., many humans in opposition to Christ, by way of their gross human imperfection. Who makes up the Antichrist?
When Jesus came to the earth, he had to face many enemies; Herod, who tried to have Jesus killed as a child, Satan who followed him into the wilderness to tempt him, the Jewish religious leaders, and eventually the Roman government by way of Pontius Pilate. Even though Jesus returned to heaven, and is now untouchable, he still has many enemies. The apostle John stated,
1 John 2:22 Updated American Standard Version (ASV)
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even the one who denies the Father and the Son.
The Bible speaks of apostasy, which is one who stands off from what is true. Thus, we would refer to one of these as an apostate. Michael Fink writes, “In 2 Thess. 2:3 Paul addressed those who had been deceived into believing that the day of the Lord had already come. He taught that an apostasy would precede the day of the Lord. The Spirit had explicitly revealed this falling away from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1). Such apostasy in the latter times will involve doctrinal deception, moral insensitivity, and ethical departures from God’s truth.” (Brand, Draper and Archie 2003, 87) These are ones come in many shades of doctrinal deceit. They reject clear teachings of Scripture and spread false teachings about the Father and the Son. Therefore, they are a part of the antichrist. Jesus forewarned his disciples, and by implication us,
Luke 21:12 American Standard Version (UASV)
12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.
“All these things” is referring to the events of 21:7-11, which is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. [See Acts 5:36; 21:38] Thus, “Before international warfare and natural chaos come, the church will face persecution, Jesus continued. Belief in Christ and his name will be cause enough for you to be put in jail and punished by the government. Jewish religious leaders will join force with the government to make this happen.” (Buter 2000, 351) This happened to the first century Christians, but by implication, if the world hated them because of bearing the name of Christ, how much more so would this not be the case in end times. Are Christians not suffering persecution in this liberal-progressive world that is not emerging? Yes, listen to the principle as Paul laid it out,
2 Timothy 3:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
Those ones that are of gross human imperfection, 666, because they are alienated from God by heart and mind, are the cause of such mistreatment. In other words, they are working “against” Christ, making them a part of the antichrist. Jesus himself said, “He who is not with me is against me.” Those who are antichrists have one outcome in the end. The Destruction of Antichrist …
Psalm 5:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
Jehovah abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
The apostle John wrote,
2 John 1:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, even those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Those who are lying and deceiving, the antichrists, the Father by way of the Son will bring destruction upon them. As we move through these last days, true Christians should be well prepared not to allow anti-Christian trickery treachery, and pressure to cause them to have a spiritual shipwreck.
Antioch (from Antiochus).
- In Syria. The capital of the Greek kings of Syria, and afterwards the residence of the Roman governors of the province which bore the same name.
Situation.—This metropolis was situated where the chain of Lebanon, running northward, and the chain of Taurus, running eastward, are brought to an abrupt meeting. Here the Orontes breaks through the mountains; and Antioch was placed at a bend of the river, 16½ miles from the Mediterranean, partly on an island, partly on the levee which forms the left bank, and partly on the steep and craggy ascent of Mount Silpius, which rose abruptly on the south. It is about 300 miles north of Jerusalem. In the immediate neighborhood was Daphne, the celebrated sanctuary of Apollo, 2 Macc. 4:33; whence the city was sometimes called Antioch by Daphne, to distinguish it from other cities of the same name.
Description.—The city was founded in the year 300 b.c. by Seleucus Nicator. It grew under the successive Seleucid kings till it became a city of great extent and of remarkable beauty. One feature, which seems to have been characteristic of the great Syrian cities—a vast street with colonnades, intersecting the whole from end to end—was added by Antiochus Epiphanes. By Pompey it was made a free city, and such it continued till the time of Antonius Pius. The early emperors raised there some large and important structures, such as aqueducts, amphitheaters, and baths. (Antioch, in Paul’s time, was the third city of the Roman Empire and contained over 200,000 inhabitants. Now it is a small, mean place of about 6000.—Ed.)
Bible History.—No city, after Jerusalem, is so intimately connected with the history of the apostolic church. Jews were settled there from the first in large numbers, were governed by their own ethnarch, and allowed to have the same political privileges with the Greeks. The chief interest of Antioch, however, is connected with the progress of Christianity among the heathen. Here the first Gentile church was founded, Acts 11:20, 21; here the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians. 11:26. It was from Antioch that St. Paul started on his three missionary journeys.
- In Pisidia, Acts 13:14; 14:19, 21; 2 Tim. 3:11, on the borders of Phrygia, corresponds to Yalobatch, which is distant from Ak-sher six hours over the mountains. This city, like the Syrian Antioch, was founded by Seleucus Nicator. Under the Romans it became a colonia, and was also called Cæsarea.
Antiochus (an opponent), the name of a number of kings of Syria who lived during the interval between the Old and New Testaments, and had frequent connection with the Jews during that period. They are referred to in the Apocrypha, especially in the books of the Maccabees.
Antipas (like the father), martyr at Pergamos, Rev. 2:13, and according to tradition the bishop of that place. (a.d. before 100.)
Antipatris, or Antipatris (for this father), a town to which the soldiers conveyed St. Paul by night on their march, Acts 23:31. Its ancient name was Capharsaba; and Herod, when he rebuilt the city, changed it to Antipatris, in honor of his father, Antipater. The village Kefr-Saba still retains the ancient name of Antipatris.
Antonia (from Marc Antony) (a square stone fortress or castle adjoining the northwest corner of the temple area at Jerusalem. There was a tower at each corner. It was rebuilt by Herod the Great, and named by him from Marc Antony. From the stairs of this castle Paul addressed the multitude who had assaulted him. Acts 21:31–40.—Ed.)
Antothijah (answers of Jehovah), a Benjamite, one of the sons of Jeroham. 1 Chron. 8:24.
Antothite, a dweller at Anathoth. 1 Chron. 11:28; 12:3. [Anathoth.]
Anub (confederate), son of Coz and descendant of Judah, through Ashur the father of Tekoa. 1 Chron. 4:8.
Apelles (called), a Christian saluted by St. Paul in Rom. 16:10. Tradition makes him bishop of Smyrna or Heraclea. (a.d. 55.)
Apes (Heb. kôphı̂m) are mentioned in 1 Kings 10:22 and 2 Chron. 9:21. There can be little doubt that the apes were brought from the same country which supplied ivory and peacocks, both of which are common in Ceylon; and Sir E. Tennent has drawn attention to the fact that the Tamil names for apes, ivory, and peacocks are identical with the Hebrew.
Aphar´sathchites, Aphar´sites, Aphar´sacites, the names of certain tribes, colonies from which had been planted in Samaria by the Assyrian leader Asnapper. Ezra 4:9; 5:6. The first and last are regarded as the same. Whence these tribes came is entirely a matter of conjecture.
Aphek (strength), the name of several places in Palestine.
- A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was killed by Joshua, Josh. 12:18; probably the same as Aphekah in Josh. 15:53.
- A city, apparently in the extreme north of Asher, Josh. 19:30, from which the Canaanites were not ejected, Judges 1:31; though here it is Aphik. This is probably the same place as Aphek, Josh. 13:4, on the extreme north “border of the Amorites,” identified with the Aphaca of classical times, the modern Afka.
- A place at which the Philistines encamped while the Israelites pitched in Eben-ezer, before the fatal battle in which the sons of Eli were killed and the ark was taken. 1 Sam. 4:1. This would be somewhere to the northwest of and at no great distance from Jerusalem.
- The scene of another encampment of the Philistines, before an encounter not less disastrous than that just named—the defeat and death of Saul. 1 Sam. 29:1. It is possible that it may be the same place as the preceding.
- A city on the military road from Syria to Israel. 1 Kings 20:26. It is now found in Fı̂k, at the head of the Wady Fı̂k, six miles east of the Sea of Galilee.
Aphekah (strong place), a city of Judah, in the mountains, Josh. 15:53; probably the same as Aphek, 1.
Aphiah (refreshed), one of the forefathers of King Saul. 1 Sam. 9:1.
Aphik (strong), a city of Asher from which the Canaanites were not driven out. Judges 1:31. Probably the same place as Aphek, 2.
Aphrah (dust), The house of, a place mentioned in Micah 1:10. Its site is uncertain.
Aphses (the dispersion), chief of the 18th of the 24 courses in the service of the temple. 1 Chron. 24:15.
Apocalypse. A Greek word meaning revelation, applied chiefly to the book of Revelation by John. [Revelation.]
Apocrypha (concealed, hidden).
- Old Testament Apocrypha.—The collection of books to which this term is popularly applied includes the following (the order given is that in which they stand in the English version): I. 1 Esdras; II. 2 Esdras; III. Tobit; IV. Judith; V. The rest of the chapters of the book of Esther, Additions to Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew nor in the Chaldee; VI. Wisdom of Solomon; VII. The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus; VIII. Baruch; IX. The Song of the Three Holy Children, or Song of Three Jews; X. The History of Susanna; XI. The History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon; XII. 1 Maccabees; XIII. 2 Maccabees; XIV. 1 Esdras; XV. Prayer of Manasseh; XVI. Additional Psalm; XVII. 3 Maccabees; XVIII. 2 Esdras; XIX. 4 Maccabees. The primary meaning of apocrypha, “hidden, secret,” seems, toward the close of the second century, to have been associated with the signification “spurious,” and ultimately to have settled down into the latter. The separate books of this collection are treated of in distinct articles. Their relation to the canonical books of the Old Testament is discussed under Canon.
- New Testament Apocrypha.—(A collection of legendary and spurious Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Epistles. They are so entirely inferior to the genuine books, so full of nonsensical and unworthy stories of Christ and the apostles, that they have never been regarded as divine, or bound up in our Bibles. It is said that Mohammed obtained his ideas of Christ entirely from these spurious gospels.—Ed.)
Note the following statements by scholars on these noncanonical books:
“There is no question of any one’s having excluded them from the New Testament: they have done that for themselves.”—M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, pages xi, xii.
“We have only to compare our New Testament books as a whole with other literature of the kind to realize how wide is the gulf which separates them from it. The uncanonical gospels, it is often said, are in reality the best evidence for the canonical.”—G. Milligan, The New Testament Documents, page 228.
“It cannot be said of a single writing preserved to us from the early period of the Church outside the New Testament that it could properly be added to-day to the Canon.”—K. Aland, The Problem of the New Testament Canon, page 24.
Apollonia (belonging to Apollo), a city of Macedonia, through which Paul and Silas passed in their way from Philippi and Amphipolis to Thessalonica. Acts 17:1. According to the Antonine Itinerary it was distant 30 Roman miles from Amphipolis and 37 Roman miles from Thessalonica.
Apollos (given by Apollo), a Jew from Alexandria, eloquent (which may also mean learned) and mighty in the Scriptures; one instructed in the way of the Lord, according to the imperfect view of the disciples of John the Baptist, Acts 18:24, but on his coming to Ephesus during a temporary absence of St. Paul, a.d. 54, more perfectly taught by Quila and Priscilla. After this he became a preacher of the gospel, first in Achaia and then in Corinth. Acts 18:27; 19:1. When the apostle wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Apollos was with or near him, 1 Cor. 16:12; probably at Ephesus in a.d. 57. He is mentioned but once more in the New Testament, in Titus 3:13. After this nothing is known of him. Tradition makes him bishop of Cæsarea.
Apollyon, or, as it is literally in the margin of the Authorized Version of Rev. 9:11, “a destroyer,” is the rendering of the Hebrew word Abaddon, “the angel of the bottomless pit.” From the occurrence of the word in Ps. 88:11, the rabbins have made Abaddon the nethermost of the two regions into which they divide the lower world; but that in Rev. 9:11 Abaddon is the angel and not the abyss is perfectly evident in the Greek.
Apologetics: (ἀπολογία apologia) The term literally means “to defend” and is used in the biblical sense to refer to ones who defend the Christian faith, the Bible, and God in speech or written form. The Christian apologist attempts to prove that the Christian faith, the Bible, and God are reasonable, logical, necessary, and right. – Ac 25:16; 2 Cor. 7:11; Phil. 1:7, 16; 2 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:15.
Apostasy: (ἀποστασία apostasia) The term literally means “to stand away from” and is used to refer to ones who ‘stand away from the truth.’ It is abandonment, a rebellion, an apostasy, a refusal to accept or acknowledge true worship. In Scripture, this is used primarily concerning those who rise up in defiance of the only true God and his people, working in opposition to the truth. – Ac 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3.
Apostle: (ἀπόστολος apostolos) The basic sense of the word is a “messenger, representative,” or “sent one.” This was a special messenger or envoy of Jesus Christ. In the Greek NT, “apostolos” is used primarily concerning those who were taught directly by Jesus and who were given the authority to speak in his place, especially the twelve disciples that Jesus personally selected. In the New Testament originally the official name of those twelve of the disciples whom Jesus chose to send forth first to preach the gospel and to be with him during the course of his ministry on earth. The word also appears to have been used in a nonofficial sense to designate a much wider circle of Christian messengers and teachers. See 2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. Paul, a direct choice of the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ, was also referred to as an apostle. – Matt 10:2; Mark 3:14; Ac 2:37; 14:14; Rom. 1:1; Heb. 3:1.
Their office.—(1) The original qualification of an apostle, as stated by St. Peter on the occasion of electing a successor to the traitor Judas, was that he should have been personally acquainted with the whole ministerial course of our Lord, from his baptism by John till the day when he was taken up into heaven. (2) They were chosen by Christ himself. (3) They had the power of working miracles. (4) They were inspired. John 16:13. (5) Their work seems to have been preeminently that of founding the churches and upholding them by supernatural power specially bestowed for that purpose. (6) The office ceased, as a matter of course, with its first holders; all continuation of it, from the very conditions of its existence (cf. 1 Cor. 9:1), being impossible.
Early history and training.—The apostles were from the lower ranks of life, simple and uneducated; some of them were related to Jesus according to the flesh; some had previously been disciples of John the Baptist. Our Lord chose them early in his public career. They seem to have been all on an equality, both during and after the ministry of Christ on earth. Early in our Lord’s ministry he sent them out two and two to preach repentance and to perform miracles in his name. Matt. 10; Luke 9. They accompanied him in his journeys, saw his wonderful works, heard his discourses addressed to the people, and made inquiries of him on religious matters. They recognized him as the Christ of God, Matt. 16:16; Luke 9:20, and ascribed to him supernatural power, Luke 9:54; but in the recognition of the spiritual teaching and mission of Christ they made very slow progress, held back as they were by weakness of apprehension and by national prejudices. Even at the removal of our Lord from the earth they were yet weak in their knowledge, Luke 24:21; John 16:12, though he had for so long been carefully preparing and instructing them. On the feast of Pentecost, ten days after our Lord’s ascension, the Holy Spirit came down on the assembled church, Acts 2; and from that time the apostles became altogether different men, giving witness with power of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, as he had declared they should. Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 13:31.
Later labors and history.—First of all the mother-church at Jerusalem grew up under their hands, Acts 3–7, and their superior dignity and power were universally acknowledged by the rulers and the people. Acts 5:12ff. Their first mission out of Jerusalem was to Samaria, Acts 8:5–25, where the Lord himself had, during his ministry, sown the seed of the gospel. Here ends the first period of the apostles’ agency, during which its centre is Jerusalem and the prominent figure is that of St. Peter. The centre of the second period of the apostolic agency is Antioch, where a church soon was built up, consisting of Jews and Gentiles; and the central figure of this and of the subsequent period is St. Paul. The third apostolic period is marked by the almost entire disappearance of the twelve from the sacred narrative, and the exclusive agency of St. Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles. Of the missionary work of the rest of the twelve we know absolutely nothing from the sacred narrative.
Appaim (the nostrils), son of Nadab, and descended from Jerahmeel, the founder of an important family of the tribe of Judah. 1 Chron. 2:30, 31.
Appeal. The principle of appeal was recognized by the Mosaic law in the establishment of a central court under the presidency of the judge or ruler for the time being, before which all cases too difficult for the local courts were to be tried. Deut. 17:8, 9. According to the above regulation, the appeal lay in the time of the Judges to the judge, Judges 4:5, and under the monarchy to the king. Jehoshaphat delegated his judicial authority to a court permanently established for the purpose. 2 Chron. 19:8. These courts were reestablished by Ezra. Ezra 7; 25. After the institution of the Sanhedrin the final appeal lay to them. St. Paul, as a Roman citizen, exercised a right of appeal from the jurisdiction of the local court at Jerusalem to the emperor. Acts 25:11.
Appearing: (ἐπιφάνεια epiphaneia) It literally means “a shining forth,” which was used to refer to a divine being becoming visible to humans. Epiphaneia is used in the NT to refer to Jesus first coming to the earth and his second coming as well. – 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.
Appendage; lobe; caul: (יֹתֶרֶת yothereth) This was the fatty mass on the opening of the liver, frequently identified as lobus caudatus as an appendage of the liver. – Ex 29:13, 22; Lev 3:4, 10, 15; 4:9; 7:4; 8:16, 25; 9:10, 19.
Apphia (fruitful), a Christian woman addressed jointly with Philemon and Archippus in Philem. 2; apparently a member of Philemon’s household, and not improbably his wife. (a.d. 57.)
Appii Fo´rum (market-place of Appius), a well-known station on the Appian Way, the great road which led from Rome to the neighborhood of the Bay of Naples. Acts 28:15. There is no difficulty in identifying the site with some ruins near Treponti. [Three Taverns.]
Appius, Market of. Revised Version for Appii Forum. Acts 28:15.
Apple Tree, Apple (Heb. tappûach). Mention of the apple tree occurs in the Authorized Version in Song. 2:5; 7:8. It is a difficult matter to say what is the specific tree denoted by the Hebrew word tappûach. (“The apple proper is rare in Syria, and its fruit inferior.”) Most modern writers maintain that it is either the quince or the citron; (others speak of the apricot, which is abundant and deliciously perfumed.) The quince has some plausible arguments in its favor. Its fragrance was held in high esteem by the ancients. The quince was sacred to Venus. On the other hand, Dr. Royle says, “The rich color, fragrant odor, and handsome appearance of the citron, whether in flower or in fruit, are particularly suited to the passages of Scripture mentioned above.” But neither the quince nor the citron nor the apple appears fully to answer to all the scriptural allusions. The orange would answer all the demands of the scriptural passages, and orange trees are found in Palestine; but there does not appear sufficient evidence that this tree was known in the earlier times to the inhabitants of Palestine. The question of identification, therefore, must still be left an open one.
Aquila (an eagle), a Jew whom St. Paul found at Corinth on his arrival from Athens. Acts 18:2. (a.d. 52.) He was a native of Pontus, but had fled, with his wife Priscilla, from Rome, in consequence of an order of Claudius commanding all Jews to leave the city. He became acquainted with St. Paul, and they abode together, and wrought at their common trade of making the Cilician tent or hair-cloth. On the departure of the apostle from Corinth, a year and six months after, Priscilla and Aquila accompanied him to Ephesus. There they remained, and there they taught Apollos. At what time they became Christians is uncertain.
Ar (a city), or Ar of Moab, one of the chief places of Moab. Num. 21:28; Isa. 15:1. In later times the place was known as Areopolis and Rabbath-Moab. The site is still called Rabba. It lies about halfway between Kerak and the Wady Mojeb, 10 or 11 miles from each, the Roman road passing through it.
A´ra (lion), one of the sons of Jether, the head of a family of Asherites. 1 Chron. 7:38.
Arab (ambush), a city of Judah in the mountainous district, probably in the neighborhood of Hebron; mentioned only in Josh. 15:52.
Arabah (burnt up). Although this word appears in the Authorized Version in its original shape only in Josh. 18:18, yet in the Hebrew text it is of frequent occurrence. It indicates more particularly the deep-sunken valley or trench which forms the most striking among the many striking natural features of Palestine, and which extends with great uniformity of formation from the slopes of Hermon to the Elanitic Gulf (Gulf of Akabah) of the Red Sea; the most remarkable depression known to exist on the surface of the globe. Through the northern portion of this extraordinary fissure the Jordan rushes through the lakes of Huleh and Gennesaret down its tortuous course to the deep chasm of the Dead Sea. This portion, about 150 miles in length, is known amongst the Arabs by the name of el-Ghor. The southern boundary of the Ghor is the wall of cliffs which crosses the valley about 10 miles south of the Dead Sea. From their summits, southward to the Gulf of Akabah, the valley changes its name, or, it would be more accurate to say, retains its old name of Wady el-Arabah.
Arabia (desert, barren), a country known in the Old Testament under two designations:—
- The East Country, Gen. 25:6, or perhaps the East, Gen. 10:30; Num. 23:7; Isa. 2:6; and Land of the Sons of the East, Gen. 29:1; Gentile name, Sons of the East. Judges 6:3; 7:12; 1 Kings 4:30; Job 1:3; Isa. 11:14; Jer. 49:28; Ezek. 25:4. From these passages it appears that Land of the East and Sons of the East indicate, primarily, the country east of Palestine, and the tribes descended from Ishmael and from Keturah; and that this original signification may have become gradually extended to Arabia and its inhabitants generally, though without any strict limitation. 2. ˒Arâb and ’Arab, whence Arabia. 2 Chron. 9:14; Isa. 21:13; Jer. 25:24; Ezek. 27:21. (Arabia is a triangular peninsula, included between the Mediterranean and Red seas, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. Its extreme length, north and south, is about 1300 miles, and its greatest breadth 1500 miles.—Encyc. Brit.)
Divisions.—Arabia may be divided into Arabia Proper, containing the whole peninsula as far as the limits of the northern deserts; Northern Arabia (Arabia Deserta), constituting the great desert of Arabia; and Western Arabia, the desert of Petra and the peninsula of Sinai, or the country that has been called Arabia Petræa. I. Arabia Proper, or the Arabian peninsula, consists of high table-land, declining towards the north. Most of it is well peopled, watered by wells and streams, and enjoys periodical rains. The most fertile tracts are those on the southwest and south. II. Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert, is a high, undulating, parched plain, of which the Euphrates forms the natural boundary from the Persian Gulf to the frontier of Syria, whence it is bounded by the latter country and the desert of Petra on the northwest and west, the peninsula of Arabia forming its fouthern limit. It has few cases, the water of the wells is generally either brackish or unpotable, and it is visited by the sand-wind called Samoom. The inhabitants, principally descended from Ishmael and from Keturah, have always hled a wandering and pastoral life. They conducted a considerable trade of merchandise of Arabia and India from the shores of the Persian Gulf. Ezek. 27:20–24. III. Western Arabia includes the peninsula of Sinai [Sinai] and the desert of Petra, corresponding generally with the limits of Arabia Petræa. The latter name is probably derived from that of its chief city, not from its stony character. It was mostly peopled by descendants of Esau, and was generally known as the land of Edom or Idumæa [Edom], as well as by its older appellation, the desert of Seir or Mount Seir. [Seir.]
Inhabitants.—(Arabia, which once ruled from India to the Atlantic, now has eight or nine millions of inhabitants, about one-fifth of whom are Bedouin or wandering tribes, and the other four-fifths settled Arabs.—Encyc. Brit.)
- The descendants of Joktan occupied the principal portions of the south and southwest of the peninsula, with colonies in the interior. The principal Joktanite kingdom, and the chief state of ancient Arabia, was that of the Yemen. 2. The Ishmaelites appear to have entered the peninsula from the northwest. That they have spread over the whole of it (with the exception of one or two districts on the south coast), and that the modern nation is predominantly Ishmaelite, is asserted by the Arabs. 3. Of the descendants of Keturah the Arabs say little. They appear to have settled chiefly north of the peninsula in Desert Arabia, from Palestine to the Persian Gulf. 4. In northern and western Arabia are other peoples, which, from their geographical position and mode of life, are sometimes classed with the Arabs. Of these are Amalek, the descendants of Esau, etc.
(Productions.—The productions are varied. The most noted animal is the horse. Camels, sheep, cattle, asses, mules, and cats are common. Agricultural products are coffee, wheat, barley, millet, beans, pulse, dates, and the common garden plants. In pasture lands Arabia is peculiarly fortunate. In mineral products it is singularly poor, lead being most abundant.—Encyc. Brit.)
Religion.—The most ancient idolatry of the Arabs we must conclude to have been fetishism. Magianism, an importation from Chaldæa and Persia, must be reckoned among the religions of the pagan Arabs; but it never had very numerous followers. Christianity was introduced into southern Arabia toward the close of the second century, and about a century later it had made great progress. It flourished chiefly in the Yemen, where many churches were built. Judaism was propagated in Arabia, principally by Karaites, at the captivity. They are now nominally Mohammedans.
Language.—Arabic, the language of Arabia, is the most developed and the richest of Shemitic languages, and the only one of which we have an extensive literature; it is, therefore, of great importance to the study of Hebrew.
Government.—Arabia is now under the government of the Ottoman empire.
Arabians, the nomadic tribes inhabiting the country to the east and south of Palestine, who in the early times of Hebrew history were known as Ishmaelites and descendants of Keturah.
Arad (a wild ass), a Benjamite, son of Beriah, who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. 1 Chron. 8:15. (b.c. 536.)
Arad, a royal city of the Canaanites, named with Hormah and Libnah. Josh. 12:14. The wilderness of Judah was to “the south of Arad.” Judges 1:16. It may be identified with a hill, Tel ˒Arâd, an hour and a half northeast by East from Milh (Moladah), and eight hours from Hebron.
- An Asherite, of the sons of Ulla. 1 Chron. 7:39.
- The sons of Arah returned with Zerubbabel in number 775 according to Ezra 2:5, but 652 according to Neh. 7:10. (b.c. 536.) One of his descendants, Shechaniah, was the father-in-law of Tobiah the Ammonite. Neh. 6:18.
Aram; Aramaeans: (אֲרַמִּי Arammi) These were the descendants of Shem’s son Aram, who mainly lived in various regions N of Israel, running from the Lebanon Mountains across to Mesopotamia and from the Taurus Mountains in the north down to Damascus. The Aramaeans hardly ever formed any kind of nation-state; instead, they lived as self-governing, autonomous towns and tribes settled by nomads before 1000 B.C.E. However, if they were threatened, they were quick to form alliances with neighboring towns of Aramaeans and even other countries. However, once the threat was over, they went back to their independence, fighting amongst themselves. In Hebrew, the area known as Aram would later be referred to as Syria, and its people as the Syrians. – Gen. 25:20; Deut. 26:5; Hos 12:12.
- The name by which the Hebrews designated, generally, the country lying to the northeast of Palestine; the great mass of that high tableland which, rising with sudden abruptness from the Jordan and the very margin of the Lake of Gennesaret, stretches, at an elevation of no less than 2000 feet above the level of the sea, to the banks of the Euphrates itself. Throughout the Authorized Version the word is, with only a very few exceptions, rendered, as in the Vulgate and LXX, Syria. Its earliest occurrence in the book of Genesis is in the form of Aram-naharaim, i.e., the “highland of or between the two rivers.” Gen. 24:10, Authorized Version “Mesopotamia.” In the later history we meet with a number of small nations or kingdoms forming parts of the general land of Aram; but as Damascus increased in importance it gradually absorbed the smaller powers, 1 Kings 20:1, and the name of Aram was at last applied to it alone. Isa. 7:8; also 1 Kings 11:24, 25; 15:18, etc.
- Another Aram is named in Gen. 22:21, as a son of Kemuel and descendant of Nahor.
- An Asherite, one of the sons of Shamer. 1 Chron. 7:34.
- Son of Esrom or Hezron, and the Greek form of the Hebrew Ram. Matt. 1:3, 4; Luke 3:33.
Aramaic: (אֲרַמִּי Arammi from אֲרָם Aram; אֲרָמִית Aramith) It is a Semitic language similar to Phoenician and Hebrew, using the same alphabet. It was the language of the Arameans, who were present in northwestern Mesopotamia, with their kingdoms being mentioned in the Bible account at the same time as the development of the nation of Israel. Aramaic would become the international language of trade and communication in the Assyrian and Babylonian empires and the official administrative language of the Persian Empire. (Ezra 4:7) Parts of the OT were written in Aramaic: Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Dan. 2:4b-7:28; Jer. 10:11.
Aram-nahara´im (highlands of two rivers). Ps. 60, title. [Aram.]
Aram-zo´bah. Ps. 60, title. [Aram, 1.]
Arami´tess, a female inhabitant of Aram. 1 Chron. 7:14.
Aran (wild goat), a Horite, son of Dishan and brother of Uz. Gen. 36:28; 1 Chron. 1:42.
Ararat (high or holy ground), a mountainous district of Asia mentioned in the Bible in connection with the following events:—(1) As the resting-place of the ark after the deluge. Gen. 8:4. (2) As the asylum of the sons of Sennacherib. 2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38; Authorized Version has “the land of Armenia.” (3) As the ally, and probably the neighbor, of Minni and Ashchenaz. Jer. 51:27. [Armenia.] The name Ararat was unknown to the geographers of Greece and Rome, as it still is to the Armenians of the present day; but it was an ancient name for a portion of Armenia. In its biblical sense it is descriptive generally of the Armenian highlands—the lofty plateau which overlooks the plain of the Araxes on the north and of Mesopotamia on the south. Various opinions have been put forth as to the spot where the ark rested, as described in Gen. 8:4; (but it is probable that it rested on some of the lower portions of the range than on the lofty peak to which exclusively) Europeans have given the name Ararat, the mountain which is called Massis by the Armenians, Agri-Dagh,M i.e., Steep Mountain, by the Turks, and Kuh-i-Nuh, i.e., Noah’s Mountain, by the Persians. It rises immediately out of the plain of the Araxes, and terminates in two conical peaks, named the Great and Less Ararat, about seven miles distant from each other; the former of which attains an elevation of 17,260 feet above the level of the sea and about 14,000 above the plain of the Araxes, while the latter is lower by 4000 feet. The summit of the higher is covered with eternal snow for about 3000 feet. Arguri, the only village known to have been built on its slopes, was the spot where, according to tradition, Noah planted his vineyard. “The mountains of Ararat,” as co-extensive with the Armenian plateau from the base of Ararat in the north to the range of Kurdistán in the south, we notice the following characteristics of that region as illustrating the Bible narrative: (1) Its elevation. It rises to a height of from 6000 to 7000 feet above the level of the sea. (2) Its geographical position. Viewed with reference to the dispersion of the nations, Armenia is the true centre of the world; and at the present day Ararat is the great boundary-stone between the empires of Russia, Turkey, and Persia. (3) Its physical character. The plains as well as the mountains supply evidence of volcanic agency. (4) The climate. Winter lasts from October to May, and is succeeded by a brief spring and a summer of intense heat. (5) The vegetation. Grass grows luxuriantly on the plateau, and furnishes abundant pasture during the summer months to the flocks of the nomad Kurds. Wheat, barley, and vines ripen at far higher altitudes than on the Alps and the Pyrenees.
Araunah (ark), a Jebusite who sold his threshing-floor on Mount Moriah to David as a site for an altar to Jehovah, together with his oxen. 2 Sam. 24:18–24; 1 Chron. 21:25.
Arba (city of the four), the progenitor of the Anakim, or sons of Anak, from whom their chief city, Hebron, received its name of Kirjath-Arba. Josh. 14:15; 15:13; 21:11.
Arbah. Hebron, or Kirjath-Arba, as “the city of Arbah” is always rendered elsewhere. Gen. 35:27.
Arbathite, a native of the Arabah or Ghor. [Arabah.] Abi-albon the Arbathite was one of David’s mighty men. 2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chron. 11:32.
Arbite, a native of Arab. Paarai the Arbite was one of David’s guard. 2 Sam. 23:35.
Arch of Titus. A triumphal arch erected at Rome, and still remaining there, to commemorate the conquest of Judea and the destruction of Jerusalem by the emperor Titus. It was erected after his death, a.d. 91, by the senate and people of Rome. It was a magnificent structure, decorated with bas-reliefs and inscriptions, and is of especial interest because its historic bas-reliefs represent the captors carrying in triumph to Rome the golden candlestick and sacred utensils from the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. From these we obtain our best idea of their shape.—Ed.
Archangel: (ἀρχάγγελος archaggelos) Michael is the only spirit named as an archangel in the Bible. Nevertheless, some Bible scholars believe that ‘it is possible that there are other’ archangels. However, the prefix “arch,” meaning “chief” or “principal,” indicates that there is only one archangel, the chief angel. Yes, Gabriel is very powerful, but no Scripture ever refers to him as an archangel. If there were multiple archangels, how could they even be described as an arch (chief or principal) angel? In the Scriptures, “archangel” is never found in the plural. Clearly, Michael is the only archangel, and as the highest-ranking angel, like the highest-ranking general in the army, Michael stands directly under the authority of God, as he commands the other angels, including Gabriel, according to the Father’s will and purposes. Michael, the Archangel, whose name means, “Who is like God?”); he disputed with Satan over Moses’ body. (Jude 9) Michael with Gabriel stood guard over the sons of Israel and fought for Israel against demons. (Dan. 10:13, 21) He cast Satan and the demons out of heaven. (Rev. 12:7-9) He will defeat the kings of the earth and their armies at Armageddon, and he will be the one given the privilege of abyssing Satan, the archenemy of God. – Rev. 18:1-2; 19:11-21.
Archer: An expert with a bow and arrow.
Archelaus (prince of the people), son of Herod the Great by a Samaritan woman, Malthaké, and, with his brother Antipas, brought up at Rome. At the death of Herod (b.c. 4) his kingdom was divided between his three sons, Herod Antipas, Archelaus, and Philip. Archelaus never properly bore the title of king, Matt. 2:22, but only that of ethnarch. In the tenth year of his reign, or the ninth according to Dion Cassius, i.e., a.d. 6, a complaint was preferred against him by his brothers and his subjects on the ground of his tyranny, in consequence of which he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where he is generally said to have died.
Archevites, perhaps the inhabitants of Erech, some of whom had been placed as colonists in Samaria. Ezra 4:9.
Archi. Josh. 16:2. A place in the neighborhood of Bethel, on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin. It designates a clan perhaps originally from Erech in Babylonia, of which Hushai was one. [Archite.]
Archip´pus (master of the horse), a Christian teacher in Colossæ, Col. 4:17, called by St. Paul his “fellow soldier,” Phil. 2. He was probably a member of Philemon’s family. (a.d. 62.)
Archite, The (as if from a place named Erech, on the frontiers of Ephraim), the usual designation of David’s friend Hushai. 2 Sam. 15:32; 17:5, 14; 1 Chron. 27:33.
Architecture. The book of Genesis, 4:17, 20, 22, appears to divide mankind into two great characteristic sections, viz., the “dwellers in tents” and the “dwellers in cities.” To the race of Shem is attributed, Gen. 10:11, 12, 22; 11:2–9, the foundation of those cities in the plain of Shinar, Babylon, Nineveh, and others. The Israelites were by occupation shepherds, and by habit dwellers in tents. Gen. 47:3. They had therefore originally, speaking properly, no architecture. From the time of the occupation of Canaan they became dwellers in towns and in houses of stone. Lev. 14:34, 45; 1 Kings 7:10. The peaceful reign and vast wealth of Solomon gave great impulse to architecture; for besides the temple and his other great works, he built fortresses and cities in various places, among which Baalath and Tadmor are in all probability represented by Baalbec and Palmyra. But the reigns of Herod and his successors were especially remarkable for their great architectural works. Not only was the temple restored, but the fortifications and other public buildings of Jerusalem were enlarged and embellished. Luke 21:5. The town of Cæsarea was built on the site of Strato’s Tower; Samaria was enlarged, and received the name of Sebaste. Of the original splendor of these great works no doubt can be entertained; but of their style and appearance we can only conjecture that they were formed on Greek and Roman models. The enormous stones employed in the Assyrian, Persepolitan, and Egyptian buildings find a parallel in the substructions of Baalbec and in the huge blocks which still remain at Jerusalem, relics of the buildings either of Solomon or of Herod.
Arcturus (bear-keeper). The Hebrew words ’Ash and ’Aish, rendered “Arcturus” in the Authorized Version of Job 9:9; 38:32, in conformity with the Vulgate of the former passage, are now generally believed to be identical, and to represent the constellation Ursa Major, known commonly as the Great Bear or Charles’ Wain.
Ard (one that descends), the son of Bela and grandson of Benjamin. Gen. 46:21; Num. 26:40. In 1 Chron. 8:3 he is called Addar.
Ardites, the descendants of Ard or Addar, the grandson of Benjamin. Num. 26:40.
Ardon (fugitive), a son of Caleb, the son of Hezron, by his wife Azubah. 1 Chron. 2:18.
Areli (heroic), a son of Gad. Gen. 46:16; Num. 26:17. His descendants are called Arelites. Num. 26:17.
Areopagite, a member of the court of Areopagus. Acts 17:34. [Mars’ Hill.]
Areopagus. [Mars’ Hill.] (Ἄρειος Πάγος Areios Pagos) It literally means ‘hill of mars.’ It is the location of an Athens court, where the apostle Paul explained his beliefs to the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers of Athens, which is traditionally associated with a rocky hill not far below the Acropolis, overlooked the Agora (i.e., marketplace) in Athens, Greece. (Ac 17:19, 22) A hill to the NW of the towering Athenian Acropolis, separated from it by a shallow valley. This rather narrow, barren ridge of limestone is 113 m (370 ft) high, and the Acropolis to its SE rises another 43 m (141 ft) higher. The approach to Mars’ Hill is gentle from the N; on the S it is abrupt. Crowning this hill at one time were Grecian altars, temple sanctuaries, statues, and the open-air supreme court of the Areopagus. Today all of this is gone, and only a few of the benchlike seats carved in the rock remain. On one of the apostle Paul’s visits to Athens, certain Athenians laid hold of him and led him to the Areopagus, saying: “Can we get to know what this new teaching is which is spoken by you? For you are introducing some things that are strange to our ears.” (Ac 17:19, 20) In reply Paul carefully laid one solid fact upon another, building up as he went along, a logical, persuasive, and convincing argument. Paul did not complete his speech, for “when they heard of a resurrection of the dead” mockers began to jeer. However, by the time this interruption came, the apostle had succeeded in splitting his audience three ways in their opinions. While some mocked, and some said they would hear more later, others “became believers, among whom also were Dionysius, a judge of the court of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others besides them.” (Ac 17:22-34) Today a bronze plaque on Mars’ Hill commemorating the event contains this speech of the apostle Paul. It cannot be stated for a certainty that Paul spoke on that occasion before the court of the Areopagus, but he did have at least one member of that noted court in his audience.
- A contemporary of Antiochus Epiphanes, b.c. 170, and Jason. 2 Macc. 5:8.
- The Aretas alluded to by St. Paul, 2 Cor. 11:32, was father-in-law of Herod Antipas.
Argob (stony), a tract of country on the east of the Jordan, in Bashan, the kingdom of Og, containing 60 great and fortified cities. In later times it was called Trachonitis, and it is now apparently identified with the Lejah, a very remarkable district south of Damascus and east of the Sea of Galilee. Deut. 3:4, 13, 14.
Argob, perhaps a Gileadite officer who was governor of Argob. He was either an accomplice of Pekah in the murder of Pekahiah or was slain by Pekah. 2 Kings 15:25.
Aridai (the strong), ninth son of Haman. Esther 9:9.
Aridatha, sixth son of Haman. Esther 9:8.
Arieh (lion). Either one of the accomplices of Pekah in his conspiracy against Pekahiah, or one of the princes of Pekahiah who was put to death with him. 2 Kings 15:25. (b.c. 757.)
Ariel (lion of God).
- One of the “chief men” who under Ezra directed the caravan which he led back from Babylon to Jerusalem. Ezra 8:16. (b.c. 459.) The word occurs also in reference to two Moabites slain by Benaiah. 2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Chron. 11:22. Many regard the word as an epithet, “lion-like”; but it seems better to look upon it as a proper name, and translate “two [sons] of Ariel.”
- A designation given by Isaiah to the city of Jerusalem. Isa. 29:1, 2, 7. We must understand by it either “lion of God,” as the chief city, or “hearth of God,” a synonym for the altar of burnt offering. On the whole it seems most probable that, as a name given to Jerusalem, Ariel means “lion of God,” whilst the word used by Ezekiel, Ezek. 43:15, 16, means “hearth of God.”
Arimathæa (heights). Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:51; John 19:38. St. Luke calls it “a city of Judea.” It is identified by many with the modern Ramleh.
- The king of Ellasar, one of the allies of Chedorlaomer in his expedition against his rebellious tributaries. Gen. 14:1. (b.c. 1921–1912.)
- The captain of Nebuchadnezzar’s bodyguard. Dan. 2:14, etc.
- Properly Eirioch, or Erioch, mentioned in Judith 1:6 as king of the Elymæans.
Arisai (lion-like), eighth son of Haman. Esther 9:9.
Aristarchus (the best ruler), a Thessalonian, Acts 20:4; 27:2, who accompanied St. Paul on his third missionary journey. Acts 19:29. He was with the apostle on his return to Asia, Acts 20:4; and again, 27:2, on his voyage to Rome. We trace him afterwards as St. Paul’s fellow prisoner in Col. 4:10 and Phm. 24. Tradition makes him bishop of Apamea.
Aristobulus (the best counsellor), a resident at Rome, some of whose household are greeted in Rom. 16:10. Tradition makes him one of the 70 disciples, and reports that he preached the gospel in Britain.
Ark, Noah’s. [Noah.]
Ark of the Covenant. The first piece of the tabernacle’s furniture, for which precise directions were delivered. Ex. 25. I. Description.—It appears to have been an oblong chest of shittim (acacia) wood, 2½ cubits long by 1½ broad and deep. Within and without gold was overlaid on the wood, and on the upper side or lid, which was edged round about with gold, the mercy seat was placed. The ark was fitted with rings, one at each of the four corners, and through these were passed staves of the same wood similarly overlaid, by which it was carried by the Kohathites. Num. 7:9; 10:21. The ends of the staves were visible without the veil in the holy place of the temple of Solomon. 1 Kings 8:8. The ark, when transported, was enveloped in the “veil” of the dismantled tabernacle, in the curtain of badgers’ skins, and in a blue cloth overall, and was therefore not seen. Num. 4:5, 20. Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah: (אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִית־יְהוָ֖ה berith Jehovah; Gr. κιβωτός διαθήκη kibōtos diathēkē) The original chest was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The cover was of solid gold with two cherubs facing each other, which the Israelites kept in the Most Holy of the tabernacle and later in the Most Holy of the temple that Solomon built. It contained the Ten Commandments and was associated with God’s presence. – Deut. 31:26; 1 Ki 6:19; Heb. 9:4.
- Purpose.—Its purpose was to contain inviolate the divine autograph of the two tables, that “covenant” from which it derived its title. It was also probably a reliquary for the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron.
III. History.—Before David’s time its abode was frequently shifted. It sojourned among several, probably Levitical, families, 1 Sam. 7:1; 2 Sam. 6:3, 11; 1 Chron. 13:13; 15:24, 25, in the border villages of eastern Judah, and did not take its place in the tabernacle, but dwelt in curtains, i.e., in a separate tent pitched for it in Jerusalem by David. Subsequently the temple, when completed, received, in the installation of the ark in its shrine, the signal of its inauguration by the effulgence of divine glory instantly manifested. It was probably taken captive or destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Esdr. 10:22, so that there was no ark in the second temple.
Ark of Moses. A small boat or basket made of the papyrus, a reed which grows in the marshes of Egypt. It was covered with bitumen to make it water-tight.
Ar´kite, The, from Arka, one of the families of the Canaanites, Gen. 10:17; 1 Chron. 1:15, and from the context evidently located in the north of Phœnicia. The site which now bears the name of ’Arka lies on the coast, 2 to 2½ hours from the shore, about 12 miles north of Tripoli and 5 south of the Nahr el-Kebir.
Armageddon (the hill or city of Megiddo). Rev. 16:16. The scene of the struggle of good and evil is suggested by that battlefield, the plain of Esdraelon, which was famous for two great victories, of Barak over the Canaanites and of Gideon over the Midianites; and for two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Josiah. Hence it signifies in Revelation a place of great slaughter, the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. The Revised Version gives the name as Har-Magedon, i.e., the hill (as Ar is the city) of Megiddo.—Ed.) Armageddon: (Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn) It is from the Hebrew Har-Magedon, which means “Mountain of Megiddo.” The Greek term is used in the reference “to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty,” gathering them “together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.” – Rev. 16:14, 16; 19:11-21.
Armenia (land of Aram) is nowhere mentioned under that name in the original Hebrew, though it occurs in the English version, 2 Kings 19:37, for Ararat. Description.—Armenia is that lofty plateau whence the rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Araxes, and Acampsis pour down their waters in different directions; the first two to the Persian Gulf, the last two respectively to the Caspian and Euxine seas. It may be termed the nucleus of the mountain system of western Asia. From the centre of the plateau rise two lofty chains of mountains, which run from east to west. Divisions.—Three districts are mentioned in the Bible. (1) Ararat is mentioned as the place whither the sons of Sennacherib fled. Isa. 37:38. It was the central district, surrounding the mountain of that name. (2) Minni only occurs in Jer. 51:27. It is probably identical with the district Minyas, in the upper valley of the Murad-su branch of the Euphrates. (3) Togarmah is noticed in two passages of Ezekiel 27:14; 38:6, both of which are in favor of its identity with Armenia. Present condition.—The Armenians, numbering about two millions, are nominally Christians. About half of them live in Armenia. Their favorite pursuit is commerce. The country is divided, as to government, between Russia, Turkey, and Persia.—Ed.
Armlet, an ornament universal in the East, especially among women; used by princes as one of the insignia of royalty, and by distinguished persons in general. The word is not used in the Authorized Version, as even in 2 Sam. 1:10 it is rendered by “the bracelet on his arm.”
Armoni, son of Saul by Rizpah. 2 Sam. 21:8.
Arms, Armor. (Heb. כְּלִי keli; Gr. πανοπλία panoplia) The weapons and armor worn by soldiers used in fighting, which makes up the whole of his offensive and defensive equipment. This would include a helmet to protect the head, the girdle, a leather belt worn around the waist or hips to protect the loins, the breastplate to protect vital organs, especially the heart. It also included a coat of mail, i.e., scale body armor for protection during battle, greaves, shin guards, and shields usually carried on the left arm or in the left hand. – 1 Sam. 7:5-6; 31:9; Eph. 6:13-17. The subject naturally divides itself into—
- Offensive weapons: Arms. II. Defensive weapons: Armor.
Soldier in full Armor.
- Offensive weapons.—
- Apparently the earliest known and most widely used was the Chereb or Sword. Very little can be gathered as to its shape, size, material, or mode of use. Perhaps if anything is to be inferred it is that the Chereb is both a lighter and a shorter weapon than the modern sword. It was carried in a sheath, 1 Sam. 17:51; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Chron. 21:27, slung by a girdle, 1 Sam. 25:13, and resting upon the thigh, Ps. 45:3; Judges 3:16, or upon the hips, 2 Sam. 20:8. 2. Next we have the Spear; and of this weapon we meet with at least three distinct kinds. a. The Chanı̂th, a “spear,” and that of the largest kind. It was the weapon of Goliath, 1 Sam. 17:7, 45; 2 Sam. 21:19; 1 Chron. 20:5, and also of other giants, 2 Sam. 23:21; 1 Chron. 11:23, and mighty warriors. 2 Sam. 2:23; 23:18; 1 Chron. 11:11, 20. b. Apparently lighter than the preceding was the Cı̂dôn or “javelin.” When not in action, the Cı̂dôn was carried on the back of the warrior, 1 Sam. 17:6, Authorized Version “target.” c. Another kind of spear was the Rômach. In the historical books it occurs in Num. 25:7, and 1 Kings 18:28, and frequently in the later books, as in 1 Chron. 12:8 (“buckler”); 2 Chron. 11:12. (It varied much in length, weight, and size.) d. The Shelach was probably a lighter missile or “dart.” See 2 Chron. 23:10; 32:5 (“darts”); Neh. 4:17, 23 (see margin); Job 33:18; 36:12; Joel 2:8. e. Shebet, a rod or staff, is used once only to denote a weapon. 2 Sam. 18:14. 3. Of missile weapons of offence the chief was undoubtedly the Bow, Kesheth.
Egyptian Archer. The Arrows were carried in a quiver. Gen. 27:3; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Ps. 127:5. From an allusion in Job 6:4 they would seem to have been sometimes poisoned; and Ps. 120:4 may point to a practice of using arrows with some burning material attached to them. 4. The Sling is first mentioned in Judges 20:16. This simple weapon, with which David killed the giant Philistine, was the natural attendant of a shepherd. Later in the monarchy, slingers formed part of the regular army. 2 Kings 3:25. 5. The Battle-axe, Jer. 51:20, a powerful weapon, of whose exact form we have no knowledge.
- The Breastplate, enumerated in the description of the arms of Goliath, a “coat of mail,” literally a “breastplate of scales.” 1 Sam. 17:5. This word has furnished one of the names of Mount Hermon. See Deut. 3:9. 2. The Habergeon is mentioned but twice—in reference to the gown of the high priest. Ex. 28:32; 39:23. It was probably a quilted shirt or doublet. 3. The Helmet is referred to in 1 Sam. 17:5; 2 Chron. 26:14; Ezek. 27:10. 4. Greaves or defences for the feet, made of brass, are named in 1 Sam. 17:6 only. 5. Two kinds of Shield are distinguishable. a. The large shield, encompassing, Ps. 5:12, the whole person. When not in actual conflict it was carried before the warrior. 1 Sam. 17:7, 41. b. Of smaller dimensions was the buckler or target, probably for use in hand-to-hand fight. 1 Kings 10:16; 2 Chron. 9:15, 16.
Army. I. Jewish Army.—Every man above 20 years of age was a soldier, Num. 1:3: each tribe formed a regiment, with its own banner and its own leader, Num. 2:2; 10:14: their positions in the camp or on the march were accurately fixed, Num. 2: the whole army started and stopped at a given signal, Num. 10:5, 6: thus they came up out of Egypt ready for the fight. Ex. 13:18. On the approach of an enemy a conscription was made from the general body, under the direction of a muster-master, Deut. 20:5; 2 Kings 25:19, by whom also the officers were appointed. Deut. 20:9. The army was then divided into thousands and hundreds under their respective captains, Num. 31:14, and still further into families. Num. 2:34; 2 Chron. 25:5; 26:12. With the kings arose the custom of maintaining a body-guard, which formed the nucleus of a standing army, and David’s band of 600, 1 Sam. 23:13; 25:13, he retained after he became king, and added the Cherethites and Pelethites. 2 Sam. 15:18; 20:7. David further organized a national militia, divided into twelve regiments under their respective officers, each of which was called out for one month in the year. 1 Chron. 27. It does not appear that the system established by David was maintained by the kings of Judah; but in Israel the proximity of the hostile kingdom of Syria necessitated the maintenance of a standing army. The maintenance and equipment of the soldiers at the public expense dates from the establishment of a standing army. It is doubtful whether the soldier ever received pay even under the kings.
Roman Captain or Centurion.
- Roman Army—The Roman army was divided into legions, the number of which varied considerably (from 3000 to 6000), each under six tribuni (“chief captains,” Acts 21:31), who commanded by turns. The legion was subdivided into ten cohorts (“band,” Acts 10:1), the cohort into three maniples, and the maniple into two centuries, containing originally 100 men, as the name implies, but subsequently from 50 to 100 men, according to the strength of the legion. There were thus 60 centuries in a legion, each under the command of a centurion. Acts 10:1, 22; Matt. 8:5; 27:54. In addition to the legionary cohorts, independent cohorts of volunteers served under the Roman standards. One of these cohorts was named the Italian, Acts 10:1, as consisting of volunteers from Italy. The headquarters of the Roman forces in Judea were at Cæsarea.
Arnan. In the received Hebrew text “the sons of Arnan” are mentioned in the genealogy of Zerubbabel. 1 Chron. 3:21.
Arni. (Used in the Revised Version for Aram in Luke 3:33, and is probably another name or form of the name of Aram. [Aram, 4.])
Arnon (roaring), the river or torrent which formed the boundary between Moab and the Amorites, on the north of Moab, Num. 21:13, 14, 24, 26; Judges 11:22, and afterwards between Moab and Israel (Reuben). Deut. 2:24, 36; 3:8, 12, 16; 4:48; Josh. 12:1, 2; 13:9, 16; Judges 11:13, 26. There can be no doubt that the Wady el-Mojeb of the present day is the Arnon. Its principal source is near Katrane, on the Haj route.
Arod (a wild ass), a son of Gad, Num. 26:17, called Arodi in Gen. 46:16.
- A city on the torrent Arnon, the southern point of the territory of Sihon king of the Amorites, and afterwards of the tribe of Reuben, Deut. 2:36; 3:12; 4:48; Josh. 12:2; 13:9, 16; Judges 11:26; 2 Kings 10:33; 1 Chron. 5:8, but later again in possession of Moab. Jer. 48:19. It is the modern Arâ˒ir, upon the very edge of the precipitous north bank of the Wady Mojeb.
- Aroer, “that is ‘facing’ Rabbah” (Rabbah of Ammon), a town built by and belonging to Gad. Num. 32:34; Josh. 13:25; 2 Sam. 24:5. This is probably the place mentioned in Judges 11:33, which was shown in Jerome’s time.
- Aroer, in Isa. 17:2, if a place at all, must be still farther north than either of the two already named.
- A town in Judah, named only in 1 Sam. 30:28, perhaps Wady Ar˒ârah, on the road from Petra to Gaza.
Aroerite. Hothan the Aroerite was the father of two of David’s captains. 1 Chron. 11:44.
Arpad (strong city), Isa. 36:19; 37:13, a city or district in Syria, apparently dependent on Damascus. Jer. 49:23. No trace of its existence has yet been discovered. 2 Kings 18:34; 19:13; Isa. 10:9.
Arphaxad (stronghold of the Chaldees).
- The son of Shem and ancestor of Eber. Gen. 10:22, 24; 11:10.
- Arphaxad, a king “who reigned over the Medes in Ecbatana,” Judith 1:1–4; perhaps the same as Phraortes, who fell in a battle with the Assyrians, 633 b.c.
Artaxerxes (the great warrior).
- The first Artaxerxes is mentioned in Ezra 4:7, and appears identical with Smerdis, the Magian impostor and pretended brother of Cambyses, who usurped the throne b.c. 522, and reigned eight months.
- In Neh. 2:1 we have another Artaxerxes. We may safely identify him with Artaxerxes Macrocheir or Longimanus, the son of Xerxes, who reigned b.c. 464–425.
Artemas (gift of Artemis), a companion of St. Paul. Titus 3:12. According to tradition he was bishop of Lystra.
Aruboth (windows), the third of Solomon’s commissariat districts. 1 Kings 4:10. It included Sochoh, and was therefore probably a name for the rich corn-growing lowland country.
Arumah (height), a place apparently in the neighborhood of Shechem, at which Abimelech resided. Judges 9:41.
Arvad (wandering). Ezek. 27:8, 11. The island of Ruad, which lies off Tortosa (Tartus), two or three miles from the Phœnician coast. In agreement with this is the mention of “the Arvadite,” in Gen. 10:18 and 1 Chron. 1:16, as a son of Canaan, with Zidon, Hamath, and other northern localities.
Arza, prefect of the palace at Tirzah to Elah king of Israel, who was assassinated at a banquet in his house by Zimri. 1 Kings 16:9.
Asa (physician, or cure).
- Son of Abijah and third king of Judah (b.c. 956–916.) (His long reign of 41 years was peaceful in its earlier portion, and he undertook the reformation of all abuses, especially of idolatry. He burnt the symbol of his grandmother Maachah’s religion and deposed her from the dignity of “king’s mother,”) and renewed the great altar which the idolatrous priests apparently had desecrated. 2 Chron. 15:8. Besides this he fortified cities on his frontiers, and raised an army, amounting, according to 2 Chron. 14:8, to 580,000 men, a number probably exaggerated by an error of the copyist. During Asa’s reign, Zerah, at the head of an enormous host, 2 Chron. 14:9, attacked Mareshah. There he was utterly defeated, and driven back with immense loss to Gerar. The peace which followed this victory was broken by the attempt of Baasha of Israel to fortify Ramah. To stop this Asa purchased the help of Ben-hadad I, king of Damascus, by a large payment of treasure, forced Baasha to abandon his purpose, and destroyed the works which he had begun at Ramah. In his old age Asa suffered from gout. He died, greatly loved and honored, in the 41st year of his reign.
- Ancestor of Berechiah, a Levite who resided in one of the villages of the Netophathites after the return from Babylon. 1 Chron. 9:16.
Asahel (made by God).
- Nephew of David, being the youngest son of his sister Zeruiah. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting under his brother Joab at Gibeon, he pursued Abner, who was obliged to kill him in self-defence. 2 Sam. 2:18ff. [Abner.] (b.c. 1050.)
- One of the Levites in the reign of Jehoshaphat, who went throughout the cities of Judah to instruct the people in the knowledge of the law. 2 Chron. 17:8. (b.c. 910.)
- A Levite in the reign of Hezekiah, who had charge of the tithes and dedicated things in the temple. 2 Chron. 31:13. (b.c. 927.)
- A priest, father of Jonathan, in the time of Ezra. Ezra 10:15. He is called Azael in 1 Esd. 9:14. (b.c. before 459.)
Asahiah (the Lord hath made), a servant of King Josiah, sent by him to seek information of Jehovah respecting the book of the law which Hilkiah found in the temple, 2 Kings 22:12, 14; also called Asaiah. 2 Chron. 34:20. (b.c. 641.)
Asaiah (the Lord hath made).
- A prince of one of the families of the Simeonites in the reign of Hezekiah. 1 Chron. 4:36. (b.c. 910.)
- A Levite in the reign of David, chief of the family of Merari. 1 Chron. 6:30. With 120 of his brethren he took part in bringing the ark from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David. 1 Chron. 15:6, 11.
- The first-born of “the Shilonite,” from Shiloni, 1 Chron. 9:5, who with his family dwelt in Jerusalem after the return from Babylon. (b.c. 536.) In Neh. 11:5 he is called Maaseiah.
- 2 Chron. 34:20. [Asahiah.]
Asaph (collector of the people).
- A Levite, son of Berechiah, one of the leaders of David’s choir. 1 Chron. 6:39. Psalms 50 and 73–83 are attributed to him; and he was in after times celebrated as a seer as well as a musical composer. 2 Chron. 29:30; Neh. 12:46. (b.c. 1050.)
- The father or ancestor of Joah, the chronicler to the kingdom of Judah in the reign of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:18, 37; Isa. 36:3, 22; probably the same as the preceding.
- The keeper of the royal forest or “paradise” of Artaxerxes, Neh. 2:8; a Jew, in high office at the court of Persia. (b.c. 536.)
- Ancestor of Mattaniah, the conductor of the temple-choir after the return from Babylon. 1 Chron. 9:15; Neh. 11:17. Most probably the same as 1 and 2.
Asaph, Sons of. (A school of poets and musical composers founded by Asaph.)
Asareel (whom God hath bound (by an oath)), a son of Jehaleleel, in the genealogies of Judah. 1 Chron. 4:16.
Asarelah (upright toward God), one of the sons of Asaph, a musician, 1 Chron. 25:2; called Jesharelah in ver. 14.
Asenath (worshipper of Neith), daughter of Potipherah, priest, or possibly prince, of On [Potipherah], wife of Joseph, Gen. 41:45, and mother of Manasseh and Ephraim. Gen. 41:50; 46:20. (B.C. 1715.)
Ascend, go up, rise up, sprout or grow: (ἀναβαίνω anabainō) This Greek word anabainō has several different meanings, determined based on the context. It can mean to go up to Jerusalem. (Matt. 20:17-18) It can mean to rise up out of the water. (Matt. 3:16) It can refer to seeds sprouting or to growing. (Matt. 4:7) It can refer to plants or trees growing taller. (Matt. 13:7; Mark 4:32) It can also refer to Jesus’ ascension to heaven forty days after his resurrection. – Eph. 4:8-10.
Aser. Luke 2:36; Rev. 7:6. [Asher.]
Ash (Heb. ôren), only in Isa. 44:14. As the true ash is not a native of Palestine, some understand this to be a species of pine tree. Perhaps the larch (Laryx europæa) may be intended.
Ashan (smoke), a city in the low country of Judah. Josh. 15:42. In Josh. 19:7 and 1 Chron. 4:32 it is mentioned again as belonging to Simeon. It has not yet been identified.
Ashbea (I adjure), a proper name, but whether of a person or place is uncertain. 1 Chron. 4:21.
Ashbel (reproof of God), second son of Benjamin and ancestor of the Ashbelites. Gen. 46:21; Num. 26:38; 1 Chron. 8:1.
Ashchenaz. 1 Chron. 1:6; Jer. 51:27. [Ashkenaz.]
Ashdod, or Azo´tus (a stronghold), Acts 8:40; one of the five confederate cities of the Philistines, situated about 30 miles from the southern frontier of Palestine, three from the Mediterranean Sea, and nearly midway between Gaza and Joppa. It was assigned to the tribe of Judah, Josh. 15:47, but was never subdued by the Israelites. Its chief importance arose from its position on the high road from Palestine to Egypt. It is now an insignificant village, with no memorials of its ancient importance, but is still called Esdud.
Ashdodites, the inhabitants of Ashdod, Neh. 4:7; called Ashdothites in Josh. 13:3.
Ashdoth-pisgah, Deut. 3:17; Josh. 12:3; 13:20; and in Deut. 4:49, Authorized Version, translated springs of Pisgah, i.e., a valley or fountain near Mount Pisgah.
Asher, Apocrypha and New Testament, A´ser (blessed), the eighth son of Jacob, by Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid, Gen. 30:13. (b.c. 1753.) The general position of his tribe was on the seashore from Carmel northward, with Manasseh on the south, Zebulun and Issachar on the southeast, and Naphtali on the northeast. Josh. 19:24–31; 17:10, 11 and Judges 1:31, 32. They possessed the maritime portion of the rich plain of Esdraelon, probably for a distance of 8 or 10 miles from the shore. This territory contained some of the richest soil in all Palestine.
Asher, a place which formed one boundary of the tribe of Manasseh on the south. Josh. 17:7. Mr. Porter suggests that Teyâsı̂r may be the Asher of Manasseh.
Asherah (straight), the name of a Phœnician goddess, or rather of the idol itself (Authorized Version “grove”). Asherah is closely connected with Ashtoreth and her worship, Judges 3:7, comp. 2:3; Judges 6:25; 1 Kings 18:19; Ashtoreth being, perhaps, the proper name of the goddess, whilst Asherah is the name of her image or symbol, which was of wood. See Judges 6:25–30; 2 Kings 23:14. Asherah poles: The Hebrew word (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an Asherah image of the goddess. These were upright poles made of wood. – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1Ki 15:13.
Asherites, descendants of Asher, and members of his tribe. Judges 1:32.
Ashes. The ashes on the altar of burnt offering were gathered into a cavity in its surface. The ashes of a red heifer burnt entire, according to regulations prescribed in Num. 19, had the ceremonial efficacy of purifying the unclean, Heb. 9:13, but of polluting the clean. [Sacrifice.] Ashes about the person, especially on the head, were used as a sign of sorrow. [Mourning.]
Ash´ima, a god of the Hamathite colonists in Samaria. 2 Kings 17:30. It has been regarded as identical with the Pan of the Greeks.
Ashkelon, Askelon, Apocrypha As´calon (migration), one of the five cities of the Philistines, Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17; a seaport on the Mediterranean, 10 miles north of Gaza. Samson went down from Timnath to Ashkelon. Judges 14:19. In the post-biblical times Ashkelon rose to considerable importance. Near the town were the temple and sacred lake of Derceto, the Syrian Venus. The soil around was remarkable for its fertility. Ashkelon played a memorable part in the struggles of the Crusades.
Ashkenaz (spreading fire), one of the three sons of Gomer, son of Japhet. Gen. 10:3. We may probably recognize the tribe of Ashkenaz on the northern shore of Asia Minor in the name of Lake Ascanius, and in Europe in the name Scand-ia, Scand-inavia. Knobel considers that Ashkenaz is to be identified with the German race.
Ashnah, the name of two cities, both in the lowlands of Judah: (1) named between Zoreah and Zanoah, and therefore probably northwest of Jerusalem, Josh. 15:33; and (2) between Jiptah and Nezib, and therefore to the southwest of Jerusalem. Josh. 15:43. Each, according to Robinson’s map (1857), would be about 16 miles from Jerusalem.
Ashpenaz (horse-nose), the master of the eunuchs of Nebuchadnezzar. Dan. 1:3.
Ash´riel, properly As´riel (vow of God). 1 Chron. 7:14.
Ashtaroth, and once As´taroth (a star), a city on the east of Jordan, in Bashan, in the kingdom of Og, doubtless so called from being a seat of the worship of the goddess of the same name. Deut. 1:4; Josh. 9:10; 12:4; 13:12.
Ashte-rathite, a native or inhabitant of Ashtaroth, 1 Chron. 11:44, beyond Jordan.
Ashtoreth: (עַשְׁתֹּרֶת Ashtoreth or עַשְׁתָּרוֹת Ashtaroth) This was the Canaanite goddess of war and fertility, the wife of Baal. – Jdg. 2:13; 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:3-4; 12:10; 31:10; 1 Ki 11:5, 33; 2 Ki 23:13.
Ashteroth Karna´im (Ashteroth of the two horns or peaks), a place of very great antiquity, the abode of the Rephaim. Gen. 14:5. The name reappears but once, as Carnaim or Carnion, 1 Macc. 5:26, 43, 44; 2 Macc. 12:21, 26, in “the land of Galaad.” It is probably the modern Es-Sanamein, on the Haj route, about 25 miles south of Damascus.
Ashtoreth (a star), the principal female divinity of the Phœnicians, called Ishtar by the Assyrians and Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. She was by some ancient writers identified with the moon. But on the other hand the Assyrian Ishtar was not the moon-goddess, but the planet Venus; and Astarte was by many identified with the goddess Venus (or Aphrodite), as well as with the plant of that name. It is certain that the worship of Astarte became identified with that of Venus, and that this worship was connected with the most impure rites is apparent from the close connection of this goddess with Asherah. 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13.
A figure of Ashtoreth.
Ashur (black), the posthumous son of Hezron by his wife Abiah. 1 Chron. 2:24; 4:5. He became “father” or founder of the town of Tekoa. (b.c. 1658.)
Ashurites, The. Only in 2 Sam. 2:9. By some of the old interpreters the name is taken as meaning the Geshurites; but if we follow the Targum of Jonathan, “the Asherites” will denote the inhabitants of the whole of the country west of the Jordan above Jezreel.
Ashvath, one of the sons of Japhlet, of the tribe of Asher. 1 Chron. 7:33.
Asia (orient). The passages in the New Testament where this word occurs are the following: Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10, 22, 26, 27; 20:4, 16, 18; 21:27; 27:2; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Cor. 1:8; 2 Tim. 1:15; 1 Pet. 1:1; Rev. 1:4, 11. In all these, it may be confidently stated that the word is used for a Roman province which embraced the western part of the peninsula of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital. Asia: (Ἀσία Asia) In the Greek New Testament, this is the Roman province of Asia that primarily includes the western part of present-day Turkey and some coastal islands, such as Samos and Patmos. Ephesus was the capital. – Ac 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 20:16; 21:27; 24:19; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; 2 Cor. 1:8; 2 Tim. 1;15; 1 Pet. 1:1; Rev. 1:4.
Asiarchae (chief of Asia) (Authorized Version; Acts 19:31), officers chosen annually by the cities of that part of the province of Asia of which Ephesus was, under Roman government, the metropolis. They had charge of the public games and religious theatrical spectacles, the expenses of which they bore.
Asiel [Made by God]. Simeonite forefather of Jehu, a chieftain in the days of King Hezekiah.—1Ch 4:35, 38, 41.
Asleep in death: In the Scriptures, we find the expressions “sleep” (κοιμάω koimaō) and “fall asleep” (κοιμάω koimaō), with both referring to physical sleep and the sleep of death. (Matthew 28:13; Acts 7:60) When the context refers to death, Bible translators can use a footnote to express to “fall asleep in death.” The same is true in the Hebrew (פֶּן־אִישַׁ֥ן הַמָּֽוֶת׃ pen-isān) “sleep in death” (Psa. 13:3). “David slept (שָׁכַב shakab) with his forefathers.” (1 Ki 2 10) Jesus said to the disciples, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep (κεκοίμηται kekoimētai), but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep (κεκοίμηται kekoimētai), he will get well.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death (θάνατος thanatos), but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. (ὕπνος hupnos). Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died (ἀποθνῄσκω apothnēskō) …” (John 11:11-13) Some have argued that the dynamic equivalent thought-for-thought translations, for example, (Then David died and was buried, NLT) are conveying the idea more clearly and immediately, but is this really the case? Retaining the literal rendering, the metaphorical use of the word sleep is best because of the similarities between physical sleep and the sleep of death. Without the literal rendering, this would be lost on the reader. Retaining the literal rendering, “slept,” and adding the phrase “in death” in a footnote completes the sense in the English text. Sense: to be asleep in death; the figurative extension of the physical sleep in the sense of being at rest and at peace; the person in the sleep of death exists in God’s memory as they sleep in death; it is only temporary for those who are physically asleep, so it will be true of those who are asleep in death. The idea that death is like a deep sleep that one awakens from at some future point is made by multiple authors and Jesus Christ when talking about Lazarus. – 1 Kings 2:10; Psa. 13:3; Matt 28:13; John 11:11; Acts 7:60; 1 Cor 7:39; 1 Thess. 4:13; 2 Pet 3:4.
- A Simeonite whose descendant Jehu lived in the reign of Hezekiah. 1 Chron. 4:35.
- One of the five swift writers whom Esdras was commanded to take to write the law and the history of the world. 2 Esd. 14:24.
Asnah (thorn-bush). The children of Asnah were among the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:50.
Asnap´per (swift), mentioned in Ezra 4:10 as the person who settled the Cuthæans in the cities of Samaria. He was probably a general of Esarhaddon. (b.c. 712.)
Asp (Heb. pethen), translated adder in Ps. 58:4; 91:13. Probably the Egyptian cobra, a small and very poisonous serpent, a dweller in the holes of walls, Isa. 11:8, and a snake upon which the serpent-charmers practiced their art.
Aspal´athus, the name of some sweet perfume mentioned in Ecclus. 24:15. The Lignum rhodianum is by some supposed to be the substance indicated by the aspalathus; the plant which yields it is the Convolvulus scoparius of Linnæus.
Aspatha, third son of Haman. Esth. 9:7.
Asphar, the pool in the “wilderness of Thecoe.” 1 Macc. 9:33. Is it possible that the name is a corruption of lacus Asphaltites?
Asriel, the son of Gilead and greatgrandson of Manasseh. Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2. He was the founder of the family of the Asrielites. (b.c. 1444.)
Ass. Five Hebrew names of the genus Asinus occur in the Old Testament.
- Chamôr denotes the male domestic ass. 2. Athôn, the common domestic she-ass. 3. Aı̂r, the name of a wild ass, which occurs Gen. 32:15; 49:11. 4. Pere, a species of wild ass mentioned Gen. 12:16. 5. Arôd occurs only in Job 39:5; but in what respect it differs from the Pere is uncertain. The ass in eastern countries is a very different animal from what he is in western Europe. The most noble and honorable amongst the Jews were wont to be mounted on asses. (“With us the ass is a symbol of stubbornness and stupidity, while in the East it is especially remarkable for its patience, gentleness, intelligence, meek submission, and great power of endurance.”—L. Abbott. The color is usually a reddish brown, but there are white asses, which are much prized. The ass was the animal of peace, as the horse was the animal of war; hence the appropriateness of Christ in his triumphal entry riding on an ass. The wild ass is a beautiful animal.—Ed.) Mr. Layard remarks that in fleetness the wild ass (Asinus hemippus equals the gazelle, and to overtake it is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated mares have been known to accomplish.
Assarion: (ἀσσάριον assarion) A Roman and provincial, copper or bronze coin called an “as,” or lengthened to assarion. It was four quadrantes, which was one-sixteenth of a denarius. The denarius was equivalent to a day’s wages for a common laborer (12 hours). – Matt. 10:29; Lu 12:6.
Assembly: (עֲצָרָה atsarah or עֲצֶרֶת atsereth) This is a gathering of people, a congregation, namely, a crowd or group of persons that meet together. In the Hebrew Scriptures, this often refers to the gathering of the Israelites at their religious festivals or any event of great national significance. – Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35; Deut. 16:8; 2 Ki 10:20; 2 Ch. 7:9; Neh. 8:18; Isa 1:13; Jer. 9:1; Joel 1:14; 2:15; Am 5:21.
Asshur, second son of Shem, Gen. 10:22; also the Hebrew form for Assyria. [Assyria.]
Asshurim (steps), a tribe descended from Dedan, the grandson of Abraham. Gen. 25:3. Knobel considers them the same with the Asshur of Ezek. 27:23, and connected with southern Arabia.
- Son of Korah. Ex. 6:24; 1 Chron. 6:22.
- Son of Ebiasaph, and a forefather of Samuel. 1 Chron. 6:23, 37.
- Son of Jeconiah, 1 Chron. 3:17, unless “Jeconiah the captive” be the true rendering.
Assos, or Assus (approaching), a seaport of the Roman province of Asia, in the district anciently called Mysia, on the northern shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium, and about seven miles from Lesbos. Acts 20:13, 14.
Assur. Ezra 4:2; Ps. 83:8. [Asshur; Assyria.]
Assyria, Asshur, was a great and powerful country lying on the Tigris, Gen. 2:14, the capital of which was Nineveh. Gen. 10:11, etc. It derived its name apparently from Asshur, the son of Shem, Gen. 10:22, who in later times was worshipped by the Assyrians as their chief god.
- Extent.—The boundaries of Assyria differed greatly at different periods. Probably in the earliest times it was confined to a small tract of low country lying chiefly on the left bank of the Tigris. Gradually its limits were extended, until it came to be regarded as comprising the whole region between the Armenian mountains (lat. 37º30´) upon the north, and upon the south the country about Baghdad (lat. 33º30´). Eastward its boundary was the high range of Zagros, or mountains of Kurdistán; westward it was, according to the views of some, bounded by the Mesopotamian desert, while according to others it reached the Euphrates.
- General character of the country.—On the north and east the high mountain-chains of Armenia and Kurdistán are succeeded by low ranges of limestone hills of a somewhat arid aspect. To these ridges there succeeds at first an undulating zone of country, well watered and fairly productive, which extends in length for 250 miles, and is interrupted only by a single limestone range. Above and below this barrier is an immense level tract, now for the most part a wilderness, which bears marks of having been in early times well cultivated and thickly peopled throughout.
- Original peopling.—Scripture informs us that Assyria was peopled from Babylon, Gen. 10:11, and both classical tradition and the monuments of the country agree in this representation.
- Date of the foundation of the kingdom.—As a country, Assyria was evidently known to Moses. Gen. 2:14; 25:18; Num. 24:22, 24. The foundation of the Assyrian empire was probably not very greatly anterior to b.c. 1228.
- History.—The Mesopotamian researches have rendered it apparent that the original seat of government was not at Nineveh, but at Kileh-Sherghat, on the right bank of the Tigris. The most remarkable monarch of the earlier kings was called Tiglath-pileser. He appears to have been king towards the close of the twelfth century, and thus to have been contemporary with Samuel. Afterwards followed Pul, who invaded Israel in the reign of Menahem, 2 Kings 15:29, about b.c. 770, and Shalmaneser, who besieged Samaria three years, and destroyed the kingdom of Israel b.c. 721, himself or by his successor Sargon, who usurped the throne at that time. Under Sargon the empire was as great as at any former era, and Nineveh became a most beautiful city. Sargon’s son Sennacherib became the most famous of the Assyrian kings. He began to reign 704 b.c. He invaded the kingdom of Judea in the reign of Hezekiah. He was followed by Esarhaddon, and he by a noted warrior and builder, Sardanapalus. In Scripture it is remarkable that we hear nothing of Assyria after the reign of Esarhaddon, and profane history is equally silent until the attacks began which brought about her downfall. The fall of Assyria, long previously prophesied by Isaiah, Isa. 10:5–19, was effected by the growing strength and boldness of the Medes, about 625 b.c. The prophecies of Nahum and Zephaniah (Nah. 2:11–13) against Assyria were probably delivered shortly before the catastrophe.
- General character of the empire.—The Assyrian monarchs bore sway over a number of petty kings through the entire extent of their dominions. These native princes were feudatories of the great monarch, of whom they held their crown by the double tenure of homage and tribute. It is not quite certain how far Assyria required a religious conformity from the subject people. Her religion was a gross and complex polytheism comprising the worship of thirteen principal and numerous minor divinities, at the head of all of whom stood the chief god, Asshur, who seems to be the deified patriarch of the nation. Gen. 10:22.
- Civilization of the Assyrians.—The civilization of the Assyrians was derived originally from the Babylonians. They were a Shemitic race, originally resident in Babylonia (which at that time was Cushite), and thus acquainted with the Babylonian inventions and discoveries, who ascended the valley of the Tigris and established in the tract immediately below the Armenian mountains a separate and distinct nationality. Still, as their civilization developed it became in many respects peculiar. Their art is of home growth. But they were still in the most important points barbarians. Their government was rude and inartificial, their religion coarse and sensual, and their conduct of war cruel.
- Modern discoveries in Assyria.—(Much interest has been excited in reference to Assyria by the discoveries lately made there, which confirm and illustrate the Bible. The most important of them is the finding of the stone tablets or books which formed the great library at Nineveh, founded by Shalmaneser b.c. 860, but embodying tablets written 2000 years b.c. This library was more than doubled by Sardanapalus. These tablets were broken into fragments, but many of them have been put together and deciphered by the late Mr. George Smith, of the British Museum. All these discoveries of things hidden for ages, but now comes to light, confirm the Bible.—Ed.)
Astaroth. Deut. 1:4. [Ashtaroth.]
Astonished: (θαμβέω thambeō; derivative of thambos) This one is experiencing astonishment, to be astounded, or amazed because of some sudden and unusual event, which can be in a positive or negative sense. – Mark 1:27; 10:32; Lu 4:36; 5:9; Acts 3:10.
Astounded: (ἐκπλήσσω ekplēssō) This one is extremely astounded or amazed, so much so that the person loses their mental self-control, as they are overwhelmed emotionally. – Matt. 7:28; Mark 1:22; 7:37; Lu 2:48; 4:32; 9:43; Ac 13:12.
Astray, turn aside: (שָׁגָה shagah) means to go astray, to wander, to move about aimlessly or without any destination, implied to not be in a proper place. (Eze 34:6) It can also mean mislead, lead astray, let stray, i.e., guide someone in linear movement, focusing that the leading is in an intentionally wrong direction. This can refer to misleading or deceiving another in an improper belief or thought. (Dt 27:18; Pr 28:10) It can mean to sin, err either intentionally or unintentionally by being led astray due to the wicked one’s influence or one’s own lack of self-discipline or self-control. (Lev 4:13; Nu 15:22; 1Sa 26:21; Job 6:24; 19:4; Ps 119:21,118; Eze 45:20) It can similarly stand for being led astray, be deceived, i.e., hold a mistaken belief (Pr 5:23; 20:1), deceive, mislead, formally, lead astray. (Job 12:16) It also signifies to disobey, stray, i.e., not keep in spirit or detail a command from an authority, as a figurative extension of being or causing another to go off a proper path (Pr 19:27); disobey, formally, stray. (Ps 119:10) It can also mean stagger, totter, stumble, reel, i.e., make the non-linear motion random wandering motion of a drunk trying to walk. (Isa 28:7) It also has the sense of being in rapture, i.e., be in an attitude or emotion of very great pleasure and fondness for an object, possibly as a figurative extension of staggering around in stunned or inebriated. (Pr 5:19, 20)
Astrologer, Magician, Soothsayer, Sorcerer, Wise man or Priest: (Aram. gezar; Gr. magos) A person who studies the positions of the Moon, Sun, and other planets in the belief that they can predict future events. A person of the pagan world who was respected for their occultist knowledge of medicine, astrology, and the interpretation of dreams. – Dan. 2:27; Matt. 2:1.
Asuppim, and House of, 1 Chron. 26:15, 17, literally house of the gatherings. Some understand it as the proper name of chambers on the south of the temple; others of certain store-rooms, or of the council chambers in the outer court of the temple in which the elders held their deliberations.
Asyncritus (incomparable), a Christian in Rome, was saluted by St. Paul. Rom. 16:14.
At once; Immediately: (εὐθύς euthus) The Greek word euthús, “at once” or “immediately,” especially in the Gospel of Mark, is used to transmit a sense of immediacy and urgency to Christ’s ministry. It is used eleven times in the first chapter alone and forty-two times throughout Mark’s Gospel. The sense of euthús is to act without delay or hesitation, as there is no time left. The Gospel of Mark could be viewed as an action Gospel. – Mark 1:18, 28-30, 43; 5:42; 9:20; 11:3.
Atad Lit the thorny bush Heb., (הָאָטָד ha atad), The threshing floor of, called also Abel-mizraim, Gen. 50:10, 11, afterward called Beth-hogla, and known to have lain between the Jordan and Jericho, therefore on the west side of Jordan.
Atarah (a crown), a wife of Jerahmeel, and mother of Onam. 1 Chron. 2:26.
- One of the towns in the “land of Jazer and land of Gilead,” Num. 32:3, east of the Jordan, taken and built by the tribe of Gad. Num. 32:34.
- A place on the (south?) boundary of Ephraim and Manasseh. Josh. 16:2, 7. It is impossible to say whether Ataroth is or is not the same place as
- Ataroth-adar, or -addar, on the west border of Benjamin, “near the ‘mountain’ that is on the south side of the nether Beth-horon.” Josh. 16:5; 18:13. Perhaps the modern Atâra, six miles northeast of Bethel.
- “Ataroth, the house of Joab,” a place(?) occurring in the list of the descendants of Judah. 1 Chron. 2:54.
Ater (shut up).
- The children of Ater were among the porters or gatekeepers of the temple who returned with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45.
- The children of Ater of Hezekiah to the number of 98 returned with Zerubbabel, Ezra 2:16; Neh. 7:21, and were among the heads of the people who signed the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:17.
Athach (lodging place). 1 Sam. 30:30. As the name does not occur elsewhere, it has been suggested that it is an error of the transcriber for Ether, a town in the low country of Judah. Josh. 15:42.
Athaiah (whom Jehovah made), a descendant of Pharez, the son of Judah, who dwelt at Jerusalem after the return from Babylon, Neh. 11:4; called Uthai in 1 Chron. 9:4.
Athaliah (afflicted of the Lord), daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, married Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and introduced into that kingdom the worship of Baal. (b.c. 891.) After the great revolution by which Jehu seated himself on the throne of Samaria, she killed all the members of the royal family of Judah who had escaped his sword. 2 Kings 11:1. From the slaughter one infant, named Joash, the youngest son of Ahaziah, was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, wife of Jehoiada, 2 Chron. 23:11, the high priest. 2 Chron. 24:6. The child was brought up under Jehoiada’s care, and concealed in the temple for six years, during which period Athaliah reigned over Judah. At length Jehoiada thought it time to produce the lawful king to the people, trusting to their zeal for the worship of God and their loyalty to the house of David. His plan was successful, and Athaliah was put to death.
Athenians, natives of Athens. Acts 17:21.
Athens (city of Athene), the capital of Attica, and the chief seat of Grecian learning and civilization during the golden period of the history of Greece.
Description.—Athens is situated about three miles from the seacoast, in the central plain of Attica. In this plain rise several eminences. Of these the most prominent is a lofty insulated mountain, with a conical peaked summit, now called the Hill of St. George, and which bore in ancient times the name of Lycabettus. This mountain, which was not included within the ancient walls, lies to the northeast of Athens, and forms the most striking feature in the environs of the city. It is to Athens what Vesuvius is to Naples, or Arthur’s Seat to Edinburgh. Southwest of Lycabettus there are four hills of moderate height, all of which formed part of the city. Of these the nearest to Lycabettus, and at the distance of a mile from the latter, was the Acropolis, or citadel of Athens, a square craggy rock rising abruptly about 150 feet, with a flat summit of about 1000 feet long from east to west, by 500 feet broad from north to south. Immediately west of the Acropolis is a second hill of irregular form, the Areopagus (Mars’ Hill). To the southwest there rises a third hill, the Pnyx, on which the assemblies of the citzens were held. South of the city was seen the Saronic Gulf, with the harbors of Athens.
History.—Athens is said to have derived its name from the prominence given to the worship of the goddess Athena (Minerva) by its king, Erechtheus. The inhabitants were previously called Cecropidæ, from Cecrops, who, according to tradition, was the original founder of the city. This at first occupied only the hill or rock which afterwards became the Acropolis; but gradually the buildings spread over the ground at the southern foot of this hill. It was not till the time of Pisistratus and his sons (b.c. 560–514) that the city began to assume any degree of splendor. The most remarkable building of these despots was the gigantic temple of the Olympian Zeus or Jupiter. Under Themistocles the Acropolis began to form the centre of the city, round which the new walls described an irregular circle of about 60 stadia or 7½ miles in circumference. Themistocles transferred the naval station of the Athenians to the peninsula of Piræus, which is distant about 4½ miles from Athens, and contains three natural harbors. It was not till the administration of Pericles that the walls were built which connected Athens with her ports.
Buildings.—Under the administration of Pericles, Athens was adorned with numerous public buildings, which existed in all their glory when St. Paul visited the city. The Acropolis was the centre of the architectural splendor of Athens. It was covered with the temples of gods and heroes; and thus its platform presented not only a sanctuary, but a museum containing the finest productions of the architect and the sculptor, in which the whiteness of the marble was relieved by brilliant colors, and rendered still more dazzling by the transparent clearness of the Athenian atmosphere. The chief building was the Parthenon (i.e., House of the Virgin), the most perfect production of Grecian architecture. It derived its name from its being the temple of Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Virgin, the invincible goddess of war. It stood on the highest part of the Acropolis, near its centre. It was entirely of Pentelic marble, on a rustic basement of ordinary limestone, and its architecture, which was of the Doric order, was of the purest kind. It was adorned with the most exquisite sculptures, executed by various artists under the direction of Phidias. But the chief wonder of the Parthenon was the colossal statue of the virgin goddess executed by Phidias himself. The Acropolis was adorned with another colossal figure of Athena, in bronze, also the work of Phidias. It stood in the open air, nearly opposite the Propylæa. With its pedestal it must have been about 70 feet high, and consequently towered above the roof of the Parthenon, so that the point of its spear and the crest of its helmet were visible off the promontory of Sunium to ships approaching Athens. The Areopagus, or Hill of Ares (Mars), is described elsewhere. [Mars’ Hill.] The Pnyx, or place for holding the public assemblies of the Athenians, stood on the side of a low rocky hill, at the distance of about a quarter of a mile from the Areopagus. Between the Pnyx on the west, the Areopagus on the north and the Acropolis on the east, and closely adjoining the base of these hills, stood the Agora or “Market,” where St. Paul disputed daily. Through it ran the road to the gymnasium and gardens of the Academy, which were situated about a mile from the walls. The Academy was the place where Plato and his disciples taught. East of the city, and outside the walls, was the Lyceum, a gymnasium dedicated to Apollo Lyceus, and celebrated as the place in which Aristotle taught.
Temple of Victory at Athens.
Character.—The remark of the sacred historian respecting the inquisitive character of the Athenians, Acts 17:21, is attested by the unanimous voice of antiquity. Their natural liveliness was partly owing to the purity and clearness of the atmosphere of Attica, which also allowed them to pass much of their time in the open air. The Athenian carefulness in religion is confirmed by the ancient writers. Of the Christian church, founded by St. Paul at Athens, according to ecclesiastical tradition, Dionysius the Areopagite was the first bishop. [Dionysius.]
Present condition.—(The population of Athens in 1871 was 48,000. Its university has 52 professors and 1200 students. Educational institutions are very numerous. A railway connects the Piræus or port with the city, and its terminus stands in the midst of what was once the Agora.—Ed.)
Athlai (whom Jehovah afflicts), one of the sons of Bebai, who put away his foreign wife at the exhortation of Ezra. Ezra 10:28.
Atonement, Reconciliation: (Heb. כָּפַר kaphar; Gr. καταλλαγή katallagē; καταλλάσσω katallassō) The sense in both the OT Hebrew and NT Greek Scriptures is that of making amends (cleansing oneself from a sin or one’s sinful condition). That is, falling short (be it intentional, ignorance, or negligence) and restoring a previously harmonious relationship with God. This would then allow the person to approach God and worship him in an approved condition regardless of his human imperfection. In the Hebrew Scriptures, different types of sacrifices were offered, especially on the annual Day of Atonement. This was to bring about reconciliation with God regardless of the sins of individuals and the whole nation. The sacrifices of the Hebrew OT pointed to the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This was the sacrifice once for all time that atoned for anyone who accepts Jesus and evidence faith in that sacrifice, which reconciles that one to God. – Lev. 5:10; 23:28; Eph. 2:16; Col 1:20, 22; Heb. 9:12.
Atonement, The day of. I. The great day of national humiliation, and the only one commanded in the Mosaic law. [Fasts.] The mode of its observance is described in Lev. 16, and the conduct of the people is emphatically enjoined in Lev. 23:26–32.
- Time.—It was kept on the tenth day of Tisri, that is, from the evening of the ninth to the evening of the tenth of that month, five days before the feast of tabernacles. Tisri corresponds to our September–October, so that the 10th of Tisri would be about the first of October. [Festivals.]
III. How observed.—It was kept by the people as a high solemn sabbath. On this occasion only the high priest was permitted to enter into the holy of holies. Having bathed his person and dressed himself entirely in the holy white linen garments, he brought forward a young bullock for a sin offering, purchased at his own cost, on account of himself and his family, and two young goats for a sin offering, with a ram for a burnt offering, which were paid for out of the public treasury, on account of the people. He then presented the two goats before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle and cast lots upon them. On one lot “For Jehovah” was inscribed, and on the other “For Azazel.” A phrase of unusual difficulty. The best modern scholars agree that it designates the personal being to whom the goat was sent, probably Satan. This goat was called the scapegoat. After various sacrifices and ceremonies the goat upon which the lot “For Jehovah” had fallen was slain and the high priest sprinkled its blood before the mercy-seat in the same manner as he had done that of the bullock. Going out from the holy of holies he purified the holy place, sprinkling some of the blood of both the victims on the altar of incense. At this time no one besides the high priest was suffered to be present in the holy place. The purification of the holy of holies and of the holy place being thus completed, the high priest laid his hands upon the head of the goat on which the lot “For Azazel” had fallen, and confessed over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led, by a man chosen for the purpose, into the wilderness, into “a land not inhabited,” and was there let loose. The high priest after this returned into the holy place, bathed himself again, put on his usual garments of office, and offered the two rams as burnt offerings, one for himself and one for the people.
- Significance.—In considering the meaning of the particular rites of the day, three points appear to be of a very distinctive character.
- The white garments of the high priest. 2. His entrance into the holy of holies. 3. The scapegoat. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb. 9:7–25, teaches us to apply the first two particulars. The high priest himself, with his person cleansed and dressed in white garments, was the best outward type which a living man could present in his own person of that pure and holy One who was to purify his people and to cleanse them from their sins. But respecting the meaning of the scapegoat we have no such light to guide us, and the subject is one of great doubt and difficulty. It has been generally considered that it was dismissed to signify the carrying away of the sins of the people, as it were, out of the sight of Jehovah. If we keep in view that the two goats are spoken of as parts of one and the same sin offering, we shall not have much difficulty in seeing that they form together but one symbolical expression; the slain goat setting forth the act of sacrifice, in giving up its own life for others “to Jehovah”; and the goat which carried off its load of sin “for complete removal” signifying the cleansing influence of faith in that sacrifice.
Atroth (crowns), a city of Gad. Num. 32:35.
- Grandson of Sheshan the Jerahmeelite through his daughter Ahlai, whom he gave in marriage to Jarha, his Egyptian slave. 1 Chron. 2:35, 36. His grandson Zabad was one of David’s mighty men. 1 Chron. 11:41.
- One of the lion-faced warriors of Gad, captains of the host, who forded the Jordan at the time of its overflow, and joined David in the wilderness. 1 Chron. 12:11. (b.c. 1060.)
- Second son of King Rehoboam by Maachah the daughter of Absalom. 2 Chron. 11:20. (b.c. 975.)
Attalia (from Attalus), a coast-town of Pamphylia, mentioned Acts 14:25. It was built by Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos, and named after the monarch. All its remains are characteristic of the date of its foundation. Leake fixes Attalia at Adalia, on the south coast of Asia Minor, north of the Duden Su, the ancient Catarrhactes.
Attentive: The Hebrew (קָשַׁב qashab) be attentive means to listen and pay attention, to give heed, i.e., accept information as true and respond to it (Isa 32:3) In other words, it means that you accept the information that you are given as accurate and then favorably respond to it; to listen – 1Sa 15:22; 2Ch 20:15; 33:10; Ne 9:34; Job 13:6; 33:31; Ps 5:3; 10:17; 17:1; 55:3; 61:2.
Augustus (venerable) Caesar, the first Roman emperor. He was born a.u.c. 691, b.c. 63. His father was Caius Octavius; his mother Atia, daughter of Julia the sister of C. Julius Cæsar. He was principally educated by his great-uncle Julius Cæsar, and was made his heir. After his murder, the young Octavius, then Caius Julius Cæsar Octavianus, was taken into the triumvirate with Antony and Lepidus, and, after the removal of the latter, divided the empire with Antony. The struggle for the supreme power was terminated in favor of Octavianus by the battle of Actium, b.c. 31. On this victory he was saluted imperator by the senate, who conferred on him the title Augustus, b.c. 27. The first link binding him to New Testament history is his treatment of Herod after the battle of Actium. That prince, who had espoused Antony’s side, found himself pardoned, taken into favor and confirmed, nay even increased, in his power. After Herod’s death, in a.d. 4, Augustus divided his dominions, almost exactly according to his dying directions, among his sons. Augustus died in Nola in Campania, Aug. 19, a.u.c. 767, a.d. 14, in his 76th year; but long before his death he had associated Tiberius with him in the empire.
Augustus’ Band. Acts 27:1. [Army.]
Author, Prince of Life: (ἀρχηγός archēgos) The Greek term means originator, founder, author (Ac 3:15; Heb. 2:10; 12:2), pioneer, or chief leader. (Ac 5:31) It references Christ Jesus, the Author of life, who has freed faithful humans from sin and death, giving them the hope of eternal life.
Ava (ruin), a place in the empire of Assyria, apparently the same as Ivan. 2 Kings 17:24.
- The “plain of Aven” is mentioned by Amos (1:5) in his denunciation of Syria and the country to the north of Palestine. This Aven is by some supposed to be the once magnificent Heliopolis, “city of the sun,” now Baalbek (Bäl´bek) of Cœle-Syria, whose ruins are one of the wonders of the ages. It was situated in a plain near the foot of the Anti-Libanus range of mountains, 42 miles northwest of Damascus. It is famous for the colossal ruins of its temples, one of which, with its courts and porticos, extended over 1000 feet in length. The temples were built of marble or limestone and granite. Some of the columns were 7 feet in diameter and 62 feet high, or, including capital and pedestal, 89 feet. Some of the building-stones were 64 feet long and 12 feet thick. The temples are of Roman origin.
Ruins of Baalbek (now called Aven).
- In Hos. 10:8 the word is clearly an abbreviation of Bethaven, that is, Bethel. Comp. 4:15, etc.
- The sacred city of Heliopolis or On, in Egypt. Ezek. 30:17.
Avim (ruins), Avims or Avites.
- A people among the early inhabitants of Palestine, whom we meet with in the southwest corner of the seacoast, whither they may have made their way northward from the desert, Deut. 2:23; probably the same as the Hivites.
- The people of Avva, among the colonists who were sent by the king of Assyria to reinhabit the depopulated cities of Israel. 2 Kings 17:31.
Avith (ruins), the city of Hadad ben-Bedad, one of the kings of Edom before there were kings in Israel. Gen. 36:35; 1 Chron. 1:46.
Avoid: (Heb. pā·rǎʿ) avoid means staying clear from, stay away from someone or something. You will stay clear of any person so as to not walk in the way or the path of evil men.
Awl, a tool of which we do not know the ancient form. The only notice of it is in connection with the custom of boring the ear of the slave. Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17.
Azal, a name only occurring in Zech. 14:5. It is mentioned as the limit to which the ravine of the Mount of Olives will extend when “Jehovah shall go forth to fight.”
Azali´ah (whom the Lord reserved), the father of Shaphan the scribe in the reign of Josiah. 2 Kings 22:3; 2 Chron. 34:8. (b.c. before 641.)
Azaniah (whom the Lord hears), the father or immediate ancestor of Jeshua the Levite, in the time of Nehemiah. Neh. 10:9.
Azara-el, a Levite musician. Neh. 12:36.
Azare-el, or Azare-el (whom the Lord helps).
- A Korhite who joined David in his retreat at Ziklag. 1 Chron. 12:6. (b.c. 1060.)
- A Levite musician of the family of Heman in the time of David, 1 Chron. 25:18; called Uzziel in 25:4. (b.c. 1050.)
- Son of Jeroham, and prince of the tribe of Dan when David numbered the people. 1 Chron. 27:22.
- One of the sons of Bani, who put away his foreign wife on the remonstrance of Ezra. Ezra 10:41. (b.c. 459.)
- Father or ancestor of Maasiai, or Amashai, a priest who dwelt in Jerusalem after the return from Babylon. Neh. 11:13; comp. 1 Chron. 9:12. (B.C. about 440.)
Azariah (whom the Lord helps), a common name in Hebrew, and especially in the families of the priests of the line of Eleazar, whose name has precisely the same meaning as Azariah. It is nearly identical, and is often confounded, with Ezra as well as with Zerahiah and Seraiah. The principal persons who bore this name were—
- Son of Ahimaaz. 1 Chron. 6:9. He appears from 1 Kings 4:2 to have succeeded Zadok, his grandfather, in the high priesthood, in the reign of Solomon, Ahimaaz having died before Zadok. (b.c. about 1000.) [Ahimaaz.]
- A chief officer of Solomon’s, the son of Nathan, perhaps David’s grandson. 1 Kings 4:5.
- Tenth king of Judah, more frequently called Uzziah. 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1, 6, 7, 8, 17, 23, 27; 1 Chron. 3:12. (b.c. 810.)
- Son of Ethan, of the sons of Zerah, where, perhaps, Zerahiah is the more probable reading. 1 Chron. 2:8.
- Son of Jehu of the family of the Jerahmeelites, and descended from Jarha the Egyptian slave of Sheshan. 1 Chron. 2:38, 39. He was probably one of the captains of hundreds in the time of Athaliah mentioned in 2 Chron. 23:1. (b.c. 886.)
- The son of Johanan. 1 Chron. 6:10. He must have been high priest in the reigns of Abijah and Asa. (b.c. 939.)
- Another Azariah is inserted between Hilkiah, in Josiah’s reign, and Seraiah, who was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar, in 1 Chron. 6:13, 14.
- Son of Zephaniah, a Kohathite, and ancestor of Samuel the prophet. 1 Chron. 6:36. Apparently the same as Uzziah in ver. 24.
- Azariah, the son of Oded, 2 Chron. 15:1, called simply Oded in ver. 8, was a remarkable prophet in the days of King Asa, and a contemporary of Azariah the son of Johanan the high priest, and of Hanani the seer. (b.c. 939.)
- Son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. 2 Chron. 21:2. (b.c. 910.)
- Another son of Jehoshaphat, and brother of the preceding. 2 Chron. 21:2.
- In 2 Chron. 22:6 Azariah is a clerical error for Ahaziah.
- Son of Jeroham, one of the captains of Judah in the time of Athaliah. 2 Chron. 23:1.
- The high priest in the reign of Uzziah king of Judah. The most memorable event of his life is that which is recorded in 2 Chron. 26:17–20. (b.c. 810.) Azariah was contemporary with Isaiah the prophet and with Amos and Joel.
- Son of Johanan, one of the captains of Ephraim in the reign of Ahaz. 2 Chron. 28:12.
- A Kohathite, father of Joel, in the reign of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 29:12. (b.c. 726.)
- A Merarite, son of Jehalelel, in the time of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 29:12.
- The high priest in the days of Hezekiah. 2 Chron. 31:10, 13. He appears to have cooperated zealously with the king in that thorough purification of the temple and restoration of the temple services which was so conspicuous a feature in his reign. He succeeded Urijah, who was high priest in the reign of Ahaz.
- Son of Maaseiah, who repaired part of the wall of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah. Neh. 3:23, 24. (b.c. 446–410.)
- One of the leaders of the children of the province who went up from Babylon with Zerubbabel. Neh. 7:7.
- One of the Levites who assisted Ezra in instructing the people in the knowledge of the law. Neh. 8:7.
- One of the priests who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah, Neh. 10:2, and probably the same with the Azariah who assisted in the dedication of the city wall. Neh. 12:33.
- Jer. 43:2 (Jezaniah).
- The original name of Abed-nego. Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 19. He appears to have been of the seed-royal of Judah. (b.c. 603.)
Azaz (strong), a Reubenite, father of Bela. 1 Chron. 5:8.
Azaziah (whom the Lord strengthens).
- A Levite musician in the reign of David, appointed to play the harp in the service which attended the procession by which the ark was brought up from the house of Obed-edom. 1 Chron. 15:21. (b.c. 1043.)
- The father of Hoshea, prince of the tribe of Ephraim when David numbered the people. 1 Chron. 27:20.
- One of the Levites in the reign of Hezekiah, who had charge of the tithes and dedicated things in the temple. 2 Chron. 31:13.
Azazel: Two goats were acquired from the assembly of the sons of Israel for use on the Day of Atonement. They would cast lots, selecting one goat “for Jehovah” and the other “for Azazel.” Both goats were unblemished (perfect). Both goats were referred to as a single sin offering. (Lev 16:5) The first goat was sacrificed as a sin offering for Jehovah. The second had the people’s sins confessed over it and was sent to an isolated place in the wilderness. The purpose here was to stress what was achieved by this sacrifice to atone for the people’s sins. The word “Azazel” has had four different major interpretations: (1) “Azazel” describes the goat’s function “the goat that departs,” (2) an abstract noun meaning “entire removal,” meaning sins removed never to be seen again, (3) “Azazel” is a name for the location where the goat departed (favored by Jewish scholars), and (4) “Azazel” is a demon purportedly in the wilderness (poplar view), which some identify with Satan. The word “Azazel” (עֲזָאזֵל azazel) occurs four times in the Bible, in judgment decisions that pertained to Atonement Day. On this, the Psalmist tells us, “For you, O Jehovah, are good, and ready to forgive.” (Psa 86:5) We have several vivid expressions that describe Jehovah’s forgiveness. King David says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psa. 103:12) God puts sins as far away as can be imagined. Isaiah 38:17 says, “for you [Jehovah] have cast all my sins behind your back.” This means that God can no longer see them, nor does he call them to mind anymore; they are as though they never happened. Micah tells us that God “will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19) In ancient times, something that was dropped into the depths of the search could never be recovered. This means that when God forgives, he removes sins forever. We have the same kind of expression with Azazel being released into the wilderness, symbolically releasing the past year’s sins, causing them to disappear into the wilderness. The Hebrew name of the “scapegoat” that was released into the wilderness on atonement day symbolizes the release of the past year’s sins of the Israelite community into an isolated place. (Lev. 16:8, 10(2x), 26) MT SP “For Azazel,” (Heb. (לַעֲזָאזֵל) laAzazel) LXX “scape-goat” SYR “for the strong one against God” VG “the emissary goat; the scapegoat.”
Az´buk (strong devastation), father or ancestor of Nehemiah, the prince of part of Bethzur. Neh. 3:16.
Aze´kah (dug over), a town of Judah, with dependent villages, lying in the Shefelah or rich agricultural plain. It is most clearly defined as being near Shochoh, 1 Sam. 17:1; but its position has not yet been recognized.
A´zel (noble), a descendant of Saul. 1 Chron. 8:37, 38; 9:43, 44.
Azem (bone), a city in the extreme south of Judah, Josh. 15:29, afterward allotted to Simeon. Josh. 19:3. Elsewhere it is Ezem.
Azgad (strength of fortune). The children of Azgad, to the number of 1222 (2322 according to Neh. 7:17), were among the laymen who returned with Zerubbabel. Ezra 2:12; 8:12. With the other heads of the people they joined in the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:15. (b.c. 536.)
Aziel (whom God comforts), a Levite. 1 Chron. 15:20. The name is a shortened form of Jaaziel in ver. 18.
Aziza (strong), a layman of the family of Zattu, who had married a foreign wife after the return from Babylon. Ezra 10:27.
Azmaveth (strong unto death).
- One of David’s mighty men, a native of Bahurim, 2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chron. 11:33, and therefore probably a Benjamite. (b.c. 1060.)
- A descendant of Mephibosheth, or Merib-baal. 1 Chron. 8:36; 9:42.
- The father of Jeziel and Pelet, two of the skilled Benjamite slingers and archers who joined David at Ziklag, 1 Chron. 12:3; perhaps identical with No. 1.
- Overseer of the royal treasures in the reign of David. 1 Chron. 27:25.
Azmaveth, a place to all appearance in Benjamin, being named with other towns belonging to that tribe. Ezra 2:24. The name elsewhere occurs as Bethazmaveth.
Azmon (strong), a place named as being on the southern boundary of the Holy Land, apparently near the torrent of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish). Num. 34:4, 5; Josh. 15:4. It has not yet been identified.
Aznoth-tabor (the ears (i.e., possibly the summits) of Tabor), one of the landmarks of the boundary of Naphtali. Josh. 19:34. The town, if town it be, has hitherto escaped recognition.
Azor (a helper), son of Eliakim, in the line of our Lord. Matt. 1:13, 14.
Azriel (whom God helps).
- The head of a house of the half-tribe of Manasseh beyond Jordan, a man of renown. 1 Chron. 5:24. (B.C. 741.)
- A Naphtalite, ancestor of Jerimoth, the head of the tribe at the time of David’s census. 1 Chron. 27:19. (b.c. 1015.)
- The father of Seraiah, an officer of Jehoiakim. Jer. 36:26. (b.c. 605.)
Azrikam (help against the enemy).
- A descendant of Zerubbabel, and son of Neariah of the royal line of Judah. 1 Chron. 3:23.
- Eldest son of Azel, and descendant of Saul. 1 Chron. 8:38; 9:44. (b.c. after 1037.)
- A Levite, ancestor of Shemaiah, who lived in the time of Nehemiah. 1 Chron. 9:14; Neh. 11:15. (b.c. before 536.)
- Governor of the house, or prefect of the palace, to King Ahaz, who was slain by Zichri, an Ephraimite hero, in the successful invasion of the southern kingdom by Pekah king of Israel. 2 Chron. 28:7. (b.c. 738.)
- Wife of Caleb, son of Hezron. 1 Chron. 2:18, 19.
- Mother of King Jehoshaphat. 1 Kings 22:42; 2 Chron. 20:31. (b.c. 950.)
Azur, properly Az´zur (he that assists).
- A Benjamite of Gibeon, and father of Hananiah the false prophet. Jer. 28:1.
- Father of Jaazaniah, one of the princes of the people against whom Ezekiel was commanded to prophesy. Ezek. 11:1.
Azzah (the strong). The more accurate rendering of the name of the well-known Philistine city Gaza. Deut. 2:23; 1 Kings 4:24; Jer. 25:20.
Azzan (very strong), the father of Paltiel prince of the tribe of Issachar, who represented his tribe in the division of the promised land. Num. 34:26.
Azzur (one who helps), one of the heads of the people who signed the covenant with Nehemiah. Neh. 10:17. (b.c. 410.) The name is probably that of a family, and in Hebrew is the same as is elsewhere represented by Azur.