American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - I



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IBZAN

The tenth "judge of Israel," born in Bethlehem. He held office seven
years, and was noted for his large and prosperous family, B. C. 1182,
Jud 12:8.


ICHABOD

Where is the glory? A son of Phinehas, and grandson of Eli, both of
whom, and his mother also, died on the day of his birth, 1Sa 4:19- 22;
14:3.


ICONIUM

A large and opulent city of Asia Minor now called Konieh. The
provinces of Asia Minor varied so much at different times, that
Iconium is assigned by different writers to Phrygia, to Lycaonia, and
to Pisidia. Christianity was introduced here by Paul, A. D. 45. But he
was obliged to flee for his life for a persecution excited by
unbelieving Jews, Ac 13:51 14:1-6. They pursued him to Lystra, where
he was nearly killed, but afterwards, A. D. 51, he revisited Iconium,
Ac 14:19-21 2Ti 3:11. The church continued in being here for eight
centuries, but under the Mohammedan rule was almost extinguished. At
present, Konieh is the capital of Caramania. It is situated in a
beautiful and fertile country, 260 miles southeast of Constantinople,
and 120 from the Mediterranean. It is very large, and its walls are
supported by 108 square towers, forty paces distant from each other.
The inhabitants, 40,000 in number, are Turks, Armenians, Greeks, and
Jews.


IDDO

A prophet of Judah, who prophesied against Jeroboam, and wrote the
history of Rehoboam and Abijah, 2Ch 9:29 12:15 13:22. Josephus and
others are of opinion that he was sent to he, who was killed by a
lion, 1Ki 13:1-25. Several other persons of this name are mentioned in
Scripture, 1Ch 27:21 Ezr 10:44 Zec 1:1.


IDLE

In Mt 12:36, means empty and fruitless. The "idle word" which Christ
condemns, is a word morally useless and evil.


IDOL, IDOLATRY

The word idol signifies literally a representation or figure. It is
always employed in Scripture in a bad sense, for representations of
heathen deities of what nature soever. God forbids all sorts of idols,
or figures and representations of creatures, formed or set up with
intention of paying superstitious worship to them, Ex 20:3,4 34:13 De
4:16-19 7:25,26. He also forbids all attempts to represent him by any
visible form, Ex 32:4,5 De 4:15 Ne 9:18.


The heathen had idols of all sorts-paintings, bas-reliefs, and all
varieties of sculpture-and these of many kinds of materials, as gold,
silver, brass, stone, wood, potters earth, etc. Stars, spirits, men,
animals, rivers, plants, and elements were the subjects of them.
Scarcely an object or power in nature, scarcely a faculty of the soul,
a virtue, a vice, or a condition of human life, has not received
idolatrous worship. See STARS. Some nations worshipped a rough stone.
Such is the black stone of the ancient Arabs, retained by Mohammed,
and now kept in the Caaba at Mecca.


It is impossible to ascertain the period at which the worship of false
gods and idols was introduced. No mentioned is made of such worship
before the deluge; though from the silence of Scripture we cannot
argue that it did not exist. Josephus and many of the fathers were of
opinion, that soon after the deluge idolatry became prevalent; and
certainly, whenever we turn our eyes after the time of Abraham, we see
only a false worship. That patriarch's forefathers, and even he
himself, were implicated in it, as is evident from Jos 24:2,14.


The Hebrews had no peculiar form of idolatry; they imitated the
superstitions of others, but do not appear to have been the inventors
of any. When they were in Egypt, many of them worshipped Egyptians
deities, Eze 20:8; in the wilderness, they worshipped those of the
Canaaites, Egyptians, Ammonites, and Moabites; in Judea, those of the
Phoenicians, Syrians, and other people around them, Nu 25:1-18 Jud
10:6 Am 5:25 Ac 7:42. Rachel, it may be, had adored idols at her
father Laban's, since she carried off his teraphim, Ge 31:30. Jacob
after his return from Mesopotamia, required his people to reject the
strange gods from among them and also the superstitious pendants worn
by them in their ears, which he hid under a terebinth near Shechem. He
preserved his family in the worship of God while he lived.


Under the government of the judges, "the children of Israel did evil
in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim. They forsook the Lord God
of their fathers, and served Baal and Ashtaroth," Jud 2:11,12. Gideon,
after he had been favored by God with a miraculous deliverance, made
an ephod, which ensnared the Israelites in unlawful worship, Jud 8:27.
Micah's teraphim also were the objects of idolatrous worship, even
till the captivity of Israel in Babylon, Jud 17:5 18:30,31. See
TERAPHIM.


During the times of Samuel, Saul, and David, the worship of God seems
to have been preserved pure in Israel. There was corruption and
irregularity of manners, but little or no idolatry. Solomon, seduced
by complaisance to his strange wives, caused temples to be erected in
honor of Ashtoreth goddess of the Phoenicians, Moloch god of the
Ammonites, and Chemosh god of the Moabites. Jeroboam, who succeeded
Solomon, set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel, and made Israel to
sin. The people, no longer restrained by royal authority, worshipped
not only these golden calves, but many other idols, particularly Baal
and Ashtoreth. Under the reign of Ahab, idolatry reached its height.
The impious Jezebel endeavored to extinguish the worship of the Lord,
by persecuting his prophets, (who, as a barrier, still retained some
of the people in the true religion), till God, incensed at their
idolatry, abandoned Israel to the kings of Assyria and Chaldea, who
transplanted them beyond the Euphrates. Judah was almost equally
corrupted. The descriptions given by the prophets of their
irregularities and idolatries, of their abominations and
lasciviousness on the high places and in woods consecrated to idols,
and of their human sacrifices, fill us with dismay, and unveil the
awful corruption of the heart of man. See MOLOCH. After the return
from Babylon, we do not find the Jews any more reproached with
idolatry. They expressed much zeal for the worship of God, and except
some transgressor under Antichus Epiphanes, the people kept themselves
clear from this sin.


As the maintenance of the worship of the only true God was one of the
fundamental objects of the Mosaic polity, and as God was regarded as
the king of the Israelitish nation, so we find idolatry, that is, the
worship of other gods, occupying, in the Mosaic law, the first place
in the list of crimes. It was indeed a crime, not merely against God,
but also against the fundamental law of the state, and thus a sort of
high treason. The only living and true God was also the civil
legislator and ruler of Israel, and accepted by them as their king;
and hence idolatry was a crime against the state, and therefore just
as deservedly punished with death, as high treason is in modern times.
By the Jewish law, an idolatrous city must be wholly destroyed, with
all it contained, De 13:12-18 17:2,5.


At the present day, idolatry, prevails over a great portion of the
earth, and is practiced by about 600,000,000 of the human race. Almost
all the heathen nations, as the Chinese, the Hindoos, the South Sea
islanders, etc., have their images, to which they bow down and
worship. In some lands professedly Christians, it is to be feared that
the adoration of crucifixes and paintings is nothing more nor less
than idol-worship. But when we regard idolatry in a moral point of
view, as consisting not merely in the external worship of false gods,
but in the preference of, and devotion to something else than the Most
High, how many Christians must then fall under this charge. Whoever
loves this world, or the pursuits of wealth or honor ambition, or
selfishness in any form, and for these forgets or neglects God and
Christ, such a one is an idolater in as bad sense at least as the
ancient Israelites, and cannot hope to escape an awful condemnation,
Col 3:5.


IDUMEA

The name given by the Greeks to the land of Edom, or mount Seir, which
extended originally from the Dead sea to the Elanitic gulf of the Red
sea, including a territory about on hundred miles long, and fifteen or
twenty wide. Afterwards is extended more into the south of Judah,
towards Hebron. A large part of it was occupied by the long chain of
mountains lying between the great sandy valley El-Ghor and El-Arabah
on the west, (see JORDAN), and the Arabian Desert on the east. The
northern part of this chain is now called Djebal, the ancient Gebal,
which see; the remainder of the chain takes the name Jebel Shera. The
whole chain is intersected with valleys and ravines, running down from
the elevated desert on the east to the Arabah on the west. It contains
traces of many towns and villages, long since destroyed, and many
springs, and fertile valleys with tokens of its former productiveness,
Ge 27:39. But at this day, desolation reigns. The capital of East
Idumaea was Bozra; but the chief capital of Edom was Petra, or Sela,
that is, the rock, because it was excavated in part from a mountain.
It is now called Wady Mousa, the valley of Moses. See SELA.


The original inhabitants of this country were called Horites, and were
dispossessed by the Idumaeans of history, Ge 14:6 36:21 De 12:2. The
true Idumaeans, or Edomites, were, as their name implies, descendants
of Edom, or Esau, elder brother of Jacob, Ge 36:6-9. They were
governed by dukes or princes, Ge 36:15, and afterwards by their own
kings, Ge 36:31. Compare Ex 15:15 Nu 20:14. On the approach of the
Israelites from Egypt to the western border of Edom, they were refused
a peaceful passage through that country to Moab. See EXODUS. They were
divinely charged, however, to preserve friendly relations with their
"brother" Esau, Nu 20:14-21 De 2:4-7 23:7. Yet, hostilities seemed
inevitable. Saul was involved in war with them, 1Sa 14:47; but they
continued independent till the time of David, who subdued them, in
completion of Isaac's prophecy, that Jacob should rule Esau, Ge 27:29
2Sa 8:14 1Ki 11:15 1Ch 18:11-13. The Idumaeans bore their subjection
with great impatience, and at the end of Solomon's reign, Hadad, an
Edomite prince who had been carried into Egypt during his childhood,
returned into his own country, where he pronounced himself to be
acknowledged king, 1Ki 11:14-22. It is probable, however, that he
reigned only in East Edom, 1Ki 22:47 2Ch 20:36; for Edom south of
Judea continued subject to the kings of Judah till the reign of
Jehoram, against who it rebelled, 2Ch 21:8, in fulfillment of the
second part of Isaac's prophecy, Ge 27:40. Amaziah king of Judah also
discomfited the Edomites, killed 1,000 men, and cast 10,000 more from
a precipice, 2Ki 14:7 2Ch 25:11,12. But these conquests were not
permanent. When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, the Idumaeans
joined him, and encouraged him to raze the very foundation of the
city; but their cruelty did not long continue unpunished. Many
predictions of the prophets foreshadowed Edom's real doom, Ob 1:1-21
Jer 49:7 Eze 25:17 Mal 1:3,4. Five years after the taking of
Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar humbled all the states around Judea,
particularly Idumaea, though he did not carry them captive; and
subsequently John Hyrcanus drove them from Southern Judea, into which
they had penetrated, entirely conquered them, and obliged them to
receive circumcision and law. They continued subject to the later
kings of Judea till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
Josephus informs us that 20,000 of them were summoned to aid in the
defense of that city, but gave themselves up to rapine and murder.
Ultimately, the Idumaeans were supplanted and absorbed by the
Nabathean, descendants of Nabaioth, a son of Ishmael. In the time of
their prosperity, the Edomites were numerous and powerful, devoted to
commerce by land and by sea, and also to agriculture and the raising
of cattle, Nu 20:17. But neither their strong rock-fortresses, Jer
49:16, nor their gods, 2Ch 25:20 could save that rich and salubrious
country from becoming a desert, and a striking monument to the truth
of prophecy.


ILLYRICUM

A country of Europe, lying east of the Adriatic sea, north of Epirus,
and west of Macedonian. It was anciently divided into Liburnia, now
Croatia, on the north, and Dalmatia on the south, which still retains
its name. See DALMATIA. The limits of Illyricaum varied much at
different times. It was reached by Paul, preaching the gospel of
Christ, and probably traversed in part, A. D. 57, Ro 15:19.


IMAGE

An exact and complete copy or counterpart of any thing. Christ is
called "the image of God," 2Co 4:4 Col 1:15 Heb 1:3, as being the same
in nature and attributes. The image of God in which man was created,
Ge 1:27 was in his spiritual, intellectual, and moral nature, in
righteousness and true holiness. The posterity of Adam were born in
his fallen, sinful likeness, Ge 5:3; and as we have borne the image of
sinful Adam, so we should be molded into the moral image of the
heavenly man Christ, 1Co 15:47-49 2Co 3:18.


"An image," Job 4:16, was that which seemed to the dreamer a reality.
The word sometimes appears to include, with the image, the idea of the
real object, Ps 73:20 Heb 10:1. It is usually applied in the Bible to
representations of false gods, painted, graven, etc., Da 3:1-30. All
use of images in religious worship was clearly and peremptorily
prohibited, Ex 20:4,5 De 16:22 Ac 17:16 Ro 1:23. Their introduction
into Christian churches, near the close of the fourth century, was at
first strenuously resisted. Now, however, they are universally used by
Papists: by most in a gross breach of the second commandment, and by
the best in opposition to both the letter and the spirit of the Bible,
Ex 20:4,5 32:4,5 De 4:15 Isa 40:18-31 Joh 4:23,24 Re 22:8,9.


The "chambers of imagery," in Eze 8:7-12, had their walls covered with
idolatrous paintings, such as are found on the still more ancient
stone walls of Egyptian temples, and such as modern researches have
disclosed in Assyrian ruins. See NINEVEH.


IMMANUEL

See EMMANUEL.


IMMORTALITY

In God, is underived and absolute: "who only hath immorality." In
creatures, it is dependent upon the will of God. The immortality of
the soul is argued from its boundless desires and capacities, is
unlimited improvement, its desert of future punishment or reward, etc.
All arguments, however, are unsatisfying without the testimony of
Scripture. Christ "hath brought life and immortality to light through
the gospel," 2Ti 1:10: the immortal blessedness of Christians,
including the resurrection of the body, is by virtue of their union
with Christ, Jos 14:15. The everlasting woe of the wicked, the
punishment of their sins, runs parallel with the eternal life of the
redeemed, Mt 25:46.


INCENSE

A dry, aromatic gum, exuding from a tree which grows in Arabia and
India. It is called also frankincense, from the freedom with which
when burning it gives forth its odors. Other spices were mixed with it
to make the sacred incense, the use of which for any other purpose was
strictly forbidden, Ex 30:34-38. To offer incense, among the Hebrews,
was an officer peculiar to the priests; for which purpose they entered
into the holy apartment of the temple every morning and evening. On
the great day of expiation, the high-priest burnt incense in his
censer as he entered the Holy of Holies, and the smoke which arose
from it prevented his looking with too much curiosity on the ark and
mercy seat, Le 16:13. The Levites were not permitted to touch the
censers; and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram suffered a terrible punishment
for violating this prohibition. Incense was especially a symbol of
prayer. While it was offered, the people prayed in the court without,
and their prayers ascended with the sweet odor of the incense, until
the priest returned and gave the blessing. So Christ presents his
people and their prayers to God, accepted through his merits and
intercession, and gives them the blessing, "Your sins are forgiven; go
in peace," Ps 141:2 Lu 2:9 Re 5:8 8:4. "Incense" sometimes signifies
the sacrifices and fat of victims, as no other kind of incense was
offered on the altar of burnt-offerings, Ps 66:15. For a description
of the altar of incense, see ALTAR.


INDIA

Es 1:1 8:9, the country lying east of the ancient Persia and Bactria,
so named from the river Indus which passed through it. The India of
the ancients extended more to the north and west than modern India;
and the southern region, now best known to us, was comparatively
unknown until the era of modern navigation.


INHERITANCE

The laws of inheritance among the Hebrews were very simple. Land might
be mortgaged, but could not be alienated, Nu 36:6-9. See JUBILEE. The
only permanent right to property was by heritage, or lineal
succession. The eldest son had a double portion. Females had no
territorial possession; but if a man left no sons, his daughters
inherited-on condition of their marrying into a family within the
tribe to which their father belonged. If a man had no children, his
land passed to distant relatives, according to a law laid down in Nu
27:8-11. The Law of Moses rendered wills unnecessary; they were
introduced, however, at a later period, Ga 3:15 Heb 9:17. Property was
sometimes distributed among children during the lifetime of the
father: thus, in the parable of the prodigal son, the father divided
his property between the two sons, Lu 15:12.


INK

Jer 36:18. The ink of the ancients was thick and durable, and
resembled our printer's ink. The ordinary materials were powdered
charcoal, or ivory black, water, and gum. The black matter of the
scuttle-fish was also used. Writers carried their inkhorns within, or
suspended from, their girdles, Eze 9:2. See GIRDLE.


INNS

There appear to be three descriptions of these buildings in the East.
Some are simply places of rest, (by the side of a fountain, if
possible), which, being at proper distances on the road, are thus
named, though they are mere naked walls; others have an attendant, who
subsists either by some charitable donation, or the benevolence of
passengers; and others are more considerable establishments, where
families reside to take care of them, and furnish many necessary
provisions.


INSPIRATION

That supernatural influence exerted on the minds of the sacred writers
by the Spirit of God, in virtue of which they unerringly declared his
will. Whether what they wrote was previously familiar to their own
knowledge, or, as in many cases it must have been, an immediate
revelation from heaven; whether his influence in any given case was
dictation, suggestion, or superintendence; and however clearly we may
trace in their writings the peculiar character, style, mental
endowments, and circumstances of each; yet the whole of the Bible was
written under the unerring guidance of the Holy Ghost, 2Ti 3:16.


Christ everywhere treats the Old Testament Scripture as infallibly
true, and of divine authority-the word of God. To the New Testament
writers inspiration was promised, Mt 10:19,20 Joh 14:26 16:13; and
they wrote and prophesied under its direction, 1Co 2:10-13 14:37 Ga
1:12 2Pe 1:21 3:15 Re 1:1,10-19.


INTERCESSION

Christ's appearing before the throne in heaven as the Advocate of his
people, presenting his finished work as the reason why their prayers
should be heard and their persons accepted in him, Isa 53:12 Ro 8:34
Heb 7:25 9:24 1Jo 2:1. In thus pleading for sinners as the one
Mediator, his work is perfect; it precludes all help a virgin, saints,
or angels; and will certainly prevail. The Holy Spirit in the hearts
of believers is said to intercede for them, Ro 8:26, when he puts
words into their mouths, and holy desires into their hearts, such as
they would otherwise fail of, but which are according to the will of
God and acceptable to him through Christ.


INTERPRETATION

Revealing the true meaning of supernatural dreams, Ge 41:1-57 Da 2:4,
unknown tongues, etc., 1Co 12:12,30 14:5,13.


For the right interpretation of the word of God, the chief requisites
are, a renewed heart, supremely desirous to learn and do the will of
God; the aid of the Holy Spirit, sought and gained; a firm conviction
that the word of God should rule the erring season and heart of man; a
diligent comparison of its different parts, for the light they throw
upon each other; all reliable information as to the history and
geography, the customs, laws, and languages, the public, domestic, and
inner life of Bible times. Thus to study the Bible for one's self is
the privilege and duty of every one.


IRON

Was early known and wrought, Ge 4:22. Moses often alludes to it. He
compares the bondage in Egypt to a furnace for smelting iron, and
speaks of the iron ore of Canaan, De 3:11 4:20 8:9. Many different
articles and tools were anciently made of it. Immense quantities were
provided for the building of the temple, 1Ch 29:2,7. "Iron" is used to
illustrated slavery, strength, obstinacy, fortitude, affliction, etc.,
De 28:48 Job 40:18 Isa 48:4 Jer 1:18 Eze 22:18,20 Da 2:33. "Iron
sharpeneth iron," that is, the presence of a friend gives us more
confidence and assurance. God threatens his ungrateful and perfidious
people that he will make the heaven brass and the earth iron; that is,
make the earth barren, and the heaven to produce no rain. Chariots of
iron are chariots armed with iron spikes and scythes. See CHARIOTS.


ISAAC

Laughter, Ge 17:17 18:12 21:6, one of the patriarchal ancestors of the
Hebrew nation and of Christ, son of Abraham and Sarah, B. C.
1896-1705. His history is related in Ge 21:1-34 24:1-28:22 35:27-29.
He is memorable for the circumstances attending his birth, as a child
of prophecy and promise, in the old age of his parents. Even in
childhood he was the object of dislike to his brother Ishmael, son of
the bondwoman; and in this, a type of all children of the promise, Ga
4:29. Trained in the fear of God to early manhood, he showed a noble
trust and obedience in his conduct during that remarkable trail of
faith which established Abraham as the "father of the faithful;" and
in his meek submission to all the will of God, prefigured the
only-begotten Son of the Father. At the age of forty, he married the
pious and lovely Rebekah of Mesopotamia. Most of his life was spent in
the southern part of Canaan and its vicinity. At the burial of his
father, he as joined by his outcast brother Ishmael. Two sons of Isaac
are named in Scripture. The partiality of the mother for Jacob, and of
the father for Esau, led to unhappy jealousies, discord, sin, and long
separations between the brothers, though all were overruled to
accomplish the purposed of God. At the age of one hundred and
thirty-seven, Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away into Mesopotamia.
At the age of one hundred and eighty, he died, and was buried in the
tomb of Abraham by his two sons. In his natural character, Isaac was
humble, tranquil, and meditative; in his piety, devout, full of faith,
and eminently submissive to the will of God.


ISAIAH

The son of Amoz, (not Amos), one of the most distinguished of the
Hebrew prophets. He began to prophesy at Jerusalem towards the close
of the reign of Uzziah, about the year 759 B. C., and exercised the
prophetical office some sixty years, under the three following
monarchs, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, Isa 1:1. Compare 2Ki 15:1-20:21
2Ch 26:1-32:33. The first twelve chapters of his prophecies refer to
the kingdom of Judah; then Isa 13:1-23:18, directed against foreign
nations, except Isa 22:1-23, against Jerusalem. In Isa 24:1-35:10,
which would seem to belong to the time of Hezekiah, the prophet
appears to look forward in prophetic vision to the times of the exile
and of the Messiah. Isa 36:1-39:8 gives a historical account to
Sennacherib's invasion, and of the advice given by Isaiah to Hezekiah.
This account is parallel to that in 2Ki 18:13-20:19; and indeed Isa
37:1-38 is almost word for word with 2Ki 19:1-37. The remainder of the
book of Isaiah, Isa 40:1-66:24, contains a series of oracles referring
to the future times of temporal exile and deliverance, and expanding
into glorious views of the spiritual deliverance to be wrought by the
Messiah.


Isaiah seems to have lived and prophesied wholly at Jerusalem; and
disappears from history after the accounts contained in Isa 39:1-8. A
tradition among the Talmudist and fathers relates that he was sawn
asunder during the reign of Manasseh, Heb 11:37; and this tradition is
embodied in an apocrtphal book, called the "ascension of Isaiah;" but
it seems to rest on no certain grounds.


Some commentators have proposed to divide the book of Isaiah
chronologically into three parts, as if composed under the three
kings, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. But this is of very doubtful
propriety; since several of the chapters are evidently transposed and
inserted out of their chronological order. But a very obvious and
striking division of the book into two parts exists; the first part,
including Isa 1:1-39:8, and the second, the remainder of the book, Isa
40:1-66:24.


The first part is made up of those prophecies and historical accounts
which Isaiah wrote during the period of his active exertions, when he
mingled in the public concerns of the rulers and the people, and acted
as the messenger of God to the nation in reference to their internal
and external existing relations. These are single prophecies,
published at different times, and on different occasions; afterwards,
indeed, brought together into one collection, but still marked as
distinct and single, either by the superscriptions, or in some other
obvious and known method.


The second part, on the contrary, is occupied wholly with the future.
It was apparently written in the later years of the prophet, when,
having left all active exertions in the theocracy to his younger
associates in the prophetical office, he transferred his
contemplations for the present to that which was to come. In this part
therefore, which was not, like the first, occasioned by external
circumstance, it is not so easy to distinguish in like manner between
the different single prophecies. The whole is more like a single gush
of prophecy. The prophet first consoles his people by announcing their
deliverance from the approaching Babylonish exile, which he had
himself predicted, Isa 39:6,7; he names the monarch whom Jehovah will
send to punish the insolence of their oppressors, and lead back the
people to their home. But he does not stop at this inferior
deliverance. With the prospect of freedom from the Babylonish exile,
he connects the prospect of deliverance from sin and error through the
Messiah. Sometimes both objects seem closely interwoven with each
other; sometimes one of them appears alone with particular clearness
and prominency. Especially is the view of the prophet sometimes so
exclusively directed upon the latter object, that, filled with the
contemplation of the glory of the spiritual kingdom of God and of its
exalted Founder, he loses sight for a time of the less distant future.
In the description of this spiritual deliverance also, the relations
of time are not observed. Sometimes the prophet beholds the Author of
this deliverance in his humiliation and sorrows; and again, the
remotest ages of the Messiah's kingdom present themselves to his
enraptured vision-when man, so long estranged from God, will have
again returned to him; when every thing opposed to God shall have been
destroyed, and internal and external peace universally prevail; and
when all the evil introduced by sin into the world, will be for ever
done away. Elevated above all space and time, the prophet contemplates
from the height on which the Holy Spirit has thus placed him, the
whole development of the Messiah's kingdom, from its smallest
beginnings to its glorious completion.


Isaiah is appropriately named "the evangelical prophet," and the
fathers called his book "the Gospel according to St. Isaiah." In it
the wonderful person and birth of "Emmanuel-God with us," his
beneficent life, his atoning death, and his triumphant and everlasting
kingdom, are minutely foretold, Isa 7:14-16 9:6-7 11:1-10 32:1-20
42:1-25 49:1-26 52:13-15 53:1-12 60:1-21 61:1-3. The simplicity,
purity, sweetness, and sublimity of Isaiah, and the fullness of his
predictions respecting the Messiah, give him the preeminence among the
Hebrew prophets and poets.


ISHBIBENOB

A giant who was on the point of killing David in battle, but was slain
by Abishai, 2Sa 21:16-17.


ISHBOSHETH

Son and successor of Saul. Abner, Saul's kinsman and general so
managed that Ishbosheth was acknowledged king at Mahanaim by the
greater part of Israel, while David reigned at Hebron over Judah. He
was forty-four years of age when he began to reign, and he reigned two
years peaceably; after which he was involved in a long and
unsuccessful war against David. Being abandoned by Abner, whom he had
provoked, he became more and more feeble, and was at last
assassinated, 2Sa 2:8-11 3:1-4:12. See ESHBAAL.


ISHMAEL

1. Ge 16:1-16 21:1-34, son of Abraham and Hagar, B. C. 1910. He was at
first regarded as "the son of the promise;" but after the birth and
weaning of Isaac he was driven from his father's house, at the age of
about seventeen, and took with his mother the way to Egypt her native
land. Overcome with heat and thirst, and then miraculously relieved,
he remained in the wilderness of Paran, took a wife from Egypt, and
was the father of twelve sons, heads of Arab tribes. He seems to have
become on friendly terms with Isaac, and to have attended at the
bedside of their dying father. At his own death, he was one hundred
and thirty-seven years old, Ge 25:9,17.


The Ishmaelites, his posterity, were said, in the days of Moses, to
dwell "from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt," that is, in the
northwestern part of Arabia. See HAVILAH 2. Subsequently they, with
the descendants of Joktan, the fourth from Shem, Ge 10:26-29, and
Jokshan, the son of Abraham by Keturah, Ge 25:3, and perhaps also of
some of the brethren of Joktan and Jokshan, occupied the whole
peninsula of Arabia. See ARABIA. They became very numerous and
powerful, according to the divine promise, Ge 17:16. The prediction
also in Ge 16:12, has been fully verified in their history. Located
near their "brethren" the Jews, they have always led a roving, wild,
and predatory life. To a great degree unchanged, they are to this day
the untamed though tributary masters of the desert. See MIDIANITES.


2. A prince of Judah, who fled to the Ammonites when Jerusalem was
destroyed by the Chaldeans. Soon after, he returned and assassinated
Gedaliah the governor and many others; but was obliged to flee for his
life, Jer 40:1-41:18.


ISLE, ISLAND

The Hebrew word which is more commonly translated isle, means strictly
dry land, habitable country, in opposition to water, or to seas and
rivers, Isa 42:15. Compare Isa 50:2. Hence, as opposed to water in
general, it means land adjacent to water, either washed or surrounded
by it, that is, maritime country, coast, island. Thus it means coast,
when used of Ashdod, Isa 20:6; of Tyre, Isa 23:2,6; of Peloponnesus,
or Greece, Eze 27:7; "the isles of Elishah." It means island when used
of Caphtor, for example, or Crete, Jer 47:4 2:10 Ps 97:1 Es 10:1,
where the phrase isles of the sea is in antithesis with the land or
continent. The plural of this word, usually translated islands, was
employed by the Hebrews to denote distant regions beyond the sea,
whether coasts or islands; and especially the islands and maritime
countries of the west, which had become indistinctly known to the
Hebrews, through the voyages of the Phoenicians, Isa 24:15 40:15
42:4,10,12 Ps 72:10. In Eze 27:15, the East Indian Archipelago would
seem to be intended.


ISRAEL

Who prevails with God, a name given to Jacob, after having wrestled
with the Angel-Jehovah at Penuel. Ge 32:1,2,28,30 Ho 12:3. See JACOB.
By the name Israel is sometimes understood all the posterity of
Israel, the seed of Jacob, 1Co 10:18; sometimes all true believers,
his spiritual seed, Ro 9:6; and sometimes the kingdom of Israel, or
the ten tribes, as distinct from the kingdom of Judah.


ISRAELITES

The "children of Israel," a name of the twelve tribes unitedly until
the separation under Rehoboam, when it became the usual designation of
the ten tribes forming the kingdom of Israel. Ephraim, the leading
tribe among the ten, seems to have shown an early spirit of rivalry
towards Judah; Joshua had belonged to Ephraim, the ark had long rested
within its borders at Shiloh, and Jeroboam was also an Ephraimite.
After the division, in order to prevent the ten tribes from repairing
to Jerusalem to worship, the two golden calves were set up, at Bethel
and Dan, and thus idolatry was established in those tribes, and
corruption and ungodliness increased more rapidly than in Judah.
Israel was chastised by sword, famine, etc.; and at length, having
been often reproved and hardening their necks, they were suddenly
destroyed, and that without remedy. During the two hundred and
fifty-four years of the kingdom of Israel, B. C. 975-721, there were
nineteen different kings, of various lines. See KINGS.


Shechem, Thirzah, and Samaria were in turn the seats of government.
After their captivity by Shalmaneser, the Israelites as a nation never
returned. Those who did return were merged in the tribes of Judah and
Benjamin, and with them constituted the Jews of our Savior's day. See
CANAAN, HEBREWS, and JUDAH.


ISSACHAR

Recompense, so named by Leah his mother, Ge 30:18, the ninth son of
Jacob, born B. C. 1749. The character of his posterity was foretold by
Jacob and by Moses, Ge 49:14,15 De 33:18,19.


The TRIBE OF ISSACHAR numbered fifty-four thousand men in the desert,
and on entering Canaan was the third in population, Nu 1:28 26:25.
Their portion, having the Jordan on the east, Manasseh on the west,
Zebulun north, and Ephraim south, included a considerable part of the
fine plain Esdraelon, the most fertile in the country. They were
industrious agriculturists, and are mentioned with honor for their
brave and wise patriotism, Jud 5:15 1Ch 7:15 12:32.


ITALY

Not mentioned in the Old Testament, unless under general terms, as
Chittim, Isles of the sea. In the New Testament, Ac 18:2 27:1,6 Heb
13:24, it is chiefly of interest on account of ROME, ROMANS, which
see. The Italian band, mentioned in Ac 10:1, was probably a Roman
cohort from Italy, stationed at Cesarea; so called to distinguish it
from the other troops, which were drawn from Syria and the adjacent
regions.


ITHAMAR

The fourth son of Aaron, consecrated to the priesthood, Ex 6:23 Nu
3:2,3. His posterity took charge of the tabernacle in the wilderness,
Ex 38:21 Nu 4:28. Some of this line, namely, Eli, Ahitub, Ahiah,
Ahimelech, and Abiathar, held the office of high priest, but under
Solomon it reverted to the family of Eleazar, 1Ki 2:7. See ABIATHAR.


ITUREA

A region in the extreme northeast of Palestine, perpetuating the name
of Jetur a son of Ishmael, and belonging to the half-tribe of
Manasseh, 1Ch 1:31; 5:19. The name of Jedur still remains there. In
the time of Christ, Iturea was in the tetrarchy of Philip, Lu 3:1. It
lay about midway between the Sea of Galilee and Damascus, but its
limits are not well known. Its inhabitants are said to have been
skillful archers and dexterous robbers.


IVORY

Mentioned in the reign of Solomon, and referred to in Ps 45:1-17, as
used in decorating palaces. Solomon, who traded to India, brought
thence elephants and ivory to Judea. "For the king had at sea a navy
of Tarshish, with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy
of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver and ivory," 1Ki 10:22 2Ch 9:21.
Solomon had a throne decorated with ivory, and inlaid with gold, these
beautiful materials relieving the splendor and heightening the luster
of each other, 1Ki 10:18. Ivory, as is well known, is the substance of
the tusks of elephants, and hence it is always called in Hebrew,
tooth.


As to the "ivory houses," 1Ki 22:39 Am 3:15, they may have had
ornaments of ivory, as they sometimes have of gold, silver, or other
precious materials, in such abundance as to be named from the article
of their decoration; as the emperor Nero's palace was named aurea, or
golden, because overlaid with gold. This method of ornamenting
buildings or apartments was very ancient among the Greeks, and is
mentioned by Homer. See Eze 27:6,15 Am 6:4 Re 18:12.


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