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MAACAH OR MAACHAH
1. A city and region of Syria or Aram, 1Ch 19:6; somewhere near the
foot of mount Hermon, and Geshur. The portion of Manesseh beyond
Jordan reached to this country, like that of Og king of Bashan, De
3:13,14; but it does not appear to have become subject to Israel, Jos
12:4-6 13:13, except during the reign of David, Solomon, and Jeroboam
II. The king of Maachah, with other Syrians, joined the Ammonites in a
war with David, and were defeated and made tributary, 2Sa 10:6-8,19.
2. A wife of David, and the mother of Absalom. She was a daughter of
Talmai, king of Geshur in Syria, 2Sa 3:3.
3. The wife of Rehoboam and mother of Abijah, kings of Judah. She is
called the "daughter" of Abishalom or Absalom, 1Ki 15:2 2Ch 11:20-22.
In 2Ch 13:2, she is called Michaiah, and is said to be the daughter of
Uriel. She appears to have exerted a great influence over the members
of the royal family; but was degraded from her high position, by Asa
her grandson, for promoting idolatry, 2Ch 15:16.
Six others of the same name are mentioned, in Ge 22:24 1Ki 2:39 1Ch
2:48 7:16 11:43 27:16.
A large country lying north of Greece proper, bounded south by
Thessaly and Epirus, east by Thrace and the Aegean sea, west by the
Adriatic Sea and Illyria, and north by Dardania and Moesia. Its
principal rivers were the Strymon and Axius. Its most celebrated
mountains were Olympus and Athos: the former renowned in heathen
mythology as the residence of the gods, lying on the confines of
Thessaly, and principally within the state; the latter being at the
extremity of a promontory which juts out into the Aegean sea, and
noted in modern times as the seat of several monasteries, in which are
many manuscripts supposed to be valuable. This region is believed to
have been peopled by Kittim, Ge 10:4; but little is known of its early
history. The Macedonian Empire is traced back some four hundred years
before the Famous Philip, under whom, and especially under his son
Alexander the Great, it reached the summit of its power. Alexander, B.
C. 336-323, at the head of Macedonians and Greeks united, conquered a
large part of western and southern Asia.
This power was foretold by Daniel, Da 8:3-8, under the symbol of a
goat with one horn; and it is worthy of note that ancient Macedonian
coins still exist, bearing that national symbol. After the death of
Alexander, the power of the Macedonians declined, and they were at
length conquered by the Romans under Paulus Emilius, B. C. 168, who
divided their country into four districts. The Romans afterwards
divided the whole of Greece and Macedonia into two great provinces,
which they called Macedonia and Achaia, B. C. 142, Ro 15:26 2Co 9:2.
In the New Testament the name is probably to be taken in this latter
sense. Of the cities of Macedonia proper, there are mentioned in the
New Testament, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Berea, Neapolis, Philippi, and
Thessalonica. This country early received the gospel, A. D. 55, Paul
having been summoned to labor there by a supernatural vision, Ac 16:9
20:1. Its fertile soil is now languishing under the Turkish sway.
1. A son of Manasseh, Ge 50:23. His posterity were active in the
conquest of Gilead, Nu 32:39; Jos 17:1; and in the war with Jabin and
Sisera, Jud 5:14.
2. A friend of Mephibosbeth, the son of Jonathan, 2Sa 9:4,5.
The field and cave purchased by Abraham for a family tomb. Sarah was
first buried there, Ge 23:1-20; and afterwards Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
with Rebekah, Leah, etc., Ge 49:30 50:13. See HEBRON.
The third son of Japheth, ancestor of the Medes, etc., Ge 10:2.
A city near Gaza, first assigned to Judah, and afterwards to Simeon,
Jos 15:31 1Ch 2:49.
An unknown place in Moab, Jer 48:2.
A town not far from Jerusalem, site not known, Isa 10:31.
The ancient Migdal-el in the border of Naphtali, Jos 19:38; now a
small Turkish village called Medjel. It lay near the shore of the Sea
of Galilee, at its most westerly point, three miles northwest of
Tiberias; in the southern part of a small plain on which stood also
Capernaum at the other end, and Dalmanutha in its immediate vicinity,
Mt 15:39; Mr 8:10. Mary Magdalene was born, or resided, at Magdala;
and it was the seat of a Jewish school after Jerusalem was destroyed.
MAGI OR WISE MEN
An appellation given among the Medes and Persians to a class of
priests, wise men, philosophers, etc., who devoted themselves to the
study of the moral and physical sciences, and particularly cultivated
astrology and medicine. They alone performed the religious rites, and
pretended to communicate to men secret things, future events, and the
will of the gods. See MEDIA. As they thus acquired great honor and
influence, they were introduced into the courts of kings and consulted
on all occasions. They also accompanied the army in warlike
expeditions; and so much importance was attached to their advice and
opinions, that nothing was attempted without their approbation. A
similar class of men existed in Babylon, Egypt, Arabia, etc. The book
of Daniel shows in what high estimation they were held in Babylon,
Daniel was appointed master of the wise men; but their jealousy of his
wisdom and their hatred of his religion, as well as the terms in which
they are spoken of in Isa 47:13,14 Da 2:9,27, show that as a class
they were destitute of true wisdom.
Not so those who came "from the East" to salute and adore the infant
Jesus, Mt 2:1-12. The captivity of the Jews beyond the Euphrates had
dispersed throughout the East much knowledge of the true God; and
these philosophers and astronomers, in their search after wisdom, had
found and believed the prophecies respecting the Messiah, and were
divinely guided to his presence at Bethlehem. See STAR STAR. In them,
the science and philosophy of the heathen world laid their homage at
the feet of Christ. Compare Ps 72:10,11 Isa 60:1-3.
In the Bible, all the superstitious ceremonies of magicians,
sorcerers, enchanters, necromancers, spiritualists, exorcists,
astrologers, soothsayers, interpreters of dreams, fortune-tellers,
casters of nativities, etc., which are all forbidden by the law of
God, whether practiced to hurt or to benefit mankind. It was also
forbidden to consult magicians on pain of death, Le 19:31 20:6. See
ENCHANTMENTS and SORCERERS.
In the title of Ps 53:1; 88:1, is conjectured to refer to the tune or
the instrument used in chanting these Psalms; or a Gengstenberg and
Alexander suggest, the spiritual malady which they lament.
Two hosts, a place so named because a host of angels here met the host
of Jacob, on his return from Padan-aram, Ge 32:1-2. It lay north of
the Jabbok and near Penuel, and afterwards became a Levitical city in
the tribe of Gad, Jos 21:38. It was apparently a town of some
strength; for Ishbosheth lived there during his short reign, and David
took refuge there during Absalom's rebellion, 2Sa 2:8 17:24,27.
Haste, spoil, speed to the prey, the name given by Isaiah to one of
his sons, for a prophetic intimation of the speedy victory of the
Assyrians over Syria and Israel, Isa 8:1-3.
A son of Elimelech and Naomi, and the first husband of Ruth the
Moabites, Ru 1:1-22.
A chief city of the Canaanites, near which five confederate kings were
defeated, taken in the cave to which they had fled, and executed. It
lay in the vicinity of Libnah, Azekah, and Lachish, southwest of
Jerusalem, in the tribe of Judah, Jos 10:10-28; 12:16; 15:41.
Zep 1:11, apparently in or near Jerusalem, and occupied by merchants;
but we have no clue to its location.
The last of the minor prophets, and of all the Old Testament writers;
so little known, that it is doubted by some, though without sufficient
reason, whether his name be a proper name, or only a generical one,
signifying the angel of the Lord that is, a messenger, a prophet, Hag
1:13; Mal 3:1. Malachi most probably prophesied about B. C. 416, in
the latter part of the administration of Negemiag, and after Haggai
and Zechariah, at a time of great disorder among the priests and
people of Judah, whom her reproves. He inveighs against the priests;
reproves the people for having taken strange wives, for inhumanity to
their brethren, for divorcing their wives, and for neglect of paying
tithes and first fruits. He seems to allude to the covenant that
Nehemiah renewed with the lord, together with the priests and chief of
the nation. In the latter part he foretells the coming of John the
Baptist in the spirit and power of Elijah, Mal 3:1; 4:5,6; Mt
11:10,14; 17:10-13; Lu 1:17. He also foretells the two-fold coming of
Christ, and the blessedness of those who fear and serve him. Thus the
Old Testament closes with Predictions of the Messiah, and the New
Testament opens with the record of their fulfillment.
The servant whose right ear was cut off by Peter and miraculously
restored by Christ, in Gethsemane, Mt 26:51. The seizure of the Savior
immediately after two manifestations of his divinity, Lu 22:51; Joh
18:6, evinces the blindness and obstinacy of mankind in sin.
Job 30:4, supposed by Bochart to signify the plant called Orach, the
Atriplex Halimus of Linnaeus. It somewhat resembles lettuce, and its
young leaves are used in the East, either green or boiled, as food, by
A Chaldee word signifying riches. Our Savior says we cannot serve God
and Mammon, Mt 6:24. Wealth is as truly an idol to those who set their
hearts on it, as Jupiter or Diana; and no idolater can enter heaven.
He also charges us, from the example of the unjust steward, so to use
worldly goods, which are generally sought and used sinfully - "the
unrighteous mammon" - as to have God the Judge our friend, and receive
the true riches in heaven, Lu 16:9,11.
An Amorite prince, brother of Eshcol and Aner. All three united their
forces to aid Abraham in the rescue of Lot, Ge 14:1-24. He gave his
name to the town where he dwelt, afterwards Hebron, in the suburbs of
which was a large terebinth-tree, or grove, (see OAK), called in the
English Bible "the plain of Mamre." Here Abraham and his descendants
often pitched their tents, Ge 13:18 18:1. The cave of Machpelah was
adjacent to Mamre on the east, Ge 23:17,19 49:30; and from the heights
nearby, Abraham could see the smoking plain of Sodom, Ge 19:27,28.
MAN OF SIN
A foster-brother of Herod Antipas, but unlike him in character and
end: Manaen was a minister of Christ at Antioch; Herod was guilty of
the blood of both Christ and his forerunner, Ac 13:1. "One shall be
taken, and another left."
1. The eldest son of Joseph, born in Egypt. His descendants
constituted a full tribe. This was divided in the promised land: one
part having settled east of the Jordan, in the country of Bashan, from
the river Jabbok northwards; and the other west of the Jordan, between
Ephraim and Issachar, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
It was far inferior to Ephraim in wealth and power, according to the
prediction of Jacob, Ge 41:50,51 48:1-22 Jos 16:10.
2. The son and impious successor of the good Hezekiah, king of Judah.
He began to reign at twelve years old, B. C. 698, and reigned
fifty-five years. For his shocking idolatries, tyranny, and cruelties,
God suffered him to be carried as a prisoner to Babylon in the
twenty-second year of his reign, probably by Esarhaddon king of
Assyria. Here, however, he so humbled himself that God moved the
Assyrians to restore him to his throne, as a tributary; and
thenceforth he set himself to undo the evil he had done. He abolished
the idols he had worshipped and the diviners he had consulted;
accomplished many reforms for the spiritual and material good of his
kingdom; repaired the defenses of Jerusalem, enclosing with Ophel on
the southeast; and strengthened the walled cities of Judah. After a
reign longer than that of any other king of Judah, he died in peace
and was buried in Jerusalem, 2Ki 21:1-26 2Ch 33:24.
Hebrew Dudaim, Ge 30:14-16 So 7:13, a plant to which was attributed,
probably without reason, the power of rendering barren women fruitful.
According to most of the ancient versions, it was the Atropa
Mandragora of Linnaeus, a plant of the genus Belladonna, with a root
like a beet, white and reddish blossoms, and fragrant yellow apples,
which ripen from May to July. But this opinion is uncertain.
A Hebrew weight of sixty shekels, Eze 45:12.
The miraculous food given by God to the Israelites during their
wanderings in the desert. It was a small grain, white like hoarfrost,
round, and of the size of coriander-seed, Ex 16:1-36 Nu 11:1-35. It
fell every morning, with the dew, about the camp of the Israelites,
and in so great quantities during the whole forty years of their
journey in the wilderness, that it was sufficient to serve the entire
multitude instead of bread, Ex 16:35 De 29:5,6 Jos 5:12. It is nowhere
said that the Israelites had no other food, that numerous flocks and
herds accompanied the camp of Israel is clear from many passages.
Certainly the daily sacrifices were offered, and no doubt to her
offerings affording animal food on which the priests and Levites
subsisted, according to their offices.
When manna was first sent the Israelites "knew not what it was," and
"said one to another", MAN-HU MAN-HU, which means, What is it? Most
interpreters think that form the frequent repetition of this inquiry
the name MAN MAN or manna arose. Burckhardt says, that in the valleys
around Sinai a species of manna is still found, dropping from the
sprigs of several trees, but principally from the tamarisk, in the
month of June. It is collected by the Arabs, who make cakes of it, and
call it honey of betrouk. See Ex 16:31. Since his time it has been
ascertained by Dr. Ehrenburg that the exudation of this manna is
occasioned by an insect, which he has particularly described. Besides
this substance and the manna of commerce, which is used as a laxative
medicine, and is produced by the ash-trees of southern Europe, several
other vegetable products in Arabia, Persia, etc., of similar origin
and qualities, are known by the same name. It is in vain, however, to
seek to identify with any of these the manna of the Israelites, which
was evidently a special provision for them, beginning and terminating
with their need of it. It was found, not on trees and shrubs, but on
"the face of the wilderness" wherever they went; and was different in
its qualities from any now known by that name, being dry enough to
grind and bake like grain, but breeding worms on the second day. It
was miraculous in the amount that fell, for the supply of millions; in
not falling on the Sabbath; in falling in double quantities the
previous day; and in remaining fresh during the Sabbath. By these last
three peculiarities God miraculously attested the sanctity of the
Sabbath, as dating from the creation and not from Mount Sinai.
Moreover, a specimen of manna as laid up in a golden vase in the ark
of the covenant in memory of a substance which would otherwise have
perished, Heb 9:4.
In Ps 78:24-25, manna is called "angels' food" and "corn of heaven,"
in token of its excellence, and that it came directly from the hand of
God. The people gathered on an average about three quarts for each
man. They who gathered more than they needed, shared it freely with
others; it could not be hoarded up: and thus, as Paul teaches us, 2Co
8:13-15, it furnishes for all men a lesson against hoarding the
earthly and perishable gifts of God, and in favor of freely imparting
to our brethren in need.
This great boon of God to the Israelites also offers many striking
analogies, illustrative of "the true Bead" which came down form heaven
to rebellious and perishing man, Joh 6:31-58 Re 2:17. Like the manna,
Christ descends from above around the camp of his church in daily
abundant supplies, to meet the wants of every man.
A native of Zorah, in the tribe of Dan, and the father of Samson, Jud
13:14; 16:31. In the prediction of his son's birth and achievements,
we see the Angel of the covenant, who appeared to Abraham, Gideon,
etc., and who never slumbers nor sleeps, caring for his oppressed
people. So, too, he appeared to Jacob, and would not tell his
mysterious name, Ge 32:29; Jud 13:18; Isa 9:6; Lu 13:34.
See REFUGE, CITIES OF.
A town in the edge of the hill-country of Judah, Jos 15:55, near which
Nabal lived and David took refuge from Saul, 1Sa 23:24- 25; 25:2. Dr
Robinson finds it the ruinous place called Main, seven miles south by
east from Hebron.
Called MEHUNIM in 2Ch 26:7, an Arabian tribe, named with the
Amalekintes and other foes of Israel. Their abode may have been near
the place now called Maan, nearly east of Petra, on the Haj route from
Damascus to Mecca. Uzziah defeated them.
Bitterness, a well near the Red Sea, three days' journey from the
point where the Israelites crossed it. The well was sweetened for the
use of the distressed Hebrews by the miraculous efficacy imparted to
the branches of a certain tree which Moses threw in, Ex 15:23-25. No
plant is now known possessed of such a quality. The name Amarah now
marks the dry bed of a wintry torrent, a little south of which is a
well called Hawara, which answers well to the description. Its water,
after remaining a few seconds in the mouth, becomes exceedingly
nauseous. The Arabs do not drink it though their camels will. See also
Composed of two Syriac words, signifying "the Lord cometh." See
A town in Judah, Jos 15:44, fortified by Rehobaoam, 2Ch 11:8, and the
birthplace of Micah. In a valley near by, Asa defeated Zerah with an
immense host of Ethiopians, 2Ch 14:9-13. It probably lay on the
western border of Judah, just south of Eleutheropolis.
MARK OR MARCUS
The writer of one of the four gospels. See GOSPELS. There can be
little doubt of the correctness of the general opinion of learned men,
that he is the same person who is mentioned by the names of John and
Mark in Ac 12:12,25 13:5,13, and as the cousin and disciple of
Barnabas, Col 4:10. He was also the companion of Paul and Barnabas in
their journey through Greece to Antioch, Perga, and Pamphylia, at
which last place he left them and returned to Jerusalem, much to the
dissatisfaction of Paul, Ac 13:5, etc.; Ac 15:37-39. Yet he labored
faithfully with Barnabas at Cyprus, and Paul mentions him, when in
captivity at Rome, as one of those who were associated with him, Col
4:10-11 2Ti 4:11 Phm 1:24. He afterwards accompanied Peter also to
Babylon. As he was the son of that Mary at whose house in Jerusalem
the apostles were wont to convene, so it is probable that he was
particularly instructed in the doctrines of Christianity by Peter, who
on the account calls him son, 1Pe 5:13. Compare 1Ti 1:2 2Ti 1:2.
In Greek AGORA, in Latin FORUM, a large open area in many ancient
cities, especially of Greece and Rome, having the public market on one
side only, the other sides of the are being occupied by temples,
theatres, colonnades, courts of justice, baths, and other public
structures, the whole square often presenting a magnificent
Here was the city exchange, the focus to which converged all the lines
of public life. Hither laborers resorted in search of employment, Mt
20:3-7, and children to pursue their sports, Lu 7:32. Here the
ordinary assemblies of the people were held; here philosophers and
statesmen met and debated; here laws were promulgated and news
announced; hither men resorted for pleasure as well as for business.
The most notable public men, and indeed all classes of citizens, here
congregated; and what was done here was done before the whole city.
Hence the proud Pharisees desired "greeting in the market places," Mt
12:38; and Paul resorted to the agora at Athens to meet and convince
the philosophers, Ac 17:17; and the masters of the damsel at Philippi
exorcised by Paul and Silas, "drew them into the market place unto the
rulers," Ac 16:19.
The union for life of one man and one woman, is an ordinance of the
Creator for the perpetuity and happiness of the human race; instituted
in Paradise, Ge 1:27-28 2:18-24, and the foundation of no small part
of all that is valuable to human society. By promoting parental love
and the sense of responsibility, marriage most effectually promotes
the health and happiness of children, and their careful education to
virtue, industry, and honor, to right habits and ends, and to all that
is included in the idea of home. God made originally but one man and
one woman. The first polygamists were Lamech and those degenerate
"sons of God," or worshippers of Jehovah, who "took them wives of all
that they chose," Ge 4:17 6:2. On the other hand, Noah and his three
sons had each but one wife; and the same appears to be true of all his
direct ancestors' back to Adam. So also was it with Job, Nahor, Lot,
and at first with Abraham. See CONCUBINE. In after-times a plurality
of wives became more common among the Hebrews, and the Scriptures
afford numerous illustrations of its evil results, Ge 16:16 Jud 8:30
2Sa 3:3-5 1Ki 11:18 2Ch 11:18-21 13:21. In the time of Christ there is
no mention of polygamy as prevalent among the Jews.
The Israelites were forbidden to marry within certain specified
degrees, Le 18:1-30,1-27 De 27:1-26. Marriage with Canaanites and
idolaters was strictly forbidden, Ex 34:16; and afterwards with any of
the heathen nations around them, especially such as were
uncircumcised, Ne 13:1-31. By the Levirate law, as it is termed, if a
Jew died without children, his nearest brother or kinsman was bound to
marry the widow, that her firstborn son after this marriage might be
reckoned the son and heir of the first husband, Ge 38:1-30 De 25:5-10
Mt 22:23-26. The Savior set his seal to marriage as a divine and
permanent institution, aside from all the civil laws which guard and
regulate, or seek to alter or annul it; forbidding divorce except for
one cause, Mt 5:32 19:3-6,9; and denouncing all breaches of marriage
vows, even in thought, Mt 5:28. Compare Heb 13:4 Re 21:8.
Jewish parents were wont to arrange with other parents as to the
marriage of their children, sometimes according to the previous choice
of the son, and not without some regard to the consent of the
daughter, Ge 21:21 24:1-67 34:4-6 Jud 14:2-3. The parties were often
betrothed to each other long before the marriage took place. See
BETROTHING. A dowry was given by the suitor to the parents and
brethren of the bride, Ex 22:13 De 22:29 2Sa 13:11. The nuptials were
often celebrated with great pomp and ceremony, and with protracted
feasting and rejoicing. It was customary for the bridegroom to appoint
a Paranymphus, or groomsman, called by our Savior "the friend of the
bridegroom," John 3.29. A number of other young men also kept him
company during the days of the wedding, to do him honor; as also young
women kept company with the bride all this time. The companions of the
bridegrooms are expressly mentioned in the history of Samson, Jud
14:11,20 So 5:1 8:13 Mt 9:14; also the companions of the bride, Ps
45:9,14 So 1:5 2:7 3:5 8:4. The office of the groomsman was to direct
in the ceremonies of he wedding. The friends and companions of the
bride sang the epithalamium, or wedding song, at the door of the bride
the evening before the wedding. The festivities of the wedding were
conducted with great decorum, the young people of each sex being in
distinct apartments and at different tables. The young men at Samson's
wedding diverted themselves in proposing riddles, and the bridegroom
appointed the prize to those should could explain them, Jud 14:14.
The Jews affirm, that before Jerusalem was laid in ruins, the
bridegroom and bride wore crowns at their marriage. Compare Isa 61:10
So 3:11, "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon
with the crown wherewith his mother, crowned him in the day of his
espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart." The modern
Jews, in some places, throw handfuls of wheat on the newly married
couple, particularly on the bride, saying "Increase and multiply." In
other places they mingle pieces of money with the wheat, which are
gathered up by the poor. The actual ceremony of marriage was very
simple, consisting of little more than the reading of the marriage
contract, Pr 2:17 Mal 2:14, and the nuptial blessing invoked by the
friends, Ge 24:60 Ru 4:11,12.
The wedding festivities commonly lasted seven days for a maid, and
three days for a widow. So Laban says to Jacob, respecting Leah,
"Fulfill her week," Ge 29:27. The ceremonies of Samson's wedding
continued seven whole days, Jud 14:17,18. These seven days of
rejoicing were commonly spent in the house of the woman's father,
after which they conducted the bride to her husband's home.
The procession accompanying the bride from the house of her father to
that of the bridegroom, was generally one of more or less pomp,
according to the circumstances of the married couple; and for this
they often chose the night, as is tell the custom in Syria. Hence the
parable of the ten virgins that went at midnight to meet the bride and
bridegroom, Mt 25:1-46. "At a Hindoo marriage, the procession of which
I saw some years ago," says Mr. Ward, "the bridegroom came from a
distance, and the bride lived at Serampre, to which place the
bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two or three hours, at
length, near midnight, it was announced, as if in the very words of
Scripture, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' All
the persons employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in
their hands to fill up their stations in the procession; some of them
had lost their lights, and were unprepared; but it was then too late
to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the
bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly
illuminated area, before the house, covered with an awning, where a
great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated
upon mats. The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and
placed in a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a
short time, and them went into the house, the door of which was
immediately shut, and guarded by sepoys. Others and I expostulated
with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck with our
Lord's beautiful parable as at this moment; 'and the door was shut.'"
Christianity invests the family institution with peculiar sacredness;
makes true love its basis, and mutual preference of each others'
happiness its rule; and even likens it to the ineffable union between
Christ and his church, Eph 5:22-33. Nowhere in the world is woman so
honored, happy, and useful as in a Christian land and a Christian
home. Believers are directed to marry "in the Lord," 1Co 7:39. No
doubt the restrictions laid upon the ancient people of God contain a
lesson for all periods, and the recorded ill results of forbidden
marriages among the Jews, if heeded, would prevent the serious evils
which often result form union between a Christian and a worldling. As
to the mutual duties of husband and wife, see Eph 5:22-23 1Ti 2:11,12
The Romish church puts dishonor on what the Holy Spirit describes as
"honorable in all." It not only extols celibacy and virginity in the
laity, but also strictly refuses marriage to all its priests, bishops,
etc., and in thus "forbidding to marry," fixes upon itself the name of
anti-Christ, 1Ti 4:3. See BETROTHING, CONCUBINE, DIVORCE, GARMENTS,
Sister of Lazarus and Mary, at Bethany. Though different from Mary in
temperament, she was no less truly a devoted friend of Christ and
beloved by him, Joh 11:5. His gentle reproof, Lu 10.38-42, does not
imply that she was a stranger to renewing grace. Her affectionate care
for the hospitable entertainment of Christ must not be forgotten, nor
her promptness in hasting to meet him nor her faith in his power, Joh
11:20-28 12:1,2. See MARY 4.
A witness, Mt 18:16 Lu 24:48; in ecclesiastical history, "a witness,
by the shedding of his blood, in testifying to the truth." Thus
martyrs are distinguished from "confessors," properly so called, who
underwent great afflictions for their confession of the truth, but
without suffering death. The term "martyr" occurs only thrice in the
New Testament, Ac 22:20 Re 2:13 17:6. Since the time of Stephen, Ac
7:59 22:20, myriads of martyrs have sealed the truth of Christianity
by a painful death; which they willingly endured through faith, rather
than to deny Christ, and which they often eagerly desired as a special
privilege. It is doubtless possible to be put to death as a Christian,
without real love for Christ, 1Co 13:3; but in general "the noble army
of the martyrs" have borne a true and overwhelming testimony to the
power and preciousness of faith in Christ; and their blood witnesses
before God against their foes, especially against that apostate church
which is "drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus," Re 17:6.
In Hebrew MIRIAM,
1. "The Mother of Jesus," Ac 1:14. Her amiable and lovely character,
and her remarkable history in connection with the wonders relating to
the birth of Christ, are recorded in Mt 1:1-2:23 Lu 1:1-2:52. The
genealogy of the Savior through her, in the line of David and Abraham,
is preserved in Lu 3:1-38, to prove that he was born "as concerning
the flesh" according to ancient prophecies. After the return from
Egypt to Nazareth, she is but five times mentioned in the gospel
history: three on the part of Christ, Mt 12:46-50 Lu 2:49,50 Joh 2:4;
one when he commended her to the care of John, Joh 19:26; and lastly
as among the disciples at Jerusalem after his ascension, Ac 1:14.
Thenceforth, throughout the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and
the Revelation, no allusions made to her. Manifestly the worship of
Mary had not then commenced. The inventions of the Romish church in
after-centuries are wholly destitute of foundation in Scripture, and
subversive of the gospel. One of these unauthorized inventions is the
alleged immaculate conception and spotless holiness of Mary. See Ro
3:10,23 Ga 3:22 1Jo 1:8; and compare also the reproofs above alluded
to, and her own confession of her need of a Savior, Lu 1:47. Another
unauthorized invention is her alleged virginity after the birth of
Jesus, Mt 1:25 Lu 2:7. No case can be found in Scripture where
"firstborn son" is used of an only child. In other passages the
brethren, sisters, and mother of Christ are mentioned together,
apparently as one family, Mt 13:55,56; and she was known as the wife
of Joseph probably for almost thirty ears, Joh 6:42. To adore her as
the "queen of heaven," and the "mother of God," is, in the light of
the Bible, blasphemous idolatry; and to pray to her as divine, or even
as a mediator with God implies that she possesses the attribute of
omnipresence, and degrades the only and sufficient Mediator, 1Ti 2:5
Heb 4:16. She was "blessed" or signally favored "among women," as Jael
was "blessed above women," Jud 5:24 Lu 1:28; but Christ himself
declares that a higher blessing belongs to those "that hear the word
of God and keep it," Lu 11:27,28.
2. The mother of Mark the Evangelist. She had a house in Jerusalem,
where the followers of Jesus were wont to convene. Hither Peter, when
delivered from prison by the angel, came and knocked at the gate, Ac
12:12. Many such hospitable Christian homes, and places of social
prayer, even in troublous times, are forever enshrined in the
remembrances of the people of God.
3. The wife of Cleophas, and mother of James the Less and Joses, Mt
27:56,61 Lu 24:10 Joh 19:25. This last passage leaves it uncertain
whether this Mary was sister to Mary our Lord's mother, or not. Some
suppose that four persons are there named: Christ's mother, his
mother's sister, Mary of Cleaophas, and Salome. See MARY 1 and Jas 3.
She believed early on Jesus Christ, and accompanied him in some of his
journeys, to minister to him, followed him to Calvary, and was with
his mother at the foot of his cross. She was also present at his
burial, prepared perfumes to embalm him, and was early at his
sepulchre on the morning of his resurrection. See CLEOPHAS.
4. The sister of Lazarus, whom our Lord raised from the dead. Her
character presents a beautiful companion-picture to that of her more
active and impulsive sister Martha. Contemplative, confiding, and
affectionate, it was like heaven to her to sit at the feet of her
adored Teacher and Lord, Lu 10:39-42. The character of the two sisters
was well contrasted at the supper in Bethany, after the resurrection
of Lazarus. No service was too humble for Martha to render, and no
offering too costly for Mary to pour out, in honor of their Savior,
Joh 11:1-57 12:1-8. This occurrence should not be confounded with that
described in Lu 7:37-50.
5. The Magdalene, or native of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee. She was
foremost among the honorable women of substance who ministered unto
Christ and his disciples, Mt 28:1-10 Mr 15:47 16:1-10 Lu 24:1-12 Joh
20:1,2,10-18. She was especially devoted to Christ, for his mercy in
casting out from her seven evil spirits, Lu 8:23. She was early at his
tomb; and lingering there when the disciples had retired, she was the
first to throw herself at the feet of the risen Savior. There is no
evidence that she was ever a profligate.
6. A benevolent and useful Christian at Rome, saluted in Paul's
epistle, Ro 16:6.
Is a term found as a title of thirteen Psalms, and imports one that
instructs or makes to understand. Some interpreters think it means an
instrument of music; but it more probably signifies an instructive
The womb. To "open the matrix," Ex 13:12,15, means, to be the
An apostle and evangelist, was son of Alpheus, a Galilean by birth, a
Jew by religion, and a publican by profession, Mt 9:9 10:3 Lu 6:15.
The other evangelists call him only LEVI LEVI, which was his Hebrew
name, Mr 2:14 Lu 5:27; but he always calls himself Matthew, which was
probably his name as a publican, or officer for gathering taxes. He
does not dissemble his former profession; thus exalting the grace of
Christ which raised him to the apostleship. His ordinary abode was at
Capernaum, and his office probably on the main road, near the Sea of
Tiberias; here, in the midst of his business, he was called by Jesus
to follow him, Mt 9:9 Mr 2:14. It is probable that he had a previous
knowledge of the miracles and doctrine of Christ.
For the GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, see GOSPEL.
One of the disciples who continued with our Savior from his baptism to
his ascension, Ac 1:21-26, and was after the ascension associated with
the eleven apostles. We know nothing further of him.
Job 38:32. Our translators properly suppose this word to denote the
twelve signs of the zodiac, a broad circle in the heavens,
comprehending all such stars as lie in the path of the sun and moon.
As these luminaries appear to proceed throughout this circle annually,
so different parts of it progressively receive them every month; and
this progression seems to be what is meant by "bringing forth
mazzaroth in his season," that is, Canst thou by thy power cause the
revolutions of the heavenly bodies in the zodiac, and the seasons of
summer and winter, in their regular succession?
See SHEKELS, TALENT, BATH, or Ephah, EPHAH, etc.
"Meat" in the English Bible usually signifies "food," and not merely
"flesh," Ge 1:29,30 Mt 15:37. So in Lu 24:41; "Have ye here any meat?"
literally, anything to eat? The "meat-offerings" of the Jews were made
of flour and oil, etc., Le 2:1-16. See OFFERINGS and SACRIFICES. As to
the animal food used by the Jews, see CLEAN, and FOOD.
It does not appear that the ancient Hebrews were very particular about
the seasoning and dressing of their food. We find among them roast
meat, boiled meat, and ragouts. Moses forbade them to seethe a kid in
its mother's milk, Ex 23:19 34:26 - a precept designed to inculcate
principles of humanity, and perhaps to prevent them from adopting an
idolatrous custom of their heathen neighbors. The Jews were also
forbidden to kill a cow and its calf in the same day; or a sheep, or
goat, and its young one, at the same time. They might not cut off a
part of a living animal to eat it, either raw or dressed. If any
lawful beast or bird should die of itself or be strangled, and the
blood not drain away, they were no allowed to taste of it. They ate of
nothing dressed by any other than a Jew, nor did thy ever dress their
victuals with the kitchen implements of any but one of their own
The prohibition of eating blood, or animals that are strangled, has
been always rigidly observed by the Jews. In the Christian church, the
custom of refraining from things strangled, and from blood, continued
for a long time, being approved by the council held at Jerusalem, and
recommended to the Gentile converts, Ac 15:1-41.
At the first settling of the church, there were many disputes
concerning the use of meats offered to idols. Some newly converted
Christians, convinced that an idol was nothing, and that the
distinction of clean and unclean creatures was abolished by our
Savior, ate indifferently of whatever was served up to them, even
among pagans, without inquiring whether the meats had been offered to
idols. They took the same liberty in buying meat sold in the market,
not regarding whether it were pure or impure according to the Jews; or
whether it had been offered to idols or not. But other Christians,
weaker, more scrupulous, or less instructed, were offended at this
liberty, and thought the eating of meat which had been offered to
idols was a kind of partaking in that wicked and sacrilegious
offering. This diversity of opinion among the disciples called for the
judgment of inspiration; and we find in several of Paul's epistles
directions both for those who held such scruples, and for those who
were free from them. The former, while in obedience to their own
conscience they carefully abstained from the food in question, were
charged to view with charity the conduct of those who did not share
their scruples. The latter might freely but and eat without guilt,
since meat is in no wise injured as an article of food by being
offered to an idol; yet whenever others would be scandalized, pained,
or led into sin by this course, even they were required by the laws of
Christian charity and prudence to abstain, Ro 14:20-23 1Co 8:1-13
10:19-33 Tit 1:15. This principle is of general application in similar
cases; and many in our own day might well adopt the generous
determination of the self-denying apostle to partake of no
questionable indulgence while the world stands, if it may be the
occasion of sin to others.
A son of Abraham and Keturah, Ge 25:2. He is supposed to have settled
in Arabia, near Midian his brother.
A town east of the Jordan in the tribe of Reuben, Jos 13:9,16. Near it
the army of David gained a great victory, 1Ch 19:7. Long afterwards,
it fell again into the hands of the Moabites its ancient masters, Nu
21:30; Isa 15:2. Its ruins, on rising ground a few miles southeast of
Heshbon, still retain the old name.
Called by the Hebrews MADAI, and supposed to have been peopled by the
descendants of Madai the son of Japheth, Ge 10:2; extended itself on
the west and south of the Caspian Sea, from Armenia and Assyria on the
north and west, to Farsistan or Persia proper on the south; and
included the districts now called Shirvan, Adserbijan, Ghilan,
Masanderan, and Irak Adjemi. It covered a territory larger than that
of Spain, lying between 32 degrees and 40 degrees of north latitude,
and was one of the most fertile and earliest cultivated among the
kingdoms of Asia. It had two grand divisions, of which the
northwestern was called Atropatene, or Lesser Media, and the southern
Greater Media. The former corresponds to the modern Abserbijan, now,
as formerly, a province of the Persian empire, on the west of the
Caspian, surrounded by high mountains of the Tauritic range, except
towards the east, where the river Kur, or Byrus, discharges its waters
into the Caspian. The Greater Media corresponds principally to the
modern Irak Adjemi, or Persian Irak. Ecbatana was the ancient capital.
Media is one of the most ancient independent kingdoms of which history
makes mention. After several centuries of subjugation under Assyria,
the Medes rebelled under Arbaces in the time of Sardanapalus, and
again in the time of Sennacherib, about 700 B. C.. They became
powerful, cultivated, and wealthy, Isa 13:17,18 21:2-3, and continued
an independent kingdom until under Cyrus, Media became united with
Persia. In this way arose the Medro-Persian kingdom; and the "laws of
the Medes and Persians" are always mentioned by the sacred writers
together, Es 1:19, etc.; Da 6:8,12, etc. So also the "Chronicles" of
the Medes and Persians are mentioned together, Es 10:2. Indeed, from
this time inward, the manners, customs, religion, and civilization of
the Medes and Persians seem ever to have become more and more
amalgamated. And in general it would seem, as we may gather from the
ancient Zend writings, that the Medes, Persians, and Bactraians were
originally the same people, having in common one language, the Zend,
and one religion, the worship of Ormuzd, the highest being, under the
symbol of fire. They also worshipped the stars, particularly the
planets; and still more, the sun and moon. The priests of this
religion, the Magi, were a Median race, to whom were intrusted the
cultivation of the sciences, and the performance of the sacred rites.
Among these, and as is supposed before the time of Cyrus, appeared
Zerdusht, or Zoroaster, as a reformer, or rather as the restorer of
the ancient but degenerated religion of light, whose disciples have
maintained themselves even to the present day in Persia and India,
under the name of Guebres.
Media is first mentioned in the Bible as the part of Assyria to which
the ten tribes were transported: at first, those beyond the Jordan, by
Tiglath-pileser, 1Ch 5:26; and afterwards, about 721 B. C., the
remainder of Israel, by Shalmaneser, 2Ki 17:6. The subsequent history
of Media is involved in that of Persia. Both countries were subdued by
Alexander of Macedon, 330 B. C.; and in the next century became
tributary to the Parthians on their east, in connection with whom they
are mentioned in Ac 2:9. See PERSIA.
One who stands between two parties or persons as the organ of
communication or the agent of reconciliation. So far as man is
sensible of his own guilt and of the holiness and justice of God, he
shrinks from any direct communication with a being he has so much
reason to fear. Hence the disposition more or less prevalent in all
ages and in all parts of the world, to interpose between the soul and
its judge some person or thing most adapted to propitiate his favor as
a priestly order, an upright and devout man, or the smoke of
sacrifices and the sweet savor of incense, Job 9:33. The Israelites
evinced this feeling at the Mount Sinai, De 5:23-31; and God was
pleased to constitute Moses a mediator between himself and them, to
receive and transmit the law on the one had, and their vows of
obedience on the other. In this capacity he acted on various other
occasions, Ex 32:30-32 Nu 14:1-45 Ps 106:23; and was thus an agent and
a type of Christ, Ga 3:19. The Messiah has been in all ages the only
true Mediator between God and man; and without Him, God is
inaccessible and a consuming fire, Joh 14:6 Ac 4:12. As the Angel of
the covenant, Christ was the channel of all communications between
heaven and earth in Old Testament days; and as the Mediator of the new
covenant, he does all that is needful to provide for a perfect
reconciliation between God and man. He consults the honor of God by
appearing as our Advocate with the blood of atonement; and through his
sympathizing love and the agency of the Holy Spirit, he disposes and
enables us to return to God. The believing penitent is "accepted in
the Beloved" -his person, his praises, and his prayers; and through
the same Mediator alone he receives pardon, grace, and eternal life.
In this high office Christ stands alone, because he alone is both God
and man, 1Ti 2:5. To join Mary and the saints to him in his
mediatorship, as the antichristian church of Rome does, implies that
he is unable to accomplish his own peculiar work, Heb 8:6 9:15 12:24.
A town of Manesseh, thought within the bounds of Issachar. It had been
a royal city of the Canaanites, and they long retained a foothold in
it, Jos 12:21; 17:11; Jud 1:27. It lay in the southwest border of the
plain of Esdraelon, near the Kishon, which is probably intended by
"the waters of Megiddo," mentioned in the song of Deborah and Barak as
the scene of their victory, Jud 5:19,21. In the reign of Solomon,
Megiddo was fortified, 1Ki 9:15. Here king Ahaziah died, and King
Josiah was defeated, slain, and sorely lamented, 2Ki 9:27; 23:29; Zec
12:11. Robinson identifies it with a village now called Lejun, the
Legio of the Romans.
King of righteousness, king of Salem, and also priest of the most high
God, in which capacity he blessed Abraham, and received tithes at his
hand, Ge 14:18-20. Scripture tells us nothing of his father or mother,
of his genealogy, his birth, or his death; he stands alone, without
predecessor or successor, a royal priest by the appointment of God;
and thus he was a type of Jesus Christ, who is "a priest for ever
after the order of Melchizedek," and not after the order of Aaron,
whose origin, consecration, life, and death, are known, Ps 110:4 Heb
7:1-28. See GENEALOGY.
It has been a matter of great inquiry among commentators, who
Melchizedek really was. He has been variously supposed to be the Holy
Spirit, the Son of God, an angel, Enoch and Shem. But the safest and
most probable opinion is that which considers Melchizedek as a
righteous and peaceful king, a worshiper and priest of the most high
God, in the land of Caanan; a friend of Abraham, and of a rank
elevated above him. This opinion, indeed, lies upon the very face of
the sacred record in Ge 14:1-24 Heb 7:1-28, and it is the only one
that can be defeated on any tolerable grounds of interpretation. See
The name Melita was anciently applied to two islands; one in the
Adriatic Sea, on the coast of Illyricum, now called Meleda; the other
in the Mediterranean, between Sicily and Africa, now called Malta.
That the latter is the one on which Paul suffered shipwreck is evident
both from the direction of the wind which blew him thither, (See
EUROCLYDON), and from the fact that he left the island in a ship of
Alexandria, which had wintered there on her voyage to Italy, and after
touching at Syracuse and Rhegium, landed at Puteoli, thus sailing on a
direct course. The other Melita would be far out of the usual track
from Alexandria to Italy; and in sailing from it to Rhegium, Syracuse
also would be out of the direct course. The fact that the vessel was
tossed all night before the shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea, does not
militate against this view, because the name Adria was applied to the
whole Ionian Sea, which lay between Sicily and Greece. See ADRIA. Ac
Malta is a rocky island, sixty-two miles south of Sicily, seventeen
miles long and nine broad, and containing nearly one hundred square
miles, and 100,000 inhabitants. At an early period it was seized by
the Phoenicians; these were dispossessed by the Greeks of Sicily; they
by the Carthaginians; and they in turn, 242 B. C., by the Romans, who
held it in the time of Paul. After numerous changes, it fell at length
into the hands of the English, who since 1814 have held undisputed
possession of it. The name of "St Paul's bay" is now borne by a small
inlet on the north side of the island, opening towards the east, which
answers well to the description in Ac 27:1-44. Here Paul was protected
by the hand of God, amid perils on shore as well as in the sea. He
remained here three months, and wrought many miracles.
Are common in the East, but do not differ particularly form ours.
Watermelons grow luxuriantly in Palestine, even in dry and sandy soil.
They are a delicious fruit in a hot climate, and were among the
articles of food for which the Hebrews pined in the desert, Nu 11:5.
The name or the official title of a butler or steward at the court of
Nebuchadnezzar, Da 1:11-16.
Ho 9:6. See NOPH.
The sixteenth king of Israel, previously general of the army of
Zachariah. He was at Tirzah when he heard of his master's murder; and
immediately marching against Shallum, who had shut himself up in
Samaria, he captured and slew him, and them ascended the throne. He
reigned in Samaria ten years, 771-760 B. C., and was a tyrannical and
cruel idolater. Pul, king of Assyria, having invaded Israel during the
reign of Menahem, obliged him to pay a tribute of a thousand talents,
which Menahem raised by a tax on all his rich subjects of fifty
shekels a head. He seems to have died a natural death; but his son and
successor Pekahiah reigned only two years, and was the last of the
dynasty, 2Ki 15:13-22. The name of Menahem is found on the Assyrian
tablets recently discovered.
He is numbered; TEKEL, he is weighed; UPHARSIN, and they are dividing;
Chaldee words supernaturally traced on the wall at Balshazzar's
impious feast, and significant of his impending doom, Da 5:1-31. The
astrologers could not read them, perhaps because they were written in
antique Hebrew characters; still less could they explain, even if they
had dared to do it, what was so portentous. Daniel, however, received
skill to understand and courage to declare their awful meaning; and
the same night witnessed their fulfillment. Over how many proud heads
often found in scenes of ungodliness and reveling, the hand that has
recorded their past history is even now preparing to record their doom
A son of Jonathan, also called Merib-baal, 1Ch 8:34. See ESHBAAL.
Mephibosbeth was very young when his father was killed in the battle
of Gilboa, 2Sa 4:4, and his nurse was in such consternation at the
news, that she let the child fall; and from this accident he was lame
all his life. When David found himself in peaceable possession of the
kingdom, he sought for all that remained of the house of Saul, that he
might show them kindness, in consideration of the friendship between
him and Jonathan. He gave Mephibosheth the estate of his grandfather
Saul. Of a part of this, however, he was afterwards deprived by the
treachery of his steward Zeba, and the hasty injustice, as it appears,
of David towards and unfortunate but noble and loyal prince, 2Sa
9:1-13 16:1-4 19:24-30. David subsequently took care to exempt him
from the number of the descendants of Saul given up to the vengeance
of the Gibeonites, 2Sa 21:1-14, though another Mephibosheth, a son of
Saul was slain, 2Sa 21:8.
The eldest daughter of king Saul, was promised to David in marriage,
in reward for his victory over Goliath; but was given to Adriel, son
of Barzillai the Meholathite, 1Sa 14:49 18:17,19. Merab had five sons
by him, who were delivered to the Gibeonites, and hanged before the
Lord, 2Sa 21:8,9. The text intimates that the five men delivered to
the Gibeonites were sons of Michal; but see ADRIEL.
The youngest of Levi's three sons, born in Canaan, and head of a
family of the Levites, Ge 46:11; Ex 6:16; Nu 3:17; 1Ch 6:1. In the
journey through the wilderness they were charged with the framework of
the tabernacle, to carry from one place of encampment to another, and
there set it up, Nu 4:29-33; 7:8. Twelve cities were assigned to them
beyond Jordan, Jos 21:7,34-40.
Ge 23:16. The commodities of different countries were usually
exchanged by traders of various kinds, in caravans or "traveling
companies," Isa 21:13, which had their regular season and routes for
passing from one great mart to another, Ge 37:25,28. These merchants
prospered by wandering, as ours do by remaining stationary.
The apostle James reminds them to lay their plans in view of the
uncertainty of life, and their need of divine guidance, Jas 4:13. Some
of the maritime nations, as Egypt, and still more the Phoenicians,
carried on a large traffic by sea, Isa 23:2 Eze 27:28.
A fabulous god of the ancient heathen, the messenger of the
celestials, and the deity that presided over learning, eloquence, and
traffic. The Greeks named him Hermes, interpreter, because they
considered him as the interpreter of the will of the gods. Probably it
was for this reason that he people of Lystra, having heard Paul
preach, and having seen him heal a lame man, would have offered
sacrifice to him as to their god Mercury; and to Barnabas as Jupiter,
because of his venerable aspect, Ac 14:11-12.
1Ch 28:11, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant, which see. The Hebrew
word means a cover, but contains an allusion to the covering or
forgiving of sins, Ps 32:1. In the New Testament it is designated by a
Greek word meaning "the propitiatory," or "expiatory," Heb 9:4,5. It
was approached only by the high priest, and not without the blood of
atonement, to show that the divine mercy can be granted only through
the blood of Christ, Ro 3:25.
The divine goodness exercised towards the wretched and the guilty, in
harmony with truth and justice, Ps 85:10. The plan by which God is
enabled to show saving mercy to men, for Christ's sake, is the most
consummate work of infinite wisdom and love. The soul that has truly
experienced the mercy of God will be merciful like him, Lu 6:36,
compassionate to the wretched, Ps 41:1,2, and forgiving towards all,
Mt 5:7 18:33.
1. A station of the Israelites between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai,
where they murmured against the Lord, and a fountain gushed from the
rock for their use, Ex 17:1-7. It was also named Massah, temptation,
when they tempted God there, De 33:8 Heb 3:8.
2. A similar miraculous fountain in the desert of Zin, near Kadesh,
which see, Nu 20:13,14. This was the scene of the transgression of
Moses and Aaron, for which they were precluded from crossing the
Jordan. It is called "the waters of Meribah," De 33:8 Ps 81:7 106:32,
and also Meribah-kadesh, Nu 27:14 De 32:51 Eze 47:19.
An idol of the Babylonians, representing probably the planet Mars, Jer
50:2. The names of Babylonish kings were also sometimes compounded
with this name, as Evil-Merodach and Merodach-Baladan, Isa 39:1, who
is also called Berodach-Baladan in 2Ki 20:12.
The "waters of Merom," Jos 11:5, or lake of Semechon, is the most
northern of the three lakes supplied by the river Jordan. It is
situated in the southern part of a valley formed by the two branches
of Mount Hermon. The lake is now called after the valley, the lake of
Huleh. The lake proper is four or five miles long, and perhaps four
broad, tapering towards the south. It is very shallow, and a large
part of it is covered with aquatic plants. Thousand of waterfowl sport
on its surface, and its water abound in fish. On the north lies the
plain of the Huleh, which is a dead level for a distance of six miles
or more. Near the upper end of this, the three streams which form the
Jordan unite. On the west side of the Jordan above the lake, a marsh
extends up north as far as the junction of these streams, or even
farther; while on the eastern side the land is tilled almost down to
the lake. It is a splendid plain, and extremely fertile. All kinds of
grain grow on it, with very little labor; and it still merits the
praise accorded to it by the Danite spies; "We have seen the land; and
behold, it is very good, .... a place where there is no want of
anything that is in the earth," Jud 18:9,10. Its rich soil is formed
by deposit, and it seems to be partially submerged in the spring. Thus
the lake and valley El-Huleh form an immense reservoir, and unite with
the snows of Hermon to maintain the summer supplies of the Jordan.
Near this lake Joshua defeated the kings of Northern Canaan, Jos
An unknown place in Galilee, cursed in the song of Deborah and Barak
for not joining with them against the foes of Israel, Jud 5:23.
Probably their vicinity to the scene of conflict, or the opportunity
they had of rendering some special assistance, rendered their refusal
1. A place on the eastern frontier of the territory of Joktan, Ge
10:30, supposed to have been in the region of Bassora, at the
northwest end of the Persian Gulf.
2. A king of Moab, who paid an enormous tribute to Ahab king of
Israel, but revolted at his death, 2Ki 1:1; 3:4-27. Joram the son of
Ahab, with the aid of Judah and Edom, made war upon him, and besieged
him in his capital. Unable to force his way through the besieging
host, King Mesha sought the aid of his gods by sacrificing his own son
on the city wall; and the besiegers, horrorstruck at this atrocious
act, withdrew in terror, lest some curse should fall on them.
MESHECH OR MESECH
Ps 120:5, the sixth son of Japheth, Ge 10:2, located near Tubal at the
northeast corner of Asia Minor, in Iberia, and supposed by many to
have been the father of the Muscovites. Meshech traded with Tyre in
"the persons of men, and in vessels of brass," Eze 27:13; 32:26; 38:2.
Between the rivers, the Greek name of the country between the
Euphrates and the Tigris, called in Arabic, Al Jezira, the island. See
ARAM 2, and PADAN-ARAM. In its fullest sense, Mesopotamia extended
from the Persian Gulf to mount Taurus; but the name usually denotes
only the tract above Babylonia, now called Dearbekr and celebrated for
its exuberant fertility; while the part below, now Irak-Arabi, is
sterile and without water. Mesopotamia was including the territories
of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, and Roman empires
successively, and belongs now to that of the Turks.
This region is associated with the earliest history of the human race
both before and after the flood. Eden was not far off; Ararat was near
to it on the north, and the land of Shinar on the south. The traveler
here reaches what is truly "the Old World," and is surrounded by
objects compared with which the antiquities of Greece and Rome are
modern novelties. This was the home of the patriarchs who proceeded
Abraham-Terah, Heber, Peleg, etc. Here Abraham and Sarah were born,
and the wives of Isaac, and Jacob, and most of the sons of Jacob, the
heads of the twelve tribes. Mesopotamia is also mentioned in Scripture
as the abode of the first oppressor of Israel in the time of the
judges, Jud 3:8-10; in the history of the wars of David, 2Sa 10:16;
and as furnishing a delegation of Jews, and perhaps proselytes, to
attend the Passover at Jerusalem, Ac 2:9.
MESSIAH OR MESSIAS
Anointed, a title given principally, or by way of eminence, to that
sovereign Deliverer promised to the Jews. They were accustomed to
anoint their kings, high priests, and sometimes prophets, when they
were set apart to their office; and hence the phrase, "to anoint" for
an employment, sometimes signifies merely a particular designation or
choice for such an employment. Cyrus, who founded the empire of the
Persians, and who set the Jews at liberty, is called, Isa 45:1, "the
anointed of the Lord;" and in Eze 28:14, the epithet "anointed" is
given to the king of Tyre.
But, as we have already observed, MESSIAH is the designation given by
the Hebrews, eminently, to that Savior and Deliverer whom they
expected, and who was promised to them by all the prophets. As the
holy unction was given to kings, priests, and prophets, by describing
the promised Savior of the world under the name of Christ, Anointed,
or Messiah, it was sufficiently evidenced that the qualities of king,
prophet, and highpriest would eminently center in him, and that he
should exercise them not only over the Jews but over all mankind, and
particularly over those who should receive him as their Savior. See
That Jesus Christ was the true MESSIAH of the Old Testament, the
"Shiloh" of Jacob, the "Redeemer" of Job, the "Angel of the Covenant,"
is abundantly clear. The time of his appearance was predicted in Ge
49:10 Da 9:20,25 Hag 2:7 Mal 3:1. At the time when the Savior actually
came, and then only, could these predictions meet: then the seventy
weeks of years were ended; and soon after, the scepter was torn
forever from the hands of Judah, the only tribe that could then claim
the headship of the Jews; and the temple in which the Messiah was to
appear was annihilated. Then also the genealogical lists were extant,
which proved the descent of Christ from the line predicted. Numerous
and clear detached predictions respecting the birth, character, life,
sufferings, and death of Christ, his resurrection, ascension, and
kingdom, were all in him perfectly fulfilled, Joh 1:41 4:25.
2Sa 8:1; 1Ch 18:1. See GATH.
Son of Enoch, and father of Lamech. He lived 969 years, a longer life
than any other on record, and died within the year before the deluge,
1. The Morasthite, or of Maresheth, a village near Eleutheropolis, in
the west of Judah; the seventh in order of the lesser prophets. He
prophesied under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, for about
fifty years, if with some we reckon from near the beginning of the
reign of Jotham, to the last year of Hezekiah B. C. 750-698. He was
nearly contemporary with Isaiah, and has some expressions in common
with him. Compare Isa 2:2 with Mic 4:1, and Isa 41:15 with Mic 4:13.
His bold fidelity served as a shield to the prophet Jeremiah a century
afterwards, Jer 26:18,19 Mic 3:12. He wrote in an elevated and
vehement style, with frequent transitions. His prophecy relates to the
sins and judgments of Israel and Judah, the destruction of Samaria and
Jerusalem, the return of the Jews from captivity, and the punishment
of their enemies. He proclaims the coming of the Messiah, "whose going
forth have been from of old, from everlasting," as the foundation of
all hope for the glorious and blessed future he describes; and
specifies Bethlehem in Judah as the place where He should be born of
woman, Mic 5:2,3. The prediction was thus understood by the Jews, Mt
2:6 Joh 7:41,42.
2. An Ephraimite in the time of the Judges, soon after Joshua, who
stole eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother, but restored
them, and with her consent employed them in establishing a private
sanctuary, with an image to be used in the worship of Jehovah, and
with a Levite for his priest. Providence frowned on his idolatrous
service, and a troop of Danites robbed him of his priest and of all
implements of worship, Jud 17:13.
1. A faithful and fearless prophet, consulted by King Ahab at the
demand of Jehoshaphat as to the issue of their proposed campaign
against the Syrians. He was imprisoned to abide the event, which
coincided with his predictions and probably secured his release, 1Ki
22:8-38. Ahab's conduct in this matter displays the amazing folly of
sins against light.
2. A prince of Judah, who seconded the efforts of Jehoshaphat to
instruct and reform the people of Judah, 2Ki 17:7-9.
A young prince at the court of Jehoiakim, who communicated to the
king's counselors the solemn warnings of Jeremiah, Jer 36:11- 13.
The younger of Saul's two daughters, in love with David, and whom Saul
reluctantly gave to him in marriage, 1Sa 14:49 18:20-29. She saved her
husband's life from assassins sent by her father, by a stratagem that
gave him time to escape, 1Sa 19:14-15. Her father then gave her in
marriage to Phalti, 1Sa 25:44, from whom David some years after
recovered her, 2Sa 3:12-21.
When David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem, she conceived and
expressed great disgust at his pious joy, and the affections of the
king remained alienated from her till her death, 2Sa 6:16-23. Her
hatred of unfashionable zeal in religion was stronger than her love of
her husband and her God. She left no children.
A town of Benjamin, nine miles north by east of Jerusalem, Ne 7:31;
11:31. It was a strong position and lay on the north side of a deep
valley; for which reasons perhaps Sennacherib, on his way to
Jerusalem, left his heavy equipage there, Isa 10:28,29. In this deep
valley, a little west of the town, are two steep hills or rocks,
supposed to be the ones referred to in the account of Jonathan's
achievement at "the passage of Michmash," 1Sa 13:23; 14:4. Dr.
Robinson found here a village called Mukhmas, which appeared to be the
remnant of a town of some size and importance.
Prefixed to Ps 16:11, and meaning golden, profound, or as some think,
a writing or song, as in Isa 38:9.
The fourth son of Abraham and Keturah, Ge 25:2.
Descendants of Midian, a nomade race in Arabia, numerous, and rich in
flocks, herds, and camels, Isa 60:6. The original and appropriate
district of the Midianites seems to have been on the east side of the
Elantic branch of the Red Sea, where the Arabian geographers place the
city Midian, Ac 7:29. But they appear to have spread themselves
northward, probably along the desert east of Mount Seir, to the
vicinity of the Moabites; and on the other side, also, they covered a
territory extending to the neighborhood of Mount Sinai. See Ex 3:1
18:1 Nu 22:25,31 Jud 6:1-8:35. In Ge 25:2,4, compared with Ge
25:12-18, they are distinguished from the descendants of Ishmael,
though elsewhere we find the two people intimately associated, so that
they are called now by one name and now by the other. See Ge 37:25,
compared with Ge 37:36. Their capital city was called Midian, and its
remains were to be seen in the time of Jerome and Eusebius. It was
situated on the Arnon, south of the city Ar, or Areopolis.
The Midianites were idolaters, and often led Israel astray to worship
their gods. They also not infrequently rendered the Hebrews tributary,
and oppressed them. See Nu 22:1-41 25:1-18 31:1-54. Often when the
Israelites had sown, and their harvest was nearly ready to be gathered
in, the Midianites and Amalekites, children of the eastern desert,
came down like locusts in countless swarms, with their cattle and
tents and camels, to devour and carry off the fruits of the ground,
and not only rob but destroy their owners. And often did the Jews,
lacking the strength or the faith or the leadership necessary for
effectual resistance, seek refuge in mountain-dens and caverns till
the invaders retired. Gideon was their deliverer in one such period of
oppression, Jud 6:7. The modern Ishmaelites still follow the ancient
practice, and their violent incursions, robberies, and murders might
be described in the same terms that were used with reference to their
fathers by the historians of old.
A tower, a frontier town in Northern Egypt towards the Red Sea, Jer
44:1; 46:14; Eze 29:10; 30:6. The Hebrews, on leaving Egypt, encamped
between it and the sea, Ex 14:2; Nu 33:7.
A town in the vicinity of Ai and Gibeah, north of Michmash, now lost,
1Sa 14:2; Isa 10:28.
The word mile, in Mt 5:41, is spoken of the Roman milliare, or mile,
which contained eight stadia, 1,000 paces, that is, about 1,614 yards,
while the English mile contains 1,760 yards.
An ancient city, formerly the metropolis of all Ionia, situated on the
western coast of Asia Minor, on the confines of Caria, just south of
the mouth of the river Meander. It was the parent of many colonies,
and was celebrated for a temple and oracle of Apollo Didymaeus, an as
the birthplace of Thales, Anaximander, Democritus, and other famous
The apostle Paul, on his voyage from Macedonia toward Jerusalem, spent
a day or two here, and held an affecting interview with the Christian
elders of Ephesus, who at his summons came nearly thirty miles from
the north to meet him, Ac 20:15-38. He also revisited Miletus after
his first imprisonment at Rome, 2Ti 4:20. There were Christians and
bishops there from the fifth to the eighth century; but the city has
long been in ruins, and its exact site can hardly be determined, so
much is the coast altered around the mouth of the Meander.
Is often alluded to in the Bible, as a symbol of pure, simple, and
wholesome truth, Heb 5:12,13 1Pe 2:2; and in connection with honey, to
denote fertility and plenty, Ge 49:12 Nu 16:13 Jos 5:6. The Jews and
their neighbors used not only the milk of cows, but also that of
camels, sheep, and goats, Ge 32:15 De 32:14 Pr 27:27. See BUTTER and
A kind of grain of which there are several species cultivated in
Italy, Syria, Egypt, and India. It is used partly green as fodder, and
partly in the ripe grain for bread, etc. Eze 4:9, received an order
from the Lord to make himself bread with a mixture of wheat, barley,
beans, lentiles, and millet. "Durra," says Niebuhr, "is a kind of
millet, made into bread with camel's milk, oil, butter, etc, and is
almost the only food eaten by the common people of Arabia Felix. I
found it so disagreeable, that I would willingly have preferred plain
barley bread." This illustrates the appointment of it to the prophet
Ezekiel as a part of his hard fare.
1. Probably a bastion of the citadel of Zion, at Jerusalem, mentioned
in the history of David and Solomon, 2Sa 5:9 2Ki 12:20 1Ch 11:8 2Ch
2. The name of a family or of a fortress at Shechem; in the latter
case, the "house of Millo" would mean the garrison of that fortress,
One who attends or waits on another, Mt 20:28; so Elisha was the
minister of Elijah, 1Ki 19:21 2Ki 3:11. These persons did not feel
themselves degraded by their stations, and in due time they succeeded
to the office of their masters. In like manner, John Mark was minister
to Paul and Barnabas, Ac 13:5. Angels are ministers of God and of his
people, Ps 103:21 Heb 1:14. The term is applied to one who performs
any function, or administers any office or agency: as to magistrates,
Ro 15:16 1Co 4:1 5:5; and to teachers of error, 2Co 11:15. Christ came
to minister, not to be ministered unto; and is called in another sense
a minister "of the circumcision," Ro 15:8, and of the heavenly
sanctuary, Heb 8:2.
A kingdom summoned to a war against Babylon, with Ararat and
Ashchenaz, Jer 51:27; supposed to denote Armenia, or a portion of it.
A town of the Ammonites in the time of Jephthah, Jud 11:33, four miles
northeast of Heshbon. It furnished fine wheat for the market of Tyre,
A garden herb, sufficiently known. The Pharisees, desiring to
distinguish themselves by a most scrupulous and literal observation of
the law, gave tithes of mint, anise, and cummin, Mt 23:23. Our Savior
does not censure this exactness, but complains, that while they were
so precise in these lesser matters, they neglected the essential
commandments of the law-making their punctiliousness about easy and
external duties an excuse for disregarding their obligations to love
God supremely, to be regenerated in heart, and just and beneficent in
Also called a sign, wonder, or mighty work, Ac 2:32; a work so
superseding in its higher forms the established laws of nature as to
evince the special interposition of God. A miracle is to be
distinguished from wonders wrought by designing men through artful
deceptions, occult sciences, or laws of nature unknown except to
adepts. The miracles wrought by Christ, for example, were such as God
only could perform; were wrought in public, before numerous witnesses,
both friends and foes; were open to the most perfect scrutiny; had an
end in view worthy of divine sanction; were attested by witnesses
whose character and conduct establish their claim to our belief; and
are further confirmed by institutions still existing, intended to
commemorate them, and dating from the period of the miracles. Christ
appealed to his mighty works as undeniable proofs of his divinity and
Messiahship, Mt 9:6 11:4,5,23,24 Joh 10:24-27 20:29,31. The deceptions
of the magicians in Egypt, and of false prophets in ancient and in
modern times, De 13:1 Mt 24:24 2Th 2:9 Re 13:13,14, would not bear the
above tests. By granting to any man the power to work a miracle, God
gave the highest attestation to the truth he should teach and the
message he should bring, 1Ki 18:38,39; this is God's own seal, not to
be affixed to false hoods; and though the lying wonders of Satan and
his agents were so plausible as to "deceive if possible the very
elect," no one who truly sought to know and do the will of God could
be deluded by them.
The chief object of miracles having been to authenticate the
revelation God has made of his will, these mighty words ceased when
the Scripture canon was completed and settled, and Christianity was
fairly established. Since the close of the first century from the
ascension of Christ, few or no undoubted miracles have been wrought;
and whether a sufficient occasion for new miracles will ever arise is
known only to God.
The following list comprises most of the miracles on record in the
Bible, not including the supernatural visions and revelations of
himself which God vouch-safed to his ancient servants, nor those
numerous wonders of his providence which manifest his hand almost as
indisputable as miracles themselves. See also PROPHECY.
Old Testament Miracles
The creation of all things, Ge 1:1-31.
The deluge, comprising many miracles, Ge 6:1-22.
The destruction of Sodom, etc., Ge 19:1-38.
The healing of Abimelech, Ge 20:17,18.
The burning bush, Ex 3:2-4.
Moses' rod made a serpent, and restored, Ex 4:3-4 7:10.
Moses' hand made leprous, and healed, Ex 4.6-7.
Water turned into blood, Ex 4:9,30.
The Nile turned to blood, Ex 7:20.
Frogs brought and removed, Ex 8:6,13.
Lice brought, Ex 8:17.
Flies brought, and removed, Ex 8:21-31.
Murrain of beasts, Ex 9:3-6.
Boils and blains brought, Ex 9:10,11.
Hail brought, and removed, Ex 9:23,33.
Locusts brought, and removed, Ex 10:13,19.
Darkness brought, Ex 10:22.
First-born destroyed, Ex 10:29.
The Red Sea divided, Ex 14:21-22.
Egyptians overwhelmed, Ex 14:26-28.
Waters of Marah sweetened, Ex 15:27.
Quails and manna sent, Ex 16:1-36.
Water from the rock, in Horeb, Ex 17:6.
Amalek vanquished, Ex 17:11-13.
Pillar of cloud and fire, Nu 9:15-23.
Leprosy of Miriam, Nu 12:10.
Destruction of Korah, etc., Nu 16:28-35,46-50.
Aaron's rod budding, Nu 17:8.
Water from the rock, in Kadesh, Nu 20:11.
Healing by the brazen serpent, Nu 21:8,9.
Balaam's ass speaks, Nu 22:28.
Plague in the desert, Nu 25:1,9.
Water of Jordan divided, Jos 3:10-17.
Jordan restored to its course, Jos 4:18.
Jericho taken, Jos 6:6-20.
Achan discovered, Jos 7:14-21.
Sun and moon stand still, Jos 10:12-14.
Gideon's fleece wet, Jud 6:36-40.
Midianites destroyed, Jud 7:16-22.
Exploits of Samson, Jud 14:1-16:31.
House of Dagon destroyed, Jud 16:30.
Dagon falls before the ark, etc., 1Sa 5:1-12.
Return of the ark, 1Sa 6:12.
Thunder and rain in harvest, 1Sa 12:18.
Jeroboam's hand withered, etc., 1Ki 13:4,6.
The altar rent, 1Ki 13:5.
Drought caused, 1Ki 17:6.
Elijah fed by ravens, 1Ki 17:6.
Meal and oil supplied, 1Ki 17:14-16.
Child restored to life, 1Ki 17:22-23.
Sacrifice consumed by fire, 1Ki 18:36,38.
Rain brought, 1Ki 18:41-45.
Men destroyed by fire, 2Ki 1:10-12.
Waters of Jordan divided, 2Ki 2:14.
Oil supplied, 2Ki 4:1-7.
Child restored to life, 2Ki 4:32-35.
Naaman healed, 2Ki 5:10,14.
Gehazi's leprosy, 2Ki 5:27.
Iron caused to swim, 2Ki 6:6.
Syrians smitten blind, etc., 2Ki 19:35.
Hezekiah healed, 2Ki 20:7.
Shadow put back, 2Ki 20:11.
Pestilence in Israel, 1Ch 21:14.
Jonah preserved by a fish, Jon 1:17 2:10.
New Testament Miracles.
The star in the east, Mt 2:3.
The Spirit like a dove, Mt 3:16.
Christ's fast and temptations, Mt 4:1-11.
Many miracles of Christ, Mt 4:23-24 8:16 14:14,36 15:30 Mr 1:34 Lu
Lepers cleansed, Mt 8:3-4 Lu 17:14.
Centurion's servant healed, Mt 8:5-13.
Peter's wife's mother healed, Mt 8:14.
Tempests stilled, Mt 8:23-26 14:32.
Devils cast out, Mt 8:28-32 9:32-33 15:22-28 17:14-18.
Paralytics healed, Mt 9:2-6 Mr 2:3-12.
Issue of blood healed, Mt 9:20-22.
Jairus' daughter raised to life, Mt 9:18,25.
Sight given to the blind, Mt 9:27-30 20:34 Mr 8:22-25 Joh 9:17.
The dumb restored, Mt 9:32-33 12:22 Mr 7:33-35.
Miracles by the disciples, Mt 10:1-8.
Multitudes fed, Mt 14:15-21 15:35-38.
Christ walking on the sea, Mt 14:25-27.
Peter walking on the sea, Mt 14:29.
Christ's transfiguration, etc., Mt 17:1-8.
Tribute from a fish's mouth, Mt 17:27.
The fig tree withered, Mt 21:19.
Miracles at the crucifixion, Mt 27:51-53.
Miracles at the resurrection, Mt 28:1-7 Lu 24:6.
Draught of fishes, Lu 5:4-6 Joh 21:6.
Widow's son raised to life, Lu 7:14,15.
Miracles before John's messengers, Lu 7:21-22.
Miracles by the seventy, Lu 10:9,17.
Woman healed of infirmity, Lu 13:11-13.
Dropsy cured, Lu 14:2-4.
Malchus' ear restored, Lu 22:50-51.
Water turned to wine, Joh 2:6-10.
Nobleman's son healed, Joh 4:46-53.
Impotent man healed, Joh 5:5-9.
Sudden crossing of the sea, Joh 6:21.
Lazarus raised from the dead, Joh 11:43-44.
Christ's coming to his disciples, Joh 20:19,26.
Wonders at the Pentecost, Ac 2:1-11.
Miracles by the apostles, Ac 2:43 5:12.
Lame man cured, Ac 3:7.
Death of Ananias and Sapphira, Ac 5:5,10.
Many sick healed, Ac 5:15-16.
Apostles delivered from prison, Ac 5:19.
Miracles by Stephen, Ac 6:8.
Miracles by Philip, Ac 8:6,7,13.
Eneas made whole, Ac 9:34.
Dorcas restored to life, Ac 9:40.
Peter delivered from prison, Ac 12:6-10.
Elymas struck blind, Ac 13:11.
Miracles by Paul and Barnabas, Ac 14:3.
Lame man cured, Ac 14:10.
Unclean spirit cast out, Ac 16:18.
Paul and Silas delivered, Ac 16:25-26.
Special miracles, Ac 19:11-12.
Eutchus restored to life, Ac 20:10-12.
Viper's bite made harmless, Ac 28:5.
Father of Publius, etc., healed, Ac 28:8,9.
The sister of Moses and Aaron, probably the one who watched over Moses
in the ark of bulrushes, Ex 2:4,5 Nu 26 59 Mic 6 4. As a prophetess,
she led the women of Israel in their song of worship and thanksgiving
to God on the drowning of the Egyptians, Ex 15:20,21. Her jealous
murmurs against Moses and his Cushite wife were punished by a
temporary leprosy, Nu 12:1-16 De 24:9; but she was forgiven and
restored, and near the close of the wandering of Israel, died at
Kadwshbarnea, Nu 20:1.
See LOOKING GLASS.
MISHAEL OR MESHACH
A fellow-captive with Daniel in Babylon. See ABEDNEGO.
A small piece of money, two of which made a kodrantes, or the fourth
part of the Roman as. The as was equal to three and one-tenth
farthings sterling, or about one and one-half cents. The mite,
therefore, would be equal to about two mills, Lu 12:59; 21:2.
The sacred turban or bonnet of the Jewish high priest, made of a piece
of fine linen many yards long, wound about the head, and having in
front, secured with blue lace, a plate of pure gold on which was
inscribed, "HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD," Ex 28:4,36-38 39:28-31.
The ancient capital of the island of Lesbos; a seaport on the east
side of the island, towards Asia Minor. Paul touched there on his way
from Greece to Jerusalem, Ac 20:14. The island is now called Mitelino;
and the ruins of the city still exist near Castro.
MIZPAH OR MIZPEH
A watch tower,
1. A town in Gilead, Ho 5:1; so named from the stone-heap cast up by
Jacob and Laban, Ge 31:49; supposed by many to be the place mentioned
in the history of Jephthah, Jud 10:17 11:11,29,34.
2. A city of Benjamin, a central gathering-place of the tribes in the
period of the judges, Jos 18:26 Jud 20:1,3 21:1. Here Samuel
sacrificed and judged, and here Saul was designated as king, 1Sa
7:5-16 10:17. It was fortified by Asa as a defense against Israel, 1Ki
15:22, was the residence of the governor, under Nebuchadnezzar, Jer
40:6, and was reoccupied after the captivity, Ne 3:19. Its name
indicates that it occupied an elevated site, and it was near Ramah;
hence Dr. Robinson identifies it with the modern place called Neby
Samwil, four or five miles northnorthwest of Jerusalem.
3. A town in the plain of Judah, Jos 15:38.
4. A valley near Mount Hermon, towards Zidon, Jos 11:3,8.
A son of Ham, and father of various African races, Ge 10:6, but
particularly of the Egyptians, to whom his name was given. Mizraim is
also the Hebrew word for Egypt in the Bible, and this country is still
called Misr in Arabic.
Of Cyprus, "an old disciple" with whom Paul lodged at Jerusalem, Ac
Descendants of Moab the son of Lot, Ge 19:30-38. The land of Moab lay
east and southeast of the Dead Sea, and chiefly south of the river
Arnon. At one period, however, it extended north as far as the Jabbok,
and for a long time the region beyond the Jordan opposite Jericho
retained the name of "the plains of Moab," Nu 22:1 De 1:5 29:1 Jos
13:32. The Moabites had dispossessed a race of giants called Emin, De
2:11, and had themselves been expelled by the Amorites from the
territory north of the Arnon, Nu 21:13,26 Jud 11:13-18, which was
again conquered by Moses, and assigned to the tribe of Reuben. On the
approach of Israel from Egypt, the Moabites acted with great
inhumanity, Nu 22:1-24:25 De 2:8-9; and though God spared them from
conquest, he excluded them and their seed even to the tenth generation
form the peculiar privileges of his people, De 23:3-6. They were gross
idolaters, worshipping Chemosh and Baalpeor with obscene rites, Nu
25:1-18 2Ki 3:27. See MOLOCH.
At times, as in the days of Ruth, there was peace between them and
Israel; but a state of hostility was far more common, as in the time
of Eglon, Jud 3:12-30; of Saul, 1Sa 14:47; of David, 2Sa 8:2,12; of
Joram and Jeroboam, 2Ki 3:13,20 14:25. They aided Nebuchadnezzar
against the Jews, 2Ki 24:2 Eze 25:6-11; and after these began to be
carried captive, appear to have regained their old possessions north
of the Arnon, Isa 15:1-16:14. The Jewish prophets recorded many
threatenings against these hereditary enemies of God and his people,
Nu 24:17 Ps 60:12 83:6 Jer 25:9-21 48:1-47 Am 2:1-3; and all travelers
concur in attesting the fulfillment of these predictions. Desolation
and gloom, brood over the mountains of Moab, and its fruitful valleys
are for the most part untilled. It is under Turkish government, but is
inhabited chiefly by migratory Arabs, Zep 2:8-9. Few travelers have
ventured to traverse it in modern times. They describe it as abounding
in ruins, such as shattered tombs, cisterns walls, temples, etc.,
proving that it was once densely populated. See "KEITH ON PROPHECY."
A small animal, which burrows obscurely in the ground, Isa 2:20. It is
common is some parts of Palestine, and is mentioned as unclean in Le
11:30; or, according to Bochart, in Le 11:29, in the word translated
MOLECH, MOLOCH OR MILCOM
A king, 1Ki 11:5,7 Ac 7:43; supposed also to be intended by Malcham,
or "their king," in Jer 49:1 Am 1:15 Zep 1:5, the name of a heathen
deity, worshipped by the Ammonites. The Israelites also introduced the
worship of this idol, both during their wanderings in the desert, and
after their settlement in Palestine, 2Ki 23:10 Eze 20:26,31. The
principal sacrifices to Moloch were human victims, namely, children
who were cast alive into the redhot arms of his statue. See HINNOM.
Compare Le 18:21 20:2 De 12:31 Ps 106:37,38 Jer 7:31 19:2-6 32:35.
According to some of these passages, Moloch would seem to be another
name for Baal; and we find that the Phoenicians, whose chief god was
Baal, and the Carthaginians their colonists, worshipped his image with
similar horrid sacrifices, as the Romans did their god Saturn.
Was anciently weighed, and did not at first exist in the form of
coins. The most ancient commerce was conducted by barter, or
exchanging one sort of merchandise for another. One man gave what he
could spare to another, who gave him in return part of his
superabundance. Afterwards, the more precious metals were used in
traffic, as a value more generally known and stated, and the amount
agreed upon was paid over by weight, Ge 23:16 43:21 Ex 30:24. Lastly
they gave this metal, a certain weight, and a certain degree of alloy,
to fix its value, and to save buyers and sellers the trouble of
weighing and examining the coins. The first regular coinage among the
Jews is supposed to have been in the time of Simon Maccabaeus, less
than a century and a half before Christ. The coins were the shekel,
and a half, a third, and a quarter of a shekel. The Jewish coins bore
an almond rod and a vase of manna, but no image of any man was
allowed. Compare Mt 22:16-22. Many Greek and Roman coins circulated in
Judea in New Testament times. See MITE, PENNY, SHEKEL.
Volney says, "The practice of weighing money is general in Syria,
Egypt, and all Turkey. No piece, however effaced, is refused there:
the merchant draws out his scales and weighs it, as in the days of
Abraham, when he purchased his sepulchre. In considerable payments, an
agent of exchange is sent for, who counts paras by thousands, rejects
pieces of false money, and weighs all the sequins, either separately
or together." This may serve to illustrate the phrase, "current money
with the merchant," Ge 23:16; and the references to "divers weights" -
a large one to weigh the money received, and a small one for that paid
out; and to "wicked balances," De 25:13 Am 8:5 Mic 6:11. Our Savior
alludes to a class of "exchangers," who appear to have taken money on
deposit, and so used it that the owner might afterwards receive his
own with interest, Mt 25:27. There were also money brokers who had
stands in the outer court of the temple, probably to exchange foreign
for Jewish coins; and to accommodate those who wished to pay the
yearly half-shekel tax, Ex 30:15, or to present an offering. They were
expelled by the Lord of the temple, not only for obtruding a secular
business within the house of prayer, but also for pursuing it
dishonestly, Mr 11:15-17.
In 1Ti 6:10, Paul speaks of the "love of money" as a root of all
evils; censuring not money itself, but the love of it- a prevailing
form of human selfishness and covetousness. This passion, to which so
many crimes are chargeable, may infest the heart of a poor man as well
as that of the rich; for the one may have as much of "the love of
money" as the other.
The Hebrews months were lunar months, that is, from one new moon to
another. These lunar months were each reckoned at twenty-nine days and
a half; or rather, one was of thirty days, the following of
twenty-nine, and so on alternately: that which had thirty days was
called a full or complete month; that which had but twenty-nine days
was called incomplete. The new moon was always the beginning of the
month and this day they called new-moon day, or new month. The Hebrews
usually designated the months only as first, second, etc.; and the
names by which they are now known are believed to be of Persian
origin, and to have been adopted by the Jews during the captivity. At
the exodus from Egypt, which occurred in April, God ordained that that
month-the seventh of the civil year- should be the first of the sacred
year, according to which the religious festivals were to be reckoned;
and from that time both these modes of numbering the months continued
to be employed.
As the Jewish months were governed by the moon, while ours entirely
disregard it, the two systems cannot wholly coincide. It is generally
agreed, however, that their month Nisan answers most nearly to our
April, Iyar to our May, etc.
Twelve lunar months making but three hundred and fifty-four days and
six hours, the Jewish year was short of the Roman by twelve days. To
recover the equinoctial points, from which this difference of the
solar and lunar year would separate the new moon of the first month,
the Jews every three years intercalated a thirteenth month, which they
called Veadar, the second Adar. By this means their lunar year nearly
equaled the solar. See YEAR.
This beautiful and stately ruler of the night, Ge 1:16, is one of the
chief witnesses to mankind of the goodness, wisdom, and power of the
Creator, Ps 8:3; and as receiving all its light from the sun, and
reflecting it on all around, it is a striking image of the church of
Christ. In the clear sky of the East, the moon shines with peculiar
brilliancy; and it was worshipped by most nations of antiquity, either
directly, or as an idol-goddess under the name of Ashtoreth, Artemis,
Diana, Hecate, Meni, Mylitta, Maja, etc. The Hebrews were specially
cautioned against this form of idolatry, De 4:19 17:3; and yet fell
into it; 2Ki 21:3 Isa 65:11 Jer 7:18 8:2 19:13 44:17-25. See LUNATIC
and NEW MOON.
The uncle of Esther, who rose to dignity and honor in the court of
Ahasuerus. See the book of Esther.
The hill on which the temple of Jerusalem was built, 2Ch 3:1. See
JERUSALEM. It seems to have been the same place where Abraham was
about to offer up Isaac, Ge 22:1-2; and where David interceded for his
people at the threshing-floor of Araunah, 2Sa 24:16-25.
This well-known utensil was employed by the Hebrews in preparing manna
for use, Nu 11:8. Large iron mortars, for pounding grain, have been
used by the Turks in the execution of criminals; but it is not known
that the Jews ever practiced this mode of punishment. To this day a
favorite article of food in Syria is prepared by pounding meat for
hours in an iron mortar, and adding grain and spice while the process
of "braying" goes on, Pr 27:22.
The name of the illustrious prophet and legislator of the Hebrews, who
led them from Egypt to the Promised Land. Having been originally
imposed by a native Egyptian princess, the word is no doubt Egyptian
in its origin, and Josephus gives its true derivation- from the two
Egyptian words, MO, water, and USE, saved. With this accords the
Septuagint form, MOUSES. The Hebrews by a slight change accommodated
it to their own language, as they did also in the case of some other
foreign words; calling it MOSHIE, from the verb MASHA, to draw. See Ex
2:10. Moses was born about 1571 B. C., the son of Amram and Jochebed,
of the tribe of Levi, and the younger brother of Miriam and Aaron. His
history is too extensive to permit insertion here, and in general too
well known to need it. It is enough simply to remark, that it is
divided into three periods, each of forty years. The first extends
from his infancy, when he was exposed in the Nile, and found and
adopted y the daughter of Pharaoh, to his flight to Midian.
During this time he lived at the Egyptian court, and "was learned in
all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in
deeds," Ac 7:22. This is no unmeaning praise; the "wisdom" of the
Egyptians, and especially of their priests, was then the profoundest
in the world. The second period was from his flight till his return to
Egypt, Ac 7:30, during the whole of which interval he appears to have
lived in Midian, it may be much after the manner of the Bedaween
sheikhs of the present day. Here he married Zipporah, daughter of the
wise and pious Jethro, and became familiar with life in the desert.
What a contrast between the former period, spent amid the splendors
and learning of a court, and this lonely nomadic life. Still it was in
this way that God prepared him to be the instrument of deliverance to
His people during the third period of his life, which extends from the
exodus out of Egypt to his death on mount Nebo. In this interval how
much did he accomplish, as the immediate agent of the Most High.
The life and institutions of Moses present one of the finest subjects
for the pen of a Christian historian, who is at the same time a
competent biblical antiquary. His institutions breathe a spirit of
freedom, purity, intelligence, justice, and humanity, elsewhere
unknown; and above all, of supreme love, honor, and obedience to God.
They molded the character of the Hebrews, and transformed them from a
nation of shepherds into a people of fixed residence and agricultural
habits. Through that people, and through the Bible, the influence of
these institutions has been extended over the world; and often where
the letter has not been observed, the spirit of them has been adopted.
Thus it was in the laws established by the pilgrim fathers of New
England; and no small part of what is of most value in the
institutions which they founded, is to be ascribed to the influence of
the Hebrew legislator.
The name of this servant of God occurs repeatedly in Greek and Latin
writings, and still more frequently in those of the Arabs and the
rabbinical Jews. Many of their statements, however, are mere legends
without foundation, or else distortions of the Scripture narrative. By
the Jews he has always been especially honored, as the most
illustrious personage in all their annals, and as the founder of their
whole system of laws and institutions. Numerous passages both in the
Old and New Testament show how exalted a position they gave him, Ps
103:7 105:26 106:16 Isa 63:12 Jer 15:1 Da 9:11 Mt 8:4 Joh 5:45 9:28 Ac
7:20,37 Ro 10:5,19 Heb 3:1-19 11:23.
In all that he wrought and taught, he was but the agent of the Most
High; and yet in all his own character stands honorably revealed.
Though naturally liable to anger and impatience, he so far subdued
himself as to be termed the meekest of men, Nu 12:3; and his piety,
humility, and forbearance, the wisdom and vigor of his administration,
his unfailing zeal and faith in God, and his disinterested patriotism
are worthy of all imitation. Many features of his character and life
furnish admirable illustrations of the work of Christ- as the deliverer,
ruler, and guide of his people, bearing them on his heart, interceding
for them, rescuing, teaching, and nourishing them even to the promised
land. All the religious institutions of Moses pointed to Christ; and
he himself, on the mount, two thousand years after his death, paid his
homage to the Prophet he had foretold, De 18:15-19, beheld "that
goodly mountain and Lebanon," De 3:25, and was admitted to commune
with the Savior on the most glorious of themes, the death He should
accomplish at Jerusalem, Lu 9:31.
Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, as it is called, or the first
five books of the Bible. In the composition of them he was probably
assisted by Aaron, who kept a register of public transactions, Ex
17:14 24:4,7 34:27 Nu 33:1,2 De 31:24, etc. Some things were added by
a later inspired hand; as for example, De 34:1-12 Ps 90:1-17 also is
ascribed to him; and its noble and devout sentiments acquire a new
significance, if received as from his pen near the close of his
The common moth is an insect destructive to woolen cloths. The egg is
laid by a small shining worm; which by another transformation becomes
a miller. Allusions to the moth, as devouring clothes, and as a frail
and feeble insect, are frequent in Scripture, Job 4:19 13:28 27:18 Isa
50:9 Ho 5:12 Mt 6:19,20. See GARMENTS.
The insects called in general moths, of which the above is only one
species, are exceedingly numerous. The main genus is called by
naturalists Phaloena, and contains more than fifteen hundred species.
Moths fly abroad only in the evening and night; differing in this
respect from the tribe of butterflies that fly only by day. Their
larva, or the worms from which they spring, are active, and quick in
motion, mostly smooth, and prey voraciously on the food adapted to
them; the common moth on cloths, others on furs, the leaves of plants,
The Hebrew words AM AM and AB AB, mother and father, are simple and
easy sounds for infant lips, like mamma and papa in English. See ABBA.
"Before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and My
mother," Isa 8:4. In addition to the usual meaning of "mother," AM
sometimes signifies in the Bible grandmother, 1Ki 15:10, or some
remote female ancestor, Ge 3:20. It is put for a chief city, 2Sa
20:19; for a benefactress, Jud 5:7; for a nation, as in the expressive
English phrase, "the mother country," Isa 3:12 49:23. The fond
affection of a mother is often referred to in Scripture; and God has
employed it to illustrate his tender love for his people, Isa 49:15.
Mothers are endowed with an all-powerful control over their offspring;
and most men of eminence in the world have acknowledged their great
indebtedness to maternal influence. When Bonaparte asked Madame Campan
what the French nation most needed, she replied in one word,
"Mothers." The Christian church already owes much, and will owe
infinitely more, to the love, patience, zeal, and self-devotion of
mothers in training their children for Christ.
Are among the most sublime and impressive of the Creator's works on
earth, and from the noblest and most enduring monuments of great
events. Most of the mountains of Scripture thus stand as witnesses for
God- every view of their lofty summits, and every recurrence to them
in thought reminding us of the sacred facts and truths connected with
them. Thus Mount Ararat is a standing memorial of the deluge of man's
sin, God's justice, and God's mercy. Mount Sinai asserts the terrors
of the divine law. Mount Carmel summons us, like the prophet Elijah of
old, not to "halt between two opinions;" but if Jehovah is God, to
love and serve him. The mount of the Transfiguration still shines with
the glory of the truths there taught, and Mounts Ebal and Gerizim
still echo the curses and the blessings once so solemnly pronounced
from them. So Mount Hor, Nebo, Lebanon, and Gilboa have been
signalized by striking events; mount Zion, Moriah, and Olivet are
covered with precious memories; and the mountains about Jerusalem and
all other "everlasting hills" are sacred witnesses of the eternal
power and faithfulness of God.
Judea was eminently a hilly country; and the sacred poets and prophets
drew from the mountains around them many beautiful and sublime
illustrations of divine truth. Thus a kingdom is termed a mountain, Ps
30:7, especially the kingdom of Christ, Isa 2:2 11:9 Da 2:35. Thus
also difficulty is a "great mountain," Zec 4:7. A revolution is the
"carrying of mountains into the midst of the sea," Ps 46:3. God easily
and speedily removes every obstacle- "hills melt like wax at the
presence of the Lord," Ps 97:5. The integrity of the divine nature is
sure and lasting- "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains," Ps
36:6. The eternity of God's love is pictured out by this comparison:
"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my
kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my
peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee," Isa 54:10.
When David wishes to express the stability of his kingdom, he says,
"Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong," Ps
30:7. The security and protection afforded by God to his people are
thus beautifully delineated: "As the mountains are round about
Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth, even
for ever," Ps 125:2. When the prophet would express his faith in God,
how pure it was, and what confidence it inspired, far above any
assurance which could arise from earthly blessing or defense, he
sings, "Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from
the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is salvation of
Israel," Jer 3:23.
The hills of Judea were anciently cultivate to the top, with scores of
terraces, and covered with vines, olives, figs, etc. Hence the
expression, alluding to the vine of God's planting, "the hills were
covered with the shadow of it," Ps 80:10; and others of the same kind.
Travelers say it is a rare thing to pass a mountain, even in the wild
parts of Judea, which does not show that it was formerly terraced and
made to flow with oil and wine, though it may now be desolate and
bare. Says Paxton, "There are many districts that are sadly encumbered
with rock, yet the soil among these rocks is of a very superior kind:
and were the rock somewhat broken up, the large pieces piled, and the
small mixed with the soil, it might be made very productive. There is
very striking proof of this in some districts, as that about Hebron,
which abounds with rock, and yet is covered with the most productive
vineyards. As to such a rocky country being so spoken of in the days
of the patriarchs, I suppose that it was in truth, at that time the
finest of lands; that the rock which now lies bare in so many places,
was then all covered with earth of the richest kind."
"Even in those parts where all is now desolate," remarks Dr. Robinson,
"there are everywhere traces of the hand of the men of other days...
Most of the hills indeed exhibit the remains of terraces built up
around them, the undoubted signs of former cultivation." Again, when
traveling towards Hebron, he observes, "Many of the former terraces
along the hill sides are still in use; and the land looks somewhat as
it may have done in ancient times."
"We often counted forty, fifty, sixty, and even seventy terraces from
the bottom of the valley up to the summit of the mountain... What a
garden of delights this must have been, when instead of grass making
green the surface, verdant and luxuriant vines were their clothing...
We could understand how the words of Joel shall yet be literally true,
'The mountains shall drop down new wine,' when every vine on these
hills shall be hanging its ripe clusters over the terraces. In
observing too the singular manner in which the most rocky mountains
have at one time been made, through vast labor and industry, to yield
an abundant return to the husbandman, we saw clearly the meaning of
the promise in Ezekiel, 'But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot
forth your branches, and yield your fruit.'" Narrative of a Mission.
The Hebrews, at the death of their friends and relations, made
striking demonstrations of grief and mourning. They wept, tore their
clothes, smote their breasts, threw dust upon their heads, Jos 7:6,
and lay upon the ground, went barefooted, pulled their hair and
beards, or cut them, Ezr 9:3 Isa 15:2, and made incisions on their
breasts, or tore them with their nails, Le 19:28 21:5 Jer 16:6 48:37.
The time of mourning was commonly seven days, 1Sa 31:11-13; but it was
lengthened or shortened according to circumstances, Zec 12:10. That
for Moses and Aaron was prolonged to thirty days, Nu 20:29 De 34:8;
and that for Jacob to seventy days, Ge 50:3.
During the time of their mourning, the near relations of the deceased
continued sitting in their houses, and fasted, 2Sa 12:16, or ate on
the ground. The food they took was thought unclean, and even
themselves were judged impure. "Their sacrifices shall be unto them as
the bread of mourners: all that eat thereof shall be polluted," Ho
9:4. Their faces were covered, and in all that time they could not
apply themselves to any occupation, nor read the book of the law, nor
offer their usual prayers. They did not dress themselves, nor make
their beds, nor uncover their heads, nor shave themselves, nor cut
their nails, nor go into the bath, nor salute any body. Nobody spoke
to them unless they spoke first, Job 2:11-13. Their friends commonly
went to visit and comfort them, Joh 11:19,39, bringing them food, 2Sa
3:35 Jer 16:7. They also went up to the roof, or upon the platform of
their houses, to bewail their misfortune: "They shall gird themselves
with sackcloth; on the tops of their houses, and in their streets,
every one shall howl, weeping abundantly," Isa 15:3 Jer 48:38. The
mourning dress among the Hebrews was not fixed either by law or
custom. We only find in Scripture that they used to tear their
garments, a custom still observed; but now they tear a small part
merely, and for form's sake, 2Sa 13:19 2Ch 34:27 Ezr 9:3 Job 2:12 Joe
2:13. Anciently in times of mourning, they clothed themselves in
sackcloth, or haircloth, that is, in clothes of coarse brown or black
stuff, 2Sa 3:31 1Ki 21:27 Es 4:1 Ps 35:13 69:11.
They hired women to weep and wail, and also persons to play on
instruments, at the funerals of the rich or distinguished, Jer 9:17.
In Mt 9:23, we observe a company of minstrels or players on the flute,
at the funeral of a girl of twelve year of age. All that met a funeral
procession were accustomed to join them for a time, to accompany them
on their way, sometimes relieving the bearers of the bier, and
mingling their tears with those of the mourners, Ro 12:15.
The custom of hiring women to weep and wail has come down to modern
times. The following account of such a scene at Nablous, the ancient
Shechem, is form Dr. Jowett. The governor of the city had died the
very morning of Dr. Jowett's arrival. "On coming within sight of the
gate, we perceived a numerous company of females, who were singing in
a kind of recitative, far from melancholy, and beating time with their
hands. If this be mourning, I thought, it is of a strange kind. It had
indeed sometimes more the air of angry defiance. But on our reaching
the gate, it was suddenly exchanged for most hideous plaints and
shrieks, which, with the feeling that we were entering a city at no
time celebrated for its hospitality, struck a very dismal impression
upon my mind. They accompanied us a few paces; but it soon appeared
that the gate was their station, to which having received nothing from
us, they returned. We learned, in the course of the evening, that
these were only a small detachment of a very numerous body of 'cunning
women' with the design, as of old, to make the eyes of all the
inhabitants 'run down with tears, and their eyelids gush out with
water,' Jer 9:17-18. For this good service, they would, the next
morning wait upon the government and principal persons, to receive
some trifling fee."
Some of the Jewish forms of mourning are the appropriate and universal
language of grief; others, to our modern and occidental taste, savor
of extravagance. None of these were enjoined by their religion, which
rather restricted than encouraged them, Le 10:6 19:27 21:1-11 Nu 6:7
De 14:1. They were the established customs of the times. Sorrow finds
some relief in reversing all the usages of ordinary life.
Christianity, however, moderates and assuages our grief; shows us a
Father's hand holding the rod, and the dark valley itself penetrated
by the heavenly light into which it emerges, 1Co 15:53-55 1Th 4:14-18
Re 7:13-17 14:13.
In the Scriptures, is used chiefly of the field mouse, but probably
includes various species of these animals, some of which were eaten.
Moses, Le 11:29, declared it to be unclean, yet it was sometimes
eaten; and Isa 66:17, reproaches the Jews with this practice. The
hamster and the dormouse, as well as the jerboa, are sometimes used
for food by the modern Arabs. Mice made great havoc in the fields of
the Philistines, after that people had taken the ark of the Lord;
which induced them to send it back with mice and emerods of gold, 1Sa
5:6,9,11 6:4-5. The field mice are equally prevalent in those regions
at the present day. See HAMATH.
Is sometimes used in Scripture for speaker, Ex 4:16 Jer 15:19. God
spoke with Moses "mouth to mouth," Numbers 12.8, that is,
condescendingly and clearly. The law was to be "in the mouth" of the
Hebrews, Ex 13:9, often rehearsed and talked of. "The rod of his
mouth," Isa 11:4, and the sharp sword, Re 1:16, denote the power of
Christ's word to convict, control, and judge; compare Isa 49:2 Heb
4:12. The Hebrew word for mouth is often translated "command," Ge
45:21 Job 39:27 Ec 8:2; and the unclean spirits out of the mouth of
the dragon, Re 16:14, are the ready executors of his commands.
The word-translated mulberry-tree signifies literally weeping, and
indicates some tree, which distils balsam or gum. The particular
species is not known; though some think the popular, or aspen, may be
intended, 2Sa 5:23-24; 1Ch 14:14-15.
A mixed animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. A mule is smaller
than a horse, and has long ears, though not so long as those of an
ass. It is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, surefooted animal,
lives twice as long as a horse, and is much more easily and cheaply
fed. Mules are much used in Spain and South America, for transporting
goods across the mountains. So also in the Alps, they are used by
travelers among the mountains, where a horse would hardly be able to
pass with safety. There is no probability that the Jews bred mules,
because it was forbidden to couple creatures of different species, Le
19:19. But they were not forbidden to obtain them from abroad and use
them, 1Ki 10:25 Eze 27:14. Thus we may observe, especially after
David's time, that mules, male and female, were common among the
Hebrews; formerly they used only male and female asses, 2Sa 13:29 18:9
1Ki 1:33 10:25 18:5 Es 8:10,14.
In Ge 36:24, Anah is said to have found "mules" in the desert; but the
Hebrew word here probably means hot springs. See ANAH.
Implements of war. "Munitions of rocks" seems to mean, a rocky
fortress or stronghold. The strong tower of the righteous is
impregnable and inaccessible to their foes, Isa 33:16.
The designed and malevolent taking of human life, was by the original
appointment of God, a crime to be punished by death. Cain, the first
murderer, recognized it as such, Ge 4:14. The ground for the death
penalty for murder is the eminent dignity and sacredness of man as a
child of God, Ge 9:5-6. Like the Sabbath and marriage, it is a
primeval and universal institution for mankind, and all nations have
so recognized it, Ac 28:4. The Mosaic code reenacted it, Le 24:17; and
while providing for the unintentional homicide a safe retreat,
declares that deliberate murder must be punished by death, from which
neither the city of refuge nor the altar of God could shield the
criminal, Ex 21:12-14 Nu 35:9-34 De 19:1-13 1Ki 2:5-6,28-34. Death was
usually inflicted by stoning, upon the testimony of at least two
witnesses, Nu 35:30. If a corpse were found in the open fields, and
the murderer could not be discovered, the town nearest to the spot was
obliged to purge itself by a solemn ceremony, lest it should become
liable to the judgments of God, De 21:1-9.
In various ways God is represented as specially abhorring this crime,
and securing its punishment, De 32:43 2Sa 21:1 Ps 9:12 55:23 Ho 1:4 Re
22:15. Our Savior instructs us that one may be guilty, in the sight of
God, of murder in the heart, without any overt act, Mt 5:21-22 1Jo
3:15. Nothing is said especially in the law respecting selfmurder, and
only the cases of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas are described in the
Bible, 1Sa 31:4 2Sa 17:23 Ac 1:18. Of all murders, that of the soul is
incomparably the most awful, Joh 8:44, and many plunge not only
themselves but also others into the second death.
A special mortality, wrought by miraculous agency, among the cattle of
the Egyptians, while those of the Hebrews in the same region were
unharmed, Ex 9:3.
The ancient Hebrews had a great taste for music, which they used in
their religious services, in their public and private rejoicing, at
their weddings and feasts, and even in their mourning. We have in
Scripture canticles of joy, of thanksgiving, of praise, of mourning;
also mournful elegies or songs, as those of David on the death of Saul
and Abner, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah on the destruction of
Jerusalem; so, too, songs of victory, triumph, and gratulation, as
that which Moses sung after passing the Red Sea, that of Deborah and
Barak, and others. The people of God went up to Jerusalem thrice a
year, cheered on their way with songs of joy, Ps 84:12 Isa 30:29. The
book of Psalms comprises a wonderful variety of inspired pieces for
music, and is an inexhaustible treasure for the devout in all ages.
Music is perhaps the most ancient of the fine arts. Jubal, who lived
before the deluge, was the "father" of those who played on the harp
and the organ, Ge 4:21 31:26-27. Laban complains that his sonin-law
Jacob had left him, without giving him an opportunity of sending his
family away "with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp."
Moses, having passed through the Red Sea, composed a song, and sung it
with the Israelitish men, while Miriam, his sister, sung it with
dancing, and playing on instruments, at the head of the women, Ex
15:20-21. He caused silver trumpets to be made to be sounded at solemn
sacrifices, and on religious festivals. David, who had great skill in
music, soothed the perturbed spirit of Saul by playing on the harp,
1Sa 16:16,23; and when he was himself established on the throne-
seeing that the Levites were not employed, as formerly, in carrying
the boards, veils, and vessels of the tabernacle, its abode being
fixed at Jerusalem-appointed a great part of them to sing and to play
on instruments in the temple, 1Ch 25:1-31. David brought the ark to
Jerusalem with triumphant and joyful music, 1Ch 13:8 15:16-28; and in
the same manner Solomon was proclaimed king, 1Ki 1:39-40. The Old
Testament prophets also sought the aid of music in their services, 1Sa
10:5 2Ki 3:15.
Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were chiefs of the music of the tabernacle
under David, and of the temple under Solomon. Asaph had four sons,
Jeduthun six, and Heman fourteen. These twenty-four Levites, sons of
the three great masters of the temple-music, were at the head of
twenty-four bands of musicians, which served in the temple by turns.
Their number there was always great, but especially at the chief
solemnities. They were ranged in order about the altar of
burnt-sacrifices. As the whole business of their lives was to learn
and to practice music, it must be supposed that they understood it
well, whether it were vocal or instrumental, 2Ch 29:25.
The kings also had their music. Asaph was chief master of music to
David. In the temple, and in the ceremonies of religion, female
musicians were admitted as well as male; they generally were daughters
of the Levites. Ezra, in his enumeration of those whom he brought back
with him from the captivity, reckons two hundred singing men and
singing women, 2Sa 19:35 Ezr 2:65 Ne 7:67.
As to the nature of their music, we can judge of it only by
conjecture, because it has been long lost. Probably it was a unison of
several voices, of which all sung together the same melody, each
according to his strength and skill; without musical counterpoint, or
those different parts and combinations which constitute harmony in our
music. Probably, also, the voices were generally accompanied by
instrumental music. If we may draw any conclusions in favor of their
music from its effects, its magnificence, its majesty, and the lofty
sentiments contained in their songs, we must allow it great
excellence. It is supposed that the temple musicians were sometimes
divided into two or more separate choirs, which, with a general
chorus, sung in turn responsive to each other, each a small portion of
the Psalm. The structure of the Hebrew Psalms is eminently adapted to
this mode of singing, and very delightful and solemn effects might
thus be produced. Compare Ps 24:10,10,10.
Numerous musical instruments are mentioned in Scripture, but it has
been found impossible to affix heir names with certainty to specific
instruments now in use. By a comparison, however, of the instruments
probably held in common by the Jews with the Greeks, Romans, and
Egyptians, a degree of probability as to most of them has been
secured. They were of three kinds:
A. Stringed instruments:
1. KINNOR, "the harp," Ge 4:21. Frequently mentioned in Scripture, and
probably a kind of lyre.
2. NEBEL, "the psaltery," 1Sa 10:5. It appears to have been the name
of various large instruments of the harp kind.
3. ASOR, signifying ten-stringed. In Ps 92:4, it apparently denotes an
instrument distinct from the NEBEL; but elsewhere it seems to be
simply a description of the NEBEL as ten-stringed. See Ps 33:2 144:9.
4. GITTITH. It occurs in the titles of Ps 8:1 81:1 84:1. From the
name, it is supposed that David brought it from Gath. Others conclude
that it is a general name for a string instrument.
5. MINNIM, strings, Ps 150:4. Probably another kind of stringed
6. SABECA, "sackbut," Da 3:5,7,10,15. A kind of lyre.
7. PESANTERIN, "psaltery," occurs Da 3:7, and is supposed to represent
8. MACHALATH. Found in the titles of Ps 53:1 88:1; supposed to be a
lute or guitar.
B. Wind instruments:
9. KEREN, "horn," Jos 6:5. Cornet.
10. SHOPHAR, "trumpet," Nu 10:10. Used synonymously with KEREN.
11. CHATZOZERAH, the straight trumpet, Ps 98:6.
12. JOBEL, or KEREN JOBEL, horn of jubilee, or signal trumpet, Jos
6:4. Probably the same with 9 and 10.
13. CHAIL, "pipe" or "flute." The word means bored through, 1Sa 10:5.
14. MISHROKITHA, Da 3:5, etc. Probably the Chaldean name for the flute
with two reeds.
15. UGAB, "organ" in our version Ge 4:21. It means a double or
manifold pipe, and hence the shepherd's pipe; probably the same as the
syrinx or Pan's pipe; or perhaps resembling the bagpipe.
C. Instruments which gave out sound on being struck:
17. TOPH, Ge 31:27, the tambourine and all instruments of the drum
18. PHAAMON, "bells," Ex 28:33. Attached to the hem of the high
19. TZELITZELIM "cymbals," Ps 150:5. A word frequently occurring.
There were probably two kinds, hand-cymbals.
20. SHALISHIM, 1Sa 18:6. In our version, "instruments of music."
"Three-stringed instruments." Most writers identify it with the
21. MENAANEIM, "cymbals," 2Sa 6:5. Probably the sistrum. The Hebrew
word means to shake. The sistrum was generally about sixteen or
eighteen inches long, occasionally inlaid with silver, and being held
upright, was shaken, the rings moving to and fro on the bars.
Further particulars concerning some of these may be found under the
names they severally bear in our English Bible.
A species of this annual shrub is found in Palestine, growing to the
height of seven to nine feet, and with a stem one inch thick. Prof.
Hacket, while examining a field of these plants, saw a bird of the air
come and lodge in the branches before him, Mt 13:31,32; Mr 4:31,32.
Others suppose a tree is meant, called Salvadora Persica. It is found
in Palestine, and bears berries containing small, mustard- like seeds.
"A grain of mustard" was used proverbially to denote any thing
extremely small, Mt 17:20.
A town of Lycia, where Paul embarked for Rome, on board a ship of
Alexandria, Ac 27:5.
A precious gum yielded by a tree common in Africa and Arabia, which is
about eight or nine feet high; its wood hard, and its trunk thorny. It
was of several kinds, and various degrees of excellence. The best was
an ingredient in the holy ointment, Ex 30:23. It was also employed in
perfumes, Es 2:12 Ps 45:8 So 4:6 5:5,13; and in embalming, to preserve
the body from corruption, Joh 19:39. The magi, who came from the East
to worship Christ, offered him myrrh, Mt 2:11.
In Mr 15:23, is mentioned "wine mingles with myrrh," which was offered
to Jesus previous to his crucifixion, and intended to deaden the
anguish of his sufferings. It was a custom among the Hebrews to give
such stupefying liquors to persons who were about to be capitally
punished, Pr 31:6. Some have thought that the myrrhed wine of Mark is
not the same as the "vinegar mingled with gall" of Mt 27:34. They
suppose the myrrhed wine was given to our Lord from a sentiment of
sympathy, to prevent him from feeling too sensibly the pain of his
sufferings; while the potation mingled with gall, of which he would
not drink, was given from cruelty. But the other explanation is the
more probable. See GALL GALL.
A beautiful and fragrant evergreen tree, growing wild throughout the
southern parts of Europe, the north of Africa, and the temperate parts
of Asia; principally on the seacoast. The leaves are of a rich and
polished evergreen; the flowers white, with sometimes a tinge of red
externally; and the berries are of the size of a small pea, violet or
whitish, sweetish, and with the aromatic flavor which distinguishes
the whole plant. These are used for spices in the Levant. It furnishes
a useful tonic medicine, Ne 8:15; Isa 41:19; 55:13; Zec 1:8,10,11.
A province in the northwest corner of Asia Minor bounded north by the
Propontis, west by the Aegean Sea, south by Lydia, and east by
Bithynia. Paul preached in this country on his first journey to
Europe, Ac 16:7-8.
Means strictly a secret, and is so used when spoken of the heathen
"mysteries" or secret rites, which were full of all manner of
abominations. In the Scriptures the word "mystery" denotes those
truths of religions which, without a revelation from God, would have
remained unknown to man. Our Savior says to his disciples, that they
are peculiarly happy, because God has revealed to them "the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven," Mt 16:17 11:25 Lu 10:21-24. Paul explains
the word in Eph 3:1-9; and often speaks of the mystery of the gospel,
of the mystery of the cross of Christ, of the mystery of Christ which
was unknown to former ages, of the mystery of the incarnation, the
resurrection, etc., Ro 11:25 1Co 2:7-10 4:1 13:2 15:51 1Ti 3:9,16.
These, then, were called mysteries, not only because they included
some things which stretch beyond all human thought, and others which
would never have been known if the Son of God and his Holy Spirit had
not revealed them, but also because they were not opened indifferently
to everyone; according to the advice of Christ to his apostles, "Give
not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls
before swine," 1Co 2:14. In one place "mystery" seems to denote the
whole cycle of God's secret plan in the administration of the gospel,
gradually unfolded even to the end, Re 10:7 11:15.
Mystery signifies also an allegory, that is, a mode of information
under which partial instruction is given, a partial discovery is made,
but there is still a cover of some kind, which the persons who desires
to know the whole must endeavor to remove. So the mystery of the seven
star, Re 1:20, is an allegory representing the seven Asiatic churches
under the symbol of seven burning lamps. So the mystery "Babylon the
Great," is an allegorical representation of the spiritual Babylon,
idolatry, spiritual fornication, etc., "I will tell thee the mystery
of the woman;" that is, I will explain to thee the allegory of this
figure, Re 17:5,7.
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