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NAAM


(pleasantness), one of the sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh. (1
Chronicles 4:15) (B.C. about 1451-1420.)


NAAMAH


(loveliness).

  • One of the four women whose names are preserved in the records of the
    world before the flood; all except Eve being Cainites. Site was daughter
    of Lamech by his wife Zillah, and sister, as is expressly mentioned to
    Tubal-cain (Genesis 4:22) only. (B.C. about 3550.)

  • Mother of King Rehoboam. (1 Kings 14:21,31; 2 Chronicles 12:13) In
    each of these passages she is distinguished by the title "the (not
    ’an,’ as in Authorized Version) Ammonite." She was therefore
    one of the foreign women whom Solomon took into his establishment. (1
    Kings 11:1) (B.C. 1015-975.)


NAAMAH


one of the towns of Judah in the district of the lowland or Shefelah.
(Joshua 15:41) Capt. Warren, in Report of Palestine Exploration
Fund
, 1871, locates it at Naameh, six miles northeast of
Yebna.


NAAMAN


(pleasantness).

  • "Naaman the Syrian." (Luke 4:27) Naaman was commander-in-chief of the
    army of Syria, and was nearest to the person of the king, Ben-hadad II.,
    whom he accompanied officially and supported when he went to worship in
    the temple of Rimmon, (2 Kings 5:18) at Damascus, the capital. (B.C. 885.)
    A Jewish tradition at least as old as the time of Josephus, and which may
    very well be a genuine one identifies him with the archer whose arrow,
    whether at random or not, struck Ahab with his mortal wound, and thus
    "gave deliverance to Syria." The expression in (2 Kings 5:1) is remarkable
    -- "because that by him Jehovah had given deliverance to Syria." The most
    natural explanation perhaps is that Naaman in delivering his country, had
    killed one who was the enemy of Jehovah not less than he was of Syria.
    Whatever the particular exploit referred to was, it had given Naaman a
    great position at the court of Ben-hadad. Naaman was afflicted with a
    leprosy of the white kind which had hitherto defied cure. A little
    Israelitish captive maiden tells him of the fame and skill of Elisha, and
    he is cured by him by following his simple directions to bathe in the
    Jordan seven times. See (2 Kings 5:14) His first business after his cure
    is to thank his benefactor and gratefully acknowledge the power of the God
    of Israel, and promise "henceforth to offer neither burnt offering nor
    sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord." How long Naaman lived to
    continue a worshipper of Jehovah while assisting officially at the worship
    of Rimmon we are not told; ("but his memory is perpetuated by a leper
    hospital which occupies the traditional site of his house in Damascus, on
    the banks of the Abana." -- Schaff.)

  • One of the family of Benjamin who came down to Egypt with Jacob as
    read in (Genesis 46:21) He was the son of Bela, and head of the family of
    the Naamites. (Numbers 26:40; 1 Chronicles 8:3,4) (B.C. 1706.)


NAAMATHITE


the Gentile name of one of Job's friends, Zophar the Naamathite. (Job
2:11; 11:1; 20:1; 42:9) There is no other trace of this name in the Bible,
and the town whence it is derived is unknown. (But as Uz was in Arabia,
probably the Naamah where he lived was on the Arabian borders of
Syria.)


NAAMITES, THE


the family descended from Naaman, the grandson of Benjamin. (Numbers
28:40) only.


NAARAH


(a maiden), the second wife of Ashur; a descendant of Judah. (1
Chronicles 4:5,6)


NAARAI


(handmaid), one of the valiant men of David's armies. (1 Chronicles
11:37) In 1 Chron. he is called the son of Ezbai, but in (2 Samuel 23:35)
he appears as "Paarai the Arbite." Kennicott decides that the former is
correct. (B.C. about 1015.)


NAARAN


(juvenile), a city of Ephraim, which in a very ancient record, (1
Chronicles 7:28) is mentioned as the eastern limit of the tribe. It is
very probably identical with Naarath, or more accurately Naarah.


NAARATH


(juvenile) (the Hebrew is equivalent to Naarah, which is therefore
the real form of the name), a place named (Joshua 16:7) only as one of the
landmarks on the southern boundary of Ephraim. It appears to have lain
between Ataroth and Jericho, in the Jordan valley: Eusebius and Jerome
speak of it as if well known to them -- "Naorath, a small village of the
Jews, five miles from Jericho."


NAASHON


[NAHSHON, OR NAASHON]


NAASSON


(enchanter), the Greek form of the name NAHSHON, OR NAASHON.
(Matthew 1:4; Luke 3:32) only.


NABAL


(fool) was a sheepmaster on the confines of Judea and the desert,
in that part of the country which bore from its great conqueror the name
of Caleb. (1 Samuel 25:3; 30:14) (B.C. about 1055.) His residence was on
the southern Carmel, in the pasture lands of Maon. His wealth, as might be
expected from his abode, consisted chiefly of sheep and goats. It was the
custom of the shepherds to drive them into the wild downs on the slopes of
Carmel; and it was whilst they were on one of these pastoral excursions
that they met a band of outlaws, who showed them unexpected kindness,
protecting them by day and night, and never themselves committing any
depredations. (1 Samuel 25:7,15,18) Once a year there was a grand banquet
on Carmel, "like the feast of a king." ch. (1 Samuel 25:2,4; 36) It was on
one of these occasions that ten youths from the chief of the freebooters
approached Nabal, enumerated the services of their master, and ended by
claiming, with a mixture of courtesy and defiance characteristic of the
East, "whatsoever cometh into thy hand for thy servants and for thy son
David." The great sheepmaster peremptorily refused. The moment that the
messengers were gone, the shepherds that stood by perceived the danger
that their master and themselves would incur. To Nabal himself they durst
not speak. ch. (1 Samuel 25:17) To his wife, as to the good angel of the
household, one of the shepherds told the state of affairs. She, with the
offerings usual on such occasions, with her attendants running before her,
rode down the hill toward David's encampment. David had already made the
fatal vow of extermination. ch. (1 Samuel 26:22) At this moment, as it
would seem, Abigail appeared, threw herself on her face before him, and
poured forth her petition in language which in both form and expression
almost assumes the tone of poetry. She returned with the news of David's
recantation of his vow. Nabal was then at the height of his orgies and his
wife dared not communicate to him either his danger or his escape. ch. (1
Samuel 28:36) At break of day she told him both. The stupid reveller was
suddenly roused to a sense of that which impended over him. "His heart
died within him, and he be came as a stone." It was as if a stroke of
apoplexy or paralysis had fallen upon him. Ten days he lingered "and the
Lord smote Nabal, and he died." ch. (1 Samuel 25:37,38)


NABOTH


(fruits), the victim of Ahab and Jezebel, was the owner of a small
vineyard at Jezreel, close to the royal palace of Shab. (1 Kings 21:1,2)
(B.C. 897.) It thus became an object of desire to the king, who offered an
equivalent in money or another vineyard. In exchange for this Naboth, in
the independent spirit of a Jewish landholder, refused: "The Lord forbid
it me that I should give the inheritance of my father unto thee." Ahab was
cowed by this reply; but the proud spirit of Jezebel was aroused. She took
the matter into her own hands. A fast was proclaimed, as on the
announcement of some impending calamity. Naboth was "set on high" in the
public place of Samaria; two men of worthless character accused him of
having "cursed God and the king." He and his children, (2 Kings 9:26) were
dragged out of the city and despatched; the same night. The place of
execution there was by the large tank or reservoir which still remains an
the slope of the hill of Samaria, immediately outside the walls. The usual
punishment for blasphemy was enforced: Naboth and his sons were stoned;
and the blood from their wounds ran down into the waters of the tank
below. For the signal retribution taken on this judicial murder -- a
remarkable proof of the high regard paid in the old dispensation to the
claims of justice and independence -- see AHAB; JEHU; JEZEBEL.


NABUCHODONOSOR


[NEBUCHADNEZZAR, OR NEBUCHADREZZAR]


NACHONS


(prepared) threshing floor, the place at which the ark had
arrived in its progress from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem, when Uzzah lost
his life in his too-hasty zeal for its safety. (2 Samuel 6:6) (B.C.
1042.)


NACHOR


[NAHOR]


NADAB


(liberal).

  • The eldest son of Aaron and Elisheba. Exod 8 13 Numb 3:2. (B.C. 1490.)
    He, his father and brother, and seventy old men of Israel were led out
    from the midst of the assembled people, (Exodus 24:1) and were commended
    to stay and worship God "afar off," below the lofty summit of Sinai, where
    Moses alone was to come near to the Lord. Subsequently, (Leviticus 10:1)
    Nadab and his brother were struck dead before the sanctuary by fire from
    the Lord. Their offence was kindling the incense in their censers with
    "strange" fire, i.e. not taken from that which burned perpetually,
    (Leviticus 6:13) on the altar.

  • King Jeroboam's son, who succeeded to the throne of Israel B.C. 954,
    and reigned two years. (1 Kings 15:25-31) At the siege of Gibbethon a
    conspiracy broke out in the midst of the army, and the king was slain by
    Baasha, a man of Issachar.

  • A son of Shammai (1 Chronicles 2:28) of the tribe of Judah.

  • A son of Gibeon, (1 Chronicles 8:30; 9:36) of the tribe of
    Benjamin.


NAGGAI


(illuminating), the true form of NAGGE, (Luke 3:25) and so given in
the Revised Version.


NAGGE


one of the ancestors of Christ. (Luke 3:25) See [NAGGAI]


NAHALAL


(pasture), one of the cities of Zebulun, given with its "suburbs"
to the Merarite Levites. (Joshua 21:35) It is the same which in (Joshua
19:15) is inaccurately given in the Authorized Version as Nahallal, the
Hebrew being in both cases identical. Elsewhere it is called NAHALOL.
(Judges 1:30) It is identified with the modern Malul, a village in
the plain of Esdraelon.


NAHALIEL


(torrents of God), one of the halting-places of Israel in the
latter part of their progress to Canaan. (Numbers 21:19) It lay "beyond,"
that is, north of, the Amen, ver. (Numbers 21:13) and between Mattanah and
Bamoth, the next after Bamoth being Pisgah.


NAHALOL


[NAHALAL]


NAHAM


(consolation), the brother of Modiah or Jehudiah, wife of Ezra. (1
Chronicles 4:19)


NAHAMAAI


(merciful), a chief man among those who returned from Babylon with
Zerubbabel and Jeshua. (Nehemiah 7:7) (B.C. 536.)


NAHARAI


(snorter) the armor-bearer of Joab, called NAHARI in the Authorized
Version of (2 Samuel 23:37) He was a native of Beeroth. (1 Chronicles
11:39) (B.C. 1013.)


NAHARI


The same as NAHARAI. (2 Samuel 23:37) In the Authorized Version of 1611
the name is printed "Naharai the Berothite."


NAHASH


(serpent).

  • King of the Ammonites who dictated to the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead
    that cruel alternative of the loss of their right eyes or slavery which
    roused the swift wrath of Saul, and caused the destruction of the Ammonite
    force. (1 Samuel 11:2-11) (B.C. 1092.) "Nahaph" would seem to have been
    the title of the king of the Ammonites rather than the name of an
    individual. Nahash the father of Hanun had rendered David some special and
    valuable service, which David was anxious for an opportunity of requiting.
    (2 Samuel 10:2)

  • A person mentioned once only -- (2 Samuel 17:25) -- in stating the
    parentage of Amasa, the commander-in-chief of Absalom's army. Amasa is
    there said to have been the son of a certain Ithra by Abigail, "daughter
    of Nahash and sister to Zeruiah." (B.C. before 1023.)


NAHATH


(rest).

  • One of the "dukes" of Edom, eldest son of Reuel the son of Esau.
    (Genesis 36:13,17; 1 Chronicles 1:37) (B.C. 1700.)

  • A Kohathite Levite, son of Zophai. (1 Chronicles 6:26)

  • A Levite in the reign of Hezekiah. (2 Chronicles 31:13) (B.C.
    725.)


NAHBI


(hidden), the son of Vophsi, a Naphtalite, and one of the twelve
spies. (Numbers 13:14)


NAHOR


(snorting), the name of two persons in the family of Abraham.

  • His grandfather; the son of Serug and father of Terah. (Genesis
    11:22-25) (B.C. 2174.)

  • Grandson of the preceding son of Terah and brother of Abraham and
    Haran. (Genesis 11:26,27) (B.C. 2000.) The order of the ages of the family
    of Terah is not improbably inverted in the narrative; in which case Nahor
    instead of being younger than Abraham, was really older. He married
    Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran; and when Abraham and Lot
    migrated to Canaan, Nahor remained behind in the land of his birth, on the
    eastern side of the Euphrates.


NAHSHON, OR NAASHON


(enchanter) son of Amminadab, and prince of the children of Judah
(as he is styled in the genealogy of Judah,) (1 Chronicles 2:10) at the
time of the first numbering in the wilderness. (Exodus 6:23; Numbers 1:7)
etc. His sister, Elisheba, was wife to Aaron, and his son, Salmon, was
husband to Rahab after the taking of Jericho. He died in the wilderness,
according to (Numbers 26:64,65) (B.C. before 1451.)


NAHUM


(consolation). Nahum, called "the Elkoshite," is the seventh in
order of the minor prophets. His personal history is quite unknown. The
site of Elkosh, his native place, is disputed, some placing it in Galilee,
others in Assyria. Those who maintain the latter view assume that the
prophet's parents were carried into captivity by Tiglath-pileser and that
the prophet was born at the village of Alkush, on the east bank of the
Tigris, two miles north of Mosul. On the other hand, the imagery of his
prophecy is such lie would be natural to an inhabitant of Palestine,
(Nahum 1:4) to whom the rich pastures of Bashan the vineyards of Carmel
and the blossoms of Lebanon were emblems of all that was luxuriant and
fertile. The language employed in ch. (Nahum 1:15; 2:2) is appropriate to
one who wrote for his countrymen in their native land. (McClintock and
Strong come to the conclusion that Nahum was a native of Galilee that at
the captivity of the ten tribes he escaped into Judah, and prophesied in
the reign of Hezekiah, 726-698. -- ED.) Prophecy of Nahum. -- The
date of Nahum a prophecy can be determined with as little precision as his
birthplace. It is, however, certain that the prophecy was written before
the final downfall of Nineveh and its capture by the Medes and Chaldeans,
cir. B.C. 625. The allusions to the Assyrian power imply that it was still
unbroken. ch. (Nahum 1:12; 2:8,13; 3:16-17) It is most probable that Nahum
flourished in the latter half of the return of Hezekiah, and wrote his
prophecy either in Jerusalem or its neighborhood. The subject of the
prophecy is, in accordance with the superscription, "the burden of
Nineveh," the destruction of which he predicts. As a poet Nahum occupies a
high place in the first rank of Hebrew literature. His style is clear and
uninvolved, though pregnant and forcible; his diction sonorous and
rhythmical, the words re-echoing to the sense. Comp. (Nahum 2:4; 3:3)


NAIL


  • Of finger. (a) A nail or claw of man or animal. (b) A point or style
    e.g. for writing; see (Jeremiah 17:1)

  • (a) A nail, (Isaiah 11:7) a stake, (Isaiah 33:20) also a tent-peg.
    Tent-pegs were usually of wood and of large size; but some times, as was
    the case with those used to fasten the curtains of the tabernacle of
    metal. (Exodus 27:19; 38:20) (b) A nail, primarily a point. We are told
    that David prepared iron for the nails to be used in the temple; and as
    the holy of holies was plated with gold, the nails for fastening the
    plates were probably of gold.


NAIN


(beauty), a village of Galilee, the gate of which is made
illustrious by the raising of the widow's son. (Luke 7:12) The modern
Nein is situated on the northwestern edge of the "Little Hermon,"
or Jebel-ed-Duhy, where the ground falls into the plain of
Esdraelon. The entrance to the place, where our Saviour met the funeral,
must probably always have seen up the steep ascent from the plain; and
here on the west side of the village, the rock is full of sepulchral
caves.


NAIOTH


(habitations), or more fully, "Naioth in Ramah," a place of Mount
Ephraim, the birthplace of Samuel and Saul, and in which Samuel and David
took refuge together after the latter had made his escape from the jealous
fury of Saul. (1 Samuel 19:18,19,22,23; 20:1) It is evident from ver. (1
Samuel 20:18) that Naioth was not actually in Ramah, Samuel's habitual
residence. In its corrected from the name signifies "habitations," and
probably means the huts or dwellings of a school or college of prophets
over which Samuel presided as Elisha did over those at Gilgal and
Jericho.


NAMES


  • Names of places. -- These may be divided into two general
    classes -- descriptive and historical. The former are such as mark some
    peculiarity of the locality, usually a natural one, e.g. Sharon, "plain"
    Gibeah, "hill;" Pisgah. "height." Of the second class of local names, some
    were given in honor of individual men, e.g. the city Enoch (Genesis 4:17)
    etc. More commonly, however, such names were given to perpetuate that
    memory of some important historic occurrence. Bethel perpetuated through
    all Jewish history the early revelations of God to Jacob. (Genesis 28:19;
    35:15) So Jehovah-jireh, (Genesis 22:14) Mahanaim, (Genesis 32:2) Peniel
    etc. In forming compounds to serve as names of towns or other localities,
    some of the most common terms employed were Kir, a "wall" or "fortress;"
    Kirjath, "city;" En, "fountain;" Beer, "a well,"
    etc. The names of countries were almost universally derived from the name
    of the first settlers or earliest historic population.

  • Names of persons. -- Among the Hebrews each person received hut
    a single name. In the case of boys this was conferred upon the eighth day,
    in connection with the rite of circumcision. (Luke 1:59) comp.
    Genesis17:5-14 To distinguish an individual from others of the same name
    it was customary to add to his own proper name that of his father or
    ancestors. Sometimes the mother's was used instead. Simple names in
    Hebrew, as in all languages, were largely borrowed from nature; e.g.
    Deborah, "bee;" Tamar, "a palm tree;" Jonah, "dove." Many names of women
    were derived from those of men by change of termination; e.g. Hammelech.
    "the king;" Harnmoleketh, "the queen." The majority of compound names have
    special religious or social significance being compounded either (1) with
    terms denoting relationship, as Abi or Ab father, as Abihud,
    "father of praise," Abimelech "father of the king;" Ben son, as Benoni,
    "son of my sorrow," Benjamin, "son of the right hand;" or (2) nouns
    denoting natural life, as am, "people," melech "king;" or (3) with names
    of God and Jah or Ja, shortened from "Jehovah." As outside
    the circle of Revelation, particularly among the Oriental nations, it is
    customary to mark one's entrance into a new relation by a new name, in
    which case the acceptance of the new name involves the acknowledgment of
    the sovereignty of the name giver, so the importance and new sphere
    assigned to the organs of Revelation in God's kingdom are frequently
    indicated by a change of name. Examples of this are Abraham, (Genesis
    17:5) Sarah, (Genesis 17:15) Israel, as the designation of the spiritual
    character in place of Jacob, which designated the natural character.
    (Genesis 32:28)


NAOMI


or Nao’mi (my delight), the wife of Elimelech and
mother-in-law of Ruth. (Ruth 1:2) etc.; Ruth 2:1 etc.; Ruth 3:1; 4:3 etc.
(B.C. 1363.) The name is derived from a root signifying sweetness or
pleasantness. Naomi left Judea with her husband and two sons, in a time of
famine and went to the land of Moab. Here her husband and sons died; and
on her return to Bethlehem she wished to be known as Mara,
bitterness
, instead of Naomi, sweetness.


NAPHISH


(refreshment), the last but one of the sons of Ishmael. (Genesis
25:15; 1 Chronicles 1:31)


NAPHTALI


(wrestling), the fifth son of Jacob; the second child name to him
by Bilhah, Rachel's slave. His birth and the bestowal of his name are
recorded in (Genesis 30:8) When the census was taken at Mount Sinai the
tribe of Naphtali numbered no less than 53,400 fighting men, (Numbers
1:43; 2:50) but when the borders of the promised land were reached, its
numbers were reduced to, 45,400. (Numbers 26:48-50) During the march
through the wilderness Naphtali occupied a position on the north of the
sacred tent with Dan and Asher. (Numbers 2:25-31) In the apportionment of
the land, the lot of Naphtali was enclosed on three sides by those of
other tribes. On the west lay Asher, on the south Zebulun, and on the east
the transjordanic Manasseh. (In the division of the kingdom Naphtali
belonged to the kingdom of Israel, and later was a part of Galilee,
bordering on the northwestern pert of the Sea of Galilee, and including
Capernaum and Bethsaida. -- Ed.)


NAPHTALI, MOUNT


the mountainous district which formed the main part of the inheritance of
Naphtali, (Joshua 20:7) answering to "Mount Ephraim" in the centre and
"Mount Judah" in the south of Palestine.


NAPHTUHIM


(border-people), a Mizraite (Egyptian) nation or tribe mentioned
only in the account of the descendants of Noah. (Genesis 10:13; 1
Chronicles 1:11) If we may judge from their position in the list Of the
Mizraites, the Naphtuhim were possibly settled, at first, either in Egypt
or immediately to the west of it.


NARCISSUS


(stupidity), a dweller at Rome, (Romans 16:11) some members of
whose household were known us Christians to St. Paul. Some have assumed
the identity of this Narcissus with the secretary of the emperor Claudius;
but this is quite uncertain.


NARD


[SPIKENARD]


NATHAN


(a giver).

  • An eminent Hebrew prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon. (B.C.
    1015.) He first appears in the consultation with David about the building
    of the temple. (2 Samuel 7:2,3,17) He next comes forward as the reprover
    of David for the sin with Bathsheba; and his famous apologue on the rich
    man and the ewe lamb, which is the only direct example of his prophetic
    power, shows it to have been of a very high order. (2 Samuel 12:1-12)

  • A son of David; one of the four who were borne to him by Bathsheba. (1
    Chronicles 3:5) comp, 1Chr 14:4 and 2Sam 5:14

  • Son or brother of one of the members of David's guard. (2 Samuel
    23:36; 1 Chronicles 11:38)

  • One of the head men who returned from Babylon with Ezra on his second
    expedition. (Ezra 8:16) 1 Esdr. 8:44. It is not impossible that he may be
    the same with the "son of Bani." (Ezra 10:39)


NATHANAEL


(gift of God), a disciple of Jesus Christ, concerning whom, under
that name at least, we learn from Scripture little more than his
birthplace, Cana of Galilee, (John 21:2) and his simple, truthful
character. (John 1:47) The name does not occur in the first three Gospels;
but it is commonly believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same
person. The evidence for that belief is as follows: St, John who twice
mentions Nathanael, never introduces the name of Bartholomew at all. St.
Matthew, (Matthew 10:3) St. Mark, (Mark 3:18) and St. Luke, (Luke 8:14)
all speak of Bartholomew but never of Nathanael. If was Philip who first
brought Nathanael to Jesus, just as Andrew had brought his brother
Simon.


NATHANMELECH


(the gift of the king), a eunuch (Authorized Version "chamberlain")
in the court of Josiah. (2 Kings 23:11) (B.C. 628.)


NAUM


(consolation), son of Esli, and father of Amos, in the genealogy of
Christ, (Luke 3:25) about contemporary with the high priesthood of Jason
all the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. (B.C.175.)


NAVE


(Heb. gao), anything convex or arched, as the boss of a shield,
(Job 15:26) the eyebrows, (Leviticus 14:9) an eminent place. (Ezekiel
16:31) It is rendered once only in the plural, "naves," (1 Kings 7:33)
meaning the centres of the wheels in which the spokes are inserted i.e.
the hubs. In (Ezekiel 1:18) it is rendered twice "rings," and margin
"strakes," an old word apparently used for the nave (hub) of a wheel and
also more probably for the felloe or the tire, as making the streak or
stroke upon the ground.


NAZARENE


an inhabitant of Nazareth. This appellative is applied to,Jesus in many
passages in the New Testament. This name, made striking in so many ways,
and which, if first given in scorn, was adopted and gloried in by the
disciples, we are told in (Matthew 2:23) possesses a prophetic
significance. Its application to Jesus, in consequence of the providential
arrangements by which his Parents were led to take up their abode in
Nazareth, was the filling out of the predictions in which the promised
Messiah is described as a netser i.e. a shoot, sprout, of
Jesse, a humble and despised descendant of the decayed royal family. Once,
(Acts 24:5) the term Nazarenes is applied to the followers of Jesus by way
of contempt. The name still exists in Arabic as the ordinary designation
of Christians.


NAZARETH


(the guarded one) the ordinary residence of our Saviour, is not
mentioned in the Old Testament, but occurs first in (Matthew 2:23) It
derives its celebrity from its connection with the history of Christ, and
in that respect has a hold on the imagination and feelings of men which it
shares only with Jerusalem and Bethlehem. It is situated among the hills
which constitute the south ridges of Lebanon,just before they sink down
into the plain of Esdraelon, (Mr. Merrill, in "Galilee in the Time of
Christ" (1881), represents Nazareth in Christ's time as a city (so always
called in the New Testament) of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, of some
importance and considerable antiquity, and not so insignificant and mean
as has been represented. -- ED.) Of the identification of the ancient site
there can be no doubt. The name of the present village is
en-Nazirah the same, therefore, as of old it is formed on a hill or
mountain, (Luke 4:29) it is within the limits of the province of Galilee,
(Mark 1:9) it is near Cana, according to the implication in (John
2:1,2,11) a precipice exists in the neighborhood. (Luke 4:29) The modern
Nazareth belongs to the better class of eastern villages. It has a
population of 3000 or 4000; a few are Mohammadans, the rest Latin and
Greek Christians. (Near this town Napoleon once encamped (1799), after the
battle of Mount Tabor.) The origin of the disrepute in which Nazareth
stood, (John 1:47) is not certainly known. All the inhabitants of Galilee
were looked upon with contempt by the people of Judea because they spoke a
ruder dialect, were less cultivated and were more exposed by their
position to contact with the heathen. But Nazareth labored under a special
opprobrium, for it was a Galilean and not a southern Jew who asked the
reproachful question whether "any good thing" could come from that source.
Above the town are several rocky ledges, over which a person could not be
thrown without almost certain destruction. There is one very remarkable
precipice, almost perpendicular and forty or fifty near the Maronite
church, which may well be supposed to be the identical one over which his
infuriated fellow townsmen attempted to hurl Jesus.


NAZARITE


more properly Naz’irite (one separated), one of either
sex who was bound by a vow of a peculiar kind to be set apart from others
for the service of God. The obligation was either for life or for a
defined time. There is no notice in the Pentateuch of Nazarites for life;
but the regulations for the vow of a Nazarite of days are given. (Numbers
6:1-21) The Nazarite, during-the term of has consecration, was bound to
abstain from wine grapes, with every production of the vine and from every
kind of intoxicating drink. He was forbidden to cut the hair of his head,
or to approach any dead body, even that of his nearest relation. When the
period of his vow was fulfilled he was brought to the door of the
tabernacle, and was required to offer a he lamb for a burnt offering, a
ewe lamb for a sin offering, and a ram for a peace offering, with the
usual accompaniments of peace offerings, (Leviticus 7:12,13) and of the
offering made at the consecration of priests. (Exodus 29:2; Numbers 6:15)
He brought also a meat offering and a drink offering, which appear to have
been presented by themselves as a distinct act of service. ver. (Numbers
6:17) He was to cut off the hair of "the head of his separation "(that is,
the hair which had grown during the period of his consecration) at the
door of the tabernacle, and to put it into the fire under the sacrifice on
the altar. Of the Nazarites for life three are mentioned in the Scriptures
-- Samson, Samuel and St. John the Baptist. The only one of these actually
called a Nazarite is Samson. We do not know whether the vow for life was
ever voluntarily taken by the individual. In all the cases mentioned in
the sacred history, it was made by the parents before the birth of the
Nazarite himself. The consecration of the Nazarite bore a striking
resemblance to that of the nigh priest. (Leviticus 21:10-12) The meaning
of the Nazarite vow has been regarded in different lights. It may be
regarded as an act of self-sacrifice, That it was essentially a sacrifice
of the person to the Lord is obviously in accordance with the terms of the
law. (Numbers 6:2) As the Nazarite was a witness for the straitness of the
law, as distinguished from the freedom of the gospel, his sacrifice of
himself was a submission to the letter of the rule. Its outward
manifestations were restraints and eccentricities. The man was separated
from his brethren that he might be peculiarly devoted to the Lord. This
was consistent with the purpose of divine wisdom for the time for which it
was ordained.


NEAH


(shaking) a place which was one of the landmarks on the boundary of
Zebulun. (Joshua 19:13) only. It has not yet been certainly
identified.


NEAPOLIS


(new city) is the place in northern Greece where Paul and his
associates first landed in Europe. (Acts 16:11) where, no doubt, he landed
also on his second visit to Macedonia, (Acts 20:1) and whence certainly he
embarked on his last journey through that province to Troas and Jerusalem.
(Acts 20:6) Philippi being an inland town, Neapolis was evidently the
port, and is represented by the present Kavalla. (Kavalla is a
city of 5000 or 6000 inhabitants, Greeks and Turks. Neapolis was situated
within the bounds of Thrace, ten miles from Philippi, on a high rocky
promontory jutting out into the AEgean Sea, while a temple of Diana
crowned the hill-top. -- ED.)


NEARIAH


(servant of Jehovah).

  • One of the six sons of Shemaiah in the line of the royal family of
    Judah after the captivity. (1 Chronicles 3:22,23) (B.C. about 350.)

  • A son of Ishi, and one of the captains of the 500 Simeonites who in
    the days of Hezekiah, drove out the Amalekites from Mount Seir. (1
    Chronicles 4:42) (B.C. 715.)


NEBAI


(fruitful), a family of the heads of the people who signed the
covenant with Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 10:19)


NEBAIOTH, NEBAJOTH


(heights), the "first-born of Ishmael," (Genesis 25:13; 1
Chronicles 1:29) (B.C. about 1850), and father of a pastoral tribe named
after him, the "rams Of Nebaioth" being mentioned by the prophet Isaiah,
(Isaiah 60:7) with the; flocks of Kedar. From the days of Jerome: this
people had been identified with the Nabathaeans of Greek and Roman history
Petra was their capital. (They first settled in the country southeast of
Palestine, and wandered gradually in search of pasturage till they came to
Kedar, of which Isaiah speaks. Probably the Nebaioth of Arabia Petrea
were, as M. Quatremere argues the same people as the Nebat of Chaldea. --
McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia.)


NEBALLAT


(hidden folly), town of Benjamin, one of those which the Benjamites
reoccupied after the captivity. (Nehemiah 11:34)


NEBAT


(aspect), the father of Jeroboam, (1 Kings 11:26; 12:2,15) etc., is
described as an Ephrathite or Ephraimite of Zereda. (B.C. about 1000.)


NEBO


(prophet), Mount, the mountain from which Moses took his first and
last view of the promised land. (32:41; 34:1) It is described as in the
land of Moab, facing Jericho; the head or summit of a mountain called
Pisgah, which again seems to have formed a portion of the general range of
Abarim. (Notwithstanding the minuteness of this description, it is only
recently that any one has succeeded in pointing out any spot which answers
to Nebo. Tristram identifies it with a peak (Jebel Nebbah) of the Abarim
or Moab mountains, about three miles southwest of Heshban (Heshbon) and
about a mile and a half due west of Baal-meon. "It overlooks the mouth of
the Jordan, over against Jericho," (34:1) and the gentle slopes of its
sides may well answer to the "field of Zophim." (Numbers 23:14) Jebel
Nebbah is 2683 feet high. It is not an isolated peak but one of a
succession of bare turf-clad eminences, so linked together that the
depressions between them were mere hollows rather than valleys. It
commands a wide prospect. Prof. Paine, of the American Exploration
Society, contends that Jebel Nebbah, the highest point of the range, is
Mount Nebo, that Jebel Siaghah, the extreme headland of the hill, is Mount
Pisgah, and that "the mountains of Abarim "are the cliffs west of these
points, and descending toward the Dead Sea. Probably the whole mountain or
range was called sometimes by the name of one peak and sometimes by that
of another as is frequently the case with mountains now. -- ED.)


NEBO


  • A town of Reuben on the east side of Jordan. (Numbers 32:3,38) In the
    remarkable prophecy adopted by Isaiah, (Isaiah 15:2) and Jeremiah,
    (Jeremiah 48:1,26) concerning Moab, Nebo is mentioned in the same
    connection as before, but in the hands of Moab. Eusebius and Jerome
    identify it with Nobah or Kerrath, and place it eight miles South of
    Heshbon, where the ruins of el-Habis appear to stand at present.
    (Prof. Paine identifies it with some ruins on Mount Nebo, a mile south of
    its summit, and Dr. Robinson seems to agree with this. -- ED.)

  • The children of Nebo returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel. (Ezra
    2:29; 10:43; Nehemiah 7:33) The name occurs between Bethel and Ai and
    Lydda, which implies that it was situated in the territory of Benjamin to
    the northwest of Jerusalem. This is possibly the modern Beit-Nubah
    , about 12 miles northwest by west of Jerusalem, 8 from Lydda.

  • Nebo, which occurs both in Isaiah, (Isaiah 46:11) and Jeremiah,
    (Jeremiah 45:1) as the name of a Chaldean god, is a well known deity of
    the Babylonians and Assyrians. He was the god who presided over learning
    and letters. His general character corresponds to that of the Egyptian
    Thoth the Greek Hermes and the Latin Mercury. Astronomically he is
    identified with the planet nearest the sun. In Babylonia Nebo held a
    prominent place from an early time. The ancient town of Borsippa was
    especially under his protection, and the great temple here, the modern
    Birs-Nimrud, was dedicated to him from a very remote age. He was
    the tutelar god of the most important Babylonian kings, in whose names the
    word Nabu or Nebo appears as an element.


NEBUCHADNEZZAR, OR NEBUCHADREZZAR


(may Nebo protect the crown), was the greatest and most powerful of
the Babylonian kings. His name is explained to mean "Nebo is the protector
against misfortune." He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, the
founder of the Babylonian empire. In the lifetime of his father
Nebuchadnezzar led an army against Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt, defeated
him at Carchemish, B.C. 605, in a great battle (Jeremiah 46:2-12)
recovered Coele-Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, took Jerusalem, (Daniel
1:1,2) pressed forward to Egypt, and was engaged in that country or upon
its borders when intelligence arrived which recalled him hastily to
Babylon. Nabopolassar, after reigning twenty-one years, had died and the
throne was vacant. In alarm about the succession Nebuchadnezzar returned
to the capital, accompanied only by his light troops; and crossing the
desert, probably by way of Tadmor or Palmyra, reached Babylon before any
disturbance had arisen and entered peaceably on his kingdom, B.C. 604.
Within three years of Nebuchadnezzar's first expedition into Syria and
Palestine, disaffection again showed itself in those countries. Jehoiakim,
who, although threatened at first with captivity, (2 Chronicles 36:6) had
been finally maintained on the throne as a Babylonian vassal, after three
years of service "turned and rebelled" against his suzerain, probably
trusting, to be supported by Egypt. (2 Kings 24:1) Not long afterward
Phoenicia seems to have broken into revolt, and the Chaldean monarch once
more took the field in person, and marched first of all against Tyre.
Having invested that city and left a portion of his army there to continue
the siege, he proceeded against Jerusalem, which submitted without a
struggle. According to Josephus, who is here our chief authority,
Nebuchadnezzar punished Jehoiakim with death, comp. (Jeremiah 23:18,19)
and Jere 36:30 But placed his son Jehoiachin upon the throne. Jehoiachin
reigned only three months; for, on his showing symptoms of disaffection,
Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem for the third time, deposed the
son's prince whom he carried to Babylon, together with a large portion of
the population of the city and the chief of the temple treasures), and
made his uncle, Zedekiah, king in his room. Tyre still held out; and it
was not till the thirteenth year from the time of its first investment
that the city of merchants fell, B.C. 585. Ere this happened, Jerusalem
had been totally destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar had commenced the final siege
of Jerusalem in the ninth year of Zedekiah -- his own seventeenth year
(B.C. 588) -- and took it two years later, B.C. 586. Zedekiah escaped from
the city, but was captured near Jericho, (Jeremiah 39:5) and brought to
Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah in the territory of Hamath, where his eyes were
put out by the king's order while his sons and his chief nobles were
slain. Nebuchadnezzar then returned to Babylon with Zedekiah, whom he
imprisoned for the remainder of his life. The military successes of
Nebuchadnezzar cannot be traced minutely beyond this point. It may be
gathered from the prophetical Scriptures and from Josephus that the
conquest of Jerusalem was rapidly followed by the fall of Tyre and the
complete submission of Phoenicia, Ezek 26-28 after which the Babylonians
carried their arms into Egypt, and inflicted severe injuries on that
fertile country. (Jeremiah 46:13-26; Ezekiel 23:2-20) We are told that the
first care of Nebuchadnezzar, on obtaining quiet possession of his kingdom
after the first Syrian expedition, was to rebuild the temple of Bel
(Bel-Merodach) at Babylon out of the spoils of the Syrian war. The
next proceeded to strengthen and beautify the city, which he renovated
throughout and surrounded with several lines of fortifications, himself
adding one entirely new quarter. Having finished the walls and adorned the
gates magnificently, he constructed a new palace. In the grounds of this
palace he formed the celebrated "hanging garden," which the Greeks placed
among the seven wonders of the world. But he did not confine his efforts
to the ornamentation and improvement of his capital. Throughout the empire
at Borsippa, Sippara, Cutha, Chilmad, Duraba, Teredon, and a multitude of
other places, he built or rebuilt cities, repaired temples, constructed
quays, reservoirs, canals and aqueducts, on a scale of grandeur and
magnificence surpassing everything of the kind recorded in history unless
it be the constructions of one or two of the greatest Egyptian monarchs.
The wealth greatness and general prosperity of Nebuchadnezzar are
strikingly placed before us in the book of Daniel. Toward the close of his
reign the glory of Nebuchadnezzar suffered a temporary eclipse. As a
punishment for his pride and vanity, that strange form of madness was sent
upon him which the Greeks called Lycanthropy, wherein the sufferer
imagines himself a beast, and, quitting the haunts of men, insists on
leading the life of a beast. (Daniel 4:33) (This strange malady is thought
by some to receive illustration from an inscription; and historians place
at this period the reign of a queen to whom are ascribed the works which
by others are declared to be Nebuchadnezzar's. Probably his favorite wife
was practically at the head of affairs during the malady of her husband.
Other historians, Eusebius and Berosus also confirm the account. See
Rawlinson's "Historical Illustrations." -- ED.) After an interval of four
or perhaps seven years, (Daniel 4:16) Nebuchadnezzar's malady left him. We
are told that "his reason returned, and for the glory of his kingdom his
honor and brightness returned;" and he "was established in his kingdom,
and excellent majesty was added to him." (Daniel 4:36) He died in the year
B.C. 561, at an advanced age (eighty-three or eighty-four), having reigned
forty-three years. A son, Evilmerodach, succeeded him.


NEBUSHASBAN


(Nebo saves me), one of the officers of Nebuchadnezzar at the time
of the capture of Jerusalem. He was Rab-saris, i.e. a chief of the
eunuchs. (Jeremiah 39:13) Nebushasban's office and title were the same as
those of Ashpenaz, (Daniel 1:3) whom he probably succeeded.


NEBUZARADAN


(chief whom Nebo favors), the Rab-tabbachim i.e. chief of the
slaughterers (Authorized Version "captain of the guard"), a high officer
in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. On the capture of Jerusalem he was left by
Nebuchadnezzar in charge of the city. Comp. (Jeremiah 39:11) He seems to
have quitted Judea when he took down the chief people of Jerusalem to his
master at Riblah. (2 Kings 25:18-20) In four years he again appeared.
(Jeremiah 52:30) Nebuchadnezzar in his twenty-third year made a descent on
the regions east of Jordan, including the Ammonites and Moabites, who
escaped when Jerusalem was destroyed. Thence he proceeded to Egypt, and,
either on the way thither or on the return, Nebuzaradan again passed
through the country and carried off more captives. (Jeremiah 52:30)


NECHO


(lame). (2 Chronicles 35:20,22; 36:4) [PHARAOH-NECHO]


NEDABIAH


(whom Jehovah impels) apparently one of the sons of Jeconiah or
Jehoiachin, king of Judah. (1 Chronicles 3:18)


NEGINAH


(stringed instruments), the singular of Neginoth. If occurs in the
title of (Psalms 61:1) It is the general term by which all stringed
instruments are described. "The chief musician on Neginoth " was
therefore the conductor of that portion of the temple-choir who played
upon the stringed instruments, and who are mentioned in (Psalms 68:25)


NEGINOTH


[NEGINAH]


NEHELAMITE, THE


the designation of a man named Shemaiah, a false prophet, who went with
the captivity to Babylon. (Jeremiah 29:24,31,32) The name is no doubt
formed from that either of Shemaiah's native place or the progenitor of
his family which of the two is uncertain.


NEHEMIAH


(consolation of the Lord).

  • Son of Hachaliah, and apparently of the tribe of Judah. All that we
    know certainly concerning him is contained in the book which bears his
    name. We first find him at Shushan, the winter residence of the kings of
    Persia, in high office as the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes Longimanus. In
    the twentieth year of the king's reign, i.e. B.C. 445, certain Jews
    arrived from Judea, and gave Nehemiah a deplorable account of the state of
    Jerusalem. He immediately conceived the idea of going to Jerusalem to
    endeavor to better their state, and obtained the king's consent to his
    mission. Having received his appointment as governor of Judea, he started
    upon his journey, being under promise to return to Persia within a given
    time. Nehemiah's great work was rebuilding, for the first time since their
    destruction by Nebuzar-adan, the walls of Jerusalem, and restoring that
    city to its former state and dignity as a fortified town. To this great
    object therefore Nehemiah directed his whole energies without an hour's
    unnecessary delay. In a wonderfully short time the walls seemed to emerge
    from the heaps of burnt rubbish, end to encircle the city as in the days
    of old. It soon became apparent how wisely Nehemiah had acted in hastening
    on the work. On his very first arrival, as governor, Sanballat and Tobiah
    had given unequivocal proof of their mortification at his appointment; but
    when the restoration was seen to be rapidly progressing, their indignation
    knew no bounds. They made a great conspiracy to fall upon the builders
    with an armed force and put a stop to the undertaking. The project was
    defeated by the vigilance and prudence of Nehemiah. Various stratagems
    were then resorted to get Nehemiah away from Jerusalem and if possible to
    take his life; but that which most nearly succeeded was the attempt to
    bring him into suspicion with the king of Persia, as if he intended to set
    himself up as an independent king as soon as the walls were completed. The
    artful letter of Sanballat so-far wrought upon Artaxerxes that he issued a
    decree stopping the work till further orders. If is probable that at the
    same time he recalled Nehemiah, or perhaps his leave of absence had
    previously expired. But after a delay, perhaps of several years he was
    permitted to return to Jerusalem land to crown his work by repairing the
    temple and dedicating the walls. During his government Nehemiah firmly
    repressed the exactions of the nobles and the usury of the rich, and
    rescued the poor Jews from spoliation and slavery. He refused to receive
    his lawful allowance as governor from the people, in consideration of
    their poverty, during the whole twelve years that he was in office but
    kept at his own charge a table for 150 Jews, at which any who returned
    from captivity were welcome. He made most careful provision for the
    maintenance of the ministering priests and Levites and for the due and
    constant celebration of divine worship. He insisted upon the sanctity of
    the precincts of the temple being preserved inviolable, and peremptorily
    ejected the powerful Tobiah from one of the chambers which Eliashib had
    assigned to him. With no less firmness and impartiality he expelled from
    all sacred functions those of the high priest's family who had contracted
    heathen marriages, and rebuked and punished those of the common people who
    had likewise intermarried with foreigners; and lastly, he provided for
    keeping holy the Sabbath day, which was shamefully profaned by many both
    Jews and foreign merchants, and by his resolute conduct succeeded in
    repressing the lawless traffic on the day of rest. Beyond the
    thirty-second year of Artaxerxes, to which Nehemiah's own narrative leads
    us, we have no account of him whatever.

  • One of the leaders of the first expedition from Babylon to Jerusalem
    under Zerabbabel. (Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7)

  • Son of Azbuk and ruler of the half part of Beth-zur, who helped to
    repair the wall of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 3:18)


NEHEMIAH, THE BOOK OF


like the preceding one of Ezra, is clearly and certainly not all by the
same hand. [EZRA, BOOK OF, BOOK OF] By far the most important portion,
indeed is the work of Nehemiah but other portions are either extracts from
various chronicles and registers or supplementary narratives and
reflections, some apparently by Ezra, others, perhaps the work of the same
person who inserted the latest, genealogical extracts from the public
chronicles. The main history contained in the book of Nehemiah covers
about twelve years, viz., from the twentieth to the thirty-second year of
Artaxerxes Langimanus i.e. from B.C. 445 to 433. The whole narrative gives
us a graphic and interesting account of the state of Jerusalem and the
returned captives in the writer's times, and, incidentally, of the nature
of the Persian government and the condition of its remote provinces, The
book of Nehemiah has always had an undisputed place in the Canon, being
included by the Hebrews under the general head of the book of Ezra, and,
as Jerome tells us in the Prolog. Gal., by the Greeks and Latins under the
name of the second book of Ezra.


NEHILOTH


The title of (Psalms 5:1) in the Authorized Version is rendered "To the
chief musician upon Nehiloth." It is most likely that
nehiloth is the general term for perforated wind-instruments of all
kinds, as neginoth denotes all manner of stringed instruments.


NEHUM


(consolation), one of those who returned from Babylon with
Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 7:7)


NEHUSHTA


(brass), the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, wife of Jehoiakim
and mother of Jehoiachin, kings of Judah. (2 Kings 24:8) (B.C. 616.)


NEHUSHTAN


(a thing of brass), the name by which the brazen serpent made by
Moses in the wilderness, (Numbers 21:9) was worshipped in the time of
Hezekiah. (2 Kings 18:4) It is evident that our translators by their
rendering "and he called it Nehushtan" understood that the subject of the
sentence is Hezekiah and that when he destroyed the brazen serpent he gave
it the name Nehushtan "a brazen thing" in token of his utter contempt. But
it is better to understand the Hebrew as referring to the name by which
the serpent was generally known, the subject of the verb being indefinite
-- "and one called it ’Nehushtan.’"


NEIEL


(moved by God), a place which formed one of the landmarks of the
boundary of the tribe of Asher. (Joshua 19:27) only. It occurs between
Jiphthahel and Cabul. If the former of these be identified with
Jefat, and the latter with Kabul, eight or nine miles
east-southeast of Akka, then Neiel may possibly be represented by
Mi’ar, a village conspicuously placed on a lofty mountain
brow, just halfway between the two.


NEKEB


(cavern), one of the towns on the boundary of Naphtali. (Joshua
19:3) It lay between Adami and Jabneel. A great number of commentators
have taken this name as being connected with the preceding.


NEKODA


(distinguished).

  • The descendants of Nekoda returned among the Nethinim after the
    captivity. (Ezra 2:48; Nehemiah 7:50)

  • The sons of Nekoda were among those who went up after the captivity
    from Tel-melah, Tel-harsa, and other places, but were unable to prove
    their descent from Israel. (Ezra 2:60; Nehemiah 7:62)


NEMUEL


(day of God).

  • A Reubenite, son of Eliab and eldest brother of Dathan and Abiram.
    (Numbers 26:9)

  • The eldest son of Simeon, (Numbers 26:12; 1 Chronicles 4:24) from whom
    were descended the family of the Nemuelites. In (Genesis 46:10) he is
    called JERIUEL.


NEPHEG


(sprout).

  • One of the sons of Izhar the son of Kohath. (Esther 6:21)

  • One of David's sons born to him in Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 5:15; 1
    Chronicles 3:7; 14:6)


NEPHISH


(refreshed), an inaccurate variation (found in (1 Chronicles 1:19)
only) of the name Nephish.


NEPHISHESIM


(expansions). The children of Nephishesim were among the Nethinim
who returned with Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 7:62)


NEPHTHALIM


A form of the name Naphtali. (Job 7:3; Matthew 4:13,15; Revelation
7:6)


NEPHTOAH


(opening), The water of. The spring or source of the water
or (inaccurately) waters of Nephtoah was one of the landmarks in the
boundary line which separated Judah from Benjamin. (Joshua 15:9; 18:15) It
lay northwest of Jerusalem in which direction, it seems to have been
satisfactorily identified in Ain Lifta, a spring situated a little
distance above the village of the same name.


NEPHUSIM


(expansions), the same as Nephishesim, of which name according to
Gesenius it is the proper form. (Ezra 2:50)


NER


(a light or lamp), son of Jehiel, according to (1 Chronicles
8:33) father of Abner, and grandfather of King Saul. (B.C. 1140.) Abner
was, therefore, uncle to Saul, as is expressly stated in (1 Samuel
14:50)


NEREUS


(lamp), a Christian at Rome, saluted by St. Paul. (Romans 16:15)
According to tradition he was beheaded at Terracina, probably in the reign
of Nerva.


NERGAL


(hero), one of the chief Assyrian and Babylonian deities, seems to
have corresponded closely to the classical Mars. (2 Kings 17:30) It is
conjectured that he may represent the deified Nimrod.


NERGALSHAREZER


(prince of fire) occurs only in (Jeremiah 39:3) and Jere 39:13
There appear to have been two persons in the name among the "princes of
the king of Babylon" who accompanied Nebuchadnezzar on his last expedition
against Jerusalem. One of these is not marked by any additional title; but
the other has the honorable distinction of Rab-mag, probably meaning
chief of the Magi [see RAB-MAG], and it is to him alone that any
particular interest attaches. In sacred Scripture he appears among the
persons who, by command of Nebuchadnezzar, released Jeremiah from prison.
Profane history gives us reason to believe that he was a personage of
great importance, who not long afterward mounted the Babylonian throne. He
is the same as the monarch called Neriglissar or Neriglissor, who murdered
Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar and succeeded him upon the
throne. His reign lasted from B.C. 559, to B.C. 556.


NERI


short form for NERIAH (Jehovah is my lamp) son of Melchi and father
of Salathiel, in the genealogy of Christ.


NERIAH


(lamp of Jehovah), the son of Maaseiah and father of Baruch and
Seraiah.


NET


[See FISHING]


NETHANEEL


(given of God).

  • The son of Zuar and prince of the tribe of Issachar at the time of the
    exodus. (Numbers 1:8; 2:5; 7:18) (B.C. 1491.)

  • The fourth son of Jesse and brother of David. (1 Chronicles 2:14)

  • A priest in the reign of David who blew the trumpet before the ark
    when it was brought from the house of Obededom. (1 Chronicles 15:24) (B.C.
    1055.)

  • A Levite, father of Shemaiah the scribe, in the reign of David. (1
    Chronicles 24:6)

  • A son of Obed-edom. (1 Chronicles 26:4)

  • One of the princes of Judah whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach in the
    cities of his kingdom. (2 Chronicles 17:7) (B.C. 912.)

  • A chief of the Levites in the reign of Josiah. (2 Chronicles 35:9)
    (B.C. 628.)

  • A priest of the family of Pashur, in the time of Ezra, who married a
    foreign wife. (B.C. 458.)

  • The representative of the priestly family of Jedaiah in the time of
    Joiakim. (Nehemiah 12:21) (B.C. 446.)

  • A Levite, of the sons of Asaph, who with his brethren played upon the
    musical instruments of David at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem
    under Ezra and Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 12:36) (B.C. 446.)


NETHANIAH


(given of Jehovah).

  • The son of Elishama, and father of Ishmael who murdered Gedaliah. (2
    Kings 25:23,25) He was of the royal family of Judah. (B.C. 620.)

  • One of the four sons of Asaph the minstrel. (1 Chronicles 25:12) (B.C.
    1015.)

  • A Levite in the reign of Jehoshaphat. (2 Chronicles 17:8) (B.C.
    912.)

  • The father of Jehudi. (Jeremiah 36:14) (B.C. 638.)


NETHINIM


(given, dedicated), As applied specifically to a distinct body of
men connected with the services of the temple, this name first meets us in
the later books of the Old Testament -- in 1 Chronicles, Ezra and
Nehemiah, The word and the ideas embodied in it may, however, be traced to
a much earlier period. As derived from the verb nathan, i.e. give,
set apart, dedicate, it was applied to those who were pointed to the
liturgical offices of the tabernacle. We must not forget that the Levites
were given to Aaron and his sons, i.e. to the priests as an order, and
were accordingly the first Nethinim. (Numbers 3:9; 8:19) At first they
were the only attendants, and their work must have been laborious enough.
The first conquests, however, brought them their share of the captive
slaves of the Midianites and 320 were given to them as having charge of
the tabernacle, (Numbers 31:47) while 32 only were assigned specially to
the priests. This disposition to devolve the more laborious offices of
their ritual upon slaves of another race showed itself again in the
treatment of the Gibeonites. No addition to the number thus employed pears
to have been mad ring the period of the judges, and they continued to be
known by their own name as the Gibeonites. Either the massacre at Nob had
involved the Gibeonites as well as the priests, (1 Samuel 22:19) or else
they had fallen victims to some other outburst of Saul's fury; and though
there were survivors, (2 Samuel 21:2) the number was likely to be quite
inadequate for the greater stateliness of the new worship at Jerusalem. It
is to this period accordingly that the origin of the class bearing this
name may be traced. The Nethinim were those "whom David and the princes
appointed (Heb. gave) for the service of the Levites." (Ezra 8:20)
At this time the Nethinim probably lived within the precincts of the
temple, doing its rougher work and so enabling the Levites to take a
higher position as the religious representatives and instructors of the
people. The example set by David was followed by his successor.


NETOPHAH


(distillation), a town the name of which occurs only in the
catalogue of those who returned with Zerubbabel from the captivity. (Ezra
2:22; Nehemiah 7:26) 1 Esdr. 5:18. But, though not directly mentioned till
so late a period, Netophah was really a much older place. Two of David's
guard, (1 Chronicles 17:13,15) were Netophathites. The "villages of the
Neophathites" were the residence of the Levites. (1 Chronicles 9:16) From
another notice we learn that the particular Levites who inhabited these
villages were singers. (Nehemiah 12:28) To judge from (Nehemiah 7:26) the
town was in the neighborhood of, or closely connected with, Bethlehem.


NETOPHATHITE


an inhabitant of Neophah.


NETTLE


a well-known plant covered with minute sharp hairs; containing a poison
that produces a painful, stifling sensation. It grows on neglected ground.
A different Hebrew word in (Job 30:7; Proverbs 24:31; Zephaniah 2:9) seems
to indicate a different species.


NEW MOON


The first day of the lunar month was observed as a holy day. In addition
to the daily sacrifice there were offered two young bullocks, a ram and
seven lambs of the first year as a burnt offering, with the proper meat
offerings and drink offerings, and a kid as a sin offering. (Numbers
28:11-15) As on the Sabbath, trade and handicraft work were stopped, (Amos
8:5) and the temple was opened for public worship. (Isaiah 66:23; Ezekiel
46:3) The trumpets were blown at the offering of the special sacrifices
for the day, as on the solemn festivals. (Numbers 10:10; Psalms 81:3) It
was an occasion for state banquets. (1 Samuel 20:5-24) In later, if not in
earlier, times fasting was intermitted at the new moons. Judith 8:6. The
new moons are generally mentioned so as to show that they were regarded as
a peculiar class of holy days, distinguished from the solemn feasts and
the Sabbaths. (1 Chronicles 113:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; 31;3; Ezra
3:5; Nehemiah 10:33; Ezekiel 45:17) The seventh new moon of the religious
year, being that of Tisri, commenced the civil year, and had a
significance and rites of its own. It was a day of holy convocation. The
religious observance of the day of the new moon may plainly be regarded as
the consecration of a natural division of time.


NEW TESTAMENT


It is proposed in this article to consider the text of the New Testament.
The subject naturally divides itself into -- I. The history of the written
text; II. The history of the printed text. I. THE HISTORY OF THE WRITTEN
TEXT. --

  • The early history of the apostolic writings externally, as far as it
    can be traced, is the same as that of other contemporary books. St. Paul,
    like Cicero or Pliny often employed the services of an amanuensis, to whom
    he dictated his letters, affixing the salutation "with his own hand." (1
    Corinthians 16:21; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; Colossians 4:18) The original
    copies seem to have soon perished.

  • In the natural course of things the apostolic autographs would be
    likely to perish soon. The material which was commonly used for letters
    the papyrus paper, to which St. John incidentally alludes. (2 John 1:12)
    comp. 3Joh 1:13 Was singularly fragile, and even the stouter kinds, likely
    to be used for the historical books, were not fitted to bear constant use.
    The papyrus fragments which have come down to the present time have been
    preserved under peculiar circumstances as at Herculaneum or in the
    Egyptian tombs.

  • In the time of the Diocletian persecution, A.D. 303, copies of the
    Christian Scriptures were sufficiently numerous to furnish a special
    object for persecutors. Partly, perhaps, owing to the destruction thus
    caused, but still more from the natural effects of time. no MS. of the New
    Testament of the first three centuries remains but though no fragment of
    the New Testament of the first century still remains, the Italian and
    Egyptian papyri, which are of that date give a clear notion of the
    caligraphy of the period. In these the text is written in columns, rudely
    divided, in somewhat awkward capital letters (uncials), without any
    punctuation or division of words; and there is no trace of accents or
    breathings.

  • In addition to the later MSS. the earliest versions and patristic
    quotations give very important testimony to the character and history of
    the ante-Nicene text; but till the last quarter of the second century this
    source of information fails us. Only are the remains of Christian
    literature up to that time extremely scanty, but the practice of verbal
    quotation from the New Testament was not yet prevalent. As soon as
    definite controversies arose among Christians, the text of the New
    Testament assumed its true importance.

  • Several very important conclusions follow from this earliest
    appearance of textual criticism. It is in the first place evident that
    various readings existed in the books of the New Testament at a time prior
    to all extant authorities. History affords a trace of the pure apostolic
    originals. Again, from the preservation of the first variations noticed,
    which are often extremely minute, in one or more of the primary documents
    still left, we may be certain that no important changes have been made in
    the sacred text which we cannot now detect.

  • Passing from these isolated quotations, we find the first great
    witnesses to the apostolic text in the early Syriac and Latin versions and
    in the rich quotations of Clement of Alexandria (cir. A.D. 220) and Origen
    (A.D. 1842-4). From the extant works of Origen alone no inconsiderable
    portion of the whole New Testament might be transcribed; and his writings
    are an almost inexhaustible store house for the history of the text. There
    can be no doubt that in Origen's time the variations in the New Testament
    MSS. were beginning to lead to the formation of specific groups of
    copies.

  • The most ancient MSS. and versions now extant exhibit the
    characteristic differences which have been found to exist in different
    parts of the works of Origen. These cannot have had their source later
    than the beginning of the third century, and probably were much earlier.
    Bengel was the first (1734) who pointed out the affinity of certain groups
    of MSS., which as he remarks, must have arisen before the first versions
    were made. The honor of carefully determining the relations of critical
    authorities for the New Testament text belongs to Griesbach. According to
    him two distinct recensions of the Gospels existed at the beginning of the
    third century-the Alexandrine and the Western.

  • From the consideration of the earliest history of the New Testament
    text we now pass to the era of MSS. The quotations of Dionsius Alex. (A.D.
    264), Petrus Alex. (cir. A.D. 312), Methodius (A.D. 311) and Eusebius
    (A.D. 340) confirm the prevalence of the ancient type of tent; but the
    public establishment of Christianity in the Roman empire necessarily led
    to important changes. The nominal or real adherence of the higher ranks to
    the Christian faith must have largely increased the demand for costly MSS.
    As a natural consequence the rude Hellenistic forms gave way before the
    current Greek, and at the same time it is reasonable to believe that
    smoother and fuller constructions were substituted for the rougher turns
    of the apostolic language. In this way the foundation of the Byzantine
    text was laid. Meanwhile the multiplication of copies in Africa and Syria
    was checked by Mohammedan conquests.

  • The appearance of the oldest MSS. have been already described. The
    MSS. of the fourth century, of which Codex Vaticanus may be taken
    as a type present a close resemblance to these. The writing is in elegant
    continuous uncials (capitals), in three columns, without initial letters
    or iota subscript or adscript. A small interval serves as a
    simple punctuation; and there are no accents or breathings by the hand of
    the first writer, though these have been added subsequently. Uncial
    writing continued in general use till the middle of the tenth century.
    From the eleventh century downward cursive writing prevailed. The earliest
    cursive biblical MS, is dated 964 A.D. The MSS. of the fourteenth and
    fifteenth centuries abound in the contractions which afterward passed into
    the early printed books. The oldest MSS. are written on the thinnest and
    finest vellum; in later copies the parchment is thick and coarse. Papprus
    was very rarely used after the ninth century. In the tenth century cotton
    paper was generally employed in Europe; and one example at least occurs of
    its use in the ninth century. In the twelfth century the common linen or
    rag paper came into use. One other kind of material requires notice --
    re-dressed parchment, called palimpsests. Even at a very early
    period the original text of a parchment MS. was often erased, that the
    material might be used afresh. In lapse of time the original writing
    frequently reappeared in faint lines below the later text, and in this way
    many precious fragments of biblical MSS. which had been once obliterated
    for the transcription of other works, have been recovered.

  • The division of the Gospels into "chapters" must have come into
    general use some time before the fifth century. The division of the Acts
    and Epistles into chapters came into use at a later time. It is commonly
    referred to Euthalius, who, however, says that he borrowed the divisions
    of the Pauline Epistles from an earlier father and there is reason to
    believe that the division of the Acts and Catholic Epistles which he
    published was originally the work of Pamphilus the martyr. The Apocalypse
    was divided into sections by Andreas of Caesarea about A.D. 500. The
    titles of the sacred books are from their nature additions to the original
    text. The distinct names of the Gospels imply a collection, and the titles
    of the Epistles are notes by the possessors, and not addresses by the
    writers.

  • Very few MSS. certain the whole New Testament -- twenty-seven in all
    out of the vast mass of extant documents. Besides the MSS. of the New
    Testament, or of parts of it, there are also lectionaries, which contain
    extracts arranged for the church services.

  • The number of uncial MSS. remaining. though great when compared with
    the ancient MSS. extent of other writings, is inconsiderable. Tischendorf
    reckons forty in the Gospels. In these must be added Cod. Sinait.,
    which is entire; a new MS. of Tischendorf, which is nearly entire; and
    Cod. Zacynth., Which contains considerable fragments of St. Luke. In the
    Acts there are nine: in the Catholic Epistles five; in the Pauline
    Epistles fourteen; in the Apocalypse three.

  • A complete description these MSS. is given In the great critical
    editions of the New Testament. Here those only can be briefly noticed
    which are of primary importance, the first place being given to the
    latest-discovered and most complete Codex Sinaiticus -- the Cod.
    Frid. Aug.
    of LXX. at St. Petersburg, obtained by Tischendorf from the
    convent of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, in 1859. The New Testament is
    entire, and the Epistle of Bamabas and parts of the Shepherd of Hermas are
    added. It is probably the oldest of the MSS. of the New Testament and of
    the fourth century. Codex Alexandrinus (Brit. Mus.), a MS. of the
    entire Greek Bible, with the Epistles of Clement added. It was given-by
    Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles I. in 1628, and is
    now in the British Museum. It contains the whole of the New Testament,
    with some chasms. It was probably written in the first half of the fifth
    century. Codex Vaticanus (1209) a MS. of the entire Greek Bible
    which seems to have been in the Vatican Library almost from its
    commencement (cir. A.D. 1450). It contains the New Testament entire to
    (Hebrews 9:14) katha : the rest of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the
    Pastoral Epistles and the Apocalypse were added in the fifteenth century.
    The MS. is assigned to the fourth century. Codex Ephraemi
    rescriptus
    (Paris, Bibl, Imp. 9), a palimpsest MS. which
    contains fragments of the LXX. and of every part of the New Testament. In
    the twelfth century the original writing was effaced and some Greek
    writings of Ephraem Syrus were written over it. The MS was brought to
    Florence from the East at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and came
    thence to Paris with Catherine Deuteronomy Medici. The only entire books
    which have perished are 2 Thess. and 2 John.

  • The number of the cursive MSS. (minuscules) in existence cannot be
    accurately calculated. Tischendorf catalogues about 500 of the Gospels,
    200 of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, 250 of the Pauline Epistles, and a
    little less than 100 of the Apocalypse (exclusive of lectionaries); but
    this enumeration can only be accepted as a rough approximation,

  • Having surveyed in outline the history of the transmission of the
    written text and the chief characteristics of the MSS. in which it is
    preserved, we are in a position to consider the extent and nature of the
    variations which exist in different copies. It is impossible to estimate
    the number of these exactly, but they cannot be less than 120,000 in all,
    though of these a very large proportion consists of differences of
    spelling and isolated aberrations of scribes and of the remainder
    comparatively few alterations are sufficiently well supported to create
    reasonable doubt as to the final judgment. Probably there are not more
    than 1600-2000 places in which the true reading is a matter of
    uncertainty.

  • Various causes: readings are due to some arose from accidental, others
    from intentional alterations of the original text.

  • Other variations are due to errors of sight. Others may be described
    as errors of impression or memory. The copyist, after
    reading a sentence from the text before him, often failed to reproduce it
    exactly. Variations of order are the most frequent and very commonly the
    most puzzling questions of textual criticism. Examples occur in every
    page, almost in every verse, of the New Testament.

  • Of intentional changes some affect the expression, others the
    substance of the passage.

  • The number of readings which seem to have been altered for distinctly
    dogmatic reasons is extremely small. In spite of the great revolutions in
    thought, feeling and practice through which the Christian Church passed In
    fifteen centuries, the copyists of the New Testament faithfully preserved,
    according to their ability, the sacred trust committed to them. There is
    not any trace of intentional revision designed to give support to current
    opinions. (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29; 1 Corinthians 7:5) need scarcely be
    noticed.

  • The great mass of various readings are simply variations in form.
    There are, however, one or two greater variations of a different
    character. The most important of these are (Mark 16:9) and John 7:53 ...
    8:12; Roma 16:25-27 The first stands quite by itself and there seems to be
    little doubt that it contains an authentic narrative but not by the hand
    of St. John. The two others taken in connection with the last chapter of
    St. John's Gospel, suggest the possibility that the apostolic writings may
    have undergone in some cases authoritative revision.

  • Manuscripts, it must be remembered, are but one of the three sources
    of textual criticism. The versions and patristic quotations are scarcely
    less important in doubtful cases. II. THE HISTORY OF THE PRINTED TEXT. --
    The history of the printed text of the New Testament may be these divided
    into three periods. The extends from the labors of the Complutensian
    errors to those of Mill; the second from Mill to Scholz; the third from
    Lachmann to the present time. The criticism of the first period was
    necessarily tentative and partial: the materials available for the
    construction of the text were few and imperfectly known. The second period
    made a great progress: the evidence of MSS. of versions, of the fathers,
    was collected with the greatest diligence and success; authorities were
    compared and classified; principles of observation and judgment were laid
    down. But the influence of the former period still lingered. The third
    period was introduced by the declaration of a new and sounder law. It was
    laid down that no right of possession could be pleaded against evidence,
    The "received" text, as such, was allowed no weight whatever. Its
    authority, on this view, must depend solely on critical worth. From first
    to last, in minute details of order and orthography, as well as in graver
    questions of substantial alteration, the text must be formed by a free and
    unfettered judgment. The following are the earliest editions:

  • The Complutensian Polyglot.-The glory of printing the first
    Greek Testament is due to the princely Cardinal Ximenes. This great
    prelate as early as 1502 engaged the services of a number of scholars to
    superintend an edition of the whole Bible in the original Hebrew and
    Greek, with the addition of the Chaldee Targum of Onkelos, the LXX.
    version and the Vulgate. The volume containing the New Testament was
    Printed first, and was completed on January 10, 1524. The whole work was
    not finished till July 10, 1517. (It was called Complutensian
    because it was printed at Complutum, in Spain. -- ED.)

  • The edition of Erasmus. -- The edition of Erasmus was the
    first published edition of the New Testament. Erasmus had paid
    considerable attention to the study of the New Testament, when he received
    an application from Froben, a Printer of Basle with whom he was
    acquainted, to prepare a Greek text for the press. The request was made on
    April 17, 1515 and the whole work was finished in February, 1516.

  • The edition of Stephens. -- The scene of our history now
    changes from Basle to Paris. In 1543, Simon Deuteronomy Colines:
    (Colinaeus) published a Greek text of the New Testament, corrected in
    about 150 places on fresh MS. authority. Not long after it appeared, R.
    Estienne (Stephanus) published his first edition (1546), which was based
    on a collation of MSS, in the Royal Library with the Complutensian
    text.

  • The editions of Beta and Elzevir. -- The Greek text of Beta
    (dedicated to Queen Elizabeth) was printed by H. Stephens in 1565 and a
    second edition in 1576; but the chief edition was the third, printed in
    1582, which contained readings from Codez Bezae and Codex
    Clarontontanus
    . The literal sense of the apostolic, writings must be
    gained in the same way as the literal sense of any other writings-by the
    fullest use of every appliance of scholarship, and the most complete
    confidence in the necessary and absolute connection of words and thoughts.
    No variation of phrase, no peculiarity of idiom, no change of tense, no
    change of order, can be neglected. The truth lies in the whole expression,
    and no one can presume to set aside any part as trivial or indifferent.
    The importance of investigating most patiently and most faithfully the
    literal meaning of the sacred text must be felt with tenfold force when it
    is remembered that the literal sense is the outward embodiment of a
    spiritual sense, which lies beneath and quickens every part of Holy
    Scripture, BIBLE]


NEW YEAR


[TRUMPETS, FEAST OF FEAST OF]


NEZIAH


(pre-eminent). The descendants of Neziah were among the Nethinim
who returned with Zerubbabel, (Ezra 2:54; Nehemiah 7:56) (B.C.536.)


NEZIB


(garrison, pillar), a city of Judah, (Joshua 15:43) only, in the
district of the Shefelah or lowland, one of the same group with Keilah and
Mareshah. To Eusebius and Jerome it was evidently known. They place it on
the road between Eleutheropolis and Hebron, seven or nine miles from the
former, and there it still stands under the almost identical name of
Beit Nusib or Chirbeh Nasib.


NIBHAZ


(the barker), a deity of the Avites, introduced by them into
Samaria in the time of Shalmaneser. (2 Kings 17:31) The rabbins derived
the name from a Hebrew root nabach, "to bark," and hence assigned
to it the figure of a dog, or a dog-headed man. The Egyptians worshipped
the dog. Some indications of this worship have been found in Syria, a
colossal figure of a dog having formerly stood at a point between Berytus
and Tripolis.


NIBSHAN


(soft soil) one of the six cities of Judah, (Joshua 15:62) which
were in the district of the Midbar (Authorized Version "wilderness").


NICANOR


(conqueror).

  • Son of Patroclus, 2 Macc. 8:9, a general who was engaged in the Jewish
    wars under Antiochus Epiphanes and Demetrius I. 1 Macc. 3:38; 4; 7:26,49.
    (B.C. 160.)

  • One of the first seven deacons. Acts 6:5.


NICODEMUS


(conqueror of the people), a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews and a
teacher of Israel, (John 3:1,10) whose secret visit to our Lord was the
occasion of the discourse recorded only by St. John. In Nicodemus a noble
candor and a simple love of truth shine out in the midst of hesitation and
fear of man. He finally became a follower of Christ, and came with Joseph
of Arimathaea to take down and embalm the body of Jesus.


NICOLAITANS


(followers of Nicolas), a sect mentioned in (Revelation 2:6,15)
whose deeds were strongly condemned. They may have been identical with
those who held the doctrine of Balaam. They seem to have held that it was
lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication, in
opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in (Acts 15:20,29) The
teachers of the Church branded them with a name which expressed their true
character. The men who did and taught such things were followers of
Balaam. (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11) They, like the false prophet of Pethor,
united brave words with evil deeds. In a time of persecution, when the
eating or not eating of things sacrificed to idols was more than ever a
crucial test of faithfulness, they persuaded men more than ever that was a
thing indifferent. (Revelation 2:13,14) This was bad enough, but there was
a yet worse evil. Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts,
they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the
Christian Church. And all this was done, it must be remembered not simply
as an indulgence of appetite: but as a part of a system, supported by a
"doctrine," accompanied by the boast of a prophetic illumination, (2 Peter
2:1) It confirms the view which has been taken of their character to find
that stress is laid in the first instance on the "deeds" of the
Nicolaitans. To hate those deeds is a sign of life in a Church that
otherwise is weak and faithless. (Revelation 2:6) To tolerate them is well
nigh to forfeit the glory of having been faithful under persecution.
(Revelation 2:14,15)


NICOLAS


(victor of the people), (Acts 6:5) a native of Antioch and a
proselyte to the Jewish faith. When the church was still confined to
Jerusalem, he became a convert and being a man of honest report full of
the Holy Ghost and of wisdom, he was chosen by the whole multitude of the
disciples to be one of the first seven deacons, and was ordained by the
apostles. There is no reason except the simplicity of name for identifying
Nicolas with the sect of Nicolaitans which our Lord denounces, for the
traditions on the subject are of no value.


NICOPOLIS


(city of victory) is mentioned in (Titus 3:12) as the place where
St. Paul was intending to pass the coming winter. Nothing is to be found
in the epistle itself to determine which Nicopolis is here intended. One
Nicopolis was in Thrace, near the borders of Macedonia. The subscription
(which, however, is of no authority) fixes on this place, calling it the
Macedonian Nicopolis. But there is little doubt that Jerome's view is
correct, and that the Pauline Nicopolis was the celebrated city of Epirus.
This city (the "city of victory") was built by Augustus in memory the
battle of Actium. It was on a peninsula, to the west of the bay of
Actium.


NIGER


(black) is the additional or distinctive name given to the Simeon
who was one of the teachers and prophets in the church at Antioch. (Acts
13:1)


NIGHT


[DAY]


NIGHTHAWK


The Hebrew word so translated, (Leviticus 11:10; 14:15) probably denotes
some kind of owl.


NILE


(blue, dark), the great river of Egypt. The word Nile nowhere
occurs in the Authorized Version but it is spoken of under the names of
Sihor [SIHOR] and the "river of Egypt." (Genesis 15:18) We cannot as yet
determine the length of the Nile, although recent discoveries have
narrowed the question. There is scarcely a doubt that its largest
confluent is fed by the great lakes on and south of the equator. It has
been traced upward for about 2700 miles, measured by its course, not in a
direct line, and its extent is probably over 1000 miles more. (The course
of the river has been traced for 3300 miles. For the first 1800 miles
(McClintock and Strong say 2300) from its mouth it receives no tributary;
but at Kartoom, the capital of Nubia, is the junction of the two great
branches, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, so called from the color of
the clay which tinges their waters. The Blue Nile rises in the mountains
of Abyssinia and is the chief source of the deposit which the Nile brings
to Egypt. The White Nile is the larger branch. Late travellers have found
its source in Lake Victoria Nyanza, three degrees south of the equator.
From this lake to the mouth of the Nile the distance is 2300 miles in a
straight line -- one eleventh the circumference of the globe. From the
First Cataract, at Syene, the river flows smoothly at the rate of two or
three miles an hour with a width of half a mile. to Cairo. A little north
of Cairo it divides into two branches, one flowing to Rosetta and the
other to Damietta, from which place the mouths are named. See Bartlett's
"Egypt and Palestine," 1879. The great peculiarity of the river is its
annual overflow, caused by the periodical tropical rains. "With wonderful
clock-like regularity the river begins to swell about the end of June,
rises 24 feet at Cairo between the 20th and 30th of September and falls as
much by the middle of May. Six feet higher than this is devastation; six
feet lower is destitution." -- Bartlett. So that the Nile
increases one hundred days and decreases one hundred days, and the
culmination scarcely varies three days from September 25 the autumnal
equinox. Thus "Egypt is the gift of the Nile." As to the cause of the
years of plenty and of famine in the time of Joseph, Mr. Osburn, in his
"Monumental History of Egypt," thinks that the cause of the seven years of
plenty was the bursting of the barriers (and gradually wearing them away)
of "the great lake of Ethiopia," which once existed on the upper Nile,
thus bringing more water and more sediment to lower Egypt for those years.
And he shows how this same destruction of this immense sea would cause the
absorption of the waters of the Nile over its dry bed for several years
after thus causing the famine. There is another instance of a seven-years
famine-A.D. 1064-1071. -- ED.) The great difference between the Nile of
Egypt in the present day and in ancient times is caused by the failure of
some of its branches and the ceasing of some of its chief vegetable
products; and the chief change in the aspect of the cultivable land, as
dependent on the Nile, is the result of the ruin of the fish-pools and
their conduits and the consequent decline of the fisheries. The river was
famous for its seven branches, and under the Roman dominion eleven were
counted, of which, however, there were but seven principal ones. The
monuments and the narratives of ancient writers show us in the Nile of
Egypt in old times a stream bordered By flags and reeds, the covert of
abundant wild fowl, and bearing on its waters the fragrant flowers of the
various-colored lotus. Now in Egypt scarcely any reeds or waterplants --
the famous papyrus being nearly, if not quite extinct, and the lotus
almost unknown -- are to he seen, excepting in the marshes near the
Mediterranean. Of old the great river must have shown a more fair and busy
scene than now. Boats of many kinds were ever passing along it, by the
painted walls of temples and the gardens that extended around the light
summer pavilions, from the pleasure,valley, with one great square sail in
pattern and many oars, to the little papyrus skiff dancing on the water
and carrying the seekers of pleasure where they could shoot with arrows or
knock down with the throw-stick the wild fowl that abounded among the
reeds, or engage in the dangerous chase of the hippopotamus or the
crocodile. The Nile is constantly before us in the history of Israel in
Egypt.


NIMRAH


(limpid, pure), a place mentioned by this name in (Numbers 32:3)
only. If it is the same as BETU-NIMRAH, ver. 36, it belonged to the tribe
of Gad. It was ten miles north of the Dead Sea and three miles east of the
Jordan, in the hill of Nimrim.


NIMRIM


(limpid, pure), The waters of, a stream or brook within the
country of Moab, which is mentioned in the denunciations of that nation by
Isaiah. (Isaiah 15:6) and Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 48:34) We should perhaps
look for the site of Nimrim in Moab proper, i.e. on the southeastern
shoulder of the Dead Sea.


NIMROD


(rebellion; or the valiant), a son of Cush and grandson of Ham. The
events of his life are recorded in (Genesis 10:8) ff., from which we learn
(1) that he was a Cushite; (2) that he established an empire in Shinar
(the classical Babylonia) the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad and
Calneh; and (3) that he extended this empire northward along the course of
the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals,
Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah and Resen.


NIMSHI


(rescued), the grandfather of Jehu, who is generally called "the
son of Nimshi." (1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 9:2; 14,20; 2 Chronicles 22:7)


NINEVEH


(abode of Ninus), the capital of the ancient kingdom and empire of
Assyria. The name appears to be compounded from that of an Assyrian deity
"Nin," corresponding, it is conjectured, with the Greek Hercules, and
occurring in the names of several Assyrian kings, as in "Ninus," the
mythic founder, according to Greek tradition of the city. Nineveh is
situated on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, 50 miles from its mouth
and 250 miles north of Babylon. It is first mentioned in the Old Testament
in connection with the primitive dispersement and migrations of the human
race. Asshur, or according to the marginal reading, which is generally
preferred, Nimrod is there described, (Genesis 10:11) as extending his
kingdom from the land of Shinar or Babylonia, in the south, to Assyria in
the north and founding four cities, of which the most famous was Nineveh.
Hence Assyria was subsequently known to the Jews as "the land of Nimrod,"
cf. (Micah 5:6) and was believed to have been first peopled by a colony
from Babylon. The kingdom of Assyria and of the Assyrians is referred to
in the Old Testament as connected with the Jews at a very early period, as
in (Numbers 24:22,24) and Psal 83:8 But after the notice of the foundation
of Nineveh in Genesis no further mention is made of the city until the
time of the book of Jonah, or the eighth century B.C. In this book no
mention is made of Assyria or the Assyrians, the king to whom the prophet
was sent being termed the "king of Nineveh," and his subjects "the people
of Nineveh." Assyria is first called a kingdom in the time of Menahem,
about B.C. 770. Nahum (? B.C. 645) directs his prophecies against Nineveh;
only once against the king of Assyria. ch. (Nahum 3:18) In (2 Kings 19:36)
and Isai 37:37 The city is first distinctly mentioned as the residence of
the monarch. Sennacherib was slain there when worshipping in the temple of
Nisroch his god. Zephaniah, about B.C. 630, couples the capital and the
kingdom together, (Zephaniah 2:13) and this is the last mention of Nineveh
as an existing city. The destruction of Nineveh occurred B.C. 606. The
city was then laid waste, its monuments destroyed and its inhabitants
scattered or carried away into captivity. It never rose again from its
ruins. This total disappearance of Nineveh is fully confirmed by the
records of profane history. The political history of Nineveh is that of
Assyria, of which a sketch has already been given. [ASSYRIA, ASSHUR]
Previous to recent excavations and researches, the ruins which occupied
the presumed site of Nineveh seemed to consist of mere shapeless heaps or
mounds of earth and rubbish. Unlike the vast masses of brick masonry which
mark the site of Babylon, they showed externally no signs of artificial
construction, except perhaps here and there the traces of a rude wall of
sun-dried bricks. Some of these mounds were of enormous dimensions,
looking in the distance rather like natural elevations than the work of
men's hands. They differ greatly in form, size and height. Some are mere
conical heaps, varying from 50 to 150 feet high; others have a broad flat
summit, and very precipitous cliff-like sites furrowed by deep ravines
worn by the winter rains. The principal ruins are -- (1) The group
immediately opposite Mosul, including the great mounds of Kouyunjik
and Nebbi Yunus ; (2) that near the junction of the Tigris and Zab
comprising the mounds of Nimroud and Athur ; (3)
Khorsabad, about ten miles to the east of the former river; (4)
Shereef Khan, about 5 1/2 miles to the north Kouyunjik; and (5)
Selamiyah, three miles to the north of Nimroud.
Discoveries. -- The first traveller who carefully examined the
supposed site of Nineveh was Mr. Rich formerly political agent for the
East India Company at Bagdad; but his investigations were almost entirely
confined to Kouyunjik and the surrounding mounds of which he made a survey
in 1820. In 1843 M. Botta, the French consul at Mosul, fully explored the
ruins. M. Botta's discoveries at Khorsabad were followed by those of Mr.
Layard at Nimroud and Kouyunjik, made between the years 1846 and 1850.
(Since then very many and important discoveries have been made at Nineveh,
more especially those by George Smith, of the British Museum. He has
discovered not only the buildings, but the remains of fin ancient library
written on stone tablets. These leaves or tablets were from an inch to 1
foot square, made of terra-cotta clay, on which when soft the inscriptions
were written; the tablets were then hardened and placed upon the walls of
the library rooms, so as to cover the walls. This royal library contained
over 10,000 tablets. It was begun by Shalmaneser B.C. 860; his successors
added to it, and Sardanapalus (B.C. 673) almost doubled it. Stories or
subjects were begun on tablets, and continued on tablets of the same size
sometimes to the number of one hundred. Some of the most interesting of
these give accounts of the creation and of the deluge and all agree with
or confirm the Bible. -- ED.) Description of remains. -- The
Assyrian edifices were so nearly alike in general plan, construction an
decoration that one description will suffice for all, They were built upon
artificial mounds or platforms, varying in height, but generally from 30
to 50 feet above the level of the surrounding country, and solidly
constructed of regular layers of sun-dried bricks, as at Nimroud, or
consisting merely of earth and rubbish heaped up, as at Kouyunjik. This
platform was probably faced with stone masonry, remains probable which
were discovered at Nimroud, and broad flights of steps or inclined ways
led up to its summit. Although only the general plan of the ground-floor
can now be traced, it is evident that the palaces had several stories
built of wood and sun-dried bricks, which, when the building was deserted
and allowed to fall to decay, gradually buried the lower chambers with
their ruins, and protected the sculptured slabs from the effects of the
weather. The depth of soil and rubbish above the alabaster slabs varied
from a few inches to about 20 feet. It is to this accumulation of rubbish
above them that the bas-reliefs owe their extraordinary preservation. The
portions of the edifices still remaining consist of halls, chambers and
galleries, opening for the most part into large uncovered courts. The wall
above the wainscoting of alabaster was plastered, and painted with figures
and ornaments. The sculptured, with the exception of the human headed
lions and bulls, were for the most part in low relief, The colossal
figures usually represent the king, his attendants and the gods; the
smaller sculptures, which either cover the whole face of the slab or are
divided into two compartments by bands of inscriptions, represent battles
sieges, the chase single combats with wild beasts, religious ceremonies,
etc., etc. All refer to public or national events; the hunting-scenes
evidently recording the prowess and personal valor of the king as the head
of the people -- "the mighty hunter before the Lord." The sculptures
appear to have been painted, remains of color having been found on most of
them. Thus decorated without and within, the Assyrian palaces must have
displayed a barbaric magnificence, not, however, devoid of a certain
grandeur and beauty which probably no ancient or modern edifice has
exceeded. These great edifices, the depositories of the national records,
appear to have been at the same time the abode of the king and the temple
of the gods. Prophecies relating to Nineveh, and illustrations of the
Old Testament
. These are exclusively contained in the books of Nahum
and Zephaniah. Nahum threatens the entire destruction of the city, so that
it shall not rise again from its ruins. The city was to be partly
destroyed by fire. (Nahum 3:13,16) The gateway in the northern wall of the
Kouyunjik enclosure had been destroyed by fire as well as the palaces. The
population was to be surprised when unprepared: "while they are drunk as
drunkards they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry " (Nahum 1:10)
Diodorus states that the last and fatal assault was made when they were
overcome with wine. The captivity of the inhabitants and their removal to
distant provinces are predicted. (Nahum 3:18) The fullest and the most
vivid and poetical picture of Nineveh's ruined and deserted condition is
that given by Zephaniah, who probably lived to see its fall. (Zephaniah
2:13-15) Site of the city. -- much diversity of opinion exists as
to the identification of the ruins which may be properly included within
the site of ancient Nineveh. According to Sir H. Rawlinson and those who
concur in his interpretation of the cuneiform characters, each group of
mounds already mentioned represents a separate and distinct city. On the
other hand it has been conjectured, with much probability, that these
groups of mounds are not ruins of separate cities, but of fortified royal
residences, each combining palaces, temples, propylaea, gardens and parks,
and having its peculiar name; and that they all formed part of one great
city built and added to at different periods, sad consisting of distinct
quarters scattered over a very large and frequently very distant one from
the other. Thus the city would be, as Layard says, in the form of a
parallelogram 18 to 20 miles long by 12 to 14 wide; or, as Diodorus
Siculus says, 55 miles in circumference. Writing and language. --
The ruins of Nineveh have furnished a vast collection of inscriptions
partly carved on marble or stone slabs and partly impressed upon bricks
anti upon clay cylinders, or sixsided and eight-sided prisms, barrels and
tablets, which, used for the purpose when still moist, were afterward
baked in a furnace or kilo. Comp. (Ezekiel 4:4) The character employed was
the arrow-headed or cuneiform -- so called from each letter being formed
by marks or elements resembling an arrow-head or a wedge. These inscribed
bricks are of the greatest value in restoring the royal dynasties. The
most important inscription hitherto discovered in connection with biblical
history is that upon a pair of colossal human-headed bulls from Kouyunjik,
now in the British Museum, containing the records of Sennacherib, and
describing, among other events, his wars with Hezekiah. It is accompanied
by a series of bas-reliefs believed to represent the siege and capture of
Lachish. A list of nineteen or twenty kings can already be compiled, and
the annals of the greater number of them will probably be restored to the
lost history of one of the most powerful empires of the ancient world. and
of one which appears to have exercised perhaps greater influence than any
other upon the subsequent condition and development of civilized man. The
people of Nineveh spoke a Shemitic dialect, connected with the Hebrew and
with the so called Chaldee of the books of Daniel and Ezra. This agrees
with the testimony of the Old Testament.


NINEVITES


the inhabitants of Nineveh. (Luke 11:30)


NISAN


[MONTH]


NISROCH


(the great eagle) an idol of Nineveh, in whose temple Sennacherib
was worshipping when assassinated by his sons, Adrammelech and Shizrezer.
(2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38) This idol is identified with the
eagle-headed human figure, which is one of the most prominent on the
earliest Assyrian monuments, and is always represented as contending with
and conquering the lion or the bull.


NITRE


Mention of this substance is made in (Proverbs 25:20) -- "and as vinegar
upon nitre" -- and in (Jeremiah 2:26) The article denoted is not that
which we now understand by the term nitre i.e. nitrate of Potassa
-- "saltpetre" -- but the nitrum of the Latins and the natron or native
carbonate of soda of modern chemistry. Natron was and still is used by the
Egyptians for washing linen. The value of soda in this respect is well
known. This explains the passage in Jeremiah. Natron is found In great
abundance in the well-known soda lakes of Egypt.


NO


[NO-AMON]


NO-ADIAH


(whom Jehovah meets).

  • A Levite, son of Binnui who with Meremoth, Eleazar and Jozabad weighed
    the vessels of gold and silver belonging to the temple which were brought
    back from Babylon. (Ezra 8:33) (B.C. 459.)

  • The prophetess Noadiah joined Sanballet and Tobiah in their attempt to
    intimidate Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 6:14) (B.C. 445.)


NOAH


(rest), the tenth in descent from Adam, in the line of Seth was the
son of Lamech and grandson of Methuselah. (B.C. 2948-1998.) We hear
nothing of Noah till he is 500 years old when It is said he begat three
sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. In consequence of the grievous and hopeless
wickedness of the world at this time, God resolved to destroy it. Of
Noah's life during this age of almost universal apostasy we are told but
little. It is merely said that he was a righteous man and perfect in his
generations (i.e. among his contemporaries), and that he, like Enoch,
walked with God. St. Peter calls him "a preacher of righteousness." (2
Peter 2:5) Besides this we are merely told that he had three: sons each of
whom had married a wife; that he built the ark in accordance with divine
direction; end that he was 600 years old when the flood came. (Genesis
6:7) The ark. -- The precise meaning of the Hebrew word
(tebah) is uncertain. The word occurs only in Genesis and in
(Exodus 2:3) In all probability it is to the old Egyptian that we are to
look for its original form. Bunsen, in his vocabulary gives tba,
"a chest," tpt, "a boat," and in the Coptic version of (Exodus
2:3,5) thebi is the rendering of tebah. This "chest" or
"boat" was to be made of gopher (i.e. cypress) wood, a kind of timber
which both for its lightness and its durability was employed by the
Phoenicians for building their vessels. The planks of the ark, after being
put together were to be protected by a coating of pitch, or rather
bitumen, both inside and outside, to make it water-tight, and perhaps also
as a protection against the attacks of marine animals. The ark was to
consist of a number of "nests" or small compartments, with a view, no
doubt, to the convenient distribution of the different animals and their
food. These were to be arranged in three tiers, one above another; "with
lower, second and third (stories) shalt thou make it." Means were also to
be provided for letting light into the ark. There was to be a door this
was to be placed in the side of the ark. Of the shape of the ark nothing
is said, but its dimensions are given. It was to be 300 cubits in length,
50 in breadth and 30 in height. Taking 21 inches for the cubit, the ark
would be 525 feet in length, 87 feet 6 inches in breadth and 52 feet 6
inches in height. This is very considerably larger than the largest
British man-of-war, but not as large as some modern ships. It should be
remembered that this huge structure was only intended to float on the
water, and was not in the proper sense of the word a ship. It had neither
mast, sail nor rudder it was in fact nothing but an enormous floating
house, or rather oblong box. The inmates of the ark were Noah and his wife
and his three sons with their wives. Noah was directed to take also
animals of all kinds into the ark with him, that they might be preserved
alive. (The method of speaking of the animals that were taken into the ark
"clean" and "unclean," implies that only those which were useful to man
were preserved, and that no wild animals were taken into the ark; so that
there is no difficulty from the great number of different species of
animal life existing in the word. -- ED.) The flood. -- The ark
was finished, and all its living freight was gathered into it as a place
of safety. Jehovah shut him in, says the chronicler, speaking of Noah; and
then there ensued a solemn pause of seven days before the threatened
destruction was let loose. At last the before the threatened destruction
was flood came; the waters were upon the earth. A very simple but very
powerful and impressive description is given of the appalling catastrophe.
The waters of the flood increased for a period of 190 days (40+150,
comparing) (Genesis 7:12) and Genesis7:24 And then "God remembered Noah"
and made a wind to pass over the earth, so that the waters were assuaged.
The ark rested on the seventeenth day of the seventh month on the
mountains of Ararat. After this the waters gradually decreased till the
first day of the tenth month, when the tops of the mountains were seen but
Noah and his family did not disembark till they had been in the ark a year
and a month and twenty days. Whether the flood was universal or partial
has given rise to much controversy; but there can be no doubt that it was
universal, so far as man was concerned: we mean that it extended to all
the then known world. The literal truth of the narrative obliges
us to believe that the whole human race, except eight persons,
perished by the flood. The language of the book of Genesis does not compel
us to suppose that the whole surface of the globe was actually covered
with water, if the evidence of geology requires us to adopt the hypothesis
of a partial deluge. It is natural to suppose it that the writer, when he
speaks of "all flesh," "all in whose nostrils was the breath of life"
refers only to his own locality. This sort of language is common enough in
the Bible when only a small part of the globe is intended. Thus, for
instance, it is said that "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph
to buy corn and that" a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all
the world
should be taxed." The truth of the biblical narrative is
confirmed by the numerous traditions of other nations, which have
preserved the memory of a great and destructive flood, from which but a
small part of mankind escaped. They seem to point back to a common centre
whence they were carried by the different families of man as they wandered
east and west. The traditions which come nearest to the biblical account
are those of the nations of western Asia. Foremost among these is the
Chaldean. Other notices of a flood may be found in the Phoenician
mythology. There is a medal of Apamea in Phrygia, struck as late as the
time of Septimius Severus, in which the Phrygian deluge is commemorated.
This medal represents a kind of a square vessel floating in the water.
Through an opening in it are seen two persons, a man and a woman. Upon the
top of this chest or ark is perched a bird, whilst another flies toward it
carrying a branch between its feet. Before the vessel are represented the
same pair as having just, quitted it and got upon the dry land. Singularly
enough, too, on some specimens of this medal the letters NO or
NOE have been found on the vessel, as in the cut on p. 454. (Tayler
Lewis deduces the partial extent of the flood from the very face of the
Hebrew text." "Earth," where if speaks of "all the earth," often is, and
here should be, translated "land," the home of the race, from which there
appears to have been little inclination to wander. Even after the flood
God had to compel them to disperse. "Under the whole heavens" simply
includes the horizon reaching around "all the land" the visible horizon.
We still use the words in the same sense and so does the Bible. Nearly all
commentators now agree on the partial extent of the deluge. If is probable
also that the crimes and violence of the previous age had greatly
diminished the population, and that they would have utterly exterminated
the race had not God in this way saved out some good seed from their
destruction. So that the flood, by appearing to destroy the race, really
saved the world from destruction . -- ED.) (The scene of the deluge
-- Hugh Miller, in his "Testimony of the Rocks," argues that there is a
remarkable portion of the globe, chiefly on the Asiatic continent, though
it extends into Europe, and which is nearly equal to all Europe in extent,
whose rivers (some of them the Volga, Oural, Sihon, Kour and the Amoo, of
great size) do not fall into the ocean, but, on the contrary are all
turned inward, losing themselves in the eastern part of the tract, in the
lakes of a rainless district in the western parts into such seas as the
Caspian and the Aral. In this region there are extensive districts still
under the level of the ocean. Vast plains white with salt and charged with
sea-shells, show that the Caspian Sea was at no distant period greatly
more extensive than it is now. With the well-known facts, then, before us
regarding this depressed Asiatic region, let us suppose that the human
family, still amounting to several millions, though greatly reduced by
exterminating wars and exhausting vices, were congregated in that tract of
country which, extending eastward from the modern Ararat to far beyond the
Sea of Aral, includes the original Caucasian centre of the race. Let us
suppose that, the hour of judgment having arrived, the land began
gradually to sink (as the tract in the Run of Cutch sank in the year 1819)
equably for forty days at the rate of about 400 feet per day a rate not
twice greater than that at which the tide rises in the Straits of
Magellan, and which would have rendered itself apparent as but a
persistent inward flowing of the sea. The depression, which, by extending
to the Euxine Sea and the Persian Gulf on the one hand and the Gulf of
Finland on the other, would open up by three separate channels the
"fountains of the great deep," and which included an area of 2000 miles
each way, would, at the end of the fortieth day, be sunk in its centre to
the depth of 16,000 feet, -- sufficient to bury the loftiest mountains of
the district; and yet, having a gradient of declination of but sixteen
feet per mile, the contour of its hills and plains would remain apparently
what they had been before, and the doomed inhabitants would, but the water
rising along the mountain sides, and one refuge after another swept away.
-ED.) After the Flood. -- Noah's great act after he left the ark
was to build an altar and to offer sacrifices. This is the first altar of
which we read in Scripture, and the first burnt sacrifice. Then follows
the blessing of God upon Noah and his sons. Noah is clearly the head of a
new human family, the representative of the whole race. It is as such that
God makes his covenant with him; and hence selects a natural phenomenon as
the sign of that covenant. The bow in the cloud, seen by every nation
under heaven, is an unfailing witness to the truth of God. Noah now for
the rest of his life betook himself to agricultural pursuits. It is
particularly noticed that he planted a vineyard. Whether in ignorance of
its properties or otherwise we are not informed, but he drank of the juice
of the grape till he became intoxicated and shamefully exposed himself in
his own tent. One of sons, Ham, mocked openly at his father's disgrace.
The others, with dutiful care and reverence, endeavored to hide it. When
he recovered from the effects of his intoxication, he declared that a
curse should rest upon the sons of Ham. With the curse on his youngest son
was joined a blessing on the other two. After this prophetic blessing we
hear no more of the patriarch but the sum of his years, 950.


NOAH


(motion), one of the five daughters of Zelophehad. (Numbers 26:33;
27:1; 36:11; Joshua 17:3) (B.C. 1450.)


NO-AMON


(temple of Amon) (Nahum 3:8) No, (Jeremiah 46:25; Ezekiel 30:14,16)
a city of Egypt, better known under the name of Thebes or Diospolis Magna,
the ancient and splendid metropolis of upper Egypt The second part of the
first form as the name of Amen, the chief divinity of Thebes,
mentioned or alluded to in connection with this place in Jeremiah. There
is a difficulty as to the meaning of No. It seems most reasonable to
suppose that No is a Shemitic name and that Amen is added in Nahum (l.c.)
to distinguish Thebes from some other place bearing the same name or on
account of the connection of Amen with that city. The description of
No-amon as "situated among the rivers, the waters round about it" (Nah.
l.c.), remarkably characterizes Thebes. (It lay on both sides of the Nile,
and was celebrated for its hundred gates, for its temples, obelisks,
statues. etc. It was emphatically the city of temples, in the ruins of
which many monuments of ancient Egypt are preserved, The plan of the city
was a parallelogram, two miles from north to south and four from east to
west, but none suppose that in its glory if really extended 33 miles along
both aides of the Nile. Thebes was destroyed by Ptolemy, B.C. 81, and
since then its population has dwelt in villages only. -- ED.)


NOB


(high place) (1 Samuel 22:19; Nehemiah 11:32) a sacerdotal city in
the tribe of Benjamin and situated on some eminence near Jerusalem. It was
one of the places where the ark of Jehovah was kept for a time during the
days of its wanderings. (2 Samuel 6:1) etc. But the event for which Nob
was most noted in the Scripture annals was a frightful massacre which
occurred there in the reign of Saul. (1 Samuel 22:17-19)


NOBAH


(barking), an Israelite warrior, (Numbers 32:42) who during the
conquest of the territory on the east of Jordan possessed himself of the
town of Kenath and the villages or hamlets dependent upon it, and gave
them his own name. (B.C.1450.) For a certain period after the
establishment of the Israelite rule the new name remained, (Judges 8:11)
but it is not again heard of, and the original appellation, as is usual in
such cases, appears to have recovered its hold, has since retained; for in
the slightly-modified form of Kunawat it is the name of the place
to the present day.


NOD


(flight), the land to which Cain fled after the murder of Abel.
[CAIN]


NODAB


(nobility), the name of an Arab tribe mentioned only in (1
Chronicles 6:19) in the account of the war of the Reubenites against the
Hagarites. vs. 9-22. It is probable that Nodab, their ancestor, was the
son of Ishmael, being mentioned with two of his other sons in the passage
above cited, and was therefore a grandson of Abraham.


NOGAH


(brightness), one of the thirteen sons of David who were born to
him in Jerusalem, (1 Chronicles 3:7; 14:6) (B.C. 1050-1015.)


NOHAH


(rest), the fourth son of Benjamin. (1 Chronicles 8:2)


NON


(fish). Nun, the father of Joshua. (1 Chronicles 7:27)


NOPH


[MEMPHIS]


NOPHA


(blast), a place mentioned only in (Numbers 21:30) in the
remarkable song apparently composed by the Amorites after their conquest
of Heshbon from the Moabites, and therefore of an earlier date than the
Israelite invasion. It is named with Dibon and Medeba, and was possibly in
the neighborhood of Heshbon. A name very similar to Nophah is Nobah, which
is twice mentioned. Ewald decides that Nophah is identical with the latter
of these.


NOSE-JEWEL


(Genesis 24:22; Exodus 35:22) "earing;" (Isaiah 3:21; Ezekiel 16:12)
"jewel on the forehead," a ring of metal, sometimes of gold or silver,
passed usually through the right nostril, and worn by way of ornament by
women in the East. Upon it are strung beads, coral or jewels. In Egypt it
is now almost confined to the lower classes.


NUMBER


Like most Oriental nations, it is probable that the Hebrews in their
written calculations made use of the letters of the alphabet. That they
did so in post-Babylonian times we have conclusive evidence in the
Maccabaean coins; and it is highly probable that this was the ease also in
earlier times. But though, on the one hand, it is certain that in all
existing MSS of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament the numerical
expressions are written at length, yet, on the other, the variations in
the several versions between themselves and from the Hebrew text, added to
the evident inconsistencies in numerical statement between certain
passages of that text itself seems to prove that some shorter mode of
writing was originally in vogue, liable to be misunderstood, and in fact
misunderstood by copyists and translators. These variations appear to have
proceeded from the alphabetic method of writing numbers. There can be
little doubt, however, that some at least of the numbers mentioned in
Scripture are intended to be representative rather than determinative.
Certain numbers, as 7,10,40,100, were regarded as giving the idea of
completeness. Without entering into St. Augustine's theory of this usage,
we may remark that the notion of representative numbers in certain cases
is one extremely common among eastern nations, who have a prejudice
against counting their possessions accurately; that it enters largely into
many ancient systems of chronology, and that it is found in the
philosophical and metaphysical speculations not only of the Pythagorean
and other ancient schools of philosophy, both Greek and Roman, but also in
those of the later Jewish writers, of the Gnostics, and also of such
Christian writers se St. Augustine himself. We proceed to give some
instances of numbers used, (a) representatively, and thus probably by
design indefinitely, or, (b) definitely, but, as we may say,
preferentially, i.e. because some meaning (which we do not in all cases
understand) was attached to them.

  • Seven as denoting either plurality or completeness, perhaps
    because seven days completed the week is so frequent as to make a
    selection only of instances necessary, e.g. seven fold (Genesis
    4:24) seven times, i.e. completely, (Leviticus 26:24; Psalms 12:6)
    seven (i.e. many) ways, (28:25)

  • Ten as a preferential number is exemplified in the Ten
    Commandments and the law of tithe.

  • Seventy, as compounded of 7 X 10, appears frequently e.g.
    seventy fold. (Genesis 4:24; Matthew 18:22) Its definite use appears in
    the offerings of 70 shekels, (Numbers 7:13,19) ff,; the 70 elders, ch.
    (Numbers 11:16) 70 Years of captivity. (Jeremiah 25:11)

  • Five appears in the table of punishments, of legal
    requirements, (Exodus 22:1; Leviticus 5:16; 22:14; 27:15; Numbers 5:7;
    18:16) and in the five empires of Daniel. (Daniel 2:1) ...

  • Four is used in reference to the 4 winds, (Daniel 7:2) and the
    so-called 4 corners of the earth; the creatures, each with 4 wings and 4
    faces, of Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 1:5) ff.; 4 Rivers of Paradise (Genesis 2:10)
    4 Beasts, (Daniel 7:1) ... and Reve 4:6 The 4 equal-sided temple-chamber.
    (Ezekiel 40:47)

  • Three was regarded, by both the Jews and other nations as a
    specially complete and mystic number.

  • Twelve (3X4) appears in 12 tribes 12 stones in the high
    priest's breastplate, 12 apostles, 12 foundation-stones, and 12 gates.
    (Revelation 21:19-21)

  • Lastly, the mystic number 666. (Revelation 13:18)


NUMBERS


the fourth book of the law or Pentateuch. It takes its name in the LXX.
and Vulgate (whence our "Numbers") from the double numbering or census of
the people, the first of which is given in chs. 1-4, and the second in ch.
28. Contents. -- The book may be said to contain generally the
history of the Israelites from the time of their leaving Sinai, in the
second year after the exodus till their arrival at the borders of the
Promised land in the fortieth year of their journeyings It consists of the
following principal divisions: 1, The Preparations for the departure from
Sinai. (Numbers 1:1; Numbers 10:10)

  • The journey from Sinai to the borders of Canaan. ch. (Numbers 10:11;
    Numbers 14:45)

  • A brief notice of laws and events which transpired during the
    thirty-seven years wandering in the wilderness. ch. (Numbers 15:1; Numbers
    19:22)

  • The history of the last year, from the second arrival of the
    Israelites in Kadesh till they reached "the plains of Moab by Jordan near
    Jericho." ch, (Numbers 20:1; Numbers 36:13) Integrity. -- This,
    like the other books of the Pentateuch, is supposed by many critics to
    consist of a compilation from two or three or more earlier documents; but
    the grounds on which this distinction of documents rests are in every
    respect most unsatisfactory, and it may, in common with the preceding
    books and Deuteronomy, be regarded as the work of Moses. The book of
    Numbers is rich in fragments of ancient poetry, some of them of great
    beauty and all throwing an interesting light on the character of the times
    in which they were composed. Such, for instance, is the blessing of the
    high priest. ch. (Numbers 6:24-26) Such too are chants which were the
    signal for the ark to move when the people journeyed, and for it to rest
    when they were about to encamp. In ch. 21 we have a passage cited from a
    book called the "Book of the Wars of Jehovah." This was probably a
    collection of ballads and songs composed on different occasions by the
    watch-fires of the camp, and for the most part, though not perhaps
    exclusively, in commemoration of the victories of the Israelites over
    their enemies.


NUN


(fish, or posterity), the father of the Jewish captain
Joshua. (Exodus 33:11) etc. His genealogical descent from Ephraim is
recorded in (1 Chronicles 7:1) ... (B.C. before 1530.)


NURSE


In ancient times the position of the nurse, wherever one was maintained,
was one of much honor sad importance. See (Genesis 24:59; 36:8; 2 Samuel
4:4; 2 Kings 11:2) The same term is applied to a foster-father or mother,
e.g. (Numbers 11:12; Ruth 4:16; Isaiah 49:23)


NUTS


are mentioned among the good things of the things which the sons of Israel
were to take as a present to Joseph in Egypt. (Genesis 43:11) There can
scarcely be a doubt that the Hebrew word, here denotes the fruit of the
pistachio tree (Pistacia vera), for Syria and Palestine have been
long famous. In (Solomon 6:11) a different Hebrew word is translated
"nuts." In all probability it here refers to the walnut tree.
According to Josephus the walnut tree was formerly common and grew most
luxuriantly around the Lake of Gennesareth.


NYMPHAS


(bridegroom), a wealthy and zealous Christian in Laodicea.
(Colossians 4:15) (A.D. 60.)


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