Places Study on Bethel

Places Study on Bethel

Genesis 12: And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Genesis 13: And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Genesis 28: And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
Genesis 31: I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
Genesis 35: And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Genesis 35: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
Genesis 35: So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.
Genesis 35: And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
Genesis 35: But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.
Genesis 35: And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.
Genesis 35: And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
Joshua 7: And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
Joshua 8: Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people.
Joshua 8: And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.
Joshua 8: And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel.
Joshua 12: The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;
Joshua 12: The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;
Joshua 16: And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel,
Joshua 16: And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passeth along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth,
Joshua 18: And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron.
Joshua 18: And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel,
Judges 1: And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.
Judges 1: And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
Judges 4: And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Judges 21: Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
1 Samuel 7: And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.
1 Samuel 10: Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:
1 Samuel 13: Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
1 Samuel 30: To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
1 Kings 12: And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
1 Kings 12: And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
1 Kings 12: So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
1 Kings 13: And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
1 Kings 13: And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
1 Kings 13: So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
1 Kings 13: Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
1 Kings 13: For the saying which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
1 Kings 16: In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
2 Kings 2: And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
2 Kings 2: And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
2 Kings 2: And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2 Kings 10: Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.
2 Kings 17: Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
2 Kings 23: And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.
2 Kings 23: Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.
2 Kings 23: Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.
2 Kings 23: And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.
1 Chronicles 7: And their possessions and habitations were, Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:
2 Chronicles 13: And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof.
Ezra 2: The men of Bethel and Ai, two hundred twenty and three.
Nehemiah 7: The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
Nehemiah 11: The children also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash, and Aija, and Bethel, and in their villages,
Jeremiah 48: And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence.
Hosea 10: So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.
Hosea 12: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;
Amos 3: That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.
Amos 4: Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:
Amos 5: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Amos 5: Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Amos 7: Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
Amos 7: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.

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Dictionary

Webster's Dictionary - Bethel
(1):

(n.) A house of worship for seamen.

(2):

(n.) A chapel for dissenters.

(3):

(n.) A place of worship; a hallowed spot.

1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Bethel
(Hebrew: house of God).

(1) Ancient Chanaanite town formerly called Luza, situated 12 miles north of Jerusalem. Nearby Abraham twice offered sacrifice (Genesis 12,13). It was the scene of the vision of Jacob's Ladder and a sacred place under the Judges where the Israelites "consulted God" (Judges 21), and where the Ark of the Covenant was probably kept for a time.

(2) The name for any dissenting chapel in England, and sometimes used as the name of a Methodist or a Baptist church.

Easton's Bible Dictionary - el-Bethel
God of Bethel, the name of the place where Jacob had the vision of the ladder, and where he erected an altar (Genesis 31:13 ; 35:7 ).

Easton's Bible Dictionary - Bethel
House of God.
A place in Central Palestine, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai. It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz (Genesis 28:19 ). The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between Bethel and Hai (Genesis 12:8 ); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (13:4). Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10,19); and on his return he again visited this place, "where God talked with him" (35:1-15), and there he "built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el" (q.v.). To this second occasion of God's speaking with Jacob at Bethel, (Hosea 12:4,5 ) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Judges 20:18,31 ; 21:2 ). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice (1 Samuel 7:16 ). It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33 ; 13:1 ). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hosea 4:15 ; 5:8 ; 10:5,8 ) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i.e., "house of idols." Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28,29 ). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:15-18 ); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 ). It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh.





Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel (Joshua 16:1 ; 1 Samuel 13:2 ).



A town in the south of Judah (Joshua 8:17 ; 12:16 ).


Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Bethel
("house of God".)

1. Abram pitched his tent on a mountain E. of Bethel, abounding in pasture (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3). The city, near the place, then bore the Canaanite name Luz. Bethel is the name given by anticipation to the place; appropriately so, as Abram virtually made it the "house of God." It was expressly so named by Jacob, when he had the vision of the heavenly ladder, on his way from his father at Beersheba to Harsh (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 31:13). He set up a pillar, and anointed it with oil, to mark the place where God spoke with him. Bethel, the place, is expressly distinguished from Luz, the old Canaanite city. "Jacob called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city was called Luz at the first" (Joshua 16:1-2). The naming of Bethel Jacob repeated more publicly on his return home, 20 years later, with his family purified of idols, when God again appeared to him, and confirmed his change of name to Israel (Genesis 35:1-15; Genesis 32:28).

Bethel belonged by lot to Benjamin, but was falcon by Ephraim (Bethel being on his southern border) through the treachery of an inhabitant (Judges 1:22-26). It was about 12 miles N. of Jerusalem. In Judges 20:26 translate for "the house of God" Bethel. During the civil war with Benjamin the tribes took the ark thither to consult God (compare 1 Samuel 10:3). It was one of Samuel's towns of circuit for judging (1 Samuel 7:16). One of Jeroboam's two sanctuaries for the calf worship, selected doubtless because of its religious associations (1 Kings 12-13). There the prophet from Judah foretold the overthrow of the calf altar by Josiah. Abijah, king of Judah, took Bethel from Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:19), but it was soon recovered by Israel. Under Ahab the Baal worship at Samaria and Jezreel drew off attention from the calf worship at Bethel. This accounts for a school of prophets of Jehovah being there in Elijah's time (2 Kings 2:2-3).

The existence of "bears," two, near the town, implies that Bethel was then less frequented (2 Kings 2:23-25). Under Jehu, who restored the calf worship, and Jeroboam II his great grandson, Bethel comes again into prominence (2 Kings 10:29). Bethel became the king's chapel" (sanctuary) "the king's court" ("house of the kingdom") (Amos 7:13; Amos 3:14-15). More altars, besides the original one were erected. "Summer and winter houses" too, and "great houses" and "houses of ivory." After the overthrow of Israel, the king of Assyria sent one of the Israelite priests to settle at Bethel, and teach the new settlers from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, "the manner of the god of the land," and "how they should fear Jehovah" (2 Kings 17:27-28). Josiah, as foretold, defiled the altar with dead men's bones, but disturbed not the sepulchre of the prophet of Judab when he discerned its title. It was ordered by God that the votaries of the calf worship at Bethel never dared to violate the sepulchre and title of the prophet who denounced their idol. The worship of Jehovah and of the calves had been all along strangely blended. (See BETHAVEN.)

Among those returning from captivity were men of Bethel (Ezra 2:28; Nehemiah 7:32; Nehemiah 11:31.) The ruins, covering three or four acres, still bear a like name, Beitin, on a low bill, between two wadies, which unite in the main valley of es-Suweinit, toward the S.E. Bethel still abounds in stones such as Jacob used for his pillow and afterward for a sanctuary. On the round mount S.E. of Bethel. Abram doubtless built the altar, and afterwards stood with Lot when giving him his choice of the land (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:10). E. of this mount stands the ruin Tel er Rijmah, "the mound of the heap," answering to Ai or Hai. Ritter makes Medinet Gai answer to Ai.

2. A town in southern Judah (Joshua 12:16; 1 Samuel 30:27). Bethel in Joshua 19:4 answers to Chesil in Joshua 15:30. Bethuel, 1 Chronicles 4:30. Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho under the curse (1 Kings 16:34).

Holman Bible Dictionary - el-Bethel
(ehl-behth' uhl) Place name meaning, “god of the house of El (god).” Either Bethel or place in or near Bethel, where Jacob built an altar to God as memorial to his previous visit to Bethel, when he had seen a vision of God (Genesis 35:7 ; compare Genesis 28:10-19 ). Apparently the name used for God was used as a place name. See God of the Fathers .



Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Bethel
BETHEL . 1 . On a rocky knoll beside the great road to the north, about 12 miles from Jerusalem, stands the modern Beilîn , a village of some 400 inhabitants, which represents the ancient Bethel. Four springs furnish good water, and in ancient times they were supplemented by a reservoir hewn in the rock, south of the town. Luz was the original name of the town. The name Bethel was first applied to the stone which Jacob set up and anointed ( Genesis 28:22 ). See Pillar. But ‘the place’ ( Genesis 28:11 etc.) was evidently one with holy associations. It was visited by Abraham, who sacrificed here ( Genesis 12:8 ). This may have induced Jacob to come hither on his way to the north, and again on his return from Paddan-aram. From an eminence to the east almost the whole extent of the plains of Jericho is visible. This may have been the scene of Lot’s selfish choice ( Genesis 13:1-18 ). ‘Bethel’ in the end prevailed over ‘Luz,’ and the town came to be known by the name of the sanctuary, the neighbourhood of which lent it distinction.

Bethel, a royal Canaanite city (Joshua 12:16 ), fell to Benjamin in the division of the land ( Joshua 18:22 ), but he failed to make good his possession. It was finally taken by Ephraim ( Judges 1:22 , 1 Chronicles 7:28 ). Hither the ark was brought from Gilgal ( Judges 20:18 LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ), and Bethel was resorted to as a place of sacrifice ( 1 Samuel 10:3 ). The prophetess Deborah dwelt between Bethel and Ramah ( Judges 4:5 ). In judging Israel, Samuel went from year to year in circuit to Bethel ( 1 Samuel 7:10 ). No doubt the ancient sanctity of the place led Jeroboam to choose Bethel as the site of the rival shrine, which he hoped might counteract the influence of the house of the Lord at Jerusalem ( 1 Kings 12:26 ff.). It became the great sanctuary of the Northern Kingdom, and the centre of the idolatrous priests who served in the high places ( 1 Kings 12:32 ff.). At Bethel, Jeroboam was denounced by the man of God out of Judah ( 1 Kings 13:19 ). It was one of the towns taken from Jeroboam by Abijah king of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 13:19 ). It is noteworthy that Elijah is silent regarding the calf-worship at Bethel; and that a school of the prophets, apparently in sympathy with him, flourished there ( 2 Kings 2:2 f.). But the denunciations of Amos ( 2Ki 3:14 , 2 Kings 4:4 , 2 Kings 5:5 etc.) and Hosea ( Hosea 4:15 ; Hosea 5:8 etc.) lack nothing in vehemence. The priest resided at Bethel, who was brought by the king of Assyria to teach the mixed peoples, who lived in the country during the Exile, the manner of the God of the land ( 2 Kings 17:29 ff.). Bethel was reoccupied by the returning exiles ( Ezra 2:28 etc.). We find it in the hands of Bacchides ( 1Ma 9:50 ). It was one of the towns ‘in the mountains’ taken by Vespasian in his march on Jerusalem (Jos. [Note: Josephus.] BJ IV. ix. 9).

2 . A town in Judah, not identified, called in different places, Bethul , Bethel, and Bethuel ( Joshua 19:4 , 1 Samuel 30:27 , 1 Chronicles 4:30 ).

W. Ewing.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Bethel
Genesis 28:19 (c) The meaning of the word is "The House of GOD."

It is used as a type of GOD making Himself known to His people, revealing His loving care, and His mighty power. The Christian should always be dwelling in "Bethel" in the conscious presence of GOD. (See also Genesis 31:13).

Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethel
1. Name, signifying 'house of God,' given to the place where God first appeared to Jacob in a dream. It led him to say, "Surely the Lord is in this place . . . . this is none other but the house of God . . . . and he called the name of that place Beth-el." Genesis 28:16-19 . God thus gave to Jacob the apprehension that the house of God on earth — the gate of heaven — was to be connected with him and his seed, and afterwards God acknowledged the place and the name, saying, "I am the God of Beth-el," Genesis 31:13 . To take Jacob out of a false position God bade him go up to Beth-el and dwell there, and Jacob felt he must take no idols there, so he told his household to put away the strange gods from among them, to be clean, and to change their garments. "He built there an altar and called the place El-beth-el; " and there God met him, revealed His name to him, and confirmed the change of his name to Israel (cf. Genesis 32:28,29 ), blessed him, and renewed His promises. Genesis 35:1-16 .

It was afterwards conquered and given to Benjamin. Joshua 12:9 ; Joshua 18:22 ; Judges 1:22 . Apparently the tabernacle was pitched at Shiloh near Bethel, for Israel went there to inquire of God, and Samuel told Saul that he should meet three men "going up to God to Beth-el." Judges 21:19 ; 1 Samuel 10:3 . At the division of the kingdom Beth-el fell to Israel, and Jeroboam set up there one of the golden calves to prevent the Israelites going to Jerusalem to worship. An altar was erected and sacrifices offered to the idol; but it was condemned by a man of God, and the altar was rent. 1 Kings 12:29-33 ; 1 Kings 13:1-32 ; Amos 7:10,13 . There were sons of the prophets dwelling at Beth-el, 2 Kings 2:3 , but the idolatrous altar was not destroyed until the days of Josiah. 2 Kings 23:4,15,17,19 . Among those who returned from exile were men of Beth-el, and the place was again inhabited. Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 ; Nehemiah 11:31 . See also Hosea 10:15 ; Hosea 12:4 ; Amos 3:14 ; Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:5,6 .

The city had been originally named Luz. It is now identified with Beitin, 31 56' N, 35 14' E , some 10 miles north of Jerusalem. It stands on a rocky ridge between two valleys, but has higher ground on each side except the south. Amos 5:5 said it should 'come to nought,' and now amid the scattered ruins are about 20 houses roughly formed out of the old materials. 'MOUNT BETH-EL' occurs in Joshua 16:1 ; 1 Samuel 13:2 . See BETH-AVEN.

2. This name, found in Joshua 12:16 (not that in Joshua 12:9 ) and 1 Samuel 30:27 , is probably a different place from the preceding because of the names associated with it, and was farther south. It is probably the same as Bethul, Bethuel. In the latter reference the LXX (Vat.) read Baethsur.

People's Dictionary of the Bible - Bethel
Bethel (bĕth'ĕl), house of God. Joshua 18:13. 1. A town about twelve miles north of Jerusalem. It was visited by Abraham, Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3; marked by Jacob after his vision of the ladder, Genesis 28:11-19; Genesis 31:13; dwelling-place of Jacob, Genesis 35:1-8; name applied to Luz, Judges 1:22-23. See Joshua 16:2; Genesis 28:19; Samuel judged there, 1 Samuel 7:16; a place of calf-worship, 1 Kings 12:29; 2 Kings 10:29; called Beth-aven—i.e., "house of idols," Hosea 10:5 (in verse 8 simply Aven); taken by Judah, 2 Chronicles 13:19; home of prophets, 2 Kings 2:2-3; of a priest, 2 Kings 17:28; 2 Kings 23:15; 2 Kings 23:19; was desolate, Amos 3:14; Amos 5:5-6; settled by Benjamites after the captivity, Nehemiah 11:31; named about seventy times in the Old Testament; not noticed in the New Testament; now called Beitin (nine miles south of Shiloh), a village of about 25 Moslem hovels, standing amid ruins which cover about four acres.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - el-Bethel
EL-BETHEL . The name which Jacob is said to have given to the scene of his vision on his way back from Paddau-aram, Genesis 35:7 (P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] ?).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Bethel
House of God, the name of a city west of Hai, on the confines of the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin, Genesis 12:8 28:10-22 , and occupying the spot where Jacob slept and had his memorable dream, the name he then gave it superseding the old name Luz, Judges 1:23 . Thirty years after, he again pitched his tent there, Genesis 35:1-15 . It was captured by Joshua, and given to Benjamin, Joshua 12:9 18:22 . The Ephraimites, however, expelled the Canaanites, Judges 1:22-26 . Here the ark of the covenant, and probably the tabernacle, long remained, Judges 20:26 1 Samuel 10:3 . Samuel held his court here in turn, 1 Samuel 7:16 . After Solomon, it became a seat of gross idolatry; Jeroboam choosing it as the place for one of his golden calves, from the sacredness previously attached to it, 1 Kings 12:29 . The prophets were charged with messages against Bethel, 1 Kings 13:1,2 Jeremiah 48:13 Amos 3:14 7:10 . The first of these was fulfilled by Josiah, 2 Kings 23:13 ; and the others in the later desolation of Bethel, where nothing but ruins can now be found. Its site was identified by Dr. Robinson, in the place now called Beitin. It is twelve miles from Jerusalem towards Shechem, on the southern side of a hill, with a narrow and fertile valley on the east, and the long-traveled road on the west. At the bottom of the hill are the remains of a vast stone reservoir, of an ancient Hebrew age.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethel
When Abraham entered Canaan, one of his main camping places was near Bethel, in the hill country west of the lower Jordan. There he built an altar, and there he later returned after a time in Egypt (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3).

In those days the town was known by its Canaanite name, Luz. It was renamed Bethel (i.e. ‘house of God’) by Jacob, after he had a remarkable dream that made him feel he was in the dwelling place of God. From that time on, God was, to Jacob, ‘the God of Bethel’. Many years later he returned to Bethel to fulfil vows he made on the night of his dream (Genesis 28:11-22; Genesis 31:13; Genesis 35:6-7).

Bethel, along with other towns and villages of central Canaan, fell to Israel at the time of Joshua’s conquest. When Canaan was divided among Israel’s tribes, Bethel was on the border between Ephraim and Benjamin. It was allotted to Benjamin, but was occupied by Ephraim (Joshua 8:9; Joshua 16:1; Joshua 18:11-13; Joshua 18:21-22; Judges 1:23; 1 Chronicles 7:20; 1 Chronicles 7:28; for map see BENJAMIN).

For a brief period after the conquest, the ark of the covenant was kept at Bethel (Judges 20:18; Judges 20:27-28). Bethel was an important religious and administrative centre in the time of Samuel and a school for prophets was established there. The school was still functioning in the time of Elijah and Elisha (1 Samuel 7:16; 1 Samuel 10:3; 2 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 2:23).

When the Israelite kingdom split into two, Jeroboam, king of the breakaway northern kingdom, set up golden idols at Dan and Bethel, the northern and southern border towns of his kingdom. The idolatry of Bethel, which God’s prophets repeatedly denounced, was the reason why the altar and the town were eventually destroyed (1 Kings 12:28-33; 1 Kings 13:1-3; 2 Kings 23:15-20; Jeremiah 48:13; Amos 3:14; Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5; Amos 7:10-13).

With the rebuilding of Israel after the captivity, Bethel again became a settlement (Nehemiah 11:31). It still existed in the time of Christ, though it is not mentioned in the New Testament.

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Sentence search

Luz - The ancient name of a part at least of Bethel, Genesis 28:19 John 16:2 18:13 ; afterwards given to a smaller place founded by a refugee from Bethel, Judges 1:26 . See Bethel, Judges 1:26 . See Bethel . ...
Luz - (luhz) Place name meaning “almond tree. ” 1. Original name of Bethel (Genesis 28:19 ). See Bethel . Joshua 16:2 seems to distinguish the two places, Bethel perhaps being the worship place and Luz the city. Bethel would then be Burj Beitin and Luz, Beitin. 2. A city in the land of the Hittites which a man founded after showing the tribe of Joseph how to conquer Bethel ( Judges 1:26 ). Its location is not known. See Hittites. ... ...
Bethul - A town of Simeon in the S. (Joshua 19:4) answering to CHESIL in Joshua 15:30; also the southern Bethel (Joshua 12:16), not the northern Bethel. ...
Beth-Aven - Beth-aven (bĕth'â'ven), house of vanity. or idols. A place and desert near Bethel on the east, Joshua 7:2; Joshua 18:12; 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Samuel 14:23; a name reproachfully used at times for Bethel itself, after the golden calves were there set up, Hosea 4:15; Hosea 10:5; Bethel meaning the "house of God. "...
Luz - (See Bethel. ) Luz was originally the city, Bethel the pillar and altar of Jacob; in Genesis 12:8 it is called Bethel by anticipation (Genesis 28:19), after Ephraim's conquest the town Bethel arose. The nearness of the two accounts for their being identified in all eases where there was no special reason for distinguishing them. After one of the townsmen of ancient Luz had betrayed it to Israel he went into "the land of the Hittites," and built a city of the same name (Judges 1:23-26). Answering to Khirbet Lozeh, close to Beitin. ...
el-Bethel - (ehl-behth' uhl) Place name meaning, “god of the house of El (god). ” Either Bethel or place in or near Bethel, where Jacob built an altar to God as memorial to his previous visit to Bethel, when he had seen a vision of God (Genesis 35:7 ; compare Genesis 28:10-19 ). Apparently the name used for God was used as a place name. See God of the Fathers . ... ...
Bethel - ("house of God". )... 1. Abram pitched his tent on a mountain E. of Bethel, abounding in pasture (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3). The city, near the place, then bore the Canaanite name Luz. Bethel is the name given by anticipation to the place; appropriately so, as Abram virtually made it the "house of God. " It was expressly so named by Jacob, when he had the vision of the heavenly ladder, on his way from his father at Beersheba to Harsh (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 31:13). He set up a pillar, and anointed it with oil, to mark the place where God spoke with him. Bethel, the place, is expressly distinguished from Luz, the old Canaanite city. "Jacob called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city was called Luz at the first" (Joshua 16:1-2). The naming of Bethel Jacob repeated more publicly on his return home, 20 years later, with his family purified of idols, when God again appeared to him, and confirmed his change of name to Israel (Genesis 35:1-15; Genesis 32:28). ... Bethel belonged by lot to Benjamin, but was falcon by Ephraim (Bethel being on his southern border) through the treachery of an inhabitant (Judges 1:22-26). It was about 12 miles N. of Jerusalem. In Judges 20:26 translate for "the house of God" Bethel. During the civil war with Benjamin the tribes took the ark thither to consult God (compare 1 Samuel 10:3). It was one of Samuel's towns of circuit for judging (1 Samuel 7:16). One of Jeroboam's two sanctuaries for the calf worship, selected doubtless because of its religious associations (1 Kings 12-13). There the prophet from Judah foretold the overthrow of the calf altar by Josiah. Abijah, king of Judah, took Bethel from Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:19), but it was soon recovered by Israel. Under Ahab the Baal worship at Samaria and Jezreel drew off attention from the calf worship at Bethel. This accounts for a school of prophets of Jehovah being there in Elijah's time (2 Kings 2:2-3). ... The existence of "bears," two, near the town, implies that Bethel was then less frequented (2 Kings 2:23-25). Under Jehu, who restored the calf worship, and Jeroboam II his great grandson, Bethel comes again into prominence (2 Kings 10:29). Bethel became the king's chapel" (sanctuary) "the king's court" ("house of the kingdom") (Amos 7:13; Amos 3:14-15). More altars, besides the original one were erected. "Summer and winter houses" too, and "great houses" and "houses of ivory. " After the overthrow of Israel, the king of Assyria sent one of the Israelite priests to settle at Bethel, and teach the new settlers from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, "the manner of the god of the land," and "how they should fear Jehovah" (2 Kings 17:27-28). Josiah, as foretold, defiled the altar with dead men's bones, but disturbed not the sepulchre of the prophet of Judab when he discerned its title. It was ordered by God that the votaries of the calf worship at Bethel never dared to violate the sepulchre and title of the prophet who denounced their idol. The worship of Jehovah and of the calves had been all along strangely blended. (See BETHAVEN. )... Among those returning from captivity were men of Bethel (Ezra 2:28; Nehemiah 7:32; Nehemiah 11:31. ) The ruins, covering three or four acres, still bear a like name, Beitin, on a low bill, between two wadies, which unite in the main valley of es-Suweinit, toward the S. E. Bethel still abounds in stones such as Jacob used for his pillow and afterward for a sanctuary. On the round mount S. E. of Bethel. Abram doubtless built the altar, and afterwards stood with Lot when giving him his choice of the land (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:10). E. of this mount stands the ruin Tel er Rijmah, "the mound of the heap," answering to Ai or Hai. Ritter makes Medinet Gai answer to Ai. ... 2. A town in southern Judah (Joshua 12:16; 1 Samuel 30:27). Bethel in Joshua 19:4 answers to Chesil in Joshua 15:30. Bethuel, 1 Chronicles 4:30. Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho under the curse (1 Kings 16:34). ...
Bethaven - A place or 'wilderness' of Benjamin near Bethel. Joshua 7:2 ; Joshua 18:12 ; 1 Samuel 13:5 ; 1 Samuel 14:23 ; Hosea 4 . 15 ; Hosea 5:8 ; Hosea 10:5 . Though this is said to be on the east of Bethel, in Hosea it would appear to be a name given to Bethel itself as being no longer the 'house of God,' but the 'house of vanity' because of the idols there. ...
Bethel - When Abraham entered Canaan, one of his main camping places was near Bethel, in the hill country west of the lower Jordan. There he built an altar, and there he later returned after a time in Egypt (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3). ... In those days the town was known by its Canaanite name, Luz. It was renamed Bethel (i. e. ‘house of God’) by Jacob, after he had a remarkable dream that made him feel he was in the dwelling place of God. From that time on, God was, to Jacob, ‘the God of Bethel’. Many years later he returned to Bethel to fulfil vows he made on the night of his dream (Genesis 28:11-22; Genesis 31:13; Genesis 35:6-7). ... Bethel, along with other towns and villages of central Canaan, fell to Israel at the time of Joshua’s conquest. When Canaan was divided among Israel’s tribes, Bethel was on the border between Ephraim and Benjamin. It was allotted to Benjamin, but was occupied by Ephraim (Joshua 8:9; Joshua 16:1; Joshua 18:11-13; Joshua 18:21-22; Judges 1:23; 1 Chronicles 7:20; 1 Chronicles 7:28; for map see BENJAMIN). ... For a brief period after the conquest, the ark of the covenant was kept at Bethel (Judges 20:18; Judges 20:27-28). Bethel was an important religious and administrative centre in the time of Samuel and a school for prophets was established there. The school was still functioning in the time of Elijah and Elisha (1 Samuel 7:16; 1 Samuel 10:3; 2 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 2:23). ... When the Israelite kingdom split into two, Jeroboam, king of the breakaway northern kingdom, set up golden idols at Dan and Bethel, the northern and southern border towns of his kingdom. The idolatry of Bethel, which God’s prophets repeatedly denounced, was the reason why the altar and the town were eventually destroyed (1 Kings 12:28-33; 1 Kings 13:1-3; 2 Kings 23:15-20; Jeremiah 48:13; Amos 3:14; Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5; Amos 7:10-13). ... With the rebuilding of Israel after the captivity, Bethel again became a settlement (Nehemiah 11:31). It still existed in the time of Christ, though it is not mentioned in the New Testament. ...
Beth'el - (the house of God ) well known city and holy place of central Palestine, about 12 mlles north of Jerusalem. If we are to accept the precise definition of ( Genesis 12:8 ) the name of Bethel would appear to have existed at this spot even before the arrival of Abram in Canaan. (Genesis 12:8 ; 13:3,4 ) Bethel was the scene of Jacob's vision. (Genesis 28:11-19 ; 31:13 ) Jacob lived there. (Genesis 35:1-8 ) The original name was Luz. (Judges 1:22,23 ) After the conquest Bethel is frequently heard of. In the troubled times when there was no king in Israel, it was to Bethel that the people went up in their distress to ask counsel of God. (Judges 20:18,26,31 ; 21:2 ) Authorized Version, "house of God. " Here was the ark of the covenant. (Judges 20:26-28 ; 21:4 ) Later it is named as one of the holy cities to which Samuel went on circuit. (1 Samuel 7:16 ) Here Jeroboab placed one of the two calves of gold. Toward the end of Jeroboam's life Bethel fell into the hands of Judah. (2 Chronicles 13:19 ) Elijah visited Bethel, and we hear of "sons of the prophets" as resident there. (2 Kings 2:2,3 ) But after the destruction of Baal worship by Jehu Bethel comes once more into view. (2 Kings 10:29 ) After the desolation of the northern kingdom by the king of Assyria, Bethel still remained an abode of priests. (2 Kings 17:27,28 ) In later times Bethel is named only once under the scarcely-altered name of Beitin . Its ruins still lie on the righthand side of the road from Jerusalem to Nablus.
A town in the south part of Judah, named in (Joshua 12:16 ) and 1 Samuel 30:27 In ( Joshua 15:30 ; 19:4 ; 1 Chronicles 4:29,30 ) the place appears under the name of CHESIL , BETHUL and BETHUEL . Hiel the Bethelite is recorded as the rebuilder of Jericho. (1 Kings 16:34 ) ... In (Joshua 16:1 ) and 1 Samuel 13:2 Mount Bethel, a hilly section near Beth-el, is referred to.
el-Beth-el - The God of Bethel
Sharezer - (sshuh ree' zuhr) Abbreviated form of Akkadian name meaning, “may (god's name) protect the king. ” Son of Sennacherib who helped murder his father (2 Kings 19:37 ). Assyrian records report the death as occurring in 681 B. C. See Assyria. 2. Name open to several interpretations in Zechariah 7:2 . The full name may be Bethel-sharezer, meaning, “may the god Bethel protect the king” (see REB). Sharezer may be a man sent to the house of God (beth-el in Hebrew) to pray (KJV). The town of Bethel may have sent Sharezer to pray (NAS, NIV, NRSV, TEV). The name probably indicates the person was born in Babylonian Exile. He may have come with his questions from Babylon and have come as a representative of the people of Bethel. ... ...
Bethel - Bethel . 1 . On a rocky knoll beside the great road to the north, about 12 miles from Jerusalem, stands the modern Beilîn , a village of some 400 inhabitants, which represents the ancient Bethel. Four springs furnish good water, and in ancient times they were supplemented by a reservoir hewn in the rock, south of the town. Luz was the original name of the town. The name Bethel was first applied to the stone which Jacob set up and anointed ( Genesis 28:22 ). See Pillar. But ‘the place’ ( Genesis 28:11 etc. ) was evidently one with holy associations. It was visited by Abraham, who sacrificed here ( Genesis 12:8 ). This may have induced Jacob to come hither on his way to the north, and again on his return from Paddan-aram. From an eminence to the east almost the whole extent of the plains of Jericho is visible. This may have been the scene of Lot’s selfish choice ( Genesis 13:1-18 ). ‘Bethel’ in the end prevailed over ‘Luz,’ and the town came to be known by the name of the sanctuary, the neighbourhood of which lent it distinction. ... Bethel, a royal Canaanite city (Joshua 12:16 ), fell to Benjamin in the division of the land ( Joshua 18:22 ), but he failed to make good his possession. It was finally taken by Ephraim ( Judges 1:22 , 1 Chronicles 7:28 ). Hither the ark was brought from Gilgal ( Judges 20:18 LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] ), and Bethel was resorted to as a place of sacrifice ( 1 Samuel 10:3 ). The prophetess Deborah dwelt between Bethel and Ramah ( Judges 4:5 ). In judging Israel, Samuel went from year to year in circuit to Bethel ( 1 Samuel 7:10 ). No doubt the ancient sanctity of the place led Jeroboam to choose Bethel as the site of the rival shrine, which he hoped might counteract the influence of the house of the Lord at Jerusalem ( 1 Kings 12:26 ff. ). It became the great sanctuary of the Northern Kingdom, and the centre of the idolatrous priests who served in the high places ( 1 Kings 12:32 ff. ). At Bethel, Jeroboam was denounced by the man of God out of Judah ( 1 Kings 13:19 ). It was one of the towns taken from Jeroboam by Abijah king of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 13:19 ). It is noteworthy that Elijah is silent regarding the calf-worship at Bethel; and that a school of the prophets, apparently in sympathy with him, flourished there ( 2 Kings 2:2 f. ). But the denunciations of Amos ( 2Ki 3:14 , 2 Kings 4:4 , 2 Kings 5:5 etc. ) and Hosea ( Hosea 4:15 ; Hosea 5:8 etc. ) lack nothing in vehemence. The priest resided at Bethel, who was brought by the king of Assyria to teach the mixed peoples, who lived in the country during the Exile, the manner of the God of the land ( 2 Kings 17:29 ff. ). Bethel was reoccupied by the returning exiles ( Ezra 2:28 etc. ). We find it in the hands of Bacchides ( 1Ma 9:50 ). It was one of the towns ‘in the mountains’ taken by Vespasian in his march on Jerusalem (Jos. [Note: Josephus. ] BJ IV. ix. 9). ... 2 . A town in Judah, not identified, called in different places, Bethul , Bethel, and Bethuel ( Joshua 19:4 , 1 Samuel 30:27 , 1 Chronicles 4:30 ). ... W. Ewing. ...
Ophni - (ahf' ni) Name meaning, “high place. ” Town allotted to Benjamin (Joshua 18:24 ). Ophni was likely in the vicinity of Geba and is perhaps Jifna, three miles northwest of Bethel near the intersection of the Jerusalem-Shechem road and the road leading from the Plain of Sharon to Bethel. ... ...
Archite (the) - (2 Samuel 15:32. ) Archi was near Bethel (Joshua 16:2). ...
Luz - LUZ. 1. Genesis 28:19 ; Genesis 35:6 ; Genesis 48:3 , Joshua 16:2 ; Joshua 18:13 , Judges 1:23-26 . The exact locality is uncertain, and a comparison of the above passages will show that it is also uncertain whether Luz and Bethel were one or two sites. In Genesis 28:19 it is stated that Jacob changed the name of the place of his vision from Luz to Bethel (cf. also Genesis 35:6 , Judges 1:23 ). The two passages in Joshua, however, seem to contradict this; both of them speak of Luz and Bethel as two distinct places. A possible solution is that Luz was the name of the old Canaanite city, and Bethel the pillar and altar of Jacob outside the city. 2. Luz is also the name of a city built on Hittite territory after the destruction of the original Canaanite city ( Judges 1:26 ). ... T. A. Moxon. ...
Baal-Tamar - BAAL-TAMAR . An unknown site near Bethel and Gibeah ( Judges 4:5 ). ...
Beth-Aven - House of nothingness; i. e. , "of idols", a place in the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Joshua 7:2 ; 18:12 ; 1 Samuel 13:5 ). In Hosea 4:15 ; 5:8 ; 10:5 it stands for "Bethel" (q. v. ), and it is so called because it was no longer the "house of God," but "the house of idols," referring to the calves there worshipped. ...
Beth-Aven - A place and desert near Bethel on the east, Joshua 7:2 ; 18:12 ; 1 Samuel 13:5 ; 14:23 . It seems to be reproachfully used at times for Bethel itself, after the golden calves were there set up, Hosea 4:15 ; 10:5 : Beth-el meaning the house of God; and Beth-aven, the house of sin, or of an idol. ...
Beth-a'Ven - (house of nothingness , i. e. of idols ), a place on the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel, ( Joshua 7:2 ; 18:12 ) and lying between that place and Michmash. (1 Samuel 13:5 ; 14:28 ) In (Hosea 4:15 ; 5:8 ; 10:5 ) the name is transferred to the neighboring Bethel, --once the "house of God" but then the house of idols of "naught. "
Naaran - Boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho (1 Chronicles 7:28 ).
Bethuel, Bethul - Town in Simeon. Joshua 19:4 ; 1 Chronicles 4:30 . See Bethel, No. 2. ...
Gidom - Judges 20:45; between Gibeah and the cliff Rimmon (Rimmon, three miles E. of Bethel). ...
Bochim - BOCHIM (‘weepers,’ Judges 2:1 ). Unknown as a geographical site. Possibly the orig. reading was Bethel . ...
Bethaven - ("house of nothingness or vanity". ) On the mountains of Benjamin, E. of Bethel (Joshua 7:2; Joshua 18:12), between it and Michmash 1 Samuel 13:5; 1 Samuel 14:23). Near it was the "wilderness," i. e. pasture land of Bethaven (Joshua 18:12. ) In Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:1; Hosea 10:5 Bethel, "house of God," is called Bethaven, "house of vanity", because of Jeroboam's golden calf. ...
a-i'ja, - like Aiath probably a variation of the name Ai, mentioned with Michmash and Bethel. (Nehemiah 11:31 )
Regem Melech - ("the king's official") (Zechariah 7:2). Sent by Jews of the country (Zechariah 7:5) to "the house of God" (Βethel ) or congregation at Jerusalem. Beth-el is here used for Beth-Jehovah; the religious authorities, not "the house of Jehovah" (named in Zechariah 7:3), are meant. The temple was not actually completed until two years later (Ezra 6:15 with Zechariah 7:1). But the congregation, headed by their priests, was "the house of God," paving the way for the spiritual New Testament "house of God" (Hebrews 3:6; Zechariah 3:7; Hosea 8:1). Ezra (Ezra 5:8; Ezra 5:15; Ezra 6:7; Ezra 7:20; Ezra 7:23) uses Βet Εlowah for "the house of God. " The allusion is to God's words to Jacob, "go up to Bethel" (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:1). ... Jacob's "house of God" consisted as yet of but a pillar first and an altar afterward (Genesis 28:17-18; Genesis 28:22; Genesis 36:1; Genesis 36:7); so the house of God at the time of Regem Melech consisted merely of an altar, and congregation, and priests favored with God's presence in worship at it. God, as in Jacob's case, could bless the obedient at the bore altar before the temple was reared. But many sent to Jehovah's house, not like Jacob at Bethel but as the apostate Israelites to the calf at Bethel, with no spirit of true obedience. Hence the name "Bethel" is used. In Genesis 36:5, it is not to the people of Bethel but "unto all the people of the land" the word of the Lord came in reply; therefore Bethel is not the nominative to "sent" in Genesis 36:2, as Maurer proposes. ...
Archi - A city on the boundary of Ephraim and Benjamin (Joshua 16:2 ), between Bethel and Beth-horon the nether.
Luz - The original spot called afterwards "Bethel, the house of God. " (Genesis 28:19) Luz seems to have meant separation. ...
Lebonah - City near to Bethel and Shechem. Judges 21:19 . Identified with el Lubban, 32 4' N, 35 14' E . ...
Ai - Ruins.
One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Joshua 10:1 ; Genesis 12:8 ; 13:3 ). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel (Joshua 7:2-5 ; 8:1-29 ). It lay rebuilt and inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 ; 11:31 ). It lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven. " The spot which is most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel. ... A city in the Ammonite territory (Jeremiah 49:3 ). Some have thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isaiah 15:1 ).
Gilgal - Gilgal (gĭl'găl), rolling. I. The name of the first station of the Israelites after crossing the Jordan, Joshua 4:19-20, where the twelve stones were set up, and the tabernacle remained until removed to Shiloh. Joshua 18:1. Samuel judged, and Saul was made king there; 1 Samuel 7:16; 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 11:14-15; at Gilgal the people gathered for war; there Agag was hewn in pieces. 1 Samuel 13:4-7; 1 Samuel 15:33. Gilgal is not named in the New Testament. Josephus places this Gilgal 10 furlongs from Jericho and 50 from the Jordan: Jerome had it pointed out 2 miles from Jericho. 2. The Gitgal in Elijah's time was above Bethel, since the prophet "went down" from that Gilgal to Bethel. 2 Kings 2:2. As Bethel is 3300 feet above the Jordan plain, it must have been a Gilgal not in that plain, It has been identified with Jiljilia, 8 miles north of Bethel, where the school of the prophets was probably established. 3. Gilgal of Joshua 12:23 is supposed to be at a Jiljûlieh, near Antipatris, in the plain of Sharon. ...
Allon Bacuth - ALLON BACUTH (‘oak of weeping’). The place where Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, was buried; it was near Bethel ( Genesis 35:8 ). ...
Luz - A nut-bearing tree, the almond.
The ancient name of a royal Canaanitish city near the site of Bethel (Genesis 28:19 ; 35:6 ), on the border of Benjamin (Joshua 18:13 ). Here Jacob halted, and had a prophetic vision. (See Bethel . ) ... ... A place in the land of the Hittites, founded ( Judges 1:26 ) by "a man who came forth out of the city of Luz. " It is identified with Luweiziyeh, 4 miles north-west of Banias. ...
Bochim - (boh' chihm) Place name meaning, “weepers. ” Place where angel of God announced judgment on Israel at beginning of the period of Judges because they had not destroyed pagan altars but had made covenant treaties with the native inhabitants. Thus the people cried and named the place Bochim (Judges 2:1-5 ). It may have been between Bethel and Gilgal. An oak of weeping near Bethel was the burial place of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 35:8 ). See Allon-bachuth. ... ...
Chephar-Ammoni - CHEPHAR-AMMONI (‘village of the Ammonites,’ Joshua 18:24 ). A town of Benjamin. Probably the ruin Kefr ‘Âna near Bethel. ...
Chapel - A holy place or sanctuary, occurs only in Amos 7:13 , where one of the idol priests calls Bethel "the king's chapel. " ...
Allonbachuth - (al' lah bach' uhth) or ALLONBACUTH Place name meaning, “oak of weeping. ” Burial place near Bethel of Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 35:8 ). ... ...
Beth-Aven - BETH-AVEN (‘house of iniquity,’ or ‘idolatry’?). Close to Ai ( Joshua 7:2 ), by the wilderness ( Joshua 18:12 ), north-west of Michmash ( 1 Samuel 13:5 ), and on the way to Aijalon ( 1 Samuel 14:23 ), still inhabited in the 8th cent. b. c. ( Hosea 5:8 ). The ‘calves of Bethaven’ were probably those at Bethel close by ( Hosea 10:5 ). Bethel is probably meant also in Hosea 4:15 ; Hosea 5:8 (see Amos 5:5 ) Hosea 10:8 (Aven). ...
Bethel - House of God.
A place in Central Palestine, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai. It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz (Genesis 28:19 ). The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between Bethel and Hai (Genesis 12:8 ); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (13:4). Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10,19); and on his return he again visited this place, "where God talked with him" (35:1-15), and there he "built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el" (q. v. ). To this second occasion of God's speaking with Jacob at Bethel, (Hosea 12:4,5 ) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Judges 20:18,31 ; 21:2 ). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice (1 Samuel 7:16 ). It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33 ; 13:1 ). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hosea 4:15 ; 5:8 ; 10:5,8 ) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i. e. , "house of idols. " Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28,29 ). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:15-18 ); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 ). It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh. ... ... ... Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel (Joshua 16:1 ; 1 Samuel 13:2 ). ... ... A town in the south of Judah (Joshua 8:17 ; 12:16 ). ...
Betolion - BETOLION (AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] Betolius , 1Es 5:21 ; in Ezra 2:28 Bethel ). Fifty-two persons of this place returned from captivity with Zerubbabel. ...
Lebonah - Judges 21:19 , a town of Ephraim, near Shiloh, between Bethel and Shechem. Its name and site are preserved in the present village of Lubban. ...
Lebonah - Frankincense, a town near Shiloh, on the north side of Bethel (Judges 21:19 ). It has been identified with el-Lubban, to the south of Nablus. ...
Jadon - Nehemiah 3:7; compare 1 Chronicles 27:30. Josephus calls the man of God who denounced Jeroboam's altar at Bethel "Jadon," intending probably "Iddo the seer. "...
el-Bethel - God of Bethel, the name of the place where Jacob had the vision of the ladder, and where he erected an altar (Genesis 31:13 ; 35:7 ). ...
Luz - (almond tree ). It seems impossible to discover with precision whether Luz and Bethel represent one and the same town--the former the Canannite, the latter the Hebrew, name--or whether they were distinct places, though in close proximity. The most probable conclusion is that the two places were, during the times preceding the conquest, distinct, Luz being the city and Bethel the pillar and altar of Jacob that after the destruction of Luz by the tribe of Ephraim the town of Bethel arose. When the original Luz was destroyed, through the treachery of one of its inhabitants, the man who had introduced the Israelites into the town went into the "land of the Hittites" and built a city which he named after the former one. ( Judges 1:28 ) Its situation, as well as that of the land of the Hittites," has never been discovered, and is one of the favorable puzzles of Scripture geographers.
Jeshanah - JESHANAH . A town taken from Jeroboam by Abijah ( 2 Chronicles 13:19 ). It is the modern ‘Ain Sînia , about 3 1 / 4 miles north of Bethel. ...
Archi - Archi (är'kî). Joshua 16:2 A. V. , but R. V. reads "border of the Archites," a people living near Bethel, and to which Hushai belonged. 2 Samuel 15:32. ...
Sichem - (Hebrew: shoulder) ... Israelite city north of Bethel and Silo, in the tribe of Ephraim; first capital of the Kingdom of Israel, noted as the burial-place of Joseph (Josiah 24). ...
el-Bethel - EL-Bethel . The name which Jacob is said to have given to the scene of his vision on his way back from Paddau-aram, Genesis 35:7 (P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] ?). ...
el-Beth'el - (the God of Bethel ), the name which Jacob is said to have bestowed on the place at which God appeared to him when he was flying from Esau. ( Genesis 35:7 )
Engannim - 1. A town of Judah, probably near Bethel, Joshua 15:34 . ... 2. A city of the priests, in Issachar, now Jenin, fifteen miles south of mount Tabor, Joshua 19:21 ; 21:29 . ...
Chesil - CHESIL ( Joshua 15:30 ). The LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] reads Bethel , probably for Bethul , as in the parallel passage, Joshua 19:4 , and Chesil of MT [Note: Massoretic Text. ] is prob. a textual error. ...
El - Strength, one of the names of God, especially in poetry, ... Genesis 33:18-20 . It is very often found in proper names, as Bethel, Daniel, Elijah, etc. Eloi, like Eli, means, My God. ...
ar'Chi - (Joshua 16:2 ) A place in the neighborhood of Bethel, on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin. It designates a clan perhaps originally from Erech in Babylonia, of which Hushai was one. [ARCHITE ]
Ai - Ai (â'î, heap of ruins. 1. A city of the Canaanites, Genesis 13:3, where it is "Hai" in the Authorized Version, but Ai in the Revised Version. Taken by Joshua. Joshua 7:2-5; Joshua 8:1-29. Also called Aiath, Isaiah 10:28, and Aija in the A. V. and R. V. , Nehemiah 11:31. Abraham pitched his tent between Hai and Bethel. Genesis 12:8. The city of Ai was east of Bethel, and about nine miles north of Jerusalem. It is named 38 times in the Bible. 2. A city of the Ammonites, not far from Heshbon. Jeremiah 49:3. ...
Timnath - TIMNATH . A strong city built by Bacchides ( 1Ma 9:50 ). It is possibly the Thamna of Jos. [Note: Josephus. ] BJ III. iii. 5, the mod. Tibneh , some 10 miles N. W. of Bethel. Cf. Timnath-serah. ...
Chesil - S. of Judah (Joshua 15:30). Perhaps the same as Bethul, of Simeon, within Judah's inheritance, or Bethuel (Joshua 19:4; 1 Chronicles 4:30; 1 Samuel 30:27), "Bethel" among the cities of the extreme S. ...
Baal Tamar - ("lord of a palm tree". ) (Judges 20:33), near Gibeah of Benjamin. Deborah's palm tree (Judges 4:4) was between Ramah and Bethel, in this neighborhood. The battle at Baal Tamar was prior to her time, 1406 B. C. ...
hi'el - (God liveth ), a native of Bethel, who rebuilt Jericho in the reign of Ahab, ( 1 Kings 16:34 ) (B. C. after 915), and in whom was fulfilled the curse pronounced by Joshua, (Joshua 6:26 ) five hundred years before.
Ai - ("heap of rains". )... 1. AI or HAI, i. e. the Ai (Genesis 12:8); a royal city (Joshua 7:2; Joshua 8:9; Joshua 8:23; Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:1-2; Joshua 12:9); E. of Bethel, "beside Bethaven. " The second Canaanite city taken by Israel and "utterly destroyed. " The name AIATH still belonged to the locality when Sennacherib marched against Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:28). "Men of Bethel and Ai," (223 according to Ezra 2:28, but 123 according to Nehemiah 7:32,) returned from Babylon with Zerubbzbel. Ezra's list was made in Babylon; Nehemiah's in Judaea long after. Death and change of purpose would make many in Ezra's list of intending returners not appear in Nehemiah's list of those actually arriving. ... Aija is mentioned among the towns reoccupied by the Benjamites (Nehemiah 11:31). Perhaps the site is at the head of Wary Harith. (See Bethel. ) There is a hilltop E. of the church remains on the hill adjoining and E. of Bethel (Beitin); its Arab name, et Tel, means "the heap," and it doubtless is the site of Ai, or Hai (on the east of Abraham's encampment and altar, Genesis 12:8). In the valley behind Joshua placed his ambush. Across the intervening valley is the spot where Joshua stood when giving the preconcerted signal. The plain or ridge can be seen down which the men of Ai rushed after the retreating Israelites, so that the men in ambush rose and captured the city behind the pursuers, and made it. "a heap" or tel for ever. ... 2. A city of Ammon, near Heshbon (Jeremiah 49:3). ...
Silo - (Hebrew: peace or rest) ... City of Ephraim, north of Bethel (Judges 21). For three centuries after the conquest of the Promised Land it was the dwelling-place of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant (Josiah 18). The modern Seilun. ...
Naaran - A city, the eastern limit of Ephraim (1 Chronicles 7:28). Probably NAARATH or Naarah, a southern landmark of Ephraim (Joshua 16:7), between Ataroth and Jericho, in one of the torrent beds leading down from the Bethel highlands to the Jordan valley. ...
Oph'Rah - (fawn ).
A town in the tribe of Benjamin. (Joshua 18:23 ; 1 Samuel 13:17 ) Jerome places it five miles east of Bethel. It is perhaps et-Taiyibeh , a small village on the crown of a conspicuous hill, four miles east-northeast of Beitin (Bethel). ... More fully, OPHRAH OF THE ABIEZRITES, the native place of Gideon (Judges 6:11 ) and the scene of his exploits against Baal, ver. (Judges 6:24 ) his residence after his accession to power ch. (Judges 9:5 ) and the place of his burial in the family sepulchre. ch. (Judges 8:32 ) It was probably In Manasseh, ch. (Judges 6:15 ) and not far distant from Shechem, (Judges 9:1,5 ) ... The son of Meonothai. (1 Chronicles 4:14 )
Zemaraim - ZEMARAIM . A city of Benjamin, apparently in the vicinity of Bethel ( Joshua 18:22 ). It proh. gave its name to Mt. Zemaraim, in the hill-country of Ephraim ( 2 Chronicles 13:4 ). It is generally identified with es-Sumra to the north of Jericho. ...
e'Phra-im, Mount, - is a district which seems to extend as far south as Ramah and Bethel, (1 Samuel 1:1 ; 7:17 ; 2 Chronicles 13:4,19 ) compared with 2 Chronicles 15:8 Places but a few miles north of Jerusalem, and within the limits of Benjamin.
Laishah - (lay' ihssh uh) Place name meaning “lioness” or “towards “Laish. ” City on military route from Bethel to Jerusalem which Isaiah warned of Assyrian army's approach (Isaiah 10:30 ). It may be modern el-Esawijeh southwest of Anathoth or ras et-Tawil south of Geba. See Laish . ... ...
Archite - ARCHITE . The native of a town [in Joshua 16:2 read ‘the Archites,’ not ‘Archi’ as in AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] ] situated on the north border of Benjamin, possibly the modern ‘Ain ‘Arik , west of Bethel. Hushai, David’s friend ( 2 Samuel 15:32 ), belonged to this town. ...
Lebo'Nah - (frankincense ), a place named in ( Judges 21:19 ) only. Lebonah has survived to our times under the almost identical form of el-Lubban . It lies to the west of and close to the Nablus road, about eight miles north of Beitan (Bethel) and two from Seilun (Shiloh).
Baal-Hazor - (bay' uhl-hay' zawr) Place name meaning “Baal of Hazor. ” Village where David's son Absalom held celebration of sheepshearing (2 Samuel 13:23 ). During festivities, Absalom had his employees kill his brother Amnon, who had violated his sister Tamar. The village is modern Jebel Asur, five miles northeast of Bethel. ... ...
Oph'ni - (mouldy ), a town of Benjamin, mentioned in ( Joshua 18:24 ) the same as the Gophna of Josephus a place which at the time of Vespasian's invasion was apparently so important as to be second only to Jerusalem. It still survives in the modern Jifna or Jufna , 23 miles northwest of Bethel.
Baal-Hazor - Having a courtyard, or Baal's village, the place on the borders of Ephraim and Benjamin where Absalom held the feast of sheep-shearing when Amnon was assassinated (2 Samuel 13:23 ). Probably it is the same with Hazor (Nehemiah 11:33 ), now Tell' Asur, 5 miles north-east of Bethel.
Allon-Bachuth - Oak of weeping, a tree near Bethel, at the spot where Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried (Genesis 35:8 ). Large trees, from their rarity in the plains of Palestine, were frequently designated as landmarks. This particular tree was probably the same as the "palm tree of Deborah" (Judges 4:5 ).
Gidom - (gi' dahm) Place name meaning, “cleared land. ” Place where tribes of Israel punished tribe of Benjamin by killing 2,000 of Benjamin's soldiers (Judges 20:45 ) for grossly mistreating a traveling Levite and his concubine. REB follows some scholars in omitting Gidom. No one knows its exact location between Gibeah and Bethel. ... ...
Ophni - A town in the N. E. of Benjamin (Joshua 18:24. ). Possibly founded by a non Israelite tribe. The Gophna of Josephus, said to be only second in importance to Jerusalem (B. J. 3:3, section 5; Ant. 14:11, section 2, 12:2). Now Jufna, 2 1/2 miles N. W. of Bethel. ...
Luz - 1. City of the Canaanites, afterwards called Bethel, q. v. ... 2. City in the land of the Hittites, built by the man who had betrayed the city in Canaan, and who called it after the same name. Judges 1:26 . Identified by some with ruins at el Luweiziyeh, 33 16' N, 35 36' E . ...
Hiel - (hi' ehl) Personal name meaning, “God lives” or, following the Greek translation, a short form of Ahiel, “brother of God. ” Man from Bethel who rebuilt Jericho at the price of the life of two of his sons (1 Kings 16:34 ), fulfilling the divine curse Joshua issued when he destroyed Jericho (Joshua 7:26 ). ... ...
Bethel - Genesis 28:19 (c) The meaning of the word is "The House of GOD. "... It is used as a type of GOD making Himself known to His people, revealing His loving care, and His mighty power. The Christian should always be dwelling in "Bethel" in the conscious presence of GOD. (See also Genesis 31:13). ...
Ophrah - (ahf' ruh) Name meaning, “fawn. ” 1. Descendant of Judah (1 Chronicles 4:14 ); 2 . City in Benjamin (Joshua 18:23 ), likely north of Michmash (1 Samuel 13:17-18 ). This Ophrah is perhaps identical with Ephron (2 Chronicles 13:19 ) and Ephraim (2 Samuel 13:23 ; John 11:54 ). Jerome located Ophrah five Roman miles east of Bethel. This site is likely et-Taiyibeh five miles north of Michmash and four miles northeast of Bethel. 3. Town associated with the Abiezer clan of Manasseh who settled west of the Jordan (Judges 6:11 ,Judges 6:11,6:15 ,Judges 6:15,6:24 ; Judges 8:32 ). This Ophrah was the home of Gideon. Suggested sites include et-Taiyibeh south of modern Tulkarm, et-Taiyibeh (Afula) on the Plain of Esdraelon west of Mount Moreh, and Fer'ata west of Mount Gerazim near Shechem. The latter site is better identified with Tizrah. ... ...
Ataroth - Several places of this name occur in Scripture: one in the tribe of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:54 ; one or two in Ephraim, Joshua 16:2,5,7 ; 18:13 ; and one or two in Gad, Numbers 32:3,34,35 . Robinson found traces of one of those in Ephraim, on a high hill about six miles north by west from Bethel. ...
Beth-Aven - It is the same place as Bethel. But after Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, set up his golden calves there, the pious among the Israelites called it Beth-aven; meaning, the house of iniquity; for it was no longer proper to call it Beth-el, the house of God. (1 Kings 12:26-33)...
Regem-Melech - (ree' gehm-mee' lehk) Personal name meaning, “friend of the king. ” Delegate whom the people of Bethel sent to Jerusalem to inquire about continuing to fast in commemoration of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple (Zechariah 7:2 ). The prophet repeated the word of previous prophets: God desires moral lives rather than fasts (Zechariah 7:9-10 ). ... ...
Hiel - Native of Bethel who rebuilt Jericho in the reign of Ahab. In him was fulfilled the curse pronounced by Joshua that he should lay the foundation of the city in his firstborn and set up the gates in his youngest son. His building the city was a marked sign of insubordination. ... 1 Kings 16:34 . Cf. Joshua 6:26 . ...
Ophrah - 1. A town of the Benjamites, located by Eusebius five miles east of Bethel; near which site stands the modern village Taiyibeh, on a conical hill, Joshua 18:23 ; 1 Samuel 13:17 . ... 2. A town of Manesseh where Gideon resided; and where after his death his ephod was superstitiously adored, Judges 6:11-24 ; 8:27 . ...
Deborah - 1. A prophetess, and wife of Lapidoth, judged the Israelites, and dwelt under a palm-tree between Ramah and Bethel, Judges 4:4,5 . She sent for Barak, directed him to attack Sisera, and promised him victory. Barak, however, refused to go unless she accompanied him, which she did, but told him that the success of the expedition would be imputed to a woman and not to him. After the victory, Deborah composed a splendid triumphal song, which is preserved in Judges 5:1 - 31 . ... 2. The nurse of Rebekah, whom she accompanied from Aram into Canaan, Genesis 24:1-67 . At her death, near Bethel, she was buried with honorable marks of affection, Genesis 35:8 . There is something very beautiful in this simple and artless record, which would scarcely find a place in our grand histories, treating only of kings, statesmen, and renowned warriors. They seldom take the trouble of erecting a memorial to obscure worth and a long life of humble usefulness. ...
Bethuel - Man of God, or virgin of God, or house of God.
The son of Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham, and father of Rebekah (Genesis 22:22,23 ; 24:15,24,47 ). He appears in person only once (24:50). ... ... A southern city of Judah (1 Chronicles 4:30 ); called also Bethul (Joshua 19:4 ) and Bethel (12:16; 1 Samuel 30:27 ). ...
Descry - DESCRY, ... 1. To espy to explore to examine by observation. The house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. Judges 1 . ... 2. To detect to find out to discover any thing concealed. 3. To see to behold to have a sight of from a distance as, the seamen descried land. 4. To give notice of something suddenly discovered. DESCRY, n. Discovery thing descovered. ...
a'i - (heap of ruins ).
A city lying east of Bethel and "beside Bethaven. " (Joshua 7:2 ; 8:9 ) It was the second city taken by Israel after the passage of the Jordan, and was "utterly destroyed. " (Joshua 7:3-5 ; 8:1 ; Joshua 9:3 ; 10:1,2 ; 12:9 ) ... A city of the Ammonites, apparently attached to Heshbon. (Jeremiah 49:3 )
Aven - Aven (â'ven), nothingness. 1. The name applied to the city elsewhere called On, or Heliopolis. Ezekiel 30:17. 2. A contracted form, Hosea 10:8, of Beth-aven, i. e. , Bethel. 3. A place mentioned by Amos 1:5, called Bikath-aven, in the margin of A. V. It seems to be a "plain" or valley in Lebanon, where Baalbek is situated, still called el Bukâʾa. ...
Eleloheisrael - The name given by Jacob to the altar he erected near Shechem. God had just before altered his name into Israel, 'a prince of God;' Jacob connected the blessing involved in this name with a piece of land he bought, instead of with God's house at Bethel, and calls the altar he had erected 'God, the God of Israel. ' Genesis 32:28 ; Genesis 33:20 . ...
Beth-Aven - (behth-ay' vuhn) Place name meaning, “house of deception” or “of idolatry. ” 1. A city near Ai east of Bethel (Joshua 7:2 ). It formed a border of Benjamin (Joshua 18:12 ) and was west of Michmash (1 Samuel 13:5 ). Saul defeated the Philistines here after God used his son Jonathan to start the victory (1 Samuel 14:23 ). The exact location is not known. Suggestions include Burqa, south of Bethel; tell Maryam; and Ai. 2. Hosea used the term as a description of Beth-el. Instead of a house of God, Beth-el had become a house of deception and idolatry. Thus he commanded worshipers to refuse to go there (Hosea 4:15 ), to prepare for battle against an army marching from the south against Benjamin (Hosea 5:8 ), and to be afraid of the golden calves in the worship place of Beth-el, not because they represented the fearful presence of God but because they brought disaster on the nation (Hosea 10:5 ). All the worship places were Aven, deception and idolatry (Hosea 10:8 ). ... ...
ai, Hai - 1. Royal city of Canaan. It was known to Abraham, who pitched his tent between Hai and Bethel. Genesis 12:8 . It was conquered by Joshua — after a repulse because of the sin of Achan — by a stratagem; it was burnt and made a 'heap. ' Joshua 7:2-5 ; Joshua 8:1-29 ; Joshua 10:1,2 . It was near Bethel, in Benjamin's lot, and apparently rebuilt, for it is mentioned in Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 . It is probable that the AIATH of Isaiah 10:28 and the AIJA of Nehemiah 11:31 are the same as Ai, by the places named in association with them. In the district there are ruins scattered along the narrow summit of a ridge, and a depression among the rocky heights well suited for an ambuscade such as Joshua employed. The ruins are called Haiyan, 31 55' N, 35 16' E. Travellers say that when on the spot, the Biblical narrative of the capture of Ai can be vividly realised. ... 2. City of the Ammonites, unknown. Jeremiah 49:3 . ...
Mambre, Vale of - A plateau in Hebron, in Chanaan. When Abraham was dismissed from Egypt by the Pharao, he went with his nephew Lot towards Bethel, where they separated, and Abraham "came and dwelt by the vale of Mambre, which is in Hebron, and he built there an altar to the Lord" (Genesis 13). There dwelt his posterity, and there he was buried, in the cave of Machpelah, with Sara, Jacob, Rebecca and Lia. ...
Hiel - Life of (i. e. , from) God, a native of Bethel, who built (i. e. , fortified) Jericho some seven hundred years after its destruction by the Israelites. There fell on him for such an act the imprecation of (Joshua 6:26 ). He laid the foundation in his first-born, and set up the gates in his youngest son (1 Kings 16:34 ), i. e. , during the progress of the work all his children died. ...
Vale of Mambre - A plateau in Hebron, in Chanaan. When Abraham was dismissed from Egypt by the Pharao, he went with his nephew Lot towards Bethel, where they separated, and Abraham "came and dwelt by the vale of Mambre, which is in Hebron, and he built there an altar to the Lord" (Genesis 13). There dwelt his posterity, and there he was buried, in the cave of Machpelah, with Sara, Jacob, Rebecca and Lia. ...
Mam're - (strength, fatness ) an ancient Amorite, who with his brothers, Eshcol and Aner, was in alliance with Abram, ( Genesis 14:13,51 ) and under the shade of whose oak grove the patriarch dwelt in the interval between his residence at Bethel and at Beersheba. ch. (Genesis 13:18 ; 18:1 ) In the subsequent chapters Mamre is a mere local appellation. ch, (Genesis 23:17,19 ; 25:9 ; 49:30 ; 50:13 )
Jeshanah - One of the three towns taken from Jeroboam by Abijah (2 Chronicles 13:19). Now Ain Sinia, well watered and surrounded with gardens. Its position three miles N. of Beitin, near the main route between Jerusalem and Shechem, and its relation to the other towns of the triangle, Ephron (Taiyibeh) and Bethel (Beitin), made its acquisition of consequence to Abijah as commanding the high road to his capital. ...
Gilgal - Rolling.
From the solemn transaction of the reading of the law in the valley of Shechem between Ebal and Gerizim the Israelites moved forward to Gilgal, and there made a permanent camp (Joshua 9:6 ; 10:6 ). It was "beside the oaks of Moreh," near which Abraham erected his first altar (Genesis 12:6,7 ). This was one of the three towns to which Samuel resorted for the administration of justice (1 Samuel 7:16 ), and here also he offered sacrifices when the ark was no longer in the tabernacle at Shiloh (1 Samuel 10:8 ; 13:7-9 ). To this place, as to a central sanctuary, all Israel gathered to renew their allegiance to Saul (11:14). At a later period it became the scene of idolatrous worship (Hosea 4:15 ; 9:15 ). It has been identified with the ruins of Jiljilieh, about 5 miles south-west of Shiloh and about the same distance from Bethel. ... ... The place in "the plains of Jericho," "in the east border of Jericho," where the Israelites first encamped after crossing the Jordan (Joshua 4:19,20 ). Here they kept their first Passover in the land of Canaan (5:10) and renewed the rite of circumcision, and so "rolled away the reproach" of their Egyptian slavery. Here the twelve memorial stones, taken from the bed of the Jordan, were set up; and here also the tabernacle remained till it was removed to Shiloh (18:1). It has been identified with Tell Jiljulieh, about 5 miles from Jordan. ... ... A place, probably in the hill country of Ephraim, where there was a school of the prophets (2 Kings 4:38 ), and whence Elijah and Elisha, who resided here, "went down" to Bethel (2:1,2). It is mentioned also in Deuteronomy 11:30 . It is now known as Jiljilia, a place 8 miles north of Bethel.
Gilgal - 1. Place west of the Jordan, 'in the east border of Jericho,' where the Israelites encamped after passing the river. Here the twelve memorial stones were placed that were taken out of Jordan. Here the Israelites were circumcised: type of the putting off the body of the flesh; that is, of separation from the system in which man in the flesh lives: cf. Colossians 3:3-5 . Here the reproach of Egypt was 'rolled away' (from which the name of the place was called 'Gilgal'), and they had communion figuratively with the death of Christ in the Passover. On the next day they ate of the old corn of the promised land: type of Christ being the centre of heavenly things on which the Christian feeds. Joshua 4:19,20 ; Joshua 5:2-11 . Gilgal was not only the starting point in taking possession of the land, but the place to which Joshua returned again and again: it was the place of strength. Joshua 9:6 ; Joshua 10:6-15 ; Joshua 14:6 . It was here that Saul was made king, 1 Samuel 11:14,15 ; and here he offered sacrifices, and Samuel hewed Agag in pieces. 1 Samuel 13:4-15 ; 1 Samuel 15:12,21,33 . ... When David returned after the overthrow and death of Absalom, Judah gathered at Gilgal. to meet the king and conduct him over Jordan. 2 Samuel 19:15 . In the days of Jeroboam Gilgal was defiled with idolatry. Hosea 4:15 ; Hosea 9:15 ; Amos 4:4 . Gilgal which signifies 'rolled away' should be itself 'rolled away. ' Amos 5:5 . In Joshua 15:7 the border of Judah's portion 'looked toward' Gilgal, which well agrees with its being near Jericho. But in Joshua 18:17 the same place is called GELILOTH, which cannot be traced. Gilgal is identified with Jiljulieh, 31 51' N, 35 29' E . In Nehemiah 12:29 occurs 'the house of Gilgal,' or 'Beth-gilgal,' which may refer to the same place, or may be one of the villages built 'round about' Jerusalem. ... 2. A place connected with the closing scene of Elijah's life and where Elisha wrought one of his miracles. 2 Kings 2:1 ; 2 Kings 4:38 . The two prophets went 'down' from Gilgal to Bethel, whereas when No. 1 is referred to it is always 'going up' to the neighbourhood of Bethel, which seems to indicate that different places are alluded to. It has been identified with Jiljilia, 32 2' N, 35 13' E . (It should however be added that if the identification of Nos. 1 and 2, and that of Bethel is correct, No. 2 is not actually higher than Bethel, though being on a high hill it appears to be so, and a valley has to be crossed to reach it. The altitude of No. 2 is 2,441 feet, and that of Bethel 2,890 feet. No. 1 is below the sea level, which makes the 'going up' from thence to Bethel very apparent. )... 3. A place whose king is called 'the king of the nations of Gilgal,' or, as in the R. V. , 'the king of Goiim in Gilgal. ' He was slain under Joshua. Being mentioned between Dor and Tirzah it is apparently a third Gilgal. Joshua 12:23 . It has been identified with Jiljulieh, 32 10' N, 34 57' E . ... 4. In Deuteronomy 11:30 Moses, speaking of the mounts of Gerizim and Ebal, asks "Are they not . . . . in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?" This does not at all agree with any of the above, but has not been identified with any place in the neighbourhood of the two mountains. ...
Aven - Nothingness; vanity.
Hosea speaks of the "high places of Aven" (10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it Beth-aven, i. e. , "the house of vanity" (4:15), on account of the golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1 Kings 12:28 ). ... ... Translated by the LXX. "On" in Ezekiel 30:17 . The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (q. v. ). ... ... In Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.
Ephraim, Mount - The KJV designation for the hill country belonging to Ephraim. Modern translations use the phrase “hill country of Ephraim” since an entire region is intended rather than a particular mount. Scripture specifies that the following cities were located in the hill country of Ephraim: Bethel (Judges 4:5 ); Gibeah (Joshua 24:33 ); Ramah (Judges 4:5 ); Shamir (Judges 10:1 ); Shechem (Joshua 20:7 ); Timnath-heres or -serah (Joshua 19:50 ; Judges 2:9 ). ... ...
Baldness - is a natural effect of old age, in which period of life the hair of the head, wanting nourishment, falls off, and leaves the head naked. Artificial baldness was used as a token of mourning; it is threatened to the voluptuous daughters of Israel, instead of well set hair, Isaiah 3:24 . See Micah 1:16 ; and instances of it occur, Isaiah 15:2 ; Jeremiah 47:5 . See Ezekiel 7:18 ; Amos 8:10 . ... The insult offered to Elisha by the young people of Bethel, improperly rendered "little children," who cried out after him, "Go up thou bald head," may here be noticed. The town of Bethel was one of the principal nurseries of Ahab's idolatry, and the contempt was offered to Elisha in his public character as a prophet of the Lord. If in the expression, "Go up," there was also a reference to the translation of Elijah, as turning it into jest, this was another aggravation of the sin, to which these young people were probably instigated by their parents. The malediction laid upon them by the prophet was not an act of private resentment, but evidently proceeded from prophetic impulse. ...
Avim, Avites - 1. A people who once inhabited the villages of Philistia, who were destroyed by the Caphtorims, Deuteronomy 2:23 ; a remnant being left till the days of Joshua. Joshua 13:3 . ... 2. City belonging to the tribe of Benjamin, not far from Bethel; but the name having the article in the Hebrew may signify a group of villages. Joshua 18:23 . ... 3. A people localised in Samaria by the king of Assyria. 2 Kings 17:31 . ...
Aven - (ay' vehn) Hebrew noun meaning, “wickedness,” used in place names to indicate Israel's understanding of the place as site of idol worship. 1. Referred to On or Heliopolis in Egypt (Ezekiel 30:17 ). 2 . Referred to major worship centers of Israel such as Bethel and Dan (Hosea 10:8 ). 3 . Referred to a valley, perhaps one in place of popularly-known names such as Beth-aven for Beth-el (Joshua 7:2 ; Joshua 18:12 ). See Beth-aven . ... ...
e'Phra-in - (hamlet ), a city of Israel which Judah captured from Jeroboam. ( 2 Chronicles 13:19 ) It has been conjectured that this Ephrain or Ephron is identical with the Ephraim by which Absalom's sheep-farm of Baal-hazor was situated; with the city called Ephraim near the wilderness in which our Lord lived for some time; and with Ophrah, a city of Benjamin, apparently not far from Bethel. But nothing more than conjecture can be arrived at on these points.
Ai - (ay' i) a city located two miles from Bethel, was the site where Abram built an altar, and Joshua and Achan suffered ruin. Ai is also spelled Aija, Aiath, and Hai. Ai means “ruin” (or possibly “heap”) in the Hebrew language. The city was almost the ruin of Joshua's leadership (Joshua 7:1-9 ); it was the ruin of Achan and his family (Joshua 7:16-26 ); and it suffered complete ruin (Joshua 8:1-29 ). Several hundred years before Joshua, Abram built an altar on a hill just west of Ai which was also near Bethel (Genesis 12:8 ). He then returned to the location after visiting Egypt (Genesis 13:3 ). The prophets later referred to Ai as a symbol of the power of God who provided victory for his obedient people. Isaiah noted the Assyrian army marching by Ai on his way to Jerusalem, but promised God would stop their progress (Isaiah 10:28 ). Jeremiah used the ruin of Ai as a warning to the Ammonites, who had occupied Israel's territory (Jeremiah 49:3 ). Residents of Bethel and Ai returned from Exile with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:28 ). ... Although the existence of Ai is well documented, its exact location is debated. The general location of the city is known to be about 10-12 miles north of Jerusalem in the central hills of Palestine. This would be about the same distance from Jericho. William F. Albright identified Beitin as the city of Bethel and then concluded that et-Tell (a site one mile southeast of Beitin) was biblical Ai. Excavations conducted in the 1920s (John Garstang), 1930s (Judith Marquet-Krause and Samuel Yeivin), and 1960s and 1970s (Joseph Callaway), however, produced some disturbing evidence in light of Albright's 1939 proposal. It seems that et-Tell was first occupied as early as the fourth millennium (3200-3000 B. C. ) and continued to thrive until the end of the third millennium (2200 B. C. ). The problem is that the site has no evidence of being inhabited during the next 1000 years which includes the time of the Israelite invasion. Callaway found a small village without defense walls lasting from 1220 to 1050 B. C. This has resulted in some speculations concerning Albright's theory and the Bible story. ... The suggestions for solving this problem are basically three: (1) the Bible contains an inaccurate or legendary story built on the earlier fame of the city; (2) the Israelites actually destroyed Bethel (not Ai), but the twin cities (see Ezra 2:28 ; and Nehemiah 7:32 ) were considered to be the same, or (3) further archaeological evidence will reveal a different site for Ai. Because of the Bible's historical accuracy, many scholars today dismiss the first idea. The second and third proposals, however, will require further archaeological evidence before this dilemma is solved. ... Ai's meaning goes far beyond its mysterious location. At Ai, Israel learned they could not take a city known as the ruin if they disobeyed God. Victory did not lie in military strength or wise leadership. It lay in God's presence. Israel also learned they had hope after defeat. Confession of sin and punishment of offenders helped restore God's favor. The victory at Ai (Joshua 8:1 ) frightened the other Canaanites (Joshua 9:3 ; Joshua 10:2 ) and helped Israel to further victories. Israel learned to live with a punishing as well as a promising God. ... Gary C. Huckaby... ...
Moreh - An archer, teacher; fruitful.
A Canaanite probably who inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Genesis 12:6 ). Here at this "plain," or rather (RSV) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and Hai on the east (Genesis 12:7,8 ). ...
Luz - Luz (lŭz), almond tree. 1. The Canaanite name for the place in which Jacob rested and had a prophetic vision, and afterward the city of Bethel; now Beitin. Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:6; Genesis 48:3; Joshua 16:2; Joshua 18:13; Judges 1:23. 2. A city in the land of the Hittites, built by an inhabitant of the original Luz, who was spared when the city was sacked, Judges 1:23; now Luweizîyeh, four miles northwest of Banias. ...
Zereda - Zereda (zĕr'e-dah), cooling. A place in Ephraim, in the plain of Jordan. 1 Kings 11:26. Possibly it is the same as Zaretan, Joshua 3:16; Zererath, Judges 7:22, R. V. , "Zererah;" Zartanah, 1 Kings 4:12, R. V. , "Zarethan;" Zeredathah, 2 Chronicles 4:17, R. V. , "Zeredah;" and Zarthan, 1 Kings 7:46. There seems to be much confusion about these names, but the Pal. Memoirs suggest as the site of Zereda, Surdah, 2½ miles northwest of Beitin (Bethel). ...
Ai - Called also Hai, Genesis 12:8 ; Aija, Nehemiah 11:31 ; and Aiath, Isaiah 10:28 . A royal city of the Canaanites, east of Bethel, near which Abraham once sojourned and built an altar, Genesis 12:8 ; 13:3 . It is memorable for Joshua's defeat on account of Achan, and his subsequent victory, Joshua 7:2-5 ; 8:1-29 . It was rebuilt, and is mentioned by Isaiah. Its ruins are spoken of by Eusebius and Jerome, but the exact site cannot now be fixed with certainty. ...
Perizzites - The Perizzites were one of many Canaanite groups that occupied Canaan before the Israelites drove them out (Genesis 13:7; Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 3:10). They lived mainly in the hills of central Palestine and are found in Bible narratives concerning Bethel, Shechem and the tribal territory of Ephraim (Genesis 13:2-7; Genesis 34:26-30; Joshua 17:15). They were used as slaves in Solomon’s building programs and were eventually absorbed into Israel (1 Kings 9:20-21). ...
Abijah - the son of Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes, who died very young, 1 Kings 14:1 , &c. A. M. 3046. —... 2. The son of Rehoboam, king of Judah, and of Maachah, the daughter of Uriel, who succeeded his father, A. M. 3046, 2 Chronicles 11:20 ; 2 Chronicles 13:2 , &c. The Rabbins reproach this monarch with neglecting to destroy the profane altar which Jeroboam had erected at Bethel; and with not suppressing the worship of the golden calves there after his victory over that prince. ...
Zemaraim - (zehm uh ray' ihm) Place name meaning, “twin peaks. ” 1. Town allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:22 ), likely Ras ex-Zeimara about five miles northeast of Bethel. 2. Mountain in the territory of Ephraim where Abijah rebuked Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 13:4 ). The parallel text in 1 Kings 15:7 mentions hostilities between Abijam and Jereboam but not the speech at Zemaraim. The town and mountain may be located in the same place. Some would place the town at khirbet es-Samra four miles north of Jericho. ... ...
Deborah - a prophetess, wife of Lapidoth, judged the Israelites, and dwelt under a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel, Judges 4:4-5 . She sent for Barak, directed him to attack Sisera, and, in the name of God, promised him victory; but Barak refusing to go, unless she went with him, she told him, that the honour of this expedition would be given to a woman, and not to him. After the victory, Deborah and Barak sung a fine thanksgiving song, the composition probably of Deborah alone, which is preserved, Judges 5. ...
Deborah - Two women named Deborah are mentioned in the Bible. The first of these was the maidservant of Rebekah who came with her from Paddan-aram when Rebekah married Isaac. She lived to a great age and died near Bethel (Genesis 24:59; Genesis 35:8). ... The better known Deborah was a respected civil administrator in Israel during the era of the judges. She lived near the town of Bethel, where she gave decisions in cases brought to her for judgment. Being a prophetess, she was well suited to discern God’s will in difficult cases (Judges 4:4-5). She is chiefly remembered for directing Israel’s victory over the forces of Sisera in northern Palestine. (For map see JUDGES, BOOK OF. )... With her army general Barak, Deborah led a force of Israelite soldiers up Mt Tabor, with the aim of drawing out Sisera’s chariot forces into the plain of the Kishon River below (Judges 4:6-10). With prophetic insight, Deborah must have foreseen the outcome. There was a tremendous storm, the river flooded and, as Sisera’s chariots became bogged, the Israelites rushed down upon them and won a great victory. Many details of the event are given in the song of victory that Deborah composed to celebrate the occasion (Judges 4:12-16; Judges 5:1-22). ...
Ephraim, Mount - The central mountainous district of Palestine occupied by the tribe of Ephraim (Joshua 17:15 ; 19:50 ; 20:7 ), extending from Bethel to the plain of Jezreel. In Joshua's time (Joshua 17:18 ) these hills were densely wooded. They were intersected by well-watered, fertile valleys, referred to in Jeremiah 50:19 . Joshua was buried at Timnath-heres among the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash (Judges 2:9 ). This region is also called the "mountains of Israel" (Joshua 11:21 ) and the "mountains of Samaria" (Jeremiah 31:5,6 : Amos 3:9 ). ...
Ramah - There was a Ramah, a city of Benjamin, near Bethel. (Joshua 18:25) And there was a Ramah, called Ramathaim-Zophim, in mount Ephraim, where Elkanah and Hannah, Samuel the prophet's parents, lived. (See 1 Samuel 1:19) And yet it is very possible, that both these might be but one and the same Ramah; for the frontiers of Benjamin and Ephraim joined each other. And as Ramah means a hill, and Zophim is the plural of Zoph, to behold, it is possible the place of Samuel's dwelling might be called Ramathaim-Zophim, the two hills of beholding. ...
Deb'Orah - (a bee ). (B. C. 1857. )
The nurse of Rebekah. (Genesis 35:8 ) Deborah accompanied Rebekah from the house of Bethuel, (Genesis 24:59 ) and is only mentioned by name on the occasion of her burial under the oak tree of Bethel, which was called in her honor Allon-bachuth. ... A prophetess who judged Israel. Judges 4,5 . (B. C, 1316. ) She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim, (Judges 4:5 ) which, as palm trees were rare in Palestine, "is mentioned as a well-known and solitary landmark. " She was probably a woman of Ephraim. Lapidoth was probably her husband, and not Barak as some say. She was not so much a judge as one gifted with prophetic command (Judges 4:6,14 ; 5:7 ) and by virtue of her inspiration "a mother in Israel. " The tyranny of Jabin, a Canaanitish king, was peculiarly felt in the northern tribes, who were near his capital and under her jurisdiction. Under her direction Barak encamped on the broad summit of Tabor. Deborah's prophecy was fulfilled, (Judges 4:9 ) and the enemy's general perished among the "oaks of the wanderers" (Zaanaim), in the tent of the Bedouin Kenite's wife, (Judges 4:21 ) in the northern mountains. Deborah's title of "prophetess" includes the notion of inspired poetry, as in (Exodus 15:20 ) and in this sense the glorious triumphal ode, Judges 5 , well vindicates her claim to the office.
Ai - AI . 1 . A place between which and Bethel Abraham was stationed before ( Genesis 12:8 ) and after ( Genesis 13:3 ) his sojourn in Egypt. The repulse of the Israelite attempt on the city ( Joshua 7:2-5 ) led to the exposure of the crime of Achan; when that was expiated, the city was captured and destroyed ( Joshua 8:1-28 ) by a ruse. It never reappears in history, though it continued to be inhabited: it is the Aiath in Isaiah’s description of the march of the Assyrian ( Joshua 10:28 ), and the Aija of Nehemiah 11:31 . In 1 Chronicles 7:28 ‘Azzah , enumerated among the cities of Ephraim, is in many MSS ‘Ayyah , which is another form of the name. This, however, cannot in any case be the same place, which was within the tribe of Benjamin ( Joshua 18:23 , where Avvim is possibly a corruption for the name of this city). After the Exile, Ai and Bethel between them supplied a contingent of 223 to the number that returned ( Ezra 2:28 ), and the city was once more settled by Benjamites ( Nehemiah 11:31 ). That the city was insignificant is definitely stated in Joshua 7:3 , and indicated by the fact that in the list of captured cities it is almost the only one of which the situation is specified ( Joshua 12:9 ). Its capture, however, made a deep impression on the Canaanites ( Joshua 9:3 ; Joshua 10:1 ). As to its identification, the only indication to guide us is its proximity to Bethel (agreed by all to be Beitin ), on the east of that place (as follows from Genesis 12:8 ). Various sites have been proposed Turmus ‘Aya (which contains an element resembling the name, but the situation is impossible); Khurbet Hayan (which also has a similar name, but the antiquities of the place are not known to be old enough); Deir Diwan (which is in the right place, but also possibly not an old enough site); and et-Tell (a mound whose name has the same meaning as the word Ai [‘heap’]. Possibly this last is the most likely site. ... 2 . A wholly distinct place, mentioned in a prophecy against the Ammonites, Jeremiah 49:3 (perh. a clerical error for Ar ). ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Old Gate - KJV, NAS, NRSV designation for a Jerusalem city gate repaired in Nehemiah's time (Nehemiah 3:6 ; Nehemiah 12:39 ). This rendering is doubtful on grammatical grounds (the adjective and noun do not agree). Some interpreters thus propose gate of the old (city). Others take the Hebrew Jeshanah as a proper name (NIV, REB, TEV). A village named Jeshanah is located near Bethel. The gate may have pointed in this direction. Still others emend the text to read “Misneh Gate” (JB). In this case the gate led from the Old City West into the New Quarter (Mishneh). The gate is perhaps identical to the corner gate ( 2 Kings 14:13 ). ... ...
a'Mos, Book of - The book of the prophecies of Amos seems to be divided into four principal portions closely connected together. (1) From 1:1 to 2:3 he denounces the sins of the nations bordering on Israel and Judah. (2) From 2:4 to 6:14 he describes the state of those two kingdoms, especially, the former. (3) From 7:1 to 9:10 he relates his visit to Bethel, and sketches the impending punishment of Israel. At last he promises blessings. The chief peculiarity of the style consists in the number of allusions to natural objects and agricultural occupations, as might be expected from the early life of the author.
Eben-Ezer - EBEN-EZER (‘the stone of help’ (LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] ‘of the helper’]). 1. The scene of a disastrous battle in which the ark was lost ( 1 Samuel 4:1 ; 1 Samuel 5:1 ). 2. The name of the stone erected to commemorate an equally glorious victory ( 1 Samuel 7:12 ). The precise situation is uncertain, but if Shen ( 1 Samuel 7:12 ), i. e. Yeshana (according to LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] and Syriac) is the modern ‘Ain Semije a little N. of Bethel, the locality is approximately defined. Samuel s explanatory words should be read thus: ‘This is a witness that Jahweh hath helped us. ’... J. Taylor. ...
Deborah - A bee.
Rebekah's nurse. She accompanied her mistress when she left her father's house in Padan-aram to become the wife of Isaac (Genesis 24:59 ). Many years afterwards she died at Bethel, and was buried under the "oak of weeping", Allon-bachuth (35:8). ... ... A prophetess, "wife" (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the king of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a "mother in Israel" (Judges 4:6,14 ; 5:7 ), and "the children of Israel came up to her for judgment" as she sat in her tent under the palm tree "between Ramah and Bethel. " Preparations were everywhere made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its north-east end. With his aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin, which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive victory. The Canaanitish army almost wholly perished. That was a great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judges 5 is given the grand triumphal ode, the "song of Deborah," which she wrote in grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See LAPIDOTH, JABIN [2]. )
Calf Worship - (See AARON. ) The Israelites "in Egypt" had served the Egyptian idols (Joshua 24:14), including the sacred living bulls Apis, Basis, and Mnevis, and sacred cows Isis and Athor; worshipped for their utility to man, and made symbols of the sun and Osiris. In fact Nature, not the personal Creator, God, was symbolized by the calf and worshipped. But Aaron's golden calf he expressly calls, "thy Elohim which brought thee up out of Egypt"; and the feast to it "a feast to Jehovah" (Exodus 32:4-8; Exodus 32:17-19). Israel too had just seen that "upon Egypt's gods Jehovah executed judgments" (Numbers 33:4). What they yearned for therefore was not the vanquished Egyptian idols, but some visible symbol of the unseen Jehovah; the cherubic emblem, the calf or ox, furnished this. So Psalms 106:20, "they changed their glory (i. e. God) into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass"; indeed the Egyptians used to offer a bottle of hay to Apis. ... The rites of Mnevis' feast at Heliopolis, boisterous revelry, dancing, offerings, etc. , which the Israelites were familiar with in Egypt, they transferred to Jehovah's calf image. Acts 7:40-41 marks this first stage of idolatry. The second more glaring stage surely followed: "God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven" (Acts 7:42-43). Jeroboam's calves, which his exile in Egypt familiarized him with, and which he subsequently set up at Dan and Bethel similarly, were not set up to oppose Jehovah's worship, but to oppose His worship by Jeroboam's subjects at Jerusalem, lest they should thereby be alienated from him (1 Kings 12:26-29). It was notorious that it was Jehovah who delivered Israel out of Egypt; and, like Aaron, Jeroboam says of the calves, thereby identifying them with Jehovah, "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt. "... Jehu's worship of the calves is markedly distinguished from the Baal worship of Ahab which he overthrew (2 Kings 10:18-29). Baal worship breaks the first commandment by having other gods besides Jehovah. The calf worship breaks the second by worshipping Jehovah with an image or symbol; Rome's sin in our days. Moreover, there was only one Apis, there were two calves answering to the two cherubim. Hence, this was the only idolatry into which Judah never fell. As having the original cherubim in the temple at Jerusalem, she did not need the copies at Dan and Bethel. The prophets of the calves regarded themselves as "prophets of Jehovah" (1 Kings 22:5-6). ... Hosea denounces the calf worship, and calls Bethel Bethaven, the house of vanity, instead of the house of God (Hosea 8:5-6; Hosea 10:5-6). Kissing them was one mode of adoration (Hosea 13:2); contrast God's command," Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish" (Psalms 2:12). Tiglath Pileser carried away the calf at Daniel Shalmaneser, 10 years later, carried away that at Bethel (2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 17:6). In Hosea 14:2 we read "calves of our lips": instead of calves which we can no longer offer in our exile, we present praises of our lips; so Hebrews 13:15. ...
Jacob - The son of Isaac and Rebecca, third great patriarch of the chosen people, and the immediate ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. He secured through a ruse the blessing which Isaac intended for Esau, and thus was confirmed Jacob's possession of the birthright, his struggle for which had begun before his birth. He fled to Haran, the dwelling place of Laban, his maternal uncle, serving 14 years for Laban's daughter Rachel. He finally departed secretly for Chanaan. After stopping at Bethel and Ephrata (Genesis 35), he came to Hebron where he dwelt quietly, leaving it only to rejoin his son Joseph in Egypt, and to spend his last days in the land of Gessen. ...
Aven - ("nothingness, vanity". ) (Amos 1:5. ) A plain in Syria, "the plain of Aven," i. e. idols threatened with depopulation, probably for idolatry. Probably the great plain of Lebanon, Coele-Syria (included in the Scripture designation, "Syria of Damascus"), in which the idol temple of Baalbek or Heliopolis, the city of the sun god Baal, stood. The Hebrew in Amos 1:5 (see margin) and Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7, for this "plain" or "valley," is Βiqu'ah ; the very name it still retains, el Buka'a. Aven is the contemptuous term appended to stigmatize its vanity, with all its idolatrous pomp, just as Hosea 5:8 calls Bethel, where the idol calf was set up, Bethaven. ...
Ashima - (uh sshi' muh) Syrian god made and worshiped in Hamath (2 Kings 17:30 ). The Hebrew word asham means, “guilt. ” Hebrew writers may have deliberately written a word associated with guilt instead of the name of the god or goddess. Hamath's goddess may have been Asherah. See Asherah . Amos 8:14 says Israel swore by or made oaths by the “sin” (KJV) “guilt” (NAS) or “shame” of Samaria. NRSV and NIV footnote propose “Ashimah of Samaria. ” Samaria worshiped falsely. They may have incorporated the god of Hamath into their worship. See Hamath . The exilic Elephantine papyri from a Jewish community in Egypt mention an “Ashim-Bethel” who may have been worshiped by Egyptian Jews as a counterpart to Yahweh. ... ...
Iddo - a prophet of the kingdom of Judah, who wrote the actions of Rehoboam's and Abijah's reigns, 2 Chronicles 12:15 . It seems by 2 Chronicles 13:22 , that he had entitled his work, Midrasch, or, "Inquiries. " We know nothing particularly concerning the life of this prophet. It is probable that he likewise wrote some prophecies against Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, 2 Chronicles 9:29 , wherein part of Solomon's life was included. Josephus, and many others after him, are of opinion that it was Iddo who was sent to Jeroboam, while he was at Bethel, and was there dedicating an altar to the golden calves; and that it was he who was killed by a lion, 1 Kings 13. ...
Baldness (Natural or Artificial) - It was customary among eastern nations to cut off the hair of the head, or to shave the head, as a token of mourning, on the death of a relative, Job 1:20 Jeremiah 16:6 . This was forbidden to the Israelites, in consequence of its being a heathen custom, Deuteronomy 14:1 . Natural baldness was treated with contempt, because it exposed a man to the suspicion of leprosy. The children at Bethel cried after Elisha, "Go up, thou bald head," 2 Kings 2:23 . While they indicated by this epithet great contempt for him as a prophet of the Lord, they probably scoffed at the same time at the miracle of Elijah's ascension. ...
Calf - Calves were commonly made use of in sacrifices, and are therefore frequently mentioned in Scripture. The "fatted calf" was regarded as the choicest of animal food; it was frequently also offered as a special sacrifice (1 Samuel 28:24 ; Amos 6:4 ; Luke 15:23 ). The words used in Jeremiah 34:18,19 , "cut the calf in twain," allude to the custom of dividing a sacrifice into two parts, between which the parties ratifying a covenant passed (Genesis 15:9,10,17,18 ). The sacrifice of the lips, i. e. , priase, is called "the calves of our lips" (Hosea 14:2 , RSV, "as bullocks the offering of our lips. " Compare Hebrews 13:15 ; Psalm 116:7 ; Jeremiah 33:11 ). The golden calf which Aaron made (Exodus 32:4 ) was probably a copy of the god Moloch rather than of the god Apis, the sacred ox or calf of Egypt. The Jews showed all through their history a tendency toward the Babylonian and Canaanitish idolatry rather than toward that of Egypt. ... Ages after this, Jeroboam, king of Israel, set up two idol calves, one at Dan, and the other at Bethel, that he might thus prevent the ten tribes from resorting to Jerusalem for worship (1 Kings 12:28 ). These calves continued to be a snare to the people till the time of their captivity. The calf at Dan was carried away in the reign of Pekah by Tiglath-pileser, and that at Bethel ten years later, in the reign of Hoshea, by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 15:29 ; 17:33 ). This sin of Jeroboam is almost always mentioned along with his name (2 Kings 15:28 etc. ). ... ...
Bethel - House of God, the name of a city west of Hai, on the confines of the tribes of Ephraim and Benjamin, Genesis 12:8 28:10-22 , and occupying the spot where Jacob slept and had his memorable dream, the name he then gave it superseding the old name Luz, Judges 1:23 . Thirty years after, he again pitched his tent there, Genesis 35:1-15 . It was captured by Joshua, and given to Benjamin, Joshua 12:9 18:22 . The Ephraimites, however, expelled the Canaanites, Judges 1:22-26 . Here the ark of the covenant, and probably the tabernacle, long remained, Judges 20:26 1 Samuel 10:3 . Samuel held his court here in turn, 1 Samuel 7:16 . After Solomon, it became a seat of gross idolatry; Jeroboam choosing it as the place for one of his golden calves, from the sacredness previously attached to it, 1 Kings 12:29 . The prophets were charged with messages against Bethel, 1 Kings 13:1,2 Jeremiah 48:13 Amos 3:14 7:10 . The first of these was fulfilled by Josiah, 2 Kings 23:13 ; and the others in the later desolation of Bethel, where nothing but ruins can now be found. Its site was identified by Dr. Robinson, in the place now called Beitin. It is twelve miles from Jerusalem towards Shechem, on the southern side of a hill, with a narrow and fertile valley on the east, and the long-traveled road on the west. At the bottom of the hill are the remains of a vast stone reservoir, of an ancient Hebrew age. ...
Ajalon or Aijalon - 1. A town in the tribe of Dan, assigned to the Levites, sons of Kohath, Joshua 21:24 . It was not far from Timnath, and was taken by the Philistines from Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:18 . It lay in or near a valley, not far from the valley of Gibeon, and is recognized in the modern village of Yalo. The valley lies towards the north, and is the place where Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they obeyed him, Joshua 10:12 ... 2. A town in Benjamin, some three miles east of Bethel. It was fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:10 3 . In the tribe of Zebulun, the place of Elon's burial, Judges 2:12 . ...
Dan - the fifth son of Jacob, Genesis 30:1-6 . Dan had but one son, whose name was Hushim, Genesis 46:23 ; yet he had a numerous posterity; for, on leaving Egypt, this tribe consisted of sixty-two thousand seven hundred men able to bear arms, Numbers 1:38 . Of Jacob's blessing Dan, see Genesis 49:16-17 . They took Laish, Judges 18:1 ; Joshua 19:47 . Whey called the city Dan, after their progenitor. The city of Dan was situated at the northern extremity of the land of Israel: hence the phrase, "from Dan to Beersheba," denoting the whole length of the land of promise. Here Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, set up one of his golden calves, 1 Kings 12:29 ; and the other at Bethel. ...
Rimmon - Pomegranate, ... 1. A town of Palestine, near the frontier of Edom, Joshua 15:21,32 Zechariah 14:10 , in the region assigned to the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:7 1 Chronicles 4:32 Nehemiah 11:29 . ... 2. A town on a high chalky hill, a few miles east of Bethel, Judges 20:45-47 21:13 . A village called Rummon still exists there. ... 3. A city of Zebulun, assigned to the Levites, Joshua 19:13 ; perhaps the same as Rimmono, 1 Chronicles 6:77 , which may be traced in the modern village Rimmaneh, northwest of mount Tabor. ... 4. An unknown encampment of the Israelites in the desert, Numbers 33:19 . ... 5. An idol of the Syrians, 2 Kings 5:18 . See NAMAAN. ...
Golden Calf - An image of a young bull, probably constructed of wood and overlaid with gold, which the Hebrews worshiped in the wilderness and in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. ... Ancient Near Eastern Background and Biblical References Living bulls were important in the religion of some regions of ancient Egypt, and bull images appear in the art and religious texts of Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Phoenicia, and Syria. The primary references to “golden calf” in the Bible are Exodus 32:1-8 and 1 Kings 12:25-33 . The former passage records that the people summoned Aaron to make an image to go before them. The image was apparently intended to represent Yahweh, the Lord of Israel. The latter reference states that Jeroboam I constructed at Bethel and Dan two golden bulls, which were probably meant to represent the pedestals of God's throne. Interestingly, these passages are closely related to each other because they use the same terminology in the dedication of these images (Exodus 32:4 ; 1 Kings 12:28 ), and they both explore the sin of idolatry at crucial junctures in Israel's history. All other references to this subject in the Bible (Deuteronomy 9:16 ,Deuteronomy 9:16,9:21 ; 2 Kings 10:29 ; 2 Kings 17:16 ; 2 Chronicles 11:15 ; 2 Chronicles 13:8 ; Nehemiah 9:18 ; Psalm 106:19 ; Acts 7:41 ) have in view either the incident involving Aaron or the one involving Jeroboam I. ... Theological Significance These accounts demonstrate Israel's strong conviction that God cannot be lowered to the level of pictorial representation. God, as sovereign Lord, allows no physical image of Himself, and any human effort to create such an image invites His judgment. See Aaron ; Bethel ; Bull ; Dan ; Exodus ; Jeroboam I; Moses ; Yahweh. ... Robert William Prince, III ... ...
Ai - called by the LXX, Gai, by Josephus, Aina, and by others Ajah, a town of Palestine, situate west of Bethel, and at a small distance north-west of Jericho. The three thousand men, first sent by Joshua to reduce this city, were repulsed, on account of the sin of Achan, who had violated the anathema pronounced against Jericho, by appropriating a part of the spoil. After the expiation of this offence, the whole army of Israel marched against Ai, with orders to treat that city as Jericho had been treated, with this difference, that the plunder was to be given to the army. Joshua, having appointed an ambush of thirty thousand men, marched against the city, and by a feigned retreat, drew out the king of Ai with his troops; and upon on a signal given by elevating his shield on the top of a pike, the men in ambush entered the city and set fire to it. Thus the soldiers of Ai, placed between two divisions of Joshua's army, were all destroyed; the king alone being preserved for a more ignominious death on a gibbet, where he hung till sunset. The spoil of the place was afterward divided among the Israelites. The men appointed for ambush are, in one place, said to be thirty thousand, and in another five thousand. For reconciling this apparent contradiction, most commentators have generally supposed, that there were two bodies placed in ambuscade between Bethel and Ai, one of twenty-five thousand and the other of five thousand men; the latter being probably a detachment from the thirty thousand first sent, and ordered to lie as near to the city as possible. Masius allows only five thousand men for the ambuscade, and twenty-five thousand for the attack. ...
Betharbel - ("house of the snare" (or, "ambush of God". )) Scene of the sack and massacre by Shalmaneser at his first invasion (2 Kings 17:3; Hosea 10:14). "As Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children. " Perhaps identical with the stronghold Arbela in Galilee. Jerome curiously refers "Shalman" to "Zalmunna," and Betharbel ("the house of him who judged Baal"), i. e. Jerubbaal (Judges 8). Now Irbid, a ruin S. W. of the sea of Galilee, N. of Tiberias, remarkable for its caves, hard to approach and still more to storm. Hence the resort of robbers. When they turned Bethel ("the house of God") into Bethaven ("the house of vanity"), then it became Betharbel ("the house of ambush of God"), the scene and occasion of their desolation (Pusey). ...
Rimmon - (Rihm' mohn) Place and divine name meaning, “pomegranate. ” 1. Chief god of Syria, also called Hadad. Naaman worshiped Rimmon in Damascus (2 Kings 5:18 ). 2 . Town allotted to tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:32 ) but then given to Simeon (Joshua 19:7 ; compare 1 Chronicles 4:32 ). Early translations and many modern interpreters read En-rimmon in all occurrences. It is modern Khirbet er-Ramamin two miles south of Lahav. Zechariah 14:10 described it as the southern boundary of God's new exalted kingdom. See Joshua 19:13 ; 1 Chronicles 6:77 ), probably the original reading for present Dimnah (Joshua 21:35 ). See Judges 20:45-47 ), modern Rammun four miles east of Bethel. 5. Father of Rechab and Baanah, who killed Saul's son Ish-Bosheth (2Samuel 4:2,2 Samuel 4:9 ). ... ...
Mount, Mountain - The ordinary word for this is har , which is employed both for the mountain ranges, some of which run through Palestine from north to south, and also for the higher mountains that rise upon those ranges or on the plains. Thus in 2 Chronicles 13:4 it says "Mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim," which means that mount Zemaraim was situated in the hill-country of Ephraim. Mount Ephraim does not refer to any particular mountain; but to the range of hills, or hill country in Ephraim, extending from Bethel to the plains of Jezreel. In like manner there are parts that can be called hill-country throughout all the land, as in Joshua 13:6 ; Luke 1:39,65 . Each of the mountains is considered under its own name. ...
Shechem (1) - ("shoulder", or "upper part of the back just below the neck"); explained as if the town were on the shoulder of the heights dividing the waters that flow toward the Mediterranean on the W. and to the Jordan on the E. ; or on a shoulder or ridge connected with Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. Also called SICHEM, SYCHEM, and SYCHAR (John 4:5; Joshua 20:7; Judges 9:9; 1 Kings 12:25). Mount Gerizim is close by (Judges 9:7) on the southern side, Mount Ebal on the northern side. These hills at the base are but 500 yards apart. Vespasian named it Neapolis; coins are extant with its name "Flavia Νeapolis "; now Nablus by corruption. The situation is lovely; the valley runs W. with a soil of rich, black, vegetable mold, watered by fountains, sending forth numerous streams flowing W. ; orchards of fruit, olive groves, gardens of vegetables, and verdure on all sides delight the eye. On the E. of Gerizim and Ebal the flue plain of Mukhna stretches from N. to S. ... Here first in Canaan God appeared to Abraham (Genesis 12:6), and here he pitched his tent and built an altar under the oak or terebinth (not "plain") of Moreh; here too Jacob re-entered the promised land (Genesis 33:18-19), and "bought a parcel of a field where he had spread his tent," from the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, and bequeathed it subsequently to Joseph (Genesis 48:22; Joshua 24:32; John 4:5); a dwelling place, whereas Abraham's only purchase was a burial place. It lay in the rich plain of the Mukhna, and its value was increased by the well Jacob dug there. Joshua made "Shechem in Mount Ephraim" one of the six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7). The suburbs in our Lord's days reached nearer the entrance of the valley between Gerizim and Ebal than now; for the narrative in John 4:30; John 4:35, implies that the people could be seen as they came from the town toward Jesus at the well, whereas Nablus now is more than a mile distant, and cannot be seen from that point. ... Josephus (B. J. 3:7, section 32) says that more than 10,000 of the inhabitants were once destroyed by the Romans, implying a much larger town and population than at present. (See DINAH; HAMOR. ) (See JACOB on the massacre by Simeon and Levi, Genesis 34. ) Under Abraham's oak at Shechem Jacob buried the family idols and amulets (Genesis 35:1-4). Probably too "the strange gods" or "the gods of the stranger" were those carried away by Jacob's sons from Shechem among the spoils (Genesis 35:2; Genesis 34:26-29). The charge to "be clean and change garments" may have respect to the recent slaughter of the Shechemites, which polluted those who took part in it (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences). Shechem was for a time Ephraim's civil capital. as Shiloh was its religious capital (Judges 9:2; Judges 21:19; Joshua 24:1-25-26; 1 Kings 12:1). At the same "memorial terebinth" at Shechem the Shechemites made Abimelech king (Judges 9:6). ... Jotham's parable as to the trees, the vine, the fig, and the bramble, were most appropriate to the scenery; contrast the shadow of the bramble which would rather scratch than shelter, with Isaiah 32:2. Abimelech destroyed Shechem and sowed it with salt (Judges 9:45). From Gerizim the blessings, and from Ebal the curses, were read (Joshua 8:33-35). At Shechem Joshua gave his farewell charge (Joshua 24:1-25). Joseph was buried there (Joshua 24:32; Acts 7:16). At Shechem Rehoboam was made king by Israel (1 Kings 12:1); he desired to conciliate the haughty Ephraimites by being crowned there. Here, through his ill advised obstinacy, the Israelites revolted to Jeroboam, who made Shechem his capital. Mediaeval writers (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1878, p. 27-28) placed the Dan and Bethel of Jeroboam's calves on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. The following reasons favor this view. ... (1) The ruins below the western peak of Gerizim are still called Lozeh or Luz, the old name of Bethel; a western spur of Ebal has a site Amad ed Din, (possibly Joshua's altar on Ebal), bearing traces of the name Dan, and the hill is called Ras el Κady ("judgment" answering to the meaning of Dan). ... (2) The Bethel of the calf was close to the palace of Jeroboam who lived in Shechem (Amos 7:13; 1 Kings 12:25). ... (3) The southern Bethel was in Benjamin (Joshua 18:22) and would hardly have been chosen as a religious center by Jeroboam who was anxious to draw away the people from Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:28). ... (4) The southern Bethel was taken from Jeroboam by Abijah king of Judah (2 Chronicles 13:19), whereas the calf of Bethel was not destroyed but remained standing long after (2 Kings 10:29). ... (5) The Bethel of the calf is mentioned in connection with Samaria (1 Kings 13:32; 2 Kings 23:19; Amos 4:1-4; Amos 5:6), and the old prophet at Bethel was of Samaria according to Josephus (2 Kings 23:18). ... (6) The southern Bethel was the seat of a school of prophets, which is hardly consistent with its being the seat of the calf worship (2 Kings 2:2-3). ... The "men from Shechem" (Jeremiah 41:5) who had paganly "cut themselves," and were slain by Ishmael, were probably of the Babylonian colonists who combined Jehovah worship with their old idolatries. Shechem was the chief Samaritan city from the time of the setting up of the temple on Gerizim down to its destruction in 129 B. C. , i. e. for about 200 years. Sychar is probably a corruption of Shechem; others make it a Jewish alteration, for contempt, from shecher "a lie. " (See SYCHAR. ) Jesus remained at Shechem two days and won many converts, the firstfruits, followed by a full harvest under Philip the evangelist (Acts 8; John 4:35-43). The population now is about 5,000, of whom 500 are Greek Christians, 150 Samaritans, and a few Jews. The main street runs from E. to W. The houses are of stone, the streets narrow and dark. Eighty springs are within or around Shechem. It is the center of trade between Jaffa and Beirut on one side, and the transjordanic region on the other. It has manufactures of coarse woolen fabrics, delicate silk, camel's hair cloth, and soap. Inscriptions from the Samaritan Pentateuch, of A. D. 529, which had been on the walls of a synagogue, have been found and read. ... The well of Jacob lies one mile and a half E. of Shechem beyond the hamlet Balata; beside a mound of ruins with fragments of granite columns on a low hill projecting from Gerizim's base in a N. E. direction, between the plain and the opening of the valley. Formerly a vaulted chamber, ten feet square, with a square hole opening into it, covered over the floor in which was the well's mouth. Now the vault has in part fallen and covered up the mouth; only a shallow pit remains, half filled with stones and rubbish. The well was 75 feet deep at its last measurement, but 105 at Maundrell's visit in 1697. It is now dry almost always, whereas he found 15 feet of water. Jacob dug it deep into the rocky ground, its position indicating it was dug by one who could not rely for water on the springs so near in the valley (Ain Balata and Defneh), the Canaanites being their owners. A church was built round it in the fourth century, but was destroyed before the crusades. Eusebius in the early part of the fourth century confirms the traditional site; John 4 accords with it. ... Jesus in His journey from Jerusalem to Galilee rested at it, while "His disciples were gone away into the city to buy meat"; so the well must have lain before, but at some little distance from, the city. Jesus intended on their return to proceed along the plain toward Galilee, without visiting the city Himself, which agrees with the traditional site. The so-called "tomb of Joseph," a quarter of a mile N. of the well in the open plain, in the center of the opening between Gerizim and Ebal, is more open to doubt. A small square of high walls surrounds a common tomb, placed diagonally to the walls; a rough pillar altar is at the head, and another at the foot. In the left corner is a vine whose branches "run over the wall" (Genesis 49:22). Maundrell's description applies better to another tomb named from Joseph at the N. E. foot of Gerizim. However the phrase in Genesis 33:19, "a parcel of a field," Joshua 24:32, favors the site near Jacob's well, bechelqat hasadeh , a smooth lever open cultivated land; in Palestine there is not to be found such a dead level, without the least hollow in a circuit of two hours. ...
the Disobedient Prophet - IT was an high day of idolatry at Bethel. And, all the time, Bethel, of all the cities of Israel, was one of the most ancient and the most sacred. Bethel, as its name bears, was none other but the house of God, and it was the very gate of heaven. Bethel was built on that very spot on which their father Jacob had slept and dreamed when he was on his lonely way to Padan-aram; and it is that very heaven out of which the ladder was let down on Jacob's pillow that is today to be darkened by the unclean incense of Jeroboam's altar-fires. It was a brave step in Jeroboam to set up his false gods at Bethel, of all places in the land. And he needed a stout heart and a profane to support him as he stood up to kindle with his own hands the heathen fires of idolatry and impurity at Bethel. ... Where angels down the lucid stairCame hovering to our sainted sires,Now, in the twilight glareThe heathen's wizard fires. And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And the man of God cried against the altar of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar! And then he foretold the fall of the altar, and with it the fall of him who stood in his royal robes that day ministering to his unclean gods at that altar. And how Jeroboam's hand was withered that moment; how it was healed immediately at the intercession of the man of God; how Jeroboam invited the prophet to come home with him to eat and to drink and to get a reward; and how the prophet answered the king that be had the command of the Lord neither to eat bread nor to drink water in that polluted land, but to return home to Judah as soon as he had delivered his prophetic burden-all that is to be read in the thirteenth chapter of First Kings. At the same time, we are not told so much as this great prophet's name. He was wholly worthy thus far to have his name held up aloft along with the names of Samuel and Elijah themselves, for he stood up alone against Jeroboam and against all Israel and nailed the curse of God to Jeroboam's altar under the king's own eyes. We would hold his name in more than royal honour if we knew it. But for some reason or other of her own the Bible holds his great name back. This great man of God comes out of a cloud, he shines for a splendid moment before all men's eyes, and then he dies under a cloud. Alas, my brother!... As the man of God from Judah so nobly refuses Jeroboam's royal hospitality, I am reminded of Lord Napier. On one occasion his lordship was sent down to Scotland by the Queen on a royal errand of review and arbitration between a great duke and his poor crofters. The duke, the administration of whose estate was to be inquired into, was good enough to offer his lordship his ducal hospitality for as long as the royal session of review lasted. But her Majesty's Deputy felt that neither his Royal Mistress nor himself could afford to be for one moment compromised, or even suspected, by her poorest subject; and therefore it was that his lordship excused himself from the duke's table, and took up his quarters in the little wayside inn. 'At any rate, you will come to the manse,' said the minister, who was on the crofters' side. 'Thank you,' said Napier, 'But in your college days you must have read Plutarch about Cæsar's wife. No, thank you. ' And his lordship lodged all his time in the little hotel, and went back to his Royal Mistress when his work was done, not only with clean hands, but without even a suspicion attaching to her or to him, 'Come home with me and refresh thyself. ' But the man of God said to the king, 'If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee. ' So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. ... Just as the man of God is setting out to go back to Judah with a hungry belly indeed, but with a good conscience, we are taken by the hand and are led into the house of an old prophet who dwells at Bethel. Yes. There are prophets and prophets' sons all this time at Bethel. Only, they had their domiciles and their doles from Jeroboam's bounty on the strict condition that they kept at home and kept silence. Well, this old Bethelite prophet was keeping at home and was keeping silence when his sons burst in upon him with the great news of the day. Father, you should have come with us! We asked you to come. What a day it has been! And what a man of God we have seen! Till they told him all that we are told about Jeroboam, and his altar, and the man of God from Judah, and his cry that shook down the altar, and the king's withered hand, and the prayer of the man of God, and the king's hospitality, and the man of God's refusal of the king's hospitality. 'What way went he home? demanded the old prophet of his excited sons. 'Saddle me the ass,' he instantly ordered. 'Art thou the man of God from Judah?' he asked, as he overtook the man of God sitting under an oak. 'Come home with me and eat bread. ' 'I may not eat bread, nor drink water by the word of the Lord,' said the man of God. 'But I am a prophet also as thou art,' said the old Bethelite; 'and an angel bade me bring thee back. ' But it was a lie, adds the sacred writer. So the man of God rose and went back and did eat bread and drink water. And so on; till a lion met him in the way home that night, and slew him because he had gone back. And when the old Bethelite prophet, who had deceived him, heard of it, he mourned over him, and said, 'Alas, my brother!' And he said to his sons, 'Bury me beside this man of God. Lay my bones beside his bones. '... What is it that makes the decrepit old prophet of Bethel post at such a pace after the man of God who is on his way home to Judah? Has his conscience at last been awakened? Have the tidings of his delighted sons filled the poor old time-server with bitter remorse for his fat table and for his dumb pulpit? Or, is it deadly envy and revenge at the man who has so stolen his sons' hearts that day till they are about to set off to Judah to go to school to this man of God? It is too late now for him to command his sons' reverence and love. And how can he ever forgive the man who has so taken from him his crown as a prophet and as a father? 'Saddle me the ass,' he shouted. And the decayed old creature rode down the Judean road at a pace he had not ridden since he used, as a godly youth, to be sent out on errands of life and death and mercy from Samuel's School of Mount Ephraim. If lies will do it; if flattery, flesh, and wine will do it; if there is man or woman in Bethel that will do it,-that Judean prophet's pride shall be brought down today! 'Saddle me the ass!' he thundered. So they saddled him the ass, and he rode after the man of God, 'I am a prophet as thou art I' But he lied unto him. ... Let us all take care of the swift and sure collapse that always comes on us after every great excitement. As sure as we are made of flesh, and blood, and brains, and nerves, and feelings, a great reaction always takes place in body and mind after any unusually great effort of body and mind. And especially after any great preaching effort. After you have faced for hours a surging congregation, and have worked yourself and them up to heaven,-to see them scatter, and to be left worn out and alone,-then comes the hour of temptation: a temptation that has been fatal in more ways than one to some temperaments of men. Some temperaments are tempted at such times to eat and drink and smoke and talk all night to any listener if they have done well; and the same temperaments are just as much tempted to silence, and gloom, and bad temper if they have not done well: if they have not come up to themselves, and have not got the praise they worked for and expected. We are not told why this great man of God stopped short so soon on his way home from Bethel, and sat down so soon under one of the oaks of Bethel. He had done a splendid day's work. Never prophet of God did a more splendid day's work. But our hearts sink as we see him stop short, and then take his seat under that tempting tree. What was the matter? We are not told. He may have been very hungry by this time, and he may have begun to repent that he had not accepted the penitent king's hospitality. Who knows what good might have come of it had he, God's acknowledged prophet, been seen sitting in the place of honour at the royal table? Had he not been somewhat short, and sharp, and churlish after his great battle with Jeroboam's altar? Stern men have often been known to soften and secretly repent of their too-ascetical self-denial. They have felt it hard to have to pay the whole self-denying vow which they made when some great exaltation was upon them. Some men have gone so far, indeed, as to call back in imagination the hour of temptation, and wish that they had not let it slip so soon. Well, then, if that was the case with the man of God from Judah,-here is the forbidden fruit of Bethel back and at his open mouth this moment; 'I am a prophet as thou art, and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying: Bring him back to eat and to drink. ' So he went back with him to his house. ... As a rule let ministers sup at home on Sabbath nights; and let them sup alone. As a rule. It cannot always be acted on, but it is a good rule, nevertheless. Many a good sermon has been drowned dead in the supper, and in the supper-talk that followed it. Your people will not care one straw what you say to them from the pulpit if you sup heartily with them immediately after it. All the great awe of the morning went off the Bethelite prophet's sons and servants, as the man of God sat and ate and drank and laughed and talked over his supper that night. And the old Bethelite himself was quite at home, hail-fellow-well-met, with the terrible preacher of that awakening morning. ... I was once spending a Sabbath in a well-known farm-house in Glenisla, and after church the old laird and I began to talk about John Duncan and his great sermons when he was a probationer in a chapel of ease in the neighbourhood. After supper and worship I was anxious to hear more about Dr. Duncan, and to hear more of his old sermons read, 'No,' said the old patriarch to me; 'No: no more tonight; we always take our candles immediately after family worship. ' How often has that rebuke come back to me as another Sabbath night closed with all kinds of talk after public and family worship; talk that but too plainly had blotted out for ever all that had been said and heard that day. It is not possible that we should all spend the last hours of the Sabbath alone; but, most certainly, many a deep impression has been obliterated as the preacher ate and drank and talked and laughed after his solemn sermon. ... ... And then this-follow your conscience to the end, let men and angels say what they will, A man is but a man: an angel is but an angel: and false prophets have come out into the world. But conscience is more than conscience. Conscience is God, Conscience is Immanuel, God in us. My conscience, accordingly, is more to me than all prophets and apostles and preachers, and very angels themselves. If that had been Paul sitting under that oak, and had the old Bethelite deceiver come riding on his ass, with his certificate of office, and with his story about an angel to Paul, we have Paul's answer to him in the Galatians: 'If an angel from heaven bids me go against God in my conscience, let him be accursed. ' And the old deceiver would have fallen down and would have reported at home that God was in the man of God from Judah of a truth. So would the secrets of his heart have been made manifest. 'Conscience,' says Sanderson, 'is a fast friend, and a fierce foe. ' 'I take my ears,' said King Charles, 'to other preachers; but I take my conscience to Mr. Sanderson. ' And go you to the preacher who speaks closest to your conscience, whatever denomination he preaches in, and then hold fast by your enlightened and awakened conscience against men and devils. ... At the same time, to be slain by a lion on the way home was surely much too sharp a punishment for taking one's supper with a prophet and an angel; uneasy conscience and all. But then, 'some sins,' says that noble piece, the Westminster Larger Catechism, 'receive their aggravation from the persons offending; if they be of riper age, greater experience in grace, eminent for profession, gifts, place, office, and as such are guides to others, and whose example is likely to be followed by others. ' The very case, to the letter, of the man of God out of Judah. The sublimity of his public services that morning had henceforth set up a corresponding standard for his private life. And this is one of our best compensations for preaching the grace of God and the law of Christ. Our office quickens our conscience; it makes the law cut deeper and deeper into our hearts every day; and it compels us to a public and private life we would otherwise have escaped. Preaching recoils with terrible strokes on the preacher. It curtails his liberty in a most tyrannical way; it tracks him through all his life in a most remorseless manner. Think it out well, and count the cost, before you become a minister. For, it was surely a little sin, if ever there was a little sin, to sup that Sabbath night at an old prophet's table, and that, too, on the invitation of an angel. But the lion that met the disobedient prophet that night did not reason that way. ... 'Bury me,' said the remorseful old man to his sons standing in tears round his miserable deathbed, 'bury me in the same grave with the bones of the man of God out of Judah. ' And the old prophet's sons so buried their father. And an awful grave that was in Bethel, with an awful epitaph upon it. Now, suppose this. Suppose that you were buried on the same awful principle,-in whose grave would your bones lie waiting together with his till the last trump to stand forth before God and man together? And what would your epitaph and his be? Would it be this: 'Here lie the liar and his victim'? Or would it be this: 'Here lie the seducer and the seduced'? Or would it be this: 'Here lie the hater and him he hated down to death'? Or would it be this: 'Here lie the tempting host and his too willing to be tempted guest'? Or, if you are a minister, would it be this: 'Here lies a dumb dog, and beside him one who was a crowded preacher in the morning of his days, but a castaway before night'? Alas, my brother!...
Teraphim - (teh' ruh fihm) Transliteration idols used as household gods or for divination. They are idols of indeterminate size and shape (compare Genesis 31:1 ; 1 Samuel 19:13 ). Some scholars have understood Ancient Near Eastern rights of inheritance as being based on the possession of these images as shown in Nuzi inheritance documents. However, the evidence is ambiguous in determining the motive of Rachel's theft or their overall meaning. Jacob (Genesis 35:2 ) disposed of such religious artifacts before returning to Bethel. Teraphim are related to divination (Judges 17:5 ; Judges 18:14-20 ; 1 Samuel 15:23 ; 2 Kings 23:24 ; Hosea 3:4 ; Ezekiel 21:21 ; Zechariah 10:2 ). Prophetic literature and the Josianic reformation condemned the possession and use of teraphim. Translations used different words in different passages to translate teraphim. See Divination. ... David M. Fleming... ...
Ophrah - OPHRAH. 1 . A town in Benjamin ( Joshua 18:23 ) which was somewhere near Michmash, and is only once elsewhere referred to, as an indication of the direction of a Philistine raid ( 1 Samuel 13:17 ). The data for its identification are insufficient: Jerome states that it was 5 Roman miles east from Bethel. 2. Ophrah ‘that pertaineth unto Joash the Abiezrite’ i. e . to a member of a sept of the tribe of Manasseh ( Joshua 17:2 ), was the native village of Gideon. It is not mentioned except in connexion with the history of him and of his son Abimelech ( Judges 6:1-40 ; Judges 7:1-25 ; Judges 8:1-35 ; Judges 9:1-57 ). No satisfactory identification has been proposed. 3. A name in the genealogy of the tribe of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 4:14 ). ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Ophrah - 1. In Benjamin (Joshua 18:23; 1 Samuel 13:17). Jerome makes it five miles E. of Bethel. Probably the same as Ephron. (See EPHRON; EPHRAIM. ) Taiyibeh is now on its site. ... 2. Ophrah of the Abiezrites, Gideon's place of birth (Judges 6:11-24; Judges 8:32; Judges 9:5), residence, and burial. He put the ephod here which he had adorned with the Midianites' gold, and to it all Israel resorted in pilgrimage for worship, a spiritual "whoring" (Judges 8:27). In Manasseh, not far from Shechem (Judges 9:1; Judges 9:5). Now Erfai (Van de Velde); Erafa (Schwartz). Epher a head of Manasseh probably gave the name (1 Chronicles 5:24), migrating there with Abiezer and Shechem (Numbers 26:30; Joshua 17:2). ... 3. 1 Chronicles 4:14, "Meonothai begat (or else founded) Ophrah" of Judah. ...
Amaziah - Amaziah (ăm-a-zî'ah), whom Jehovah strengthens. 1. The son and successor of Jehoash, or Joash, king of Judah. He was 25 years old at his accession, and he reigned 29 years, 838-809 b. c. His conduct was, at first, unexceptionable; but he afterwards declined from God's law, and brought misfortune and judgment upon himself and his kingdom. The history does not tell us that he repented; for the consequences of his idolatry still pursued him. His own subjects conspired against him, and, when he fled to Lachish, slew him there. He was succeeded by his son Azariah, or Uzziah. 2 Kings 14:1-21; 2 Chronicles 25:2. A Simeonite. 1 Chronicles 4:34. 3. A Levite. 1 Chronicles 6:45. 4. An idolatrous priest of the golden calf at Bethel, in the reign of Jeroboam II. Amos 7:10-17. ...
Ben'Jamin - (son of the right hand, fortunate ).
The youngest of the children of Jacob. His birth took place on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, near the latter, B. C. 1729. His mother, Rachel, died in the act of giving him birth, naming him with her last breath Ben-oni (son of my sorrow ). This was by Jacob changed into Benjamin. ( Genesis 35:16,18 ) Until the journeys of Jacob's sons and Jacob himself into Egypt we hear nothing of Benjamin. Nothing personal is known of him. Henceforward the history of Benjamin is the history of the tribe. ... A man of the tribe of Benjamin, son of bilhan, and the head of a family of warriors. (1 Chronicles 7:10 ) ... One of the "sons of Harim," an Israelite in the time of Ezra who had married a foreign wife. (Ezra 10:32 )
Ben'Jamin, the Tribe of - The contrast between the warlike character of the tribe and the peaceful image of its progenitor comes out in many scattered notices. Benjamin was the only tribe which seems to have pursued archery to any purpose, and their skill in the bow, (1 Samuel 20:20,36 ; 2 Samuel 1:232 ; 1 Chronicles 8:40 ; 12:2 ; 2 Chronicles 17:17 ) and the sling, (Judges 20:16 ) is celebrated. The dreadful deed recorded in Judges 19 was defended by Benjamin. Later the tribe seems, however, to assume another position, as Ramah, ( 1 Samuel 9:12 ) etc. , Mizpeh, (1 Samuel 7:5 ) Bethel and Gibeon, (1 Kings 3:4 ) were all in the land of Benjamin. After the struggles and contests which followed the death of Saul, the history of Benjamin becomes merged in that of the southern kingdom.
Deborah - (dehb' aw rah) Personal name meaning, “bee. ” Deborah is the name of two women in the Bible, Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 35:8 ; Genesis 24:59 ) and a leader of pre-monarchic Israel (Judges 4:1;b15 ). ... 1. Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died and was buried near Bethel. She had been part of the household of Jacob, Rebekah's son. ... 2. Deborah, the leader of Israel, is identified as a prophetess, a judge, and the wife of Lapidoth (Judges 4:4 ). She probably lived about 1200 B. C. or slightly later during a period of Canaanite oppression. Deborah is described in Judges 5:7 as “a mother in Israel” because of her role in delivering God's people. After Moses, only Samuel filled the same combination of offices: prophet, judge, and military leader. ... Deborah served regularly as a judge, hearing and deciding cases brought to her by the people of Israel. She held court at “the palm tree of Deborah,” in the southern part of the territory of Ephraim, between Ramah and Bethel (Judges 4:4-5 ). Nothing is said about the procedures at her court or about the extent of her jurisdiction. ... As a prophet, Deborah summoned Barak and delivered an oracle giving him God's instructions for a battle in the Jezreel Valley against the Canaanite army commanded by Sisera (Judges 4:6-9 ; compare Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:2-3 and the unnamed prophet in 1 Kings 20:13-15 ). Barak obeyed, and the Israelites won the battle. Some scholars believe that Deborah as prophet also composed the victory poem she and Barak sang in Judges 5:1 . Deborah's authority under God was evidenced by Barak's desire to have her present with him in the army camp (Judges 4:8 ,Judges 4:8,4:14 ) and by the testimony to her leadership in the song (Judges 5:7 ,Judges 5:7,5:12 ,Judges 5:12,5:15 ). ... Pamela J. Scalise... ...
Gil'Gal - (a wheel; rolling ).
The site of the first camp of the Israelites on the west of the Jordan, the place at which they passed the first night after crossing the river, and where the twelve stones were set up which had been taken from the bed of the stream, (Joshua 4:19,20 ) comp. Joshua 4:3 Where also they kept the first passover in the land of Canaan ch. ( Joshua 5:10 ) It was "in the east border of Jericho," apparently on a hillock or rising ground, (Joshua 5:3 ) comp. Joshua 5:9 In the Arboth-Jericho (Authorized Version "the plains"), that is, the hot depressed district of the Ghor which lay between the town and the Jordan. ch. ( Joshua 5:10 ) Here Samuel was judge, and Saul was made king. We again have a glimpse of it, some sixty years later, in the history of David's return to Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 19:40 ) A Gilgal is spoken of in (Joshua 15:7 ) in describing the north border of Judah. In (Joshua 18:17 ) it is given as Geliloth. Gilgal near Jericho is doubtless intended. ... In (2 Kings 2:1,2 ; 4:38 ) is named a Gilgal visited by Elijah and Elisha. This could not be the Gilgal of the low plain of the Jordan, for the prophets are said to have gone down to Bethel, which Isaiah 3000 feet above the plain. It haa been identified with Jiljilia , about four miles from Bethel and Shiloh respectively. ... The "king of the nations of Gilgal" or rather perhaps the "king of Goim at Gilgal," is mentioned in the catalogue of the chiefs overthrown bv Joshua. (Joshua 12:23 ) Possibly the site of this place is marked by the modern village Jiljulieh , about four miles south of Antipatris, which lies 16 miles northeast of Joppa. But another Gilgal, under the slightly-different form of Kilkilieh , lies about two miles east of Antipatris.
Ophrah - Ophrah (ŏf'rah), female fawn. 1. A town in Benjamin toward which an invading company of Philistines went. Joshua 18:23; 1 Samuel 13:17. Some suppose it is identical with Ephrain or Ephron, 2 Chronicles 13:19, and with the city of Ephraim, to which our Lord retired after raising Lazarus. John 11:54 Eusebius and Jerome located it about five Roman miles east of Bethel. 2. Ophrah of the Abi-ezerite. Judges 6:11; Judges 6:24. This was the place where Gideon saw the angel, erected an altar, and where he was buried. Judges 8:27; Judges 8:32. Here Abimelech slew 70 of his kindred, and the town appears to have been near Shechem, in the territory of Manasseh. Judges 9:1; Judges 9:5-6; Judges 9:15. The Palestine Memoirs suggest as its site the village of Ferata, near Shechem. ...
Earrings - Ornaments worn in the ear by both men and women. Usually made of gold or silver, they represented valuable possessions and could be used as gifts (Genesis 24:22 , Genesis 24:47 ), even gifts to God (Exodus 32:2 ; Exodus 35:22 ; Numbers 31:50 ; Judges 8:24-26 ). In describing His loving relationship with Israel, God said He had put a ring in her nose and earrings on her ears (Ezekiel 16:12 ). Before returning to Bethel, Jacob got his family to put away their foreign gods and earrings (Genesis 35:2-4 ). These may have been magical apparel with engraving of words supposed to ward off evil. Compare Isaiah 3:20 in KJV (“earrings”) and NAS, NRSV (“amulets”), and NIV (“charms”). More ornamental than the finest gold earring, however, “is the wise reprover on an obedient ear” ( Proverbs 25:12 ). See Jewelry. ... ...
Hushai - HUSHAI . An Archite ( 2 Samuel 15:32 ; 2 Samuel 17:5 ; 2 Samuel 17:14 ), i. e. a native of ‘the border of the Archites’ ( Joshua 16:2 ) to the W. of Bethel. He is further described as ‘the friend of David’ ( Joshua 15:37 ), while at 2 Samuel 16:16 the two titles are united. At the rebellion of Absalom he was induced by David to act as if he favoured the cause of the king’s son. By so doing he was enabled both to defeat the plans of Ahithophel and to keep David informed (by means of Ahimaaz and Jonathan, the sons of Zadok and Abiathar the priests) of the progress of events in Jerusalem ( 2 Samuel 16:16 to 2 Samuel 17:23 ). He is probably to be identified with the father of Baana, one of Solomon’s twelve commissariat officers ( 1 Kings 4:16 ). ...
Deborah - Deborah (dĕb'o-rah), a bee. 1. The nurse of Rebekah, and her companion into Canaan. Genesis 24:59. She was buried at Bethel, under the "oak of weeping. " Genesis 38:8. Nurses held an honorable place in early times in the East, where they were important members of the family. 2 Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 22:11. 2. A prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, who judged Israel. She dwelt under, i. e. , had a tent pitched beneath, a noted tree; a palm tree it is called, and may have been at Baal-tamar, Judges 20:33, or not far distant from the tree under which the first Deborah was buried. Deborah incited Barak to deliver his people from the oppression of Jabin; at his desire accompanied him, though with a rebuke, and after the victory uttered a triumphal song of praise. Judges 4:5. ...
Cistern, - a receptacle for water, either conducted from an external spring or proceeding from rain-fall. The dryness of the summer months and the scarcity of springs in Judea made cisterns a necessity, and they are frequent throughout the whole of Syria and Palestine. On the long-forgotten way from Jericho to Bethel, "broken cisterns" of high antiquity are found at regular intervals. Jerusalem depends mainly for water upon its cisterns, of which almost every private house possesses one or more, excavated in the rock on which the city is built. The cisterns have usually a round opening at the top, sometimes built up with stonework above and furnished with a curb and a wheel for a bucket. (Ecclesiastes 12:6 ) Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons and places of confinement. Joseph was cast into a "pit," (Genesis 37:22 ) as was Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 38:6 )
Amaziah - 1. Son of Jehoash, or Joash, king of Judah, and who succeeded to the throne: he reigned 29 years, B. C. 839-810. He walked well at the commencement of his reign. He made war on the Edomites; 10,000 were slain, and 10,000 cast down from the top of the rock. But he brought back the gods of the children of Seir, and bowed down to them, whereby he fell under God's displeasure. He provoked a war with the king of Israel but was defeated, the treasures of Jerusalem were taken, and part of the city wall broken down. He was slain at Lachish whither he had fled from a conspiracy. 2 Kings 14:1-23 ; 2 Chronicles 25:1-28 . ... 2. Descendant of Simeon. 1 Chronicles 4:34 . ... 3. Son of Hilkiah, a descendant of Merari. 1 Chronicles 6:45 . ... 4. Israelite who was priest of the idol set up in Bethel. Amos 7:10-14 . ...
Jeroboam - (jehr oh boh' am) Personal name possibly meaning, “he who contends for justice for the people” or “may the people multiply. ” 1. First king of the Northern Kingdom Israel about 926-909 B. C. Jeroboam had an interesting rise to power. He managed the laborers Solomon had conscripted for his huge building projects (1 Kings 11:28 ). During Solomon's reign Ahijah, a prophet from Shiloh, confronted Jeroboam, tore his own coat into twelve pieces, and gave ten of them to Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:29-39 ). Ahijah interpreted this as God's pledge that Jeroboam would become king over ten of the twelve tribes. Upon Solomon's death, Jeroboam learned that the tribes would assemble at Shechem to make Solomon's son Rehoboam their king. Seizing upon the people's resentment toward Solomon's high-handed policies, Jeroboam led the ten tribes to revolt against the house of David. They then crowned Jeroboam king. The inspired biblical writers did not consider Jeroboam a good king. Rather he became the example of evil kings in Israel because he built temples in Dan and Bethel with golden calves representing God's presence. What appeared to be good politics diverted people from worshiping at Jerusalem, God's chosen place. All the following northern kings suffered the biblical writers' condemnation because they walked in the ways of Jeroboam, encouraging worship at Dan and Bethel (see for example 1Kings 15:26,1 Kings 15:34 ; 1Kings 16:19,1 Kings 16:31 ). Jeroboam also instituted new worship practices at his temples (1 Kings 12:25-33 ), intentionally making Israelite worship different from that in Jerusalem, though claiming to worship the same God with the same worship traditions. Prophetic warnings failed to move Jeroboam (1 Kings 13:1-14:20 ). ... 2. Powerful king of Israel in the dynasty of Jehu about 793-753 B. C. (2 Kings 14:23-29 ). He managed to restore prosperity and territory to a weak nation but continued the religious practices of Jeroboam I and thus met condemnation from the biblical writers. Jonah, Amos, and Hosea prophesied during his reign. Jeroboam basically restored the boundaries of David's empire, reaching even into Syria. ... M. Stephen Davis... ...
Amos - 1. The fourth of the minor prophets, was a herdsman of Tekoah, a small town of Judah, about twelve miles south of Jerusalem. He prophesied, however, concerning Israel, at Bethel, in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam II, king of Israel, about B. C. 787, and was thus a contemporary of Hosea, Joel, and Isaiah. The first two chapters contain predictions against the surrounding nations, enemies of the people of God. But the ten tribes of Israel were the chief subjects of his prophecies. Their temporary prosperity under Jeroboam led to gross idolatry, injustice, and corruption; for which sins he denounces the judgments of God upon them: but he closes with cheering words of consolation. His holy boldness in reproving sin drew on him the wrath of the priests, who labored to procure his banishment, Amos 7:10-17 . In regard to style, Amos takes a high rank among the prophets. He is full of imagery, concise, and yet simple and perspicuous. ... 2. One of the ancestors of our Lord, Luke 3:25 . ...
Rimmon - RIMMON . 1 . A Beerothite ( 2 Samuel 4:2 ; 2 Samuel 4:5 ; 2 Samuel 4:9 ). 2 . The rock whither the remnants of the Benjamites fled ( Judges 20:45 ; Judges 21:13 ). It has been identified with a lofty rock or conical chalky hill, visible in all directions, on the summit of which stands the village of Rummôn , about 3 miles E. of Bethel. 3 . A city in the south of Judah, towards the border of Edom, Joshua 15:32 ; in Joshua 19:7 counted to Simeon; In Zechariah 14:10 named as lying to the far south of Jerusalem. See, further, En-rimmon. 4 . In Joshua 19:13 one of the boundaries of Zebulun is given as ‘Rimmon which stretcheth to the Nç‘âh’ (AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] wrongly ‘Remmonmethoar to Neah’). In 1 Chronicles 6:77 [Heb. 62] the name appears as Rimmono , and in Joshua 21:35 as Rimmonah (for which, by a textual error, MT [Note: Massoretic Text. ] has Dimnah ). This Rimmon is the modern Rummâneh , north of Nazareth. ...
Mamre - An ancient Amorite. Genesis 13:18, "the plain (rather the oaks or terebinths) of Mamre"; Genesis 14:13; Genesis 14:24, brother of Eshcol, friend and ally of Abraham. The chieftain had planted the terebinths, or was associated with them as his tenting place; so "the oak of Deborah" (Judges 4:5). Mamre was less than a mile from Hebron (Josephus, B. J. 4:9, section 7); but Robinson makes it two Roman miles off, now the hill er Rameh. ... Constantine, to suppress the superstitions veneration to the terebinths, erected a basilica or church on the spot. That it was on an elevation appears from the record that Machpelah faces it (Genesis 23:17-19; Genesis 25:9). Abram resided under the oak grove shade in the interval between his stay at Bethel and at Beersheba (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 18:1; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 21:31). If Machpelah be on the N. E. side of the Hebron valley, then Mamre as "facing it" must have been on the opposite slope, where the governor's house now is. (See HEBRON. )...
Avim - Avims, Avites. ... 1. Properly AVVIM (Deuteronomy 2:28). They had dwelt in Hazerim ("the villages," or nomad encampments, chatzerim ), even unto Azzah (Gaza), i. e. S. W, of Palestine, the S. part of the shephelah or lower hills of Judah (possibly having come thither from the southern desert). The Caplitorim out of Caphtor (i. e. the Philistines, Amos 9:7) supplanted them; and the latter appear in the plain of Sharon, just N. of the shephelah . Compare the order of enumeration from S. to N. (Joshua 13:2-3. ) Gesenius interprets the name Avvim, "ruin. " A trace of them may be in Avvim, a city of Benjamin (Joshua 18:23), whither they may have been driven when the took refuge in the hills of Bethel. The Septuagint and Jerome identify them with the Hivites, in whose district was situated the Avvim city just mentioned. Compare Joshua 9:7; Joshua 9:17 with Joshua 18:22-27. ... 2. The people of AVVA who were planted by Assyria in Samaria; their idols were Nibhaz and Tartak (2 Kings 17:81). ...
Stone - Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of important events (Genesis 28:18 ; Joshua 24:26,27 ; 1 Samuel 7:12 , etc. ). They were gathered out of cultivated fields (Isaiah 5:2 ; Compare 2 Kings 3:19 ). This word is also used figuratively of believers (1 Peter 2:4,5 ), and of the Messiah (Psalm 118:22 ; Isaiah 28:16 ; Matthew 21:42 ; Acts 4:11 , etc. ). In Daniel 2:45 it refers also to the Messiah. He is there described as "cut out of the mountain. " (See ROCK . ) A "heart of stone" denotes great insensibility ( 1 Samuel 25:37 ). ... Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by Jacob at Bethel (Genesis 28:18 ), at Padan-aram (35:4), and on the occasion of parting with Laban (31:45-47); by Joshua at the place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first "lodged" after crossing the river (Joshua 6:8 ), and also in "the midst of Jordan," where he erected another set of twelve stones (4:1-9); and by Samuel at "Ebenezer" (1 Samuel 7:12 ). ...
Michmash - (mik' mawssh) Place name meaning, “hidden place. ” City in Benjamin about seven miles northeast of Jerusalem, four and a half miles northeast of Gibeah, rising 1980 feet above sea level overlooking a pass going from the Jordan River to Ephraim. It is four and a half miles southeast of Bethel, which rises 2,890 feet above sea level. It is modern Mukhmas. Michmash served as a staging area, first for Saul (1 Samuel 13:2 ) and then for the Philistine army as they prepared to fight. It lay on the standard invasion route from the north (Isaiah 10:28 ). The Philistines mustered 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen there (1 Samuel 13:5-6 ). Before the battle could begin, Jonathan and his armor bearer sneaked into the Philistine camp, killed twenty sentries, and set off great confusion, resulting in the Philistines fighting each other (1 Samuel 14:20 ). Exiles returning from Babylon reinhabited the city (Nehemiah 11:31 ; compare Nehemiah 7:31 ). It served as Jonathan Maccabeus' residence and seat of government (1 Maccabees 9:73 ). See Jonathan ; Intertestamental History. ... ...
Calves, Golden - Representation, of young bulls used to symbolize the god's presence in the worship place. The bull was used to represent many gods in the Ancient Near East, particularly Amon-Re in Egypt and El and Baal in Canaan. As Moses was on Mount Sinai, Aaron formed a golden calf to use in a “feast to Yahweh” (Exodus 32:4-5 ). Similarly, Jeroboam placed calves in Dan and Bethel for the Northern Kingdom to use in its worship of Yahweh (1 Kings 12:28 ) so the people would not have to go to Jerusalem, the southern capital, to worship. In both instances the calves represent the gods who brought Israel up from Egypt. Thus the sin of the calves is not worshiping the wrong god but worshiping the true God in the wrong way, through images. See Psalm 106:19-20 . Israel tried to make pedestals on which the invisible God could ride. The only such pedestal Old Testament teaching allows was the ark of the covenant. (See 1 Samuel 4:4 . ) See Bull . ... ...
Prophets, Sons of the - These are referred to in the O. T. , and at times were numerous. They are spoken of as being at Bethel, Jericho, and Gilgal. 2 Kings 2:3,5 ; 2 Kings 4:38 . At one place their dwelling was too limited, and they cut down timber to build themselves a larger place. 2 Kings 6:1,2 . We read of them only in the days of Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha, who were held in repute by them. When Elijah was about to be taken up, these prophets apparently had a revelation concerning it, and they sent fifty men 'to view afar off,' and afterwards sent fifty to look for the prophet. 2 Kings 2:7,17 : cf. 1 Samuel 10:10 . The 'company of prophets' with psaltery, tabret, pipe, and harp, whom Saul met, were probably sons of the prophets. 1 Samuel 10:5 . The hundred prophets whom Obadiah hid from the persecution of Jezebel may have been of the same. 1 Kings 18:4 . From whence these prophets were gathered, and what their functions were is not recorded. ...
a'Ven - (nothingness ).
The "plain of Aven" is mentioned by (Amos 1:5 ) in his denunciation of Syria and the country to the north of Palestine. This Aven is by some supposed to be the once magnificent Heiropolis, "city of I the sun," now Baalbek (Bal'bek) of Coele-Syria, whose ruins are one of the wonders of the ages. It was situated in a plain near the foot of the Anti-Libanus range of mountains, 42 miles northwest of Damascus. It is famous for the colossal ruins of its temples, one of which with its courts and porticos, extended over 1000 feet in length. The temples were built of marble or limestone and granite. Some of the columns were 7 feet in diameter and 62 feet high, or including capital and pedestal, 89 feet. Some of the building-stones were 64 feet long and 12 feet thick. The temples are of Roman origin. ... In (Hosea 10:8 ) the word is clearly an abbreviation of Bethaven, that is, Bethel. Comp. (Hosea 4:15 ) etc. ... The sacred city of Heliopolis or On, in Egypt. (Ezekiel 30:17 )
Ajalon - Ajalon (ăj-a-lon), or Aijalon (âi'ja-lŏn), place of gazelles. 1. A town in the tribe of Dan, assigned to the Levites, sons of Kohath, Joshua 19:42; Joshua 21:24; Judges 1:35, and a city of refuge. It was not far from Timnath, and was taken by the Philistines from Ahaz. 2 Chronicles 28:18. It lay on the south side of a fine valley, not far from the valley of Gibeon, and is recognized in the modern village of Yalo, near the road to Jaffa, some 14 miles from Jerusalem. The valley is the place where Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still, and they obeyed him. Joshua 10:12; see also 1 Samuel 14:31. 2. A town in Benjamin, some three miles east of Bethel. It was fortified by Rehoboam. 2 Chronicles 11:10. Some regard this as the same place as the above, in possession of different tribes at different times. 1 Chronicles 6:66; 1 Chronicles 6:69. 3. In the tribe of Zebulun, the place of Elon's burial. Judges 12:12. ...
Michmash - 1 Samuel 13-14. Now Mukhmas, a poor village of gray huts and ruins, seven miles N. of Jerusalem; on the northern edge of the wady Suweinit, the main pass between the central highlands where Michmash stands and the Jordan valley at Jericho. Opposite Michmash on the other side of the ravine was Geba (Jeba) where was the Philistine garrison, and behind this Gibeah. Jonathan smote the garrison or officer. (See JONATHAN. ) The Philistines swarmed up from their seacoast plain, and occupied Michmash so that Saul had to retire to Gilgal near Jericho. Then followed Jonathan's bold enterprise, which issued in their rout, from Michmash, the farthest point E. , to Ajalon on the W. The battle also passed over to Bethaven (Bethel) four miles N. of Michmash (1 Samuel 14:23. ) Josephus (Ant. vi. 6, section 2) says that the part of Michmash held by them consisted of three summits, entrenched by a line of rocks, and ending in a long sharp precipice almost impregnable; here Jonathan and his armorbearer clambered up at their invitation. ... Just as 1 Samuel 14:4 describes, there is what was once a sharp "toothlike rock" on one side of the gorge between the armies, answering to Bozez ("shining"), and another on the other answering to Seneh (thorn). The more timid of the Israelites emerged from the holes (which give Michmash its name ("hidden"); others derive it from Chemosh, marking a Moabite invasion at some time) to join in the pursuit. Sennacherib long after, advancing from the N. , left his heavy baggage ("carriages") at Michmash, and crossing the pass lodged for the night at Geba (Isaiah 10:28-29). (See GEBA. ) Kitchener suggests that Khirbet Haiy is the site of Ai. It is hardly one mile S. E. of Michmash on the old road from Jericho into the interior, and so the first stronghold Joshua would have to overcome. A plain to the N. was the battlefield; and there is room for ambush to hide without being seen by the men of Bethel. Michmash and Ai are closely connected. After the captivity 122 men of Michmash reoccupied their old dwelling (Ezra 2:27; Nehemiah 7:31). Here Jonathan Maccabeus had his seat of government (1 Maccabees 9:73). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomasticon) mention Michmash as near Ramah. ...
Gilgal - GILGAL . A name meaning ‘stone circle’ applied to several places mentioned in the OT. 1. A place on the east border of Jericho ( Joshua 4:19 ), where the Israelites first encamped after crossing Jordan, and which remained the headquarters of the congregation till after the rout of the northern kings at Merom ( Joshua 14:6 ). The stone circle from which it certainly took its name (in spite of the impossible etymology given in Joshua 5:9 ), was no doubt that to which the tradition embodied in Joshua 4:20 refers, and the same as the ‘images’ by Gilgal in the story of Ehud ( Judges 3:19 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin. ] ). The name is still preserved in the modern Jiljûlieh . This is probably the same Gilgal as that included in the annual circuit of Samuel ( 1 Samuel 7:16 ). This shrine is mentioned by Hosea ( Hosea 4:16 ; Hosea 9:16 ; Hosea 12:11 ) and by Amos ( Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:6 ). 2. A place of the same name near Dor mentioned in a list of conquered kings ( Joshua 12:23 ). It may be Jiljûlieh , about 4 miles N. of Antipatris ( Ras el-’Ain ). 3. A place in the Samaritan mountains ( 2 Kings 4:38 ), somewhere near Bethel (2:1). It may possibly be Jiljîlia , 8 miles N. W. of Bethel. 4. The Gilgal of Deuteronomy 11:30 is unknown. It may be identical with No. 1; but it seems closely connected with Ebal and Gerizim. There is a Juleijil 2 1 / 2 miles S. E. of Nâhlus that may represent this place. 5. A place of uncertain locality, also possibly the same as No. 1 , in the border of the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:7 ). ... At none of these places have any remains of early antiquity been as yet observed. There was in a. d. 700 a large church that covered what were said to be the twelve commemoration stones of Joshua: this is reported by Arculf. The church and stones have both disappeared. The only relic of antiquity now to be seen is a large pool, probably of mediæval workmanship, 100 ft. by 84 ft. A tradition evidently suggested by the Biblical story of the fall of Jericho is recorded by Conder as having been related to him here. ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Amaziah - 1. Eighth king of Judah, son of Joash, began to reign B. C. 835, and reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. He did well in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. Having established himself in his throne and slain the murderers of his father, he mustered a host of 300,000 men of Judah, and hired 100,000 men of Israel, for a war upon Edom. These hired forces he reluctantly dismissed at the command of God, who gave him the victory without their aid. But this did not prevent him from carrying home with him the idols of Edom, and setting them up to be his gods. For this defiance of Jehovah, he was threatened with destruction by a prophet of the Lord; and soon after, went headlong into war with Israel, in which he was defeated and humbled. Fifteen years after, he was slain by conspirators, after flying to Lachish to escape them, 2 Kings 14:1-20 2 Chronicles 25:1-28 ... 2. A priest of the golden calf at Bethel, who denounced the prophet Amos to Jeroboam, and sought to banish him into Judah for his fidelity, Amos 7:10-17 . ...
Michmash - Something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27 ), east of Bethel and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:28 ). It lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit ("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of Michmash" (1 Samuel 13:23 ). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah. This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred tribes. " The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in Israel. (See SAUL . ) ... ...
Michmash - MICHMASH. A place (not enumerated as a town) in the territory of Benjamin, and in the mountains of Bethel. It comes into prominence in connexion with the daring raid made by Jonathan and his armour-bearer upon the Philistines there encamped ( 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ). It was one of the smaller places to which the returning exiles belonged, contributing only 122 men to the enumeration of Ezra ( Ezra 2:27 ) and Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 7:31 ) [in both these last two passages Michmas ]. Nehemiah further alludes to it as a border city of Benjamin ( Nehemiah 11:31 ). Indications of its position may be obtained from the Jonathan story and also from Isaiah’s picture of the course of an Assyrian raid ( Isaiah 10:28 ). These indications permit an identification of the site with the modern village of Mukhmâs , situated in a wild and desolate region near the head of the Wady Kelt. In 1 Kings 4:9 for Makaz the LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] erroneously reads Michmash . For a time it was the seat of the government of Jonathan Maccabæus ( 1Ma 9:73 ). ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Shur - A wilderness so called. Here it was that, Hagar found a sweet Bethel: see Genesis 16:1-16 throughout, well worth regarding. And how many of God's dear children have found the same wilderness dispensations laying a foundation for rich enjoyments! I verily believe that the family of Jesus would have lost some of their most precious seasons, had they lost some of their wilderness exercises. It was not without an eye to this that the Lord said, "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably to her. " (Hosea 2:14) Indeed, the very word Shur, a wall, carries with it this idea. Reader, do not forget it if at any time Jesus brings you into Shur. He who brings you there will not leave you there, but will manifest himself to you there. Oh, how precious the faith that enables a soul to say, under all wilderness straits and difficulties, Thou God seest me! Oh, for all the family of Jesus to call such wildernesses Beer-lahai-roi—namely, the well of him that liveth and seeth me!...
Amaziah - AMAZIAH . 1 . Son of Jehoash of Judah. He came to the throne after the assassination of his father. It is recorded in his favour ( 2 Kings 4:6 ) that although he put the murderers of his father to death he spared their children something unheard of up to that time, we infer. Our sources know of a successful campaign of his against Edom, and an unsuccessful one against Israel. In this he seems to have been the aggressor; and after refusing to hear the advice of Jehoash, whom he had challenged to a trial of strength, he had the mortification of seeing his own capital plundered. The conspiracy by which he perished may have been prompted by his conduct in this war. In the matter of religion he receives qualified praise from the author of Kings ( 2 Kings 14:3 f. ), while the Chronicler accuses him of gross apostasy ( 2 Chronicles 25:14 ff. ). 2 . The priest at Bethel who opposed the prophet Amos ( Amos 7:10 ff. ). 3 . A Simeonite ( 1 Chronicles 4:34 ). 4 . A Merarite ( 1 Chronicles 6:45 ). ... H. P. Smith. ...
Bethel - Bethel (bĕth'ĕl), house of God. Joshua 18:13. 1. A town about twelve miles north of Jerusalem. It was visited by Abraham, Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3; marked by Jacob after his vision of the ladder, Genesis 28:11-19; Genesis 31:13; dwelling-place of Jacob, Genesis 35:1-8; name applied to Luz, Judges 1:22-23. See Joshua 16:2; Genesis 28:19; Samuel judged there, 1 Samuel 7:16; a place of calf-worship, 1 Kings 12:29; 2 Kings 10:29; called Beth-aven—i. e. , "house of idols," Hosea 10:5 (in verse 8 simply Aven); taken by Judah, 2 Chronicles 13:19; home of prophets, 2 Kings 2:2-3; of a priest, 2 Kings 17:28; 2 Kings 23:15; 2 Kings 23:19; was desolate, Amos 3:14; Amos 5:5-6; settled by Benjamites after the captivity, Nehemiah 11:31; named about seventy times in the Old Testament; not noticed in the New Testament; now called Beitin (nine miles south of Shiloh), a village of about 25 Moslem hovels, standing amid ruins which cover about four acres. ...
Nebo - 1. A town in the vicinity of Bethel and Ai, Ezra 2:29 Nehemiah 7:33 . ... 2. A city of Reuben, Numbers 32:38 , taken by the Moabites, who held it in the time of Jeremiah, Isaiah 15:2 Jeremiah 48:1 . ... 3. A mountain of Moab, whence Moses had a view of the promised land, and where he died. It is a summit of the range Abarim, "over against Jericho. " Seetzen, Burckhardy, etc. , identify it with Mount Attarus, about ten miles north of the Arnon. Travelers do not observe any very prominent summit in the rage immediately opposite Jericho; but it has not yet fully explored, Deuteronomy 32:49 34:1-12 . ... 4. An idol of the Babylonians, Isaiah 46:1 . In the astrological mythology of the Babylonians, this idol probably represented the planet Mercury. It was also worshipped by the ancient Arabians. The extensive prevalence of this worship among the Chaldeans and Assyrians, is evident from the many compound proper names occurring in the Scriptures, of which this word forms part; as Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, Nebushasban, Jeremiah 39:9,13 ; and also in the classics, as Naboned, Nabonassar, Nabopolassar, etc. ...
Amazi'ah - (the strength of the Lord ).
Son of Joash, and eighth king of Judah, reigned B. C. 837-809. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 25, on the murder of his father, and punished the murderers. In order to restore his kingdom to the greatness of Jehoshaphat's days, he made war on the Edomites, defeated them in the Valley of Salt, south of the Dead Sea, and took their capital, Selah or Petra, to which he gave the name of Jokteel, i. e. "God-subdued. " Flushed with his success, he challenged Joash king of Israel to battle, but was completely defeated, and himself was taken prisoner and conveyed by Joash to Jerusalem, which opened its gates to the conqueror. Amaziah lived 15 years after the death of Joash; and in the 29th year of his reign was murdered by conspirators at Lachish, whither he had retired from Jerusalem for safety. (2 Chronicles 25:27 ) ... A descendant of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:34 ) ... A Levite. (1 Chronicles 6:45 ) ... Priest of the golden calf at Bethel who endeavored to drive the prophet Amos from Israel into Judah. (Amos 7:11,12,14 )
Jeroboam - Jeroboam (jĕr'o-bô'am), whose people are many. There were two kings of this name: 1. The first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, b. c. 975-954, was the son of Nebat. He was made by Solomon the superintendent of the taxes exacted from the tribe of Ephraim. 1 Kings 11:28. He made the most of his position, and at last was perceived by Solomon to be aiming at the monarchy. He was leaving Jerusalem, when he was met by Ahijah the prophet, who gave him the assurance that, on condition of obedience to his laws, God would establish for him a kingdom and dynasty equal to that of David. 1 Kings 11:29-40. Solomon attempting to arrest Jeroboam, caused his night into Egypt. There he remained until Solomon's death. Jeroboam married Ano, the elder sister of the Egyptian queen Tahpenes, and returned to Shechem, where took place the conference with Rehoboam, and the final revolt which ended in the elevation of Jeroboam to the throne of the northern kingdom. Fearing that the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem would undo all the work which he effected, he boldly decided to rend the religious unity of the nation, which was as yet unimpaired. He caused two golden calves to be made and set up at the two extremities of his kingdom, one at Dan and the other at Bethel. It was while dedicating the altar at Bethel that a prophet from Judah suddenly appeared, who denounced the altar, and foretold its desecration by Josiah. The king, stretching out his hand to arrest the prophet, felt it withered and paralyzed, and only at the prophet's prayer saw it restored. Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, and in a battle with Abijah was defeated, and soon after died in the 22d year of his reign, 2 Chronicles 13:20, and was buried in his ancestral sepulchre. 1 Kings 14:20. 2. Jeroboam II. , the son of Joash, the fourth king of the dynasty of Jehu, b. c. 825-784 He was one of the most prosperous of the kings of Israel. He repelled the Syrian invaders, took their capital city Damascus, 2 Kings 14:28, and recovered the whole of the ancient dominion from Hamath to the Dead sea. 2 Kings 14:25. Ammon and Moab were reconquered, and the trans-Jordanic tribes were restored to their territory, 2 Kings 13:5; 1 Chronicles 5:17-22; but it was merely an outward restoration. ...
Lot - (veil or covering ), the son of Haran, and therefore the nephew of Abraham. ( Genesis 11:27,31 ) (B. C. before 1926-1898. ) His sisters were Milcah the wife of Nahor, and Iscah, by some identified with Sarah. haran died before the emigration of Terah and his family from Ur of the Chaldees, ver. 28, and Lot was therefore born there. He removed with the rest of his kindred to Charran, and again subsequently with Abraham and Sarai to Canaan. ch. (Genesis 12:4,5 ) With them he took refuge in Egypt from a famine,a nd with them returned, first to the "south," ch. (Genesis 13:1 ) and then to their original settlement between Bethel and Ai. vs. (Genesis 13:3,4 ) But the pastures of the hills of Bethel, which had with ease contained the two strangers on their first arrival, were not able any longer to bear them, so much had their possessions of sheep, goats and cattle increased. Accordingly they separated, Lot choosing the fertile plain of the Jordan, and advancing as far as Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-14 ) The next occurrence in the life of Lot is his capture by the four kings of the east and his rescue by Abram. ch. (Genesis 13:14 ) The last scene preserved to us in the history of Lot is too well known to need repetition. He was still living in Sodom, (Genesis 19:1 ) . . . from which he was rescued by some angels on the day of its final overthrow. he fled first to Zoar, in which he found a temporary refuge during the destruction of the other cities of the plain. Where this place was situated is not known with certainty. [ZOAR ] The end of Lot's wife is commonly treated as one of the difficulties of the Bible; but it surely need not be so. It cannot be necessary to create the details of the story where none are given. On these points the record is silent. The value and the significance of the story to us are contained in the allusion of Christ. (Luke 17:32 ) Later ages have not been satisfied so to leave the matter, but have insisted on identifying the "pillar" with some one of the fleeting forms which the perishable rock of the south end of the Dead Sea is constantly assuming in its process of decomposition and liquefaction. From the incestuous intercourse between Lot and his two daughters sprang the nations of Moab and Ammon.
Amos - the fourth of the minor prophets, who in his youth had been a herdsman in Tekoa, a small town about four leagues southward of Jerusalem. He was sent to the people of Samaria, to bring them back to God by repentance, and reformation of manners. Hence it is natural to suppose that he must have been born within the territories of Israel, and that he only retired to Tekoa, on being expelled from Bethel by Amaziah, the priest of the calves at Bethel. He frequently complains of the violence offered him by those who endeavoured to impose silence on him. He boldly inveighs against the crying sins of the Israelites, such as idolatry, oppression, wantonness, and obstinacy. Nor does he spare the sins of Judah, such as their carnal security, sensuality, and injustice. He utters frequent threatenings against them both, and predicts their ruin. It is observable in this prophecy, that, as it begins with denunciations of judgment and destruction against the Syrians, Philistines, Tyrians, and other enemies of the Jews, so it concludes with comfortable promises of the restoration of the tabernacle of David, and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. Amos was called to the prophetic office in the time of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel. ... Some writers, in adverting to the condition of Amos, have, with a minute affectation of criticism, pretended to discover a certain rudeness and vulgarity in his style; and even Jerom is of opinion that he is deficient in magnificence and sublimity. He applies to him the words which St. Paul speaks of himself, that he was rude in speech, though not in knowledge; and his authority, says Bishop Lowth, "has influenced many commentators to represent him as entirely rude, and void of elegance; whereas it requires but little attention to be convinced that he is not a whit behind the very chiefest of the prophets;" equal to the greatest in loftiness of sentiment, and scarcely inferior, to any in the splendour of his diction, and in the elegance of his composition. Mr. Locke has observed, that his comparisons are chiefly drawn from lions, and other animals, because he lived among, and was conversant with, such objects. But, indeed, the finest images and allusions, which adorn the poetical parts of Scripture, in general are drawn from scenes of nature, and from the grand objects that range in her walks; and true genius ever delights in considering these as the real sources of beauty and magnificence. The whole book of Amos is animated with a fine and masculine eloquence. ...
Lot - (veil or covering ), the son of Haran, and therefore the nephew of Abraham. ( Genesis 11:27,31 ) (B. C. before 1926-1898. ) His sisters were Milcah the wife of Nahor, and Iscah, by some identified with Sarah. haran died before the emigration of Terah and his family from Ur of the Chaldees, ver. 28, and Lot was therefore born there. He removed with the rest of his kindred to Charran, and again subsequently with Abraham and Sarai to Canaan. ch. (Genesis 12:4,5 ) With them he took refuge in Egypt from a famine,a nd with them returned, first to the "south," ch. (Genesis 13:1 ) and then to their original settlement between Bethel and Ai. vs. (Genesis 13:3,4 ) But the pastures of the hills of Bethel, which had with ease contained the two strangers on their first arrival, were not able any longer to bear them, so much had their possessions of sheep, goats and cattle increased. Accordingly they separated, Lot choosing the fertile plain of the Jordan, and advancing as far as Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-14 ) The next occurrence in the life of Lot is his capture by the four kings of the east and his rescue by Abram. ch. (Genesis 13:14 ) The last scene preserved to us in the history of Lot is too well known to need repetition. He was still living in Sodom, (Genesis 19:1 ) . . . from which he was rescued by some angels on the day of its final overthrow. he fled first to Zoar, in which he found a temporary refuge during the destruction of the other cities of the plain. Where this place was situated is not known with certainty. [ZOAR ] The end of Lot's wife is commonly treated as one of the difficulties of the Bible; but it surely need not be so. It cannot be necessary to create the details of the story where none are given. On these points the record is silent. The value and the significance of the story to us are contained in the allusion of Christ. (Luke 17:32 ) Later ages have not been satisfied so to leave the matter, but have insisted on identifying the "pillar" with some one of the fleeting forms which the perishable rock of the south end of the Dead Sea is constantly assuming in its process of decomposition and liquefaction. From the incestuous intercourse between Lot and his two daughters sprang the nations of Moab and Ammon.
High Places - Archaeological and scientific researches have made it evident that in the varying forms of early religions, and in lands far distant from each other, high places were selected for worship of a sacrificial character. This was so especially among the Moabites (Isaiah 15:2; Isaiah 16:12; Numbers 23:28). The three altars built by Abraham at Shechem, between Bethel and Ai, and at Mamre, were on heights. Such sites consecrated of old would naturally be resorted to in after times as sanctuaries. Not only these, but heights originally dedicated to idols (Numbers 33:52; Leviticus 26:30). The law forbade sacrificial worship elsewhere save at the one national sanctuary. Old usage however strove against the law, and too frequently reasserted itself. The high places polluted by idol worship (2 Kings 23:9) were condemned by all the kings that worshipped Jehovah. ... But those sacred to Jehovah (2 Chronicles 32:12; 2 Chronicles 33:17) were tolerated by less thoroughly reforming kings; and sacrifices and burnt incense were offered on them (1 Kings 12:3; 1 Kings 14:4; 1 Kings 15:35). Hezekiah and Josiah removed them utterly, as opposed to the letter of the law and mostly to the spirit of it too (2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 23:5 margin; 2 Chronicles 34:3). In the time of the judges (Judges 6:25-26; Judges 13:16-23; 1 Samuel 7:10; 1 Samuel 16:5), and while the temple was yet unbuilt (1 Kings 3:2), and in the Israelite northern kingdom where religious order could not be preserved, owing to the severance from Judah (1 Kings 18:30), greater latitude was allowed. But the strict rule was against it, except where God especially (1 Chronicles 21:26) sanctioned sacrifice on some one occasion at a place (Deuteronomy 12:4-11; Leviticus 17:3-4; John 4:20). ... The priests whom the kings of Judah ordained to burn incense in the high places were called Chemarim; compare Hosea 10:5; Zephaniah 1:4 idol priests not having reached the age of puberty, meaning "ministers of the gods," the Tyrian camilli, (black attired ministers, subordinate to the priests, they felled the victim), from chaamar "to be black. " The high places of Dan and Bethel were already sacred by usage; so Jeroboam found it easy to induce the people to forsake the temple and cherubim at Jerusalem for his calves in Dan and Bethel. Bamoth, the Hebrew for "high places," became so common that the term was used for a shrine in a valley or a city (2 Kings 17:9; Ezekiel 16:31; Jeremiah 7:31). In Ezekiel 20:29, I said . . . what is the high place whereunto ye go?... And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day," the sense is, You ought to have long since put away the name, and the high place which it expresces; the very name implies it is not sanctioned by Me; therefore your sacrifice even to ME in it (much more to idols) is only a "provocation" to Me (Ezekiel 20:28). In Ezekiel 16:16," of thy garments thou didst take and deckedst thy high places with divers colors," the sense is: as a harlot spreading her tent of divers colors to lure victims, so Israel set up on the high places, not stone chapels, but tents hung with colored tapestry, as the "woven hangings of (Asherah) Astarte" (the right translation for "grove") (2 Kings 23:7). Asa in one place is said to have taken away the high places, in another not so; also Jehoshaphat similarly. ... The seeming discrepancy occurs not only between Kings and Chronicles, but even between different passages of the same chronicler. Doubtless the godly kings at first tried to put down entirely the high places, but afterwards yielded to the general usage of the people in cases where the high place was to Jehovah; where it was to idols they put them down utterly. "They opposed impiety but winked at error" (Hall). So rooted was the practice that the removal of the high places was made by Rabshakeh a taunt against Hezekiah as if it were an impious innovation against Jehovah's honour; evidently he knew that the act had provoked the enmity of a considerable party among the Jews. ...
Gibeah - From a root gabah , "round", gibbos ; a "hill", less than a "mountain," har . Applied to the bore rounded hills of central Palestine. ... 1. A city in the mountain region of Judah, S. E. of Hebron, named with Maon and southern Carmel (Joshua 15:55; Joshua 15:57; 1 Chronicles 2:49). ... 2. GIBEATH, a town of Benjamin, among the last next Jerusalem (Joshua 18:28), possibly the "Gibeah of Saul," only that the latter was close to Gibeon and Ramah, five miles N. of Jerusalem, and if Saul's Gibeah were meant we should expect it mentioned with those two towns in Joshua 18:25. "Gibeah of Saul" occurs 1 Samuel 10:26; 1 Samuel 11:4; 1 Samuel 15:34; 2 Samuel 21:6; Isaiah 10:29. Now Tuleil el ful, "the hill of the beans" (a conical peak commanding an extensive view, about an hour from Jerusalem, on the road to Er-Ram, with a large heap of stones on the top, the ruins of a town built of unhewn stones), called by Josephus (B. J. , 5:2, section 1) Gabath saoule, 30 stadia from Jerusalem, chosen retributively, as being Saul's residence, for the hanging of his seven sons "before the Lord" (i. e. as in the presence of Him the righteous Judge who appointed the retributive justice, 2 Samuel 21:14 ff; 2 Samuel 21:9), by the Gibeonites in revenge for his attempt to slay them in violation of the covenant. ... It is the Gibeah of Benjamin destroyed by the other tribes under the Judges (Judges 19; 20) for the flagrant abomination perpetrated there. It was then a "city" with the usual open "street" or square, having its "700 chosen men," probably the same as the "left handed men who could sling stones at an hair breadth and not miss" (Judges 20:15-16). The Levite left Bethlehem at "the tent pitching time of day" (Judges 19:9, margin), about three in the afternoon. At five he would "come over against Jehus," and at seven would be four miles N. of Jerusalem on the Shechem (Nablus) road toward mount Ephraim. Ramah and Gibeah were now near; Gibeah nearest. The suddenness of sunset in that region made him "turn aside" hither for the night, where the tragedy of the concubine ensued. ... The track N. of Gibeah branches into two, one leading to Bethel the "house of God," the other to "Gibeah ("Geba") in the field" sadeh , "cultivated ground"), now Jeba, below which at the base of the hill from whence Gibeah is named was the cave (Syriac, the Hebrew "treeless meadows" will mean not their place of ambush but the open ground across which they advanced to the town) of Gibeah "where the liers in wait hid" (Judges 20:31-33, margin). "Gibeah of Benjamin" was occupied by Jonathan with 1,000 chosen men, three miles in the S. rear of the Philistine camp at Geba on the S. side of the wady Suweinit (1 Samuel 13:2). Saul was in their front at Michmash, holding also mount Bethel on the N. side of the wady Suweinit. ... Jonathan smote the garrison at Geba, and the Philistines in consequence gathering a vast host drove Saul's little army before them out of Bethel and Michmash down the eastern passes to Gilgal near Jericho, in the Jordan valley; took Michmash, Saul's former quarters, and sent out plunderers N. ,W. , and E. Jonathan however held a force in Gibeah (1 Samuel 14:2) where Saul, Samuel, and Ahiah the priest with the ephod joined him from Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:7). ... Then followed the gallant stealthy assault of the Philistine garrison by Jonathan and his armor-bearer, the first knowledge of which was conveyed to Saul by his watchmen in Gibeah, who at dawn saw "the multitude melting away and beating down one another. " Saul first called the muster roll to discover the absentees; next he consulted the oracle of God; but when the noise in the Philistine host increased, with irreverent impatience (Isaiah 28:16) he desired the priest to stop the consultation, and put himself at the head of the people who, now that the Philistines fled, flocked to him from all their hiding places in Mount Ephraim. ...
Iddo - 1. 1 Kings 4:14. ... 2. 1 Chronicles 6:21. ADAIAH in 1 Chronicles 6:41; Ezra 10:39. ... 3. 1 Chronicles 27:21. ... 4. Yedoi or Yedo. A "seer" whose "visions against Jeroboam the son of Nebat" contained notices of Solomon's life (2 Chronicles 9:29). His work "concerning genealogies" recorded "acts of Rehoboam" (2 Chronicles 12:15). His "story" or commentary recorded the "acts, ways, and sayings of Abijah" (2 Chronicles 13:22). His writings doubtless are embodied in Chronicles, so far as the Spirit of God saw them suited to form part of the inspired word. Tradition identifies him with the "man of God" who denounced Jeroboam's calf altar at Bethel (1 Kings 13), which 2 Chronicles 9:29 favors; also with Oded which resembles his name (2 Chronicles 15:1). ... 5. Grandfather of Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1; Zechariah 1:7; Ezra 5:1; Ezra 6:14, "son" here means grandson). Returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:4; Nehemiah 12:12; Nehemiah 12:16). ... 6. Chief of those who met at Casiphia to join in the second caravan returning under Ezra (Ezra 8:17; Ezra 8:20) in the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, 458 B. C. Iddo was one of the 220 Nethinims who joined in the return. ...
Ephron - (ee' frahn) Personal and place name meaning, “dusty. ” 1. A Hittite who sold the cave of Machpelah to Abraham (Genesis 23:8-20 ). The narrative follows the normal manner of concluding a purchase agreement among Near Eastern people. Abraham was also buried in the cave with Sarah (Genesis 25:9-10 ). It became the patriarchs' burying place (Genesis 49:30-33 ; Genesis 50:13 ). 2 . A mountain marking the tribal border of Judah with Benjamin (Joshua 15:9 ). It is located northwest of Jerusalem near Mozah at el-Qastel. 3. A city King Abijah of Judah (913-910 B. C. ) took from King Jeroboam of Israel (926-909 B. C. ), according to spelling of Hebrew text (2 Chronicles 13:19 ). The earliest Hebrew scribes suggested that Ephrain was the correct spelling (KJV). It is apparently identical with Ophrah in Benjamin (Joshua 18:23 ; 1 Samuel 13:17 ), located at et-Taiyibeh about four miles north of Bethel. The city of Ephraim (2 Samuel 13:23 ; John 11:54 ) is probably the same city. If et-Taiyibeh is the correct location, it is a high city, 300 feet higher than Jerusalem and could be quite cold. Some would locate the city of Ephraim in the lower valley at ain Samieh, on the edge of the desert. ... ...
Aholah - ("her own tent". ) i. e. , "she (Samaria, or the northern kingdom of Israel) has a tabernacle of her own"; namely, Jeroboam's golden calves of Dan and Bethel; "will worship" (Colossians 2:23). See Ezekiel 23: Aholibah (Aholah's sister). "My (Jehovah's) tent is in her," Judah: so far superior to Aholah that her worship was not self devised but God appointed. Compare Psalms 78:67-69; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 1 Chronicles 11:13-16. But both were false to Jehovah their true husband (Isaiah 54:5). ... Aholah (Samaria) gave her heart to the Assyrians, trusting in their power, and imitating their splendid luxury, and following their idols. Now God's just principle is, when the church corrupts herself with the world, the instrument of her sin is the instrument of her punishment. The Assyrians on whom she had leaned carried her away captive to Assyria, whence she has never returned (2 Kings 15:18-29; 2 Kings 15:17). Aholibah (Judah) was worse, in that her privileges were greater, and she ought to have been warned by the awful fate of Samaria. But she gave herself up to be corrupted by the Babylonians; and again the instrument of her sin was also the instrument of her punishment (Jeremiah 2:19; Proverbs 1:31). ...
Behold - This word is so often used in the word of God, that I do not think it unimportant to have a place in our Concordance. Sometimes, it is intended as a note of attention, by way of calling the notice of the reader in a more striking manner; and yet more eminently so, when the Lord himself is the speaker. Thus for example, the Lord JEHOVAH calls upon the church to regard with all possible attention, the person and character of his dear Son. "Behold, (saith JEHOVAH) my servant whom I uphold," etc. (Isaiah 42:1; Zechariah 3:8; Malachi 3:1) Sometimes, the word is used as a note of admiration, as when Jesus speaks of the loveliness of his church, (Song of Song of Solomon 1:15) or when the angels announced the birth of Christ. (Isaiah 7:14) It is sometimes used to express joy and gladness, as when Jesus calls upon his church to behold him, "Behold me! behold me!" (Isaiah 65:1; Matthew 21:5; John 12:15) And sometimes the word is used by way of confirmation to the word spoken. Thus the Lord to Jacob at Bethel, "Behold, I am with thee, and I will keep thee," etc. (Genesis 28:15)...
Abiram - the eldest son of Hiel, the Bethelite. Joshua having destroyed the city of Jericho, pronounced this curse: "Cursed be the man, before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city, Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it," Joshua 6:26 . Hiel of Bethel, about five hundred and thirty-seven years after this imprecation, having undertaken to rebuild Jericho, whilst he was laying the foundation of it, lost his eldest son, Abiram, 1 Kings 16:34 ; and Segub, the youngest, when they set up the gates of it; a remarkable instance of a prophetic denunciation fulfilled, perhaps on a person who would not credit the tradition, or the truth of the prediction. So true is the word of the Lord; so minutely are the most distant contingencies foreseen by him; and so exact is the accomplishment of Divine prophecy!... 2. ABIRAM, the son of Eliab, of the tribe of Reuben, was one of those who conspired with Korah and Dathan against Moses in the wilderness, and was swallowed up alive, with his companions, by the earth, which opened to receive them, Numbers 16. ...
Samaritans - Samaritans (sa-măr'i-tanz). 2 Kings 17:29; comp. vs. 9-12. In the New Testament the word denotes the mixed race which sprang from the remnant of Israel and the colonists brought from various parts of Assyria at the captivity. 2 Kings 17:23-24. The colonists lived at first in heathenism; but they afterwards sought to propitiate "the god of the land" by bringing back an Israelitish priest to Bethel, and mingling with their own idolatries a corrupt worship of Jehovah. 2 Kings 17:25-33; 2 Kings 17:41. The Jews, on their return from captivity, b. c. 636, declined the Samaritans' request to be permitted to help build the temple. Ezra In consequence of this refusal the Samaritans hindered the erection of the temple and afterwards the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, b. c. 445. Nehemiah 4:6. The enmity was increased by the erection of a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, where the Samaritans offered sacrifices according to the Mosaic law, referring to Deuteronomy 27:11-13, as proof that this was the proper site for the temple. The bitter animosity between the two races must be understood in order to understand many facts in New Testament history. ...
Jerobo'am - (whose people are many ).
The first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, B. C. 975-954, was the son of an Ephraimite of the name of Nebat. He was raised by Solomon to the rank of superintendent over the taxes and labors exacted from the tribe of Ephraim. (1 Kings 11:28 ) he made the most of his position, and at last was perceived by Solomon to be aiming at the monarchy. He was leaving Jerusalem, when he was met by Ahijah the prophet, who gave him the assurance that, on condition of obedience to his laws, God would establish for him a kingdom and dynasty equal to that of David. (1 Kings 11:29-40 ) The attempts of Solomon to cut short Jeroboam's designs occasioned his flight into Egypt. There he remained until Solomon's death. After a year's longer stay in Egypt, during which Jeroboam married Ano, the elder sister of the Egyptian queen Tahpenes, he returned to Shechem, where took place the conference with Rehoboam [REHOBOAM ], and the final revolt which ended in the elevation of Jeroboam to the throne of the northern kingdom. Now occurred the fatal error of his policy. Fearing that the yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem would undo all the work which he effected, he took the bold step of rending the religious unity of the nation, which was as yet unimpaired, asunder. He caused two golden figures of Mnevis, the sacred calf, to be made and set up at the two extremities of his kingdom, one at Dan and the other at Bethel. It was while dedicating the altar at Bethel that a prophet from Judah suddenly appeared, who denounced the altar, and foretold its desecration by Josiah, and violent overthrow. The king, stretching out his hand to arrest the prophet, felt it withered and paralyzed, and only at the prophet's prayer saw it restored, and acknowledged his divine mission. Jeroboam was at constant war with the house of Judah, but the only act distinctly recorded is a battle with Abijah, son of Rehoboam, in which he was defeated. The calamity was severely felt; he never recovered the blow, and soon after died, in the 22d year of his reign, (2 Chronicles 13:20 ) and was buried in his ancestral sepulchre. (1 Kings 14:20 ) ... Jeroboam II. , the son of Joash, the fourth of the dynasty of Jehu. (B. C. 825-784. ) The most prosperous of the kings of Israel. He repelled the Syrian invaders, took their capital city Damascus, (2 Kings 14:28 ) and recovered the whole of the ancient dominion from Hamah to the Dead Sea. ch (2 Kings 14:25 ) Ammon and Moab were reconquered, and the transjordanic tribes were restored to their territory, (2 Kings 13:5 ; 1 Chronicles 5:17-22 ) but it was merely an outward restoration.
Bela - ("a swallowing up"), called so from earthquakes having affected it. ... 1. One of the five cities of the plain, spared at Lot's intercession, and named Zoar, "a little one" (Genesis 14:2; Genesis 19:22). S. E. of the Dead Sea, on the route to Egypt, not far from where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, according to Holland, arguing from the smoke of the burning cities having been seen by Abraham from the neighborhood of Hebron, and also because if Sodom had been N. of the Dead Sea Lot would not have had time to escape to gear on the S. E. of the sea. But Grove places the cities of the plain N. W. of the Dead Sea, between Jericho and the sea, as the plain was seen by Lot from the neighborhood of Bethel. ... From the hills between Bethel and Hai (Genesis 13:3; Genesis 13:10) it is impossible to see the S. of the Dead Sea. Bela is joined with Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, in Genesis 14:2; Genesis 14:8, forming a confederacy against the invading kings of Elam, Shinar, etc. Bela was probably the name of the king of Zoar, as his name alone of the five would otherwise not be given. Bela is also the name of an Edomite king (Genesis 36:32). Robinson perhaps rightly identifies Bela with a ruin on the N. side of Lisan, "the tongue" of land jutting out into the Dead Sea at the S. E. , between the wady Beni Hamid and the wady el Dera'ah. It was a Moabite city (Isaiah 15:5; Jeremiah 48:34); Deuteronomy 34:3 does not prove that its site was further S. , but only that Moses' eye caught no more southward town than Zoar. ... 2. A king of Edom, son of Beor, a Chaldean probably by birth (like Balaam also descended from Beor, and originally residing in Pethor of Aram by the Euphrates: Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:7), and reigning in Edom by conquest (Genesis 36:31-39; 1 Chronicles 1:43-51). 1 Chronicles 1:3. Benjamin's oldest son (Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:38; 1 Chronicles 7:6; 1 Chronicles 8:1). From Gera (one house of his family) came Ehud, Israel's judge and deliverer Eglon of Moab (Judges 3:14-30). As Husham is like Bela a king of Edom, so with Bela son of Benjamin is connected a Benjamite family of Hushim, sprung from a foreign woman of Moab (1 Chronicles 7:12; 1 Chronicles 8:8-11). 1 Chronicles 8:4. Azaz's son, a Reubenite (1 Chronicles 5:8). He too "in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal Meon, eastward unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates" (1 Chronicles 5:8-9). ...
Pour, Flow - Yâtsaq (יָצַק, Strong's #3332), “to pour, pour out, cast, flow. ” Commonly used throughout the history of the Hebrew language, this word occurs in ancient Ugaritic with the same nuances as in the Old Testament. Yâtsaq occurs in the Hebrew Bible just over 50 times. The word is used first in Gen. 28:18, where it is said that after Jacob had slept at Bethel with his head resting on a stone, he “poured oil upon the top of it. ” He again “poured” oil on a stone pillar at Bethel while on his return trip home twenty years later (Gen. 35:14). The idea expressed in these two instances and others (Lev. 8:12; 21:10) is that of anointing with oil; it is not the ordinary term for “to anoint. ” (The regular term for “to anoint” is mashach, which gives us the word “messiah. ”)... Many things may “be poured out,” such as oil in sacrifice (Lev. 2:1), water for washing purposes (2 Kings 3:11), and pottage for eating (2 Kings 4:41). This verb is used to express the idea of “pouring out” or “casting” molten metals (Exod. 25:12; 26:37; 1 Kings 7:46). The idea of “pouring upon or infusing” someone is found in Ps. 41:8: “A wicked thing is poured out upon him” (NASB). The context seems to imply the infusion of a sickness, as interpreted by the JB: “This sickness is fatal that has overtaken him. ”... Shâphak (שָׁפַךְ, Strong's #8210), “to pour out, pour, shed. ” A common Semitic word, this verb is found in both ancient Akkadian and Ugaritic, as well as throughout Hebrew. Shâphak occurs just over 100 times in the text of the Hebrew Bible. In its first use in the Old Testament, the word is part of the general principle concerning the taking of human life: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed …” (Gen. 9:6). While it is frequently used in this sense of “shedding” or “pouring out” blood, the word is commonly used of the “pouring out” of the contents of a vessel, such as water (Exod. 4:9; 1 Sam. 7:6), plaster or dust (Lev. 14:41), and drink offerings to false gods (Isa. 57:6). ... In its figurative use, shâphak indicates the “pouring out” of God’s wrath (Hos. 5:10), of contempt (Job 12:21), of wickedness (Jer. 14:16), and of the Spirit of God (Ezek. 39:29). The psalmist describes his helpless condition in this picturesque phrase: “I am poured out like water” (Ps. 22:14, KJV; NEB, “My strength drains away like water”; JB, “I am like water draining away”). ...
Gilgal - 1. Hebrew: "the Gilgal," i. e. rolling. Israel's first encampment W. of Jordan (five miles) where they passed their first night after crossing, and set up the twelve stones taken from the river bed (Joshua 4:3; Joshua 4:19-20). Here they kept the first Passoverin Canaan (Joshua 5:10). On arising ground ("hill," Joshua 5:3; Joshua 5:9) in the hot sunken Ghor between Jericho and the Jordan, one mile and a half E. of Jericho; five miles and a half W. of Jordan (Josephus, Ant. 5:1, 4, 11). On the N. side of wady Kelt, one mile and a third from the tower of modern Jericho (Eriha); toward the E. is a tamarisk, "Shejaret el Ithleh," which tradition makes the site of "the city of brass," whose walls fell on their besiegers marching round them. A pool is 150 yards S. E. of the tree, such as Israel would need in their long encampment at Gilgal; it is built with well packed pebbles without cement. ... S. E. of this are twelve or more small mounds, Tell ayla't Jiljulieh, eight or ten ft. diameter, and three or four high, possibly remains of Israel's camp (Conder, Palestine Exploration). The distances stated by Josephus accord with this site. The Israelites born in the wilderness were here circumcised with stone knives (Joshua 5:2 margin; Exodus 4:25), which "rolling" away of the reproach of uncircumcision gave the name. The sons under 20 years, when at Kadesh in the second year of the wilderness journey the murmuring nation was rejected (Numbers 14), had been already circumcised; those born subsequently needed circumcision. As God abrogated at Kadesh the covenant, the sons of the rejected generation were not to receive the covenant rite. The manna and pillar of cloud were not withdrawn, because God would sustain the rising generation with the prospect of the ban being removed, and of the covenant temporarily suspended being renewed. ... The sentence was exhausted when they crossed the Zered and entered the Amorites' land (Deuteronomy 2:14; Numbers 21:12-13), when all the sentenced generation was dead (Numbers 26:63-65). Moses, himself under sentence to die, did not venture on the steppes of Moab to direct the circumcision of the younger generation without Jehovah's command. And the rule of divine grace is first to give, then to require; so first He showed His grace to Abraham by leading him to Canaan and giving the promises, then enjoined circumcision; also He did not give the law to Israel at Sinai until first He had redeemed them from Egypt, and thereby made them willing to promise obedience. So now He did not require the renewal of circumcision, the covenant sign of subjection to the law (Galatians 5:3), until He had first showed His grace in giving them victory over Og and Sihon, and in making a way through Jordan, a pledge that He would fulfill all His promises and finally give them the whole land. ... The circumcision was performed the day after crossing Jordan, i. e. the 11th day of the first month (Galatians 4:19). The Passover was kept on the 14th (verse 10). The objection that all could not have been circumcised in one day is futile. For the males in Israel at the census in Moab shortly before were 601,730 upward of 20 years old, besides 23,000 Levites of a month old and upward; at the outside all the males would be less than one million. Of these about 300,000 were 38 years old, therefore born before the census at Kadesh and circumcised already; so that only 600,000 would remain to be circumcised. The uncircumcised could easily be circumcised in one day with the help of the circumcised; the latter would prepare and kill the Passover lamb for their brethren whose soreness (Genesis 34:25) would be no bar to their joining in the feast. ... The "reproach of Egypt rolled off" is (like "the reproach of Moab" Zephaniah 2:8, and "Syria" Ezekiel 16:57) that heaped on Israel by Egypt, namely, that Jehovah had brought them into the wilderness to slay them (Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:13-16; Deuteronomy 9:28). This "reproach of Egypt" rested on them so long as they were under the sentence of wandering and dying in the desert. The circumcision at Gilgal was a practical restoration of the covenant, and a pledge of their now receiving Canaan. No village was, or is, at Gilgal. In Micah 6:5, "O My people, remember . . . what Balak . . . consulted, and what Balaam . . . answered . . . from Shittim unto Gilgal," the sense is, Remember My kindness from Shittim. the scene of Balaam's wicked counsel taking effect in Israel's sin, from the fatal effects of which I saved thee, all along to Gilgal where I renewed the covenant with Israel by circumcision (2 Samuel 19:15). ... 2. Gilgal from which Elijah and Elisha went down to Bethel (2 Kings 2:1-2). Clearly distinct from:... 3. Gilgal, which is below in the Ghor along Jordan, not above Bethel, which is 1,000 ft. above Jordan. Now perhaps the ruins Jiljilieh, a few miles N. of Bethel. Another Gilgal has been found four miles from Shiloh, and five from Bethel, which is 500 ft. lower; this may be the Gilgal of 2 Kings 2:3. Gilgal not far from Shechem, beside the plains of Moreh (Deuteronomy 11:30). Joshua 12:23, "king of the nations (goim ) of Gilgal," i. e. of the nomadic tribes, the aboriginal inhabitants of the country whose center was Gilgal. ... 4. To the N. of Judah (Joshua 15:7). (See GELILOTH. )...
Jacob - One who follows on another's heels; supplanter, (Genesis 25:26 ; 27:36 ; Hosea 12:2-4 ), the second born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah. He was born probably at Lahai-roi, when his father was fifty-nine and Abraham one hundred and fifty-nine years old. Like his father, he was of a quiet and gentle disposition, and when he grew up followed the life of a shepherd, while his brother Esau became an enterprising hunter. His dealing with Esau, however, showed much mean selfishness and cunning (Genesis 25:29-34 ). When Isaac was about 160 years of age, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive the aged patriarch (Genesis 27 ), with the view of procuring the transfer of the birthright to himself. The birthright secured to him who possessed it (1) superior rank in his family (Genesis 49:3 ); (2) a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17 ); (3) the priestly office in the family (Numbers 8:17-19 ); and (4) the promise of the See d in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed (Genesis 22:18 ). ... Soon after his acquisition of his father's blessing (Genesis 27 ), Jacob became conscious of his guilt; and afraid of the anger of Esau, at the suggestion of Rebekah Isaac sent him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife among his cousins, the family of Laban, the Syrian (28). There he met with Rachel (29). Laban would not consent to give him his daughter in marriage till he had served seven years; but to Jacob these years "seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her. " But when the seven years were expired, Laban craftily deceived Jacob, and gave him his daughter Leah. Other seven years of service had to be completed probably before he obtained the beloved Rachel. But "life-long sorrow, disgrace, and trials, in the retributive providence of God, followed as a consequence of this double union. " ... At the close of the fourteen years of service, Jacob desired to return to his parents, but at the entreaty of Laban he tarried yet six years with him, tending his flocks (31:41). He then set out with his family and property "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan" (Genesis 31 ). Laban was angry when he heard that Jacob had set out on his journey, and pursued after him, overtaking him in seven days. The meeting was of a painful kind. After much recrimination and reproach directed against Jacob, Laban is at length pacified, and taking an affectionate farewell of his daughters, returns to his home in Padanaram. And now all connection of the Israelites with Mesopotamia is at an end. ... Soon after parting with Laban he is met by a company of angels, as if to greet him on his return and welcome him back to the Land of Promise (32:1,2). He called the name of the place Mahanaim, i. e. , "the double camp," probably his own camp and that of the angels. The vision of angels was the counterpart of that he had formerly seen at Bethel, when, twenty years before, the weary, solitary traveller, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven (28:12). ... He now hears with dismay of the approach of his brother Esau with a band of 400 men to meet him. In great agony of mind he prepares for the worst. He feels that he must now depend only on God, and he betakes himself to him in earnest prayer, and sends on before him a munificent present to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob. " Jacob's family were then transported across the Jabbok; but he himself remained behind, spending the night in communion with God. While thus engaged, there appeared one in the form of a man who wrestled with him. In this mysterious contest Jacob prevailed, and as a memorial of it his name was changed to Israel (wrestler with God); and the place where this occured he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (32:25-31). ... After this anxious night, Jacob went on his way, halting, mysteriously weakened by the conflict, but strong in the assurance of the divine favour. Esau came forth and met him; but his spirit of revenge was appeased, and the brothers met as friends, and during the remainder of their lives they maintained friendly relations. After a brief sojourn at Succoth, Jacob moved forward and pitched his tent near Shechem (q. v. ), 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God (35:6,7), and where God appeared to him and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Bethel to Ephrath (the Canaanitish name of Bethlehem), Rachel died in giving birth to her second son Benjamin (35:16-20), fifteen or sixteen years after the birth of Joseph. He then reached the old family residence at Mamre, to wait on the dying bed of his father Isaac. The complete reconciliation between Esau and Jacob was shown by their uniting in the burial of the patriarch (35:27-29). ... Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers (37:33). Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn (42), which led to the discovery of the long-lost Joseph, and the patriarch's going down with all his household, numbering about seventy souls (Exodus 1:5 ; Deuteronomy 10:22 ; Acts 7:14 ), to sojourn in the land of Goshen. Here Jacob, "after being strangely tossed about on a very rough ocean, found at last a tranquil harbour, where all the best affections of his nature were gently exercised and largely unfolded" (Genesis 48 ). At length the end of his checkered course draws nigh, and he summons his sons to his bedside that he may bless them. Among his last words he repeats the story of Rachel's death, although forty years had passed away since that event took place, as tenderly as if it had happened only yesterday; and when "he had made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost" (49:33). His body was embalmed and carried with great pomp into the land of Canaan, and buried beside his wife Leah in the cave of Machpelah, according to his dying charge. There, probably, his embalmed body remains to this day (50:1-13). (See HEBRON . ) ... The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets ( Hosea 12:3,4,12 ) and (Malachi 1:2 ). In Micah 1:5 the name is a poetic synonym for Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes. There are, besides the mention of his name along with those of the other patriarchs, distinct references to events of his life in Paul's epistles ( Romans 9:11-13 ; Hebrews 12:16 ; 11:21 ). See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in John 1:51 ; 4:5,12 ; also to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Acts 7:12 (See LUZ ; Bethel . ) ... ...
Shiloh - Generally understood as denoting the Messiah, "the peaceful one," as the word signifies (Genesis 49:10 ). The Vulgate Version translates the word, "he who is to be sent," in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised Version, margin, "till he come to Shiloh;" and the LXX. , "until that which is his shall come to Shiloh. " It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the Authorized Version, "till Shiloh come," interpreting it as a proper name (Compare Isaiah 9:6 ). Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, "on the north side of Bethel," from which it is distant 10 miles (Judges 21:19 ); the modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a "mass of shapeless ruins. " Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest (Joshua 18:1-10 ), where it remained during all the period of the judges till the ark fell into the hands of the Philistines. "No spot in Central Palestine could be more secluded than this early sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around; so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr. Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown. " It is referred to by (Jeremiah 7:12,14 ; 26:4-9 ) five hundred years after its destruction. ... ...
Shiloh - One of the main routes from Egypt to northern Palestine was the road that passed along the top of the central hill country through the towns of Beersheba, Hebron, Jerusalem, Bethel, Shiloh and Shechem (Judges 21:19). (For map see PALESTINE. ) Shiloh’s convenient location on this road may have been one reason why it was Israel’s central place of worship for most of the period of the judges. There that the nation’s leaders set up the tabernacle and the people held religious festivals (Joshua 18:1; Joshua 18:8-10; Joshua 19:51; Joshua 22:9; Joshua 22:12; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19-21; 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:21; 1 Samuel 4:3). ... Some time later, because of the sins of the people, God allowed invaders to destroy Shiloh (Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12-14). This may have occurred during the period of Philistine oppression that led to the establishment of Israel’s monarchy (1 Samuel 4:2; 1 Samuel 8:20). In the early days of the monarchy the tabernacle was set up at Nob, a town close to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 21:1-6; 1 Samuel 22:18-19). Later, Shiloh was partly rebuilt, but never again was the tabernacle set up there (1 Kings 14:4). ...
Israelites - The "children of Israel," a name of the twelve tribes unitedly until the separation under Rehoboam, when it became the usual designation of the ten tribes forming the kingdom of Israel. Ephraim, the leading tribe among the ten, seems to have shown an early spirit of rivalry towards Judah; Joshua had belonged to Ephraim, the ark had long rested within its borders at Shiloh, and Jeroboam was also an Ephraimite. After the division, in order to prevent the ten tribes from repairing to Jerusalem to worship, the two golden calves were set up, at Bethel and Dan, and thus idolatry was established in those tribes, and corruption and ungodliness increased more rapidly than in Judah. Israel was chastised by sword, famine, etc. ; and at length, having been often reproved and hardening their necks, they were suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. During the two hundred and fifty-four years of the kingdom of Israel, B. C. 975-721, there were nineteen different kings, of various lines. See KINGS. ... Shechem, Thirzah, and Samaria were in turn the seats of government. After their captivity by Shalmaneser, the Israelites as a nation never returned. Those who did return were merged in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and with them constituted the Jews of our Savior's day. See CANAAN , HEBREWS , and JUDAH . ...
Shiloh - (sshi' loh) Place name perhaps meaning, “tranquil, secure. ” About thirty miles north of Jerusalem sat the city which would be Israel's religious center for over a century after the conquest, being the home of Israel's tabernacle (Joshua 18:1 ). See Tabernacle . ... Judges 21:19 described Shiloh's location as “on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. ” Twelve miles south of Shechem, Shiloh was in a fertile plain at 2,000 feet elevation. This is apparently modern Seilun, where archaeologists have unearthed evidence of Canaanite settlement by 1700 B. C. Perhaps when Israel chose a spot for the tabernacle, Shiloh was available for Joshua to use as the place to allot land to the tribes ( Joshua 18:1 ). ... Tribal annual pilgrimages to the tabernacle set the scene for another incident in Shiloh. The tribe of Benjamin had a dilemma in that no other tribe would give them their daughters for wives (Judges 21:1 ). Because of this, the men of Benjamin waited in the vineyards (Judges 21:20 ) until the dancing women went out of Shiloh where they were then captured and taken as wives. ... Samuel's early years provided another connection with Shiloh (1 Samuel 1-4 ). At the tabernacle, Hannah vowed to the Lord that if He would give her a son she would give him back to God (1 Samuel 1:1 ). After the birth of Samuel, Hannah brought him to Shiloh in gratitude to God (1 Samuel 1:24-28 ). Thus, Shiloh became home for Samuel as he lived under the care of Eli, the high priest, and his two wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Later, Samuel received the Lord's message that the priesthood would be taken from Eli's family (1 Samuel 3:1 ). Years later, following a defeat at Aphek, the Israelite army sent for the ark of the covenant from Shiloh. Mistakenly thinking that the ark would bring victory, the Israelites lost the second battle of Aphek to the Philistines. Results included losing the ark; the deaths of Hophni, Phinehas, and Eli; and the apparent conquering of Shiloh (1 Samuel 4:1 ). ... No explicit biblical reference was made to Shiloh's final fate. According to archaeological evidence, Shiloh apparently was destroyed about 1050 B. C. by the Philistines. Supporting this was the fact that when the Philistines finally returned the ark of the covenant, it was housed at Kiriath-jearim rather than Shiloh (1 Samuel 7:1 ). Also, Jeremiah warned Jerusalem that it might suffer the same destructive fate as Shiloh (1 Samuel 7:12 ). ... Centuries later, Jeremiah used Shiloh and the tabernacle as illustrations to warn Jerusalem that it was not safe merely because it housed the Temple (Jeremiah 7:12-14 ). Hearing the same message again, the people sought to kill Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:6-9 ). Jeremiah mentioned some men from Shiloh as late as 585 B. C. (Jeremiah 41:5 ), indicating some occupation at that time. See Joshua ; Eli ; Samuel . ... Larry McGraw... ...
Canaanites - The descendants of Canaan. Their first habitation was in the land of Canaan, where they multiplied extremely, and by trade and war acquired great riches, and sent out colonies all over the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean. When the measure of their idolatries and abominations was completed, God delivered their country into the hands of the Israelites, who conquered it under Joshua. See the previous article. The following are the principal tribes mentioned. ... 1. The Joshua 11:3 , where it is related that they, along with the united forces of northern Canaan, were defeated by Joshua. They were not, however, entirely driven out of their possessions, Judges 3:3 2 Samuel 24:7 1 Kings 9:20 . There were also Hivites in middle Palestine, Genesis 34:2 Joshua 19:1,7 11:19 . ... 2. The Numbers 13:29 Joshua 11:3 . ... 3. The Joshua 24:11 . ... 4. The Joshua 15:8,63 18:28 . The Benjamites, to whom this region was allotted, did not drive out the Jebusites, Judges 1:21 . David first captured the citadel of Jebus, 2 Samuel 5:6 . ... 5. The Genesis 14:7 . At a later period, they spread themselves out over all the mountainous country which forms the southeastern part of Canaan, and which was called from them the "mountain of the Amorites," and afterwards the "mountain of Judea," ... Deuteronomy 1:19,20 Numbers 13:29 Joshua 11:3 . On the east side of the Jordan also they had, before the time of Moses, founded two kingdoms, that of Bashan in the north, and another, bounded at first by the Jabbok, in the south. But under Sihon they crossed the Jabbok, and took from the Ammonites and Moabites all the country between the Jabbok and the Arnon; so that this latter stream now became the southern boundary of the Amorites, Numbers 21:13,14,16,26 32:33,39 Deuteronomy 4:46,47 31:4 . This last tract the Israelites took possession of after their victory over Sihon. See AMORITES . ... 6. The Numbers 1:29 , dwelt among the Amorites in the mountainous district of the south, afterwards called the "mountain of Judah. " In the time of Abraham they possessed Hebron; and the patriarch purchased from them the cave of Machpelah as a sepulchre, Genesis 23:1-20 25:9,10 . After the Israelites entered Canaan, the Hittites seem to have moved farther northward. The country around Bethel is called "the land of the Hittites," Judges 1:26 . See HITTITES . ... 7. The Genesis 13:7 , they dwelt with the Canaanites, between Bethel and Ai; and according to Genesis 34:30 , in the vicinity of Shechem. See PERIZZITES . ... Besides these seven tribes, there were several others of the same parentage, dwelling north of Canaan. These were the Arkites, Arvadites, Hamathites, and Zemarites. There were also several other tribes of diverse origin within the bounds of Canaan, destroyed by the Israelites; such as the Anakim, the Amalekites, and the Rephaim of giants. ...
Jeroboam - ("whose people is many". ) "Rehoboam," ("enlarger of the people"), is much the same. Both names appear first in Solomon's time, when Israel's numbers were vastly increased. ... 1. Founder of the northern kingdom of Israel. Son of Nebat and Zeruah of Zereda or Zarthan in the Jordan valley (1 Kings 7:46); of Ephraim (so "Ephrathite" means, 1 Kings 11:26; 1 Samuel 1:1). His mother is called a "widow woman. " When Solomon was building Millo, and was closing the gap (not "the breaches," for no hostile attack had been made since David had fortified the city, 2 Samuel 5:9), long afterwards called Tyropreon, separating Zion from Moriah and Ophel, so as to bring the temple mount within the city wall, and so complete the fortification of the city of David, he found Jeroboam able and energetic in "doing the work" (margin, 1 Kings 11:28), so he made him overseer over all "the hoary work" of the house of Joseph. In this post Jereboam attempted a rebellion, the Ephraimites being impatient because of the heavy taxes and works imposed, and so having their old jealousy of Judah awakened afresh. ... Events moved on, in God's providence, steadily toward the appointed end: Jeroboam of Ephraim over an army of Ephraimite work. men, employed for 20 years in works for the glory of Judah, and for palaces and idol temples (besides Jehovah's temple transferred from Shiloh in northern Israel to Judah's capital), all for a prince no longer of their own line. Naturally, Jeroboam became their king, and they wreaked their vengeance on Adoniram the collector in chief of taxes for those hated works. Solomon suppressed the rebellion, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt. Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh had previously met Jeroboam by the way, and drawn him aside into the field, and in Jehovah's name intimated that Jeroboam should have ten tribes, and the house of David one, for the apostasy of Solomon and the people, vividly symbolizing the fact as already accomplished in God's counsel by tearing His new (answering to the youthful vigour of the kingdom) four grainered garment into twelve pieces, and giving him ten. ... As two, not merely one, remained, the numbers are symbolical not arithmetical, ten expressing completeness and totality (1 Kings 12:20), "they made Jeroboam king over all Israel. " (See ISRAEL. ) Ahijah's words, "thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth," imply Jeroboam already in heart aspired to the throne before his overt rebellion. God gave no promise of permanence to Jeroboam as He did to the house of David, simply "if thou wilt walk in My ways I will build thee a sure house. " Jeroboam fulfilled not the condition, and so his house was extirpated at his son's death (1 Kings 15:25-31). David's seed was to be afflicted, but "not for ever. " The tribes shall be united again in Messiah the Son of David (Ezekiel 37:16-22). Ahijah's prophecy did not justify Jeroboam's attempt. Samuel anointed David in Saul's reign; yet David, even when God had put Saul his deadly foe in his power, would not lay violent hands on the Lord's anointed, but waited patiently God's way and time for raising him to the throne. ... God had expressly said, "I will make Solomon prince all the days of his life"; so that Jeroboam had no pretext from Ahijah for rebellion, and Solomon would have justly slain him had he not escaped to Shishak or Sheshonk of Egypt. Sheshonk having dethroned the Pharaoh whose daughter Solomon had married, had naturally espoused Jeroboam's cause. At Solomon's death the Israelites called Jeroboam out of Egypt, for they had been longing for a less theocratic and more worldly kingdom, impatient already of submission to the royal house appointed by Jehovah (2 Samuel 20). Israel, having the right of making king whomsoever God chose (2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Chronicles 29:22), assembled to Shechem (Nablus now) for that purpose, the ancient place of national assembly in Ephraim (Joshua 24:1), and more suited than Jerusalem to their design of transferring the government to Jeroboam. Jeroboam, having formerly superintended Ephraim in the works of Solomon at Jerusalem in building Mille and repairing the city of David (1 Kings 11:27), could readily suggest calumnies from his own professed experience. ... Jeroboam as their spokesman, begged of Rehoboam a reduction of their tribute and heavy service, due no doubt to Solomon's maintaining such splendour and erecting magnificent buildings. They forgot the blessings of his reign, the peace, wealth, and trade which they enjoyed. Rehoboam, following the young men's counsel rather than the old and experienced counselors of his father (Proverbs 27:10), answered harshly (1 Kings 15:1): "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins . . . . my father chastised you with whips, but I . . . with scorpions," i. e. scourges with barbed points like a scorpion's sting. Had he "served them," they would have been "his servants for ever. " By acting the tyrant he precipitated the secession. Adopting the watchword of Sheba's rebellion they cried "what portion have we in David? to your tents, O Israel; now see to thine own house (to Judah, of which David's representative was head), David. "... Then they "made Jeroboam king over all Israel. " His first care was to fortify (so "build" means, for the two cities existed long before) Shechem his first residence (Tirzah was his subsequent abode, 1 Kings 14:17). (It was to Shechem Rehoboam had hastened to meet Israel, to secure Ephraim's allegiance, as he knew he was sure of Judah's allegiance; Shechem had been burnt down by Abimelech). Also Penuel, to secure Gilead against enemies from the E. and N. E. Next, adopting carnal policy instead of God's will, which assured him the kingdom on condition of obedience, and which designs ultimately to reunite Israel to Judah after Judah's temporary chastisement for sin, he set up two golden calves, one at Dan the other at Bethel, to obviate the apprehended return of Israel to Rehoboam through going up to the great feasts at Jerusalem. (See CALF WORSHIP. ) He thus violated God's command that there should be only one altar, namely, that at Jerusalem; still worse, he violated the second commandment by worshipping Jehovah, who is a spirit, under the form of images somewhat like the two cherubim. ... Rome compared the Protestant reformation to Jeroboam's secession; but it is she who breaks the unity of the faith by representing the one God underimages, in violation of the second commandment; paving the way to violating the first, as Jeroboam's sin prepared the way for Baal worship. Borrowing Aaron's words concerning his calf, Jeroboam insinuated that his calf worship was no new religion, but a revival of their fathers' primitive one in the desert, sanctioned by the first high priest: "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt" (Exodus 32:4; Exodus 32:8). The places were hallowed by ancient tradition: Bethel on the S. of his kingdom, the scene of Jehovah's revelation to the patriarch Jacob (Genesis 28:11; Genesis 28:19; Genesis 35:7); and Dan, at the sources of the Jordan (now Tell el Kadi) in the far N. , consecrated by the Danites' image worship, at which Moses' descendant (See JONATHAN officiated; so that no part of his kingdom was beyond easy reach of one or other of the two sanctuaries. ... (But Condor presents various reasons for supposing, with the older writers except Josephus, that Dan and Bethel were two heights W. and S. of Shechem: Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1878. (See SHECHEM. )) He made priests of the people indiscriminately, not of Levi; any who "came to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams" (2 Chronicles 13:9). Thus one sin entailed many others, and brought its own punishment; for the Levites, refusing to be priests of the calves, and the godly were alienated from him, and most emigrated to Judah (2 Chronicles 11:13-14; 2 Chronicles 11:16), strengthening Rehoboam. Jeroboam transferred the feast of tabernacles from the legal seventh to the eighth month ("the month which he had devised of his own heart," 1 Kings 11:33; see Colossians 2:23, "will worship"), his pretext being the later ripening of the vintage in the N. than in the S. , but his real reason being to separate Israel from Judah religiously, the legal 15th day being still retained. ... While Jeroboam stood in person to burn incense, or rather to burn the sacrificial portions of the flesh, upon the altar of Bethel, usurping the priest's office, a man of God out of Judah, impelled by (1 Kings 13:2; Hebrew in; Haggai 1:13) the word of Jehovah, Iddo according to Josephus (Ant. 8:8, section 5), cried against the altar: "behold, a child born unto the house of David, Josiah, upon thee shall offer the priests of the high places that burn incense (burn sacrifices) upon thee (retribution in kind), and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee," to defile thee. He gave also a sign of the future fulfillment of his prophecy; "the altar shall be rent, and the ashes . . . poured out" (implying the altar's destruction and the desecration of the sacrificial service). Josiah's name, as Cyrus', in Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, is specified as a concrete description of what God would do by him ("he whom Jehovah will support"), to execute His judgment on Bethel and its priests: fulfilled 2 Kings 23:15-20. Jeroboam attempting to seize the prophet had his hand dried up, and was only restored upon the prophet's intercession. ... Failing by violence, Jeroboam tried to win the prophet by favors; asking him home to refresh himself with food and offering him a present. This only elicited a stronger rejection of him on the part of God. Not for half his house would the prophet go in with him, or eat or drink in the place, or return by the way he came. God would have His people to hold no communion with the apostates of Bethel, or to have any renewed communication with any on the way, which might ensue from meeting the same persons on the same road again. Contrast Balaam's tempting God (through desire of reward) by asking again, as if God would change His once for all declared will (Numbers 22-24; 1 Peter 5:2). An old prophet at Bethel, where, Lot like, he dwelt, risking the corrupting influences of bad association (1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18), jealous that any should be faithful where he himself was not, and desiring to drag down the man of God to his own low level (Psalms 62:4), overtook him, and by a lie, saying "an angel of God spoke unto me, Bring him back that he may eat," overcame his constancy. He ought to have remembered God cannot contradict Himself (Numbers 23:19; Galatians 1:8-9). ... The prophet, the instrument of his sin (according to God's righteous law: Proverbs 1:31; Jeremiah 2:19), became the instrument of his punishment; his tempter became his accuser: "forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of Jehovah . . . thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. " So a lion slew him, yet ate not his body, nor tore the ass, but stood passively, an emblem of mercy amidst judgment; also to mark it was no mere chance, but the visitation of Jehovah, a warning to Bethel; "if judgment begin (thus immediately) at the house of God, what shall the end be of them that obey not . . . God; and if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18). God chastises His children immediately, so that they may not be condemned with the world; He is slower in punishing the worldly, that His longsuffering may lead them to repentance (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Romans 2:4). ... The worldly prophet showed much sentimentality at his death, laying his carcass in his own grave, and exclaiming "Alas! my brother. " Balaam like (Numbers 23:10), desiring at death to lie with the man of God, he utters no self reproach, though having caused his death. Jeroboam unwarned by his visitation "returned not from his evil way," "ordaining whosoever would (1 Kings 13:33-34; 2 Chronicles 11:15) priests, for the high places, the devils, and the calves" (the gods worshipped in these houses in the high places being called "demons" or devils (literally, goats, from the Egyptian goat-shaped god Mendes or Pan) from their nature, and calves from their form; Leviticus 17:7, "evil spirits of the desert" (Speaker's Commentary, seiriym ; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21). So it "became sin unto his house, to cut it off. " (See ABIJAH; AHIJAH, on the death of the former, Jeroboam's son, and the prophecy of the latter against Jeroboam). ... Rehoboam's son Abijah defeated Jeroboam, and gained for a time Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim. "Because the children of Judah relied upon the Lord God of their fathers," "God delivered (2 Chronicles 13) the Israelites into their hand. " Jeroboam never recovered strength again; and the Lord struck him (by a special visitation, 1 Samuel 25:38), and he died after a 22 years' reign, and "slept with his fathers," i. e. was buried in his ancestral tomb. Nadab, or Nebat from his grandfather's name, succeeded. Jeroboam's master stroke of policy recoiled on himself. The brand rests eternally on him that he "sinned and made Israel to sin. " Rejecting Jehovah's will, he was no longer king by the will of God, but a successful usurper, whose example others followed. The son whose throne Jeroboam was at such pains to secure permanently fell with all Jeroboam's house before Baasha. ... 2. Jeroboam II, Joash's son, fourth of Jehu's dynasty. In Jehoahaz' reign Jehovah gave Israel promise of a "saviour" from Syria who "had made Israel like the dust by threshing" (2 Kings 13:4-5). (See JEHOAHAZ. ) Jeroboam was that saviour, fulfilling the further prophecy of Jonah that Jeroboam should "restore the coast of Israel from the entering in of Hamath unto the sea of the plain" (2 Kings 14:23-29). (See JONAH. ) Jeroboam took Syria's capital, Damascus (Amos 1:3-5; Amos 6:14; where Amos warns Israel not to exult in having just taken Hamath, for that shall be the foe's starting point to afflict you: contrast 1 Kings 8:65), and Hamath, and restored the tribes E. of Jordan (1 Chronicles 5:17-22; 2 Kings 13:5). Assyria's depression from 800 to 750 B. C. , according to their inscriptions, harmonizes with Scripture that then Jeroboam II. in Israel, and Uzziah in Judah, were able to enlarge their borders. The long period of prosperity thus given was a respite which should have led Israel to repentance. ... When they repented not, speedy and final judgment followed. The calf worship, as an engine of state policy, still remained at Bethel. The priest there, Amaziah, alleged before Jeroboam (Amos 7:9-13), "Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel," exaggerating Amos' prophecy, "I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword," as if he had said, "Jeroboam shall die by the sword. " (See AMAZIAH. ) Jeroboam seems not to have heeded Amaziah through awe of Jehovah's prophet. In all ages the ungodly have accused witnesses against the national sin as guilty of treason: as Elijah and Jeremiah 1 Kings 18:17; Jeremiah 37:13-14; John 19:12 the Antitype, John 11:48-50 political expediency being the plea for persecution; Acts 17:6-7; Acts 24:5, Paul. After reigning 41 years he was buried in state and entombed with the kings of Israel. Amaziah's expression, "the land is not able to bear all Amos' words," implies a critical state of the country, which eventuated in actual anarchy for some time after Jeroboam's death. ...
Calf, Golden - Image of God made by Aaron at the foot of Mount Sinai, pursuant to the request of the Hebrews wearied by the protracted stay of Moses on the mountain (Exodus 32). It consisted probably of a wooden frame with plates of gold obtained from melting the jewelry worn by the Hebrews. Judging from the Hebrew word employed, its appearance was not so much that of a calf as of a young bull, connoting strength and vigor and symbolizing the principle of fertility. In the minds of the people the golden calf was not to be the formal object of their worship, but a representation of Yahweh, as is clear from Aaron's attributing to God the deliverance from Egypt, and proclaiming a feast to Yahweh. Any divine representation, however, contravened the prohibition to make any kind of images of God (Exodus 20); and particularly was the bovine figure objectionable, as the worship of that symbol was associated traditionally with scenes of obscenity. That is exactly what happened in this instance. After the secession of the ten northern tribes, Jeroboam, with a view to turn his new subjects away from the temple of Jerusalem, and at the same time to cater to their naturalistic propensities, set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel (3Kings 12). These apparently must be looked upon, like Aaron's golden calf, as representations of Yahweh. The worship carried out at their sanctuaries was likewise strongly tainted with immoral practises. ...
Golden Calf - Image of God made by Aaron at the foot of Mount Sinai, pursuant to the request of the Hebrews wearied by the protracted stay of Moses on the mountain (Exodus 32). It consisted probably of a wooden frame with plates of gold obtained from melting the jewelry worn by the Hebrews. Judging from the Hebrew word employed, its appearance was not so much that of a calf as of a young bull, connoting strength and vigor and symbolizing the principle of fertility. In the minds of the people the golden calf was not to be the formal object of their worship, but a representation of Yahweh, as is clear from Aaron's attributing to God the deliverance from Egypt, and proclaiming a feast to Yahweh. Any divine representation, however, contravened the prohibition to make any kind of images of God (Exodus 20); and particularly was the bovine figure objectionable, as the worship of that symbol was associated traditionally with scenes of obscenity. That is exactly what happened in this instance. After the secession of the ten northern tribes, Jeroboam, with a view to turn his new subjects away from the temple of Jerusalem, and at the same time to cater to their naturalistic propensities, set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel (3Kings 12). These apparently must be looked upon, like Aaron's golden calf, as representations of Yahweh. The worship carried out at their sanctuaries was likewise strongly tainted with immoral practises. ...
Beersheba - This name, signifying well of the oath, was given to the place where Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant not to molest each other, and confirmed it by an oath. It afterwards became the dwelling place of Abraham and of Isaac, who also digged a well there, and a city is spoken of as bearing the same name. Genesis 21:14,31-33 ; Genesis 22:19 ; Genesis 26:23,33 ; Genesis 28:10 . It became a part of Simeon's lot, Joshua 19:1,2 ; and after the settlement of the land it is constantly referred to as the most southern part of the land possessed, as Dan is pointed to as the most northern; thus 'from Dan to Beer-sheba' was the common expression for the whole territory even in the days of Solomon. 1 Kings 4:25 . ... The prophet Amos warns the people not to trust in any places of renown or of former blessing, as Bethel, Gilgal, nor Beersheba; the glory of all had faded: they must seek Jehovah, and they should live. Amos 5:5,6 ; Amos 8:14 . On the return of the exiles some of them dwelt at Beer-sheba, and from thence northward to the valley of Hinnom. Nehemiah 11:27,30 . Beer-sheba is identified with Bir es Seba, 31 15' N, 34 48' E . There are still two principal wells in the district giving excellent water, besides five smaller ones. ...
Arimathaea - ARIMATHaeA (Ἁριμαθαία) is mentioned in Matthew 27:57, Mark 15:43, Luke 23:51, and John 19:38 as the place from which Joseph, who buried the body of Jesus, came up to Jerusalem. In the Onomasticon (225. 12) it is identified with Ἁρμαθὲμ Σειφά (Ramathaimzophim* [Note: On this name (which is almost certainly based on a textual corruption), see Hastings’ DB, vol. iv. p. 198a note. ] ), the city of Elkanah and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1), near Diospolis (Lydda) and in the district of Timnah (Tibneh). In 1 Maccabees 11:34, Ramathem is referred to along with Aphaerema and Lydda as a Samaritan toparchy transferred, in 145 b. c. , to Judaea. These notices of Ramathaim point to Beit-Rima, 13 miles E. N. E. of Lydda, and 2 miles N. of Timnah,—an identification adopted by G. A. Smith (HGHL [Note: GHL Historical Geog. of Holy Land. ] 254 n. [Note: note. ] 7) and Buhl (GAP [Note: AP Geographic des alten Palästina. ] 170). Another possible site is Râm-allah, 3 miles S. W. of Bethel, suggested by Ewald (Hist. ii. 421). The proposed sites S. of Jerusalem are not ‘in the hill-country of Ephraim’ (1 Samuel 1:1). If Arimathaea, then, be identified with the Ramathaim of Elkanah, it may well be at the modern hill-village of Beit-Rima. The LXX Septuagint form of Ramathaim is Ἁρμαθαίμ (1 Samuel 1:1 and elsewhere), thus providing a link between Ramathaim and Arimathaea. ... A. W. Cooke. ...
Gilgal - A rolling, ... 1. A celebrated place between the Jordan and Jericho, where the Israelites first encamped, after the passage of that river; where also they were circumcised, and kept their first Passover in Canaan, Joshua 4:19 5:9,10 . It continued to be the headquarters of the Israelites for several years, while Joshua was occupied in subduing the land, Joshua 9:6 10:6,15,43 . A considerable city was afterwards built there, Joshua 15:7 , which became famous for many events. Here the tabernacle rested, until its removal to Shiloh; here also, according to the prevalent opinion, Samuel offered sacrifices, and held his court as a judge of Israel; and here Saul was crowned, 1 Samuel 7:16 10:8 11:15 1 Samuel 13:7-9 15:33 . A school of the prophets was established, 2 Kings 4:38 ; and yet it afterwards appears to have become a seat of idolatry, Hosea 4:15 9:15 12:11 Amos 4:4 5:5 . At this day, no traces of it are found. According to Josephus, it lay within two miles of Jericho. ... 2. Another Gilgol lay near Antipatris, Joshua 12:23 Nehemiah 12:29 . And perhaps a third in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Bethel, Deuteronomy 11:30 2 Kings 2:1-6 . There are not wanting those who would make the Gilgal near Antipatris the seat of Samuel's judgeship, and of one of the schools of the prophets. ...
Ephraim - The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt, Genesis 41:52 . Although the youngest, he yet had the chief blessing of his grandfather Jacob, and the tribe was always more distinguished than that of Manasseh, Genesis 48:8-20 Numbers 2:18-21 . The portion of Ephraim was large and central, and embraced some of the most fertile land in all Canaan. It extended from the Mediterranean across to the Jordan, north of the portions of Dan and Benjamin and included Shiloh, Shechem, etc. A range of mountainous country, which runs through it, is called "the mountains of Ephraim," or "mount Ephraim. " This extends also farther south into the portion of Judah, and is there called "the mountains of Judah. " Samaria, the capital of the ten tribes, being in Ephraim, this latter name is often used for the kingdom of Israel, Isaiah 11:13 Jeremiah 31:6 50:19 . ... The FOREST of Ephraim, where Absalom lost his life, was on the east side of the Jordan, near Mahanaim, 2 Samuel 18:6-8 . ... The TOWN called Ephraim, to which the Savior withdrew from his enemies, John 11:54 , was probably the same place mentioned in 2 Chronicles 13:19 , and called Ophrah in Joshua 18:23 1 Samuel 13:17 . See also 2 Samuel 13:23 . It is supposed to be the present Taiyibeh, on a hill overlooking the Jordan valley, five miles northeast of Bethel. ...
Amaziah - After the murder of his father Joash, Amaziah became king of Judah (796 BC; 2 Kings 12:20-21; 2 Kings 14:1-5). Determined to regain control of Edom (cf. 2 Kings 8:20), he planned to hire soldiers from Israel to help him. On advice from a prophet, he changed his mind and sent the hired soldiers home. He then fought the battle using Judean soldiers alone and won a great victory (2 Chronicles 25:5-13). Against the advice of a prophet, he took some of the idols he had captured from the Edomites and set them up as gods in his palace. In doing so he guaranteed his downfall (2 Chronicles 25:14-16). Swollen with arrogance and ambition, Amaziah then attacked Israel, in spite of being warned of the consequences. His country was defeated and Jerusalem plundered (2 Chronicles 25:17-24). Later he was assassinated by some of his own people (2 Chronicles 25:25-28). ... Another Amaziah comes from the same general era. He was a priest who lived in Bethel during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel. He opposed the preaching of the prophet Amos, and sent a message to the king accusing Amos of treason. When the king ignored the accusation, Amaziah tried to persuade Amos to return to Judah (Amos 7:10-13). Amos responded with an announcement of judgment on the false priest and his family (Amos 7:14-17). ...
Calf, Golden - CALF, GOLDEN . The incident of ‘the golden calf, is related in detail in Exodus 32:1-35 (cf. Deuteronomy 9:7-21 ), a chapter which belongs to the composite Prophetic source of the Pentateuch (JE [Note: Jewish Encyclopedia. ] ). At the request of the people, who had begun to despair of Moses’ return from the mount, Aaron consented to make a god who should go before them on the journey to Canaan. From the golden ear-rings of their wives and children he fashioned an image of a young bull; this, rather than ‘calf,’ is the rendering of the Heb. word in the present connexion. The view that ‘calf is diminutive and sarcastic for bull’ is precluded by the use of the word elsewhere to denote the young but mature animal. A ‘feast to J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] ’ was proclaimed for the following day, and an altar erected on which sacrifice was offered. The sequel tells of Moses’ return, of the destruction of the image, and finally of Moses’ call to his tribesmen, the sons of Levi, to prove their zeal for the pure worship of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] by taking summary vengeance on the backsliders, 3000 of whom fell by their swords. ... Two to three centuries later, bull images again emerge in the history of Israel. Among the measures taken by Jeroboam I. for the consolidation of his new kingdom was one which was primarily designed to secure its independence of the rival kingdom of the South in the all-important matter of public worship. With this end in view, perhaps also with the subsidiary purpose of reconciling the priesthood of the local sanctuaries to the new order of things, Jeroboam set up two golden ‘calves,’ one at Bethel and the other at Dan, the two most important sanctuaries, geographically and historically, in his realm ( 1 Kings 12:26-33 , 2 Chronicles 11:14 f. ). Of the workmanship of Jeroboam’s ‘calves,’ as of that of Aaron, it is impossible to speak with certainty. The former probably, the latter possibly (cf. Exodus 32:20 ), consisted of a wooden core overlaid with gold. The view that the Heb. term necessarily implies that the images were small, has been shown above to be groundless. It is also uncertain whether the other chief sanctuaries of the kingdom were at a later period provided with similar images, the leading passage ( Amos 8:14 ) being capable of another interpretation. ... With regard to the religious significance of this action on the part of Jeroboam, it is now admitted on all hands that the bulls are to be recognized as symbols of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] . He, and He alone, was worshipped both in the wilderness (see Exodus 32:5 ‘a feast to J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] ’) and at Bethel and Dan under the symbol of the golden bull. For the source of this symbolism we must not look to Egypt, as did the scholars of former days, but to the primitive religious conceptions of the Semitic stock to which the Hebrews belonged. Evidence, both literary and monumental, has accumulated in recent years, showing that among their Semitic kin the bull was associated with various deities as the symbol of vital energy and strength. Jeroboam, therefore, may be regarded as having merely given official sanction to a symbolism with which the Hebrews had been familiar, if not from time immemorial, at least since their association with the Canaanites. ... A comparison of Exodus 32:8 with 1 Kings 12:28 shows that the two narratives have a literary connexion, of which more than one explanation is possible. In the opinion of most recent scholars, the author or editor of Exodus 32:1-35 has adapted the traditional material on which he worked so as to provide a polemic, in the spirit of Hosea, against the established worship of the Northern Kingdom, which is here represented as condemned in advance by J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] Himself ( Exodus 32:7 f. ). The attitude of Amos to this feature of the established worship at Bethel is not so evident as might have been expected, but of the attitude of Hosea there can be no doubt. It is one of profound scorn and bitter hostility (see Hosea 8:5 f. , Hosea 10:5 , Hosea 13:2 the last passage gives the interesting detail that the bulls were kissed like the black stone in the Kaaba at Mecca). In the same spirit, and in harmony with the true character of the religion of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] ), as revealed through the prophets who succeeded Hosea, the Deuteronomic editor of the Books of Kings repeatedly characterizes the introduction of the bull images into the cult of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] as the sin wherewith Jeroboam made Israel to sin ( 1 Kings 14:18 ; 1 Kings 15:26 etc. ). ... A. R. S. Kennedy. ...
Amaziah - Strengthened by Jehovah.
A Levite, son of Hilkiah, of the descendants of Ethan the Merarite (1 Chronicles 6:45 ). ... ... The son and successor of Joash, and eighth king of the separate kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 14:1-4 ). He began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father (5-7; 2 Chronicles 25:3-5 ). He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah (2 Chronicles 25:5,6 ). He was commanded by a prophet of the Lord to send back the mercenaries, which he did (2 Chronicles 25:7-10,13 ), much to their annoyance. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chronicles 25:14-16 ). Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, and this was his ruin, for he was vanquished by Joash, king of Israel, whom he challenged to battle. The disaster he thus brought upon Judah by his infatuation in proclaiming war against Israel probably occasioned the conspiracy by which he lost his life (2 Kings 14:8-14,19 ). He was slain at Lachish, whither he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19,20 ; 2 Chronicles 25:27,28 ). ... ... A priest of the golden calves at Bethel (Amos 7:10-17 ). ... ... The father of Joshah, one of the Simeonite chiefs in the time of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:34 ).
Oil - שמן . The invention and use of oil is of the highest antiquity. It is said that Jacob poured oil upon the pillar which he erected at Bethel, Genesis 28:18 . The earliest kind was that which is extracted from olives. Before the invention of mills, this was obtained by pounding them in a mortar, Exodus 27:20 ; and sometimes by treading them with the feet in the same manner as were grapes, Deuteronomy 33:24 ; Micah 6:15 . The Hebrews used common oil with their food, in their meat- offerings, for burning in their lamps, &c. As vast quantities of oil were made by the ancient Jews, it became an article of exportation. The great demand for it in Egypt led the Jews to send it thither. The Prophet Hosea thus upbraids his degenerate nation with the servility and folly, of their conduct: "Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; he daily increaseth falsehood and vanity; and a league is made with Assyria, and oil carried into Egypt," Hosea 12:1 . The Israelites, in the decline of their national glory, carried the produce of their olive plantations into Egypt as a tribute to their ancient oppressors, or as a present to conciliate their favour, and obtain their assistance in the sanguinary wars which they were often compelled to wage with the neighbouring states. There was an unguent, very precious and sacred, used in anointing the priests, the tabernacle, and furniture. This was compounded of spicy drugs, namely, myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, and cassia, mixed with oil olive. ...
Calf - The young of the cow, a clean animal much used in sacrifice; hence the expression, "So will we render the calves of our lips," Hosea 14:2 , meaning, we will offer as sacrifices the prayers and praises of our lips, Hebrews 13:15 . The fatted calf was considered the choicest animal food, Genesis 18:7 Amos 6:4 Luke 15:23 . ... In Jeremiah 34:18 , "they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof," there is an allusion to an ancient mode of ratifying a covenant; the parties thus signifying their willingness to be themselves cut in pieces if unfaithful, Genesis 15:9-18 . ... THE GOLDEN CALF worshipped by the Jews at mount Sinai, while Moses was absent in the mount, was cast by Aaron from the earrings of the people. Its worship was attended with degrading obscenities, and was punished by the death of three thousand men. ... The golden calves of Jeroboam were erected by him, one at each extreme of his kingdom, that the ten tribes might be prevented from resorting to Jerusalem to worship, and thus coalescing with the men of Judah, 1 Kings 12:26-29 . Thus the people "forgot God their Savior," and sank into gross idolatry. Jeroboam is scarcely ever mentioned in Scripture without the brand upon him, "who made Israel to sin," 2 Kings 17:21 . The prophet Hosea frequently alludes to the calf at Bethel, to the folly and guilt of its worshippers, and to the day when both idol and people should be broken in pieces by the Assyrians. ...
Hittites - The Middle Eastern political power known as the Hittite Empire lasted from about 1800 to 1200 BC. It extended from northern Palestine across Syria and into Asia Minor. Tidal, king of Goiim, was possibly a Hittite king of the era before the Empire was fully established (Genesis 14:1). ... Even after the Empire had collapsed, Syria was still sometimes referred to as the land of the Hittites. Likewise the people of various states and cities in Syria still called themselves Hittites (Joshua 1:4; 2 Samuel 24:6; 1 Kings 10:29; 1 Kings 11:1; 2 Kings 7:6). ... However, the Hittites most often mentioned in the Bible are not those of the ancient Hittite Empire in the north, but those of smaller tribal groups in Canaan. They were probably the descendants of migrants from earlier Hittite kingdoms, and formed one of the many tribal groups that occupied Canaan before the conquering Israelites drove them out (Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8; Exodus 23:28; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 3:10; Ezra 9:1). ... The main area where the Hittites of Canaan lived was the central mountain region. This included the towns of Bethel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and Beersheba (Genesis 23:2-16; Genesis 26:34; Judges 1:23; Judges 1:26; 2 Samuel 23:39; Ezekiel 16:3). The Hittites were among the many Canaanite groups whom Solomon used as slaves in his building programs (1 Kings 9:20-21). Eventually they were absorbed into the Israelites and so ceased to be a distinct racial group. ...
Rama - RAMA or RAMAH ("an elevated spot". )... 1. In Benjamin (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:18). The cry of the weeping mothers and of Rachel is poetically represented as heard as far as Rama, on the E. side of the N. road between Jerusalem and Bethel; Rama where Nebuzaradan gathered the captive Jews to take them to Babylon. Not far from Gibeah of Saul (1 Samuel 22:6; Hosea 5:8; Isaiah 10:28-32). Now Er Ram, five miles from Jerusalem (Judges 4:5; Judges 19:13; Joshua 18:25). There is an Er Ram one mile and a half E. of Bethlehem; but explain Jeremiah 31:15 as above. ... Baasha fortified it, to prevent his subjects from going S. to Jerusalem to the great feasts, and so joining the kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 15:17-21; 2 Chronicles 16:1-5). (See BAASHA; ASA. ) The coincidence is dear between Rama's being built by Israel, its overthrow by Judah, and the emigration from Israel to Judah owing to Jeroboam's idolatry (1 Kings 12:26; 2 Chronicles 11:14-17); yet the events are named separately, and their connection only inferred by comparison of distinct passages, a minute proof of genuineness. Its people returned after the captivity (Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30). The Rama, Nehemiah 11:33, was further W. ... 2. The house of Elkanah, Samuel's father (1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Samuel 2:11). Samuel's birthplace, residence, and place of burial. Here he built an altar to Jehovah (1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 8:4; 1 Samuel 15:34; 1 Samuel 16:13; 1 Samuel 19:18; 1 Samuel 25:1; 1 Samuel 28:3). Contracted from Ramathaim Zophim, in Mount Ephraim (which included under its name the northern parts of Benjamin, Bethel, and Ataroth: 2 Chronicles 13:19; 2 Chronicles 15:8; Judges 4:5; 1 Samuel 1:1). Muslim, Jewish, and Christian tradition places Samuel's home on the height Neby Samwil, four miles N. W. of Jerusalem, than which it is loftier. Arculf (A. D. 700) identifies it as "Saint Samuel. "... The professed tomb is a wooden box; below it is a cave excavated like Abraham's burial place at Hebron, from the rock, and dosed against entrance except by a narrow opening in the top, through which pilgrims pass their lamps and petitions to the sacred vault beneath. The city where Samuel anointed Saul (1 Samuel 9-10) was probably not Samuel's own city Rama, for the city of Saul's anointing was near Rachel's sepulchre adjoining Bethlehem (1 Samuel 10:2), whereas Mount Ephraim wherein was Ramathaim Zophim did not reach so far S. Near Neby Samwil, the probable site of Samuel's Rama, is the well of Sechu to which Saul came on his way to Rama, now "Samuel's fountain" near Beit Isku. Beit Haninah (probably Naioth) is near (1 Samuel 19:18-24). Hosea (Hosea 5:8) refers to Rama. The appended "Zophim" distinguishes it from Rama of Benjamin. Elkanah's ancestor Zuph may have been the origin of the "Zophim. "... 3. A fortress of Naphtali in the mountainous region N. W. of the sea, of Galilee. Now Rameh, eight miles E. S. E. of Safed, on the main track between Akka and the N. of the sea of Galilee, on the slope of a lofty hill. ... 4. On Asher's boundary between Tyre and Sidon; a Rama is still three miles E. of Tyre. ... 5. Ramoth Gilead (2 Kings 8:29; 2 Chronicles 22:6). ... 6. Re-occupied by Benjamin on the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 11:33). Identified by Grove with Ramleh. ...
Deborah - DEBORAH (‘bee’). 1. Rebekah’s nurse, who accompanied her mistress to her new home on her marrying Isaac ( Genesis 24:59 ). She was evidently held in great reverence, as the name of the site of her grave in Bethel shows, Allon-bacuth , the ‘terehinth of weeping’ ( Genesis 35:8 ). ... 2. The fourth of the leaders, or ‘Judges,’ of Israel; called also a ‘prophetess,’ i. e. an inspired woman one of the four mentioned in the OT of the tribe of Issachar ( Judges 5:15 ), wife of Lappidoth ( Judges 4:4 ). Her home was between Bethel and Ramah in the hill-country of Ephraim; here the Israelites came to her for judgment and guidance. She was the real deliverer of the Israelites, who had sunk into a state of feebleness and impotence, through the oppression of Jabin, king of Hazor (see Barak). A personality of great power and outstanding character, she was looked up to as a ‘mother in Israel’ ( Judges 5:7 ), and was instant both in word and in deed in fulfilling her calling of’ Judge. ’ Her rôle is the more remarkable in that the general position of women in those days was of a distinctly subordinate character. ... Deborah’s Song ( Judges 5:2-31 ) is one of the most ancient and magnificent remains of early Hebrew literature. It is a song of victory, sung in memory of Israel’s triumph (under the leadership of Deborah and Barak) over Sisera and the kings of Canaan. The vivid pictures which the poem brings up before the mind’s eye make it certain that the writer (whether Deborah or another) lived at the time of the events described. The parallel, and somewhat later, account (in prose) of the same battle ( Judges 4:4-24 ) agrees in the main with the poem, though there are many differences in the details. The Song is divided into four distinct sections:... Praise to Jahweh, and the terror of His approach, Judges 4:2-5 . ... Condition of Israel prior to Deborah’s activity, Judges 4:6-11 . ... Gathering of the tribes of Israel, Judges 4:12-18 . ... Victory of Israel and death of Sisera, Judges 4:19-23 . ... The chief importance of the Song lies in the historical data it contains, and in the light it throws on some of early Israel’s conceptions of Jahweh. Of the former, the main points are that at this time the Israelites had securely settled themselves in the mountainous districts, but had not as yet obtained any hold on the fertile lands of the Plain; that unity had not yet been established among the tribes of Israel; and that the ‘twelve tribes’ of later times had not yet all come into existence. ... Of the latter, the main points are: that Jahweh has Hi a dwelling-place on the mountains in the South; that, therefore, He has not yet come to dwell among His people, though He is regarded as specifically the God of Israel; that He comes forth from His dwelling-place to lead His people to battle; and that His might and strength are so great that the very elements are shaken at His approach. ... The Hebrew text is in some places (notably in Judges 4:8 ; Judges 4:10-15 ) very corrupt; but the general sense is clear. ... 3. The mother of Tobit’s father; she seems to have taught her grandchild the duty of almsgiving ( Tob 1:8 ). ... W. O. E. Oesterley. ...
Ear-Rings - and nose-jewels were favourite ornaments among the eastern females. Both are frequently mentioned in Scripture. Thus the Prophet Ezekiel: "And I put a jewel on thy forehead," or, as it should have been rendered, on thy nose. This ornament was one of the presents which the servant of Abraham gave to Rebecca, in the name of his master: "I put," said he, "the ear-ring upon her face;" more literally, I put the ring on her nose. They wore ear-rings beside; for the household of Jacob, at his request, when they were preparing to go up to Bethel, gave him all the ear- rings which were in their ears, and he hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. Sir John Chardin says, "It is the custom in almost all the east for the women to wear rings in their noses, in the left nostril, which is bored low down in the middle. These rings are of gold, and have commonly two pearls and one ruby between them, placed in the ring; I never saw a girl, or young woman in Arabia, or in all Persia, who did not wear a ring after this manner in her nostril. " Some writers contend, that by the nose-jewel, we are to understand rings, which women attached to their forehead, and let them fall down upon their nose; but Chardin, who certainly was a diligent observer of eastern customs, no where saw this frontal ring in the east, but every where the ring in the nose. His testimony in supported by Dr. Russel, who describes the women in some of the villages about Aleppo, and all the Arabs and Chinganas, (a sort of gipsies,) as wearing a large ring of silver or gold, through the external cartilage of their right nostril. It is worn, by the testimony of Egmont, in the same manner by the women of Egypt. Two words are used in the Scriptures to denote these ornamental rings, נזם and עגיל . Mr. Harmer seems to think they properly signified ear-rings; but this is a mistake; the sacred writers use them promiscuously for the rings both of the nose and of the ears. That writer, however, is probably right in supposing that nezem is the name of a much smaller ring than agil. Chardin observed two sorts of rings in the east; one so small and close to the ear, that there is no vacuity between them; the other so large, as to admit the fore finger between it and the ear; these last are adorned with a ruby and a pearl on each side, strung on the ring. Some of these ear-rings had figures upon them, and strange characters, which he believed were talismans or charms; but which were probably the names and symbols of their false gods. We know from the testimony of Pliny, that rings with the images of their gods were worn by the Romans. The Indians say, they are preservatives against enchantment; upon which Chardin hazards a very probable conjecture, that the ear-rings of Jacob's family were perhaps of this kind, which might be the reason of his demanding them, that he might bury them under the oak before they went up to Bethel. ...
Jeroboam - Increase of the people.
The son of Nebat (1 Kings 11:26-39 ), "an Ephrathite," the first king of the ten tribes, over whom he reigned twenty-two years (B. C. 976-945). He was the son of a widow of Zereda, and while still young was promoted by Solomon to be chief superintendent of the "burnden", i. e. , of the bands of forced labourers. Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah, he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten tribes; but these having been discovered, he fled to Egypt (1 Kings 11:29-40 ), where he remained for a length of time under the protection of Shishak I. On the death of Solomon, the ten tribes, having revolted, sent to invite him to become their king. The conduct of Rehoboam favoured the designs of Jeroboam, and he was accordingly proclaimed "king of Israel" (1 Kings 12 :: 1-20 ). He rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of his kingdom. He at once adopted means to perpetuate the division thus made between the two parts of the kingdom, and erected at Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, "golden calves," which he set up as symbols of Jehovah, enjoining the people not any more to go up to worship at Jerusalem, but to bring their offerings to the shrines he had erected. Thus he became distinguished as the man "who made Israel to sin. " This policy was followed by all the succeeding kings of Israel. While he was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a prophet from Judah appeared before him with a warning message from the Lord. Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, his hand was "dried up," and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At his urgent entreaty his "hand was restored him again" (1 Kings 13:1-6,9 ; Compare 2 Kings 23:15 ); but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. His reign was one of constant war with the house of Judah. He died soon after his son Abijah (1 Kings 14:1-18 ). ... ... ... Jeroboam II. , the son and successor of Jehoash, and the fourteenth king of Israel, over which he ruled for forty-one years, B. C. 825-784 (2 Kings 14:23 ). He followed the example of the first Jeroboam in keeping up the worship of the golden calves (2 Kings 14:24 ). His reign was contemporary with those of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:23 ) and Uzziah (15:1), kings of Judah. He was victorious over the Syrians (13:4; 14:26,27), and extended Israel to its former limits, from "the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain" (14:25; Amos 6:14 ). His reign of forty-one years was the most prosperous that Israel had ever known as yet. With all this outward prosperity, however, iniquity widely prevailed in the land (Amos 2:6-8 ; 4:1 ; 6:6 ; Hosea 4:12-14 ). The prophets (Hosea 1:1 ), (Joel 3:16 ; Amos 1:1,2 ), (Amos 1:1 ), and Jonah (2 Kings 14:25 ) lived during his reign. He died, and was buried with his ancestors (14:29). He was succeeded by his son Zachariah (q. v. ). His name occurs in Scripture only in 2 Kings 13:13 ; 14:16,23,27,28,29 ; 15:1,8 ; 1 Chronicles 5:17 ; Hosea 1:1 ; Amos 1:1 ; 7:9,10,11 . In all other passages it is Jeroboam the son of Nebat that is meant. ... ...
Jeroboam - the son of Nebat and Zeruah, was born at Zereda, in the tribe of Ephraim, 1 Kings 11:26 . He is the subject of frequent mention in Scripture, as having been the cause of the ten tribes revolting from the dominion of Rehoboam, and also of his having "made Israel to sin," by instituting the idolatrous worship of the golden calves at Dan and Bethel, 1 Kings 12:26-33 . He seems to have been a bold, unprincipled, and enterprising man, with much of the address of a deep politician about him; qualities which probably pointed him out to King Solomon as a proper person to be entrusted with the obnoxious commission of levying certain taxes throughout the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. On a certain day, as Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem into the country, having a new cloak wrapped about his shoulders, the Prophet Ahijah met him in a field where they were alone, and seizing the cloak of Jeroboam, he cut it into twelve pieces, and then addressing him, said, "Take ten of them to thyself; for thus saith the Lord, I will divide and rend the kingdom of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee. If, therefore, thou obeyest my word and walkest in my ways as David my servant has done, I will be with thee, and will establish thy house for ever, and put thee in possession of the kingdom of Israel," 1 Kings 11:14-39 . Whether it were that the promises thus made by Ahijah prompted Jeroboam to aim at taking their accomplishment into his own hands, and, with a view to that, began to solicit the subjects of Solomon to revolt; or whether the bare information of what had passed between the prophet and Jeroboam, excited his fear and jealousy, it appears evident that the aged monarch took the alarm, and attempted to apprehend Jeroboam, who, getting notice of what was intended him, made a precipitate retreat into Egypt, where he remained till the death of Solomon. He then returned, and found that Rehoboam, who had succeeded his father Solomon in the throne of David, had already excited the disgust of ten of the tribes by some arbitrary proceedings, in consequence of which they had withdrawn their allegiance from the new monarch. These tribes no sooner heard of his return than they invited him to appear among them in a general assembly, in which they elected him to be king over Israel. Jeroboam fixed his residence at Shechem, and there fortified himself; he also rebuilt Penuel, a city beyond Jordan, putting it into a state of defence, in order to keep the tribes quiet which were on that side Jordan, 1 Kings 12:1-25 . ... But Jeroboam soon forgot the duty which he owed to God, who had given him the kingdom; and thought of nothing but how to maintain himself in the possession of it, though he discarded the worship of the true God. The first suggestion of his unbelieving heart was, that if the tribes over whom he reigned were to go up to Jerusalem to sacrifice and keep the annual festivals, they would be under continual temptations to return to the house of David. To counteract this, he caused two golden calves to be made as objects of religious worship, one of which he placed at Dan, and the other at Bethel, the two extremities of his dominions; and caused a proclamation to be made throughout all his territories, that in future none of his subjects should go up to Jerusalem to worship; and, directing them to the two calves which had been recently erected, he cried out, "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt!" He also caused idolatrous temples to be built, and priests to be ordained of the lowest of the people, who were neither of the family of Aaron nor of the tribe of Levi. 1 Kings 12:26-33 . Having appointed a solemn public festival to be observed on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in order to dedicate his new altar, and consecrate his golden calves, he assembled the people at Bethel, and himself went up to the altar for the purpose of offering incense and sacrifices. At that instant a prophet, who had come, divinely directed, from Judah to Bethel, accosted Jeroboam and said, "O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord, A child shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places who now burn incense upon thee: he shall burn men's bones upon thee. " To confirm the truth of this threatening, the prophet also added a sign, namely, that the altar should immediately be rent asunder, and the ashes and every thing upon it poured upon the earth. Jeroboam, incensed at this interference of the prophet, stretched out his hand and commanded him to be seized; but the hand which he had stretched out was instantly paralyzed, and he was unable to draw it back again. The altar, too, was broken, and the ashes upon it fell to the ground according to the prediction of the prophet. Jeroboam now solicited his prayers that his hand might be restored to him. ... The man of God interposed his supplication to Heaven, and the king's hand was restored to him sound as before. Jeroboam then entreated him that he would accompany him to his own house, and accept a reward; but he answered, "Though thou shouldst give me the half of thine house, I would not go with thee, nor will I taste any thing in this place, for the Lord hath expressly forbidden me to do so," 1 Kings 13:1-10 . But notwithstanding this manifest indication of the displeasure of Heaven, it failed of recovering Jeroboam from his impious procedure. He continued to encourage his subjects in idolatry, by appointing priests of the high places, and engaging them in such worship as was contrary to the divine law. This was the sin of Jeroboam's family, and it was the cause of its utter extirpation. Some time after his accession to the throne of Israel, his favourite son Abijah fell sick, and, to relieve his parental solicitude, Jeroboam instructed his wife to disguise herself, and in that state to go and consult the Prophet Ahijah concerning his recovery. This was the same prophet who had foretold to Jeroboam that he should be king of Israel. He was now blind through old age; but the prophet was warned of her approach, and, before she entered his threshold, he called her by name, told her that her son should die, and then, in appalling terms, denounced the impending ruin of Jeroboam's whole family, which shortly after came to pass. After a reign of two-and-twenty years, Jeroboam died, and Nadab, his son, succeeded to the crown, 1 Kings 13:33-34 ; 1 Kings 14:1-20 . ... 2. JEROBOAM, the second of that name, was the son of Jehoash, king of Israel. He succeeded to his father's royal dignity, A. M. 3179, and reigned forty-one years. Though much addicted to the idolatrous practices of the son of Nebat, yet the Lord was pleased so far to prosper his reign, that by his means, according to the predictions of the Prophet Jonah, the kingdom of the ten tribes was restored from a state of great decay, into which it had fallen, and was even raised to a pitch of extraordinary splendour. The Prophets Amos and Hosea, as well as Jonah, lived during this reign. ...
Iddo - (ihd' doh) English spelling of four different Hebrew personal names. 1. Name of uncertain meaning. Person with authority in the exilic community during the Persian period to whom Ezra sent messengers to secure Levites to join him in the return to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:17 ). He apparently sent the needed Levites (Ezra 8:19-20 ). 2 . Personal name perhaps meaning, “his praise. ” Leader of the eastern half of tribe of Manasseh under David (1 Chronicles 27:21 ). The written Hebrew text uses this name in Ezra 10:43 for a man with a foreign wife, but an early scribal note followed by English translations read Jadau. 3. Name perhaps meaning, “Yahweh adorns Himself. ” A prophet whose records the chronicler refers to for more information about Solomon and Jeroboam ( 2 Chronicles 9:29 ), Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 12:15 ), and Abijah (2 Chronicles 13:22 ). The latter indicates he wrote a midrash (NAS, “annotations”), which may indicate a Jewish exposition of Scripture. As early as Josephus, Iddo had been identified with the nameless prophet who spoke against the altar of Bethel in 1 Kings 13:1 . The Hebrew texts spell his name in different ways in the different occurrences. 4. Grandfather of Zechariah, the prophet (Zechariah 1:1 ,Zechariah 1:1,1:7 with different Hebrew spellings). Ezra 5:1 ; Ezra 6:14 put Zechariah as Iddo's son, using “son” to mean descendant, as often in Hebrew. He is included among the priestly families in the early postexilic community ( Nehemiah 12:4 ,Nehemiah 12:4,12:16 ). 5 . Father of Solomon's district supervisor who supplied the royal court provisions for one month a year in the area of Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14 ). 6 . A Levite (1 Chronicles 6:21 ). ... ...
Bear - The Ursus Syriacus is the particular species meant in Scripture. Akin to the polar bear. As large as the European brown bear, but lower on the legs. it has a high mane of bristling hair between the shoulders. Of a buff or yellow white color. One is represented in an Egyptian picture of tribute brought to Thothmes III by Phoenicians. The crusader Godfrey of Bouillon rescued a man from its attack, at, the imminent risk of his own life, being unhorsed and severely wounded by it. The she-bear is peculiarly fierce when she has lost or is defending her cubs (2 Samuel 17:8; Proverbs 17:12; Hosea 13:8). Almost as formidable as the lion (Amos 5:19). The instrument of punishing the 42 youths who mocked Elisha, in a wood between Jericho and Bethel, probably in winter when bears descend from the mountains to the lowlands (2 Kings 2:24). ... It attacks flocks and cattle (1 Samuel 17:34-37; Isaiah 11:7). Its roaring, ranging widely for food, and lying in wait for its prey, are alluded to in Isaiah 59:11, where however translate, "We moan like (hungry) bears," growling for food (Proverbs 28:15; Lamentations 3:10). It was carnivorous. Daniel 7:5; "it raised up itself on one side," lying on one of its fore feet and standing on the other; a figure still to be seen in Babylonian monuments, but see margin. Persia is meant. Media was the lower and passive side; Persia, the upper and active. It had three ribs in its mouth, namely, it seized on Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt. From a Hebrew root, "to move by creeping": dob , dabab . Bochart, from Arabic," hairy. "...
Pillar - Stone monuments (Hebrew matstsebah ) or standing architectural structures (Hebrew amudim ). 1. Stones set up as memorials to persons. Jacob set up a pillar on Rachel's grave as a memorial to her (Genesis 35:20 ). Because Absalom had no son to carry on his name, he set up a pillar and carved his name in it (2 Samuel 18:18 ). ... 2. Shrines both to the Lord and to false gods. Graven images often were pillars set up as gods. God commanded Israel to break down such “images” (Hebrew matstseboth ; Exodus 23:24 ). The Canaanites erected pillars at their places of worship, and probably influenced Israelite practice. Archaeologists found pillars, at Gezer. Jacob set up a pillar following his dream (Genesis 28:18 ) and again when God spoke to him at Bethel (Genesis 35:9-15 ) as memorials of God's revelation. Moses set up twelve pillars to commemorate the giving of the law to the tribes of Israel (Exodus 24:4 ). ... 3. As structural supports, pillars were used extensively. The tabernacle used pillars for the veil (Exodus 26:31-32 ), the courts (Exodus 27:9-15 ), and the gate (Exodus 27:16 ). The Temple in Jerusalem used pillars for its support (1 Kings 7:2-3 ), and the porch had pillars (1 Kings 7:6 ). Figuratively, pillars were believed to hold up heaven (Job 26:11 ) and earth (1 Samuel 2:8 ). ... 4. God led Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21 ; compare Exodus 14:19-20 ). These pillars were symbols of God's presence with Israel as much as signs of where they were to go. ... 5. Solomon's Temple had two free-standing brass pillars (1 Kings 7:15 ). See Jachin and Boaz . ... Mike Mitchell... ...
Sama'Ria, Country of - Samaria at first included all the tribes over which Jeroboam made himself king, whether east or west of the river Jordan. (1 Kings 13:32 ) But whatever extent the word might have acquired, it necessarily be came contracted as the limits of the kingdom of Israel became contracted. In all probability the territory of Simeon and that of Dan were very early absorbed in the kingdom of Judah. It is evident from an occurrence in Hezekiah's reign that just before the deposition and death of Hoshea, the last king of Israel, the authority of the king of Judah, or at least his influence, was recognized by portions of Asher, Issachar and Zebulun and even of Ephraim and Manasseh. (2 Chronicles 30:1-26 ) Men came from all those tribes to the Passover at Jerusalem. This was about B. C. 728. Samaria (the city) and a few adjacent cities or villages only represented that dominion which had once extended from Bethel to Dan northward, and from the Mediterranean to the borders of Syria and Ammon eastward. In New Testament times Sa maria was bounded northward by the range of hills which commences at Mount Carmel on the west, and, after making a bend to the southwest, runs almost due east to the valley of the Jordan, forming the southern border of the plain of Esdraelon. It touched toward the south, is nearly as possible, the northern limits of Benjamin. Thus it comprehended the ancient territory of Ephraim and that of Manasseh west of Jordan. The Cuthaean Samaritans, however, possessed only a few towns and villages of this large area, and these lay almost together in the centre of the district. At Nablus the Samaritans have still a settlement, consisting of about 200 persons. [SHECHEM ]
Rimmon - 1. Father of Rechab and Bannah: 2 Samuel 4:2-9. (See RECHAB; BAANAH. )... 2. An idol worshipped by the Syrians of Damascus (2 Kings 5:18). The name appears in Ηadad Rimmon . From rum , "the most high"; as Εl-ion (Selden, Gesenius, etc. ). Others from Hebrew rimmon , a "pomegranate," sacred to Venus; the fertilizing principle in nature; tree worship anciently having prevailed, a perverted relic of the tradition of Eden's tree of life. Ηadadrimmon may be the full name, from Ηadad "the sun god" and Rimmon the pomegranate" ripened in the autumn. ... 3. A town of Zebulun (See REMMON. )... 4. Of Judah in Simeon's portion (Joshua 15:32, where Joshua 15:29 for Joshua 15:36 is a copyist's error); near the southern bound of Judah (Zechariah 14:10). Omit "and" between Ain and Rimmon, and make one name Αin-Rimmon or Εn-Rimmen , as Engedi (Nehemiah 11:29). Um-er-rumamin , "mother of pomegranates," four hours N. of Beersheba, corresponds (Robinson, Researches, iii. 8). From the neighboring hill region the spies brought pomegranates and figs (Numbers 13:23). ... 5. Rimmon "the rock"; where the 600 surviving Benjamites retreated after the slaughter of the tribe, and kept themselves four months (Judges 20:45; Judges 20:47; Judges 21:13). Fifteen Roman miles N. of Jerusalem. Now the village Rummon stands on and round the top of a conical limestone mountain, and is visible in all directions (Robinson, 2:113). The houses cling to the sides as huge steps. On the southern side the mountain rises hundreds of feet from the ravine wady Mutyah, and on the western side it is isolated by a deep cross valley. It lies three miles E. of Bethel, and seven N. E. of Gibeah. ...
Almond Tree - (Jeremiah 1:11-12; Hebrew "I see a rod of the wakeful tree (the emblem of wakefulness) . . . Thou hast well seen: for I will be wakeful (Hebrew for "hasten") as to My word. ") It first wakes out of the wintry sleep and buds in January. In Ecclesiastes 12:5, instead of "the almond tree shall flourish," Gesenius translates "(the old man) loathes (through want of appetite) even the (sweet) almond;" for the blossom is pink, not white, the color of the old man's hair. ... But as the Hebrew means "bud" or "blossom" in Song of Solomon 6:11 it probably means here "the wakefulness of old age sets in. " Or the color may not be the point, but the blossoms on the leafless branch, as the hoary locks flourish as a crown on the now arid body. Exodus 25:33-34; in the tabernacle the candlesticks had "bowls made in the form of the almond flower" or "nut," most graceful in shape; perhaps the pointed nut within was the design for the cup, the sarcocarp containing the oil, and the flame shaped nut of gold emitting the light from its apex. Luz, the original name of Bethel, was derived from one species of almond (Genesis 28:19; Genesis 30:37), luz. ... It was almond, not hazel, rods wherewith Jacob secured the ringstraked and speckled offspring from the flocks. Jordan almonds were famed. The almonds growing on Aaron's rod, when laid up over night before the Lord, denote the ever wakeful priesthood which should continue until the Antitype should come; type also of the vigilance and fruitfulness which Christ's ministers should exhibit;. also of the rod of Christ's strength which shall finally destroy every adversary (Numbers 17:8; Psalms 110:2; Psalms 110:5-6). ...
Jehu - Jehu (jç'hu), Jehovah is Hebrews 1:1-14. The son of Jehoshaphat, king over Israel. 1 Kings 19:16-17. Haying been proclaimed king in the presence of the whole army, he proceeded towards Jezreel, and executed the predicted judgments upon the house of Ahab. He slew Jorum, the reigning king, and mortally wounded Ahaziah, king of Judah, who was with him. 2 Kings 9:24. Jehu then entered Jezreel, and had Jezebel thrown out of the window of the palace, and her body was trodden under foot, fulfilling another prophecy. Jehu then secured possession of Samaria, and slew all that remained unto Ahab, till he had extirpated him, according to the word of the Lord. 2 Kings 10:1-17. He then, at a great festival, exterminated all the idolatrous priests and prophets of Baal, as traitors to King Jehovah, and turned the temple of Baal into a draughthouse. 2 Kings 10:18-28. For his services he received a divine promise, that his descendants, for four generations, should possess the throne. Jehu, himself, was a decisive, terrible, and ambitious man. He erred in allowing the golden calves at Dan and Bethel to remain. He reigned 28 years. 2 Kings 10:29-36. The name of Jehu occurs on the black obelisk, in the British Museum: "Yaua, the son of Khumri," i. e. , Jehu, the successor of Omri, the founder of Samaria. 1 Kings 16:23-24. 2. A descendant of Judah. 1 Chronicles 2:38. 3. A descendant of Simeon. 1 Chronicles 4:35. 4. One of David's distinguished officers. 1 Chronicles 12:3. 5. The son of Hanani, a prophet of Samaria. 1 Kings 16:1-12; 2 Chronicles 19:1-3. He wrote the annals of Jehoshaphat. 2 Chronicles 20:34. ...
Amaziah - (am uh zi' ah) Personal name meaning, “Yahweh is mighty. ” 1. A Simeonite (1 Chronicles 4:34 ). 2 . A Levite and a descendant of Merari (1 Chronicles 6:45 ). 3 . A priest at Bethel who sent Amos the prophet home, saying he did not have the right to prophesy against King Jeroboam II of Israel (789-746 B. C. ) in the king's place of worship (Amos 7:10-17 ). ... 4. Ninth king of Judah, the son of Joash and father of Uzziah (797-767 B. C. ). He was 25 years old when he ascended the throne. He speedily avenged the murder of his father, who had been killed by court servants. Amaziah was uncommonly merciful in his avenging, as he only murdered the guilty servants, not the servants' children (2 Kings 14:5-6 ). ... Among Amaziah's accomplishments, he conscripted an army for Judah, composed of all men age 20 and above. He also hired mercenaries from Israel, but declined to use them at the advice of a “man of God” (1 Chronicles 25:7 ). Amaziah led his army to Seir, where he easily defeated the Edomites, making them again subject to Judah. Yet, he took Edomite idols back to Jerusalem and worshiped them. He then refused to listen to the rebuke and the forecast of doom brought by God's prophet (2 Chronicles 25:11-16 ). ... Encouraged by his victory in Edom, Amaziah challenged Joash; king of Israel; to battle. Though Joash tried to avoid a conflict, Amaziah persisted and was defeated at the hands of Israel. The Temple and royal palace were plundered, the wall of Jerusalem was pierced, and Amaziah was taken prisoner. Amaziah survived Joash by fifteen years. Because of a conspiracy against him he fled to Lachish but was murdered there. See: Judah, Kings of; Joash; Uzziah; Jehoaddin (his mother). ... Ronald E. Bishop... ...
Ephraim - Ephraim (ç'fra-ĭm), double land, two-fold increase, very fruitful. The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt before the famine, Genesis 41:50-52, and therefore upwards of 20 at Jacob's death. Joseph, when he was apprised of his father's sickness, was anxious to obtain the recognition of his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob adopted them as patriarchs, or heads of tribes, equally with his own sons. But he placed the younger, Ephraim, before the elder, Manasseh, "guiding his hands wittingly," in spite of Joseph's remonstrance, and prophetically declaring that the posterity of Ephraim should be far greater and more powerful than the posterity of Manasseh. Genesis 48:1-22. The territory of Ephraim lay in the centre of Canaan, south of Manasseh and north of Benjamin and Dan, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. It was about 55 miles long, and about 30 miles in its greatest breadth. It was well watered and fertile, fulfilling the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:13-16. ... Ephraim, Gate of. One of the gates of ancient Jerusalem, 2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 25:23; Nehemiah 8:16; Nehemiah 12:39; probably on the north side, as the present Damascus gate is. ... Ephraim, Mount. A name applied to the hill-country of Ephraim, extending from Bethel to the plain of Jezreel; called also the "mountains of Israel," R. V. "hill country of Israel," Joshua 11:21, and "mountains of Samaria. " Jeremiah 31:5-6; Amos 3:9. ... Ephraim, Wood of. A forest in which the great battle was fought when Absalom was killed. 2 Samuel 18:6. It lay east of the Jordan, in Gilead, near Mahanaim. Thick woods of oaks and terebinths still exist in that region. ...
Josiah - Son of Amon and great-grandson of Hezekiah, a pious king of Judah, who introduced great reforms in the temple worship, and in the religious character of the nation in general. No king set himself more earnestly to destroy every vestige of idolatry out of the land. Among other things, he defiled the altars of the idols at Bethel by burning upon them the bones from the tombs of their deceased priests; as had been foretold more than three centuries before, 1 Kings 13:2 . While cleaning and repairing the temple at his command, the priests found the temple copy of the five books of the law, perhaps the original copy from Moses' own hand. The sacred book was too much neglected in those days of declension; and even the pious Josiah seems to have been impressed by the closing chapters of Deuteronomy as though he had never read them before. To avert the judgments there threatened, he humbled himself before God, and sought to bring the people to repentance. He caused them to renew their covenant with Jehovah, and celebrated the Passover with a solemnity like that of its first institution. The repentance of the people was heartless, and did not avert the divine judgments. Josiah, however, was taken away from the evil to come. He met death in battle with Pharaohnecho, whose passage across his territory to attack the king of Assyria, Josiah felt obliged to resist. The death of this wise and pious king was deeply lamented, by the prophet Jeremiah and all the people, Zechariah 12:11 . He began to reign B. C. 641, at the age of eight years, and reigned thirty-one years, 2 Kings 22:1-23:37 2 Chronicles 34:1-35:27 . ...
Dinah - The feminine of Dan ("judged", "averaged". ) Jacob's daughter by Leah. After his return from Mesopotamia he pitched his tent in Shechem, and bought a field of Ham or, Shechem's father. Dinah, then at maturity between 13 and 15 years old, through her parents' remissness and her own love of sight seeing (she "went out to see the daughters of the land"), instead of being a "keeper at home" as young women ought to be (Titus 2:2), gave occasion to Shechem to "see" (contrast Job 31:1), and lust after, and defile her. Sin, shame, and death enter the soul through the windows of the eyes and ears (Genesis 39:7). Evil communications corrupt good manners. Fondness to see novelties, worldly fashions, and worldly company, ruin many. "It is the first step that costs. " The laxity of Canaanite morals ought to have made both her parents and herself more on their guard. ... Josephus (Ant. 1:21) states she went to a Canaanite annual festival of nature worship (compare Numbers 25:2). Young women are often led astray as much by their own sex as by the other. Shechem offered the usual reparation, marriage, and a payment to her father. This was sufficient Hebrew, according to Deuteronomy 22:28-29. But the offense was by an alien Hamor therefore proposed to establish intermarriage and commerce between the two peoples. But Simeon and Levi, her own brothers, eager for revenge, required the Circumcision of the Shechemites as a condition of union, a rite already known in Egypt as an act of priestly consecration; and when the feverish pain of the operation was at its height, on the third day, the two brothers, with their retainers, took cowardly advantage of their state, attacked, and killed all the males in the city. (See CIRCUMCISION. )... Their vindication of Israel's sacred calling, separated from the Gentiles, was right; and their refusal to sacrifice Jehovah's promises for the Hivite prince's offers of mammon was right. Seduction still is punished by death among the Arabs, generally inflicted by the brothers. "They were very angry, because lie had wrought folly in Israel," the phrase for offenses, especially carnal ones, against the honor and calling of the people of God (Deuteronomy 22:21; Judges 20:10; 2 Samuel 13:12). But the way they took was treacherous, cruel, and wicked. The innocent townsmen were punished with the one delinquent, and all the sons joined in plundering the town. ... Jealousy for the high calling of Israel was made the plea for gross sin against the God of Israel. Jacob in reproving them lays stress only on the dangerous consequences of their crime, "ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land . . . and . . . being few . . . they shall gather themselves and slay me," because it was the only argument that would weigh with his sons; but, his dying words show his abhorrence of their" cruelty" and "cursed anger" (Genesis 49:5-7). Nothing but Jehovah's special interposition saved him and them from the penalty; Genesis 35:5, "the terror of God was upon the cities . . . round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. "... God made this tragedy the occasion of reviving Jacob's earnestness, which had declined into worldliness for a time through his settlement near Shechem (Genesis 33:17-20); reminding him of his vow to make an altar at Bethel to God, who had appeared to him there in the day of his distress when fleeing from Esau. So his family gave up their strange gods and purified themselves, and Jacob went up to Bethel and fulfilled his heretofore forgotten vow. Thus, God overruled evil for good (Genesis 35:1-5). ...
Shiloh (2) - From shaalah "to rest. " The place at which Israel attained its state of rest, and where the Lord rested among them (Psalms 132:14). Judges (Judges 21:19) describes its position as "on the N. side of Bethel (Beitin), on the E. side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem (Nablus), and on the S. of Lebonah. " Now Seilun. The ark, which had been at Gilgal during the conquest of Canaan, was removed on the completion of the conquest to Shiloh where it remained from Joshua's closing days to Samuel's (Joshua 18:1-10; Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 4:3). Here Joshua divided by lot the part of the western Jordan land not yet allotted (Joshua 19:51). Shiloh fell within Ephraim (Joshua 16:5-6). The animal feast of Jehovah when the daughters of Shiloh went forth in dances gave Benjamin, when threatened with extinction, the opportunity of carrying off wives (Judges 21:19-23). At a distance of 15 minutes' walk is a fountain reached through a narrow dale; it flows first into a well, thence into a reservoir, from which herds and flocks are watered. ... Here the daughters of Shiloh would resort, the spectators could see their dances from the amphitheater of surrounding hills. Terraces are traceable at the sides of the rocky hills, once covered with verdure and productiveness. Though the scenery is not striking the seclusion was favorable to worship and religious study. In the rockhewn sepulchres may have been laid the remains of some of Eli's house. Here Eli judged Israel and died of grief at the capture of the ark by the Philistines. Here Hannah prayed and Samuel was reared in the tabernacle and called to the prophetic office (1 Samuel 1; 2; 3). The sin of Hophni and Phinehas caused the loss of the ark and God's forsaking of His tabernacle at Shiloh (called in spiritual sense "the house of God," though not of stone: Judges 18:31; 2 Samuel 7:6; 1 Kings 3:2), so that this became a warning beacon of God's wrath against those who sin in the face of high spiritual privileges (Jeremiah 7:12; Psalms 78:60-61). ... Ahijah the prophet was here consulted by the messengers of Jeroboam's wife (1 Kings 11:29; 1 Kings 12:15; 1 Kings 14:1-2). From Shiloh came the half pagan men, with offerings for the Lord's house, who had cut themselves, and whom Ishmael slew (Jeremiah 41:5). A tell or hill, surrounded by higher hills, rises from an uneven plain, with a valley on the south side. On the hill the tabernacle would be conspicuous from all sides. On the summit of the hill are the remains of what was once a Jewish synagogue, subsequently used as a mosque. ... On the lintel over the doorway, between two wreaths of flowers, is carved a vessel shaped like a Roman amphora , so closely resembling the "pot of manna ," as found on coins and in the ruins of the synagogue at Capernaum, that it doubtless formed part of the original building. There is a curious excavation in the rock which may have been the actual spot where the ark rested; for its guardians would select a place sheltered from the bleak winds of the highlands. The position of the sanctuary was central for the Israelites W. of Jordan. Major Wilson says northwards the tell at Seilun slopes down to a broad shoulder, across which a level court has been cut, 77 by 412 ft. ; the rock is scarped to the height of five feet, evidently the site of the tabernacle. The mosque's title, the mosque of the Eternal, points to its original occupation by Jehovah's sanctuary. ...
Amos - ("a burden". ) Of Tekoah, in Judah, six miles S. E. of Bethlehem. A shepherd (probably owning flocks) and dresser of sycamore fig trees; specially called of the Lord to prophesy, though not educated in the prophets' schools (Amos 1:1; Amos 7:14-15). These personal notices occur only as connected with the discharge of his prophetic function; so entirely is self put in the shade by the inspired men of God, and God is made the one all-absorbing theme. Though of Judah, he exercised his ministry in the northern kingdom, Israel; not later than the 15th year of Uzziah of Judah, when Jeroboam II. (son of Joash) of Israel died (compare 1 Kings 14:23 with 1 Kings 15:1), in whose reign it is written he prophesied "two years before the earthquake"; compare Zechariah 14:5. Allusions to the earthquake appear in Amos 5:8; Amos 6:11; Amos 8:8; Amos 9:1; Amos 9:5. ... The divine sign in his view confirmed his words, which were uttered before, and which now after the earthquake were committed to writing in an orderly summary. The natural world, being from and under the same God, shows a mysterious sympathy with the spiritual world; compare Matthew 24:7; Matthew 27:50-54. Probably Amos prophesied about the middle of Jeroboam's reign, when his conquests had been achieved (Amos 6:13-14; compare 2 Kings 14:25-27), just before Assyria's first attack on Israel, for he does not definitely name that power: Amos 1:5; Amos 5:27 (Hosea 10:6; Hosea 11:5). The two forces from God acted simultaneously by His appointment, the invading hosts from without arresting Israel's attention for the prophet's message from God within the land, and the prophets showing the spiritual meaning of those invasions, as designed to lead Israel to repentance. ... This accounts for the outburst of prophetic fire in Uzziah's and his successors' reigns. The golden calves, the forbidden representation of Jehovah, not Baal, were the object of worship in Jeroboam's reign, as being the great grandson of Jehu, who had purged out Baal worship, but retained the calves. Israel, as abounding in impostors, needed the more true prophets of God from Judah to warn her. Her prophets often fled to Judah from fear of her kings. Oppression, luxury, weariness of religious ordinances as interrupting worldly pursuits, were rife: Amos 8:4-5; Amos 3:15. The king's sanctuary and summer palace were at Bethel (Amos 7:13); here Amos was opposed by Amaziah for his faithful reproofs, and informed against to Jeroboam. (See AMAZIAH. ) Like the prophet in 1 Kings 13, Amos went up from Judah to Bethel to denounce the idol calf at the risk of his life. ... Calf worship prevailed also at Dan, Gilgal, and Beersheba, in Judah (Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14), blended with Jehovah's worship (Amos 5:14; Amos 5:21-26); 2 Kings 17:32-33, compare Ezekiel 20:39. ... The book is logically connected, and is divisible into four parts. Amos 1:1 to Amos 2:13; the sins of Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, the neighbors of Israel and Judah Amos 2:4 to Amos 6:14; Israel's own state and consequent punishment; the same coasts "from the entering in of Hamath," which Jeroboam has just recovered from Syria, shall be "afflicted," and the people carried into "captivity beyond Damascus" (Amos 5:27). Amos 7:1-9:10; Amos's visions of grasshoppers devouring the grass, and fire the land and deep, both removed by his intercession; the plumb line marking the buildings for destruction; Amaziah's interruption at Bethel, and foretold doom; the basket of summer fruits marking Israel's end by the year's end; the Lord standing upon the altar, and commanding the lintel to be smitten, symbolizing Israel's destruction as a kingdom, but individually not one righteous man shall perish. ... Amos 9:11-15; David's fallen tabernacle shall be raised, the people re-established in prosperity in their own land, no more to be pulled out, and the conversion of the pagan shall follow the establishment of the theocracy finally; compare Amos 9:12 with Acts 15:17. Reference to agricultural life and the phenomena of nature abounds, in consonance with his own former occupation, an undesigned propriety and mark of truth: Amos 1:3; Amos 2:13; Amos 3:4-5; Amos 4:2; Amos 4:7; Amos 4:9; Amos 5:18-19; Amos 6:12; Amos 7:1; Amos 9:3; Amos 9:9; Amos 9:13-14. The first six chapters are without figure; the last three symbolical, with the explanation subjoined. He assumes his readers' knowledge of the Pentateuch, and that the people's religious ritual (excepting the golden calves) accords with the Mosaic law, an incidental confirmation of the truth of the Pentateuch. ... Stephen (Acts 7:42) quotes Amos 5:25-27; and James (Acts 15:16) quotes Amos 9:11. Philo, Josephus, the Talmud, Justin Martyr, the catalogues of Melito, Jerome, and the council of Laodicea, confirm the canonicity of Amos. His use of the names Αdonai (Lord) and God of hosts marks that Jehovah, Israel's covenant God, is universal Lord. Characteristic and peculiar phrases occur: "cleanness of teeth," i. e. , want of bread (Amos 4:6); "the excellency of Jacob" (Amos 6:8; Amos 8:7); "the high places of Isaac" (Amos 7:9), "the house of Isaac" (Amos 7:16); "he that createth the wind" (Amos 4:13). Hosea, his contemporary, survived him a few years. ...
Geba - (gee' buh) Place name meaning, “hill,” and variant Hebrew spelling of Gibeah, with which it is sometimes confused though the two represent different towns in the territory of Benjamin. Geba was given Benjamin (Joshua 18:24 ) but set aside for the Levites (Joshua 21:17 ). This is evidently the base camp for Saul and Jonathan in their fight with the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:16-14:18 ), though the Hebrew texts and modern translations confuse Geba and Gibeah here. King Asa of Judah (910-869 B. C. ) strengthened the city (1 Kings 15:22 ). In the days of King Josiah (640-609 B. C. ) Geba apparently represented the northern border of Judah as opposed to the southern border in Beersheba (2 Kings 23:8 ). Isaiah described the ominous march of the Assyrian army coming through Geba on its way to Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:29 ). For Zechariah (Zechariah 14:10 ), Geba represented the northern border of a Judah to be flattened out into a plain dominated by God ruling on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. At some period Geba's inhabitants were forced to move to Manahath (1 Chronicles 8:6 ), perhaps when the tribe of Benjamin first settled there or during the Exile. Exiles returned to Geba under Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:26 ). Some citizens of Geba lived in Michmash and other cities in Nehemiah's day, unless the Hebrew text is read differently (REB) to mean they lived in Geba as well as the other towns (Nehemiah 11:31 ). Levite singers lived there (Nehemiah 12:29 ). ... Geba is variously located, some scholars going so far as to locate a southern Geba of Benjamin at Jeba across the wadi Suweinit from Michmash, about five and a half miles north of Jerusalem, and a northern Geba (Joshua 18:24 ) at khirbet et-Tell, seven miles north of Bethel. At neither of these places has archaeology yet shown evidence to correlate with the biblical materials. ... ...
Beersheba - BEERSHEBA . A halting-place of Abraham ( Genesis 21:31 ), where Hagar was sent away ( Genesis 21:14 ), and where he made a covenant with Abimelech, from which the place is alleged to take its name (‘well of the covenant,’ according to one interpretation). Isaac after his disputes with the Philistines settled here ( Genesis 26:23 ), and discovered the well Shibah , another etymological speculation ( Genesis 26:33 ). Hence Jacob was sent away ( Genesis 28:10 ), and returned and sacrificed on his way to Egypt ( Genesis 46:1 ). It was assigned to the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:28 ), but set apart for the Simeonites ( Joshua 19:2 ). Here Samuel’s sons were judges ( 1 Samuel 8:2 ), and hither Elijah fled before Jezebel ( 1 Kings 19:3 ). Zibiah, the mother of Joash, belonged to Beersheba ( 2 Kings 12:1 ). It was an important holy place: here Abraham planted a sacred tree ( Genesis 21:33 ), and theophanies were vouchsafed to Hagar ( Genesis 21:17 ), to Isaac ( Genesis 26:24 ), to Jacob ( Genesis 46:2 ), and to Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:5 ). Amos couples it with the shrines of Bethel and Gilgal ( Amos 5:6 ), and oaths by its numen are denounced ( Amos 8:14 ). It is recognized as the southern boundary of Palestine in the frequent phrase ‘from Dan unto Beersheba’ ( Judges 20:1 etc. ). Seven ancient wells exist here, and it has been suggested that these gave its name to the locality; the suffixed numeral being perhaps due to the influence of the syntax of some pre-Semitic language, as in Kiriath-arba (‘Tetrapolis’). The modern name is Bir es-Seba ’, where are extensive remains of a Byzantine city; the ancient city is probably at Tell es-Seba ’, about 2 miles to the east. Till recently the site was deserted by all but Bedouin; now a modern town has sprung up, built from the ruins of the ancient structures, and has been made the seat of a sub-governor. ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Stones - Stones, large and long, but not high, are the characteristic of Jewish architecture (Mark 13:1). Robinson mentions one 24 ft. long by six broad, and only three high (Res. 1:233, note 284). Flint stones were used as knives for circumcising (Exodus 4:25; Joshua 5:2-3 margin). Stones were consecrated as memorials to God by anointing, as that at Bethel (Genesis 28:18). The Phoenicians similarly called "meteoric stones" baetylia , and worshipped them. Isaiah 57:6, "among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion" (i. e. thy gods, Psalms 16:4-5). Gesenius translated "in the bore places of the valley," but what follows confirms KJV, "even to them hast thou poured a drink offering"; compare Leviticus 26:1, "image of stone," margin figured stone. ... The "white stone" in Revelation 2:17 is a glistering diamond, the Urim ("light" answering to "white") borne by the high priest within the "breast-plate" (choshen ) of judgment, with the twelve tribes' names on the twelve precious stones, next the heart. None but the high priest knew the name written upon it, perhaps "Jehovah. " He consulted it in some divinely appointed way. In our Christian dispensation the high-priest's peculiar treasure, consultation of God's light and truth, belongs to all believers as spiritual priests. If the reference be to Greek ideas, the white conveys the idea of acquittal, the stone that of election. In Zechariah 12:3 "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone . . . all that burden themselves with it shall be cut to pieces," alluding to the custom of testing youths' strength by lifting a massive stone (Matthew 21:44). The Jews "fell" on Messiah "the rock of offense and were broken"; the rock shall fall on antichrist who "burdens himself with it" by his assault on the restored Jews, and "grind him to powder" (Zechariah 13; 14). Christians are "living stones" built up as a spiritual temple on Christ "the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8). ...
Hittites - Hittites (hĭt'tîtes), The tribe or nation descended from Heth, the son of Canaan. Genesis 10:15; 1 Chronicles 1:13. They were inhabitants of Canaan in the time of Abraham. Genesis 15:20. They then occupied the southern part of the land, as Hebron, Genesis 23:3-18, extending towards Beersheba; since Esau married Hittite wives, and Isaac and Rebekah feared that Jacob might follow his example. Genesis 26:34; Genesis 27:46; Genesis 28:9. Hittites evidently, therefore, were in the neighborhood: they were subsequently in the mountainous region near the Amorites and Jebusites, Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:3; and were perhaps some of the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 16:3; Ezekiel 16:45, as well as in the neighborhood of Bethel. Judges 1:22-26. Indeed, they had spread so extensively, that Canaan, or at least the northern part of it, was called the "land of the Hittites. " Joshua 1:4. Some suppose them to have been a commercial people. Genesis 23:16. In subsequent times we find two of David's warriors Hittites, Abimelech, 1 Samuel 26:6, and Uriah, 2 Samuel 11:3. Solomon rendered those that yet remained in Palestine tributary, 1 Kings 9:20; and they are mentioned after the captivity. Ezra 9:1. But there are some remarkable notices of Hittites, Judges 1:26; 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6; 2 Chronicles 1:17, which point to a people, a branch of the great family, or the descendants of those expelled from Palestine, who were settled independently beyond Lebanon, and it may be on the southeastern frontier towards Arabia. And Egyptian annals speak of a war with Hittites; and Egyptian pictures axe believed to represent Hittites. These representations may be taken not unfairly to figure the old Hittites of Canaan. We are learning much of the Hittites from recent explorations, but their inscriptions lately discovered have not been certainly deciphered nor their records indisputably determined. ...
Bether - We meet with this word only in the Songs of Solomon. In Song of Song of Solomon 2:17, the word is retained in its original, Berber; but in Song of Song of Solomon 8:14, it is translated "mountains of spices. " In the margin of the Bible it is rendered division; as if separating from Christ. Some of the copies read the word Bethel; but it certainly is a different word, and of a different meaning. It hath been rendered very sweet and gracious, I believe at times, to the follower of the Lord, when feeling the desires of the soul going out in longings for the Lord Jesus. So Old Testament saints sought the coming of Christ, as upon the mountains of Bether, when in the dark shade of Jewish ordinances they saw the type and shadow of good things to come, and longed for the substance. And so New Testament believers, who have once seen and tasted that the Lord is gracious, are longing for renewed visits of Jesus, when in seasons of distance, and darkness, and unbelief, they feel as on the mountains of Berber, waiting his coming. And how do the best of saints, in the present day, and they who enjoy most of the Redeemer's presence and grace, still long for the full manifestation of his person, and the coming of that great day, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe. " (2 Thessalonians 1:10) Say, reader, doth not your heart go forth, as the church of old did, (sure I am it must, if so be Christ is precious) crying out with the same rapture, "Make haste my beloved; and until that everlasting day, break upon my redeemed soul, be thou like to a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of Berber. " (Song of Song of Solomon 2:17; Son 8:14)...
Calf - Calf. The young of cattle, much used in sacrifice, often stall-fed, and regarded as choice food. Genesis 18:7; 1 Samuel 28:24; Amos 6:4; Luke 15:23; Luke 15:27; Luke 15:30. Some of the Egyptian deities, as Apis and Mnevis, were honored under the symbol of a calf. There were two notable occasions on which calf-like images were set up by the Israelites for worship. The first was when Aaron, at the demand of the people, made of their golden earrings a molten calf, hollow probably, or of gold plating upon wood. After the metal was cast it was fashioned, finished or ornamented, with a graving tool. Moses, when he saw it, burnt and reduced this image to powder, cast it into the water and made the Hebrews drink it. Exodus 32:1-35. Some centuries later Jeroboam set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel, which thus became and long continued to be centres of unhallowed worship. 1 Kings 12:28-30. Some suppose it was intended to honor Jehovah by these visible symbols, or at least to mix his worship with that of idols. For example, Aaron proclaimed "a feast to the Lord," Exodus 32:5; and Jeroboam, we may fairly believe, never hoped to keep his subjects from resorting to Jerusalem, by at once setting up a god in downright opposition to Jehovah. His object was to persuade them that their worship would be as acceptable by means of his symbols as by the ceremonials of the temple. The passing between the divided parts of a calf, Jeremiah 34:18-19, has reference to an ancient mode of ratifying a covenant. Comp. Genesis 15:10; Genesis 15:17. The "calves of our lips," Hosea 14:2, leads in the R. V. , "So will we render as bullocks, the offerings of our lips," that is, we will offer praise, as animals are offered in sacrifice. Hebrews 13:15. See Lamb. ...
Jeroboam - The first king of Israel, an Ephraimite, the son of Nebat. During the latter part of Solomon's reign, and while an officer under him, he plotted against him, and was obliged to flee into Egypt. On the death of Solomon, he was summoned by the ten tribes to return and present their demands to Rehoboam; and when these were refused, he was chosen king of the revolted tribes, B. C. 975. He reigned twentytwo years. The only notable act of his reign marked him with infamy, as the man "who made Israel to sin. " It was the idolatrous establishment of golden calves at Bethel and Dan that the people might worship there and not at Jerusalem. He also superseded the sons of Aaron by priests chosen from "the lowest of the people. " This unprincipled but effective measure, in which he was followed by all the kings of Israel, was a confession of weakness as well as of depravity. Neither miracles nor warnings, nor the premature death of Abijah his son could dissuade him. He was at war with Judah all his days, and with the brief reign of Nadab his son the doomed family became extinct, 1 Kings 12:1-14:20 2 Chronicles 10:1-19 13:1-22 . ... JEROBOAM SECOND, the thirteenth king of Israel, son and successor of Joash, B. C. 825 reigned forty-one years. He followed up his father's successes over the Syrians, took Hamath and Damascus, and all the region east f the Jordan down to the Dead Sea, and advanced to its highest point the prosperity of that kingdom. Yet his long reign added heavily to the guilt of Israel, by increased luxury, oppression, and vice. After him, the kingdom rapidly declined, and his own dynasty perished within a year, 2 Kings 14:23-29 15:8-12 . See also the contemporary prophets, particularly Amos and Hosea. ...
Famine - In the whole of Syria and Arabia, the fruits of the earth must ever be dependent on rain; the watersheds having few large springs, and the small rivers not being sufficient for the irrigation of even the level lands. If therefore the heavy rains of November and December fail, the sustenance of the people is cut off in the parching drought of harvest-time, when the country is almost devoid of moisture. Egypt, again, owes all its fertility to its mighty river, whose annual rise inundates nearly the whole land. The causes of dearth and famine in Egypt are defective inundation, preceded, accompanied and followed by prevalent easterly and southerly winds. Famine is likewise a natural result in the East when caterpillars, locusts or other insects destroy the products of the earth. The first famine recorded in the Bible is that of Abraham after he had pitched his tent on the east of Bethel, (Genesis 12:10 ) the second in the days of Isaac, (Genesis 26:1 ) seq. We hear no more of times of scarcity until the great famine of Egypt, which "was over all the face of the earth. " (Genesis 41:53-57 ) The modern history of Egypt throws some curious light on these ancient records of famines; and instances of their recurrence may be cited to assist us in understanding their course and extent. The most remarkable famine was that of the reign of the Fatimee Khaleefeh, El-Mustansir billah, which is the only instance on record of one of seven years duration in Egypt since the time of Joseph (A. H. 457-464, A. D. 1064-1071). Vehement drought and pestilence continued for seven consecutive years, so that the people ate corpses, and animals that died of themselves. The famine of Samaria resembled it in many particulars; and that very briefly recorded in (2 Kings 8:1,2 ) affords another instance of one of seven years. In Arabia famines are of frequent occurrence.
Dan - The tribe of Dan was descended from the elder of two sons whom Rachel’s maid Bilhah bore to Jacob (Genesis 30:1-6). In the original division of Canaan, Dan received its tribal portion on the Philistine coast between Judah and Ephraim (Joshua 19:40-48; Judges 5:17; Judges 13:1-2; Judges 14:1; Judges 16:23; for map see TRIBES). ... Besides being squeezed between Israel’s two most powerful tribes, the Danites were pushed back from the coast by the Philistines and the Amorites. The tribe therefore sent representatives north to look for a better place to live (Judges 1:34; Judges 18:1-2). The place they decided upon was Laish, located in the fertile region of the Jordan headwaters in the far north of Canaan. With the swiftness and ruthlessness that had characterized the tribe from the beginning, they slaughtered the people of Laish and seized the town for themselves, renaming it Dan (Judges 18:7-10; Judges 18:27-29; cf. Genesis 49:16-17; Deuteronomy 33:22). ... From that time on, the towns of Dan and Beersheba marked respectively the northern and southern limits of the land of Israel (Judges 20:1; 1 Samuel 3:20; 2 Samuel 17:11; 2 Samuel 24:2). When the nation was split in two after the death of Solomon, the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were separated from the northern tribes, who still called themselves Israel. The new limits of Israel were now Dan in the north and Bethel in the south. The breakaway king of Israel set up his own shrines in these two towns, in opposition to Judah’s shrine in Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:28-30). ... Dan’s isolated location meant that it was open to enemy attack from the north (1 Kings 15:20). It was one of the first parts of Israel to fall when Assyria conquered the land and took the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). ...
Beersheba - Beersheba means "well of the oath". The southern limit of the Holy Land, as Dan in the N. : "from Dan to Beersheba" (compare in David's census, 1 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Samuel 24:2-7) comprehends the whole. Called so from the oath of peace between Abraham and Abimelech, king of the Philistines (Genesis 21:31), else from the seven (sheba' ) ewe lambs slain there: indeed sheba' , an oath, is from the custom of binding one's self by seven things, as Abraham made the seven ewe lambs a pledge of his covenant with Abimelech. Again, from the like oath between Abimelech (with Phichol, his captain) and Isaac, it being not uncommon for an event to be recorded as occurring apparently for the first time, which has been recorded as occurring earlier before: so Bethel (Genesis 26:31-33). ... The well dug by Abraham and secured to him by oath had been covered and lost. It is found by Isaac's servants just after the covenant made between him and Abimelech. The series of events recalls to Isaac's mind the original name and that which gave rise to the name; so he restores both the well itself and the name. Seven (sheba' which also may explain the name) wells are at the place, so that a different one may have been named by Isaac from that named by Abraham. They all pour their streams into the wady es Seba, and are called Bir es seba, the largest 12 ft. diameter, and masonry round reaching 28 ft. down, and 44 from bottom to surface of the water. The second, at a hundred yards distance, 5 in diameter, 42 in depth. The other five further off. The stones around the mouth are worn into grooves by the action of ropes for so many ages. Around the large are nine stone troughs; around the smaller, five. ... The water is excellent, and grass with crocuses and lilies abounds. Abraham planted here a" grove" ('eshel ) (distinct from the idol grove, Asheerah, or Astarte Baal), or tree, the tamarisk, long living, of hard wood, with long, clustering, evergreen leaves, as a type of the ever enduring grace of the faithful, covenant keeping God (Genesis 21:33), "and called on the name (the self manifested character and person) of Jehovah, the everlasting God. " (See BAAL. ) Here it was that Isaac lived when Jacob stole from his father the blessing already forfeited by Esau's profane sale of his birthright (Genesis 26:33; Genesis 26:27; Genesis 28:10). Long afterward, on Jacob's descent to Egypt, he halted there, sacrificed unto the God of Isaac, and had a vision of God encouraging him to go down. The dispensation of the promise, which began with Abraham's call from Ur to Canaan, ended on the last night of the sojourn of his grandson Israel in Canaan. ... So God's promise was repeated for the last time (Genesis 46:1-5). Possibly the 430 years (Galatians 3:17) dates from this, the end, not from the beginning, of the dispensation of the promise. Beersheba was given to Simeon, in the extreme S. of Judah (Joshua 15:28; Joshua 19:1-2; 1 Chronicles 4:28). Samuel's sons, Joel and Abiah, were judges there (1 Samuel 8:2), its distance preventing his going in circuit to it, as he did to others yearly (1 Samuel 7:16-17). Here Elijah left his confidential servant (narow ) on his way to Horeb (1 Kings 19:3-4). ... "From Geba to Beersheba" or "from Beersheba to mount Ephraim" was the formula comprehending the southern kingdom of Judah after the severance of Israel's ten tribes (2 Kings 23:8; 2 Chronicles 19:4), and on the return from Babylon still narrower, "from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom" (Nehemiah 11:30). Ahaziah's wife, Zibiah, mother of Joash, was of Beersheba (2 Kings 12:1. ) It became seat of an idolatry akin to that of Bethel or Gilgal, so that it was a formula of superstition, "the manner (cultus, or religion, as in Acts 9:2 the new religion of Christ is designated "this way") of Beersheba liveth" (Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14). In Christian times, it became an episcopal city under the Bishop of Jerusalem. ...
the Angel of the Lord - or the Angel Jehovah, a title given to Christ in his different appearances to the patriarchs and others in the Old Testament. ... When the Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness, "she called the name of JEHOVAH that spake to her, Thou God seest me. "—JEHOVAH appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and three men, three persons in human form, "stood by him. " One of the three is called Jehovah. And J... EHOVAH said, "Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do?" Appearances of the same personage occur to Isaac and to Jacob under the name of "the God of Abraham, and of Isaac. " After one of these manifestations, Jacob says, "I have seen God face to face;"... and at another, "Surely the Lord (JEHOVAH) is in this place. " The same Jehovah was made visible to Moses, and gave him his commission; and God said, "I AM THAT I AM; thou shalt say to the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. " The same JEHOVAH went before the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire; and by Him the law was given amidst terrible displays of power and majesty from mount Sinai. "I am the Lord (JEHOVAH) thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: Thou shalt have no other gods before me," &c. The collation of a few passages, or of the different parts of the same passages, of Scripture, will show that Jehovah, and "the Angel of the Lord," when used in this eminent sense, are the same person. Jacob says of Bethel, where he had exclaimed, "Surely Jehovah is in this place;" "The Angel of God appeared to me in a dream, saying, I am the God of Bethel. " Upon his death bed he gives the names of God and Angel to this same person: "The God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. " So in Hosea 12:2 ; Hosea 12:5 , it is said, "By his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed. " "We found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord God of Hosts; the Lord is his memorial. " Here the same person has the names, God, Angel, and Lord God of Hosts. "The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, (JEHOVAH,) that since thou hast done this thing, in blessing will I bless thee. " The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire; but this same Angel "called to him out of the bush, and said, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. " To omit many other passages, St. Stephen, in alluding to this part of the history of Moses, in his speech before the council, says, "There appeared to Moses in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an Angel of the Lord in a flame of fire," showing that that phraseology was in use among the Jews in his day, and that this Angel and Jehovah were regarded as the same being; for he adds, "Moses was in the church in the wilderness with the Angel which spoke unto him in Mount Sinai. " There is one part of the history of the Jews in the wilderness, which so fully shows that they distinguished this Angel of Jehovah from all created angels, as to deserve particular attention. In Exodus 23:20 , God makes this promise to Moses and the Israelites: "Behold, I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him. " Of this Angel let it be observed, that he is here represented as the guide and protector of the Israelites; to him they were to owe their conquests and their settlement in the promised land, which are in other places often attributed to the immediate agency of God; that they are cautioned to "beware of him," to reverence and stand in dread of him; that the pardoning of transgressions belongs to him; finally, "that the name of God was in him. " This name must be understood of God's own peculiar name, JEHOVAH, I AM, which he assumed as his distinctive appellation at his first appearing to Moses; and as the names of God are indicative of his nature, he who had a right to bear the peculiar name of God, must also have his essence. This view is put beyond all doubt by the fact, that Moses and the Jews so understood the matter; for afterward when their sins had provoked God to threaten not to go up with them himself, but to commit them to "an angel who should drive out the Canaanite," &c, the people mourned over this as a great calamity, and Moses betook himself to special intercession, and rested not until he obtained the repeal of the threat, and the renewed promise, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. " Nothing, therefore, can be more clear than that Moses and the Israelites considered the promise of the Angel, in whom was "the name of God," as a promise that God himself would go with them. With this uncreated Angel, this presence of the Lord, they were satisfied, but not with "an angel" indefinitely, who was by nature of that order of beings usually so called, and therefore a created being; for at the news of God's determination not to go up with them, Moses hastens to the tabernacle to make his intercessions, and refuses an inferior conductor:—"If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. "... The Jews held this Word, or Angel of the Lord, to be the future Messiah, as appears from the writings of their older rabbins. So that he appears as the Jehovah of all the three dispensations, and yet is invariably described as a separate person from the unseen Jehovah who sends him. He was then the Word to be made flesh, and to dwell for a time among us, to open the way to God by his sacrifice, and to rescue the race, whose nature he should assume, from sin and death. This he has now actually effected; and the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian religions are thus founded upon the same great principles,—the fall and misery of mankind, and their deliverance by a Divine Redeemer. ...
Rachel - When Jacob went to Paddan-aram to find a wife, he met and fell in love with Rachel, the younger daughter of his uncle, Laban. Jacob worked seven years for Laban as payment for Rachel, but when the wedding day came, Laban deceived Jacob by giving him the older daughter, Leah, instead. After the wedding festivities he gave Rachel also to Jacob, but made Jacob work for him an extra seven years as payment for her. Laban also gave each of the two daughters a slave-girl as a wedding gift (Genesis 29:1-30). ... While Leah produced several sons for Jacob, Rachel remained childless. She then gave her maid to Jacob, so that the maid might bear sons whom Rachel could adopt as her own. Leah did likewise with her maid, after which she produced more sons of her own. Jacob already had ten sons and a daughter by the time Rachel gave birth to her first son, Joseph (Genesis 29:31-35; Genesis 30:1-24). ... Although Laban had enriched himself through his daughters’ bride price (Jacob’s years of hard work), he now planned to exclude them from the inheritance, in favour of his sons. This made Rachel so angry that when Jacob and his family left Paddan-aram for Canaan, she took her father’s idols with her. According to local custom, these gave her some claim to his inheritance (Genesis 31:1-21). Laban never regained his idols, but Jacob made sure that Rachel did not keep them once the family entered Canaan (Genesis 31:34-35; Genesis 35:1-4). ... Rachel died when giving birth to Benjamin, the only son of Jacob born in Canaan. She was buried near Ramah, on the road from Bethel to Bethlehem (Genesis 35:16-20; 1 Samuel 10:2; Jeremiah 31:15). Centuries later, Jeremiah imagined the dead Rachel mourning from her tomb as her descendants were led past on their way to captivity in a foreign land (Jeremiah 31:15). She might likewise have mourned over the slaughter of the Jewish babies by Herod (Matthew 2:16-18). ...
Pilgrimage - A journey, especially a religious trek to a site at which God has revealed Himself in the past. KJV used pilgrimage in the nontechnical sense of journeys (Exodus 6:4 ). KJV, NAS, RSV used pilgrimage in a figurative sense for life journey (Genesis 47:9 KJV, only; Psalm 119:54 ). The only explicit mention of religious pilgrimage occurs in the NIV of Psalm 84:5 (Compare REB). ... In Israel's early history, numerous local shrines were the goals of religious pilgrimage: Bethel (Genesis 28:10-22 ; Genesis 31:13 ; Genesis 35:9-15 ; Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:5 ); Gilgal (Joshua 4:19-24 ; Hosea 4:15 ; Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:5 ); Shiloh (Judges 20:26-27 ; 1Samuel 1:3,1 Samuel 1:19 ); Beersheba (Amos 5:5 ; Amos 8:14 ); Gibeon (1 Kings 3:3-5 ); even Horeb (1 Kings 19:8 ). Jerusalem was not the goal of religious pilgrims until David relocated the ark there (2 Samuel 6:12-19 ). Hezekiah's and Josiah's reforms attempted to destroy the pagan sites of pilgrimage and idol worship (2 Kings 18:4 ; 2 Kings 23:8 ) and make Jerusalem the exclusive focus of pilgrimage. Mosaic law required adult male Israelites to appear before the Lord (where the ark of the covenant rested) three times a year (Exodus 23:14-17 ; Exodus 34:18-23 ; Deuteronomy 16:16 ). Crowds of pilgrims (Psalm 42:4 ; Psalm 55:14 ; Luke 2:44 ) sang on the way to Jerusalem (Isaiah 30:29 ). The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 24:1 ; Psalm 84:1 ; Psalm 118:1 ; Psalm 120-134 ) were likely sung as pilgrims climbed the ascent to the Temple mount in Jerusalem. The prophets condemned the celebration of religious pilgrimages and feasts when not accompanied by genuine devotion to the Lord expressed in righteous lives (Isaiah 1:12-13 ; Amos 4:4-5 ; Amos 5:5-6 ,Amos 5:5-6,5:21-24 ). ... The New Testament witnessed the continuing popularity of pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:8-11 ; Luke 2:41 ; John 2:13 ; John 5:1 ; John 7:2 ,John 7:2,7:10 ; John 12:12 ,John 12:12,12:20 ; Acts 2:5-10 ; Acts 20:16 ). ... Chris Church... ...
Ephratah - (ehf' ruh tah) Place and personal name meaning, “fruitful. ” Modern translations spell Ephrathah. 1. Town near which Jacob buried his wife Rachel (Genesis 35:16-19 ; usually translated in English as Ephrath). Genesis 36:16 seems to indicate that Ephrath(ah) must have been near Bethel. This is supported by 1 Samuel 10:2 ; Jeremiah 31:15 which place Rachel's tomb near Ramah on the border between the tribal territories of Ephraim and Benjamin. Genesis 35:19 , however, identifies Ephrath(ah) with Bethlehem. Compare Genesis 48:7 . It is part of Judah's tribal territory according to the earliest Greek translation of the Old Testament, words omitted in current Hebrew manuscripts (Joshua 15:59 REB). Micah 5:2 also appears to equate Bethlehem and Ephrath(ah) as the home of the coming Messiah. This, in turn, was based on Bethlehem ( 1 Samuel 16:1 ) and Ephrath(ah) (1 Samuel 17:12 ) as the home of David's father Jesse and thus of David. In sending Messiah, God chose to start over at David's birthplace. Naomi's husband Elimelech was an Ephrathite from Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2 ). In Ruth 4:11 Bethlehem and Ephrathah are apparently identified in poetic parallelism. It may be that Ephrathah was a clan name of a family in Bethlehem whose importance made the clan name a synonym for the city. The parallelism in Psalm 132:6 seems to equate Ephrathah with “the field of Jaar” (NAS and most modern translations). This would be Kiriath-jearim, though two different resting points of the ark—Bethlehem and Kiriath-jearim—may be intended here. The identification with Kiriath-jearim could be supported by the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2:1 which lists both personal and place names. Shobal, the founder of Kiriath-jearim, was the son of Ephrathah, Caleb's wife (1Chronicles 2:19, 1 Chronicles 2:50 ). In 1 Chronicles 4:4 Ephrathah's son Hur was the father of Bethlehem. Ephrathah may have been a clan name associated with several different geographical localities, the most famous of which was Bethlehem. The textual and geographical connections are not always easy to figure out. 2. Caeb's wife ( 1 Chronicles 2:50 ; spelled Ephrath in 1 Chronicles 2:19 ; compare 1 Chronicles 4:4 ). ... ...
Jacob - Jacob (jâ'kob), supplanter. The second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born with Esau probably at the well of Lahairoi, about b. c. 1837. His history is related in the latter half of the Book of Genesis. He bought the birthright from his brother Esau, and afterward acquired the blessing intended for Esau by practicing a well-known deceit on Isaac. Genesis 25:21-34; Genesis 27:1-40. Jacob, in mature years, was sent from the family home to avoid his brother, and to seek a wife among his kindred in Padanaram. As he passed through Bethel, God appeared to him. After the lapse of 21 years he returned from Padan-aram with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons and a daughter, and large property. He escaped from the angry pursuit of Laban, from a meeting with Esau, and from the vengeance of the Canaanites provoked by the murder of Shechem; and in each of these three emergencies he was aided and strengthened by the interposition of God, and in sign of the grace won by a night of wrestling with God his name was changed at Jabbok into Israel. Deborah and Rachel died before he reached Hebron; Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was sold into Egypt eleven years before the death of Isaac; and Jacob had probably reached his 130th year when he went thither. He was presented to Pharaoh and dwelt for 17 years in Rameses and Goshen, and died in his 147th year. His body was embalmed, carried with great care and pomp into the land of Canaan, and deposited with his fathers, and his wife Leah, in the cave of Machpelah. Gen. chs. 27 to 50. The example of Jacob is quoted by the first and the last of the minor prophets. Besides the frequent mention of his name in conjunction with the names of the other two patriarchs, there are distinct references to the events in the life of Jacob in four books of the New Testament—John 1:51; John 4:5; John 4:12; Acts 7:12-15; Romans 9:11-13; Hebrews 11:21; Hebrews 12:16. ...
Allotment - describes the Old Testament concept of land allocation either by God or by lot. ... The allotment of the land of Canaan to the tribes of Israel is recorded in Numbers 32:1 and Joshua 13-19 . God directed the process through the lot of the priest (Joshua 14:1-2 ). See Numbers 32:33 ). Reuben occupied a southern tract on the northeast shore of the Dead Sea, bordered by Moab, Ammon, and the Arnon Valley. Gad settled immediately north of Reuben and was bordered on the east by Ammon. Manasseh claimed a vast territory even farther north, stretching from Mahanaim to Mt. Hermon, and eastward into the hill country of Gilead. ... The remaining tribes settled west of the Jordan. Judah claimed all land west of the Dead Sea from Kadesh-barnea and the wilderness of Zin to the Sorek valley, including the cities of Beth-shemesh, Ekron, and Timnah. Simeon received land within the southernmost portion of Judah's territory, including Beer-sheba and Ziklag. Benjamin and Dan settled in a narrow strip of land north of Judah. Benjamin included the cities of Bethel, Jericho, and Jebus, and extended to the Jordan, while Dan reached to the Mediterranean. Ephraim lay just north of Dan and Benjamin, bordered on the east by the Jordan and on the north by the brook Kanah. The second half of Manasseh lay north of Dan and Ephraim, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. Manasseh's southern boundary included Michmethath and the brook Kanah. Cities within Zebulun and Issachar also were claimed by Manasseh. Issachar and Zebulun dwelt in small inland tracts north of Manasseh. Issachar reached eastward to the Jordan, while Zebulun had neither the Mediterranean nor the Jordan for a boundary. Asher inhabited the northernmost corner of Canaan, claiming much seacoast and reaching as far as Sidon the Great. Naphtali lay between Asher, Zebulun, Isaschar, and Manasseh, and claimed Hazor and Beth-shemesh. Dan also occupied a small portion of land to the far north, between Manasseh and Naphtali. This territory was taken after the first allotment was lost. ... Ezekiel 48:1 also contains a version of the allotment of the land for the Jews after the Exile, revised so that each tribe received an equal share. ... Ronald E. Bishop... ...
Jeroboam - JEROBOAM is the name of two kings of Israel. ... 1. Jeroboam I . was the first king of the northern tribes after the division. His first appearance in history is as head of the forced labourers levied by Solomon. This was perhaps because he was hereditary chief in Ephraim, but we must also suppose that he attracted the attention of Solomon by his ability and energy. At the same time he resented the tyranny of the prince whom he served, and plotted to overthrow it. The design came to the knowledge of Solomon, and Jeroboam fled to Egypt. On the king’s death he returned, and although he did not appear on the scene when the northern tribes made their demand of Rehoboam, he was probably actively enlisted in the movement. When the refusal of Rehoboam threw the tribes into revolt, Jeroboam appeared as leader, and was made king ( 1 Kings 11:26 ff. , 1 Kings 12:1 to 1 Kings 14:20 ). Jeroboam was a warlike prince, and hostilities with Judah continued throughout his reign. His country was plundered by the Egyptians at the time of their invasion of Judah. It is not clearly made out whether his fortification of Shechem and Penuei was suggested by the experiences of this campaign or not. His religious measures have received the reprobation of the Biblical writers, but they were intended by Jeroboam to please the God of Israel. He embellished the ancestral sanctuaries of Bethel and Dan with golden bulls, in continuance of early Israelite custom. It is fair to assume also that he had precedent for celebrating the autumn festival in the eighth instead of the seventh month. ... 2. Jeroboam II . was the grandson of Jehu. In his time Israel was able to assert its ancient vigour against its hereditary enemy Syria, and recover its lost territory. This was due to the attacks of the Assyrians upon the northern border of Damascus ( 2 Kings 14:23-29 ). The temporary prosperity of Israel was accompanied by social and moral degeneracy, as is set forth distinctly by Amos and Hosea. ... H. P. Smith. ...
Thought - THOUGHT, pret. and pp. of think pronounced thaut. ... THOUGHT, a. thaut. primarily the passive participle of think, supra. ... 1. Properly, that which the mind thinks. Thought is either the act or operation of the mind, when attending to a particular subject or thing or it is the idea consequent on that operation. We say, a man's thoughts are employed on government, on religion, on trade or arts, or his thoughts are employed on his dress or his means of living. By this we mean that the mind is directed to that particular subject or object that is, according to the literal import of the verb think, the mind, the intellectual part of man, is set upon such an object, it holds it in view or contemplation, or it extends to it, it stretches to it. ... Thought cannot be superadded to matter, so as in any sense to render it true that matter can become cogitative. ... 2. Idea conception. I wish to convey my thoughts to another person. I employ words that express my thoughts, so that he may have the same ideas in this case, our thoughts will be alike. 3. Fancy conceit something framed by the imagination. Thoughts come crowding in so fast upon me, that my only difficulty is to choose or reject. ... 4. Reflection particular consideration. Why do you keep alone? ... Using those thoughts which should have died ... With them they think on. ... 5. Opinion judgment. Thus Bethel spoke, who always speaks his thoughts. ... 6. Meditation serious consideration. Pride, of all others the most dangerous fault, ... Proceeds from want of sense or want of thought. ... 7. Design purpose. All their thoughts are against me for evil. Psalms 56; 33 . ... Jeremiah 29 ... 8. Silent contemplation. 9. Solicitude care concern. Hawis was put in trouble, and died with thought and anguish before his business came to an end. ... 10. Inward reasoning the workings of conscience. Their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another. Romans 2 ... 11. A small degree or quantity as a thought longer a thought better. Not in use. To take thought, to be solicitous or anxious. Matthew 6 ...
Jacob - (jay' cuhb) Personal name built on the Hebrew noun for “heel” meaning, “he grasps the heel” or “he cheats, supplants” (Genesis 25:26 ; Genesis 27:36 ). Original ancestor of the nation of Israel and father of the twelve ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 25:1 —Exodus 25:1—1:5 ). He was the son of Isaac and Rebekah, younger twin brother of Esau, and husband of Leah and Rachel (Genesis 25:21-26 ; Genesis 29:21-30 ). God changed his name to Israel (Genesis 32:28 ; Genesis 49:2 ). Texts from Ugarit and Assyria have persons named Jacob, but these are not Israelites. Their name is often connected with one of their gods, becoming Jacob-el or Jacob-baal. In such a form, it probably means “may El protect. ” The Old Testament knows only one Jacob. No one else received the patriarch's name. ... Between the Testaments other Jews received the name Jacob; the one New Testament example is the father of Joseph and thus the earthly grandfather of Jesus (Matthew 1:16 ). Jacob stands as a strong witness that the God who made all the people of the earth also worked in Israel's history, calling the patriarchs to a destiny He would fulfill even when they least deserved it. ... Jacob in Genesis Jacob's story occupies half the Book of Genesis. Living up to his name, Jacob bargained for Esau's birthright. See Birthright . Parental partiality fostered continuing hostility between Esau, the hunter beloved of his father, and Jacob, the quiet, settled, integrated person... favored by his mother. The tensions between brothers seemed to threaten the fulfillment of the divine promise. ... Esau's thoughtlessness lost him his birthright and allowed Jacob to have material superiority. Nevertheless, Isaac intended to bestow the blessing of the firstborn upon Esau. The oracle Rebekah received (Genesis 25:23 ) probably encouraged her to counter Isaac's will and to gain the blessing for her favorite son by fraud. The blessing apparently conveyed the status of head of family apart from the status of heir. To his crass lies and deception, Jacob even approached blasphemy, using God's name to bolster his cause, “Because the Lord your God granted me success” (Genesis 27:20 NRSV). The father's blindness deepened the pathos. The blind father pronounced the blessing he could never recall. Jacob became the bearer of God's promises and the inheritor of Canaan. Esau, too, received a blessing, but a lesser one. He must serve Jacob and live in the less fertile land of Edom, but his day would come ( Genesis 27:40 ). The split between brothers became permanent. Rebekah had to arrange for Jacob to flee to her home in Paddan-aram to escape Esau's wrath (Genesis 27:46-28:1 ). ... At age 40, Jacob fled his home to begin his life as an individual. Suddenly, a lonely night in Bethel, interrupted by a vision from God, brought reality home. Life had to include wrestling with God and assuming responsibility as the heir of God's promises to Abraham (Genesis 28:10-22 ). Jacob made an oath, binding himself to God. Here is the center of Jacob's story; all else must be read in light of the Bethel experience. ... In Aram with his mother's family, the deceiver Jacob met deception. Laban tricked him into marrying poor Leah, the elder daughter, before he got his beloved Rachel, the younger. Fourteen years he labored for his wives (Genesis 29:1-30 ). Six more years of labor let Jacob return the deception and gain wealth at the expense of his father-in-law, who continued his deception, changing Jacob's wages ten times (Genesis 31:7 ,Genesis 31:7,31:41 ) Amid the family infighting, both men prospered financially, and Jacob's family grew. Eventually he had twelve children from four women (Genesis 29:31-30:24 ). ... Intense bargaining ensued when Jacob told Laban he wanted to follow God's call and return to the land of his birth. Supported by his wives, who claimed their father had cheated them of their dowry (Genesis 31:15 ), Jacob departed while Laban and his sons were away in the hills shearing sheep. Starting two days later, Laban and his sons could not overtake Jacob until they reached Gilead, 400 miles from Haran. ... Laban complained that he had not had an opportunity to bid farewell to his daughters with the accustomed feast. More importantly, he wanted to recover his stolen gods (Genesis 31:30 ,Genesis 31:30,31:32 ). These gods were small metal or terra-cotta figures of deities. See Terraphim. Without the images, his family lost the magical protection which he thought the gods provided from demons and disasters. Since no fault could be found in Jacob's conduct in Haran, all Laban could do was to suggest a covenant of friendship. Laban proposed the terms as (1) never ill-treating his daughters, (2) never marrying any other women, and (3) establishing the site of the covenant as a boundary neither would cross with evil intent. Jacob was now head of his own household. He was ready to climb to a higher plane of spiritual experience. ... As Jacob approached the Promised Land, a band of angels met him at Mahanaim (Genesis 32:1-2 ). They probably symbolized God's protection and encouragement as he headed southward to meet Esau for the first time in twenty years. Esau's seemingly hostile advance prompted a call for clear evidence of God's guarding. Shrewdly, Jacob sent an enormous gift to his brother and divided his retinue into two groups. Each group was large enough to defend itself or to escape if the other was attacked. To his scheme Jacob added prayer. He realized that it was ultimately God with whom he must deal. When all had crossed the Jabbok River, Jacob met One who wrestled with him until daybreak (Genesis 32:1 ). ... The two struggled without one gaining advantage, until the Opponent dislocated Jacob's hip. Jacob refused to release his Antagonist. Clinging to Him, he demanded a blessing. This would not be given until Jacob said his name. By telling it, Jacob acknowledged his defeat and admitted his character. The Opponent emphasized His superiority by renaming the patriarch. He became Israel, the one on whose behalf God strives. He named the place Peniel (face of God), because he had seen God face to face and his life had been spared (Genesis 32:30 ). ... Jacob's fear of meeting Esau proved groundless. Seemingly, Esau was content to forget the wrongs of the past and to share his life. As two contrary natures are unlikely to live long in harmony, Jacob chose the better course turning westward to the Promised Land. Esau headed to Seir to become the father of the Edomites. The twins did not meet again until their father's death (Genesis 35:27-29 ). ... From Succoth, Jacob traveled to Shechem, where he built an altar to God. The son of the city ruler raped Jacob's daughter, Dinah. Jacob's sons demanded that the Shechemites be circumcised before any intermarriages were permitted. The leading citizens followed the king in the request. They hoped to absorb the Hebrews' wealth and property into their own. While the men of Shechem were recovering from surgery and unable to defend themselves, Simeon and Levi killed them to avenge their sister. Jacob condemned their actions, but had to leave Shechem. ... From Shechem, he returned to Bethel. Once again he received the patriarchal promises. Losses and grief characterized this period. The death of his mother's nurse (Genesis 35:8 ; Genesis 24:59 ) was followed by the death of his beloved wife Rachel while giving birth to Benjamin at Ephrath (Genesis 35:19 ; Genesis 48:7 ). About the same time Reuben forfeited the honor of being the eldest son by sexual misconduct (Genesis 35:22 ). Finally, the death of Jacob's father, who had been robbed of companionship with both sons, brought Jacob and Esau together again at the family burial site in Hebron. ... Although Genesis 37-50 revolve around Joseph, Jacob is still the central figure. The self-willed older sons come and go at his bidding. ... Descent to Egypt When severe famine gripped Canaan, Jacob and his sons set out for Egypt. At Beer-sheba Jacob received further assurance of God's favor (Genesis 46:1-4 ). Jacob dwelt in the land of Goshen until his death. Jacob bestowed the blessing not only upon his favorite son Joseph, but also upon Joseph's two oldest sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. He was finally laid to rest at Hebron in the cave Abraham had purchased (Genesis 50:12-14 ). ... Four New Testament passages recall events in his life. The woman at the well in Sychar declared to Jesus that Jacob provided the well (John 4:12 ). Stephen mentioned the famine and Jacob's journey to Egypt in the course of his defense before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:8-16 ). Paul presented... Jacob as an example of the sovereign choice of God and of the predestination of the elect (Romans 9:10-13 ). The writer of Hebrews held up Jacob as one of the examples of active faith (Hebrews 11:9 ,Hebrews 11:9,11:20-22 ). ... Jacob's Character Throughout the narrative a persistent faith in the God of the fathers shines through. Jacob's life was a story of conflict. He always seemed to be running from someone or something—from Esau, from Laban, or from famine in Canaan. His life, like that of all Israelites, was a checkered history of rebellion and flight. ... Jacob is no ideal. Jacob's better nature struggled with his sinful self. What raised Jacob above himself was his reverent, indestructible longing for the salvation of his God. ... Jacob's Religion As the religion of Israel and thus the roots of Christianity claim to derive from the patriarchs, it is necessary to attempt to understand Jacob's spiritual life. See God of the Fathers . ... Jacob's religion was consistent with the beliefs and practices of his fathers. He received instruction from Isaac concerning the history of Abraham, covenant, and the great promises. Jacob encountered God at Bethel at the moment of greatest need in his life. He was fleeing from home to distant unknown relatives. A secondhand religion would not do. Jacob's dream was... his firsthand encounter with God. The threefold promise of land, descendants, and a blessing to all nations were personalized for him. Jacob saw in the vision the majesty and glory of God. At Bethel Jacob worshiped God and vowed to take Yahweh as his God. ... At Peniel, Jacob wrestled face-to-face with God. He saw how weak he was before God. It taught him the value of continued prayer from one who is helpless. Jacob emerged from Peniel willing to let his life fall into God's control. He was wounded but victorious. God gave him a crippled body but a strengthened faith. It was a new Jacob—Israel—who hobbled off to meet Esau. He had learned obedience through suffering. ... Theological Significance God did not chose Jacob because of what he was but because of what he could become. His life is a long history of discipline, chastisement, and purification by affliction. Not one of his misdeeds went unpunished. He sowed deception and reaped the same, first from Laban and then from his own sons. ... Jacob's story is a story of conflict. The note of conflict is even heard before his birth (Genesis 25:22-23 ). However, in the midst of the all-too-human quarrels over family and fortune, God was at work protecting and prospering His blessed. ... With the other patriarchs God acted directly, but with Jacob God seemed to be withdrawn at times. Yet, God was no less at work. He worked through unsavory situations and unworthy persons. Even in Jacob's web of conflict and tragedy, God's hand guided, though half-hidden. ... Gary D. Baldwin... ...
Benjamin - Son of my right hand.
The younger son of Jacob by Rachel (Genesis 35:18 ). His birth took place at Ephrath, on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, at a short distance from the latter place. His mother died in giving him birth, and with her last breath named him Ben-oni, son of my pain, a name which was changed by his father into Benjamin. His posterity are called Benjamites (Genesis 49:27 ; Deuteronomy 33:12 ; Joshua 18:21 ). The tribe of Benjamin at the Exodus was the smallest but one (Numbers 1:36,37 ; Psalm 68:27 ). During the march its place was along with Manasseh and Ephraim on the west of the tabernacle. At the entrance into Canaan it counted 45,600 warriors. It has been inferred by some from the words of Jacob (Genesis 49:27 ) that the figure of a wolf was on the tribal standard. This tribe is mentioned in Romans 11:1 ; Philippians 3:5 . ... The inheritance of this tribe lay immediately to the south of that of Ephraim, and was about 26 miles in length and 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the Jordan. Dan intervened between it and the Philistines. Its chief towns are named in Joshua 18:21-28 . ... The history of the tribe contains a sad record of a desolating civil war in which they were engaged with the other eleven tribes. By it they were almost exterminated (Judges 20:20,21 ; 21:10 ). (See GIBEAH . ) ... The first king of the Jews was Saul, a Benjamite. A close alliance was formed between this tribe and that of Judah in the time of David ( 2 Samuel 19:16,17 ), which continued after his death (1 Kings 11:13 ; 12:20 ). After the Exile these two tribes formed the great body of the Jewish nation (Ezra 1:5 ; 10:9 ). ... The tribe of Benjamin was famous for its archers (1 Samuel 20:20,36 ; 2 Samuel 1:22 ; 1 Chronicles 8:40 ; 12:2 ) and slingers (Judge. 20:6). ... The gate of Benjamin, on the north side of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37:13 ; 38:7 ; Zechariah 14:10 ), was so called because it led in the direction of the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. It is called by (Jeremiah 20:2 ) "the high gate of Benjamin;" also "the gate of the children of the people" (17:19). (Compare 2 Kings 14:13 . ) ... ...
Forest - Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Ecclesiastes 2:6 ; Isaiah 44:14 ; Jeremiah 5:6 ; Micah 5:8 ). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Samuel 18:6,8 ; Joshua 17:15,18 ), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Psalm 132:6 ), some part of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1 Samuel 22:5 ). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23,24 ), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:25 ), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33 ; 2 Kings 19:23 ; Hosea 14:5,6 ). "The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2 ; 10:17 ; 2 Chronicles 9:16 ) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC . ) ... Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle, bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2 Chronicles 27:4 . It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Samuel 23:15 ), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isaiah 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough. " ... Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is ( Nehemiah 2:8 ) called the "keeper of the king's forest. " The same Hebrew word is used Ecclesiastes 2:5 , where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (RSV, "parks"), and Song of Solomon 4 :: 13 , rendered "orchard" (RSV marg. , "a paradise"). ... "The forest of the vintage" (Zechariah 11:2 , "inaccessible forest," or RSV "strong forest") is probably a figurative allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the devastation of the region referred to. ... The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a cultivated field (Isaiah 29:17 ; 32:15 ; Jeremiah 26:18 ; Hosea 2:12 ). (Isaiah 10:19,33,34 ) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q. v. ) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke. ...
Bull - The term is a translation of several Hebrew words: “abbir ,” “par ,” and “shor . ” The difference between “abbir” and “par” is not obvious but may be of some consequence. “Abbir” is used as an adjective most frequently to mean might or valiant one, either man, angels, or animals. “Par” seems to be used in reference to the male of the bovine species. ... The bull was the symbol of great productivity in the ancient world and was a sign of great strength. Moses portrayed the future strength of Joseph with the term “shor ” (Deuteronomy 33:17 ). The king of Assyria boasted of his great strength with the term “abbir ” (Isaiah 10:13 ). The most frequent use of the bull in the Old Testament was as a sacrificial animal. Leviticus specifies that no castrated animal could be so used and that the animal must be at least eight days old (Leviticus 22:17-28 ). The bull is specified as the sacrificial animal for a peace offering (Exodus 24:5 ), a burnt offering (Judges 6:26 ), and as a sin offering (Ezekiel 43:19 ). On the other hand, the sacrificial animal is not so restricted in other passages (Leviticus 22:23 ; Numbers 23:14 ). The bull was used most frequently in connection with the inauguration of the sacrificial system or with sacrifices on special days. It was used in connection with the consecration of the priests (Exodus 29:1-37 ); at the dedication of the altar of the tabernacle (Numbers 7:1 ); for the purification of the Levites (Numbers 8:5-22 ); at the beginning of the month (New Moon [ Numbers 28:11-15 ]); the Feast of Weeks (Numbers 28:26-31 ). The Feast of Booths had the distinction of requiring the largest numbers of bulls (seventy-one [ Numbers 29:12-40 ]). ... The bull may have been introduced into the cultic system of Israel from the practice of her neighbors. It was a widespread practice in the region in which Israel resided. In the Canaanite religion, the chief of the assembly was called “father bull El. ” The bull was closely associated with Baal and may have influenced Jeroboam to set up the golden bulls at Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:28 ). The bronze sea in the courtyard of the temple in Jerusalem was resting on the back of twelve bronze bulls. ... Bryce Sandlin... ...
Gibeah - GIBEAH (Heb. gib’âh , ‘a hill’). The name, similar in form and meaning to Geba , attached to a place not far from that city. The two have sometimes been confused. It is necessary to note carefully where the word means ‘hill’ and where it is the name of a city. At least two places were so called. 1. A city in the mountains of Judah ( Joshua 15:57 , perhaps also 2 Chronicles 13:2 ), near Carmel and Ziph, to the S. E. of Hebron, and therefore not to be identified with the modern Jeba‘ , 9 miles W. of Bethlehem ( Onomast . ); site unknown. 2. Gibeah of Benjamin ( Judges 19:12 etc. ), the scene of the awful outrage upon the Levite’s concubine, and of the conflict in which the assembled tribes executed such terrible vengeance upon Benjamin. It was the home of Israel’s first king ( 1 Samuel 10:26 ), and was known as ‘Gibeah of Saul’ ( 1 Samuel 11:4 , Isaiah 10:29 ); probably identical with ‘Gibeah of God’ ( 1 Samuel 10:5 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin. ] ). From the narrative regarding the Levite we learn that Gibeah lay near the N. road from Bethlehem, between Jerusalem and Ramah. It was near the point where the road from Geba joined the highway towards Bethel ( Judges 20:31 ). Judges 20:33 affords no guidance: Maareh-geba (RV [Note: Revised Version. ] ) is only a transliteration of the words as they stand in MT [Note: Massoretic Text. ] . A slight emendation of the text makes it read ‘from the west of Gibeah,’ which is probably correct (Moore, Judges, in loc. ). Josephus, who calls it ‘Gabaothsaul’ ( BJ V. ii. 1), places it 30 stadia N. of Jerusalem. The site most closely agreeing with these conditions is Tuleil el-Fûl , an artificial mound, E. of the road to the N. , about 4 miles from Jerusalem. The road to Jeba‘ leads off the main road immediately to the north of the site. Certain remains of ancient buildings there are, but nothing of importance has yet been discovered. As a place of strategic importance, Gibeah formed the base of Saul’s operations against the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 13:1-23 ; 1 Samuel 14:1-52 ). There was enacted the tragedy in which seven of Saul’s sons perished, giving occasion for the pathetic vigil of Rizpah. It appears in the description of Sennacherib’s advance from the north ( Isaiah 10:28-32 ). ... W. Ewing. ...
ja'Cob - (supplanter ), the second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born with Esau, probably at the well of Lahai-roi, about B. C. 1837. His history is related in the latter half of the book of Genesis. He bought the birthright from his brother Esau, and afterward acquired the blessing intended for Esau, by practicing a well-known deceit on Isaac. (Jacob did not obtain the blessing because of his deceit, but in spite of it. That which was promised he would have received in some good way; but Jacob and his mother, distrusting God's promise, sought the promised blessing in a wrong way, and received with it trouble and sorrow. --ED. ) Jacob, in his 78th year, was sent from the family home to avoid his brother, and to seek a wife among his kindred in Padan-aram. As he passed through Bethel, God appeared to him. After the lapse of twenty-one years he returned from Padan-aram with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons and a daughter, and large property. He escaped from the angry pursuit of Laban, from a meeting with Esau, and from the vengeance of the Canaanites provoked by the murder of Shechem; and in each of these three emergencies he was aided and strengthened by the interposition of God, and in sign of the grace won by a night of wrestling with God his name was changed at Jabbok into Israel. Deborah and Rachel died before he reached Hebron; Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was sold into Egypt eleven years before the death of Isaac; and Jacob had probably exceeded his 130th year when he went tither. He was presented to Pharaoh, and dwelt for seventeen years in Rameses and Goshen, and died in his 147th year. His body was embalmed, carried with great care and pomp into the land of Canaan, and deposited with his fathers, and his wife Leah, in the cave of Machpelah. The example of Jacob is quoted by the first and the last of the minor prophets. Besides the frequent mention of his name in conjunction with the names of the other two patriarchs, there are distinct references to the events in the life of Jacob in four books of the New Testament - ( John 1:51 ; 4:5,12 ; Acts 7:12,16 ; Romans 9:11-13 ; Hebrews 11:21 ; 12:16 )
Forest - ... Palestine was more wooded very anciently than afterward; the celebrated oaks and terebinths here and there were perhaps relics of a primeval forest on the highlands. But in the Bible the woods appear in the valleys and defiles leading from the highlands to the lowlands, so they were not extensive. "The wood of Ephraim" clothed the sides of the hills which descend to the plain of Jezreel and the plain itself near Bethshah (Joshua 17:15-18), and extended once to Tabor which still has many forest trees. That "of Bethel" lay in the ravine going down to the plain of Jericho. That "of Hareth" on the border of the Philistine plain in the S. of Judah (1 Samuel 22:5). That "of Kirjath Jearim" (1 Samuel 8:2; Psalms 132:6), meaning" town of the woods", on the confines of Judah and Benjamin; "the fields of the wood" from which David brought up the ark to Zion mean this forest town. ... That "of Ziph-wilderness," where David hid, S. E. of Hebron (1 Samuel 23:15, etc. ). Ephraim wood, a portion of the region E. of Jordan near Mahanaim, where the battle with Absalom took place (2 Samuel 18:6; 2 Samuel 18:23), on the high lands, a little way from the valley of the Jordan. (See EPHRAIM WOOD. ) "The house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2) was so-called as being fitted up with cedar, and probably with forest-like rows of cedar pillars. "Forest" often symbolizes pride doomed to destruction; (Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 32:19) the Assyrian host dense and lifted up as the trees of the forest; (Isaiah 37:24) "the forest of his Carmel," i. e. , its most luxuriant forest, image for their proud army. ... Forest also symbolizes unfruitfulness as opposed to cultivated lands (Isaiah 29:17; Isaiah 32:15). Besides ya'ar , implying "abundance of trees", there is another Hebrew term, choresh from a root "to cut down," implying a wood diminished by cutting (1 Samuel 23:15; 2 Chronicles 27:4). In Isaiah 17:9 for "bough" translated "his strong cities shall be as the leavings of woods," what the axeman leaves when he cuts down the grove (Isaiah 17:6). In Ezekiel 31:3, "with a shadowing shroud," explain with an overshadowing thicket. A third term is pardeec , related to "paradise" (Nehemiah 2:8), "forest") a park, a plantation under a "keeper. " The Persian kings preserved the forests throughout the empire with care, having wardens of the several forests, without whose sanction no tree could be felled. ...
Hoshea (2) - Nineteenth and last king of Israel. Succeeded Pekah, whom he conspired against and slew, (fulfilling Isaiah 7:16), 737 B. C. , "in the 20th year of Jotham," i. e, 20th after Jotham became sole king (2 Kings 15:30; 2 Kings 15:33). An interreign elapsed of eight years before Hoshea mounted the throne, 729 B. C. , the 12th year of Ahaz (2 Kings 17:1-3; 2 Kings 18:9). "He did evil in the sight of Jehovah, but not as the kings of Israel before him. " Tiglath Pileser had carried off the golden calf from Dan, and Shahnaneser from Bethel, in his first invasion (2 Kings 15:29; Hosea 10:14). So he had not the same temptation to calf worship as his predecessors. Hezekiah's piety probably in the last years of his reign influenced him. ... Shalmaneser cruelly stormed Betharbel, and made Hoshea tributary. But Hoshea secretly, made alliance with So or Sabacho, king of Egypt (of an Ethiopian dynasty, the 25th of Manetho, Shebek I in the hieroglyphics, 725 B. C. ), and ceased to bring tribute. "Shalmaneser" therefore invaded Israel and shut up Hoshea in Samaria, and after a siege of upward of two years (not "three "full years, for it began in Hoshea's seventh and ended in his ninth year of reign) "the king of Assyria," Sargon, Shalmaneser's successor, who usurped the throne (according to the Assyrian monuments), took him and "bound him in prison" (2 Kings 17:4-6), the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, 722 B. C. Hoshea's imprisonment was not before the capture of Samaria, but the sacred writer first records the eventual fate of Hoshea himself, then details the invasion as it affected Samaria and Israel. ... His speedy removal is graphically depicted (Hosea 10:7); "as for Samaria her king is cut off as the foam upon the water. " Sargon in the Assyrian inscriptions thus writes: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men (or families) who dwelt in it I carried away; I appointed a governor over them, and continued the tribute of the former people": like Julius Caesar's memorable "I came, I saw, I conquered. " So exactly Isaiah 28:4 describes the eager absorption of Samaria by Shalmaneser and Sargon "as the hasty fruit (the early fig, bikuwrah , "a great delicacy") before the summer, which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in hishand, he eateth it up. " Sargon in the inscriptions describes his transporting prisoners from Babylon to "the land of the Hittites" (Samaria), exactly as 2 Kings 17:24. ...
Calf, Golden - This is described as being fashioned with a graving tool after it had been made a molten image. The ear-rings of the women, of the sons and daughters, and probably of the men, were given up for the object. The Israelites on their leaving had been amply supplied with jewels by the Egyptians and no doubt more trinkets were given to Aaron than those actually being worn. Nothing is said about the size of the calf, but a comparatively small image when on a pedestal would have been seen by the multitude. It is probable that the calf was intended as a representation of God, and would come under the second commandment rather than the first. Aaron said, "This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (as it should read); and "To-morrow is a feast to Jehovah. " Exodus 32:1-6 . ... This form of idolatry is more specious than that of disowning God altogether and setting up an idol instead, but it is as really idolatry, and it was signally punished by God. There was the same worship in Egypt with the bull Apis, which was said to represent the god Osiris; this may have suggested the idea to the Israelites of making a calf. The same sin was repeated by Jeroboam who was afraid of his people going up to Jerusalem to worship: he set up two calves, one in Bethel and one in Dan, and proclaimed, "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. " 1 Kings 12:28-33 . Idolatry did not stop here with Israel, for they went on to worship 'all the host of heaven, and served Baal. ' 2 Kings 17:16 . The above specious form of idolatry is perpetuated in Christendom in the images in the churches, and on the road-side in any Roman Catholic country. ... The fact that the golden calf was burnt by Moses before it was ground to powder has given rise to a great deal of discussion. It has been suggested that the image was really formed of wood and merely covered with gold; but the account will not allow this, for it says it was 'molten,' and then shaped more perfectly by the graver. It sufficiently meets the case if we suppose that the calf was at least softened by fire, if not melted, then beaten into thin plates, before being pounded into dust and strewn into the brook. Exodus 32:20 . ...
Anointing, - in Holy Scripture, is either, I. Material--with oil--or II. Spiritual--with the Holy Ghost. I. MATERIAL. --
Ordinary . Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other Oriental nations. (28:40; Ruth 3:3 ; Micah 6:15 ) Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests. (Luke 7:46 ) and Psal 23:5 ... Official . It was a rite of inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish commonwealth. a. Prophets were occasionally anointed to their office, ( 1 Kings 19:16 ) and were called messiahs, or anointed. (1 Chronicles 16:22 ; Psalm 105:15 ) b. Priests, at the first institution of the Levitical priesthood, were all anointed to their offices, (Exodus 40:15 ; Numbers 3:3 ) but afterwards anointing seems to have been specially reserved for the high priest, (Exodus 29:29 ; Leviticus 16:32 ) so that "the priest that is anointed," (Leviticus 4:3 ) is generally thought to mean the high priest. c. Kings. Anointing was the principal and divinely-appointed ceremony in the inauguration of the Jewish Kings. (1 Samuel 9:16 ; 10:1 ; 1 Kings 1:34,39 ) The rite was sometimes performed more than once. David was thrice anointed. d. Inanimate objects also were anointed with oil, in token of their being set apart for religious service. Thus Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel. ((Genesis 31:13 ; Exodus 30:26-28 ) ... Ecclesiastical . Anointing with oil is prescribed by St. James to be used for the recovery of the sick. ( James 5:14 ) Analogous to this is the anointing with oil practiced by the twelve. (Mark 6:13 ) II. SPIRITUAL. -- ... In the Old Testament a Deliverer is promised under the title of Messiah, or Anointed, (Psalm 2:2 ; Daniel 9:25,26 ) and the nature of his anointing is described to be spiritual, with the Holy Ghost. (Isaiah 61:1 ) see Luke 4:18 In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is shown to be the Messiah, or Christ or Anointed, of the Old Testament, ( John 1:41 ; Acts 9:22 ; 17:2,3 ; 18:4,28 ) and the historical fact of his being anointed with the Holy Ghost is asserted and recorded. (John 1:32,33 ; Acts 4:27 ; 10:38 ) Christ was anointed as prophet priest and king. ... Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21 ) " Anointing "expresses the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit upon Christians who are priests and kings unto God.
Rachel - ("an ewe. ") (See JACOB; BENJAMIN. ) (Genesis 29-33; Genesis 35). Jacob's first interview, courteous removal of the stone at the well's mouth, emotion, and kissing her in the usual mode of salutation in pastoral life in the East in those days, are simply and graphically narrated; his love to her making his seven years' service "seem but a few days"; the imposition of Leah upon him, his second term of service for her, and his receiving her in marriage. Even then disappointment followed in her childlessness at first; beauty and the grace of God do not always go together, "Rachel envied her sister" and said with unreasonable and impatient fretfulness, "Give me children, or else I die. " Jacob with just anger replied, "am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?" God took her at her word; she had Joseph, and in giving birth to Benjamin "died. "... At Joseph's birth she by his name ("adding") expressed her fond anticipation, "the Lord shall add to me another son" (Genesis 30:24). In obtaining her wish, the greatest joy to her, she suffered her sharpest pang; Ben-oni's ("son of her sorrow") birth was her death. Her stealing her father's images or teraphim , household gods in human form, used for divination (Judges 17:5; Judges 18:14; Judges 18:17-18; Judges 18:20; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Samuel 23:24; Ezekiel 21:21; Zechariah 10:2), and her dexterity and ready cunning in hiding them, mark a character that had learned much of her father's duplicity. (See TERAPHIM. ) The old superstition from which Abraham had been called still lingered in the family (Joshua 24:2; Joshua 24:14). Not until Jacob reached Bethel did he bury the strange gods under the oak by Shechem. A little way from Ephrath, which is Bethlehem, Rachel died and was buried, and Jacob set a pillar on her grave. ... The patriarch on his death bed vividly recalls that tender, deep, and lasting sorrow (Genesis 48:7). Though fretful, cunning, and superstitions, Rachel still worshipped Jehovah; and after she had complained to her husband, and received his reproof, she turned in prayer to God, for we read "God remembered Rachel, and hearkened to her, and opened her womb" (compare 1 Samuel 1:19). She had given up all her idols before the death stroke fell on her (Genesis 35), and, we may well believe, was prepared for her great change by the hallowing influences of God's blessing on her husband and his seed immediately before, at Bethel. Moreover, Joseph, the only son over whom she exercised a mother's influence, was from early years the choice one of the family; such a son must have had a mother not altogether dissimilar. Hers is the first instance recorded of death in childbirth, and her sepulchral pillar is the first on record in the Bible. ... Caves were the usual places of sepulcher (1 Samuel 10:2). Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:15) says as to Nebuzaradan's collecting the captive Jews at Ramah, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1), "a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children . . . refused to be comforted because they were not; thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, for . . . there is hope in thine end, that thy children shall come again to their own border. " Rachel, who pined so for children and died in bearing "the son of her sorrow," and was buried in the neighborhood of Ramah (of Benjamin) and Bethlehem, is poetically represented as "weeping" for her Ephraimite sons carried off by the Chaldees. Matthew (Matthew 2:17-18) quotes this as fulfilled in Herod's massacre of the innocents. ... "A lesser, and a greater, event of different times may answer to the single sense of one scripture, until the prophecy be exhausted" (Bengel). Besides the reference to the Babylonian exile of Rachel's sons, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed Messiah's exile to Egypt, and the accompanying desolation caused near Rachel's tomb by Herod's massacre, to the grief of Benjamite mothers who had "sons of sorrow," as Rachel's son proved to her. Israel's representative Messiah's return from Egypt, and Israel's (both the literal and the spiritual) future restoration (including the innocents) at His second advent, are antitypical to Israel's restoration from Babylon, the consolation held out by Jeremiah. "They were not," i. e. were dead (Genesis 42:13), does not apply so strictly to the Babylonian exiles as it does to Messiah and His people, past, present, and future. ... "There is hope in thine end," namely, when Rachel shall meet her murdered children at the resurrection of the saints bodily, and of Israel nationally (Ezekiel 37). Literally, "each was not," i. e. each Bethlehemite mother had but one child to lament, as Herod's limit, "two years old and under," implies; a coincidence the more remarkable as not obvious. The singular too suits Messiah going to exile in Egypt, Rachel's chief object of lamentation. Rachel's tomb (Arabic Κubbit Rahil ) is two and a half miles S. of Jerusalem, one mile and a half N. of Bethlehem; Muslims, Jews, and Christians agree as to the site. The tomb is a small square building of stone, with a dome, and within it a tomb, a modern building; in the seventh century A. D. there was only a pyramid of stones. ...
Benjamin - BENJAMIN . 1 . The youngest son of Jacob by Rachel, and the only full brother of Joseph ( Genesis 30:22 f. [JE [Note: Jewish Encyclopedia. ] ] Genesis 35:17 [J [Note: Jahwist. ] ] Genesis 35:24 [P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] ]). He alone of Jacob’s sons was native-born. J [Note: Jahwist. ] ( Genesis 35:16 ) puts his birth near Ephrath in Benjamin. A later interpolation identifies Ephrath with Bethlehem, but cf. 1 Samuel 10:2 . P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] , however ( Genesis 35:22-26 ), gives Paddan-aram as the birth-place of all Jacob’s children. His mother, dying soon after he was born, named him Ben-oni (‘son of my sorrow’). Jacob changed this ill-omened name to the more auspicious one Benjamin , which is usually interpreted ‘son of my right hand,’ the right hand being the place of honour as the right side was apparently the lucky side (cf. Genesis 48:14 ). Pressed by a famine, his ten brothers went down to Egypt, and Jacob, solicitous for his welfare, did not allow Benjamin to accompany them; but Joseph made it a condition of his giving them corn that they should bring him on their return. When Judah ( Genesis 43:9 J [Note: Jahwist. ] ) or Reuben ( Genesis 42:37 E [Note: Elohist. ] ) gave surety for his safe return, Jacob yielded. Throughout the earlier documents Benjamin is a tender youth, the idol of his father and brothers. A late editor of P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] ( Genesis 46:21 ) makes him, when he entered Egypt, the father of ten sons, that is more than twice as many as Jacob’s other sons except Dan, who had seven. ... The question is, What is the historical significance of these conflicting traditions? Yâmin ,’ right hand,’ appears to have been used geographically for south,’ and Ben-yâmin may mean ‘son (s) of the south,’ i. e. the southern portion of Ephraim. Ben-oni may be connected with On in the tribe of Benjamin. The two names may point to the union of two related tribes, and the persistence of the traditions that Benjamin was the full brother of Joseph, whereas the other Joseph tribes (Manasseh and Ephraim) are called sons, would indicate not only a close relationship to Joseph, but also a comparatively early development into an independent tribe. On the other hand, J [Note: Jahwist. ] E [Note: Elohist. ] P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] all make Benjamin the youngest son, and P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] gives Canaan as his native land. This points to a traditional belief that the tribe was the last to develop. This and the fact that Shimei, a Benjamitc, claims ( 2 Samuel 19:20 ) to be’ of the house of Joseph,’ suggest that the tribe was an offshoot of the latter. ... The limits of the tribal territory are given by P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] in Joshua 18:11-28 . Within it lay Bethel (elsewhere assigned to Ephraim), Ophrah, Geba, Gibeon, Ramab, Mizpeh, Gibeah, all primitive seats of Canaanitish worship and important centres in the cultus of Israel (cf. , e. g. , Bethel, Amos 7:10 ff. ). Jericho, where in early times there may have been a cult of the moon-god ( jârçach = ‘moon’), and Jerusalem are also assigned to Benjamin. Deuteronomy 33:12 , as commonly but not universally interpreted, also assigns Jerusalem to Benjamin, though later it belonged to Judah. Anathoth, the birth-place of Jeremiah, also lay in Benjamin ( Joshua 21:18 [P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] ]). In the Blessing of Jacob ( Genesis 49:27 ) a fierce and warlike character is ascribed to Benjamin. The statement is all the more important, since in this ‘Blessing’ we have certainly to deal with vaticinia post eventum . The rugged and unfriendly nature of the tribal territory doubtless contributed to martial hardihood. The tribe participated in the war against Sisera ( Judges 5:14 ). A late and composite story is found in Judges 19:1-30 ; Judges 20:1-48 ; Judges 21:1-25 of an almost complete annihilation of the tribe by the rest of the Israelites. Later the tribe gave to united Israel its first king, Saul of Gibeah. It had in Asa’s army, according to 2 Chronicles 14:8 , 280, 2 Chronicles 14 picked warriors an exaggeration of course, but a very significant one in this connexion. Benjamin, under Sheba, a kinsman of Saul, led in the revolt against David when the quarrel provoked by David’s partisanship broke out between Judah and the northern tribes ( 2 Samuel 20:1 ff. ). From the first the tribe was loyal to the house of Saul and violently opposed to David (cf. 2 Samuel 16:5 ; 2 Samuel 20:2 ). In the revolt against the oppressions of Rehoboam it joined with the North ( 1 Kings 12:20 ). A variant account joins it with Judah ( 1 Kings 12:21 f. ), but this is only a reflexion of later times. The history of the tribe is unimportant after David. Besides Saul and Jeremiah, St. Paul also traced descent to this tribe ( Philippians 3:5 ). See also Tribes. 2 . A great-grandson of Benjamin ( 1 Chronicles 7:10 ). 3 . One of those who had married a foreign wife ( Ezra 10:32 ; prob. also Nehemiah 3:23 ; Nehemiah 12:34 ). ... James A. Craig. ...
Sam'Uel - was the son of Elkanah and Hannah, and was born at Ramathaim-zophim, among the hills of Ephraim. [RAMAH No. 2] (B. C. 1171. ) Before his birth he was dedicated by his mother to the office of a Nazarite and when a young child, 12 years old according to Josephus he was placed in the temple, and ministered unto the Lord before Eli. " It was while here that he received his first prophetic call. (1 Samuel 3:1-18 ) He next appears, probably twenty years afterward, suddenly among the people, warning them against their idolatrous practices. (1 Samuel 7:3,4 ) Then followed Samuel's first and, as far as we know, only military achievement, ch. (1 Samuel 7:5-12 ) but it was apparently this which raised him to the office of "judge. " He visited, in the discharge of his duties as ruler, the three chief sanctuaries on the west of Jordan --Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpeh. ch. (1 Samuel 7:16 ) His own residence was still native city, Ramah, where he married, and two sons grew up to repeat under his eyes the same perversion of high office that he had himself witnessed in his childhood in the case of the two sons of Eli. In his old age he shared his power with them, (1 Samuel 8:1-4 ) but the people dissatisfied, demanded a king, and finally anointed under God's direction, and Samuel surrendered to him his authority, (1 Samuel 12:1 ) . . . though still remaining judge. ch. (1 Samuel 7:15 ) He was consulted far and near on the small affairs of life. (1 Samuel 9:7,8 ) From this fact, combined with his office of ruler, an awful reverence grew up around him. No sacrificial feast was thought complete without his blessing. Ibid. (1 Samuel 9:13 ) A peculiar virtue was believed to reside in his intercession. After Saul was rejected by God, Samuel anointed David in his place and Samuel became the spiritual father of the psalmist-king. The death of Samuel is described as taking place in the year of the close of David's wanderings. It is said with peculiar emphasis, as if to mark the loss, that "all the Israelites were gathered together" from all parts of this hitherto-divided country, and "lamented him," and "buried him" within his own house, thus in a manner consecrated by being turned into his tomb. (1 Samuel 25:1 ) Samuel represents the independence of the moral law, of the divine will, as distinct from legal or sacerdotal enactments, which is so remarkable a characteristic of all the later prophets. He is also the founder of the first regular institutions of religious instructions and communities for the purposes of education.
Rebekah - Romans 9:10. Arabic, "a rope with a noose," i. e. captivating. Bethuel's daughter, Laban's sister, Isaac's wife (Genesis 22:23; Genesis 22:24), Rebekah, the grand-daughter of Abraham's brother, marries Isaac, Abraham's son; it is an undesigned coincidence with probability that Isaac was the son of Abraham's and Sarah's old age (Genesis 18:12), and so, though of a generation earlier than Rebekah, yet not so much her senior in years. (See ISAAC. ) A model marriage: God's direction was asked and given, the godly seed was equally yoked with the seed of the godly, the parents sanctioned it, Rebekah was one who had as a maiden discharged domestic duties diligently; her beauty, courtesy, willing consent, modesty, all made her deservedly attractive, and secured Isaac's love at once and permanently. Barren for 19 years, she at last received children by God's gift in answer to Isaac's prayers. ... Before they were born she was told, in answer to her inquiry of the Lord because of her sensations, the elder shall serve the younger (Genesis 25:21-23; Romans 9:10-12), illustrating "the purpose of God, according to election, not of works but of Him that calleth," inasmuch as it was when "neither had done any good or evil. " (See JACOB; ESAU. ) Jacob was her favorite because of his gentle domestic habits (Genesis 25:28). This partiality led her to the deceit practiced on Isaac to gain his blessing for Jacob (Genesis 27). Esau's Hittite wives "were a grief to Isaac and Rebekah" (Genesis 26:34-35. ) Her beauty tempted Isaac when in Gerar, through fear of being killed for Rebekah's sake, to say she was his sister. All compromises of truth, through fear of man (Proverbs 29:25), bring their own punishment. Isaac exposed her to the risk of defilement, which a straightforward course would have averted, and exposed himself to the rebuke of the worldly Abimelech. (See ABIMELECH. ) (Genesis 26). ... She saved Jacob from Esau's murderous fury by inducing Isaac to send him away to Padan Aram (Genesis 28:1-5); thus she brought on herself by the one great sin the loss of her favorite's presence for the rest of her life, for she was not alive when he returned, Isaac alone survived (Genesis 35:27). Faith in God's promise as to Jacob the younger, given before birth, prompted her to seek the blessing for him; unbelief and ignorance of God's holiness tempted her to do evil that good might come. Deborah her nurse died and was buried at Bethel on Jacob's return. (See DEBORAH. ) She evidently had gone back to Padan Aram, and joined Jacob after her mistress' death. Rebekah was buried in the cave of Machpelah with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was subsequently buried there (Genesis 49:31). ...
Amos - (meaning not clear; perhaps "a burden") ... Third among the Minor Prophets, a subject of the Kingdom of Juda, born Thecua, 6 miles south of Bethlehem. In the Book of Amos, which is one of the prophetical books of the Old Testament, he thus describes himself: "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of prophet; but I am a herdsman plucking wild figs. And the Lord took me when I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me: Go, prophesy to my people Israel" (Amos 7). He toiled for God in the northern kingdom, preaching particularly at Bethel, about 12 miles north of Jerusalem, the king's sanctuary and center of idolatrous worship. This was within the latter half of the reign of Jeroboam II, 783-743 B. C. (Amos 1,7). He describes Israel as reveling in a period of national prosperity, of sinful orgies, and of security from external foes. This fits well with the period when Jeroboam was enjoying the fruits of his victories. Furthermore, the earthquake mentioned in 1:1, and the eclipse in 8:1, suggests proximity with the year 763 B. C. ... The prophecy is contained in nine chapters, usually divided in three parts, according to the clues furnished by Amos himself. The first part (1-2) pictures God's judgment upon the nations encircling Israel, and then upon Israel itself. The second part (3-6) develops God's judgment upon Israel in three distinct discourses; Saint Augustine calls attention to the power and the eloquence of the lamentation in chapters 5,6. The third part (7-9) records five visions; the fifth vision (9:1-10) prepares the glorious perspective of Messianic blessings (verses 11-15). ... The book is one of the fairest specimens of Hebrew literature. Its arrangement is simple and artistic, its language plain but forceful, its wealth of imagery delightful and amazing. The reader is struck by the frequent recurrence of identical phrases, as in chapter 1: "For three crimes. . . and for four. . . I will send a fire" (3-4,6-7,11-10,11-12,13-14, etc;); and in chapter 4: "Yet you returned not to me" (6,8,9,10, 11). Amos is the prophet of the sovereign Lordship of God over all creation. The canonicity of the book is vouched for by a citation in Tobias (2:6) and two citations in the Acts of the Apostles, where Saint Stephen (Acts 7:42) quotes from Amos 5, and Saint James (Acts 15:16) quotes from Amos 9. It is used in the Office for Thursday, the fourth week of November, and in the Mass for Wednesday of the Ember Week of September, first lesson (9:13-15). Passages recommended for reading are chapter 1, verse 3, to chapter 2, verse 5, and chapter 4, verses 6-11. ...
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 )
Altar - Structure on which offerings are made to a deity. The Hebrew word for altar is mizbeah [ מִזְבֵּחַ ], from a verbal root meaning "to slaughter. " Greek renders this word as thusiasterion [ θυσιαστήριον ], "a place of sacrifice. " In the developed temple ritual, the same word is used for both the altar of holocausts and the altar of incense. Thus, an altar is a place where sacrifice is offered, even if it is not an event involving slaughter. ... Altars could be natural objects or man-made constructs. Four materials are recorded as being used in altars: stone, earth, metal, and brick. Archaeology has provided numerous examples of altars from Palestine dating back to approximately 3000 b. c. Natural rocks were also used (Judges 6:20 ). An altar could stand alone, or it was located in the courtyard of a shrine. ... Their Jerusalem temple had two altars: the altar of incense and the altar of holocausts. The altar of incense was placed inside the sanctuary in front of the curtain screening the Holy of Holies. It was made of gold-covered wood. It stood upright and measured 1 x 1 x 2 cubits. Archaeological data indicate that all four corners of the upper surface were slightly peaked. Twice a day, incense was burned on the altar. ... The altar of holocausts stood in the courtyard of the temple. Like the other objects in the courtyard, the altar was made of bronze. It measured 20 x 20 x 10 cubits (2 Chronicles 4 ). Ahaz replaced this altar with one modeled on an alter he had seen in Damascus (2 Kings 16 ). He moved the old altar, using it for divination. In Ezekiel's vision the courtyard altar also was horned (Ezekiel 43:15 ). ... Altars were places where the divine and human worlds interacted. Altars were places of exchange, communication, and influence. God responded actively to altar activity. The contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal involving an altar demonstrated interaction between Yahweh and Baal. Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to Yahweh. God smelled the aroma and found it pleasing. He responded to Noah's action by declaring that he would never again destroy all living things through a flood. In the patriarchal period, altars were markers of place, commemorating an encounter with God (Genesis 12:7 ), or physical signs of habitation. Abraham built an altar where he pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai. Presumably at that altar he "called on the name of the Lord" (Genesis 12:8 ). Interestingly, we are not told if there was a response. In the next passage, however, Abraham went to Egypt and fell into sin, lying about Sarah out of fear of Pharaoh. Perhaps there was no true communication at the altar between Bethel and Ai. ... Sacrifices were the primary medium of exchange in altar interactions. The priestly code of Leviticus devotes a great deal of space to proper sacrificial procedure, and to what sacrifices are appropriate in various circumstances. Sacrifice was the essential act of external worship. Unlike the divinities of the nations surrounding ancient Israel, Yahweh did not need sacrifices to survive. The Israelites, however, needed to perform the act of sacrifice in order to survive (Exodus 30:21 ). The act of sacrifice moved the offering from the profane to the sacred, from the visible to the invisible world. By this action the worshiper sealed a contract with God. Blood, believed to contain the "life" of an animal (or a human being), was particularly important in the sacrificial ritual. It was sprinkled against the altar (Leviticus 1 ); once a year, blood was smeared on the horns of the incense altar. ... The horns of the altar may have functioned as boundary markers, setting apart the sacred space that was the actual place of intersection of the divine and human spheres. In the stark and moving story of Abraham's encounter with God at Moriah, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it (Genesis 22:9 ). After Isaac was laid on the altar, but before he was sacrificed, God proclaimed his recognition that Isaac had "not [been] withheld. " By placing Isaac on the altar, Abraham transferred him from the profane to the sacred. ... This sacred altar and its horns, where the atoning blood was splashed, provided a place of sanctuary. The altar was a place where an unintentional murderer could gain a haven (Exodus 21:13-14 ). If the murder was premeditated, however, then the altar was clearly profaned by the murderer's presence and the individual could be taken away and killed. Joab was denied the sanctuary of the horns because he had conspired to kill Amasa and Abner. In an oracle against Israel (Amos 3:14 ), God declared that "the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. " The message is clear: There will be no place to intercede with God, and no place to claim his sanctuary. ... After the exile, the first thing to be rebuilt was the altar. Then the temple was reconstructed. The temple was ultimately secondary to the altar. In chastising the religious establishment, Jesus underlined the sacredness of the altar, making clear his understanding that the altar "makes the gift sacred" (Matthew 23:19 ). In Revelation the altar in the heavenly temple shelters martyred souls and even speaks (Revelation 16:7 ). The New Testament writer of Hebrews (13:10) implies that the ultimate altar is the cross. Here divine and human interchange is consummated. The cross becomes the sanctuary of the believer, providing protection from the penalties of sin. ... Thomas W. Davis... See also Offerings and Sacrifices ; Priest, Priesthood ... Bibliography . R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel ; M. Haran, Temples and Temple Service in Ancient Israel ; C. L. Meyers, HBD, pp. 22-25. ... ...
Jacob - JACOB. 1. Son of Isaac and Rebekah. His name is probably an elliptical form of an original Jakob’el , ‘God follows’ ( i. e. ‘rewards’), which has been found both on Babylonian tablets and on the pylons of the temple of Karnak. By the time of Jacob this earlier history of the word was overlooked or forgotten, and the name was understood as meaning ‘one who takes by the heel, and thus tries to trip up or supplant’ ( Genesis 25:26 ; Genesis 27:36 , Hosea 12:3 ). His history is recounted in Genesis 25:21 to Genesis 50:13 , the materials being unequally contributed from three sources. For the details of analysis see Dillmann, Com . , and Driver, LOT [Note: OT Introd. to the Literature of the Old Testament. ] 3 , p. 16. P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] supplies but a brief outline; J [Note: Jahwist. ] and E [Note: Elohist. ] are closely interwoven, though a degree of original independence is shown by an occasional divergence in tradition, which adds to the credibility of the joint narrative. ... Jacob was born in answer to prayer (Genesis 25:21 ), near Beersheba; and the later rivalry between Israel and Edom was thought of as prefigured in the strife of the twins in the womb ( Genesis 25:22 f. , 2Es 3:16 ; Esther 6:8-10 Esther 6:8-10 , Romans 9:11-13 ). The differences between the two brothers, each contrasting with the other in character and habit, were marked from the beginning. Jacob grew up a ‘quiet man’ ( Genesis 25:27 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin. ] ), a shepherd and herdsman. Whilst still at home, he succeeded in overreaching Esau in two ways. He took advantage of Esau’s hunger and heedlessness to secure the birthright, which gave him precedence even during the father’s lifetime ( Genesis 43:33 ), and afterwards a double portion of the patrimony ( Deuteronomy 21:17 ), with probably the domestic priesthood. At a later time, after careful consideration ( Genesis 27:11 ff. ), he adopted the device suggested by his mother, and, allaying with ingenious falsehoods ( Genesis 27:20 ) his father’s suspicion, intercepted also his blessing. Isaac was dismayed, but instead of revoking the blessing confirmed it ( Genesis 27:33-37 ), and was not able to remove Esau’s bitterness. In both blessings later political and geographical conditions are reflected. To Jacob is promised Canaan, a well-watered land of fields and vineyards ( Deuteronomy 11:14 ; Deuteronomy 33:28 ), with sovereignty over its peoples, even those who were ‘brethren’ or descended from the same ancestry as Israel ( Genesis 19:37 f. , 2 Samuel 8:12 ; 2 Samuel 8:14 ). Esau is consigned to the dry and rocky districts of Idumæa, with a life of war and plunder; but his subjection to Jacob is limited in duration ( 2 Kings 8:22 ), if not also in completeness ( Genesis 27:40 f. , which points to the restlessness of Edom). ... Of this successful craft on Jacob’s part the natural result on Esau’s was hatred and resentment, to avoid which Jacob left his home to spend a few days (Genesis 27:44 ) with his uncle in Haran. Two different motives are assigned. JE [Note: Jewish Encyclopedia. ] represents Rebekah as pleading with her son his danger from Esau; but P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] represents her as suggesting to Isaac the danger that Jacob might marry a Hittite wife ( Genesis 27:46 ). The traditions appear on literary grounds to have come from different sources; but there is no real difficulty in the narrative as it stands. Not only are man’s motives often complex; but a woman would be likely to use different pleas to a husband and to a son, and if a mother can counsel her son to yield to his fear, a father would be more alive to the possibility of an outbreak of folly. On his way to Haran, Jacob passed a night at Bethel (cf. Genesis 13:3 f. ), and his sleep was, not unnaturally, disturbed by dreams; the cromlechs and stone terraces of the district seemed to arrange themselves into a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending, whilst Jehovah Himself bent over him ( Genesis 28:13 RVm [Note: Revised Version margin. ] ) with loving assurances. Reminded thus of the watchful providence of God, Jacob’s alarms were transmuted into religions awe. He marked the sanctity of the spot by setting up as a sacred pillar the boulder on which his head had rested, and undertook to dedicate a tithe of all his gains. Thence forward Bethel became a famous sanctuary, and Jacob himself visited it again ( Genesis 35:1 ; cf. Hosea 12:4 ). ... Arrived at Haran, Jacob met in his uncle his superior for a time in the art of overreaching. By a ruse Laban secured fourteen years’ service (Genesis 29:27 , Hosea 12:12 , Jdt 8:26 ), to which six years more were added, under an ingenious arrangement in which the exacting uncle was at last outwitted ( Genesis 30:31 ff. ). At the end of the term Jacob was the head of a household conspicuous even in those days for its magnitude and prosperity. Quarrels with Laban and his sons ensued, but God is represented as intervening to turn their arbitrary actions ( Genesis 31:7 ff. ) to Jacob’s advantage. At length he took flight whilst Laban was engaged in sheep-shearing, and, re-crossing the Euphrates on his way home, reached Gilead. There he was overtaken by Laban, whose exasperation was increased by the fact that his teraphim , or household gods, had been taken away by the fugitives, Rachel’s hope in stealing them being to appropriate the good fortune of her fathers. The dispute that followed was closed by an alliance of friendship, the double covenant being sealed by setting up in commemoration a cairn with a solitary boulder by its side ( Genesis 31:45 f. , Genesis 31:52 ), and by sharing a sacrificial meal. Jacob promised to treat Laban’s daughters with special kindness, and both Jacob and Laban undertook to respect the boundary they had agreed upon between the territories of Israel and of the Syrians. Thereupon Laban returned home; and Jacob continued his journey to Canaan, and was met by the angels of God ( Genesis 32:1 ), as if to congratulate and welcome him as he approached the Land of Promise. ... Jacobs next problem was to conciliate his brother, who was reported to be advancing against him with a large body of men (Genesis 32:6 ). Three measures were adopted. When a submissive message elicited no response, Jacob in dismay turned to God, though without any expression of regret for the deceit by which he had wronged his brother, and proceeded to divide his party into two companies, in the hope that one at least would escape, and to try to appease Esau with a great gift. The next night came the turning-point in Jacob’s life. Hitherto he had been ambitious, steady of purpose, subject to genuine religious feeling, but given up almost wholly to the use of crooked methods. Now the higher elements in his nature gain the ascendency; and henceforth, though he is no less resourceful and politic, his fear of God ceases to be spoilt by intervening passions or a competing self-confidence. Alone on the banks of the Jabbok ( Wady Zerka ), full of doubt as to the fate that would overtake him, he recognizes at last that his real antagonist is not Esau but God. All his fraud and deceit had been pre-eminently sin against God; and what he needed supremely was not reconciliation with his brother, but the blessing of God. So vivid was the impression, that the entire night seemed to be spent in actual wrestling with a living man. His thigh was sprained in the contest; but since his will was so fixed that he simply would not be refused, the blessing came with the daybreak ( Genesis 32:28 ). His name was changed to Israel , which means etymologically ‘God perseveres,’ but was applied to Jacob in the sense of ‘Perseverer with God’ ( Hosea 12:3 f. ). And as a name was to a Hebrew a symbol of nature ( Isaiah 1:26 ; Isaiah 61:3 ), its change was a symbol of a changed character; and the supplanter became the one who persevered in putting forth his strength in communion with God, and therefore prevailed. His brother received him cordially ( Isaiah 33:4 ), and offered to escort him during the rest of the journey. The offer was courteously declined, ostensibly because of the difference of pace between the two companies, but probably also with a view to incur no obligation and to risk no rupture. Esau returned to Seir; and Jacob moved on to a suitable site for an encampment, which received the name of Succoth, from the booths that were erected on it ( Isaiah 33:17 ). It was east of the Jordan, and probably not far from the junction with the Jabbok. The valley was suitable for the recuperation of the flocks and herds after so long a journey; and it is probable, from the character of the buildings erected, as well as from the fact that opportunity must be given for Dinah, one of the youngest of the children ( Isaiah 30:21 ), to reach a marriageable age ( Isaiah 34:2 ff. ), that Jacob stayed there for several years. ... After a residence of uncertain length at Succoth, Jacob crossed the Jordan and advanced to Shechem , where he purchased a plot of ground which became afterwards of special interest. Joshua seems to have regarded it as the limit of his expedition, and there the Law was promulgated and Joseph’s hones were buried ( Joshua 24:25 ; Joshua 24:32 ; cf. Acts 7:16 ); and for a time it was the centre of the confederation of the northern tribes ( 1 Kings 12:1 , 2 Chronicles 10:1 ). Again Jacob’s stay must not be measured by days; for he erected an altar ( 2 Chronicles 33:20 ) and dug a well ( John 4:6 ; John 4:12 ), and was detained by domestic troubles, if not of his own original intention. The troubles began with the seduction or outrage of Dinah; but the narrative that follows is evidently compacted of two traditions. According to the one, the transaction was personal, and involved a fulfilment by Shechem of a certain unspecified condition; according to the other, the entire clan was involved on either side, and the story is that of the danger of the absorption of Israel by the local Canaanites and its avoidance through the interposition of Simeon and Levi. But most of the difficulties disappear on the assumption that Shechem’s marriage was, as was natural, expedited, a delight to himself and generally approved amongst his kindred ( Genesis 34:19 ). That pressing matter being settled, the question of an alliance between the two cians, with the sinister motives that prevailed on either side, would be gradually, perhaps slowly, brought to an issue. There would be time to persuade the Shechemites to consent to be circumcised, and to arrange for the treacherous reprisai. Jacob’s part in the proceedings was confined chiefly to a timid reproach of his sons for entangling his household in peril, to which they replied with the plea that the honour of the family was the first consideration. ... The state of feeling aroused by the vengeance executed on Shechem made it desirable for Jacob to continue his journey. He was directed by God to proceed some twenty miles southwards to Bethel. Before starting, due preparations were made for a visit to so sacred a spot. The amulets and images of foreign gods in the possession of his retainers were collected and huried under a terebinth (Genesis 35:4 ; cf. Joshua 24:26 , Judges 9:6 ). The people through whom he passed were smitten with such a panic by the news of what had happened at Shechem as not to interfere with him. Arrived at Bethel, he added an altar ( Genesis 35:7 ) to the monolith he had erected on his previous visit, and received in a theophany, for which in mood he was well prepared, a renewal of the promise of regal prosperity. The additional pillar he set up ( Genesis 35:14 ) was probably a sepulchral stele to the memory of Deborah (cf. Genesis 35:20 ), dedicated with appropriate religious services; unless the verse is out of place in the narrative, and is really J [Note: Jahwist. ] ’s version of what E [Note: Elohist. ] relates in Genesis 28:18 . From Bethel Jacob led his caravan to Ephrath, a few miles from which place Rachel died in childbirth. This Ephrath was evidently not far from Bethel, and well to the north of Jerusalem ( 1 Samuel 10:2 f. , Jeremiah 31:15 ); and therefore the gloss ‘the same is Bethlehem’ must be due to a confusion with the other Ephrath ( Ruth 4:11 , Micah 5:2 ), which was south of Jerusalem. The next stopping-place was the tower of Eder ( Genesis 35:21 ) or ‘the flock’ a generic name for the watch-towers erected to aid in the protection of the flocks from robbers and wild beasts. Genesis 4:8 applies a similar term to the fortified southern spur of Zion. But it cannot he proved that the two allusions coalesce; and actually nothing is known of the site of Jacob’s encampment, except that it was between Ephrath and Hebron. His journey was ended when he reached the last-named place ( Genesis 35:27 ), the home of his fathers, where he met Esau again, and apparently for the last time, at the funeral of Isaac. ... From the time of his return to Hebron, Jacob ceases to be the central figure of the Biblical narrative, which thenceforward revolves round Joseph. Among the leading incidents are Joseph’s mission to inquire after his brethren’s welfare, the inconsolable sorrow of the old man on the receipt of what seemed conclusive evidence of Joseph’s death, the despatch of his surviving sons except Benjamin to buy corn in Egypt (cf. Acts 7:12 ff. ), the bitterness of the reproach with which he greeted them on their return, and his belated and despairing consent to another expedition as the only alternative to death from famine. The story turns next to Jacob’s delight at the news that Joseph is alive, and to his own journey to Egypt through Beersheha, his early home, where he was encouraged by God in visions of the night ( Genesis 46:1-7 ). In Egypt he was met by Joseph, and, after an interview with the Pharaoh, settled in the pastoral district of Goshen ( Genesis 47:6 ), afterwards known as ‘the land of Rameses’ (from Rameses ii. of the nineteenth dynasty), in the eastern part of the Delta ( Genesis 47:11 ). This migration of Jacob to Egypt was an event of the first magnitude in the history of Israel ( Deuteronomy 26:5 f. , Acts 7:14 f. ), as a stage in the great providential preparation for Redemption. Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years ( Genesis 47:28 ), at the close of which, feeling death to be nigh, he extracted a pledge from Joseph to bury him in Canaan, and adopted his two grandsons, placing the younger first in anticipation of the pre-eminence of the tribe that would descend from him ( Genesis 48:19 , Hebrews 11:21 ). To Joseph himself was promised, as a token of special affection, the conquered districts of Shechem on the lower slopes of Gerizim ( Genesis 48:22 , John 4:5 ). Finally, the old man gathered his sons about him, and pronounced upon each in turn a blessing, afterwards wrought up into the elaborate poetical form of Genesis 49:2-27 . The tribes are reviewed in order, and the character of each is sketched in a description of that of its founder. The atmosphere of the poem in regard alike to geography and to history is that of the period of the judges and early kings, when, therefore, the genuine tradition must have taken the form in which it has been preserved. After blessing his sons, Jacob gave them together the directions concerning his funeral which he had given previously to Joseph, and died ( Genesis 49:33 ). His body was embalmed, convoyed to Canaan by a great procession according to the Egyptian custom, and buried in the cave of Machpeiah near Hebron ( Genesis 50:13 ). ... Opinion is divided as to the degree to which Jacob has been idealized in the Biblical story. If it be remembered that the narrative is based upon popular oral tradition, and did not receive its present form until long after the time to which it relates, and that an interest in national origins is both natural and distinctly manifested in parts of Genesis, some idealization may readily he conceded. It may be sought in three directions in the attempt to find explanations of existing institutions, in the anticipation of religious conceptions and sentiments that belonged to the narrator’s times, and in the investment of the reputed ancestor with the characteristics of the tribe descended from him. All the conditions are best met by the view that Jacob was a real person, and that the incidents recorded of him are substantially historical. His character, as depicted, is a mixture of evil and good; and his career shows how, by discipline and grace, the better elements came to prevail, and God was enabled to use a faulty man for a great purpose. ... 2 . Father of Joseph, the husband of Mary ( Matthew 1:15 f. ). ... R. W. Moss. ...
Benjamin - ("son of my right hand"), as Jacob named him; first called by his dying mother Rachel Benoni, son of my sorrow (compare Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:17-18). Jesus the antitype was first "a man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3), the mother's sorrows attending tits birth also at Bethlehem; afterward "the man of God's right hand," on whom God's hand was laid strengthening Him (Revelation 1:17; Psalms 80:17; Psalms 89:21; Acts 5:31). ... 1. Rachel's second son, the only son of Jacob born in Palestine (Genesis 35:16-19), on the road between Betheland Bethlehem Ephrath, near the latter (Genesis 48:7) (probably "the fertile", from parah , corresponding to the town's other name, Bethlehem, "bread-house. ") The Arabic jamin means "fortunate". And in the expression "sons of Benjamin" or a "man of Benjamin, . . . land of Benjamin," the first syllable is suppressed Benee Ha-Jemini, Ish Jemini, Erets Jemini, compare Genesis 46:10. Benjamin was his father's favorite after Joseph's supposed death (Genesis 44:30); as the youngest, the child of his old age, and the child of his beloved Rachel. Joseph's gifts to him exceeded far those to each of his elder brothers (Genesis 43:34; Genesis 45:22). ... Benjamin was only 23 or 24 years old when Jacob went down to Egypt. He clearly could not then have had ten sons already (Genesis 46:6-21), or eight sons and two grandsons (Numbers 26:38-40). It is plain that the list in Genesis 46 includes those grandsons and great grandsons of Jacob born afterward in Egypt, and who in the Israelite mode of thought came into Egypt "in the loins" of their fathers (compare Hebrews 7:9-10). Hence, arises the correspondence in the main between the list given in connection with Jacob's descent to Egypt in Genesis 46, and the list taken by Moses ages afterward in Numbers 26. Benjamin's sons, Becher, Gera, Rosh, are missing in Moses' list, because they either died childless, or did not leave a sufficient number of children to form independent families. ... After the Exodus the tribe was the smallest but one (Numbers 1:1; Numbers 1:36-37; 1 Samuel 9:21; Psalms 68:27). On march it held the post between Manasseh and Ephraim, its brother tribes, W. of the tabernacle, which it followed (Psalms 80:2) under its captain Abidan, son of Gideoni (Numbers 2:18-24). Palti, son of Raphu, was the spy representing it (Numbers 13:9). In the division of the land Elidad, son of Chislon, represented it (Numbers 34:21). Its predominant characteristic of warlike tastes is foretold by Jacob (Genesis 49:27); "Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf, in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night shall divide the spoil. " How truly is attested by the war waged them alone (and victoriously at against all the tribes, rather give up the wicked men of Gibeah (Judges 19; 20; compare Matthew 26:52). Their number was reduced thereby to 600, who took refuge in the cliff Rimmon, and were provided with wives partly from Jabesh, partly from Shiloh (Judges 21). ... The period of the judges must have been a long one to admit of the increase to Benjamin's subsequent large numbers (1 Chronicles 7:6-12; 1 Chronicles 7:8; 1 Chronicles 12:1-8). The same determined spirit, but in a better cause, appears in their resisting Saul, their own kinsman's, appeal to them to betray David's movements (1 Samuel 22:7-18). Moreover Ehud, judge and deliverer of Israel from Eglon of Moab, was of Benjamin; also Saul and Jonathan, whose prowess was famed (2 Samuel 1:18-19; 2 Samuel 1:23). Also Baanah and Rechab, captains of marauding bands and murderers of Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 4). Archers and slingers, generally left handed (as also Ehud was), were the chief force of the "sons of Jacob's right hand" (Judges 3:15, etc. ; Judges 20:16; 1 Chronicles 12:2; 2 Chronicles 14:8; 2 Chronicles 17:17). ... The "morning" and "night" in Jacob's prophecy mark that Benjamin, as he was in the beginning, so he should continue to the end of the Jewish state. Similarly in Moses' prophecy (Deuteronomy 33:12), "Benjamin, the beloved of the Lord (attached to David = beloved after Saul's dynasty fell), shall dwell in safety by Him; the Lord shall cover him all the day long;" implying a longer continuance to Benjamin than to the other tribes. So Benjamin alone survived with Judah, after the deportation of the ten tribes to Assyria, arid accompanied Judah to and front the Babylonian captivity, and lasted until Shiloh came and until Jerusalem was destroyed. As on the march, so in the promised land, Benjamin's position was near that of Ephraim, between it on the N. and Judah on the S. , a small but rich territory, advantageously placed in commanding the approach to the valley of the Jordan, and having Dan between it and the Philistines (Joshua 18:11, etc. ); a parallelogram, 26 miles long, 12 broad, extending from the Jordan to the region of Kirjath Jearim eight miles W. of Jerusalem, and from the valley of Hinnom S. to Bethel N. ... When the Lord rejected the tabernacle of Joseph at Shiloh He chose mount Zion, Jerusalem which chiefly belonged to Benjamin (the of the Jebusite, "Jebusi, which Jerusalem" (Joshua 18:28), and all the land N. of the valley of Hinnom), and only in part to Judah, God's chosen tribe (Psalms 78:60; Psalms 78:67-68). In this sense Benjamin fulfilled Moses' prophecy in "dwelling between" Judah's (the Lord's representative) "shoulders," or ridges of the ravines which on the W. , S. , and E. environ the holy city. Primarily, however, the idea is, Benjamin as "the beloved of Jehovah shall dwell in safety with Him (literally, founded upon Him), and he (Benjamin) shall dwell between His (Jehovah's) shoulders," as a son borne upon his father's back (Deuteronomy 1:31; Deuteronomy 32:11; Exodus 19:4; Isaiah 46:3-4; Isaiah 63:9). ... This choice of Jerusalem as the seat of the ark and David's place of residence formed a strong He between Judah and Benjamin, though Saul's connection with the latter had previously made the Benjamites, as a tribe, slow to recognize David as king (1 Chronicles 12:29; 2 Samuel 2:8-9). Hence at the severance of the ten tribes Benjamin remained with Judah (1 Kings 12:23; 2 Chronicles 11:1). The two coalesced into one, under the common name Jews, whence they are called "one tribe" (1 Kings 11:13; 1 Kings 11:32; 1 Kings 12:20-21). Moreover, a part of Benjamin including Bethel, the seat of Jeroboam's calf worship, went with the ten tribes. Possibly Jeroboam's having appropriated it for the calf worship may have helped to alienate Benjamin from him and attach Benjamin to Judah. They two alone were the royal tribes. ... David was connected with Saul of Benjamin by marriage with his daughter, and therefore, feeling the political importance of the connection, made it a preliminary of his league with Abner that Michal should be restored to him, though Phaltiel had her heart (2 Samuel 3:13-16). Above all, what knit together Benjamin and Judah most was the position fixed by God for the great national temple, which deprived Ephraim of its former glory (Psalms 78:60-68); not in Judah only, or in Benjamin only, but on part of the confines of both, so that one text places it in Judah and the parallel text in Benjamin; compare Joshua 15:63 with Joshua 18:28. These elements of union between Benjamin and Judah are not obviously put forward in the sacred writings, but are found in them on close observation, just such seeds as would produce the ultimate union which the history records. ... Such undesigned coincidences agree best with the belief that the narrative is minutely true, not forged. Benjamin occupied a plateau generally about 2,000 feet above the Mediterranean plain, and 3,000 feet above the valley of the Jordan. The hilly nature of the country is marked by the names Gibeon, Gibeah, Geba, Ramah, Mizpeh (watchtower), "the ascent of Bethhoron," the cliff Rimmon, the pass of Michmash. Torrent beds and ravines are the only avenues from the Philistian and Sharon plains on the W. , and from the deep Jordan valley on the E. These ravines were frequented once by many wild beasts, as the names of places testify: Zeboim, "hyaenas" (1 Samuel 13:17-18); Shual and Shaalbim (Judges 1:35), "foxes" or "jackals"; Ajalon, "gazelle. " Up these western passes the Philistines advanced against Saul in the beginning of his reign, and drove him to Gilgal in the Arabah, occupying from Michmash to Ajalon. Down them they were driven again by Saul and Jonathan. Joshua chased the Canaanites down the long slopes of Bethhoron. ... The regular road between Jericho and Jerusalem was another of these passes, the scene of the parable of the good Samaritan. Lod, Ono, Aijalon were westward extensions of Benjamin's bounds beyond the original limit (Nehemiah 11:35). The presence of the ark at Kirjath Jearim in Benjamin, the prophet Samuel's residence in the sanctuary Ramah (1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 9:12), the great assemblies of "all Israel" at Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7:5), and the sanctity attached of old to Bethel, "the great high place" at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:3), all tended to raise B. high in the nation, and to lead them to acquiesce in the choice of Saul as king, though belonging to "the smallest of the tribes of Israel" (1 Samuel 9:21). After Saul's and then Ishbosheth's death, Benjamin sent 3,000 men to Hebron to confirm the kingdom to David (1 Chronicles 12:23; 1 Chronicles 12:29; 2 Samuel 5:3), Abner having declared for him. But the Benjamite Shimei's curses and Sheba's rebel. lion indicate that Saul's party among the Benjamites, even after his dynasty had ceased, cherished the old grudge against David. ... Besides the causes mentioned before, which finally united Benjamin and Judah, there was Jeroboam's setting up the calf worship in Bethel (a Benjamite city) in rivalry of the temple of Jehovah in the joint city of Benjamin and Judah, Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:29); also Rehoboam's wise policy in dispersing his children through all Judah and Benjamin, into every" fenced city" (2 Chronicles 11:12; 2 Chronicles 11:23); also Asa's covenant with Jehovah, in which Benjamin took part (2 Chronicles 15); also the advancement of Benjamites to high posts in the army (2 Chronicles 17:17). "The high gate of Benjamin" (Jeremiah 20:2) marked the tribe's individuality even in the joint metropolis of Benjamin and Judah; compare Ezra 2; Ezra 10:9; Nehemiah 7; Nehemiah 11:31-35 in proof of this individuality even after the return from Babylon. The genealogy of Kish and Saul, traced to a late date, brings us down to a Kish, father of Mordecai, the savior of the Jewish nation from Haman's intended destruction (Esther 2:5). ... The royal name reappears in Saul of Tarsus, whose glory was that he belonged to "the tribe of Benjamin" (Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5. ) His full sense of that honor appears in his reference to his forefather," Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin" (Acts 13:21. ) In his own person he realized some of the prominent characteristics of his tribe: fierce obstinacy when be was "exceedingly mad against Christians, and persecuted them even unto strange cities" (Acts 26:11), equally persistent firmness when he declares, in spite of friends' entreaties, "I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 21:13). Thus Benjamin had the distinction of producing one of Israel's first judges, her first king, and the great apostle of the uncircumcision. ... 2. A Benjamite, head of a family of giant men; son of Bilhan (1 Chronicles 7:10). ... 3. One who married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:32). ...
Patriarchs, the - Israel's founding fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel). The word patriarch comes from a combination of the Latin word pater , “father,” and the Greek verb archo , “to rule. ” A patriarch is thus a ruling ancestor who may have been the founding father of a family, a clan, or a nation. ... The idea of a binding agreement between God and humankind antedated the patriarchs, being first expressed in the time of Noah (Genesis 6:18 ; Genesis 9:8-17 ). The growth of the Hebrew nation was promised specifically to Abraham in the patriarchal covenant (Genesis 15:1 ; Genesis 17:1 ), along with the provision of a land in which Abraham's offspring would dwell. Since several generations elapsed before this situation developed, the covenant with Abraham must be regarded as promissory. The promises made to Abraham established the concept of a people descended through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who would be in a special historical and spiritual relationship with God. See Covenant . ... Abraham, or Abram as he was called in the earlier chapters of Genesis, was a ninth-generation descendant of Shem, son of Noah. Abram's father Terah was born in Ur of the Chaldees, as were his brothers Nahor and Haran (Genesis 11:26 ,Genesis 11:26,11:28 ). See Shem ; Terah ; Ur . ... Just why Terah left Ur with his family is not stated, but it may have been to seek new pastures for the flocks and herds. They journeyed to Haran, several hundred miles northwest. After living there for some time, Terah died. Abram was 75 at the time, and responded to God's call to migrate to Canaan, where he would become the founder of a great nation. God's promises were not fulfilled immediately. ... As Abram moved along the trading routes leading to Shechem, Bethel, and the Hebron area and mingled with the pagan Canaanites, God's promise that the childless Sarai would bear a son could only be accepted by faith. Yet God was with them, and saved Sarai from the amorous attentions of Pharaoh (Genesis 12:15-20 ) and Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-18 ). During this period Abram managed to retain his dignity and his position as a wealthy owner of flocks. When Lot was taken prisoner by a number of local rulers, Abram mustered a rescue party and was recognized for his leadership (Genesis 14:14-19 ) by the kings of Sodom and Salem. ... When Abram proposed to appoint Eliezer of Damascus as his heir (Genesis 15:2 ), God entered into a formal covenant with Abram and promised him vast amounts of land for his descendants. Then Abram, apparently impatient for an heir, took Sarai's handmaid Hagar as a concubine, following Mesopotamian custom, because Sarai continued childless. From this union came Ishmael, who was born when Abram was 86. See Ishmael . Later God renewed His covenant with Abram and instituted the sign of circumcision for Abram's household. He promised Abraham and Sarah a son. ... Before the baby was conceived, Sodom and Goomorrah were destroyed. Sarah subsequently bore Abraham the promised son: Isaac. ... To test Abraham's faith, God ordered him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering on a mountain in Moriah, some distance from Beersheba. Whatever his own misgivings, Abraham obeyed God's instructions, and at the last moment a sacrificial ram was provided, while God's angel praised Abraham for his obedience and faith. Sometime later Sarah died and was buried on land belonging to a group of Hittites' living at Mamre in Hebron (Genesis 23:1 ). ... Although advanced in years, Abraham married a woman named Keturah, who bore him six children. Before his death Abraham gave gifts to his concubine's sons, and sent them away from Canaan. The aged patriarch died aged 175 years, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah purchased originally for Sarah's interment (Genesis 25:9 ). ... At an early period, Abraham had testified that God was the Most High God (Genesis 14:22 ), the righteous Judge of humankind (Genesis 15:14 ), and the Guarantor of the covenant of promise. He experienced close communion with God (Genesis 18:33 ; Genesis 24:40 ) and worshiped Him consistently to the exclusion of all other gods. His fidelity and obedience were characteristic features of his personality and made this renowned forefather of Israel (compare Romans 4:1-4 ) an example of the way in which men and women are justified before God. See Abraham ; Nuzi . ... The line of descent by which the covenant was to be perpetuated consisted solely of Abraham's son Isaac; through him the covenant promises were continued. Isaac's name is generally thought to mean “laughter,” but it possibly also conveys the more subtle sense of “joker. ” It commemorated the occasion when both Abraham and Sarah laughed at God's promise to provide them with a son in their old age (Genesis 17:17-19 ; Genesis 18:9-15 ). ... We have very little information about the maturing years of Isaac except that he was used as the supreme test of Abraham's faith in the covenant promises. Under the patriarchal system, the father had the power of life or death over every living person and thing in his household. At the very moment that Isaac's life was about to be taken, his position as covenant heir was safeguarded by the provision of an alternative sacrificial offering (Genesis 22:9-13 ). The circumstances attending his marriage to Rebekah afforded Isaac great comfort after the death of his mother (Genesis 24:67 ). Isaac prayed earnestly to God for covenant heirs, and in due time Rebekah became pregnant with twins when Isaac was 60 years old. Esau grew up to be a hunter, while Jacob followed the more sedentary life-style of his father by supervising the family's flocks and herds, moving with them when it was necessary to find fresh pasture (Genesis 25:27 ). Isaac unfortunately provoked sibling rivalry by favoring Esau above Jacob. The former brought his father tasty venison, whereas Jacob's culinary expertise seems only to have extended to preparing lentil soup (Genesis 25:28-29 ). In a moment of desperate hunger, Esau traded his birthright for some of Jacob's soup, thereby transferring to his brother a double portion of Isaac's estate as well as other rights. ... In old age, Isaac's sight failed; and, when it became apparent that Esau might inherit the extra birthright provision after all, Rebekah conspired with her favorite son Jacob to deceive Isaac into blessing him rather than Esau. The success of the scheme made Esau extremely angry. To escape his vengeance Jacob fled to Mesopotamia on his father's instructions. Before he arrived he received a revelation from God which confirmed his inheritance in the covenant. Jacob later encountered the family of Laban, son of Nahor, and in due course married two of Laban's daughters. After some years absence Jacob finally returned to Mamre, where his father was living, and along with Esau buried him when he died aged 180 years. ... Isaac's life, though less spectacular than Abraham's, was nevertheless marked by divine favor. He was circumcised as a sign of convenant membership, and owed his life to timely divine intervention when a youth (Genesis 22:12-14 ). He was obedient to God's will (Genesis 22:6 ,Genesis 22:6,22:9 ), a man of devotion and prayer (Genesis 26:25 ), and a follower of peace (Genesis 26:20-23 ). He fulfilled his role as a child of promise (Galatians 4:22-23 ). See Isaac . ... The life of Jacob, the last of the three great patriarchs, was marked by migrations, as had been the case with his ancestors. Although he lived successively at Shechem (Genesis 33:18-20 ), Bethel Genesis 35:6-7 ), and Hebron (Genesis 35:27 ), Jacob was basically a resident alien who did not have a capital city. His experience of God at Bethel caused him to dedicate the site to the Lord, and on his return he erected an altar there (Genesis 35:6-15 ). ... Jacob's title as supplanter was fulfilled most noticeably in his dealings with his twin brother Esau. Yet in other respects he was described commendably by comparison with Esau, the semi-nomadic skilled hunter, as being a “quiet” (RSV) man. The Hebrew word (Genesis 25:27 ; “plain,” KJV) has unfortunately been translated badly, because it means one who has all sides of his personality developed, and is the Hebrew equivalent of the “perfect” person which Christ urged His followers to be (Matthew 5:48 ). ... The deception which Jacob perpetrated upon his father and Esau made Jacob afraid of his brother for many years. Ironically, Jacob himself was the victim of deception by Laban of Nahor, a stubborn and greedy men. ... Jacob's relationships with his wives were complicated when Leah gave birth to a total of six sons and a daughter (Genesis 30:20-21 ), whereas Rachel remained childless for years. The situation improved slightly for Rachel when Jacob, following Abraham's example, had two sons by Bilhah, Rachel's maid (Genesis 30:3-8 ). Not to be outdone, Leah also gave her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob, and she bore him two sons. Finally, Rachel conceived and bore Jacob a son named Joseph, who as a son of Jacob's old age was to become his favorite. ... By this time Jacob's flocks had increased as well as his family. Meanwhile Laban's two daughters felt that they, as well as their husband Jacob, were being treated badly by Laban (Genesis 31:15 ), and all of them plotted to leave Paddan-Aram quietly. Laban pursued them, hoping to regain what he rightfully regarded as his own property. God intervened in a night vision, and a restrained Laban made a covenant of peace with Jacob. ... Perhaps the greatest crisis in Jacob's adult life was that of his reconciliation with Esau (Genesis 32:1 ). When Jacob finally met his brother, he observed all the traditional courtesies and was reunited with Esau in a tearful greeting. Esau accepted Jacob's gift after the usual denial of need and offered to escort Jacob home. Jacob declined and moved to Succoth, an ancient settlement in Transjordan where he stayed for a time before moving to more permanent quarters in Shechem (Genesis 33:18 ). ... Just before Isaac's death, God appeared again to Jacob (Genesis 35:9 ) and renewed the promise of his new name. Jacob resided in Canaan thereafter, and only left when a famine overtook the land. Jacob and his sons were invited to live in Egypt by Joseph. As his life drew to a close Jacob, like his father Isaac, became blind; but he blessed his sons by means of a spoken last will and testament, after which he died peacefully. His body was embalmed in the Egyptian manner, and he was buried subsequently in the cave of Machpelah along with his ancestors (Genesis 49:30-50:13 ). Despite his apparent materialism, Jacob was a person of deep spirituality who, like Abraham, was esteemed highly by his pagan neighbors. Despite his fears, he behaved honorably and correctly in dealing with his avaricious father-in-law Laban and was equally consistent in fulfilling his vow to return to Bethel. Jacob trusted the God whom he had seen at Peniel to implement the covenant promises through him; and when he died, he left behind a clearly burgeoning nation. See Jacob . ... Archaeological discoveries at certain Near Eastern sites have helped to illumine the background of the patriarchal narratives. See Archaeology; Nuzi . ... The date of the patriarchal period has been much discussed. A time before 2000 B. C. (Early Bronze Age) seems too early and cannot be supported easily by reference to current archaeological evidence. The Middle Bronze period (2000-1500 B. C. ) seems more promising because of contemporary archaeological parallels and also because many of the Negeb irrigation systems date from that period. Some scholars have suggested the Amarna period (1500-1300 B. C. ) as the one in which the patriarchs lived, but this presents problems for any dating for the Exodus. The same objection applies to a Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 B. C. ) period for the patriarchs. The least likely date is in the Judges period or the time of king David. All such dates do not allow time for the patriarchal traditions to have developed and make it impossible for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be fitted realistically into an already-known chronology. A date in the Middle Bronze Age seems to offer the most suitable solution to a complex problem of dating. ... R. K. Harrison... ...
Idol - Physical or material image or form representing a reality or being considered divine and thus an object of worship. In the Bible various terms are used to refer to idols or idolatry: “image”, either graven (carved) or cast, “statue,” “abomination. ” Both Testaments condemn idols, but with idols the Old Testament expresses more concern than the New, probably reflecting the fact that the threat of idolatry was more pronounced for the people of the Old Testament. ... The ancient Hebrews lived in a world filled with idols. Egyptians represented their deities in various human-animal forms. Similarly, the various Mesopotamian cultures used idol representations of their deities, as did the Hittites in ancient Asia Minor. More of a threat to Hebrew worship were the Canaanite Baal and Asherah fertility images, some of which are commonly found in excavations. Use of idols in worship continued to be commonplace in Greek and Roman religion. ... One of the prominent distinguishing features of biblical religion is its ideal of imageless worship. Clearly expressed in the decalogue is the command: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (Exodus 20:4-5 ). This is usually interpreted to be a negative statement concerning idols but with positive implications toward the spiritual worship desired by God. ... Idols were a problem of long standing. The first rebellion of the Hebrews centered around the golden calf made under Aaron's leadership in the wilderness (Exodus 32:1 ). The bronze serpent illustrates the Hebrews' propensity for idol worship. Moses set it up in the wilderness to allay a plague of serpents (Numbers 21:1 ), but Israel retained it and made it an object of worship (2 Kings 18:4 ). Joshua called on the people to put away the gods their fathers had served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt (Joshua 24:14 ). Perhaps a misguided King Jeroboam intended to represent Yahweh by the gold calves set up in his temples at Bethel and Dan when he led the northern tribes to secede from the kingdom inherited by Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:28-33 ). ... Biblical writers often denounced idolatry. None is more graphic and devastating than that in Isaiah 44:9-20 . The idol is made by a workman but is powerless to sustain the workman to complete his task. Further, the idol begins as a leftover piece of a tree from which a person makes a god. He then worships no more than a block of wood. ... Many scholars believe that the threat of idolatry was much less in the Jewish community after the Babylonian Exile and that it continued to be diminished though still present throughout New Testament times. The most noted problem in the New Testament concerns the propriety of eating meat which has previously been offered to an idol (1 Corinthians 8-10 ). Paul seemingly broadened the scope of idolatry for Christianity when he identified covetousness with idolatry (Colossians 3:5 ). See Food Offered to Idols ; Gods, Pagan . ... Bruce C. Cresson... ...
Judah, the Kingdom of - On the separation of the ten tribes, Judah and Benjamin formed a kingdom under the name of Judah. Benjamin being but a small tribe, the kingdom of Judah is sometimes spoken of as one tribe. Doubtless the territory of Simeon was also attached to Judah — that tribe being as it were lost in the land. It was not named when Moses blessed the tribes. Deuteronomy 33 , cf. Genesis 49:7 . Bethel, out of the portion of Benjamin, fell to the kingdom of Israel. ... The temple being at Jerusalem, with the priests and Levites, Judah represented God's people and His government upon the earth; whereas the kingdom of Israel gave itself up at once to idolatry. God, according to His promise, still caused the lamp of David to shine at Jerusalem. Many of the kings served God with purpose of heart, though others embraced idolatry. (For the succession of the kings, see KINGS. ) The kingdom of Judah continued from B. C. 975 to 606 when many of the people were carried captive, though Jerusalem was not destroyed till B. C. 588. ... Seventy years of captivity had been foretold by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11,12 ; Jeremiah 29:10 ); these began in B. C. 606 and ended in 536 when under Cyrus the Jews returned to build the house of Jehovah; but it was not finished and dedicated until B. C. 515. Ezra 6:15 . A commission was given to Ezra in B. C. 468 (Ezra 7 ); and one to Nehemiah to rebuild the city in 455. It could not however be called the kingdom of Judah; only a remnant of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned. They were first subject to the kingdom of Persia, then to the kingdom of Greece, and after a short time of freedom under JUDAS MACCABEUS and his successors they became subject to Rome. ... In B. C. 65 Syria became a Roman province and in the year 40 Herod was appointed by Rome king of Judaea, and he continued on the throne to N. T. times. The children of Israel inhabiting Judaea in those days were the descendants of Judah and Benjamin (except any individuals who may have found their way thither from the ten tribes). They were the people to whom the Messiah was presented, and who refused and crucified Him. They continued their persecution in the times of the apostles, and they will be dealt with separately from the ten tribes: cf. Matthew 24:4-35 ; Matthew 27:25 . ... They revolted from Rome, and in A. D. 70 Jerusalem was taken and destroyed, some of its inhabitants were sold as slaves, and thousands were slain. Daniel 9:26 ; Luke 21:12-24 . Their descendants are scattered over the earth; but when God's set time is come they will be brought through the fire of judgement, and a remnant will be saved, restored to their own land, and blessed under their Messiah whom they now reject. Matthew 2:6 ; Hebrews 8:8-12 . ...
Dan - (dan) Personal name meaning, “Judges 1:1 . First son born to Jacob by Rachel's maid Bilhah (Genesis 30:6 ). He was the original ancestor of the tribe of Dan. When the Israelites entered Canaan, the tribe of Dan received land on the western coast. They could not fully gain control of the territory, especially after the Philistines settled in the area. The last chapters of Judges show Samson of the tribe of Dan fighting the Philistines. Eventually, Dan migrated to the north and was able to take a city called Laish. They renamed the city Dan and settled in the area around it. Dan was always a small tribe, and it never exercised significant influence in Israel. The most prominent Danites mentioned in the Bible are Oholiab and Samson. See Tribes of Israel; Patriarchs. ... 2. The biblical city of Dan is often mentioned in the description of the land of Israel, namely “from Dan even to Beersheba” (Judges 20:1 ). It has been identified with modern tell el-Qadi (or tell Dan). The tel, which covers about 50 acres, is situated at the northern end of the richly fertile Huleh Plain at the base of Mt. Hermon. The abundant springs of the site provide one of the three main sources of the Jordan River. ... The city was formerly named Laish (Judges 18:7 or Leshem in Joshua 19:47 ) when occupied by the Canaanites. This city is mentioned in the Egyptian execration texts and Mari tablets from the eighteenth century B. C. Later Thutmose III listed Laish among the cities conquered in his 1468 B. C. campaign. The name Dan was applied to the city conquered by the Israelite tribe in its northern migration (Judges 18:1 ). ... Excavation of tell Dan has been led by A. Biran of Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 1966. Laish was founded at the end of the Early Bronze II Age (about 2700 B. C. ) near the springs and flourished until about 2300 B. C. Significant pottery remains of this era were uncovered along with remains of floors and walls. The city probably remained unoccupied until the Middle Bronze II period (about 2000 B. C. ), when a large, well-fortified city was constructed. A massive earthen rampart similar to that of Hazor was built for defensive purposes, and set into the rampart (about 1750 B. C. ) was a well-preserved, mudbrick “triple-arched gate. ” The fifteen meter square gate system stood twelve meters above the surrounding plain and contained the earliest arched entryways known in the world. The gate was blocked and covered within a century for reasons unknown. The earthen ramparts continued to be the primary defense fortification through several wars and conquests until the Israelite period. Other significant finds from the period include jar burials, tombs, and pottery. ... The Late Bronze Age is represented by a richly-supplied tomb containing Mycenaean and Cypriote imported wares; ivory inlaid cosmetic boxes; gold, silver, and bronze objects; and forty-five skeletons of men, women, and children. ... Iron Age Laish was rebuilt by local inhabitants in the late thirteenth century B. C. but destroyed about 1100 B. C. by the migrating tribe of Dan. Scripture describes the conquest of the city as if the local people were unsuspecting of the coming invasion. Danites utilized the earlier rampart for defense and built their homes on the ruins of the previous city. The first Danite city, which contained some Philistine pottery remnants, was destroyed a century after its founding. The city was soon rebuilt and became a prominent Israelite city of the Iron Age. ... Following the establishment of the Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon, Jeroboam led the Northern tribes in revolt against Rehoboam (about 925 B. C. ). As an alternative to worship in Jerusalem, Dan and Bethel were fortified as border fortress/sanctuaries (1 Kings 12:29 ) with temples containing golden calf representations of Yahweh. This may have represented a combination of Baal worship with worship of Yahweh. The extent to which the Baal cult influenced Northern Israel is seen in the reign of Jehu, who did not destroy the altars at Dan and Bethel, despite eradicating the Baal priests from the land (2 Kings 10:32 ). Excavations at Dan have uncovered the “high place” of Jeroboam along with a small horned altar, the city gate (with royal throne) and walls (12 feet thick), hundreds of pottery vessels, buildings, and inscribed objects. This city was soon taken by Ben-hadad of Aram and then recaptured by Jeroboam II in the eighth century B. C. (2 Kings 14:25 ). The Israelite city of Dan fell to the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser III (Pul of Old Testament) about 743 B. C. (2 Kings 15:29 ). He annexed the city into an Assyrian district. Many Danites were deported to Assyria, Babylon, and Media following the fall of Samaria in 722 or 721 B. C. (2 Kings 17:6 ) to Sargon II. Foreigners were brought in from Babylon, Aram, and other lands to settle Israel's territory. The writer of Kings ascribed the fall of the kingdom to the worship of gods other than Yahweh (2 Kings 17:7-20 ), and Dan was one of the key centers of this idolatry. ... As Josiah came to the throne of Judah in 639 B. C. , Assyria was on the decline. Josiah incorporated the former Northern Kingdom territories into a united country, restoring the classical borders of Israel to “from Dan to Beersheba. ” An upper gate to the city was built during this period, and the inscription found at this level, “belonging to Ba'alpelet,” demonstrates that Baal worship continued to influence this area after the Assyrian destruction. The partially rebuilt city survived until the onslaught of the Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar (about 589 B. C. ; compare Jeremiah 4:14-18 ). ... Dan again was occupied in the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. In the area of the high place, statues and figurines of Greco-Roman and Egyptian gods such as Osiris, Bes, and Aphrodite have been excavated. The Greek and Aramaic inscription, “To the god who is in Dan, Zoilos made a vow,” further evidences the religious significance of the city. ... Dennis Cole... ...
High Place - . An elevated site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship. ... Heathen Worship at the High Place The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3 ; 2 Chronicles 14:3 ), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2 ), other idols (2 Kings 17:29 ; 2 Chronicles 33:19 ), and some type of building (1 Kings 12:31 ; 1 Kings 13:32 ; 1 Kings 16:32-33 ). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jeremiah 7:31 ), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic prostitutes (2 Kings 17:8-12 ; 2 Kings 21:3-7 ; Hosea 4:11-14 ). Although most high places were part of the worship of Baal, the Ammonite god Molech and the Moabite god Chemosh were also worshiped at similar high places (1 Kings 11:5-8 ; 2 Kings 23:10 ). Scripture speaks negatively about these heathen places of worship; still they played a central role in the lives of most of the people who lived in Palestine before the land was defeated by Joshua. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of high places at Megiddo, Gezer, and numerous other sites. ... God's Hatred of the High Places When the Israelites came into the land of Canaan, they were ordered to destroy the high places of the people who lived in the land (Exodus 23:24 ; Exodus 34:13 ; Numbers 33:52 ; Deuteronomy 7:5 ; Deuteronomy 12:3 ) lest the Israelites be tempted to worship the Canaanite false gods and accept their immoral behavior. The Israelites were to worship God at the tabernacle at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1 ; 1 Samuel 1:3 ). ... An exception to this practice existed in the years between the destruction of Shiloh by the Philistines and the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Solomon. During this short period Samuel worshiped inside a city (possibly Ramah) at a high place dedicated to the worship of the God of Israel (1 Samuel 9:12-25 ), and a group of prophets of God worshiped at the “hill of God” (1 Samuel 10:5 , probably Gibeah or Gibeon). David and Solomon worshiped the God of Israel at the high place at Gibeon where the tabernacle and the altar of burnt offering were located (1Chronicles 16:1-4,1 Chronicles 16:37-40 ; 1 Chronicles 21:29 ; 2Chronicles 1:3-4,2 Chronicles 1:13 ). ... False Worship at High Places in Judah After the Temple was constructed, the people were to worship God at this place which He had chosen (Deuteronomy 12:1-14 ), but Solomon built high places for the gods of his foreign wives and even worshiped there himself (1 Kings 11:1-8 ). Because of the seriousness of this sin, God divided the nation by removing ten tribes from the kingdom of his son Rehoboam (1Kings 11:9-13,1 Kings 11:29-38 ). Following this, each new king that ruled in the Southern Kingdom of Judah and in the Northern Kingdom of Israel was evaluated in the books of Kings and Chronicles according to what they did with the high places where false gods were worshiped. In Judah, Asa is called a good king because he removed the Asherah, idols, and sacred prostitutes but, unfortunately, he did not destroy the high places (1 Kings 15:9-14 ; 2 Chronicles 15:17 ; initially he may have destroyed them according to 2 Chronicles 14:2-5 ). Jehoshaphat was a man of God who followed the ways of David by seeking after God, but he followed a pattern similar to Asa of initially removing the high places (2 Chronicles 17:1-9 ) but not totally eliminating them from Judah (1 Kings 22:43 ; 2 Chronicles 20:33 ). This policy may have made it easier for his son Jehoram to build new high places which caused the people of Judah to worship other gods (2 Chronicles 21:11 ). The Judean kings Amaziah (2 Kings 14:3-4 ), Uzziah (2 Kings 15:3-4 ), Jotham (2 Kings 15:34-35 ), Ahaz (2 Kings 16:3-4 ), and Manasseh (2 Kings 21:2-7 ) allowed the people of Judah to continue worshiping at their high places. Although several are called good kings, their obedience was incomplete. Only Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:3-4 ) and Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-15 ) had the courage to destroy the high places in the land of Judah. Only these two kings brought major revivals to the land of Judah. ... False Worship at High Places in Israel When Jeroboam created the new kingdom of Israel after the death of Solomon, he put two golden calves at high places at Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 12:28-32 ). An unnamed man of God came to Bethel and pronounced God's curse on this high place (1 Kings 13:1-3 ), but the following kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel followed in the ways of Jeroboam and did not remove the high places where the false gods were worshiped. This involved following the cultural and religious practices of the nations surrounding Israel rather than keeping the covenant stipulation of having no other gods (Exodus 20:3-6 ; Deuteronomy 5:7-10 ). Because Israel built high places in all their towns and set up sacred pillars and Asherah under the trees on their hills, God sent the Assyrians to destroy the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17:8-22 ). ... The Israelite prophets also condemned the high places of Moab (Isaiah 15:2 ; Isaiah 16:12 ), Judah (Jeremiah 7:30-31 ; Jeremiah 17:1-3 ; Jeremiah 19:3-5 ; Jeremiah 32:35 ), and Israel (Ezekiel 6:3 ,Ezekiel 6:3,6:6 ; Ezekiel 20:29-31 ; Hosea 10:8 , Amos 7:9 ) because they were places of sin where false gods were worshiped. See Asherah ; False Gods; Golden Calves; Prostitution . ... Gary V. Smith... ...
Tabor - ("height, mound"); (tabar related to tsabar ). ... 1. Psalms 89:12, "the N. and S. Tabor (i. e. the W. ) and Hermon (E. of Jordan) shall rejoice," etc. Their existence and majestic appearance are a silent hymn to their Creator's praise; the view from Tabor comprises as much of natural beauty and sacred interest as any in the Holy Land. Accurately corresponding to its name; a large isolated mound-like mountain, 1865 ft. high, N. E. of Esdraelon plain. On the W. however a narrow ridge connects it with the hills of Nazareth, which lies six or eight miles off due W. The southern end of the lake of Galilee lies 12 miles off to the E. It consists of limestone; thick stone; thick forests of oak, etc. , cover the sides, affording covert to wolves, boars, lynxes, and reptiles. The summit is a mile and a half in circuit, surmounted with a four-gated fortress' ruins, with an Arabic inscription on one of the gateways recording its building or rebuilding by the sultan Abu Bekr. ... Named among Issachar's boundaries (Joshua 19:22), but the fortified city at Mount Tabor's base may be meant there. (See CHISLOTH TABOR. ) From Tabor Barak descended with his 10,000 men into the plain, at Deborah's command, and conquered Sisera at the Kishon (Judges 4:6-15). (See KEDESH. ) Here Zebah and Zalmunna slew Gideon's brothers (Judges 8:18-19). Herder makes Tabor to be meant when Hoses says of Issachar and Zebulun (Deuteronomy 33:19), "they shall call the people unto the mountain, there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness. " The open glades on the summit would form a suitable sanctuary, and were among "the high places" which ensnared Israel in idolatry; so Hosea 5:1, "a net spread upon Tabor. "... Jewish tradition states that liers in wait in Tabor and Mizpah intercepted and murdered Israelites going from the northern kingdom up to Jerusalem to worship in Jehovah's temple (compare Hosea 5:2). Jeremiah 46:18, "as Tabor is among the mountains," i. e. as it towers high and unique by itself, so Nebuchadnezzar is one not to be matched as a foe. The large, beveled stones among the ruins at the top belong to Roman times. The Lord's transfiguration Jerome and others assigned to Tabor. But the buildings on Tabor (see Josephus, B. J. 4:1, section 8, and 1 Chronicles 6:77) are inconsistent, with the solitude "apart" of which the narrative (Matthew 17:1-2) speaks. Moreover, the transfiguration took place near Caesarea Philippi; this fact, and the reference to the "snow," accord best with Mount Hermon being the scene (Mark 8:27; Mark 9:1-3). ... 2. The city of the Merarite Levites (1 Chronicles 6:77). (See CHISLOTH TABOR; Joshua 19:12). ... 3. "The plain of Tabor. " Eelon, rather "the oak of Tabor" (1 Samuel 10:3). Identified by Ewald with the oak of Deborah (or Tabor differently pronounced), Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 35:8), and the palm of Deborah the prophetess (Judges 4:5; the distance from Rachel's sepulchre at Bethlehem is an objection), and the oak of the prophet of Bethel (1 Kings 13:14). ...
Hebron - 1. Third son of Kohath; younger brother of Amram, father of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:18). The family of Hebronites sprang from him. In the 40th year of David's reign 2,700 of them, at Jazer in Gilead, "mighty men of valor," superintended for the king the two and a half tribes "in matters pertaining to God and the king" (1 Chronicles 26:30-32); Jerijah was their chief. Also Hashabiah and 1,700 Hebronites were officers "in all the Lord's business and the king's service" on the W. of Jordan. ... 2. 1 Chronicles 2:42-43. ... 3. A city in the hill country of Judah, originally Kirjath (the city of) Arba (Joshua 15:13; Joshua 14:15). "Arba was a great man among the Anakims, father of Anak. " (See Joshua 21:11; Judges 1:10. ) Twenty Roman miles S. of Jerusalem, and twenty N. of Beersheba. Rivaling Damascus in antiquity. Built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Numbers 13:22). Well known at Abram's entrance into Canaan, 3,780 years ago (Genesis 42:18). Hebron was the original name, changed to Kirjath Arba during Israel's sojourn in Egypt, and restored by Caleb, to whom it was given at the conquest of Palestine (Genesis 23:2; Joshua 14:13-15). The third resting place of Abram; Shechem was the first, Bethel the second. ... Near Hebron was the cave of Machpelah, where he and Sarah were buried. Now El Khalil, the house of "the friend" of God. Over the cave is now the mosque El Haran, from which all but Muslims are excluded jealously (though the Prince of Wales was admitted), and in which probably lie the remains of Abraham and Isaac, and possibly Jacob's embalmed body, brought up in state from Egypt (Genesis 50:13). Near it was the oak or terebinth, a place of pagan worship. Hebron was called for a time also Mamre, from Abram's ally (Genesis 23:19; Genesis 35:27). It was made a Levite city of refuge (Joshua 21:11-13). Still there is an oak bearing Abraham's name, 23 ft. in girth, and covering 90 ft. space in diameter. In Hebron, David reigned over Judah first for seven and a half years (2 Samuel 5:5). Here Absalom set up the standard of revolt. ... On the return from Babylon some of the children of Judah dwelt in Kirjath Arba (Nehemiah 11:25). After various vicissitudes it fell into the Moslems' hands in A. D. 1187, and has continued so ever since. It is picturesquely situated in a narrow valley running from N. to S. (probably that of Eshcol, whence the spies got the great cluster of grapes, Numbers 13:23), surrounded by rocky hills, still famed for fine grapes. S. of the town in the bottom of the valley is a tank, 130 ft. square by 50 deep. At the western end is another, 85 ft. long by 55 broad. Over the former probably David hung Ishbosheth's murderers (2 Samuel 4:12). ... 4. A town in Asher; spelled in Hebrew differently from the former Hebron. Abdon is read in many manuscripts...
Ephraim - EPHRAIM. —John 11:54 only. After the raising of Lazarus, Jesus departed, in consequence of the plots of the chief priests against Him, ‘unto a country ( Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘into the country’) near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. ’... There are scarcely any textual variations. TR spells Ἐφραΐα; Lachmann, Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort spell Ἑφραὶμ; Stephanus, 1550, had on the margin the reading Ἑφρὲμ, which is supported by א L and Latin witnesses, and the name Σαμφουρείμ as to be supplied after χώραν. This is the reading of D, Sapfurim in its Latin part, for which Chase (Syro-Lat. Text of Gospels, 108) and R. Harris (A Study of Codex Bezœ, p. 184) suggested that σαμ might be the Heb. שׁם ‘the name’; but more probable is the identification with Sepphoris, which in Jos. Ant. xiv. 91 is spelt Σατφὁροις (v. ll. Σαμφὸροις and other forms); so Jerome (s. v. ‘Araba’ in OS 17. 13 f. ): ‘Diocaesareae, quae olim Safforine dicehatur. ’... Eusebius in his Onomasticon says (ad Ephron, Joshua 15:9) καἰ ἔστι νῦν κώμη Ἐφραὶμ μεγίστη περὶ τἀ βόρεια Αἰλίας ὠς ἀπὸ σημείων κ; in the Latin rendering of Jerome: ‘est et villa pergrandis Efrœa nomine contra septentrionem in vicesimo ab aelia miliario’ (ed. Klostermann, p. 86. 1, 90. 18). With this has been identified Afra [=עִפָרָה Joshua 18:23]: ‘in tribu Beniamin; et est hodie vicus Efraim in quinto miliario Bethelis ad orientem respiciens’ (p. 29. 4; the Greek text [28. 4: καὶ νῦν ἔστι κώμη Αἰφρὴλ ἀπό] is here defective); further, 1 Maccabees 11:34 = Jos. Ant. xiii. 127 [ed. Niese]: τοὺς τρεῖς νομοὐς Ἀφαίρεμα (v. l. Ἀφέρεμα) καὶ Αύδδα καὶ Ῥαμαθείν; finally, the notice of Josephus (BJ iv. 551), that Vespasian took Βήθηγά τε (earlier reading Βαιθήλ or Βηθήλ) καὶ Ἐφραὶμ πολίχνια. Since Robinson, the site has been sought at the modern ct-Taiyibeh, 4 miles N. E. from Bethel. Schürer (GJV3 i. 233) quotes Robinson, ii. 332–338; Guérin, Judéc, iii. 45–51; Buhl, GAP p. 177; Heidet, art. ‘Ephrem’ in Vigouroux’s Dict. ii. 1885 ff. ; cf. , further, art. ‘Ephraim’ by J. H. Kennedy in Hastings’ DB, and by T. K. Cheyne in Encyc. Biblica. * [Note: Schürer (GJV3 ii. 163, n. 435) is certainly right in rejecting the identification of Sapfurim with Sepharvaim (" translation="">2 Kings 17:24) put forward by Resch (TU x. 4, pp. 141, 204) and approved by Blass (Ev. sec. Joh. 1902, p. xl), and in finding in Sapfurim the name of the town Sepphoris, which covered a very large area. But it is not vet certain whether Codex D has preserved here a correct tradition. " translation="">Luke 9:16 offers similar variations in the text (τολιν καλουμενην, τότον λεγομενον, τότον ἐ͂ρημον, etc). Ἐφραια might itself be derived from Sepphoris, the first letter being dropped after the ς of εἱς. ] ... Origen compares, for the retirement of Jesus, Matthew 4:12 f. and then allegorizes: Ephraim, according to Genesis 41:51 f. ‘καρτοφοριαʼ; ἀτῆλθεν ἑκεϊθεν εἰς τὴν χώραν ‘τοῦ ἁλου κὀσμου,’ ἐλλὺς τῆς ἐρήμου ‘ἐκκλησια’ εἰς Ἐφραΐμ τὴν ‘καρτοφοροῦσαν’ λεγομἑνηντόλιν, etc. (new Berlin edition, pp. 420, 551). About the site he says nothing. ... Eb. Nestle. ...
Asherah - (uh sshee' rah) A fertility goddess, the mother of Baal, whose worship was concentrated in Syria and Canaan and the wooden object that represented her. The King James Version translated Asherah “grove” and the proper noun “Ashtaroth. ”... The Hebrew word for Asherah occurs 40 times in the Old Testament. “Asherah” has been translated in a variety of ways because of uncertainty concerning its meaning. The association of the word with pagan worship is unquestioned by scholars. Most modern translators of the Bible have treated “Asherah” as a proper noun. ... The writers of the Old Testament referred to the image of Asherah as well as to “prophets” belonging to her and to vessels used in her worship (1 Kings 15:13 , 1 Kings 18:19 ; 2 Kings 21:7 , 2 Kings 23:4 ; 2 Chronicles 15:16 ). Over half of the Old Testament references to Asherah can be found in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Deuteronomy 7:5 ; Deuteronomy 12:3 instructed the Israelites to cut down and burn up the Asherim (plural form of Asherah). Deuteronomy 16:21 prohibited the planting of a tree as an “Asherah. ”... The writers of the Old Testament did not provide an actual description of an “asherah” or the origin of the worship of Asherah. Other religious writings from the Ancient Near East indicate that “Asherah” was the Hebrew name for an Amorite or Canaanite goddess who was worshiped in various parts of the Ancient Near East. The biblical writers sometimes did not make a clear distinction between references to Asherah as a goddess and as object of worship. According to ancient mythology, Asherah, the mother goddess, was the wife of El and mother of seventy gods, of whom Baal was the most famous. Asherah was the fertility goddess of the Phoenicians and Canaanites. She was called “Lady Asherah of the Sea. ” See Canaan. ... Scholars who have studied art work from the Ancient Near East have suggested that some figures in drawings could be representations of the fertility goddess Asherah. Drawings of plain and carved poles, staffs, a cross, a double ax, a tree, a tree stump, a headdress for a priest, and several wooden images could be illustrations of an Asherah. Passages such as 2 Kings 13:6 ; 2 Kings 17:16 ; 2 Kings 18:4 ; 2 Kings 21:3 ; and 2Kings 23:6,2 Kings 23:15 have been interpreted as a definition of an asherah as a wooden object constructed or destroyed by man. The object stood upright and was used in the worship of a goddess of the same name. ... The Asherah existed in both the Southern and Northern Kingdoms of Israel. Jezebel of Tyre apparently installed Asherah worship in the north when she married King Ahab (1 Kings 18:18-19 ). The principle cities in which the objects were located were Samaria, Bethel, and Jerusalem. According to 1 Kings 14:23 , the people “built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Asherim (plural) on every hill and under every green tree. ” See Baal ; Idolatry . ... James Newell... ...
Bethel - 1. Name, signifying 'house of God,' given to the place where God first appeared to Jacob in a dream. It led him to say, "Surely the Lord is in this place . . . . this is none other but the house of God . . . . and he called the name of that place Beth-el. " Genesis 28:16-19 . God thus gave to Jacob the apprehension that the house of God on earth — the gate of heaven — was to be connected with him and his seed, and afterwards God acknowledged the place and the name, saying, "I am the God of Beth-el," Genesis 31:13 . To take Jacob out of a false position God bade him go up to Beth-el and dwell there, and Jacob felt he must take no idols there, so he told his household to put away the strange gods from among them, to be clean, and to change their garments. "He built there an altar and called the place El-beth-el; " and there God met him, revealed His name to him, and confirmed the change of his name to Israel (cf. Genesis 32:28,29 ), blessed him, and renewed His promises. Genesis 35:1-16 . ... It was afterwards conquered and given to Benjamin. Joshua 12:9 ; Joshua 18:22 ; Judges 1:22 . Apparently the tabernacle was pitched at Shiloh near Bethel, for Israel went there to inquire of God, and Samuel told Saul that he should meet three men "going up to God to Beth-el. " Judges 21:19 ; 1 Samuel 10:3 . At the division of the kingdom Beth-el fell to Israel, and Jeroboam set up there one of the golden calves to prevent the Israelites going to Jerusalem to worship. An altar was erected and sacrifices offered to the idol; but it was condemned by a man of God, and the altar was rent. 1 Kings 12:29-33 ; 1 Kings 13:1-32 ; Amos 7:10,13 . There were sons of the prophets dwelling at Beth-el, 2 Kings 2:3 , but the idolatrous altar was not destroyed until the days of Josiah. 2 Kings 23:4,15,17,19 . Among those who returned from exile were men of Beth-el, and the place was again inhabited. Ezra 2:28 ; Nehemiah 7:32 ; Nehemiah 11:31 . See also Hosea 10:15 ; Hosea 12:4 ; Amos 3:14 ; Amos 4:4 ; Amos 5:5,6 . ... The city had been originally named Luz. It is now identified with Beitin, 31 56' N, 35 14' E , some 10 miles north of Jerusalem. It stands on a rocky ridge between two valleys, but has higher ground on each side except the south. Amos 5:5 said it should 'come to nought,' and now amid the scattered ruins are about 20 houses roughly formed out of the old materials. 'MOUNT BETH-EL' occurs in Joshua 16:1 ; 1 Samuel 13:2 . See BETH-AVEN. ... 2. This name, found in Joshua 12:16 (not that in Joshua 12:9 ) and 1 Samuel 30:27 , is probably a different place from the preceding because of the names associated with it, and was farther south. It is probably the same as Bethul, Bethuel. In the latter reference the LXX (Vat. ) read Baethsur. ...
Lot - Lot (lŏt), veil or covering. The son of Haran and nephew of Abraham. Genesis 11:27; Genesis 11:31. His sisters were Milcah the wife of Nahor, and Iscah, by some identified with Sarah. Haran died before the emigration of Terah and his family from Ur of the Chaldees, ver. 28, and Lot was therefore born there. He removed with the rest of his kindred to Haran, and again subsequently with Abraham and Sarai to Canaan. Genesis 12:4-5. With them he took refuge in Egypt from a famine, and with them returned first to the "South," Genesis 13:1, and then to their original settlement between Bethel and Ai. vs. 3, 4. Later, they separated, Lot choosing the fertile plain of the Jordan, near Sodom. Genesis 13:10-14. Lot was captured by the four kings of the East, and rescued by Abram. Genesis 14:1-24. He was still living in Sodom, Genesis 19:1-38, from which he was rescued by angels on the day of its final overthrow. He fled first to Zoar, in which he found a temporary refuge during the destruction of the other cities of the plain. The end of Lot's wife is commonly treated as one of the difficulties of the Bible; but it surely need not be so. The value and the significance of the story to us are contained in the allusion of Christ. Luke 17:32. It is folly to think of identifying the "pillar" with some one of the fleeting forms which the perishable rock of the south end of the Dead Sea is constantly assuming. From the incestuous intercourse between Lot and his two daughters sprang the nations of Moab and Ammon. ... Lot. Casting lots or a pebble is an ancient custom of deciding doubtful questions. Proverbs 16:33. Among the Jews lots were used with the expectation that God would so control them as to give a right direction to them, as in the choice of the apostle Matthias, Acts 1:26, and in the cases of Saul and Jonathan, and Jonah and his companions to determine who had offended God. 1 Samuel 14:41-42; Jonah 1:7. In the division of the Promised Land among the tribes of Israel the use of the lot was expressly commanded by God himself, it being understood that the extent of territory should be proportioned to the population of each tribe. Numbers 26:55. So the selection of the scapegoat on the day of atonement was to be determined by lot. Leviticus 16:8. Property was divided in a similar way. Psalms 22:18; Matthew 27:35. The orders of the priests and their daily services were also assigned by lot. 1 Chron. chaps. 24, 25. The manner of casting lots is supposed to have been by stones or marks which were thrown together into the lap or fold of a garment, or into an urn or vase, and the person holding them shook them violently, and they were then drawn. The passage, Proverbs 16:33, is paraphrased thus: "In a lot-vase the lots are shaken in all directions; nevertheless, from the Lord is the whole decision or judgment. "...
Miz'Pah - and Miz'peh ( a watch-tower ), the name of several places in Palestine.
The earliest of all, in order of the narrative, is the heap of stones piled up by Jacob and Laban, (Genesis 31:48 ) on Mount Gilead, ver. (Genesis 31:25 ) to serve both as a witness to the covenant then entered into and as a landmark of the boundary between them. ver. (Genesis 31:52 ) On this natural watch-tower did the children of Israel assemble for the choice of a leader to resist the children of Ammon. (Judges 10:17 ) There the fatal meeting took place between Jephthah and his daughter on his return from the war. ch. (Judges 11:34 ) It seems most probable that the "Mizpeh-gilead" which is mentioned here, and here only, is the same as the "ham-Mizpah" of the other parts of the narrative; and both are probably identical with the Ramath-mizpeh and Ramoth-gilead, so famous in the later history. ... A second Mizpeh, on the east of Jordan, was the Mizpeh-moab, where the king of that nation was living when David committed his parents to his care. (1 Samuel 22:3 ) ... A third was "the land of Mizpeh," or more accurately "of Mizpah," the residence of the Hivites who joined the northern confederacy against Israel, headed by Jabin king of Hazor. (Joshua 11:3 ) No other mention is found of this district in the Bible, unless it be identical with -- ... The valley of Mizpeh, to which the discomfited hosts of the same confederacy were chased by Joshua, (Joshua 11:8 ) perhaps identical with the great country of Coele-Syria. ... Mizpeh, a city of Judah, (Joshua 15:38 ) in the district of the Shefelah or maritime lowland. ... Mizpeh, in Joshua and Samuel; elsewhere Mizpah, a "city" of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem. (Joshua 18:26 ; 1 Kings 15:22 ; 2 Chronicles 16:6 ; Nehemiah 3:7 ) It was one of the places fortified by Asa against the incursions of the kings of northern Israel, (1 Kings 15:22 ; 2 Chronicles 16:6 ; Jeremiah 41:10 ) and after the destruction of Jerusalem it became the residence of the superintendent appointed by the king of Babylon, (Jeremiah 40:7 ) etc. , and the scene of his murder and of the romantic incidents connected with the name of Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. It was one of the three holy cities which Samuel visited in turn as judge of the people, (1 Samuel 7:6,16 ) the other two being Bethel and Gilgal. With the conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment there of the ark, the sanctity of Mizpah, or at least its reputation, seems to have declined. From Mizpah the city or the temple was visible. These conditions are satisfied by the position of Scopus, the broad ridge which forms the continuation of the Mount of Olives to the north and cast, from which the traveller gains, like Titus, his first view, and takes his last farewell, of the domes, walls and towers of the holy city.
a'Braham - (father of a multitude ) was the son of Terah, and founder of the great Hebrew nation. (B. C. 1996-1822. ) His family, a branch of the descendants of Shem, was settled in Ur of the Chaldees, beyond the Euphrates, where Abraham was born. Terah had two other sons, Nahor and Haran. Haran died before his father in Ur of the Chaldees, leaving a son, Lot; and Terah, taking with him Abram, with Sarai his wife and his grandson Lot, emigrated to Haran in Mesopotamia, where he died. On the death of his father, Abram, then in the 75th year of his age, with Sarai and Lot, pursued his course to the land of Canaan, whither he was directed by divine command, ( Genesis 12:5 ) when he received the general promise that he should become the founder of a great nation, and that all the families of the earth should be blessed in him. He passed through the heart of the country by the great highway to Shechem, and pitched his tent beneath the terebinth of Moreh. (Genesis 12:6 ) Here he received in vision from Jehovah the further revelation that this was the land which his descendants should inherit. (Genesis 12:7 ) The next halting-place of the wanderer was on a mountain between Bethel and Ai, (Genesis 12:8 ) but the country was suffering from famine, and Abram journeyed still southward to the rich cornlands of Egypt. There, fearing that the great beauty of Sarai might tempt the powerful monarch of Egypt and expose his own life to peril, he arranged that Sarai should represent herself as his sister, which her actual relationship to him, as probably the daughter of his brother Haran, allowed her to do with some semblance of truth. But her beauty was reported to the king, and she was taken into the royal harem. The deception was discovered, and Pharaoh with some indignation dismissed Abram from the country. (Genesis 12:10-20 ) He left Egypt with great possessions, and, accompanied by Lot, returned by the south of Palestine to his former encampment between Bethel and Ai. The increased wealth of the two kinsmen was the ultimate cause of their separation. Lot chose the fertile plain of the Jordan near Sodom, while Abram pitched his tent among the groves of Mamre, close to Hebron. (Genesis 13:1 ) . . . Lot with his family and possessions having been carried away captive by Chedorlaomer king of Elam, who had invaded Sodom, Abram pursued the conquerors and utterly routed them not far from Damascus. The captives and plunder were all recovered, and Abram was greeted on his return by the king of Sodom, and by Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who mysteriously appears upon the scene to bless the patriarch and receive from him a tenth of the spoil. (Genesis 14:1 ) . . . After this the thrice-repeated promise that his descendants should become a mighty nation and possess the land in which he was a stranger was confirmed with all the solemnity of a religious ceremony. (Genesis 15:1 ) . . . Ten years had passed since he had left his father's house, and the fulfillment of the promise was apparently more distant than at first. At the suggestion of Sarai, who despaired of having children of her own, he took as his concubine Hagar, her Egyptian main, who bore him Ishmael in the 86th year of his age. (Genesis 16:1 ) . . . [HAGAR ; ISHMAEL ] But this was not the accomplishment of the promise. Thirteen years elapsed, during which Abram still dwelt in Hebron, when the covenant was renewed, and the rite of circumcision established as its sign. This most important crisis in Abram's life, when he was 99 years old, is marked by the significant change of his name to Abraham, "father of a multitude;" while his wife's from Sarai became Sarah. The promise that Sarah should have a son was repeated in the remarkable scene described in ch. 18. Three men stood before Abraham as he sat in his tent door in the heat of the day. The patriarch, with true Eastern hospitality, welcomed the strangers, and bade them rest and refresh themselves. The meal ended, they foretold the birth of Isaac, and went on their way to Sodom. Abraham accompanied them, and is represented as an interlocutor in a dialogue with Jehovah, in which he pleaded in vain to avert the vengeance threatened to the devoted cities of the plain. (Genesis 18:17-33 ) In remarkable contrast with Abraham's firm faith with regard to the magnificent fortunes of his posterity stand the incident which occurred during his temporary residence among the Philistines in Gerar, whither he had for some cause removed after the destruction of Sodom. It was almost a repetition of what took place in Egypt a few years before. At length Isaac, the long-looked for child, was born. Sarah's jealousy aroused by the mockery of Ishmael at the "great banquet" which Abram made to celebrate the weaning of her son, (Genesis 21:9 ) demanded that, with his mother Hagar, he should be driven out. (Genesis 21:10 ) But the severest trial of his faith was yet to come. For a long period the history is almost silent. At length he receives the strange command to take Isaac, his only son, and offer him for a burnt offering at an appointed place Abraham hesitated not to obey. His faith, hitherto unshaken, supported him in this final trial, "accounting that God was able to raise up his son, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure. " (Hebrews 11:19 ) The sacrifice was stayed by the angel of Jehovah, the promise of spiritual blessing made for the first time, and Abraham with his son returned to Beersheba, and for a time dwelt there. (Genesis 22:1 ) . . . But we find him after a few years in his original residence at Hebron, for there Sarah died, (Genesis 23:2 ) and was buried in the cave of Machpelah. The remaining years of Abraham's life are marked by but few incidents. After Isaac's marriage with Rebekah and his removal to Lahai-roi, Abraham took to wife Keturah, by whom he had six children, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbok and Shuah, who became the ancestors of nomadic tribes inhabiting the countries south and southeast of Palestine. Abraham lived to see the gradual accomplishment of the promise in the birth of his grandchildren Jacob and Esau, and witnessed their growth to manhood. (Genesis 25:26 ) At the goodly age of 175 he was "gathered to his people," and laid beside Sarah in the tomb of Machpelah by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. (Genesis 25:7-10 )
Gibeah - (gihb' ih uh) Place name meaning, “a hill,” closely related to names of Geba and Gibeon. Gibeah or Gibeath was the name of four different places in the Old Testament. 1. City in hill country of Judah allotted to tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:57 ). This may be the home of King Abijah's wife Maacah (2 Chronicles 13:2 ) and could be same as the place name presupposed in the list of Caleb's descendants (1 Chronicles 2:49 ), a list including city names rather than personal names, perhaps indicating the clans who originally inhabited the cities. This Gibeah has usually been located at el-Jeba, seven and a half miles southwest of Bethlehem, but this is too far north to be connected with clans of Caleb. Otherwise, the location is not known. ... 2. A city closely connected with Phinehas, the high priest and grandson of Aaron. Phinehas buried his father Eleazar there (Joshua 24:33 ). Some try to locate this on a hill near Shechem or Bethel. Others would identify it with the levitical city of Geba in Joshua 21:17 in the territory of Benjamin. The Bible simply uses the general term “hill country of Ephraim. ” It could even be near Shiloh. ... 3. The ark was lodged on a hill (Hebrew, Gibeah ) during the period between its return by the Philistines and David's initial effort to move it to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:4 KJV). The Hebrew word is probably not a proper noun (Hebrew writing not distinguishing proper names with capital letters as does English). The best translation may be “hill” (NAS, NIV, NRSV, REB; compare 1 Samuel 7:1-2 ). The hill here is apparently near Kiriath-jearim or Baalah. See Baalah ; compare Joshua 15:9-11 . ... 4. The most significant Gibeah was the city in the tribal territory of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28 ). A bloody civil war between Benjamin and the other Israelite tribes broke out when the men of Gibeah raped a traveling Levite's concubine (Judges 19:1-21:25 ). Saul had close family connections to the city (1 Chronicles 8:29-33 also connects them with the nearby and similar-sounding Gibeon; see 1Samuel 10:5, 1 Samuel 10:26 ; 1 Samuel 15:34 ; 1 Samuel 23:19 ). If the “hill of God” (1 Samuel 10:5 KJV, NAS, REB) or “Gibeath-elohim” (NRSV) should be translated “Gibeah of God” (NIV) and equated with Gibeah of Saul, then the Philistines controlled the city prior to Saul gaining control. Apparently the Philistines built a fortress there which Saul took over, or Saul constructed his own royal complex, since archaeologists have uncovered a fortress from this period. After Saul's death, the city declined. Hosea and Isaiah referred to it during the eighth century B. C. ( Isaiah 10:29 ; Hosea 5:8 ; Hosea 9:9 ; Hosea 10:9 ). ... Isaiah shows it was on the natural path of march for an enemy army such as the Assyrians attacking Jerusalem from the north. Archaeologists have shown the city flourished once more after the destruction of Jerusalem and again in the Maccabean age. ... Gibeah is located at tell el-Ful on a high ridge three and a half miles north of Jerusalem. See Benjamin ; Geba ; Saul . ... LeBron Matthews... ...
Benjamin - The youngest son of Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel. She died at his birth and named him BEN-ONI,signifying 'son of my sorrow,' but his father named him BENJAMIN,'son of the right hand. ' Genesis 35:18,24 . Type of Christ both as exalted at God's right hand (Benjamin), and, as rejected, the occasion of Israel's tribulation in the last days (Ben-oni), Rachel being a type of Israel (Micah 5 . ). Very little is recorded of Benjamin personally: he was the father of ten sons. Genesis 46:21 . ... Benjamin was the smallest of the tribes except Manasseh in the numbering of Numbers 1:37 ; Numbers 2:22,23 . In Psalm 68:27 it is called 'little Benjamin;' but in the numbering before entering the land Benjamin exceeded in number four of the other tribes. Numbers 26:41 . In Genesis 49:27 Jacob prophesied of the tribe that it should "ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil;" typical of Christ in judgement on the earth in a future day. In Deuteronomy 33:12 , where Moses prophesied of the tribes, he said of Benjamin, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. " So in the blessings of Psalm 68:27 Benjamin is the first named of the four tribes; and in Psalm 80:2 , where God is called upon to save them, Benjamin is mentioned with Ephraim and Manasseh, being the three tribes which followed the ark. Numbers 2:17-24 ; Numbers 10:22-24 . ... The tribe did not drive out the Jebusites, but allowed them to dwell with them in Jerusalem, Judges 1:21 ; this may have led to their idolatry, for when, with Judah and Ephraim, they were attacked by the children of Ammon, they confessed they had forsaken God and served Baalim. Judges 10:9,10 . It may also have led to the dreadful deed which resulted in the destruction of nearly the whole tribe. Judges 19 - 21. From this they in a measure recovered their strength. At the division of the kingdom they remained with Judah, but a large portion of their lot was seized by Israel. At times they appear to be lost sight of, for Ahijah said that God had reserved to the house of David one tribe (as if Benjamin was reckoned as cut off in judgement), 1 Kings 11:36 . The two tribes were constantly spoken of as 'Judah,' whereas the ten tribes were called 'Israel. ' On the return from the captivity, Benjamin had its share of blessing with Judah. Ezra 1:5 ; Ezra 10:9 ; Nehemiah 11:4-36 . Paul relates twice that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Romans 11:1 ; Philippians 3:5 . In the future, twelve thousand of this tribe will be sealed. Revelation 7:8 . ... The district occupied by the tribe is often simply called Benjamin. It was situated with Ephraim on its north, and Judah on its south, Dan on its west, and the Jordan on its east; it occupied about 28 miles east and west and 14 miles north and south at its widest parts. The district is mountainous with rocks and ravines, having an elevated table land. It contained the important cities of Jerusalem (in its south border), Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, etc. ...
Answer - ‛ânâh (עָנָה, Strong's #6030), “to respond, answer, reply. ” This root occurs in most Semitic languages, although it bears many meanings. With the meaning that undergirds ‛ânâh, it appears in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Arabic, post-biblical Hebrew, and biblical Aramaic. It should be contrasted to ‛ânâh, meaning “oppress, subdue. ”Biblical Hebrew attests the verb ‛ânâh about 320 times. One of the two meanings of ‛ânâh is “to respond,” but not necessarily with a verbal response. For example, in Gen. 35:3 Jacob tells his household, “And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress. …” In Gen. 28:10ff. , where this “answering” is recorded, it is quite clear that God initiated the encounter and that, although He spoke with Jacob, the emphasis is on the vision of the ladder and the relationship with God that it represented. This meaning is even clearer in Exod. 19:18, where we read that God reacted to the situation at Sinai with a sound (of thunder). ... A nonverbal reaction is also indicated in Deut. 20:11. God tells Israel that before they besiege a city they should demand its surrender. Its inhabitants are to live as Israel’s slaves “if it [the city] make thee answer of peace [literally, “responds peaceably”], and open unto thee. …” In Job 30:20, Job says he cried out to God, who did not “respond” to him (i. e. , did not pay any attention to him). In Isaiah 49:8 the Lord tells the Messiah, “In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee. …” Here responding (“hearing”) is synonymously parallel to helping—i. e. , it is an action (cf. Ps. 69:17; Isa. 41:17). ... The second major meaning of ‛ânâh is “to respond with words,” as when one engages in dialogue. In Gen. 18:27 (the first occurrence of ‛ânâh), we read: “Abraham answered and said” to the Lord, who had just spoken. In this formula, the two verbs represent one idea (i. e. , they form an hendiadys). A simpler translation might be “respond,” since God had asked no question and required no reply. On the other hand, when the sons of Heth “answer and say” (Gen. 23:5), they are responding verbally to the implied inquiry made by Abraham (v. 4). Therefore, they really do answer. ... ‛Ânâh may mean “respond” in the special sense of verbally reacting to a truth discovered: “Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said …” (Judg. 18:14). Since no inquiry was addressed to them, this word implies that they gave a report; they responded to what they had discovered. In Deut. 21:7, the children of Israel are told how to respond to the rite of the heifer—viz. , “They shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. ” ‛... Ânâh can also be used in the legal sense of “testify”: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exod. 20:16). Or we read in Exod. 23:2: “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. …” In a similar sense, Jacob proposed that Laban give him all the spotted and speckled sheep of the flock, so that “my righteousness [will] answer [i. e. , testify] for me in time to come, when it shall come [to make an investigation] for my hire before thy face …” (Gen. 30:33). ...
Abijah - ("father of Jehovah," i. e. one whose will is that of God), or ABIJAM 1 Kings 15:1; 2 Chronicles 13:1 (called Abijah in Chronicles, not in Kings, because in the former his character is not represented as contrary to Jah's will, as it is in the latter; Abia in Matthew 1:7). ... 1. Son and successor of Rehoboam, king of Judah (Clinton, 959 s. c. ; Hales, 973); in the 18th year of Jeroboam I of Israel (1 Kings 14:31; 2 Chronicles 12:16). He endeavored to recover the ten tribes to Judah, and made war on Jeroboam. His speech on mount Zemaraim in mount Ephraim, before the battle, urged on Jeroboam the justice of his cause, that God had given the kingdom to David and his sons forever "by a covenant of salt," and that Judah had the regular temple service and priesthood, whereas Israel had made golden calves their idols, and had cast out the priests; therefore "fight not ye against the Lord God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper" (2 Chronicles 13). ... Judah's appeal to God, in a crisis of the battle, when the enemy by an ambushment was both before and behind them, brought victory to their side; they took also Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim. 400,000 men are assigned to Abijah's army, 800,000 to Jeroboam's, of whom 500,000 fell. Kennicott thinks the numbers an error of transcribers for 40,000, 80,000, 50,000; and so Abarbanel. Elated by success, he multiplied his wives, like Solomon, and by his 14 wives had 22 sons and 16 daughters. Prosperity tempted him into the wickedness which is attributed to him in Kings; men may boast of temple privileges, yet love carnal practices (Jeremiah 7:4-5). His reign lasted three years. His mother was Maachah (1 Kings 15:2), or Michaiah (2 Chronicles 13:2), doubtless named from her grandmother, Absalom's mother (2 Samuel 3:3). She was daughter of Uriel, of Gibeah, and granddaughter of Abishalom, or Absalom (1 Chronicles 11:20). "Daughter" in Scripture often means granddaughter, a generation being skipped. Abijah thus was descended from David on both father's and mother's side. Uriel had married Tamar, Absalom's beautiful daughter (2 Samuel 14:27). ... 2. Son of Jeroboam I, "in whom alone of Jeroboam's house some good thing was found toward the Lord God of Israel" (1 Kings 14:13); therefore, he alone was permitted to go down to the grave in peace. Jeroboam had sent his wife in disguise with a present to the prophet (See AHIJAH (see). Blind with age, he yet knew her and announced the tidings, sad to her but honoring to her son. So Abijah died, and "all Israel mourned for him. "... 3. 1 Chronicles 24:10. Only four returned of the 24 courses of the priesthood, of which Abijah's course was not one (Ezra 2:36-39; Nehemiah 7:39-42; Nehemiah 12:1). But the four were divided into the original 24, with the original names. Hence, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, is described as "of the course of Abia" (Luke 1:5). ... 4. Wife of Ahaz, and mother of good Hezekiah; perhaps a descendant of the Zechariah slain between the temple and the altar (2 Chronicles 24:21; 2 Chronicles 26:5; 2 Chronicles 29:1); certainly daughter of Zechariah, probably the one through whom Uzziah sought God. ...
Abraham - (uhb ra haym) Personal name meaning, “father of a multitude. ” The first Hebrew patriarch, he became known as the prime example of faith. He was the son of Terah, a descendant of Noah's son, Shem. (Genesis 11:27 ). His childhood was spent in Ur of the Chaldees, a prominent Sumerian city. He was known at the beginning as Abram (“father is exalted”), but this was changed subsequently to Abraham (“father of a multitude”) (Genesis 17:5 ). ... Terah, his father, moved to Haran with the family (Genesis 11:31 ) and after some years died there. God called Abram to migrate to Canaan, assuring him that he would father a vast nation. At different times he lived in Shechem, Bethel, Hebron, and Beer-sheba. His wife Sarai's beauty attracted the pharaoh when they moved to Egypt during a famine (Genesis 12:10 ), but God intervened to save her. The trouble arose partly because Abram had claimed her as his sister rather than his wife, and in fact she was his half-sister (Genesis 20:12 ). After returning to Palestine, Abram received further covenantal assurances from God (Genesis 15:1 ). He decided he could produce offspring by taking Sarai's handmaid Hagar as a concubine. Though the union produced a son, Ishmael, he was not destined to become Abram's promised heir. Even after another covenantal assurance (Genesis 17:1-21 ) in which the rite of circumcision was made a covenantal sign, Abram and Sarai still questioned God's promise of an heir. ... Then Sarai, whose name had been changed to Sarah (“princess”), had her long-promised son, Isaac (“laughter”), when Abraham was 100 years old. Ishmael's presence caused trouble in the family, and he was expelled with his mother Hagar to the wilderness of Paran. Abraham's faith and obedience were tested by God in Moriah when he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac. God provided an alternative sacrifice, however, saving the boy's life. As a reward for Abraham's faithfulness, God renewed the covenant promises of great blessing and the growth of a mighty nation to father and son. ... Subsequently, Sarah died and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23:19 ), after which Abraham sought a bride for Isaac. A woman named Rebekah was obtained from Abraham's relatives in Mesopotamia, and Isaac married her gladly (Genesis 24:67 ). In old age Abraham remarried and had further children, finally dying aged 175 years. Abraham recognized God as the almighty Lord of all and the Author of a covenant by which the Hebrews would become a mighty nation. God Himself was known subsequently as the God of Abraham (Exodus 3:6 ). Through him God had revealed His plan for human salvation (Exodus 2:24 ). The promises to Abraham became assurance for future generations (Exodus 32:13 ; Exodus 33:1 ). Abraham became known as “God's friend forever” (2 Chronicles 20:7 ). ... John showed that descent from Abraham did not guarantee salvation (Matthew 3:9 ). See Romans 9:1 . Indeed, foreigners would join him in the kingdom (Matthew 8:11 ). Compare Luke 16:23-30 . Lost sons of Abraham, Jesus invited to salvation (Luke 19:9 ). True children of Abraham do the works of Abraham (John 8:39 ). ... For Paul Abraham was the great example of faith (Romans 4:1 ; Galatians 3:1 ). In Hebrews Abraham provided the model for tithing (Hebrews 7:1 ) and played a prominent role in the roll call of faith (Hebrews 11:1 ). James used Abraham to show that justification by faith is proved in works (James 3:21-24 ). ... R. K. Harrison... ...
Fear - A. Verb. ... Yârê' (יָרֵא, Strong's #3372), “to be afraid, stand in awe, fear. ” This verb occurs in Ugaritic and Hebrew (both biblical and post-biblical). The Bible attests it approximately 330 times and in all periods. ... Basically, this verb connotes the psychological reaction of “fear. ” Yârê' may indicate being afraid of something or someone. Jacob prayed: “Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children” (Gen. 32:11). ... Used of a person in an exalted position, yârê' connotes “standing in awe. ” This is not simple fear, but reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the power and position of the individual revered and renders him proper respect. In this sense, the word may imply submission to a proper ethical relationship to God; the angel of the Lord told Abraham: “… I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (Gen. 22:12). The verb can be used absolutely to refer to the heavenly and holy attributes of something or someone. So Jacob said of Bethel: “How [awesome] is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). The people who were delivered from Egypt saw God’s great power, “feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses” (Exod. 14:31). There is more involved here than mere psychological fear. The people also showed proper “honor” (“reverence”) for God and “stood in awe of” Him and of His servant, as their song demonstrates (Exod. 15). After experiencing the thunder, lightning Flashes, sound of the trumpet, and smoking mountain, they were “afraid” and drew back; but Moses told them not to be afraid, “for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exod. 20:20). In this passage, the word represents “fear” or “dread” of the Lord. This sense is also found when God says, “fear not” (Gen. 15:1). ... Yârê' can be used absolutely (with no direct object), meaning “to be afraid. ” Adam told God: “… I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:10—the first occurrence). One may be “afraid” to do something, as when Lot “feared to dwell in Zoar” (Gen. 19:30). ... B. Nouns. ... Môrâ' (מֹרָא, Strong's #4172), “fear. ” The noun môrâ', which appears 12 times, is used exclusively of the fear of being before a superior kind of being. Usually it is used to describe the reaction evoked in men by God’s mighty works of destruction and sovereignty (Deut. 4:24). Hence, the word represents a very strong “fear” or “terror. ” In the singular, this word emphasizes the divine acts themselves. Môrâ' may suggest the reaction of animals to men (Gen. 9:2) and of the nations to conquering Israel (Deut. 11:25). ... Yir'âh (יִרְאָה, Strong's #3374), “fear; reverence. ” The noun yir'âh appears 45 times in the Old Testament. It may mean “fear” of men (Deut. 2:25), of things (Isa. 7:25), of situations (Jonah 1:10), and of God (Jonah 1:12); it may also mean “reverence” of God (Gen. 20:11). ...
Mount Zion - The last mountain to; be noticed in this work, according to the order of the alphabet; but the first in point of excellency and glory? We may well cry out with the Psalmist our every account, while we contemplate this holy mount, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion I Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou city of God. " (Psalms 48:14; Psa 87:3. ) The name is derived Tzun, a monument raised up. And considered as the church of Jesus, it is indeed a monument of grace here, and glory hereafter, raised up to all eternity! Here David built his city of David, a type of the city of God in Christ. Here Solomon built the temple, a type also of Christ's body. So that when in other Scriptures (numberless as they are) we read that "the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it. " (Isaiah 14:32. ) When we hear JEHOVAH saying, "Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone. " (Isaiah 28:16. ) And the Holy Ghost commissioning an apostle to tell the church, that this is Christ. (1 Peter 2:6-8. ) When, with the eye of faith, like John, we behold "the Lamb standing on mount Zion, surrounded with his redeemed. " (Revelation 14:1. ) Who but must exclaim, in the language of inspiration, "Praise waiteth for thee, O Lord, in Zion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed!" (Psalms 65:1. ) Reader! what are your views, in contemplating this mountain of the Lord's house, which he hath established "in the top of the mountains, and of which he hath said all nations shall flow unto it?" (Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1 etc. ) Are you come spiritually so, and by faith, "to mount Zion: the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem: to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven: and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel?" (Hebrews 12:22-24. )... Pause over the solemn and most interesting question? Souls that are come, know their privilege, and are conscious of their high calling; and having found peace in the blood of the cross, have constant access to a mercy-seat, and enjoy the sweet Bethel visits, of daily communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. The prophets, with one voice, have described their privileges. "The ransomed of the Lord (saith one of them) shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads. " (See Isaiah 35:10. ) "They shall come (saith another) and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock, and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all. " (Jeremiah 31:12. ) And all the prophets in like manner, describe this blessedness of the gospel church in Zion. (Joel 2:32; Obadiah 1:1:21; Zechariah 8:3. ) Reader! see to it, that these privileges and these blessings are yours. ...
Benjamin - The youngest son of Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel. She died at his birth and named him BEN-ONI,signifying 'son of my sorrow,' but his father named him BENJAMIN,'son of the right hand. ' Genesis 35:18,24 . Type of Christ both as exalted at God's right hand (Benjamin), and, as rejected, the occasion of Israel's tribulation in the last days (Ben-oni), Rachel being a type of Israel (Micah 5 . ). Very little is recorded of Benjamin personally: he was the father of ten sons. Genesis 46:21 . ... Benjamin was the smallest of the tribes except Manasseh in the numbering of Numbers 1:37 ; Numbers 2:22,23 . In Psalm 68:27 it is called 'little Benjamin;' but in the numbering before entering the land Benjamin exceeded in number four of the other tribes. Numbers 26:41 . In Genesis 49:27 Jacob prophesied of the tribe that it should "ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil;" typical of Christ in judgement on the earth in a future day. In Deuteronomy 33:12 , where Moses prophesied of the tribes, he said of Benjamin, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. " So in the blessings of Psalm 68:27 Benjamin is the first named of the four tribes; and in Psalm 80:2 , where God is called upon to save them, Benjamin is mentioned with Ephraim and Manasseh, being the three tribes which followed the ark. Numbers 2:17-24 ; Numbers 10:22-24 . ... The tribe did not drive out the Jebusites, but allowed them to dwell with them in Jerusalem, Judges 1:21 ; this may have led to their idolatry, for when, with Judah and Ephraim, they were attacked by the children of Ammon, they confessed they had forsaken God and served Baalim. Judges 10:9,10 . It may also have led to the dreadful deed which resulted in the destruction of nearly the whole tribe. Judges 19 - 21. From this they in a measure recovered their strength. At the division of the kingdom they remained with Judah, but a large portion of their lot was seized by Israel. At times they appear to be lost sight of, for Ahijah said that God had reserved to the house of David one tribe (as if Benjamin was reckoned as cut off in judgement), 1 Kings 11:36 . The two tribes were constantly spoken of as 'Judah,' whereas the ten tribes were called 'Israel. ' On the return from the captivity, Benjamin had its share of blessing with Judah. Ezra 1:5 ; Ezra 10:9 ; Nehemiah 11:4-36 . Paul relates twice that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Romans 11:1 ; Philippians 3:5 . In the future, twelve thousand of this tribe will be sealed. Revelation 7:8 . ... The district occupied by the tribe is often simply called Benjamin. It was situated with Ephraim on its north, and Judah on its south, Dan on its west, and the Jordan on its east; it occupied about 28 miles east and west and 14 miles north and south at its widest parts. The district is mountainous with rocks and ravines, having an elevated table land. It contained the important cities of Jerusalem (in its south border), Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, etc. ...
Jehu - Jehovah is he.
The son of Obed, and father of Azariah (1 Chronicles 2:38 ). ... ... One of the Benjamite slingers that joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:3 ). ... ... The son of Hanani, a prophet of Judah (1 Kings 16:1,7 ; 2 Chronicles 19:2 ; 20:34 ), who pronounced the sentence of God against Baasha, the king of Israel. ... ... King of Israel, the son of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 9:2 ), and grandson of Nimshi. The story of his exaltation to the throne is deeply interesting. During the progress of a war against the Syrians, who were becoming more and more troublesome to Israel, in a battle at Ramoth-gilead Jehoram, the king of Israel, had been wounded; and leaving his army there, had returned to Jezreel, whither his ally, Ahaziah, king of Judah, had also gone on a visit of sympathy with him (2 Kings 8:28,29 ). The commanders, being left in charge of the conduct of the war, met in council; and while engaged in their deliberations, a messenger from Elisha appeared in the camp, and taking Jehu from the council, led him into a secret chamber, and there anointed him king over Israel, and immediately retired and disappeared (2 Kings 9:5,6 ). On being interrogated by his companions as to the object of this mysterious visitor, he informed them of what had been done, when immediately, with the utmost enthusiasm, they blew their trumpets and proclaimed him king (2 Kings 9:11-14 ). He then with a chosen band set forth with all speed to Jezreel, where, with his own hand, he slew Jehoram, shooting him through the heart with an arrow (9:24). The king of Judah, when trying to escape, was fatally wounded by one of Jehu's soldiers at Beth-gan. On entering the city, Jehu commanded the eunchs of the royal palace to cast down Jezebel into the street, where her mangled body was trodden under foot by the horses. Jehu was now master of Jezreel, whence he communicated with the persons in authority in Samaria the capital, commanding them to appear before him on the morrow with the heads of all the royal princes of Samaria. Accordingly on the morrow seventy heads were piled up in two heaps at his gate. At "the shearing-house" (2 Kings 10:12-14 ) other forty-two connected with the house of Ahab were put to death (2 Kings 10:14 ). As Jehu rode on toward Samaria, he met Jehonadab (q. v. ), whom he took into his chariot, and they entered the capital together. By a cunning stratagem he cut off all the worshippers of Baal found in Samaria (2 Kings 10:19-25 ), and destroyed the temple of the idol (2 Kings 10:27 ). Notwithstanding all this apparent zeal for the worship of Jehovah, Jehu yet tolerated the worship of the golden calves at Dan and Bethel. For this the divine displeasure rested upon him, and his kingdom suffered disaster in war with the Syrians (2 Kings 10:29-33 ). He died after a reign of twenty-eight years (B. C. 884-856), and was buried in Samaria (10:34-36). "He was one of those decisive, terrible, and ambitious, yet prudent, calculating, and passionless men whom God from time to time raises up to change the fate of empires and execute his judgments on the earth. " He was the first Jewish king who came in contact with the Assyrian power in the time of Shalmaneser II. ... ...
Hosea - Placed first of the minor prophets in the canon (one collective whole "the book of the prophets," Acts 7:42), probably because of the length, vivid earnestness, and patriotism of his prophecies, as well as their resemblance to those of the greater prophets, Chronologically Jonah was before him, 862 B. C. , Joel about 810 B. C. , Amos 790 B. C. , Hosea 784 to 722 B. C. , more or less contemporary with Isaiah and Amos. Began prophesying in the last years of Jeroboam II, contemporary with Uzziah; ended at the beginning of Hezekiah's reign. The prophecies of his extant are only those portions of his public teachings which the Holy Spirit preserved, as designed for the benefit of the uuiversal church. His name means salvation. Son of Beeri, of Issachar; born in Bethshemesh. ... His pictures of Israelite life, the rival factions calling in Egypt and Assyria, mostly apply to the interreign after Jeroboam's death and to the succeeding reigns, rather than to his able government. In Hosea 2:8 he makes no allusion to Jehovah's restoration of Israel's coasts under Jeroboam among Jehovah's mercies to Israel. He mentions in the inscription, besides the reign of Jeroboam in Israel, the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, though his prophecies are addressed primarily to Israel and only incidentally to Judah; for all the prophets whether in Judah or Israel regarded Israel's separation from Judah, civil as well as religious, as an apostasy from God who promised the kingship of the theocracy to the line of David. Hence Elijah in Israel took twelve stones to represent Judah as well as Israel (1 Kings 18:31). Eichhorn sees a Samaritanism in the masculine suffix of the second person (-ak ). ... STYLE AND SUBJECT. Abrupt, sententious, and unperiodic, he is the more weighty and impressive. Brevity causes obscurity, the obscurity being designed by the Spirit to call forth prayerful study. Connecting particles are few. Changes of person, and anomalies of gender, number, and construction, abound. Horsley points out the excessively local and individual tone of his prophecies. He specifies Ephraim, Mizpah, Tabor, Gilgal, Bethel or Bethaven, Jezreel, Gibeah, Ramah, Gilead, Shechem, Lebanon, Arbela. Israel's sin, chastisement, and restoration are his theme. His first prophecy announces the coming overthrow of Jehu's house, fulfilled after Jeroboam's death, which the prophecy precedes, in Zachariah, Jeroboam's son, who was the fourth and last in descent from Jehu, and conspired against by Shallum after a six months' reign (2 Kings 15:12). ... The allusion to Shalmaneser's expedition against Israel as past, i. e. the first inroad against Hoshea whose reign began only four years before Hezekiah's, accords with the inscription which extends his prophesying to the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 17:1; 2 Kings 17:3; 2 Kings 18:9). He declares throughout that a return to Jehovah is the only remedy for the evils existing and impending: the calf worship at Bethel, established by Jeroboam, must be given up (Hosea 8:5-6; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 13:2); unrighteousness toward men, the necessary consequence of impiety towards God, must cease, or sacrifices are worthless (Hosea 4:2; Hosea 6:6, based on Samuel's original maxim, 1 Samuel 15:22). The Pentateuch is the foundation of his prophecies. ... Here as there God's past favors to Israel are made the incentive to loving obedience (Hosea 2:8; Hosea 11:1; Hosea 12:9; Hosea 13:4, compare Exodus 20:2). Literal fornication and adultery follow close upon spiritual (Hosea 4:12-14). Assyria, the great northern power, which Israel foolishly regards as her friend to save her from her acknowledged calamities, Hosea foresees will be her destroyer (Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11; Hosea 8:9; Hosea 12:1; Hosea 14:3; Hosea 3:4; Hosea 10:6; Hosea 11:11). Political makeshifts to remedy moral corruption only hasten the disaster which they seek to avert; when the church leans on the world in her distress, instead of turning to God, the world the instrument of her sin is made the instrument of her punishment. ... Hosea is driven by the nation's evils, present and in prospect, to cling the more closely to God. Amidst his rugged abruptness soft and exquisite touches occur, where God's lovingkindness, balmy as the morning sun and genial as the rain, stands in contrast to Israel's goodness, evanescent as the cloud and the early dew (Hosea 6:3-4; compare also Hosea 13:3; Hosea 14:5-7). ... DIVISIONS. There are two leading ones: Hosea 1-3; Hosea 4-14. Hosea 1; Hosea 2; and Hosea 3 form three separate cantos or parts, for Hosea 1-3 are more prose than poetry. Probably Hosea himself under the Spirit combined his scattered prophecies into one collection. Hosea 4-14, are an expansion of Hosea 3. On his marriage to Gomer, Henderson thinks that there is no hint of its being in vision, and that she fell into lewdness after her union with Hosea, thus fitly symbolizing Israel who lapsed into spiritual whoredom after the marriage contract with God on Sinai. (See GOMER. ) But an act revolting to a pure mind would hardly be ordained by God save in vision, which serves all the purposes of a vivid and as it were acted prophecy. So the command to Ezekiel (Hosea 4:4-15). ... Moreover it would require years for the birth of three children, which would weaken the force of the symbol. In order effectively to teach others Hosea must experimentally realize it himself (Hosea 12:10). Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, was probably one associated with the lascivious rites of the prevalent idolatries. Hosea's union in vision with such an one in spite of his natural repugnance would vividly impress the people with God's amazing love in uniting Himself to so polluted a nation. Hosea's taking her back after adultery (Hosea 3), at the price of a slave, marks Israel's extreme degradation and Jehovah's unchangeable love yet about to restore her. The truth expressed by prophetic act in vision was Israel's idolatry (spiritual impurity, "a wife of whoredoms") before her call in Egypt and in Ur of the Chaldees (Joshua 24:14) as well as after it. ... So also the Saviour took out of an unholy world the church, that He might unite her in holiness to Himself. No more remarkable prophecy exists of Israel's anomalous and extraordinary state for thousands of years, and of her future restoration, than Hosea 3:4-5; "Israel shall abide many days without a king (which they so craved for originally), without a sacrifice (which their law requires as essential to their religion), without an image . . . ephod . . . teraphim (which they were in Hosea's days so mad after). Afterward shall Israel return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king . . . in the latter days. " But first must come her spiritual probation in the wilderness of trial (Hosea 2:14) and her return to the Egypt of affliction (Hosea 8:13; Hosea 9:3), not literal "Egypt" (Hosea 11:5). ... New Testament references: Hosea 11:1 = Matthew 2:15; Hosea 6:6 = Matthew 9:13; Matthew 12:7; Hosea 1:10; Hosea 2:1-23 = Romans 9:25-26; Hosea 13:14 = 1 Corinthians 15:55; Hosea 1:9-10; Hosea 2:23 = 1 Peter 2:10; Hosea 10:8 = Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16; Hosea 6:2 = 1 Corinthians 15:4; Hosea 14:2 = Hebrews 13:15. The later prophets also stamp with their inspired sanction Hosea's prophecies, which they quote. Compare Hosea 1:11 with Isaiah 11:12-13; Hosea 4:3 with Zephaniah 1:3; Hosea 4:6 with Isaiah 5:13; Hosea 7:10 with Isaiah 9:12-13; Hosea 10:12 with Jeremiah 4:3. (See OSHEA. )...
Jericho - was a city of Benjamin, about seven leagues from Jerusalem, and two from the Jordan, Joshua 18:21 . Moses calls it the city of palm trees, Deuteronomy 34:3 , because of palm trees growing in the plain of Jericho. Josephus says, that in the territory of this city were not only many palm trees, but also the balsam tree. The valley of Jericho was watered by a rivulet which had been formerly salt and bitter, but was sweetened by the Prophet Elisha, 2 Kings 2:19 . Jericho was the first city in Canaan taken by Joshua, Joshua 2:1-2 , &c. He sent thither spies, who were received by Rahab, lodged in her house, and preserved from the king of Jericho. Joshua received orders to besiege Jericho, soon after his passage over Jordan, Joshua 6:1-3 , &c. God commanded the Hebrews to march round the city once a day for seven days together. The soldiers marched first, probably out of the reach of the enemies' arrows, and after them the priests, the ark, &c. On the seventh day, they marched seven times round the city; and at the seventh, while the trumpets were sounding, and all the people shouting, the walls fell down. The rabbins say, that the first day was our Sunday, and the seventh the Sabbath day. During the first six days, the people continued in profound silence; but on the seventh Joshua commanded them to shout. Accordingly they all exerted their voices, and the wall being overthrown, they entered the city, every man in the place opposite to him. Jericho being devoted by God, they set fire to the city, and consecrated all the gold, silver, and brass. Then Joshua said, "Cursed be the man before the Lord who shall rebuild Jericho. " About five hundred and thirty years after this, Hiel, of Bethel, undertook to rebuild it; but he lost his eldest son, Abiram, at laying the foundations, and his youngest son, Segub, when he hung up the gates. However, we are not to imagine that there was no city of Jericho till the time of Hiel. There was a city of palm trees, probably the same as Jericho, under the Judges, Judges 3:13 . David's ambassadors, who had been insulted by the Ammonites, resided at Jericho till their beards were grown, 2 Samuel 10:4 . There was, therefore, a city of Jericho which stood in the neighbourhood of the original Jericho. These two places are distinguished by Josephus. After Hiel of Bethel had rebuilt old Jericho, no one scrupled to dwell there. Our Saviour wrought miracles at Jericho. ... According, to Pococke, the mountains to which the absurd name of Quarantania has been arbitrarily given, are the highest in all Judea; and he is probably correct; they form part of a chain extending from Scythopolis into Idumea. The fountain of Elisha he states to be a soft water, rather warm; he found in it some small shell fish of the turbinated kind. Close by the ruined aqueduct are the remains of a fine paved way, with a fallen column, supposed to be a Roman milestone. The hills nearest to Jerusalem consist, according to Hasselquist, of a very hard limestone; and different sorts of plants are found on them, in particular the myrtle, the carob tree, and the turpentine tree; but farther toward Jericho they are bare and barren, the hard limestone giving way to a looser kind, sometimes white and sometimes grayish, with interjacent layers of a reddish micaceous stone, saxum purum micaceum. The vales, though now bare and uncultivated, and full of pebbles, contain good red mould, which would amply reward the husbandman's toil. Nothing can be more savage than the present aspect of these wild and gloomy solitudes, through which runs the very road where is laid the scene of that exquisite parable, the good Samaritan, and from that time to the present, it has been the haunt of the most desperate bandits, being one of the most dangerous in Palestine. Sometimes the track leads along the edges of cliffs and precipices, which threaten destruction on the slightest false step; at other times it winds through craggy passes, overshadowed by projecting or perpendicular rocks. At one place the road has been cut through the very apex of a hill, the rocks overhanging it on either side. Here, in 1820, an English traveller, Sir Frederick Henniker, was attacked by the Arabs with fire-arms, who stripped him naked, and left him severely wounded: "It was past mid-day, and burning hot," says Sir Frederick; "I bled profusely; and two vultures, whose business it is to consume corpses, were hovering over me. I should scarcely have had strength to resist, had they chosen to attack me. "... The modern village of Jericho is described by Mr. Buckingham as a settlement of about fifty dwellings, all very mean in their appearance, and fenced in front with thorny bushes, while a barrier of the same kind, the most effectual that could be raised against mounted Arabs, encircles the town. A fine brook flows by it, which empties itself into the Jordan; the nearest point of that river is about three miles distant. The grounds in the immediate vicinity of the village, being fertilized by this stream, bear crops of dourra, Indian corn, rice, and onions. The population is entirely Mohammedan, and is governed by a sheikh: their habits are those of Bedouins, and robbery and plunder form their chief and most gainful occupation. The whole of the road from Jerusalem to the Jordan, is held to be the most dangerous in Palestine; and indeed, in this portion of it, the very aspect of the scenery is sufficient, on the one hand, to tempt to robbery and murder, and, on the other, to occasion a dread of it in those who pass that way. One must be amid these wild and gloomy solitudes, surrounded by an armed band, and feel the impatience of the traveller who rushes on to catch a new view at every pass and turn; one must be alarmed at the very tramp of the horses' hoofs rebounding through the caverned rocks, and at the savage shouts of the footmen, scarcely less loud than the echoing thunder produced by the discharge of their pieces in the valleys; one must witness all this upon the spot, before the full force and beauty of the admirable story of the good Samaritan can be perceived. Here, pillage, wounds, and death would be accompanied with double terror, from the frightful aspect of every thing around. Here, the unfeeling act of passing by a fellow creature in distress, as the priest and Levite are said to have done, strikes one with horror, as an act almost more than inhuman. And here, too, the compassion of the good Samaritan is doubly virtuous, from the purity of the motive which must have led to it, in a spot where no eyes were fixed on him to draw forth the performance of any duty, and from the bravery which was necessary to admit of a man's exposing himself, by such delay, to the risk of a similar fate to that from which he was endeavouring to rescue his fellow creature. ...
Tradition - Little thought is generally given by the beginning Bible student to the consideration of how the written text of the Bible came to us. If any thought is given at all, it is generally assumed that God handed the text to an individual (or group of individuals), and it has thus been passed on to us. A more thorough study of the biblical text, however, has led to the conclusion that behind a great deal of the written text of the Bible stands a long stream of tradition. Jeremiah admonished his people to look for the ancient ways in order to find the way of properly living with God (Jeremiah 6:16 ). His proclamation was that their long-standing tradition should have offered a proper guide for life. ... Oral tradition appears to be the foundation of many written texts. A study of the New Testament helps us to realize that it was at least ten to twenty years after the death of Jesus before any of the Gospels were written. Prior to the writing of the first Gospel, the sermons of the apostles and many of the letters of Paul had been written. Yet during that time, the early Christians clearly knew a great deal about the life and ministry of Jesus. This information was passed on by word of mouth, becoming the traditions upon which the writers of the Gospels ultimately drew. Paul frequently referred to the traditions which he had received and which he passed on to the churches (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 ; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 ). He also pointed out some things which he had not received from tradition (compare Galatians 1:11-12 . )... The evidence for ancient oral traditions is even stronger in the Old Testament. The entire collection of the books of the prophets is made up of material which was originally spoken (preached). It generally appears that their sermons were passed on and remembered orally for a considerable period of time before they were ever written. Jeremiah had obviously preached for many years before his sermons were first written. At that time, he employed Baruch the scribe to record his sermons as the prophet dictated them (Jeremiah 36:1-4 ). Isaiah also appeared to have ordered his disciples to collect his messages for some future time (Isaiah 8:16 ). This evidence can be multiplied many times. ... Since the work of Herman Gunkel in the early part of the twentieth century, most Old Testament scholars have almost universally accepted the idea that many Old Testament texts had a long history of oral transmission before they were ever written. To a contemporary student, such a thought often appears to make such texts suspect. However, anyone who has tried to hurry through a favorite bedtime story with a child will recognize that audiences familiar with a story ensure its accurate transmission. ... It appears that the narratives were first used around campfires or in religious rituals. Either type of use is highly structured and deeply tinged with emotions which would guard the accuracy of their use. At the same time, even as a contemporary interpreter will take an old text and apply it to a new situation, these old traditions apparently were frequently retold to apply to the new situations which the people of Israel faced. (A comparative study of 1,2Kings and 1,2Chronicles makes it appear that such may also have been done with written texts as well. )... Oral traditions appear to have had their origin in the life needs of the community of faith. The German term Sitz im Leben (life situation) is normally applied to this. The point is simply that oral traditions arose, were preserved, and were passed on because the life needs of the community were being met. This recognizes that people hold on to those things which are meaningful and meet their life needs. (God used processes which met human needs to preserve His inspired Word. ) The verses of Scripture which a person memorizes and treasures are held onto for precisely the same reasons. ... Such traditions, then, clearly had their origin in historical situations. The children of Abraham held onto the stories of their ancestors because they heard God speak to them through those events, guiding them in facing similar situations. They also held on to other parts of the story as the basis for their faith that God's promised blessings were ultimately going to be fulfilled for them. ... On the other hand, other types of materials were preserved because they aided in the human approach to God in worship. Here again, it was the human need to worship and serve which gave the basis for preserving and passing on material which helped them meet those needs. ... These ancient traditions, then, were inspired by God to meet human need in real life experiences. They were preserved and passed on precisely because they had a very specific life setting, helping people to face life as it was with the strength of God to sustain them every day. Such traditions made it easier to understand what God was doing because they could hear Him speak through what He had done in other life situations. ... Furthermore, study of these ancient traditions makes it obvious that materials which were used in similar life situations were generally preserved and passed on in similar “literary” forms. The use of common forms or outlines for similar kinds of material made it even easier to maintain the accuracy of transmitting the traditions. ... The traditions of Israel and of the early Christians were obviously used by the worshiping communities as a means of maintaining and transmitting their faith. In the Old Testament these were apparently collected and preserved at the various shrines where Israel worshiped. In the New Testament, this was done among the many scattered congregations. ... A comparison of Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1 can be seen to illustrate this process. The two psalms are almost wholly identical. Yet the name for God in Psalm 14:1 is Lord (Hebrew, Yahweh ) and in Psalm 53:1 , God (Hebrew, Elohim ; compare NAS). It appears from other studies that Yahweh was preferred in Judah and at the Jerusalem Temple while Elohim was preferred in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, possibly at Bethel. It appears that this particular psalm was a favorite among Hebrew worshipers. However, when the kingdom divided, one nation preserved it with one divine name while the other used the tradition to meet their own particular needs with the other name for God. Each worshiping community was inspired to use the same hymn to worship God, but they used it with their own particular name for God. The same types of processes appear to be demonstrable in other instances. ... Further, such worshiping communities also appear to have preserved those particular traditions which were most meaningful to them. Thus Jerusalem, the City of David, appears to have had major interests in the Davidic traditions. Bethel, on the other hand, was significantly involved in the life of Jacob. It appears that traditions concerning Jacob had a very special meaning to those who worshiped at Bethel. Paul clearly referred to conflicting traditions and allegiances at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10-12 ). Such conflicts arose as the worshiping community sought to assimilate a variety of traditions into one tradition. ... Obviously, in the Old Testament all the traditions of the various worship centers and worshiping communities ultimately were assimilated in Jerusalem. In the ongoing history of the nation, all other shrines ultimately passed away as the nation finally centered its entire worship experience upon the Jerusalem Temple. The New Testament experience was different in that the Christians' worship did not shrink inward to one place but spread outward to many. It was the New Testament itself which became the focal point of New Testament traditions rather than any specific worship center. ... Oral traditions were recorded as written traditions at certain critical points in history. This is particularly true in the Old Testament era. It appears that the worshiping communities were generally quite content to use their traditions in predominantly oral form until a crisis arose which threatened their continuity. This contentment with things as they were was probably bolstered by the fact that reading and writing were skills limited primarily to the professional scribes in Old Testament times. Everyone could handle oral tradition, only a few could handle written traditions. ... However, when historical crises arose which threatened the continued stability or existence of a worship center or of a worshiping community, then it appears that the traditions were committed to writing lest they be lost. Such situations arose when the nation divided following the reign of Solomon, when the Northern Kingdom fell before Assyria, and when Jerusalem fell under the onslaught of Babylon. At such times, there appear to have been large scale writings of traditions. ... It appears that the New Testament traditions were written under the impetus of historical crises, but these were of a different nature. The Gospels were apparently written when those who had known Jesus in person began to die. There appears to have been a fear that the traditions would be lost unless they were recorded for future believers. Other New Testament materials were written to meet the crises of missions and evangelism. More people could read and write by this time. The written materials allowed people to receive the good news who had never heard a Christian preacher. As always, the handling of these materials was done under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit. ... The study of the transmission of these ancient traditions allows us to perceive the human dimension of the transmission of biblical materials as well as come to a deeper understanding of the nature of God's inspiration. The common characteristics of material preserved at specific worship centers allow us to identify many of their interests, concerns, and historical roots. On the other hand, the differences between traditions sometimes give an even greater insight into the basic human issues with which those who transmitted particular traditions were concerned. As an illustration, note that Mark says of the woman who had been plagued by the issue of blood that she had spent all her money on physicians yet had steadily gotten worse (Mark 5:25-26 ). Luke, on the other hand, left out that bit of a sarcastic criticism of doctors (Luke 8:43 ). The difference in the way these two writers handled the same tradition reveals Luke's human sympathetic concern with doctors. This adds depth to our understanding of the man who was himself a physician. ... This kind of study has left us with both a deeper understanding of the practices by which God has inspired, recorded, and preserved His Word and a greater awareness of the fact that God worked with human beings who had all of the feelings and concerns to which humanity is heir. The biblical traditions are rooted and grounded in the divine meeting of human need. They have their basis in real-life situations and were preserved by a living, worshiping community. This allows these same traditions better to meet present human need in the real-life situations of contemporary communities of faith. See Bible, Formation and Canon of ; Inspiration; Revelation. ... Robert L. Cate... ...
Jacob - BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT... THERE was no Old Testament saint of them all who, first and last, saw more of the favour and forgiveness of God than Jacob. And yet, with all that, the great sins of Jacob's youth and the great sinfulness of Jacob's heart both found him out every day he lived down to the day of his death. Of Jacob, and of Rebekah his mother, it may truly be said, Thou, O Lord, wast a God that forgavest them, though Thou tookest vengeance on their inventions. It is part of Moses' subtlety, as Philo calls it, to tell us how much more Rebekah loved Jacob than she loved Esau, whom Isaac loved; and then, to go on to give us two examples, and two examples only, of that love. The first example of Rebekah's motherly love is seen when she dresses up Jacob in Esau's clothes, and drills him into the very tones of Esau's voice, as also into all Esau's hearty huntsman's ways in the house, till she has rehearsed her favourite son Jacob into a finished and perfect supplanter. And then, her second love is seen in the terror and in the haste with which she ships off Jacob to Haran lest Esau in his revenge should send one of his shafts through the supplanter's heart. All that stands in Moses, and much more like that, both in and after Moses; and yet here are we, down in the days of the New Testament, still dressing up our daughters, and emigrating our sons, as if we had been the first fathers and mothers in all the world to whom God had said, I will give thee thy wages. ... Esau had been all up and down the whole country round about a hundred times. That bold and cunning hunter would be days and weeks away from home when the season came round for the venison to be on the hills. But Jacob had never been out of sight of his mother's tent-pole till now. The fugitive spent his first night in a herdman's hut, and his second night in the hut of a friendly native of the land; but after that all his nights were spent in the open air. And the first of Jacob's open-air nights is a night to be remembered, as we say. Poor Jacob! This is the beginning of the visitation of the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. A Syrian ready to perish, were it not that man's extremity is God's opportunity. And were it not that Jacob, and all his true seed, are known to themselves and to us by the hundred and sixteenth psalm: 'The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. I was brought low, and He helped me. ' And he took of the stones of that place and put them for his pillows, and lav down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed. God spake in divers manners in those early days. Jacob dreamed that night because Rebekah had neither a Bible nor a Pilgrim's Progress, nor a hymn-book, to put into his scrip beside his bread and his dates and his oil. No; nor, worst of all, a good example. Still, she may forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb, yet will God not forget him. And thus it was that Jacob dreamed as he did dream his first night away from home. How dreadful is this place! Jacob had been taught to feel and to say how dreadful was that place where his father's altar was built; and those places where God had come down to talk with Adam, and Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, and Hagar. But Jacob had no idea that God was at Luz, or would ever come down to talk with him there. And, then, more than that, there was this. God's presence, God's holiness, but above all God's great grace, will always make the place dreadful to a great sinner. Dreadful, with a solemnising, awful, overwhelming dread that there is no other word for. How dreadful did all Jacob's life of sin look at Luz! He had had his own thoughts about himself, and about his mother, and about his father, and about his brother all these last three days across the wilderness. But it was not till that morning at Luz that Jacob learned to say: Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned! How dreadful did his past life look now, as it lay naked and open under that gate of heaven and that shining ladder! The lasting lesson of that best of all mornings to Jacob is memorably preserved to us and to our children in our Second Paraphrase; and as we sing or say to God that noble piece we still reap into our own hearts the first sheaf out of the rich harvest of Jacob's life. We always read that chapter and sing that paraphrase on the Sabbath night before we emigrate another of the sons of Jacob; but, alas! too late; for by that time our family worship, like Isaae's that night, is but locking the stable door after the steed is stolen. ... What a down-come it was from the covenant-heights of Bethel to the cattle-troughs of Haran! What a cruel fall from the company of ascending and descending angels into the clutches of a finished rogue like Laban! Jacob had been all but carried up of angels from Bethel and taken into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled; but, instead of that, he is taken down to Padan-arain, where he is cheated out of his wages, and cheated out of his wife, and cheated, and cheated, and cheated again, ten times cheated, and that too by his own mother's brother, till cheating came out of Jacob's nostrils, and stank in his eyes, and became hateful as hell to Jacob's heart. We say that Greek sometimes meets Greek. We say that diamond sometimes cuts diamond. We calculate the length of handle his spoon would need to have who sups with the devil. We speak about the seller being sold. And we quote David to the effect that to the froward God will show Himself froward; and Paul to the same effect, that as a man soweth so shall he reap. Yes. Other people had been cheating their fathers and their brothers all these years as well as Rebekah and Jacob. Other little boys had been taking prizes in the devil's sly school besides Rebekah's favourite son. Laban, Rebekah's brother, and bone of her bone, had been making as pious speeches at Bethuel's blind bedside as ever Jacob made at Isaac's. And now that the actors are all ready, and the stage is all built, and the scenery is all hung up, all the world is invited in to see the serio-comedy of the Syrian biter bit, or Rebekah's poor lost sheep shorn to the bone by the steely shears of Shylock her brother. 'What is this that thou hast done unto me? Wherefore hast thou so beguiled me?'-Jacob appealed and remonstrated in his sweet, injured, salad innocence. Jacob had never seen or heard the like of it in his country. It shocked terribly and irrecoverably Jacob's inborn sense of right and wrong; it almost shook down Jacob's whole faith in the God of Bethel. And so still. We never see what wickedness thore is in lies, and treachery, and cheatery, and injury of all kinds till we are cheated, and lied against and injured. ourselves. We will sit all our days and speak against our brother till some one comes and reports to us what they say who sit and speak against us. And then the whole blackness and utter abominableness of detraction and calumny and slander breaks out upon us, till we cut out our tongue rather than ever again so employ it. It was Jacob's salvation that he fell into the hands of that cruel land-shark, his uncle Laban. Jacob's salvation somewhat nearer now than when he believed at Bethel; but, all the same, what is bred in the bone is not got clean rid of in a day. It were laughable to a degree, if it were not so sad, to see Jacob, after all his smart, still peeling the stakes of poplar, and chestnut, and hazel where the cattle came to drink, till it came about that all the feebler births in the cattle-pens were Laban's and all the stronger were Jacob's. And till Laban had to give it up and to confess himself completely outwitted; and till he piously and affectionately proposed a covenant at Mizpah, saying, This pillar be witness that I will not pass over it to harm thee, nor thou to harm me. ... Before we leave Laban and his enfeebled cattle, we take some excellent lessons away with us. And one of those excellent lessons is a lesson in the most perfect English style. The whole Laban episode is rich in gems of composition and expression. The Master of expression himself falls far below Moses more than once in these chapters. The prince in the Tempest is wine and water compared with Jacob. Even Burns has it better than Shakespeare:... The man that lo'es his mistress weelNae travel makes him weary. But this is still better than either: 'Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had to her. ' And there are other gems of the pen scattered lavishly about this same passage quite as good as that. Only, we are in quest tonight of better gems than gems of English, beautiful and rare and precious as they are. ... We may emigrate our sons to the gold-fields of South Africa, or to the cattle-ranches of America or Australia, and they may make such a fortune there as to be able to come home after we are no more, and build in the West-end, and educate their children in this capital of learning. But as long as Esau lives, as long as that man or that woman lives whom our son supplanted so long ago, he will build his house over a volcano, and will travel home to it with a trembling heart. And Jacob's heart often trembled and often stood still all the way of the wilderness from Haran to the Jabbok. Your son will send home secret instructions to some old class-fellow who is now at the top of the law to effect a peace, if not forgiveness and reconciliation, at any price. And so did Jacob. Jacob took a great herd of Laban's whitest cattle: goats, and camels, and kine, and everything he could think of, and sent herd after herd on beforehand so as to quench the embers of his brother's wrath. We have a like instance in that Highlander who, on hearing Robert Bruce inveighing in the High Kirk against those sins of which he knew himself to have been guilty, came up to the great preacher and said, 'I'se gie thee twenty cows to gree God and me. ' But, to Jacob's consternation, Esau never looked at those lowing, snow-white herds, but put on his armour in silence, and came posting north at the head of four hundred men. When Jacob's scouts returned and told him alt that, he was in absolute desperation. Had he been alone it would have been easy. But, with all these women and children, and with all these cattle and other encumbrances, was there ever a man taken in such a cruel trap! But he had still one whole night to count on before Esau could be at the Jabbok. And here is his prayer that night, preserved word for word to us his sons; his instant prayer after the scouts came back: 'l am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast showed to Thy servant: for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become these twl bands. Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother Esau, lest he smite me, and the women with. the children. ' That is a fine sentence about the staff. It is points like that in a prayer and in a psalm that touch and take captive both God and man. That staff at the first had been a birthday gift from his twin-brother Esau. The cunning hunter had cut it out of the wood one day, and had carried home his snares and his venison slung over it on his shoulder. When he saw that Jacob envied it, Esau smoothed the stout branch better, and straightened it out, and carved E. and J. into a true lover's knot under the handle of it, and laid it beside Jacob's lentil dish on the morning of their double birthday. That staff felt like so much lead when Jacob took it into his hand to run from home; but he would need it, and, though it sometimes burned his hand to a red-hot cinder, somehow he never could throw it away. That staff stood sentinel over its dreaming master at Bethel, and with its help he waded the Jordan, and sprang the Jabbok, till he laid it down to water Rachel's sheep in Padan-arain. Jacob and his staff were a perfect proverb in Padan-aram. They were never found separated. Jacob never felt alone when he had his staff in his hand; and many a time he was overheard talking to it, and it to him. And now, at the return to Jabbok, with that staff he made his prayer and praise to God, as if it had been some sacred instrument of a priest which had power with God. And, no doubt, we all have a staff, or a pen, or a ring, or book, or a Bible, or something or other that has gone with us through all our banishments, migrations, ups and downs in life, and when our hearts are soft and our prayers come upon us we again take that old companion by the hand. You will have a blue old cloak, like Newman's, or a. brown old plaid that you bought while yet you were in your mother's house,-I have one,-and you feel sure that you could pit that old plaid with a story hanging at every single thrum and tassel of it, against Jacob's so-travelled staff any day. You will give orders that that old wrap is to be your winding-sheet; and you will wear it, with all its memories of judgment and of mercy, under your wedding garment in heaven. 'With my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become these two bands. '... And he took them and sent them over the brook, and sent over all that he had. And when the night fell upon him Jacob was left alone. But now, who can tell how near Esau may be by this time! That cunning, cruel, revengeful man! Till, as the darkness fell so obscure, every plunge of the Jabbok, and every roar of the storm, made Jacob feel the smell of Esau's coat and the blow of his hairy hand. Whether in the body, Jacob to the day of his death could never tell; or whether out of the body, Jacob could never tell; but such a night of terror and of battle no other man ever spent. It was Esau, and it was not Esau. It was God, and it was not God. It was both God and Esau; till Jacob to the day of his death could never tell Who the terrible Wrestler really was Just before the morning broke, with one last wrench Jacob was left halt and lame for life. When, as if from the open heaven, he was baptized of the gracious Wrestler into a new name. For as He departed and the morning broke, the mysterious Han said to Jacob as he lay prostrate at His feet, Thou art henceforth no longer Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince thou hast power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. ... Jacob's new name is a great surprise to us. We would never have called Jacob a prince. There are many other names and titles and epithets we would have given to this overtaken son of Isaac and Rebekah; this broken brother of Esau, whose sins have so found him out. But God proclaims Jacob ever after the Jabbok none of our names, but a prince. And for this reason. Prayer, such prayer as Jacob prayed that night, is the princeliest act any man can possibly perform. The noblest, the grandest, the boldest, the most magnificent act a human being can perform on this earth is to pray; to pray, that is, as Jacob prayed at Peniel. No man is a prince with God all at once; no, nor after many years. Few men-one here and another there-ever come to any princeliness at all, either in their prayers or in anything else. Jacob had twenty years, and more, of sin and of sorrow, of remorse and of repentance, of gratitude for such a miraculous past, and of beaten-back effort after a better life, and then, to crown all, he had that unparalleled night of fear and prayer at the Jabbok; a night's work such that even the Bible has nothing else like it till our Lord's night in Gethsemane,-and it is only after all that, and far more than Moses with all his honesty and all his subtlety has told us,-it is only then that Jacob is proclaimed of God a prince with God. You must understand that prayer, to be called prayer, is not what you hear people all about you calling prayer. That is not prayer. Jacob's thigh was out of joint, and our Lord's sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. Prayer is colossal work. There were giants in those days. Prayer takes all our heart, and all our soul, and all our strength, and all our mind, and all our life, sleeping and waking. Prayer is the princeliest, the noblest, the most unearthly act on this side heaven. Only pray, then; only Pray aright, and enough, and it will change your whole nature as it changed Jacob's. Till, from the meanest, the falsest, the most treacherous, the most deceitful, the most found-out, and the most miserable of men, it will make you also a very prince with God and with men. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help!...
Ramah - RAMAH . The name of several places in Palestine, so called from their ‘loftiness,’ that being the radical meaning of the word. These are as follows: ... 1 . A city of Naphtali ( Joshua 19:36 ) not otherwise known, perhaps Râmeh between ‘Akka and Damascus, 8 miles W. S. W. of Safed. 2 . A city of Asher ( Joshua 19:29 ) not elsewhere mentioned, and Identified not improbably with Râmia , near Tyre. 3 . A city of Benjamin ( Joshua 18:25 ) between which and Bethel was the palm of Deborah ( Judges 4:5 ); one of the alternatives which the Levite of Bethlehem had to choose for a lodging on his fatal journey ( Judges 19:13 ); yielded with Geba 621 men to the post-exilic census of Ezra ( Ezra 2:26 ); re-settled by Benjamites ( Nehemiah 11:33 ). Its place is indicated between Geba and Gibeah in Isaiah’s picture of the Assyrian advance ( Isaiah 10:29 ). A tradition placed here the site of Rachel’s tomb: this explains the allusions in 1 Samuel 10:2 , Jeremiah 31:15 (quoted in Matthew 2:18 ). Here Jeremiah was loosed from his chains ( Isaiah 40:1 ). The name, and not improbably the site, of this place is preserved by a little village on a hillside north of Jerusalem known as er-Râm , which answers the geographical requirements of these incidents. Near it are some remarkable ancient monuments, known locally as ‘The Graves of the Children of Israel,’ which possibly are the ‘tomb of Rachel’ of the ancient tradition. This town was probably the home of Shimei, the Ramathite , David’s vine-dresser ( 1 Chronicles 27:27 ). 4 . A place in the district called Ramathaim-zophim ( 1 Samuel 1:1 ), a (corrupt) name prob. = ‘ the two heights of the Zuphites. ’ The latter ethnic can hardly be dissociated from the name of the great high place of Mizpah ( Neby Samwîl ). Its chief distinction is its connexion with Samuel. It was ‘In the hill-country of Ephraim,’ but might have been over the S. border of the tribe. Here Elkanah lived, and here was the headquarters of Samuel throughout his life ( 1 Samuel 1:19 ; 1 Samuel 2:11 ; 1Sa 7:17 ; 1 Samuel 8:4 ; 1 Samuel 15:34 ; 1 Samuel 16:18 ; 1 Samuel 19:18-23 ; 1 Samuel 20:1 ; 1 Samuel 25:1 ; 1 Samuel 28:8 ). This is probably the Ramah fortified by Baasha against the Judahite kingdom ( 1 Kings 15:17 , 2 Chronicles 16:1 ), rather than the Benjamite Ramah: the latter being actually within Judahite territory would not have been accessible to him. This Ramah appears also in 1Ma 11:34 as Ramathaim . No satisfactory Identification of the Ephraimite Ramah has yet been proposed. It may be identical with No. 3 . Râm-allah , a large village about 12 miles N. of Jerusalem, would fairly well suit the requirements of the history, but there are no definite Indications of antiquities there. 5 . By the name Ramah allusion is made to Ramoth-gilead (wh. see) in 2 Kings 8:23 and the parallel passage 2 Chronicles 22:6 . 2 Chronicles 22:6 . Ramathlehi , the scene of Samson’s victory over the Philistines with the jawbone ( Judges 15:17 ), is unknown. See Lehi. Ramath here is probably a common noun, and we ought to render it ‘the height of Lehi. ’ 7. Ramath-mizpeh ( Joshua 13:26 ). See Mizpah, No. 4 . 8. Ramah (or Ramoth) of the South ( Joshua 19:8 ). A town in the tribe of Judah, given to Simeon; to which David sent the spoil of Ziklag ( 1 Samuel 30:27 ). It is quite unknown. ... R. A. S. Macalister. ...
Shiloh - SHILOH . 1 . Here the Israelites assembled at the completion of the conquest, and erected the Tent of Meeting; portions were assigned to the still landless tribes, and cities to the Levites ( Joshua 18:1 etc. Joshua 21:1 etc. ). At Shiloh the congregation deliberated regarding the altar built by the men of the eastern tribes in the Jordan Valley ( Joshua 22:12 ff. ). During the period of the Judges, it was the central sanctuary ( Judges 18:31 ), the scene of great religious festivals and pilgrimages ( Judges 21:19 , 1 Samuel 1:2 ). On one of these occasions the Benjamites captured as wives the women who danced among the vineyards ( Judges 21:18 ff. ). Here the youth of Samuel was spent, and from this narrative we gather that the ‘tent’ had given place to a permanent structure, a ‘ temple ’ ( hçkâl ), under the care of the high priest Eli and his family. The loss of the ark and the disaster to his sons proved fatal to Eli ( 1 Samuel 4:12 ff. ), and Shiloh apparently ceased to rank as a sanctuary. The destruction of its temple, possibly by the Philistines, is alluded to in Jeremiah 7:12 ; Jeremiah 7:14 ; Jeremiah 26:6 ; Jeremiah 26:9 (cf. Psalms 78:60 ). Eli’s descendants are afterwards found at Nob ( 1 Samuel 14:3 ; 1 Samuel 22:11 ). The prophet Ahijah was a native of Shiloh ( 1 Kings 11:29 ; 1 Kings 14:2 ; 1 Kings 14:4 ). ... The original name, as shown by the gentilic Shilonite , was Shiôn . This form survives in the mod. Seilûn , a ruined site on a hill E. of the road to Shechem, about 9 miles N. of Bethel, and 3 miles S. W. of Khân el-Lubbân (Lebonah, Judges 21:19 ). A terrace on the N. of the hill, with a rock-hewn quadrangle, c. 400 ft. × 80 ft. , may have been the site of the ancient temple. There is an excellent spring in the valley to the east. There are also numerous rock-hewn tombs. The terraced slopes tell of vineyards, long since disappeared. ... 2 . The real meaning of the clause ‘ until Shiloh come’ ( Genesis 49:10 EV [Note: English Version. ] ) is doubtful. If ‘Shiloh’ were a name applied to the Messiah, it would have a special significance; but this cannot be discovered. No ancient version so reads it. The Targg. (Onk. , Jerus. , and pseud. -Jon. ) all interpret it of the Messiah. The Peshitta, on the other hand, reads ‘until he shall come whose it [ i. e. the kingdom] is. ’ Three possible readings are given in RVm [Note: Revised Version margin. ] . (1) ‘Till he come to Shiloh’; grammatically correct, and supported by many scholars. Elsewhere in Scripture, Shiloh means the Ephraimite town. This is taken to refer to Judah’s laying down the leadership he had exercised, when, the conquest finished, Israel assembled at Shiloh. Apart from other objections, however, shçbet , ‘sceptre,’ seems to denote something more than a mere tribal supremacy, and it is not certain that Judah possessed even that pre-eminence. (2) ‘Until that which is his shall come’; so LXX [Note: Septuagint. ] ‘till the things reserved for him come. ’ (3) ‘Until he shall come whose it is’ (Pesh. , Targg. as above). While no certain decision as to the exact meaning is possible, the Messianic character of the verse is clear. It contemplates the ultimate passing of the power of Judah into the bands of an ideal ruler. ... Shilonite = ‘native of Shiloh’ is used of 1 . Ahijah ( 1 Kings 11:29 etc. ). 2 . A family dwelling in Jerusalem ( 1 Chronicles 9:5 etc. ). In the latter passage the true reading is prob. ‘the Shelanite ’ (cf. Numbers 26:20 ). ... W. Ewing. ...
Elisha - God his salvation, the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, who became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1 Kings 19:16-19 ). His name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor (1 Kings 19:16 ). This was the only one of the three commands then given to Elijah which he accomplished. On his way from Sinai to Damascus he found Elisha at his native place engaged in the labours of the field, ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen. He went over to him, threw over his shoulders his rough mantle, and at once adopted him as a son, and invested him with the prophetical office (Compare Luke 9:61,62 ). Elisha accepted the call thus given (about four years before the death of Ahab), and for some seven or eight years became the close attendant on Elijah till he was parted from him and taken up into heaven. During all these years we hear nothing of Elisha except in connection with the closing scenes of Elijah's life. After Elijah, Elisha was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel. He possessed, according to his own request, "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9 ); and for the long period of about sixty years (B. C. 892-832) held the office of "prophet in Israel" (2 Kings 5:8 ). After Elijah's departure, Elisha returned to Jericho, and there healed the spring of water by casting salt into it (2 Kings 2:21 ). We next find him at Bethel (2:23), where, with the sternness of his master, he cursed the youths who came out and scoffed at him as a prophet of God: "Go up, thou bald head. " The judgment at once took effect, and God terribly visited the dishonour done to his prophet as dishonour done to himself. We next read of his predicting a fall of rain when the army of Jehoram was faint from thirst (2 Kings 3:9-20 ); of the multiplying of the poor widow's cruse of oil (4:1-7); the miracle of restoring to life the son of the woman of Shunem (4:18-37); the multiplication of the twenty loaves of new barley into a sufficient supply for an hundred men (4:42-44); of the cure of Naaman the Syrian of his leprosy (5:1-27); of the punishment of Gehazi for his falsehood and his covetousness; of the recovery of the axe lost in the waters of the Jordan (6:1-7); of the miracle at Dothan, half-way on the road between Samaria and Jezreel; of the siege of Samaria by the king of Syria, and of the terrible sufferings of the people in connection with it, and Elisha's prophecy as to the relief that would come (2 Kings 6:24-7:2 ). ). ... We then find Elisha at Damascus, to carry out the command given to his master to anoint Hazael king over Syria (2 Kings 8:7-15 ); thereafter he directs one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel, instead of Ahab. Thus the three commands given to Elijah (9:1-10) were at length carried out. ... We do not again read of him till we find him on his death-bed in his own house (2 Kings 13:14-19 ). Joash, the grandson of Jehu, comes to mourn over his approaching departure, and utters the same words as those of Elisha when Elijah was taken away: "My father, my father! the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. " ... Afterwards when a dead body is laid in Elisha's grave a year after his burial, no sooner does it touch the hallowed remains than the man "revived, and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:20-21 ). ... ...
Burial - The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah (Genesis 23 ). The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the purchase of a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron "four hundred shekels of silver current money with the merchants. " Thus the patriarch became the owner of a part of the land of Canaan, the only part he ever possessed. When he himself died, "his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife (Genesis 25:9 ). Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth, "the oak of weeping" (Genesis 35:8 ), near to Bethel. Rachel died, and was buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave" (16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died (27,29). Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah" (49:31). In compliance with the oath which he made him swear unto him (47:29-31), Joseph, assisted by his brethren, buried Jacob in the cave of Machpelah (50:2,13). At the Exodus, Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him," and they were buried in the "parcel of ground" which Jacob had bought of the sons of Hamor (Joshua 24:32 ), which became Joseph's inheritance (Genesis 48:22 ; 1 Chronicles 5:1 ; John 4:5 ). Two burials are mentioned as having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam (Numbers 20:1 ), and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab" (Deuteronomy 34:5,6,8 ). There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which probably, however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor (Numbers 20:28,29 ). ... Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah" (Joshua 24 :: 30 ). ... In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which were probably the Pyramids (3:14,15). The Hebrew word for "waste places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for "pyramids. " ... Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial (1 Samuel 25:1 ). Joab (1 Kings 2:34 ) "was buried in his own house in the wilderness. " ... In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons we meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead (1 Samuel 31:11-13 ). The same practice is again referred to by (Amos 6:10 ). ... Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain (2 Samuel 18:17,18 ). The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was intended to mark abhorrence of the person buried (Compare Joshua 7:26,8:29 ). There was no fixed royal burying-place for the Hebrew kings. We find several royal burials taking place, however, "in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10 ; 11:43 ; 15:8 ; 2 Kings 14:19,20 ; 15:38 ; 1 Kings 14:31 ; 22:50 ; 2 Chronicles 21:19,20 ; 2 Chronicles 24:25 , etc. ). Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the sepulchres of the sons of David; "and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death" (2 Chronicles 32:33 ). ... Little is said regarding the burial of the kings of Israel. Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital of their kingdom (2 Kings 10:35 ; 13:9 ; 14:16 ). ... Our Lord was buried in a new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself (Matthew 27:57-60 ; Mark 15:46 ; John 19:41,42 ). ... The grave of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it" (John 11:38 ). Graves were frequently either natural caverns or artificial excavations formed in the sides of rocks (Genesis 23:9 ; Matthew 27:60 ); and coffins were seldom used, unless when the body was brought from a distance. ... ...
Kidron (1) - KIDRON (AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] Cedron ), THE BROOK ( nachat , ‘torrent valley,’ ‘wady,’ 2 Samuel 15:23 , 1Ki 2:37 , 2 Chronicles 33:14 , Nehemiah 2:15 etc. ; Gr. cheimarrous , John 18:1 ). The name of a valley, nearly 3 miles in length, which bounds the plateau of Jerusalem on the East. It is always dry except during and immediately after heavy rain; it is the same valley that is referred to as the Valley of Jehoshaphat (wh. see). It commences about 1 1 / 4 miles N. of the N. W. corner of the city walls, as a wide, open, shallow valley. At first it runs S. E. , receiving tributaries from the W. and N. , but where it is now crossed by the modern carriage road to the Mt. of Olives, it turns South. Near this spot (as well as higher up) there are a number of ancient tombs; among them on the W. side of the valley are the so-called ‘Tombs of the Kings,’ and on the East the reputed tomb of ‘Simon the Just,’ much venerated by the Jews. The whole of this first open section of the valley is to-day known as Wady el-Joz ; (‘Valley of the Nuts’): it is full of fertile soil, and in a great part of its extent is sown with corn or planted with olives or almonds. As the valley approaches the East wall of the city it rapidly deepens, and rocky scarps appear on each side; it now receives the name Wady Sitti Miriam, i. e . ‘Valley of the Lady Mary. ’ Opposite the Temple area the bottom of the valley, now 40 feet below the present surface, is about 400 feet below the Temple platform. S. of this it continues to narrow and deepen, running between the village of Silwân (see Siloam) on the E. and the hill Ophel on the West. Here lies the ‘Virgin’s Fount,’ ancient Gihon (wh. see), whose waters to-day rise deep under the surface, though once they ran down the valley itself. A little farther on the valley again expands into a considerable open area, where vegetables are now cultivated, and which perhaps was once the ‘ King’s Garden ’ (wh. see). The Tyropœon Valley, known now as el-Wâd , joins the Kidron Valley from the N. , and farther on the Wady er-Rabâbi traditionally Hinnom (wh. see), runs in from the West. The area again narrows at Bîr Eyyûb , the ancient En-rogel (wh. see), and the valley continues a long winding course under the name of Wady en-Nâr (‘Valley of Fire’) till it reaches the Dead Sea. ... There is no doubt whatever that this is the Kidron of the OT and NT. It is interesting that the custom of burying Israelites there, which is observed to-day (see Jehoshaphat [Valley of]), is referred to in 2 Kings 23:4 ; 2Ki 23:6 ; 2 Kings 23:12 , and 2 Chronicles 34:5 . It is probable that the place of the ‘graves of the common people’ ( Jeremiah 26:23 ) was also here, and it has been suggested, from a comparison with Jeremiah 31:40 , with less plausibility, that this may have been the scene of Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones ( Ezekiel 37:1-28 ). The ‘fields of Kidron’ ( 2 Kings 23:4 ), though generally identified with the open part of the valley when it is joined by the Tyropœon Valley, are more likely to have been the open upper reaches of the valley referred to above as Wady el-Joz , which were on the way to Bethel. ... The Valley of the Kidron is mentioned first and last in the Bible at two momentous historical crises, when David crossed it (2 Samuel 15:23 ) amid the lamentations of his people as he fled before Absalom, and when Jesus ‘went forth with His disciples over the brook Kidron’ ( John 18:1 ) for His great and terrible agony before His crucifixion. ... E. W. G. Masterman. ...
Grave - Place where the physical remains of a deceased person are interred. It is "the place appointed for all living" (Job 30:23 ). It is where all go, even animals (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 ). It is a place with no class distinctions (Job 3:14-19 ). ... In Old Testament times, a person who touched a grave was unclean (Numbers 19:16-18 ). Thus almost all burials took place outside the city except for certain kings. Ezekiel prophesies that Judah will never again defile God's name with the corpses of their kings. The grave became a metaphor for human depravity. Paul quotes Psalm 5:9 ("their throat is an open grave") as part of his scriptural basis that all people are under sin ( Romans 3:9,13 ). Jesus compares some people in his day to whitewashed tombs that are beautiful on the outside but "full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" on the inside (Matthew 23:27 ). They are only outwardly righteous. ... A grave could be a symbol of pride. Absalom followed the practice of ancient Near Eastern kings when he built himself a monument (2 Samuel 18:18 ). Isaiah proclaimed that no one had the right to build such arrogant structures. Shebna, the royal steward, was told that he would be hurled out of the country for chiseling out a resting place for himself on the high rock (Isaiah 22:15-19 ). ... A grave might be a symbol of respect. Nehemiah remembered Jerusalem as the place of his father's grave (Nehemiah 2:5 ). Jacob set up a pillar to mark Rachel's tomb (Genesis 35:20 ). Not being interred in the family tomb was considered unthinkable. The anonymous prophet was punished in this way (1 Kings 13:22 ). Josiah did not desecrate this tomb out of respect for him (2 Kings 23:15-18 ). Jeroboam's baby was the only one good enough to deserve a burial (1 Kings 14:13 ). ... To show disrespect for idolaters the dust of broken cult symbols was scattered over their graves (2 Chronicles 34:4 ). Josiah broke into the tombs at Bethel and burned the bones of the idolatrous priests upon the altar there to defile it (2 Kings 23:15-17 ). In Revelation 11:9 men do not bury the two witnesses to show contempt for them. ... Graves at times symbolized hopelessness. The Gadarene demoniac made his home among the tombs (Mark 5:2 ). It is a place of no return, where there is gloom, deep shadow, and disorder (Job 10:21-22 ). There is no activity there (Psalm 88:5,16 ; Ecclesiastes 9:10 ). But it is not necessarily a final resting place. Human beings will lie there until the heavens are no more (Job 14:12 ). The tomb is not an "eternal home" but a "dark house" (Ecclesiastes 12:5 ). ... A grave is also a symbol of hope, however. With the resurrection of Christ tombs in Jerusalem were opened and the dead came out (Matthew 27:52 ). When people threw a body into Elisha's grave, it came back to life (2 Kings 13:21 ). David's tomb reminded Peter of his prophecy that says, "You will not abandon me to the grave" (Acts 2:27-29 ). Jesus said that "all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out" (John 5:28-29 ). Christianity is still best represented by the empty grave (John 20:1-9 ). ... Paul Ferguson... See also Burial ; Death, Mortality ; Funeral ; Hell ... Bibliography . W. Coleman, Today's Handbook of Bible Times and Customs ; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, vol. 1; N. J. Tromp, Primitive Conceptions of Death and the Nether World ; H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament ; R. Youngblood, A Tribute to Gleason Archer . ... ...
Abijah - 1. Son and successor of Rehoboam, king of Judah. He began to reign in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam, king of Israel (B. C. 958) and reigned three years. He walked in the sin of his father Rehoboam, but for David's sake he was placed on the throne, that, as Jehovah had said, David might have 'a light alway before me in Jerusalem. ' 1 Kings 11:36 ; 1 Kings 15:4 . "There waswarbetween Abijah and Jeroboam," and Abijah by a patriotic address to Israel sought to recover the ten tribes. This could not be; for the rupture in the kingdom had been brought about by God on account of their wickedness. Nevertheless Abijah trusted in Jehovah while he did not fail to rebuke Israel touching the golden calves they had erected. God smote Jeroboam and all Israel, and there fell 500,000 chosen men of Israel. Abijah also took the cities of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephrain; and Jeroboam was not able to recover strength all the days of Abijah. 2 Chronicles 13 . In the above war Israel had 800,000 chosen men, and Judah 400,000. These numbers, together with the number slain, have been much called in question by critics, who say they ought to be 80,000 and 40,000, and 50,000 slain; which numbers are to be found in some of the early Latin copies and also in some early copies of Josephus. But the numbers in the Hebrew scriptures must have the preference: and what is there improbable in the numbers when we compare them with the number of men 'that drew sword' when David last numbered the people? 1 Chronicles 21:5 . Israel had 1,100,000; Judah had 470,000 and this was without Levi and Benjamin, who were not counted. This was about fifty years before the battle, ample time (notwithstanding the loss at the pestilence that followed the numbering) for a large increase. In 2 Samuel 24:9 , the number of fighting men in Israel is given as only 800,000. It is supposed that this does not include the standing army, which according to 1 Chronicles 27:1 , amounted to 24,000 x12 = 288,000, which with its officers would be about 300,000, and this added to 800,000 = 1,100,000. On the other hand, the fighting men of Judah are in Samuel said to be 500,000. David may have had 30,000 with him at Jerusalem, from whence Joab went out, which may be here included, but which are not included in 1 Chronicles 21:5 . ... Abijah 'waxed mighty and married fourteen wives;' which may have been a snare to him. 2 Chronicles 13:1-22 . He is called ABIJAM in 1 Kings 14:31 ; 1 Kings 15:1-8 ; and ABIA in 1 Chronicles 3:10 ; Matthew 1:7 . ... 2. Son of Jeroboam I. , king of Israel. His mother disguised herself and went to Ahijah the prophet to inquire whether her child should recover from his sickness. Jehovah revealed to the prophet who it was that came to him, and he told out to the mother the heavy judgement that should befall her husband and his house; but because there was "some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel" in Abijah, he should come to his grave peacefully. In mercy he was taken from the coming judgement. As his mother came to the threshold of the door the child died. 1 Kings 14:1-17 . ... 3. Descendant of Eleazar who gave his name to the eighth of the twenty-four courses of priests. 1 Chronicles 24:10 . The same is called ABIA in Luke 1:5 . ... 4. Daughter of Zechariah and mother of Hezekiah 2 Chronicles 29:1 : contracted into ABI in2Kings 18:2. ... 5. One ormore of the priests who returned from the captivity, one of whom sealed the covenant. Nehemiah 10:7 ; Nehemiah 12:4 17 ...
Calf - עגל . The young of the ox kind. There is frequent mention in Scripture of calves, because they were made use of commonly in sacrifices. The "fatted calf," mentioned in several places, as in 1 Samuel 28:24 , and Luke 15:23 , was stall fed, with special reference to a particular festival or extraordinary sacrifice. The "calves of the lips," mentioned by Hosea 14:2 , signify the sacrifices of praise which the captives of Babylon addressed to God, being no longer in a condition to offer sacrifices in his temple. The Septuagint render it the "fruit of the lips;" and their reading is followed by the Syriac, and by the Apostle to the Hebrews 13:15 . The "golden calf" was an idol set up and worshipped by the Israelites at the foot of mount Sinai in their passage through the wilderness to the land of Canaan. Having been conducted through the wilderness by a pillar of cloud and fire, which preceded them in their marches, while Moses was receiving the divine commands that cloud covered the mountain, and they probably imagined that it would no longer be their guide; and, therefore, applied to Aaron to make for them a sacred sign or symbol, as other nations had, which might visibly represent God. With this request, preferred tumultuously, and in a menacing manner, Aaron in a moment of weakness complied. The image thus formed is supposed to have been like the Egyptian deity, Apis, which was an ox, an animal used in agriculture, and so a symbol of the God who presided over their fields, or of the productive power of the Deity. The means by which Moses reduced the golden calf to powder, so that when mixed with water he made the people drink it, in contempt, has puzzled commentators. Some understand that he did this by a chemical process, then well known, but now a secret; others, that he beat it into gold leaf, and then separated this into parts so fine, as to be easily potable; others, that he reduced it by filing. The account says, that he took the calf, burned it to powder, and mixed the powder with water; from which it is probable, as several Jewish writers have thought, that the calf was not wholly made of gold, but of wood, covered with a profusion of gold ornaments cast and fashioned for the occasion. For this reason it obtained the epithet golden, as afterward some ornaments of the temple were called, which we know were only overlaid with gold. It would in that case be enough to reduce the wood to powder in the fire, which would also blacken and deface the golden ornaments; but there is no need to suppose they were also reduced to powder. It is plain from Aaron's proclaiming a fast to Jehovah, ... Exodus 32:4 , and from the worship of Jeroboam's calves being so expressly distinguished from that of Baal, 2 Kings 10:28-31 , that both Aaron and Jeroboam meant the calves they formed and set up for worship to be emblems of Jehovah. Nevertheless, the inspired Psalmist speaks of Aaron's calf with the utmost abhorrence, and declares that, by worshipping it, they forgat God their Saviour, (see 1 Corinthians 10:9 ,) who had wrought so many miracles for them, and that for this crime God threatened to destroy them, Psalms 106:19-24 ; Exodus 32:10 ; and St. Stephen calls it plainly ειδωλον , an idol, Acts 7:41 . As for Jeroboam, after he had, for political reasons, 1 Kings 12:27 , &c, made a schism in the Jewish church, and set up two calves in Dan and Bethel, as objects of worship, he is scarcely ever mentioned in Scripture but with a particular stigma set upon him: "Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. "...
Anointing - Anointing in Holy Scripture is either: I. , with oil; or II. , with the Holy Ghost. I. With oil. 1. Anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice with the Jews, as with other oriental nations. Deuteronomy 28:40; Ruth 3:3; Micah 6:15. Abstinence from it was a sign of mourning. 2 Samuel 14:2; Daniel 10:3; Matthew 6:17. Anointing the head with oil or ointment seems also to have been a mark of respect sometimes paid by a host to his guests. Luke 7:46 and Psalms 23:5. The bodies of the dead were often anointed, not with a view to preserve them from corruption, but to impart a fragrancy to the linen in which the corpse was wrapped. Mark 14:8; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; John 19:39-40. 2. Anointing with oil was a rite of inauguration into each of the three typical offices of the Jewish commonwealth, (a) Prophets were occasionally anointed to their office, 1 Kings 19:16, and are called messiahs, or anointed. 1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalms 105:15. (b) Priests, at the first institution of the Levitical priesthood, were all anointed to their offices, the sons of Aaron as well as Aaron himself, Exodus 40:15; Numbers 3:3; but afterwards, anointing seems not to have been repeated at the consecration of ordinary priests, but to have been especially reserved for the high priest, Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 16:32; so that "the priest that is anointed," Leviticus 4:3, is generally thought to mean the high priest, (c) Kings. Anointing was the principal and divinely appointed ceremony in the inauguration of the Jewish kings. 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Kings 1:34; 1 Kings 1:39. The rite was sometimes performed more than once. David was thrice anointed to be king. After the separation into two kingdoms, the kings both of Judah and of Israel seem still to have been anointed. 2 Kings 9:3; 2 Kings 11:12. (d) Inanimate objects also were anointed with oil in token of their being set apart for religious service. Thus Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel, Genesis 31:13; and at the introduction of the Mosaic economy, the tabernacle and all its furniture were consecrated by anointing. Exodus 30:26 to Exodus 28:3. Ecclesiastical. Anointing with oil in the name of the Lord is prescribed by James to be used together with prayer, by the elders of the church, for the recovery of the sick. James 5:14. Analogous to this is the anointing with oil practised by the twelve. Mark 6:13. II. With the Holy Ghost. 1. In the Old Testament a Deliverer is promised under the title of Messiah, or Anointed, Psalms 2:2; Daniel 9:24-26; and the nature of his anointing is described to be spiritual, with the Holy Ghost. Isaiah 61:1; see Luke 4:18. In the New Testament Jesus of Nazareth is shown to be the Messiah or Christ, or anointed of the Old Testament, John 1:41; Acts 9:22; Acts 17:2-3; Acts 18:4-5; Acts 18:28; and the historical fact of his being anointed with the Holy Ghost is asserted and recorded. Acts 10:38; Acts 4:27; John 1:32-33. 2. Spiritual anointing with the Holy Ghost is conferred also upon Christians by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21, and they are described as having an unction from the Holy One, by which they know all things. 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27.
Amos - AMOS... 1. The man . Amos, the earliest of the prophets whose writings have come down to us, and the initiator of one of the greatest movements in spiritual history, was a herdsman, or small sheep-farmer, in Tekoa, a small town lying on the uplands some six miles south of Bethlehem. He combined two occupations. The sheep he reared produced a particularly fine kind of wool, the sale of which doubtless took him from one market to another. But he was also a ‘pincher of sycomores. ’ The fruit of this tree was hastened in its ripening process by being bruised or pinched: and as the sycomore does not grow at so great a height as Tekoa, this subsidiary occupation would bring Amos into touch with other political and religious circles. The simple life of the uplands, the isolation from the dissipation of a wealthier civilization, the aloofness from all priestly or prophetic guilds, had doubtless much to do with the directness of his vision and speech, and with the spiritual independence which found in him so noble an utterance. While he was thus a native of the kingdom of Judah, his prophetic activity awoke in the kingdom of Israel. Of this awakening he gives a most vivid picture in the account of his interview with Amaziah, the priest of Bethel ( Amos 7:10-17 ). He had gone to Bethel to some great religious feast, which was also a business market. The direct call from God to testify against the unrighteousness of both kingdoms had probably come to him not long before; and amidst the throng at Bethel he proclaimed his vision of Jehovah standing with a plumb-line to measure the deflection of Israel, and prepared to punish the iniquity of the house of Jeroboam II. The northern kingdom had no pleasant memories of another prophet who had declared the judgment of God upon sin ( 2 Kings 9:25 ff. ); and Amaziah, the priest, thinking that Amos was one of a prophetic and official guild, contemptuously bade him begone to Judah, where he could prophesy for hire, ( Amos 7:12 ). The answer came flashing back. Amos disclaimed all connexion with the hireling prophets whose ‘word’ was dictated by the immediate political and personal interest. He was something better and more honest no prophet, neither a prophet’s son, but a herdsman and a dresser of sycomores, called by God to prophesy to Israel. Herein lies much of his distinctiveness. The earlier prophetic impulse which had been embodied in the prophetic guilds had become professional and insincere. Amos brought prophecy back again into the line of direct inspiration. ... 2. The time in which he lived . Amos 1:1 may not be part of the original prophecy, but there is no reason to doubt its essential accuracy. Amos was prophesying in those years in which Uzziah and Jeroboam II. were reigning contemporaneously, b. c. 775 750. This date is of great importance, because few prophetic writings are so interpenetrated by the historical situation as those of Amos. For nearly 100 years prior to his time Israel had suffered severely from the attacks of Syria. She had lost the whole of her territory east of Jordan ( 2 Kings 10:32 f. ); she had been made like ‘dust in threshing’ ( 2 Kings 13:7 ). But now Syria had more than enough to do to defend herself from the southward pressure of Assyria; and the result was that Israel once more began to be prosperous and to regain her lost territories. Under Jeroboam II. this prosperity reached its climax. The people revelled in it, giving no thought to any further danger. Even Assyria was not feared, because she was busy with the settlement of internal affairs, rebellion and pestilence. Amos, however, knew that the relaxation of pressure could be but temporary. He saw that the Assyrian would eventually push past Damascus down into Palestine, and bring in the day of account; and although he nowhere names Assyria as the agent of God’s anger, the references are unmistakable ( Amos 5:27 , Amos 6:7 ; Amos 6:14 , Amos 7:17 ). ... It is this careless prosperity with its accompanying unrighteousness and forgetfulness of God that is never out of the prophet’s thoughts. The book is short, but the picture of a time of moral anarchy is complete. The outward religious observances are kept up, and the temples are thronged with worshippers (Amos 5:5 , Amos 9:1 ); tithes and voluntary offerings are duly paid ( Amos 4:4-5 , Amos 5:22 ). But religion has divorced itself from morality, the stated worship of God from reverence for the character of God ( Amos 2:8 ). The rich have their winter houses and their summer houses ( Amos 3:15 ), houses built of hewn stone ( Amos 5:11 ), and panelled with ivory ( Amos 3:15 ). They drink wine by the bowlful ( Amos 6:6 ), and the fines unjustly extorted from the defenceless are spent in the purchase of wine for the so-called religious feast ( Amos 2:8 ). Lazy, pampered women, ‘kine of Bashan,’ are foremost in this unholy oppression ( Amos 4:1 ). There is no such thing as justice; the very semblance of it is the oppression of the weak by the strong. The righteous are sold for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes ( Amos 2:6 ); the houses of the great are stored with the spoils of robbery ( Amos 3:10 ); bribery and corruption, the besetting sins of the East, are rampant ( Amos 5:12 ). Commerce shares in the prevailing evil; weights are falsified and food is adulterated ( Amos 8:5-6 ). Immorality is open and shameless ( Amos 2:7 ). Small wonder that the prophet declares as the word of the Lord, ‘I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies’ ( Amos 5:21 ). While the observances of religion are maintained, the soul of religion has fled. Those who are responsible for the evil condition of things ‘are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph’ ( Amos 6:6 ). ... 3. Contents of the book . The book is framed upon a definite plan, which is clearer in the opening section than in those which follow. ... (i) Amos 1:2 to Amos 2:16 treats of the judgment upon the nations for their sins. Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah, and Israel are all passed under review. The assumption is that each people is subject to the dominion of Jehovah. Punishment will be visited upon each for the violation of some broad and universally recognized principle of humanity. ... (ii) Chs. 3, 4, 5, three threatening discourses, each introduced by ‘Hear ye this word. ’... (iii) 7 9:10, a series of five visions, interrupted in Amos 7:10-17 by the account of Amaziah’s attempt to intimidate Amos. The visions are ( a ) the devouring locusts ( Amos 7:1-3 ); ( b ) the consuming fire ( Amos 7:4-6 ); ( c ) the plumb-line ( Amos 7:7-9 ); ( d ) the basket of summer fruit ( Amos 8:1-3 ); ( e ) the smitten sanctuary, and destruction of the worshippers ( Amos 9:1-10 ). ... Amos 9:11-15 is in striking contrast to the tone of the rest of the book. Instead of threatenings there are now promises. The line of David will be restored to its former splendour; the waste cities shall be built up; the settled agricultural life shall be resumed. This Epilogue is generally acknowledged to be a late addition to the prophecy. It contains no moral feature, no repentance, no new righteousness. It tells only of a people satisfied with vineyards and gardens. ‘These are legitimate hopes; but they are hopes of a generation of other conditions and of other deserts than the generation of Amos’ (G. A. Smith, Twelve Prophets , i. 195). ... 4. Theology of Amos . In his religions outlook Amos had many successors, but he had no forerunner. His originality is complete. ... (i) His view of Jehovah . Hitherto Jehovah had been thought of as a Deity whose power over His own people was absolute, but who ceased to have influence when removed from certain geographical surroundings ( 1 Kings 20:23 ). The existence of other gods had not been questioned even by the most pious of the Israelites; they denied only that these other gods had any claim over the life of the people of Jehovah. But Amos will not hear of the existence of other gods. Jehovah is the God of the whole earth. His supreme claim is righteousness, and where that is not conceded He will punish. He rules over Syria and Caphtor, Moab and Ammon, just as truly as over Israel or Judah (1, 2, Amos 6:14 , Amos 9:7 ). Nature too is under His rule. Every natural calamity and scourge are traced to the direct exercise of His will. Amos therefore lays down a great philosophy of history. God is all-righteous. All events and all peoples are in His hands. Political and natural catastrophes have religious significance ( Amos 6:14 ). ... (ii) The relationship of Jehovah to Israel . Amos, in common with his countrymen, considered the relation of Jehovah to Israel to be a special one. But while they had regarded it as an indissoluble relationship of privilege, a bond that could not be broken provided the stated sacrifices were maintained, Amos declared not only that it could be broken, but that the very existence of such a bond would lay Israel under heavier moral responsibilities than if she had been one of the Gentile nations ( Amos 3:2 ). As her opportunities had been greater, so too would her punishment for wasting them be proportionately severe. Jehovah’s first demands were morality and justice and kindliness, and any sacrificial system that removed the emphasis from these things and placed it on the observance of ritual was an abomination ( Amos 5:21-25 ). ... (iii) The inevitable judgment . It is his certainty of the moral character of God that makes Amos so sure of the coming catastrophe. For the first time in Hebrew literature he uses the expression ‘the day of the Lord’ a phrase that may already have been current in a more genial and privileged sense to indicate the day that will utterly destroy the nations ( Amos 2:14-16 , Amos 3:12-15 , Amos 4:2-3 ; Amos 4:13 ). With this broad view of history, a view from which the idea of special privilege is excluded, he sees in the northern power the instrument of Jehovah’s anger ( Amos 5:27 , Amos 6:14 ); a power that even in its self-aggrandisement is working out Jehovah’s purpose. ... 5. Style . It was the custom for many a century to accept the verdict of Jerome, that the prophet was rustic and unskilled in speech. That, however, is anything but the case. The arrangement of the book is clear; the Hebrew is pure; and the knowledge of the outside world is remarkable. The survey of the nations with which the prophecy opens is full of precise detail. Amos knows, too, that the Aramæans migrated from Kir, and the Philistines from Caphtor ( Amos 9:7 ); he has heard of the swellings of the Nile ( Amos 8:8 , Amos 9:5 ), and regards the fact with a curious dread. He has been a close observer of the social conditions in Israel. Much of his imagery is drawn from nature: earthquakes and the eclipse of the sun, the cedars and the oaks, the roaring of the lion, the snaring of birds, the bite of the viper; once only does he draw a comparison from shepherd life ( Amos 3:12 ). ... 6. Religious significance . Amos’ true significance in religious history is that with him prophecy breaks away on its true line, individual, direct, responsible to none save God. The word of the Lord had come to Amos and he could not but speak ( Amos 3:8 ). Such a cause produced an inevitable effect. In that direct vision of Jehovah, Amos learned the truths which he was the first to proclaim to the world: that Jehovah was the God of the whole earth; that the nations were in His keeping; that justice and righteousness were His great demands; that privilege, if it meant opportunity, meant likewise responsibility and liability to the doom of those who have seen and have not believed. ... R. Bruce Taylor. ...
Samuel - Heard of God. The peculiar circumstances connected with his birth are recorded in 1 Samuel 1:20 . Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to Shiloh nd consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite ((1:23-2:11). ). Here his bodily wants and training were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus, probably, twelve years of his life passed away. "The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men" (2:26; Compare Luke 2:52 ). It was a time of great and growing degeneracy in Israel (Judges 21:19-21 ; 1 Samuel 2:12-17,22 ). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased in number and in power, were practically masters of the country, and kept the people in subjection (1 Samuel 10:5 ; 13:3 ). At this time new communications from God began to be made to the pious child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night season, calling him by name, and, instructed by Eli, he answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. " The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only answer to the terrible denunciations (1 Samuel 3:11-18 ) was, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good", the passive submission of a weak character, not, in his case, the expression of the highest trust and faith. The Lord revealed himself now in divers manners to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now commenced. ... The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under the wide-spread oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and "went out against the Philistines to battle. " A fierce and disastrous battle was fought at Aphek, near to Ebenezer (1 Samuel 4:1,2 ). The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000 dead "in the field. " The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great disaster by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of Jehovah's presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel, fetched it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of the ark among them the people "shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. " A second battle was fought, and again the Philistines defeated the Israelites, stormed their camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings of this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon as the aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his neck brake, and he died. The tabernacle with its furniture was probably, by the advice of Samuel, now about twenty years of age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety, and finally to Nob, where it remained many years (21:1). ... The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon Shiloh, which they plundered and destroyed (Compare Jeremiah 7:12 ; Psalm 78:59 ). This was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For twenty years after this fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay under the oppression of the Philistines. During all these dreary years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so far successful that "all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. " Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and prepared themselves there, under his direction, for a great war against the Philistines, who now marched their whole force toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the Israelites once for all. At the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed. They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about B. C. 1095, put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Samuel 7:1-12 ). This was the spot where, twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God was taken. ... This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace for Israel (1 Samuel 7:13,14 ), during which Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going "from year to year in circuit" from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important influence on the national character and history of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption. They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth. ... Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the functions of his judicial office, being the friend and counsellor of the people in all matters of private and public interest. He was a great statesman as well as a reformer, and all regarded him with veneration as the "seer," the prophet of the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now an old man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (1 Samuel 8:4,5,19-22 ); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation was exposed from the misconduct of Samuel's sons, whom he had invested with judicial functions as his assistants, and had placed at Beersheba on the Philistine border, and also from a threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded that a king should be set over them. This request was very displeasing to Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the consequences of such a step. At length, however, referring the matter to God, he acceded to their desires, and anointed Saul (q. v. ) to be their king (11:15). Before retiring from public life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal (ch. 12), and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own relation to them as judge and prophet. ... The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah, only occasionally and in special circumstances appearing again in public (1 Samuel 1315,15 ) with communications from God to king Saul. While mourning over the many evils which now fell upon the nation, he is suddenly summoned (ch. 16) to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel instead of Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about eighty years of age. "And all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah" (25:1), not in the house itself, but in the court or garden of his house. (Compare 2 Kings 21:18 ; 2 Chronicles 33:20 ; 1 Kings 2:34 ; John 19:41 . ) ... Samuel's devotion to God, and the special favour with which God regarded him, are referred to in Jeremiah 15:1 and Psalm 99:6 . ...
Prophet - (Heb. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a fountain," hence "to utter", Compare Psalm 45:1 ). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, Ro'eh , "Seer", began to be used ( 1 Samuel 9:9 ). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, Hozeh , "Seer" ( 2 Samuel 24:11 ), was employed. In 1 Chronicles 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Joshua 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb. ) a Kosem "diviner," a word used only of a false prophet. The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Numbers 12:6,8 . ) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority (Exodus 7:1 ). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jeremiah 1:9 ; Isaiah 51:16 ), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Peter 1:20,21 ; Compare Hebrews 3:7 ; Acts 4:25 ; 28:25 ). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deuteronomy 18:18,19 ). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government. " ... Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message (Genesis 20:7 ; Exodus 7:1 ; Psalm 105:15 ), as also Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15 ; 34:10 ; Hosea 12:13 ), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Numbers 11:16-29 ), "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" (1 Chronicles 25:3 ). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Exodus 15:20 ; Judges 4:4 ). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men. ... But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Samuel 19:18-24 ; 2 Kings 2:3,15 ; 4:38 ), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or "disciples" of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22 ; 9:1,4 ) who lived together at these different "schools" (4:38-41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny. " ... In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33 ; 24:19 ). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Corinthians 12:28 ; Ephesians 2:20 ; 3:5 ), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart truths already revealed. ... Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups: ... ...
The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz. , Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah. ... ... The prophets of Judah, viz. , Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah. ... ... The prophets of Captivity, viz. , Ezekiel and Daniel. ... ... The prophets of the Restoration, viz. , Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. ...
Samuel - (ssa' myoo ehl) Personal name in the Ancient Near East meaning, “Sumu is God” but understood in Israel as “The name is God,” “God is exalted,” or “son of God. ” The last judge, first king-maker, priest, and prophet who linked the period of the judges with the monarchy (about 1066-1000 B. C. ). Born in answer to barren Hannah's tearful prayer (1 Samuel 1:10 ), Samuel was dedicated to the Lord before his birth (1 Samuel 1:11 ) as a “loan” for all his life (1 Samuel 1:28 ; 1 Samuel 2:20 ). Eli raised Samuel at the Shiloh sanctuary (1 Samuel 2:11 ). As a child, Samuel grew “both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men” (1 Samuel 2:26 NAS; compare Luke 2:52 ). Samuel met God and received his first prophetic mission as a young lad (1Samuel 3:1,1 Samuel 3:11-14 ). God's initial word to Samuel concerned God's rejection of Eli's family from service as priests as punishment for the sins of Eli's sons. ... Samuel was responsible for a revival of the Shiloh sanctuary (1 Samuel 3:21 ). Psalm 99:6-7 relates that God spoke with Samuel from out of the pillar of cloud as God had previously with Moses and Aaron. God “was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground” ( 1 Samuel 3:19 ; also 1 Samuel 9:6 ). Jeremiah regarded Samuel and Moses as the two great intercessors of Israel (Jeremiah 15:1 ). ... Following the death of Eli and his sons, Israel experienced twenty years (1 Samuel 7:2 ) of national sin and Philistine oppression. Samuel reemerged in the role of judge, calling Israel to repentance and delivering them from foreign domination. Samuel also exercised the judicial role of judge, administering justice at Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Ramah (1 Samuel 7:15-17 ). ... Samuel served as the prototype for future prophets in tension with the kings of Israel and Judah. The sins of Samuel's sons and the Philistine threat led the elders of Israel to appeal to Samuel for a king “like all the nations” (1Samuel 8:3,1Samuel 8:5,1 Samuel 8:20 ). Samuel rightly understood this call for a king as rejection of God's rule (1 Samuel 8:7 ; 1 Samuel 10:19 ). Samuel warned Israel of the dangers of a monarchy—forced labor, seizure of property, taxation (1 Samuel 8:10-18 )—before anointing Saul as Israel's first king (1 Samuel 10:1 ). Samuel's recording of the rights and duties of kingship (1 Samuel 10:25 ) set the stage for later prophets to call their monarchs to task for disobedience to God's commands and for overstepping God's limits for kingship in Israel. Samuel foreshadowed Elijah in his call for rain during the wheat harvest, the usual dry season, as vindication of his word of judgment concerning Israel's demand for a king (1 Samuel 12:17-18 ). ... Samuel's relations with Saul highlight the conditional nature of kingship in Israel. Israel's king was designated by God and served at God's pleasure. Saul's presumption in offering burnt sacrifice before battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:8-15 ) and his disregard of God's command to leave no survivors among the Amalekites or their flocks (1 Samuel 15:1 ) occasioned Samuel's declaration of God's rejection of Saul's kingship. Obeying God's call to anoint another king amounted to treason in Saul's eyes, and Samuel had concerns for his life. Samuel was, however, obedient in anointing David as king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:13 ). Later when Saul sought David's life, David took refuge with Samuel and his band of prophets at Ramah (1 Samuel 19:18-24 ). Finally, Samuel's death brought national mourning (1 Samuel 25:1 ; 1 Samuel 28:3 ). It also left Saul without access to God's word. In desperation he acknowledged Samuel's power and influence by seeking to commune with Samuel's spirit (1 Samuel 28:1 ). Thus in life and death Samuel cast a long shadow over Israel's history of worship, rule, prophecy, and justice. ... Chris Church... ...
Anoint - "To put oil on the head or body"; a practice common in the E. (Ruth 3:3). To cease anointing was a mark of mourning (2 Samuel 14:2; Daniel 10:3; Matthew 6:17). A mark of respect to a guest so common that to omit it implied defective hospitality (Luke 7:46; Psalms 23:5); Heb. , "Thou hast made fat," or "unctuous" (John 11:2; John 12:3). A body was prepared for burial with unguents (Mark 16:1; Mark 14:8). Metaphorically, "anointed with oil" means successful, joyous (Psalms 92:10; Ecclesiastes 9:8). "Anointing with the oiler gladness" (Psalms 45:7; Hebrews 1:9) expresses spiritual joy, such as Messiah felt and shall feel in seeing the blessed fruit of His sufferings (Isaiah 61:3). Anointing prevents excessive perspiration in the hot and arid E. , gives elasticity to the limbs, and acts as clothing in both sun and shade. ... The ordinary clothing is thin, and the heat and sand produce weariness and irritation, which the oil relieves. Oil was used as a medicament for the sick, and liniment for bodily pain (Isaiah 1:6), so that it was used as a symbol in miraculous cures (Mark 6:13). The usage which Christ practiced Himself (John 9:6; John 9:11) and committed to His apostles was afterward continued with laying on of hands as a token of the highest faculty of medicine in the church. Rome vainly continues the sign, when the reality, the power of miraculous healing, is wanting. Rome's "extreme unction" is administered to heal the soul when the body's life is despaired of. James's (James 5:14-15) unction was to heal the body. The sacred use of oil was for consecrating things or persons to God. So Jacob anointed for a pillar the stone which had been his pillow at Bethel (Genesis 28:18). ... The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and as applied to things gave them a ceremonial sacredness, fitting them for holy ministrations. As applied to prophets (1 Chronicles 16:22; 1 Kings 19:16), priests (Leviticus 4:3), and kings (Isaiah 45:1), it marked their consecration to the office, and was a symbol of the spiritual qualification divinely imparted for its due discharge (Exodus 30:29-30). 1 Samuel 10:1,6: King Saul. 1 Samuel 16:13-14; David thrice anointed: first to the right; then over Judah; then actually over the whole nation. Isaiah 61:1; Messiah, twice so designated in the Old Testament (Psalms 2:2; Daniel 9:25-26), at once Prophet, Priest, and King, the Center of all prophecy, the Antitype of all priesthood, and the Source and End of all kingship (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38). He was anointed with the Holy Spirit from the womb, then at His baptism (John 1:32-33-41). ... Hereby the New Testament marks Him as the Messiah of the Old Testament (Acts 9:22; Acts 17:2-3; Acts 18:5; Acts 18:28. ) What He is His people are, Messiahs or "anointed ones" by union with Him (Zechariah 4:14), having the unction of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20). Though priests in general were at first anointed, afterward anointing was restricted to the high priest, called "the priest that is anointed:" the perfume used was of stacte, onycha, and galbanum, with pure frankincense, and it was death to imitate it. Antitypically, to Christ, the true high priest alone, belongs the fullness of the Spirit, which it is blasphemy to arrogate. ... "The Lord's anointed" was the ordinary phrase for the theocratic king (1 Samuel 12:3; Lamentations 4:20). "Anointing the shield" was to make the hide of which it was made supple and less liable to crack (Isaiah 21:5). "Anointing the eyes with eyesalve" expresses imparting of spiritual perceptions (Revelation 3:18). "The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing" (Isaiah 10:27), i. e. , the Assyrian oppression shall be taken away from Judah, because of the consecration that is upon the elect nation, its prophets, priests, kings, and holy place (Psalms 105:15); the Antitype to all which is Messiah, "the Anointed" (Daniel 9:24). It is for Messiah's sake that all their deliverances are vouchsafed to His people. ...
Gomorrah - Traces of the catastrophe recorded in Genesis 19 are visible in the whole region about the Dead, or as Scripture calls it, the Salt Sea. (See SALT SEA. ) . Volcanic agency and earthquake, accompanying the fire shower, may have produced the deep depression of the sea, and so arrested the Jordan's original onward course through the Arabah into the gulf of Akabah. The northern end of the lake is 1,300 ft. deep, the southern only 13 ft. below the surface. The southern division or bay of the sea most probably was formed at a late date. It abounds with salt, throws up bitumen, sulphur, and nitre on its shores. This answers to the vale of Siddim, "full of slime pits" (Genesis 14:10); and it accords with the destruction of the four cities of the plain by fire and brimstone, and with the turning of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. ... Scripture does not say the cities were immersed in the sea, but that they were destroyed by fire from heaven (Deuteronomy 29:23; Jeremiah 49:18; Jeremiah 50:40; Zephaniah 2:9; 2 Peter 2:6; Judges 1:4-7, "an example unto those that after should live ungodly"; Amos 4:11). So Josephus, B. J. , 4:8, section 4. The traditional names of Usdum, and site of Zoar, the hill of salt, said to have been Lot's wife, favor the view that the cities lay either in or around the present southern bay. Grove argues for the northern site that Abram and Lot near Bethel could not have seen the southern valleys (Genesis 13:10) but could see the northern, and that what they saw was "the Ciccar of the Jordan," whereas Jordan flowed into the northern end of the Dead Sea but not into the southern. ... But Genesis 13 probably means only that Lot, seeing the Jordan N. of the Dead Sea, and knowing the whole valley N. and S. to be well watered, chose it. Moreover, the catastrophes palpable to sight all round the southern end imply that the Jordan once flowed to the S. of that sea. Gomorrah means submersion; Arabic ghamara, to "overwhelm with water. " Gomorrah was one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim whose forces were routed by Chedorlaomer, until Abram helped them. Zoar or Bela alone of the five, at Lot's request, escaped destruction by the fire from the Lord. Jerusalem when corrupted (for "the corruption of the best is the worst of all corruptions") is termed Sodom and her people Gomer (Isaiah 1:9-10); as the church apostate corrupted is termed "Babylon" (Revelation 17). ... Worse still are they who see Christ's "mighty works" yet "repent not," and who receive not the apostles' teaching (Matthew 10:15; Mark 6:11). The profound depression of the plain of Gomorrah, the deepest on the earth, and its stagnant tropical air, answered to its sunken morals. DeSaulcy thinks that in Usdum and Um Zoghal traces of Sodom exist; and in Ain Feshkah (Goumran, Arabic) on the N. W. traces of Gomorrah. Rather in wady Amrah is to be sought a connection with Gomorrah. Tristram objects to the southern site for Sodom and Gomorrah that Chedorlaomer marching from mount Seir to Hazezon Tamar (Engedi) afterward meets the king of Sodom in the vale of Siddim, which therefore in the order ought to be rather at the northern end of the Dead Sea. ... Also Moses saw Zoar from mount Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:3), which he could not had it been at the S. E. of Dead Sea. He thinks that the southern bed of the sea was formerly deeper than now, and that it was raised by deposits brought from the Arabah. Lightning probably kindled the masses of sulphurous bitumen abounding around. Combining with an earthquake, the storm cast showers of ignited bitumen on the cities, so that "the smoke of the country" was "as the smoke of a furnace," as beheld by Abraham. God often uses natural means in His most supernatural interventions. ...
Achan - ("troubler"): Achar (1 Chronicles 2:7). Son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, of the tribe of Judah. When Jericho was cursed, with all that was in it, Achan alone, in defiance of the curse, "saw" (compare Job 31:7; Genesis 3:6; James 1:14-15), coveted, took, and hid (see Genesis 3:8; following the first sin in the same awful successive steps downward) "a Babylonian garment" (compare Revelation 17:4-5), "two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold, fifty shekels" (Joshua 7:21). His guilty presence alone brought from Jehovah defeat upon Israel at Ai (Ecclesiastes 9:18). Joshua, by Jehovah's direction, through lots detected the culprit, and having elicited his confession said, "Why hast thou troubled us?" (alluding to the meaning of Achar or Achan) "the Lord shall trouble thee this day. " So all Israel stoned him, and burned with fire, after stoning with stones, his sons, daughters, cattle, and the stolen and personal effects. ... The God who made has the power to destroy a whole family or nation for the guilt of one (2 Kings 23:25-27); for the individual members are not isolated atoms, but form one organic whole, and the good or the evil of one affects the whole and is laid to the charge of the whole, as constituting one moral unity, divinely constituted, not a mere civil institution, just as the whole body suffers by the sin or suffering of a single member. Achan fell under the ban by seizing what was banned, and incurred the same penalty as a town lapsing into idolatry (Deuteronomy 13:16-17). The whole family was involved in the guilt; indeed, the sons and daughters of an age of reason must have been privy to his hiding the spoil in the earth in his tent. Though the law (Deuteronomy 24:16) forbade the slaying of children for their fathers' sins, this did not apply to cases where, as here, Jehovah Himself commands execution. Achan's children were not taken to the valley (as some explain) as mere spectators, to take warning from their father's doom; for why then should Achan's cattle have been taken out along with him? On the other hand, Calmet argues:... (1) Had his family been stoned, would not the heap of stones have included THEM ALSO? Whereas it is raised over HIM. ... (2) His sons and daughters who, in some degree at least, acted under his authority, were certainly not punished more rigorously (by burning AND stoning) than the principal criminal. ... (3) Was not the burning applied to such things as might suffer by burning, tents, garments, etc. , and the stoning to what fire would little affect, etc. ? But to what effect could Achan's family be first burned, and then stoned?... "They raised over him a great heap of stones," as cairns are still in the East heaped over infamous persons. Every passer by shows his detestation of the crime by adding a stone to the cairn (Joshua 8:29; 2 Samuel 18:17). The valley of Achor (see Isaiah 65:10) is identified by some with that of the brook Cherith, before Jordan, now wady el Kelt (1 Kings 17:1-7). The Hebrew of 1 Kings 17:24, "they brought them up unto the valley of trouble," implies this was higher ground than Gilgal and Jericho. Thomson (The Land and the Book) on Hosea 2:15; "That valley runs up from Gilgal toward Bethel. By Achan's stoning the anger of the Lord was turned away from Israel, and the door of entrance to the promised inheritance thrown open. Thus the 'valley of Achor' (trouble), 'a door of hope,' is not a bad motto for those who through much tribulation must enter the promised land. " A salutary warning to all Israel of the fatal effect of robbing God of His due through covetousness. (See ANANIAS. ) Israel entered Canaan to take possession of land desecrated by its previous tenants, not as a mere selfish spoil, but for God's glory. The spoil of Jericho was the firstfruits of Canaan, sacred to Jehovah; Achan's sacrilegious covetousness in appropriating it needed to be checked at the outset, lest the sin spreading should mar the end for which Canaan was given to Israel. ...
Amos, Book of - Though Amos and Hosea were prophets at the same time, and both prophesied of the sins of Israel, there is much difference in the style of the two. Hosea is more fervent, stirred with righteous indignation at the sins of the people; whereas with Amos there is great calmness in declaring God's judgements. Hosea's prophecy is confined to the sins of Judah and Israel, whereas Amos tells of the judgements that should fall upon some of the surroundingnations that had molested Israel, especially upon those that retained any part of the land that had been promised to Abraham; and then he recounts the sins, not only of Judah to which he himself belonged, but also of Israel, indeed there is more concerning the latter than the former. In the heading we have the words, "The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem;" which are also in Joel 3:16 ; thus, as it were, taking up the theme where Joel leaves off. ... In the first two chapters there are eight short denunciations of judgements, introduced by the words "for three transgressions and for four. " Three witnesses were adequate testimony; four is the cup running over, of which the four quarters of the earth can testify. The judgements are against:... 1. Syria under its chief city Damascus. ... 2. The Philistines under Gaza. ... 3. Tyre. ... 4. Edom. ... 5. Ammon. ... 6. Moab. ... 7. Judah. ... 8. Israel. ... Amos 3 speaks of both Judah and Israel, "the whole family," thus counting it as one, though division had come in: then follows the momentous statement that this family was the only one God had known — had taken into relationship — therefore God would punish them for their iniquities: showing that responsibilities are measured by the privileges enjoyed. Though judgements would come there would be a remnant left, as when a shepherd recovers from a lion "two legs or a piece of an ear " — a small remnant indeed! Amos 3:12 . ... Amos 4 is against Israel, and especially because they had oppressed the poor. God had brought minor judgements upon them, such as:... 1. Scarcity, "cleanness of teeth. " ... 2. Want of rain, which was sent on one city but not on another. ... 3. Blasting and mildew. ... 4. Pestilence and a stink, their young men being slain with the sword. ... 5. They were overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah, some being saved, as firebrands out of the burning. After each judgement is added the result, "Yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord:" ending with "Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, . . . . the Lord, the God of hosts is his name. "... Amos 5 . Israel is still denounced, but is exhorted to seek the Lord. Some desired the day of the Lord, but that will be very dark and with judgement. Such was their wickedness that God hated and despised their assemblies and their offerings: indeed they had turned to Idolatry. ... Amos 6 denounces those that are at ease in Zion, living in luxury and pleasure, in a false self-confidence notwithstanding all the warnings that had been given. ... Amos 7,8 , and 9 are visions, and their applications. ... Amos 7 exhibits the patience of Jehovah. The prophet interceded for Jacob, and Jehovah repented of the evil he was bringing on them; still judgement must follow. The declaration of the doom of the high places was distasteful to Amaziah the priest of the king's false religion at Bethel, who was dwelling at ease. He bade Amos flee to Judah. But Amos replied that he had been no prophet, nor prophet's son, but only a herdsman, and Jehovah had sent him. Judgements should fall upon Amaziah and Israel shouldgo into captivity. ... Amos 8 again denounces Israel especially for self-ease and oppression of the poor. ... Amos 9 . None could escape the eye and judgement of God. He would destroy them from off the face of the earth, but not utterly : a remnant should be saved, Amos 9:9 . Amos 9:11-15 speak of restoration and blessing. The plowman shall overtake the reaper; the mountains shall drop wine. The captives shall return. God will plant them upon their land andthey shall no more be pulled up. Promises still to be fulfilled, for no such things have yet been. May God hasten them in His own time!...
Cloud - CLOUD. —The cloud appears in the Gospels at our Lord’s Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5 || Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34) and (if we may treat the first verses of the Book of Acts as practically part of St. Luke’s Gospel) at His Ascension (Acts 1:9). Twice also it has a place in His own prediction of His coming again (Matthew 24:30 || Mark 13:26 || Luke 21:27, Matthew 26:64 || Mark 14:62). ... The most interesting occurrence of this cloud is that in connexion with the Ascension; but it is its appearance above the Mount of Transfiguration that rules the interpretation of its significance. For there a voice comes out of it which is that of the Heavenly Father: it is seen to be the veil of the Divine Presence. Veiling the glory which no mortal might see and live, veiling yet revealing the Presence of God, the cloud has two aspects, of which the greater and more characteristic is not the negative one of veiling, but that positive aspect in which it attests and manifests the Divine Presence. To come under its shadow (a ‘shadow,’ it would seem, of light, since it was νεφέλη φωτεινή) awoke in the disciples the dread felt by Jacob at Bethel. And for the same reason—that this cloud is a ‘gate of heaven,’ at which a man may stand to hear the voice of God. Here, in this bright cloud, the two spheres, earthly and heavenly, open upon each other. The cloud is less a veil than a lifting of the veil. Here the invisible barrier becomes a portal of heaven, through which may come the voice of the Almighty, and entering by which Christ is passed into heaven. It is a ‘cloud of heaven’: with earth and human life upon this side of it, and on the other side (not sky and stars, but) the invisible things of God, the heavenly sphere, the other world. ... Thus in our Lord’s Ascension we do not conceive of Him as ‘going up’ farther than would symbolize and declare His departure from this world: ‘He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight’—they saw Him go and they saw what door opened to receive Him. As identifying this cloud with ‘heaven,’ compare Acts 1:9, ‘a cloud received him,’ with Acts 1:11 ‘received up from you into heaven’: with which agrees 2 Peter 1:17-18, ‘there came a voice to him out of the excellent glory … and this voice we (ourselves) heard brought out of heaven. ’ The voice out of the cloud was ‘out of heaven’—the disciples in beholding Christ enter the cloud ‘beheld him going into heaven. ’... If for us the cloud is as a door which closes, a veil that hides (as God verily is a God that hideth Himself), this is of grace: ‘thou canst not follow me now’ (John 13:36)—‘ye cannot bear it now’ (John 16:12). And the cloud is, for Christ’s disciples, itself an excellent glory, since He is now passed within it (not behind as our earthly sun), filling it with brightness of light. He, our Redeemer and Advocate, the Lord who is our Brother, is now within the cloud that covers Sinai, that leads through the wilderness, that shines above the Mercy-seat; that is to say—in all that by which God draws near to man (in His law as in Sinai, in His providences as in the shepherding of Israel, in religious life and worship as in the Holiest of all), Christ is present, and the love which He has made known, bestowed and sealed. To His disciples the Law is no more a threat and fear, but is written upon the heart for honour and obedience; and God’s providence is trusted—the sheep follow, for they know His voice; and for the deep things of the soul there is a great High priest passed into the heavens, and they that know His name come boldly to the throne of grace. ... Literature. —The Comm. in loc. , esp. Swete on Mark 9:7; Ruskin, Frondes Agrestes, p. 178; Huntingdon, Christian Believing and Living, p. 168; Westcott, Revelat. of the Risen Lord, p. 180; Milligan, Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of our Lord, p. 21 ff. ; Paget, Studies in the Christian Character, p. 246 ff. ... Arthur W. Wotherspoon. ...
Tabernacle - Tabernacle, Exodus 25:9, literally means "a tent. " The sanctuary where in the earlier times the most sacred rites of the Hebrew religion were performed. The command to erect a tabernacle is recorded in Exodus 25:8; and in that place, and in Exodus 29:42-43; Exodus 29:45, the special purpose is declared for which it was to be made. And so we find the various names of it, the "tent," Exodus 26:11-12; the "tabernacle," dwelling or habitation, Exodus 26:13; the "tent of meeting," Exodus 29:43, for so the words should be rendered; the "tent of the testimony" or "tabernacle of witness," Numbers 9:15; Numbers 17:7; Numbers 18:2; the "house of the Lord," Deuteronomy 23:18; Joshua 9:23; Judges 18:31; all these appelations pointing to the covenant-purpose of God. The command to make it began by inviting the people to contribute suitable materials. They were to be offered with a willing heart. These materials are described in Exodus 25:3-7. And the tabernacle was to be built according to the pattern given of God. It was as to its general plan like an ordinary tent, which is usually divided into two compartments, the inner lighted by a lamp and closed against strangers. Such tents are longer than they are broad. And so the tabernacle was an oblong square or rectangle, 30 cubits (45 feet or perhaps 50 feet) long, ten cubits in breadth and in height. The frame-work on these sides was perpendicular boards of shittim-wood, that is, acacia, overlaid with gold, kept together by means of transverse bars passing through golden rings, and each with two tenons, fitting into silver sockets, on which they stood. There were four coverings. The first was ten curtains of byssus, or fine linen, blue, purple, and scarlet, with cherubim embroidered on them, coupled together by loops and gold hooks. The second covering was of goals' hair in eleven curtains. The third covering was of rams' skins dyed red, like our morocco leather; and the fourth of "badgers' skins," more probably a kind of seal skin. These were to protect the tabernacle from the weather. The inner apartment or most holy place was a cube of ten cubits, the outer apartment 20 cubits in length and ten in breadth. They were separated by a veil of the same kind as the innermost covering, suspended on four gilded acacia pillars reared upon silver sockets. The east end or entrance of the tabernacle had also a large curtain suspended from five gilded acacia pillars set in sockets of brass or copper. ... The Furniture. — In the most holy place, which the high priest alone entered, was the ark of the covenant; in the holy place, where the priests ministered—to the north the table of shew-bread, to the south the golden candlestick, in the centre the altar of incense. Round about the tabernacle was an open court into which the people were admitted, 100 cubits in length and 50 broad. It was formed by columns, 20 on each side, 10 at each end, raised on brazen or copper sockets. Hangings fastened to the pillars formed three sides and part of the fourth: on the east the breadth of four pillars was reserved for a central entrance, where was an embroidered curtain suspended from the four pillars. Immediately opposite the entrance was the great altar of burnt offering; and between that and the door of the tabernacle was the laver. Ex. , chaps. 26, 27, 38, 40. There are some parts of the description of the pillars and hangings of the court which it is not easy to understand. The tabernacle was completed in about nine months: and as the people offered most liberally, Exodus 36:5, it was a costly structure: the value of the materials being estimated at $1,000,000. It was erected on the first day of the first month of the second year after leaving Egypt. It was carried by the Israelites into Canaan, and there set up, possibly first at Gilgal, then, when the land was subdued, at Shiloh, Joshua 18:1, and also at Bethel, perhaps afterwards at Nob, and then at Gibeon. 1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29. It was removed, when the temple was built, to Jerusalem, and possibly deposited in the temple. 1 Kings 8:4; 2 Chronicles 5:5. For the regulations about its removal see Numbers 4:1-49. David seems to have constructed a second tabernacle to receive the ark when it was brought to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 15:1. Doubtless the first one had perished or worn out. See Bissell, Bib. Antiq. ...
Cloud - CLOUD. —The cloud appears in the Gospels at our Lord’s Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5 || Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34) and (if we may treat the first verses of the Book of Acts as practically part of St. Luke’s Gospel) at His Ascension (Acts 1:9). Twice also it has a place in His own prediction of His coming again (Matthew 24:30 || Mark 13:26 || Luke 21:27, Matthew 26:64 || Mark 14:62). ... The most interesting occurrence of this cloud is that in connexion with the Ascension; but it is its appearance above the Mount of Transfiguration that rules the interpretation of its significance. For there a voice comes out of it which is that of the Heavenly Father: it is seen to be the veil of the Divine Presence. Veiling the glory which no mortal might see and live, veiling yet revealing the Presence of God, the cloud has two aspects, of which the greater and more characteristic is not the negative one of veiling, but that positive aspect in which it attests and manifests the Divine Presence. To come under its shadow (a ‘shadow,’ it would seem, of light, since it was νεφέλη φωτεινή) awoke in the disciples the dread felt by Jacob at Bethel. And for the same reason—that this cloud is a ‘gate of heaven,’ at which a man may stand to hear the voice of God. Here, in this bright cloud, the two spheres, earthly and heavenly, open upon each other. The cloud is less a veil than a lifting of the veil. Here the invisible barrier becomes a portal of heaven, through which may come the voice of the Almighty, and entering by which Christ is passed into heaven. It is a ‘cloud of heaven’: with earth and human life upon this side of it, and on the other side (not sky and stars, but) the invisible things of God, the heavenly sphere, the other world. ... Thus in our Lord’s Ascension we do not conceive of Him as ‘going up’ farther than would symbolize and declare His departure from this world: ‘He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight’—they saw Him go and they saw what door opened to receive Him. As identifying this cloud with ‘heaven,’ compare Acts 1:9, ‘a cloud received him,’ with Acts 1:11 ‘received up from you into heaven’: with which agrees 2 Peter 1:17-18, ‘there came a voice to him out of the excellent glory … and this voice we (ourselves) heard brought out of heaven. ’ The voice out of the cloud was ‘out of heaven’—the disciples in beholding Christ enter the cloud ‘beheld him going into heaven. ’... If for us the cloud is as a door which closes, a veil that hides (as God verily is a God that hideth Himself), this is of grace: ‘thou canst not follow me now’ (John 13:36)—‘ye cannot bear it now’ (John 16:12). And the cloud is, for Christ’s disciples, itself an excellent glory, since He is now passed within it (not behind as our earthly sun), filling it with brightness of light. He, our Redeemer and Advocate, the Lord who is our Brother, is now within the cloud that covers Sinai, that leads through the wilderness, that shines above the Mercy-seat; that is to say—in all that by which God draws near to man (in His law as in Sinai, in His providences as in the shepherding of Israel, in religious life and worship as in the Holiest of all), Christ is present, and the love which He has made known, bestowed and sealed. To His disciples the Law is no more a threat and fear, but is written upon the heart for honour and obedience; and God’s providence is trusted—the sheep follow, for they know His voice; and for the deep things of the soul there is a great High priest passed into the heavens, and they that know His name come boldly to the throne of grace. ... Literature. —The Comm. in loc. , esp. Swete on Mark 9:7; Ruskin, Frondes Agrestes, p. 178; Huntingdon, Christian Believing and Living, p. 168; Westcott, Revelat. of the Risen Lord, p. 180; Milligan, Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of our Lord, p. 21 ff. ; Paget, Studies in the Christian Character, p. 246 ff. ... Arthur W. Wotherspoon. ...
Jeroboam - Two kings of Israel had the name Jeroboam. Both of them ruled over the northern part of the divided kingdom, but they were separated in time by more than a hundred years and they belonged to different dynasties. ... Jeroboam the son of Nebat... The books of Kings consistently condemn Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the man who led the northern tribes to break away from the Davidic rule. But the chief reason they condemn him is religious rather than political; for Jeroboam established his own religion in the north in opposition to the Levitical system that was based on the Jerusalem temple (1 Kings 15:34; 1 Kings 16:19; 1 Kings 22:52; 2 Kings 10:31; 2 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 23:15). This false religion, set up by Jeroboam and followed by other kings, was the reason God destroyed the northern kingdom and sent the people into captivity (2 Kings 17:21-23). ... From his youth Jeroboam was capable and hard-working. Solomon was so impressed with the young man that he put him in charge of the Ephraim-Manasseh workforce (1 Kings 11:28). The ambitious Jeroboam cleverly used his position to gain a following among his fellow northerners, in opposition to the southerner Solomon, whose policies he found oppressive. From the prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam learnt that God would punish Solomon by splitting his kingdom and giving ten tribes to Jeroboam. When Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, Jeroboam escaped to Egypt, where he remained till the end of Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 11:29-40). ... As soon as Solomon was dead, Jeroboam returned from Egypt and led a rebellion (930 BC). The northern tribes readily crowned Jeroboam their king, in opposition to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Rehoboam still reigned in Jerusalem, but only over Judah and its neighbouring tribe, Benjamin (1 Kings 12:1-20). ... Jeroboam made his capital in Shechem, but later shifted it a few kilometres north to Tirzah (1 Kings 12:25; 1 Kings 14:17; cf. 1 Kings 15:21; cf. 1 Kings 15:33). He was wary of the attraction that Jerusalem still held, fearing that if his people went there for religious ceremonies they might transfer their allegiance to Rehoboam. He therefore decided to set up his own independent religion. He built shrines at the towns of Bethel (near his southern border) and Dan (near his northern border), complete with his own order of priests, sacrifices and feasts. His religion attempted to combine the worship of Yahweh with Canaanite religion (1 Kings 12:26-33). A bold announcement of judgment by a prophet from Judah showed plainly that God would not accept this new religion (1 Kings 13:1-10). Ahijah repeated the announcement of judgment (1 Kings 14:1-18). ... During his twenty-two years reign Jeroboam fought against the Judean kings, Rehoboam and Abijam (1 Kings 15:6-7). His costly loss to Abijam was a final demonstration to him that God would not help one who had broken away from the Davidic dynasty and the Levitical priesthood (2 Chronicles 13:2-20). ... Jeroboam the son of Joash... This Jeroboam is usually referred to as Jeroboam II, to distinguish him from the person who established the breakaway northern kingdom. Jeroboam II was one of Israel’s most powerful and prosperous kings, but religiously he was no better than the first Jeroboam. He ruled from 793 to 752 BC (2 Kings 13:13; 2 Kings 14:23-24). ... At that time Syria had declined in power and Assyria was concerned with struggles far removed from Palestine. Jeroboam II was therefore able to strengthen his kingdom without interference from hostile neighbours. He brought territorial expansion and economic growth on a scale not seen in Israel since the days of David and Solomon (2 Kings 14:25-28). The prosperity, however, brought with it greed, injustice and exploitation that the prophets Amos and Hosea condemned fearlessly (Amos 1:1; Amos 2:6-8; Amos 3:15; Amos 4:1; Amos 5:10-12; Amos 6:4-6; Hosea 1:1; Hosea 4:1-2; Hosea 4:17-18; Hosea 6:8-9; Hosea 12:7-8; see AMOS; HOSEA). ... Just as one prophet earlier had forecast the expansion of Israel’s territory, so another now forecast God’s judgment throughout that territory (2 Kings 14:25; Amos 6:14). Jeroboam would be killed and eventually Israel would go into captivity (Amos 7:9-11). ...
Pillar - PILLAR . 1 . With two or three unimportant exceptions, ‘pillar’ in OT is the rendering of two very distinct Heb. terms, ‘ammûd and mazzçbâh . The former denotes in most cases for a conspicuous exception see Jachin and Boaz a pillar or column supporting the roof or other part of a building ( Judges 16:25 f. , 1 Kings 7:2 f. ), also the pillars from which the hangings of the Tabernacle were suspended ( Exodus 26:32 and oft. ). From this sense the transition is easy to a column of smoke ( Judges 20:40 ), and to the ‘ pillar of cloud ’ and the ‘ pillar of fire ’ of the Exodus and the Wanderings ( Exodus 13:21 etc. ). The further transition to the figurative use of the term ‘pillar,’ which alone prevails in NT ( Galatians 2:9 , 1 Timothy 3:15 , Revelation 3:12 ; Revelation 10:1 ), may be seen in Job 9:6 ; Job 26:11 passages reflecting an antique cosmogony in which the pillars of earth and heaven were actual supports. ... 2 . It is with the second of the two terms above cited, the mazzçbâh , that this article has mainly to deal. Derived from a root common to the Semitic family, mazzçbâh denotes something ‘set up’ on end, in particular an upright stone, whether it he a megalithic monument, such as the stones known to contemporary archæology as menhirs or ‘standing stones,’ or a less imposing funerary stele. Three varieties of mazzçbâhs may be distinguished in OT. ... ( a ) For reasons that will appear at a later stage, our survey may start from the stone erected over a grave or elsewhere as a memorial of the dead. The mazzçbâh set up by Jacob upon the grave of Rachel ( Genesis 35:20 ) was of this kind. This was the prevailing application of the term among the Phœnicians (see Cooke, Text-book of N. Sem. Inscrips . 60). To this category may also be reckoned the memorial pillar which Absalom erected for himself in his own lifetime ( 2 Samuel 18:18 ). ... ( b ) In a second group may be placed the stones set up to commemorate, or, in Biblical phrase, ‘for a witness’ of, some important incident ( Genesis 31:44 f. , Joshua 24:27 ) in particular the appearance or manifestation of a Divine being (a theophany) at a given spot. Such, in the present form of the story for the probable original form, see § 4 below was the stone which Jacob set up and anointed at Bethel ( Genesis 28:18 ; Genesis 28:22 ; cf. Genesis 31:13 ; Genesis 35:14 ). Other examples of mazzçbâhs , interpreted by the Heb. historians as commemorative monuments, are the stone Ebenezer of 1 Samuel 7:12 , and the cromlech ( gilgal ) set up by Joshua after the crossing of the Jordan ‘for a memorial unto the children of Israel’ ( Joshua 4:7 ). ... ( c ) The third and most important class of mazzçbâhs comprises the pillar-stones which stood beside the altar at every Canaanite sanctuary (see High Place). For this class AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] has the misleading term ‘image’ (except Deuteronomy 12:3 ), for which RV [Note: Revised Version. ] has substituted ‘pillar,’ with ‘ obelisk ’ in the margin. That the local sanctuaries, in most cases taken over from the Canaanites, at which the Hebrews worshipped J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] were provided with such pillar-stones, is evident both from the references in Hosea 3:4 ; Hosea 10:1 f. , and from the repeated condemnation of them in the successive law codes ( Exodus 34:13 ; Exodus 23:24 , Deuteronomy 7:5 ; Deuteronomy 12:3 etc. ), and by the Deuteronomic historians ( 1 Kings 14:23 , 2Ki 18:4 ; 2 Kings 23:14 [for Judah] 2 Kings 17:10 [Israel]). ... A special variety of pillar associated with idolatrous worship emerges in the later writings, the chammânîm or sun-pillars (AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] ‘images,’ RV [Note: Revised Version. ] ‘ sun-images ’). They were probably connected with sun-worship (Lagrange, Études sur les relig. Sémit . 2 314 f. ). ... 3 . The OT evidence for the mazzçbâhs as an indispensable part of the furnishing of a Canaanite high place has been confirmed in a remarkable degree by the excavations of recent years, in the course of which pillar-stones of diverse shapes and sizes have been brought to light. Even to summarize the archæological evidence would extend this article beyond due limits (see Vincent, Canaan d’après l’exploration récente [1907], 102 115; Benzinger, Heb. Arch . 2 [1907], 321 ff. ; Kittel, Studien zur heb. Arch . [1908], 126 ff. ). It must suffice to refer briefly to the magnificent series of mazzçbâhs which formed part of the high place at Gezer (for full details see PEFSt [Note: Quarterly Statement of the same. ] , 1903, 23 ff. , and Macalister, Bible Sidelights , etc. , 54 ff. ). Originally ten in number, eight of them are still standing in situ . ‘They are unhewn blocks, simply set on end and supported at the base by smaller stones … and range in height from 10 ft. 6 in. to 5 ft. 5 in. ’ The smaller dimensions are those of the second stone of the series, which is supposed to have been the original beth-el (see next §) of the high place. The fact that this stone, alone of the group, has its top smooth and polished, as if by long-continued anointing on the part of the worshippers, is greatly in favour of this view. Several of the larger stones are provided with cavities, either at the top or in one side. This provision, which is also characteristic of the mazzçbâhs found at Taanach and Megiddo, must evidently, as will presently appear, have some relation to the ritual of the worship of these ancient sanctuaries. ... 4 . It now remains to deal with a question which may be thus formulated, What significance did the Canaanites, and the Hebrews after them, attach to these mazzçbâhs , and what place did they hold in the ancient cult? This question can hardly be approached without a reference to the still unsolved problem of the religious significance of ‘standing stones’ all the world over. This world-wide phenomenon ‘must rest on some cause which was operative in all primitive religions’ (W. R. Smith, RS [Note: S Religion of the Semites. ] 2 209). It will probably be found, on consideration of all the conditions to be satisfied, that the desire to appease the spirit of the dead lies at the beginning, while the conception of the pillar-stone as a representation of the deity, beside the altar dedicated to his worship, comes at the end of a long process of evolution. On this view, a stone, over or beside the grave of the dead, afforded, to the primitive mind, a convenient abode for the departed spirit, when it chose to return to receive the homage and offerings of the living. The blood of the sacrifice was poured over the stone, and thus brought into contact with the indwelling spirit (cf. the cup-marks on the cap-stones of the dolmens on the east of the Jordan and elsewhere). With this desire to do honour to the dead, the idea of keeping alive his memory by a conspicuous or upright stone was sooner or later associated. When and where higher ideas of the spirit world prevailed, the mazzçbâh became a memorial stone and nothing more, as in group ( a ) above. ... The belief that a stone might become the abode of any numen marked a distinct step in advance. In Genesis 28:1-22 it is admitted that we have a later adaptation of a Canaanite temple myth, which explained the origin of the sanctuary at Bethel, and especially the sanctity attaching to the original beth-el , i. e. , the abode of an el or numen ( Genesis 28:22 ), round which the sanctuary grew up. In the original form of the story the anointing of the stone was an offering to the indwelling numen . The second of the Gezer mazzçbâhs shows an exact counterpart to this. The cavities in the other recently discovered mazzçbâhs , above mentioned, were no doubt originally intended to receive similar offerings of blood, wioe, or oil (cf. Genesis 35:14 ). ... When this fetish worship had been outgrown, the mazzçbâh became merely a symbol or representation of the deity , who had his horme elsewhere. The conical pillar standing in the court of the temple of Astarte, as represented on the coins of Byblus, is an illustration of this higher conception. We may be sure that the worshippers of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] regarded the Canaanite mazzçbâhs in this light from the first. But the danger of contamination was great (see High Place, § 6 ), and the condemnation of the mazzçbâhs is a recurring feature of all the law codes (reff. above). ... 5 . Another unsolved problem may be mentioned in conclusion. What is the relation of the mazzçbâh to the altar ? Shall we say, with the distinguished author of the Religion of the Semites 9 (p. 204), that ‘the altar is a differentiated form of the primitive rude stone pillar, the nosb or massebah ; or, with the latest investigator, that ‘the massebah is nothing else than the artificial substitute for the sacrificial stone’ (Kittel, op. cit. 129, 134)? If the views expressed in the previous section are correct, the second alternative offers the more probable solution. The pillar will then be a differentiated form of the most ancient altar (Altar, §§ 1. 2 ), the cause of the differentiation, as we have seen, being the desire to commemorate, as well as to appease, the dead. ... A. R. S. Kennedy. ...
Fulfill - The verb fulfill is used in three senses that merit special attention: an ethical sense of observing or meeting requirements; a prophetic sense of corresponding to what was promised, predicted, or foreshadowed; and a temporal sense related to the arrival of times ordained by God. The ethical sense of fulfill appears in the Old Testament only in connection with meeting the requirements of a vow (Leviticus 22:21 ; Numbers 15:3 ), never in connection with the law. In the New Testament Jesus submitted to John's baptism, identifying Himself with sinful people, in order “to fulfill all righteous” (Matthew 3:15 ), that is, to meet God's expectation for His life. Jesus described His mission not as coming “to abolish the law or the prophets” but “to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17 ). The New Testament repeatedly speaks of love as the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8-10 ; Galatians 5:14 ; James 2:8 ). ... Fulfill is most common in Scripture in the prophetic sense of corresponding to what was promised, predicted, or foreshadowed. The fulfillment of prophecy in the life of Jesus is a major theme in Matthew's Gospel. Isaiah's prophecy (Isaiah 7:4 ) found fulfillment not only in Christ's virgin birth but also in His nature as “God with us” (Matthew 1:22-23 ; compare Matthew 28:20 ). Jesus' ministry in both word (Matthew 4:14-17 ) and deed (Matthew 8:16-17 ) fulfilled Scripture (Isaiah 9:1-2 ; Isaiah 53:4 ). Jesus' command of secrecy (Matthew 12:16 ) and His habit of teaching in parables (Matthew 13:35 ) likewise fulfilled Scripture (Isaiah 42:1-3 ; Psalm 78:2 ), as did His humble entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:4-5 ; Zechariah 9:9 ) and His arrest as a bandit (Matthew 26:56 ). At several points Jesus' life story gave new meaning to the history of Israel. Like Israel, Jesus was God's Son called out of Egypt (Matthew 2:15 ; Hosea 11:1 ). The suffering of Israel's mothers (Jeremiah 31:15 ) was echoed by the mothers of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:17-18 ). Both foreshadowed the fate of the Christ child who was spared only to die at a later time. ... Luke and Acts are especially interested in Christ's suffering and later glorification as the fulfillment of the expectations of all the Old Testament, the law, prophets, and writings (Luke 24:25-26 ,Luke 24:25-26,24:44-47 ; Acts 3:18 ; Acts 13:27-41 ) Jesus interpreted His journey to Jerusalem as a second “exodus” (Luke 9:31 ), an event that would result in freedom for God's people. ... In John the failure of the people to recognize God at work in Jesus' signs or to accept Jesus' testimony was explained as fulfillment of Scripture (John 12:37-41 ; compare Mark 4:11-12 ). John also viewed details of the passion story as the fulfillment of Scripture (John 19:24 ,John 19:24,19:28 ; Psalm 22:18 ; Psalm 69:21 ). Typological fulfillment in which Jesus corresponded to Old Testament institutions is more common than correspondence to prehydichytive prophecy. Jesus was “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 ), likely a reference to the Passover lamb (John 19:14 ). Like Bethel (Genesis 28:12 ) Jesus offered access between heaven and earth (John 1:51 ). At Cana Jesus' gift of wine corresponded to the blessings of God's future (John 2:1-11 ; Isaiah 25:6 ; Joel 3:18 ; Amos 9:13 ; Zechariah 9:17 ). Jesus' body which was to be destroyed and raised was identified with the Temple (John 2:19 ,John 2:19,2:21 ). In His being lifted up on the cross (John 3:14 ), Christ corresponded to the serpent Moses raised in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9 ). In the same way, Christ in giving His life corresponded to the life-giving manna from heaven (John 6:31-32 ; Exodus 16:15 ). Often, time references in the Gospel of John suggest that Jesus gave new meaning to the celebrations of Israel (Passover, John 2:13 ; John 6:4 ; John 11:55 ; Booths, John 7:10 ; Dedication, John 10:22 ). ... Paul spoke of Christ as the One in whom “every one of God's promises is a “yes” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NRSV). Like John, Paul made frequent use of typology. Christ was foreshadowed by Adam ( Romans 5:12-21 ; 1Corinthians 15:22,1 Corinthians 15:45-49 ), by the rock in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:4 ), and by the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7 ). ... Temporal phrases such as “the time is fulfilled” point to times ordained by God, for example, the time of Christ's ministry (Mark 1:15 ; Galatians 4:4 ; Ephesians 1:10 ), the time of Gentile domination of Israel (Luke 21:24 ), or the time of the appearance of the lawless one (2 Thessalonians 2:6 ). ... Chris Church... ...
Tithes - (See DEUTERONOMY. ) Tenths of produce, property, or spoils, dedicated to sacred use. So Abram (and Levi, as in Abram's loins) to Melchizedek the king priest who blessed him (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:1-10). Jacob after his Bethel vision vowed a tenth of all that God gave him, should God be with and keep him, and give him bread and raiment, and bring him again to his father's house in peace (Genesis 28:20-22). The usage of consecrated tithes existed among the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, and Arabians. See 1 Maccabees 11:35; Herodotus i. 89; iv. 152; v. 77; vii. 132; 9:81; Diod. Sic. v. 42; xi. 33; 20:44; Cicero, Verr. ii. 3,6-7; Xenophon, Anabasis v. 3, section 9. The "tithe" (terumot ) of all produce as also of flocks and cattle belonged to Jehovah. and was paid in kind, or if redeemed one fifth of the value was added. Leviticus 27:30-33, "whatsoever passed under the rod": the rabbis had the tradition that the animals to be tithed were enclosed in a pen, from whence they passed one by one under the counter's rod, and every tenth was touched with a rod dipped in vermilion (Jeremiah 33:13; Ezekiel 20:37). ... The Levites received this terumot ; they in turn paid a tenth of this to the high priest (Numbers 18:21-28; Numbers 18:31). In Deuteronomy 10:9; Deuteronomy 12:5-18; Deuteronomy 14:22; Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 18:1-2; Deuteronomy 26:12-14, the general first tithe of all animal and vegetable increase for maintaining the priests and Levites is taken, for granted; what is added in this later time is the second additional tithe of the field produce alone, and for celebrating the sacred feasts each first and second year in the Shiloh or Jerusalem sanctuary, and every third year at home with a feast to the Levites, the stranger, fatherless, and widow. The six years thus marked were followed by the Jubilee year; on it the attendance was the larger because of the scant attendance on the sixth year when most stayed at home. In the Jubilee year there was no tithe, as the land enjoyed its sabbath. Tobit (Tobit 1:7-8) says he gave a third tithe to the poor; Josephus (Ant. 4:8, 8, section 22) also mentions a third tithe; so Jerome too on Ezekiel 45. ... Maimonides denies a third tithe (which would be an excessive burden) and represents the seceded tithe of the third and sixth years as shared between the poor and the Levites. (See Selden on Tithes, 2:13). Ewald suggests that for two years the tithe was virtually voluntary, on the third year compulsory. Thus there was a yearly tithe for the Levites, a second yearly tithe for two years for the festivals; but this second tithe on every third year was shared by the Levites with the poor. The kings, Samuel foresaw, would appropriate the three years' poor man's tithe (1 Samuel 8:15; 1 Samuel 8:17). Hezekiah rectified the abuse (2 Chronicles 31:5; 2 Chronicles 31:12; 2 Chronicles 31:19); also Nehemiah after the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 10:38-39; Nehemiah 13:5; Nehemiah 13:12; Nehemiah 12:44). ... The Pharisees were punctilious in paying tithe for all even the smallest herbs (Matthew 23:23; Luke 18:12). Amos (Amos 4:4) upbraids Israel with zeal for the letter of the tithe law while disregarding its spirit. Malachi (Malachi 3:10) seconded Nehemiah's efforts. God promises to "open heaven's windows and pour out a blessing" so that there would be no "room to receive it," provided the people by bringing in all the tithes would put Him to the proof as to keeping His word. Christians, whose privileges are so much greater and to whom heaven is opened by Christ's death and ascension, should at least offer no less a proportion of all their income to the Lord's cause than did the Israelite: we should not lose but even in this world gain thereby (Proverbs 3:9-10). Azariah the high priest told Hezekiah: "since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord we have bad enough to eat, and have left plenty, for the Lord hath blessed His people, and that which is left is this great store" (2 Chronicles 31:10). ... The New Testament plan of giving is 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7-9. Moral obligation, not force, was what constrained the Israelite to give tithes. He solemnly professed he had done so every third and sixth year (of the septennial cycle), when instead of taking the second or vegetable tithe to the sanctuary he used it at home in charity and hospitality (Deuteronomy 26:13-14; Deuteronomy 14:28-29). Ananias' and Sapphira's declaration corresponds, but it was a lie against the Holy Spirit (Acts 5); Joseph's fifth of Egypt's increase to the sovereign who had saved the people's lives corresponds to, and was perhaps suggested by, the double tithe or fifth paid by Israel long before. ...
Theophany - Manifestation of God that is tangible to the human senses. In its most restrictive sense, it is a visible appearance of God in the Old Testament period often, but not always, in human form. Some would also include in this term Christophanies (preincarnate appearances of Christ) and angelophanies (appearances of angels). In the latter category are found the appearances of the angel of the Lord, which some have taken to be Christophanies, reasoning that since the angel of the Lord speaks for God in the first person (Genesis 16:10 ) and the human addressed often attributes the experience to God directly (Genesis 16:13 ), the angel must therefore be the Lord or the preincarnate Christ. Yet, though the angel is clearly identified with the Lord, he is distinguished from him (he is called "angel, " meaning "messenger" similar patterns of identification and distinction can be seen in Genesis 19:1,21 ; 31:11,13 ; Exodus 3:2,4 ; Judges 2:1-5 ; 6:11-12,14 ; 13:3,6 , 8-11,13 , 15-17,20-23 ; Zechariah 3:1-6 ; 12:8 ). In the ancient oriental world, a king's messenger spoke in the name of the king. Any insult rendered him was interpreted as an insult to the king himself (cf. Hanun's treatment of David's embassy, 2 Samuel 10:1-4 ; 1 Chronicles 19:2-6 ). There seems, therefore, no necessity to posit a theophany for the angel of the Lord. In Joshua 5:13-6:5 , the conquest narrative is interrupted by the abrupt appearance of a being who calls himself the "commander of the army of the Lord" (5:14). To interpret this event as an encounter with God or with the preincarnate Christ forces the text. Angels were sent on missions of this kind (Judges 6:11 ; 13:3 ), and some were identified as captains over heavenly armies (Daniel 10:5,20 ; 12:1 ). While there are no indisputable Christophanies in the Old Testament, every theophany wherein God takes on human form foreshadows the incarnation, both in matters of grace and judgment. ... Following are a number of what may be considered classic theophanies. The Lord appears to Abraham on his arrival in the land, wherein God promised the land to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:7-9 ); God reaffirmed his promises of land and progeny when Abraham was ninety-nine years old (Genesis 17:1 ), and on the Plains of Mamre on his way to destroy Sodom (Genesis 18:1 ). ... God appeared to Jacob in his dream at Bethel (Genesis 28:11-19 ). It is also clear that in the events at the Jabbok ford, Jacob somehow received a revelation through an encounter with God, although neither a strict reading of the text (Genesis 32:22-32 ) nor its later interpretation by Hosea (12:3-4) demand a theophany. ... God appeared to Moses alone on the mountain (Exodus 19:20 ; 33:18-34:8 ). God also appeared to Moses, with Aaron and his sons and the seventy elders (Exodus 24:9-11 ) and in the transfer of leadership to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:15 ). ... While he suffered, Job had complained that he sought an audience with God (31:35). At the conclusion of the book the Lord appears in a thunderstorm to deliver two discourses, designed to grant Job's request for a hearing and arguably to supply at least one of the meanings for Job's affliction: God is sovereign. ... In a looser sense, God's promise of the land to Abraham (Genesis 15 ), as well as his commission that Abraham sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22 ), could be considered theophanies. Frequently the term, "glory of the Lord, " reflects a theophany, as in Exodus 24:16-18 ; the "pillar of cloud" has a similar function in Exodus 33:9 . The Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord must be considered theophanous, particularly when it comes upon men, transforming them (1 Samuel 10:6 ) and equipping them for divine service (1 Samuel 16:13 ). The Lord appears to people in visions (Genesis 15:1 ; 46:2 ; Job 33:15 ; Psalm 89:19 ; Daniel 2:19 ; Acts 9:10 ; 18:9 ) and in dreams (Genesis 20:3 ; 31:24 ; 1 Kings 3:5 ; Matthew 2:13 ) to reveal his plans for them or to unveil mysteries for the future. ... The Lord appears in theophanies both to bless and to judge. A frequent introduction for theophanies may be seen in the words, "The Lord came down. " Examples may be found in Genesis 11:5 , Exodus 34:5 , Number 11:25, and Numbers 12:5 . Although the most common verb for the manifestation of the glory of the Lord is "appeared" (Leviticus 9:23 ; Numbers 14:10 ; 16:19,42 ; 20:6 ), God's glory also "settled" on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:16 ). ... William C. Williams... See also Angel of the Lord ... Bibliography . Th. Booij, Biblia 65 (1984):1-26; J. Vander Kam, VT 23 (1973):129-50; M. G. Kline, WTJ 40 (1977):245-80; J. Lust, VT 25 (1975):110-15; E. W. Nicholson, VT 24 (1974):77-97; idem, VT 25 (1975):69-79; K. L. Schmitz, Faith and Philosophy 1 (1984):50-70. ... ...
Pillar - The pillar of cloud, and the pillar of fire in the wilderness, which went before and followed Israel, were among the symbols of the divine presence. I do not presume to say as much, or to decide upon a subject of such infinite importance; but, when we take into one mass of particulars, all that we read of the Lord Jesus Christ in those early ages of the church, methinks I cannot hesitate to believe, that it was Christ that they went before, and that thus surrounded his people during their whole eventful history. Jacob at Bethel, and Moses at the bush, had real views of JEHOVAH'S glory and fulness in Christ. The manifestation made on both occasions as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, plainly shows that the covenant of redemption, in the seed of the woman, was the great and leading cause of all. And as the Holy Ghost hath graciously been pleased in so many words to tell the church, that the Rock which followed Israel was Christ; (1 Corinthians 10:4) it should seem as if this was intended by the blessed Spirit, to act as a key for opening; similar manifestation to the church in those other tokens of divine, love, which appear in their wonderful history. Nothing can be more blessed in confirmation of the Redeemer's love to his church and people, than thus beholding him in the "pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of are by night," conducting and guarding them through all their journey: And as then, so now, every manifestation, under all the various forms of it, was intended to show the church the love he bore to them, and to lead his people into the most endearing views of love and good will. And hence; the sacred writers, through the several parts of sacred Scriptures, keep up the remembrance of those manifestations in the wilderness, as so many proofs of the Lord's presence with his people. We are told that "when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, all the people rose up, and stood every man at, his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. " (Exodus 33:8-9) So again the Psalmist saith, that "he spake unto them in the cloudy pillar. " (Psalms 99:7) Who was it spake unto them but, God in Christ? Surely all that we hear from God is received in him, and by him, and through him, who is the only Mediator, the Glory-man Christ Jesus. For the Holy Ghost, by John the apostle, tells the church that no man hath seen God at any time; but he graciously adds, that "the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. " (John 1:18) And what then can be more plain and evident in proof that Christ is the visible JEHOVAH, and by whom alone all revelations are made? I need not add what endearing representations all those things made of his person and his love to his church, when taken into one mass of particulars, which we read of Christ under such a vast variety of manifestations which he hath made of himself. ... The word pillar is sometimes used in the language of Scripture to denote the church of the Lord Jesus, Thus the Holy Ghost, by Paul, calls the church "the pillar and ground of truth. " (1 Timothy 3:15) And it is not a violence to the expression to consider this as in allusion to her Lord, who is the Head of his body the church. For if Jesus be the pillar of cloud, and the pillar of fire; and if, as it is said, "the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night," (Isaiah 4:5) —surely there is a great propriety that his church should be called after the name of her Lord, He is the pillar of cloud and of fire; and she by him is made the pillar and ground of truth; and hence his servants who minister in his name shall be called pillars in his temple. "Him that overcometh, saith Jesus, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God. " (Revelation 3:11) (See Proverbs 9:1) Hence the Lord saith to Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 1:18) "Behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar. " (See Galatians 2:9) And very blessed it is to see, that while Christ is the foundation stone JEHOVAH hath laid in Zion, all his redeemed ones are built upon this foundation, and are lively stones and pillars in this spiritual house, "to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ. " (1 Peter 2:5)...
Abraham - Father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Genesis 11:27 ) before his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration was a call from God (Acts 7:2-4 ). There is no mention of this first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Genesis 12 . While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205 years. Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God (Genesis 12:1,2 ); whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8 ). He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him. Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed his first encampment at Sichem (Genesis 12:6 ), in the vale or oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee a great nation," etc. (Genesis 12:2,3,7 ). This promise comprehended not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming had been long ago predicted (Genesis 3:15 ). Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah. " He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Genesis 12:18 ). Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Genesis 12:8 ; 13:2 . Compare Psalm 105:13,14 ). The whole party then moved northward, and returned to their previous station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Compare 1Corinthians 6:7. ) He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or "oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree, called "the oak of Mamre" (Genesis 13:18 ). This was his third resting-place in the land. ... Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew, Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318 armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army, and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem, i. e. , Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18-20 ). ... In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the grandfather of Amraphel (Genesis 14:1 ), one of the witnesses is called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram. ... Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Genesis 13:14 ). "The word of the Lord" (an expression occurring here for the first time) "came to him" (15:1). He now understood better the future that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the heir of these promises (Genesis 16 ). When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:4,5 ), and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised (Genesis 17 ). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" (Genesis 19:1-28 ). ... After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Genesis 20 ). (See Genesis 21:12 ). (See HAGAR ; ISHMAEL . ) ... At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test (Hebrews 11:17-19 ). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead. From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh, i. e. , "The Lord will provide. " The promises made to Abraham were again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and returned to his home at Beer-sheba (Genesis 22:19 ), where he resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron. ... Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being 127 years old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner of it, Ephron the Hittite (Genesis 23 ); and there he buried Sarah. His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran (or Charran, Acts 7:2 ), where his brother Nahor and his family resided (Genesis 11:31 ). The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac (Genesis 24 ). Abraham then himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons, whose descendants were afterwards known as the "children of the east" (Judges 6:3 ), and later as "Saracens. " At length all his wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah (Genesis 25:7-10 ). ... The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called "the friend of God" (James 2:23 ), "faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9 ), "the father of us all" (Romans 4:16 ). ... ...
Samuel - SAMUEL . The life of Samuel is viewed from widely differing standpoints in different sections of the books that bear his name. In the oldest narrative, found in 1 Samuel 9:1-27 , he appears as a seer from the land of Zuph, to whom Saul and his servant, who are seeking the lost asses of Kish, Saul’s father, apply for help. Saul had hesitated about applying to the man of God, on the score of not having a gift to present, but the servant produced the fourth part of a shekel of silver with which to compensate the seer. Samuel, who had been Divinely apprised of their coming, met them while he was on his way to worship at the high place, and after they had partaken of his hospitality and passed the night with him, he nominated and anointed Saul as Israel’s coming king. He further gave Saul signs by which he should know that the promises would he fulfilled, and committed him to the Spirit of God. In another narrative (chs. 1 3), which differs in point of view rather than in trustworthiness, are recited the incidents of Samuel’s early life and relations to the kingdom. Hannah , his mother, the wife of Elkanah , was barren. During the celebration of the yearly feast she vows that if God will give her a son she will give him to Jehovah. Samuel is therefore the son of answered prayer, and is in due time dedicated to the Temple service at Shiloh, where he assists Eli , is warned by Jehovah of the coming destruction of Eli’s house, and receives the call to the prophetic office. ... After the death of Eli and the return of the ark from the Philistines, Samuel becomes ‘judge’ of Israel, calls the people to repentance at Mizpah, and saves them miraculously from the invading Philistines (ch. 7). He is succeeded in the judgeship by unworthy sons, and Israel, outraged at their sinfulness and worthlessness, demands a king a proposition, in the estimation of Samuel, tantamount to a rejection of Jehovah, though no such suggestion was made when he voluntarily appointed Saul. Nevertheless he yields to their wish, hut describes in sombre colours the oppressions they must endure under the monarchy (ch. 8). Accordingly the people are assembled at Mizpah, again accused of forsaking Jehovah, and Saul is selected by lot (1 Samuel 10:17-24 ). Samuel now makes his farewell address (ch. 12), defends his administration, warns the people, by references to their past history, of the danger of disobeying Jehovah, and compels nature to attest his words by a thunderstorm in harvest time. ... The insignificant rôle played by Samuel in the first narrative cited is very noticeable when compared with the position accorded him in that which follows. In the first he is an obscure seer, and takes but a minor part in the establishment of the kingdom. In the latter he is a commanding and dominating figure. He is a judge of the people, adjudicating their affairs yearly at Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah. Saul, as well as the monarchy, is controlled and directed by him. ... The narrative of Samuel’s prominence is succeeded by an account (ch. 13) from a different source of Saul’s attack on the Philistines. The story is interrupted at 1 Samuel 13:8-15 by a complaint that Saul had disobeyed in offering sacrifice before the battle, although he had waited the required seven days as instructed by Samuel. It is difficult to see wherein Saul was guilty. Samuel had not appeared according to agreement. The Philistines were closing in upon Saul, his army was fast melting away, it was necessary to give battle, and it would have been considered irreligious to inaugurate the battle without sacrifice. For this rebellion Samuel informs him that his kingdom is forfeit, and that Jehovah has chosen another, a man after His own heart, to take his place. ... Again Saul is instructed by Samuel (ch. 15) to destroy Amalek men, women, children, and spoil but he spares Agag and the best of the booty. All his excuses are rejected, and Samuel now attributes the loss of his kingdom to the new disobedience. This narrative does not seem conscious that the kingdom was already lost to Saul. The king confesses his fault, and after repeated persuasion Samuel agrees to honour him before his people by worshipping with him. Agag is then brought before Samuel, who hews him to pieces before the Lord. After this Samuel is sent to the home of Jesse to select and anoint a successor to Saul. One by one the sons of Jesse are rejected, till David , the youngest, is brought from the field, and proves to be the choice of Jehovah (ch. 16). With this significant act Samuel practically disappears. We find an account of his keeping a school of the prophets at Ramah, whither David flees to escape Saul ( 1 Samuel 19:18-24 ). Later we have a short account of his death and burial at Ramah ( 1 Samuel 25:1 ). There is also a mention of his death in ch. 28, and the story of Saul’s application to the witch of Endor to call up Samuel from the dead. ... J. H. Stevenson. ...
Sod'om - (burning ), one of the most ancient cities of Syria. It is commonly mentioned in connection with Gomorrah, but also with Admah and Zeboim, and on one occasion -- ( Genesis 14:1 ) . . . --with Bela or Zoar. Sodom was evidently the chief town in the settlement. The four are first named in the ethnological records of (Genesis 10:19 ) as belonging to the Canaanites. The next mention of the name of Sodom, (Genesis 13:10-13 ) gives more certain indication of the position of the city. Abram and Lot are standing together between Bethel and Ai, ver. 3, taking a survey of the land around and below them. Eastward of them, and absolutely at their feet, lay the "circle of Jordan. " The whole circle was one great oasis --"a garden of Jehovah. " ver. 10. In the midst of the garden the four cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim appear to have been situated. It is necessary to notice how absolutely the cities are identified with the district. In the subsequent account of their destruction, (Genesis 19:1 ) . . . the topographical terms are employed with all the precision which is characteristic of such early times. The mention of the Jordan is conclusive as to the situation of the district, for the Jordan ceases where it enters the Dead Sea, and can have no existence south of that point. The catastrophe by which they were destroyed is described in (Genesis 19:1 ) . . . as a shower of brimstone and fire from Jehovah. However we may interpret the words of the earliest narrative, one thing is certain --that the lake was not one of the agents in the catastrophe. From all these passages, though much is obscure, two things seem clear:
That Sodom and the rest of the cities of the plain of Jordan stood on the north of the Dead Sea; ... That neither the cities nor the district were submerged by the lake, but that the cities were overthrown and the land spoiled, and that it may still be seen in its desolate condition. When, however, we turn to more modern views, we discover a remarkable variance from these conclusions. ... The opinion long current that the five cities were submerged in the lake, and that their remains--walls, columns and capitals--might he still discerned below the water, hardly needs refutation after the distinct statement and the constant implication of Scripture. But, ... A more serious departure from the terms of the ancient history is exhibited in the prevalent opinion that the cities stood at the south end of the lake. This appears to, have been the belief of Josephus and Jerome. It seems to have been universally held by the medieval historians and pilgrims, and it is adopted by modern topographers probably without exception. There are several grounds for this belief; but the main point on which Dr. Robinson rests his argument is the situation of Zoar. (a) "Lot," says he, "fled to Zoar, which was near to Sodom; and Zoar lay almost at the southern end of the present sea, probably in the month of Wady Kerak . " (b) Another consideration in favor of placing the cities at the southern end of the lake is the existence of similar names in that direction. (c) A third argument, and perhaps the weightiest of the three, is the existence of the salt mountain at the south of the lake, and its tendency to split off in columnar masses presenting a rude resemblance to the human form. But it is by no means certain that salt does not exist at other spots round the lake. (d) (A fourth and yet stronger argument is drawn from the fact that Abraham saw the smoke of the burning cities from Hebron. (e) A fifth argument is found in the numerous lime-pits found at that southern end of the Dead Sea. Robinson, Schaff, Baedeker, Lieutenant Lynch and others favor this view. --ED. ) It thus appears that on the situation of Sodom no satisfactory conclusion can at present be readied: On the one hand, the narrative of Genesis seems to state positively that it lay at the northern end of the Dead Sea. On the other hand, long-continued tradition and the names of the existing spots seem to pronounce with almost equal positiveness that it was at its southern end. Of the catastrophe which destroyed the city and the district of Sodom we can hardly hope ever to form a satisfactory conception. Some catastrophe there undoubtedly was but what secondary agencies, besides fire, were employed in the accomplishment of the punishment cannot be safely determined in the almost total absence of exact scientific description of the natural features of the ground round the lake. We may suppose, however, that the actual agent in the ignition and destruction of the cities had been of the nature of a tremendous thunder-storm accompanied by a discharge of meteoric stones, (and that these set on fire the bitumen with which the soil was saturated, and which was used in building the city. And it may be that this burning out of the soil caused the plain to sink below the level of the Dead Sea, and the waters to flow over it--if indeed Sodom and its sister cities are really under the water. --ED. ) The miserable fate of Sodom and Gomorrah is held up as a warning in numerous passages of the Old and New Testaments. ( Mark 8:11 ; 2 Peter 2:6 ; Jude 1:4-7 )
Israel - Name given to Jacob after 'a man' had wrestled with him, to whom he clung when he was by him crippled. It signifies 'a prince of God:' and it was said, "as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. " It thus indicated the way of blessing with regard to the nation in which God's government in the earth was to be established. The twelve sons of Jacob became the heads of the twelve tribes, and they and their descendants were called the children of Israel, or simply Israel. At the division of the kingdom, the ten tribes were called 'Israel,' and the two tribes 'Judah,' though this distinction is not at all times rigidly adhered to: thus the princes and kings of Judah are called princes of Israel, and kings of Israel. 2 Chronicles 12:5,6 ; 2 Chronicles 21:2 ; 2 Chronicles 28:19 . So those who returned from exile, though they were in the main of the two tribes, are called people of Israel, or Israel. In the prophets also, though the ten tribes are not called Judah, the two tribes are at times called Israel. The ten tribes in the prophets are often spoken of as EPHRAIM, which was the chief of the ten. Though Israel was reckoned as ten tribes, it is most probable that the portion of Simeon, being situated on the extreme south, was united to Judah, as well as the territory of Dan in the S. W. , though the people of Simeon may have scattered themselves among the other tribes, and those of Dan have gone north and joined their tribe there. ... THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL commenced when Jeroboam was made king, to whom it was promised that his house should be established if he followed the Lord. He, on the contrary, to prevent the people going to Jerusalem, immediately set up the golden calves at Dan and at Bethel. The kingdom was given up to idolatry, and a series of judgements followed. Baasha murdered Jeroboam's son and successor; and his own son and successor was slain by Zimri; Zimri was killed by Omri, and after a civil war of four years with Tibni, Omri became king and reigned with his successors forty-five years, ending with Jehoram the son of Ahab. He and the survivors of the house of Ahab were slain by Jehu directly or indirectly, and Jehu began the 5th dynasty, B. C. 884. He and his successors reigned, with varying judgements upon them, for a hundred and twelve years. Zachariah was the last, being the fourth successor of Jehu, as God had said, 2 Kings 15:12 : he reigned only six months and was murdered by Shallum. During another fifty years the kingdom was spared: but there was no repentance. About B. C. 740 the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan were carried into captivity, and Israel became tributary to Assyria. Hoshea murdered Pekah, and after nine years of anarchy succeeded to the throne. He revolted against Assyria, trusting to Egypt; but Samaria was taken, and Israel carried into captivity. Thus ended the kingdom of Israel, B. C. 721. From about B. C. 784 to 725 Hosea was God's prophet in Israel. He solemnly pleaded with them, protesting against their evil ways, and was ever ready to help them to turn to God, though his efforts were, alas, in vain. 2 Kings 17:13-18 ; Hosea 13:16 ; Hosea 14:1-9 . ... Israel when carried away were placed in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan (in the neighbourhood of the river Khabour, an affluent of the river Euphrates), and in the cities of the Medes. As far as is known they never returned, though doubtless individuals found their way back in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, and in the four hundred years that followed before the Lord appeared. Jews from those districts were present on the day of Pentecost; but as a body they are still commonly regarded as 'the Lost Tribes. ' God knows where to find them when His set time of blessing arrives. The twelve tribes surely exist, and remnants of them will again come into the land. Ezekiel 48:1-29 ; Matthew 19:28 ; Acts 26:7 ; James 1:1 ; Revelation 7:5-8 . ... The ten tribes will be dealt with differently from the two, who were in the land when the Lord was presented to them, and who rejected Him, and demanded His crucifixion. The ten tribes will, by a mighty hand and with fury poured out, be brought into the wilderness, and there God will plead with them, cause them to pass under the rod, and bring them into the bond of the covenant; but the rebels will be purged out. Ezekiel 20:31-38 . The question as to the wounds in the hands of the Lord, which He received in the house of His 'friends' is connected with Judah, who will be judged when in the land, and only one third of them after being refined, will be owned as God's people. Zechariah 13:6-9 . When God thus purges and restores a remnant of all the tribes, and brings them into full blessing in the land, the name of ISRAEL will embrace them all as it did at the first, and God will be their God for evermore. Ezekiel 37:1-28 . ...
Abram - Abram (â'bram), high father, afterwards named Abraham (â'bra-ham), father of a multitude, Genesis 17:4-5, the great founder of the Jewish nation, as well as of the Ishmaelites and other Arabian tribes. Genesis 25:1-34. He was a son of Terah, a descendant of Shem, and a brother of Nahor and Haran, and was born in Ur, a city of Chaldea. Genesis 11:27-28. Here he lived 70 years, when at the call of God he left his idolatrous kindred, Joshua 24:2; Joshua 24:14, and removed to Haran, in Mesopotamia, Acts 7:2-4, accompanied by his father, his wife Sarai, his brother Nahor, and his nephew Lot. Here, a few years after, Terah died. Abram's proper history now begins. He was commanded to go into Canaan, receiving at the time a two-fold promise, that his seed should become a vast multitude, and that through them all the families of the earth should be blessed. Abram was become a wealthy chief, and, with the servants and the substance that belonged to him, accompanied by his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, he entered Canaan. 12:1-5. The country was already occupied by descendants of Ham. He passed through the heart of the country by the great highway to Shechem, and pitched his tent by the oak of Moreh. Genesis 12:6. Here he received in vision from Jehovah the further revelation that this was the land which his descendants should inherit. Removing from Moreh he pitched on a mount to the east of Bethel, and journeying south he went down into Egypt (famine then afflicting Canaan), establishing there the first link of that mysterious chain which so long, through almost all their history, bound the chosen people for discipline and for warning to the Egyptians. But here, alas! Abram's faith wavered. Fearing that the great beauty of Sarai might tempt the powerful monarch of Egypt and expose his own life to peril, he arranged that Sarai should represent herself as his sister, which her actual relationship to him, as probably the daughter of his brother Haran, allowed her to do with some semblance of truth. But her beauty was reported to the king, and she was taken into the royal harem. He was rescued by God's providence from the false position in which he had placed himself, and enriched by Pharaoh he returned to Canaan. Genesis 12:10-20. Abram was wealthy; and Lot was wealthy too. Had the land been empty, they might very well have extended their encampments in it. But the Canaanites and Perizzites were there too; and therefore uncle and nephew must separate. From a hill near Bethel, which it is said may still be identified, Abram and Lot surveyed the country; and Lot, having his choice allowed him, selected the rich valley of the Jordan for his abode, careless what kind of associates he would thus meet with; while Abram, with the renewed assurance that Canaan should be given to his seed, went southward to Mamre and dwelt there. Lot was soon involved in the disasters of the neighborhood he had chosen. He was made prisoner in the irruption of an eastern monarch, of whom something, it is said, is yet to be dimly traced In the deciphered Assyrian inscriptions (see Assyria and Lot). Abram resolved to attempt his nephew's rescue. On his victorious return he received the blessing of Melchizedek. But Abram's faith began to be sorely tried. The promise was to him in his seed; and as yet he had no child. Years rolled on; and the likelihood of his having offspring grew less and less. The promise was therefore repeated: Abram believed it. And now, because his faith held on, not only when accomplishment seemed easy, but when it was delayed and seemed most difficult, well-nigh impossible, now, when there was the word alone, the bare promise, with no outward confirmation, and Abram still believed, God "counted it to him for righteousness. " The trial of his faith was very, very precious, "much more precious than of gold that perisheth. " 1 Peter 1:7. And then there was a symbol vouchsafed him, and larger promise that his posterity should possess the whole extent of country between the river of Egypt and the Euphrates. Sarai's faith, however, faltered; and, as the promise was not yet announced that the holy seed should come from Sarai's womb; she gave her husband her Egyptian maid, intending to adopt her child. Abram then had a son, Ishmael; but he was not the heir of promise. Thirteen years passed on, perhaps spent at Mamre: and the purposes of God were ripening. The covenant was now made more definite: Sarai was included in the promise; the names of the pair were changed to Abraham and Sarah; and the sign of circumcision was added, to be a token throughout all generations that God had been with and was blessing Abraham his friend. But there must be delay and trial still. The Lord held again mysterious conference with Abraham, before Sodom was destroyed, and Abraham, perhaps in consequence of that catastrophe, journeyed south-west into the land of the Philistines at Gerar; and there the evil step in Egypt was repeated. At length God's time was come; and Sarah bare Abraham a son (probably at Gerar) in his old age. And then indeed there was joy; the promise long waited for being now fulfilled. The name given to the child, Isaac (laughter or sporting), indicated this. Once Sarah had laughed incredulously at the idea of her having a son, and Abraham had laughed too, his faith, strong as it was, being then inclined to fix on Ishmael as the heir of his name and blessing. Gen. chaps. 13-20. But now the happy parents laughed with thankful joy; and all their friends that heard the tidings laughed and rejoiced with them. Genesis 21:1-7. There was a feast made when Isaac was weaned; yet the mirth of that feast was dashed with heaviness. The son of the bondwoman, jealous perhaps of Isaac's happier lot, was discovered mocking; and Sarah insisted that he and his mother Hagar should be banished from the encampment. It was very grievous to Abraham; but God commanded him to yield; and Hagar and Ishmael went forth, a sign of the call of the Gentiles, and proving the best means of fulfilling the promise that Ishmael should become a great nation. Genesis 21:8-21; Galatians 4:22-31. There were some petty troubles from Abimelech in the patriarch's life, but with this exception nothing is recorded of the space of perhaps 25 years. His residence was now at Beer-sheba. And then came a strange and crushing trial. To comprehend it, we must bear in mind that Abraham lived among idolaters, who ruthlessly made their children pass through the fire. Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 18:24-25; Deuteronomy 18:9-10. Many a time must Abraham have seen from afar the smoke of sacrifices, and known that human victims were offered there. And his heart must have glowed when he remembered that his God required no such homage; and perhaps he had to stand the scoff of those around, that he had chosen a very easy religion, demanding not the self-denying obedience which theirs did. For, surely, though they practiced these cruel abominations, many hearts among them must have bled as their dearest were taken as victims; and though they yielded to the stern law it must have been with grief and bitter tears. Their obedience, then, they would say, was far deeper and more meritorious than Abraham's easy service. But then came the command, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac whom thou lovest. . . and offer him for a burnt-offering. " It was not merely the laceration of domestic ties, not only the apparent blight of the promise so long waited for and then fulfilled—the whole basis of his trust seemed overturned, the character of the God he worshipped changed, his religion no better than that of the surrounding tribes. Imagination cannot conceive a harder trial. But his faith, hitherto unshaken, supported him in this final trial, "accounting that God was able to raise up his son, even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure. " Hebrews 11:19. The sacrifice was stayed by the angel of Jehovah, the promises were again confirmed to him, the spiritual blessings in them being prominently exhibited; and, with gratitude which even the sacred historian does not attempt to describe, Abraham returned to Beer-sheba. This great event was the most wonderful in the patriarch's life. Then it was, no doubt, that his eye was opened to perceive in the dim future another sacrifice, of a dearer Son yielded by a higher Father (and probably on or near that very spot), a sacrifice actually consummated, by the virtue of which a propitiation of world-wide virtue was effected. The rest of Abraham's history is comparatively scanty. He seems to have removed from Beer-sheba to Kirjath-arba or Hebron; and there Sarah died when he was 137. He purchased for her sepulchre the field and cave of Mach-pelah from the princes of the land, for the exorbitant price of 400 shekels of silver. The bargain with Ephron is very characteristic of eastern manners to the present day. Some, misled by Ephron's courteous speech, have fancied that he really intended to offer his field to Abraham for a gift. But this is from sheer ignorance of Oriental habits. Ephron was a shrewd man, who well knew how to drive a bargain; and a good one he made for himself. Genesis 23:1-20. Abraham then took care that his son Isaac should not marry into the idolatrous famines around. And next there is the strange record that he had another wife, and children by her; and even "concubines" are mentioned. Keturah was a secondary or inferior wife, not given to the patriarch by Sarah, as Hagar was. It may be, therefore, that, though the fact is noted so late, the children had been born much earlier. But we can hardly arrive at certainty on this matter. Be it as it may, Abraham sent away his other sons with gifts into the east, that they might not interfere with Isaac, to whom his great inheritance belonged. And then he died, 175 years old, having seen Isaac's sons, and was buried by Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah, where perchance his bones may still be lying. Such briefly is the story of this father of the faithful, from whom the precious seed descended, and into whose bosom the faithful dead are said to have been conveyed. Luke 16:22. His faith we are to follow: his good example we should diligently imitate.
Samuel - A well-known and eminent prophet of the Lord. His name is derived from Shael, a loan, or gift; hence Shem and Urel of God. It would form a separate history to enter into all the interesting particulars which relate to the life and ministry of Samuel. I must beg the reader to gather it for himself out of the Bible, under those writings which bear his name. But the call of Samuel when a child to the knowledge of the Lord is so truly interesting, and forms a point of decline so intimately connected with the gospel of Christ, that I cannot wholly pass it by without begging the reader's permission to offer a short observation upon it. ... The Bible account of this event is given in the most beautiful simplicity of representation, 1 Samuel 3:1 etc. "And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep, that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, Here am I"... There are a great number of very interesting things in this relation that I must not stay to dwell upon. The preciousness of the Lord's words, in this period of the church, when open visions were for a time suspended; the special grace shewn to Samuel in a season of general depravity, and when even the sons of Eli, who were priests of the Lord, were given up to a state of daring impiety end uncleanness; the childhood of Samuel, so particularly noted in the history, as if to encourage the youthful part of the Lord's people to be found waiting on the Lord in ordinances; all these, and more to the same purport, which this relation of the call of Samuel brings forward, would furnish much observation for improvement. But I must passover the consideration of these things, however interesting, to notice with more special marks of attention the call of Samuel, and the manner of it. Nothing can be more evident, from the history of this transaction, than that at the time when Samuel lay down to sleep, he was perfectly unconscious of all divine revelations, and totally ignorant of their meaning. Indeed, ye are told, in the seventh verse that, "Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord revealed unto him. " So that in Samuel's instance, as in every other, of the real conversion of the heart to God, the gracious act begins on the part of God. If we love him, it is because he first loved us, It was the Lord first called Samuel, yea, repeated that call, or Samuel never world have called upon the Lord. This is what the Scriptures call preventing grace; hence David, in a degree of holy rapture, cries out, The God of my mercy shall prevent me; that is, shall be before hand with me in all my need. (Psalms 59:10)... The next beautiful representation this call of Samuel furnisheth, is the secret, silent, and personal nature of it. Eli heard it not, though the priest of God; it was Samuel only and this by name. Had thousands been present like Eli, it was a voice they would not have heard, and in which they had no concern. It was directed to Samuel, and to him in secret, and what the Lord said related to him personally. Such are the marks of distinguishing grace in all ages of the church. Jesus saith, "My sheep hear my voice, and be calleth them all by name, and leadeth them forth. Who can mark the properties of distinguishing grace in their own case and circumstances without having the heart melted into the fullest sense of affection?"Lord "Lord how is it (said the astonished disciple) that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world. " (John 14:1-31)... One thought more on the call of Samuel. The mercy that was thus preventing, unexpected, unlooked for, and secret, silent, and personal, became also powerful, effectual, and sure, to all the gracious purposes. He that called the child called not in vain. A marvellous light shined with the voice in the heart, and a commanding power accompanied it within. Samuel never lost sight of it, I venture to believe, through all the after-stages of his life. Both the time and place, the manner and effect, no doubt became like Bethel to Jacob, so that he could say with the patriarch, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven. " (Genesis 28:11; Gen 28:17) I cannot prevail upon myself to dismiss our view of Samuel before that I have first requested the reader to remark with me some features in the portrait of this great prophet, which bear resemblance, however faint, to the person and offices of the Lord God of the prophets, Jesus Christ. Samuel, we are told, was so called to shew that he was asked of God. And how earnestly was the Lord Jesus asked by the Old Testament saints before his coming! How blessedly did JEHOVAH, in the opening of Samuel's life, point to the Lord Jesus as the faithful Priest he would raise up, who should do according to all that was in his heart! (1 Samuel 2:35) And what a delightful view doth the prophet Samuel exhibit, as typical of the Lord Christ, under the several offices he sustained, not only as prophet, as Priest and as Judge in Israel!...
Deborah - 1. Rebekah's nurse (Genesis 24:59), faithful as a servant from Rebekah's childhood, and so, when dead at an advanced age, lamented as much as one of the family. Her burial place at the oak beneath Bethel was hence called Allon-Bachuth," the oak of weeping" (Genesis 35:8). She was in Jacob's household now, as she had been in his mother's, who was by this time dead, as appears from Genesis 35:27. ... 2. The prophetess and judge ("a bee"), a personal or possibly an official name applied to poets, seers, and priestesses. The symbol of a monarch in Egypt; a honey bee to her friends, a stinging bee to the enemy (Cornelius a Lapide). "Lived under the palm tree"; a landmark, as palms were rare in Palestine (Judges 4:5); possibly meaning Baal Tamar, "the sanctuary of the palm" (Judges 20:33). Wife of Lapidoth; "a mother in Israel," a patriotic and inspired heroine like Miriam. Jabin oppressed the northern tribes adjacent to Hazor his capital (Zebuhn, Naphtali, and Issachar, which she judged). Barak, at her call, summoned these (to whom the central tribes, Ephraim, Manasseh (Machir), and Benjamin in part sent contingents, Judges 20:14) in a long train (draw: Judges 5:6-7) toward the broad topped mount Tabor. Deborah accompanied him at his request. ... With but 10,000 in his train ("at his feet"), by the Lord's interposition, descending from Mount Tabor, he defeated Sisera's mighty host and 900 chariots who were in the famous battlefield of Jezreel or Esdraelon, in the valley of Kishon. Deborah's prediction was fulfilled by the "Lord's selling Sisera into the hand of a woman," namely, Jael, the Kenite Heber's wife. Enthusiasm for the cause of Israel, so closely allied with the Kenites through Moses' father-in-law Hobab, caused her to commit the treacherous murder. The praise, "blessed above women in the tent (i. e. shepherdesses) shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be" commends her faith, not her treachery. Some actions of faith are mixed with the corrupt motions of the flesh, as that of the midwives and Rahab's treatment of the spies. So Jael's act showed real faith in the case of God's controversy with the godless Canaanites. ... The approval of her faith, the mainspring of her conduct, by no means implies approval of the deceit by which its true character was obscured. Yet faith is precious and "blessed" in spite of grievous infirmities, and will at last outgrow and stifle them utterly. God is keen to see the faith, slow to condemn the fault, of His children. Deborah and Barak together sang the song of victory composed by her. It begins with a reference to Jehovah's original, grand, and awful manifestation at Sinai (Exodus 19; Deuteronomy 33:2), the sealing of the covenant with Israel, and the ground of all His subsequent interpositions for them. Then follows Israel's deep degradation, its highways deserted, its 40,000 soldiers (a round number for a diminished army) without shield or spear, because they forsook Jehovah for "new gods" (compare Deuteronomy 32:17). Then "war (pressed up) to their (very) gates. "... But now deliverance is come, for which "bless the Lord. " All should join in "speaking" His praise: the upper classes "who ride upon white-spotted asses," and those "that sit upon coverings" (middin , the rich, Matthew 21:7) spread upon the asses; also the humbler "who walk on the way," foot travelers. Those delivered from the plundering "archers "who infest "the places of drawing water" to plunder the shepherds, shepherdesses, and their flocks in lawless times (Exodus 2:17), should rehearse there, now that all is peace, "the Lord's righteous acts. " "Then shall the people of Jehovah go down (from their past mountain hiding places) to their gates" and towns now delivered. "Barak, lead away thy captivity (train of captives) captive" (quoted in Psalms 68:18); fulfilled exhaustively in Christ the ascended Conqueror (Ephesians 4:8; Ephesians 4:13). ... "Out of Zebulun came they that handle the pen of the writer," i. e. the scribes of the host (Jeremiah 52:25) who wrote down the names of the soldiers. "Barak was sent by his feet into the valley," i. e. impelled irresistibly to the battle. "At the brooks of Reuben were great resolutions of the heart," but issuing in no practical action, the tribe resembling their forefather. Reuben preferred hearing "the bleatings of the flocks" to the blast of the war trumpets. Dan with its port Joppa preferred merchandise to warring for the fatherland. "Asher abode in his bags. "... "The kings of Canaan took no gain of money," i. e. no booty, as they expected, from the battle; for "the stars from heaven fought against Sisera;" i. e. , a Jehovah-sent storm beat in their faces and on the Israelites' back (Josephus), swelling the Kishon, which suddenly fills up the dry channel and overflows the plain of Esdraelon, making it impassable with mud, especially to chariots, so that the" prancing horses" and their "mighty" riders were swept away. ... Meroz might have intercepted the retreating foe and Sisera, but is "cursed by the angel of Jehovah" for not doing so; and Jael is blessed" for her zeal, though mixed with earthly alloy. So "the land had rest for 40 years. " (See BARAK. ) Neither Ehud nor Jael are in the list of examples of faith in Hebrews 11. Jael apparently received Sisera in good faith, with the intention of hospitality, but a sudden impulse may have urged her to destroy the enemy of God's people. Her faith and patriotism are commendable, but not the means she took of delivering Israel. ...
Mizpah - Hebrew "the Mizpah," generally a "watchtower". Μizpeh (masculine) expresses rather the town; Μizpah (feminine) the district (Joshua 11:8; Joshua 11:8). ... 1. In Gilead E. of Jordan. The name Laban gave to Galeed, the "heap of witness," the memorial of his covenant with Jacob, and the boundary landmark between them (Genesis 31:48-49; Genesis 31:52), "for he said, Jehovah watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another. " (See GALEED. ) Herein he adopts Jacoh's language (Hebrew) and religion (Jehovah's worship). In Hosea 5:1, "ye house of the king, ye have been a snare on Mizpah and a net spread upon Tabor," the sense is, Ye ought to have been "watchers" guarding Israel from evil, but ye have been as hunters entrapping them into it. Mizpah in the E. and Tabor in the W. include the high places of the whole kingdom in which the rulers set up idol altars. Here Israel assembled to choose a leader in its "misery" when Ammon, having oppressed eastern Palestine, was threatening also to attack Judah and Ephraim W. of Jordan. ... Jephthah passed Mizpah on his way from Gilead to fight Ammon (Judges 10:16-17; Judges 11:29). Here on the hallowed ground he "uttered all his words before Jehovah in the Mizpah. " Thenceforth his home was there; and at Mizpah the sad meeting with his daughter took place (Judges 11:34). Seemingly identical with Ramoth Gilead, or Ramath ("high place") Mizpeh (Joshua 13:26); now es Salt, or else Mizpah is the Mount Jebel Osha, to the N. W. Here too Israel met, as being the ancient sanctuary, to determine what was to be done after the outrage perpetrated at Gibeah (Judges 20:1; Judges 20:3; Judges 21:1; Judges 21:5; Judges 21:8). ... 2. Mizpeh Moab, where the Moabite king lived when David entrusted his parents to him (1 Samuel 22:3). Possibly Kir Moab, now Kerak, S. E. of the Dead Sea. More probably a mountain fastness on the high land bounding the Arboth Moab on the E. of the Dead Sea; on the mountains Abarim or Pisgah (Deuteronomy 34:1), which David could easily reach from Bethlehem by crossing the Jordan near its entrance into the Dead Sea. Mount Pisgah was the most commanding eminence in Moab, and contained the sanctuary Nebo, of which part was called Zophim (derived from the same root as Mizpeh). ... 3. The land of Mizpah, the abode of the Hivites, "under Hermon," who joined Jabin against Joshua (Joshua 11:8). To "the valley of Mizpah eastward" Joshua chased Jabin's conquered hosts (Joshua 11:8). The valley is probably part of the great hollow, Coelo-Syria, now Buka'a (Amos 1:5, margin), containing Baalbek; near which on the N. is the hill Haush tell Safiyeh. ... 4. Mizpah of Benjamin (Joshua 18:26). Fortified by Asa against the invasions of northern Israel (1 Kings 15:22). The residence and scene of Gedaliah's murder (Jeremiah 40:7-10; Jeremiah 41:1-2), At Mizpah Israel repented at Samuel's call (1 Samuel 7:5-6), and "drew water and poured it out before the Lord," pleading symbolically their misery, powerlessness, and prostration by the Philistines, that so God might strengthen them. An act of deepest humiliation and confession of misery, the result of sin. (Psalms 22:14; Psalms 58:7; 2 Samuel 14:14; Isaiah 40:29-30; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Lamentations 2:19, "pour out thine heart like water before the face of Jehovah. ") Here Samuel appointed Saul king (1 Kings 10:17-25). Mizpah with Bethel and Gilgal were the three cities which Samuel as judge visited on circuit. ... Men of Mizpah on the return from Babylon helped in rebuilding the wall; "the ruler of the district of Mizpah" and "the ruler of Mizpah" took part in it (Nehemiah 3:7; Nehemiah 3:15; Nehemiah 3:19). Judas Maccabeus (1 Maccabees 3:44) assembled the Jews at Maspha, as being "aforetime a place of prayer over against (implying Mizpah was in full sight of) Jerusalem. " Josephus (Ant. 11:8, section 5; B. J. v. 2-3; 2:19, section 4; 5:2-3) mentions Sapha (a corruption of Maspha, Mizpah) as the place of Alexander's meeting Jaddua the high priest; and elsewhere calls it Scopus, i. e. the look-out place, from whence on the broad ridge (the continuation of Olivet), seven stadia N. of the city, one gains the first view of Jerusalem. The Septuagint twice renders Mizpah skopia. Nebi Samwil, on the W. bound of Benjamin toward the Philistines, with whom Israel was about to war (1 Samuel 7:5-6), Robinson identifies with Mizpah. ... But it is five miles off, though in view of the Sakhrah of the temple and the Church of the Sepulchre; and this is at variance with 1 Maccabees, "over against Jerusalem. " Moreover it is out of the way of the pilgrims from Samaria to Jerusalem, murdered by Ishmael; whereas Scopus is in the direct road (Jeremiah 41:7). Sennacherib at Nob first caught the full view of "the house of Zion and hill of Jerusalem"; Nob therefore is probably Mizpah. Condor (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January, 1875) identifies Nob with Nebi Samwil, the Arabs mistaking Nob "high place" for Nebi "prophet. " Nebi Samwil is so near Gibeon that it must have been the high place visited by Solomon; the view from it is splendid. Traces of the outer court of the tabernacle are yet discoverable, and a curious rock cut approach. (but, see NOB. )...
Galilee, Sea of - (Matthew 4:18; Mark 7:31; John 6:1). So called from its washing the E. side of Galilee. In Luke 5:1 "the sea of Gennesaret," called so from the fertile plain of Gennesurer at its N. W. angle, three and a half miles long by two and a half broad (Matthew 14:34). In Old Testament "the sea of Chinnereth" or Cinneroth, from the town so named on its shore (Joshua 19:35), of which Gennesaret is probably the corruption, though others derive it from gannah , a "garden," and Sarown , a plain between Tabor and the lake. "The sea of Tiberias" is another designation, from the city (John 6:1). All its names were drawn from places on the western side. Now Bahr Tubariyeh (Tiberius, S. W. of the lake). Close to it was "His own city" Capernaum (Matthew 4:13). Nine cities stood on the shores of the lake, of which only two are now inhabited, namely, Magdala, consisting of a few mud huts, and Tiberias, sadly changed from its ancient prosperity. ... Silence now reigns where formerly the din of industry was heard. On its shore Jesus called His first disciples (Matthew 4:18; Matthew 9:9; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:43, etc. ). The bed of the lake is but a lower section of the great Jordan valley. Its depression is 653 ft. below the level of the Mediterranean, according to Lt. Lynch. Its length is about 13 miles, its breadth is about five or six. The view from the Nazareth road to Tiberias is beautiful. The hills from the eastern side rise apparently out of the water with a uniform slope, to the height of 2,000 ft. , destitute of verdure, and shut in the lake; while far to the N. is seen snowy Hermon. The eastern hills, which are flat along the summit, are the wall that supports the table land of Bashan; from which on the N. there is a gradual descent to the valley of the Jordan, and then a rise to a plateau skirting the mountains of upper Galilee. ... The hills on the W. , except at Khan Minyeh, where there is a small cliff, are recessed from the shore. On a western recess stands Tiberias. The whole basin betrays its volcanic origin, which also accounts for the warm spring at Tiberius The cliffs are hard porous basalt. The vegetation is tropical; the lotus thorn, palms, indigo, etc. The water is sweet, sparkling and transparent; the fish abundant as of old, many species being those of the Nile, the silurus, mugil, and sparers Galiloeus. Dr. Tristram says: "the shoals of fish Were marvelous, black masses of many hundred yards long, with the black fins projecting out of the water, as thickly as they could pack. There are the European loach, Bethel, blenny and cyprinodont; the African chromis, hemichromis, and eellike clarias; and the Asiatic discognathus. The cyprinodonts are viviparous, and the sexual differences marked; they can live in cold water, or hot springs up to 90ø, fresh, brackish, or briny water. ... This marks a former connection between these waters and those of N. E. and S. E. Africa, the Nile, the Zambesi, and the great lakes in the interior. The papyrus also, no longer found in the Nile, is found on the shores of the sea of Galilee. As Asia, Africa, and Europe respectively were represented at Christ's cross by the Jews, Simon of Cyrene, and the Romans respectively, so the Asiatic, African, and European fish in the sea of Galilee represent the various races of mankind gathered by the spiritual fishermen into the one gospel net. Only one little boat represents the fleets of fishing vessels that once covered the lake. The fish are now taken with a hand net jerked round the fish by the fisher, usually naked, along the shore (John 21:7); or else crumbs of bread mixed with bichloride of mercury are scattered to poison the fish, and the floating dead bodies are picked up for the Tiberias market (Porter, Handbook, p. 432). ... Sudden and violent storms agitate the waters, sweeping down the ravines and gorges converging to the head of the lake, from the vast naked plateau of the Jaulan and the Hauran and mount Hermon in the background. It was such a storm that Jesus stilled by a word, as He had a few hours before rebuked and cast out demons. Mark 4:39, "Peace, be still," Greek "Be silent, be muzzled"; addressing the sea and warring elements as rebel forces; compare Revelation 21:1. ... The apostles were trying to reach Bethsaida on the western coast, when the gale from. the S. W. that brought vessels from Tiberias to the N. E. coast (John 6:23) delayed the vessel of the former, until at the fourth watch Jesus came walking over the tempest tossed waves; then followed Peter's temporary walking through faith and sinking through unbelief in the same waters, and his rescue by Jesus; then they immediately reach their desired haven for which they had set out the evening before (Matthew 14:28-29; Matthew 14:33; John 6:17; John 6:21; Mark 6:45). ... So impressed were the disciples that "they worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God. " Bethsaida Julias, the city of Andrew and Peter, lay on the E. bank of the Jordan where it enters the sea of Galilee on the N. Close by, and on the E. of the river and N. E. of the lake, stretched the "green grass" (Mark 6:39) plain of Batihah, the scene of feeding the 5,000. Gergesa (now Kersa) lay E. of the lake. The Jordan's outlet is at Kerak, the S. W. extremity of the lake. The lake, mirroring heaven in its union of rest and energy, represents Him who best combined the calm repose which reflected His Father's image with energetic labors for God and man. ...
Priest; Priesthood - A. Noun. ... Kôhên (כֹּהֵן, Strong's #3548), “priest. ” This word is found 741 times in the Old Testament. More than one-third of the references to the “priests” are found in the Pentateuch. Leviticus, which has about 185 references, is called the “manual of the priests. ”... The term kôhên was used to refer not only to the Hebrew priesthood but to Egyptian “priests” (Gen. 41:50; 46:20; 47:26), the Philistine “priests” (1 Sam. 6:2), the “priests” of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5), “priests” of Baal (2 Kings 10:19), “priests” of Chemosh (Jer. 48:7), and “priests” of the Baalim and Asherim (2 Chron. 34:5). ... Joseph married the daughter of the “priest” of On (Gen. 41:45), and she bore him two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 46:20). Joseph did not purchase the land of the “priests” of Egypt, because the Egyptian “priests” received regular allotments from Pharaoh (Gen. 47:22). ... A “priest” is an authorized minister of deity who officiates at the altar and in other cultic rites. A “priest” performs sacrificial, ritualistic, and mediatorial duties; he represents the people before God. By contrast, a “prophet” is an intermediary between God and the people. ... The Jewish priestly office was established by the Lord in the days of Moses. But prior to the institution of the high priesthood and the priestly office, we read of the priesthood of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18) and of Midianite “priests” (Exod. 2:16; 3:1; 18:1). In Exod. 19:24, other “priests” are mentioned: these may have been either Midianite “priests” or “priests” in Israel prior to the official establishment of the Levitical priesthood. No doubt priestly functions were performed in pre-Mosaic times by the head of the family, such as Noah, Abraham, and Job. After the Flood, for example, Noah built an altar to the Lord (Gen. 8:20-21). At Bethel, Mamre, and Moriah, Abraham built altars. In Gen. 22:12-13, we read that Abraham was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice. Job offered up sacrifices for his sinning children (Job 1:5). ... The priesthood constituted one of the central characteristics of Old Testament religion. A passage showing the importance of the priesthood is Num. 16:5-7: “And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord … the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy. …”... God established Moses, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar as “priests” in Israel (Exod. 28:1, 41; 29:9, 29- 30). Because Nadab and Abihu were killed when they “offered strange fire before the Lord,” the priesthood was limited to the lines of Eleazar and Ithamar (Lev. 10:1-2; Num. 3:4; 1 Chron. 24:2). ... However, not all individuals born in the family of Aaron could serve as “priest. ” Certain physical deformities excluded a man from that perfection of holiness which a “priest” should manifest before Yahweh (Lev. 21:17-23). A “priest” who was ceremonially unclean was not permitted to perform his priestly duties. Lev. 21:1-15 gives a list of ceremonial prohibitions that forbade a “priest” from carrying out his duties. ... Exod. 29:1-37 and Lev. 8 describe the sevenday consecration ceremony of Aaron and his sons. Both the high priest (kôhên haggadol) and his sons were washed with water (Exod. 29:4). Then Aaron the high priest dressed in holy garments with a breastplate over his heart, and there was placed on his head a holy crown— the mitre or turban (Exod. 29:5-6). After that, Aaron was anointed with oil on his head (Exod. 29:7; cf. Ps. 133:2). Finally, the blood of a sacrificial offering was applied to Aaron and his sons (Exod. 29:20-21). The consecrating bloodmark was placed upon the tip of the right ear, on the thumb of the right hand, and on the great toe of the right foot. ... The duties of the priesthood were very clearly defined by the Mosaic law. These duties were assumed on the eighth day of the service of consecration (Lev. 9:1). The Lord told Aaron: “Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the veil; and ye shall serve …” (Num. 18:7). ... The “priests” were to act as teachers of the Law (Lev. 10:10-11; Deut. 33:10; 2 Chron. 5:3; 17:7-9; Ezek. 44:23; Mal. 2:6-9), a duty they did not always carry out (Mic. 3:11; Mal. 2:8). In certain areas of health and jurisprudence, “priests” served as limited revelators of God’s will. For example, it was the duty of the “priest” to discern the existence of leprosy and to perform the rites of cleansing (Lev. 13-14). Priests determined punishments for murder and other civil matters (Deut. 21:5; 2 Chron. 19:8-11). ... B. Verb. ... Kâhan (כָּהַן, Strong's #3547), “to act as a priest. ” This verb, which appears 23 times in biblical Hebrew, is derived from the noun kohen. The verb appears only in the intensive stem. One occurrence is in Exod. 28:1: “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. …”...
Saul - Asked for.
A king of Edom (Genesis 36:37,38 ); called Shaul in 1 Chronicles 1:48 . ... ... The son of Kish (probably his only son, and a child of prayer, "asked for"), of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king of the Jewish nation. The singular providential circumstances connected with his election as king are recorded in 1 Samuel 810-10 . His father's she-asses had strayed, and Saul was sent with a servant to seek for them. Leaving his home at Gibeah (10:5, "the hill of God," A. V. ; lit. , as in RSV marg. , "Gibeah of God"), Saul and his servant went toward the north-west over Mount Ephraim, and then turning north-east they came to "the land of Shalisha," and thence eastward to the land of Shalim, and at length came to the district of Zuph, near Samuel's home at Ramah (9:5-10). At this point Saul proposed to return from the three days' fruitless search, but his servant suggested that they should first consult the "seer. " Hearing that he was about to offer sacrifice, the two hastened into Ramah, and "behold, Samuel came out against them," on his way to the "bamah", i. e. , the "height", where sacrifice was to be offered; and in answer to Saul's question, "Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is," Samuel made himself known to him. Samuel had been divinely prepared for his coming (9:15-17), and received Saul as his guest. He took him with him to the sacrifice, and then after the feast "communed with Saul upon the top of the house" of all that was in his heart. On the morrow Samuel "took a vial of oil and poured it on his head," and anointed Saul as king over Israel ((9:25-10:8),), giving him three signs in confirmation of his call to be king. When Saul reached his home in Gibeah the last of these signs was fulfilled, and the Sprit of God came upon him, and "he was turned into another man. " The simple countryman was transformed into the king of Israel, a remarkable change suddenly took place in his whole demeanour, and the people said in their astonishment, as they looked on the stalwart son of Kish, "Is Saul also among the prophets?", a saying which passed into a "proverb. " (Comp 19:24. ) The intercourse between Saul and Samuel was as yet unknown to the people. The "anointing" had been in secret. But now the time had come when the transaction must be confirmed by the nation. Samuel accordingly summoned the people to a solemn assembly "before the Lord" at Mizpeh. Here the lot was drawn (10:17-27), and it fell upon Saul, and when he was presented before them, the stateliest man in all Israel, the air was rent for the first time in Israel by the loud cry, "God save the king!" He now returned to his home in Gibeah, attended by a kind of bodyguard, "a band of men whose hearts God had touched. " On reaching his home he dismissed them, and resumed the quiet toils of his former life. ... Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the Ammonite at Jabeshgilead (q. v. ), an army out of all the tribes of Israel rallied at his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek, and he led them forth a great army to battle, gaining a complete victory over the Ammonite invaders at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the universal joy occasioned by this victory he was now fully recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of Samuel "all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal. " Samuel now officially anointed him as king (11:15). Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in Israel, yet now his work in that capacity practically came to an end. ... Saul now undertook the great and difficult enterprise of freeing the land from its hereditary enemies the Philistines, and for this end he gathered together an army of 3,000 men (1 Samuel 13:1,2 ). The Philistines were encamped at Geba. Saul, with 2,000 men, occupied Michmash and Mount Bethel; while his son Jonathan, with 1,000 men, occupied Gibeah, to the south of Geba, and seemingly without any direction from his father "smote" the Philistines in Geba. Thus roused, the Philistines, who gathered an army of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and "people as the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude," encamped in Michmash, which Saul had evacuated for Gilgal. Saul now tarried for seven days in Gilgal before making any movement, as Samuel had appointed (10:8); but becoming impatient on the seventh day, as it was drawing to a close, when he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and warned him of the fatal consequences of his act of disobedience, for he had not waited long enough (13:13,14). ... When Saul, after Samuel's departure, went out from Gilgal with his 600 men, his followers having decreased to that number (13:15), against the Philistines at Michmash (q. v. ), he had his head-quarters under a pomegrante tree at Migron, over against Michmash, the Wady esSuweinit alone intervening. Here at Gibeah-Geba Saul and his army rested, uncertain what to do. Jonathan became impatient, and with his armour-bearer planned an assault against the Philistines, unknown to Saul and the army (14:1-15). Jonathan and his armour-bearer went down into the wady, and on their hands and knees climbed to the top of the narrow rocky ridge called Bozez, where was the outpost of the Philistine army. They surprised and then slew twenty of the Philistines, and immediately the whole host of the Philistines was thrown into disorder and fled in great terror. "It was a very great trembling;" a supernatural panic seized the host. Saul and his 600 men, a band which speedily increased to 10,000, perceiving the confusion, pursued the army of the Philistines, and the tide of battle rolled on as far as to Bethaven, halfway between Michmash and Bethel. The Philistines were totally routed. "So the Lord saved Israel that day. " While pursuing the Philistines, Saul rashly adjured the people, saying, "Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening. " But though faint and weary, the Israelites "smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon" (a distance of from 15 to 20 miles). Jonathan had, while passing through the wood in pursuit of the Philistines, tasted a little of the honeycomb which was abundant there (14:27). This was afterwards discovered by Saul (ver. 42), and he threatened to put his son to death. The people, however, interposed, saying, "There shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground. " He whom God had so signally owned, who had "wrought this great salvation in Israel," must not die. "Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place" (1 Samuel 14:24-46 ); and thus the campaign against the Philistines came to an end. This was Saul's second great military success. ... Saul's reign, however, continued to be one of almost constant war against his enemies round about (14:47,48), in all of which he proved victorious. The war against the Amalekites is the only one which is recorded at length (1 Samuel 15 ). These oldest and hereditary (Exodus 17:8 ; Numbers 14:43-45 ) enemies of Israel occupied the territory to the south and south-west of Palestine. Samuel summoned Saul to execute the "ban" which God had pronounced (Deuteronomy 25:17-19 ) on this cruel and relentless foe of Israel. The cup of their iniquity was now full. This command was "the test of his moral qualification for being king. " Saul proceeded to execute the divine command; and gathering the people together, marched from Telaim (1 Samuel 15:4 ) against the Amalekites, whom he smote "from Havilah until thou comest to Shur," utterly destroying "all the people with the edge of the sword", i. e. , all that fell into his hands. He was, however, guilty of rebellion and disobedience in sparing Agag their king, and in conniving at his soldiers' sparing the best of the sheep and cattle; and Samuel, following Saul to Gilgal, in the Jordan valley, said unto him, "Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he also hath rejected thee from being king" (15:23). The kingdom was rent from Saul and was given to another, even to David, whom the Lord chose to be Saul's successor, and whom Samuel anointed (16:1-13). From that day "the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. " He and Samuel parted only to meet once again at one of the schools of the prophets. ... David was now sent for as a "cunning player on an harp" (1 Samuel 16:16,18 ), to play before Saul when the evil spirit troubled him, and thus was introduced to the court of Saul. He became a great favourite with the king. At length David returned to his father's house and to his wonted avocation as a shepherd for perhaps some three years. The Philistines once more invaded the land, and gathered their army between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim, on the southern slope of the valley of Elah. Saul and the men of Israel went forth to meet them, and encamped on the northern slope of the same valley which lay between the two armies. It was here that David slew Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines (17:4-54), an exploit which led to the flight and utter defeat of the Philistine army. Saul now took David permanently into his service (18:2); but he became jealous of him (ver. 9), and on many occasions showed his enmity toward him (ver. 10,11), his enmity ripening into a purpose of murder which at different times he tried in vain to carry out. ... After some time the Philistines "gathered themselves together" in the plain of Esdraelon, and pitched their camp at Shunem, on the slope of Little Hermon; and Saul "gathered all Israel together," and "pitched in Gilboa" (1 Samuel 28:3-14 ). Being unable to discover the mind of the Lord, Saul, accompanied by two of his retinue, betook himself to the "witch of Endor," some 7 or 8 miles distant. Here he was overwhelmed by the startling communication that was mysteriously made to him by Samuel (ver. 16-19), who appeared to him. "He fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel" (ver. 20). The Philistine host "fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa" (31:1). In his despair at the disaster that had befallen his army, Saul "took a sword and fell upon it. " And the Philistines on the morrow "found Saul and his three sons fallen in Mount Gilboa. " Having cut off his head, they sent it with his weapons to Philistia, and hung up the skull in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. They suspended his headless body, with that of Jonathan, from the walls of Bethshan. The men of Jabesh-gilead afterwards removed the bodies from this position; and having burnt the flesh, they buried the bodies under a tree at Jabesh. The remains were, however, afterwards removed to the family sepulchre at Zelah (2 Samuel 21:13,14 ). (See DAVID . ) ... ... ... "Who is also called Paul" (q. v. ), the circumcision name of the apostle, given to him, perhaps, in memory of King Saul ( Acts 7:58 ; 8:1 ; 9:1 ).
Prophets - A prophet, in the strict and proper sense, was one to whom the knowledge of secret things was revealed, that he might declare them to others, whether they were things past, or present, or to come. The woman of Samaria perceived our Saviour was a prophet, by his telling her the secrets of her past life, John 4:19 . The prophet Elisha had the present conduct of his servant Gehazi revealed to him, 2 Kings 5:26 . And most of the prophets had revelations concerning future events; above all, concerning the coming and kingdom of the Messiah: "He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began,"... Luke 1:69-70 . Nevertheless, in a more lax or analogical sense, the title prophet is sometimes given to persons who had no such revelation, nor were properly inspired. Thus Aaron is said to be Moses's prophet: "The Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a God to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet," Exodus 7:1 ; because Aaron received the divine messages, which he carried immediately from Moses; whereas other prophets receive their messages immediately from God himself. In this respect, as Moses stood in the place of God to Pharaoh, so Aaron acted in the character of his prophet. The title of prophets is given also to the sacred musicians, who sung the praises of God, or who accompanied the song with musical instruments. Thus "the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun," are said to "prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals," 1 Chronicles 25:1 ; and they prophesied, it is said, "according to the order of the king. " Perhaps Miriam, the sister of Aaron, may be called a prophetess only on this account, that she led the concert of the women, who sung the song of Moses with timbrels and with dances, Exodus 15:20-21 . Thus the Heathen poets, who sung or composed verses in praise of their gods, were called by the Romans vates, or prophets; which is of the same import with the Greek προφητης , a title which St. Paul gives to Epimenides, a Cretan poet, Titus 1:12 . ... Godwin observes, that, for the propagation of learning, colleges and schools were in divers places erected for the prophets. The first intimation we have in Scripture of these schools is in 1 Samuel 10:5 , where we read of "a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, a tabret, a pipe, and a harp before them, and they did prophesy. " They are supposed to be the students in a college of prophets at גבעת , or "the hill," as we render it, "of God. " Our translators elsewhere retain the same Hebrew word, as supposing it to be the proper name of a place, "Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba," 1 Samuel 13:3 . Some persons have imagined that the ark, or at least a synagogue, or some place of public worship, was at this time at Geba, and that this is the reason of its being styled in the former passage גבעת האלהים , the hill of God. We read afterward of such another company of prophets at Naioth in Ramah, "prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them," 1 Samuel 19:19-20 . The students in these colleges were called sons of the prophets, who are frequently mentioned in after ages, even in the most degenerate times. Thus we read of the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel; and of another school at Jericho; and of the sons of the prophets at Gilgal, 2 Kings 2:3 ; 2 Kings 2:5 ; 2 Kings 4:38 . It should seem, that these sons of the prophets were very numerous; for of this sort were probably the prophets of the Lord, whom Jezebel cut off; "but Obadiah took a hundred of them, and hid them by fifty in a cave," 1 Kings 18:4 . In these schools young men were educated under a proper master, who was commonly, if not always, an inspired prophet, in the knowledge of religion, and in sacred music, 1 Samuel 10:5 ; 1 Samuel 19:20 , and were thereby qualified to be public preachers, which seems to have been part of the business of the prophets on the Sabbath days and festivals, 2 Kings 4:23 . It should seem, that God generally chose the prophets, whom he inspired, out of these schools. Amos, therefore, speaks of it as an extraordinary case, that though he was not one of the sons of the prophets, but a herdsman, "yet the Lord took him as he followed the flock, and said unto him, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel," Amos 7:14-15 . That it was usual for some of these schools, or at least for their tutors, to be endued with a prophetic spirit, appears from the relation of the prophecies concerning the ascent of Elijah, delivered to Elisha by the sons of the prophets both at Jericho and at Bethel, 2 Kings 2:3 ; 2 Kings 2:5 . ... The Hebrew prophets present a succession of men at once the most singular and the most venerable that ever appeared, in so long a line of time, in the world. They had special communion with God; they laid open the scenes of the future; they were ministers of the promised Christ. They upheld religion and piety in the worst times, and at the greatest risks; and their disinterestedness was only equalled by their patriotism. The houses in which they lived were generally mean, and of their own building, 2 Kings 6:2-4 . Their food was chiefly pottage of herbs, unless when the people sent them some better provision, as bread, parched corn, honey, dried fruits, and the like, 1 Kings 14:3 ; 2 Kings 4:38-39 ; 2 Kings 4:42 . Their dress was plain and coarse, tied about with a leathern girdle, Zechariah 13:4 ; 2 Kings 1:8 . Riches were no temptation to them; therefore Elisha not only refused Naaman's presents, but punished his servant Gehazi very severely for clandestinely obtaining a small share of them, 2 Kings 5:15 , &c. To succeeding ages they have left a character consecrated by holiness, and "visions of the Holy One," which still unveil to the church his most glorious attributes, and his deepest designs. "Prophecy," says the Apostle Peter, "came not of old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," 2 Peter 1:21 . They flourished in a continued succession during a period of more than a thousand years, reckoning from Moses to Malachi, all cooperating in the same designs. , uniting in one spirit to deliver the same doctrines, and to predict the same blessings to mankind. Their claims to a divine commission were demonstrated by the intrinsic excellency of their doctrine; by the disinterested zeal and undaunted courage with which they prosecuted their ministry, and persevered in their great design, and by the unimpeachable integrity of their conduct. But even those credentials of a divine mission were still farther confirmed by the exercise of miraculous powers, and by the completion of many less important predictions which they uttered, Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ; Deuteronomy 18:22 ; Joshua 10:13 ; 1 Samuel 12:8 ; 2 Kings 1:10 ; Isaiah 38:8 ; Isaiah 42:9 ; 1 Samuel 9:6 ; 1 Kings 13:3 ; Jeremiah 28:9 ; Ezekiel 33:33 . When not immediately employed in the discharge of their sacred office, they lived sequestered from the world, in religious communities, or wandered "in deserts, in mountains, and in caves of the earth;" distinguished by their apparel, and by the general simplicity of their style of life, 2 Kings 1:8 ; 2 Kings 4:10 ; 2 Kings 4:38 ; 2 Kings 6:1 ; Isaiah 20:2 ; Matthew 3:4 ; Hebrews 11:38 ; Revelation 11:3 . They were the established oracles of their country, and consulted upon all occasions when it was necessary to collect the divine will on any civil or religious question. These illustrious personages were likewise as well the types as the harbingers of that greater Prophet whom they foretold; and in the general outline of their character, as well as in particular events of their lives, they prefigured to the Jews the future Teacher of mankind. Like him, also, they laboured by every exertion to instruct and reclaim; reproving and threatening the sinful, however exalted in rank, or encircled by power, with such fearless confidence and sincerity as often excited respect. The most intemperate princes were sometimes compelled unwillingly to hear and to obey their directions, 1 Kings 12:21-24 ; 1 Kings 13:2-6 ; 1 Kings 20:42-43 ; 1 Kings 21:27 ; 2 Chronicles 28:9-14 ; though often so incensed by their rebuke, as to resent it by the severest persecutions. Then it was that the prophets exhibited the integrity of their characters, by zealously encountering oppression, hatred, and death, in the cause of religion. Then it was that they firmly supported "trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about, destitute, afflicted, tormented," evil intreated for those virtues of which the memorial should flourish to posterity, and martyred for righteousness, which, whenever resentment should subside, it would be deemed honourable to reverence, Matthew 23:27-29 . ... The manner in which the prophets published their predictions was, either by uttering them aloud in some public place, or by affixing them on the gates of the temple, Jeremiah 7:2 ; Ezekiel 3:10 , where they might be generally seen and read. Upon some important occasions, when it was necessary to rouse the fears of a disobedient people, and to recall them to repentance, the prophets, as objects of universal attention, appear to have walked about publicly in sackcloth, and with every external mark of humiliation and sorrow. They then adopted extraordinary modes of expressing their convictions of impending wrath, and endeavoured to awaken the apprehensions of their country, by the most striking illustration of threatened punishment. Thus Jeremiah made bonds and yokes, and put them upon his neck, Jeremiah 27, strongly to intimate the subjection that God would bring on the nations whom Nebuchadnezzar should subdue. Isaiah likewise walked naked, that is, without the rough garment of the prophet, and barefoot, as a sign of the distress that awaited the Egyptians, Isaiah 20. So Jeremiah broke the potter's vessel, Jeremiah 19; and Ezekiel publicly removed his household goods from the city, 2 Kings 25:4-5 ; Ezekiel 12:7 ; more forcibly to represent by these actions some correspondent calamities ready to fall on nations obnoxious to God's wrath; this mode of expressing important circumstances by action, being customary and familiar among all eastern nations. The great object of prophecy was, as has been before observed, a description of the Messiah, and of his kingdom, Matthew 26:56 ; Luke 1:70 ; Luke 18:31 ; Luke 24:44 ; John 1:45 ; Acts 3:18 ; Acts 3:24 ; Acts 10:43 ; Acts 13:29 ; Acts 15:15 ; Acts 28:23 ; 1 Peter 1:10-12 . These were gradually unfolded by successive prophets in predictions more and more distinct. They were at first held forth in general promises; they were afterward described by figures, and shadowed out under types and allusive institutions, and finally foretold in the full lustre of descriptive prophecy. The Hebrew prophets were chosen of God to testify beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. See PROPHECY . ...
Samuel - Samuel was born into a Levite family who lived at Ramah, in the tribal territory of Ephraim (1 Samuel 1:19-20; 1 Chronicles 6:33-38). In accordance with a promise made before Samuel’s birth, his mother took him as a young child to the tabernacle at Shiloh, where she dedicated him to God for life-long service. When his parents returned home, Samuel remained at Shiloh, to be brought up by the priest Eli (1 Samuel 1:24; 1 Samuel 1:28; 1 Samuel 2:11). He grew up to become Eli’s helper in the duties of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:18). By bringing God’s message of judgment to Eli, he showed that God was preparing him to be a prophet (1 Samuel 3:10-18). ... When Eli died, Samuel succeeded him as chief administrator in Israel (1 Samuel 4:18; 1 Samuel 7:15). People everywhere acknowledged him as a prophet from God and the religious leader of the nation (1 Samuel 3:20; 1 Samuel 7:3-6; Acts 3:24; Acts 13:20). ... A national leader... There was an early indication of Samuel’s leadership role after the capture and subsequent return of the ark by the Philistines. Samuel showed his authority among his people by demanding that they get rid of their foreign gods and by leading them in prayer and confession to God (1 Samuel 7:3-6). The religious life of Israel now centred on Samuel, who set up an altar of sacrifice in Ramah (for the Philistines had destroyed the tabernacle; Psalms 78:60-61; Jeremiah 7:14). The priesthood had become so corrupt that God appointed Samuel to carry out priestly duties, even though he was not from a priestly family (1 Samuel 2:27-36; 1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 10:8). ... Israel’s civil administration also centred on Samuel. He moved in an annual circuit around four major towns where he held district courts to settle disputes (1 Samuel 7:15-17). ... As Samuel grew old, his sons took over much of the administration. But instead of resisting the social corruption that had become widespread through the people’s disobedience to God, they contributed to it (1 Samuel 8:1-3). In search for improved conditions, the people asked Samuel to bring the old system to an end and give them a king after the pattern that existed in other nations. This was not so much a rejection of Samuel as a rejection of God. The people’s troubles had come not from the system of government, but from their sins. The answer to their problems was to turn to God in a new attitude of faith and repentance, which they refused to do. Samuel warned that just as God had punished them for disobedience when they were under the judges, so he would punish them under the kings (1 Samuel 8:4-22; 1 Samuel 12:8-15). ... Subsequently, the people got their king, and Samuel was no longer their civil leader. But he was still their spiritual leader, and he continued to teach them and pray for them (1 Samuel 12:23-25). ... With the corruption of the priesthood, God made increasing use of prophets, rather than priests, to speak to his people. The emotionalism of some of these prophets led to unusual behaviour at times (1 Samuel 10:9-12; 1 Samuel 19:20-24), but rather than silence the prophets, Samuel tried to redirect their spiritual zeal for the benefit of the nation. He established a school for prophets at Ramah, and others were established later at Bethel, Jericho and Gilgal (1 Samuel 19:18-20; 2 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 2:5; 2 Kings 4:38). ... Samuel and other national leaders... God revealed to Samuel that he would send to him the man whom God had chosen to be Israel’s first king. That man was Saul, whom Samuel anointed in a brief private ceremony (1 Samuel 9:15-16; 1 Samuel 10:1). Some time later, Samuel called a meeting of the family and tribal leaders of Israel for a public selection of Israel’s first king. Saul was chosen (1 Samuel 10:17-25) and, after leading Israel to victory in his first battle, was crowned king in a national ceremony at Gilgal (1 Samuel 11:12-15). ... In time of approaching war, Saul was given one week during which Israel’s leaders could gather the army together, and he himself could go to Gilgal to consult Samuel. There Samuel would offer sacrifices and pass on God’s instructions (1 Samuel 10:8). Saul was impatient and wanted complete power, religious as well as political. He therefore did not wait for Samuel but offered the sacrifices himself. Samuel announced that in judgment God would take the kingdom from Saul (1 Samuel 13:8-14). He confirmed this judgment on a later occasion when Saul again disobeyed God (1 Samuel 15:1-3; 1 Samuel 15:13-28). ... God then sent Samuel to choose a person who would one day replace Saul as king. The person he chose was David (1 Samuel 16:1-13). When, some years later, Saul became jealous of David and tried to kill him, David took refuge with Samuel. When Saul’s messengers, and then Saul himself, tried to capture David, all of them were overcome by the power of God’s Spirit, which still worked through Samuel and his followers (1 Samuel 19:18-24). ... To the day of his death and throughout the centuries that followed, Samuel was highly respected by the people of Israel (1 Samuel 25:1; Jeremiah 15:1). Saul so respected Samuel’s power and wisdom that, after Samuel’s death, he went to a woman who consulted the spirits of the dead in order to seek Samuel’s help. But Samuel simply confirmed that God had rejected Saul and that the next day Saul would be dead (1 Samuel 28:3-19). ...
Tabernacles, Feast of - (See FEASTS. ) Ηasukoth , "feast of in-gathering"; haciyp (Exodus 23:16); Greek skenofgia (John 7:2). Third of the three great feasts; from Tisri 15 to 22 (Leviticus 23:34-43); commemorating Israel's passage through the desert. Thanksgiving for harvest (Deuteronomy 16:13-15). The rites and sacrifices are specified, Numbers 29:12-38. The law was read thereat publicly on the sabbatical year (Deuteronomy 31:10-13). Kept with joy on the return from Babylon (Nehemiah 8); compare the contemporary Psalms 118:14-15; Psalms 118:19-20; Psalms 118:22-27, in undesigned coincidence, alluding to the feast, the joy, the building of the walls, and setting up of the gates; Zechariah 4:7-10; Zechariah 3:9; Zechariah 14:16-17. The earlier celebration under Zerubbabel was less formal and full according to the law (Ezra 3:4); therefore it is unnoticed in the statement (Nehemiah 8:17) that since Joshua's days until then (when the later celebration under Nehemiah, which was fuller and more exact, took place) it had not been so kept. ... The people in the wilderness dwelt in tents, not "booths" (sukot ). The primary design was a harvest feast kept in autumn bowers, possibly first in Goshen. The booth, like the tent, was a temporary dwelling, and so suited fairly to represent camp life in the desert. So Hosea (Hosea 12:9) uses "tabernacles" or "tents" for "booths," when speaking of the feast; the booth was probably used at times in the desert, when at certain places they made a more permanent stay during the forty years. It commemorated, with thanksgiving for the harvest which was the seal of their settlement in a permanent inheritance, their transition from nomadic to agricultural life. Its popularity induced Jeroboam to inaugurate his Bethel calf worship with an imitation feast of tabernacles on the 15th day of the eighth month, "which he devised of his own heart" (1 Kings 12:32-33), possibly because the northern harvest was a little later, and he wished to break off Israel from the association with Judah by having a different month from the seventh, which was the legal month. ... In Jerusalem the booths were built on the roofs, in house courts, in the temple court, and in the street of the water gate and of the Ephraim gate. They were made of boughs of olive, palm, pine, myrtle, and of her trees of thick foliage. From the first day of the feast to the seventh the Israelites carried in their hands "the fruit (margin) of goodly trees, branches of palm, thick trees, and willows" (Leviticus 23:40). In one hand each carried a bundle of branches (called luwlab or "palm" in rabbiical Hebrew) and in the other a citron (hadar , "goodly trees". ) The feast of tabernacles, like Passover, began at full moon on the 15th day of the month; the first day was a day of holy convocation; the seven days of the feast were followed by an eighth day, forming no part of it (Leviticus 23:34-36; Numbers 29:35), a day of holy convocation, "a solemn assembly" ('atsereth ), or, as the Hebrew denotes, "a closing festival" (2 Chronicles 7:9). On each of the seven days the offering consisted of two rams, 14 lambs a year old, with 13 bulls on the first day, 12 on the second, and so on until on the seventh there were only seven, the whole amounting to 70 bulls; but on the 'atsereth only one bull, one ram, and seven lambs. ... The booths or, according to Jewish tradition, huts of boards on the sides covered with boughs on the top, were occupied only the seven days, not on the 'atsereth . The feast of tabernacles is referred to in John 7:2-37; John 8:12. Jesus alludes to the custom of drawing water from Siloam in a golden goblet and pouring it into one of the two silver basins adjoining the western side of the altar, and wine into the other, while the words of Isaiah 12:3 were repeated, in commemoration of the water drawn from the rock in the desert; the choir sang the great hallel , and waved palms at different parts of Psalm 118, namely, Psalms 118:1-25; Psalms 118:29. Virtually Jesus said, I am the living Rock of the living water. Coming next day at daybreak to the temple court as they were extinguishing the artificial lights, two colossal golden candlesticks in the center of the temple court, recalling the pillar of fire in the wilderness, Jesus said, cf6 "I am the Light of the world" (John 8:1-2; John 8:12). As the sun by natural light was eclipsing the artificial lights, so Jesus implies, I, the Sun of righteousness, am superseding your typical light. ... "The last great day of the feast" is the atsereth , though the drawing of water was on previous days not omitted. Joy was the prominent feature, from whence the proverb, "he who has never seen the rejoicing at the pouring out of the water of Siloam has never seen joy in his life" (Succah 5:1). The feast was called Hosanna, "save we beseech Thee. " Isaiah 11 refers to the future restoration of Israel; the feast of tabernacles connected with chapter 12 doubtless will have its antitype in their restored possession of and rest in Canaan, after their long dispersion; just as the other two great feasts, Passover and Pentecost, have their antitype respectively in Christ's sacrifice for us, and in His writing His new law on our hearts at Pentecost. Jewish tradition makes Gog and Magog about to be defeated on the feast of tabernacles, or that the seven months' cleansing shall end at that feast (Ezekiel 39:12). Rest after wanderings, lasting habitations after the life of wanderers, is the prominent thought of joy in the feast, alike in its former and in its future celebration. ...
Lot - (laht) A personal name meaning “concealed. ” Lot was the son of Haran and nephew of Abraham (Genesis 11:27 ). Lot, whose father died in Ur (Genesis 11:28 ), traveled with his grandfather to Haran (Genesis 11:31 ). Terah had intended to travel to Canaan, but stayed in Haran instead (Genesis 11:31 ). When Abraham left Haran for Canaan, he was accompanied by Lot and Lot's household (Genesis 12:5 ). ... After traveling throughout Canaan and into Egypt, Abraham and Lot finally settled between Bethel and Ai, about ten miles north of Jerusalem (Genesis 13:3 ). Abraham and Lot acquired herds and flocks so large that the land was unable to support both (Genesis 13:2 ,Genesis 13:2,13:5 ). In addition, the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot did not get along (Genesis 13:7 ). Thus, to secure ample pasturelands for their flocks and to avoid any further trouble, Abraham suggested they separate. Abraham allowed Lot to take his choice of the land. Lot took advantage of Abraham's generosity and chose the well-watered Jordan Valley where the city of Sodom was located (Genesis 13:8-12 ). ... Some interesting details of the split between Abraham and Lot remind the reader of earlier events in Genesis. For example, the Jordan Valley is described as being well watered “like the garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10 ) reminding one of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One wonders if Lot would be more successful in this garden spot than Adam and Eve had been. The prospect of success was thrown in doubt by the way Lot's journey is described—he journeyed east, a description that recalls Adam's and Eve's journey after their expulsion from the garden (Genesis 3:24 ). ... The Jordan Valley is also described as being fertile like Egypt (Genesis 13:10 ). This detail not only recalls Abraham's nearly disastrous journey to Egypt to avoid the famine in Canaan (Genesis 12:10-20 ) but also foreshadows the journey that Jacob and his family would later make (Genesis 42-50 )—a journey that did have disastrous consequences (Exodus 1:8-14 ). ... The mention of the cities of the Jordan Valley also carries negative connotations. One is reminded of the story of the tower of Babel where the people had gathered in one place (they had migrated from the east) to build themselves a city and make a name for themselves, so that they would not be scattered over the face of the earth and live like sojourners (Genesis 11:1-4 ). One is also reminded that Terah gave up his pilgrimage to Canaan to settle in the city of Haran (Genesis 11:31 ). To add to the negative connotations that cities have in the stories of Genesis, we are told that the people of Sodom were great sinners against the Lord (Genesis 13:13 ). ... All in all, things did not look as good for Lot as they might at first glance appear when he chose to live in the well-watered Jordan Valley. We begin to see this unfold in Genesis 14:1 . Not only was the Jordan Valley attractive to herdsmen like Lot, but the riches of this valley were also attractive to foreign kings. Prominent among them was Chedorlaomer who, along with three other kings, captured and sacked Sodom, taking Lot as prisoner (Genesis 14:1-12 ). Abraham, upon hearing of Lot's fate, gathered an army and rescued his nephew (Genesis 14:13-16 ). ... Lot is not mentioned again until Genesis 19:1 when two angels visited him. God had already told Abraham that He intended to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah ( Genesis 18:20 ). Abraham interceded on behalf of Sodom, that if ten righteous men were found in Sodom that God would not destroy the city (Genesis 18:32 ). The two angels were apparently going to Sodom to inspect it. When the angels arrived, Lot received them with hospitality. When the townsmen heard that two strangers were staying with Lot, they wanted to have sexual relations with them. Lot protected his guests and offered them his daughters instead. The townsmen refused this offer and tried unsuccessfully to get the two strangers. For Lot's help, the angels revealed God's desire to destroy Sodom and urged Lot to take his family to the hills to safety. They warned Lot and his family not to look on Sodom. Lot, instead of going to the hills for safety, decided to live in another city (Zohar). In their flight from Sodom, Lot's nameless wife looked at the destruction and turned to a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:1-29 ). Abraham had rescued Lot, again, ( Genesis 19:29 ; compare Genesis 12:4 ). ... As it turned out, Lot feared to live in the city of Zohar and decided to live in the surrounding caves instead. His daughters, fearing that they would never have offspring, decided to deceive their father into having intercourse with them. They got their father drunk; both conceived a son by him. The son of the eldest daughter was called Moab and became the father of the Moabites. The son of the youngest daughter was named Ben-ammi and became the father of the Ammonites (Genesis 19:30-38 ). Later in Israel's history, God desired to ensure the place of the Moabites and Ammonites in Palestine (Deuteronomy 2:9 ). The Moabites and Ammonites betrayed their relationship, however, by joining with Assyria at a later period (Psalm 83:5-8 ). ... In the New Testament, the day of the Son of man is compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-29 ). The followers of Jesus are warned not to desire their former lives, like Lot's wife, but to be willing instead to lose their lives. Losing one's life is the only way to gain life (Luke 17:32 ). The story of Lot is also used to show the faithfulness of God to rescue his people (2 Peter 2:7 ). ... Phil Logan... ...
Ephraim - EPHRAIM . A grandson of Jacob, and the brother of Manasseh, the first-born of Joseph by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On ( Genesis 41:50 f. [E [Note: Elohist. ] ], cf. Genesis 41:45 [J [Note: Jahwist. ] ]). The ‘popular etymology’ of E [Note: Elohist. ] connects the name with the verb pârâh , ‘to be fruitful,’ and makes it refer to Joseph’s sons. In the Blessing of Jacob ( Genesis 49:22 ) there may be a play upon the name when Joseph, who there represents both Ephraim and Manasseh, is called ‘a fruitful bough. ’ The word is probably descriptive, meaning ‘fertile region’ whether its root be pârâh , or ’çpher , ‘earth’(?). ... Genesis 48:14 ff. (J [Note: Jahwist. ] ) tells an interesting story of how Jacob adopted his Egyptian grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, into his own family, and at the same time, against the remonstrances of Joseph, conferred the blessing of the firstborn upon Ephraim hence Ephraim’s predestined superiority in later history. ... P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] ’s Sinai census gives 40,500 men of war (Numbers 1:33 ), but this is reduced at the Plains of Moab to 32,500 (26:37), which is less than any of the tribes except Simeon, which ‘hardly existed except in name’ (Sayce, Hist. of Heb . p. 77). Contrary to what we should have expected from the Blessing of Jacob, Ephraim, according to P [Note: Priestly Narrative. ] , lost in the meantime 20 per cent. while Manasseh gained 40 per cent. ... The appearance of Joseph in the Blessing of Jacob, with no mention of his sons, who according to J [Note: Jahwist. ] had been adopted as Jacob’s own, and were therefore entitled on this important occasion to like consideration with the others, points to a traditional echo of the early days in the land when Ephraim and Manasseh were still united. In the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:1-31 ) it is the ‘family’ Machir, the firstborn ( Joshua 17:1 ), the only ( Genesis 50:23 ) son of Manasseh, that is mentioned, not a Manasseh tribe. From 2 Samuel 19:20 (cf. art. Benjamin) it is plain that Shimei still regarded himself as of the house of Joseph; and, despite the traditional indications of a late formation of Benjamin (wh. see), the complete political separation of Manasseh from Ephraim appears to have been still later. At all events, Jeroboam the Ephraimite, who afterwards became the first king of Israel ( c [Note: circa, about. ] . b. c. 930), was appointed by Solomon superintendent of the forced labour of the ‘house of Joseph,’ not of Ephraim alone. Ephraim, Machir, and Benjamin were apparently closely related, and in early times formed a group of clans known as ‘Joseph. ’ There are no decisive details determining the time when they became definitely separated. Nor are there any reliable memories of the way in which Ephraim came into possession of the best and central portion of the land. ... The traditions in the Book of Joshua are notably uninforming. Canaanites remained in the territory until a late date, as is seen from Judges 1:29 and the history of Shechem (ch. 8 f. ). Ephraim was the strongest of the tribes and foremost in leadership, but was compelled to yield the hegemony to David. From that time onwards the history is no longer tribal but national history. Eli, priest of Shiloh and judge of Israel, Samuel, and Jeroboam I. were among its great men. Shechem, Tirzah, and Samaria, the capitals of the North, were within its boundaries; and it was at Shiloh that Joshua is said to have divided the land by lot. See also Tribes of Israel. ... James A. Craio. ... EPHRAIM . 1 . A place near Baal-hazor ( 2 Samuel 13:23 ) It may be identical with the Ephraim which the Onomasticon places 20 Roman miles N. of Jerusalem, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Sinjil and el-Lubbân . If Baal-hazor be represented, as seems probable, by Tell ‘Asûr , the city by relation to which such a prominent feature of the landscape was indicated must have been of some importance. It probably gave its name in later times to the district of Samaria called Aphærema ( 1Ma 11:34 , Jos. [Note: Josephus. ] Ant . XIII. iv. 9). The site is at present unknown. 2 . A city ‘near the wilderness,’ to which Jesus retired after the raising of Lazarus ( John 11:54 ). ‘The wilderness’ is in Arab. [Note: Arabic. ] el-barrîyeh, i. e . , the uncultivated land, much of it affording excellent pasture, on the uplands to the N. W. of Jerusalem. The Onomasticon mentions an ‘Efralm’ 5 Roman miles E. of Bethel. This may be the modern et-Taiyibeh , about 4 miles N. E. of Beitîn , with ancient cisterns and rockhewn tombs which betoken a place of importance in old times. See also Ephron, 4. ... The Forest of Ephraim (Heb. ya’ar Ephraîm . ) was probably not a forest in our sense of the term, but a stretch of rough country such as the Arabs still call wa‘r , abounding in rocks and thickets of brushwood. The district is not identified, but it must have been E. of the Jordan, in the neighbourhood of Mahanaim. It was the scene of Absalom’s defeat and death ( 2 Samuel 18:6 ff). The origin of the name cannot now be discovered. Mount Ephraim , Heb, har Ephraîm , is the name given to that part of the central range of Western Palestine occupied by Ephraim, corresponding in part to the modern Jebel Nâblus the district under the governor of Nâblus . Having regard to Oriental usage, it seems a mistake to tr. [Note: translate or translation. ] with RV [Note: Revised Version. ] ‘the hill country of Ephraim. ’ Jebel el-Quds does not mean ‘the hill country of Jerusalem,’ but that part of ‘the mountain’ which is subject to the city. We prefer to retain, with AV [Note: Authorized Version. ] , ‘Mount Ephraim. ’... W. Ewing. ...
Oil - The most common word for "oil" in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word shemen [ 1 Kings 6:23,31-33 ; Isaiah 41:19 ) is a natural way to refer to "olive wood. " In one place it refers to the "oil of myrrh" (i. e. , an aromatic gum resin that comes from a shrub-like tree) used in the beautification process of Esther and other women in the Persian royal harem (Esther 2:12 ). The New Testament Greek word that corresponds to Hebrew shemen [ Matthew 26:36 ; Mark 14:32 ). The corresponding Aramaic word is mesah, "(anointing) oil, " (2 occurrences, Ezra 6:9 ; 7:22 ), which refers to the oil needed for the temple cult and is directly related to the Hebrew verb mashach [ מָשַׁח ], "to anoint. "... The term yitshar [ 2 Chronicles 32:28 ; Jeremiah 31:12 ; Hosea 2:8,22 ; Joel 2:19,24 ) while the loss or lack of it was a sign of his judgment (Deuteronomy 28:51 ; Joel 1:10 ; Haggai 1:11 ). The firstfruits or tithe of "fresh oil" went to the priests and Levites. Zechariah 4:14 uses this word to refer to Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor as "the two who are anointed (lit. the sons of oil') to serve the Lord of all the earth. " The image of two olive trees supplying one lampstand with oil suggests that these two men together were the means through which the Lord would bless Israel. ... Olive trees took a long time to grow and mature, but they also lasted for hundreds of years. Therefore, a good oil supply was a sign of stability and prosperity (e. g. , Deuteronomy 8:8 ; 33:24 ; 2 Kings 20:13 ; Psalm 92:10 ; Proverbs 21:20 ; Isaiah 39:2 ; Joel 2:19,24 ). The lack of oil was a sign of the curse of God and agricultural disaster (e. g. , Deuteronomy 28:40 ; Joel 1:10 ). As a sign of judgment Micah predicted that the nation of Israel "will press olives" but not have the opportunity to "use the oil" (6:15). ... Oil was used as a commodity of trade or personal income, for various kinds of common daily consumption (as part of the bread diet in tabernacle grain offerings, as fuel for lamps in the tabernacle, or homes, as a lubricant for one's hair and skin, sometimes with a special sense of honor, as an aromatic substance, as a medication, or in healing contexts, for royal and religious ritual procedures (see below), and in figurative expressions (e. g. , for fertility and prosperity [ Deuteronomy 33:24 ; Job 29:6 ] "oil of joy" [ Psalm 45:7 ; Isaiah 61:3 ; Hebrews 1:9 ]). ... Jacob anointed his memorial pillar at Bethel with oil and thus sanctified it as "the house of God" (Genesis 28:18 ; 35:14 ). The practice of anointing kings with oil is well known in Israel. In this case it appears to have the effect of consecrating them to their office. The same idea is present in the consecration of the tabernacle and especially the priesthood. Even though the Old Testament records the anointing of the priests in the days of Moses, some critical scholars have argued that, historically, priests were not anointed in Israel or generally in the ancient Near East until the postexilic period. A recent text from Emar (ca. 1300 b. c. ), however, refers to the anointing of a priestess there. ... According to Exodus 30:22-33Moses was to mix a special "sacred anointing oil" (vv. 25,31). This recipe was not to be used by anyone else and none of it was to be poured on any common person. It was limited to particular uses in the tabernacle (vv. 31-33). First, Moses was to use this oil to anoint the whole tabernacle, all its furniture (even the ark of the covenant), and all the vessels used therein (vv. 26-28). By this means Moses would "consecrate them so they will be most holy , and whatever touches them will be (or must be') holy " (v. 29 cf. Exodus 29:37 ). The "will be" translation would mean that any person or thing that touched the altar (or other anointed parts of the tabernacle) would contract holiness therefrom as if "holiness" were contagious. A person who contracted such holiness would be liable to death (see, e. g. , the warning to the Kohathites in Numbers 4:15 ). The "must be" translation would only suggest that it was forbidden for anything or anyone that was not "holy" to come into direct contact with the altar (etc. ). The contrast between these two terms in this verse suggests the latter translation. ... Second, Moses was to use this oil to anoint the priests and thereby consecrate them to minister in the consecrated tabernacle (v. 30 cf. Exodus 29:7 ; 40:12-15 ; Leviticus 8:12 ). In this way they would become "holy" (Leviticus 21:6,8 ) and could therefore come in direct contact with the "most holy" tabernacle, its furniture, and its vessels (see above). This created a grading effect so that the tabernacle, its furniture, and its vessels were "most holy" and could be touched only by the "holy" priests. The priests therefore became the mediators that stood between the "common" people and the immediate presence and holiness of God in the tabernacle. The people could come in contact with the priests (i. e. , the "holy" men) but they could not come in contact with the "most holy" parts of the tabernacle that had been anointed with the "sacred anointing oil. " ... Richard E. Averbeck... See also Anoint ; Holy, Holiness ; Offerings and Sacrifices ; Priest, Priesthood ... Bibliography . J. A. Balchin, ISBE , 3:585-86; D. E. Fleming, The Installation of Baal's High Priestess at Emar ; R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology ; R. T. France, NIDNTT, 2:710-13; H. N. Moldenke and A. L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible ; J. F. Ross, IDB , 3:592-93; H. Schlier, TDNT , 2:470-73; J. A. Thompson, IDB, 3:593-95; J. C. Trever, IDB, 3:593; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel ; M. Zohary, Plants of the Bible . ... ...
Altar - ALTAR . 1 . The original purpose of an altar was to serve as a means by which the blood of an animal offered in sacrifice might be brought into contact with, or otherwise transferred to, the deity of the worshipper. For this purpose in the earliest period a single stone sufficed. Either the blood was poured over this stone, which was regarded as the temporary abode of the deity, or the stone was anointed with part, and the rest poured out at its base. The introduction of fire to consume the flesh in whole or in part belongs to a later stage in the history of sacrifice (wh. see). But even when this stage had long been reached, necessity might compel a temporary reversion to the earlier modus operandi , as we learn from Saul’s procedure in 1 Samuel 14:33 f. From the altar of a single ‘great stone’ ( 1 Samuel 6:14 ) the transition was easy to an altar built of unhewn stones ( Exodus 20:25 , Deuteronomy 27:5 f. RV [Note: Revised Version. ] ), which continued to he the normal type of Hebrew altar to the end (see 1Ma 4:41 ; Jos. [Note: Josephus. ] BJ V. v. 6). ... 2 . Another type of pre-historic altar, to which much less attention has been paid, had its origin in the primitive conception of sacrifice as the food of the gods. As such it was appropriately presented on a table. Now the nearest analogy to the disc of leather spread on the ground, which was and is the table of the Semitic nomad, was the smooth face of the native rock, such as that on which Manoah spread his offering ( Judges 13:19 f. , cf. Judges 6:20 f. ). The well-known rock-surfaces, in Palestine and elsewhere, with their mysterious cup-marks typical specimens are illustrated PEFSt [Note: Quarterly Statement of the same. ] , 1900, 32 ff. , 249 to receive the sacrificial blood, can scarcely be other than pre-historic table-altars. The similarly marked table-stones of Syrian dolmens also belong here. A further stage in the evolution of the table altar is seen in the elaborate structures recently discovered within the West-Semitic area. In these the rock is cut away so as to leave the altar standing free, to which rock-cut steps lead up, an arrangement forbidden, from motives of decency, by the earliest legislation ( Exodus 20:26 , with which cf. Exodus 28:42 f. and parall. from a later date). The uppermost step served as a platform for the officiating priest. Some show cup-hollows for libations of blood (see illust. in Moore’s ‘Judges’ in SBOT [Note: BOT Sacred Books of Old Testament. ] p. 83), while that first discovered at Petra has a depression for the altar-hearth ( PEFSt [Note: Quarterly Statement of the same. ] , 1900, 350 ff. with sketch; see also Ariel). Its dimensions are 9 ft. by 6, with a height above the platform of 3 ft. The altars of the more important sanctuaries under the Hebrew monarchy, such as Bethel, were probably of a similar nature. A description of ‘the altar of burnt-offering’ of the Tabernacle will be given under Tabernacle; for the corresponding altars of the Temple of Solomon and its successors, and of Ezekiel’s sketch, see Temple. ... 3 . A third variety of primitive altar is the mound of earth ( Exodus 20:24 ), a copy in miniature of the hill-tops which were at all times favourite places of worship (see High Place). ... 4 . All the types of altar above described were intended for the ordinary open-air sacrificial service, details of which will be found under Sacrifice. There is no clear reference earlier than Jeremiah to the use of incense, and no reference at all to any altar of incense in the legitimate worship before the Exile, for 1 Kings 7:48 in its present form is admittedly late, and the altar of 1 Kings 6:20 must be the table of shewbread (see Temple, Shewbread). ... 5 . From what has already been said, it is evident that an altar was the indispensable requisite of every place of worship. It was not until the 7th cent. b. c. that Josiah succeeded in abolishing ‘the high places’ and destroying or desecrating their altars ( 2 Kings 23:5 ff. ), in accordance with the fundamental demand of the Deuteronomic law-code ( Deuteronomy 12:1 ff. ). In the older historical and prophetical writings, however, and even in the earliest legislation (see Exodus 20:24 RV [Note: Revised Version. ] ), the legitimacy of the local altars is never called in question. On the contrary, religious leaders such as Samuel and Elijah show their zeal for the worship of J″ [Note: Jahweh. ] by the erection and repair of altars. ... 6 . As altars to which a special interest attaches may be mentioned that erected by David on the threshing floor of Araunah ( 2 Samuel 24:18 ff. ), the site of which is marked by the present mosque of ‘the Dome of the Rock’; the altar erected by Ahaz after the model of one seen by him at Damascus ( 2 Kings 16:10 ff. ); the sacrificial and incense altars to the host of heaven in the courts and probably even on the roof of the Temple ( 2 Kings 23:12 , Jeremiah 19:13 ); and finally, the altar to Olympian Zeus placed by Antiochus Epiphanes on the top of the altar of burnt-offering ( 1Ma 1:54 ). ... 7 . Reference must also be made to altars as places of refuge for certain classes of criminals, attested both by legislation ( Exodus 21:13 f. ) and history ( 1Ki 1:51 ; 1 Kings 2:28 ; see more fully, Refuge [Cities of]). The origin and precise significance of the horns of the altar , of which the refugee laid hold (1Kings ll . cc . ), and which played an important part in the ritual ( Exodus 29:12 , Leviticus 4:7 ff. ), have not yet received a satisfactory explanation. A small limestone altar, showing the horns in the form of rounded knobs at the four corners, has just been discovered at Gezer ( PEFSt [Note: Quarterly Statement of the same. ] , 1907, p. 196, with illust. ). ... A. R. S. Kennedy. ...
Stand - A. Verbs. ... Nâtsab (נָצַב, Strong's #5324), “to stand, station, set up, erect. ” Found in both ancient and modern Hebrew, this word goes back at least to ancient Ugaritic. It is found approximately 75 times in the Hebrew Bible. Its first occurrence in the Old Testament is in Gen. 18:2: “… Three men stood by him. …”... There are various ways of standing. One may “stand” for a definite purpose at a particular spot: “… Wait for him by the river’s brink …” (Exod. 7:15, RSV; literally, “stand by the river’s bank”). One often stands upright: “… And stood every man at his tent door …” (Exod. 33:8); “… my sheaf arose, and also stood upright …” (Gen. 37:7). One who is “stationed” in a position is usually over someone else: “And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers [literally, “those standing over”] …” (1 Kings 4:5). “To stand” something may be “to erect” something: “And Jacob set up a pillar …” (Gen. 35:14). The waters of the Sea of Reeds were said to “stand as a heap” (Ps. 78:13). To fix a boundary is “to establish or erect” a boundary marker (Deut. 32:8). ... ‛Âmad (עָמַד, Strong's #5975), “to take one’s stand; stand here or be there; stand still. ” Outside biblical Hebrew, where it occurs about 520 times and in all periods, this verb is attested only in Akkadian (“to stand, lean on”). A word spelled the same way appears in Arabic, but it means “to strive after. ”... The basic meaning of this verb is “to stand upright. ” This is its meaning in Gen. 18:8, its first biblical occurrence. It is what a soldier does while on watch (2 Sam. 18:30). From this basic meaning comes the meaning “to be established, immovable, and standing upright” on a single spot; the soles of the priests’ feet “rested” (stood still, unmoving) in the waters of the Jordan (Josh. 3:13). Also, the sun and the moon “stood still” at Joshua’s command (Josh. 10:13). Idols “stand upright” in one spot, never moving. The suggestion here is that they never do anything that is expected of living things (Isa. 46:7). ‛Âmad may be used of the existence of a particular experience. In 2 Sam. 21:18 there “was” (hayah) war again, while in 1 Chron. 20:4 war “existed” or “arose” (‛âmad) again. Cultically (with reference to the formal worship activities) this verb is used of approaching the altar to make a sacrifice. It describes the last stage of this approaching, “to stand finally and officially” before the altar (before God; cf. Deut. 4:11). Such standing is not just a standing still doing nothing but includes all that one does in ministering before God (Num. 16:9). ... In other contexts ‛âmad is used as the opposite of verbs indicating various kinds of movement. The psalmist praises the man who does not walk (behave according to) in the counsel of the ungodly or “stand” (serve) in the path of the sinful (Ps. 1:1). Laban told Abraham not “to stand” (remain stationary, not entering) outside his dwelling but to come in (Gen. 24:31). The verb can suggest “immovable,” or not being able to be moved. So the “house of the righteous shall stand” (Prov. 12:7). Yet another nuance appears in Ps. 102:26, which teaches the indestructibility and/or eternity of God— the creation perishes but He “shalt endure [will ever stand]. ” This is not the changelessness of doing nothing or standing physically upright, but the changelessness of ever-existing being, a quality that only God has in Himself. All other existing depends upon Him; the creation and all creatures are perishable. In a more limited sense the man who does not die as the result of a blow “stands,” or remains alive (Exod. 21:21). In a military context “to stand” refers to gaining a victory: “Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?” (2 Kings 10:4; cf. Judg. 2:14) . ... ‛Âmad can be used of the ever unchanged content and/or existence of a document (Jer. 32:14), a city (1 Kings 15:4), a people (Isa. 66:22), and a divine worship (Ps. 19:9). ... Certain prepositions sometimes give this verb special meanings. Jeroboam “ordained” (made to stand, to minister) priests in Bethel (1 Kings 12:32). With “to” the verb can signify being in a certain place to accomplish a predesignated task—so Moses said that certain tribes should “stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people” (Deut. 27:12). With this same preposition this verb can be used judicially of (1) the act of being in court, or standing before a judge (1 Kings 3:16), and (2) the position (whether literal or figurative) assumed by a judge when pronouncing the sentence (Ezek. 44:24) or delivering judgment (Isa. 3:13; cf. Exod. 17:6). With the preposition “before” ‛âmad is used to describe the service of a servant before a master—so Joshua “stood” before Moses (Deut. 1:38). This is not inactivity but activity. ... In Neh. 8:5 the verb means “to stand up or rise up”; when Ezra opened the book, all the people “stood up” (cf. Dan. 12:13). ... The Septuagint renders ‛âmad usually with a verb meaning “to stand” and, where the contexts show it refers to temporal standing, with verbs meaning “to abide or remain. ”... B. Nouns. ... ‛Ammûd (עַמֻּד, Strong's #5982), “pillar; standing place. ” The noun ‛ammûd occurs 111 times and usually signifies something that stands upright like a “pillar” (Exod. 26:32; Judg. 16:25). It may occasionally refer to a “standing place” (2 Kings 11:14). ... Several other nouns are derived from the verb ’amad. ‘Omed occurs 9 times and refers to “standing places” (2 Chron. 30:16). ‘Emdah means “standing ground” once (Mic. 1:11). Ma’amad, which occurs 5 times, refers to “service” in 2 Chron. 9:4 and to “office or function” (in someone’s service) in 1 Chron. 23:28. Ma’omad occurs once to mean “standing place” or “foothold” (Ps. 69:2). ...
False Worship - A broad category of acts and attitudes which includes the worship, reverence, or religious honoring of any object, person, or entity other than the one true God. It also includes impure, improper, or other inappropriate acts directed toward the worship of the true God. Worship offered to a false object is the most obvious and easily recognized form of false worship. The worship of idols is but a part of false worship in the biblical world. Many times other gods were worshiped, not because of the appeal of the idols or images but out of a false sense of the power of the “god. ” The most consistent problem with false worship seen in the Old Testament is with the nature or fertility deities—Baals and Ashtaroth, Anath, Astarte—the male and female representations of reproduction and growth. Understanding of the basic form and nature of this kind of false worship has been clarified by discoveries made at Ugarit and the subsequent interpretation and study of these. Baal was commonly believed to have control over growth of all crops and reproduction of all flocks. Many of the forms of this false worship involved sexual acts—activities abhorred in the Old Testament laws. Yet the appeal and practice of these rituals continued, probably because of Baal's reputed power in those areas so intwined with life and livelihood of the ancient Hebrews. During the time of great Assyrian power in the ancient world, even the Hebrews seem to have thought that the Assyrian gods were more powerful than their Yahweh; so they began to worship them. The prophet Zephaniah, who lived and prophesied in this time, condemned those who “worship the host of heaven upon the house tops” (Zephaniah 1:5 ). Associated with this type of worship was the fairly prevalent view in the Old Testament world that a god had his own territory and that he was relatively powerless outside that place. Perhaps the most direct statement of this is in the story of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1 , especially 2 Kings 5:17 ). After the Syrian commander was cured of his leprosy, he requested a “two mules' burden” of dirt from Israel to take with him to Syria so that he could worship the true God. ... The many references to false gods with obviously false worship in the Old Testament coupled with the almost total absence of such in the New Testament might suggest that there was little problem with other gods in the New Testament world. Such is far from true. The world of the first century was filled with religions other than Judaism and Christianity. The presence of falseness in worship because it was directed to false gods continued to be a religious problem. Native national gods and fertility deities similar to Baal and Ashtaroth of the Old Testament period still abounded. A new force was present in the mystery religions—Hellenistic religions which focused on the hope for life beyond death. The Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries were perhaps the most common of these. Emperor worship was a serious challenge in the days of the early church. Probably most Romans saw the emperor cult as merely an expression of patriotism and loyalty to the state. However, the Christian standard was to “render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's” (Luke 20:25 ). Often the Christian was faced with imperial orders to participate in this kind of false worship. Refusal could bring serious penalties, often execution. In late New Testament times and the years following, Mithraism became the primary competitor with Christianity. This pagan worship of Mithra, represented by sol invictus (the invincible sun) was a powerful challenge to Christianity. Exclusively a male religion, emphasizing power and strength, Mithraism was especially popular in the Roman army. ... False worship does not necessarily center in practice of pagan or idolatrous cults. It is often a problem for those who proclaim worship of the one true God. False worship of this sort usually centers in some form of deliberate or unintentional disobedience. Its presence in the Bible extends from the self-exalting disobedience in the Garden of Eden to compromising accommodation with the emperor cult and other pagan religions seen in the Book of Revelation. ... The primary forms of false worship are addressed in the Decalogue (Exodus 20:1 ): “Thou shalt have no other gods before [in addition to] me” (Exodus 20:3 )—a command for exclusive loyalty to and worship of Yahweh; “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4 ) —a clear requirement of imageless, that is, spiritual worship; and “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7 ) —a command to honor in all of life the God whose name the Hebrews claimed and bore. ... The Hebrews were guilty of syncretistic or artificially mixed religious practices. The temples built by Jeroboam, son of Nebat, the first king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) after its break from the Jerusalem-centered Kingdom of Judah, were probably dedicated to such worship. When these temples were established in Bethel and Dan, Jeroboam the King “made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28 ). This mixing of the gold calf—a symbol of Baal—with the worship of the God who delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian bondage was false worship. ... A very similar practice was prevalent in the time of Elijah. In his confrontation with the Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel in the time of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 18:20-46 ), the prophet of the Lord addressed the assembled people. “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21 ). ... False worship includes trusting in military power (Isaiah 31:1 ), trusting in the “works of your hands” (Jeremiah 25:7 ), serving God in order to receive physical and material blessings (as Job's friends), offering unacceptable, tainted or maimed sacrifices to God instead of the best (Malachi 1:6-8 ). False worship also occurs when one prays, fasts, or gives alms “before men to be seen of them” instead of in sincere devotion to God (Matthew 6:1-18 ). ... The subjects of false and true worship are best presented in Micah 6:8 , “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” and in the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman in John 4:23-24 : “true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ” See Canaan, Religion and History of; Worship . ... Bruce C. Cresson... ...
Ointment - Perfumed unguents or salves of various kinds used as cosmetics, medicine, and in religious ceremonies. The use of ointments and perfumes appears to have been a common practice in the Ancient Near East, including the Hebrews. ... Terminology The Old Testament uses various words to describe ointment. The most common, shemen , simply means oil (Genesis 28:28 ; Hosea 2:8 ). The Old Testament does not distinguish between oil and ointment. In the New Testament, muron , “ointment” (Matthew 26:7 ; Mark 14:3-4 ; Luke 7:37-38 ) was a perfumed ointment. ... Manufacture The base for ointment was olive oil. Olives were very common in Palestine; however, perfumed salves were very expensive. A great demand arose for ointments as people attempted to protect themselves against the hot wind from the desert and the arid condition of the land. ... The preparation of ointments was the job of skilled persons trained in the art of producing perfume. Bezaleel and Aholiab were appointed by God to prepare the sacred ointment and the incense used in worship (Exodus 31:1-11 ). While the blending of perfumes and ointment for secular use was probably done by women (1 Samuel 8:13 ), priestly families were responsible for the production of the large amount of ointments necessary for Temple use (1 Chronicles 9:30 ). In the postexilic period a group of professional people in Jerusalem were skilled in the manufacture of perfumed ointments (Nehemiah 3:8 ). These people were called “apothecary” (KJV) or “perfumers” (RSV, NIV; Exodus 30:25 ,Exodus 30:25,30:35 ; Exodus 37:29 ; Ecclesiastes 10:1 ). Their function was to take the many gums, resins, roots, and barks and combine them with oil to make the various anointments used for anointing purposes. In many cases, the formula for these ointments and perfumes was a professional secret, handed down from generation to generation. Egyptian and Ugaritic sources have shown that water mixed with oil was heated in large pots (see Job 41:31 ). While the water was boiling, the spices were added. After the ingredients were blended, they were transferred to suitable containers. See Mark 14:3 ). Dry perfumes were kept in bags (Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ) and in perfume boxes (Isaiah 3:20 NRSV; NIV: “perfume bottles”; KJV: “tablets”). ... Ingredients Various spices were used in the manufacturing of ointments and perfumes: aloes (Psalm 45:8 ; John 19:39 ); balsam (Exodus 30:23 ; 2 Chronicles 9:1 ); galbanum (Exodus 30:34 ), myrrh, or more literally mastic or ladanum (Genesis 37:25 ; Genesis 43:11 ); myrrh (Esther 2:12 ; Matthew 2:11 ), nard (Song of. Sol. Matthew 4:13-14 ; Mark 14:3 ; KJV: “spikenard”), frankincense (KJV: “incense”; Isaiah 60:6 ; Matthew 2:11 ); balsam or balm (Genesis 37:25 ; Jeremiah 8:22 ); cassia (Exodus 30:24 ; Ezekiel 27:19 ), calamus (Exodus 30:23 ; Song of Song of Solomon 4:14 ; NRSV: “aromatic cane”), cinnamon (Exodus 30:23 ; Revelation 18:13 ), stacte (Exodus 30:34 ), and onycha (Exodus 30:34 ). Onycha, an ingredient derived from mollusks found in the Red Sea, was used in the mixture to be burned on the altar of incense. These spices were used as fragrant incense in worship. They were also mixed with oil to produce the holy anointing oil and to produce cosmetics and medicine. ... Value Most of these spices were imported by the people who lived in Palestine. The great variety of spices used in the manufacture of ointments gave rise to merchants who traded in expensive spices and perfumes (Genesis 37:28 ; Ezekiel 27:17-22 ). In biblical times, Arabia was one of the principal traders in aromatic spices. Spices were also imported from Africa, India, and Persia. Perfumed ointments were highly prized. Solomon received an annual payment of perfume as tribute from his subjects (1 Kings 10:25 ); the queen of Sheba brought many costly spices as gifts to Solomon (1 Kings 10:2 ); Hezekiah, king of Judah, included valuable perfumed ointment and spices as part of his treasure (2 Kings 20:13 ; Isaiah 39:2 ). When Mary anointed Jesus with a pound of costly ointment, Judas Iscariot rebuked Jesus because the ointment was worth the equivalent of one year's salary (John 12:3-8 ). ... Use Many personal things were perfumed with spiced ointment. The breath was perfumed (Song of Song of Solomon 7:8 ), probably with spiced wine (Song of Song of Solomon 8:2 ). The garments of the king were perfumed with myrrh, aloes , and cassia (Psalm 45:8 ), or myrrh, frankincense, and “with all powders of the merchant” (Song of Song of Solomon 3:6 ). The bed of the prostitute was perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon (Proverbs 7:17 ). ... One of the most important uses of ointment in the Old Testament was in religious ceremonies. The manufacture of the anointing oil consisted of mixing olive oil with myrrh, sweet cinnamon, calamus, and cassia (Exodus 30:22-25 ). This ointment was considered to be holy; anyone who manufactured the sacred oil for use outside the worship place was to be cut off from the people (Exodus 30:33 ). See Oil , Anoint . Many individuals were anointed with the sacred ointment. The anointing of a person was viewed as an act of designation of that person to the service of God. ... The shield of a soldier was anointed with oil (2 Samuel 1:21 ) as a symbol of dedication to God. Jacob anointed the pillar at Bethel, and the site where God appeared to him became a holy place (Genesis 28:18 ; Genesis 35:14 ). ... Ointments were used in burial rites. See Burial . ... Many people in the Ancient Near East believed strongly in the curative power of oil. See Jeremiah 8:22 ; Mark 6:13 ; James 5:14 ) and as unguents for wounds (Isaiah 1:6 ; Luke 10:34 ). The law of Moses commanded the person healed of leprosy to be anointed with oil (Leviticus 14:15-18 ,Leviticus 14:15-18,14:26-29 ). ... Ointments were used as cosmetics for protection of the skin. Perfumes were used to counteract bodily odor. The whole body was usually anointed with perfume after bathing (Ruth 3:3 ; 2 Samuel 12:20 ; Ezekiel 16:9 ). Perfumes were used inside the clothes (Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ) and by women who desired to be attractive to men (Esther 2:12 ). ... Claude F. Mariottini... ...
Ark of the Covenant - names the original container for the Ten Commandments and the central symbol of God's presence with the people of Israel. ... Old Testament The ark of ancient Israel is mysterious in its origins, its meanings, and its ultimate fate. Its many names convey the holy sense of God's presence. The Hebrew word for ark means simply “box, chest, coffin,” as is indicated by its use for the coffin of Joseph (Genesis 50:26 ) and for the Temple collection box of King Joash (2 Kings 12:9-10 ). ... The names used for the ark define its meaning by the words which modify it. The word “covenant” in the name defines the ark from its original purpose as a container for the stone tablets upon which the Ten Commandments (sometimes called the “testimony”) were inscribed. Sometimes it is identified rather with the name of deity, “the ark of God,” or “the ark of the Lord” (Yahweh), or most ornately “the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts (Yahweh Sabaoth) who is enthroned on the cherubim” (1 Samuel 4:4 ). ... The origin of the ark goes back to Moses at Sinai. The mysterious origin of the ark is seen by contrasting the two accounts of how it was made in the Pentateuch. The more elaborate account of the manufacture and ornamentation of the ark by the craftsman Bezalel appears in Exodus 25:10-22 ; Exodus 31:2 ,Exodus 31:2,31:7 ; Exodus 35:30-35 ; Exodus 37:1-9 . It was planned during Moses' first sojourn on Sinai and built after all the tabernacle specifications had been communicated and completed. The other account is found in Deuteronomy 10:1-5 . After the sin of the golden calf and the breaking of the original decalogue tablets, Moses made a plain box of acacia wood as a container to receive the new tables of the law. ... A very ancient poem, the “Song of the Ark” in Numbers 10:35-36 , sheds some light on the function of the ark in the wanderings in the wilderness. The ark was the symbol of God's presence to guide the pilgrims and lead them in battle (Numbers 10:33 ,Numbers 10:33,10:35-36 ). If they acted in faithlessness, failing to follow this guidance, the consequences could be drastic (Numbers 14:39-45 ). Some passages suggest the ark was also regarded as the throne of the invisible deity, or his footstool (Jeremiah 3:16-17 ; Psalm 132:7-8 ). These various meanings of the ark should be interpreted as complementary rather than contradictory. ... The ark was designed for mobility. Its size (about four feet long, two and a half feet wide, and two and a half feet deep) and rectangular shape were appropriate to this feature. Permanent poles were used to carry the ark, since no one was allowed to touch it, and only priestly (Levitical) personnel were allowed to carry it. The ark was the most important object within the tabernacle of the desert period, though its relationship to the tabernacle was discontinued sometime after the conquest of Canaan. ... The ark played a prominent role in the “holy war” narratives of the crossing of the Jordan and the conquest, of Jericho (Joshua 3-6 ). After the conquest, it was variously located at Gilgal, Shechem (Joshua 8:30-35 ; see Deuteronomy 11:26-32 ; Deuteronomy 27:1-26 ) or Bethel (Judges 20:26 ), wherever the tribal confederacy was gathered for worship. Finally, it was permanently located at Shiloh, where a temple was built to house it (1 Samuel 1:9 ; 1 Samuel 3:3 ). ... Because of the faithless superstition of the wicked sons of Eli, the Hebrew tribes were defeated in the battle of Ebenezer, and the ark was captured by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4:1 ). The adventures of the ark in the cities of Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron are told to magnify the strength and glory of the Lord of the ark. The Lord vanquished Dagon and spread bubonic plagues among the enemy until they propitiated the God of Israel by symbolic guilt offerings and a ritually correct sending away of the dread object (1 Samuel 5:1-6:12 ). The men of Bethshemesh welcomed the return of the ark, until they unwisely violated its holiness by looking into it (1Samuel 6:13-15,1 Samuel 6:19-20 ). Then it was carried to Kiriath-Jearim, where it remained in comparative neglect until David recovered the symbolism it had for the ancient tribal confederacy and moved it to his new capital and sanctuary in Jerusalem (1 Samuel 6:21-7:2 ; 2 Samuel 6:1 ). Abinadab and his sons (2 Samuel 6:3 ) seemed to have served the Lord of the ark faithfully until one son, Uzzah, was smitten for his rash touching of the holy object during David's first attempt to transport the ark from its “hill” at Kiriath-Jearim to his own city. In fear, David left the ark with Obed-edom the Gittite, whose household was blessed by its presence. More cautiously and with great religious fervor, David succeeded the second time in taking the ark into his capital city (2 Samuel 6:12-19 ). ... Recent scholarship has suggested that on coronation occasions or annually at a festival of enthronement this ark ceremony was reenacted. Such an occasion would re-emphasize the promise to the Davidic dynasty, as well as the glory of the Lord of Hosts (Psalm 24:7-10 ;Psalms 24:7-10;132:1 ). Finally, Solomon built the Temple, planned by David, to house the ark, which he then transported into the holy of holies with elaborate festival ceremonies (1 Kings 8:1 ; 2 Chronicles 5:1 ). ... The precise time of the theft or destruction of the ark is unknown. Some have suggested Shishak of Egypt plundered the Temple of this most holy object (1 Kings 14:25-28 ), but it seems more likely, from Jeremiah 3:16-17 , that the Babylonians captured or destroyed the ark in 587 B. C. with the fall of Jerusalem and the burning of the Temple. As Jeremiah predicted, the ark was never rebuilt for the second Temple, the holy of holies remaining empty. ... Other mysteries of the ark are its relation to the cherubim, its ornate lid called the “mercy seat,” and its precise ritual usage during the time of the monarchy. Because the ark of the covenant was the central symbol of God's presence with His people Israel, its mysteries remain appropriately veiled within the inner sanctuary of the living God. See Holy of Holies ; Mercy Seat ; Tabernacle ; Temple. ... New Testament Hebrews 9:1-10 shows the ark was a part of the old order with external regulations waiting for the new day of Christ to come with a perfect Sacrifice able to cleanse the human conscience. Revelation 11:19 shows the ark of the covenant will be part of the heavenly temple when it is revealed. ... M. Pierce Matheney, Jr. ... ...
Peniel - A spot remarkable in Scripture from the vision of Jacob. The patriarch called it by this name on this account; for he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. " (See Genesis 32:30) The word is a compound, from Pana, to see—and El, God. And who was it Jacob saw, and with whom did he wrestle? If JEHOVAH, in his threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, how could this be, who is said to be invisible? If "no man hath seen God at any time," if, as JEHOVAH declared to Moses, (Exodus 33:20) "There shall no man see me and live," who could this be whom the patriarch Jacob saw, conversed and wrestled with; but the Lord Jesus? Him whom though no man hath seen God at any time, yet "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. " (John 1:18) Let the reader read the whole passage concerning this Peniel, this hallowed ground, as it is recorded through the whole chapter, (Genesis 32:1-32) and let him then compare what is there said with what the prophet Hosea, about a thousand years after, said concerning this vision; and let him then, looking up for the teaching of God the Holy Ghost, determine for himself. "He took his brother by the heel (said Hosea, speaking of Jacob) in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed. He wept and made supplication unto him. He found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us, even the Lord God of host: the Lord is his memorial. " (Hosea 12:3; Hos 12:5)... The history of Jacob, in this very interesting transaction, I am not at present engaged in: it is Jacob's Lord that we are now seeking after. And when the reader hath duly attended to the several striking particularities here recorded, and compared them with other Scriptures, I venture to believe that his conclusions will correspond with mine, that this, and indeed all the representations of the Old Testament concerning the Lord's appearance and manifestation to his people, are directly spoken of in reference to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. ... Let the reader first remark that the patriarch called the place Peniel on this account, that "he had seen God's face, and his life was preserved. " And yet we are told, (Genesis 32:24) that it was a man which wrestled with Jacob until the breaking of the day. Now it is remarkable, that he whom the prophet Hosea, in the passage just quoted, in one verse calls the angel, in another he calls "the Lord God of hosts," and saith that "the Lord is his memorial. " And observe the prophet doth not say an angel, but the angel, thus particularizing and defining one identical person; and we well know that Christ is often called the "angel of the covenant," (Malachi 3:1; Acts 7:30-31) Indeed the patriarch Jacob himself, in another period of his life, called him by this name. (See Genesis 48:15-16) And if we add to these striking particulars what is said of the Lord, and by the Lord, under the character of human feelings, in other parts of the Old Testament, I cannot but conclude that the whole is abundantly confirmed, that it is the Lord Jesus, and him only, in his mediatorial character, who is all along to be understood as the visible JEHOVAH. Thus it is said, that "his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. " (Judges 10:16) A beautiful and most interesting portrait of Jesus if beheld as picturing him, but inexplicable in any other point of view. So again the Lord is represented as saying: "I will rejoice over my people to do them good; and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul. " (Jeremiah 32:41) Here again, supposing it is Jesus-Mediator which thus speaks, nothing can be more plain and nothing more blessed, for we know that his whole heart and soul is his people's; but concerning the Lord JEHOVAH, in his threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we dare not, because we are not authorized in any part of Scripture thus to speak of him as possessing parts or passions. He is, as the Holy Ghost himself by the apostle describes him, "the king eternal, immortal, invisible. " (1 Timothy 1:17) Hence, When the read in the word of God that the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears open to their prayers, and that he openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing, these expressions are literally true, as well as blessedly refreshing, considered as spoken of Him in whom it hath pleased the Father that "all fulness should dwell," and who is the Head of all principality and power; but cannot be said of JEHOVAH in his absolute nature and GODHEAD, "dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen or can see. " (1 Timothy 6:16)... I shall find cause to bless God if these observations on Peniel, and the thoughts arising out of the same, be directed of the Lord to throw the least light on a subject so highly interesting, and enable any precious lover of Jesus to form clearer views of him, whom truly to know is life eternal. (John 17:2-3) Surely nothing can be more blessed than to discover Jesus thus refreshing Old Testament saints with such precious manifestations of himself, as if to shew what love he had to his church and people, and how much he longed for the time appointed when he would openly manifest himself as our glorious Head, and Surety, and Saviour. Precious Jesus! methinks I would say for myself and reader, grant many Peniel visits to thy redeemed now, and make all the manifestations of the full GODHEAD in glory to thy redeemed in heaven tenfold more sweet and blessed, by the communications in thee, and through thee, to flow in upon the souls of thy whole church in eternal happiness for ever. Amen. ...
Jacob - Son of Isaac and Rebekah. Though a twin, he is called 'the younger,' being born after Esau. Before the children were born it was said, "the elder shall serve the younger. " The promises made by God to Abraham were thus confirmed to Jacob, as they had been to Isaac. When they grew up, Esau became a hunter, whereas Jacob was a peaceful man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob. The typical character of these three patriarchs has been described thus: "In general, Abraham is the root of all promise, and the picture of the life of faith; Isaac is a type of the heavenly Man, who receives the church; and Jacob represents Israel as heir of the promises according to the flesh. " The difference may be seen by comparing Genesis 22:17 ('stars ' and 'sand'), with Genesis 26:4 ('stars' only), and Genesis 28:14 ('dust of the earth' only). ... Though Jacob was heir of the promises, and valued God's blessing in a selfish manner, he sought it not by faith, but tried in an evil and mean way to obtain it: first in buying the birthright when his brother was at the point of death; and then, in obtaining the blessing from his father by lying and deceit: a blessing which would surely have been his in God's way if he had waited: cf. Genesis 48:14-20 . ... Jacob had then to become a wanderer; but God was faithful to him, and spoke to him, not openly as to Abraham, but in a dream. The ladder reaching to heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it, showed that he on earth was the object of heaven's care. The promises as to the land being possessed by his descendants, and all nations being blessed in his Seed, were confirmed to him, with this difference that in connection with the latter promise it says "in thee and in thy seed ," because it includes the earthly blessings to his seed in the millennium. God also said He would keep Jacob wherever he went, and bring him back to the promised land. Jacob called the place Beth-el, saying that it was the house of God, and the gate of heaven. It is figurative of Israel's position, not in heaven, but the 'gate' is theirs. He made a vow that if God would bless him and bring him back in peace, Jehovah should be his God. This was not the language of faith. ... Jacob, who had tricked his brother, was treated in a similar way by Laban, and Leah was given to him as wife instead of Rachel, though he had Rachel, the one he loved, afterwards. He had not learnt to trust God, but used subtle ways to increase his possessions; and he also was dealt with in a like manner, having his wages changed 'ten times. ' But God was watching over him and bade him return to the land of his fathers; and when Laban pursued after him, God warned him in a dream not to speak to Jacob either good or bad. They made a covenant together, and each went his way. ... Immediately afterwards the angels of God met Jacob, and he recognised them as 'God's host. ' Then he had to meet Esau, and doubtless conscience smote him, for he was greatly alarmed. He prayed to God for help, yet was full of plans, sending presents to appease his brother, and ... dividing his people into two bands, so that if one of them were smitten, the other might escape. When he was alone God took him in hand: a 'man' (called 'the angel' in Hosea 12:4 ) wrestled with him. He was lamed, yet he clung, and in faith said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. " He was accounted a victor, and his name was changed from Jacob to ISRAEL: "for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. " God did not yet make known His name to him. ... God protected him from Esau, as He had from Laban: they kissed each other and wept. He then feigned that he would follow Esau to Seir, but turned aside to Shechem, where he bought the portion of a field, thus settling down for his own ease in the midst of the Canaanites, instead of going to Beth-el, God's house, from whence he had started. His peace was soon disturbed by his daughter Dinah going to see the daughters of the land, and being dishonoured, which was avenged by the slaughter of the Shechemites by his sons Simeon and Levi, bringing Jacob into great fear. ... God used this humiliating sorrow to discipline Jacob, and recover him to his true calling. He therefore bade Jacob go to Beth-el, and make an altar there. This disclosed a sad state of things: he had to meet God, and must purify himself, and his household must put away their strange gods. He built an altar and called it, 'El-beth-el;' 'the God of Bethel. ' God renewed His promises and revealed Himself to Jacob as GOD ALMIGHTY. ... Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, which caused them to hate Joseph; they also hated him for the communications given to him through dreams, and eventually sold him to the Ishmeelites. Again Jacob was dealt with deceitfully; his sons pretended that they had found Joseph's coat stained with blood, and Jacob was greatly distressed. But God was watching and overruling all for good. When Jacob and his household arrived in Egypt, he as a prince of God blessed Pharaoh king of Egypt. He lived in Egypt seventeen years, and died at the good old age of 147. ... Jacob at the close of his life rose up to the height of God's thoughts, and by faith blessed the two sons of Joseph, being led of God to cross his hands, and gave the richest blessing to Ephraim. Then, as a true prophet of God, he called all his sons before him, and blessed them, with an appropriate prophecy as to the historical future of each (considered under each of the sons' names). He fell asleep, and his body was embalmed and carried into Palestine to lie with those of Abraham and Isaac. ... Jacob being named ISRAEL led to his descendants being called the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. They are however frequently addressed as 'JACOB,' or 'house of Jacob,' as if they had not preserved the higher character involved in the name of 'Israel,' but must be addressed by the natural name of their forefather, Jacob. Genesis 25 — Genesis 49 . ...
Samuel, the Books of - One book in Hebrew; the Septuagint divided it into two. The Talmud (A. D. 500) is the earliest authority that ascribes the book to Samuel (Baba Bathra 14:2). The Hebrew give it his name because its first part treats of his birth, life, and work. His death recorded in 1 Samuel 25 proves he did not write it all. The Talmud's view, adopted by learned Christian fathers, may be true of the first 24 chapters. That Samuel wrote memoirs, which Nathan the prophet and Gad the seer supplemented, appears from 1 Chronicles 29:29; "now the acts ("history": dibrei ) of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in the book ("history": dibrei ) of Samuel the seer, and in the book ("history") of Nathan the prophet, and in the book ("history") of Gad the seer. " Nehemiah is said in 2 Maccabees 2:13 to have "gathered together the acts in the kings and the prophets. " The internal notices favor a date of the memoirs used in compiling 1 and 2 Samuel before the due organization of the temple and Mosaic ritual. ... For sacrifices are mentioned with tacit approval, or at least without apology, at other places (Mizpeh, Ramah, Bethel, and Araunah's threshing floor) than before the door of the tabernacle or temple, the only place permitted by the law (1 Samuel 7:9-10; 1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 9:13; 1 Samuel 10:3; 1 Samuel 14:35; 2 Samuel 24:18-25). On the contrary the writer of 1 and 2 Kings stigmatizes the high places to Jehovah and blames the kings who sanctioned or connived at them (1 Kings 15:14; 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 14:4; 2 Kings 15:4; 2 Kings 15:35; 2 Kings 16:4; 2 Kings 21:3). In the disestablishment of the Mosaic ritual consequent on the Philistine capture of the ark, and in the unsettled times that followed, even the godly followed Moses less strictly. Hence he is but twice mentioned in all Samuel, and then only as joined with Aaron in delivering Israel out of Egypt; the law is never mentioned (1 Samuel 12:6; 1 Samuel 12:8). ... In Joshua "Moses" occurs 56 times; in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, after the captivity, when a return to the Mosaic standard, was the watchword of the civil and religious restoration, 31 times; in Kings, ten times; in the unsettled era of Judges, three times. Its early date is also implied by its purity of Hebrew as compared with the so-called Chaldaisms of Kings and the still more alloyed language of Chronicles. The passage (1 Samuel 27:6) "Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day" implies the division between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, but this is probably the comment of the last reviser. If it be the compiler's, then the compilation was made subsequently to the division. Though it does not record David's death it certainly takes it for granted (2 Samuel 5:5). This passage favors the view that the composition was shortly after his death. ... That the composer used various existing materials appears from the distinct, but not irreconcilable, accounts of Saul's first acquaintance with David (1 Samuel 16:14-23; 1 Samuel 17:55-58), also of Saul's death (1 Samuel 31:2-6; 1 Samuel 31:8-13; 2 Samuel 1:2-12), also of the origin of the proverb "is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Samuel 10:9-12; 1 Samuel 19:22-24). (See DAVID. ) Summaries or endings of different memoirs incorporated by the composer appear in 1 Samuel 7:15-17; 1 Samuel 14:47-52; 2 Samuel 8:15-18. The only book quoted is the Book of Jasher ("the upright", namely, "nation"), 2 Samuel 1:18, the bow song or elegy over Saul and Jonathan; once elsewhere (Joshua 10:13). ... The allusion to "the Lord's king and His anointed" (1 Samuel 2:10) does not imply that kings already existed, and that therefore this is not Hannah's genuine utterance (for she lived before any king in Israel), but prophetically points on to the necessary culmination of God's kingdom in the coming Messiah, and in David His typical forefather. Probably an inspired member of the schools of the prophets composed the book, incorporating in abridged form existing memoirs and records; so thought Theodoret, Athanasius, and Gregory. A recorder, remembrancer, or chronicler (mazkir ) is first mentioned in David's reign (2 Samuel 8:16; 2 Samuel 20:24). The details as to David in Bathsheba's affair, and of Amnon and Tamar, etc. , etc. , must have been furnished by contemporary memoirs written By persons having intimate access to the royal family. Prophets are prominent in Samuel. ... Levites are mentioned only twice (1 Samuel 6; 2 Samuel 15:24), but thirty times in 1 Chronicles alone, containing David's history. The inspired author being of the prophetic schools naturally embodies Nathan's memoir as to his dealing with David in the Bathsheba sin, and in respect to the promise of permanence to his seed and throne (2 Samuel 7; 12), and Gad's dealing with him at the time of the plague (2 Samuel 24; also 1 Samuel 22:5). The phrase "Lord of hosts," 62 times found in Isaiah, occurs twice as often in Samuel as in all the other Old Testament histories put together. An undesigned coincidence confirming both occurs between 1 Chronicles 10:12 (which omits notice of the burning), the men of Jabesh Gilead "buried Saul's and his son's bones," and 1 Samuel 31:12, "they burnt the bodies"; the bones in fragments alone remained after the burning. ... Hannah's song must have been preserved by Samuel and incorporated by the compiler. The latter too derived from records David's elegies, 2 Samuel 1:19-27; 2 Samuel 3:33-34; David's psalm, 2 Samuel 22:2-51; and his last words, 2 Samuel 23:1-8. Samuel contains, but Chronicles omit, David's kindness to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9); the story of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11; 12); Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 13); the Gibeonites hanging Saul's seven sons (2 Samuel 21); the war with the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:15-17); David's song (2 Samuel 22), and last words (2 Samuel 23). Dates are seldom given. The period included is somewhat under 155 years, 1171-1015 B. C. The internal evidence of places, times, etc. , accords with truthfulness. Christ stamps Samuel as canonical (Matthew 12:1-4; compare Acts 3:24; Hebrews 11:32). ...
Angels - The words malac ἄγγελος, signify 'messenger. '... 1. It is used for the mystic representation of the divine presence, as in Genesis 31:11-13 . "The angel of God" spake unto Jacob saying, "I am the God of Bethel. " "The angel of Jehovah" spake to Hagar and said, "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly that it shall not be numbered for multitude. " Genesis 16:7-11 . "The angel of Jehovah" spake to Abraham saying, "By myself have I sworn," etc. Genesis 22:11,15,16 . Three 'men' drew near to Abraham's tent. One said Sarah should have a son: at which Sarah laughed, and Jehovah said, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh?" Two of the three left, and were called 'angels' at the gate of Sodom, while Jehovah, the third, talked with Abraham. Genesis 18:1-33 : cf. also Exodus 3:2,6-15 ; Numbers 22:22-35 . Jacob, in blessing the sons of Joseph, said, "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil bless the lads. " Genesis 48:16 . It is generally believed that it was the second person in the Trinity who appeared as a man in the O. T. It is no doubt the same who is called 'the mighty angel' in Revelation 10:1-3 . ... 2. The intelligent spiritual beings who are constantly referred to in scripture as God's messengers both as carrying good tidings and, as executors of God's judgements. We know little of their nature: "of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire," Hebrews 1:7 ; and man is described as being a little inferior to the angels. Psalm 8:5 ; Hebrews 2:7 . There are apparently gradations in rank among them, described as principalities and powers, of which Christ as Man is now the head. Colossians 2:10 . Twice we meet with 'archangel:' an archangel's voice will accompany the rapture of the church, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ; and 'Michael the archangel' contended with Satan about the body of Moses. Jude 9 . He with his angels will fight with the dragon and his angels and cast them out of heaven. Revelation 12:7,8 . Gabriel is the only other name of an angel revealed to us: he appeared to Daniel, to Zacharias, and to Mary: he said that he stood in the presence of God. Daniel 8:16 ; Daniel 9:21 ; Luke 1:19,26 . ... Though we are unconscious of the presence of angels we know that they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall inherit salvation, Hebrews 1:14 : cf. Psalm 34:7 ; and we read also that they ministered to the Lord when He was here. Matthew 4:11 ; Mark 1:13 ; Luke 22:43 . There are 'myriads' of these angels, Matthew 26:53 ; Hebrews 12:22 ; Revelation 5:11 ; and they are described as 'mighty,' 'holy,' 'elect,' 2 Thessalonians 1:7 ; Mark 8:38 ; 1 Timothy 5:21 : they do not marry, Mark 12:25 . We are not told when they were created, but doubtless they are referred to as 'the sons of God' who shouted for joy when God created the earth. Job 38:4-7 . ... The law was given by their ministry, Acts 7:53 ; Galatians 3:19 ; Psalm 68:17 ; and they had to do with proclaiming the birth of the Saviour, Luke 2:8-14 ; and they attended at the resurrection. Matthew 28:2 ; John 20:12 . Angels are not the depositaries of the revelation and counsels of God. They desire to look into the things testified by the Spirit of Christ in the prophets, and now reported by the apostles in the power of the same Spirit. 1 Peter 1:12 . The world to come is not to be put in subjection to them, but to man in the person of the Son of man, Hebrews 2:5-8 ; and the saints will judge angels. 1 Corinthians 6:3 . It is therefore only a false humility that would teach the worshipping of angels. Colossians 2:18 . When John fell down to worship the angel in the Revelation, being overpowered by reason of the stupendous things revealed, he was on two occasions restrained from worshipping his 'fellow servant,' as in Revelation 19:10 ; Revelation 22:9 . ... In Psalm 8:5 the word is elohim, 'God:' the name of God being given to the angels as His representatives: cf. Psalm 82:6 . In Psalm 68:17 it is shinan 'repetition;' reading "even thousands upon thousands. " In Psalm 78:25 it is abbir, 'mighty:' "every one did eat the bread of the mighty" margin. ... 3. FALLEN ANGELS. ... a. We read of angels who kept not their first estate,' but left their own habitation, and are kept in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day. Jude 6 . God spared not the angels who sinned. 2 Peter 2:4 . The nature of their sin may be referred to in Genesis 6:2 . Their punishment and that of Sodom and Gomorrah is held up as a warning against fleshly indulgence, and despising government. 2 Peter 2:10 ; Jude 6-8 . ... b. Besides the above which are kept in chains we read of angels connected with Satan. The great dragon and his angels will be subdued by Michael and his angels, and be cast out of heaven. Revelation 12:9 . The lake of fire, or Gehenna, has been specially prepared for the devil and his angels, though, alas, man will also be cast therein. Matthew 25:41 . Abaddon or Apollyon is the name of 'the angel of the bottomless pit,' Revelation 9:11 , that is, 'the abyss,' not hell, which, as seen above, is the place of punishment. Isaiah 14:12-16 and Ezekiel 28:14-19 , may throw somelight on the fallof Satan, but whether the fall of those called 'his angels' was brought about by the same cause and at the same time is not revealed. Scripture is quite clear that all of them will be overcome and eternally punished. ... 4. The term 'angel' is used metaphorically for a mystical representative. When Peter was delivered from prison, and knocked at the door, those who had been praying for his release said, "It is his angel. " Acts 12:15 . They supposed Peter was still in prison, and that the one at the door was his representative, his spirit personified, perhaps with very vague ideas of what they really meant. In Revelation 2,3 , the addresses to the seven churches are made to the angel of each. It signifies the spirit and character of the assembly personified in its mystical representative, each one differing from the others, according to the state of the assembly. The messages, though addressed to churches existing at the time, no doubt set forth the state of the church in its varied phases ever since apostolic times down to its entire rejection as the responsible witness for Christ at the close of the dispensation. ...
Altar - Sacrifices are nearly as ancient as worship, and altars are of almost equal antiquity. Scripture speaks of altars, erected by the patriarchs, without describing their form, or the materials of which they were composed. The altar which Jacob set up at Bethel, was the stone which had served him for a pillow; Gideon sacrificed on the rock before his house. ... The first altars which God commanded Moses to raise, were of earth or rough stones; and it was declared that if iron were used in constructing them they would become impure, Exodus 20:24-25 . The altar which Moses enjoined Joshua to build on Mount Ebal, was to be of unpolished stones, Deuteronomy 27:5 ; Joshua 8:31 ; and it is very probable that such were those built by Samuel, Saul, and David. The altar which Solomon erected in the temple was of brass, but filled, it is believed, with rough stones, 2 Chronicles 4:1-3 . It was twenty cubits long, twenty wide, and ten high. That built at Jerusalem, by Zerubbabel, after the return from Babylon, was of rough stones; as was that of Maccabees. Josephus says that the altar which in his time was in the temple was of rough stones, fifteen cubits high, forty long, and forty wide. ... Among the Romans altars were of two kinds, the higher and the lower; the higher were intended for the celestial gods, and were called altaria, from altus; the lower were for the terrestrial and infernal gods, and were called arae. Those dedicated to the heavenly gods were raised a great height above the surface of the earth; those of the terrestrial gods were almost even with the surface; and those for the infernal deities were only holes dug in the ground called scrobiculi. Before temples were in use the altars were placed in the groves, highways, or on tops of mountains, inscribed with the names, ensigns, or characters of the respective gods to whom they belonged. The great temples at Rome generally contained three altars; the first in the sanctuary, at the foot of the statue, for incense and libations; the second before the gate of the temple, for the sacrifices of victims; and the third was a portable one for the offerings and sacred vestments or vessels to lie upon. The ancients used to swear upon the altars upon solemn occasions, such as confirming alliances, treaties of peace, &c. They were also places of refuge, and served as an asylum and sanctuary to all who fled to them, whatever their crimes were. ... The principal altars among the Jews were those of incense, of burnt- offering, and the altar or table for the shew bread. The altar of incense was a small table of shittim wood covered with plates of gold. It was a cubit long, a cubit broad, and two cubits high. At the four corners were four horns. The priest, whose turn it was to officiate, burnt incense on this altar, at the time of the morning sacrifice between the sprinkling of the blood and the laying of the pieces of the victim on the altar of burnt-offering. He did the same also in the evening, between the laying of the pieces on the altar and the drink-offering. At the same time the people prayed in silence, and their prayers were offered up by the priests. The altar of burnt-offering was of shittim wood also, and carried upon the shoulders of the priests, by staves of the same wood overlaid with brass. In Moses's days it was five cubits square, and three high: but it was greatly enlarged in the days of Solomon, being twenty cubits square, and ten in height. It was covered with brass, and had a horn at each corner to which the sacrifice was tied. This altar was placed in the open air, that the smoke might not sully the inside of the tabernacle or temple. On this altar the holy fire was renewed from time to time, and kept constantly burning. Hereon, likewise, the sacrifices of lambs and bullocks were burnt, especially a lamb every morning at the third hour, or nine of the clock, and a lamb every afternoon at three, Exodus 20:24-25 ; Exodus 27:1-2 ; Exodus 27:4 ; Exodus 38:1 . The altar of burnt-offering had the privilege of being a sanctuary or place of refuge. The wilful murderer, indeed, sought protection there in vain; for by the express command of God he might be dragged to justice, even from the altar. The altar or table of shew bread was of shittim wood also, covered with plates of gold, and had a border round it adorned with sculpture. It was two cubits long, one wide, and one and a half in height. This table stood in the sanctum sanctorum, [holy of holies,] and upon it were placed the loaves of shew bread. After the return of the Jews from their captivity, and the building of the second temple, the form and size of the altars were somewhat changed. ... Sacrifices according to the laws of Moses, could not be offered except by the priests; and at any other place than on the altar of the tabernacle or the temple. Furthermore, they were not to be offered to idols, nor with any superstitious rites. See Leviticus 17:1-7 ; Deuteronomy 12:15-16 . Without these precautionary measures, the true religion would hardly have been secure. If a different arrangement had been adopted, if the priests had been scattered about to various altars, without being subjected to the salutary restraint which would result from a mutual observation of each other, they would no doubt some of them have willingly consented to the worship of idols; and others, in their separate situation, would not have been in a condition to resist the wishes of the multitude, had those wishes been wrong. The necessity of sacrificing at one altar, (that of the tabernacle or temple,) is frequently and emphatically insisted on, Deuteronomy 12:13-14 ; and all other altars are disapproved, Leviticus 26:30 , compare Joshua 22:9-34 . Notwithstanding this, it appears that, subsequently to the time of Moses, especially in the days of the kings, altars were multiplied; but they fell under suspicions, although some of them were perhaps sacred to the worship of the true God. It is, nevertheless, true, that prophets, whose characters were above all suspicion, sacrificed, in some instances, in other places than the one designated by the laws, 1 Samuel 13:3-14 ; 1 Samuel 16:1-5 ; 1 Kings 18:21-40 . ...
Jacob - Son of Isaac and Rebekah. Though a twin, he is called 'the younger,' being born after Esau. Before the children were born it was said, "the elder shall serve the younger. " The promises made by God to Abraham were thus confirmed to Jacob, as they had been to Isaac. When they grew up, Esau became a hunter, whereas Jacob was a peaceful man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob. The typical character of these three patriarchs has been described thus: "In general, Abraham is the root of all promise, and the picture of the life of faith; Isaac is a type of the heavenly Man, who receives the church; and Jacob represents Israel as heir of the promises according to the flesh. " The difference may be seen by comparing Genesis 22:17 ('stars ' and 'sand'), with Genesis 26:4 ('stars' only), and Genesis 28:14 ('dust of the earth' only). ... Though Jacob was heir of the promises, and valued God's blessing in a selfish manner, he sought it not by faith, but tried in an evil and mean way to obtain it: first in buying the birthright when his brother was at the point of death; and then, in obtaining the blessing from his father by lying and deceit: a blessing which would surely have been his in God's way if he had waited: cf. Genesis 48:14-20 . ... Jacob had then to become a wanderer; but God was faithful to him, and spoke to him, not openly as to Abraham, but in a dream. The ladder reaching to heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it, showed that he on earth was the object of heaven's care. The promises as to the land being possessed by his descendants, and all nations being blessed in his Seed, were confirmed to him, with this difference that in connection with the latter promise it says "in thee and in thy seed ," because it includes the earthly blessings to his seed in the millennium. God also said He would keep Jacob wherever he went, and bring him back to the promised land. Jacob called the place Beth-el, saying that it was the house of God, and the gate of heaven. It is figurative of Israel's position, not in heaven, but the 'gate' is theirs. He made a vow that if God would bless him and bring him back in peace, Jehovah should be his God. This was not the language of faith. ... Jacob, who had tricked his brother, was treated in a similar way by Laban, and Leah was given to him as wife instead of Rachel, though he had Rachel, the one he loved, afterwards. He had not learnt to trust God, but used subtle ways to increase his possessions; and he also was dealt with in a like manner, having his wages changed 'ten times. ' But God was watching over him and bade him return to the land of his fathers; and when Laban pursued after him, God warned him in a dream not to speak to Jacob either good or bad. They made a covenant together, and each went his way. ... Immediately afterwards the angels of God met Jacob, and he recognised them as 'God's host. ' Then he had to meet Esau, and doubtless conscience smote him, for he was greatly alarmed. He prayed to God for help, yet was full of plans, sending presents to appease his brother, and ... dividing his people into two bands, so that if one of them were smitten, the other might escape. When he was alone God took him in hand: a 'man' (called 'the angel' in Hosea 12:4 ) wrestled with him. He was lamed, yet he clung, and in faith said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. " He was accounted a victor, and his name was changed from Jacob to ISRAEL: "for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. " God did not yet make known His name to him. ... God protected him from Esau, as He had from Laban: they kissed each other and wept. He then feigned that he would follow Esau to Seir, but turned aside to Shechem, where he bought the portion of a field, thus settling down for his own ease in the midst of the Canaanites, instead of going to Beth-el, God's house, from whence he had started. His peace was soon disturbed by his daughter Dinah going to see the daughters of the land, and being dishonoured, which was avenged by the slaughter of the Shechemites by his sons Simeon and Levi, bringing Jacob into great fear. ... God used this humiliating sorrow to discipline Jacob, and recover him to his true calling. He therefore bade Jacob go to Beth-el, and make an altar there. This disclosed a sad state of things: he had to meet God, and must purify himself, and his household must put away their strange gods. He built an altar and called it, 'El-beth-el;' 'the God of Bethel. ' God renewed His promises and revealed Himself to Jacob as GOD ALMIGHTY. ... Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, which caused them to hate Joseph; they also hated him for the communications given to him through dreams, and eventually sold him to the Ishmeelites. Again Jacob was dealt with deceitfully; his sons pretended that they had found Joseph's coat stained with blood, and Jacob was greatly distressed. But God was watching and overruling all for good. When Jacob and his household arrived in Egypt, he as a prince of God blessed Pharaoh king of Egypt. He lived in Egypt seventeen years, and died at the good old age of 147. ... Jacob at the close of his life rose up to the height of God's thoughts, and by faith blessed the two sons of Joseph, being led of God to cross his hands, and gave the richest blessing to Ephraim. Then, as a true prophet of God, he called all his sons before him, and blessed them, with an appropriate prophecy as to the historical future of each (considered under each of the sons' names). He fell asleep, and his body was embalmed and carried into Palestine to lie with those of Abraham and Isaac. ... Jacob being named ISRAEL led to his descendants being called the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. They are however frequently addressed as 'JACOB,' or 'house of Jacob,' as if they had not preserved the higher character involved in the name of 'Israel,' but must be addressed by the natural name of their forefather, Jacob. Genesis 25 — Genesis 49 . ...
Agur - The thirtieth chapter of Proverbs begins with this title: "The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh;" and the thirty-first, with "the words of king Lemuel;" with respect to which some conjecture that Solomon describes himself under these appellations; others, that these chapters are the production of persons whose real names are prefixed. Scripture history, indeed, affords us no information respecting their situation and character; but there must have been sufficient reason for regarding their works in the light of inspired productions, or they would not have been admitted into the sacred canon. ... They are called Massa, a term frequently applied to the undoubted productions of the prophetic Spirit; and it is not improbable that the authors meant, by the adoption of this term, to lay claim to the character of inspiration. A succession of virtuous and eminent men, favoured with divine illuminations, flourished in Judea till the final completion of the sacred code; and, most likely, many more than those whose writings have been preserved. Agur may then have been one of those prophets whom Divine providence raised up to comfort or admonish his chosen people; and Lemuel may have been some neighbouring prince, the son of a Jewish woman, by whom he was taught the Massa contained in the thirty-first chapter. These, of course, can only be considered as mere conjectures; for, in the absence of historic evidence, who can venture to pronounce with certainty? The opinion, however, that Agur and Lemuel are appellations of Solomon, is sanctioned by so many and such respectable writers, that it demands a more particular examination. ... The knowledge of names was anciently regarded as a matter of the highest importance, in order to understand the nature of the persons or things which they designate; and, in the opinion of the rabbins, was preferable even to the study of the written law. The Heathens paid considerable attention to it, as appears from the Cratylus of Plato; and some of the Christian fathers entertained very favourable notions of such knowledge. The Jewish doctors, it is true, refined upon the subject with an amazing degree of subtilty, grounding upon it many ridiculous ideas and absurd fancies; yet it is unquestionable that many of the proper names in Scripture are significant and characteristic. Thus the names Eve, Cain, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Israel, &c, were imposed by reason of their being expressive of the several characters of the persons whom they represent. Reasoning from analogy, we may infer that all the proper names in the Old Testament, at their original imposition, were intended to denote some quality or circumstance in the person or thing to which they belong; and though many, from transference, have ceased to be personally characteristic, yet are they all significative. ... As the custom of imposing descriptive names prevailed in the primitive ages, it is not impossible that Agur and Lemuel may be appropriated to Solomon, and Jakeh to David, as mystic appellations significative of their respective characters. It is even some confirmation of this opinion, that Solomon is denominated Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord) by the Prophet Nathan; and that in the book of Ecclesiastes, he styles himself Koheleth, or the Preacher. Nevertheless, this hypothesis does not appear to rest upon a firm foundation. It is foreign to the simplicity of the sacred penmen, and contrary to their custom in similar cases, to adopt a mystic name, without either explaining it, or alleging the reasons for its adoption. In the names Eve, Cain, Seth, Noah, &c, before alluded to; in the appellation Nabal; in the enigmatical names in the first chapter of Hosea; in the descriptive names given to places, as Beer-sheba, Jehovah-jireh, Peniel, Bethel, Gilgal; and in many other instances, the meaning of the terms is either explained, or the circumstances are mentioned which led to their selection. When Solomon is called Jedidiah, it is added that it was "because of the Lord;" and when he styles himself Koheleth, an explanatory clause is annexed, describing himself "the son of David, the king of Jerusalem. " But if Solomon be meant by the titles Agur and Lemuel, he is so called without any statement of the reasons for their application, and without any explanation of their import; a circumstance unusual with the sacred writers, and the reverse to what is practised in the book of Proverbs, where his proper name, Solomon, is attributed to him in three different places. Nor is any thing characteristic of the Jewish monarchs discoverable in the terms themselves. Jakeh, which denotes obedient, is no more applicable to David than to Nathan, or any other personage of eminent worth and piety among the Israelites. The name of Agur is not of easy explanation; some giving it the sense of recollectus, that is, recovered from his errors, and become penitent; an explanation more applicable to David than to Solomon. Simon, in his lexicon, says it may perhaps denote "him who applies to the study of wisdom; " an interpretation very suitable to the royal philosopher, but not supported by adequate authority; and in his Onomasticon he explains it in a different manner. Others suppose that it means collector; though it has been argued, that, as it has a passive form, it cannot have an active sense, But this is not a valid objection, as several examples may be produced from the Bible of a similar form with an active signification. If such be its meaning, it is suitable to Solomon, who was not the collector or compiler, but the author, of the Proverbs. With respect to the name Lemuel, it signifies one that is for God, or devoted to God; and is not, therefore, peculiarly descriptive of Solomon. It appears, then, that nothing can be inferred from the signification of the names Agur and Lemuel in support of the conjecture, that they are appellations of Solomon. The contents, likewise, of the two chapters in question strongly militate against this hypothesis. ... When all these circumstances are taken into consideration, together with the extreme improbability that Solomon should be denominated three times by his proper name, and afterward, in the same work, by two different enigmatical names, we are fully warranted in rejecting the notion, that the wise monarch is designed by the appellations Agur and Lemuel. And it seems most reasonable to consider them as denoting real persons. ...
Palm Tree - תמר , Exodus 15:27 , &c. This tree, sometimes called the date tree, grows plentifully in the east. It rises to a great height. The stalks are generally full of rugged knots, which are the vestiges of the decayed leaves; for the trunk of this tree is not solid, like other trees, but its centre is filled with pith, round which is a tough bark full of strong fibres when young, which, as the tree grows old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which in the centre rise erect; but, after they are advanced above the vagina which surrounds them, they expand very wide on every side the stem; and, as the older leaves decay, the stalk advances in height. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a size for bearing fruit, are six or eight feet long, are very broad when spread out, and are used for covering the tops of houses, &c. The fruit, which is called date, grows below the leaves in clusters, and is of a sweet and agreeable taste. The learned Kaempfer, as a botanist, an antiquary, and a traveller, has exhausted the whole subject of palm trees. "The diligent natives," says Mr. Gibbon, "celebrated, either in verse or prose, the three hundred and sixty uses to which the trunk, the branches, the leaves, the juice, and the fruit, were skilfully applied. " "The extensive importance of the date tree," says Dr. E. D. Clarke, "is one of the most curious subjects to which a traveller can direct his attention. A considerable part of the inhabitants of Egypt, of Arabia, and Persia, subsist almost entirely upon its fruit. They boast also of its medicinal virtues. Their camels feed upon the date stone. From the leaves they make couches, baskets, bags, mats, and brushes; from the branches, cages for their poultry, and fences for their gardens; from the fibres of the boughs, thread, ropes, and rigging; from the sap is prepared a spirituous liquor; and the body of the tree furnishes fuel. ... It is even said that from one variety of the palm tree, the phoenix farinifera, meal has been extracted, which is found among the fibres of the trunk, and has been used for food. "... In the temple of Solomon were pilasters made in the form of palm trees, 1 Kings 6:29 . It was under a tree of this kind that Deborah dwelt between Ramah and Bethel, Judges 4:5 . To the fair, flourishing, and fruitful condition of this tree, the psalmist very aptly compares the votary of virtue, Psalms 92:12-14 :—... The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. Those that are planted in the house of Jehovah, In the courts of our God, shall flourish; ... In old age they shall still put forth buds, They shall be full of sap and vigorous. ... The palm tree is crowned at its top with a large tuft of spiring leaves about four feet long, which never fall off, but always continue in the same flourishing verdure. The tree, as Dr. Shaw was informed, is in its greatest vigour about thirty years after it is planted, and continues in full vigour seventy years longer; bearing all this while, every year, about three or four hundred pounds' weight of dates. The trunk of the tree is remarkably straight and lofty. Jeremiah, speaking of the idols that were carried in procession, says they were upright as the palm tree, Jeremiah 10:5 . And for erect stature and slenderness of form, the spouse, in Song of Solomon 7:7 , is compared to this tree:—... How framed, O my love, for delights! Lo, thy stature is like a palm tree, And thy bosom like clusters of dates. ... On this passage Mr. Good observes, that "the very word tamar, here used for the palm tree, and whose radical meaning is ‘straight,' or ‘upright,' (whence it was afterward applied to pillars or columns, as well as to the palm,) was also a general name among the ladies of Palestine, and unquestionably adopted in honour of the stature they had already acquired, or gave a fair promise of attaining. "... A branch of palm was a signal of victory, and was carried before conquerors in the triumphs. To this, allusion is made, Revelation 7:9 : and for this purpose were they borne before Christ in his way to Jerusalem, John 12:13 . From the inspissated sap of the tree, a kind of honey, or dispse, as it is called, is produced, little inferior to that of bees. The same juice, after fermentation, makes a sort of wine much used in the east. It is once mentioned as wine, Numbers 28:7 ; Exodus 29:40 ; and by it is intended the strong drink, Isaiah 5:11 ; Isaiah 24:9 . Theodoret and Chrysostom, on these places, both Syrians, and unexceptionable witnesses in what belongs to their own country, confirm this declaration. "This liquor," says Dr. Shaw, "which has a more luscious sweetness than honey, is of the consistence of a thin syrup, but quickly grows tart and ropy, acquiring an intoxicating quality, and giving by distillation an agreeable spirit, or araky, according to the general name of these people for all hot liquors, extracted by the alembic. " Its Hebrew name is שכר , the σικερα of the Greeks; and from its sweetness, probably, the saccharum of the Romans. Jerom informs us that in Hebrew "any inebriating liquor is called sicera, whether made of grain, the juice of apples, honey, dates, or any other fruit. "... This tree was formerly of great value and esteem among the Israelites, and so very much cultivated in Judea, that, in after times, it became the emblem of that country, as may be seen in a medal of the Emperor Vespasian upon the conquest of Judea. It represents a captive woman sitting under a palm tree, with this inscription, "Judea capta;" [Judea captivated;] and upon a Greek coin, likewise, of his son Titus, struck upon the like occasion, we see a shield suspended upon a palm tree, with a Victory writing upon it. ... Pliny also calls Judea palmis inclyta, "renowned for palms. " Jericho, in particular, was called "the city of palms," Deuteronomy 34:3 ; 2 Chronicles 28:15 ; because, as Josephus, Strabo, and Pliny have remarked, it anciently abounded in palm trees. And so Dr. Shaw remarks, that, though these trees are not now either plentiful or fruitful in other parts of the holy land, yet there are several of them at Jericho, where there is the conveniency they require of being often watered; where, likewise, the climate is warm, and the soil sandy, such as they thrive and delight in. Tamar, a city built in the desert by Solomon, 1 Kings 9:18 ; Ezekiel 47:19 ; Ezekiel 48:28 , was probably so named from the palm trees growing about it; as it was afterward by the Romans called Palmyra, or rather Palmira, on the same account, from palma, "a palm tree. "...
Idol, Idolatry - The word idol signifies literally a representation or figure. It is always employed in Scripture in a bad sense, for representations of heathen deities of what nature soever. God forbids all sorts of idols, or figures and representations of creatures, formed or set up with intention of paying superstitious worship to them, Exodus 20:3,4 34:13 Deuteronomy 4:16-19 7:25,26 . He also forbids all attempts to represent him by any visible form, Exodus 32:4,5 Deuteronomy 4:15 Nehemiah 9:18 . ... The heathen had idols of all sorts-paintings, bas-reliefs, and all varieties of sculpture-and these of many kinds of materials, as gold, silver, brass, stone, wood, potters earth, etc. Stars, spirits, men, animals, rivers, plants, and elements were the subjects of them. Scarcely an object or power in nature, scarcely a faculty of the soul, a virtue, a vice, or a condition of human life, has not received idolatrous worship. See STARS. Some nations worshipped a rough stone. Such is the black stone of the ancient Arabs, retained by Mohammed, and now kept in the Caaba at Mecca. ... It is impossible to ascertain the period at which the worship of false gods and idols was introduced. No mentioned is made of such worship before the deluge; though from the silence of Scripture we cannot argue that it did not exist. Josephus and many of the fathers were of opinion, that soon after the deluge idolatry became prevalent; and certainly, whenever we turn our eyes after the time of Abraham, we see only a false worship. That patriarch's forefathers, and even he himself, were implicated in it, as is evident from Joshua 24:2,14 . ... The Hebrews had no peculiar form of idolatry; they imitated the superstitions of others, but do not appear to have been the inventors of any. When they were in Egypt, many of them worshipped Egyptians deities, Ezekiel 20:8 ; in the wilderness, they worshipped those of the Canaaites, Egyptians, Ammonites, and Moabites; in Judea, those of the Phoenicians, Syrians, and other people around them, Numbers 25:1-18 Judges 10:6 Amos 5:25 Acts 7:42 . Rachel, it may be, had adored idols at her father Laban's, since she carried off his teraphim, Genesis 31:30 . Jacob after his return from Mesopotamia, required his people to reject the strange gods from among them and also the superstitious pendants worn by them in their ears, which he hid under a terebinth near Shechem. He preserved his family in the worship of God while he lived. ... Under the government of the judges, "the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim. They forsook the Lord God of their fathers, and served Baal and Ashtaroth," Judges 2:11,12 . Gideon, after he had been favored by God with a miraculous deliverance, made an ephod, which ensnared the Israelites in unlawful worship, Judges 8:27 . Micah's teraphim also were the objects of idolatrous worship, even till the captivity of Israel in Babylon, Judges 17:5 18:30,31 . See TERAPHIM . ... During the times of Samuel, Saul, and David, the worship of God seems to have been preserved pure in Israel. There was corruption and irregularity of manners, but little or no idolatry. Solomon, seduced by complaisance to his strange wives, caused temples to be erected in honor of Ashtoreth goddess of the Phoenicians, Moloch god of the Ammonites, and Chemosh god of the Moabites. Jeroboam, who succeeded Solomon, set up golden calves at Dan and Bethel, and made Israel to sin. The people, no longer restrained by royal authority, worshipped not only these golden calves, but many other idols, particularly Baal and Ashtoreth. Under the reign of Ahab, idolatry reached its height. The impious Jezebel endeavored to extinguish the worship of the Lord, by persecuting his prophets, (who, as a barrier, still retained some of the people in the true religion,) till God, incensed at their idolatry, abandoned Israel to the kings of Assyria and Chaldea, who transplanted them beyond the Euphrates. Judah was almost equally corrupted. The descriptions given by the prophets of their irregularities and idolatries, of their abominations and lasciviousness on the high places and in woods consecrated to idols, and of their human sacrifices, fill us with dismay, and unveil the awful corruption of the heart of man. See MOLOCH. After the return from Babylon, we do not find the Jews any more reproached with idolatry. They expressed much zeal for the worship of God, and except some transgressor under Antichus Epiphanes, the people kept themselves clear from this sin. ... As the maintenance of the worship of the only true God was one of the fundamental objects of the Mosaic polity, and as God was regarded as the king of the Israelitish nation, so we find idolatry, that is, the worship of other gods, occupying, in the Mosaic law, the first place in the list of crimes. It was indeed a crime, not merely against God, but also against the fundamental law of the state, and thus a sort of high treason. The only living and true God was also the civil legislator and ruler of Israel, and accepted by them as their king; and hence idolatry was a crime against the state, and therefore just as deservedly punished with death, as high treason is in modern times. By the Jewish law, an idolatrous city must be wholly destroyed, with all it contained, Deuteronomy 13:12-18 17:2,5 . ... At the present day, idolatry, prevails over a great portion of the earth, and is practiced by about 600,000,000 of the human race. Almost all the heathen nations, as the Chinese, the Hindoos, the South Sea islanders, etc. , have their images, to which they bow down and worship. In some lands professedly Christians, it is to be feared that the adoration of crucifixes and paintings is nothing more nor less than idol-worship. But when we regard idolatry in a moral point of view, as consisting not merely in the external worship of false gods, but in the preference of, and devotion to something else than the Most High, how many Christians must then fall under this charge. Whoever loves this world, or the pursuits of wealth or honor ambition, or selfishness in any form, and for these forgets or neglects God and Christ, such a one is an idolater in as bad sense at least as the ancient Israelites, and cannot hope to escape an awful condemnation, Colossians 3:5 . ...
Prophet - The ordinary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi , derived from a verb signifying "to bubble forth" like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. The English word comes from the Greek prophetes ( profetes ), which signifies in classical Greek one who speaks for another , especially one who speaks for a god , and so interprets his will to man; hence its essential meaning is "an interpreter. " The use of the word in its modern sense as "one who predicts" is post-classical. The larger sense of interpretation has not, however, been lost. In fact the English word ways been used in a closer sense. The different meanings or shades of meanings in which the abstract noun is employed in Scripture have been drawn out by Locke as follows: "Prophecy comprehends three things: prediction; singing by the dictate of the Spirit; and understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture by an immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit. " Order and office . --The sacerdotal order was originally the instrument by which the members of the Jewish theocracy were taught and governed in things spiritual. Teaching by act and teaching by word were alike their task. But during the time of the judges, the priesthood sank into a state of degeneracy, and the people were no longer affected by the acted lessons of the ceremonial service. They required less enigmatic warnings and exhortations, under these circumstances a new moral power was evoked the Prophetic Order. Samuel himself Levite of the family of Kohath, ( 1 Chronicles 6:28 ) and almost certainly a priest, was the instrument used at once for effecting a reform in the sacerdotal order (1 Chronicles 9:22 ) and for giving to the prophets a position of importance which they had never before held. Nevertheless it is not to be supposed that Samuel created the prophetic order as a new thing before unknown. The germs both of the prophetic and of the regal order are found in the law as given to the Israelites by Moses, (13:1; 18:20; 17:18) but they were not yet developed, because there was not yet the demand for them. Samuel took measures to make his work of restoration permanent as well as effective for the moment. For this purpose he instituted companies or colleges of prophets. One we find in his lifetime at Ramah, (1 Samuel 19:19,20 ) others afterward at Bethel, (2 Kings 2:3 ) Jericho, (2 Kings 2:2,5 ) Gilgal; (2 Kings 4:38 ) and elsewhere. (2 Kings 6:1 ) Their constitution and object similar to those of theological colleges. Into them were gathered promising students, and here they were trained for the office which they were afterward destined to fulfill. So successful were these institutions that from the time of Samuel to the closing of the canon of the Old Testament there seems never to have been wanting due supply of men to keep up the line of official prophets. Their chief subject of study was, no doubt, the law and its interpretation; oral, as distinct from symbolical, teaching being thenceforward tacitly transferred from the priestly to the prophetic order. Subsidiary subjects of instruction were music and sacred poetry, both of which had been connected with prophecy from the time of Moses (Exodus 15:20 ) and the judges. (Judges 4:4 ; 5:1 ) But to belong to the prophetic order and to possess the prophetic gift are not convertible terms. Generally, the inspired prophet came from the college of prophets, and belonged to prophetic order; but this was not always the case. Thus Amos though called to the prophetic office did not belong to the prophetic order. ( Amos 7:14 ) The sixteen prophets whose books are in the canon have that place of honor because they were endowed with the prophetic gift us well as ordinarily (so far as we know) belonging to the prophetic order. Characteristics . --What then are the characteristics of the sixteen prophets thus called and commissioned and intrusted with the messages of God to his people?
They were the national poets of Judea. ... They were annalists and historians. A great portion of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of Daniel of Jonah, of Haggai, is direct or in direct history. ... They were preachers of patriotism, --their patriotism being founded on the religious motive. ... They were preachers of morals and of spiritual religion. The system of morals put forward by the prophets, if not higher or sterner or purer than that of the law, is more plainly declared, and with greater, because now more needed, vehemence of diction. ... They were extraordinary but yet authorized exponents of the law. ... They held a pastoral or quasi-pastoral office. ... They were a political power in the state. ... But the prophets were something more than national poets and annalists, preachers of patriotism moral teachers, exponents of the law, pastors and politicians. Their most essential characteristic is that they were instruments of revealing God's will to man, as in other ways, so specially by predicting future events, and in particular foretelling the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption effected by him. We have a series of prophecies which are so applicable to the person and earthly life of Jesus Christ as to be thereby shown to have been designed to apply to him. And if they were designed to apply to him, prophetical prediction is proved. Objections have, been urged. We notice only one, vis. , vagueness. It has been said that the prophecies are too darkly and vaguely worded to be proved predictive by the events which they are alleged to foretell. But to this might be answered, ... That God never forces men to believe, but that there is such a union of definiteness and vagueness in the prophecies as to enable those who are willing to discover the truth, while the willfully blind are not forcibly constrained to see it. ... That, had the prophecies been couched in the form of direct declarations, their fulfillment would have thereby been rendered impossible or at least capable of frustration. ... That the effect of prophecy would have been far less beneficial to believers, as being less adapted to keep them in a state of constant expectation. ... That the Messiah of revelation could not be so clearly portrayed in his varied character as God and man, as prophet, priest and king, if he had been the mere teacher. " ... That the state of the prophets, at the time of receiving the divine revelation, was such as necessarily to make their predictions fragmentary figurative, and abstracted from the relations of time. ... That some portions of the prophecies were intended to be of double application, and some portions to be understood only on their fulfillment, Comp. (John 14:29 ; Ezekiel 36:33 )
Jacob - Events relating to a child’s birth often influenced parents in their choice of a name for the child. Isaac and Rebekah gave the second of their twin sons the name Jacob (meaning ‘to hold the heel’) because at the birth the baby Jacob’s hand took hold of the heel of the first twin, Esau (Genesis 25:24-26). When the two boys grew to adulthood, Jacob proved to be true to his name when he again took hold of what belonged to his brother, by cunningly taking from him the family birthright and the father’s blessing (Genesis 27:36). ... From the beginning God made it clear that he had chosen Jacob, not Esau, as the one through whom he would fulfil his promises to Abraham. But that was no excuse for Jacob’s trickery (Genesis 25:23; Malachi 1:2; Romans 9:10-13). ... The line of descent from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob was the line God used to produce the nation that became his channel of blessing to the whole world (Genesis 28:13-14). To the generations that followed, God was known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 50:24; Exodus 3:6; Deuteronomy 1:8; Matthew 22:32; Acts 3:13). The nation descended from Jacob was commonly called Israel (after Jacob’s alternative name; Genesis 32:28), though in poetical writings it was sometimes called Jacob (Numbers 23:21; Isaiah 2:5; Isaiah 43:28; Malachi 3:6; Romans 11:26). ... Building for the future... Jacob was a selfishly ambitious young man who was determined to become powerful and prosperous. By ruthless bargaining he took from Esau the right of the firstborn to become family head and receive a double portion of the inheritance (Genesis 25:27-34; see FIRSTBORN). Later, by lies and deceit, he gained his father’s blessing This confirmed the benefits of the birthright, in relation to both the family and the nation that was to grow out of it (Genesis 27:1-29; see BLESSING). (Concerning the lesser blessings given to the elder brother see ESAU. )... To escape his brother’s anger, Jacob fled north. His excuse was that he was going to Paddan-aram to look for a wife among his parent’s relatives (Genesis 27:41-46; Genesis 28:1-5). Before Jacob left Canaan, God graciously confirmed the promise given to Abraham, and assured Jacob that one day he would return to Canaan (Genesis 28:10-22). ... It was twenty years before Jacob returned. In Paddan-aram he fell in love with Rachel, younger daughter of his uncle Laban, and agreed to work seven years for Laban as the bride-price for Rachel. Laban tricked Jacob by giving him Leah, the elder daughter, instead. He then agreed to give Rachel as well, but only after Jacob agreed to work another seven years as the extra bride-price (Genesis 29:1-30). ... Upon completion of the second seven years, Jacob decided to work an additional six years. His purpose was to build up his personal flocks of sheep and goats, which he considered to be compensation for Laban’s repeated trickery. There was a constant battle, as two cunning dealers tried to outdo each other (Genesis 30:25-43; Genesis 31:41). ... During these twenty years Jacob also built a large family. Leah produced several sons, but Rachel remained childless. Rachel therefore gave her maid to Jacob, so that through the maid he might produce sons whom Rachel could adopt as her own. Not to be outdone, Leah did the same. Finally Rachel produced a son, Joseph, and he became Jacob’s favourite (Genesis 29:31-35; Genesis 30:1-24). When at last Jacob and his family fled from Laban, Laban pursued them. In the end Jacob and Laban marked out a boundary between them and made a formal agreement not to attack each other again (Genesis 31). ... A changed man... As he headed for Canaan, Jacob knew that if he was to live in safety he would have to put things right with Esau. Esau by this time had established a powerful clan (Edom) in neighbouring regions to the south-east. Jacob was beginning to learn humility such as he had not known before and cried to God for help (Genesis 32:1-12). ... God taught Jacob, through a conflict he had one night with a special messenger from God, that his proud self-confidence had to be broken if he was really to receive God’s blessing. The crisis in Jacob’s life was marked by God’s gift to him of a new name, Israel, ‘an overcomer with God’ (Genesis 32:13-32). Jacob began to change. He humbled himself before Esau and begged his forgiveness, with the result that instead of further tension and conflict between the two brothers there was friendship and cooperation (Genesis 33:1-17). ... Jacob then crossed the Jordan into Canaan, where he demonstrated his faith in God’s promises by buying a piece of land. He at least now had permanent possession of part of the land God had promised to him and his descendants (Genesis 33:18-20). At Bethel God renewed his promises (Genesis 35:1-15; cf. Genesis 28:13-22). As if to emphasize that this occupancy of Canaan was by God’s grace alone, the writer of Genesis includes two shameful stories that show the unworthiness of Jacob’s family to receive God’s blessings (Genesis 34; Genesis 38). The only son of Jacob to be born in Canaan was the youngest, Benjamin (Genesis 35:16-26). ... The family moved south to Hebron to be with the aged Isaac in his last few years (Genesis 35:27-28). It seems that Jacob remained there while his sons took his flocks from place to place looking for pastures (Genesis 37:14-17). Out of these circumstances came the dramatic sequence of events recorded in the long story of Joseph (see JOSEPH THE SON OF JACOB). The outcome of that story was that Jacob and all his family moved south through Beersheba and settled in Egypt (Genesis 46:1-7; Genesis 46:26). ... Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years (Genesis 47:28). Before he died, he raised Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to the same status as his own sons (Genesis 48:1-6). This was because he had given Joseph the birthright that the eldest son had lost (1 Chronicles 5:1-2; cf. Genesis 35:22). Now Joseph, through his two sons, would receive twice the inheritance of the other sons (Genesis 48:14-16; Genesis 49:26). Jacob then announced his blessing on all his sons in turn (Genesis 49:1-27; Hebrews 11:21). By insisting that his sons bury him in Canaan, he expressed his faith that Canaan would become the land of his descendants (Genesis 47:29-31; Genesis 49:28-33; cf. Genesis 46:4). His sons carried out his wish (Genesis 50:12-13). ...
Ephraim - Joseph and his Egyptian wife had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 41:50-52). When the aged Jacob gave his parting blessings to his family, he gave the firstborn’s blessing to Joseph instead of to Reuben (because of Reuben’s immorality with Jacob’s concubine; Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:3-4; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2). This meant that Joseph would father two tribes in Israel instead of one. Jacob therefore raised Joseph’s two sons to the same level as Jacob’s other sons, so that Joseph’s two sons would each have his own tribe (Genesis 48:5-6). The tribe of the younger son Ephraim was destined to become stronger than that of the older son Manasseh (Genesis 48:12-20). ... Good territory... The tribe of Ephraim received as its inheritance possibly the best part of Canaan (cf. Genesis 49:22-26). This was the central highland region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (Joshua 16). (For information about its more important towns see Bethel; JERICHO; JOPPA; SHECHEM; SHILOH. )... Jericho - Numbers 22:1; Joshua 2:1-3; Joshua 2:5; Joshua 2:15; Joshua 3:16. From a root "fragrance," or "the moon" (yareach ), being the seat of Canaanite moon worship, or "broad" from its being in a plain bounded by the Jordan. Jericho is to the W. , opposite where Israel crossed the Jordan under Joshua, at six miles' distance. It had its king. Walls enclosed it, and its gate was regularly shut, according to eastern custom, when it was dark. Its spoil included silver, gold, vessels of iron and brass (Joshua 6:19), cast in the same plain of Jordan where Solomon had his foundry (1 Chronicles 4:17). The "Babylonian garment" (Joshua 7:21) betokens its commerce with the East. Joshua's two spies lodged in Rahab's house upon the wall; and she in reward for their safety received her own preservation, and that of all in her house, when Joshua burned the city with fire, and slew man and beast, as all had been put under the ban. The metals were taken to the treasury of the sanctuary (Joshua 6:17-19; Joshua 6:21-25). ... Other towns had their inhabitants only slain, as under the divine ban (Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 20:16-17; Deuteronomy 2:34-35), while the cattle and booty fell to the conquerors. Jericho's men, cattle, and booty were all put under the ban, as being the first town of Canaan which the Lord had given them. They were to offer it as the firstfruits, a sign that they received the whole land as a fief from His hand. The plain was famed for palms and balsams, whence Jericho is called "the city of palms" (Deuteronomy 34:3; Judges 1:16; Judges 3:13; 2 Chronicles 28:15). The town stood, according to some, N. of the poor village Riha, by the wady Kelt. However, modern research places it a quarter of a mile from the mountain Quarantana (the traditional scene of Christ's temptation), at the fountain of Elisha. This accords with Joshua 16:1, "the water of Jericho," and Josephus mentions the fount and the mountain near (B. J. , 4:8, section 2-3). Traces of buildings occur S. of the fountain. Its site was given to Benjamin (Joshua 18:21). ... It is mentioned in David's time as a town (2 Samuel 10:5). Joshua's curse therefore was not aimed against rebuilding the town, which the Benjamites did, but against its miraculously overthrown walls being restored, against its being made again a fortress. See HIEL in Ahab's ungodly reign incurred the curse (1 Kings 16:34). Elisha "healed the waters" of the fountain, called also Ain es Sultan (2 Kings 2:18-22), half an hour N. W. of Riha, in the rainy season forming a brook, which flows through the wady Kelt into the Jordan. Here myrobalanum, acacias, figtrees, etc. , stand where once grew Jericho's famous palms. In its plains Zedekiah was overtaken by the Chalaeans (2 Kings 25:5; Jeremiah 39:5). Robbers still infest the road from Jerusalem down (a steep descent) to Jericho, as when Jesus spoke the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30); Pompey undertook to destroy their strongholds not long before. Moreover, some of the courses of priests lived at Jericho, which harmonizes with the mention of the priest and Levite returning that way from Jerusalem. ... From mount Pisgah, the peak near the town Nebo, on its western slope (Deuteronomy 34:1), Moses looked "over against Jericho. " Jericho strategically was the key of the land, being situated at the entrance of two passes through the hills, one leading to Jerusalem the other to Ai and Bethel. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days" (whereas sieges often last for years) (Hebrews 11:30). Trumpets, though one were to sound for ten thousand years, cannot throw down walls; but faith can do all things (Chrysostom). Six successive days the armed host marched round the city, the priests bearing the ark, as symbol of His presence, in the middle between the armed men in front and the rereward or rearguard, and seven priests sounding seven ramshorn (rather Jubilee) trumpets, the sign of judgment by "the breath of His mouth"; compare the seven trumpets that usher in judgments in Revelation, especially Revelation 11:13; Revelation 11:15. ... On the seventh day they compassed Jericho seven times, and at the seventh time the priests blew one long blast, the people shouted, and the wall fell flat. Even though volcanic agency, of which traces are visible in the Jordan valley, may have been employed, the fall was no less miraculous; it would prove that the God of revelation employs His own natural means in the spiritual world, by supernatural will ordering the exact time and direction of those natural agencies to subserve His purposes of grace to His people, and foreannouncing to them the fact, and connecting it with their obedience to His directions: so in the Egyptian plagues. The miracle wrought independently of all conflict on their part at the outset marked that the occupation of the whole Holy Land was to be by His gift, and that it was a, fief held under God at His pleasure. Under Elisha a school of prophets resided at Jericho. ... (2 Kings 2:5; 2 Kings 4:1; 2 Kings 6:1-2; 2 Kings 5:24, for "tower" translated "the hill" before the city: Keil). Of "children of Jericho" 345 returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:34). They helped to rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 3:2; Nehemiah 7:36). Archelaus in our Lord's days had irrigated the plain and planted it with palms. Herod the Great had previously founded a new town (Phasaelis) higher up the plain. The distinction between the new and the old towns may solve the seeming discrepancy between Matthew (Matthew 20:30), who makes the miracle on the blind to be when Jesus was leaving Jericho, and Luke, who says it was when Jesus was come nigh unto Jericho (Luke 18:35). ... The Lord Himself, in whose genealogy Rahab the harlot is found, here was guest of Zacchaeus the publican, a lucrative office in so rich a city as the Roman Jericho was. The tree that Zacchaeus climbed was the fig mulberry or tree fig. The Lord's visit to Bethany appropriately follows His parable of the good Samaritan who relieved the man robbed between Jerusalem and Jericho, for Jesus was then traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem, and Bethany was only a little way short of Jerusalem (Luke 10:25; Luke 10:38; John 11:1). James and John's proposal to call fire down upon the Samaritans who would not receive Him in an earlier stage of the journey suggested probably His choosing a Samaritan to represent the benefactor in the parable, a tacit rebuke to their un-Christlike spirit (Luke 9:51-56). ...
Jacob - (See ESAU; ISAAC. ) ("supplanter", or "holding the heel". ) Esau's twin brother, but second in point of priority. Son of Isaac, then 60 years old, and Rebekah. As Jacob "took his brother by the heel (the action of a wrestler) in the womb" (Hosea 12:3), so the spiritual Israel, every believer, having no right in himself to the inheritance, by faith when being born again of the Spirit takes hold of the bruised heel, the humanity, of Christ crucified, "the Firstborn of many brethren. " He by becoming a curse for us became a blessing to the true Israel; contrast Hebrews 12:16-17. Jacob was a "plain," i. e. an upright man, steady and domestic, affectionate, so his mother's favorite: Genesis 25:24, etc. , "dwelling in tents," i. e. staying at home, minding the flocks and household duties; not, like Esau, wandering abroad in keen quest of game, "a man of the field," wild, restless, self indulgent, and seldom at home in the tent. ... Having bought the birthright from Esau, he afterward, at Rebekah's instigation, stole the blessing which his father intended for Esau, but which God had appointed to him even when the two sons were yet unborn; "the elder shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23; Genesis 27:29; Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:12). His seeking a right end by wrong means (Genesis 27) entailed a life-long retribution in kind. Instead of occupying the first place of honour in the family he had to flee for his life; instead of a double portion, he fled with only the staff in his hand. It was now, when his schemes utterly failed, God's grace began to work in him and for him, amidst his heavy outward crosses. If he had waited in faith God's time, and God's way, of giving the blessing promised by God, and not unlawfully with carnal policy foiled Isaac's intention, God would have defeated his father's foolish purpose and Jacob would have escaped his well deserved chastisement. ... The fear of man, precautions cunning, habitual timidity as to danger, characterize him, as we might have expected in one quiet and shrewd to begin with, then schooled in a life exposed to danger from Esau, to grasping selfishness from Laban, and to undutifulness from most of his sons (Genesis 31:15; Genesis 31:42; Genesis 34:5; Genesis 34:30; Genesis 43:6; Genesis 43:11-12). Jacob's grand superiority lay in his abiding trust in the living God. Faith made him "covet earnestly the best gift," though his mode of getting it (first by purchase from the reckless, profane Esau, at the cost of red pottage, taking ungenerous advantage of his brother's hunger; next by deceit) was most unworthy. ... When sent forth by his parents to escape Esau, and to get a wife in Padan Aram, he for the first time is presented before us as enjoying God's manifestations at Bethel in his vision of the ladder set up on earth, and the top reaching heaven, with "Jehovah standing above, and the angels of God ascending and descending (not descending and ascending, for the earth is presupposed as already the scene of their activity) on it," typifying God's providence and grace arranging all things for His people's good through the ministry of "angels" (Genesis 28; Hebrews 1:14). When his conscience made him feel his flight was the just penalty of his deceit God comforts him by promises of His grace. ... Still more typifying Messiah, through whom heaven is opened and also joined to earth, and angels minister with ceaseless activity to Him first, then to His people (John 14:6; Revelation 4:1; Acts 7:56; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:19-20). Jacob the man of guile saw Him at the top of the ladder; Nathanael, an Israelite without guile, saw Him at the bottom in His humiliation, which was the necessary first step upward to glory. John 1:51; "hereafter," Greek "from now," the process was then beginning which shall eventuate in the restoration of the union between heaven and earth, with greater glory than before (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 21:1 - 22:21). Then followed God's promise of (1) the land and (2) of universal blessing to all families of the earth "in his seed," i. e. Christ; meanwhile he should have... (1) God's presence,... (2) protection in all places,... (3) restoration to home,... (4) unfailing faithfulness (Genesis 28:15; compare Genesis 28:20-21). ... Recognizing God's manifestation as sanctifying the spot, he made his stony pillow into a pillar, consecrated with oil (See Bethel), and taking up God's word he vowed that as surely as God would fulfill His promises (he asked no more than "bread and raiment") Jehovah should be his God, and of all that God gave he would surely give a tenth to Him; not waiting until he should be rich to do so, but while still poor; a pattern to us (compare Genesis 32:10). Next follows his seven years' service under greedy Laban, in lieu of presents to the parents (the usual mode of obtaining a wife in the East, Genesis 24:53, which Jacob was unable to give), and the imposition of Leah upon him instead of Rachel; the first installment of his retributive chastisement in kind for his own deceit. Kennicott suggested that Jacob served 14 years for his wives, then during 20 years he took care of Laban's cattle as a friend, then during six years he served for wages (Genesis 31:38; Genesis 31:41). ... "One (zeh ) 20 years I was with thee (tending thy flocks, but not in thy house); another (zeh ) 20 years I was for myself in thy house, serving thee 14 years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle. " The ordinary view that he was only 20 years old in Padan Aram would make him 77 years old in going there; and as Joseph, the second youngest, was born at the end of the first 14 years, the 11 children born before Benjamin would be all born within six or seven years, Leah's six, Rachel's one, Bilhah's two, and Zilpah's two. It is not certain that Dinah was born at this time. Zebulun may have been borne by Leah later than Joseph, it not being certain that the births all followed in the order of their enumeration, which is that of the mothers, not that of the births. Rachel gave her maid to Jacob not necessarily after the birth of Leah's fourth son; so Bilhah may have borne Dan and Naphtali before Judah's birth. ... Leah then, not being likely to have another son, probably gave Zilpah to Jacob, and Asher and Naphtali were born; in the beginning of the last of the seven years probably Leah bore Issachar, and at its end Zebulun. But in the view of Kennicott and Speaker's Commentary Jacob went to Laban at 57; in the first 14 years had sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah by Leah; Dan and Naphtali by Bilhah; in the 20 years (Genesis 35:38) next had Gad and Asher by Zilpah, Issachar and Zebulun by Leah, lastly Dinah by Leah and Joseph by Rachel; then six years' service for cattle, then flees from Padan Aram where he had been 40 years, at 97. In Jacob's 98th year Benjamin is born and Rachel dies. Joseph at 17 goes to Egypt, at 30 is governor. At 130 Jacob goes to Egypt (Genesis 46:1); dies at 147 (Genesis 47:28). ... The assigning of 40, instead of 20, years to his sojourn with Laban allows time for Er and Onan to be grown up when married; their strong passions leading them to marry, even so, at an early age for that time. The common chronology needs some correction, since it makes Judah marry at 20, Er and Onan at 15. On Jacob desiring to leave, Laban attested God's presence with Jacob. "I have found by experience (Hebrew "by omens from serpents," the term showing Laban's paganness: Genesis 30:19; Genesis 30:32) that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. " Jacob then required as wages all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats, which usually are few, sheep in the East being generally white, the goats black or brown, not speckled. ... With characteristic sharpness Jacob adopted a double plan of increasing the wages agreed on. Peeling rods of (Gesenius) storax ("poplar"), almond ("hazel"), and plane tree ("chesnut") in strips, so that the dazzling white wood of these trees should appear under the dark outside, he put them in the drinking troughs; the cattle consequently brought forth spotted, speckled young, which by the agreement became Jacob's. Thus by trickery he foiled Laban's trickery in putting three days' journey between his flock tended by Jacob and Jacob's stipulated flock of spotted and speckled goats and brown put under the care of his sons. Secondly, Jacob separated the speckled young, which were his, so as to be constantly in view of Laban's one-colored flock. Moreover he adopted the trick with the rods only at the copulation of the strong sheep, namely, at the summer copulation not the autumn; for lambs conceived in spring were thought stronger. ... Laban changed the terms frequently ("ten times") when he saw Jacob's success, but in vain. Jacob accounted to his wives for his success by narrating his dream, which he had at the time the cattle conceived (Genesis 31:10). This dream was at the beginning of the six years. "God hath taken away your father's cattle and given them to me. " God's command to Jacob to return was in a dream at the close of the six years (Genesis 31:11-13; in 12 translated leaped for "leap," and were for "are". ) In the latter God states the true cause of his success; not his trickery, but "I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee": the repetition of "in a dream" twice implies two dreams. Jacob's polygamy was contrary to the original law of paradise (Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:5). Leah was imposed on him when he had designed to marry Rachel only, and the maids were given him by his wives to obtain offspring. ... The times of ignorance, when the gospel had not yet restored the original standard, tolerated evils which would be inexcusable now. Jealousies were the result of polygamy in Jacob's case, as was sure to happen. The most characteristic scene of Jacob's higher life was his wrestling until break of day (compare Luke 6:12) with the Angel of Jehovah, in human form, for a blessing. "By his strength he had power with God, yea he had power over the Angel and prevailed, he wept and made supplication unto Him" (Hosea 12:3-4). So He received the name Israel, "contender with God," a pattern to us (Matthew 11:12; Matthew 15:22; Revelation 3:21; Luke 13:24). (See ISRAEL. ) His "strength" was conscious weakness constraining him, when his thigh was put out of joint and he could put forth no effort of his own, to hang upon Him; teaching us the irresistible might of conscious weakness hanging on Almighty strength (Job 23:6; Isaiah 27:5; Isaiah 40:29-31; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). ... "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me" is a model prayer (Genesis 32:26). Tears (recorded by Hosea under an independent Spirit of revelation) and supplications were his weapons; type of Messiah (Hebrews 5:7). The vision of the two encampments of angels on either side of him prepared him for the vision of the Lord of angels. (See MAHANAIM. ) Thus he saw, "they that be with us (believers) are more than they that be with" our enemies (2 Kings 6:16-17). Wrestling first with God, we can victoriously wrestle with Satan (Ephesians 6:12). Jacob like David felt "what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalms 56:3-4; Psalms 56:11; 1 Samuel 30:6). ... His is one of the earliest prayers on record (Genesis 32:7; Genesis 32:9-12). He pleads as arguments (compare Isaiah 43:26), first God's covenant keeping character to the children of His people, "O God of my father Abraham and Isaac"; next, His word and promises (Isaiah 31:3; Isaiah 31:13), "the Lord which saidst unto me, Return . . . and I will deal well with thee"; next, his own unworthiness, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies," etc. (compare Isaiah 28:20-22); next the petition itself, "deliver me . . . from Esau," appealing to God's, known pity for the helpless, "I fear him lest he . . . smite . . . the mother with the children"; again falling back on God's own word, "Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea;" etc. The present, artfully made seem larger by putting a space between drove and drove, and each driver in turn saying, "they be thy servant Jacob's, . . . a present unto my lord Esau," was calculated by successive appeals to impress the impulsive elder brother (Matthew 5:25). ... Having left Canaan in guilt, now on his return Jacob must re-enter it with deep searchings of heart and wrestlings with God for the recovery of that sinless faith which he had forfeited by deceit and which lays hold of the covenant. Jacob is made to know he has more to fear from God's displeasure than from Esau's enmity Once that he stands right with God he need not fear Esau. There followed therefore the wrestling "alone" with Jehovah (compare Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35); his being named "Israel"; and his asking God's name, to which the only reply was, God "blessed him there. " Blessing is God's name, i. e. the character wherein He reveals Himself to His people (Exodus 34:5-7). Jacob called the place Peniel, "the face of God. " Next Jacob came to Succoth, then crossed Jordan, and near Shechem bought his only possession in Canaan, the field whereon he tented, from the children of Hamer, Shechem's father, for 100 kesita, i. e. ingots of silver of a certain weight. ... The old versions translated "lambs," an ancient standard of wealth before coinage was practiced. For "Shalem, a city of Shechem," translated with Samaritan Pentateuch, "Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem," though there is still a Salim E. of Nablus (Shechem). His settlement here in the N. instead of with his father in the S. at Beersheba may have been to avoid collision with Esau and to make an independent settlement in the promised land. It seems to have been in a time of his temporary religious declension after his escape from Esau through God's interposition. Undue intercourse with the Canaanites around ended in Dinah's fall and the cruel retribution by Simeon and Levi, which so imperiled his position among the surrounding Canaanites, and which so deeply affected him (Genesis 33:17; Genesis 33:19; Genesis 34; Genesis 49:5-6). ... It is true he erected an altar, Εl Εlohe Ιsrael , claiming God as his own "the God of Israel. " Still God saw need for calling him to a personal and domestic revival. Jacob understood it so, and called his household to put away their strange gods (namely, Rachel's stolen teraphim and the idols of Shechem, which was spoiled just before), their earrings (used as idolatrous phylacteries), and uncleanness; and then proceeded to perform what he had vowed so long ago, namely, to make the stone pillar God's house (Genesis 28:22). When thus once more he sought peace with God "the terror of God was upon the cities around" (compare Joshua 2:9). They made no attempt such as Jacob feared to avenge the slaughter of the Shechemites. Reaching Bethel once more after 40 years, where he had seen the heavenly ladder, he has a vision of God confirming his name "Israel" and the promise of nations springing from him, and of his seed inheriting the land; He therefore rears again the stone pillar to Εl Shaddai , "God Almighty," the name whereby God had appeared to Abram also when He changed his name to Abraham. ... Then followed the birth of Benjamin, which completed the tribal twelve (Genesis 35). The loss of his favorite son Joseph was his heaviest trial, his deceit to Isaac now being repaid by his sons' cruel deceit to himself. Tender affection for wife and children was his characteristic (Genesis 37:33-35; Genesis 42:36; Genesis 45:28). By special revelation at Beersheba (Genesis 46) allaying his fears of going to Egypt, which Isaac had been expressly forbidden to do (Genesis 26:2), he went down. This marks the close of the first stage in the covenant and the beginning of the second stage. Leaving Canaan as a family, Israel returned as a nation. ... In Egypt the transformation took place; the civilization, arts, and sciences of Egypt adapted it well for the divine purpose of training Israel in this second stage of their history; Jacob and his family, numbering 70, or as Stephen from Septuagint reads, 75 souls (Acts 7:14), according as Joseph's children only or his grandchildren also are counted. Jacob's sons' wives are n