American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - R



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RAAMAH

1Ch 1:9, a region settled by Cushites, descendants of a grandson of
Ham of the same name, Ge 10:7. It is supposed to have adjoined the
Persian gulf on its western shore towards the north, Eze 27:12.


RAAMSES

Or Rameses, a city built by the Hebrews during their servitude in
Egypt, Ex 1:11. It was situated in the land of Goshen; and appears to
have been the capital of that country, Ge 47:10. From it they
commenced their united exodus from Egypt, Ex 12:37; Nu 33:3,5. It is
thought to have been on the line of the ancient canal from the Nile to
the Red sea, and some thirty-five miles northwest of Suez.


RABMAG

A general officer of Nebuchadnezzar's army, at the taking of
Jerusalem, Jer 39:3. He was, as his name signifies, a chief of the
magi; a dignitary who had accompanied the king of Babylon in his
campaign. See MAGI.


RABSARIS

An officer sent with Rabshakeh and Tartan, to summon Hezekiah, 2Ki
18:17 Jer 39:3. It signifies "the chief of the eunuchs." Such
officers, high in honor and in trust, are found on the mural tablets
of Nineveh so wonderfully preserved to this day; and in the Ottoman
Porte of our own times the Kislar Aga, or chief of the black eunuchs,
is one of the highest dignitaries. See SHALMANEZER.


RABSHAKEH

Chief butler or cup-bearer, an officer sent from Lachish by
Sennacherib king of Assyria, to summon Hezekiah to surrender; which
message he delivered in a most audacious and insolent manner. The
history is told in 2Ki 19:17 2Ch 32:9 Isa 36:22. See NINEVEH and
SENNACHERIB.


RABBABBI

The word RAB in Hebrew signifies chief; thus Nebuzaradan is the chief
or captain of the guard, 2Ki 25:8, in Hebrew rabtabbachim; so Ashpenaz
is the rab, chief or master of the eunuchs, and Daniel of the mag, Da
1:3 5:11. See RAB-MAG. At a later period, it was introduced as a
solemn title of honor in the Jewish schools, meaning master, teacher,
and doctor. There were various distinctions and degrees; the term rab
was accounted the least honorable; that of rabbi, signifying my
master, being of higher dignity.


Another form of the word was rabban or rabbon, from which comes also
rabboni, Joh 20:16; this was regarded as the highest title of honor,
and was never formally bestowed on more than seven persons, who all
belonged to the celebrated school of Hillel, and were preeminently
distinguished by their rank and learning. See GAMALIEL. The more
common and usual appellation afterwards was rabbi; and this has
descended among the Jews to the present day, Mt 23:7,8. It was a title
often given to the Saviour both by his disciples and the people, Mr
9:5 10:51 11:21 Joh 1:38,49 4:31.


RABBATH-MOAB

See AR.


RABBATH

Or RABBATH-AMMON, afterwards called Philadelphia, the capital of the
Ammonites, was situated near the southern source of the jabbok, some
twenty-two miles beyond Jordan. It was famous even in the time Moses,
De 3:11 Jos 13:25. When David declared war against the Ammonites, his
general, Joab, laid siege to Rabbath-Ammon, where Uriah lost his life
by a secret order of his prince; and when the city was reduced to the
last extremity, Joab sent for David to hasten and go thither, to enjoy
the honor of taking it, 2Sa 11:12. From this time it became subject to
the kings of Judah; but the kings of Israel subsequently became
masters of it, with the tribes beyond Jordan. Towards the conclusion
of the kingdom of Israel, Tiglathpileser having taken away a great
part of the Israelites, the Ammonites were guilty of many cruelties
against those who remained; for which the prophets Jeremiah and
Ezekiel pronounced very severe prophecies against Rabbath, their
captial, and against the rest of the country; which probably had their
completion five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, Jer 49:1-3
Eze 21:20.


Antiochus the Great afterwards took the city. It was long known to the
Greeks and Romans as Philadelphia; but this name is now unknown in
that vicinity, while the more ancient name still survives. It is now
called Amman, and is about fifteen miles southeast of Szalt, the
ancient Ramoth-Gilead. Burckhardt found there extensive runs, which he
has described. He and numerous other travellers found it desolate, as
had been foretold; it was literally "a stable for camels," "a
couching-place for flocks," Eze 25:5.


RABBI AND RABBONI

See RAB.


RACA

A word derived from a Hebrew word signifying vain, trifling,
brainless; otherwise, beggarly, worthless. It is thus translated by
the Vulgate, in Jud 11:3; in the English, "vain men." The word
includes a strong idea of contempt. Christ says, Mt 5:22, whoever
shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be condemned by the council,
or sanhedrim. The term translated "fool" in the same passage, means
vile and abandoned wretch.


RACE

Ps 19:5 Ec 9:11. Various games were instituted among the Greeks and
Romans, in honor of their gods, and with the design of training young
men to personal vigor and activity, and to intrepidity and skill in
war. These games were celebrated at stated places and times, with
great pomp; renowned statesmen, legislators, and kings engaged in
them; and it was deemed the highest of all honors to be crowned with a
simple chaplet of laurel, olive, pine, or parsley, in the presence of
the vast assemblage of witnesses who delighted to honor the victor.


The preparatory training was very severe, and every weakening
indulgence was forbidden. Among the most famous games were those
celebrated on the isthmus of Corinth, hence called the Isthmian games;
and to these Paul alludes in his letters to Corinth, 1Co 9:24-27. The
foot race was a game of the first rank; other games were the
chariot-race, wrestling, boxing, leaping, and throwing the quoit or
the javelin. The foot-race well illustrates the Christian warfare, the
sacrifices to be made, the diligent bringing the body under
subjection, the laying aside every weight, the myriads of spectators
lining the course, and among them those previously crowned victors,
the exhausting efforts required, (from which the word agonize is
derived), and the glorious prize, Php 3:13 2Ti 4:7,8 Heb 12:1.


RACHEL

Ewe or sheep, Ru 4:11, the younger sister of Leah, daughter of Laban,
and the chosen wife of Jacob, though her sister was favored with more
children. Rachel was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, and died soon
after the birth of the latter. See her history in Ge 29:1-35:29. Her
sepulchre, half an hour's walk north of Bethlehem, is shown unto this
day, the spot being marked by a Mohammedan wely or tomb, a stone
enclosure and a dome. The prophecy, Jer 31:15, representing her as
mourning over her posterity, the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and
Benjamin, is quoted in Mt 2:18, in reference to the massacre at
Bethlehem, in which undoubtedly many of her descendants suffered. It
is supposed that one of the many places called Ramah was adjacent to
Bethlehem.


RAGUEL

Nu 10:29, or REUEL, Ex 2:15,18,21, the Hebrew word being the same in
both places. These passages represent him as the father of Hobab and
Zipporah, and he is generally supposed to be the same as Jethro,
Moses' father-in-law. Some, however, think he was Jethro's father, and
that he is called the father of the others as being the head of the
family. Compare Ge 31:43 2Ki 14:3 16:2.


RAHAB

The English word Rahab represents two different Hebrew words:


1. RAHAB, a Canaanite woman of Jericho, who gave shelter to the two
spies sent in thither by Joshua; and in return was spared, with all
her kindred, when the city was taken and destroyed, Jos 2:1-21
6:17-25. Her faith, in doing this, is commended in Heb 11:31 Jas 2:25.
The Jews and many Christians endeavor to show that Rahab was only an
honest innkeeper; but more probably the designation of "harlot" given
to her in our Bible is correct. If she had at some time led a
dissolute life, she had evidently repented; and she afterwards became
a worshipper of Jehovah, and the wife of Salmon, a prince of the tribe
of Judah, Ru 4:21 Mt 1:4.


The penitent publican and sinner are always welcome to Christ; and
many such a one, through the renovating power of grace, will shine
gloriously in heaven, while the unbelieving moralist will perish in
his sins.


2. RAHAB, pride, insolence, a symbolical name for Egypt, Ps 87:4 89:10
Isa 30:7 51:9. In the last of these passages, Egypt is further
symbolized as a ferocious sea-monster; but it is doubtful whether the
word Rahab itself is ever used to denote a sea-monster.


RAIN

In Scripture the "early" and the "latter" rain of Palestine is spoken
of, De 11:14 Ho 6:3. The former falls in the latter part of October,
the seed-time of Palestine; and the weather then continues variable,
with more or less rain the whole winter, until after the latter or
spring rain in April. Afterwards, the weather becomes serene, and the
crops ripen. The wheat harvest takes place in May; by the middle of
August, the fruits are gathered in; and from that time to the coming
of the first or October rains, prevail the scorching heats and
droughts of summer. Nothing can more expressively represent spiritual
blessings than copious showers of rain after this trying season is
past, De 32:2 Job 29:23 Isa 44:3 Ho 10:12.


It appears from meteorological records kept at Jerusalem, that the
average annual fall of rain is fifty-five inches. It would seem
therefore, that if the rains of Palestine could be preserved in pools
and reservoirs, and employed in irrigating the ground during the
summer, the old fertility might be restored; it would be clothed again
with verdure, and become like "the garden of the Lord."


RAINBOW

Ge 9:13-15. This beautiful phenomenon is owing to the refraction of
the beams of the sun in passing the drops of falling rain; the rays
are separated into the prismatic colors, and then reflected from the
cloud opposite to the sun and the spectator. We need not suppose that
the rainbow was unknown before the flood; but God then appointed it to
be the cheering seal of his covenant with the earth, which is as
steadfast as the natural laws from which the rainbow springs.


RAMAH

Plural RAMOTH, an eminence; and hence many places in Palestine are
named Ramah, Ramath, Ramath, Ramathaim, etc. Sometimes the same place
is called by one or other of these names indiscriminately, all
signifying the same, 2Ki 8:28,29. Sometimes Rama, Or Ramoth, is joined
to another name, to determine the place of such city or eminence; and
it is sometimes put simply for a high place, and signifies neither
city nor village.


1. The principal Ramah was a city of Benjamin, near Gibeah, towards
the mountains of Ephraim, six miles from Jerusalem north, and on the
road from Samaria to Jerusalem, Jos 18:25 Jud 19:13 Ne 11:33. It was
near the border line between Judah and Israel, and Baasha king of
Israel caused it to be fortified, to obstruct the passage from the
land of Judah into his own territory, 1Ki 15:17,21,22. It is also
referred to in Isa 10:29 Jer 31:15 40:1 Ho 5:8. Dr. Robinson finds it
in the modern village Er-Ram, on a conical hill a little east of the
road above-mentioned. The ruins are broken columns, a few bevelled
stones, and large hewn stones, and an ancient reservoir on the
southwest side. The village is almost deserted.


2. A city in mount Ephraim, called also Ramathaim-Zophim, or Ramah of
the Zuphites, the place of Samuel's birth, residence, and burial, 1Sa
1:1,19 7:17 8:4 25:1 28:3. Dr. Robinson suggests Soba, five miles west
of Jerusalem, as its possible site. The resemblance of its name
Ramathaim to Arimathea of the New Testament, together with intimations
of early historians, have led to the general belief that these two
places were identical. Arimathea, there is little doubt, lay on one of
the hills east of Lydda, some twenty miles northwest of Jerusalem; and
this site would meet most of the scriptural intimations as to the
Ramah of Samuel. The chief difficulty is found in the account of
Saul's first visit to Samuel, 1Sa 9:4-12 10:2.


The young prince "passed through the land of the Benjamites," going
south or south-west, "and came to the land of Zuph" and the city where
Samuel then was. After his interview with the prophet, and on his
return home to Giveah of Benjamin, he passed "by Rachel's sepulchre in
the border of Benjamin at Zelzah." But the only "Rachel's sepulchre"
we know of was near Bethlehem, many miles south of the direct road
from Arimathea to Gibeah. Accordingly, if we suppose this interview
took place at Arimathea, we seem obliged to suppose another Rachel's
sepulchre between it and Gibeah; or if "Rachel's sepulchre" was at
Bethlehem, to infer that the city where Saul actually found Samuel,
and at which the prophet had only that day arrived, 1Sa 9:10, was not
his usual residence, but some place south or south-west of Bethlehem,
only visited by him at intervals in his annual circuits as judge.


3. A city of Asher, Jos 19:29


4. A city of Naphtali, Jos 19:36. The site of both these places,
visited by Dr. Robinson, is still called Rameh.


5. A city of Gilead, 2Ki 8:28,29. See RAMOTH.


6. A town belonging to Simeon, called Ramah of the south, Jos 19:8 1Sa
30:27.


RAMATHAIM

See RAMAH.


RAMESES

See RAAMSES.


RAMOTH

A famous city in the mountains of Gilead; often called RamothGilead,
and sometimes Ramath-Mizpeh, or the Watchtower, Jos 13:26. It belonged
to Gad, was assigned to the Levites, and became one of the cities of
refuge beyond Jordan, De 4:43 Jos 20:8 21:38. It was famous during the
reigns of the later kings of Israel, and was the occasion of several
wars between these princes and the kings of Damascus, who had
conquered it, and from whom the kings of Israel endeavored to regain
it. Here Ahad died, Joram was wounded, and Jehu was anointed king of
Israel, 1Ki 22:1-53 2Ki 8:28,29 9:1-14 2Ch 22:5,6.


RAVEN

Ge 8:7; Le 11:15, a bird similar to the crow, but larger, and not
gregarious. It feeds on dead bodies; and in its general
characteristics resembles the crow of America. The eyes of its victim
are the first part to be devoured, Pr 30:17; and it drives away its
young as soon as they can begin to shift for themselves, Job 38:41; Ps
147:9. Elijah was miraculously fed by ravens, 1Ki 17:6.


REARWARD

The strong battalion that closed and guarded the rear of an army, Jos
6:13; Isa 52:12; 58:8.


REBEKAH

A daughter of Bethuel, and sister of Laban in Mesopotamia, who became
the wife of Isaac, and twenty years afterwards the mother of Jacob and
Esau. The manner in which she was sought and obtained as the wife of
Isaac, exhibits a striking picture of oriental manners and customs.
Through her partiality for Jacob, she was tempted into the use of
unjustifiable means to secure for him the inheritance, not having
faith to leave to God the fulfilment of his own purposes, Ge 25:22,23.
Her deceit led to disastrous results: Jacob fled from home; and when
he returned from Mesopotamia twenty years afterwards, his mother lay
buried in the cave of Machpelah, Ge 24:1-28:22 49:31.


RECHABITES

Scripture acquaints us, Jer 35:2-11, that Jonadab son of Rechab, in
the time of Jehu king of Israel; laid an injunction on his posterity
not to drink wine, not to build houses, not to plant vineyards, to
have no lands, and to dwell in tents all their lives. This they
continued to observe for above three hundred years; but in the last
year of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar coming to besiege
Jerusalem, the Rechabites were forced to take refuge in the city,
though still lodging in tents. During this siege, Jeremiah received
orders from the Lord to invite them into the temple, and to offer them
wine to drink. They refused to partake of it; and their fidelity to
their father's injunction was a severe reproof to the Jews; and the
divine promise concerning the perpetuity of the family, Jer 35:19, was
undoubtedly fulfilled, though it may now be impossible to distinguish
temm, as some profess to do, among the tribes of Central Arabia.


RECONCILIATION

In Scripture, is the restoration of harmony between two persons at
variance, by the removal of existing obstacles, 1Sa 29:4. Christ bids
the man who has wronged his brother, to make peace with him, and
secure his favor by confession and reparation, before presenting his
gift at God's altar, Mt 5:23,24. In the far more important matter of
peace with God, to make human salvation possible, a just God must be
reconciled to the sinner, and the rebellious sinner be reconciled to
God. This reconciliation is effected by the blood of the Spirit, Ro
5:10 2Co 5:19 Eph 2:16.


RECORDER

Or remembrancer, a sort of registrar of affairs at the court of Judah,
2Sa 8:16; 1Ki 4:3; 2Ki 18:18.


RED SEA

See SEA.


REDEEMER

A name given to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, because he
redeems mankind from the bondage and guilt of their sins, by dying in
their place, and thus paying their ransom, Mt 20:28 Ga 3:13 Eph 1:7
1Ti 2:6 Tit 2:14 1Pe 1:18,19 Re 5:9. In the law of Moses, Le 25:25,48,
this title is given to one who has the right of redemption in an
inheritance, especially to a near kinsman, who may redeem it from a
stranger or any Jew who had bought it. Such was Boaz, who, being one
of the nearest relations of Elimelech, married Ruth the heiress of
Elimelech, and thereby reentered into the possession of her estate.
Jeremiah redeemed the field of his nephew Hanameel, which was on the
point of being sold to another, Jer 32:7,8. So Christ became a
partaker of flesh and blood, that as our near kinsman he might redeem
for us the heavenly inheritance, Job 19:25,26.


The nearest kinsman was also called the redeemer of blood-in our
English translation, the avenger, or revenger of blood; and had a
right to revenge the blood of his murdered kinsman, Nu 35:12,19,21 De
19:6,12. To protect the innocent from these avengers, or redeemers,
God appointed cities of refuge throughout Israel. See REFUGE, CITIES
OF.


REED

Sometimes a stalk or rod of any plant, as of the hyssop, Mt 27:48 Joh
19:29.


Usually, however, the word reed denotes a reed or cane growing in
marshy grounds, Job 40:21 Isa 19:6; slender and fragile, and hence
taken as an emblem of weakness, 1Ki 18:21 Isa 36:6 Eze 29:6; and of
instability, Mt 11:7. "A bruised reed," Isa 42:3 Mt 12:20, is an
emblem of a soul crushed and ready to sink in despair under a sense of
its guilty and lost condition. Such a soul the Saviour will graciously
sustain and strengthen. The reed of spice, or good reed, (English
version, "sweet calamus," Ex 30:23, "sweet cane" Jer 6:20) also called
simply reed, (English version, "calamus" or "sweet cane,") Isa 43:24;
So 4:14; Eze 27:19, is the sweet flag of India, calamus odoratus.
Reeds were anciently used as pens and as measuring-rods, Eze 40:5
42:16. The Hebrew "reed" is supposed to have been about ten feet long.


REFUGE, CITIES OF

To provide security for those who should undesignedly kill a man, the
Lord commanded Moses to appoint six cities of refuge, or asylums, that
any one who should thus shed blood might retire thither, and have time
to prepare his defence before the judges, and that the kinsmen of the
deceased might not pursue and kill him, Ex 21:13 Nu 35:11-34. Of such
cities there were three on each side Jordan. On the west were Kedesh
of Naphtali, Shechem, and Hebron; on the east, Golan, Ramoth-Gilead,
and Bezer, Jos 20:7,8. These cities served not only for Hebrews, but
for all strangers who resided in the country, De 19:1-10. The Lord
also commanded that when the Hebrews should multiply and enlarge their
land, they should add three other cities of refuge. But this command
was never fulfilled.


The custom of blood-revenge appears to have been an institution or
principle very early introduced among the nomadic oriental tribes. So
firmly was this practice established among the Israelites before their
entrance into the promised land, and probably also even before their
sojourning in Egypt, that Moses was directed by Jehovah not to attempt
to eradicate it entirely, but only to counteract and modify it by the
institution of cities of refuge. The custom of avenging the blood of a
member of a family or tribe upon some member of the tribe or family of
the slayer, still exists in full force among the modern Bedaweens, the
representatives in a certain sense of the ancient Israelites in the
desert. They prefer this mode of self-vengeance. Niebuhr informs us
that "the Arabs rather avenge themselves, as the law allows, upon the
family of the murderer; and seek an opportunity of slaying its head,
or most considerable person, whom they regard as being properly the
person guilty of the crime, as it must have been committed through his
negligence in watching over the conduct of those under his inspection.
From this time the two families are in continual fears, till some one
or other of the murderer's family be slain. No reconciliation can take
place between them, and the quarrel is still occasionally renewed.
There have been instances of such family feuds lasting forty years. If
in the contest a man of the murdered person's family happens to fall,
there can be no peace until two others of the murderer's family have
been slain." How far superior to this was the Mosaic institution of
cities of refuge, where the involuntary homicide might remain in peace
till the death of the high-priest, and then go forth in safety, while
a really guilty person did not escape punishment.


Among most of the nations of antiquity, temples, and particularly the
altars within them, were regarded as proffering an asylum for
fugitives from violence. Among the Hebrews we find indications of the
custom on the part of the culprit of fleeing to the Lord's altar. But
this was not allowed to screen the guilty from deserved punishment, Ex
21:14 1Ki 2:28-34.


There is an appointed city of refuge for sinners exposed to the second
death, and an altar of refuge sprinkled with atoning blood. Happy the
soul that flees and is safe in Christ, ere it is overtaken by the
avenging law of God.


REGENERATION

The new birth; that work of the Holy Spirit by which the soul,
previously dead in sins, is created anew in Christ unto righteousness.
It is expressed in Scripture by being born again and born from above,
Joh 3:3-7; becoming a new creature, 2Co 5:17; being quickened to a new
life of holiness, Eph 2:1; having Christ formed in the heart, Ga 4:19;
and being made partaker of the divine nature, 2Pe 1:4.


The sole author of this change is the Holy Spirit, Joh 1:12,13 3:4 Eph
2:8-10; and he effects it ordinarily by the instrumentality of gospel
truth, 1Co 4:15 Jas 1:18 1Pe 1:23. In this change the moral image of
God is brought back into the soul, and the principle of supreme love
to our neighbor is implanted. Regeneration, producing faith, is
accompanied by justification, and by actual holiness of life, or
sanctification begun, and completed when the "babe in Christ" reaches
in heaven "the fulness of the stature of the perfect man" in Him. In
Mt 19:28, regeneration means Christ's making all things new. In Tit
3:5, "the washing of regeneration" denotes the purifying work of the
Spirit in the new birth.


REHABIAH

A grandson of Moses, and the only son of Eliezer; his numerous
posterity are mentioned as betokening the divine favor, 1Ch 23:17.


REHOB

1. A Levitical city in Asher, Jos 19:28; 21:31, on the northern border
of the Holy Land, called also Beth-rehob, and lying in a valley south
of Anti-Lebanon, not far north of Dan, Nu 13:21; Jud 18:28. It was
long governed by its own kings, Jud 1:31, but in the time of David was
rendered tributary, 2Sa 10:6,8,19. Some think there were two cities of
this name in Asher.


2. The father of Hadadezer king of Zobah in Syria, 2Sa 8:3.


REHOBOAM

The son and successor of Solomon, by Naamah, an Ammonitess, 1Ki
12:1-33 14:21-31 2Ch 10:1-12:16. He was forty-one years old when he
began to reign, and was therefore born at the beginning of his
father's reign.


He ascended the throne about 975 B.C., and reigned seventeen years at
Jerusalem. Under his reign the ten tribes revolted, and formed the
kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam. The immediate cause of this schism
was Rehoboam's headstrong folly in rejecting experienced counselors,
and claiming tyrannical power. He at once sought to recover the
revolted tribes by force; and though directed by God not to make war,
he did not long delay hostilities, and these continued during his
whole reign. The people also fell into idolatry, and were punished in
the fifth year of Rehoboam by an Egyptian army, which subjected them
to a heavy tribute. See SHISHAK.


Scripture leads us to trace the sins and misfortunes of Rehoboam in
part to the influence of his heathen mother, 2Ch 12:13. The latter
portion of his reign seems to have passed more quietly.


REHOBOTH

1. A city of ancient Assyria, site unknown, Ge 10:11.


2. A place in the wilderness south of Gerar and Beersheba, so named by
Isaac on the occasion of his digging a well there, Ge 26:22.


3. A city on the Euphrates, thought to be the modern Er-rahabeh, south
of Carchemish, Ge 36:37; 1Ch 1:48; 17:3


REHUM

An officer of the king of Persia, in Samaria, during the rebuilding of
the temple; by an insidious letter to the king he procured an edict
for the discontinuance of this work for a time, probably two years or
more preceding 520 B.C., when it was resumed.


REINS

Or KIDNEYS. The Hebrews often make the reins the seat of the
affections, and ascribe to them knowledge, joy, pain, pleasure; hence
in Scripture it is said that God searches the heart and tries the
reins.


REMPHAN

An idol, the same as Chiun. Compare Am 5:26 Ac 7:43. See CHIUN.


REPENTANCE

A change of mind, accompanied with regret and sorrow for something
done, and an earnest wish that it was undone. Such was the repentance
of Juda, Mt 27:3; and so it is said that Esau found "no place of
repentance" in his father Isaac, although he sought it with tears, Heb
12:17; that is, Isaac would not change what he had done, and revoke
the blessing given to Jacob, Ge 27:1-46. God is sometimes said to
"repent" of something he had done, Ge 6:6 Jon 3:9,10; not that he
could wish it undone, but that in his providence such a change of
course took place as among men would be ascribed to a change of mind.
But the true gospel repentance, or "repentance unto life," is sorrow
for sin, grief for having committed it, and a turning away from it
with abhorrence, accompanied with sincere endeavors, in reliance on
God's grace and the influences of the Holy Spirit, to live in humble
and holy obedience to the commands and will of God. This is that
repentance which always accompanies true faith, and to which is
promised the free forgiveness of sin through the merits of Jesus
Christ, Mt 4:17 Ac 3:19 11:18 20:12.


REPETITIONS

In prayers, which our Saviour censures, Mt 6:7, were short forms or
particular expressions in prayer, which the Jews were accustomed to
repeat a certain number of times. So Roman-catholics still repeat the
Lord's prayer, Ave Marias, etc., a great number of times; and think
that the oftener a prayer is repeated, the more meritorious and
efficacious it is. The repeated cry of a soul in earnest is indeed
welcome to God, Ge 18:1-33; Mt 26:44; Lu 18:1; but he regards the
heart and not the lips; and the greater the number of prayers one
repeats as a task by which to acquire merit, the greater his sin.


REPHAIM

The Hebrew word is used in two distinct significations.


1. REPHAIM REPHAIM is used to comprehend all the gigantic races of the
Canaanites, of whom there were several families. There were Rephaim
beyond Jordan, at Ashtaroth Karnaim, in the time of Abraham, Ge 14:5;
also some in the time of Moses. Og king of Bashan was of the Rephaim.
In the time of Joshua, some of their descendants dwelt in the land of
Canaan, Jos 12:4 17:15, and we hear of them in David's time, in the
city of Gath, 1Ch 20:4-6. The giant Goliath and others were the
remains of the Rephaim, or of the kindred family of Anakim. Their
magnitude and strength are often spoken of in Scripture. They appear
to have excelled in violence and crime, and hence are monuments of
divine justice.


2. REPHAIM, the shades or spirits of the departed, dwelling in Sheol
or Hades, generally rendered in our version, "the dead" ("dead
things," Job 26:5); Ps 88:10; Pr 2:18; 21:16, etc.


THE VALLEY OF THE REPHAIM OR GIANTS, was famous in Joshua's time, Jos
15:8 17:15 18:16, and in the time of David, who here defeated the
Philistines, 2Sa 5:18,22 1Ch 11:6 14:9. It was a broad and fertile
valley, Isa 17:5, beginning near the valley of Hinnom, and extending
several miles south-west from Jerusalem, when it contracted to a
narrow passage leading off towards the Mediterranean. It was in Judah,
but near the border of Benjamin.


REPHIDIM

An encampment of the Israelites between the wilderness of Sin and
mount Sinai, where the people murmured, and God gave them water from
the rock. Here also the Amalekites attacked them, and were defeated,
Ex 17:1-16. It is thought to have been in the valley now called
esh-Sheikh, a day's march northwest of Sinai, and near the western
border of the Horeb group of mountains. See SINAI.


REPROBATE

Rejected as not enduring the test of worthiness, Jer 6:30. Some men
are spoken of as reprobate even in this life, being hardened in sin
and unbelief, Ro 1:28 2Ti 3:8 Tit 1:16.


RESEN

An ancient Assyrian city, between Nineveh and Calah, Ge 10:12. Its
exact position cannot now be determined.


RESPECT OF PERSONS

The judges of the Hebrews were directed to give sentence strictly
according to truth and justice, without regard to the comparative
wealth, influence or other advantage of one party over the other, Le
19:15 De 16:17 Pr 24:23. Thus God judges, not according to outward
appearance or station, but according to the heart, Ac 10:34 Ro 2:6-11.
Thus ought men to estimate and treat their fellow men; and to court
the favor of the rich and influential is sharply censured in
Scripture, Pr 28:21 Jas 2:1-9 Jude 1:16.


REST

In Ac 9:31, refers to the respite from persecution enjoyed by the
Christians in Palestine, after the conversion of Saul of Tarsus,
during the last two years of Caligula's short reign, A. D. 39 and 40,
when the Jews were so harassed by the attempts of the emperor to force
them to worship him as a god, that they forbore to afflict the
followers of Christ.


RESTITUTION

Job 20:10,18. The repairing of wrongs done, and the restoring of what
one has wrongfully taken from another, are strictly enjoined in
Scripture, and are a necessary evidence of true repentance, Ex
22:1-15; Ne 5:1-13; Lu 19:8. Restoration should be perfect and just;
replacing, so far as possible, all that has been taken, with interest,
Le 6:1-6; 24:21. In Ac 3:21, the time of the "restitution of all
things," is the time when Christ shall appear in his glory, and
establish his kingdom as foretold in the Scriptures.


RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

This is of fundamental importance in Christianity, both historically
and doctrinally. As a fact indisputable proved, it was the crowning
demonstration of the truth of all Christ's claims, 1Co 15:14-18. He
had repeatedly foretold it; and his enemies were careful to ascertain
that he was actually dead, and to guard his tomb for additional
security. Yet he rose from the dead on the third day, and appeared on
eleven different occasions to numerous witnesses, convincing even
those who were the most doubtful, and after forty days ascended to
heaven from the mount of Olives. To this all-important fact the
apostles gave great prominence in their preaching.


Ac 1:22 2:24-32 4:33 10:40,41. In its relation to Christian doctrine
it stands as a rock of strength, assuring us of God's acceptance of
the expiatory Sacrifice, of Christ's triumphant accomplishment of the
work of redemption, and of his raising to immortal life the souls and
bodies of his people. He was buried under the load of our offences;
but he rose again, almighty to justify and save us. His dying proved
the greatness of his love; his rising again shows that his love had
secured its object.


RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

It is the peculiar glory of the New Testament that it makes a full
revelation of this great doctrine, which was questioned or derided by
the wisest of the heathen, Ac 17:32. In the Old Testament also we
find, though less frequently, the doctrine asserted; as for example,
Isa 26:19 Da 12:2. When our Saviour appeared in Judea, the doctrine of
the resurrection of the dead was received as a principal article of
religion by the whole Jewish nation except the Sadducees. Their denial
of it rested on the assumption that at death the whole man, soul and
body, perishes. "The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection,
neither angel, nor spirit," Ac 23:8. Hence the refutation of this
unscriptural assumption was a complete overthrow of the ground on
which their denial of a future resurrection rested; for if the soul
can survive the body, it is plain that God can give it another body.
In this way our Lord met and effectually refuted them, Mt 22:31,32 Mr
12:26,27.


The resurrection of Christ is everywhere represented in the New
Testament as a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all the
just, who are united to him by faith, 1Co 15:49 1Th 3:13, in virtue of
their union with him as their Head. He is "the resurrection and the
life," Joh 11:25; they "sleep in Jesus," and shall be brought to glory
"with him," 1Th 4:13-17 5:10; their "life is hid with Christ in God,"
Col 3:3; and because he lives, they shall live also, Joh 14:19. The
Scriptures also teach that there will be a resurrection of the unjust.
But they shall be raised, not to be glorified with Christ, but to be
judged by him, and sentenced to eternal punishment, Da 12:2 Joh
5:28,29 compared with Mt 28:20 Ac 24:15.


To cavillers against this doctrine in his own day, Christ replied, "Ye
do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." The work is
miraculous; and He who is omniscient and omnipotent will permit
nothing to frustrate his designs. He has not revealed to us the
precise nature of the spiritual body, nor in what its identity with
the earthly body consists; but it will be incorruptible, fashioned
like Christ's glorious body, Php 3.21, and a meet companion of the
soul made perfect in his likeness.


REUBEN

Behold, a son! The eldest son of Jacob and Leah, so-called in
reference to the sentiment of his mother, "The Lord hath looked on my
affliction," Ge 29:32. Reuben, having defiled his father's concubine
Bilhah, lost his birthright and all the privileges of primogeniture,
the preeminence in the family being given to Judah, and the double
portion to the two sons of Joseph, Ge 35:22 48:5 49:3,4,8,10 1Ch
5:1,2. He shared in his brother's jealousy of Joseph, and yet
interposed to save his life at Dothan with the design of restoring him
privately to his father, Ge 37:18-30. See also his well-meant proposal
in Ge 42:27. His tribe was never numerous or powerful in Israel.
Dathan, Abiram, and On were members of it. It was the ninth of the
tribes in the order of population when they entered Canaan, Nu 1:21
26:7. Their inheritance was the fine pastureland east of the Jordan,
between the Arnon on the south and Gilead on the north; it is now
called Belka, Nu 32:1-42 Jos 22:1-34. We afterwards find them reproved
by Deborah for remissness, Jud 5:15,16. Their position on the frontier
exposed them to many assaults from the east, 2Ki 10:33; and they were
among the first captives to Assyria, 1Ch 5:26, B. C. 740.


REVELATION

An extraordinary and supernatural disclosure made by God, whether by
dream, vision, ecstasy, or otherwise, of truths beyond man's unaided
power to discover. Paul, alluding to his visions and revelations, 2Co
12:1,7, speaks of them in the third person, out of modesty; and
declares that he could not tell whether he was in the body or out of
the body. Elsewhere he says that he had received his gospel by a
particular revelation, Ga 1:12.


For the BOOK OF REVELATION, see APOCALYPSE.


REVENGER

Or AVENGER OF BLOOD, is a name given in Scripture to the man who had
the right, according to the Jewish polity, of taking revenge on him
who had killed one of his relations. If a man had been guilty of
manslaughter involuntarily and without design, he fled to a city of
refuge. See REFUGE, CITIES OF.


REZEPH

A city conquered by the Assyrians, 2Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12. It is thought
to have been afterwards called Rasapha, and to have stood some
twenty-five miles west of the Euphrates towards Palmyra.


REZIN

A king of Damascene Syria, who united with Pekah king of Israel to
invade Judah, B. C. 742, 2Ki 15:1-38,37; 16:5-10; Isa 7:1. Turning
away from before Jerusalem, Rezin extended his conquests to the south
as far as Elath; but was erelong conquered and slain by
Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, whose aid had been procured by king
Ahaz. His people also were carried captive beyond the Tigris, Isa 8:6;
9:11.


REZON

The founder of a dynasty in Syria-Damascus in the time of David, and a
great annoyance to Solomon, 1Ki 11:23-25. He had been an officer under
Hadadezer king of Zobah.


RHEGIUM

Now Reggio, capital of the province of Calabria Ultra, in the kingdom
of Naples, on the coast near the south-west extremity of Italy, eight
miles south-east of Messina in Sicily. The ship in which Paul was on
his way to Rome touched here, Ac 28:13,14. Rhegium was a city of
considerable note in ancient times. The modern city was nearly
destroyed by an earthquake in 1783, and now contains about eighteen
thousand inhabitants.


RHODA

Rose, a young damsel in the household of Mary mother of John Mark,
when Peter was miraculously released from prison, Ac 12:13.


RHODES

An island and a famous city in the Levant, the ancient name of which
was Ophiusa. Its modern name alludes to the great quantity and beauty
of the roses that grew there. The island is about forty miles long and
fifteen wide; its mountains are well wooded, and its valleys highly
fertile. The city of Rhodes, at the northeast extremity of the island,
was one of the most celebrated of the Greek cities. It was famous for
its brazen Colossus, which was one hundred and five feet high, made by
Chares of Lyndus: it stood at the mouth of the harbor of the city, on
sixty marble columns, and continued perfect only fifty-six years,
being thrown down by an earthquake, under the reign of Ptolemy
Euergetes king of Egypt, who began to reign B.C. 244. When Paul went
to Jerusalem, A. D. 58, he visited Rhodes, Ac 21:1. Modern Rhodes is a
Turkish walled town of 15,000 inhabitants, and considerable commerce.
The air of Rhodes is proverbially pure, and its climate serene.


RIBLAH

A city of Syria, in the country of Hamath, at the north-east extremity
of Canaan, Nu 34:11. Its site is probably found in the modern village
Ribleh, on the river Orontes, at the northern end of the great valley
of Lebanon, El-Bukaa.. Through this valley, by way of Hamath and
Riblah, was the readiest access to Palestine from the north. At Riblah
king Jehoahaz was taken and deposed by Pharaoh- necho; here also
Nebuchadnezzar established his headquarters when warring against
Judah, 2Ki 23:33; 25:6,20,21; Jer 39:5; 52:10.


RIGHT HAND

The most efficient member of the body, Mt 5:30, and the ready executor
of the behests of the will. Hence its use as a symbol of many of the
strongest emotions of the inner man. The right-hand is significant of
power, especially the almighty power of God, Ex 15:6 Ps 21:8 77:10; of
honor, Ps 45:9 Mt 25:34 Ac 7:55; of special benediction, Ge 48:14; of
fraternal love, Ga 2:9; of hostility, Ps 109:6 Zec 3:1; and of
allegiance, 1Ch 29:24. It was raised in the act of prayer, and also in
taking an oath, Ge 14:22; hence the right-hand of a perjured man was
"a right-hand of falsehood," Ps 144:8. In regard to the points of the
compass, the right-hand in Hebrew denotes the south, 1Sa 23:19
24:1-22; as the left-hand means the north, Ge 14:15. See EAST.


RIGHTEOUSNESS

Rectitude, justice, holiness; an essential perfection of God's
character, Job 36:3; Isa 51:5-8; Joh 17:25; and of his administration,
Ge 18:25; Ro 3:21,22; 10:3. It is the wonder of grace that as the
righteous guardian of the law, he can acquit the unrighteous. "The
righteousness of Christ" includes his spotless holiness, his perfect
obedience the law demands; and "the righteousness of faith" is that
imputed to the sinner who believes in Christ. With reference to
personal character, righteousness is used both for uprightness between
man and man, and for true religion, Ge 18:23; Le 19:15; Isa 60:17; Ro
14:17; Eph 5:9.


RIMMON

Pomegranate,


1. A town of Palestine, near the frontier of Edom, Jos 15:21,32 Zec
14:10, in the region assigned to the tribe of Simeon, Jos 19:7 1Ch
4:32 Ne 11:29.


2. A town on a high chalky hill, a few miles east of Bethel, Jud
20:45-47 21:13. A village called Rummon still exists there.


3. A city of Zebulun, assigned to the Levites, Jos 19:13; perhaps the
same as Rimmono, 1Ch 6:77, which may be traced in the modern village
Rimmaneh, northwest of mount Tabor.


4. An unknown encampment of the Israelites in the desert, Nu 33:19.


5. An idol of the Syrians, 2Ki 5:18. See NAMAAN.


RINGSTRAKED

Marked with circular streaks of various colors, Ge 30:35.


RINGS

Ornaments for the ears, nose, legs, arms, or fingers. The antiquity of
rings appears from Scripture and from profane authors. Judah left his
ring with Tamar, Ge 1:1-50:26 38:18. When Pharaoh committed the
government of Egypt to Joseph, he gave him his ring from his finger,
Ge 41:42. After the victory of the Israelites over the Midianites,
they offered to the Lord the rings, the bracelets, and the golden
necklaces taken from the enemy. Nu 31:50. The Israelitish women wore
rings, not only on their fingers, but also in their nostrils and their
ears, and on their ankles. See BRACELETS. James distinguishes a man of
wealth and dignity by the ring of gold on his finger, Jas 2:2. At the
return of the prodigal son, his father ordered a handsome apparel for
his dress, and that a ring should be put on his finger, Lu 15:22.


The ring was used chiefly as a signet to seal with, and Scripture
generally assigns it to princes and great persons; as the king of
Egypt, Joseph, Ahaz, Jezebel, king Ahasuerus, his favorite Haman,
Mordecai, king Darius, etc.,


1Ki 21:8 Es 3:10 Jer 22:24 Da 6:17. The patents and orders of these
princes were sealed with their rings or signets, an impression from
which was their confirmation. See SEAL, SEALING.


RIPHATH

A northern nation descended from a grandson of Japheth, Ge 10:3,
called Diphath in 1Ch 1:6. The name is traced in that of the Riphoean
mountains, in Russia.


RIVER

This word answers in our Bible to various Hebrew terms, of which the
principal are the following:


1. Yeor, an Egyptian word signifying river. It is always applied to
the Nile and its various canals, except in Job 28:10 Da 12:5,6,7 2.
Nahar, applied, like our word river, to constantly flowing streams,
such as the Euphrates. In our version this word is sometimes rendered
"flood," Jos 24:2,3, etc.


3. Nahal, a torrent-bed, or valley through which water flows in the
rainy season only, Nu 34:5, etc; frequently rendered "brook," Nu 13:28
Job 6:15, etc. Such streams are to the orientals striking emblems of
inconstancy and faithlessness. Flowing only in the rainy season, and
drying up when the summer heat sets in-and some of them in desert
places failing prematurely-they sadly disappoint the thirsty and
perhaps perishing traveller who has looked forward to them with
longing and with hope, Job 6:15-20 Jer 15:18.


In some passages in our Bible the word "rivers" seems to denote
rivulets or canals, to conduct hither and thither small streams of
water from a tank or fountain, Eze 31:4. Such conduits were easily
turned by moulding the soil with the foot; and some think this is the
idea in De 11:10; "where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with
thy foot, as a garden of herbs." See also Pr 21:1.


RIZPAH

A concubine of Saul, taken after his death by the ambitious Abner. Her
two sons were afterwards hung, with five other sons of Saul, to avenge
the wrongs he had inflicted on the Gibeonites. With the most devoted
maternal affection, Rizpah watched over their remains day and night,
apparently from May to October; and David, being informed of her
painful watchings, gathered the bones of all the family of Saul and
gave them an honorable burial, 2Sa 3:7-11; 21:1-14.


ROBES

See GARMENTS.


ROD

An offshoot from the trunk of a tree, Ge 30:37 Isa 11:1 Eze 37:15-22.
It also denotes a staff, used by one walking, Isa 3:1 Eze 29:6; by a
diviner, Ho 4:12; by a surveyor, Ps 74:2; by a shepherd, Le 27:32 Zec
11:10-14; as an instrument of correction, Pr 23:13 29:15; as a
sceptre, Es 8:4 Isa 14:5; and as a symbol of power, Ps 2:9, support
and direction, Ps 23:4.


ROE AND ROEBUCK

Not the animal still found in Scotland and Germany, but the oriental
antelope or gazelle, the Antilopa Cervicapra, or Dorcas, of Linnaeus.
It is often referred to in the Bible, De 12:15,22 14:5 1Ki 4:23 Pr 6:5
So 2:7,9,17 8:14 Isa 13:14. It is about two and a half feet in height,
of a reddish-brown color, with the belly and feet white, has long
naked ears, and a short, erect tail. The horns are black, about twelve
inches long, and bent like a lyre. It inhabits Barbary, Egypt, Arabia,
and Syria, and is about half the size of a fallow deer. It goes in
large flocks, is easily tamed, though naturally very timid; and its
flesh is reckoned excellent food.


There are no less than twenty-nine species of antelopes in all. This
animal constitutes a genus between the deer and the goat. They are
mostly confined to Asia and Africa, inhabiting the hottest regions of
the old world, or the temperate zones near the tropics. None of them,
except the chamois and the saiga, are found in Europe. In America only
one species has yet been found, namely, the Missouri antelope, which
inhabits the country west of the Mississippi. Antelopes chiefly
inhabit hilly countries, though some reside in the plains; and some
species form herds of two or three thousand, while others keep in
small troops of five or six. These animals are elegantly formed,
active, restless, timid, shy, and astonishingly swift, running with
vast bounds, and springing or leaping with surprising agility; they
frequently stop for a moment in the midst of their course to gaze at
their pursuers, and then resume their flight. The greyhound, the
fleetest of dogs, is usually outrun by them; and the sportsman is
obliged to have recourse to the aid of the falcon, which is trained to
the work, for seizing on the animal and impeding its motion, that the
dogs may thus have an opportunity of overtaking it. In India and
Persia a sort of leopard is made use of in the chase; and this animal
takes its prey, not by swiftness of foot, but by its astonishing
springs, which are similar to those of the antelope; and yet, if the
leopard should fail in its first attempt the game escapes.


The fleetness of this animal has been proverbial in the countries
which it inhabits, from the earliest time, 2Sa 2:18 1Ch 12:8; as also
the beauty of its eyes; so that to say, "You have the eyes of a
gazelle," is to pay a high compliment.


ROLL

See BOOK.


ROME, ROMANS

The city of Rome is in some respects the most celebrated on earth; as
it was long the mistress of the heathen world, and has since been for
many centuries the chief ecclesiastical capital of the nominal
Christian world. It was situated on the river Tiber about fifteen
miles from the Mediterranean, in the plain now called the Campagna di
Roma. At the period of its greatest glory its walls were nearly twenty
miles in circumference, and enclosed the famous seven hills of which
their poets speak, Re 17:9. It surpassed all other cities in the
magnificence of its structures, filled with paintings and sculptures;
and contained, it is thought, two millions of inhabitants. Famous for
its progress in the arts and in luxury, it was still more renowned for
is conquests; and there was scarcely a nation then known whose spoils
and captive princes had not contributed to swell the pomp and pride of
the imperial city. The idols of all conquered nations were admitted
among the thousands there worshipped; and the people were full of
superstition, and in morals exceedingly corrupt. The painful
representation of the sins of heathenism given by Paul in his letter
to the Romans, Ro 1:21-32, has been fully confirmed by their own
writers.


Rome was founded by Romulus 752 B. C., and governed for a time by
kings. After the expulsion of Tarquin, B.C. 509, it was governed by
two consuls, elected annually; and this form of government continued
several centuries and indeed after the real power had passed into the
hands of a sovereign. Julius Caesar first acquired the sovereign
power, though he refused the name of emperor. His nephew Octavius,
afterwards Augustus, took the name of emperor about 30 B. C. In his
reign our Saviour was born. The succeeding Roman emperors, who ruled
over the larger part of the then known world, were mostly
distinguished for their cruelties, debaucheries, and licentiousness;
until Constantine embraced Christianity and made it the religion of
his empire. By transferring the seat of his empire to Constantinople,
A. D. 328, he gave a fatal blow to the power and influence of Rome;
which thenceforth continued to be only the ecclesiastical metropolis
of the western church. But as such she acquired afterwards, under the
popes, an immense power, which still continues in Catholic countries;
but which has received its death-wound through Protestantism, and the
consequent enlightening of the popular mind. At the present day, Rome
is rendered especially interesting by the magnificent ruins of its
former greatness, temples, pillars, public baths, aqueducts, triumphal
arches, and amphitheaters. It retains also its preeminence as a
treasure house of the fine arts. It has three hundred and sixty
churches, among which is St. Peters, the largest in the world, and
many others truly gorgeous. It contains also large libraries,
including that of the Vatican; numerous galleries and museums full of
the choicest paintings and sculptures, besides palaces, villas,
schools, and hospitals. Yet it groans under priestly tyranny, and
perpetuates the superstition, immorality, and misery of pagan Rome.


In the books of the Old Testament no direct allusion is apparently
made to Rome, or to the Roman power, except in the prophetic visions
of Daniel, Da 2:33,40 7:7,19. Up to the time when the canon of the Old
Testament was closed, before B. C. 400, the Romans had not so far
extended their conquests as to bring them in contact with the Jews.
But in the books of the Maccabees and in the New Testament they are
often mentioned. The first alliance between the Jews and Romans was
made by Judas Maccabeus, B. C. 162. This was renewed by his brother
Jonathan, B. C. 144. After this time, the Romans had much to do with
Judea, not only under the Herods, but also when reduced to the form of
a Roman province; until at last they utterly exterminated the Jews
from the country. They took the city of Jerusalem not less than three
times: first under Pompey, B. C. 63; again under Sosius, B. C. 33; and
lastly under Titus, A. D. 70, when both the city and temple were
destroyed. See JUDEA.


There were thousands of Jews resident at Rome, where a part of the
city was anciently, as now, appropriated to them, and where they were
usually allowed the free exercise of their national religion. Among
these, and among the Romans themselves, the gospel was early
introduced, perhaps by those who were at Jerusalem at the Pentecost,
Ac 2:10. Under Claudius, about A. D. 50, both Jews and Christians were
expelled from Rome and among them apparently Aquila and Priscilla, Ac
18:2 Ro 16:3. At the time of Paul's epistle, A. D. 58, the faith of
the Christian church at Rome was everywhere celebrated, Ro 1:8 16:27.
In A. D. 64, another fierce persecution against Christians in that
city was instituted by Nero. These persecutions were followed by
others more or less severe, with intervals of repose, making ten in
all before the time of Constantine. At this period the corruption of
doctrine and of practice, which had previously appeared in the church,
began to spread more rapidly; and by degrees the papal apostasy, with
its fatal perversions of the truth as it is in Christ, became
enthroned at Rome according to the predictions of Paul, Peter, and
John.


The arena of the Coliseum, whose majestic ruins are now the most
impressive monument of the ancient mistress of the world, was the
theatre of many a conflict of Christian martyrs with wild beasts; and
its sands drank the blood of thousands of unresisting victims, men,
women, and children, who met a violent death-some tremblingly, some
triumphantly, but all resolutely-rather than deny the Lord Jesus
Christ. The Coliseum was erected for gladiatorial shows, by the labors
of fifteen thousand men for ten years. It was an elliptical structure,
620 feet long and 513 broad; with an arena 290 feet by 180, surrounded
by tiers on tiers of seats, the upper and outer circle being 160 feet
from the ground. The vast amphitheatre is said to have contained seats
for eighty thousand spectators; and its ruins will long stand, a
melancholy proof of the cruelty of heathenism.


THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS was written by Paul during the three months
he remained at Corinth, A. D. 58, before going to Jerusalem, Ro 15:25.
Compare Ac 20:2,3,16 Ro 16:23 1Co 1:14 2Ti 4:20. It is the most
important systematic, and argumentative of the epistles of Paul. Its
immediate occasion seems to have been the misunderstanding which
existed between Jewish and Gentile converts, not only at Rome, but
everywhere. The Jew felt himself in privilege superior to the Gentile;
who, on the other hand, did not allow this superiority, and was vexed
by the assertion of it. In reference to this, in the first five
chapters, the apostle proves that the entire human race is depraved
and under condemnation-that neither Gentile nor Jew has any privilege
of birth or personal merit, but that each receives all benefits
through the mere sovereign grace of God, Christ alone being our
justification. He then proceeds to exhibit Christ as our
sanctification; and answers the objections made to the doctrine of
gratuitous justification, that it tends to encourage sin, and that God
has no right to treat mankind in this way. In Ro 10:1-11:36, he
applies all this to the Jews. In the remainder of the epistle, which
is hortatory, the apostle lays down many practical rules of conduct,
which are of the highest moment to all Christians.


ROOF

See HOUSE.


ROOM

Is sometimes synonymous with seat or place, as in Lu 14:8-10; 20:46.


ROSE

The queen of flowers, highly esteemed in its native East for its
fragrance, and the beauty of its form and colors. Several varieties of
wild rose are still found in Palestine. The "rose of Sharon," sacredly
associated with the heavenly Bridegroom, So 2:1 Isa 35:1, appears from
the derivation of its Hebrew name to have been a bulbous plant; and is
generally believed, in accordance with the ancient versions, to denote
a plant of the narcissus family, perhaps the meadow-saffron, which
grows in rich profusion on the plain of Sharon.


RUBY

The oriental ruby is next in value, as a gem, to the diamond. Indeed,
a ruby of this kind, above a certain size, is more valuable than a
diamond of the same weight. The oriental ruby is a red variety of the
sapphire its color is usually between a vivid cochineal and crimson.
The word "rubies" occurs several times in the English Bible, as Job
28:18; Pr 3:15; 8:11; but the corresponding word in Hebrew is thought
to denote red coral, or perhaps pearls; while the true ruby is more
naturally designated by the "agate" or "carbuncle" of Isa 54:12; Eze
27:16.


RUDE

2Co 11:6, Artless and unpolished.


RUE

A well-known garden herb, having a strong odor and a bitter taste. Our
Saviour reproaches the Pharisees with their superstitious affectation
of paying the tithe of rue, which was not in reality subject to the
law of tithe, while they neglected the more essential parts of the
law, Lu 11:42.


RUFUS

Son of Simon the Cyrenian who was constrained to carry the cross on
which the Saviour was to be crucified, Mr 15:21. If he is the same
person whom Paul salutes in Ro 16:13, as is probable, we may see in
this instance the divine blessing abiding on the household of one who
befriended Christ and bore his cross.


RUSH

Translated bulrush in Isa 58:5, flag in Job 40:21, and hook in Job
41:2; a plant growing in marshy ground or by watercourses, and used
for chair-bottoms, baskets, mats, ropes, etc. The pith of a similar
plant in Europe is used as the wick of a candle or rush-light. In Isa
9:14; 19:15, a rush is put for the lowest of the people.


RUTH

A Moabitess, who having returned with her mother-in-law Naomi to
Judea, probably about the time of Gideon, soon afterwards married
Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi. From this marriage descended David, and
through him our Saviour Jesus Christ, Mt 1:5.

The Book of Ruth contains this history, told in a most simple and
affecting manner. The object of the writer, no doubt, was to trace the
genealogy of king David. At the outset, he says that these events took
place when the judges ruled in Israel-an intimation that in the time
of the writer they had ceased to rule. At the close of the book the
name of David is introduced; which shows that it was not written
before his day, B. C. 1060. This book is inserted in our Bibles after
the book of Judges, as a sort of sequel to it. Many of the ancient
fathers made but one book of Judges and Ruth. The story of Ruth
exhibits the frank and simple manners of the times, and the courtesy
and charity of the Hebrew laws; gives an intimation of the future
extension of the gospel to the Gentiles; and illustrates God's
providential care of families, and the blessings which flow from
filial piety and faith in God.


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