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NAAMAN

The highly esteemed general of Ben-hadad, king of Damascene Syria in
the time of Joram king of Israel. He was afflicted with the leprosy;
but was miraculously cured, on washing seven times in the Jordam, Le
14:7, according to the direction of Elisha, 2Ki 5:1- 27; Lu 4:27. He
had found all his honor and power valueless, and all physicians of no
avail for his cure; was led to renounce his pride, and avail himself
of the simple remedy prescribed; and being cured, was grateful not
only to the prophet, but to the prophet's God. He frankly yielded
other evidence which probed that Jehovah was the living and true God;
and took home with him two mule-loads of earth, for an altar to the
Lord, Ex 20:24. With respect to his attending Ben-hadad while in the
temple of Rimmon, the prophet gave him no precise rule; discerning, we
may suppose, a growing fear and love of God which would preserve him
from all even outward homage to the idol.


NABAL

Foolish, a descendant of Caleb, owner of a large property in lands and
flocks, at Maon and Carmel in the south of Judah. He was under great
obligations to David, for protecting him from the robbers of the
desert; and yet, in the very hour most suggestive of a grateful
generosity, he churlishly refused David's modest request of provisions
for his needy troop. Indignant at this ingratitude and inhospitality,
David was soon on his way to put him and his men to the sword.
Happily, the discreet intervention of Abigail averted this
catastrophe. Ten days after, the lord smote him, and he died, 1Sa
25:1-43. See ABIGAIL.


NABOTH

An Israelite at Jezreel, who declined selling his ancestral vineyard
to Ahab, Le 25:23,24; and was in consequence murdered, on a false
charge of blasphemy contrived by Jezebel the queen. Ahab took
immediate possession of the coveted vineyard- perhaps as being legally
for forfeited to the government, construing blasphemy as treason; or
it may be, that the heirs were deterred from asserting their claim by
a dread of the unscrupulous arts of Jezebel. Elijah, however, did not
fear to denounce against the king and queen the vengeance of One
"higher than they," 1Ki 21:1-29 2Ki 9:24-26,36 Ec 5:8.


NADAB

1. The oldest son of Aaron, slain by the lord for presumptuously
offering strange fire on the altar of burnt offering, Le 10:1-20. See
ABIHU.


2. Son of Jeroboam I. King of Israel. He succeeded his father, B. C.
954, and reigned but two years, being assassinated, while besieging
Gibbethon, by Baasha, of the tribe of Issachar, who usurped his
kingdom. Nadab did evil in the sight of the Lord; and with him
perished his children and the race of Jeroboam, as God had foretold,
1Ki 15:25-30.


NAHASH

1. A king of the Ammonites, defeated by Saul while besieging
Ramothgilead, 1Sa 11:1-15. He, or as some think, his son of the same
name, was on friendly terms with David, 2Sa 10:2


2. The father of Zeruiah and Abigail, David's half-sisters, 2Sa 17:25
1Ch 2:13-16. Nahash, however, may have been another name for Jesse; or
possibly the name of his wife.


NAHOR

1. Son of Serug, and father of Terah, Ge 11:22-25 Lu 3:34.


2. Son of Terah, and brother of Abraham and Haran. He married Milcah
his niece in Ur of the Chaldees, Ge 11:26,29, but seems to have
transferred his residence to Haran, Ge 24:10 27:43. He had twelve
sons, and among them Bethuel the father of Rebekah, Ge 22:20-24.


NAHSHON OR NAASSON

One of our Lord's ancestors, Mt 1:4 Lu 3:32; chief of the tribe of
Judah in the desert, Nu 1:7 2:3 7:12; and brother-in-law of Aaron, Ex
6:23 Ru 4:20 1Ch 2:10.


NAHUM

Consolation, the seventh of the twelve minor prophets. The
circumstances of Nahum's life are unknown, except that he was a native
of Elkosh, which probably was a village in Galilee. His prophecy
consists of three chapters, which form one discourse, in which he
foretells the destruction of Nineveh in so powerful and vivid a
manner, that he might seem to have been on the very spot. The native
elegance, fire, and sublimity of his style are universally admired.


Opinions are divided as to the time in which Nahum prophesied. The
best interpreters adopt Jerome's opinion, that he foretold the
destruction of Nineveh in the time of Hezekiah, after the war of
Sennacherib in Egypt mentioned by Berosus. Compare Isa 20:6 Na 3:8.
Nahum speaks of the taking of shakeh, and of the defeat of
Sennacherib, as things that were past. He implies that the tribe of
Judah was still in their own country, and that they there celebrated
their festivals. He notices also the captivity and dispersion of the
ten tribes.


NAIL

The "nail" with which Jael killed Sisera was rather a tent-pin, such
as is driven into the ground in order to fasten the cords of the tent,
Ex 27:19 Jud 4:21-22. Sometimes the Hebrew word is used for the wooden
pins or iron spikes firmly inwrought into the walls of a building, Ezr
9:8 Eze 15:3. The word implies fixedness, Isa 22:23; and a firm
support, Zec 10:4. Another Hebrew word describes the golden and
ornamental nails of the temple, etc., 2Ch 3:9 Ec 12:11 Isa 41:7 Jer
10:4.


NAIN

Where Christ performed one of his chief miracles, in raising to life a
widow's only son, Lu 7:11-17, was a small village in Galilee, three
miles south by west of Mount Tabor: It is now a petty hamlet, called
Nein.


NAIOTH

The abode of Samuel, and his pupils in a "school of the prophets," 1Sa
19:18-24 20:1. It appears to have been a suburb of Ramah; and David,
having sought refuge there with Samuel, was pursued by Saul.


NAKED

In the Bible, often means no more than "not fully dressed." So in Joh
21:7, Peter is said to have been "naked," that is, he had laid off his
outer garment, and had on only his inner garment or tunic. See
GARMENT. So probably in Isa 20:2 Mic 1:8 Ac 19:16. Sometimes poorness
and insufficiency of clothing are meant, as in Jas 2:15. So in Isa
58:7 2Co 11:27. A nation is said to be "naked," when stripped of its
defenses, wealth, etc., Ge 42:9 Ex 32:25 2Ch 28:19.


"Nakedness" is also put for shame. To "uncover the nakedness" denotes
an unlawful or incestuous union, Le 20:19.


NAMES

Among the Hebrews were frequently significant; sometimes of a family
trait, and sometimes of circumstances attending the birth of a child;
often too they were assumed afterwards to commemorate some striking
occurrence in one's history. Compare the cases of Ishmael, Esau, and
Jacob, Moses, Ichabod, etc., Ge 16:16 25:25,26 Ex 2:10 1Sa 4:21.


Compound names were frequent; and often a part of the name of God, JAH
EL, JEHO, etc., was employed as in Eliezer, Ex 18:4, Amuel, Josiah,
Adonijah. Sometimes a whole phrase was formed into a name; as
Elioneai, to Jehovah are mine eyes, 1Ch 4:36. The New Testament names
are chiefly ancient and family names perpetuated, Lu 1:61. The men of
the East change their names for slight causes; and hence many persons
occur in the Bible bearing tow or more names, Ru 1:20 2Sa 23:8 Joh
1:42. Kings often changed the names of those to whom they gave
offices, Da 1:6,7; hence the honor and privilege implied in a "new
name," Re 2:17. Many slight inflections of the same Hebrew name give
it a very different appearance to an English eye, as Geshem and
Gashmu, Ne 6:1,6.


A Hebrew name was sometimes transferred to the Greek, with but little
change: Elijah became Elias, or Elie. But sometimes it was exchanged
for the Greek word of the same meaning, though very different in form;
Thomas became Didymus, and Tabitha, Dorcas. The "name" of God is put
for God himself, or for his perfections. To "raise up the name of the
dead," is explained in Ru 4:1-22; while to "put out" one's name, means
to extinguish his family, Ps 9:5.


NAOMI

Wife of Elimelech, and mother-in-law of Ruth. See RUTH.


NAPHTALI

The sixth son of Jacob, by Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid, Ge 30:8. We know
but few particulars of the lie of Naphtali. His sons were four, Ge
46:24. The patriarch Jacob, when he gave his blessing, said, as it is
in the English Bible, "Naphtali is a hind let loose; he giveth goodly
words," Ge 49:21. For an illustration of this passage, see HIND.


The tribe of Naphtali, called Nephtalim in Mt 4:15, were located in a
rich and fertile portion of northern Palestine; having Asher on the
west, the upper Jordan and part of the sea of Tiberias on the east;
and running north into the Lebanon range, some lower offshoots of
which prolonged to the south formed the "mountains of Naphtali," Jos
19:32-39 20:7. They attended in force at the coronation of David, 1Ch
12:34; and are mentioned with honor in the wars of the Judges, Jud
1:33 5:18 6:35 7:23; as much reduced by the Syrians, 1Ki 15:20; and as
among the first captives to Assyria, 2Ki 15:29 Isa 9:1. Our Savior
spent much time in the southern part of this region, Mt 4:13-15.


NARCISSUS

A Roman, many of whose household Paul salutes as Christians, Ro 16:11.
Two men of this name are mentioned in Roman histories of that time;
one, executed three or four years before Paul wrote, was a favorite of
the emperor Claudius; the other, of Nero his successor.


NATHAN

1. A Hebrew prophet, Zec 12:12; a friend and counselor of David. He
approved the king's purpose of building a temple to the lord, but by
divine direction transferred this accomplishment to Solomon, 2Sa
7:1-17. By a fine parable, pointedly applied, he convicted David of
his guilt in respect to Uriah and Bathsheba, 2Sa 12:1-31 Ps 51:1-19;
and his bold fidelity here seems to have been appreciated by David,
see NATHAN 2, and is worthy of everlasting remembrance. Solomon was
probably educated under his care, 2Sa 12:25; and was effectually aided
by him in his peaceful succession to the throne, 1Ki 1.1-53. He wrote
some memorials, long since lost, of both David and Solomon, 1Ch 29:29
2Ch 9:29. How long he lived under the reign of Solomon is unknown; but
two of his sons were high officers at court, 1Ki 4:5.


2. A son of David, by Bathsheba, 1Ch 3:5 14:4; an ancestor of Christ,
Lu 3:21. See GENEALOGY.


NATHANAEL

A disciple of Christ, probably the same as BARTHOLOMEW, which see. He
was a native of Cana in Galilee, Joh 21:2, and was one of the first to
recognize the Messiah, who at their first interview manifested his
perfect acquaintance with Nathanael's secret heart and life, Joh
1:45-51. He was introduced by Philip to Jesus, who on seeing him
pronounced that remarkable eulogy which has rendered his name almost
another word for sincerity: "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no
guile." He was one of the disciples to whom Christ appeared at the sea
of Tiberias after his resurrection, Joh 21:2; and after witnessing the
ascension returned with the other apostles to Jerusalem, Ac 1:4,12,13.


NAZARENE

An epithet applied to Christ, and usually translated "of Nazareth," as
in Mt 21:11 Ac 2:22 4:10. It was foretold in prophecy, Ps 22:7,8 Isa
53:2, that the Messiah should be despised and rejected of men; and
this epithet, which came to be used as a term of reproach, showed the
truth of these predictions, Mt 2:23 Ac 24:5. Nazareth was a small
town, in a despised part of Palestine. See GALILEE, and NAZARETH.


NAZARETH

A city of lower Galilee, about seventy miles north of Jerusalem, in
the territory of the tribe of Zebulun. It was situated on the side of
a hill overlooking a rich and beautiful valley, surrounded by hills,
with a narrow outlet towards the south. At the mouth of this ravine
the monks profess to show the place where the men of the city were
about to cast Jesus from the precipice, Lu 4:29. Nazareth is about six
miles west north west of Mount Tabor, and nearly half way form the
Jordan to the Mediterranean. It is said in the New Testament to be
"the city of Jesus," because it was the place of his usual residence
during the first thirty years of his life, Mt 2:23 Lu 1:26 2:51 4:16.
He visited it during his public ministry, but did not perform many
miracles there because of the unbelief of the people, Mt 13:54-58. It
is not even named in the Old Testament, nor by Josephus; and appears
to have been a small place, of no very good repute, Joh 1:46. The
modern town, en-Nasirah, is a secluded village of about three thousand
inhabitants, most of whom are Latin and Greek Christians. It lies
about eight hundred feet above the level of the sea; and is one of the
pleasantest towns in Syria. Its houses are of stone, two stories high,
with flat roofs. It contains a mosque, a large Latin convent, and two
or three chapels. The traditionary "Mount of the Precipitation" is
nearly two miles from the town, too remote to have answered the
purpose of the enraged Nazarenes; while there were several precipitous
spots close at hand, where the fall is still from thirty to fifty
feet.


From the summit of the hill on the eastern slope of which Nazareth
lies, is a truly magnificent prospect. Towards the north, the eye
glances over the countless hills of Galilee, and reposes on the
majestic and snow-crowned Hermon. On the east, the Jordan valley may
be traced, and beyond it the dim heights of ancient Bashan. Towards
the south, spreads the broad and beautiful plain of Esdraelon, with
the bold outline of Mount Tabor, and parts of Little Hermon and Gilboa
visible on its eastern border, and the hills of Samaria on the south,
while Carmel rises on the west of the plain, and dips his feet in the
blue waters of the Mediterranean.


Says Dr. Robinson in his "Biblical Researches in Palestine," "I
remained for some hours upon this spot, lost in the contemplation of
the wide prospect and of the events connected with the scenes around.
In the village below, the Savior of the world had passed his
childhood; and although we have few particulars of his life during
those early years, yet there are certain features of nature which meet
our eyes now, just as they once met his."


"He must often have visited the fountain near which we had pitched our
tent; his feet must frequently have wandered over the adjacent hills,
and his eyes have doubtless gazed upon the splendid prospect form this
very spot. Here the Prince of peace looked down upon the great plain,
where the din of battles so oft had rolled, and the garments of the
warrior been dyed in blood; and he liked out, too, upon the sea over
which the swift ships were to bear the tidings of his salvation to
nations and to continents them unknown. How has the moral aspect to
things been changed!"


"Battles and bloodshed have indeed not ceased to desolate this unhappy
country, and gross darkness now covers the people; but from this
region a light went forth, which has enlightened the world and
unveiled new climes; and now the rays of that light begin to be
reflected back form distant isles and continents, to illuminate anew
the darkened land where it first sprung up."


NAZARITE

Under the ancient Hebrew law, a man or woman engaged by a vow to
abstain from wine and all intoxicating liquors, and from the fruit of
the vine in any form; to let the hair grow; not to enter any house
polluted by having a dead body in it, nor to be present at any
funeral. If by accident any one died in their presence, they
recommenced the whole of their consecration and Nazariteship. This vow
generally lasted eight days, sometimes only a month, and sometimes
during their whole lives. When the time of Nazariteship expired, the
person brought a umber of sacrifices and offerings to the temple; the
priest then cut off his hair and burnt it; after which he was free
from his vow, Nu 6:1-27 Am 2:11,12.


Perpetual Nazarites were consecrated as such by their parents from
their birth, as was proposed by the mother of Samuel, 1Sa 1:11, and
continued all their lives in this state, neither drinking wine, nor
cutting their hair. Such were Samson and John the Baptist, Jud 13:4,5
Lu 1:15 7:33.


As the cost of the offerings required at the expiration of the term of
Nazariteship was very considerable for the poor, they were often
relieved by persons not Nazarites, who assumed these charges for them
for the sake of performing an act of piety and charity. Paul availed
himself of this custom to disarm the jealousy of those who represented
him as hostile to the faith of their fathers. He took four Christian
Jews whose vow of Nazariteship was accomplished, assumed the expense
of their offerings, and with them went through the customary services
and purification's at the temple, Ac 21:20-26. There is also in Ac
18:18 an unexplained allusion to some similar vow made by Paul
himself, or perhaps by Aquila, probably in view of some danger escaped
or some blessing received.


NEAPOLIS

Now called Napoli, Acts 16.11, a maritime city of Macedonia, near the
borders of Thrace, whither Paul came from the isle of Samothracia.
From Neapolis he went to Philippi.


NEBAIOTH

A son of Ishmael, Ge 25:13, whose posterity, occupied the pasture
grounds of Arabia Deserta, Isa 60:7, and ultimately possessed
themselves of Edom. They are thought to have been the Nabatheans of
profane history. See IDUMEA.


NEBHAZ

A god of the Avites, 2Ki 17:31. Jewish interpreters say the name means
barker, and affirm that this idol had the shape of a dog. Historical
traces have also been found of the ancient worship of idols in the
form of dogs among the Syrians. In the Zabian books, Nibhaz occurs as
the "lord of darkness;" which, according to the character of Assyrian-
Chaldean mythology, would point to an evil planetary demon.


NEBO

1. A town in the vicinity of Bethel and Ai, Ezr 2:29 Ne 7:33.


2. A city of Reuben, Nu 32:38, taken by the Moabites, who held it in
the time of Jeremiah, Isa 15:2 Jer 48:1.


3. A mountain of Moab, whence Moses had a view of the promised land,
and where he died. It is a summit of the range Abarim, "over against
Jericho." Seetzen, Burckhardy, etc., identify it with Mount Attarus,
about ten miles north of the Arnon. Travelers do not observe any very
prominent summit in the rage immediately opposite Jericho; but it has
not yet fully explored, De 32:49 34:1-12.


4. An idol of the Babylonians, Isa 46:1. In the astrological mythology
of the Babylonians, this idol probably represented the planet Mercury.
It was also worshipped by the ancient Arabians. The extensive
prevalence of this worship among the Chaldeans and Assyrians, is
evident from the many compound proper names occurring in the
Scriptures, of which this word forms part; as Nebuchadnezzar,
Nebuzaradan, Nebushasban, Jer 39:9,13; and also in the classics, as
Naboned, Nabonassar, Nabopolassar, etc.


NEBUCHADNEZZAR

Called in Jeremiah Nebuchadnezzar, the son and successor of
Nabopolassar, succeeded to the kingdom of Chaldea about 600 B. C. He
had been some time before associated in the kingdom, and sent to
recover Carchemish, which had been wrested from the empire by Necho
king of Egypt. Having been successful, he marched against the governor
of Phoenicia, and Jehoiakim king of Judah, tributary of Necho king of
Egypt. He took Jehoiakim, and put him in chains to carry him captive
to Babylon; but afterwards he left him in Judea, on condition of his
paying a large annual tribute. He took away several persons from
Jerusalem; among others, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all
of the royal family, whom the king of Babylon caused to be carefully
educated in the language and learning of the Chaldeans, that they
might be employed at court, 2Ki 24:1 2Ch 36:6 Da 1:1.


Nabopolassar dying, Nebuchadnezzar, who was then either in Egypt or in
Judea, hastened to Babylon, leaving to his generals the care of
bringing to Chaldea the captives taken in Syria, Judea, Phoenicia, and
Egypt; for according to Berosus, he had subdued all these countries.
He distributed these captives into several colonies, and in the temple
of Belus he deposited the sacred vessels of the temple of Jerusalem,
and other rich spoils. Jehoiakim king of Judah continued three years
in fealty to Nebuchadnezzar, and then revolted; but after three or
four years, he was besieged and taken in Jerusalem, put to death, and
his body thrown to the birds of the air according to the predictions
of Jeremiah, Jer 22:1-30.


His successor, Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, having revolted
against Nebuchadnezzar, was besieged in Jerusalem, forced to
surrender, and taken, with his chief officers, captive to Babylon;
also his mother, his wives, and the best workmen of Jerusalem, to the
number of ten thousand men. Among the captives were Mordecai, the
uncle of Esther, and Ezekiel the prophet, Es 2:6. Nebuchadnezzar also
took all the vessels of gold, which Solomon made for the temple and
the king's treasury, and set up Mattaniah, Jeconiah's uncle by the
father's side, whom he named Zedekiah. Zedekiah continued faithful to
Nebuchadnezzar nine years, at the end of which time he rebelled, and
confederated with the neighboring princes. The king of Babylon came
into Judea, reduced the chief places of the country, and besieged
Jerusalem; but Pharaoh Hophra coming out of Egypt to assist Zedekiah,
Nebuchadnezzar went to meet him, and forced him to retire to his own
country. This done, he resumed the siege of Jerusalem, and was three
hundred and ninety days before the place. In the eleventh year of
Zedekiah, B. C. 588, the city was taken and Zedekiah, being seized,
was brought to Nebuchadnezzar, who was then at Riblah in Syria. The
king of Babylon condemned him to die, caused his children to be put to
death in his presence, and then bored out his eyes, loaded him with
chains, and sent him to Babylon, 2Ki 24:1-25:30 2Ch 36:1-23.


During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the city of Babylon and the
kingdom of Babylonia attained their highest pitch of splendor. He took
great pains in adorning Babylon; and this was one great object of his
pride. "Is not this," said he, "great Babylon that I have built for
the house of my kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor
of my majesty?" But God vanquished his pride, and he was reduced for a
time to the condition of a brute, according to the predictions of
Daniel. See Da 1.1-4.37. An inscription found among the ruins on the
Tigris, and now in the East India House at London, gives an account of
the various works of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon and Borsippa. Abruptly
breaking off, the record says the king's heart was hardened against
the Chaldee astrologers. "He would grant no benefactions for religious
purposes. He intermitted the worship of Merodach, and put an end to
the sacrifice of victims. He labored under the effects of
enchantment." Nebuchadnezzar is supposed to have died B. C. 562, after
a reign of about forty years.


One of the famous structures ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar, and in which
no doubt he took much pride, was the famous "hanging gardens," which
he is said to have erected to gratify the wish of his queen Amytis for
elevated groves such as she was accustomed to in her native Media.
This could only be done in a country so level as Babylonia, by
constructing an artificial mountain; and accordingly the king caused
on e to be made, four hundred feet square and over three hundred feet
high. The successive terraces were supported on ranges of regular
piers, covered by large stones, on which were placed thick layers of
matting and of bitumen and two courses of stones, which were again
covered, with a solid coating of lead. On such a platform another
similar, but smaller, was built, etc. The various terraces were then
covered with earth, and furnished with trees, shrubbery, and flowers.
The whole was watered from the Euphrates, which flowed at its base, by
machinery within the mound. These gardens occupied but a small portion
of the prodigious area of the palace, the wall inclosing the whole
being six miles in circumference. Within this were two other walls and
a great tower, besides the palace buildings, courts, gardens, etc. Al
the gates were of brass, which agrees with the language used by Isaiah
in predicting the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, Isa 45:25. The ruins of
the hanging gardens are believed to be found in the vast irregular
mound called Kasr, on the East Side of the Euphrates, eight hundred
yards by six hundred at its base. The bricks taken from this mound are
of fine quality, and are all stamped with the name of Nebuchadnezzar.


Another labor of this monarch was that the ruins of which are now
called Birs, Nimroud, about eight miles southwest of the above
structure. See BABEL. The researches of Sir Henry Rawlinson have shown
that this was built by Nebuchadnezzar, on the platform of a ruinous
edifice of more ancient days. It consisted of six distinct terraces,
each twenty feet high, and forty-two feet less horizontally than the
one below it. On the top was the sanctum and observatory of the
temple, now a vitrified mass. Each story was dedicated to a different
planet, and stained with the color appropriated to that planet in
their astrological system. The lowest, in honor of Saturn, was black;
that of Jupiter was orange; that of Mars red, that of the sun yellow,
that of Venus green, and that of Mercury blue. The temple was white,
probably for the moon. In the corners of this longruined edifice,
recently explored were found cylinders with arrowhead inscriptions, in
the name of Nebuchadnezzar, which inform us that the building was
named "The Stages of the Seven Spheres of Borsippa;" that it had been
in a dilapidated condition; and that, moved by Merodach his god, he
had reconstructed it with bricks enriched with lapis lazuli, "without
changing its site or destroying its foundation platform." This
restoration is also stated to have taken place five hundred and four
years after its first erection in that form by Tiglath Pileser I.,
1100 B. C. If not actually on the site of the tower of Babel mentioned
in the Bible, and the temple of Belus described by Herodotus, this
building would seem to have been erected on the same general plan.
Every brick yet taken from it bears the impress of Nebuchadnezzar.
Borsippa would seem to have been a suburb of ancient Babylon.


NEBUZARADAN

A general of king Nebuchadnezzar, and his agent in the sacking and
destruction of Jerusalem, 1Ki 22:53; Jer 39:9; 40:1; 52:12-30.


NECHO OR PHARAOHNECHO

An Egyptian king, mentioned not only in Scripture, but by Herodotus,
who says that he was son of Psammetichus, king of Egypt: and that,
having succeeded him in the kingdom, he raised great armies, and sent
out great fleets, as well on the Mediterranean as the Red Sea; that he
expended a vast sum and many thousands of lives in a fruitless effort
to unite the Nile and the Red Sea by a canal; and that he was the
first to send a ship wholly around Africa. Josiah king of Judah being
tributary to the king of Babylon, opposed Necho on his first
expedition against Nebuchadnezzar, and gave him battle at Megiddo,
where he received the wound of which he died; and Necho pressed
forward, without making any long stay in Judea. On his return from the
Euphrates, where he had taken and garrisoned the city of Carchemish,
B. C. 610, he halted at Riblah in Syria; and sending for Jehoahaz,
king of the Jews, he deposed him, loaded him with chains, and sent him
into Egypt. Then coming to Jerusalem, he set up Eliakim, or Jehoiakim,
in his place, and exacted the payment of one hundred talents of silver
and one talent of gold. The accompanying cut from the great "Tomb of
the Kings" in Egypt, explored by Belzoni, is believed to represent
four Jewish hostages or captives of distinction presented before
Pharaoh-Necho. One of them may be meant for Jehoahaz.


They were colored white; and with them were four reds, four blacks,
and four others white supposed to represent Babylonians, Ethiopians,
etc. They were led before the king, seated on his throne, by one of
the hawk-headed figures so frequent on Egyptian monuments. Jer 46:2,
acquaints us that Carchemish was retaken by Nabopolassar king of
Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim king of Judah; so that Necho
did not retain his conquests in Syria more than four year, 2Ki
23:29-24:7 2Ch 35:20-36:6.


NECK

The phrases to "harden the neck," Pr 29:1, and to be "stiff- necked,"
like a headstrong brute, illustrate the willful obstinacy of sinners
against the instructions and commands of God. The tyrants of ancient
days sometimes put their feet on the prostrate necks of princes, in
token of their subjugation, trampling them in the dust. Their mischief
sometimes returned upon their own heads, Jos 10:24; Ps 18:40.


NECROMANCER

One who pretended to discover unknown and future events by summoning
and interrogating the dead, De 18:10,11, a crime punishable by stoning
to death, Le 20:27. See SORCERER. No good reason can be given for
believing that such pretended communications with departed spirits are
less offensive to God now than in the time of Moses.


NEESING

Translated sneezing in 2Ki 4:35; used in Job 41:18 to describe the
violent breathing of the enraged leviathan, or crocodile.


NEGILOTH

Supposed to mean flutes or wind instruments; found only in the title
of the fifth Psalm, which is addressed, to the leader of this class of
instruments, as though intended to be sung with this accompaniment
only.


NEGINOTH

Hab 3:19, a general name for Hebrew stringed instruments, Ps 4:1-8
6:1-10 54:1-55:23 76:1-12, are addressed to the leader of the music on
that class of instruments.


NEGUSHTA

Wife of Jehoiakim, and mother of the young king Jechoniah, with whom
she was probably associated in the government, as she is in the
reproaches of Jeremiah, 2Ki 24:8; Jer 13:18; 29:2.


NEHEMIAH

The son of Hachaliah was born at Babylon during the captivity. He was,
according to some, of the race of the priests; according to others, of
the royal family of Judah. He sustained the office of cupbearer to the
Persian king Artazerzes Longimanus. Touched with the calamitous state
of the colony of Jews, which had formerly returned to Jerusalem, he
besought the king of Persia to permit him to go to Jerusalem and aid
in rebuilding it. He was accordingly sent thither as governor, in the
twentieth year of Artaxerxes, about 444 B. C. He directed his
attention chiefly to rebuilding the walls of the city.


The enmity of the Samaritans, under which the colony had formerly
suffered, was now increased; and under Sanballat, the governor of the
country, they cast all possible hindrances in the way of the Jews.
They even went so far as to attack the laborers at their work; so that
Nehemiah had to cause them to labor with arms in their hands; yet in
one year their task was completed. In this great work and in his whole
administration, his pious zeal and disinterestedness, his love for the
people and city of god, and his prayerful reliance on divine aid were
crowned with success. He had the cooperation of faithful friends,
especially of Ezra, Ne 8:1,9,13 12:36, and instituted many excellent
civil improvements. About 432 B. C., though perhaps not for the first
time, he returned to his post at the court of Babylon, Ne 2:6 5:14
13:6; but after a few years, was recalled to Jerusalem to reform
certain growing irregularities neglect of the temple service, breaches
of the Sabbath, marriages with the heathen, etc. He required of those
Jews who had married heathen wives, that they should either abandon
them, or else they quit the country. This voluntary exile of a number
of discontented priests may have given occasion to the building of the
temple on Mount Gerizim, and the establishment of the Samaritan
worship. See SANBALLAT.


The book of Nehemiah contains the history of all these transactions,
written by himself near the close of his long life, B. C. 434. It is a
sort of a continuation of the book of Ezra, and was called by some of
the fathers the Second Book of Ezra. Some portions of it, Ezr 8:1-9:15
10:44, appear to be compilations from public registers, etc. With it
the historical books of the Old Testament close.


NEHUSHTAN

Brazen, a name given by Hezekiah king of Judah to the brazen serpent
that Moses had set upon the wilderness, Nu 21:8, and which had been
preserved by the Israelites to that time. The superstitious people
having made an idol of this serpent, Hezekiah caused it to be burned,
and in derision have it the name of Nehushtan, a mere piece of brass,
2Ki 18:4. Memorials, relics, and other outward aids to devotion which
men rely upon, have the opposite effect; and visible emblem hides the
Savior it ought to reveal, Joh 3:14-16.


NEIGHBOR

At the time of our Savior, the Pharisees had restrained the meaning of
the word "neighbor" to those of their own nation, or to their own
friends; holding, that to hate their enemy was not forbidden by the
law, Mt 5:43. But our Savior informed them that the whole world was
neighbors; that they ought not to do to another what they would not
have done to themselves; and that this charity extended even to
enemies. See the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan, the real
neighbor to the distressed, Lu 10:29.


NERGAL

One of the gods of the Cuthite heathen who were transplanted into
Palestine, 2Ki 7:20. This idol probably represented the planet Mars,
which was ever the emblem of bloodshed. Mars is names, by the Zabians
and Arabians, ill luck, misfortune. He was represented as holding in
one had a drawn sword, and in the other, by the hair, a human head
just cut off; his garments were blood red, as the light of the planet
is also reddish. His temple among the Arabs was painted red; and they
offered to him garments sprinkled with blood, and also a warrior,
(probably a prisoner), who was cast into a pool. The name Nergal
appears in the proper names Nergalsharezer. Neriglassar, Jer 39:3,13.


NETHER

Lower; as the lower stone of a handmill, De 24:6; the foot of Sinai,
Ex 19:17; the regions of the dead, Eze 32:18.


NETHINIM

Given, or consecrated, a term first applied to the Levites, Nu 8:19;
but after the settlement in Canaan, to servants dedicated to the
service of the tabernacle and temple, to perform the most laborious
offices, as carrying of wood and water. At first the Gibeonites were
destined to this station, Jud 9:27; afterwards, other Canaanites who
surrendered themselves, and whose lives were spared. Many of them
appear to have been first assigned to David, Solomon, and other
princes, and by them transferred to the temple service, 1Ki 9:20,21
Ezr 2:58,70 8:20 Ne 11:3. It is probable that they became proselytes,
Ne 10:28, and that many of them could cordially unite with David in
saying, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to
dwell in the tents of wickedness," Ps 84:10. The Nethinim were carried
into captivity with the tribe of Judah, and great numbers were placed
not far from the Caspian sea, whence Ezra brought two hundred and
twenty of them into Judea, Ezr 8:17.


NETOPHAH

A town near Bethlehem, of which little more than the name is known,
2Sa 24:25,25; 2Ki 25:23; Ezr 2:22; Ne 7:26.


NETS

Are often referred to in Scripture, Pr 1:17 Ec 7:26 Isa 19:8,9 Hab
1:15,16, particularly in connection with the first disciples of
Christ, Mt 4:18 13:47-50 Lu 5:1-10. Before the invention of fire-arms,
nets were much used in hunting and fowling, and possible in catching
men, as robbers, etc., Job 19:6 Ps 140:5 Mic 7:2. Among the ancient
Romans there was a gladiatorial game, in which one man was armed with
sword and shield, and his antagonist with a net, by casting which he
strove to entangle the other so that he might easily dispatch him with
has dagger.


NETTLE

A well known stinging plant, growing in neglected grounds, Isa 34:13
Ho 9:6. A different Hebrew word in Job 30:7 Pr 24:31 Zep 2:9, seems to
indicate a larger species.


NEW MOON

The new moon was the commencement of each of the Hebrew months. See
MONTH.


The Hebrews had a particular veneration of the first day of every
month, for which Moses appointed peculiar sacrifices, Nu 28:11-15; but
he gave no orders that it should be kept as a holy day, nor can it be
proved that the ancients observed it as such: it was a festival of
merely voluntary devotion. It appears that even from the time of Saul,
they made on this day a sort of family entertainment; since David
ought then to have been at the king's table and Saul took his absence
amiss, 1Sa 20:5,18. Moses implies that, besides the national
sacrifices then regularly offered, every private person had his
particular sacrifices of devotion, Nu 10:10.


The beginning of the month was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, Ps
81:3, and the offering of solemn sacrifices. But the most celebrated
"new moon" was that at the beginning of the civil year, or first day
of the month Tishri, Le 23:24. This was a sacred festival, on which no
servile labor was performed, Am 8:5. In the kingdom of the ten tribes,
it seems to have been a custom of the people to visit the prophets at
the new moons, for the purpose of carrying them presents, and hearing
their instructions, 2Ki 4:23. Ezekiel says, Eze 45:17, (see also 1Ch
23:31 2Ch 8:13) that the burnt offerings offered on the day of the new
moon were to be provided at the king's expense. The observance of this
festival was discontinued soon after the establishment of
Christianity, Ga 4:9,10 Col 2:16, though the Jews take some notice of
the day even now.


NICANOR

One of the first seven deacons, who were chosen and appointed at
Jerusalem soon after the Pentecostal descent of the Holy Ghost, Ac
6:1-6.


NICODEMUS

A member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, at first a Pharisee, and afterwards
a disciple of Jesus. He was early convinced that Christ came from God,
but was not ready at once to rank himself among His followers. In Joh
3:1-20, he first appears as a timid inquirer after the truth, learning
the great doctrines of regeneration and atonement. In Joh 7:45-52, we
see him cautiously defending the Savior before the Sanhedrin. At last,
in the trying scene of the crucifixion, he avowed himself a believer,
and came with Joseph of Arimathea to pay the last duties to the body
of Christ, which they took down from the cross, embalmed, and laid in
the sepulchre, Joh 19:39.


NICOLAITANS

Heretical persons or teachers, mentioned in Re 2:6,15. Whether they
were the same as the Nicolaitans of the second century and later is
very doubtful. Some suppose them to be followers of Nicolas the
deacon, but there is no good evidence that he ever became a heretic.


NICOLAS

A proselyte of Antioch, that is, one converted from paganism to the
religion of the Jews. He afterwards embraced Christianity, and was
among the most zealous of the first Christians; so that he was chosen
one of the first seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem, Ac 6:5.


NICOPOLIS

A city where Paul spent probably the last winter of his life, having
previously written to Titus, at Crete, to meet him there, Ti 3:12. He
is supposed to refer to the Nicopolis of Thrace, situated on the river
Nestus, near the borders of Macedonia, and hence called, in the
subscription to the epistle, Nicopolis of Macedonia. Others, however,
suppose him to have meant Nicopolis in Epirus, which stood near the
mouth of the Ambracian gulf, opposite to Actium, and which was built
by Augustus in honor of his decisive victory over Antony.


NIGHT

The ancient Hebrews began their artificial day at evening, and ended
it the next evening, so that the night proceeded the day. This usage
may probably be traced to the terms employed in describing the
creation, Ge 1:5,8,13, etc., "The evening and the morning were the
first day." The Hebrews allowed twelve to the day; but these hours
were not equal, except at the equinox. At other times, when the hours
of the night were long, those of the day were short, as in winter; and
when the hours of night were short, as at midsummer, the hours of the
day were long in proportion. See HOURS.


The nights are sometimes extremely cold in Syria, when the days are
very hot; and travelers in the deserts and among the mountains near
Palestine refer to their own sufferings from these opposite extremes,
in illustration of Jacob's words in Ge 31:40, "In the day the drought
consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine
eyes."


NIGHT HAWK

An unclean bird, Le 11:16 De 14:15. Its name seems to indicate
voracity, and is therefore thought by many to point out the Syrian
owl, a more powerful bird than the nighthawks, and exceedingly
voracious; it sometimes attacks sleeping children.


NILE

The celebrated river of Egypt. It takes this name only after the
junction of the two great streams of which it is composed, namely, the
Bahr el Abiad, or White River, which rises in the mountains of the
Moon, in the interior of Africa, and runs northeast till it is joined
by the other branch, the Bahr el Azrek, or Blue river, which rises in
Abyssinia, and after a large circuit to the southeast and southwest,
in which it passes through the lake of Dembea, flows northwards to
join the White river. This Abyssinian branch has in modern times been
regarded as the real Nile, although the White River is much the
largest and longest, and was in ancient times considered as the true
Nile. The junction takes place about latitude sixteen degrees north.
From this point the Nile flows always in a northerly direction, with
the exception of one large bend to the west. About thirteen hundred
miles form the sea it receives its last branch, the Tacazze, a large
stream from Abyssinia, and having passed through Nubia, it enters
Egypt at the cataracts near Syene, or Essuan, which are formed by a
chain of rocks stretching east and west. There are here three falls;
after which the river pursues its course in still and silent majesty
through the whole length of the land of Egypt. Its average breadth is
about seven hundred yards. In Lower Egypt it divides into several
branches and forms the celebrated Delta; for which see under EGYPT
EGYPT. See also a view of the river in AMMON, or NoAmmon, or No.


As rain very seldom falls, even in winter, in Southern Egypt, and
usually only slight and infrequent showers in Lower Egypt, the whole
physical and political existence of Egypt may be said to depend on the
Nile; since without this river, and even without its regular annual
inundation's, the whole land would be but a desert. These
inundation's, so mysterious in the view of ancient ignorance and
superstition, are caused by the regular periodical rains in the
countries farther south, around the sources of the Nile, in March and
later. The river begins to rise in Egypt about the middle of June, and
continues to increase through the month of July. In August it
overflows its banks, and reaches its highest point early in September;
and the country is then mostly covered with its waters, Am 8:8 9:5 Na
3:8. In the beginning of October, the inundation still continues; and
it is only towards the end of this month that the stream returns
within its banks. From the middle of August till towards the end of
October, the whole land of Egypt resembles a great lake or sea, in
which the towns and cities appear as islands.


The cause of the fertility which the Nile imparts lies not only in its
thus watering the land, but also in the thick slimy mud which its
waters bring down along with them and deposit on the soil of Egypt. It
is like a coat of rich manure; and the seed being immediately sown
upon it, without digging or ploughing, springs up rapidly, grows with
luxuriance, and ripens into abundance. See EGYPT.


It must not, however, be supposed that the Nile spreads itself over
every spot of land, and waters it sufficiently without artificial aid.
Niebuhr justly remarks, "Some descriptions of Egypt would lead us to
think that the Nile, when it swells, lays the whole province under
water. The lands immediately adjoining to the banks of the river are
indeed laid under water, but the natural inequality of the ground
hinders it from overflowing the interior country. A great part of the
lands would therefore remain barren, were not canals and reservoirs
formed to receive water from the river, when at its greatest height,
which is thus conveyed everywhere through the fields, and reserved for
watering them when occasion requires." In order to raise the water to
grounds, which lie higher, machines have been used in Egypt from times
immemorial. These are chiefly wheels to which buckets are attached.
One kind is turned by oxen; another smaller kind, by men seated, and
pushing the lower spokes from them with their feet, while they pulled
the upper spokes towards them with their hands, De 11:10.


As the inundations of the Nile are of so much importance to the whole
land, structures have been erected on which the beginning and progress
of its rise might be observed. These are called Nilometers; that is,
"Nile measures." At present there is one, one thousand years old and
half in ruins, on the little island opposite Cairo; it is under the
care of the government, and according to it the beginning and
subsequent progress of the rise of the Nile were carefully observed
and proclaimed by authority. If the inundation reached the height of
twenty-two Paris feet, a rich harvest was expected; because then all
the fields had received the requisite irrigation. If it fell short of
this height and in proportion as it thus fell short, the land was
threatened with want and famine of which many horrible examples occur
in Egyptian history. Should the rise of the water exceed twenty-eight
Paris feet, a famine was in like manner feared. The annual rise of the
river also varies exceedingly in different parts of its course, being
twenty feet greater where the river is narrow than in Lower Egypt. The
channel is thought to be gradually filling up; and many of the ancient
outlets at the Delta are dry in summer and almost obliterated. The
drying up of the waters of Egypt would involve its destruction as a
habitable land to the destruction as a habitable land to the same
extent; and this fact is recognized in the prophetic denunciations of
this remarkable country, Isa 11:15 19:1-10 Eze 29:10 30:12.


The water of the Nile, although during a great part of the year
turbid, from the effects of the rains above, yet furnishes, when
purified by settling, the softest and sweetest water for drinking. Its
excellence is acknowledged by all travelers. The Egyptians are full of
its praises, and even worshipped the river as a god.


The Hebrews sometimes gave both to the Euphrates and the Nile the name
of "sea," Isa 19:5 Na 3:8. In this they are borne out by Arabic
writers, and also by the common people of Egypt, who to this day
commonly speak of the Nile as "the sea." It is also still celebrated
for its fish. Compare Nu 11:5 Isa 19:8. In its waters are likewise
found the crocodile or leviathan, and the hippopotamus or behemoth.
See EGYPT, and SIHOR.


NIMRIM

See BETH-NIMRAH.


NIMROD

Rebellion, impiety, a son of Cush and grandson of Ham, proverbial from
the earliest times as a mighty hunter, Ge 10:8-10 1Ch 1:10. He seems
to have feared neither God nor man; to gather around him a host of
adventurers, and extended his conquests into the land of Shinar, where
he founded or fortified Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh. According to
one interpretation of Ge 10:11, he also founded Nineveh and the
Assyrian empire; though this is usually understood to have been done
by Asshur, when expelled by Nimrod from the land of Shinar, Mic 5:6.
Nimrod is supposed to have begun the tower of Babel; and his name is
still preserved by a vast ruinous mound, on the site of ancient
Babylon. See BABEL.


NINEVEH

Dwelling of Ninus, the metropolis of ancient Assyria, called by the
Greeks and Romans "the great Ninus;" situated on the east bank of the
Tigris, opposite and below the modern Mosul. Its origin is traced to
the times near the flood. See NIMROD. For nearly fifteen centuries
afterwards it is not mentioned. In the books of Jonah, and Nahum it is
described as an immense city, three days' journey in circuit,
containing more than one hundred and twenty thousand young children,
or probably six hundred thousand souls. It contained "much cattle,"
and numerous parks, garden groves, etc. Its inhabitants were wealthy,
warlike, and far advanced in civilization. It had numerous strongholds
with gates and bars; and had multiplied its merchants above the stars:
its crowned princes were as locusts, and its captains as grasshoppers.
With this description agrees that of the historian Diodorus Siculus,
who says Nineveh was twenty-one miles long, nine miles broad, and
fifty-four miles in circumference; that its walls were a hundred feet
high, and so broad that three chariots could drive upon them abreast;
and that it had fifteen hundred towers, each two hundred feet high.


Nineveh had long been the mistress of the East; but for her great
luxury and wickedness, the prophet Jonah was sent, more than eight
hundred years before Christ, to warn the Ninevites of her speedy
destruction. See also Isa 14:24,25. Their timely repentance delayed
for a time the fall of the city; but about 753 B. C., the period of
the foundation of Rome, it was taken by the Medes under Arbaces; and
nearly a century and a half later, according to the predictions of
Nahum, Na 1:1-3:19, and Zep 2:13, it was a second time taken by
Cyaraxes and Nabopolassar; after which it no more recovered its former
splendor. Subsequent writers mention it but seldom, and as an
unimportant place; so complete was its destruction, that for ages its
site has been well-nigh lost, and infidels have even denied that the
Nineveh of the Bible ever existed. The mounds which were the "grave"
of its ruins, Na 1:14, were covered with soil as to seem like natural
hills. But since 1841, Layard, Botta, and others have been exploring
its remains, so long undisturbed. The mounds chiefly explored lie at
three corners of a trapezium about eighteen miles long, and twelve
miles wide, and nearly sixty in circumference, thus confirming the
ancient accounts of its vast extent. The recent excavations disclose
temples and palaces, guarded by huge winged bulls and lions with human
heads. The apartments of these buildings are lined with slabs of
stone, covered with sculptures in basrelief, and inscriptions in
arrow-headed characters which have been in part deciphered; and these
sculptured memorials of the history and customs of the Assyrians,
together with the various articles made of glass, wood, ivory, and
metals, now brought to light after a burial of twenty-four centuries,
furnish invaluable aid in the interpretation of Scripture, and most
signally confirm its truth. Our surprise is equal to our
gratification, when we behold the actual Assyrian account of events
recorded in Kings and Chraonicles. Not only do we find mention made of
Jehu, Menehem, Hezekiah, Omri, Hazael, etc., and of various cities in
Judea and Syria; but we discover Sennacherib's own account of his
invasion of Palestine, and of the amount of tribute which king
Hezekiah was forced to pay him; also pictures representing his capture
of Lachish, 2Ki 18:14, and his officers, perhaps the railing Rabshakeh
himself, presenting Jewish captives to the king, etc. (See cut and
details in SENNACHERIB.)


These mural tablets also furnish a graphic comment on the language of
the prophet Ezekiel; and as he was a captive in the region of Ninveh,
he had no doubt heard of, and had probably seen these very "chambers
of imagery," as well as the objects they represent. We there find
reproduced to our view the men and scenes he describes in Eze
23:6,14,15, etc.; Eze 26:7-12: "Captains and rulers clothed most
gorgeously," "portrayed with vermilion," "girded with girdles upon
their loins," "exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads." The
"vermilion" or red color is quite prevalent among the various
brilliant colors with which these tablets were painted, Eze 23:14,15.
Here are "horsemen riding upon horses," "princes to look to" in
respect to war-like vigor and courage; and their horses of high
spirit, noble form, and attitudes, and decked with showy trappings.
Here, in fine, are the idols, kings, and warriors of Nineveh, in
various scenes of worship, hunting, and war; fortresses attacked and
taken; prisoners led in triumph, impaled, flayed, and otherwise
tortured; and sometimes actually held by cords attached to hooks which
pierce the nose or the lips, 2Ki 19:28 Isa 37:29, and having their
eyes put out by the point of a spear, 2Ki 25:7. For other cuts see
NISROCH, SENNACHERIB, SHALMANEZER, and WAR.


The Christian world is under great obligations to Layard and Botta for
their enterprising explorations, and to Rawlinson and Hincks for their
literary investigations of these remains. To the student of the Bible
especially these buried treasures are of the highest value, and we may
well rejoice not only in this new accumulation of evidence to the
truth of the history and prophecies of Scripture, but in the
additional light thus thrown on its meaning. How impressive too the
warning which these newly found memorials of a city once so vast and
powerful bring to us in these latter days and in lands then unknown,
to beware of the luxury, pride, and ungodliness that caused her ruin.


NISAN

A Hebrew month, nearly answering to our April, but varying somewhat
from year to year, according to the course of the moon. It was the
seventh month of the civil year; but was made the first month of the
sacred year, at the coming out of Egypt, Ex 12:2. By Moses it is
called Abib, Ex 13:4. The name Nisan found only after the time of
Ezra, and the return from the captivity of Babylon. See MONTIS.


NISROCH

A god of the Assyrians, in whose temple, and in the very act of
idolatry, Sennacherib was slain by his own sons, 2Ki 19:37. According
to the etymology, the name would signify "the great eagle;" and the
earlier Assyrian sculptures recently exhumed at Nineveh have many
representations of an idol in human form, but with the head of an
eagle, as shown above. Among the ancient Arabs also the eagle occurs
as an idol. The other accompanying cut, representing a winged figure
in a circle, armed with a bow, is frequently met on the walls of
ancient Nineveh in scenes of worship, and is believed to be an emblem
of the supreme divinity of the Assyrians.


NITRE

Not the substance used in making gunpowder, but natron, a mineral
alkali composed of several salts of soda. It effervesces with vinegar,
Pr 25:28, and is still used in washing, Jer 2:22. Combined with oil,
it makes a hard soap. It is found deposited in, or floating upon,
certain lakes west of the Delta of Egypt.


NO OR NO-AMMON

See AMMON, or No-Ammon, or No.


NOAH

Rest, comfort, the name of celebrated patriarch who was preserved by
Jehovah with his family, by means of the ark, through the deluge, and
thus became the second founder of the human race. The history of Noah
and the deluge is contained in Ge 5:1-9:29. He was the son of Lamech,
and grandson of Methuselah lived six hundred years before the deluge,
and three hundred and fifty after it, dying two years before Abram was
born. His name may have been given to him by his parents in the hope
that he would be the promised "seed of the woman" that should "bruise
the serpent's head." He was in the line of the patriarchs who feared
God, and was himself a just man, Eze 14:14,20, and a "preacher of
righteousness," 1Pe 3:19,20 2Pe 2:5. His efforts to reform the
degenerate world, continued as some suppose for one hundred and twenty
years, produced little effect, Mt 24:37; the flood did not "find faith
upon the earth." Noah, however, was an example of real faith: he
believed the warning of God, was moved by fear, and pursued the
necessary course of action, Heb 11:7.


His first care on coming out from the ark was to worship the Lord,
with sacrifices of all the fitting animals. Little more is recorded of
him except his falling into intoxication, a sad instance of the shame
and misfortune into which wine is apt to lead. His three sons, it is
believed, peopled the whole word; the posterity of Japheth chiefly
occupying Europe, those of Shem Asia, and those of Ham Africa.


Numerous traces of traditions respecting Noah have been found all over
the world. Among the most accurate is that embodied in the legend of
the Greeks respecting Deucalion and Pyrrha. We may also mention the
medals struck at Apamea in Phrygia, in the time of Septimus Severus,
and bearing the name NO, an ark, a man and woman, a raven, and a dove
with an olive branch in its mouth. See ARK.


NOB

A city of priests, in Benjamin, near Jerusalem; its inhabitants were
once put to the sword by command of Saul, for their hospitality to
David, 1Sa 21:2; 22:9-23; Ne 11:32; Isa 10:32. Its site is unknown.


NOD

Wandering, a region east of Eden so named on account of wanderings in
it of the exiled Cain, Ge 4:16.


NOPH

Sometimes called also, in Hebrew, MOPH, Ho 9:6, the ancient city of
Memphis in Egypt. The ruins of it, though not to any great extent, are
still found a few miles above Old Cairo, or Fostat, Isa 19:13 Jer 2:16
44:1 Eze 30:13,16.


Memphis was the residence of the ancient kings of Egypt till the times
of the Ptolemies, who commonly resided at Alexandria. Here, it is
supposed, Joseph was a prisoner and a ruler, and here Moses stood
before Pharaoh. The prophets, in the places above referred to,
foretell the miseries Memphis was to suffer from the kings of Chaldea
and Persia; and threaten the Israelites who should retire into Egypt,
or should have recourse to the Egyptians, that they should perish in
that country. In this city they fed and worshipped the sacred bull
Apis, the embodiment of their false god Osiris; and Ezekiel says, that
the lord will destroy the idols of Memphis, Eze 30:13,16. Memphis
retained much of its splendor till it was conquered by the Arabians in
the eighteenth or nineteenth year of the Hegira, A. D. 641; after
which it was superseded as the metropolis of Egypt by Fostat, now Old
Cairo, in the construction of which its materials were employed. The
pyramids, in which its distinguished men were buried, still survive;
but the magnificent city, that stretched along for many miles between
them and the river, has almost wholly disappeared.


NORTH

See EAST. The Babylonians and Assyrians are represented as coming from
"the north," because they invaded Israel by a northern route in order
to avoid the desert, Jer 1:14 46:6,24 Zep 2:13. "Fair weather," says
Job, or golden weather, "cometh out of the north," Job 37:22. This is
as true in Syria and Arabia now as it was three thousand years ago. A
traveler there remarks, "Our friends, who have been long residents,
informed us that we should have fair weather for our start on the
morrow, as the wind was from the north."


"... And so we have found it come to pass that the clouds of a golden
hue always followed upon a north wind, and indicated a clear day; and
as in the times of the Savior, we could always say when it was
evening, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,'" Mt 16:2.


NOSE

Several expressions in Scripture grew out of the fact that anger often
shows itself by distended nostrils, hard breathing, and in animals by
snorting, 2Sa 22:9 Job 39:20 Ps 18:8. Gold rings hung in the cartilage
of the nose, or the left nostril, were favorite ornaments of eastern
women, Pr 11:22 Eze 16:12. Rings were inserted in the noses of
animals, to guide and control them; and according to the recently
discovered tablets at Nineveh, captives among the Assyrians were
sometimes treated in the same way, 2Ki 19:28 Eze 38:4. See NINEVEH.


NOVICE

Or neophite, one recently converted and received to the Christian
church, 1Ti 3:6.


NUMBER

Isa 65:11. See GAD 3.


NUMBERS, BOOK OF

So called because the first three chapters contain the numbering of
the Hebrews and Levites, which was performed separately, after the
erection and consecration of he tabernacle. The rest of the book
contains an account of the breaking up of the Israelites from Sinai,
and their subsequent wanderings in the desert, until their arrival on
the borders of Moab. It was written by Moses, B. C. 1451, and is the
fourth book of the Pentateuch. See EXODUS.


NURSE

The Bible contains various allusions to the tender and confidential
relation anciently subsisting between a nurse and the children she had
brought up, Isa 49:22,23 1Th 2:7,8. See also the story of Rebekah,
attended through life by her faithful and honored Deborah, the oak
under which she was buried being called "The oak of weeping," Ge 24:59
35:8. The custom still prevails in the better families of Syria and
India. Says Roberts in his Oriental Illustrations, "how often have
scenes like this led my mind to the patriarchal age. The daughter is
about for the first time to leave the paternal roof; the servants are
all in confusion; each refers to things long gone by, each wishes to
do something to attract the attention of his young mistress. One says,
'Ah do not forget him who nursed you when an infant;' another, 'How
often did I bring you the beautiful lotus from the distant tank. Did I
not always conceal your faults?' Then the mother comes to take leave.
She weeps and tenderly embraces her, saying, 'My daughter, I shall see
you no more; forget not your mother.' The brother enfolds his sister
in his arms, and promises soon to come and see her. The father is
absorbed in thought, and is only aroused by the sobs of the party. He
then affectionately embraces his daughter, and tells her not to fear.
The female domestics must each smell of the poor girl, and the men
touch her feet. As Rebekah had her nurse to accompany her, so, at this
day, the aya (nurse) who has from infancy brought up the bride goes
with her to the new scene. She is her adviser, her assistant and
friend, and to her will she tell all her hopes and all her fears."


NYMPHAS

A Christian at Laodicea, whom Paul salutes, together with the company
of believers wont to worship at his house, Col 4:15.


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