Smith's Bible Dictionary - R

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(horse's mane), a son of Cush and father of the Cushite Sheba and
Dedan. (Genesis 10:7) (B.C. after 2513.) The tribe of Raamah became
afterward renowned as traders. (Ezekiel 27:22) They were settled on the
Persian Gulf.


(thunder of Jehovah), one of the chiefs who returned with
Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 7:7) In (Ezra 2:2) he is called REELAIAH. (B.C.


(Exodus 1:11) [RAMESES, OR RAAMSES]



  • A very strong place on the east of the Jordan, and the chief city of
    the Ammonites. In five passages -- (3:11; 2 Samuel 12:26; 17:27; Jeremiah
    49:2; Ezekiel 21:20) -- it is styled at length Rabbath of the Ammonites,
    or the children of Ammon; but elsewhere, (Joshua 13:25; 2 Samuel 11:1;
    12:27,29; 1 Chronicles 20:1; Jeremiah 49:3) simply Rabbah. When first
    named it is mentioned as containing the bed or sarcophagus of the giant
    Og. (3:11) David sent Joab to besiege Rabbah. (2 Samuel 11:1,17) etc. Joab
    succeeded in capturing a portion of the place -- the "city of waters,"
    that is, the lower town so called from its containing the perennial stream
    which rises in and still flows through it. The citadel still remained to
    be taken, but this was secured shortly after David's arrival. (2 Samuel
    12:26-31) Long after, at the date of the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar,
    (Jeremiah 49:2,3) it had walls and palaces. It is named in such terms as
    to imply that it was of equal importance with Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 21:20)
    From Ptolemy Philadelphus (B.C. 285-247) it received the name of
    Philadelphia. It was one of the cities of the Decapolis, and became the
    seat of a Christian bishop. Its ruins, which are considerable are found at
    Ammon about 22 miles from the Jordan. It lies in a valley which is
    a branch, or perhaps the main course, of the Wady Zerka usually
    identified with the Jabbok. The public buildings are said to be Roman,
    except the citadel, which is described as of large square stones put
    together without cement, and which is probably more ancient than the

  • A city of Judah named with Kirjath-jearim in (Joshua 15:60) only. No
    trace of its existence has yet been discovered.




and Rabbath of the Ammonites, [See RABBATH]


a title of respect signifying master, teacher, given by the Jews
to their doctors and teachers, and often addressed to our Lord. (Matthew
23:7,8; 26:25,49; Mark 9:6; 11:21; 14:45; John 1:38,49; 3:2,26; 4:31;
6:25; 9:2; 11:8) Another form of the title was Rabboni. (John 20:16) The
titles were used with different degrees of honor; the lowest being rab,
master then rabbi, my master ; next rabban, our
; and greatest of all, Rabboni, my great master.


(multitude) a town in the territory, perhaps on the boundary, of
Issachar. (Joshua 18:20) only.


(John 30:18) [RABBI]


(Jeremiah 39:3,13) a title borne by Nergal-sharezer, probably identical
with the king called by the Greeks Neriglissar. [NERGAL-SHAREZER] (it
probably means chief of the magi ; at all events it was "an office
of great power and dignity at the Babylonian court, and probably gave its
possessor special facilities for gaining the throne.")


(chief of the eunuchs).

  • An officer of the king of Assyria sent up with Tartan and Rabshakeh
    against Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah. (2 Kings 18:17) (B.C.

  • One of the princes of Nebuchadnezzar, who was present at the capture
    of Jerusalem, B.C. 588. (Jeremiah 39:3,13) Rabsaris is probably rather the
    name of an office than of an individual.


(chief cupbearer), (2 Kings 19:1; Isaiah 36:1; Isaiah 37:1) ... one
of the officers of the king of Assyria sent against Jerusalem in the reign
of Hezekiah. [HEZEKIAH] (B.C. 713.) The English version takes Rabshakeh as
the name of a person; but it is more probably the name of the office which
he held at the court, that of chief cupbearer.


a term of reproach derived from the Chaldee reka, worthless.
("Raca denotes a certain looseness of life and manners, while
’fool,’ in the same passage, means a downright wicked and
reprobate person.") (Matthew 5:22)




Rahab the harlot. (Matthew 1:15)


(trade), (1 Samuel 30:29) a town in the southern part of the tribe
of Judah, one of the towns to which David sent presents out of the spoil
of the Amalekites.


(ewe, or sheep), the younger of the daughters of Laban, the wife of
Jacob (B.C. 1753) and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. The incidents of her
life may be found in Genesis29-33, 35. The story of Jacob and Rachel has
always had a peculiar interest. The beauty of Rachel, Jacob's deep love
and long servitude for her, their marriage, and Rachel's death on giving
birth to Benjamin, with Jacob's grief at her loss, (Genesis 48:7) makes a
touching tale. Yet from what is related to us concerning her character
there does not seem much to claim any high degree of admiration and
esteem. She appears to have shared all the duplicity and falsehood of her
family. See, for instance, Rachel's stealing her father's images, and the
ready dexterity and presence of mind with which she concealed her theft.
(Genesis 31:1) ... "Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath,
which is Bethlehem. (B.C. 1729.) And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave;
that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day." (Genesis 35:19,20)
The site of Rachel's tomb, "on the way to Bethlehem," "a little way to
come to Ephrath," "in the border of Benjamin," never been questioned. It
Is about two miles south of Jerusalem and one mile north of Bethlehem.


(trampling), one of David's brothers, fifth son of Jesse. (1
Chronicles 2:14)


one of the ancestors of our Lord, son of Peleg. (Luke 3:35) He is the same
person with Reu, son of Peleg.


an important city in northeastern Media, where that country bordered its
ruins, still known by the name of Rhey, lie about five miles
southeast of Teheran.


(friend of God).

  • Probably the same as Jethro. [JETHRO; HOBAB] (B.C. 1490.)

  • A pious Jew of "Ecbatane, a of Media," father of Sara, the wife of
    Tobias. Tob. 3:7,17, etc.


(wide), a celebrated woman of Jericho who received the spies sent
by Joshua to spy out the land, hid them in her house from the pursuit of
her countrymen, was saved with all her family when the Israelites sacked
the city, and became the wife of Salmon and the ancestress of the Messiah.
(Joshua 2:1; Matthew 1:5) (B.C. 1450.) She was a "harlot", and probably
combined the trade of lodging-keeper for wayfaring men. Her reception of
the spies, the artifice by which she concealed them from the king: their
escape, and the saving of Rahab and her family at the capture of the city
in accordance with their promise, are fold in the narrative of (Joshua
2:1) ... As regards Rahab herself, she probably repented, and we learn
from (Matthew 1:5) that she became the wife of Salmon the son of Naasson,
and the mother of Boaz, Jesse's grandfather. The author of the Epistle to
the Hebrews tells us that "by faith the harlot Rahab perished not with
them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace,"
(Hebrews 11:31) and St. James fortifies his doctrine of justification by
works by asking, "Was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she
had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" (James


a poetical name of Egypt, (Psalms 89:10; Isaiah 51:9) signifying
"fierceness, insolence, pride." Rahab, as a name of Egypt, occurs once
only without reference to the exodus: this is in (Psalms 87:4) In (Isaiah
30:7) the name is alluded to.


(belly). In the genealogy of the descendants of Caleb the son of
Hezron, (1 Chronicles 2:44) Raham is described as the son of Shema and
father of Jorkoam.


the original form in our Authorized Version of the now familiar Rachel.
(Jeremiah 31:15)


In the Bible "early rain" signifies the rain of the autumn, (11:14) and
"latter rain" the rain of spring. (Proverbs 16:1,5) For six months in the
year, from May to October, no rain falls, the whole land becomes dry,
parched and brown. The autumnal rains are eagerly looked for, to prepare
the earth for the reception of the seed. These, the early rains, commence
about the latter end of October continuing through November and December.
January and February are the coldest months, and snow falls, sometimes to
the depth of a foot or more, at Jerusalem, but it does not lie long; it is
very seldom seen along the coast and in the low plains. Rain continues to
fall more or less during the month of March it is very rare in April.
Robinson observes that there are not, at the present day, "any particular
periods of rain or succession of showers which might be regarded as
distinct rainy seasons. The whole period from October to March now
constitutes only one continued season of rain, without any
regularly-intervening term of prolonged fine weather. Unless therefore,
there has been some change in the climate, the early and the latter rains,
for which the husbandman waited with longing, seem rather to hare implied
the first showers of autumn -- which revived the parched and thirsty soil
and prepared it for the seed -- and the later showers of spring, which
continued to refresh and forward both the ripening crops and the vernal
products of the fields." (James 5:7; Proverbs 16:15)


the token of the covenant which God made with Noah when he came forth from
the ark that the waters should no more become a flood to destroy all
flesh. The right interpretation of (Genesis 9:13) seems to be that God
took the rainbow, which had hitherto been but a beautiful object shining
in the heavens when the sun's rays fell on falling rain, and consecrated
it as the sign of his love and the witness of his promise. Ecclus. 43:11.
The rainbow is a symbol of God's faithfulness and mercy. In the "rainbow
around the throne," (Revelation 4:3) is seen the symbol of hope and the
bright emblem of mercy and love, all the more true as a symbol because it
is reflected from the storm itself.




(flower garden), a descendant of Machir the son of Manasseh. (1
Chronicles 7:16) (B.C. before 1451.)


(shore), a fortified city in the tribe of Naphtali. (Joshua 19:35)
It was on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, not far from the warm
baths of Tiberias.


(the temple) (of the head), a well-watered place in the inheritance
of Dan, not fur from Joppa. (Joshua 19:46)




(high, exalted).

  • A son of Hezron and the father of Ammin-adab, born in Egypt after
    Jacob's migration there. (Ruth 4:19) (B.C. 1706.) In (Matthew 1:3,4) and
    Luke 3:33 He is called ARAM in the Authorized Version, but RAM in the
    Revised Version of (Matthew 1:3,4) and ARNI in the Revised Version of
    (Luke 3:33)

  • The first-born of Jerahmeel, and therefore nephew of the preceding. (1
    Chronicles 3:25,27) (B.C. after 1706.)

  • One of the kindred of Elihu. (Job 32:2) Ewald identified this Ram with
    ARAM in (Genesis 22:21)


(Matthew 2:15) referring to (Jeremiah 31:15) It is the Greek form of


(a hill). This is the name of several places in the holy land.

  • One of the cities of the allotment of Benjamin. (Joshua 18:25) Its
    site is at er-Ram, about five miles from Jerusalem, and near to
    Gibeah. (Judges 4:5; 19:13; 1 Samuel 22:6) Its people returned after the
    captivity. (Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30)

  • The home of Elkanah, Samuel's father, (1 Samuel 1:19; 2:11) the
    birthplace of Samuel himself, his home and official residence, the site of
    his altar ch. (1 Samuel 7:17; 8:4; 15:34; 16:13; 19:18) and finally his
    burial-place, ch. (1 Samuel 25:1; 28:3) It is a contracted form of
    Ramathaim-zophim. All that is directly said as to its situation is that it
    was in Mount Ephraim, (1 Samuel 1:1) a district without defined
    boundaries, The position of Ramah is a much-disputed question. Tradition,
    however places the residence of Samuel on the lofty and remarkable
    eminence of Neby Samwil which rises four miles to the northwest of
    Jerusalem. Since the days of Arcult the tradition appears to have been
    continuous. Here, then, we are inclined in the present state of the
    evidence, to place the Ramah of Samuel.

  • One of the nineteen fortified places of Naphtali. (Joshua 19:36) Dr.
    Robinson has discovered a Rameh northwest of the Sea of Galilee, about 8
    miles east-south-east of Safed.

  • One of the landmarks on the boundary of Asher, (Joshua 19:29)
    apparently between Tyre and Zidon. Some place it 3 miles east of Tyre,
    others 10 miles off and east-southeast of the same city.

  • By this name in (2 Kings 8:29) and 2Chr 22:6 only, is designated

  • A place mentioned in the catalogue of those reinhabited by the
    Benjamites after their return from the captivity. (Nehemiah 11:33)


(hill of the jawbone, or hill of Lehi), the name bestowed
by Samson on the scene of his slaughter of the thousand Philistines with
the jaw bone, (Judges 15:17) a place by the rock Elam, in western Judah of
the Philistines.


(high place of the watch-tower). [RAMOTH-GILEAD]


one of the towns at the extreme south limit of Simeon. (Joshua 19:8) It is
in all probability the same place as south Ramoth. (1 Samuel 30:27)


(the two heights of the watchers). [RAMAH, 2]


Shimei the Ramathite, i.e. a native of Ramah, had charge of the royal
vineyards of King David. (1 Chronicles 27:27) (B.C. 1050.)


(child of the sun), a city and district of lower Egypt. (Genesis
47:11; Exodus 12:37; Numbers 33:3,5) This land of Rameses either
corresponds to the land of Goshen or was a district of it, more probably
the former. The city was one of the two store-cities built for the Pharaoh
who first oppressed the children of Israel. (Exodus 1:11) (It was probably
the capital of Goshen and situated in the valley of the Pelusiac mouth of
the Nile. McClintock and Strong say that its location is indicated by the
present Tell Ramsis, a quadrangular mound near Belbeis. Dr.
Brugsch thinks that it was at Zoan-Tanis, the modern San, on the Tanitic
branch of the Nile, and that it was built or enlarged by Rameses II and
made his capital. -- ED.)


one who had taken "a strange wife." (Ezra 10:25)


(heights of Gilead), one of the great fastnesses on the east of
jordan, and the key to an important district. (1 Kings 4:13) It was the
city of refuge for the tribe of Gad, (4:43; Joshua 20:8; 21:38) and the
residence of one of Solomon's commissariat officers. (1 Kings 4:13) During
the invasion related in (1 Kings 15:20) or some subsequent incursion, this
important place had seized by Ben-hadad I., king of Syria. The incidents
of Ahab's expedition are well known. [AHAB] Later it was taken by Israel,
and held in spite of all the efforts of Hazael who was now on the throne
of Damascus, to regain it. (2 Kings 9:14) Henceforward Ramoth-gilead
disappears from our view. Eusebius and Jerome specify the position of
Ramoth as 15 miles from Philadelphia (Amman). It may correspond to
the site bearing the name of Jel’ad, exactly identical with
the ancient Hebrew Gilead, which is four or five miles north of
es-Salt, 25 miles east of the Jordan and 13 miles south of the
brook Jabbok.





  • Son of Binea, among the descendants of Saul. (1 Chronicles 8:37)

  • One of Benjamin's descendants. (1 Chronicles 8:2)


(the divine healer). According to Jewish tradition, Raphael was one
of the four angels which stood round the throne of God -- Michael, Uriel,
Gabriel, Raphael.


a city of Gilead, 1 Macc. 15:37 perhaps identical with Raphana, which is
mentioned by Pliny as one of the cities of the Decapolis.


the father of Palti, the Benjamite spy. (Numbers 13:9) (B.C. before


(black). The Hebrew oreb is applied to the several species
of the crow family, a number of which are found in Palestine. The raven
belongs to the order Insessores, family Corvidae. (It
resembles the crow, but is larger weighing three pounds; its black color
is more iridescent, and it is gifted with greater sagacity. "There is
something weird and shrewd in the expression of the raven's countenance, a
union of cunning and malignity which may have contributed to give it among
widely-revered nations a reputation for preternatural knowledge." One
writer says that the smell of death is so grateful to them that when in
passing over sheep a tainted smell is perceptible, they cry and croak
vehemently. It may be that in passing over a human habitation, if a sickly
or cadaverous smell arises, they should make it known by their cries, and
so has arisen the idea that the croaking of a raven is the premonition of
death. -- ED.) A raven was sent out by Noah from the ark. (Genesis 8:7)
This bird was not allowed as food by the Mosaic law. (Leviticus 11:15)
Elijah was cared for by ravens. (1 Kings 17:4,6) They are expressly
mentioned as instances of God's protecting love and goodness. (Job 38:41;
Luke 12:24) The raven's carnivorous habits, and especially his readiness
to attack the eye, are alluded to in (Proverbs 30:17) To the fact of the
raven being a common bird in Palestine, and to its habit of flying
restlessly about in constant search for food to satisfy its voracious
appetite, may perhaps be traced the reason for its being selected by our
Lord and the inspired writers as the especial object of God's providing


Besides other usages, the practice of shaving the head after the
completion of a vow must have created among the Jews a necessity for the
special trade of a barber. (Leviticus 14:8; Numbers 6:9,18; 8:7; Judges
13:5; Isaiah 7:20; Ezekiel 5:1; Acts 18:18) The instruments of his work
were probably, as in modern times, the razor, the basin, the mirror, and
perhaps also the scissors. See (2 Samuel 14:26) Like the Levites, the
Egyptian priests were accustomed to shave their whole bodies.


a Reubenite, son of Micah, and apparently prince of his tribe. (1
Chronicles 5:5) The name is identical with Reai’ah.


(seen of Jehovah).

  • A descendant of Shubal the son of Judah. (1 Chronicles 4:2)

  • The children of Reaiah were a family of Nethinim who returned from
    Babylon with Zerubbabel. (Ezra 2:47; Nehemiah 7:50) (B.C. before


(four), one of the five kings of the Midianites slain by the
children of Israel when Balaam fell. (Numbers 31:8; Joshua 13:21) (B.C.


(Romans 9:10) only. [REBEKAH]


(ensnarer), daughter of Bethuel, (Genesis 22:23) and sister of
Laban, married to Isaac. She is first presented to us in (Genesis 24:1)
... where the beautiful story of her marriage is related. (B.C. 1857.) For
nineteen years she was childless: then Esau and Jacob were born, the
younger being the mother's companion and favorite. (Genesis 25:19-28)
Rebekah suggested the deceit that was practiced by Jacob on his blind
father. She directed and aided him in carrying it out, foresaw the
probable consequence of Esau's anger, and prevented it by moving Isaac to
send Jacob away to Padan-aram, (Genesis 27:1) ... to her own kindred.
(Genesis 29:12) Rebekah's beauty became at one time a source of danger to
her husband. (Genesis 26:7) It has been conjectured that she died during
Jacob's sojourn in Padan-aram.



  • One of the two "captains of bands" whom Ish-bosheth took into his
    service, and who conspired to murder him. (2 Samuel 4:2) (B.C. 1046.)

  • The father of Malchiah, ruler of part of Beth-haccerem. (Nehemiah
    3:14) (B.C. before 446.)

  • The father or ancestor of Jehonadab. (2 Kings 10:15,33; 1 Chronicles
    2:65; Jeremiah 35:6-19) (B.C.before 882.) It was from this Rechab that the
    tribe of the Rechabites derived their name. In (1 Chronicles 2:55) the
    house of Rechab is identified with a section of the Kenites, a Midianitish
    tribe who came into Canaan with the Israelites, and retained their nomadic
    habits. The real founder of the tribe was Jehonadab. [JEHONADAB] He and
    his people had all along been worshippers of Jehovah, circumcised, though
    not looked upon as belonging to Israel and probably therefore not
    considering themselves bound by the Mosaic law and ritual. The worship of
    Baal was offensive to them. Jonadab inaugurated a reformation and
    compelled a more rigid adherence than ever to the old Arab life. They were
    neither to drink wine, nor build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant nor have
    any vineyard. All their days they were to dwell in tents. (Jeremiah
    35:6,7) This was to be the condition of their retaining a distinct tribal
    existence. For two centuries and a half they adhered faithfully to this
    rule. The invasion of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, in B.C. 607, drove the
    Rechabites from their tents to Jerusalem, where they stood proof against
    temptation, and were specially blessed. (Jeremiah 35:2-19) There is much
    of interest in relation to the present condition of these people. Dr. Wolf
    reports that the Jews of Jerusalem and Yemen told him that he would find
    the Rechabites of Jere 35 living near Mecca, in the mountainous country
    northeast of Medina. When he came near Senaa he came in contact with a
    tribe, the Beni-Khabir, who identified themselves with the sons of
    Jehonadab. They claimed to number 60,000, to adhere to the old rules, and
    to be a fulfillment of the promise made to Jehonadab.




(uttermost part), probably a place in Judah -- a village,
Rashiah, three miles south of Jerusalem.


an officer of high rank in the Jewish state, exercising the functions, not
simply of an annalist, but of chancellor or president of the privy
council. In David's court the recorder appeal's among the high officers of
his household. (2 Samuel 8:16; 20:24; 1 Chronicles 18:15) In Solomon's he
is coupled with the three secretaries. (1 Kings 4:3) comp. 2Kin 18:18,37;
2Chr 34:8


  • Name. -- The sea known to us as the Red Sea was by the Israelites
    called "the sea," (Exodus 14:2,9,16,21,28; 15:1,4,8,10,19; Joshua 24:6,7)
    and many other passages, and specially "the sea of Suph." (Exodus
    10:19; 13:18; 15:4,22; 23:31; Numbers 14:25) etc. This word signifies a
    sea-weed resembling wool
    , and such sea-weed is thrown up abundantly
    on the shores of the Red Sea; hence Brugsch calls it the sea of
    or weeds. The color of the water is not red. Ebers says
    that it is of a lovely blue-green color, and named Red either from its red
    banks or from the Erythraeans, who were called the red people.

  • Physical description. -- In extreme length the Red Sea
    stretches from the straits of Bab el-Mendeb (or rather Ras Bab
    el-Mendeb), 18 miles wide. in lat. 12 degrees 40’ N., to the modern
    head of the Gulf of Suez, lat. 30 degrees N., a distance of 1450 miles.
    Its greatest width may be stated at about 210 miles. At Ras Mohammed, on
    the north, the Red Sea is split by the granitic peninsula of Sinai into
    two gulfs; the westernmost, or Gulf of Suez, is now about 150 miles in
    length, with an average width of about 20, though it contracts to less
    than 10 miles; the easternmost or Gulf of el-’Akabeh, is about 100
    miles long, from the Straits of Tiran to the ’Akabeh, and 15 miles
    wide. The average depth of the Red Sea is from 2500 to 3500 feet, though
    in places it is 6000 feet deep. Journeying southward from Suez, on our
    left is the peninsula of Sinai; on the right is the desert coast of Egypt,
    of limestone formation like the greater part of the Nile valley in Egypt,
    the cliff's on the sea margin stretching landward in a great rocky plateau
    while more inland a chain of volcanic mountains, beginning about lat. 28
    degrees 4’ and running south, rear their lofty peaks at intervals
    above the limestone, generally about 15 miles distant.

  • Ancient limits. -- The most important change in the Red Sea has
    been the drying up of its northern extremity, "the tongue of the Egyptian
    Sea." about the head of the gulf has risen and that near the Mediterranean
    become depressed. The head of the gulf has consequently retired gradually
    since the Christian era. Thus the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled,
    (Isaiah 11:15; 10:5) the tongue of the Red Sea has dried up for a distance
    of at least 50 miles from its ancient head. An ancient canal conveyed the
    waters of the Nile to the Red Sea, flowing through the Wadi-t
    and irrigating with its system of water-channels a large
    extent of country. It was 62 Roman miles long, 54 feet wide and 7 feet
    deep. The drying up of the head of the gulf appears to have been one of
    the chief causes of the neglect and ruin of this canal. The country, for
    the distance above indicated, is now a desert of gravelly sand, with wide
    patches about the old sea-bottom, of rank marsh land, now called the
    "Bitter Lakes." At the northern extremity of this salt waste is a small
    lake, sometimes called the Lake of Heropolis; the lake is now
    Birket-et-Timsah "the lake of the crocodile," and is supposed to
    mark the ancient head of the gulf. The canal that connected this with the
    Nile was of Pharaonic origin. It was anciently known as the "Fossa Regum"
    and the "canal of Hero." The time at which the canal was extended, after
    the drying up of the head of the gulf, to the present head is uncertain,
    but it must have been late, and probably since the Mohammedan conquest.
    Traces of the ancient channel throughout its entire length to the vicinity
    of Bubastis exist at intervals in the present day. The land north of the
    ancient gulf is a plain of heavy sand, merging into marsh-land near the
    Mediterranean coast, and extending to Palestine. This region, including
    Wadi-t-Tumeylat, was probably the frontier land occupied in pact
    by the Israelites, and open to the incursions of the wild tribes of the
    Arabian desert.

  • Navigation. -- The sea, from its dangers and sterile shores, is
    entirely destitute of boats. The coral of the Red Sea is remarkably
    abundant, and beautifully colored and variegated; but it forms so many
    reefs and islands along the shores that navigation is very dangerous, and
    the shores are chiefly barren rock and sand, and therefore very sparsely
    inhabited so that there are but three cities along the whole 1450 miles of
    its west coast -- Suez, at the head, a city of 14,000 inhabitants;
    Sanakin, belonging to Soudan, of 10,000; and Massau, in Albyssinia, of
    5000. Only two ports, Elath and Ezion-geber, are mentioned in the Bible.
    The earliest navigation of the Red Sea (passing by the pre-historical
    Phoenicians) is mentioned by Herodotus: -- "Seostris (Rameses II.) was the
    first who passing the Arabian Gulf in a fleet of long vessels, reduced
    under his authority the inhabitants of the coast bordering the Erythrean
    Sea." Three centuries later, Solomon's navy was built "in Ezion-geber,
    which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea (Yam Suph), in the land
    of Edom." (1 Kings 9:20) The kingdom of Solomon extended as far as the Red
    Sea, upon which he possessed the harbors of Elath and Ezion-geber. [ELATH,
    ELOTH; EZION-GEBER] It is possible that the sea has retired here as at
    Suez, and that Ezion-geber is now dry land. Jehoshaphat also "made ships
    of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold; but they went not; for the ships
    were broken at Ezion-geber." (1 Kings 22:48) The scene of this wreck has
    been supposed to be Edh-Dhahab. The fleets appear to have sailed about the
    autumnal equinox, and returned in December or the middle of January. The
    Red Sea, as it possessed for many centuries the most important sea-trade
    of the East contained ports of celebrity. The Heroopolite Gulf (Gulf of
    Suez) is of the chief interest; it was near to Goshen, it was the scene of
    the passage of the Red Sea, and it was the "tongue of the Egyptian Sea."
    It was also the seat of the Egyptian trade in this sea and to the Indian

  • Passage of the Red Sea. -- The passage of the Red Sea was the
    crisis of the exodus. It is usual to suppose that the most northern place
    at which the Red Sea could have been crossed is the present head of the
    Gulf of Suez. This supposition depends upon the erroneous idea that in the
    time of Moses the gulf did not extend farther to the northward then at
    present. An examination of the country north of Suez has shown, however,
    that the sea has receded many miles. The old bed is indicated by the
    Birket-et Timsah, or "lake of the crocodile," and the more
    southern Bitter Lakes, the northernmost part of the former probably
    corresponding to the head of it the at the time of the exodus. It is
    necessary to endeavor to ascertain the route of the Israelites before we
    can attempt to discover where they crossed the sea. The point from which
    they started was Rameses, a place certain in the land of Goshen, which we
    identified with the Wadi-t-Tumeylat. They encamped at Succoth. At
    the end of the second day's journey the camping place was at Etham, "in
    the edge of the wilderness." (Exodus 13:20; Numbers 33:6) Here the
    Wadi-t-Tumeylat was probably left, as it is cultivable and
    terminates in the desert. At the end of the third day's march for each
    camping place seems to mark the close of a day's journey the Israelites
    encamped by the sea, place of this last encampment and that of the passage
    would be not very far from the Persepolitan monument at Pihahiroth. It
    appears that Migdol was behind Pi-hahiroth and on the other hand
    Baalzephon and the sea. From Pi-hahiroth the Israelites crossed the sea.
    This was not far from halfway between the Bitter Lakes and the Gulf of
    Suez, where now it is dry land. The Muslims suppose Memphis to have been
    the city at which the Pharaoh of the exodus resided before that event
    occurred. From opposite Memphis a broad valley leads to the Red Sea. It is
    in part called the Wadi-t-Teeh, or "Valley of the Wandering." From
    it the traveller reaches the sea beneath the lofty Gebel-et-Takah,
    which rises in the north and shuts off all escape in that direction
    excepting by a narrow way along the seashore, which Pharaoh might have
    occupied. The sea here is broad and deep, as the narrative is generally
    held to imply. All the local features seem suited for a great event. The
    only points bearing on geography in the account of this event are that the
    sea was divided by an east wind. Whence we may reasonably infer that it
    was crossed from west to east, and that the whole Egyptian army perished,
    which shows that it must have been some miles broad. On the whole we may
    reasonably suppose about twelve miles as the smallest breadth of the sea.
    The narrative distinctly states that a path was made through the sea, and
    that the waters were a wall on either hand. The term "wall" does not
    appear to oblige us to suppose, as many have done, that the sea stood up
    like a cliff on either side, but should rather be considered to mean a
    barrier, as the former idea implies a seemingly needless addition to the
    miracle, while the latter seems to be not discordant with the language of
    the narrative. It was during the night that the Israelites crossed, and
    the Egyptians followed. In the morning watch, the last third or fourth of
    the night, or the period before sunrise Pharaoh's army was in full pursuit
    in the divided sea, and was there miraculously troubled, so that the
    Egyptians sought to flee. (Exodus 14:23-25) Then was Moses commanded again
    to stretch out his hand and the sea returned to its strength, and
    overwhelmed the Egyptians, of whom not one remained alive, Ibid. 26-28.
    (But on the whole it is becoming more probable that the place where the
    Israelites crossed "was near the town of Suez, on extensive shoals which
    run toward the southeast, in the direction of Ayim Musa (the Wells of
    Moses). The distance is about three miles at high tide. This is the most
    probable thee Near here Napoleon, deceived by the tidal wave, attempted to
    cross in 1799, and nearly met the fate of Pharaoh. But an army of 600,000
    could of course never have crossed it without a miracle." -- Schaff's
    Through Bible Lands. Several routes and places of crossing
    advocated by learned Egyptologists can be clearly seen by the accompanying
    maps. The latest theory is that which Brugsch-bey has lately revived that
    the word translated Red Sea is "Sea of Reeds or Weeds," and refers to the
    Serbonian bog in the northeastern part of Egypt, and that the Israelites
    crossed here instead of the Red Sea. "A gulf profound, as that Serbonian
    bog . . . where armies whole have sunk." -- Milton. And among these armies
    that of Artarerxes, king of Persia, B.C. 350. But it is very difficult to
    make this agree with the Bible narrative, and if is the least satisfactory
    of all the theories. -- ED.)


Under this name may be noticed the following Hebrew words:

  • Agmon occurs in (Job 40:12,16; Isaiah 9:14) (Authorized Version
    "rush"). There can be no doubt that it denotes some aquatic reed-like
    plant, probably the Phragmitis communis, which, if it does not
    occur in Palestine and Egypt, is represented by a very closely-allied
    species, viz., the Arundo isiaca of Delisle. The drooping panicle
    of this plant will answer well to the "bowing down the head" of which
    Isaiah speaks. (Isaiah 58:5)

  • Gnome, translated "rush" and "bulrush" by the Authorized
    Version, without doubt denotes the celebrated paper-reed of the ancients,
    Papyrus antiquorum, which formerly was common in some parts of
    Egypt. The papyrus reed is not now found in Egypt; it grows however, in
    Syria. Dr. Hooker saw it on the banks of Lake Tiberias, a few miles north
    of the town. The papyrus plant has an angular stem from 3 to 6 feet high,
    though occasionally it grows to the height of 14 feet it has no leaves;
    the flowers are in very small spikelets, which grow on the thread-like
    flowering branchlets which form a bushy crown to each stem; (It was used
    for making paper, shoes, sails, ropes, mattresses, etc. The Greek name is
    Biblos, from which came our word Bible -- book -- because books
    were made of the papyrus paper. This paper was always expensive among the
    Greeks, being worth a dollar a sheet. -- ED.)

  • Kaneh, a reed of any kind. Thus there are in general four
    kinds of reeds named in the Bible: (1) The water reed; No, 1 above. (2) A
    stronger reed, Arundo donax, the true reed of Egypt and Palestine,
    which grows 8 or 10 feet high, and is thicker than a man's thumb. It has a
    jointed stalk like the bamboo, and is very abundant on the Nile. (3) The
    writing reed, Arundo scriptoria, was used for making pens. (4) The
    papyrus; No. 2.


(bearer of Jehovah), one who went up with Zerubbabel. (Ezra 2:2) In
(Nehemiah 7:7) he is called RAAMIAH. (B.C. 445.)


The refiner's art was essential to the working of the precious metals. It
consisted in the separation of the dress from the pure ore, which was
effected by reducing the metal to a fluid state by the application of
heat, and by the aid of solvents, such as alkali, (Isaiah 1:25) or lead,
Jere 6:29 Which, amalgamating with the dress, permitted the extraction of
the unadulterated metal. The instruments required by the refiner were a
crucible of furnace and a bellows or blow-pipe. The workman sat at his
work, (Malachi 3:3) he was thus better enabled to watch the process, and
let the metal run off at the proper moment.




(friend) a son of Jahdai. (1 Chronicles 2:47)


(friend of the king). The names of Sherezer and Regem-melech occur
in an obscure passage of Zechariah. (Zechariah 7:2) They were sent on
behalf of some of the captivity to make inquiries at the temple concerning
fasting (B.C. 617.)


(enlarged by Jehovah), the only son of Eliezer the son of Moses. (1
Chronicles 23:17; 24:21; 26:25) (B.C. about 1455.)


  • The father of Hadadezer king of Zobah, whom David smote at the
    Euphrates. (2 Samuel 8:3,12) (B.C. before 1043.)

  • A Levite or family of Levites who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah.
    (Nehemiah 10:11) (B.C. 410.)

  • The northern limit of the exploration of the spies. (Numbers 13:21)
    Robinson fixes the position of Rehob as not far from Tell el-Kady
    and Banias.

  • One of the towns allotted to Asher. (Joshua 19:28)

  • Asher contained another Rehob, (Joshua 19:30) but the situation of
    these towns is unknown.


(enlarger of the people), son of Solomon by the Ammonite princess
Naamah, (1 Kings 14:21,31) and his successor. (1 Kings 11:43) Rehoboam
selected Shechem as the place of his coronation (B.C. 975), probably as an
act of concession to the Ephraimites. The people demanded a remission of
the severe burdens imposed by Solomon, and Rehoboam, rejecting the advice
of his father's counsellors, followed that of his young courtiers, and
returned an insulting answer, which led to an open rebellion among the
tribes, and he was compelled to fly to Jerusalem, Judah and Benjamin alone
remaining true to him. Jeroboam was made king of the northern tribes.
[JEROBOAM] An expedition to reconquer Israel was forbidden by the prophet
Shemaiah, (1 Kings 12:21) still during Rehoboam's lifetime peaceful
relations between Israel and Judah were never restored. (2 Chronicles
12:15; 1 Kings 14:30) In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign the country
was invaded by a host of Egyptians and other African nations under
Shishak. Jerusalem itself was taken and Rehoboam had to purchase an
ignominious peace by delivering up the treasures with which Solomon had
adorned the temple and palace. The rest of Rehoboam's life was unmarked by
any events of importance. He died B.C. 958, after a reign of 17 years,
having ascended the throne B.C. 975, at the age of 41. (1 Kings 14:21; 2
Chronicles 12:13) He had 18 wives, 60 concubines, 28 sons and 60


(wide places, i.e. streets).

  • The third of the series of wells dug by Isaac, (Genesis 26:22) in the
    Philistines’ territory, lately identified as er-Ruheibeh, 16
    miles south of Beersheba.

  • One of the four cities built by Asshur, or by Nimrod in Asshur,
    according as this difficult passage is translated. (Genesis 10:11) Nothing
    certain is known of its position.

  • The city of a certain Saul or Shaul, one of the early kings of the
    Edomites. (Genesis 36:37; 1 Chronicles 1:48) The affix "by the river"
    fixes the situation of Rehoboth as on the Euphrates.



  • One who went up from Babylon with Zerubbabel. (Ezra 2:2) (B.C.

  • "Rehum the chancellor." (Ezra 4:8,9,17,23) He was perhaps a kind of
    lieutenant-governor of the province under the king of Persia. (B.C.

  • A Levite of the family of Bani, who assisted in rebuilding the walls
    of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 3:17) (B.C. 445.)

  • One of the chief of the people, who signed the covenant with Nehemiah.
    (Nehemiah 10:25) (B.C. 410.)

  • A priestly family, or the head of a priestly house, who went up with
    Zerubbabel. (Nehemiah 12:3) (B.C. 536.)


(friendly), a person mentioned (in (1 Kings 1:8) only) as having
remained firm to David's cause when Adonijah rebelled. (B.C. 1015.)


(i.e. kidneys). In the ancient system of physiology the kidneys were
believed to be the seat of desire and longing, which accounts for their
often being coupled with the heart. (Psalms 7:9; 26:2; Jeremiah 11:20;
17:10), etc.



  • One of the five kings or chieftains of Midian slain by the Israelites.
    (Numbers 31:8; Joshua 13:21)

  • One of the four sons of Hebron, and father of Shammai. (1 Chronicles


one of the towns of the allotment of Benjamin. (Joshua 18:27) Its existing
site is unknown.


(protected by Jehovah). The father of Pekah, captain of Pekahiah;
king of Israel, who slew his master and usurped his throne. (2 Kings
15:25-37; 16:1,5; 2 Chronicles 28:6; Isaiah 7:1-9; 8:6) (B.C. 756.)


(height), one of the towns of Issachar. (Joshua 19:21) It is
probably though not certainly, a distinct place from the RAMOTH of (1
Chronicles 6:73)


(pomegranate), a town in the allotment of Simeon, (Joshua 10:7)
elsewhere accurately given in the Authorized Version as Rimmon.


a place which formed one of the landmarks of Zebulun. (Joshua 19:13) only.
Methoar does not really form a part of the name, but should be translated
(as in the margin of the Authorized Version) "Remmon which reaches to
Neah." Dr. Robinson and Mr. Van Deuteronomy Velde place Rummaneh on
the south border of the plain of Buttauf, three miles
north-northeast of Seffurieh.


(Acts 7:43) and Chi’un, (Amos 5:26) have been supposed to be
names of an idol worshipped secretly by the Israelites in the wilderness,
difficulty has been occasioned by this corresponding occurrence of two
names so wholly different in sound. The most reasonable opinion seems to
be that Chiun was a Hebrew or Semitic name, and Remphan an Egyptian
equivalent substituted by the LXX. This idol corresponded probably to
Saturn or Molech. The mention of Chiun or Remphan as worshipped in the
desert shows that this idolatry was, in part at least that of foreigners,
and no doubt of those settled in lower Egypt.


(healed of God), son of Shemaiah, the first-born of Obed-edom. (1
Chronicles 26:7) (B.C. about 1015.)


a son of Ephraim, and ancestor of Joshua. (1 Chronicles 7:26)


(healed of Jehovah).

  • The sons of Rephaiah appear among the descendants of Zerubbabel in (1
    Chronicles 3:21)

  • A Simeonite chieftain in the reign of Hezekiah. (1 Chronicles 4:42)
    (B.C. 727.)

  • Son of Tola the son of Issachar. (1 Chronicles 7:2)

  • Son of Binea, and descendant of Saul. (1 Chronicles 9:43)

  • The son of Hur, and ruler of a portion of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 3:9)
    (B.C. 441.)




(1 Samuel 5:18,22; 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15; 14:9; Isaiah 17:5) also in
(Joshua 15:8) and Josh 18:16 It is translated in the Authorized Version
"the valley of the giants," a spot which was the scene of some of
David's most remarkable adventures. He twice encountered and defeated the
Philistines there. (2 Samuel 5:17-25; 23:13) etc. Since the latter part of
the sixteenth century the name has been attached to the upland plain which
stretches south of Jerusalem and is crossed by the road to Bethlehem --
the el Buk’ah of the modern Arabs. (This valley begins near
the valley of Hinnom, southwest of Jerusalem extending toward Bethlehem.
It is about a mile long, with hills on either side. This agrees with
Josephus and is the generally-accepted location of this valley. -- ED.)
Tobler, however, in his last investigations conclusively adopts the
Wady Der Jasin, on the northwest of Jerusalem. The valley appears
to derive its name from the ancient nation of the Rephaim. [GIANTS]


the reading, in the Revised Version, for Remphan, (Acts 7:43)


(Exodus 17:1,8; 19:2) The name means rests or stays, i.e.
resting places. The place lies in the march of the Israelites from Egypt
to Sinai. Its site is not certain, but it is perhaps Wady Feiran,
a rather broad valley about 25 miles from Jebel Musa (Mount Sinai).
Others place it in Wady es Sheikh, an eastern continuation of
Feiran, and about 12 miles from Sinai. Here the Israelites fought their
first battle and gained their first victory after leaving Egypt, the
Amalekites having attacked them; here also the people murmured from
thirst, and Moses brought water for them out of the rock. From this
murmuring the place was called "Massah" and "Meribah."


(bridle), (Genesis 10:12) one of the cities built by Asshur,
"between Nineveh and Calah." Assyrian remains of some considerable extent
are found near the modern village of Selamiyeh, and it is perhaps
the most probable conjecture that these represent Resen.


(flame), a son of Ephraim. (1 Chronicles 7:25)


(friend), son of Peleg, in the line of Abraham's ancestors.
(Genesis 11:18,19,20,21; 1 Chronicles 1:25) (B.C. about 2213.)


(behold a son), Jacob's firstborn Child, (Genesis 29:32) the son of
Leah. (B.C. 1753.) The notices of the patriarch Reuben give, on the whole
a favorable view of his disposition. To him and him alone the preservation
of Joseph's life appears to have been due and afterward he becomes
responsible for his safety. (Genesis 37:18-30; 42:37) Of the repulsive
crime which mars his history, and which turned the blessing of his dying
father into a curse -- his adulterous connection with Bilhah -- we know
from the Scriptures only the fact. (Genesis 35:22) He was of an ardent,
impetuous, unbalanced but not ungenerous nature; not crafty and cruel, as
were Simeon and Levi, but rather, to use the metaphor of the dying
patriarch, boiling up like a vessel of water over a rapid wood fire, and
as quickly subsiding when the fuel was withdrawn. At the time of the
migration into Egypt, Reuben's sons were four. (Genesis 46:9; 1 Chronicles
5:3) The census at Mount Sinai, (Numbers 1:20,21; 2:11) shows that at the
exodus the men of the tribe above twenty years of age and fit for active
warlike service numbered 46,600. The Reubenites maintained the ancient
calling of their forefathers. Their cattle accompanied them in their
flight from Egypt. (Exodus 12:38) Territory of the tribe. -- The
portion of the promised land selected by Reuben had the special name of
"the Mishor," with reference possibly to its evenness. Under its modern
name of the Belka it is still esteemed beyond all others by the
Arab sheep-masters. It was a fine pasture-land east of the Jordan, lying
between the river Arnon on the south and Gilead on the north. Though the
Israelites all aided the Reubenites in conquering the land, and they in
return helped their brothers to secure their own possessions, still there
was always afterward a bar, a difference in feeling and habits, between
the eastern and western tribes. The pile of stones which they erected on
the west bank of the Jordan to mark their boundary was erected in
accordance with the unalterable habits of Bedouin tribes both before and
since. This act was completely misunderstood and was construed into an
attempt to set up a rival altar to that of the sacred tent. No Judge, no
prophet, no hero of the tribe of Reuben is handed down to us. The
Reubenites disliked war clinging to their fields and pastures even when
their brethren were in great distress. Being remote from the seat of the
national government and of the national religion, it is not to be wondered
at that the Reubenites relinquished the faith of Jehovah. The last
historical notice which we possess of them, while it records this fact,
records also as its natural consequence that they and the Gadites and the
half-tribe Manasseh were carried off by Pul and Tiglath-pileser. (1
Chronicles 5:26)


(friend of God) One of the sons of Esau, by his wife Bashemath,
sister of Ishmael. (Genesis 36:4,10,13,17; 1 Chronicles 1:36,37) (B.C.
about 1790.)

  • One of the names of Moses’ father-in-law. (Exodus 2:18) (B.C.

  • Father of Eliasaph, the leader of the tribe of Gad at the time of the
    census at Sinai. (Numbers 2:14) (B.C. 1490.)

  • A Benjamite, ancestor of Elah. (1 Chronicles 9:8)


(elevated), the concubine of Nahor, Abraham's brother. (Genesis
22:4) (B.C. about 1870.)


the last book of the New Testament. It is often called the Apocalypse,
which is its title in Greek, signifying "Revelation,"

  • Canonical authority and authorship. -- The inquiry as to the
    canonical authority of the Revelation resolves itself into a question of
    authorship. Was St. John the apostle and evangelist the writer of the
    Revelation? The evidence adduced in support of his being the author
    consists of (1) the assertions of the author and (2) historical tradition.
    (1) The author's description of himself in the 1st and 22d chapters is
    certainly equivalent to an assertion that he is the apostle. He names
    himself simply John, without prefix or addition. is also described as a
    servant of Christ, one who had borne testimony as an eye-witness of the
    word of God and of the testimony of Christ. He is in Patmos for the word
    of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He is also a fellow sufferer
    with those whom he addresses, and the authorized channel of the most
    direct and important communication that was ever made to the Seven
    Churches of Asia, of which churches John the apostle was at that time the
    spiritual governor and teacher. Lastly, the writer was a fellow servant of
    angels and a brother of prophets. All these marks are found united in the
    apostle John, and in him alone of all historical persons. (2) A long
    series of writers testify to St. John's authorship: Justin Martyr (cir.
    150 A.D.), Eusebius, Irenaeus (A.D. 195), Clement of Alexandria (about
    200), Tertullian (207), Origen (233). All the foregoing writers,
    testifying that the book came from an apostle, believed that it was a part
    of Holy Scripture. The book was admitted into the list of the Third
    Council of Carthage, A.D. 397.

  • Time and place of writing. -- The date of the Revelation is
    given by the great majority of critics as A.D. 95-97. Irenaeus says: "It
    (i.e. the Revelation) was seen no very long time ago, but almost in our
    own generation, at the close of Domitian's reign. Eusebius also records
    that, in the persecution under Domitian, John the apostle and evangelist
    was banished to the Island Patmos for his testimony of the divine word.
    There is no mention in any writer of the first three centuries of any
    other time or place, and the style in which the messages to the Seven
    Churches are delivered rather suggests the notion that the book was
    written in Patmos.

  • Interpretation. -- Modern interpreters are generally placed in
    three great divisions: (a) The Historical or Continuous exposition, in
    whose opinion the Revelation is a progressive history of the fortunes of
    the Church from the first century to the end of time. (b) The Praeterist
    expositors, who are of opinion that the Revelation has been almost or
    altogether fulfilled in the time which has passed since it was written;
    that it refers principally to the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and
    Paganism, signalized in the downfall of Jerusalem and of Rome. (c) The
    Futurist expositors, whose views show a strong reaction against some
    extravagances of the two preceding schools. They believe that the whole
    book, excepting perhaps the first three chapters, refers principally, if
    not exclusively, to events which are yet-to come. Dr.Arnold in his sermons
    "On the Interpretation of Prophecy" suggests that we should bear in mind
    that predictions have a lower historical sense as well as a higher
    spiritual sense; that there may be one or more than one typical,
    imperfect, historical fulfillment of the prophecy, in each of which the
    higher spiritual fulfillment is shadowed forth more or less


(a hot stone), one of the places which Sennacherib mentions, in his
taunting message to Hezekiah, as having been destroyed by his predecessor.
(2 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 37:12)


(delight), an Asherite, of the sons of Ulla. (1 Chronicles 7:39)
(B.C. 1444.)



  • King of Damascus. He attacked Jotham during the latter part of his
    reign, (2 Kings 15:37) but his chief war was with Ahaz, whose territories
    he invaded, in conjunction with Pekah about B.C. 741. Though unsuccessful
    is his siege of Jerusalem, (2 Kings 16:5; Isaiah 7:1) he "recovered Elath
    to Syria." (2 Kings 16:6) Soon after this he was attacked defeated and
    slain by Tiglath-pileser II, king of Assyria. (2 Kings 16:9)

  • One of the families of the Nethinim. (Ezra 2:48; Nehemiah 7:50) (B.C.
    before 536.)


(prince), son of Eliadah, a Syrian, who when David defeated
Hadadezer king of Zobah, put himself at the head of a band of freebooters
and set up a petty kingdom at Damascus. (1 Kings 11:23) He harassed the
kingdom of Solomon during his whole reign. (B.C. 1043-975.)


(breach), an Italian town situated on the Bruttian coast, just at
the southern entrance of the Straits of Messina. The name occurs in the
account of St. Paul's voyage from Syracuse to Puteoli, after the shipwreck
at Malta. (Acts 28:13) By a curious coincidence, the figures on its coin
are the very "twin brothers" which gave the name to St. Paul's ship. It
was originally a Greek colony; it was miserably destroyed by Dionysius of
Syracuse. From Augustus it received advantages which combined with its
geographical position in making it important throughout the duration of
the Roman empire. The modern Reggio is a town of 10,000
inhabitants. Its distance across the straits from Messina is only about
six miles.


(head), son of Zorobabel in the genealogy of Christ. (Luke 3:27) It
is conjectured that Rhesa is no person, but merely a title.


(rose), the name of a maid who announced Peter's arrival at the
door of Mary's house after his miraculous release from prison. (Acts
12:13) (A.D. 44.)


(rosy), a celebrated island in the Mediterranean Sea. (It is
triangular in form, 60 miles long from north to south, and about 18 wide.
It is noted now, as in ancient times, for its delightful climate and the
fertility of its soil. The city of Rhodes, its capital, was famous for its
huge brazen statue of Apollo called the Colossus of Rhodes. It stood at
the entrance of the harbor, and was so large that ships in full sail could
pass between its legs. ED.) Rhodes is immediately opposite the high Carian
and Lycian headlands at the southwest extremity of the peninsula of Asia
Minor. Its position had much to do with its history. Its real eminence
began about 400 B.C. with the founding of the city of Rhodes, at the
northeast extremity of the island, which still continues to be the
capital. After Alexander's death it entered on a glorious period, its
material prosperity being largely developed, and its institutions
deserving and obtaining general esteem. We have notice of the Jewish
residents in Rhodes in 1 Macc. 15:23. The Romans, after the defeat of
Antiochus, assigned, during some time, to Rhodes certain districts on the
mainland. Its Byzantine, history is again eminent. Under Constantine If
was the metropolis of the "Province of the Islands," It was the last place
where the Christians of the East held out against the advancing Seracens;
and subsequently it was once more famous as the home and fortress of the
Knights of St. John. (It is now reduced to abject poverty. There are two
cities -- Rhodes the capital and Lindus -- and forty or fifty villages.
The population, according to Turner is 20,000, of whom 6000 are Turks and
the rest Greeks, together with a few Jews.)


(pleader with Jehovah), the father of Ittai the Benjamite, of
Gibeah. (2 Samuel 23:29; 1 Chronicles 11:31) (B.C. before 1020.)


(fertility), One of the landmarks on the eastern boundary of the
land of Israel, as specified by Moses. (Numbers 34:11) It seems hardly
possible, without entirely disarranging the specification or the boundary,
that the Riblah in question can be the same with the following.

  • Riblah in the land of Hamath, a place on the great road between
    Palestine and Babylonia, at which the kings of Babylonia were accustomed
    to remain while directing the operations of their armies in Palestine and
    Phoenicia. Here Nebuchadnezzer waited while the sieges of Jerusalem and of
    Tyre were being conducted by his lieutenants. (Jeremiah 39:5,6;
    62:9,10,26,27; 2 Kings 25:6,20,21) In like manner Pharaoh-necho after his
    victory over the Babylonians at Carchemish, returned to Riblah and
    summoned Jehoahaz from Jerusalem before him. (2 Kings 23:33) This Riblah
    still retains its ancient name, on the right (east) bank of the
    el-Asy (Orontes) upon the great road which connects Baalbek
    and Hums, about 36 miles northeast of the former end 20 miles
    southwest of the latter place.


It is known that all ancient nations, and especially Orientals, were fond
of riddles. The riddles which the queen of Sheba came to ask of Solomon,
(1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1) were rather "hard questions" referring to
profound inquiries. Solomon is said, however, to have been very fond of
riddles. Riddles were generally proposed in verse, like the celebrated
riddle of Samson. (Judges 14:14-19)


(pomegranate) the name of several towns.

  • A city of Zebulun (1 Chronicles 6:77; Nehemiah 11:29) a Levitical
    city, the present Rummaneh, six miles north of Nazareth.

  • A town in the southern portion of Judah, (Joshua 15:3) allotted to
    Simeon, (Joshua 19:7; 1 Chronicles 4:32) probably 13 miles southwest of

  • Rimmon-parez (pomegranate of the breach), the name of a
    march-station in the wilderness. (Numbers 33:19,20) No place now known has
    been identified with it.

  • Rimmon the Rock, a cliff or inaccessible natural fastness, in which
    the six hundred Benjamites who escaped the slaughter of Gibeah took
    refuge. (Judges 20:45,47; 21:13) In the wild country which lies on the
    east of the central highlands of Benjamin the name is still found attached
    to a village perched on the summit of a conical chalky hill, visible in
    all directions, and commanding the whole country.

  • A Benjamite of Beeroth, the father of Rechab and Baanah, the murderers
    of Ish-bosheth. (2 Samuel 4:2,5,9)


a deity worshipped by the Syrians of Damascus, where there was a temple or
house of Rimmon. (2 Kings 5:18) Rimmon is perhaps the abbreviated form of
Hadad-rimmon, Hadad being the sun-god of the Syrians. Combining this with
the pomegranate which was his symbol, Hadad-rimmon would then he the
sun-god of the late summer, who ripens the pomegranate and other


The ring was regarded as an indispensable article of a Hebrew's attire,
inasmuch as it contained his signet. It was hence the symbol of authority.
(Genesis 41:42; Esther 3:10) Rings were worn not only by men, but by
women. (Isaiah 3:21) We may conclude from (Exodus 28:11) that the rings
contained a stone engraven with a device or with the owner's name. The
custom appears also to have prevailed among the Jews of the apostolic age.
(James 2:2)


(a shout), one of the descendants of Judah. (1 Chronicles 4:20)
(B.C. 1300.)


(spoken), the second son of Gomer. (Genesis 10:3) The name may be
identified with the Rhipaean mountains, i.e. the Carpathian range in the
northeast of Dacia.


(a ruin), a march-station in the wilderness. (Numbers 33:21,22)


(heath), a march-station in the wilderness, (Numbers 33:18,19)
Probably northeast of Hazeroth.


In the sense in which we employ the word viz. for a perennial stream of
considerable size, a river is a much rarer object in the East than in the
West. With the exception of the Jordan and the Litany, the streams of the
holy land are either entirely dried up in the summer months converted into
hot lanes of glaring stones, or else reduced to very small streamlets,
deeply sunk in a narrow bed, and concealed from view by a dense growth of
shrubs. The perennial river is called nahar by the Hebrews. With
the definite article, "the river," it signifies invariably the Euphrates.
(Genesis 31:21; Exodus 23:31; Numbers 24:6; 2 Samuel 10:16) etc. It is
never applied to the fleeting fugitive torrents of Palestine. The term for
these is nachal, for which our translators have used
promiscuously, and sometimes almost alternately, "valley" "brook" and
"river." No one of these words expresses the thing intended; but the term
"brook" is peculiarly unhappy. Many of the wadys of Palestine are
deep, abrupt chasms or rents in the solid rock of-the hills, and have a
savage, gloomy aspect, far removed from that of an English brook.
Unfortunately our language does not contain any single word which has both
the meanings of the Hebrew nachal and its Arabic equivalent
wady which can be used at once for a dry valley and for the stream
which occasionally flows through it.


  • The Nile. (Genesis 15:18) [NILE]

  • A desert stream on the border of Egypt, still occasionally flowing in
    the valley called Wadi-l-’Areesh. The centre of the valley
    is occupied by the bed of this torrent, which only flows after rains, as
    is usual in the desert valleys. This stream is first mentioned as the
    point where the southern border of the promised land touched the
    Mediterranean, which formed its western border. (Numbers 34:3-6) In the
    latter history we find Solomon's kingdom extending from the "entering in
    of Hamath unto the river of Egypt," (1 Kings 8:65) and Egypt limited in
    the same manner where the loss of the eastern provinces is mentioned. (2
    Kings 24:7)


concubine to King Saul, and mother of his two sons Armoni and
Mephibosheth. (B.C. 1080.) The tragic story of the love and endurance with
which she watched over the bodies of her two sons, who were killed by the
Gibeonites, (2 Samuel 21:8-11) has made Rizpah one of the most familiar
objects in the whole Bible.


This word occurs but once in the Authorized Version of the Bible, viz. in
(1 Samuel 37:10) where it is used in the sense of "raid" or "inroad."
Where a travelled road is meant "path" or "way" is used, since the eastern
roads are more like our paths.


Robbery has ever been one of the principal employments of the nomad tribes
of the East. From the time of Ishmael to the present day the Bedouin has
been a "wild man," and a robber by trade. (Genesis 16:12) The Mosaic law
on the subject of theft is contained in (Exodus 2:2) There seems no reason
to suppose that the law underwent any alteration in Solomon's time.
Man-stealing was punishable with death. (Exodus 21:16; 24:7) Invasion of
right in land was strictly forbidden. (27:17; Isaiah 5:8; Micah 2:2)


The Hebrew words thus translated denote some species of antelope, probably
the Gazella arabica of Syria and Arabia. The gazelle was allowed as
food, (12:15,22) etc.; it is mentioned as very fleet of foot, (2 Samuel
2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8) it was hunted, (Isaiah 13:14; Proverbs 6:5) it
was celebrated for its loveliness. (Solomon 2:9,17; 8:14)


(fullers) the residence of Barzillai the Gileadite, (2 Samuel
17:27; 19:31) in the highlands east of the Jordan.


(clamor), an Asherite, of the sons of Shamer. (1 Chronicles 7:34)
(B.C. about 1490.)


A book in ancient times consisted of a single long strip of paper or
parchment, which was usually kept rolled upon a stick, and was unrolled
when a person wished to read it. The roll was usually written on one side
only, and hence the particular notice of one that was "written within and
without." (Ezekiel 2:10) The writing was arranged in columns.


one of the fourteen sons of Heman. (1 Chronicles 25:4,31) (B.C. about


  • The first historic mention of Rome in the Bible is in 1 Macc. 1:10,
    about the year 161 B.C. in the year 65 B.C., when Syria was made a Roman
    province by Pompey, the Jews were still governed by one of the Asmonaean
    princes. The next year Pompey himself marched an army into Judea and took
    Jerusalem. From this time the Jews were practically under the government
    of Rome. Finally, Antipater's son Herod the Great was made king by
    Antony's interest, B.C. 40, and confirmed in the kingdom by Augustus, B.C.
    30. The Jews, however, were all this time tributaries of Rome, and their
    princes in reality were Roman procurators, On the banishment of Archelaus,
    A.D. 6, Judea became a mere appendage of the province of Syria, and was
    governed by a Roman procurator, who resided at Caesarea. Such were the
    relations of the Jewish people to the Roman government at the time when
    the New Testament history begins.

  • Extent of the empire. -- Cicero's description of the Greek
    states and colonies as a "fringe on the skirts of barbarism" has been well
    applied to the Roman dominions before the conquests of Pompey and Caesar.
    The Roman empire was still confined to a narrow strip encircling the
    Mediterranean Sea. Pompey added Asia Minor and Syria. Caesar added Gaul.
    The generals of Augustus overran the northwest Portion of Spain and the
    country between the Alps and the Danube. The boundaries of the empire were
    now the Atlantic on the west, the Euphrates on the east, the deserts of
    Africa, the cataracts of the Nile and the Arabian deserts on the south,
    the British Channel, the Rhine, the Danube and the Black Sea on the north.
    The only subsequent conquests of importance were those of Britain by
    Claudius and of Dacia by Trajan. The only independent powers of importance
    were the Parthians on the east and the Germans on the north. The
    population of the empire in the time of Augustus has been calculated at

  • The provinces. -- The usual fate of a country conquered by
    Rome was to be come a subject province, governed directly from Rome by
    officers sent out for that purpose. Sometimes, however, petty sovereigns
    were left in possession of a nominal independence on the borders or within
    the natural limits of the province. Augustus divided the provinces into
    two classes -- (1) Imperial; (2) Senatorial; retaining in his own hands,
    for obvious reasons, those provinces where the presence of a large
    military force was necessary, and committing the peaceful and unarmed
    provinces to the senate. The New Testament writers invariably designate
    the governors of senatorial provinces by the correct title
    anthupatoi, proconsuls. (Acts 13:7; 18:12; 19:38) For the governor
    of an imperial province, properly styled "legatus Caesaris," the word
    hegemon (governor) is used in the New Testament. The provinces were
    heavily taxed for the benefit of Rome and her citizens. They are said to
    have been better governed under the empire than under the commonwealth,
    and those of the emperor better than those of the senate.

  • The condition of the Roman empire at the time when Christianity
    has often been dwelt upon as affording obvious illustrations
    of St. Paul's expression that the "fullness of time had come." (Galatians
    4:4) The general peace within the limits of the empire the formation of
    military roads, the suppression of piracy, the march of the legions, the
    voyages of the corn fleets, the general in crease of traffic, the spread
    of the Latin language in the West as Greek had already spread in the East,
    the external unity of the empire, offered facilities hitherto unknown for
    the spread of a world-wide religion. The tendency, too, of despotism like
    that of the Roman empire to reduce all its subjects to a dead level was a
    powerful instrument in breaking down the pride of privileged races and
    national religious, and familiarizing men with the truth that "God had
    made of one blood all nations on the face of the earth." (Acts 17:24,26)
    Put still more striking than this outward preparation for the diffusion of
    the gospel was the appearance of a deep and wide-spread corruption, which
    seemed to defy any human remedy.


  • The date of this epistle is fixed at the time of the visit
    recorded in Acts 20:3 during the winter and spring following the apostle's
    long residence at Ephesus A.D. 58. On this visit he remained in Greece
    three months.

  • The place of writing was Corinth.

  • The occasion which prompted it,,and the circumstances attending
    its writing, were as follows: -- St. Paul had long purposed visiting Rome,
    and still retained this purpose, wishing also to extend his journey to
    Spain. Etom. 1:9-13; 15:22-29. For the time, however, he was prevented
    from carrying out his design, as he was bound for Jerusalem with the alms
    of the Gentile Christians, and meanwhile he addressed this letter to the
    Romans, to supply the lack of his personal teaching. Phoebe, a deaconess
    of the neighboring church of Cenchreae, was on the point of starting for
    Rome, ch. (Romans 16:1,2) and probably conveyed the letter. The body of
    the epistle was written at the apostle's dictation by Tertius, ch. (Romans
    16:22) but perhaps we may infer, from the abruptness of the final
    doxology, that it was added by the apostle himself.

  • The origin of the Roman church is involved in obscurity. If it
    had been founded by St. Peter according to a later tradition, the absence
    of any allusion to him both in this epistle and in the letters written by
    St. Paul from Rome would admit of no explanation. It is equally clear that
    no other apostle was like founder. The statement in the Clementines --
    that the first tidings of the gospel reached Rome during the lifetime of
    our Lord is evidently a fiction for the purposes of the romance. On the
    other hand, it is clear that the foundation of this church dates very far
    back. It may be that some of these Romans, "both Jews and proselytes,"
    present. On the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10) carried back the earliest
    tidings of the new doctrine; or the gospel may have first reached the
    imperial city through those who were scattered abroad to escape the
    persecution which followed on the death of Stephen. (Acts 8:4; 11:10) At
    first we may suppose that the gospel had preached there in a confused and
    imperfect form, scarcely more than a phase of Judaism, as in the case of
    Apollos at Corinth, (Acts 18:25) or the disciples at Ephesus. (Acts
    19:1-3) As time advanced and better-instructed teachers arrived the clouds
    would gradually clear away, fill at length the presence of the great
    apostle himself at Rome dispersed the mists of Judaism which still hung
    about the Roman church.

  • A question next arises as to the composition of the Roman
    at the time when St. Paul wrote. It is more probable that St.
    Paul addressed a mixed church of Jews and Gentiles, the latter perhaps
    being the more numerous. These Gentile converts, however, were not for the
    most part native Romans. Strange as the: paradox appears, nothing is more
    certain than that the church of Rome was at this time a Greek and not a
    Latin church. All the literature of the early Roman church was written in
    the Greek tongue.

  • The heterogeneous composition of this church explains the general
    character of the Epistle to the Romans.
    In an assemblage so various we
    should expect to find, not the exclusive predominance of a single form of
    error, but the coincidence of different and opposing forms. It was:
    therefore the business of the Christian teacher to reconcile the opposing
    difficulties and to hold out a meeting-point in the gospel. This is
    exactly what St. Paul does in the Epistle to the Romans.

  • In describing the purport of this epistle we may start from St.
    Paul's own words, which, standing at the beginning of the doctrinal
    portion, may be taken as giving a summary of the contents. ch. (Romans
    1:16,17) Accordingly the epistle has been described as comprising "the
    religious philosophy of the world's history "The atonement of Christ is
    the centre of religious history. The epistle, from its general character,
    lends itself more readily to an analysis than is often the case with St.
    Paul's epistles. While this epistle contains the fullest and most
    systematic exposition of the apostle's teaching, it is at the same
    time a very striking expression of his character. Nowhere do his
    earnest and affectionate nature and his tact and delicacy in handling
    unwelcome topics appear more strongly than when he is dealing with the
    rejection of his fellow country men the Jews. Internal evidence is so
    strongly in favor of the genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans
    that it has never been seriously questioned.


the famous capital of the ancient world, is situated on the Tiber at a
distance of about 15 miles from its mouth. The "seven hills," (Revelation
17:9) which formed the nucleus of the ancient city stand on the left bank.
On the opposite side of the river rises the far higher side of the
Janiculum. Here from very early times was a fortress with a suburb beneath
it extending to the river. Modern Rome lies to the north of the ancient
city, covering with its principal portion the plain to the north of the
seven hills, once known as the Campus Martius, and on the opposite bank
extending over the low ground beneath the Vatican to the north of the
ancient Janiculum. Rome is not mentioned in the Bible except in the books
of Maccabees and in three books of the New Testament, viz., the Acts, the
Epistle to the Romans and the Second Epistle to Timothy.

  • Jewish inhabitants. the conquests of Pompey seem to have given
    rise to the first settlement of Jews at Rome. The Jewish king Aristobulus
    and his son formed part of Pompey's triumph, and many Jewish captives and
    immigrants were brought to Rome at that time. A special district was
    assigned to them, not on the site of the modern Ghetto, between the
    Capitol and the island of the Tiber, but across the Tiber. Many of these
    Jews were made freedmen. Julius Caesar showed them some kindness; they
    were favored also by Augustus, and by Tiberius during the latter part of
    his reign. It is chiefly in connection with St. Paul's history that Rome
    comes before us in the Bible. In illustration of that history it may be
    useful to give some account of Rome in the time of Nero, the "Caesar" to
    whom St. Paul appealed, and in whose reign he suffered martyrdom.

  • The city in Paul's time. -- The city at that time must be
    imagined as a large and irregular mass of buildings unprotected by an
    outer wall. It had long outgrown the old Servian wall; but the limits of
    the suburbs cannot be exactly defined. Neither the nature of the buildings
    nor the configuration of the ground was such as to give a striking
    appearance to the city viewed from without. "Ancient Rome had neither
    cupola nor camyanile," and the hills, never lofty or imposing, would
    present, when covered with the buildings and streets of a huge city, a
    confused appearance like the hills of modern London, to which they have
    sometimes been compared. The visit of St. Paul lies between two famous
    epochs in the history of the city, viz, its restoration by Augustus and
    its restoration by Nero. The boast of Augustus is well known, "that he
    found the city of brick, and left it of marble." Some parts of the city,
    especially the Forum and Campus Martius, must have presented a magnificent
    appearance, of which Niebur's "Lectures on Roman History," ii. 177, will
    give a general idea; but many of the principal buildings which attract the
    attention of modern travellers in ancient Rome were not yet built. The
    streets were generally narrow and winding, flanked by densely crowded
    lodging-houses (insulae) of enormous height. Augustus found it necessary
    to limit their height to 70 feet. St, Paul's first visit to Rome took
    place before the Neronian conflagration but even after the restoration of
    the city which followed upon that event, many of the old evils continued.
    The population of the city has been variously estimated. Probably Gibbon's
    estimate of 1,200,000 is nearest to the truth. One half of the population
    consisted, in all probability, of slaves. The larger part of the remainder
    consisted of pauper citizens supported in idleness by the miserable system
    of public gratuities. There appears to have been no middle class, and no
    free industrial population. Side by side with the wretched classes just
    mentioned was the comparatively small body of the wealthy nobility, of
    whose luxury and profligacy we learn so much from the heathen writers of
    the time, Such was the population which St. Paul would find at Rome at the
    time of his visit. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that he was
    detained at Rome for "two whole years," "dwelling in his own hired house
    with a soldier that kept him," (Acts 28:16; 30) to whom apparently,
    according to Roman custom, he was hound with a chain. (Acts 28:20;
    Ephesians 6:20; Philemon 1:13) Here he preached to all that came to him,
    no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30,31) It is generally believed that on
    his "appeal to Caesar" he was acquitted, and after some time spent in
    freedom, was a second time imprisoned at Rome. Five of his epistles, viz.,
    those to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, that to Philemon, and the
    Second Epistle to Timothy, were in all probability written from Rome, the
    latter shortly before his death (2 Timothy 4:6) the others during his
    first imprisonment. It is universally believed that he suffered martyrdom
    at Rome.

  • The localities in and about Rome especially connected with the
    life of Paul are -- (1) The Appian Way, by which he approached Rome. (Acts
    28:15) [APPII FORUM FORUM] (2) "The palace," Or "Caesar's court"
    (praetorium,) (Philemon 1:13) This may mean either the great camp of the
    Praetorian guards which Tiberius established outside the walls on the
    northeast of the city, or, as seems more probable, a barrack attached to
    the imperial residence on the Palatine. There is no sufficient proof that
    the word "praetorium" was ever used to designate the emperors palace,
    though it is used for the official residence of a Roman governor. (John
    18:28; Acts 23:35) the mention of "Caesar's household," (Philemon 4:22)
    confirms the notion that St. Paul's residence was in the immediate
    neighborhood of the emperor's house on the Palatine. (3) The connection of
    other localities at home with St. Paul's name rests only on traditions of
    more or less probability. We may mention especially -- (4) The Mamertine
    prison, of Tullianum, built by Ancus Martius near the Forum. It still
    exists beneath the church of St. Giuseppe dei Falegnami. It is said that
    St. Peter and St. Paul were fellow prisoners here for nine months. This is
    not the place to discuss the question whether St. Peter was ever at Rome.
    It may be sufficient to state that though there is no evidence of such a
    visit in the New Testament, unless Babylon in (1 Peter 5:13) is a mystical
    name for Rome yet early testimony and the universal belief of the early
    Church seems sufficient to establish the fact of his having suffered
    martyrdom there. [PETER] The story, however, of the imprisonment in the
    Mamertine prison seems inconsistent with (2 Timothy 4:11) (5) The chapel
    on the Ostian road which marks the spot where the two apostles are said
    to, have separated on their way to martyrdom. (6)The supposed scene of St.
    Paul's martyrdom, viz., the church of St. Paolo alle tre fontane on the
    Ostian road. To these may be added -- (7) The supposed scene of St.
    Peter's martyrdom, viz., the church of St. Pietro in Montorio, on the
    Janiculum. (8) The chapel Domine que Vadis, on the Aypian road,the scene
    of the beautiful legend of our Lord's appearance to St. Peter as he was
    escaping from martyrdom. (9) The places where the bodies of the two
    apostles, after having been deposited first in the catacombs, are supposed
    to have been finally buried -- that of St. Paul by the Ostian road, that
    of St. Peter beneath the dome of the famous Basilica which bears his name.
    We may add, as sites unquestionably connected with the Roman Christians of
    the apostolic age -- (10) The gardens of Nero in the Vatican. Not far from
    the spot where St. Peter's now stands. Here Christians, wrapped in the
    skins of beasts, were torn to pieces by dogs, or, clothed in inflammable
    robes, were burnt to serve as torches during the midnight games. Others
    were crucified. (11) The Catacombs. These subterranean galleries, commonly
    from 8 to 10 feet in height and from 4 to 6 in width, and extending for
    miles, especially in the neighborhood of the old Appian and Nomentan Ways,
    were unquestionably used as places of refuge, of worship and of burial by
    the early Christians. The earliest dated inscription in the catacombs is
    A.D. 71. Nothing is known of the first founder of the Christian Church at
    Rome. Christianity may, perhaps, have been introduced into the city not
    long after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost by
    the "strangers of Rome, who were then at Jerusalem, (Acts 2:10) It is
    clear that there were many Christians at Rome before St. Paul visited the
    city. (Romans 1:8,13,15; 15:20) The names of twenty-four Christians at
    Rome are given in the salutations at the end of the Epistle to the Romans.
    Linus, who is mentioned (2 Timothy 4:21) and Clement, Phil 4:3 Are
    supposed to have succeeded St. Peter as bishops of Rome.




The references to "room" in (Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 14:7,8; 20:46)
signify the highest place on the highest couch round the dinner or supper
table -- the "uppermost seat", as it is more accurately rendered in (Luke


occurs twice only, viz. in (Solomon 2:1; Isaiah 35:1) There is much
difference of opinion as to what particular flower is here denoted; but it
appears to us most probable that the narcissus is intended. Chateaubriand
mentions the narcissus as growing in the Plain of Sharon. Roses are
greatly prized in the East, more especially for the sake of the
rose-water, which is much request. Dr. Hooker observed seven species of
wild roses in Syria.


(head). In the genealogy of (Genesis 46:21) Rosh is reckoned among
the sons of Benjamin.


(Ezekiel 38:2,3; 39:1) probably a proper name, referring to the first of
the three great Scythian tribes of which Magog was the head.


Properly "naphtha," as it is both in the LXX. and the Vulgate, as well as
in the Peshito-Syriac. Pliny mentions naphtha as a product of Babylonia,
similar in appearance to liquid bitumen, and having a remarkable affinity
to fire.


Concerning the meaning of the Hebrew words translated "rubies" there is
much difference of opinion. (Job 28:18) see also Prov 3:15; 8:11; 31:10
Some suppose "coral" to be in tended; others "pearl," supposing that the
original word signifies merely "bright in color," or "color of a reddish
tinge." (The real ruby is a red sapphire, next in value to the diamond.
The finest rubies are brought chiefly from Ceylon and Burmah.)


occurs only in (Luke 11:42) The rue here spoken of is doubtless the common
Ruta graveolens a shrubby plant about two feet high, of strong
medicinal virtues. It is a native of the Mediterranean coasts, and has
been found by Hasselquist on Mount Tabor. The Talmud enumerates rue
amongst kitchen herbs, and regards it as free of tithe as being a plant
not cultivated in gardens. In our Lord's time however rue was doubtless a
garden plant, and therefore tithable.


(red) is mentioned in (Mark 15:21) as a son of Simon the Cyrenian.
(Luke 23:26) (A.D. 29.) Again, in (Romans 16:13) the apostle Paul salutes
a Rufus whom he designates as "elect in the Lord." This Rufus was probably
identical with the one to whom Mark refers.


(having obtained mercy). (Hosea 2:1) The name if name it be, is
symbolical, and is addressed to the DAUGHTERS of the people, to denote
that they were still the objects of love and tender compassion.


(high), mentioned once only -- (2 Kings 23:36) It has been
conjectured to be the same place as Arumah. (Judges 9:41) which was
apparently near Shechem. It is more probable that it is identical with
Dumah. (Joshua 15:52)


(a female friend) a Moabitish woman, the wife, first of Mahlon,
second of Boaz, the ancestress of David and Christ,and one of the four
women who are named by St. Matthew in the genealogy of Christ. A severe
famine in the land of Judah induced Elimelech, a native of Bethlehem --
ephratah, to emigrate into the land of Moab, with his wife Naomi, and his
two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. This was probably about the time of Gideon,
B.C. 1250. At the end of ten years Naomi now left a widow and childless,
having heard that there was plenty again in Judah, resolved to return to
Bethlehem, and her daughter-in-law Ruth returned with her. They arrived at
Bethlehem just at the beginning of barley harvest, and Ruth, going out to
glean, chanced to go into the field of wheat, a wealthy man and a near
kinsman of her father-in-law, Elimelech. Upon learning who the stranger
was, Boaz treated her with the utmost kindness and respect, and sent her
home laden with corn which she had gleaned. Encouraged by this incident,
Naomi instructed Ruth to claim at the hand of Boaz that he should perform
the part of her husband's near kinsman, by purchasing the inheritance of
Elimelech and taking her to be his wife. With all due solemnity, Boaz took
Ruth to be his wife, amidst the blessings and congratulations of their
neighbors. Their son, Obed, was ’the father of Jesse, who was the
father of David.


contains the history of Ruth, as narrated in the preceding article. The
main object of the writer is evidently to give an account of David's
ancestors; and the book was avowedly composed long after the time of the
heroine. See (Ruth 1:1; 4:7,17) Its date and author are quite uncertain.
Tradition is in favor of Samuel. It is probable that the books of Judges,
Ruth, Samuel and Kings originally formed but one work. The book of Ruth
clearly forms part of the books of Samuel, supplying as it does the
essential point of David's genealogy and early family history, and is no
less clearly connected with the book of Judges by its opening verse and
the epoch to which the whole book relates.


(Heb. cussemeth) occurs in (Exodus 9:32; Isaiah 28:25) in the
latter the margin reads "spelt." In (Ezekiel 4:9) the text has "fitches"
and the margin "rie." It is probable that by cussemeth "spelt" is
intended. Spelt (Triticum spelta) is grown in some parts of the
south of Germany; it differs but slightly from our common wheat (T.

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