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The plains of Aram or Syria, Ge 25:20 28:2 31:18, or simply PADAN, Ge
48:7, the plain, in distinction from the "mountains" of Aram Nu 23:7.
See MESOPOTAMIA, and SYRIA.
Denotes, in the Old Testament, the country of the Philistines, which
was that part of the land of promise extending along the Mediterranean
Sea on the varying western border of Simeon, Judah, and Dan, Ex 15:14
Isa 14:29,31 Joe 3:4. Palestine, taken in later usage in a more
general sense, signifies the whole country of Canaan, as well beyond
as on this side of the Jordan; though frequently it is restricted to
the country on this side that river; so that in later times the words
Judea and Palestine were synonymous. We find also the name of
Syria-Palestina given to the land of promise, and even sometimes this
province is comprehended in Coele-Syria, or the Lower Syria. Herodotus
is the most ancient writer known who speaks of SyriaPalestina. He
places it between Phoenicia and Egypt. See CANAAN.
Ex 15:27. This tree is called in Hebrew tamar, from its straight
upright, branchless growth, for which it seems more remarkable than
any other tree; it sometimes rises to the height of a hundred feet.
The palm is one of the most beautiful trees of the vegetable kingdom.
The stalks are generally full of rugged knots, which render it
comparatively easy to climb to the top for the fruit, So 7:7, 8. These
projections are the vestiges of the decayed leaves; for the trunk is
not solid like other trees, but its center is filled with pith, round
which is a tough bark, full of strong fibers when young, which, as the
tree grows old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves
are closely joined, which in the center rise erect, but after they are
advanced above the sheath that surrounds them, they expand very wide
on every side the stem, and as the older leaves decay, the stalk
advances in height. With its ever verdant and graceful crown
continually aspiring towards heaven, it is an apt image of the soul
growing in grace, Ps 92:12. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a
size for bearing fruit, are six to eight feet long, are very broad
when spread out, and are used for covering the tops of houses, and
The fruit, from which the palm is often called the date-tree, grows
below the leaves in clusters sometimes weighing over fifteen pounds,
and is of a sweet and agreeable taste. The diligent natives, says Mr.
Gibbon, celebrate, either in verse or prose, the three hundred and
sixty uses to which the trunk, the branches or long leaf-stalks, the
leaves, fibers, and fruit of the palm are skillfully applied. A
considerable part of the inhabitants of Egypt, of Arabia, and Persia,
subsist almost entirely on its fruit. They boast also of its medicinal
virtues. Their camels feed upon the date stone. From the leaves they
make couches, baskets, bags, mats, and brushes: from the branches or
stalks, cages for their poultry, and fences for their gardens; from
the fiber of the trunk, thread, ropes, and rigging; from the sap is
prepared a spirituous liquor; and the body of the tree furnishes fuel:
it is even said that from one variety of the palm-tree, the phoenix
farinifera, meal has been extracted, which is found among the fibers
of the trunk, and has been used for food.
Several parts of the Holy Land, no less than of Idumea, that lay
contiguous to it, are described by the ancients to have abounded with
date-trees. Judea particularly is typified in several coins of
Vespasian by a desconsolate woman sitting under a palm-tree, with the
inscription, JUDEA CAPTA. In De 34:3, Jericho is called the "city of
palm-trees;" and several of these trees are still found in that
vicinity; but in general they are now rare in Palestine. Palm wreaths,
and branches waved in the air or strown on the road, are associated
not only with the honors paid to ancient conquerors in the Grecian
games and in war, but with the triumphant entry of the King of Zion
into Jerusalem, Joh 12:12-13, and with his more glorious triumph with
his people in heaven, Re 7:9.
This old English term, meaning pilgrim-worm, is used in Jer 1:4 2:25
Am 4:9, like "canker-worm" and "caterpillar," for the locust in one of
another of its various species or transitions. These insects are very
destructive even before they reach the winged state. See LOCUST.
Or paralysis, strikes sometimes one side or portion of the body, and
sometimes the whole; affecting the power of motion, or the power of
sensation, or both. It is one of the least curable of diseases; but
the Savior healed it with a word, Mt 4:24; 12:10; Mr 2:3-12. The
"withered hand," Mr 3:1, was probably an effect of the palsy. There is
also a palsy of the soul, which the Great Physician can heal, and he
A province of Asia Minor, having Cilicia east. Lycia west, Pisidia
north, and the Mediterranean south. It is opposite to Cyprus, and the
sea between the coast and the island is called the "sea of Pamphylia."
The chief city of Pamphylia was Perga, where Paul and Barnabas
preached, Ac 13:13; 14:24.
In Eze 27:17, is the Hebrew word for some unknown product of
Palestine, which the Jews sold to the Tyrians. It is variously
understood to mean millet, sweetmeats, a delicate spice, etc.
A maritime city on the western extremity of the isle of Cyprus. It had
a tolerable harbor, and was the station of a Roman proconsul.
About sixty furlongs from the city was the celebrated temple of Venus,
who was hence often called the "Paphian goddess." The infamous rites
in honor of this goddess continued to be practiced hundreds of years
after Paul and Barnabas introduced the gospel here, though their
labors were blessed with some fruits, Ac 13:6-13. See ELYMAS.
Derived from a Greek word, which signifies, to compare things
together, to form a parallel or similitude of them with other things.
What we call the Proverbs of Solomon, which are moral maxims and
sentences, the Greeks call the Parables of Solomon. In like manner,
when Job answers his friends, it is said he took up his "parable," Job
27:1 29:1. In the New Testament the word parable denotes sometimes a
true history, or an illustrative sketch from nature; sometimes a
proverb or adage, Lu 4:23; a truth darkly or figuratively expressed,
Mt 15:15; a type, Heb 9:9; or a similitude, Mt 24:32. The parabolical,
enigmatical, figurative, and sententious way of speaking, was the
language of the Eastern sages and learned men, Ps 49:4 78:2; and
nothing was more insupportable than to hear a fool utter parables, Pr
The prophets employed parables the more strongly to impress prince and
people with their threatening or their promises. Nathan reproved David
under the parable of a rich man who had taken away and killed the lamb
of a poor man, 2Sa 12:1-31. See also Jud 9:7-15 2Ki 14:9-10. Our
Savior frequently addressed the people in parables, thereby verifying
the prophecy of Isa 6:9, that the people should see without knowing,
and hear without understanding, in the midst of instructions. This
result, however, only proved how inveterate were their hardness of
heart and blindness of mind; for in no other way could he have offered
them instruction more invitingly, clearly, or forcibly, than by this
beautiful and familiar mode. The Hebrew writers made great use of it;
and not only the Jews, but the Arabs, Syrians, and all the nations of
the east were and still are admirers of this form of discourse.
In the interpretation of a parable, its primary truth and main scope
are chiefly to be considered. The minute particulars are less to be
regarded than in a sustained allegory; and serious errors are
occasioned by pressing every detail, and inventing for it some
The following parables of our Lord are recorded by the evangelists.
Wise and foolish builders, Mt 7:24-27.
Children of the bride-chamber, Mt 9:15.
New cloth and old garment, Mt 9:16.
New wine and old bottles, Mt 9:17.
Unclean spirit, Mt 12:43.
Sower, Mt 13:3,18 Lu 8:5,11.
Tares, Mt 13:24-30,36-43.
Mustard-seed, Mt 13:31-32 Lu 13:19.
Leaven, Mt 13:33.
Treasure hid in a field, Mt 13:44.
Pearl of great price, Mt 13:45-46.
Net cast into the sea, Mt 13:47-50.
Meats defiling not, Mt 15:10-15.
Unmerciful servant, Mt 18:23-35.
Laborers hired, Mt 20:1-16.
Two sons, Mt 21:28-32.
Wicked husbandmen, Mt 21:33-45.
Marriage-feast, Mt 22:2-14.
Fig tree leafing, Mt 24:32-34.
Man of the house watching, Mt 24:43.
Faithful and evil servants, Mt 24:45-51.
Ten virgins, Mt 25:1-13.
Talents, Mt 25:14-30.
Kingdom divided against itself, Mr 3:24.
House divided against itself, Mr 3:25.
Strongman armed, Mr 3:27 Lu 11:21.
Seed growing secretly, Mr 4:26-29.
Lighted candle, Mr 4:21 Lu 11:33-36.
Man taking a far journey, Mr 13:34-37.
Blind leading the blind, Lu 6:39.
Beam and mote, Lu 6:41-42.
Tree and its fruit, Lu 6:43-45.
Creditor and debtors, Lu 7:41-47.
Good Samaritan, Lu 10:30-37.
Importunate friend, Lu 11:5-9.
Rich fool, Lu 12:16-21.
Cloud and wind, Lu 12:54-57.
Barren fig tree, Lu 13:6-9.
Men bidden to a feast, Lu 14:7-11.
Builder of a tower, Lu 14:28-30,33.
King going to war, Lu 14:31-33.
Savor of salt, Lu 14:34-35.
Lost sheep, Lu 15:3-7.
Lost piece of silver, Lu 15:8-10.
Prodigal son, Lu 15:11-32.
Unjust steward, Lu 16:1-8.
Rich man and Lazarus, Lu 16:19-31.
Importunate widow, Lu 18:1-8.
Pharisee and publican, Lu 18:9-14.
Pounds, Lu 19:12-27.
Good shepherd, Joh 10:1-6.
Vine and branches, Joh 15:1-5.
A Greek word signifying a park, or garden with trees. The Hebrew word
GAN, garden, issued in a similar way, Ne 2:8 Ec 2:5 So 4:13.
The Septuagint uses the word Paradise when speaking of the Garden of
Eden, in which the Lord placed Adam and Eve. This famous garden is
indeed commonly known by the name of "the terrestrial paradise," and
there is hardly any part of the world in which it has not been sought.
In the New Testament, "paradise" is put, in allusion to the paradise
of Eden, for the place where the souls of the blessed enjoy happiness.
Thus our Savior tells the penitent thief on the cross, "Today shalt
thou be with me in paradise;" that is, in the state of the blessed, Lu
23:43. Paul speaking of himself in the third person, says, "I knew a
man that was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words,
which it is not lawful for a man to utter," 2Co 12:4. And in Re 2:7
22:14, the natural features of the scene where innocence and bliss
were lost, are used to depict the world where these are restored
perfectly and forever.
PARAN OR ELPARAN
Ge 14:6, a large tract of desert country lying south of Palestine, and
west of the valley El Arabah, which runs from the Dead Sea to the Gulf
of Akaba. It was in and near this desert region that the Israelites
wandered thirty-eight years. See EXODUS. It extended on the south to
within three days' journey of Sinai, Nu 10:12,33 12:16, if not to
Sinai itself, De 33:2 Heb 3:3. On the north, it included the deserts
of Kadesh and Zin, Nu 13:3,21,27.
Here Hagar and Ishmael dwelt, Ge 21:14,21; and hither David, and
afterwards Hadad, retired for a time, 1Sa 25:1 1Ki 11:18. Burckhardt
found it a dreary expanse of calcareous soil, covered with black
flints. Some cities and cultivated grounds, however, and considerable
patches of pasturelands, were anciently found in this region. The
northeast part is traversed from east to west by ranges of hills.
In Isa 35:7, translated by Lowth "the glowing sand," by Henderson "the
vapory illusion," and in German sand-mer and wasserschein, sand-sea
and water-show, is understood to refer to the mirage, an optical
illusion described by almost all travelers in tropical deserts. The
inexperienced wanderer sees at a distance what he thinks is an
beautiful sheet of water; and imagination clothes the farther shore
with herbage, shrubbery, buildings, etc.; but on hasting towards it he
finds the delightful vision recede and at length disappear, and
nothing remains but the hot sands. Quintus Curtius long ago gave an
account of this wonder in his Life of Alexander the Great. It is thus
described in St. John's "Egypt and Nubia:"
"I had been riding along in a revery, when chancing to raise my head,
I thought I perceived, desertwards, a dark strip on the far horizon.
What could it be? My companion, who had very keen sight, was riding in
advance of me, and with a sudden exclamation, he pulled up his
dromedary, and gazed in the same direction. I called to him, and asked
him what he thought of yonder strip, and whether he could make out
anything in it distinctly. He answered, that water had all at once
appeared there; that he saw the motion of the waves, and tall palms
and other trees bending up and down over them, as if tossed by a
strong wind. This, then, was the mirage. My companion galloped towards
it, and we followed him, though the Arabs tried to prevent us; and ere
long I could with my own eyes discern something of this strange
phenomenon. It was, as my friend had reported, a broad sheet of water,
with fresh green trees along its banks; and yet there was nothing
actually before us but parched yellow sand."
"Far as we rode in the direction of the apparition, we never came any
nearer to it; the whole seemed to recoil, step for step, with our
advance. We halted, and remained long in contemplation, of the magic
scene, until whatever was unpleasant in its strangeness ceased by
degrees to affect us. Never had I seen any landscape so vivid as this
seeming one; never water so bright or trees so softly green, so tall
and stately. We returned lowly to our Arabs, who had not stirred from
the spot where we left them. Looking back once more into the desert,
we saw the apparition gradually becoming fainter, until at last it
melted away into a dim band, not unlike a thin mist sweeping over the
face of a field."
The same phenomenon may be alluded to in the expression, "waters that
fail," Jer 15:18. It is ascribed to the unequal refraction of the rays
of light, caused in some way by excessive heat. The Savior and his
proffered blessings are not, like earthly hopes, a deception and a
mockery, but true waters of eternal life.
One of the first seven deacons, Ac 6:5.
Is supposed to have been originally a province of Media, on its
eastern side, which was raised into a distinct kingdom by Arsaces, B.
C. 250. It soon extended itself over a great part of the ancient
Persian Empire, and is frequently put for that empire in Scripture,
and other ancient writings. Parthia maintained itself against all
aggressors for nearly five hundred years, and was not subjugated even
by the Romans; but in A. D. 226, one of the descendants of the ancient
Persian kings united it to his empire, and Persia resumed it former
name and dynasty.
The Parthians were celebrated, especially by the poets, for a
peculiarity of their mode of fighting on horseback, which consisted in
discharging their arrows while they fled. They would seem to have
borne no very distant resemblance to the modern Cossacks. It is said
the Parthians were either refugees or exiles from the Scythian
nations. Jews and proselytes from among them were present at Jerusalem
at the Pentecost, Ac 2:9.
Eph 2:14. See the various courts under TEMPLE.
A well-known bird, three varieties of which are found in Palestine.
Saul's hunting of David like a partridge upon the mountain, 1Sa 26:20,
may be illustrated by an occasional practice of the Arabs, who,
observing that this bird becomes languid on being started several
times in quick succession, at length rush suddenly in upon it and
knock it over with their clubs. In Jer 17:11, we may best render, as
the partridge gathereth eggs which she hath not laid; the meaning
being that she loses her toil since the young birds, when hatched,
2Ch 3:6, the region of fine gold; probably Ophir; according to
Gesenius, the East.
1. The son of Immer, a priest and a chief officer in the temple; he
violently opposed the prophet Jeremiah, and persecuted him even with
blows and confinement in the stocks; but all recoiled on his own head,
2. The son of Malchiah, an enemy of Jeremiah, and active in securing
his imprisonment, Jer 21:1; 38:1-6. Many descendants of this Pashur
returned from captivity at Babylon, 1Ch 9:12; Ezr 2:38.
Ac 1:3, suffering; the last sufferings and death of Christ. In Ac
14:15 Jas 5:17, "like passions" is nearly equivalent to "the same
Hebrew PESACH, Greek PASCHA, a passing over, a name given to the
festival established and to the victim offered in commemoration of he
coming forth out of Egypt, Ex 12:1-51; because the night before their
departure, the destroying angel, who slew the firstborn of the
Egyptians, passed over the houses of the Hebrews without entering
them, they being marked with the blood of the lamb, which for this
reason was called he Passover, Mr 14:12,14 1Co 5:7, or the paschal
The month of the exodus from Egypt, called Abib by Moses, and
afterwards named Nisan, was ordained to be thereafter the first month
of the sacred or ecclesiastical year. On the fourteenth day of this
month, between the two evenings, (See EVENING), they were to kill the
paschal lamb, and to abstain from leavened bread. The day following,
being the fifteenth, reckoned from six o'clock of the preceding
evening, was the grand feast of the Passover, which continues seven
days, usually called "the days of unleavened bread," or "the
Passover," Lu 22:1; but only the first and the seventh day were
peculiarly solemn, Le 23:5-8 Nu 28:16,17 Mt 26:17. They were days of
rest, and were called Sabbaths by the Jews. The slain lamb was to be
without defect, a male, and of that year. If no lamb could be found,
they might take a kid. They killed a lamb or a kid in each family; but
if any family was not large enough to eat the lamb, they might
associate another small family with them. The Passover was to be slain
and eaten only at Jerusalem, though the remainder of the festival
might be observed in any place. The lamb was to be roasted entire, and
eaten the same night, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; not a
bone of it was to be broken; and all that was not eaten was to be
consumed by fire, Ex 12:1-51 Joh 19:36. If any one was unable to keep
the Passover at the time appointed, he was to observe it on the second
month; he that willfully neglected it, forfeited the covenant favor of
God; while on the other hand resident foreigners were admitted to
partake of it, Nu 9:6-14 2Ch 30:1-27. The direction to eat the
Passover in the posture and with the equipments of travelers seems to
have been observed only on the first Passover. Besides the private
family festival, there were public and national sacrifices offered on
each of the seven days of unleavened bread, Nu 28:19. On the second
day also the first fruits of the barley harvest were offered in the
temple, Le 23:10.
Jewish writers give us full descriptions of the Passover feast, from
which we gather a few particulars. Those who were to partake having
performed the required purification and being assembled at the table,
the master of the feast took a cup of unfermented wine, and blessed
God for the fruit of the vine, of which all ten drank. This was
followed by a washing of hands. The paschal lamb was then brought in,
with unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and a sauce or fruit-paste. The
master of the feast then blessed God for the fruits of the earth, and
gave the explanations prescribed in Ex 12:26,27, specifying each
particular. After a second cup, with a second washing of hands, an
unleavened cake was broken and distributed, and a blessing pronounced
upon the Giver of Bread. When all had eaten sufficiently of the food
before them, a third cup of thanksgiving, for deliverance from Egypt
and for the gift of the law, was blessed and drunk, Mt 26:27 1Co
10:16; this was called "the cup of blessing." The repast was usually
closed by a fourth cup and psalms of praise, Ps 136:1-26 145:10 Mt
Our Savior partook of the Passover for the last time, with his
disciples, on the evening with which the day of his crucifixion
commenced, Mt 26:17 Mr 14:12 Lu 22:7. The following day, commencing
with the sunset three hours after his death, was the Jewish Sabbath,
and was also observed as "a Passover," Joh 13:29 18:28 19:14,31.
Compare Mt 27:62.
This sacred festival was both commemorative and typical in its nature
and design; the deliverance which it commemorated was a type of the
great salvation it foretold. The Savior identified himself with the
paschal lamb as its great Antitype, in substituting the Lord's supper
for the Passover. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us," 1Co 5:7;
and as we compare the innocent lamb slain in Egypt with the infinite
lamb of God, the contrast teaches us how infinite is the perdition
which He alone can cause to "pass over" us, and how essential it is to
be under the shelter of his sprinkled blood, before the night of
judgment and ruin overtakes us.
The modern Jews also continue to observe the Passover. With those who
live in Palestine the feast continues a week; but the Jews out of
Palestine extend it to eight days, according to an ancient custom, by
which the Sanhedrin sent two men to observe the first appearance of
the new moon, who immediately gave notice of it to the chief of the
council. For fear of error, they dept two days of the festival.
As to the Christian Passover, the Lord's supper, it was instituted by
Christ when, at the last Passover supper he ate with his apostles, he
gave them a symbol of his body to eat, and a symbol of his blood to
drink, under the form of bread and wine; prefiguring that he should
give up his body to the Jews and to death. The paschal lamb, which the
Jews killed, tore to pieces, and ate, and whose blood preserved them
from the destroying angel, was a type, and figure of our Savior's
death and passion, and of his blood shed for the salvation of the
Shepherd, one whose office it is to feed and guard the flock of
Christ, Eph 4:11 1Pe 5:2. See SHEPHERD.
A maritime city of Lycia in Asia Minor, at the mouth of the river
Xanthus, celebrated for an oracle of Apollo, who was supposed to
reside here during the six winter months, and the rest of the year at
Delos. Paul, in passing from Philippi to Jerusalem, found here a ship
for Phoenicia, in which he embarked, Ac 21:1.
Ps 7:16, an obsolete word for head, or top of the head.
Isa 11:11 Jer 44:1,15 Eze 29:14 30:14, one of the three ancient
divisions of Egypt, namely, Upper or Southern Egypt, which Ezekiel
speaks of as distinct from Egypt, and the original abode of the
Egyptians; as indeed Ethiopia and Upper Egypt really were. Its early
inhabitants called Pathrusim, were descendants of Mizraim, Ge 10:14.
An island of the Aeagean sea, to which the apostle and evangelist John
was banished by Domitian, A. D. 95, Re 1:9. It is a rocky and desolate
island, about twenty-eight miles in circumference, with a bold and
deeply indented shore; and was used by the Romans as a place of
banishment for many criminals. It lies between Samos and Naxos, about
forty miles west by south from the promontory of Miletus; and contains
at present some four thousand inhabitants, mostly Greeks. Its
principal port is a deep bay on the northeast side; the town lying on
a high and steep hill, the summit of which is crowned by the old and
castle-like monastery of St. John. Half way down the hill is a natural
grotto, now covered by a Greek chapel, school, etc. In this cave,
over-looking the sea and its islands towards his beloved Ephesus,
tradition says that John saw and recorded his prophetic visions. The
island is now called Patino; and the port Patmo, or San Giovanni di
The distinguished "apostle of the Gentiles;" also called SAUL, a
Hebrew name. He is first called Paul in Ac 13:12; and as some think,
assumed this Roman name according to a common custom of Jews in
foreign lands, or in honor of Sergius Paulus, Ac 13:7, his friend and
an early convert. Both names however may have belonged to him in
childhood. He was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, and inherited from his
father the privileges of a Roman citizen. His parents belonged to the
tribe of Benjamin, and brought up their son as "a Hebrew of the
Hebrews," Php 3:5. Tarsus was highly distinguished for learning and
culture, and the opportunities for improvement it afforded were no
doubt diligently improved by Paul. At a suitable age he was sent to
Jerusalem to complete his education in the school of Gamaliel, the
most distinguished and right-minded of the Rabbis of that age. It does
not appear that he was in Jerusalem during the ministry of Christ; and
it was perhaps after his return to Tarsus that he learned the art of
tent-making, in accordance with a general practice among the Jews, and
their maxim, "He that does not teach his son a useful handicraft,
teaches him to steal," Ac 18:3 20:34 2Th 3:8.
We next find him at Jerusalem, apparently about thirty years of age,
high in the confidence of the leading men of the nation. He had
profited by the instructions of Gamaliel, and became learned in the
law; yielding himself to the strictest discipline of the sect of the
Pharisees, he had become a fierce defender of Judaism and a bitter
enemy of Christianity, Ac 8:3 26:9-11. After his miraculous
conversion, of which we have three accounts, Ac 9:22,26, Christ was
all in all to him. It was Christ who revealed himself to his soul at
Damascus, Ac 26:15 1Co 15:8; to Christ he gave his whole heart, and
soul, mind, might, and strength; and thenceforth, living or dying, he
was "the servant of Jesus Christ." He devoted all the powers of his
ardent and energetic mind to the defense and propagation of the gospel
of Christ, more particularly among the Gentiles. His views of the pure
and lofty spirit of Christianity, in its worship and in its practical
influence, appear to have been peculiarly clear and strong; and the
opposition which he was thus led to make to the rites and ceremonies
of the Jewish worship, exposed him everywhere to the hatred and malice
of his countrymen. On their accusation, he was at length put in
confinement by the Roman officers and after being detained for two
years or more at Caesarea, he was sent to Rome for trial, having
himself appealed to the emperor.
There is less certainty in respect to the accounts, which are given of
Paul afterwards by the early ecclesiastical writers. Still it was a
very generally received opinion in the earlier centuries, that the
apostle was acquitted and discharged from his imprisonment at the end
of two years; and that he afterwards returned to Rome, where he was
again imprisoned and put to death by Nero.
Paul appears to have possessed all the learning which was then current
among the Jews, and also to have been acquainted with Greek
literature; as appears from his mastery of the Greek language, his
frequent discussions with their philosophers, and his quotations from
their poets-Aratus, Ac 17:28; Meander, 1Co 15:33; and Epimenides, Tit
1:12. Probably, however a learned Greek education cannot with
propriety be ascribed to him. But the most striking trait in his
character is his enlarged view of the universal design and the
spiritual nature of the religion of Christ, and of its purifying and
ennobling influence upon the heart and character of those who
sincerely profess it. From the Savior himself he had caught the flame
of universal love, and the idea of salvation for all mankind, Ga 1:12.
Most of the other apostles and teachers appear to have clung to
Judaism, to the rites, ceremonies, and dogmas of the religion in which
they had been educated, and to have regarded Christianity as intended
to be engrafted upon the ancient stock, which was yet to remain as the
trunk to support the new branches. Paul seems to have been among the
first to rise above this narrow view, and to regard Christianity in
its light, as a universal religion. While others were for Judaizing
all those who embraced the new religion by imposing on them the yoke
of Mosaic observances, it was Paul's endeavor to break down the middle
wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles, and show them that they
were all "one in Christ." To this end all his labors tended; and,
ardent in the pursuit of this great object, he did not hesitate to
censure the time-serving Peter, and to expose his own life in
resisting the prejudices of is countrymen. Indeed, his five years'
imprisonment as Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Rome arose chiefly from this
These various journeys of St. Paul, many of them made on foot, should
be studied through on a map; in connection with the inspired
narrative, in Acts, and with his own pathetic description of his
labors, 2Co 11:23-29, wherein nevertheless the half is not told. When
we review the many regions he traversed and evangelized, the converts
he gathered, and the churches he founded, the toils, perils, and
trials he endured, the miracles he wrought, and the revelations he
received, the discourses, orations, and letters in which he so ably
defends and unfolds Christianity, the immeasurable good which God by
him accomplished, his heroic life, and his martyr death, he appears to
us the most extraordinary of men.
The character of Paul is most fully portrayed in his epistles, by
which, as Chrysostom says he, "still lives in the mouths of men
throughout the whole world. By them, not only is own converts, but all
the faithful even unto this day, yea, and all the saints who are yet
to be born until Christ's coming again, both have been and shall be
blessed." In them we observe the transforming and elevating power of
grace in one originally turbulent and passionate-making him a model of
many and Christian excellence; fearless and firm, yet considerate,
courteous, and gentle; magnanimous, patriotic, and selfsacrificing;
rich in all noble sentiments and affections.
EPISTLES OF PAUL. -There are fourteen epistles in the New Testament
usually ascribed to Paul, beginning with that to the Romans, and
ending with that to the Hebrews. Of these the first thirteen have
never been contested; as to the latter, many good men have doubted
whether Paul was the author, although the current of criticism is in
favor of this opinion. These epistles, in which the principles of
Christianity are developed for all periods, characters, and
circumstances, are among the most important of the primitive documents
of the Christian religion, even apart from their inspired character;
and although they seem to have been written without special
premeditation, and have reference mostly to transient circumstances
and temporary relations, yet they everywhere bear the stamp of the
great and original mind of the apostle, as purified, elevated, and
sustained by the influences of the Holy Spirit.
It is worthy of mention here, that an expression of Peter respecting
"our beloved brother Paul" is often a little misunderstood. The words
"in which" in 2Pe 3:16, are erroneously applied to the "epistles" of
Paul; and not to "these things" immediately preceding, that is, the
subjects of which Peter was writing, as the Greek shows they should
be. Peter finds no fault, either with Paul, or with the doctrines of
The arrangement of Hug is somewhat different; and some critics who
find evidence that Paul was released from his first imprisonment and
lived until the spring of A. D. 68, assign the epistles Hebrews,
1Timothy, Titus, and 2Timothy to the last year of his life. See
Appear not to have been known in Palestine, until imported in the navy
of Solomon, 1Ki 10:22 2Ch 9:21. See TARSHISH.
Were ranked by the ancients among the most precious substances, Re
17:4, and were highly valued as ornaments for women. Their modest
splendor still charms the Orientals, and a string of pearls is a
favorite decoration of eastern monarchs. The kingdom of heaven is
compared to a goodly pearl, so superior to all others that the pearl
merchant sold all others that he could obtain for it the highest
price, Mt 13:45,46. The gates of heaven are described as consisting of
pearls; "every several gate was one pearl," Re 21:21. The Savior
forbade his apostles to cast their pearls before swine, Mt 7:6; that
is, to expose the precious truths of the gospel unnecessarily to those
who reject them with scorn and violence.
Pearls are a stony concretion in a species of oyster, found in the
Persian gulf, on the coast of Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, etc., and in
smaller quantities in various other places in both hemispheres. It is
not known whether the pearl is a natural deposit, or the consequence
of disease, or of the lodging of some foreign body, as a grain of
sand, within the shells. The pearl oyster grows in clusters, on rocks
in deep water; and is brought up by trained divers, only during a few
weeks of calm weather in spring. The shell itself yields the well-
known "mother of pearl."
In Isa 8:19, denotes the stifles, piping voice of necromancers.
Son of Remaliah, and general of the army of Pekahiah king of Israel.
He conspired against his master, attacked him in the tower of his
royal palace of Samaria, and having slain him, B. C. 758, he reigned
in his place twenty years. In the latter part of his evil reign he
formed an alliance with the Syrians of Damascus, and they attacked
Ahaz king of Judah, who in turn sought the aid of Assyria. The result
was, that Damascus was taken by Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and
with it all the lands of Israel east of the Jordan and north of the
Sea of Galilee, their inhabitants being carried captive. Shortly
afterwards Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah, slew him, and
reigned in his stead, 2Ki 15:25-38 16:1-9 Isa 7:1-8:9 17:1-14.
Son and successor of Menahem king of Israel, was a wicked prince, and
reigned but two years. Pekah, son of Remaliah, conspired against him,
and killed him in his own palace, 2Ki 15:22-25.
Son of Eber, and fourth in descent from Shem. He was called Peleg,
division, because in his time the earth was divided, Ge 10:25; 11:16.
Are always mentioned together with the Cherethites, as constituting
the king's bodyguard, 2Sa 8:18 22:23. The word, if not the name of a
Jewish or a Philistine family, is supposed to signify runners; and
thus they would seem to have been the royal messengers; just as the
Cherethites, from a Hebrew word signifying to cut off, were the king's
executioners. See CHERETHITES.
Le 11:18, sometimes translated cormorant, Isa 34:11 Zep 2:14; a
voracious waterfowl, somewhat gregarious and migratory, frequenting
tropical climates, and still found on the waters of Egypt and
Palestine. It fully equals the swan in size, and resembles it in shape
and color. Its plumage is of a grayish white, except the long
feathers, which are black. Its great peculiarity is its broad, flat
bill, fifteen inches long; and the pouch of the female under the bill,
used for the temporary storage of food, and said to be able to hold
fifteen quarts. When empty, this pouch is not seen; but when full, it
presents a very singular appearance. The pelican is a dull, indolent,
and melancholy bird; and its voice is harsh and dissonant, Ps 102:6.
Its Hebrew name is probably derived from its habit of emptying its
pouch of the food stored in it, by compressing it against its breast.
The young then receive their food from their mother's bill; and the
current tradition that she tears her own breast to feed them with her
blood, may have this origin. The pelican's bill also, terminating in a
strong, curved, crimson tip and resting on the white breast might seem
to be tinged with blood.
The ancient pen was a stylus of hardened iron, Jer 17:1, sometimes
pointed with diamond, for writing on hard substances, like metallic
plates; when waxen tablets were used, the stylus had one end made
broad and smooth, for erasing errors, 2Ki 21:13. For parchment, cloth,
and similar substances, a reed pen was used, or a fine hair pencil,
with ink, Jud 5:14 Job 19:24 Isa 8:1 Jer 36:23 3Jo 1:13.
PENIEL OR PENUEL
A town beyond the Jordan, and near the Jabbok; defended by a strong
tower, which Gideon broke down because the men of Penuel refused to
aid him against the Midianites, Jud 8:8-17. It was restored by
Jeroboam I, 1Ki 12:25. It received its name, the face of God, from
Jacob's they're wrestling with the Angel Jehovah face to face, Ge
The second wife of Elkanah the father of Samuel. See HANNAH. Their
story illustrates the evils of polygamy, 1Sa 1:1-28.
The Greek drachma, or Roman denarious, equivalent to about fourteen
cents. In reading the Scripture passage in which this word, occurs, we
should consider that the real value of money, to purchase labor or
commodities, was far greater then that now; and also that even the
nominal value of the drachma would be better expressed by "shilling,"
or "franc," than by "penny." Thus, "two hundred shillings' worth of
bread would not suffice," Mr 6:37; "he took out two francs and gave
them to the host," Lu 10:35. So in Re 6:6, "a measure of wheat for a
penny" expresses to the English reader the idea of great plenty;
whereas the original indicates a distressing scarcity. A drachma in
Christ's time was good wages for a day's labor in a vineyard, Mt 20:2.
The five books the books of Moses; that is, Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. See articles on those books, and also
The fiftieth, a feast celebrated the fiftieth day after the sixteenth
of Nisan, which was the second day of the feast of the Passover, Le
25:15-16. The Hebrews call it the "feast of weeks," Ex 34:22, because
it was kept seen weeks after the Passover. They then offered the first
fruits of their wheat harvest, which at that time was completed, De
16:9-10. These first fruits consisted in two loaves of leavened bread,
of five pints of meal each, Le 23:17. Besides this offering, there
were special sacrifices prescribed for this festival, Nu 28:26-31.
The feast of Pentecost was instituted, first, to oblige the Israelites
to repair to the temple of the Lord, and there acknowledge his
dominion over their country and their labors, by offering to him the
first fruits of all their harvests. Secondly, to commemorate, and to
render thanks to God for the law given from Mount Sinai, on the
fiftieth day after their coming out of Egypt. It was on the day of
Pentecost, that the Holy Spirit as first poured out upon the apostles
and the Christian church, Ac 2:1-3. On this occasion, as on the
Passover seven weeks before, Judaism was at the same time honored and
gloriously superseded by Christianity. The paschal lamb gave place to
"Christ our Passover;" and the Jewish feast in memory of the giving of
the law, to the gift of the Holy Spirit for "every nation under
heaven," Ac 2:5. This gift was for the whole period of the gospel
dispensation; and the mighty effects then produced foreshow the yet
greater works the Spirit will perform in answer to prayer.
A mountain of Moab, from which Balaam surveyed the camp of Israel, Nu
23:28. It probably lay a few miles northeast of the Dead Sea, but is
not now recognized. This name and vicinity are also associated with an
idol of the Moabites, De 4:8. See BAAL.
2Sa 6:8. See UZZAH.
The use of perfumes was common among the Hebrews and the Orientals
generally, before it was known to the Greeks and Romans. Moses also
speaks of the art of the perfumer, in the English Bible "apothecary;"
and gives the composition of two perfumes, of which one was to be
offered to the Lord on the golden altar, Ex 30:34-38. And the other to
be used for anointing the high priest and his sons, the tabernacle,
and the vessels of divine service, Ex 30:23-33.
The Hebrews had also perfumes for embalming their dead. The
composition is note exactly known, but they used myrrh, aloes, and
other strong and astringent drugs proper to prevent infection and
corruption. See EMBALMING, and OINTMENT.
A city of Pamphylia, Ac 13:13; 14:25. This is not a maritime city, but
is situated on the river Cestrus, at some distance from its mouth,
which has long been obstructed by a bar. It was one of the most
considerable cities in Pamphylia; and when that province was divided
into two parts, this city became the metropolis of one part, and side
of the other. On a neighboring mountain was a splendid temple of
Diana, which gave celebrity to the city.
Now Bergamo, a city of Mysia, in Asia Minor, and the residence of the
Attalian princes. There was here collected by the kings of this race a
noble library of two hundred thousand volumes, which, after the
country was ceded to the Romans, was transported to Egypt for
Cleopatra, and added to the library at Alexandria. Hence the word
parchment, from the Latin pergamentum, Greek pergamene; great
quantities of this material being here used, and its manufacture
perfected. Pogroms was the birthplace of Galen, and contained a famous
temple of Esculapius the god of medicine, who was worshipped under the
form of a living serpent. A Christian church was established here in
the apostolic age, and was addressed by St. John, Re 1:11; 2:12. The
modern city, called Bergamo, lies twenty miles from the sea on the
north side of the river Caicus, and contains twelve thousand
inhabitants. A large castle in ruins stands on the highest of three
mountains, which environ the town, and many remains of the ancient
city still exist.
Ge 15:20, ancient inhabitants of Palestine, who had mingled with the
Canaanites, or were themselves descendants of Canaan. They appear to
have dwelt in the center of Canaan, Gen 34.30; Jos 11.3; 17.15; Jud
1.4-5; but there were some of them on each side of the river Jordan,
in the mountains, and in the plains. In several places of Scripture,
the Canaanites and Perizzites are mentioned as the chief people of the
country; as in the time of Abraham and Lot, Ge 13:7. Some remnants of
this race existed in Solomon's day, and were subjected by him to a
tribute of service, 1Ki 9:20. See CANAANITES.
In Hebrew Paras, Eze 27:10, a vast region in Asia, the southwestern
province of which lying between ancient media on the north and the
Persian Gulf on the south, appears to have been the ancient Persia,
and is still called Pharsistan, or Fars. The Persians, who became so
famous after Cyrus, the founder of their more extended monarchy, were
anciently called Elamites; and later, in the time of the Roman
emperors, Parthians. See PARTHIA.
The early history of the Persians, like that of most of the oriental
nations, is involved in doubt and perplexity. Their descent is traced
to Shem, through his son Elam, after whom they were originally named.
It is probable that they enjoyed their independence for several ages,
with a monarchical succession of their own; until they were subdued by
the Assyrians and their country attached as a province to that empire.
From this period, both sacred and profane writers distinguish the
kingdom of the Medes from that of the Persians. It is not improbable
that, during this period, petty revolutions might have occasioned
temporary disjunctions of Persia from Assyria, and that the Persian
king was quickly again made sensible of his true allegiance. When
Media became independent, under Dejoes and then Phraortes, Persia
became also subject to its sway, as a tributary kingdom. Media having
vanquished her great rival Assyria enjoyed a long interval of peace,
during the reign of Astyages, son of Cyaxares. But his successor,
Cyaxares the Second, united with the Persians against the Babylonians,
and gave the command of the combined armies to Cyrus, who took the
city of Babylon, killed Belshazzar, the terminated that kingdom 538 B.
Cyrus succeeded to the thrones of Media and Persia, and completed the
union between those countries, which appear to have been in reality
but two nations of he same race, having the same religion (See MAGI
and MEDIA), and using languages near akin to each other and to the
ancient Sanscrit. Previously to their union under Cyrus, Daniel speaks
of the law of the Medes and Persians as being the same.
The union was effected B. C. 536. The principal events relating to
Scripture, which occurred during the reign of Cyrus, were the
restoration of the Jews, the rebuilding of the city and temple, and
the capture of Babylon, B. C. 539, Ezr 1:2. His dominion extended from
the Mediterranean to the region of the Indus. Cambyses his successor,
B. C. 529, added Egypt to the Persian realm, and the supremacy of
Egypt and Syria was often in contest during subsequent reigns, Ezr
4:6. He was followed by Smerdis the Magian, B. C. 522, Ezr 4:7; Darius
Hystapis, B. C. 521, Ezr 5:6; Xerxes, the Ahasuerus of the book of
Esther, B. C. 485, Artabanus, B. C. 465; Artaxerxes Longimanus, B. C.
464, Ne 2:1; Xerxes 2., B. C. 424; Sogdianus and Darius Nothus, B. C.
424; Artaxerxes Mnemon, B. C. 404; Artaxerxes Ochus, B. C. 364; Arses,
B. C. 338; and Darius Codomanus, B. C. 335, who was subdued and slain
by Alexander of Macedon, B. C. 330. In the seventh century Persia fell
under the power of the Saracens, in the thirteenth it was conquered by
Genghis Khan, and in the fourteenth by Tamerlane. Modern Persia is
bounded north by Georgia, the Caspian sea, and Tartary; east by
Afghanistan and Beloochistan; south by Ormus; and west by the
dominions of Turkey. Its inhabitants retain to a remarkable extent the
manners and custom of ancient Persia, of which we have so vivid a
picture in Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel.
A Roman lady, whom Paul salutes, Ro 16:12, and calls his beloved
Or PLAGUE, in the Hebrew tongue, as in most others, expresses all
sorts of distempers and calamitites. The Hebrew word which properly
signifies "the plague" is extended to all epidemical and contagious
diseases. The prophets generally connect together the sword, the
pestilence, and the famine, as three evils, which usually accompany
The glandular plague, which in modern times has proved so fatal in the
East, is the most virulent and contagious of diseases. In the
fourteenth century it overran Europe, Asia, and Africa, and 25,000,000
are estimated to have died of it within three years. Like the Asiatic
cholera, it is one of the most appalling scourges sin has brought on
this world; and may in this point of view correspond with the
"plagues" referred to in the Bible, Ex 9:14 11:1 1Ki 8:37.
PETER, EPISTLES OF
We have two epistles attributed to Peter by the common consent to the
Christian church. The genuineness of the first has never been
disputed; it is referred to as his accredited work by several of the
apostolical fathers. It appears to have been addressed to Christian
churches in Asia Minor, composed primarily of converted Jews and
proselytes, but including many converts from paganism, 1Pe 4.3. It was
written probably at Babylon on the Euphrates, 1Pe 5:13. See BABYLON.
Some, however, interpret this of Rome, and others of a petty town in
Egypt called Babylon. The "fiery trials" through which the church was
then passing are supposed to have been the persecutions in the latter
years of Nero's reign, which terminated A. D. 68. Peter exhorts them
to faith, obedience, and patience, in view of the truth of the gospel
and the certainty of salvation in Christ.
This name in Greek signifies a rock, as does also the name Cephas in
Syriac. Peter was one of the twelve apostles, and was also called
Simon, Mt 16:17, and Simeon, Ac 15:14. He was of Bethsaida, and was
the son of Jonas, a fisherman, which occupation he also followed.
After his marriage he resided at Capernaum, Mt 8:14 Lu 4:38, though
called at a later period to labor else where as an apostle, and it
would seem often accompanied in his journeys by his wife, 1Co 9:5.
When first introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew, he received from
Him the name of Peter, Joh 1:42, probably in reference to the boldness
and firmness of his character, and his activity in promoting his
Master's cause. He received his second call, and began to accompany
Christ, at the Sea of Galilee near his residence, and thenceforth
learned to be a "fisher of men," Mt 4:18-20 Lu 5:1-11. Many remarkable
incidents are recorded in the gospels, which illustrate his character.
Among these are, his attempt to walk on the water to meet Christ, Mt
14:29; his avowal of the Messiahship and divinity of the Savior, Mt
16:16; his errors as to the design of Christ's incarnation, Mt
16:22-23; his warm attachment to the divine Teacher, Joh 6:67-69; his
cutting off the ear of Malchus, Joh 18:10; his boastful determination
to adhere to his Master under all circumstances, and his subsequent
denial of Him with oaths, Mt 26:74 Mr 14:29 Joh 13:37-38; his poignant
repentance, Mt 26:75, and our Lord's forgiveness, after receiving an
assurance of his love, which was thrice uttered as his denial of
Christ had been, Joh 21:15-18.
The death and resurrection of Christ, and the circumstances, which
accompanied them, led to a wonderful change in the apostle's mind, and
thenceforward his bold and steadfast course is worthy of his name. On
the day of Pentecost, he was one of the principal witnesses for the
Savior; in company with John he soon after healed a lame man at the
temple gate, addressed the assembled crowd, was imprisoned, and
fearlessly vindicated himself before the Sanhedrin, Ac 4:8-21. We find
him afterwards denouncing the judgment of God on a guilty couple who
had dared to lie to the Holy Ghost, Ac 5:1-11; visiting Samaria, and
rebuking Simon the magician, Ac 8:5-24; healing Eneas and raising
Dorcas to life at Lydda, Ac 9:32-43; seeing at Joppa a vision which
prepared him to preach the gospel to the gentile Cornelius, Ac
10:1-48; imprisoned by Herod Agrippa, and delivered by an angel, Ac
12:3-19; and taking a part in the council at Jerusalem, Ac 15:7-11.
The Bible gives us little information as to his subsequent labors; but
it is probable that the three apostles who were most distinguished by
the Savior while upon earth continues to be favored as chief
instruments in advancing his cause. Paul speaks of "James, Cephas, and
John, who seemed to be pillars," Ga 2:9. Yet in the same chapter we
find him publicly reproving Peter for his wavering course in respect
to the demands of Judaizing Christians, which he had been one of the
first to repel at Jerusalem, Ac 15:9. He seems to have labored at
Corinth, 1Co 1:12 3:22, and at Babylon, 1Pe 5:13. Papal writers affirm
that he was the bishop of Rome. But the evidence is strongly against
this assertion. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians, giving them
directions and saluting the principal persons by name; he also wrote
six letters from Rome; but in none of these letters, nor in the
narrative in Acts, is there the slightest intimation that Peter was or
had been at Rome. And as Peter never resided at Rome, he was never
made the head of the church universal. Whatever honor and authority he
received from Christ, in establishing the first institutions of
Christianity and declaring what it enjoined and from what it released,
Mt 16:18-19, the other apostles also received, Mt 18:18 Joh 20:23 1Co
5:3,5 Eph 2:20 Re 21:14. There is no evidence that he had any
supremacy over them, nor that he had any successor in that influence
which was naturally accorded to him as one of the oldest, most active,
and most faithful of those who had "seen the Lord".
Is properly an Egyptian word adopted into the Hebrew, and signifies
king; so that when we find this name it means everywhere the king.
Thus, also, Pharaoh Hophra is simply king Hophra.
Of the kings of Egypt, there are not less than twelve or thirteen
mentioned in Scripture, all of whom bore the general title of Pharaoh,
except four. Along with this title, two of them have also other proper
names, Necho and Hophra. The following is their order. Some of them
have been identified, by the labors of Champollion and others, with
kings whose proper names we know from other sources, while others
still remain in obscurity. Indeed, so brief, obscure, and conflicting
are the details of Egyptian history and ancient chronology, which no
name before that of Shishak can be regarded as identified beyond
1. Pharaoh, Ge 12:15, in the time of Abraham, B. C. 1920. He was
probably a king of the Theban dynasty.
2. Pharaoh, the master of Joseph, Ge 37:36 39:1-23 Ac 7:10,13, B. C.
1728. Some suppose that the Pharaoh to whom Joseph became Prime
Minister was the son of the one mentioned in Ge 37:36.
3. Pharaoh, who knew not Joseph, and under whom Moses was born, B. C.
1571, Ex 1:8 Ac 7:18 Heb 11:23.
Very probably there was another Pharaoh reigning at the time when
Moses fled into Midian, and who died before Moses at the age of eighty
returned from Midian into Egypt, Ex 2:11-23 4:19 Ac 7:23.
4. Pharaoh, under whom the Israelites left Egypt, and who perished in
the Red Sea, Ex 5:1-14:31 2Ki 17:7 Ne 9:10 Ps 135:9 136:13 Ro 9:17 Heb
11:27, B. C. 1491.
5. Pharaoh, in the time of David, 1Ki 11:18-22; B. C. 1030.
6. Pharaoh, the father-in-law of Solomon, 1Ki 3:1 7:8 9:16,24, B. C.
7. Shishak, near the end of Solomon's reign, and under Rehoboam, B. C.
975, 1Ki 11:40 14:25 2Ch 12:2. From this time onward the proper name
of the Egyptian kings are mentioned in Scripture. See SHISHAK.
8. Zerah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia in the time of Asa, B. C. 930;
called Osorchon by historians. See ZERAH.
9. So, or Sevechus, contemporary with Ahaz, B. C. 730, 2Ki 17:4. See
10. Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia and Egypt, in the time of Hezekiah, B.
C. 720, 2Ki 19:9 Isa 37:9. The Tearcho of Strabo, and the Taracles of
Manetho. See TIRHAKAH.
11. Pharaoh Necho, in the time of Josiah, B. C. 612, 2Ki 23:29-30 2Ch
35:20-24, etc. Necho, the son of Psammeticus. See NECHO.
12. Pharaoh Hophra, contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar. He was the
grandson of Necho, and is the Apries of Herodotus. Zedekiah formed an
alliance with him against Nebuchadnezzar, and he drove the Assyrians
from Palestine, took Zidon and Tyre, and returned to Egypt with great
spoil. He seems to have done nothing to prevent the subsequent
destruction of Jerusalem, Jer 37:1-5 47:1 Eze 29:21. He reigned
twenty-five years, and was dethroned by his army after an unsuccessful
expedition against Cyrene, as was foretold, Jer 44:30.
A numerous and dominant sect of the Jews, agreeing on some main points
of doctrine and practice, but divided into different parties or
schools on minor points; as for instance, the schools or followers of
Hillel and Shammai, who were celebrated rabbins or teachers. The name
is commonly derived from the Hebrew purash, to separate, as though
they were distinguished form the rest of the nation by their superior
wisdom and sanctity. They first appeared as a sect after the return of
the Jews from captivity. In respect to their tenets, although they
esteemed the written books of the old Testament as the sources of the
Jewish religion, yet they also attributed great and equal authority to
traditional precepts relating principally to external rites: as
ablutions, fasting, long prayers, the distribution of alms, the
avoiding of all intercourse with Gentiles and publicans, etc. See Mt
6:5 9:11 23:5 Mr 7:4 Lu 18:12. In superstitious and self-righteous
formalism they strongly resembled the Romish church.
They were rigid interpreters of the letter of the Mosaic law, but not
infrequently violated the spirit of it by their traditional and
philosophical interpretations. See Mt 5:31,43 12:2 19:3 23:23. Their
professed sanctity and close adherence to all the external forms of
piety gave them great favor and influence with the common people, and
especially among the female part of the community. They believed with
the Stoics, that all things and events were controlled by fate yet not
so absolutely as entirely to destroy the liberty of the human will.
They considered the soul as immortal, and held the doctrine of a
future resurrection of the body, Ac 23:8. It is also supposed by some
that they admitted the doctrine of metempsychosis or the
transmigration of souls; but no allusion is made to this in the New
Testament, nor does Josephus assert it. In numerous cases Christ
denounced the Pharisees for their pride and covetousness, their
ostentation in prayers, alms, tithes, and facts, Mt 6:2,5 Lu 18:9, and
their hypocrisy in employing the garb of religion to cover the
profligacy of their dispositions and conduct; as Mt 23:1-39 Lu 16:14
Joh 7:48,49 8:9. By his faithful reproofs he early incurred their
hatred, Mt 12:14; they eagerly sought to destroy him, and his blood
was upon them and their children. On the other hand, there appear to
have been among them individuals of probity, and even of genuine
piety; as in the case of Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, the aged
Simeon, etc., Mt 27:57 Lu 2:25 Joh 3:1. Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee
of the strictest sect, Ac 26:5 Ga 1:14. The essential features of
their character are still common in Christian lands, and are no less
odious to Christ than of old.
A river of Damascus. See in ABANA, and Pharpar.
A Christian woman of Cenchrea, the eastern port of Corinth, bearer of
the epistle of Paul to the Romans, in which he commends her to their
confidence and Christian love. She appears to have been a deaconess of
the church, and to have had both the means and the disposition to do
good abundantly. Paul says, "she hath been a succorer of many, and of
me also," Ro 16 1-2. One who succors a faithful servant of Christ may
thereby aid in the accomplishment of immeasurable good. The Holy
Spirit presents the character and works of Phebe as worthy of all
imitation. Such mothers in Israel will be held in everlasting
A city near the south coast of Crete, having a harbor, now called
Lutro, opening to the southeast. Paul, on his voyage to Rome from
Caesarea, was unable to made this port, Ac 27:12.
PHENICIA OR PHENICE
See PHOENICIA, PHENICIA, or PHENICE.
Apparently the title borne by the "captain of the host" of the king of
Gerar, in the time of Abraham and Isaac, Ge 21:22; 26:26.
A city of Lydia, in Asia Minor, where was one of the seven Asiatic
churches, highly praised by Christ for its fidelity, Re 3:7- 13.
Philadelphia as so called from Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos,
by whom it was founded. It stood between the river Hermus and Mount
Tmolus, about twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis. It suffered
greatly by frequent earthquakes, and it was anciently matter of
surprise that the city was not on this account abandoned. It is now a
mean and ill-built town, of large extent, with a population of 12,000,
including about 1,000 Greek Christians, who have a resident bishop and
about twenty inferior clergy. There are five churches, and six
mosques, one of which the native Christians believe to have been the
church in which worshipped the primitive Christians whom John
A rich citizen of Colosse, in Phrygia, to whom Paul wrote an epistle,
on occasion of sending back to him his servant Onesimus. Philemon,
converted by the instrumentality of Paul, is exhorted to receive
Onesimus as "a brother beloved." Paul was then a prisoner at Rome. His
letter is universally admired for its delicacy, courtesy, and
manliness. See ONESIMUS, and EPISTLE.
A heretic, excluded from the church for denying the resurrection, and
promoting infidelity, 2Ti 2:17-18. See HYMENUS.
1. The Tetrarch, a son of Herod the Great, by his wife Cleopatra. In
the division of Herod's kingdom, he was made tetrarch of Batanea,
Trachonitis, and Auranitis, Lu 3:1. See HEROD 1. From him the city of
Caesarea Philippi took its name.
2. Herod Philip, another son of Herod the Great by Mariamne the
daughter of Simon, not his favorite Mariamne. Josephus calls him
Herod. He lived a private life, having been disinherited by his
father; and was the former husband of Herodias, Mt 14:3. See HERODIAS.
3. The Apostle, a native of Bethsaida, a disciple at first of John the
Baptist, and one of the twelve who were earliest called to follow
Christ, Mt 10:3 Joh 1:43-48 Ac 1:13. He is several times mentioned in
the gospel in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis in Syria.
4. The Deacon and Evangelist, Ac 6:5 21:8 Eph 4:11; a resident of
Caesarea, at least during one portion of his life, having four
daughters who were endowed with the gift of prophecy, Ac 2:17 21:8-9.
After the death of Stephen when the Christians were driven from
Jerusalem, except the apostles, he preached the gospel in Samaria with
great success, and wrought many miracles. From the midst of these
happy scenes he was called away to labor in a distant spot, with a
single soul; but the gospel light was carried by the Ethiopian eunuch
into the darkness of Africa, and is supposed to have there enlightened
multitudes. In the narrative of Luke, Philip is incidentally
distinguished from the apostles, Ac 8:1,14,16. He preached the gospel
in the cities on the coast, from Ashdod to Caesarea, where at a later
period Paul and his companions were his guests for "many days," Ac
21:8-16. His subsequent history is unknown.
A city of proconsular Macedonia, so called from Philip king of
Macedon, who repaired and beautified it; whence it lost its former
name of Dathos. It was constituted a Roman "colony" by Augustus, and
as such possessed certain peculiar privileges, which made it a "chief
city of that part of Macedonia." This expression however, is supposed
to mean, in Ac 16:12, that it was the first city the traveler met
after landing at its port Neapolis, from which it lay ten miles
northwest on an extensive plain. Here was fought the celebrated battle
in which Brutus and Cassius were overthrown by Octavius and Antony, B.
Here, too, Paul first preached the gospel on the continent of Europe;
A. D. 52, having been led hither from Troas by a heavenly vision. The
first convert was Lydia; and the church which at one sprang up here
was characterized by the distinguished traits of this generous and
true-hearted Christian woman. Having cast out a spirit of divination
from a young damsel here, Paul and Silas were seized and cruelly
scourged and imprisoned. But their bounds were miraculously loosed,
their jailer converted, and they permitted to pass on to Amphipolis.
Luke appears to have remained here, and to have rejoined Paul when he
again visited Philippi on his fifth journey to Jerusalem, A. D. 58, Ac
16:8-40 20:3-6. The site is now strown with ruins.
Paul's EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS, written during his first
imprisonment at Rome, A. D. 62, gratefully and warmly acknowledges the
receipt of their gift by the hand of Epaphroditus, and their continued
affection towards him; also their irreproachable Christian walk, and
their firmness under persecution, Php 1:7 4:23 2:12 4:10-15. See also
A celebrated people, who inhabited the southern seacoast of Canaan,
which from them took the name of Philistia, Ps 60:8 108:9, or
Palestine. They seem originally to have migrated form Egypt to
Caphtor, by which some understand Crete, and others with the ancients
Cappadocia, Ge 10:14, and thence to have passed over to Palestine
under the name of Caphtorim, where they drove out the Avim, who dwelt
from Hazerim to Azzah, that is, Gaza, and swelt in their stead, De
2:23. The country they inhabited lay between the higher land of Judea
and the Mediterranean, and was in the main a level and fertile
territory. It resembles our own western prairies; and bears splendid
crops year after year, though miserably cultivated and never manured.
The Philistines were a powerful people in Palestine, even in Abraham's
time, B. C. 1900, for they had then kings and considerable cities, Gen
20.2; 21.32; Ex 13.17. They are not enumerated among the nations
devoted to extermination with the seed of Canaan. Joshua, however, did
not hesitate to attack them by command from the Lord, because they
possessed various districts promised to Israel. But these conquests
must have been ill maintained, since under the judges, at the time of
Saul, and at the beginning of the reign of David, the Philistines had
their own kings and lords. Their state was divided into five little
principalities, at the head of each of which was a "lord," namely,
Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron-and they oppressed Israel
during the government of the high-priest Eli, that of Samuel, and
during the reign of Saul, for about one hundred and twenty years.
Shaamgar, Samson, Samuel, and Saul opposed them, and were victorious
over them with great slaughter, at various times, but did not destroy
their power, Jud 3:14 1Sa 4:1-22 7:1-17 14:1-52 31:1-13. They
maintained their independence till David subdued them, 2Sa 5:17
8:1-18, from which time they continued in subjection to the kings of
Judah, down to the reign of Jehoram, son of Johoshaphat, when they
revolted, 2Ch 21:16. Jehoram made war against them, and probably
reduced them to obedience; for it is observed that they revolted again
from Uzziah, who kept them under his sway using his whole reign, 2Ch
26:6-7. During the unfortunate reign of Ahaz, the Philistines made
great havoc in the territory of Judah; but his son and successor
Hezekiah again subdued them, 2Ch 28:18 2Ki 18:8. They regained their
full liberty, however, under the later kings of Judah; and we see by
the menaces uttered against them by the prophets Isaiah, Amos,
Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, that they brought many calamities on
Israel, for which God threatened to punish them with great
misfortunes, Jer 47:1-7 Eze 25:15 Am 1:6-8 Ob 1:19 Zec 9:5. See also
They were partially subdued by Esar-haddon king of Assyria and
afterwards by Psammetichus king of Egypt; and there is great
probability that they were reduced by Nebuchadnezzar, as well as the
other people of Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, during the siege of
Tyre. They afterwards fell under the dominion of the Persians; then
under that of Alexander the Great, who destroyed Gaza, the only city
of the Philistines that dared to oppose him. They appear to have
become entirely incorporated with the other inhabitants of the land
under the Maccabees, and are no more mentioned as a distinct people.
The ancient Philistines appear in sacred history as a warlike people,
not strangers to the arts of life, Jud 15:5 1Sa 13:20; worshippers of
Baal and Ashtoreth, under the names of Baal-zebub and Dagon; having
many priests and diviners, 1Sa 6:2 2Ki 1:2 Isa 2:6. They appear to
have been of the race of Shem, their language being akin to the
Hebrew, yet distinct from it, Ne 13:24. Their land, once rich and
covered with cities and towns, is now desolate, Zep 2:4-7.
Love of Wisdom, in the New Testament means the vain and pernicious
speculations of human reason; the wisdom of this world, and "science
falsely so called," 1Co 1:18-27 1Ti 6:20, in opposition to gospel
truth. Paul cautioned the Colossians lest any man should spoil or
plunder them through "philosophy," Col 2:8; and it is one of the most
melancholy proofs of the depravity of the human heart, that it has
been able so to pervert that noble faculty, the reason. The loftiest
human intellects have often been the blindest as to religious truth;
and the range and vigor of men's reasoning powers have been the
measure, not of their knowledge and love of God, but of their pride,
rebellion, and folly, Mt 11:25 1Co 2:14 3:18-20. In Athens, the
Epicurean, and Stoic philosophers made a jest of Paul's discourse; and
in many places of his epistles, he opposes the false wisdom of he age,
that is, the pagan philosophy, to the wisdom of Jesus Christ, and the
true religion, which to the philosophers and sophists seemed to be
mere folly, because it was built neither on the eloquence nor the
subtlety of those who preached it, but on the power of God, and on the
operations of the Holy Ghost in the hearts and minds of believers; and
because it did not amuse and flatter man, but probed him a guilty
rebel against God, in perishing need of a Savior.
As there arose, under the influence of philosophy, several sects among
the Greeks, as the Academics, the Peripatetics, and the Stoics, so
also there arose among the Jews several sects, as the Essenes, the
Pharisees, and the Sadducees. The Pharisees had some resemblance to
the Stoics, the Sadducees to the Epicureans, the Essenes to the
Academics. The Pharisees were proud, vain, and boasting, like the
Stoics; the Sadducees, who denied the immortality of the soul, and the
existence of spirits, freed themselves at once, like the Epicureans,
from all solicitude about futurity: the Essenes were more moderate,
more simple and religious, and therefore approached nearer to the
The danger against which Paul warned the church in his day still
exists. Pride of intellect naturally allies itself with the atheism
and impenitence of the heart, refuses to yield to the claims of
revelation, and rejects whatever displeases its taste or rises above
its comprehension. True wisdom, on the contrary, is humble and docile.
"Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child,
shall in no wise enter therein."
1. Son of Elezar, and grandson of Aaron the high priest. His zealous
an decided character was shown in the prompt execution of he
profligate prince of Judah, and his companion a woman of Midian, in
the plains of Moab, Nu 25:1-17. For this bold and timely service, the
high priesthood was secured to his family, also remaining faithful;
and except during an interval from Eli to Zadok, his posterity were at
the head of the priesthood till the destruction of the temple.
Phinehas led the host of Israel in the subsequent battle with the
Midianites, Nu 31:6 Ps 106:30-31. He was at the head of the deputation
sent to remonstrate with the tribes beyond the Jordan respecting the
altar they had erected, Jos 22:5-34. During the life of his father, he
was superintendent of the Levites, Nu 3:32; and afterwards became the
high priest, the will of God, as to the punishment of the men of
Gibeash, Jud 20:28.
2. A son of Eli the high priest. See HOPHNI.
PHOENICIA, PHENICIA OR PHENICE
Ac 15:3, in its largest sense, designated a narrow strip of country
extending nearly the whole length of the eastern coast of the
Mediterranean sea, form Antioch to the borders of Egypt. But Phoenicia
Proper was included between the cities of Laodicea in Syria and Tyre,
and comprehended mainly the territories of Tyre and Sidon. Before
Joshua conquered Palestine this country was possessed by Canaanites,
sons of ham, divided into eleven families, of which the most powerful
was that of Canaan, the founder of Sidon, the head of the Canaanites
properly so called, whom the Greeks named Phoenicians. Only these
preserved their independence under Joshua, and also under David,
Solomon, and the succeeding kings; but they were subdued y the kings
of Assyria and Chaldea. Afterwards, they were successively subject to
the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.
The Phoenicians were long renowned as a rich, cultivated, and powerful
people. They were a confederacy of commercial cities, each of which
with the adjacent territory was subject to its own king. Their coast
was crowded with towns; and their fleets were the first to lose sight
of the shores, traverse the whole Mediterranean, and establish their
commerce and their colonies even on remote coasts of Europe and
Africa. The productions of all known lands were exchanged in their
markets, Eze 27:1-36. Carthage, the early rival of Rome, was a
Phoenician colony; as were also Cadiz and Tarshish in Spain, Eze
38:13. Their language was almost identical with that of the Jews, and
may be traced in the names of several Spanish cities. Solomon was
indebted to them for aid in erecting the temple, and in building and
navigating his ships. See TYRE. Their territory lay between the
seashore and the summits of Lebanon; and being well watered and
fertile, it produced at its various elevations a rich variety of
agricultural products. Its inhabitants were worshippers of Baal and
At this day, Phoenicia is in subjection to the Turks, and belongs in
the pashalic of Acre, not having had any national or native kings, or
any independent form of government, for more than tow thousand years.
The name Phoenicia is not in the books of Hebrew Scripture; but only
in the Maccabees and the New Testament. The Hebrew always reads
Canaan, Isa 23:11, margin. Matthew calls the same person a Canaanitish
woman, Mt 15:22, whom Mark calls a SyroPhoenician, Mr 7:26, that is, a
Phoenician of Syria, because Phoenicia then made a part of Syria.
An inland province of Asia Minor bounded north by Bithynia and
Galatia, east by Cappadocia, south by Lycia, Pisidai, and Isauria, and
west by Mysia, Lydia, and Caria. It was called Phrygia Pacatiana, and
also Phrygia Major, in distinction from Phrygia Minor, which was a
small district of Mysia near the Hellespont, occupied by some
Phrygians after the Trojan War. The eastern part of Phrygia Major was
also called Lycaonia. This region was a high table land, fruitful in
corn and wine, and celebrated for its fine breed of cattle and of
sheep. Of the cities belonging to Phrygia, Laodicea, Hierapolis,
Colosse, and Antioch of Pisdia, are mentioned in the New Testament.
St. Paul twice traveled over it, preaching the gospel, Ac 2:10; 16:6;
PHUT OR PUT
A son of Ham, Ge 10:6, whose posterity are named with Cush and Ludim
as serving in Egyptian armies, and as part of the host of Gog, Jer
46:9 Eze 27:10 30:5 38:5 Na 3:9. In several of these passages Phut is
translated Libyans. Josephus identifies them with the Mauritanians, in
Northern Africa towards the west. See LIBYA.
Were little rolls of parchment, in which were written certain words of
the law, and which were worn by the Jews upon their foreheads, and
upon the left arm. The custom was founded on a mistaken interpretation
of Ex 13:9,16, "And it shall be for a taken upon thy hand, and for
frontlets between thine eyes."
Leo of Modena informs us particularly about these rolls. Those worn
upon the forehead have been described under the article FRONTLETS,
which see. Those that were to be fastened to the arms were two rolls
of parchment written in square letters, with ink made on purpose, and
with much care. They were rolled up to a point, and enclosed in a sort
of case of black calfskin. They then were put upon a square bit of the
same leather, whence hung a throng of the same, of about a finger's
breadth and a cubit and a half long. These rolls were placed at the
bending of the left arm, and after the throng had made a little knot
in the form of the letter Yodh, it was wound about the arm in a spiral
line, which ended at the top of the middle finger. They were called
the Tephila of the hand.
The phylactery, from a Greek word signifying preservative, was
regarded not only as a remembrancer of God's law, but as a protection
against demons. It was probably introduced at a late period in the Old
Testament history. Our Savior reproaches the pride and hypocrisy of
the Pharisees, shown in making their phylacteries broad as a sign of
their superior wisdom and piety, Mt 23:5. David, on the other hand,
says, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against
thee," Ps 119:11.
The medical skill of the Egyptians was widely celebrated. Each
physician confined his practice to diseases of a single class, and
thus a large household would require the attendance of numerous
physicians, Ge 50:2. The Hebrews also had professional physicians, Ex
21:19 Pr 17:22 Mt 9:12 Lu 4:23 8:43. In the early ages they had little
anatomical skill, partly on account of the ceremonial defilement
caused by touching a corpse. They gave their attention to external
rather than to internal injuries and diseases, Isa 1:6 Eze 30:21;
though they also prescribed for internal and mental disorders, 1Sa
16:16 2Ch 16:12. They made use of sales, balms, and poultices, hyssop,
oil baths, mineral baths, and river bathing, with many other remedies,
Jer 46:11. Many wickedly had recourse to amulets and enchantments.
A city of Egypt, called by the Greeks Bubastos, and containing a
famous temple of the goddess Bubastis, who was compared to the Diana
of Southern Europe. This temple was annually visited by immense
multitudes. The ruins of Pi-beseth, on the eastern arm of the Nile
near the ancient canal to Suez, consist of extensive mounds of bricks
and broken pottery, Eze 30:17.
A place near the Gulf of Suez, on its northwest side. It was the third
and last encampment of the Hebrews, before crossing the Red Sea, Ex
14:2,9 Nu 33:7. Its exact location cannot now be determined. See
PILATE OR PONTIUS PILATE
Was the fifth or sixth Roman procurator in the province of Judea,
after the banishment of Archelaus. He was appointed A. D. 26, and
continues in the province ten year, usually residing at Caesarea.
Pilate became odious both to the Jews and to the Samaritans for the
severity and cruelty of his administration, Lu 13:1; and being accused
by the latter before Vitellius, the governor of Syria, he was removed
from his office and sent to Rome to answer to their accusations before
the emperor. Before his arrival, Tiberius was dead; and Pilate is said
to have been banished by Caligula to Vienna in Gaul, and there to have
died by his own hand.
The character of Pilate is graphically described in the gospels. When
Jesus had been condemned by the high priest and the Sanhedrin, he was
brought before Pilate the governor, without whose consent he could not
be executed. Pilate saw in Jesus an innocent victim of Jewish malice,
and desired to save him. Though dull and ignorant as to religious
truth, he had some dim sense of the superiority of Christ's character,
and feared to wrong him. All that he saw of Christ deepened this
feeling; and he tried every method to soften the obduracy of the Jews.
But he had not the firmness of character, the deep-rooted principle of
justice, and the consciousness of rectitude necessary to carry him
through; and after repeated efforts, Lu 23:7,14-20; Joh 18:31,38;
19:4-6,9-12,15, he at length gave way, and sacrificed a righteous man,
rather than to provoke complaints against his administration and an
investigation by the emperor. His washing of his hands, and his
inscription upon the cross, only condemned himself. He would probably
send a detailed report of his procedures to Tiberius; and the early
fathers mention such an account as circulating in their day. The "Acts
of Pilate," however, now in existence, is a subsequent fabrication.
The Roman historian Tacitus, speaking of Christians, says, "The author
of this name was Christ, who was capitally punished in the reign of
Tiberius, by Pontius Pilate."
Sometimes means a monumental column, Ge 35:20 2Sa 18:18; or a column
of cloud or smoke, Ex 13:21 Jud 20:40. The stately column which adorns
and supports the front of a temple, Jud 16:25-30 Job 9:6 26:11,
illustrates the position of prophets, Jer 1:18, apostles, Ga 2:9,
believers, Re 3:12, and the church itself, respecting the truth, 1Ti
Peeled, as a tree of its bark, Ge 30:37.
Placed on the divans around an eastern reception room. The luxurious
appliances mentioned in Eze 13:18-19, were temptations to ease and
voluptuousness; and emblems of similar soporifics for the conscience.
In Ne 8:15, denotes some tree of a resinous nature. A different word
in Isa 41:19 60:13, probably indicates the pine; a noble emblem of the
promised prosperity of the church. Several varieties of pines abound
upon Mount Lebanon, the largest of which is the sunobar kubar; also
found on several sandy plains of Palestine. Its wood is much used for
beams and rafters.
Literally a wing; probably some part of the battlements on the outer
wall of the temple, perhaps of Solomon's porch, accessible by stairs,
Mt 4:5-6. Josephus describes a gallery constructed by Herod to
overhang the deep valley of the Kidron, and says that the beholder on
looking down from it would become dizzy. See TEMPTATION.
A musical wind instrument, consisting of a tube with holes, like a
flute or clarinet, 1Sa 10:5 1Ki 1:40 Isa 5:12 30:29 Jer 48:36 Mt 9:23.
The double pipe had two tubes, uniting in the mouthpiece; the tube
played with the left hand emitting a few deep sounds, and serving as a
base. The Scotch Deputation of Inquiry speak of overtaking among the
hills of Judea "an Arab playing with all his might upon a shepherd's
pipe made of two reeds. This was the first time we had seen any marks
of joy in the land, for certainly 'all joy in darkened, the mirth of
the land is gone,'" Isa 24:11. See MUSIC.
A mountain ridge, the northern part of the Abarim range, east of the
Dead Sea; Nebo was one of its summits, De 32:49 34:1. It was in the
southern part of the kingdom of Sihon, Nu 21:20 23:24; and afterwards
belonged to the Reubenites, Jos 12:3 13:20.
A province of Asia Minor, separated from the Mediterranean by
Pamphylia, lying on Mount Taurus and the high table land north of it,
and running up between Phrygia and Lycaonia as far as Antioch its
capital. The Pisidians, like most of the inhabitants of the Taurus
range, were an unsubdued and lawless race; and Paul in preaching the
gospel at Antioch and throughout Pisidia, Ac 13:14; 14:24, was in
peril by robbers as well as by sudden storms and floods in the
mountain passes. Churches continued to exist here for seven or eight
One of the four rivers that watered Paradise, Ge 2:11-12, and which
ran through all the land of Havilah, where excellent gold was found.
It has, of course, been placed as variously as the Garden of Eden, to
which article and EUPHRATES the reader is referred.
A reservoir, either natural or artificial, for water. Pits were
sometimes used as dungeons, Ge 37:20; Jer 38:6; or being slightly
covered, and baited, they served as traps to catch wild beasts, a
device which illustrates the plots of designing men and women, Ps
119:85; Pr 22:14; 26:27; Eze 19:4. The word pit is also used to denote
the grave, Ps 28:1; 30:3,9; and hell, Re 20:1.
Ge 6:14 Ex 2:3, translated "slime" in Ge 11:3 14:10, is properly
bitumen or asphaltum, anciently found on and near the Dead Sea, which
was hence called the lake Asphaltities. It abounded in the vicinity of
Babylon, and was used as fuel. The ark of Noah and that of Moses were
rendered waterproof by it; and the bricks of the tower of Babel were
cemented with it. It is commonly found in a solid state; but being
liquefied by heat, and used as a mortar, it becomes as hard as the
rocks it cements together. It is still thrown up by earthquakes from
the bottom of the Dead Sea, and floats to the shore sometimes in large
masses. See SEA 3.
One of the cities built by the children of Israel for Pharaoh in
Egypt, during their servitude, Ex 1:11. This is probably the Pathumos
mentioned by Herodotus, which he places near Pi-beseth and the
Pelusiac arm of the Nile, not far from the canal made by the kings
Necho and Darius to join the Red Sea with the Nile. See EGYPT.
See CANAAN, and OAK.
2Ki 23:5. The Hebrew word means inns or lodgings, and is used with
reference to the sun, denoting the twelve constellations of the
zodiac, the houses of the sun in its annual apparent course round the
heavens. These constellations are here spoken of as objects of
idolatrous worship in Judah. Compare Gen 37.9.
The Jewish law protected the poor who were obliged to give security
for a loan or the fulfillment of a contract. If a man pawned his robe,
the usual covering of the cool nights, it must be returned on the same
day, Ex 22:26-27. The creditor could not enter a house and take what
he pleased; and the millstone being a necessary of life, could not be
taken, De 24:6,10,11. Compare Job 22:6 24:3,7. Idolaters sometimes
disregarded these prohibitions, Am 2:6-8. See LOANS. Pledges are
necessary from the vicious, who cannot be trusted, Pr 20:16.
A cluster of seven stars in the neck of Taurus, or the Bull, one of
the twelve signs of the zodiac. The sun enters Taurus about the middle
of April; and the appearance of the Pleiades, therefore, marks the
return of spring, Job 9:9; 38:31; Am 5:8.
A slight and inefficient instrument in the East, but used from the
earliest times, Ge 45:6 De 22:10 Job 1:14. See cut in MEROM.
The plough now generally used in Syria consists substantially of but
three parts; the beam or pole fastened to the yoke; the ploughshare;
and the handle. The two latter parts, and even all three, are
sometimes formed of a single branch of a tree with two limbs
projecting in opposite directions. The ploughshare is sometimes
defended by a strip of iron, Isa 2:4 Joe 3:10. As the handle was
single, and with attention was easily managed by one hand, Lu 9:62,
the ploughman brandished in the other a formidable goad, six or eight
feet long, armed at the point with a pike, and at the heavy end, which
was two inches thick, with a small iron spade for clearing the share
from clay, Jud 3:31 1Sa 13:21 Ac 9:5. Ploughs were drawn by oxen
asses, and heifers, De 22:10 Jud 14:18; at this day camels and cows
are also used in Palestine. Ploughing commenced soon after the
autumnal rains had set in, towards the last of October.
POETRY OF THE HEBREWS
Of all the fine arts, poetry alone was cultivated among the Hebrews;
and under the inspiration of the Almighty was carried to the highest
degree of perfection. The poetry of this people was almost wholly
lyric; whether didactic, elegiac, pastoral, or prophetic, it was still
LYRIC. The essence of lyric poetry is the vivid expression of internal
emotions. It is therefore subjective; in opposition to epic poetry,
which treats of external objects, and is therefore objective.
The chief subject of Hebrew poetry was religion, and then patriotism;
which, under the theocracy, was very nearly allied to religion. The
most obvious and striking characteristic of the poetry of the Hebrews
is sublimity. Religious poetry to the Jews; the little that is found
among other ancient nations is unworthy of comparison with it; as also
is the Koran, which is an attempted imitation of the poetical parts of
the Old Testament. The present prevailing views of the nature of
Hebrew poetry were first developed by Bishop Lowth in his Lectures on
the Poetry of the Hebrews.
Hebrew poetry differs from Hebrew prose in three respects:
1. In the peculiar poetical nature of the contents; of which the
characteristics are sublimity, boldness, abruptness, lofty metaphors,
2. In the peculiarities of the poetic dialect or diction, which,
however, are not so striking as among the Greeks and Ro 3. In rhythm,
which differs from meter; the latter, importing a measure of syllables
or feet, the former a harmonious arrangement of words and members. It
is the opinion of those best acquainted with the subject, that the
Hebrews had no prosody, that is, no measure of syllables into poetic
feet, as dactyles, trochees, and spondees. It is believed that the
signed to be sung or chanted, was characterized by a certain melodious
flow and cadence which is now irrecoverably lost, together with the
true pronunciation of the language.
But aside from this, the rhythm of Hebrew poetry consists in what is
called it PARALLELISM, of which the fundamental principle is, that
every verse must consist of at least two corresponding parts or
The parallelism of Hebrew poetry occurs either in the thought, or
solely in the form. Of the former there are three kinds: namely,
1. Synonymous; where the two members express the same idea in
different, but closely and often literally, corresponding words: as
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that
thou dost visit him? Ps 8:4.
Why do the heathen rage? And the people imagine a vain thing? Ps 2:1.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall have them
in derision Ps 2:4.
Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? Or loweth the ox over his
fodder? Job 6:5.
So also the song of Lamehc, Ge 4:23 Job 7:1, etc.
2. Antithetical; where an antithesis of thought is expressed by
corresponding members; as for example,
The house of the wicked shall be overthrown; but the tabernacle of the
upright shall flourish. Pr 14:11.
A soft answer turneth away wrath; but frievous words stir up anger. Pr
15:1 3. Synthetic; which is a mere juxtaposition; or rather, the
thought is carried forward in the second member with some addition;
the correspondence of words and construction being as before: as for
The law of the lord is perfect, converting the soul:
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the lord is clean, enduring forever.
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Ps
Mere rhythmical parallelism is that in which no similarity or
correspondence of thought exists; but the verse is divided by the
caesura, as it were, into corresponding numbers. This is the most
imperfect species of parallelism, and may be compared with the
hexameter, divided by the caesura, as for example,
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. Ps 2:3.
Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God.
This is most common in the book of Lamentations, where there is hardly
any other species of parallelism.
Thus far we have had regard to the simplest and most perfect
parallelisms of two members, such as are more usually found in the
Psalms, Job, etc. But in the prophets and a few of the psalms, we find
a less regular, and sometimes compound parallelism. Thus the
parallelism is irregular when one member is shorter than the other; as
Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.
Of compound parallelisms there are various kinds; as when the verse
has three members either parallel with each other, a sin Job 3:4, or
two of them standing opposed to the third: as for example,
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel do
the not know, my people doth not consider. Isa 1:3.
As the heaven is high above the earth, So great is his mercy towards
them that fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far hath
he removed our transgressions from us, Ps 103:11-12.
They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see
not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there nay breath in
their mouths. Ps 135:16-17.
We may name Ps 2:1-12 15:1-5, as affording examples of most of the
species of poetic parallelism.
In the common manuscripts and editions of the Hebrew Bible, the
members of the parallelisms in the poetical arts are not written or
printed separately; but the accents serve to divide them. In other
editions, however, the members are printed separately. It is matter of
regret that this mode was not adopted in our English version; since in
many cases the common reader has now no means of distinguishing
whether what he reads is poetry or prose in Hebrew.
The preceding principles refer solely to the rhythm of Hebrew poetry.
Besides this, there are other peculiarities; as for example, the
strophe, as in Ps 107:1-43, and in Ps 42:1-43:5, where verses 5,11,
and 5, are burdens or refrain, repeated at the end of each strophe. So
also the alphabetic psalms and poems, (see LETTERS;) and the psalms of
degrees, in which the chief words of each verse are taken up and
repeated at the beginning of the next verse. See DEGREES, PSALMS OF.
More than a third of the Old Testament is poetry in Hebrew, including
most of Job, the Psalms, Solomon's books, and the greater part of the
prophets; technically, however, in the usage of the Jews, the three
poetic books of the Old Testament are Job, Psalms, and Proverbs, which
have a system of accentuation peculiar to themselves. Poetic fragments
are also found here and there in the historical books, as in Ge
4:23-24 Ex 32:18 Nu 21:14-15,18,27-30 23:7,18 24:3,15. In the New
Testament, also, many passages occur in which this Begrew style seems
to be transferred to the Greek, Mt 8:20 Lu 1:46-47 Ro 11:33-35 Re
The head, Nu 2:34. To poll the head is to cut off the hair, 2Sa
14:25,26; Eze 44:20.
Grained apple, the Punica Granatum of Linnaeus; called also Malum
Granatum, in French pomme granate, whence its English name. The tree
grows wild in Persia and Syria, as generally in the south of Europe
and north of Africa. It is low, with a straight stem, reddish bark,
many and spreading branches, dark green lancet-formed leaves, and
large and beautiful crimson blossoms. The fruit is of the size of an
orange, of a tawny brown, with a thick astringent coat, containing an
abundance of seeds, each enveloped in a distinct, very juicy, pink
coat, whose flavor, in a wild state, is a pure and very strong acid;
but in the cultivated plant, sweet and highly agreeable. The ripe pulp
was eaten by itself or with a sprinkling of sugar; or its juice was
made into a sherbet. The value of the fruit and the beauty of the
flower made the pomegranate welcome in gardens, So 4:13 6:7,11 8:2 Joe
1:12. It was abundant in Palestine, Nu 13:23 De 8:8. Artificial
pomegranates were used as ornaments on the robe of the high priest, Ex
28:33, and also as an architectural ornament, 1Ki 7:18.
Globular ornaments affixed to the capitals of columns, 2Ch 4.12- 13.
The sea, the northeastern province of Asia Minor, bounded north by the
Euxine Sea, west by Galatia and Paphlagonia, south by Cappadocia and
part of Armenia, and east by Colchis. It was originally governed by
kings, and was in its most flourishing state under Mithridates the
Great, who waged a long and celebrated war with the Romans; but was at
length subdued by Pompey; after which Pontus became a province of the
Roman empire. The geographer Strabo was born in Amasia, its capital;
and one of its principal towns, Trapezus, still flourishes under the
name of Trebizond. Many Jews resided there, and from time to time
"went up to Jerusalem unto the feast," Ac 2:9. The devoted Aquila was
a native of Pontus, Ac 18:2; and the gospel was planted there at an
early period, 1Pe 1:1.
Ps 12:5 41:1-3, especially cared for in the Jewish dispensation, Ex
23:6 Pr 14:31, and even more so under the gospel, Mt 25:42-45 Jas 2:5.
The slight offerings required of them by the law were as acceptable as
the hecatombs of the rich, Le 5:7-13 Mr 12:41-44. The gleanings of the
fields, the olive trees, and the vines, were to be left for them, Le
19:9 De 24:19 Ru 2:2. Every seventh year, the spontaneous products of
the ground were free to all, Le 25:7; and in the Jubilee their
alienated inheritance returned to their possession. Compare also Le
25:1-55 De 24:1-22. Neglect and oppression of the poor were severely
reproved by the prophets, Isa 10:2 Jer 5:28 Am 2:6; but charity to the
poor was an eminent virtue among primitive Christians, Mt 6:2-4 Lu
10:33-35 19:8 Ac 9:36-39 10:2 11:29-30.
Ge 30:37; Ho 4:13, probably the white poplar, so called from the
whiteness of the under side of the leaves. It is a beautiful and shady
tree, common in Palestine and its vicinity. According to some,
however, the storax-tree is intended.
See HOUSE and TEMPLE.
Kept the gates of private houses and of cities, 2Sa 18:26 2Ki 7:10 Mr
13:34 Joh 10:3. The porters of the temple were Levites, at one period
four thousand in number, divided into courses, 1Ch 16:42 23:5. They
stood on guard at every gate, and were on duty within the temple in
their regular courses, 1Ch 16:42 23:5.
They stood on guard at every gate, and were on duty within the temple
in their regular courses, 1Ch 26:1,13,19 2Ch 8:14 35:15. By night also
they cheered the lonely hours with songs of praise, Ps 134:1-3. We
read, in 2Co 13:14, of the faithful service they rendered in
protecting Joash and slaying Athaliah.
Special messengers in the East, sent on occasions of importance, when
they rode swiftly, and in many cases with fresh horses or dromedaries
awaiting them at convenient distances, Es 8:10-14. Job says, "My days
are swifter than a post," Job 9:25. Footrunners were also employed,
2Sa 18:22-27; and experienced runners will tire down and outrun a
horse on long journeys. See FOOTMEN.
A high officer of Pharaoh, who purchased Joseph of the Midianites, and
made him master of his house, but afterwards imprisoned him on a false
charge. He is supposed by some to have been the same "captain of the
guard" who promoted Joseph in prison, Ge 37:36; 39:23.
Belonging to the sun, the priest of On, city of the sun, whose
daughter Asenath was the wife of Joseph, Ge 41:45. The name is found,
in various forms, on ancient Egyptian monuments.
Job 41:20, applied in Scripture to a great variety of domestic
vessels, of earthenware, iron, brass, and gold, used for cooking and
serving food, etc., Jud 6:19 2Ki 4:40 Ps 58:9 Ec 7:5 Heb 9:4. In Ps
68:13, "though ye have lain among the pots," the Hebrew word means
originally cattle-folds; and in Ps 81:6, "his hands were delivered
from the pots," it refers to the baskets used by the Hebrews in the
hard service exacted of them in Egypt, Ex 1:14.
Broken pieces of earthenware, Job 2:8 Isa 30:14, fit types of the
worthlessness and fragility of man, Ps 22:15 Pr 26:23 Isa 45:9. The
ruins of many of the most ancient cities in the world show little but
such fragments of pottery covering the ground; it is usually coarse in
grain, but well glazed. Such fragments are used by the poor in various
ways, if not utterly broken in to bits, Isa 30:14. At this day it is
common to find pieces of broken jars at eastern wells and pools, to
drink from and to see hot embers and coals carried in them from one
spot to another.
See EDOM and FOOD.
A maker of earthenware, Ge 24:14-15; Jud 7:16,19; Ps 2:9. Ancient
Egyptian paintings represent the potter turning and shaping, on his
small and simple wheel made to revolve rapidly by the foot, the lump
of clay, which he had previously kneaded with his feet. A pan of water
stands by his side, with which he kept the clay moist. After the body
of the vessel was worked into shape and beauty, the handle was affixed
to it, devices traced upon it, and after drying a little, it was
carefully taken to the oven and baked. The potter's control over the
clay illustrates the sovereignty of God, who made us of clay, and
forms and disposes of us as he deems good: "O house of Israel, cannot
I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is
in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, saith the Lord," Jer
18:1-6. "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast
thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the
same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?" Ro
A weight and a sum of money, put, in the Old Testament, 1Ki 10:17 Ezr
2:69 Ne 7:71, for the Hebrew MANEH, which see; and in the New
Testament, for the Attic MINA, which was equivalent to one hundred
drachmae, or about fourteen dollars.
For the use of this word in 1Co 11:10, see VEIL.
Is the offering of the emotions and desires of the soul to God, in the
name and through the mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It
is the communion of the heart with God through the aid of the Holy
Spirit, and is to the Christian the very life of the soul. Without
this filial spirit, no one can be a Christian, Job 21:15 Ps 10:4.
In all ages God has delighted in the prayers of his saints. From the
promulgation of the law, the Hebrews did not intermit public worship
daily in the tabernacle or the temple. It consisted in offering the
evening and morning sacrifices, every day, accompanied with prayers by
the priests and Levites in that holy edifice. Every day also the
priests offered sacrifices, incense, offerings, and first fruits for
individuals; they performed ceremonies for the redemption of the
firstborn, or for purification from pollution; in a word, the people
came thither from all parts to discharge their vows and to perform
their devotions, not only on great and solemn days, but also on
ordinary days; but nothing of this was performed without prayer, 1Ch
23:30 Ne 11:17 Lu 1:10. Compare also 1Ki 8:22, and the Psalms of David
for temple worship.
Pious men were accustomed to pray thrice in the day, at fixed hours,
Ps 55:7 Da 6:10. See HOURS. Social, family, and secret prayer were all
habitual with Bible saints; as well as brief ejaculations in the midst
of their ordinary business, Ne 2:4. No uniform posture in prayer is
enjoined in the Bible; standing with the hands outspread, 1Ki 8.22,
bowing the head, Ge 24:26, kneeling, Lu 22:41, and prostration on the
ground, Mt 26:39, were all practiced. Prayer should be offered with
submission to God's will, fervently, perseveringly, and with a
confiding reliance on God in Christ; it should be accompanied by
humble confession and hearty thanksgiving, and with supplications for
all living men, as well as for our friends and those nearest to us.
Habitual prayer to God is duty enjoined upon us by sound reason and by
right affections; and he who lives without it thereby reveals the
atheism of his heart. God requires all men thus to worship him, Eze
36:37 Mt 7:1-11 Php 4:6 1Ti 2:1-3 Jas 1:5; and for neglecting this
duty there can be no sufficient excuse. It is often said that prayer
cannot alter the unchangeable purposes of God; but the great scheme of
his providence embraces every prayer that shall be offered, as well as
the answer it shall receive. It is objected that prayer cannot
increase his knowledge of our wants, nor his readiness to supply them;
and that in any case he will do what is for the best. But he deems it
best to grant many blessings in answer to prayer, which otherwise he
would withhold; "He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of
thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee." The words of
David will be those of every truly praying man: "This poor man cried,
and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles," Ps
False and formed religion makes a merit of its prayers, as though
"much speaking" and "vain repetitions" could atone for heartlessness.
Hypocrites also are wont to pray chiefly that they may have praise of
men. These sins Christ reproves in Mt 6:5-15, and gives to his
disciples the form of the Lord's prayer as a beautiful model. In Eph
6:18 1Th 5:17 1Ti 2:8, Paul directs that believers should pray in all
places and at all times, lifting up pure hands towards heaven, and
blessing God for all things, whether in eating, drinking, or what ever
they do; and that every thing be done to the glory of God, 1Co 10:31.
In a word, our Savior has recommended to us to pray without ceasing,
Lu 18:1 21:36.
The public and oral inculcation of the truths of religion, especially
of the gospel of Christ, Isa 61:1 Ac 8:4 2Co 5:20 Eph 3:8. Public
instruction in religion was no doubt given in the earliest ages. Enoch
prophesied, Jud 1:14-15; and Noah was a preacher of righteousness, 2Pe
2:5. Frequent instances of religious addresses occur in the history of
Moses, the judges, and the prophets; and these were to some extent in
connection with the Jewish ritual, Ne 1:1-11.
The psalms sung in the temple-conveyed instruction to the people.
After the captivity, numerous synagogues were erected, in which the
word of God was read and expounded from Sabbath to Sabbath. Under the
gospel dispensation, the preaching of Christ crucified, by those whom
he calls to be his ambassadors, is an established ordinance of prime
importance-God's chief instrumentality for the conversion of the
world, Mr 16:15 1Co 1:21 2Ti 2:2 4:2.
The day on which our Savior was crucified was called the "day of
preparation," or "the preparation of the Passover," as preceding the
Passover Sabbath, which commend at sunset, Mt 27:62; Joh 19:31.
Not only the vat in which the juice was trodden out from the grapes,
but in some cases the whole place for the reception of wine, grapes,
and orchard-fruit. It was often a room excavated in the ground; thus
the husbandman "dug a wine-press" in his vineyard, Mt 21:33. See also
Pr 3:10 Joe 3:13 Hag 2:16. See WINE.
A name given in the gospels to the house in which dwelt the Roman
governor of Jerusalem, Mr 15:16. Here he sat in his judicial capacity,
and here Jesus was brought before him. See GABRATHA. This was the
palace built by Herod at Jerusalem, near the tower of Antonia, with
which it had communication. It was a magnificent building, and
inclosed a spacious court, Mt 27:27 Mr 15:16 Joh 18:28,33. Here the
Roman procurators resided whenever they visited Jerusalem, their
headquarters being at Caesarea, Ac 23:23 25:1.
The pretorium or palace of Herod (English translation,
"judgment-hall") at Caesarea is also mentioned in Ac 23:35. Paul
speaks also of the pretorium (English translation, "palace") at Rome,
in which he gave testimony to Christ, Php 1:13. Some think that by
this he means the palace of the emperor Nero; and others, that he
intends the place where the roman Praetor sat to administer justice,
that is, his tribunal. Other have maintained, with greater
probability, that under the name of the pretorium at Rome, Paul would
express the camp of the pretorium soldiers, whither he might have been
carried by the soldier that always accompanied him, and who was
fastened to him by a chain, as the manner was among the Romans.
In the Bible means, not to hinder, but to proceed, Ps 59:10 1Th 4:15;
to anticipate, Ps 119:147,148 Mt 17:25; or to seize, 2Sa 22:6 Job
The points with which ox-goads were armed, by kicking against which a
refractory bullock only hurt itself the more. Hence a proverb, found
in Greek and Latin as well as in Hebrew, applied to those who resist
lawful authority, or the power of God, Ac 9:5 26:14. Compare Job
15:25-26. See OX.
One who officiated in the public worship of God, especially in making
expiation for sin, being "ordained for men in things pertaining to
God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins." In the Old
Testament, the priesthood was not annexed to a certain family till
after the promulgation of the law by Moses. Before that time, the
firstborn of each family, the fathers, the princes, the kings, were
priests in their own cities and in their own houses. Cain and Abel,
Noah, Abraham, and Job, Abimelech and Laban, Isaac and Jacob offered
personally their own sacrifices. In the solemnity of the covenant made
by the Lord with his people, at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses
performed the office of mediator, and young men were chosen from among
Israel to perform the office of priests, Ex 24:5. But after the Lord
had chosen the tribe of Levi to serve him in his tabernacle, and the
priesthood was annexed to the family of Aaron, the right of offering
sacrifices and oblations to God was reserved to the priests of this
family, Nu 16:40. The punishment of Uzziah king of Judah is well
known, who having presumed to offer incense to the Lord, was suddenly
smitten with a leprosy, 2Ch 26:19. See also the case of Saul, 1Sa
13:7-14. However, it seems that on certain occasions the Hebrew
prophets offered sacrifice to the Lord, especially before a constant
place of worship was fixed at Jerusalem. See 1Sa 7:9, where Samuel,
who was not a priest offered a lamb for a burnt sacrifice to the Lord.
See also 1Sa 9:13 16:5 1Ki 18:31,33.
The Lord having reserved to himself the firstborn of Israel because he
had preserved them from the hand of the destroying angel in Egypt, by
way of exchange and compensation, he accepted the tribe of Levi for
the service of his tabernacle, Nu 3:41. Thus the whole tribe of Levi
was appointed to the sacred ministry, but not all in the same manner;
for of the three sons of Levi, Gershom, Kohath, and Merari, the heads
of the three great families, the Lord chose the family of Kohath, and
out of this family the house of Aaron, to exercise the functions of
the priesthood. Al the rest of the family of Kohath, even the children
of Moses and their descendants remained among the Levites.
The high priest was at the head of all religious affairs, and was the
ordinary judge of all difficulties that belonged thereto, and even of
the general justice and judgment of the Jewish nation, as being at the
head of all the priests by whom this was administered, De 17:8-12
19:17 21:5 33:8,10 Eze 44:24. He only had the privilege of entering
the sanctuary once a year, on the day of solemn expiation, to make
atonement for the sins of the whole people, Le 16:2, etc. He was to be
born of one of his own tribe, whom his father had married a virgin;
and was to be exempt from corporal defect, Le 21:13. In general, no
priest who had any such defect could offer sacrifice, or enter the
holy place to present the showbread. But he was to be maintained by
the sacrifices offered at the tabernacle, Le 21:17-22. The high priest
also received a tithe from the Levites, Nu 18:28.
God also appropriated to the high priest the oracle of his truth; so
that when he was habited in the proper ornaments of his dignity, and
with the Urim and Thummim, he answered questions proposed to him, and
God disclosed to him secret and future things. He was forbidden to
mourn for the death of any of his relations, even for his father or
mother; or to enter into any place where a dead body lay, that he
might not contract or hazard the contraction of uncleanness, Le
The priests served immediately at the altar. They slew and dressed the
public sacrifices, or at least it was done by the Levites under their
direction. Private offerers slew their own victims, except in the case
of turtledoves or young pigeons. But all offerings upon the altar, the
sprinkling of blood included, were made by the priests alone. They
kept up a perpetual fire on the altar of burnt sacrifices, and in the
lamps of the golden candlestick in the sanctuary; they kneaded the
loaves of showbread, baked them, offered them on the golden altar in
the sanctuary, and changed them every Sabbath-day. Compare Ex 28:29 Le
8:1-36. Every day, night and morning, a priest appointed by casting of
lots at the beginning of the week, brought into the sanctuary a
smoking censer of incense, and set it on the golden table, otherwise
called the altar of incense, Lu 1:9.
The sacred dress of the priests consisted of the following articles:
short linen drawers; a close-fitting tunic of fine linen or cotton, of
woven work, broidered, reaching to the feet, and furnished with
sleeves; a girdle of fine linen. Plain linen ephods are also ascribed
to them, 1Sa 22:18; and a bonnet or turban, also of fine linen, in
many folds. The priests always officiated with uncovered feet. The
high priests were nearly the same dress with the priests, and four
articles in addition: an outer tunic, called the robe of the ephod,
woven entire, blue, with an ornamented border around the neck, and a
fringe at the bottom made up of pomegranates and golden bells: an
ephod of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, with golden
threads interwoven, covering the body from the neck to the thighs;
having shoulder-pieces joined on the shoulders by clasps of gold in
which were set onyx-stones graven with the names of the twelve tribes
of Israel; and also a girdle of fine linen, woven with blue, purple,
scarlet, and gold, passed several times round the body: a breastplate,
attached at its four corners to the ephod, and likewise bearing the
names of the twelve tribes on twelve precious stones; and the miter, a
high and ornamented turban having on the front a gold plate with the
inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." Neither he nor the priests wore
their sacred dresses out of the temple as we infer from Eze 42:14
44:17-19 Ac 23:5.
The Lord had given no lands of inheritance to the tribe of Levi, in
the Land of Promise. He intended that they should be supported by the
tithes, the first fruits, the offerings made in the temple and by
their share of the sin offerings and thanksgiving offerings sacrificed
in the temple; of which certain parts were appropriated to them. In
the peace offerings, they had the shoulder and the breast, Le 7:33,34;
in the sin offering, they burnt on the altar the fat that covers the
bowels, the liver, and the kidneys; the rest belonged to themselves,
Le 7:6,10. The skin or fleece of every sacrifice also belonged to
them. When an Israelite sacrificed any animal for his own use, he was
to give the priest the shoulder, the stomach, and the jaws, De 18:3.
The priest had also a share of the wool when sheep were shorn, De
18:4. Thus, though the priests had no lands or inheritances, their
temporal wants were supplied. God provided them houses and
accommodations, by appointing forty-eight cities, six were appointed
as cities of refuge for those who had committed casual and involuntary
manslaughter. The priests had thirteen of these cities; the others
belonged to the Levites, Jos 21:10.
A principal employment of the priests, next to attending on the
sacrifices and the temple service, was the instruction of the people
and the deciding of controversies; distinguishing the several sorts of
leprosy, divorce causes, the waters of jealousy, vows, causes relating
to the law and uncleanness, etc. They publicly blessed the people in
the name of the Lord. In time of war their duty was to carry the Ark
of the Covenant, to consult the Lord, to sound the holy trumpets, and
to encourage the army, Nu 10:8-9 De 20:2.
The priesthood of Christ is the substance and truth, of which that of
the Jews was but a shadow and figure. Christ, the everlasting priest
according to the order of Melchizedek, abides forever, as Paul
observes; whereas the priests according to the order of Aaron were
mortal, and therefore could not continue long, Heb 7:1-28. The Lord,
to express to the Hebrews what great favors he would confer on them,
says he would make them kings and priests, Ex 19:6; and Peter repeats
this promise to Christians, or rather, he tells them that they are in
truth what Moses promised to Israel, 1Pe 2:5,9. See also Re 1:6. In an
important sense every Christian offers himself a spiritual sacrifice,
"acceptable to God through Jesus Christ;" but in the Christian church,
there is no priest to make expiation for sin by a sacrifice but Christ
alone, Heb 9:11-26.
PRISCA OR PRISCILLA
The wife of Aquila. See AQUILA.
One of the seen original deacons, Ac 6:5, of whom nothing more is
Isa 47:13, Chaldeans, who pretended to foretell future events by the
varying aspects of the moon, or month by month.
Used by Paul to denote the spiritual gifts of God, chiefly the
Messiah, the Holy Spirit, and the fullness of gospel blessings, of
which an assurance was given to Abraham and other saints in behalf of
themselves, and of believers who should come after them, Ro 4:13-14 Ga
3:14-29. The "children of the promise" are either Isaac's posterity,
as distinguished from Ishmael's; Jews converted to Christianity; or
all true believers, who by faith lay hold on the promise of salvation
in Christ. In Heb 11:39, "promise" means the thing promised, Ac 1:4.
The "exceeding great and precious promises" of God include all good
things for this life and the future; which are infallibly secured to
his people in Christ, 2Co 1:20 1Ti 4:8 2Pe 1:4. On the ground of the
infinite merits of their Redeemer, infinite love, unbounded wisdom,
and almighty power are pledged for their benefit; and having given
them his only son, God will with him freely give them every inferior
blessing he sees to be desirable for them, Ro 8:32.
The foretelling of future events, by inspiration from God. It is very
different from a sagacious and happy conjecture as to futurity, and
from a vague and equivocal oracle, without any certain meaning. A true
prophecy can come only from God; and is the highest proof of the
divine origin of the message of which it is a part. A true prophecy
may be known by these marks; being announced at a suitable time before
the event it foretells; having a particular and exact agreement with
that event; being such as no human sagacity or foresight could
produce; and being delivered by one claiming to be under the
inspiration of the Almighty. Many of the prophecies of Scripture
foretold events ages before they occurred- events of which there was
then no apparent probability, and the occurrence of which depended on
innumerable contingencies, involving the history of things and the
volitions of persons not then in existence; and yet these predictions
were fulfilled at the time and place and in the manner prophesied.
Such were the predictions respecting the coming and crucifixion of the
Messiah, the dispersion and preservation of the Jews, etc.
The Scripture prophecies are a scheme of vast extent, the very
earliest predictions reaching down to the end of the world's history -
a scheme gradually and harmoniously developed from age to age, and by
many different persons, some of them not fully apprehending, and
"searching diligently what the Spirit of Christ which was in them did
signify," 1Pe 1:11, the whole manifestly the work of Jehovah, and
marvelous in our eyes. A degree of obscurity rests on the prophetic
writings, which patient and prayerful study alone can dispel; while
those that are yet unfulfilled must await the coming of the events,
which will make all at length clear. Many predictions relating
primarily to events and deliverance's near at hand, were also designed
of God as sure prophecies of yet more illustrious events in the
future. For example, the general subject of the predictions in Mt
24:1-51 is the coming of Christ, to judge his foes and deliver his
friends. In penning a sketch of this subject, Matthew imitates a
painter depicting from an eminence the landscape before him: the tower
of the village church in the near foreground, and the mountain peak in
the dim and remote horizon, rise side by side on his canvas. So in
painting the coming of Christ, Matthew sketches first some features of
his coming in the destruction of Jerusalem to occur within forty
years, and in the next verse some distinctive features of his second
coming at the end of the world; yet both belong to the same general
view. Respecting the New Testament phrase, "This was done that it
might be fulfilled," etc., see FULFILLED. For other meanings of
"prophecy," see PROPHETS.
A class of men of God, especially in the Old Testament dispensation,
inspired to foretell future and secret events; and who also revealed
he will of God as to current events and duties, and were his
ambassadors to men. But the word is sometimes used in a wider sense;
thus Aaron was Moses; prophet, Ex 7:1, appointed to deliver to the
people the messages that Moses received from God; the sacred musicians
are said to prophecy, 1Ch 25:1; and Paul gives the name, according to
the custom of the Greeks, to the poet Aratus, "a prophet of their
own," Tit 1:12. Scripture does not withhold the name of prophet from
impostors, although they falsely boasted of inspiration. As true
prophets, when filled y the energy of God's Spirit, were sometimes
fervidly and vehemently agitated, similar motions were called
prophesying when exhibited by persons who were filled with an evil
spirit, "prophesied in his house," 1Sa 18:10. In the New Testament,
the "prophets" were a class of men supernaturally endowed, and
standing next to the apostles. They seem to have spoken from immediate
inspiration, whether in reference to future events of to the mind of
the Spirit generally, as in expounding the oracles of God. See 1Co
11:4 14:1,30, etc. Thus it is said in Ac 13:1, that Judas and Silas
were prophets; that there were in the church at Antioch certain
prophets and teachers, that is, official instructors. God has set in
the church, first apostles, then prophets, 1Co 12:28. See also Eph
2:20 Re 18:20 Ac 21:9.
The Old Testament prophets were special agents of Jehovah, raised up
and sent as occasion required, to incite to duty, to convict of sin,
to call to repentance and reformation, to instruct kings, and denounce
against nations the judgments of God, 2Ki 17:13 Jer 25:4. They aided
the priest and Levites in teaching religion to the people, especially
in the kingdom of Israel, from which the true priests of the Lord
withdrew, 2Ki 4:23; and cooperated with the kings in public measure to
promote piety and virtue. They were humble, faithful, self-denying,
fearless men, 2Ki 1:8 Zec 13:4 Mt 3:4; aloof from the pleasure and
luxuries of life, 2Ki 5:15; often persecuted, and slain, Mt 23:34-37
Heb 11:32-38 Jas 2:10; but exerting a powerful influence as witnesses
for God. Some of them were called from the plough and the herd, 1Ki
19:20 Am 7:14 Zec 13:5. There were also "schools of the prophets,"
first mentioned in the time of Samuel, established at Gibeah, Naiotyh,
Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, where young men were instructed in
religion and prepared to guide in religious worship, 1Sa 10:5 19:20
2Ki 2:3,5 4:38. Many of the "sons of the prophets" here taught became
not only religious teachers, but inspired prophets. Amos speaks of his
own case as an exception, Am 7:14,15. There are several prophetesses
mentioned in Scripture; as Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah; and in the New
Testament, Anna, Elisabeth, and Mary, and the four daughters of Philip
seem to have partaken for a time of prophetic inspiration.
The prophets received their messages from God, sometimes in visions,
trances, and dreams. Compare Nu 24:2-16 Joe 2:28 Ac 10:11, 12 Re
1:10-20. These revelations were at times attended with overpowering
manifestations of the Godhead; and at other times were simply breathed
into the mind by the Spirit of God. Their messages were delivered to
the kings, princes, and priests whom they most concerned, or to the
people at large, in writing, or by word of mouth and in public places;
often with miracles, or with symbolic actions designed to explain and
enforce them, Isa 20:1-6 Jer 7:2 19:1-15 Eze 3:10.
The Old Testament contains the inspired writings of sixteen of the
Hebrew prophets; four of whom, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel
are called the greater prophets and the other twelve the minor
prophets. Respecting the true chronological order of the prophets,
there is in some cases great diversity of opinion. Below is given the
arrangement preferred by some; while others, so far as the minor
prophets ace concerned, adhere to that given in the Hebrew Bible and
our common version. See each name in its place, for further
1. Jonah, during the reign of Jeroboam III, king of Israel, which
commenced 825 B. C.; or perhaps as early as Joash, the predecessor of
2. Joel, under Uzziah king of Judah, nearly 800 B. C., before Amos and
Hosea came upon the stage.
3. Amos, under Uzziah king of Judah, and during the latter years of
Jeroboam II, king of Israel. About 787 B. C.
4. Hosea, under Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah,
and under Jeroboam II And his successors, kings of Israel. From about
785 to 725 B. C.
5. Isaiah, near the death of Uzziah king of Judah, and the beginning
of the reign of Jotham, B. C. 758, to the reign of Manasseh, B. C.
6. Micah, under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Jotham
began to reign B. C. 758, and Hezekiah died B. C. 697. Thus Micah was
contemporary with Isaiah
7. Nahum, in the latter part of the reign of Hezekiah, and after the
expedition of Sennacherib. Between 710 and 700 B. C.
8. Zephaniah, soon after the beginning of the reign of Josiah, and
before the destruction of Nineveh. About B. C. 630.
9. Jeremiah, in the thirteenth year of Josiah king of Judah, B. C.
628. Jeremiah continued to prophesy under Shallum, Jehoiakim,
Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, to the taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans,
B. C. 588. It is supposed he died two years afterwards in Egypt.
10. Habakkuk, in Judah, near the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim,
about 610 B. C., and before the coming of Nebuchadnezzar.
11. Obadiah, near the fall and captivity of Jerusalem, B. C. 588, and
before the desolation of Idumaea.
12. Ezekiel, carried captive to Babylon with Jeconiah king of Judah,
598 B. C. He began to prophesy about B. C. 590; and continued, under
Nebuchadnezzar, till fourteen years, after the final capture of
Jerusalem B. C. 588.
13. Daniel, taken into Chaldea while young, B. C. 606, the fourth year
of Jehoiadim king of Judah. He prophesied in Babylon to the end of the
captivity and probably finished about 534 B. C.
14. Haggai, returned from the captivity B. C. 536, and prophesied in
the second year of Darius son of Hystaspes, B. C. 520.
15. Zechariah, prophesied in Judea at the same time as Haggai, B. C.
520, and seems to have continued after him.
16. Malachi supposed to have prophesied about 416 B. C., in the latter
part of the administration of Nehemiah at Jerusalem.
Christ, of whom all the prophets bore witness, Lu 24:27,44 Ac 10:43
1Pe 1:10-11, is eminently THE PROPHET of his church in all ages, De
18:15-19 Ac 3:22-24; revealing to them, by his inspired servants, by
himself, and by his Spirit, all we know of God and immortality.
The offering which appeases the wrath of one against whom an offence
has been committed. Christ is "the propitiation for our sins," Ro
3:25, inasmuch as his sacrifice alone removes the obstacles which
prevented the mercy of God from saving sinners, and appeases the just
wrath of the law, 1Jo 2:2 4:10. The same Greek word is used in the
Septuagint to denote an "atonement," Nu 5:8; a "sin-offering," Eze
44:27; and the covering of the Ark of the Covenant, Le 16:14 Heb 9:5.
See MERCY SEAT.
In the Jewish sense, a foreigner who adopted the Jewish religion, a
convert from heathenism to Judaism. The laws of the Hebrews make
frequent mention of "the stranger that is within thy gates," Le
17:8-16 24:16 Nu 15:14-16, and welcomed him to all the privileges of
the people of God. Our Savior rebukes the blind zeal of the Pharisees
to make proselytes to ceremonial Judaism, without caring for the
circumcision of the heart, Mt 23:15 Ro 2:28,29.
According to the later rabbins, there were two species of proselytes
among the Jews. The first were called "proselytes of the gate," and
were foreigners, either bond or free, who lived among the Jews and
conformed to their customs in regard to what the rabbins call "the
seven precepts of Noah;" that is, they abstained from injurious
language in respect to God, from idolatry, homicide, incest, robbery,
resistance to magistrates, and from eating blood, or the flesh of
animals killed without shedding their blood. The other class were
called "proselytes of justice;" that is, complete, perfect proselytes,
and were those who had abandoned their former religion, and bound
themselves to the observance of the Mosaic Law in its full extent.
These according to the rabbins, by means of circumcision, baptism, and
an offering, obtained all the rites of Jewish citizenship, Ex
12:48-49. This distinction, however, is not observable in the Bible.
Proselytes were numerous in our Savior's day, and were found in many
places remote from Jerusalem, Ac 2:10 8:27. Many converts to
Christianity were gathered from among them, Joh 12:20 Ac 6:5 13:43
PROVERBS, BOOK OF
A collection of pointed and sententious moral maxims, the fruit of
Solomon's profound sagacity and unexampled experience, but above all,
of the inspiration of God. Solomon is said to have uttered three
thousand proverbs, 1Ki 4:32, B. C. 1000. The first nine chapters of
Proverbs are written in an admirable poetic style, and are more
continuous than the succeeding Pr 10:1-22:29, which consist of
separate maxims. Pr 25:1-29:27 are proverbs of Solomon collected under
the direction of King Hezekiah. Pr 30:1-33 is ascribed to Agur, and
affords examples of the enigmatic proverbs so popular in the East. Pr
31:1-31, by "king Lemuel," is mainly a beautiful picture of female
excellence. By whose care this book was compiled in its present form,
is unknown; there is no book of the Old Testament, however, whose
canonical authority is better attested. The New Testament contains
frequent quotations and allusions to it, Ro 12:20 1Th 5:15 Heb 12:5-6
Jas 4:6 1Pe 4:8 2Pe 2:22. Its "winged words" are a rich storehouse of
heavenly wisdom, and few questions can arise in actual life, on which
they do not shed light.
Ac 24:2, a superintending and forecasting care. The providence of God
upholds and governs every created thing. Its operation is coextensive
with the universe, and as unceasing as the flow of time. All his
attributes are engaged in it. He provideth for the raven his food, and
satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Bible shows us all
nature looking up to him and depending upon him, Job 38:41; Ps
104:1-35; 145:15,16; 147:8-9; and uniformly declares that every
occurrence, as well as every being, is perfectly controlled by him.
There is no such thong as chance in the universe; "the lot is cast
into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord," Pr
16:23. Not a sparrow, nor a hair of the head, falls to the ground
without his knowledge, Isa 14:26-27; Mt 10:29-30; Ac 17:24- 29.
Nothing that was not too minute for God to create, is too minute for
him to preserve and control. The history of each man, the rise and
fall of nations, and the progress of the church of Christ, reveal at
every step the hand of Him who "worketh all things after the counsel
of his own will."
PSALMS, BOOK OF
The Hebrew name for this book is TEHILLIM, praises, though many of the
psalms are rather elegiac. Most of the psalms have the superscription
mizmor, a poem song. This word is rendered in the Septuagint by
psalmos, that is, a song sung to music, a lyric poem. The Greek
psalterion means a stringed instrument; hence by a metaphor the book
of Psalms is called Psalter. For the poetical characteristics of the
Psalms, see POETRY.
Classification. - Some writers have classified the psalms according to
their poetic character, into odes, elegies, etc. A preferable method
is to divide them according to their contents. In this way they have
been divided into six classes.
1. Hymns in praise of Jehovah; tehillim in the proper sense. These are
directed to Jehovah as the God of all nature and the Creator of the
universe, Ps 8:1-9 104:1-35; as the protector and patron of Israel, Ps
20:1-9 29:1-11 33:1-22, or of individuals, with thanksgiving for
deliverance from evils, Ps 18:1-50 30:1-12 46:1-47:9; or they refer to
the more special attributes of Jehovah, Ps 90:1-17 139:1-24. These
psalms express thoughts of the highest sublimity in respect to God,
providence, redemption, etc.
2. Temple hymns; sung at the consecration of the temple, the entrance
of the ark, etc., or intended for the temple service, Ps 24:1-10
132:1-18. So also "pilgrim songs," sung by those who came up to
worship in the temple, etc.; as for example, the "songs of degrees,"
Ps 120:1-7, etc. See DEGREES, PSALMS OF.
3. Religious and moral songs of a general character; containing the
poetical expression of emotions and feelings, and therefore
subjective: as for example, confidence in God, Ps 23:1-6 62:1-12
125:1-5; devotedness to God, Ps 16:1-11; longing for the worship of
the temple, Ps 42:1-43:5; prayers for the forgiveness of sin, etc. To
this class belong the seven penitential psalms, as they are termed, Ps
6:1-10 25:1-22 32:1-11 35:1-28 38:1-22 51:1-19 130:1-8. Also didactic
song; the poetical expression of some truth, maxim, etc., Ps 1:1-6
15:1-5 32:1-11 34:1-22 50:1-23 128:1-6, etc. This is a numerous class.
4. Elegiac psalms, that is, lamentations, psalms of complaint,
generally united with prayer for help.
5. Messianic psalms, as Ps 3:1-8 22:1-31 45:1-17 69:1-36 72:1-20
6. Historical psalms, in which the ancient history manner, Ps 78:1-72
105:1-45 106:1-48 114:1-8.
But it is impossible to form any perfect arrangement, because some
psalms belong in part to two or more different classes. Besides the
proper Messianic psalms, predictions of the Messiah are widely
scattered through this book, and the attention of the devout reader is
continually attracted by passages foretelling His character and His
works. Not a few of these are alluded to in the New Testament; and it
is unquestionable that the language and structure of many others not
quoted were intended to bear witness to the Son of God. David himself
was an eminent type of the Savior, and many events of his life
shadowed forth his son and Lord. The mention of these in the inspired
writings is not undesigned; the recorded trials and victories of David
find in their reference to the Messiah their highest claim to a place
in the sacred writings. Lord Bacon has remarked that many prophetic
passages in the Old Testament are "of the nature of their Author, to
whom a thousand years are as one day; and therefore they are not
fulfilled punctually at once, but have springing and germinant
accomplishment through many ages, though the height or fullness of
them may refer to some one age."
Inscriptions- With the exception of twenty-five psalms, hence called
orphan psalms, all the rest have inscriptions of various kinds. They
refer to the author, the occasion, different kinds of song, the melody
or rhythm, the instrumental accompaniment, the choir who shall
perform, etc. These are mostly very obscure, because the music and
musical instruments of the Hebrews are almost unknown to us. They are
of very high antiquity, if not as old as the psalms themselves; and in
the Hebrew are not detached from the psalms, as in modern
translations. They appear with numerous variations in the ancient
Greek and Syriac versions. Many words in these inscriptions remain
untranslated, and can only be conjecturally interpreted. See HIGGAION,
Authors and age of the Psalms. - To David are assigned seventythree
psalms in the Hebrew, and in the Septuagint eleven more. Ps 90:1-17 is
ascribed to Moses. As to the authorship of the other psalms, much
diversity of opinion has prevailed among biblical critics.
The whole collection of the Psalms appears to have first existed in
five books, after the example, perhaps, of the Pentateuch. Each book
closes with a doxology.
One psalm occurs twice, Ps 14:1-7; compare Ps 53:1-6. Some occur as
parts of other psalms; as for example, Ps 70:1-5 forms also a part of
Ps 40:1-17. So also some psalms are repeated from other books of
Scripture; thus Ps 18:1-31 2Sa 22:1-51. The final arrangement of the
whole is generally referred to Ezra, 450 B. C.
These invaluable sacred songs exhibit the sublimest conceptions of
God, as the creator, preserver, and governor of the universe; to say
nothing of the prophetical character of many of them, and their
relation to the Messiah and the great plan of man's redemption. They
present us with the most perfect models of child-like resignation and
devotedness, of unwavering faith and confidence in God. They are an
inspired epitome of the Bible, for purposes of devotion; and are
peculiarly dear to the people of God, as expressing every phase of
religious experience. Luther, in his prefaces to the Psalter, has the
following beautiful language; "Where canst thou find nobler words of
joy, than in the psalms of praise and thanksgiving? There thou mayest
look into the hearts of all good men, as into beautiful and pleasant
gardens, yea, as into heaven itself. How do grateful and fine and
charming blossoms spring up there from every kind of pleasing and
rejoicing thoughts towards God and his goodness! Again, where canst
thou find more deep or mournful words of sorrow, than in the psalms of
lamentation and woe? There thou mayest look again into the hearts of
all good men, as upon death, yea, as if into hell. How dark and gloomy
is it there, from anxious and troubled views of the wrath of God! I
hold, however, that no better or finer book of models, or legends of
saints and martyrs, has existed, or can exist on earth, than the
Psalter. For we find here, not alone what one or two saints have done,
but what the Head of all saints has done, and what all holy men still
do; in what attitude they stand towards God and towards their friends
and enemies; and how they conduct themselves in all dangers and
sufferings. And besides this, all sorts of divine doctrines and
precepts are contained in it. Hence it is that the Psalter is The Book
of all good men; and every one, whatever his circumstances may be,
finds in it psalms and words suited to his circumstances, and which
are to him just as if they had been put there on his very account, and
in such a way that; he himself could not have made or found or wished
In Lu 24:44, the word "psalms" denotes one of the three divisions of
the Hebrew Bible, the Hagiographa or devotional writings. See BIBLE.
With regard to alphabetical psalms and psalms of degrees, see DEGREES,
PSALMS OF, and LETTERS.
See HARP, and MUSIC.
An officer of the revenue, employed in collecting taxes. Among the
Romans there were two sorts of tax-gatherers; some were general
receivers, who in each province had deputies; they collected the
revenues of the empire, and accounted to the emperor. These were men
of great consideration in the government; and Cicero says that among
these were the flower of the Roman knights, the ornaments of the city,
and the strength of the commonwealth. But the deputies, the
under-collectors, the publicans of the lower order, were looked upon
as so many thieves and pickpockets. Theocritus being asked which was
the cruelest of all beasts, answered, "Among the beasts of the
wilderness, the bear and the lion; among the beasts of the city, the
publican and the parasite." Among the Jews, the name and profession of
a publican were especially odious. They could not, without the utmost
reluctance, see publicans exacting tributes and impositions laid on
them by foreigners, the Romans. The Galileans, or Herodians,
especially, submitted to this with the greatest impatience, and
thought it even unlawful, De 17:15. Those of their own nation who
undertook this office they looked upon as heathen, Mt 18:17. It is
even said that they would not allow them to enter the temple or the
synagogues, to engage in the public prayers or offices of judicature,
or to give testimony in a court of justice.
There were many publicans in Judea in the time of our Savior;
Zaccheus, probably, was one of the principal receivers, since he is
called "chief among the publicans," Lu 19:2; but Matthew was only an
inferior publican, Lu 5:27. The Jews reproached Jesus with being a
"friend of publicans and sinners, and eating with them," Lu 7:34; but
he, knowing the self-righteousness, unbelief and hypocrisy of his
accusers, replied, "The publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of
God before you," Mt 21:31. Compare also the beautiful demeanor of the
penitent publican in the temple, and the self-justifying spirit of the
Pharisee, Lu 18:10-14.
The prefect of Melita when Paul was shipwrecked on that island A. D.
60, Ac 28:7-9. Publius received the apostle and his company into his
house, and entertained them with great humanity. The governor's
father, dangerously sick, and many others ill of various diseases,
were miraculously healed; and their hospitable care of Paul and his
friends continued through the three wintry months of their stay, and
furnished them abundant supplies on their departure.
1. An Assyrian king, about 765 B. C., when Assyria is first mentioned
in Scripture after the time of Nimrod. He invaded Israel during the
reign of Menhem, but was induced to retire by a present of a thousand
talents of silver, equivalent to at least a million and a half of
dollars, 2Ki 15:19,20; 1Ch 5:26.
2. Isa 66:19, a region remote from Judea, associated with Lud, and
supposed by Bochart to be traceable in the island Philae in the Nile,
near the confines of Egypt and Ethiopia.
A general name for peas, beans, and all large or leguminous seeds.
The penalties inflicted in ancient times for various crimes and
offences, varied in different nations, and at different times. Capital
punishment for murder is generally agreed to have been permanently
instituted at the origin of the human race; and Cain was only saved
from it by a special interposition of God, Ge 4:14-15. It was
reenacted, with reasons, after the deluge, Ge 9:5-6, and in the
wilderness, Nu 35:9-34; and was early and widely recognized among
The mode of capital punishment usual among the Hebrew was stoning, De
13:9-10 Jos 17:18 Joh 8:7; but various other modes became known to
them by intercourse with other nations: as decapitation, 2Ki 10:6-8 Mt
14:8-12; precipitation from rocks, 2Ch 25:12 Lu 4:29; hanging, Jos
8:29 Es 7:10; burning, Da 3:1-30; cutting asunder, Da 2:5 3:29 Heb
11:27; beating, on a wheel-like frame, Heb 11:35; exposure to wild
beasts, Da 6:1-28 1Co 15:32; drowning, Mt 18:6; bruising in a mortar,
Pr 27:22; and crucifixion, Joh 19:18. Minor punishments were
scourging, Le 19:20 2Co 11:24; retaliation in kind for an injury done,
Ex 21:23-25 De 19:19; imprisonment, 2Ch 16:10 Mt 4:12; the stocks, Ac
16:24; banishment, Re 1:9; and personal torture, 2Ch 18:26 Isa 50:6 Mt
18:30 Heb 11:37.
Lots, a Jewish festival instituted by Esther and Mordecai, during the
reign of Ahasuerus king of Persia, in memory of the providential
deliverance of the Jews from the malignant designs of Haman. The
propriety of the name appears form the fact that the lot was cast in
the presence of Haman for every day from the first month to the
twelfth, before an auspicious day was found for destroying the Jews;
and thus the superstition of Haman was made the means of giving them
time to turn his devices against himself, Pr 16:33 Es 3:7 9:20-32.
This festival was preceded by a day of fasting, and was observed by
reading the book of Esther publicly in the synagogues, and by private
festivities, mutual presents, alms, plays, and selfindulgence. Some
think it is alluded to in Joh 5:1. It is still observed by the Jews,
in the month of March.
The famous and costly Tyrian purple, the royal color of the ancients,
is said to have been discovered by the Tyrian Hercules, whose dog
having by chance eaten a shellfish called Purpura, and returning to
his master with his lips tinged with a purple color, occasioned the
discovery of this precious dye. Purple, however, is much more ancient
than this, since we find it mentioned by Moses in several places. Two
kinds of purple are mentioned in the Old Testament:
1. Argamon, rendered in our version "purple," denoting a reddish
purple obtained from a species of muscle or shellfish found on the
coasts of the Mediterranean.
2. Techieleth, rendered in the English Bible "blue." This was a bluish
or cerulean purple, likewise obtained from another species of
shellfish. The "scarlet" or "crimson," for the two words denote
essentially the same color, was produced from the coccus in sect,
coccus ilicis. All these were sacred colors among the Jews; and the
latter was used for the highpriest's ephod, and for veils, ribbons,
and cloths, Ex 26:1,4,31,36 28:31 Nu 4:6-12 15:38.
The "purple" of the ancients seems to have included many different
tints derived originally from the shellfish, and modified by various
arts in which the Tyrians excelled. As each fish yielded but a few
drops of coloring matter, the choicest purple bore a very high price.
Purple robes were worn by the kings and first magistrates of ancient
Rome, and Nero forbade their use by his subjects under pain of death.
Our Savior was clothed with a royal robe of purple, in mockery of his
title, "The King of the Jews" Joh 19:2,5. Compare also Jud 8:26 Es
8:15 Pr 31:22 Da 5:7 Lu 16:19. Moses used much wool dyed of a crimson
and used much wool dyed of a crimson and purple color in the work of
the tabernacle, and in the ornaments of the high priest, Ex 25:4
26:1,31,36 39:1 2Ch 3:14. The Babylonians also clothed their idols in
robes of a purple and azure color, Jer 10:9 Eze 23:15 27:7,16.
The wells, now Pozzuoli, a maritime town in the Campania of Naples, on
the northern side of the bay, eight miles northwest from that city. It
was a Roman colony. Here Paul abode seven days, on his famous voyage
and journey from Caesarea to Rome, Ac 28:13.
White-rump. This is properly the name of a species of eagle; but is
applied, in De 14:5, to a quadruped, apparently a species of gazelle
or antelope. So the Syriac version and Targums. Both the Arabic
versions refer it to a species of mountain goat.
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