Places Study on Rehoboth

Places Study on Rehoboth

Genesis 10: Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
Genesis 26: And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
Genesis 36: And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
1 Chronicles 1: And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.

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Dictionary

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Rehoboth
REHOBOTH . 1 . A well dug by the servants of Isaac and finally conceded to him, after two others, dug also by them, had become a subject of quarrel with Abimelech, king of Gerar ( Genesis 26:22 ). Several identifications have been proposed, of which the most probable is that made by Palmer with er-Ruhaibeh , about 20 miles S. of Beersheba. 2 . The name of a king of Edom in Genesis 36:37 , where he is called ‘Rehoboth of the River.’ ‘The River’ here may not be, as usually, the Euphrates, but the ‘River of Egypt’ (see Egypt [River of]).

J. F. M’Curdy.

Easton's Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth
Broad places.
A well in Gerar dug by Isaac (Genesis 26:22 ), supposed to be in Wady er-Ruheibeh, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.



An ancient city on the Euphrates (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ), "Rehoboth by the river."



Named among the cities of Asshur (Genesis 10:11 ). Probably, however, the words "rehoboth'ir" are to be translated as in the Vulgate and the margin of A.V., "the streets of the city," or rather "the public square of the city", i.e., of Nineveh.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth
(ree' hoh bahth) Place name meaning, “broad places.” 1. Rehoboth-Ir, “broad places of the city,” likely denotes an open space within Nineveh or its suburbs (Genesis 10:11 ) rather than a separate city between Nineveh and Calah. 2. Site of a well dug and retained by Isaac's men in the valley of Gerar (Genesis 26:22 ). The name affirms that God had made room for them following confrontations over rights to two previous wells. 3. Unidentified Edomite city (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ). KJV, NIV, and TEV distinguish this city as Rehoboth by the river. NAS, NRSV, and REB identify the river as the Euphrates. Edomite dominion reaching the Euphrates is improbable. Thus some suggest the Zered Brook, the principal stream in Edom, as the site of Rehoboth.



Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth (1)
("room, broad space".) Third of Isaac's wells, called so because after that the wells Esek ("contention") and Sitnah ("hatred"), which his men had dug, the Gerar herdsmen would not let him keep peaceably, now at last his good has overcome their evil, and God makes room for him. Spiritually Romans 12:18-21; Genesis 32:20; Genesis 13:7-9; Matthew 5:25; Revelation 15:2; John 14:2. In the wady er Ruhaibeh are ruins of a large city, eight hours S. of Beersheba, and an ancient well, 12 ft. in circumference, built with hewn stone, now filled up (Robinson Phys. Geog., 243; "Our Work in Palestine," 299). Its site is marked by fallen masonry, seemingly a cupola roof of well cemented brick shaped stones. At hand is Shutnet, the "Sitnah" of Scripture: Rehoboth lies 20 miles S.W. of Bir es Seba or Beersheba, with three remaining wells, two full of water, one dry.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth (2)
One of the four cities built by Nimrod when he went forth to Asshur: Rehoboth Ιr (i.e. "the streets of the city"), Calah, Resen, and Nineveh. (See NIMROD; ASSYRIA; NINEVEH.) The four were probably afterwards combined under the one name Nineveh; the words in Genesis 10:11-12, "the same is a great city," refer to the united whole, not to the single Resen.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth by the River
The Edomite king Saul's or Shaul's city (Genesis 36:37). As Edom never extended to the Euphrates' "river," probably an Assyrian invasion put Shaul from Rehoboth on the Edomite throne. There is still a Rahabeh on the right bank of the river, eight miles below the junction of the Khabour, and three miles W. of the river; four or five miles further down on the left bank is Rahbeth malik , "royal Rehoboth"; whether this be Shaul's city, or whether it be Rehoboth Ir, is uncertain (1 Chronicles 1:48).

The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Rehoboth
We read of a river of this name Genesis 36:37; where one Saul, a descendant of Esau, resided on the borders of it. If the word be taken from Rachab, it means enlargement or extent.

Hitchcock's Bible Names - Rehoboth
Spaces; places
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Rehoboth
Rehoboth (re-hô'both), wide places. 1. A city of Assyria, near Nineveh, founded by Asshur or Nimrod. Genesis 10:11; Genesis 12:2. A city on the Euphrates, Genesis 36:37, supposed to be represented by the modern Rahabah. 3. A well belonging to Isaac Genesis 26:22.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth
1. A city of ancient Assyria, site unknown, Genesis 10:11 .

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

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

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Rehoboth-ir
REHOBOTH-IR (lit. ‘broad places of the city’). One of the four cities in Assyria built by Nimrod ( Genesis 10:11 ). It immediately follows Nineveh, and might mean a suburb of that city, originally separate from it, but later annexed and containing some of its most spacious streets or market-places. A suitable identification has been found in the Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] rçbît Ninâ (‘broad places of Nineveh’), mentioned by king Esarhaddon (b.c. 681 668). This is the exact equivalent of the Biblical name. In taking it over, ‘the city’ was substituted for ‘Nineveh.’

J. F. M’Curdy.

Morrish Bible Dictionary - Rehoboth
1. City built by Asshur, or by Nimrod in Asshur. Genesis 10:11 . Usually placed near to Nineveh, but see No. 2.

2. City in the East, 'by the river,' from whence one named Saul, or Shaul, became an early king of Edom. Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 . There are two places named Rahabeh, near the Euphrates, which may be these cities. One is eight miles below the junction of the Khabur river, and the other four or five miles further south on the left bank, and called Rahabeh Melek, that is 'royal.'

3. Name of a well which Isaac dug, so called because God had 'made room' for them. Genesis 26:22 .

array(36) { [0]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(36955) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(21) "Rehoboth by the River" ["content"]=> string(502) "The Edomite king Saul's or Shaul's city (Genesis 36:37). As Edom never extended to the Euphrates' "river," probably an Assyrian invasion put Shaul from Rehoboth on the Edomite throne. There is still a Rahabeh on the right bank of the river, eight miles below the junction of the Khabour, and three miles W. of the river; four or five miles further down on the left bank is Rahbeth malik , "royal Rehoboth"; whether this be Shaul's city, or whether it be Rehoboth Ir, is uncertain (1 Chronicles 1:48). " } [1]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(31620) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(23) "Holman Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(8) "Rehoboth" ["content"]=> string(778) " (ree' hoh bahth) Place name meaning, “broad places.” 1. Rehoboth-Ir, “broad places of the city,” likely denotes an open space within Nineveh or its suburbs (Genesis 10:11 ) rather than a separate city between Nineveh and Calah. 2. Site of a well dug and retained by Isaac's men in the valley of Gerar (Genesis 26:22 ). The name affirms that God had made room for them following confrontations over rights to two previous wells. 3. Unidentified Edomite city (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ). KJV, NIV, and TEV distinguish this city as Rehoboth by the river. NAS, NRSV, and REB identify the river as the Euphrates. Edomite dominion reaching the Euphrates is improbable. Thus some suggest the Zered Brook, the principal stream in Edom, as the site of Rehoboth. " } [2]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(48619) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(33) "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(4) "Esek" ["content"]=> string(125) " ESEK (‘contention,’ Genesis 26:20 ). A well dug by Isaac in the region near Rehoboth and Gerar. The site is unknown. " } [3]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(36276) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(4) "Room" ["content"]=> string(148) "In Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 14:7-8; Luke 20:46, not in our sense, but "place at table". Expressed in Luke 11:43 "uppermost". (See REHOBOTH.) " } [4]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(12886) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(33) "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(8) "Rehoboth" ["content"]=> string(579) " REHOBOTH . 1 . A well dug by the servants of Isaac and finally conceded to him, after two others, dug also by them, had become a subject of quarrel with Abimelech, king of Gerar ( Genesis 26:22 ). Several identifications have been proposed, of which the most probable is that made by Palmer with er-Ruhaibeh , about 20 miles S. of Beersheba. 2 . The name of a king of Edom in Genesis 36:37 , where he is called ‘Rehoboth of the River.’ ‘The River’ here may not be, as usually, the Euphrates, but the ‘River of Egypt’ (see Egypt [River of]). J. F. M’Curdy. " } [5]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(148542) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(32) "People's Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(8) "Rehoboth" ["content"]=> string(279) " Rehoboth (re-hô'both), wide places. 1. A city of Assyria, near Nineveh, founded by Asshur or Nimrod. Genesis 10:11; Genesis 12:2. A city on the Euphrates, Genesis 36:37, supposed to be represented by the modern Rahabah. 3. A well belonging to Isaac Genesis 26:22. " } [6]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(9445) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(23) "Holman Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Shaul" ["content"]=> string(297) " (sshay' uhl) Personal name meaning, “asked of.” 1. Transliteration of Hebrew name of King Saul. 2. Grandson of Jacob and son of Simeon with a Canaanite mother (Genesis 46:10 ). 3 . Early king of Edom from Rehoboth (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ). 4 . Levite (1 Chronicles 6:24 ). " } [7]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(30765) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(32) "People's Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(6) "Nimrod" ["content"]=> string(391) " Nimrod (nĭm'rŏd), rebellion; or the valiant, A son of Gush and grandson of Ham. Genesis 10:8 ff. He established an empire in Shinar, the classical Babylonia, the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh: and extended this empire northward along the course of the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen. " } [8]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(100618) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Shaul" ["content"]=> string(328) "1. Genesis 46:10; Exodus 6:15; Numbers 26:13; 1 Chronicles 4:24. Jewish tradition identifies Shaul with Zimri, "who did the work of the Canaanites in Shittim" (Targum Pseudo Jon., Genesis 46). 2. Shaul of Rehoboth by the river was one of the kings of Edom (1 Chronicles 1:48-49); SAUL in Genesis 36:37. 3. 1 Chronicles 6:24. " } [9]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(36546) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(12) "Rehoboth (2)" ["content"]=> string(359) "One of the four cities built by Nimrod when he went forth to Asshur: Rehoboth Ιr (i.e. "the streets of the city"), Calah, Resen, and Nineveh. (See NIMROD; ASSYRIA; NINEVEH.) The four were probably afterwards combined under the one name Nineveh; the words in Genesis 10:11-12, "the same is a great city," refer to the united whole, not to the single Resen. " } [10]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(8508) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(23) "Holman Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Calah" ["content"]=> string(413) " (cay' lah) Assyrian place name. City Nimrod built along with Nineveh and Rehoboth (Genesis 10:8-12 ). It is modern tell Nimrud on the east bank of Tigris River where it joins Upper Zab River twenty miles south of Nineveh. Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) made it the capital of Assyria. Major Assyrian archaeological discoveries including the six-acre palace of Ashurnasirpal have been dug up. See Assyria. " } [11]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(137755) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(42) "Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Ashur" ["content"]=> string(420) " the son of Shem, who gave his name to Assyria. It is believed that Ashur originally dwelt in the land of Shiner and about Babylonia, but that he was compelled by the usurper Nimrod to depart from thence, and settle higher toward the springs of the Tigris, in the province of Assyria, so called from him, where some think he built the famous city of Nineveh, and those of Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, Genesis 10:11-12 . " } [12]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(157729) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(24) "Smith's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(7) "Nim'Rod" ["content"]=> string(472) " (rebellion; or the valiant ), a son of Cush and grandson of Ham. The events of his life are recorded in ( Genesis 10:8 ) ff., from which we learn (1) that he was a Cushite; (2) that he established an empire in Shinar (the classical Babylonia) the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh; and (3) that he extended this empire northward along the course of the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah and Resen. " } [13]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(21828) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(25) "Easton's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(8) "Rehoboth" ["content"]=> string(490) "Broad places. A well in Gerar dug by Isaac (Genesis 26:22 ), supposed to be in Wady er-Ruheibeh, about 20 miles south of Beersheba. An ancient city on the Euphrates (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ), "Rehoboth by the river." Named among the cities of Asshur (Genesis 10:11 ). Probably, however, the words "rehoboth'ir" are to be translated as in the Vulgate and the margin of A.V., "the streets of the city," or rather "the public square of the city", i.e., of Nineveh. " } [14]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(10670) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(28) "1910 New Catholic Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(33) "Keetmanshoop, Namibia, Diocese of" ["content"]=> string(590) " Bounded north by the northern limits of the civildistricts of Luderizbucht, Gibeon, and Rehoboth, west by the Atlantic Ocean, south by the Orange River, and east by the political boundary of Southwest Africa. Established, July 7, 1909; entrusted to the Oblate Fathers of Saint Francis de Sales. Elevated to the Vicariate Apostolic of Great Namaqualand on July 14, 1930. Name changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of Keetmanshoop on January 13, 1949. Elevated to the diocese of Keetmanshoop, Namibia on March 14, 1994. See also: Catholic-Hiearchy.Org Roman Catholic Church Namibia " } [15]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(153763) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(33) "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(11) "Rehoboth-ir" ["content"]=> string(618) " REHOBOTH-IR (lit. ‘broad places of the city’). One of the four cities in Assyria built by Nimrod ( Genesis 10:11 ). It immediately follows Nineveh, and might mean a suburb of that city, originally separate from it, but later annexed and containing some of its most spacious streets or market-places. A suitable identification has been found in the Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] rçbît Ninâ (‘broad places of Nineveh’), mentioned by king Esarhaddon (b.c. 681 668). This is the exact equivalent of the Biblical name. In taking it over, ‘the city’ was substituted for ‘Nineveh.’ J. F. M’Curdy. " } [16]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(158231) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(24) "Smith's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(9) "Reho'Both" ["content"]=> string(573) " (wide places , i.e. streets ). The third of the series of wells dug by Isaac, (Genesis 26:22 ) in the Philistines' territory, lately identified as er-Ruheibeh , 16 miles south of Beersheba. One of the four cities built by Asshur, or by Nimrod in Asshur, according as this difficult passage is translated. (Genesis 10:11 ) Nothing certain is known of its position. The city of a certain Saul or Shaul, one of the early kings of the Edomites. (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ) The affix "by the river" fixes the situation of Rehoboth as on the Euphrates. " } [17]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(99958) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(25) "Easton's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Calah" ["content"]=> string(714) " One of the most ancient cities of Assyria. "Out of that land he [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen" (Genesis 10:11 , RSV). Its site is now marked probably by the Nimrud ruins on the left bank of the Tigris. These cover an area of about 1,000 acres, and are second only in size and importance to the mass of ruins opposite Mosul. This city was at one time the capital of the empire, and was the residence of Sardanapalus and his successors down to the time of Sargon, who built a new capital, the modern Khorsabad. It has been conjectured that these four cities mentioned in Genesis 10:11 were afterwards all united into one and called Nineveh (q.v.). " } [18]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(13010) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(33) "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(5) "Resen" ["content"]=> string(872) " RESEN . The last of the four cities built by Asshur, or, according to the RV [Note: Revised Version.] , by Nimrod, and described as lying between Nineveh and Calah ( i.e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud), on the E. bank of the Tigris ( Genesis 10:12 ). From its position the site referred to should be at or near the present Selamîyeh , which lies between the two points named. Resen seemingly represents the Assyrian place-name Rçsh-çni , ‘fountain-head,’ but is probably not to be confused with the Rçsh-çni mentioned by Sennacherib in the Bavian inscription, which is regarded as being the modern Räs el-‘Ain a little N. of Khorsabad. That the words ‘the same is a great city’ should refer to Resen alone seems unlikely more probably Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, and Calah are included, the two latter forming, with Resen, suburbs of the first. T. G. Pinches. " } [19]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(159382) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(24) "Smith's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(6) "Cities" ["content"]=> string(876) " The earliest notice in Scripture of city-building is of Enoch by Cain, in the land of his exile. (Genesis 4:17 ) After the confusion of tongues the descendants of Nimrod founded Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, and Asshur, a branch from the same stock, built Nineveh, Rehoboth-by-the-river, Calah and Resen, the last being "a great city." The earliest description of a city, properly so called, is that of Sodom, (Genesis 19:1-22 ) Even before the time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt, (Genesis 12:14,15 ; Numbers 13:22 ) and the Israelites, during their sojourn there, were employed in building or fortifying the "treasure cities" of Pithom and Raamses. (Exodus 1:11 ) Fenced cities , fortified with high walls, (3:5) were occupied and perhaps partly rebuilt after the conquest, by the settled inhabitants of Syria on both sides of the Jordan. " } [20]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(21186) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Calah" ["content"]=> string(865) "A most ancient Assyrian city founded by Asshur (Genesis 10:11), or rather by Nimrod; for the right translation is, "out of that city (namely, Babel in Shinar) he (Nimrod) went forth to Asshur (Assyria E. of the Tigris) and builded Nineveh and Rehoboth-ir (i.e. city markets), and Calah and Rosen, ... the same is a great city." The four formed one "great" composite city, to which Nineveh, the name of one of the four in the restricted sense, was given; answering now to the ruins E. of the Tigris, Nebi Yunus, Koyunjik, Khorsabad, Nimrud. If Calah answer to Nimrud it was between 900 and 700 B.C. capital of the empire. The war-like Sardanapalus I and his successors resided here, down to Sargon, who built a new city and called it from his own name (now Khorsabad). Esarhaddon built there a grand palace. The district Calachene afterwards took its name from it. " } [21]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(35304) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(12) "Rehoboth (1)" ["content"]=> string(864) "("room, broad space".) Third of Isaac's wells, called so because after that the wells Esek ("contention") and Sitnah ("hatred"), which his men had dug, the Gerar herdsmen would not let him keep peaceably, now at last his good has overcome their evil, and God makes room for him. Spiritually Romans 12:18-21; Genesis 32:20; Genesis 13:7-9; Matthew 5:25; Revelation 15:2; John 14:2. In the wady er Ruhaibeh are ruins of a large city, eight hours S. of Beersheba, and an ancient well, 12 ft. in circumference, built with hewn stone, now filled up (Robinson Phys. Geog., 243; "Our Work in Palestine," 299). Its site is marked by fallen masonry, seemingly a cupola roof of well cemented brick shaped stones. At hand is Shutnet, the "Sitnah" of Scripture: Rehoboth lies 20 miles S.W. of Bir es Seba or Beersheba, with three remaining wells, two full of water, one dry. " } [22]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(148365) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(32) "People's Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(6) "Cities" ["content"]=> string(989) " Cities. The distinction of villages from towns, and of towns from cities is not very clearly marked in Scripture. The earliest notice of city building is of Enoch by Cain, in the land of his exile. Genesis 4:17. After the confusion of tongues the descendants of Nimrod founded Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, and Asshur, a branch from the same stock, built Nineveh, Rehoboth-by-the-river, Calah and Resen, the last being "a great city." The earliest description of a city, properly so called, is that of Sodom. Genesis 19:1-22. Even before the time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt, Genesis 12:14-15; Numbers 13:22, and the Israelites, during their sojourn there, were employed in building or fortifying the "treasure cities" of Pithom and Raamses. Exodus 1:11. Fenced cities, fortified with high walls, Deuteronomy 3:5, were occupied and perhaps partly rebuilt after the conquest, by the settled inhabitants of Syria on both sides of the Jordan. " } [23]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(33422) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(33) "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(7) "Nineveh" ["content"]=> string(1537) " NINEVEH (Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] Ninâ, Ninûa ) is said in Genesis 10:11 to have been founded by Nimrod in Assyria. Nineveh was included in the dominions of Hammurabi, who restored the temple of Ishtar there. It was early an important city, and is frequently referred to in the royal inscriptions, but Sennacherib first raised it to the position of capital of Assyria. It lay on the E. of the Tigris, opposite the modern Mosul. Its chief remains are buried beneath the mounds of Kouyunjik and Nebi Yunus, but the outline of the old walls can be traced. They enclosed some 1,800 acres, with a circumference of about 8 miles. The mound of Kouyunjik is separated from the mound of Nebi Yunus by the Khoser, and overlies the palaces of Sennacherib to the S., and Ashurbanipal to the N. The southern mound, Nebi Yunus, covers palaces of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon. The Nineveh of Sennacherib’s day lay largely outside this area, and included the Rebit Ninûa , or Rehoboth-ir, which extended as far as Khorsa bad, where Sargon built a great city, Dûr-Sargon. The traditions of its great size may be due to a reminiscence of this outer girdle of inhabited country. The fall of Nineveh (b.c. 606) is referred to by Nahum and Zephaniah ( Nahum 2:13 ). 2 Kings 19:36 and Isaiah 37:37 know it as the city of Sennacherib. For Jonah’s mission, see Jonah. Later, Tobit ( Tob 1:10 ; Tob 1:17 etc.) and Judith ( Jdt 1:1 ) refer to it, and the Ninevites are named in Matthew 12:41 , Luke 11:30 ; Luke 11:32 . C. H. W. Johns. " } [24]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(36032) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(4) "City" ["content"]=> string(2008) "Cain first founded one (Genesis 4:16-17). The material civilization of the Cainite race was superior to that of the Sethite. To the former belonged many inventions of useful arts and luxury (Genesis 4:20-22). Real refinement and moral civilization are by no means necessary concomitants of material civilization; in these the Sethites took the lead (Genesis 4:25-26). The distinction between tent or nomadic and town life early began. The root meaning of the Hebrew terms for "city," 'ar or 'ir (from 'ur "to keep watch"), and kirat (from qarah "to approach as an enemy," Genesis 23:2) implies that a leading object of gathering into towns was security against marauders. So, "the tower of Edar," i.e. flocks (Genesis 35:21). Of course, the first "cities" would be mere groups of rude dwellings, fenced round together. Sir H. Rawlinson supposes Rehoboth, Calah, etc., in Genesis 10:11, denote only sites of buildings afterward erected. The later dates assigned to the building of Nineveh, Babylon, etc., refer to their being rebuilt on a larger scale on the sites of the primitive towns. Unwalled towns are the symbol of peace and security (Zechariah 2:4). Special cities furnished supplies for the king's service (1 Kings 9:19; 1 Kings 4:7; 1 Chronicles 27:25; 2 Chronicles 17:12). So, our Lord represents the different servants having the number of cities assigned them in proportion to their faithfulness (Luke 19:17; Luke 19:19). Forty-eight cities were assigned to the Levites, of which 13 were for the family of Aaron, nine were in Judah, four were in Benjamin, and six were cities of refuge. The streets of eastern cities are generally narrow, seldom allowing more than two loaded camels to pass one another. But Nineveh's admitted of chariots passing, and had large parks and gardens within (Nahum 2:4). Those of one trade generally lived on the same street (Jeremiah 37:21). The GATES are the usual place of assembly, and there courts of judges and kings are held (Genesis 23:10; Ruth 4:1). " } [25]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(35393) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(4) "Well" ["content"]=> string(2420) "(See FOUNTAIN.) As 'Αyin , "fount," literally, "eye", refers to the water springing up to us, so beer , "well," from a root "to bore," refers to our finding our way down to it. The Bir- and the En- are always distinct. The rarity of wells in the Sinaitic region explains the national rejoicings over Beer or the well, afterward Beer-Elim, "well of heroes" (Numbers 21:16-17-18,22). God commanded Moses to cause the well to be dug; princes, nobles, and people, all heartily, believingly, and joyfully cooperated in the work. Naming a well marked right of property in it. To destroy it denoted conquest or denial of right of property (Genesis 21:30-31; Genesis 26:15-33; 2 Kings 3:19; Deuteronomy 6:11; Numbers 20:17; Numbers 20:19; Proverbs 5:15). "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well," i.e. enjoy the love of thine own wife alone. Wells and cisterns are the two sources of oriental supply, each house had its own cistern (2 Kings 18:31); to thirst for filthy waters is suicidal. Song of Solomon 4:12; in Palestine wells are excavated in the limestone, with steps descending to them (Genesis 24:16). A low stone wall for protection (Exodus 21:33) surrounds the brim; on it sat our Lord in conversing with the Samaritan woman (John 4:6; John 4:11). A stone cover was above; this the woman placed on the well at Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:19), translated "the woman spread the covering over the well's mouth." A rope and bucket or water skin raised the water; the marks of the rope are still visible in the furrows worn in the low wall. See Numbers 24:7, "he shall stream with water out of his two buckets," namely, suspended from the two ends of a pole, the usual way of fetching water from the Euphrates in Balaam's neighbourhood. Wells are often contended for and are places of Bedouin attacks on those drawing water (Exodus 2:16-17; Judges 5:11; 2 Samuel 23:15-16). Οboth (Numbers 21:10-11) means holes dug in the ground for water. Beerlahairoi is the first well mentioned (Genesis 16:14). Beersheba, Rehoboth, and Jacob's well are leading instances of wells (Genesis 21:19; Genesis 26:22). They are sunk much deeper than ours, to prevent drying up. Jacob's well is 75 ft. deep, seven feet six inches in diameter, and lined with rough masonry; a pitcher unbroken at the bottom evidenced that there was water at some seasons, otherwise the fall would have broken the pitcher. " } [26]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(77731) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Sinai" ["content"]=> string(3161) "(See EXODUS.) The peninsula of Sinai is a triangular tract, bounded on the W. by the gulf of Suez, on the E. by the gulf of Akabah, and on the N. by a line drawn from Gaza through Beersheba to the S. of the Dead Sea. There are three divisions: (1) the southernmost, the neighbourhood of Sinai; (2) the desert of et Tih, the scene of Israel's wanderings; (3) the Νegeb , or "south country", the dwelling of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Near 'Αin Ηudherah ("Hazeroth") Mr. Palmer (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January, 1871) discovered Erweis el Ebeirig, which he believed to be the remains of an Israelite camp. The tombs outside he identified as the Κibroth Ηattaavah , "graves of lust" (Numbers 11:31); the extensive remains betoken a large assemblage of people. Farther on the stone huts scattered over the hills and country, Arabic Νawamis ("mosquitos"), were probably Amalekite dwellings. Proceeding N. the explorers reached 'Ain Gadis or Kadesh, with a wady of the same name running from it beside a large plain. 'Ain Gadis is on the frontier of the Negeb or south country, which is now waste through neglect of the water supply, but bears traces of former cultivation arid ruins of many cities. Eshcol, where the spies went, lay not far off from Kadesh in the vine abounding district on the way to Hebron; the hill sides are covered with small stone heaps, on which the vines were trained. To the north stand el Μeshrifeh or Ζephath "the watchtower," and Sbaita, all built of stone, without timber, "the city of the Zephath," afterward called Hormah (Judges 1:17). The route lies then through the Amorite hills to Ruhaibeh, with the remains of an old well, the troughs being of great size and antiquity, the Rehoboth well of Isaac; near it Shutnet, or Sitnah. Then Beersheba with three wells, one dry, the other two full of water. Sinai stands in the center of the peninsula which lies between the two horns of the Red Sea. It is a wedge shaped mass of granite and porphyry platonic rocks, rising almost 9,000 ft. above the sea. On the S.W. lies a wide alluvial plain, coasting the gulf of Suez; on the E. side, coasting the Akabah gulf, the plain is narrow. There are three chief masses: (1) The N.W. cluster, including five-peaked Serbal, 6,342 ft. above the sea. (2) The E. and central mass, jebel Katherin its highest point, 8,063 ft. above the sea; jebel Musa, at the south end, about 7,000 ft. (3) The S.E. close to (2), Um Shaumer its highest point. Ras Sufsafeh, the northern end of (2), with the vast plain er Rahab ("the wilderness of Sinai") for Israel below, is the Mount Sinai of the law. Horeb is the N. part of the Sinaitic range. At the foot of Ras Sufsafeh are alluvial mounds, which exactly correspond to the "bounds" set to restrain the people. In the long retiring sweep of er Rahab the people could "remove and stand afar off," for it extends into the side valleys. Moses, coming through one of the oblique gullies at the side of Res Sufsafeh on the N. and S., might not see the camp, though hearing the noise, until he emerged from the wady ed Deir or the wady Leja on the plain (Exodus 32:15-19). " } [27]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(77655) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(9) "Abimelech" ["content"]=> string(4106) "("father of a king", or "father king".) A common title of many Philistine kings, as Pharaoh of the Egyptians, and Caesar and Augustus of the Roman: Padishah (father king) is similarly a title of the Persian king. 1. Hence, we find Achish called Abimelech in the title of Psalm 34, which explains the seeming discrepancy of name in 1 Samuel 21:11. 2. Genesis 20:1, 1898 B.C.; Hales, 2054 B.C.: the king of Gerar. Abimelech's taking Sarah into his harem shows that in those times kings claimed the odious despotic right of taking unmarried females, whether subjects or sojourners; compare Genesis 12:15; Esther 2:3. A divine warning that death would be the penalty of keeping her, but that Abraham's intercession as a prophet would follow the restoring of her, led him to give her back with a present of a thousand pieces of silver (131 British pounds). With delicate sarcasm (in the English KJV) he reproved Abraham's deception. Rather, as Keil and Delitzsch, instead of "he," translate "this is to thee a covering of the eyes (i.e. an expiatory gift) with regard to all that are with thee" (because in a mistress the whole family is disgraced), "so thou art justified." The closing of the wombs of Abimelech's house then ceased. Abimelech some years after repaired, with Phichol his chief captain, to Abraham to form a treaty of friendship. He restored the well dug by Abraham, but seized by Abimelech's herdsmen. It was thence named Beersheba, the well of the oath, and consecrated to Jehovah (Genesis 21:22-34). 3. A son of the former, with whom a similar transaction took place in the case of Isaac's wife Rebekah. The wells dug by Abraham, being supposed to give a proprietary right in the soil, were stopped by the Philistines, and opened again by Isaac, and the virgin soil yielded to his culture one hundred fold. Jealousy made Abimelech beg him "go from us, for thou art much mightier than we." In the true spirit of "the meek" who "shall inherit the earth," he successively abandoned his wells, Esek (contention) and Sitnah (hatred), before the opposition of the Gerarite herdsmen, and found peace at last at the well Rehoboth (room), where the Lord made room for him. So by loving concession shall we find peace and room at last (Romans 12:18-21; John 14:2; Psalms 31:8; Psalms 118:5). At Beersheba Abimelech with Ahuzzath his friend, and Phichol his captain, renewed the treaty of friendship with Isaac, originally made by his father with Abraham, and for the same reason (notwithstanding his past bad treatment of Isaac in sending him away), namely, he saw the Lord was with Isaac. Compare Genesis 26:23 with Genesis 21:22-23. Plainly the Philistines had then a more organized government than the Canaanite nations, one of which had been supplanted by these foreign settlers. 4. Son of Gideon by his Shechemite concubine (Judges 8:31). At Gideon's death he murdered his seventy brethren, excepting the youngest, Jotham, who hid himself, and by his mother's brethren influenced the Shechemites to make him king. Then Jotham addressed to the Shechemites the fable of the trees and the bramble (Judges 9), presaging a feud between Abimelech and Shechem which would mutually consume both. So it came to pass; for God makes in righteous retribution the instruments of men's sin the instrument also of their punishment at last. After three years Shethem rebelled, under Gaal. At Zebul's information Abimelech came rapidly on the rebels and slew all, and beat down their city, and sowed it with salt; he burned to death a thousand more men and women who fled for sanctuary to the hold of the idol Baalberith. Thence he marched to Thebez, nine miles eastward, and took the town; but when trying to burn the tower was struck on the head by a piece of a millstone cast down by a woman. Feeling his wound mortal, he was slain by his armorbearer, at his own request, lest it should be said a woman slew him. For the spiritual lesson read Jeremiah 2:19; Proverbs 5:22; Proverbs 1:31; Job 20:5; Matthew 26:52. The friendship that is based on sin is hollow; compare 2 Samuel 13:3-5; 2 Samuel 13:32-33. " } [28]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(36081) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(6) "Nimrod" ["content"]=> string(5242) "Cush's son or descendant, Ham's grandson (Genesis 10:8). "Nimrod began to be a mighty one in the earth," i.e. he was the first of Noah's descendants who became renowned for bold and daring deeds, the Septuagint "giant" (compare Genesis 6:4; Genesis 6:13; Isaiah 13:3). "He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah," so that it passed into a proverb or the refrain of ballads in describing hunters and warriors, "even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Jehovah." Not a mere Hebrew superlative, but as in Genesis 27:7 "bless thee before Jehovah," i.e. as in His presence, Psalms 56:13 "walk before God." Septuagint translated "against Jehovah"; so in Numbers 16:2 lipneey , "before," means opposition. The Hebrew name Nimrod means "let us rebel," given by his contemporaries to Nimrod as one who ever had in his mouth such words to stir up his band to rebellion. Nimrod subverted the existing patriarchal order of society by setting up a chieftainship based on personal valor and maintained by aggression. The chase is an image of war and a training for it. The increase of ferocious beasts after the flood and Nimrod's success in destroying them soon gathered a band to him. From being a hunter of beasts he became a hunter of men. "In defiance of Jehovah," as virtually" before Jehovah" (Proverbs 15:11) means, Nimrod, a Hamite intruded into Shem's portion, violently set up an empire of conquest, beginning with Babel, ever after the symbol of the world power in its hostility to God. From that land he went forth to Asshur and builded Nineveh. The later Babylonians spoke Semitic, but the oldest inscriptions are Turanian or Cushite. Tradition points to Babylon's Cushite origin by making Belus son of Poseidon (the sea) and Libya (Ethiopia): Diodorus Siculus i. 28. Oannes the fish god, Babylon's civilizer, rose out of the Red Sea (Syncellus, Chronog. 28). "Cush" appears in the Babylonian names Cissia, Cuthah, Chuzistan (Susiana). Babylon's earliest alphabet in oldest inscriptions resembles that of Egypt and Ethiopia; common words occur, as Mirikh, the Meroe of Ethiopia, the Mars of Babylon. Though Arabic is Semitic, the Mahras' language in southern Arabia is non-Semitic, and is the modern representative of the ancient Himyaric whose empire dates as far back as 1750 B.C. The Mahras is akin to the Abyssinian Galla language, representing the Cushite or Ethiopic of old; and the primitive Babylonian Sir H. Rawlinson from inscriptions decides to resemble both. The writing too is pictorial, as in the earliest ages of Egypt. The Egyptian and Ethiopic hyk (in hyk-sos , the "shepherd kings"), a "king," in Babylonian and Susianian is khak . "Tyrhak" is common to the royal lists of Susiana and Ethiopia, as "Nimrod" is to those of Babylon and Egypt. Ra is the Cushite supreme god of Babylon as Ra is the sun god in Egypt. (See BABEL.) Nimrod was the Bel, Belus, or Baal, i.e. lord of Babel, its founder. Worshipped (as the monuments testify) as Bilu Nipra or Bel Nimrod, i.e, the god of the chase; the Talmudical Nopher, now Niffer. Josephus (Ant. 1:4) and the tortures represent him as building, in defiance of Jehovah, the Babel tower. If so (which his rebellious character makes likely) he abandoned Babel for a time after the miraculous confusion of tongues, and went and founded Nineveh. Eastern tradition pictures hint a heaven-storming giant chained by God, among the constellations, as Orion, Hebrew Κeciyl , "fool" or "wicked." Sargon in an inscription says: "350 kings of Assyria hunted the people of Bilu-Nipru"; probably meaning the Babylon of Nimrod, nipru "hunter", another form of Nebrod which is the Septuagint form of Nimrod. His going to Assyria (Genesis 10:10-11-12) accords with Micah's designating Assyria "the hind of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6). Also his name appears in the palace mound of Nimrud. The fourfold group of cities which Nimrod founded in Babylonia answer to the fourfold group in Assyria. So Κiprit Αrba , "king of the four races," is an early title of the first monarchs of Babylon; Chedorlaomer appears at the head of four peoples; "king of the four regions" occurs in Nineveh inscriptions too; after Sargon's days four cities had the pre-eminence (Rawlinson, 1:435, 438,4 47). The early seat of empire was in the southern part of Babylonia, where Niffer represents either Babel or Calneh, Warka Erech, Mugheir Ur, Senkereh Ellasar. The founder (about 2200 B.C.) or embellisher of those towns is called Kinzi Akkad, containing the name Accad of Genesis 10:1. Tradition mentions a Belus king of Nineveh, earlier than Ninus; Shamas Iva (1860 B.C.), son of Ismi Dagon king of Babylon, founded a temple at Kileh Shergat (Asshur); so that the Scripture account of Babylon originating the Assyrian cities long before the Assyrian empire of the 13th century B.C. is confirmed. (Layard, Nineveh 2:231). Sir H. Rawlinson conjectures that Nimrod denotes not an individual but the "settlers," and that Rehoboth, Calah, etc., are but sites of buildings afterward erected; but the proverb concerning Nimrod and the history imply an individual; the Birs (temple) Nimrud, the Sukr (dam across the Tigris) el Nimrud, and the mound Nimrud, all attest the universal recognition of him as the founder of the empire. " } [29]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(136884) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(42) "Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(6) "Nimrod" ["content"]=> string(5903) " He is generally supposed to have been the immediate son of Cush, and the youngest, or sixth, from the Scriptural phrase, "Cush begat Nimrod," after the mention of his five sons, Genesis 10:8 . But the phrase is used with considerable latitude, like "father" and "son," in Scripture. "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar: out of that land he went forth to invade Assyria; and built Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resin, between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city," Genesis 10:8-12 . Though the main body of the Cushites was miraculously dispersed and sent by Providence to their destinations along the sea coasts of Asia and Africa, yet Nimrod remained behind, and founded an empire in Babylonia, according to Berosus, by usurping the property of the Arphaxadites in the land of Shinar; where "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel," or Babylon, and other towns: and, not satisfied with this, he next invaded Assur, or Assyria, east of the Tigris, where he built Nineveh, and several other towns. The marginal reading of our English Bible, "He went out into Assyria," or to invade Assyria, is here adopted in preference to that in the text: "And out of that land went forth Ashur, and builded Nineveh," &c. The meaning of the word Nineveh may lead us to his original name, Nin, signifying "a son," the most celebrated of the sons of Cush. That of Nimrod, or "Rebel," was probably a parody, or nickname, given him by the oppressed Shemites, of which we have several instances in Scripture. Thus nahash, the brazen "serpent" in the wilderness, was called by Hezekiah, in contempt, nehushtan, "a piece of brass," when he broke it in pieces, because it was perverted into an object of idolatrous worship by the Jews, 2 Kings 18:4 . Nimrod, that arch rebel, who first subverted the patriarchal government, introduced also the Zabian idolatry, or worship of the heavenly host; and, after his death, was deified by his subjects, and supposed to be translated into the constellations of Orion, attended by his hounds, Sirius and Canicula, and still pursuing his favourite game, the great bear; supposed also to be translated into ursa major, near the north pole; as admirably described by Homer,— Αρκτον θ ', ην και αμαζαν επικλησιν καλεουσιν , Η τ ' αυτου στρεφεται , και τ ' ‘Ωρεωνα δοκευει . Iliad v. 485. "And the bear, surnamed also the wain, by the Egyptians, who is turning herself about there, and watching Orion." Homer also introduces the shade of Orion, as hunting in the Elysian fields,— Τον δε μετ ', ‘Ωριωνα πελωριον εισενοησα Θηρας ομου ειλευντα , κατ ' ασφοδελον λειμωνα Τους αυτος κατεπεφνεν εν οιοπολοισιν ορεσσι Χερσιν εχων ροπαλον παγχαλκεον , αιεν ααγες . Odyss. v. 571. "Next, I observed the mighty Orion Chasing wild beasts through an asphodel mead, Which himself had slain on the solitary mountains: Holding in his hands a solid brazen mace, ever unbroken." The Grecian name of this "mighty hunter" may furnish a satisfactory clue to the name given him by the impious adulation of the Babylonians and Assyrians. ‘Ωριων nearly resembles ‘Ουριαν , the oblique case of ‘Ουριας , which is the Septuagint rendering of Uriah, a proper name in Scripture, 2 Samuel 11:6-21 . But Uriah, signifying "the light of the Lord," was an appropriate appellation of that most brilliant constellation. He was also called Baal, Beel, Bel, or Belus, signifying "lord," or "master," by the Phenicians, Assyrians, and Greeks; and Bala Rama, by the Hindus. At a village called Bala-deva, or Baldeo in the vulgar dialect, thirteen miles east by south from Muttra, in Hindustan, there is a very ancient statue of Bala Rama, in which he is represented with a ploughshare in his left hand, and a thick cudgel in his right, and his shoulders covered with the skin of a tiger. Captain Wilford supposes that the ploughshare was designed to hook his enemies: but may it not more naturally denote the constellation of the great bear, which strikingly represents the figure of a plough in its seven bright stars; and was probably so denominated by the earliest astronomers, before the introduction of the Zabian idolatry, as a celestial symbol of agriculture? The thick cudgel corresponds to the brazen mace of Homer. And it is highly probable that the Assyrian Nimrod, or Hindu Bala, was also the prototype of the Grecian Hercules, with his club and lion's skin. Nimrod is said to have been "a mighty hunter before the Lord;" which the Jerusalem paraphrast interprets of a sinful hunting after the sons of men to turn them off from the true religion. But it may as well be taken in a more literal sense, for hunting of wild beasts; inasmuch as the circumstance of his being a mighty hunter is mentioned with great propriety to introduce the account of his setting up his kingdom; the exercise of hunting being looked upon in ancient times as a means of acquiring the rudiments of war; for which reason the principal heroes of Heathen antiquity, as Theseus, Nestor, &c, were, as Xenophon tells us, bred up to hunting. Beside, it may be supposed, that by this practice Nimrod drew together a great company of robust young men to attend him in his sport, and by that means increased his power. And by destroying the wild beasts, which, in the comparatively defenceless state of society in those early ages, were no doubt very dangerous enemies, he might, perhaps, render himself farther popular; thereby engaging numbers to join with him, and to promote his chief design of subduing men, and making himself master of many nations. " } [30]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(137979) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(42) "Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Wells" ["content"]=> string(6749) " When the pool, the fountain, and the river fail, the oriental shepherd is reduced to the necessity of digging wells; and, in the patriarchal age, the discovery of water was reckoned of sufficient importance to be the subject of a formal report to the master of the flock, who commonly distinguished the spot by an appropriate name. A remarkable instance of this kind is recorded by Moses in these terms: "And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours; and he called the name of the well Ezek, because they strove with him. And they digged another well; and they strove for that also, and he called the name of it Sitnah, (opposition;) and he removed from thence and digged another well: and for that they strove not; and he called the name of it Rehoboth, (room;) and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land," Genesis 26:17 , &c. "Strife," says Dr. Richardson, "between the different villagers and the different herdsmen here, exists still, as it did in the days of Abraham and Lot: the country has often changed masters; but the habits of the natives, both in this and other respects, have been nearly stationary." So important was the successful operation of sinking a well in Canaan, that the sacred historian remarks in another passage: "And it came to pass the same day, (that Isaac and Abimelech had concluded their treaty,) that Isaac's servants came and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water; and he called it Shebah, (the oath,) therefore the name of the city is Beershebah unto this day," Genesis 26:33 . To prevent the sand, which is raised from the parched surface of the ground by the winds, from filling up their wells, they were obliged to cover them with a stone. In this manner the well was covered, from which the flocks of Laban were commonly watered: and the shepherds, careful not to leave them open at any time, patiently waited till all the flocks were gathered together, before they removed the covering, and then, having drawn a sufficient quantity of water, they replaced the stone immediately. The extreme scarcity of water in these arid regions, entirely justifies such vigilant and parsimonious care in the management of this precious fluid; and accounts for the fierce contentions about the possession of a well, which so frequently happened between the shepherds of different masters. But after the question of right, or of possession, was decided, it would seem the shepherds were often detected in fraudulently watering their flocks and herds from their neighbour's well. To prevent this, they secured the cover with a lock, which continued in use so late as the days of Chardin, who frequently saw such precautions used in different parts of Asia, on account of the real scarcity of water there. According to that intelligent traveller, when the wells and cisterns were not locked up, some person was so far the proprietor that no one dared to open a well or cistern but in his presence. This was probably the reason that the shepherds of Padanaram declined the invitation of Jacob to water the flocks, before they were all assembled; either they had not the key of the lock which secured the stone, or, if they had, they durst not open it but in the presence of Rachel, to whose father the well belonged. It is ridiculous to suppose the stone was so heavy that the united strength of several Mesopotamian shepherds could not roll it from the mouth of the well, when Jacob had strength or address to remove it alone; or that, though a stranger, he ventured to break a standing rule for watering the flocks, which the natives did not dare to do, and that without opposition. The oriental shepherds were not on other occasions so passive, as the violent conduct of the men of Gerar sufficiently proves. Twice in the day they led their flocks to the wells; at noon, and when the sun was going down. To water the flocks was an operation of much labour, and occupied a considerable space of time. It was, therefore, an office of great kindness with which Jacob introduced himself to the notice of his relations, to roll back the stone which lay upon the mouth of the well, and draw water for the flocks which Rachel tended. Some of these wells are furnished with troughs and flights of steps down to the water, and other contrivances to facilitate the labour of watering the cattle. It is evident the well to which Rebekah went to draw water, near the city of Nahor, had some convenience of this kind, for it is written, "Rebekah hasted and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels," Genesis 24:20 . A trough was also placed by the well, from which the daughters of Jethro watered his flocks, Exodus 2:16 ; and, if we may judge from circumstances, was a usual contrivance in every part of the east. In modern times, Mr. Park found a trough near the well, from which the Moors watered their cattle, in the sandy deserts of Sahara. Dr. Shaw, speaking of the occupation of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, "To finish the day, at the time of the evening, even at the time that the women go out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goat skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water." "The women in Persia," says Morier, "go in troops to draw water for the place. I have seen the elder ones sitting and chatting at the well, and spinning the coarse cotton of the country, while the young girls filled the skins which contain the water, and which they all carry on their backs into the town." "A public well," says Forbes, "without the gate of Diamonds, in the city Dhuboy, was a place of great resort: there, most travellers halted for shade and refreshment: the women frequented the fountains and reservoirs morning and evening, to draw water. Many of the Gwzerat wells have steps leading down to the surface of the water; others have not, nor do I recollect any furnished with buckets and ropes for the convenience of a stranger; most travellers are therefore provided with them, and halcarras and religious pilgrims frequently carry a small brass pot affixed to a long string for this purpose." " } [31]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(21735) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Assur" ["content"]=> string(15677) "Assyria, Asshur. The region between the Armenian mountains on the N., Elam or Susiana, now the country near Bagdad, on the S., and beyond it Babylonia, the mountains of Kurdistan, the ancient Lagres chain and Media on the E., the Mesopotamian desert (between Tigris and Euphrates), or else the Euphrates, on the W.; a length of about 500 miles, a breadth of from 350 to 100. W. of the Euphrates was Arabia, higher up Syria, and the country of the Hittites. Kurdistan and the pachalik of Mosul nearly answer to Assyria. Named from Asshur, Shem's son, latterly made the Assyrian god. Its capital was Nineveh on the Tigris (a name meaning "arrow", implying "rapidity", but see Hiddekel). Genesis 10:11-12; Genesis 10:22; Genesis 2:14. All over the vast flat on both sides of the Tigris rise "grass covered heaps, marking the site of ancient habitations" (Layard). They are numbered by hundreds, and when examined exhibit traces of their Assyrian origin. They are on the left bank of the Tigris, and on the right abound both on the N. and the S. of the Sinyar (a limestone range extending from Iwan in Luristan nearly to Rakkah on the Euphrates), and eastward beyond the Khabour, northward to Mardie, and southward to near Bagdad. Huzzab (Nahum 2:7), answering to Adiabene, the richest region of all, lying on the rivers Zab or Diab, tributaries of the Tigris, whence it is named, is the only district name which occurs in Scripture. The chief cities were Nineveh, answering to the mounds opposite Mosul (Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik), Calah or Hulah, now Nimrud Asshur, now Kilek Sherghent; Sargina, now Khorsabad; Arbela, Arbil (G. Rawlinson). Others identify Kileh Sherghat on the right bank of the Tigris with the ancient Calah, Nimrud with Resen. Erech is the modern Warka; Accad, now Akkerkuf. Calneh answers to the classical Ctesiphon on the Tigris, 18 miles below Bagdad, the region round being named by the Greeks Calonitis. Rehoboth answers to ruins still so named on the right of the Euphrates, N.W. of the Shinar plain, and three and half miles S.W. of the town Mayadin (Chesney): Genesis 10:10-12. G. Smith thinks the ridges enclosing Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus were only the wall of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending much beyond this, namely, to the mound Yarenijah. Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests in that quarter; but even then a temple was founded to the goddess at Koyunjik. Samsivul, prince of the city Assur, 60 miles S. of Nineveh, rebuilt the temple; the region round Nineveh in the 19th century being under Assyria's rulers. Again Assurubalid, 1400 B.C., rebuilt, and a century later Shalmaneser, one of whose brick inscriptions G. Smith found. Classical tradition and the Assyrian monuments confirm Scripture, that Assyria was peopled from Babylon. In Herodotus Ninus the founder of Nineveh is the son of Belus, the founder of Babylon. The remains prove that Babylon's civilization was anterior to Assyria's. The cuneiform writing is rapidly punched on moist clay, and so naturally took its rise in Babylonia, where they used "brick for stone" (Genesis 11:3), and passed thence to Assyria, where chiseling characters on rock is not so easy. In Assyria too the writing is of a more advanced kind; in early Babylonia of a ruder stage. Babylon is Hamitic in origin; Assyria Shemitic. The vocabulary of Ur, or S. Babylonia, is Cushite or Ethiopian, of which the modern Galla of Abyssinia gives the best idea. At the same time traces exist in the Babylonian language of the other three great divisions of human speech, Shemitic, Aryan, and Turanian, showing in that primitive stage traces of the original unity of tongues. Rehoboth Ir (i.e. city markets), Calah, Resen, and Nineveh (in the restricted sense), formed one great composite city, Nineveh (in the larger sense): Jonah 3:3. The monuments confirm Genesis 10:9-12, that the Shemitic Assyrians proceeding out of Babylonia founded Nineveh long after the Cushite foundation of Babylon. The Babylonian shrines were those at which the Assyrians thought the gods most accessible, regarding Babylon as the true home of their gods (Arrian, Exp. Alex., 7). Moses knew Assyria (Genesis 2:14; Genesis 25:18; Numbers 24:22; Numbers 24:24), but not as a kingdom; had it been a kingdom in Abraham's time, it must have appeared among Chedorlaomer's confederates (Genesis 14). Chushan-Rishathaim (Judges 3:8), the first foreign oppressor of Israel, was master of the whole of Syria between the rivers (Aram Naharaim) or Mesopotamia, in the time of the judges, so that at that time (about 1400 B.C.) Assyria can have had no great power. According to Herodotus and the Babylonian historian Berosus, we can infer the empire began about 1228 B.C., 520 years before its decay through the revolt of subject nations, the Medes, etc.; or else 526 years from 1273 B.C. (as others suggest) to the reign of Pul. He first brought Assyria into contact with Israelite history by making Menahem his tributary vassal (2 Kings 15:19). Under Tiglath Pileser the Assyrian empire included Media, Syria, and N. Palestine, besides Assyria proper. Shalmaneser added Israel, Zidon, Acre, and Cyprus. Assyrian monuments, pillars, boundary tablets, and inscriptions are found as far as in Cyprus at Larnaka (a portrait of a king with a tablet, now in Berlin), and in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea. Their alabaster quarries furnished a material better than the Babylonian bricks for portraying scenes. Their pictures partake more of the actual than the ideal; but in the realistic school they stand high and show a progressive power unknown in stationary Egyptian art . The sculptures in Sardanapalus II.'s palace are the best, and the animal forms, the groupings, the attitudes most lifelike. The Assyrians knew the arch, the lever, the roller, gem engraving, tunneling, drainage. Their vases, bronze and ivory ornaments, bells, and earrings, show considerable taste and skill. But their religion was sensual and their government rude. No funeral ceremonies are represented. They served as God's scourge of Israel (Isaiah 10:5-6), and they prepared the way for a more centralized and better organized government, and a more spiritual religion, such as the Medo-Persians possessed. The apocryphal book of Baruch describes the Assyrian deities exactly as the ancient monuments do. Asshur, the deified patriarch, was the chief god (Genesis 10:22). Ahaz' idolatrous altar set up from a pattern at Damascus, where lie had just given his submission to Tiglath Pileser, may have been required as a token of allegiance, for the inscriptions say that wherever they established their supremacy they set up "the laws of Asshur," and "altars to the great gods." But this rule was not always enforced and in no case required the supplanting of the local worship, but merely the superaddition of the Assyrian rite. Athur, on the Tigris, five hours N.E. of Mosul, still represents the name Assyria. Syria (properly called Aram) N. of Palestine is probably a shortened form of Assyria, the name being extended by the Greeks to the country which they found subject to Assyria. Ctesias' list of Assyrian kings is evidently unhistorical. However the inscriptions of Sargon, king of Agane near Sippars (Sepharvaim), describe his conquests in Elam and Syria, and his advance to the Mediterranean coast, where he set up a monument 1600 B.C. He records that his mother placed him at his birth in an ark of rushes and set it afloat on the Euphrates; seemingly copied from the account of Moses. The oldest Assyrian remains are found at Kileh Sherghat on the right bank of the Tigris, 60 miles S. of the later capital; here therefore, at this city then called Asshur, not at Nineveh, was the early seat of government. 14 kings reigned there during 350 years, from 1273 to 930 B.C., divisible into three groups. Tiglath Pileser I. was contemporary with Samuel about the close of the 12th century B.C. Cylinders of clay, (resembling a small keg diminishing in size from the middle to the ends, more durable for records than the hardest metals.) are now in the British Museum. which had lain under the four grainer stones of the great temple of Assyria at Kileh Sherghat for 3000 years, and which relate the five successive campaigns of Tiglath Pileser I., 1130 B.C. He is the first Assyrian king of whose exploits we have full details; two duplicate cylinders in the British Museum were deciphered by Sir H. Rawlinson. Fox Talbot, Hincks, and Oppert, furnished simultaneously with lithographed copies and working independently. The agreement substantially of their readings proves the truth of the decipherment. Asshur-buni-pal (the Greek Sardanapalus) is the only monarch who keenly patronized literature. A royal library of clay tablets, numbering probably 10,000, was made by him at Nineveh, from which the British Museum has got its most precious treasures. They filled the chambers to the height of a foot or more from the floor. A religious character appears in all the Assyrian kings' names. Tiglath Pileser I. ("Be worship given to Nin" or "Hercules") claims to have conquered in the first five years of his reign "42 countries from the Lower Zab to the Upper Sea of the setting sun," the region from Assyria proper to the Euphrates, from Babylon's borders to mount Taurus, and to have fought the Hittites in northern Syria, and invaded Armenia and Cappadocia. Later on he was defeated by the Babylonian king, who carried captive several Assyrian idols. Sardanapalus I. (Asshur-izir-pal) transferred the seat of government from Kileh Sherghat (Assur) to Nimrud (Calah), where he built the gorgeous palace lately discovered. Most, of the Assyrian sculptures in the British Museum are from it; and from them we learn that Sardanapalus I. (Asshu-izir-pal) warred in Lower Babylonia and Chaldsea, as well as in Syria and upon the Mediterranean coast. Shalmaneser II., or Shalmanubar, his son, set up the black obelisk now in the British Museum to commemorate his father's victories. He himself overran Cappadocia, Armenia, Azerbijan, Media Magna, the Kurd mountains, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Phoenicia. Cuneiform scholars all agree that Benhadad and Hazael, of Damascus, are mentioned as opposed to him in his Syrian wars, and that he took tribute from Jehu of Israel. In 854 B.C. his advance into Hamath was interrupted by the leagued forces of Syria and Palestine, 85,000 in all, under Benhadad. Among them inscriptions mention 2000 chariots and 10,000 footmen of Ahab of Israel. The battle was at the Orontes. Shalmaneser claims the victory, but he was forced, to return to Nineveh. In 842 B.C., when Moab had revolted from Israel and the league of Syria and Israel was dissolved, Shalmaneser attacked Hazael, Benhadad's successor, at the mountains of Saniru (Shenir) in Lebanon, and completely defeated him. Unable to take Damascus, Shalmaneser marched to the Mediterranean coast, where he set up a pillar at the mouth of the Dog River commemorating his victories. Jehu, called in the inscription "son (i.e. successor) of Omri," gave him tribute. (G. Smith in Pal. Expl. Qy. Stat.) Jonah's mission to Ninevah was shortly before Pul's reign. Pul, Phul, or Phaloch, supposed to be his grandson, is the first Assyrian king mentioned in Scripture. Identified by some with Vul-lush of the Assyrian lists, who reigned at Calah (Nimrud) from 800 to 750 B.C., and who married Semiramis of Babylon (whose son Nabonassar Pul is supposed to have sat on the Babylonian throne). But as it is impossible to identify Tiglath Pileser's predecessor Asshut-lush with Pul, and as Assyria was then in a depressed state through internal troubles, Pul was probably monarch at Babylon (Berosus, the Babylonian historian, calls him "king of the Chaldoeans") while Asshur-lush reigned at Nineveh. In the disturbed 10 years before Tiglath Pileser's accession, he probably deprived Assyria of her western province and invaded Palestine from the Assyrian direction, and so was loosely designated "king of Assyria" instead of "Babylon." Tiglath Pileser II., 745 B.C., founded a new dynasty. He was an usurper, for he makes no mention of his father or ancestors. He conquered Rezin, king of Damascus, at Ahaz' solicitation, also Israel, whom he deprived of much territory. The captives he carried to Kir, a river flowing into the Caspian Sea. In the inscriptions mention is made of Menahem of Syria paying him tribute, also Jahuhazi (Ahaz), of Judah, and of his setting Hoshea on the Israelite throne on Pekah's death. The Assyrian monuments dear the seeming discrepancy of Isaiah 20 mentioning Sargon, while he is ignored in 2 Kings. Sargon is by them proved to have been successor of Shalmaneser II. (Tiglath Pileser's successor), and father of Sennacherib, and grandfather of Esarhaddon. The siege of Samaria for three years, under Hoshea, was begun by Shalmaneser and was ended by Sargon (2 Kings 17). About the middle of the eighth century B.C. there is a break in the line of Assyrian kings and a loosening of the He which held together the subject nations under Assyria, so that 23 years after Pul, 747 B.C., the Babylonians reckon as the era of their independence. At this time Tiglath Pileser II. seems to have been the founder of the "lower empire." This more than revived the glories of the former empire, and recovered the supremacy over Babylon. The magnificent palace of Sennacherib (the assailant of (See HEZEKIA) at Nineveh, as also the buildings erected by Sargon and Esarhaddon (the carrier away of Manasseh to Babylon, 2 Chronicles 33:11) show the power and wealth of Assyria at this period. The remains at Koyunjik and Khorsabad are the work of these later kings alone; at Nimrud the earlier kings shared in the erections. By the end of Esarhaddon's reign Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria had been absorbed, Judaea made tributary, Philistia and Idumea subjected, Babylon recovered, and cities planted in Media. Sardanapalus II. succeeded, who was wholly given to the chase, and who decorated his palace walls at Nineveh with sculptures representing its triumphs. The growing power of the Medes gave the final blow (foretold long ago, Isaiah 10:5-19) to Assyria, already enervated by luxury and having lost in prosperous ease its military spirit. Long before Arbaces the Mede (804 B.C.) is said to have made himself king of Assyria. About 633 B.C. they began attacking Assyria, at first unsuccessfully; but Cyaxares the Mede having gained the Babylonians under Nabopolassar, the Assyrian viceroy of Babylon, as allies, about 625 B.C. besieged Nineveh. Saracus, probably Esarhaddon's grandson, after a brave resistance set fire with his own hand to his palace with its treasures, and himself and his wives perished amidst the flames. Nab. 2 and Zephaniah 2:13-15 shortly before the catastrophe foretold it; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly afterward about 586 B.C. attests how completely Assyria was overthrown, as a warning of the fatal end of pride. Never again did Assyria rise as a nation, for God had said (Nahum 3:19) "there is no healing of thy bruise." The only revolt attempted by her along with Media and Armenia was crushed. The political cause of her downfall was probably the non-fusion of the subject kingdoms into one organic whole. These kingdoms were. feudatories, rendering homage and tribute to the great monarch; as Menahem (2 Kings 15:19), Hoshea (2 Kings 17:4), Ahaz (2 Kings 16:8), Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:14), Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:11); and ready therefore at the first opportunity, whether the king's death or some Assyrian disaster or the promise of some antagonistic ally, to revolt. " } [32]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(148236) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(32) "People's Dictionary of the Bible" ["word"]=> string(7) "Assyria" ["content"]=> string(10821) " Assyria (as-syr'i-ah). A great empire of western Asia, founded at a very early date probably the oldest on the Euphrates, and is traced to Asshur, Genesis 10:10-11, who built Nineveh, Rehoboth (?), Calah, and Resen. Assyria proper, the northern (Babylonia the southern portion), had about the same territory as Kurdistan. The empire at times covered a far larger extent of territory, and in its prosperity nearly all of western Asia and portions of Africa were subject to its power. According to Prof. F. Brown, "the Babylonio-Assyrian territory was about 600 miles from northwest to southeast, and in the widest part 300 miles from east to west, including Mesopotamia." The Persian Gulf formerly extended about 130 miles further to the northwest than it does now, the gulf having been filled up by mud borne down by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. There are immense level tracts of the country, now almost a wilderness, which bear marks of having been cultivated and thickly populated in early times. Among its products, besides the common cereals, were dates, olives, cotton, mulberries, gum-arabic, madder, and castor-oil. Of animals, the bear, deer, wolf, lynx, hyena, antelope, lion, tiger, beaver, and camel were common. The fertility of the country is frequently noted by ancient writers. History. Of the early history of Assyria little can be said. Profane historians differ; and scripture gives but scanty information. The deciphered inscriptions are revealing more, but are not yet folly examined; new ones are coming to light every year. Babylon is older than Nineveh; it was the beginning of Nimrod's empire, but not content with the settlements he had acquired, he invaded the country called Asshur from the son of Shem, and there founded cities afterwards most famous. Genesis 10:8-12. So far the sacred record would seem to teach us. But that it mentions an early Assyrian kingdom is not certain. Certain eastern monarchs are named, Genesis 14:1; Genesis 14:9, as pushing their conquests westwards, but there is a record of a Chaldean but not of an Assyrian king among them. Says Prof. Brown: "We find mention in the inscriptions of Persia (Parsua), Elam (Elamtu), with Susa (Shushan, cf. Nehemiah 1:1, etc.), its capital, and Media (Mada), with Ecbatana (Agamtanu = Achmetha, Ezra 6:2), its capital, and Armenia (Urartu = Ararat, 2 Kings 19:37), and the land of the Hittites (Chatti), who, we thus learn, as well as from the Egyptian inscriptions, had their chief seat far to the north of Damascus—Carchemish (Gargamish), their capital, being on the Euphrates, not far from the latitude of Nineveh (modern Jerabis). The river Habor (Chabur), of 2 Kings 17:6, is a river often named that flows into the middle Euphrates from the northeast, and Gozan (Guzanu) (ib.) is a city and district in the immediate vicinity. These are but a few of the important identifications." At first the Assyrian empire was confined within narrow limits; it became at length, by the addition of neighboring districts, a formidable state. Left partially under the sway of their own chiefs, who were reduced to vassalage, they continually had or took occasion for revolt. This led to the deportations of captives, to break the independent spirit of feudatory states, and render rebellion more difficult and hopeless. The Assyrian empire, at its widest extent, seems to have reached from the Mediterranean Sea and the river Halys in the west, to the Caspian and the Great Desert in the east, and from the northern frontier of Armenia south to the Persian Gulf. Abraham came from Ur Kasdim (Ur of the Chaldees), according to Genesis 11:28; Genesis 11:31; Genesis 15:7; Nehemiah 9:7. "The only known Ur situated in the territory of the Chaldeans is the city of Uru, lying on the right bank of the Euphrates, far below Babylon, whose site now bears the name Muqayyar (Mugheir). The identification of this with the biblical Ur Kasdim has been disputed, but the arguments against it are not conclusive, and no other satisfactory identification has been proposed. We are therefore entitled to hold that the Hebrews were, from the beginning of their history, under the influence not only of the common stock of Shemitic endowments, customs, and beliefs, but also of those that were specifically Babylonian." After Abraham, for nearly 1200 years, we have no record of the contact of Hebrews with Assyrian or Babylonian peoples. In the ninth century, b.c., Nineveh and Assyria push into Hebrew territory. Shalmanezer II. encounters Benhadad of Damascus, and probably Ahab of Israel. The dark cloud threatening Israel and Judah from Assyria for their unfaithfulness to God is described in strains of solemn warning. Sometimes "the nations from far" are spoken of; and their terrific might and mode of warfare are detailed without naming them. Isaiah 5:26-30. Sometimes in express words the king of Assyria is said to be summoned as the Lord's executioner, and the desolation he should cause is vividly depicted. Isaiah 8:17-22. Samaria would fall; and her fall might well admonish Judah. Judah should deeply suffer. The invader should march through her territory; but the Lord would effectually defend Jerusalem. Isaiah 10:5-34. The Assyrian king, in the might of his power, subjected the ten tribes, and carried multitudes of them into the far east; he passed also like a flood over the country of Judah, taking many of the cities throughout her territory; and in his presumptuous boldness he conceived that no earthly power could resist him, and even defied Jehovah, the God of Jacob. But the firm purpose of the Lord was to defend that city to save it. The catastrophe is related with awful brevity: "Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and four score and five thousand; and, when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses." Isaiah 37:1-38. The Assyrian empire attained afterwards probably its greatest power and widest extent. But it was doomed. In later Persian times "the Ahashwerosh (Ahasuerus) of Ezra 4:6 and the book of Esther is Xerxes, the son of Darius, b.c. 486-464; and the Artachshashta (Artaxerxes) of Ezra 4:7-8; Ezra 4:11; Ezra 4:23, etc., Nehemiah 2:1; Nehemiah 5:14, etc., is the son of Xerxes, Artaxerxes Longimanus, b.c. 464-420. Ezra 4:7-8, etc., is thought by many to refer to the false Smerdis, the pretended brother of Cambyses, who in b.c. 522 reigned eight months; but the difficulty in supposing both that he had the name Artaxerxes ana that Artaxerxes in the different passages does not refer to the same persons is too great." Finally, in "Darius the Persian," Nehemiah 12:22, we have a reference to Darius Codomannus, b.c. 836-330. He who rules justly in the world would destroy Assyria (which had been long before warned by Jonah), as Assyria had destroyed other kingdoms. Accordingly, in the prophecies of Nahum and Zephaniah, we find denunciations predicting the entire downfall of this haughty power. The language is fearfully precise. Nahum 1:1-15; Nahum 2:1-13; Nahum 3:1-19; Zephaniah 2:13-15. The work of destruction seems to have been effected by the Medes and Babylonians. Assyria fell, and was never again reckoned among the nations; the very places being for long centuries unknown where her proudest cities had stood. The people.— The excavations which have been so successfully prosecuted have supplied a fund of information as to the manners and habits of the Assyrians. The sovereign was the despotic ruler and the pontiff, and the palaces contained also the temples. With no limitation of the monarch's power, the people were kept in a servile condition and in moral degradation. The conquered provinces being placed under the authority of dependent princes, insurrections were frequent; and the sovereign was almost always engaged in putting down some struggle for independence. War was waged with ruthless ferocity. Cities were attacked by raising artificial mounds; the besieging armies sheltered themselves behind shields of wicker-work, and battered the defences with rams. In the field they had formidable war chariots. And the sculptures exhibit the modes of cruelty practiced upon those that were subdued. They were flayed, they were impaled; their eyes and tongues were cut out; rings were placed in their lips; and their brains were beaten out with maces. Comp. Ezekiel 26:7-12. The Assyrians worshipped a multitude of gods. Asshur (probably the Nisroch of the Scriptures, and the eagle-headed deity of the sculptures), was the chief. But there were 4000 others, presiding over the phenomena of nature and the events of life. The architecture of the Assyrians was of a vast and imposing character. In the fine arts they made considerable proficiency. Their sculptures are diversified, spirited, and faithful. They had, however, little knowledge of perspective, and did not properly distinguish between the front and the side views of an object. Animals, therefore, were represented with five legs; and sometimes two horses had but two forelegs. The later sculptures are found to be better than the earlier. The Assyrians were skilled in engraving even the hardest substances. They were familiar with metallurgy, and manufactured glass and enamels; they carved ivory, and varnished and painted pottery. They indulged in the luxuries of life. Men wore bracelets, chains, and earrings, flowing robes ornamented with emblematic devices wrought in gold and silver; they had long-fringed scarfs and embroidered girdles. The vestments of officials were generally symbolical; the head-dress was characteristic; and the king alone wore the pointed tiara. The beard and hair were carefully arranged in artificial curls; and the eyebrows and eyelashes were stained black. Of the women there are few representations. The weapons of war were richly ornamented, especially the swords, shields and quivers. The helmets were of brass, inlaid with copper. The chariots were embellished, and the horses sumptuously caparisoned. Their literature was extensive—grammars, dictionaries, geographies, sciences, annals, panegyrics on conquerors, and invocations of the gods. Little, however, can be expected from a series of inscriptions, dictated by the ruling powers, who did not hesitate sometimes to falsify the records of their predecessors. The wealth of Assyria was derived from conquest, from agriculture, for which their country was favorably circumstanced, and from commerce, for which they had peculiar facilities. The recent explorations have brought to light immense libraries illustrating the habits and life of a cultured people, recording their history on clay tablets, 2000 years before Abraham. The ruins are a splendid monument in testimony of the truth of prophecy and of Scripture. " } [33]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(19371) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(5) "Isaac" ["content"]=> string(10613) "(See ABRAHAM; ISHMAEL.) "laughter," because Abraham laughed in joy at the promise of his birth, type of the annunciation of Messiah's birth (Genesis 17:17); and Sarah too, with some degree of incredulity because of the improbability at her age (Genesis 18:12), but at his birth with thankful joy toward God, saying "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me" (Genesis 21:6-7; compare Isaiah 54:1). His miraculous conception and naming before birth typify Messiah (Luke 1; Matthew 1). Born at Gerar when Abraham was 100 years old. "Mocked" by Ishmael (who was "born after the flesh") at the weaning feast; the mocking, as Paul implies, containing the germ and spirit of persecution, profanely sneering at the object of the promise. The child of the bond-woman must therefore give place to the child of the freewoman born "by promise." While the believing parents "laughed," Ishmael "mocked." With the laugh of derision and spite. Isaac is type of the believing "children of the promise," "born after the Spirit," therefore, "children of the free" church, "heirs according to the promise," persecuted by the children of legal and carnal bondage, but ultimately about to "inherit all things" to the exclusion of the carnal (Galatians 4:22-31; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 3:29; Revelation 21:7-8). Isaac's submission (at 25 years of age: Josephus, Ant. 1:13, section 2) to his father's will when binding him, and his bearing the wood for his own intended sacrifice, make him a lively type of Him who bore His own cross to Calvary (John 19:17), and whose language was, "Lo I come to do Thy will O God" (Psalms 40:7-8; Hebrews 10:7). His living still after the three days (Genesis 22:4) in which he was dead in Abraham's purpose prefigures the Messiah's resurrection on the third day. The scene of the sacrifice, Mount Moriah, was probably that of Christ's suffering. What Isaac's sacrifice wanted to perfect the type was actual death and vicarious substitution; the offering of the ram's life instead of the human life, hereby saved, supplied the defect; the ram and Isaac jointly complete the type. Isaac typifies Christ's Godhead, the ram typifies His manhood (Theodoret) "caught in a thicket by his horns" as Jesus was crowned with thorns. Isaac was of too excellent a nature to be slain, for God's law gives no sanction to human sacrifices. The Father, in love to us, prepared a human body (Hebrews 10:5) for His Son, which can suffer death, the penalty which divine righteousness required for our sin; Christ's Godhead could not suffer. The manhood and Godhead formed one Christ, at once the Son of man and the Son of God, as Isaac and the ram formed one joint type. Thus Abraham had the wonderful honour of representing the Father, and Isaac, the only son of the promise, was the most remarkable of all the types of the Son Messiah. Abraham herein had the glimpse which he had desired of Messiah's day "and was glad" (Isaac meaning "laughter flowing from gladness") (John 8:56); not that he fully comprehended the anti-typical meaning. So Hebrews 11:19, "from whence (from the jaws of death, compare 2 Corinthians 1:9-10) he received him back in a parable," i.e. in the way of a typical representation of Christ's death and resurrection. So the slain goat and the scape-goat jointly on the day of atonement represented Christ's death and. resurrection. By this work "Abraham's faith was made perfect" (James 2:21-23), not was vivified, but attained its crowning development. His "faith" alone was "counted for righteousness" long before, and he was justified before God (Genesis 15:6). By this work he was also "justified" evidentially before men. Philo Byblius preserves from Sanchouiatho the Phoenician tradition, "Cronus, whom the Phoenicians call Israel, being king, having an only son by a nymph, Anobret, called Jahoud (Hebrew: Yahid), even now the Phoenician name for only begotten, when perils from wars were impending, having clothed his son in royal apparel, offered him upon an altar which he built" (Eusebius, Praep. Evang., 1:10). This corruption of the Scripture history of Isaac's sacrifice was based on the pagan idea of the most precious human sacrifice being needed to appease the gods in times of calamity. So the king of Moab sacrificed his son to Chemosh when sore pressed by Israel, Judah, and Edom (2 Kings 3:27). The idea though wrong in its application, rested on a primeval tradition of God's justice having appointed the sacrifice of precious life as the atonement for sin. Abraham's trustful loving obedience to the true God, at the cost of the greatest self-sacrifice, was by the test shown to be at least equal to that of idolaters to their false gods. The angel's intervention, the ram's substitution, and the prohibition of the human sacrifice prevent the possibility of supposing God sanctions any human sacrifice save that of the Antitype. Not in blind credulity, for Abraham had now long experience that God can order nothing wrong or harsh to His people, but in faith "accounting that God was able to raise His son even from the dead," he obeyed. At 40 Isaac married his cousin, Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, by whom at 60 he had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. His contemplative character appears in his "going out to meditate" or pray "in the field at the eventide." The death of his mother Sarah just before (Genesis 23) naturally pressed upon his spirit, and his resource in affliction was prayerful meditation, a type of Him who "went out into a mountain apart to pray" (Matthew 14:23), his calm and submissive temper also prefiguring the meek and lowly Lamb of God Isaiah 53:7). Solitude and prayer suit best the wounded spirit. That Sarah's death was uppermost in his meditation is implied most artlessly in what follows: Isaac "brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tent, and he loved her, and was comforted after his mother's death." Rebekah supplied the void in his heart and home. Weakness and partiality for Esau, probably owing to the contrast which Esau's bold spirit presented to his own gentle unadventurous character, were his failings; his partaking of his favorite dish, venison, the produce of his son's hunting, confirmed his selfish partiality. The mother loved the steady, quiet Jacob. The gift from God of the twin sons was the answer to Isaac's prayer, after 20 years of childless marriage; for God in giving the greatest blessings delays fulfilling His promise in order to call forth His people's persevering, waiting, prayerful faith (Genesis 25:21). When Isaac was 137, the age at which Ishmael died 14 years before, the thought of his brother's death at that age suggested thoughts of his own, and the desire to bless his favorite before dying. As he lived 43 years afterward, to see Jacob return from Mesopotamia, he probably was now dangerously sick; hence, loathing ordinary food, he longed to have "savoury meat such as he loved." Esau invited him to: "arise and sit" to eat of his venison; implying that he was laid in his bed. Moreover "he trembled exceedingly" when Esau came in. Esau's words imply his thinking Isaac near death, "the days of mourning for my father are at hand." Isaac's unexpected prolongation of life probably deterred Esau from his murderous purpose against Jacob for having stolen his blessing. He reverenced his father amidst all his wildness, and finally joined with Jacob in paying the last mark of respect at his father's grave, even as Isaac and Ishmael had met at Abraham's Burial. Isaac's carnal partiality and Rebekah's tortuous policy eventuated in their being left in their old age by both children, Esau disappointed and disinherited, Jacob banished to a long and distant servitude; the idols of God's children becoming their scourges, in order to bring them back to Himself (1 Corinthians 11:32; Jeremiah 2:19). His equivocation as to his wife, as if she were his sister, through fear of Abimelech's people at Gerar, was another blemish in Isaac (Genesis 26) So Abram had erred in Egypt and in this same Philistine kingdom (Genesis 20) under a king also bearing the common title (See ABIMELECH , i.e. my father a king. Isaac had obeyed God's vision in not going down to Egypt, a place of spiritual danger though abundant in food, but sojourning in Gerar during the famine. Lack of godly and manly firmness betrayed him into the untruth. His wife was not taken into Abimelech's house, as Sarah had been. Abimelech discovering the real state of the case reproved him, and warned his people not to touch him or Rebekah. His meek, peaceable, and non-self-assertive character appears in his successively yielding to the grasping herdsmen of Gerar the wells Esek ("strife") and Sitnah ("hatred".) So, the Lord who had given him a hundredfold increase in his harvests made room for him at last; and he retained the well Rehoboth ("room") without further contention, and made a covenant with Abimelech; compare Romans 12:18-21; Matthew 5:5; Matthew 5:25; Proverbs 16:7. Isaac lived to see Jacob whom he had sent with his blessing (for faith at last prevailed over his partiality, and he gave Jacob the blessing of Abraham, Genesis 28:1; Genesis 28:4) to seek a wife in Padan-aram return with a large family to him at Hebron (Genesis 35:27), Before he died at 180; the longest lived of the three patriarchs, the least migratory, the least prolific, and the least favored with revelations. He was buried in the cave of Machpelah. His blessing Jacob and Esau "even (Greek) concerning things to come," as if they were actually present, and not merely concerning things present, is quoted (Hebrews 11:20) as evidencing his faith; as similar dying charges evidenced Jacob's and Joseph's faith. A faithful husband of one wife (compare Ephesians 5:23, etc.), unlike Abraham and Jacob, of tender affections, he was a man of suffering rather than action; having the divine favor so markedly that Abimelech and his officers said, "we saw certainly that the Lord was with thee" (Genesis 26:28). As Abraham foreshadows the unsettled early history of the nation, and Jacob their commercial unwarlike later course, so Isaac their intermediate days of peace and separation from the nations in their fertile land of promise. As Abraham is associated with morning prayer, and Jacob associated with night prayer, so Isaac with evening prayer (Genesis 19:27; Genesis 28:11; Genesis 28:32; Genesis 24:63). God is still "the God of Isaac," who is one of the triad with whom the children of the kingdom shall sit down at the resurrection of the just (Luke 20:37-38, etc.; Matthew 8:11, etc.). " } [34]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(18866) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(6) "Balaam" ["content"]=> string(13330) "(Hebrew balam ) "not of the people" (Israel), a "foreigner"; else bilam , "the destroyer of the people," corresponding to the Greek Νicolaos , "conqueror of the people" (Revelation 2:14-15), namely, by having seduced them to fornication with the Moabite women (Numbers 25), just as the Nicolaitanes sanctioned the eating of things sacrificed to idols and fornication. The -am , however, may be only a formative syllable. He belonged to Pethor, a city of Aram Naharaim, i.e. Mesopotamia (Deuteronomy 23:4). "Balak, the king of Moab" (he says, Numbers 23:7), "hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the E.," a region famous for soothsayers (Isaiah 2:6). Pethor, from pathar , "to reveal," was the head quarters of oriental magi, who used to congregate in particular spots (Daniel 2:2; Matthew 2:1), Phathusae, S. of Circesium. It is an undesigned propriety, which marks the truth of Scripture, that it represents Balak of Moab, the descendant of Lot, as having recourse to a diviner of the land from which Lot came when he accompanied Abraham to Canaan. It was a practice of ancient nations to devote their enemies to destruction at the beginning of their wars; the form of execration is preserved in Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3:9. The traditional knowledge of the true God lingered among the descendants of Laban and Bethuel. Abimelech of Gerar, Melchizedek, Job, Jethro, are all instances of the truth that knowledge of the one true God was not restricted to Abraham's descendants. Balaam was son of Beor. The same name (omitting the last part, -am, of Balaam), Bela, (and he also "son of Beor," front baar , to "burn up,) occurs among the Edomites connected with Midian by a victory recorded in Genesis 36:32-37; also with the "river" Euphrates through Saul of Rehoboth which was on it, king of Edom. Now Balaam is mentioned in conjunction with the five kings of Midian (Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16). A dynasty of Balaam's ancestors from near the great river probably reigned once over Edom. Moab in his application to him was not alone. "Moab was sore afraid ... because of the children of Israel, and Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field" (how natural the image in the mouth of a shepherd king, as "the king of Moab was a sheep master," 2 Kings 3:4). So "the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand." It is natural that Balaam, living amidst idolaters, should, like Laban of old in the same region (Genesis 31:20), have been somewhat tainted. Hence, while owning Jehovah for his God and following patriarchal tradition (Job 42:8, who is thought by the decipherers of the Assyrian and Babylonian monuments to have lived in the region about the mouth of the Euphrates, Uz, the early seat of the first Babylonian empire) in offering victims by sevens. Balaam had recourse to "enchantments" also, so that he is called "the soothsayer" (Joshua 13:22) (ha -kosem , distinguished, from the true prophet, Isaiah 3:2), a practice denounced as "an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:12). In the portion that follows (Numbers 22:7-24) no further mention of Midian occurs, but only of Moab. But after Balaam's vain effort to curse, and God's constraining him to bless, Israel, "he went and returned to his place" (Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:25). He had said: "Behold, I go unto my people." But then follows (Numbers 25) Israel's whoredom, not only with Moabite women but also with Midianite women, of whom Cozbi, daughter of Zur (slain by Phinehas. with Zimri her paramour), was principal; and in Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16, Israel's slaughter of the Midianites with their five kings (Zur was one), and also of Balaam, son of Beor, because of his "counsel." Beside those kings that fell in battle, Israel slew five Midianite kings and executed Balaam judicially after the battle (Numbers 31:8). So after all Balaam did not return as he had said, to his own place, Mesopotamia. Dismissed by the Moabites in dissatisfaction, He suffered his mind to dwell on the honors and riches which he had lost by blessing Israel, and so instead of going home he turned to the Midianites, who were joined with Moab in the original application to him. Availing himself of his head knowledge of divine truth, he, like Satan in Eden, used it with fiendish wisdom to break the union between God and Israel by tempting the latter to sin by lust. They fell into his trap: but staying among the Midianites, who doubtless rewarded with mammon his hellish counsel which succeeded so fatally against Israel, he in turn fell into the righteous judgment executed by Moses and Israel on his guilty patrons, Israel's seducers. The undesigned dovetailing together of these scattered incidents into such a harmonious whole is a strong confirmation of the truth of the Scripture history. In Numbers 22:12, at the first inquiry of Balaam, God said, "Thou shalt not go with them, thou shalt not curse the people." Balaam acquiesced, although in language betraying the revolt of his covetous will against God's will he told Balak's princes, "Jehovah refuseth to give me leave to go with you." Hence, instead of going back to Pethor, he begs them to tarry another night to see "what Jehovah will say unto him more." In the very moment of saying "I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God," he tempts the Lord as if He might change His purpose, and allow him to earn "the wages of iniquity"; yet himself, with strange inconsistency, such as marks those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18), declares what condemns his perverse thought, "God is not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of man that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it, or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19.) God did come that night, and seems to contradict His former command, "If the men come to call thee, rise up and go with them." But God' s unchangeable principle is, with the pure to show Himself pure (Psalms 18:26), with the froward to show Himself froward. He at first speaks plainly to the conscience His will; if the sinner resists the voice of His Spirit and His word He "answers the fool according to his folly," and "gives him up to his own desire" (Psalms 78:29-30; compare Romans 1:25-26; Romans 1:28; Proverbs 1:31); after long resistance by man, God's Spirit ceases to strive with him (Genesis 6:3). Balaam rose up in the morning, and it is not written he waited for the "men to come and call" him. Certainly, "God's anger was kindled because he went"; for his going was in spite of the former plain prohibition; and the second voice was a permission giving him up in judicial anger to his own perversity (compare 1 Kings 22:15), a permission too resting on the condition, which Balaam did not wait for, "if the men come to call thee." Judges 1:11 saith the "error of Balaam" was his" running greedily for reward." The apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:15) says, "Balaam the son of Bosor" (the same as Beor; Bosor is akin to basar , "flesh," and Balaam showed himself the "son of carnality." Bosor is probably the Aramaic or Chaldee equivalent of Beor, Τsade ( צ ) being submitted for 'Αyin ( ע ). Peter residing at Babylon would naturally adopt the name usual in the Aramaic tradition) "loved the wages of unrighteousness: but was rebuked for his iniquity, the mute (voiceless) donkey, speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet": an awful contrast, a dumb beast forbidding an inspired prophet. The donkey turned aside at the sight of the angel; but Balaam, after God had said "thou shalt not go," persevered in wishing to go for gain. Not what the donkey said, but its speaking at all, withstood his perversity. The donkey indirectly, the angel directly, rebuked his worse than asinine obstinacy. The miracle, the object of the infidel's scoff, has a moral fitness which stamps its truth. He who made the cursing prophet bless could make an ass, His own creature, speak (Nehemiah 13:2; Joshua 24:9-10). The "seer" lacks the spiritual eye to discern the angel of the Lord, because it was blinded by lust of riches and honor. God opens the mouth of the irrational brute to show the seer his blindness in not seeing what even the brute could see. Even a beast can discern the spiritual world better than a man blinded by lust. Balaam's worse than brutish mind must be taught by the. brute, in order to chastize his vainly. Not until after the Lord opened the donkey's mouth is it written that" his eyes were opened" (Numbers 24:3-4), whereas they had been "shut" (margin): "falling" refers to his falling with his donkey (not as KJV: "into a trance") and then having his eyes "opened." No more efficient agent than Balaam could have been chosen to testify to his friends, Israel's enemies, the hopelessness of their conflict with the people whom Jehovah marks as His own. This famed diviner, brought to curse, blesses; lured by love of gain which depended on his cursing, he contradicts his own nature by forfeiting the promised gain, to bless a people from whom he expected no gain. A master of enchantments, he confesses "there is no enchantment (which can avail) against Jacob, neither any divination against Israel" (Numbers 23:23). The miracle wrought on him, whereby he belied his whole nature, is greater than that wrought on the ass. This truth moreover came with more weight, from him than from any other, and this publicly before a king and a whole people, the most esteemed soothsayer in spite of himself proclaiming Israel's blessedness. Balak first feasted Balaam at Kirjath Huzoth, a place of reputed sanctity on the borders. Thence Balaam was taken to "the high places (bamot ) of Baal," called Beth Bamoth in the Moabite stone. Thence to Pisgah's top by the field of Zophim. Thence to Peor's top looking toward Jeshimon. Then Balaam, seeing God's determinate counsel, stopped seeking further enchantments, but looking at Israel in their beautiful order by tribes, he compares them to the rows of lign aloes and cedars by the waters, and foretells the advent of a Hebrew prince who should smite Moab and Edom (David, 2 Samuel 8, the type), and of the Messiah, the Star out of Jacob" (compare Revelation 22:16; Matthew 2, announced to the Gentile wise men from the E., Balaam's country, by the star in the sky) whose "scepter shall have dominion" (Revelation 2:27-28; Psalms 110:2; He shall restore "the scepter departed from Judah," Genesis 49:10). Balaam foretold also (See AMALEK'S utter ruin; the Kenites' being carried captive by Assyria; and Assyria in its turn being afflicted by the Greeks and Romans from Chittim (Cyprus, put for all western lands whence the approach to Palestine was by sea); and these, the last destroying power, in turn, "shall perish for ever" before Messiah's kingdom. "Eber," who was to be "afflicted" by Assyria, includes Eber's descendants through Peleg, and also through Joktan; the western Semites, sprung from Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram (Genesis 10:21). Balaam's prophecy is a comprehensive germ, which Isaiah and the prophets, especially Daniel, develop, concerning the four successive world empires which, after their successive rise and fall, shall be superseded by the universal and everlasting kingdom of Messiah (Daniel 2; 7). Jacob saw the dominion of the victorious Lion out of Judah attaining its perfection in Shiloh's (the Prince of peace) peaceful reign. Balaam, in the face of Israel's foes seeking to destroy her, declares that it is they who shall be destroyed. Appropriately the seer that God appoints to announce this belonged to Mesopotamia, the center of the great world powers whose doom he foretells, as rebels against Jehovah's purpose concerning Israel and Israel's Messianic king (Psalm 2). As a Judas was among the apostles, so Balaam among the prophets, a true seer but a bad man; at the transition to the Mosaic from the patriarchal age witnessing to the truth in spite of himself, as Caiaphas did at the transition from the legal to the Christian dispensation. Head knowledge without heart sanctification increases one's condemnation. Making "godliness a source of gain" is the damning sin of all such as Balaam and Simon Magus: 1 Timothy 6:5 (Greek). In Micah 6:5 ("O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beer answered him from Shittim)," the sense is, Remember the fatal effects at Shittim of Israel's joining Baal Peer and committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and how but for God's sparing mercy Israel would have been given to utter destruction. Like Judas and Ahithophel, Balaam set in motion the train of events which entailed his own destruction. Balak's summons was the crisis in his history, bringing him into contact with God's people and so giving him the possibility of nearer communion with God than before. Trying to combine prophecy and soothsaying, the service of God and the wages of iniquity, he made the choice that ruined him for ever! He wanted to do opposite things at once, to curse and to bless (James 3:10-12), to earn at once the wages of righteousness and unrighteousness, if possible not to offend God, yet not to lose Balak's reward. " } [35]=> array(4) { ["id"]=> int(35367) ["dictionaryName"]=> string(26) "Fausset's Bible Dictionary" ["word"]=> string(7) "Nineveh" ["content"]=> string(15195) "(See ASSYRIA.) Nimrod builded Nineveh (Genesis 10:11); Herodotus (i. 7) makes Ninus founder of Nineveh. and grandson of Belus founder of Babylon; which implies that it was from Babylon, as Scripture says, that Nineveh's founder came. Nin is the Assyrian Hercules. Their mythology also makes Ninus son of Nimrod. Jonah is the next Scripture after Genesis 10 that mentions Nineveh. (See JONAH.) Sennacherib after his host's destruction "went and dwelt at Nineveh" (2 Kings 19:36). Jonah (Jonah 3:3) describes it as an "exceeding great city of three days' journey" round (i.e. 60 miles, at 20 miles per day) with 120,000 children "who knew not their right hand from their left" (Jonah 4:11), which would make a population in all of 600,000 or even one million. Diodorus Siculus (ii. 3), agreeing with Jonah's "three days' journey," makes the circumference 55 miles, pastures and pleasure grounds being included within, from whence Jonah appositely (Jonah 4:11) mentions "much cattle." G. Smith thinks that the ridges enclosing Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik (the mounds called "tels" opposite Mosul) were only the walls of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending beyond to the mound Yarenijah. The parallelogram in Assyria covered with remains has Khorsabad N.E.; Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus (Nineveh in the narrow sense) near the Tigris N.W.; Nimrud and Athur between the Tigris and Zab, N.W.; and Karamles at a distance inward from the Zab S.E. From Koyunjik to Nimrud is 18 miles; from Khorsabad to Karamles 18; from Koyunjik to Khorsabad 13 or 14; from Nimrud to Karamles 14. The length was greater than the breadth; so Jonah 3:4 "entered into the city a day's journey." The longer sides were 150 furlongs each, the shorter 90 furlongs, the whole circuit 480 or 460 miles. Babylon had a circuit of only 385 miles (Clitarchus in Diod. ii. 7, Strabo xvi. 737). The walls were 100 ft. high, with 1,500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Shereef Khan is the northern extremity of the collection of mounds on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and is five and a half miles N. of Koyunjik. There is also an enclosure, 5,000 yards in circuit, once enclosed by a moat at Selamivah three miles N. of Nimrud. Nimrud in inscriptions is called Kalkhu or Calah in Genesis 10:11; Khorsabad is called Sargina from Sargon. At Kileh Sherghat is the presumed original capital," Asshur," 60 miles S. of Mosul, on the right or western bank of the Tigris. Sennacherib first made Nineveh the capital. Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests around. It subsequently, with Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen, formed one great city, "Nineveh" in the larger sense. Thothmes III of Egypt is mentioned in inscriptions as capturing Nineveh. Phraortes the Mede perished in attempting to do so (Herodotus i. 102). Cyaxares his successor, after at first raising the siege owing to a Scythic invasion (Herodotus i. 103, 106) 625 B.C., finally succeeded in concert with the Babylonian Nabopolassar, 606 B.C., Saracus the last king, Esarhaddon's grandson, set fire to the palace and perished in the flames, as Ctesias states, and as the marks of fire on the walls still confirm. So Nahum 3:13; Nahum 3:15, "fire shall devour thy bars." Charred wood, calcined alabaster, and heat splintered figures abound. Nahum (Nahum 2) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 2:13-15) foretold its doom; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly after attests the completeness of its overthrow, as a warning of the fatal issue of pride, Isaiah 10:7-14; Diodorus (ii. 27) says there was a prophecy that Nineveh should not fall until the river became its enemy. The immediate cause of capture was the city walls destruction by a sudden rise in the river. So Nahum (Nahum 1:8; Nahum 2:6; Nahum 2:8) foretold "with an over running flood He will make an utter end of the place;" "the gates of the rivers shall be opened and the palace shall be dissolved," namely, by the inundation; "Nineveh is of old like a pool of water (though of old defended by water around), yet (its inhabitants) shall flee." There was a floodgate at the N.W. angle of the city, which was swept away; and the water pouring into the city "dissolved" the palace foundation platform, of sundried bricks. Nineveh then totally disappears from history; it never rose again. Nahum (Nahum 1:10; Nahum 3:11) accords with Diodorus Siculus that the final assault was made during a drinking bout of king and courtiers: "while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry ... Thou shalt be drunken," etc. The treasures accumulated by many kings were rifled, as Nahum foretells; "take ye the spoil of silver ... gold, for there is none end of the store;" the people were "scattered upon the mountains" (Nahum 3:18). He calls it "the city of bloods," truly (Nahum 3:1); the wall carvings represent the king in the act of putting out his captives' eyes, and dragging others by a hook through the lips and a cord. Other cities have revived, but Nahum foretells "there is no healing of thy bruise" (Nahum 3:19). Lucian of Samosara near the Euphrates asserts none in his day even knew where Nineveh stood. Its former luxury is embodied in the statue of Sardanapalus as a dancer, which he directed (Plutarch says) to be erected after his death, with the motto "eat, drink, enjoy lust ... the rest is nothing!" The language of its inscriptions is Semitic, for the main population was a colony of Asshur, son of Shem; and besides the prevalent Semitic a Turanian dialect has been found on tablets at Koyunjik, derived from its original Cushite founder Nimrod of Babylon and his band. At Nimrud the oldest palaces are in the N.W. grainer, the most recent at the S.E. The table of Karnak in Egypt (1490 B.C.) connects Niniu (Nineveh) with Naharaima or Naharaim or Mesopotamia. Sir H. Rawlinson published 1862 an Assyrian canon from the monuments. The first kings reigned when the early Chaldee empire had its seat in lower Mesopotamia. Asshur-bil-nisis, Buzur Ashur, and Asshur Vatila from 1653 to 1550 B.C., when Purnapuriyas and Durri-galazu were the last of the early Chaldaean monarchy. Then Bel Sumill Kapi founds a dynasty after a chasm of two centuries. "Bellush, Pudil, and Ivalush" are inscribed on bricks at Kileh Sherghat, 1350-1270 B.C. Shalmaneser I, son of Ivalush I, is mentioned on a genealogical slab as founder of Nimrud. Tiglath-i-nin his son inscribes himself" conqueror of Babylon"; Sargon finally conquered it. Tiglath-inin's successor Ivalush II (1250 B.C.) enlarged the empire and closes the dynasty. By a revolution Nin pala Zira ascends the throne, "the king of the commencement" as the Tiglath Pileser cylinder calls him. Then Asshurdahil, Mutaggil Nebo, Asshur-ris-ilim (conqueror of a Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon), Tiglath Pileser I (subdued Meshech), Asshur-belkala; a blank of two centuries follows when David's and Solomon's extensive dominion has place. Asshur-iddin-akhi begins the next dynasty (950-930 B.C.). Asshur-danin-il and Iralush III follow; then Tiglath-i-nin; Asshur-idanni-pal next after ten victorious campaigns built a palace at Calah, 360 ft. long by 300 broad, with man lions at the gateways, and by a canal brought the Zab waters to Calah; he was "lord from the upper Tigris to Lebanon and the great sea." His son Shalmaneser II took tribute from Tyre and Sidon and fought Benhadad and Hazael. A picture represents him receiving from Jewish captives tribute of Jehu king of Israel, gold, pearl, and oil. He built the central palace of Nimrud, opened by Layard. The black marble obelisk (in the British Museum) records his exploits and Jehu's name. Then Shamas-Iva, Iralush IV and his wife Semiramis, a Babylonian princess, Shalmaneser III, Asshur-danin-il II, Asshur-lush. Then Tiglath Pileser II, probably Pul, usurps the throne by revolution, for he does not mention his father as others do, 744 B.C. Under him "Menahem" appears in inscriptions, and "tribute from the house of Omri" i.e. Samaria (2 Kings 15:19; 2 Kings 15:29). Ahaz enlisted him as ally against Samaria and Damascus; Tiglath Pileser conquered them and received tribute from Jahu-khazi or Ahaz. An inscription in the British Museum records Rezin's death (Rawlinson's Monarchies, 2:398,399). Tiglath Pileser built a new palace at Nimrud. Then Shalmaneser IV (not in the canon) (2 Kings 17:3-4) assailed Samaria, upon Hoshea's leaguing with So of Egypt, and withholding tribute. In a chamber at Koyunjik was found among other seals now in British Museum the seal of So or Sabacho and that of Sennacherib affixed to a treaty between them, of which the parchment has perished. Sargon ("king de facto") usurped the throne and took Samaria (he says in inscriptions) in his first year; he built the palace at Khorsabad. Sennacherib his son succeeded 704 B.C. and reigned 24 years. He built the palace at the S.W. corner of Koyunjik, covering 100 acres almost, excavated by Layard. (See SENNACHERIB.) Of it 60 courts, halls (some 150 ft. square), and passages (one 200 ft. long) have been discovered. The human headed lions and bulls at its many portals are some 20 ft. high. Esarhaddon succeeded, as he styles himself "king of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Meroe, and Ethiopia;" or Asnapper; he imprisoned Manasseh. (See ASNAPPER; MANASSEH.) He built a temple at the S.W. corner of Nimrud, and a palace at Nebi Yunus. Asshurbani-pal succeeded, a hunter and warrior; his library of clay tablets, religious, legal, historical, and scientific, is in British Museum. He built a palace at Koyunjik, near Sennacherib's. His son, the last king, Asshuremid-ilin or Asshur-izzir-pal (Saracus or Sardanapalus), built the S.E. edifice at Nimrud. The palace walls were from five to fifteen feet thick, erected on an artificial platform 30 to 50 ft. above the surrounding level, and paneled with slabs of coarse alabaster sculptured and inscribed. The plaster above the alabaster wainscoting was ornamented with figures; the pavement was of alabaster or flat kiln-burnt bricks resting on bitumen and fine sand. The Nimrud grand hall is only 35 ft. broad (though 160 ft. long), to admit of roofing with the short beams to be had. The ceilings were gaily colored. The portals were guarded by colossal human headed bulls; thence was an ascent to a higher platform, and on the top a gateway, sometimes 90 ft. wide, guarded also by winged bulls; inside was the great door, opening into a sculpture adorned passage; then the inner court, then the state apartments. There may have been an upper story of sun-dried bricks and wood, for there are no stone or marble columns or burnt brick remains. The large halls may have been roofless, a ledge projecting round the four sides and supporting an awning as shelter against rain and sun. However Zephaniah 2:14 mentions "the cedar work," cedars from Lebanon may have reached from wall to wall with openings for light. The chambers were built round the central hall. In Nahum 2:3 translated "the chariots (shall be furnished) with fire flashing scythes," literally, "with the fire of scythes" or "iron weapons." No traces of such scythe-armed chariots are found in Assyria; either then it applies to the besiegers, or "the chariots shall come with the glitter of steel weapons." The "red shield" (Nahum 2:3) accords with the red painting of the shields and dresses in the sculptures. The king, with beardless eunuch behind holding an umbrella and the winged symbol of Deity above, appears in various carvings; he was despotic. Kitchen operations, husbandry and irrigation implements are represented also. Religion. The man bull and man lion answer to Nin and Nergal, the gods of war and the chase. Nisroch the eagle-headed god and Dagon the fishheaded god often appear in the sculptures. The sacred tree answers to Asheerah, "the grove" (2 Kings 21:7). The chief gods were Asshur, Bel, Beltis or Myletta, Sin the moon, Shamash (Hebrew shemesh ) the sun, Vul or Iva the thunder wielder, Nin, etc. "Witchcrafts" and "whoredoms" in connection with Nineveh's worship are denounced by Nahum 3:4. The immense palaces, the depositories of the national records, were at once the gods' temple and the king's abode, for he was the religious head of the nation and the favorite of the gods. Language and writing. Clay cylinders pierced through so as to turn round and present their sides to the reader, bricks, and slabs are the materials inscribed on. The wedge (cuneus from whence "cuneiform") in various forms and directions, upright, horizontal, and diagonal, is the main element of the 250 distinct alphabetical characters. This mode of writing prevailed for 2000 years B.C. in Assyria, Babylonia, and eastern Persia. The alphabet is syllabic. Determinatives are prefixed to some words, as ↓ - prefixed marks the word as a man's name; ↓↓ - marks the plural; ↓← - marks the dual. It is related to Hebrew, thus, u "and" is the Hebrew ve ; ki is in both "if"; anaku or Hebrew 'anoki "I"; 'atta' in both is "thou"; 'abu or'ab (Hebrew), "father"; nahar in both is a "river." Feminine nouns end in -it or -at; Hebrew end with -ith. Sh is the shortened relative pronoun "who, which," as in later Hebrew; mah in both asks a question. The verb as in Hebrew is conjugated by pronominal suffixes. The roots are biliteral, the Hebrew both biliteral and triliteral. Μit , "to die"; Hebrew muth . Sib , "to dwell"; Hebrew yashab . Τiglath means "adoration." Ρal , "son," the Aramaic bar ; sat "king"; ris, Hebrew rosh , "head." The northwestern palace of Nineveh has the longest inscription; it records concerning Sardanapalus II. Sennacherib's inscription concerning Hezekiah, on two man-headed bulls from Koyunjik, is the most interesting. Bas-reliefs of the siege of Lachish accompany it. (See LACHISH.) By a tentative process recurring proper names were first deciphered by Grotefend, Rawlinson, Hincks, Fox Talbot, Oppert, etc., as in Darius' inscription at Behistun. Parallel parts of the same inscription in snorter language (as the hieroglyphics and Greek on the Rosetta stone enabled Champollion to discover the former) verified the results, and duplicate phrases brought, out the meaning of words. Tombs. Chaldaea is as full of tombs as Assyria is void of them. Probably Chaldaea was the burial place of the Assyrian kings; Arrian (Exped. Alex. 7:22) states that their tombs were in the marshes S. of Babylon. Art, Commerce. Egyptian art is characterized by calm repose, Assyrian art by energy and action. Egyptian architecture is derived from a stone prototype, Assyrian from a wooden one, in agreement with the physical features of the respective countries. Solomon's temple and palace, with grand hall and chambers, paneled with slabs sculptured with trees, the upper part of the walls painted in various colors, the winged cherubim carved all round, the flowers and pomegranates, correspond to the Nineveh palaces in a great measure. Silk, blue clothes, and embroidered work were traded in by Nineveh's merchants (Ezekiel 27:23-24; Nahum 3:16). The Chaldaean Nestorians in the Kurdistan mountains and the villages near Mosul are the sole representatives of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians. " } }

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Rehoboth by the River - The Edomite king Saul's or Shaul's city (Genesis 36:37). As Edom never extended to the Euphrates' "river," probably an Assyrian invasion put Shaul from Rehoboth on the Edomite throne. There is still a Rahabeh on the right bank of the river, eight miles below the junction of the Khabour, and three miles W. of the river; four or five miles further down on the left bank is Rahbeth malik , "royal Rehoboth"; whether this be Shaul's city, or whether it be Rehoboth Ir, is uncertain (1 Chronicles 1:48). ...
Rehoboth - (ree' hoh bahth) Place name meaning, “broad places. ” 1. Rehoboth-Ir, “broad places of the city,” likely denotes an open space within Nineveh or its suburbs (Genesis 10:11 ) rather than a separate city between Nineveh and Calah. 2. Site of a well dug and retained by Isaac's men in the valley of Gerar (Genesis 26:22 ). The name affirms that God had made room for them following confrontations over rights to two previous wells. 3. Unidentified Edomite city (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ). KJV, NIV, and TEV distinguish this city as Rehoboth by the river. NAS, NRSV, and REB identify the river as the Euphrates. Edomite dominion reaching the Euphrates is improbable. Thus some suggest the Zered Brook, the principal stream in Edom, as the site of Rehoboth. ... ...
Esek - ESEK (‘contention,’ Genesis 26:20 ). A well dug by Isaac in the region near Rehoboth and Gerar. The site is unknown. ...
Room - In Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 14:7-8; Luke 20:46, not in our sense, but "place at table". Expressed in Luke 11:43 "uppermost". (See Rehoboth. )...
Rehoboth - Rehoboth . 1 . A well dug by the servants of Isaac and finally conceded to him, after two others, dug also by them, had become a subject of quarrel with Abimelech, king of Gerar ( Genesis 26:22 ). Several identifications have been proposed, of which the most probable is that made by Palmer with er-Ruhaibeh , about 20 miles S. of Beersheba. 2 . The name of a king of Edom in Genesis 36:37 , where he is called ‘Rehoboth of the River. ’ ‘The River’ here may not be, as usually, the Euphrates, but the ‘River of Egypt’ (see Egypt [River of]). ... J. F. M’Curdy. ...
Rehoboth - Rehoboth (re-hô'both), wide places. 1. A city of Assyria, near Nineveh, founded by Asshur or Nimrod. Genesis 10:11; Genesis 12:2. A city on the Euphrates, Genesis 36:37, supposed to be represented by the modern Rahabah. 3. A well belonging to Isaac Genesis 26:22. ...
Shaul - (sshay' uhl) Personal name meaning, “asked of. ” 1. Transliteration of Hebrew name of King Saul. 2. Grandson of Jacob and son of Simeon with a Canaanite mother (Genesis 46:10 ). 3 . Early king of Edom from Rehoboth (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ). 4 . Levite (1 Chronicles 6:24 ). ... ...
Nimrod - Nimrod (nĭm'rŏd), rebellion; or the valiant, A son of Gush and grandson of Ham. Genesis 10:8 ff. He established an empire in Shinar, the classical Babylonia, the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh: and extended this empire northward along the course of the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen. ...
Shaul - 1. Genesis 46:10; Exodus 6:15; Numbers 26:13; 1 Chronicles 4:24. Jewish tradition identifies Shaul with Zimri, "who did the work of the Canaanites in Shittim" (Targum Pseudo Jon. , Genesis 46). ... 2. Shaul of Rehoboth by the river was one of the kings of Edom (1 Chronicles 1:48-49); SAUL in Genesis 36:37. ... 3. 1 Chronicles 6:24. ...
Rehoboth (2) - One of the four cities built by Nimrod when he went forth to Asshur: Rehoboth Ιr (i. e. "the streets of the city"), Calah, Resen, and Nineveh. (See NIMROD; ASSYRIA; NINEVEH. ) The four were probably afterwards combined under the one name Nineveh; the words in Genesis 10:11-12, "the same is a great city," refer to the united whole, not to the single Resen. ...
Calah - (cay' lah) Assyrian place name. City Nimrod built along with Nineveh and Rehoboth (Genesis 10:8-12 ). It is modern tell Nimrud on the east bank of Tigris River where it joins Upper Zab River twenty miles south of Nineveh. Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B. C. ) made it the capital of Assyria. Major Assyrian archaeological discoveries including the six-acre palace of Ashurnasirpal have been dug up. See Assyria. ... ...
Ashur - the son of Shem, who gave his name to Assyria. It is believed that Ashur originally dwelt in the land of Shiner and about Babylonia, but that he was compelled by the usurper Nimrod to depart from thence, and settle higher toward the springs of the Tigris, in the province of Assyria, so called from him, where some think he built the famous city of Nineveh, and those of Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, Genesis 10:11-12 . ...
Nim'Rod - (rebellion; or the valiant ), a son of Cush and grandson of Ham. The events of his life are recorded in ( Genesis 10:8 ) ff. , from which we learn (1) that he was a Cushite; (2) that he established an empire in Shinar (the classical Babylonia) the chief towns being Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh; and (3) that he extended this empire northward along the course of the Tigris over Assyria, where he founded a second group of capitals, Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah and Resen.
Rehoboth - Broad places.
A well in Gerar dug by Isaac (Genesis 26:22 ), supposed to be in Wady er-Ruheibeh, about 20 miles south of Beersheba. ... ... An ancient city on the Euphrates (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ), "Rehoboth by the river. " ... ... Named among the cities of Asshur (Genesis 10:11 ). Probably, however, the words "Rehoboth'ir" are to be translated as in the Vulgate and the margin of A. V. , "the streets of the city," or rather "the public square of the city", i. e. , of Nineveh.
Keetmanshoop, Namibia, Diocese of - Bounded north by the northern limits of the civildistricts of Luderizbucht, Gibeon, and Rehoboth, west by the Atlantic Ocean, south by the Orange River, and east by the political boundary of Southwest Africa. Established, July 7, 1909; entrusted to the Oblate Fathers of Saint Francis de Sales. Elevated to the Vicariate Apostolic of Great Namaqualand on July 14, 1930. Name changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of Keetmanshoop on January 13, 1949. Elevated to the diocese of Keetmanshoop, Namibia on March 14, 1994. See also: ...
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Rehoboth-ir - Rehoboth-IR (lit. ‘broad places of the city’). One of the four cities in Assyria built by Nimrod ( Genesis 10:11 ). It immediately follows Nineveh, and might mean a suburb of that city, originally separate from it, but later annexed and containing some of its most spacious streets or market-places. A suitable identification has been found in the Assyr. [Note: Assyrian. ] rçbît Ninâ (‘broad places of Nineveh’), mentioned by king Esarhaddon (b. c. 681 668). This is the exact equivalent of the Biblical name. In taking it over, ‘the city’ was substituted for ‘Nineveh. ’... J. F. M’Curdy. ...
Reho'Both - (wide places , i. e. streets ).
The third of the series of wells dug by Isaac, (Genesis 26:22 ) in the Philistines' territory, lately identified as er-Ruheibeh , 16 miles south of Beersheba. ... One of the four cities built by Asshur, or by Nimrod in Asshur, according as this difficult passage is translated. (Genesis 10:11 ) Nothing certain is known of its position. ... The city of a certain Saul or Shaul, one of the early kings of the Edomites. (Genesis 36:37 ; 1 Chronicles 1:48 ) The affix "by the river" fixes the situation of Rehoboth as on the Euphrates.
Calah - One of the most ancient cities of Assyria. "Out of that land he [i. e. , Nimrod] went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen" (Genesis 10:11 , RSV). Its site is now marked probably by the Nimrud ruins on the left bank of the Tigris. These cover an area of about 1,000 acres, and are second only in size and importance to the mass of ruins opposite Mosul. This city was at one time the capital of the empire, and was the residence of Sardanapalus and his successors down to the time of Sargon, who built a new capital, the modern Khorsabad. It has been conjectured that these four cities mentioned in Genesis 10:11 were afterwards all united into one and called Nineveh (q. v. ). ...
Resen - RESEN . The last of the four cities built by Asshur, or, according to the RV [Note: Revised Version. ] , by Nimrod, and described as lying between Nineveh and Calah ( i. e. Kouyunjik and Nimroud), on the E. bank of the Tigris ( Genesis 10:12 ). From its position the site referred to should be at or near the present Selamîyeh , which lies between the two points named. Resen seemingly represents the Assyrian place-name Rçsh-çni , ‘fountain-head,’ but is probably not to be confused with the Rçsh-çni mentioned by Sennacherib in the Bavian inscription, which is regarded as being the modern Räs el-‘Ain a little N. of Khorsabad. That the words ‘the same is a great city’ should refer to Resen alone seems unlikely more probably Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, and Calah are included, the two latter forming, with Resen, suburbs of the first. ... T. G. Pinches. ...
Cities - The earliest notice in Scripture of city-building is of Enoch by Cain, in the land of his exile. (Genesis 4:17 ) After the confusion of tongues the descendants of Nimrod founded Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, and Asshur, a branch from the same stock, built Nineveh, Rehoboth-by-the-river, Calah and Resen, the last being "a great city. " The earliest description of a city, properly so called, is that of Sodom, (Genesis 19:1-22 ) Even before the time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt, (Genesis 12:14,15 ; Numbers 13:22 ) and the Israelites, during their sojourn there, were employed in building or fortifying the "treasure cities" of Pithom and Raamses. (Exodus 1:11 ) Fenced cities , fortified with high walls, (3:5) were occupied and perhaps partly rebuilt after the conquest, by the settled inhabitants of Syria on both sides of the Jordan.
Calah - A most ancient Assyrian city founded by Asshur (Genesis 10:11), or rather by Nimrod; for the right translation is, "out of that city (namely, Babel in Shinar) he (Nimrod) went forth to Asshur (Assyria E. of the Tigris) and builded Nineveh and Rehoboth-ir (i. e. city markets), and Calah and Rosen, . . . the same is a great city. " The four formed one "great" composite city, to which Nineveh, the name of one of the four in the restricted sense, was given; answering now to the ruins E. of the Tigris, Nebi Yunus, Koyunjik, Khorsabad, Nimrud. If Calah answer to Nimrud it was between 900 and 700 B. C. capital of the empire. The war-like Sardanapalus I and his successors resided here, down to Sargon, who built a new city and called it from his own name (now Khorsabad). Esarhaddon built there a grand palace. The district Calachene afterwards took its name from it. ...
Rehoboth (1) - ("room, broad space". ) Third of Isaac's wells, called so because after that the wells Esek ("contention") and Sitnah ("hatred"), which his men had dug, the Gerar herdsmen would not let him keep peaceably, now at last his good has overcome their evil, and God makes room for him. Spiritually Romans 12:18-21; Genesis 32:20; Genesis 13:7-9; Matthew 5:25; Revelation 15:2; John 14:2. In the wady er Ruhaibeh are ruins of a large city, eight hours S. of Beersheba, and an ancient well, 12 ft. in circumference, built with hewn stone, now filled up (Robinson Phys. Geog. , 243; "Our Work in Palestine," 299). Its site is marked by fallen masonry, seemingly a cupola roof of well cemented brick shaped stones. At hand is Shutnet, the "Sitnah" of Scripture: Rehoboth lies 20 miles S. W. of Bir es Seba or Beersheba, with three remaining wells, two full of water, one dry. ...
Cities - Cities. The distinction of villages from towns, and of towns from cities is not very clearly marked in Scripture. The earliest notice of city building is of Enoch by Cain, in the land of his exile. Genesis 4:17. After the confusion of tongues the descendants of Nimrod founded Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, and Asshur, a branch from the same stock, built Nineveh, Rehoboth-by-the-river, Calah and Resen, the last being "a great city. " The earliest description of a city, properly so called, is that of Sodom. Genesis 19:1-22. Even before the time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt, Genesis 12:14-15; Numbers 13:22, and the Israelites, during their sojourn there, were employed in building or fortifying the "treasure cities" of Pithom and Raamses. Exodus 1:11. Fenced cities, fortified with high walls, Deuteronomy 3:5, were occupied and perhaps partly rebuilt after the conquest, by the settled inhabitants of Syria on both sides of the Jordan. ...
Nineveh - NINEVEH (Assyr. [Note: Assyrian. ] Ninâ, Ninûa ) is said in Genesis 10:11 to have been founded by Nimrod in Assyria. Nineveh was included in the dominions of Hammurabi, who restored the temple of Ishtar there. It was early an important city, and is frequently referred to in the royal inscriptions, but Sennacherib first raised it to the position of capital of Assyria. It lay on the E. of the Tigris, opposite the modern Mosul. Its chief remains are buried beneath the mounds of Kouyunjik and Nebi Yunus, but the outline of the old walls can be traced. They enclosed some 1,800 acres, with a circumference of about 8 miles. The mound of Kouyunjik is separated from the mound of Nebi Yunus by the Khoser, and overlies the palaces of Sennacherib to the S. , and Ashurbanipal to the N. The southern mound, Nebi Yunus, covers palaces of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon. The Nineveh of Sennacherib’s day lay largely outside this area, and included the Rebit Ninûa , or Rehoboth-ir, which extended as far as Khorsa bad, where Sargon built a great city, Dûr-Sargon. The traditions of its great size may be due to a reminiscence of this outer girdle of inhabited country. The fall of Nineveh (b. c. 606) is referred to by Nahum and Zephaniah ( Nahum 2:13 ). 2 Kings 19:36 and Isaiah 37:37 know it as the city of Sennacherib. For Jonah’s mission, see Jonah. Later, Tobit ( Tob 1:10 ; Tob 1:17 etc. ) and Judith ( Jdt 1:1 ) refer to it, and the Ninevites are named in Matthew 12:41 , Luke 11:30 ; Luke 11:32 . ... C. H. W. Johns. ...
City - Cain first founded one (Genesis 4:16-17). The material civilization of the Cainite race was superior to that of the Sethite. To the former belonged many inventions of useful arts and luxury (Genesis 4:20-22). Real refinement and moral civilization are by no means necessary concomitants of material civilization; in these the Sethites took the lead (Genesis 4:25-26). The distinction between tent or nomadic and town life early began. The root meaning of the Hebrew terms for "city," 'ar or 'ir (from 'ur "to keep watch"), and kirat (from qarah "to approach as an enemy," Genesis 23:2) implies that a leading object of gathering into towns was security against marauders. ... So, "the tower of Edar," i. e. flocks (Genesis 35:21). Of course, the first "cities" would be mere groups of rude dwellings, fenced round together. Sir H. Rawlinson supposes Rehoboth, Calah, etc. , in Genesis 10:11, denote only sites of buildings afterward erected. The later dates assigned to the building of Nineveh, Babylon, etc. , refer to their being rebuilt on a larger scale on the sites of the primitive towns. Unwalled towns are the symbol of peace and security (Zechariah 2:4). Special cities furnished supplies for the king's service (1 Kings 9:19; 1 Kings 4:7; 1 Chronicles 27:25; 2 Chronicles 17:12). So, our Lord represents the different servants having the number of cities assigned them in proportion to their faithfulness (Luke 19:17; Luke 19:19). ... Forty-eight cities were assigned to the Levites, of which 13 were for the family of Aaron, nine were in Judah, four were in Benjamin, and six were cities of refuge. The streets of eastern cities are generally narrow, seldom allowing more than two loaded camels to pass one another. But Nineveh's admitted of chariots passing, and had large parks and gardens within (Nahum 2:4). Those of one trade generally lived on the same street (Jeremiah 37:21). The GATES are the usual place of assembly, and there courts of judges and kings are held (Genesis 23:10; Ruth 4:1). ...
Well - (See FOUNTAIN. ) As 'Αyin , "fount," literally, "eye", refers to the water springing up to us, so beer , "well," from a root "to bore," refers to our finding our way down to it. The Bir- and the En- are always distinct. The rarity of wells in the Sinaitic region explains the national rejoicings over Beer or the well, afterward Beer-Elim, "well of heroes" (Numbers 21:16-17-18,22). God commanded Moses to cause the well to be dug; princes, nobles, and people, all heartily, believingly, and joyfully cooperated in the work. Naming a well marked right of property in it. To destroy it denoted conquest or denial of right of property (Genesis 21:30-31; Genesis 26:15-33; 2 Kings 3:19; Deuteronomy 6:11; Numbers 20:17; Numbers 20:19; Proverbs 5:15). "Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well," i. e. enjoy the love of thine own wife alone. ... Wells and cisterns are the two sources of oriental supply, each house had its own cistern (2 Kings 18:31); to thirst for filthy waters is suicidal. Song of Solomon 4:12; in Palestine wells are excavated in the limestone, with steps descending to them (Genesis 24:16). A low stone wall for protection (Exodus 21:33) surrounds the brim; on it sat our Lord in conversing with the Samaritan woman (John 4:6; John 4:11). A stone cover was above; this the woman placed on the well at Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:19), translated "the woman spread the covering over the well's mouth. " A rope and bucket or water skin raised the water; the marks of the rope are still visible in the furrows worn in the low wall. See Numbers 24:7, "he shall stream with water out of his two buckets," namely, suspended from the two ends of a pole, the usual way of fetching water from the Euphrates in Balaam's neighbourhood. ... Wells are often contended for and are places of Bedouin attacks on those drawing water (Exodus 2:16-17; Judges 5:11; 2 Samuel 23:15-16). Οboth (Numbers 21:10-11) means holes dug in the ground for water. Beerlahairoi is the first well mentioned (Genesis 16:14). Beersheba, Rehoboth, and Jacob's well are leading instances of wells (Genesis 21:19; Genesis 26:22). They are sunk much deeper than ours, to prevent drying up. Jacob's well is 75 ft. deep, seven feet six inches in diameter, and lined with rough masonry; a pitcher unbroken at the bottom evidenced that there was water at some seasons, otherwise the fall would have broken the pitcher. ...
Sinai - (See EXODUS. ) The peninsula of Sinai is a triangular tract, bounded on the W. by the gulf of Suez, on the E. by the gulf of Akabah, and on the N. by a line drawn from Gaza through Beersheba to the S. of the Dead Sea. There are three divisions:... (1) the southernmost, the neighbourhood of Sinai;... (2) the desert of et Tih, the scene of Israel's wanderings;... (3) the Νegeb , or "south country", the dwelling of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ... Near 'Αin Ηudherah ("Hazeroth") Mr. Palmer (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January, 1871) discovered Erweis el Ebeirig, which he believed to be the remains of an Israelite camp. The tombs outside he identified as the Κibroth Ηattaavah , "graves of lust" (Numbers 11:31); the extensive remains betoken a large assemblage of people. Farther on the stone huts scattered over the hills and country, Arabic Νawamis ("mosquitos"), were probably Amalekite dwellings. Proceeding N. the explorers reached 'Ain Gadis or Kadesh, with a wady of the same name running from it beside a large plain. 'Ain Gadis is on the frontier of the Negeb or south country, which is now waste through neglect of the water supply, but bears traces of former cultivation arid ruins of many cities. Eshcol, where the spies went, lay not far off from Kadesh in the vine abounding district on the way to Hebron; the hill sides are covered with small stone heaps, on which the vines were trained. ... To the north stand el Μeshrifeh or Ζephath "the watchtower," and Sbaita, all built of stone, without timber, "the city of the Zephath," afterward called Hormah (Judges 1:17). The route lies then through the Amorite hills to Ruhaibeh, with the remains of an old well, the troughs being of great size and antiquity, the Rehoboth well of Isaac; near it Shutnet, or Sitnah. Then Beersheba with three wells, one dry, the other two full of water. Sinai stands in the center of the peninsula which lies between the two horns of the Red Sea. It is a wedge shaped mass of granite and porphyry platonic rocks, rising almost 9,000 ft. above the sea. On the S. W. lies a wide alluvial plain, coasting the gulf of Suez; on the E. side, coasting the Akabah gulf, the plain is narrow. There are three chief masses:... (1) The N. W. cluster, including five-peaked Serbal, 6,342 ft. above the sea. ... (2) The E. and central mass, jebel Katherin its highest point, 8,063 ft. above the sea; jebel Musa, at the south end, about 7,000 ft. ... (3) The S. E. close to (2), Um Shaumer its highest point. Ras Sufsafeh, the northern end of (2), with the vast plain er Rahab ("the wilderness of Sinai") for Israel below, is the Mount Sinai of the law. ... Horeb is the N. part of the Sinaitic range. At the foot of Ras Sufsafeh are alluvial mounds, which exactly correspond to the "bounds" set to restrain the people. In the long retiring sweep of er Rahab the people could "remove and stand afar off," for it extends into the side valleys. Moses, coming through one of the oblique gullies at the side of Res Sufsafeh on the N. and S. , might not see the camp, though hearing the noise, until he emerged from the wady ed Deir or the wady Leja on the plain (Exodus 32:15-19). ...
Abimelech - ("father of a king", or "father king". ) A common title of many Philistine kings, as Pharaoh of the Egyptians, and Caesar and Augustus of the Roman: Padishah (father king) is similarly a title of the Persian king. ... 1. Hence, we find Achish called Abimelech in the title of Psalm 34, which explains the seeming discrepancy of name in 1 Samuel 21:11. ... 2. Genesis 20:1, 1898 B. C. ; Hales, 2054 B. C. : the king of Gerar. Abimelech's taking Sarah into his harem shows that in those times kings claimed the odious despotic right of taking unmarried females, whether subjects or sojourners; compare Genesis 12:15; Esther 2:3. A divine warning that death would be the penalty of keeping her, but that Abraham's intercession as a prophet would follow the restoring of her, led him to give her back with a present of a thousand pieces of silver (131 British pounds). With delicate sarcasm (in the English KJV) he reproved Abraham's deception. ... Rather, as Keil and Delitzsch, instead of "he," translate "this is to thee a covering of the eyes (i. e. an expiatory gift) with regard to all that are with thee" (because in a mistress the whole family is disgraced), "so thou art justified. " The closing of the wombs of Abimelech's house then ceased. Abimelech some years after repaired, with Phichol his chief captain, to Abraham to form a treaty of friendship. He restored the well dug by Abraham, but seized by Abimelech's herdsmen. It was thence named Beersheba, the well of the oath, and consecrated to Jehovah (Genesis 21:22-34). ... 3. A son of the former, with whom a similar transaction took place in the case of Isaac's wife Rebekah. The wells dug by Abraham, being supposed to give a proprietary right in the soil, were stopped by the Philistines, and opened again by Isaac, and the virgin soil yielded to his culture one hundred fold. Jealousy made Abimelech beg him "go from us, for thou art much mightier than we. " In the true spirit of "the meek" who "shall inherit the earth," he successively abandoned his wells, Esek (contention) and Sitnah (hatred), before the opposition of the Gerarite herdsmen, and found peace at last at the well Rehoboth (room), where the Lord made room for him. ... So by loving concession shall we find peace and room at last (Romans 12:18-21; John 14:2; Psalms 31:8; Psalms 118:5). At Beersheba Abimelech with Ahuzzath his friend, and Phichol his captain, renewed the treaty of friendship with Isaac, originally made by his father with Abraham, and for the same reason (notwithstanding his past bad treatment of Isaac in sending him away), namely, he saw the Lord was with Isaac. Compare Genesis 26:23 with Genesis 21:22-23. Plainly the Philistines had then a more organized government than the Canaanite nations, one of which had been supplanted by these foreign settlers. ... 4. Son of Gideon by his Shechemite concubine (Judges 8:31). At Gideon's death he murdered his seventy brethren, excepting the youngest, Jotham, who hid himself, and by his mother's brethren influenced the Shechemites to make him king. Then Jotham addressed to the Shechemites the fable of the trees and the bramble (Judges 9), presaging a feud between Abimelech and Shechem which would mutually consume both. So it came to pass; for God makes in righteous retribution the instruments of men's sin the instrument also of their punishment at last. After three years Shethem rebelled, under Gaal. At Zebul's information Abimelech came rapidly on the rebels and slew all, and beat down their city, and sowed it with salt; he burned to death a thousand more men and women who fled for sanctuary to the hold of the idol Baalberith. Thence he marched to Thebez, nine miles eastward, and took the town; but when trying to burn the tower was struck on the head by a piece of a millstone cast down by a woman. Feeling his wound mortal, he was slain by his armorbearer, at his own request, lest it should be said a woman slew him. For the spiritual lesson read Jeremiah 2:19; Proverbs 5:22; Proverbs 1:31; Job 20:5; Matthew 26:52. The friendship that is based on sin is hollow; compare 2 Samuel 13:3-5; 2 Samuel 13:32-33. ...
Nimrod - Cush's son or descendant, Ham's grandson (Genesis 10:8). "Nimrod began to be a mighty one in the earth," i. e. he was the first of Noah's descendants who became renowned for bold and daring deeds, the Septuagint "giant" (compare Genesis 6:4; Genesis 6:13; Isaiah 13:3). "He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah," so that it passed into a proverb or the refrain of ballads in describing hunters and warriors, "even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Jehovah. " Not a mere Hebrew superlative, but as in Genesis 27:7 "bless thee before Jehovah," i. e. as in His presence, Psalms 56:13 "walk before God. " Septuagint translated "against Jehovah"; so in Numbers 16:2 lipneey , "before," means opposition. The Hebrew name Nimrod means "let us rebel," given by his contemporaries to Nimrod as one who ever had in his mouth such words to stir up his band to rebellion. Nimrod subverted the existing patriarchal order of society by setting up a chieftainship based on personal valor and maintained by aggression. The chase is an image of war and a training for it. ... The increase of ferocious beasts after the flood and Nimrod's success in destroying them soon gathered a band to him. From being a hunter of beasts he became a hunter of men. "In defiance of Jehovah," as virtually" before Jehovah" (Proverbs 15:11) means, Nimrod, a Hamite intruded into Shem's portion, violently set up an empire of conquest, beginning with Babel, ever after the symbol of the world power in its hostility to God. From that land he went forth to Asshur and builded Nineveh. The later Babylonians spoke Semitic, but the oldest inscriptions are Turanian or Cushite. Tradition points to Babylon's Cushite origin by making Belus son of Poseidon (the sea) and Libya (Ethiopia): Diodorus Siculus i. 28. Oannes the fish god, Babylon's civilizer, rose out of the Red Sea (Syncellus, Chronog. 28). "Cush" appears in the Babylonian names Cissia, Cuthah, Chuzistan (Susiana). Babylon's earliest alphabet in oldest inscriptions resembles that of Egypt and Ethiopia; common words occur, as Mirikh, the Meroe of Ethiopia, the Mars of Babylon. ... Though Arabic is Semitic, the Mahras' language in southern Arabia is non-Semitic, and is the modern representative of the ancient Himyaric whose empire dates as far back as 1750 B. C. The Mahras is akin to the Abyssinian Galla language, representing the Cushite or Ethiopic of old; and the primitive Babylonian Sir H. Rawlinson from inscriptions decides to resemble both. The writing too is pictorial, as in the earliest ages of Egypt. The Egyptian and Ethiopic hyk (in hyk-sos , the "shepherd kings"), a "king," in Babylonian and Susianian is khak . "Tyrhak" is common to the royal lists of Susiana and Ethiopia, as "Nimrod" is to those of Babylon and Egypt. Ra is the Cushite supreme god of Babylon as Ra is the sun god in Egypt. (See BABEL. ) Nimrod was the Bel, Belus, or Baal, i. e. lord of Babel, its founder. Worshipped (as the monuments testify) as Bilu Nipra or Bel Nimrod, i. e, the god of the chase; the Talmudical Nopher, now Niffer. Josephus (Ant. 1:4) and the tortures represent him as building, in defiance of Jehovah, the Babel tower. ... If so (which his rebellious character makes likely) he abandoned Babel for a time after the miraculous confusion of tongues, and went and founded Nineveh. Eastern tradition pictures hint a heaven-storming giant chained by God, among the constellations, as Orion, Hebrew Κeciyl , "fool" or "wicked. " Sargon in an inscription says: "350 kings of Assyria hunted the people of Bilu-Nipru"; probably meaning the Babylon of Nimrod, nipru "hunter", another form of Nebrod which is the Septuagint form of Nimrod. His going to Assyria (Genesis 10:10-11-12) accords with Micah's designating Assyria "the hind of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6). Also his name appears in the palace mound of Nimrud. The fourfold group of cities which Nimrod founded in Babylonia answer to the fourfold group in Assyria. So Κiprit Αrba , "king of the four races," is an early title of the first monarchs of Babylon; Chedorlaomer appears at the head of four peoples; "king of the four regions" occurs in Nineveh inscriptions too; after Sargon's days four cities had the pre-eminence (Rawlinson, 1:435, 438,4 47). ... The early seat of empire was in the southern part of Babylonia, where Niffer represents either Babel or Calneh, Warka Erech, Mugheir Ur, Senkereh Ellasar. The founder (about 2200 B. C. ) or embellisher of those towns is called Kinzi Akkad, containing the name Accad of Genesis 10:1. Tradition mentions a Belus king of Nineveh, earlier than Ninus; Shamas Iva (1860 B. C. ), son of Ismi Dagon king of Babylon, founded a temple at Kileh Shergat (Asshur); so that the Scripture account of Babylon originating the Assyrian cities long before the Assyrian empire of the 13th century B. C. is confirmed. (Layard, Nineveh 2:231). Sir H. Rawlinson conjectures that Nimrod denotes not an individual but the "settlers," and that Rehoboth, Calah, etc. , are but sites of buildings afterward erected; but the proverb concerning Nimrod and the history imply an individual; the Birs (temple) Nimrud, the Sukr (dam across the Tigris) el Nimrud, and the mound Nimrud, all attest the universal recognition of him as the founder of the empire. ...
Nimrod - He is generally supposed to have been the immediate son of Cush, and the youngest, or sixth, from the Scriptural phrase, "Cush begat Nimrod," after the mention of his five sons, Genesis 10:8 . But the phrase is used with considerable latitude, like "father" and "son," in Scripture. "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar: out of that land he went forth to invade Assyria; and built Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resin, between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city," Genesis 10:8-12 . Though the main body of the Cushites was miraculously dispersed and sent by Providence to their destinations along the sea coasts of Asia and Africa, yet Nimrod remained behind, and founded an empire in Babylonia, according to Berosus, by usurping the property of the Arphaxadites in the land of Shinar; where "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel," or Babylon, and other towns: and, not satisfied with this, he next invaded Assur, or Assyria, east of the Tigris, where he built Nineveh, and several other towns. The marginal reading of our English Bible, "He went out into Assyria," or to invade Assyria, is here adopted in preference to that in the text: "And out of that land went forth Ashur, and builded Nineveh," &c. The meaning of the word Nineveh may lead us to his original name, Nin, signifying "a son," the most celebrated of the sons of Cush. That of Nimrod, or "Rebel," was probably a parody, or nickname, given him by the oppressed Shemites, of which we have several instances in Scripture. Thus nahash, the brazen "serpent" in the wilderness, was called by Hezekiah, in contempt, nehushtan, "a piece of brass," when he broke it in pieces, because it was perverted into an object of idolatrous worship by the Jews, 2 Kings 18:4 . Nimrod, that arch rebel, who first subverted the patriarchal government, introduced also the Zabian idolatry, or worship of the heavenly host; and, after his death, was deified by his subjects, and supposed to be translated into the constellations of Orion, attended by his hounds, Sirius and Canicula, and still pursuing his favourite game, the great bear; supposed also to be translated into ursa major, near the north pole; as admirably described by Homer,—... Αρκτον θ ', ην και αμαζαν επικλησιν καλεουσιν , Η τ ' αυτου στρεφεται , και τ ' ‘Ωρεωνα δοκευει . Iliad v. 485. ... "And the bear, surnamed also the wain, by the Egyptians, who is turning herself about there, and watching Orion. " Homer also introduces the shade of Orion, as hunting in the Elysian fields,—... Τον δε μετ ', ‘Ωριωνα πελωριον εισενοησα Θηρας ομου ειλευντα , κατ ' ασφοδελον λειμωνα Τους αυτος κατεπεφνεν εν οιοπολοισιν ορεσσι Χερσιν εχων ροπαλον παγχαλκεον , αιεν ααγες . Odyss. v. 571. ... "Next, I observed the mighty Orion ... Chasing wild beasts through an asphodel mead, Which himself had slain on the solitary mountains: Holding in his hands a solid brazen mace, ever unbroken. " ... The Grecian name of this "mighty hunter" may furnish a satisfactory clue to the name given him by the impious adulation of the Babylonians and Assyrians. ‘Ωριων nearly resembles ‘Ουριαν , the oblique case of ‘Ουριας , which is the Septuagint rendering of Uriah, a proper name in Scripture, 2 Samuel 11:6-21 . But Uriah, signifying "the light of the Lord," was an appropriate appellation of that most brilliant constellation. He was also called Baal, Beel, Bel, or Belus, signifying "lord," or "master," by the Phenicians, Assyrians, and Greeks; and Bala Rama, by the Hindus. ... At a village called Bala-deva, or Baldeo in the vulgar dialect, thirteen miles east by south from Muttra, in Hindustan, there is a very ancient statue of Bala Rama, in which he is represented with a ploughshare in his left hand, and a thick cudgel in his right, and his shoulders covered with the skin of a tiger. Captain Wilford supposes that the ploughshare was designed to hook his enemies: but may it not more naturally denote the constellation of the great bear, which strikingly represents the figure of a plough in its seven bright stars; and was probably so denominated by the earliest astronomers, before the introduction of the Zabian idolatry, as a celestial symbol of agriculture? The thick cudgel corresponds to the brazen mace of Homer. And it is highly probable that the Assyrian Nimrod, or Hindu Bala, was also the prototype of the Grecian Hercules, with his club and lion's skin. ... Nimrod is said to have been "a mighty hunter before the Lord;" which the Jerusalem paraphrast interprets of a sinful hunting after the sons of men to turn them off from the true religion. But it may as well be taken in a more literal sense, for hunting of wild beasts; inasmuch as the circumstance of his being a mighty hunter is mentioned with great propriety to introduce the account of his setting up his kingdom; the exercise of hunting being looked upon in ancient times as a means of acquiring the rudiments of war; for which reason the principal heroes of Heathen antiquity, as Theseus, Nestor, &c, were, as Xenophon tells us, bred up to hunting. Beside, it may be supposed, that by this practice Nimrod drew together a great company of robust young men to attend him in his sport, and by that means increased his power. And by destroying the wild beasts, which, in the comparatively defenceless state of society in those early ages, were no doubt very dangerous enemies, he might, perhaps, render himself farther popular; thereby engaging numbers to join with him, and to promote his chief design of subduing men, and making himself master of many nations. ...
Wells - When the pool, the fountain, and the river fail, the oriental shepherd is reduced to the necessity of digging wells; and, in the patriarchal age, the discovery of water was reckoned of sufficient importance to be the subject of a formal report to the master of the flock, who commonly distinguished the spot by an appropriate name. A remarkable instance of this kind is recorded by Moses in these terms: "And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours; and he called the name of the well Ezek, because they strove with him. And they digged another well; and they strove for that also, and he called the name of it Sitnah, (opposition;) and he removed from thence and digged another well: and for that they strove not; and he called the name of it Rehoboth, (room;) and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land,"... Genesis 26:17 , &c. "Strife," says Dr. Richardson, "between the different villagers and the different herdsmen here, exists still, as it did in the days of Abraham and Lot: the country has often changed masters; but the habits of the natives, both in this and other respects, have been nearly stationary. " So important was the successful operation of sinking a well in Canaan, that the sacred historian remarks in another passage: "And it came to pass the same day, (that Isaac and Abimelech had concluded their treaty,) that Isaac's servants came and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water; and he called it Shebah, (the oath,) therefore the name of the city is Beershebah unto this day," Genesis 26:33 . To prevent the sand, which is raised from the parched surface of the ground by the winds, from filling up their wells, they were obliged to cover them with a stone. In this manner the well was covered, from which the flocks of Laban were commonly watered: and the shepherds, careful not to leave them open at any time, patiently waited till all the flocks were gathered together, before they removed the covering, and then, having drawn a sufficient quantity of water, they replaced the stone immediately. The extreme scarcity of water in these arid regions, entirely justifies such vigilant and parsimonious care in the management of this precious fluid; and accounts for the fierce contentions about the possession of a well, which so frequently happened between the shepherds of different masters. But after the question of right, or of possession, was decided, it would seem the shepherds were often detected in fraudulently watering their flocks and herds from their neighbour's well. To prevent this, they secured the cover with a lock, which continued in use so late as the days of Chardin, who frequently saw such precautions used in different parts of Asia, on account of the real scarcity of water there. According to that intelligent traveller, when the wells and cisterns were not locked up, some person was so far the proprietor that no one dared to open a well or cistern but in his presence. This was probably the reason that the shepherds of Padanaram declined the invitation of Jacob to water the flocks, before they were all assembled; either they had not the key of the lock which secured the stone, or, if they had, they durst not open it but in the presence of Rachel, to whose father the well belonged. It is ridiculous to suppose the stone was so heavy that the united strength of several Mesopotamian shepherds could not roll it from the mouth of the well, when Jacob had strength or address to remove it alone; or that, though a stranger, he ventured to break a standing rule for watering the flocks, which the natives did not dare to do, and that without opposition. The oriental shepherds were not on other occasions so passive, as the violent conduct of the men of Gerar sufficiently proves. ... Twice in the day they led their flocks to the wells; at noon, and when the sun was going down. To water the flocks was an operation of much labour, and occupied a considerable space of time. It was, therefore, an office of great kindness with which Jacob introduced himself to the notice of his relations, to roll back the stone which lay upon the mouth of the well, and draw water for the flocks which Rachel tended. Some of these wells are furnished with troughs and flights of steps down to the water, and other contrivances to facilitate the labour of watering the cattle. It is evident the well to which Rebekah went to draw water, near the city of Nahor, had some convenience of this kind, for it is written, "Rebekah hasted and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels," Genesis 24:20 . A trough was also placed by the well, from which the daughters of Jethro watered his flocks, Exodus 2:16 ; and, if we may judge from circumstances, was a usual contrivance in every part of the east. In modern times, Mr. Park found a trough near the well, from which the Moors watered their cattle, in the sandy deserts of Sahara. Dr. Shaw, speaking of the occupation of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, "To finish the day, at the time of the evening, even at the time that the women go out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goat skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water. " "The women in Persia," says Morier, "go in troops to draw water for the place. I have seen the elder ones sitting and chatting at the well, and spinning the coarse cotton of the country, while the young girls filled the skins which contain the water, and which they all carry on their backs into the town. " "A public well," says Forbes, "without the gate of Diamonds, in the city Dhuboy, was a place of great resort: there, most travellers halted for shade and refreshment: the women frequented the fountains and reservoirs morning and evening, to draw water. Many of the Gwzerat wells have steps leading down to the surface of the water; others have not, nor do I recollect any furnished with buckets and ropes for the convenience of a stranger; most travellers are therefore provided with them, and halcarras and religious pilgrims frequently carry a small brass pot affixed to a long string for this purpose. "...
Assur - Assyria, Asshur. The region between the Armenian mountains on the N. , Elam or Susiana, now the country near Bagdad, on the S. , and beyond it Babylonia, the mountains of Kurdistan, the ancient Lagres chain and Media on the E. , the Mesopotamian desert (between Tigris and Euphrates), or else the Euphrates, on the W. ; a length of about 500 miles, a breadth of from 350 to 100. W. of the Euphrates was Arabia, higher up Syria, and the country of the Hittites. Kurdistan and the pachalik of Mosul nearly answer to Assyria. Named from Asshur, Shem's son, latterly made the Assyrian god. Its capital was Nineveh on the Tigris (a name meaning "arrow", implying "rapidity", but see Hiddekel). Genesis 10:11-12; Genesis 10:22; Genesis 2:14. All over the vast flat on both sides of the Tigris rise "grass covered heaps, marking the site of ancient habitations" (Layard). They are numbered by hundreds, and when examined exhibit traces of their Assyrian origin. They are on the left bank of the Tigris, and on the right abound both on the N. and the S. of the Sinyar (a limestone range extending from Iwan in Luristan nearly to Rakkah on the Euphrates), and eastward beyond the Khabour, northward to Mardie, and southward to near Bagdad. ... Huzzab (Nahum 2:7), answering to Adiabene, the richest region of all, lying on the rivers Zab or Diab, tributaries of the Tigris, whence it is named, is the only district name which occurs in Scripture. The chief cities were Nineveh, answering to the mounds opposite Mosul (Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik), Calah or Hulah, now Nimrud Asshur, now Kilek Sherghent; Sargina, now Khorsabad; Arbela, Arbil (G. Rawlinson). Others identify Kileh Sherghat on the right bank of the Tigris with the ancient Calah, Nimrud with Resen. Erech is the modern Warka; Accad, now Akkerkuf. Calneh answers to the classical Ctesiphon on the Tigris, 18 miles below Bagdad, the region round being named by the Greeks Calonitis. Rehoboth answers to ruins still so named on the right of the Euphrates, N. W. of the Shinar plain, and three and half miles S. W. of the town Mayadin (Chesney): Genesis 10:10-12. ... G. Smith thinks the ridges enclosing Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus were only the wall of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending much beyond this, namely, to the mound Yarenijah. Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests in that quarter; but even then a temple was founded to the goddess at Koyunjik. Samsivul, prince of the city Assur, 60 miles S. of Nineveh, rebuilt the temple; the region round Nineveh in the 19th century being under Assyria's rulers. Again Assurubalid, 1400 B. C. , rebuilt, and a century later Shalmaneser, one of whose brick inscriptions G. Smith found. Classical tradition and the Assyrian monuments confirm Scripture, that Assyria was peopled from Babylon. In Herodotus Ninus the founder of Nineveh is the son of Belus, the founder of Babylon. ... The remains prove that Babylon's civilization was anterior to Assyria's. The cuneiform writing is rapidly punched on moist clay, and so naturally took its rise in Babylonia, where they used "brick for stone" (Genesis 11:3), and passed thence to Assyria, where chiseling characters on rock is not so easy. In Assyria too the writing is of a more advanced kind; in early Babylonia of a ruder stage. Babylon is Hamitic in origin; Assyria Shemitic. The vocabulary of Ur, or S. Babylonia, is Cushite or Ethiopian, of which the modern Galla of Abyssinia gives the best idea. At the same time traces exist in the Babylonian language of the other three great divisions of human speech, Shemitic, Aryan, and Turanian, showing in that primitive stage traces of the original unity of tongues. ... Rehoboth Ir (i. e. city markets), Calah, Resen, and Nineveh (in the restricted sense), formed one great composite city, Nineveh (in the larger sense): Jonah 3:3. The monuments confirm Genesis 10:9-12, that the Shemitic Assyrians proceeding out of Babylonia founded Nineveh long after the Cushite foundation of Babylon. The Babylonian shrines were those at which the Assyrians thought the gods most accessible, regarding Babylon as the true home of their gods (Arrian, Exp. Alex. , 7). Moses knew Assyria (Genesis 2:14; Genesis 25:18; Numbers 24:22; Numbers 24:24), but not as a kingdom; had it been a kingdom in Abraham's time, it must have appeared among Chedorlaomer's confederates (Genesis 14). Chushan-Rishathaim (Judges 3:8), the first foreign oppressor of Israel, was master of the whole of Syria between the rivers (Aram Naharaim) or Mesopotamia, in the time of the judges, so that at that time (about 1400 B. C. ) Assyria can have had no great power. ... According to Herodotus and the Babylonian historian Berosus, we can infer the empire began about 1228 B. C. , 520 years before its decay through the revolt of subject nations, the Medes, etc. ; or else 526 years from 1273 B. C. (as others suggest) to the reign of Pul. He first brought Assyria into contact with Israelite history by making Menahem his tributary vassal (2 Kings 15:19). Under Tiglath Pileser the Assyrian empire included Media, Syria, and N. Palestine, besides Assyria proper. Shalmaneser added Israel, Zidon, Acre, and Cyprus. Assyrian monuments, pillars, boundary tablets, and inscriptions are found as far as in Cyprus at Larnaka (a portrait of a king with a tablet, now in Berlin), and in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea. Their alabaster quarries furnished a material better than the Babylonian bricks for portraying scenes. Their pictures partake more of the actual than the ideal; but in the realistic school they stand high and show a progressive power unknown in stationary Egyptian art . ... The sculptures in Sardanapalus II. 's palace are the best, and the animal forms, the groupings, the attitudes most lifelike. The Assyrians knew the arch, the lever, the roller, gem engraving, tunneling, drainage. Their vases, bronze and ivory ornaments, bells, and earrings, show considerable taste and skill. But their religion was sensual and their government rude. No funeral ceremonies are represented. They served as God's scourge of Israel (Isaiah 10:5-6), and they prepared the way for a more centralized and better organized government, and a more spiritual religion, such as the Medo-Persians possessed. The apocryphal book of Baruch describes the Assyrian deities exactly as the ancient monuments do. ... Asshur, the deified patriarch, was the chief god (Genesis 10:22). Ahaz' idolatrous altar set up from a pattern at Damascus, where lie had just given his submission to Tiglath Pileser, may have been required as a token of allegiance, for the inscriptions say that wherever they established their supremacy they set up "the laws of Asshur," and "altars to the great gods. " But this rule was not always enforced and in no case required the supplanting of the local worship, but merely the superaddition of the Assyrian rite. Athur, on the Tigris, five hours N. E. of Mosul, still represents the name Assyria. Syria (properly called Aram) N. of Palestine is probably a shortened form of Assyria, the name being extended by the Greeks to the country which they found subject to Assyria. Ctesias' list of Assyrian kings is evidently unhistorical. However the inscriptions of Sargon, king of Agane near Sippars (Sepharvaim), describe his conquests in Elam and Syria, and his advance to the Mediterranean coast, where he set up a monument 1600 B. C. He records that his mother placed him at his birth in an ark of rushes and set it afloat on the Euphrates; seemingly copied from the account of Moses. ... The oldest Assyrian remains are found at Kileh Sherghat on the right bank of the Tigris, 60 miles S. of the later capital; here therefore, at this city then called Asshur, not at Nineveh, was the early seat of government. 14 kings reigned there during 350 years, from 1273 to 930 B. C. , divisible into three groups. Tiglath Pileser I. was contemporary with Samuel about the close of the 12th century B. C. Cylinders of clay, (resembling a small keg diminishing in size from the middle to the ends, more durable for records than the hardest metals. ) are now in the British Museum. which had lain under the four grainer stones of the great temple of Assyria at Kileh Sherghat for 3000 years, and which relate the five successive campaigns of Tiglath Pileser I. , 1130 B. C. He is the first Assyrian king of whose exploits we have full details; two duplicate cylinders in the British Museum were deciphered by Sir H. Rawlinson. Fox Talbot, Hincks, and Oppert, furnished simultaneously with lithographed copies and working independently. The agreement substantially of their readings proves the truth of the decipherment. Asshur-buni-pal (the Greek Sardanapalus) is the only monarch who keenly patronized literature. ... A royal library of clay tablets, numbering probably 10,000, was made by him at Nineveh, from which the British Museum has got its most precious treasures. They filled the chambers to the height of a foot or more from the floor. A religious character appears in all the Assyrian kings' names. Tiglath Pileser I. ("Be worship given to Nin" or "Hercules") claims to have conquered in the first five years of his reign "42 countries from the Lower Zab to the Upper Sea of the setting sun," the region from Assyria proper to the Euphrates, from Babylon's borders to mount Taurus, and to have fought the Hittites in northern Syria, and invaded Armenia and Cappadocia. Later on he was defeated by the Babylonian king, who carried captive several Assyrian idols. ... Sardanapalus I. (Asshur-izir-pal) transferred the seat of government from Kileh Sherghat (Assur) to Nimrud (Calah), where he built the gorgeous palace lately discovered. Most, of the Assyrian sculptures in the British Museum are from it; and from them we learn that Sardanapalus I. (Asshu-izir-pal) warred in Lower Babylonia and Chaldsea, as well as in Syria and upon the Mediterranean coast. Shalmaneser II. , or Shalmanubar, his son, set up the black obelisk now in the British Museum to commemorate his father's victories. He himself overran Cappadocia, Armenia, Azerbijan, Media Magna, the Kurd mountains, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Phoenicia. Cuneiform scholars all agree that Benhadad and Hazael, of Damascus, are mentioned as opposed to him in his Syrian wars, and that he took tribute from Jehu of Israel. In 854 B. C. his advance into Hamath was interrupted by the leagued forces of Syria and Palestine, 85,000 in all, under Benhadad. Among them inscriptions mention 2000 chariots and 10,000 footmen of Ahab of Israel. ... The battle was at the Orontes. Shalmaneser claims the victory, but he was forced, to return to Nineveh. In 842 B. C. , when Moab had revolted from Israel and the league of Syria and Israel was dissolved, Shalmaneser attacked Hazael, Benhadad's successor, at the mountains of Saniru (Shenir) in Lebanon, and completely defeated him. Unable to take Damascus, Shalmaneser marched to the Mediterranean coast, where he set up a pillar at the mouth of the Dog River commemorating his victories. Jehu, called in the inscription "son (i. e. successor) of Omri," gave him tribute. (G. Smith in Pal. Expl. Qy. Stat. ) Jonah's mission to Ninevah was shortly before Pul's reign. Pul, Phul, or Phaloch, supposed to be his grandson, is the first Assyrian king mentioned in Scripture. Identified by some with Vul-lush of the Assyrian lists, who reigned at Calah (Nimrud) from 800 to 750 B. C. , and who married Semiramis of Babylon (whose son Nabonassar Pul is supposed to have sat on the Babylonian throne). But as it is impossible to identify Tiglath Pileser's predecessor Asshut-lush with Pul, and as Assyria was then in a depressed state through internal troubles, Pul was probably monarch at Babylon (Berosus, the Babylonian historian, calls him "king of the Chaldoeans") while Asshur-lush reigned at Nineveh. ... In the disturbed 10 years before Tiglath Pileser's accession, he probably deprived Assyria of her western province and invaded Palestine from the Assyrian direction, and so was loosely designated "king of Assyria" instead of "Babylon. " Tiglath Pileser II. , 745 B. C. , founded a new dynasty. He was an usurper, for he makes no mention of his father or ancestors. He conquered Rezin, king of Damascus, at Ahaz' solicitation, also Israel, whom he deprived of much territory. The captives he carried to Kir, a river flowing into the Caspian Sea. In the inscriptions mention is made of Menahem of Syria paying him tribute, also Jahuhazi (Ahaz), of Judah, and of his setting Hoshea on the Israelite throne on Pekah's death. The Assyrian monuments dear the seeming discrepancy of Isaiah 20 mentioning Sargon, while he is ignored in 2 Kings. Sargon is by them proved to have been successor of Shalmaneser II. (Tiglath Pileser's successor), and father of Sennacherib, and grandfather of Esarhaddon. ... The siege of Samaria for three years, under Hoshea, was begun by Shalmaneser and was ended by Sargon (2 Kings 17). About the middle of the eighth century B. C. there is a break in the line of Assyrian kings and a loosening of the He which held together the subject nations under Assyria, so that 23 years after Pul, 747 B. C. , the Babylonians reckon as the era of their independence. At this time Tiglath Pileser II. seems to have been the founder of the "lower empire. " This more than revived the glories of the former empire, and recovered the supremacy over Babylon. The magnificent palace of Sennacherib (the assailant of (See HEZEKIA) at Nineveh, as also the buildings erected by Sargon and Esarhaddon (the carrier away of Manasseh to Babylon, 2 Chronicles 33:11) show the power and wealth of Assyria at this period. The remains at Koyunjik and Khorsabad are the work of these later kings alone; at Nimrud the earlier kings shared in the erections. ... By the end of Esarhaddon's reign Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria had been absorbed, Judaea made tributary, Philistia and Idumea subjected, Babylon recovered, and cities planted in Media. Sardanapalus II. succeeded, who was wholly given to the chase, and who decorated his palace walls at Nineveh with sculptures representing its triumphs. The growing power of the Medes gave the final blow (foretold long ago, Isaiah 10:5-19) to Assyria, already enervated by luxury and having lost in prosperous ease its military spirit. Long before Arbaces the Mede (804 B. C. ) is said to have made himself king of Assyria. About 633 B. C. they began attacking Assyria, at first unsuccessfully; but Cyaxares the Mede having gained the Babylonians under Nabopolassar, the Assyrian viceroy of Babylon, as allies, about 625 B. C. besieged Nineveh. Saracus, probably Esarhaddon's grandson, after a brave resistance set fire with his own hand to his palace with its treasures, and himself and his wives perished amidst the flames. ... Nab. 2 and Zephaniah 2:13-15 shortly before the catastrophe foretold it; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly afterward about 586 B. C. attests how completely Assyria was overthrown, as a warning of the fatal end of pride. Never again did Assyria rise as a nation, for God had said (Nahum 3:19) "there is no healing of thy bruise. " The only revolt attempted by her along with Media and Armenia was crushed. The political cause of her downfall was probably the non-fusion of the subject kingdoms into one organic whole. These kingdoms were. feudatories, rendering homage and tribute to the great monarch; as Menahem (2 Kings 15:19), Hoshea (2 Kings 17:4), Ahaz (2 Kings 16:8), Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:14), Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:11); and ready therefore at the first opportunity, whether the king's death or some Assyrian disaster or the promise of some antagonistic ally, to revolt. ...
Assyria - Assyria (as-syr'i-ah). A great empire of western Asia, founded at a very early date probably the oldest on the Euphrates, and is traced to Asshur, Genesis 10:10-11, who built Nineveh, Rehoboth (?), Calah, and Resen. Assyria proper, the northern (Babylonia the southern portion), had about the same territory as Kurdistan. The empire at times covered a far larger extent of territory, and in its prosperity nearly all of western Asia and portions of Africa were subject to its power. According to Prof. F. Brown, "the Babylonio-Assyrian territory was about 600 miles from northwest to southeast, and in the widest part 300 miles from east to west, including Mesopotamia. " The Persian Gulf formerly extended about 130 miles further to the northwest than it does now, the gulf having been filled up by mud borne down by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. There are immense level tracts of the country, now almost a wilderness, which bear marks of having been cultivated and thickly populated in early times. Among its products, besides the common cereals, were dates, olives, cotton, mulberries, gum-arabic, madder, and castor-oil. Of animals, the bear, deer, wolf, lynx, hyena, antelope, lion, tiger, beaver, and camel were common. The fertility of the country is frequently noted by ancient writers. ... History. Of the early history of Assyria little can be said. Profane historians differ; and scripture gives but scanty information. The deciphered inscriptions are revealing more, but are not yet folly examined; new ones are coming to light every year. Babylon is older than Nineveh; it was the beginning of Nimrod's empire, but not content with the settlements he had acquired, he invaded the country called Asshur from the son of Shem, and there founded cities afterwards most famous. Genesis 10:8-12. So far the sacred record would seem to teach us. But that it mentions an early Assyrian kingdom is not certain. Certain eastern monarchs are named, Genesis 14:1; Genesis 14:9, as pushing their conquests westwards, but there is a record of a Chaldean but not of an Assyrian king among them. Says Prof. Brown: "We find mention in the inscriptions of Persia (Parsua), Elam (Elamtu), with Susa (Shushan, cf. Nehemiah 1:1, etc. ), its capital, and Media (Mada), with Ecbatana (Agamtanu = Achmetha, Ezra 6:2), its capital, and Armenia (Urartu = Ararat, 2 Kings 19:37), and the land of the Hittites (Chatti), who, we thus learn, as well as from the Egyptian inscriptions, had their chief seat far to the north of Damascus—Carchemish (Gargamish), their capital, being on the Euphrates, not far from the latitude of Nineveh (modern Jerabis). The river Habor (Chabur), of 2 Kings 17:6, is a river often named that flows into the middle Euphrates from the northeast, and Gozan (Guzanu) (ib. ) is a city and district in the immediate vicinity. These are but a few of the important identifications. " At first the Assyrian empire was confined within narrow limits; it became at length, by the addition of neighboring districts, a formidable state. Left partially under the sway of their own chiefs, who were reduced to vassalage, they continually had or took occasion for revolt. This led to the deportations of captives, to break the independent spirit of feudatory states, and render rebellion more difficult and hopeless. The Assyrian empire, at its widest extent, seems to have reached from the Mediterranean Sea and the river Halys in the west, to the Caspian and the Great Desert in the east, and from the northern frontier of Armenia south to the Persian Gulf. Abraham came from Ur Kasdim (Ur of the Chaldees), according to Genesis 11:28; Genesis 11:31; Genesis 15:7; Nehemiah 9:7. "The only known Ur situated in the territory of the Chaldeans is the city of Uru, lying on the right bank of the Euphrates, far below Babylon, whose site now bears the name Muqayyar (Mugheir). The identification of this with the biblical Ur Kasdim has been disputed, but the arguments against it are not conclusive, and no other satisfactory identification has been proposed. We are therefore entitled to hold that the Hebrews were, from the beginning of their history, under the influence not only of the common stock of Shemitic endowments, customs, and beliefs, but also of those that were specifically Babylonian. " After Abraham, for nearly 1200 years, we have no record of the contact of Hebrews with Assyrian or Babylonian peoples. In the ninth century, b. c. , Nineveh and Assyria push into Hebrew territory. Shalmanezer II. encounters Benhadad of Damascus, and probably Ahab of Israel. The dark cloud threatening Israel and Judah from Assyria for their unfaithfulness to God is described in strains of solemn warning. Sometimes "the nations from far" are spoken of; and their terrific might and mode of warfare are detailed without naming them. Isaiah 5:26-30. Sometimes in express words the king of Assyria is said to be summoned as the Lord's executioner, and the desolation he should cause is vividly depicted. Isaiah 8:17-22. Samaria would fall; and her fall might well admonish Judah. Judah should deeply suffer. The invader should march through her territory; but the Lord would effectually defend Jerusalem. Isaiah 10:5-34. The Assyrian king, in the might of his power, subjected the ten tribes, and carried multitudes of them into the far east; he passed also like a flood over the country of Judah, taking many of the cities throughout her territory; and in his presumptuous boldness he conceived that no earthly power could resist him, and even defied Jehovah, the God of Jacob. But the firm purpose of the Lord was to defend that city to save it. The catastrophe is related with awful brevity: "Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and four score and five thousand; and, when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses. " Isaiah 37:1-38. The Assyrian empire attained afterwards probably its greatest power and widest extent. But it was doomed. ... In later Persian times "the Ahashwerosh (Ahasuerus) of Ezra 4:6 and the book of Esther is Xerxes, the son of Darius, b. c. 486-464; and the Artachshashta (Artaxerxes) of Ezra 4:7-8; Ezra 4:11; Ezra 4:23, etc. , Nehemiah 2:1; Nehemiah 5:14, etc. , is the son of Xerxes, Artaxerxes Longimanus, b. c. 464-420. Ezra 4:7-8, etc. , is thought by many to refer to the false Smerdis, the pretended brother of Cambyses, who in b. c. 522 reigned eight months; but the difficulty in supposing both that he had the name Artaxerxes ana that Artaxerxes in the different passages does not refer to the same persons is too great. " Finally, in "Darius the Persian," Nehemiah 12:22, we have a reference to Darius Codomannus, b. c. 836-330. He who rules justly in the world would destroy Assyria (which had been long before warned by Jonah), as Assyria had destroyed other kingdoms. Accordingly, in the prophecies of Nahum and Zephaniah, we find denunciations predicting the entire downfall of this haughty power. The language is fearfully precise. Nahum 1:1-15; Nahum 2:1-13; Nahum 3:1-19; Zephaniah 2:13-15. The work of destruction seems to have been effected by the Medes and Babylonians. Assyria fell, and was never again reckoned among the nations; the very places being for long centuries unknown where her proudest cities had stood. The people. — The excavations which have been so successfully prosecuted have supplied a fund of information as to the manners and habits of the Assyrians. The sovereign was the despotic ruler and the pontiff, and the palaces contained also the temples. With no limitation of the monarch's power, the people were kept in a servile condition and in moral degradation. The conquered provinces being placed under the authority of dependent princes, insurrections were frequent; and the sovereign was almost always engaged in putting down some struggle for independence. War was waged with ruthless ferocity. Cities were attacked by raising artificial mounds; the besieging armies sheltered themselves behind shields of wicker-work, and battered the defences with rams. In the field they had formidable war chariots. And the sculptures exhibit the modes of cruelty practiced upon those that were subdued. They were flayed, they were impaled; their eyes and tongues were cut out; rings were placed in their lips; and their brains were beaten out with maces. Comp. Ezekiel 26:7-12. The Assyrians worshipped a multitude of gods. Asshur (probably the Nisroch of the Scriptures, and the eagle-headed deity of the sculptures), was the chief. But there were 4000 others, presiding over the phenomena of nature and the events of life. The architecture of the Assyrians was of a vast and imposing character. In the fine arts they made considerable proficiency. Their sculptures are diversified, spirited, and faithful. They had, however, little knowledge of perspective, and did not properly distinguish between the front and the side views of an object. Animals, therefore, were represented with five legs; and sometimes two horses had but two forelegs. The later sculptures are found to be better than the earlier. The Assyrians were skilled in engraving even the hardest substances. They were familiar with metallurgy, and manufactured glass and enamels; they carved ivory, and varnished and painted pottery. They indulged in the luxuries of life. Men wore bracelets, chains, and earrings, flowing robes ornamented with emblematic devices wrought in gold and silver; they had long-fringed scarfs and embroidered girdles. The vestments of officials were generally symbolical; the head-dress was characteristic; and the king alone wore the pointed tiara. The beard and hair were carefully arranged in artificial curls; and the eyebrows and eyelashes were stained black. Of the women there are few representations. The weapons of war were richly ornamented, especially the swords, shields and quivers. The helmets were of brass, inlaid with copper. The chariots were embellished, and the horses sumptuously caparisoned. Their literature was extensive—grammars, dictionaries, geographies, sciences, annals, panegyrics on conquerors, and invocations of the gods. Little, however, can be expected from a series of inscriptions, dictated by the ruling powers, who did not hesitate sometimes to falsify the records of their predecessors. The wealth of Assyria was derived from conquest, from agriculture, for which their country was favorably circumstanced, and from commerce, for which they had peculiar facilities. The recent explorations have brought to light immense libraries illustrating the habits and life of a cultured people, recording their history on clay tablets, 2000 years before Abraham. The ruins are a splendid monument in testimony of the truth of prophecy and of Scripture. ...
Isaac - (See ABRAHAM; ISHMAEL. ) "laughter," because Abraham laughed in joy at the promise of his birth, type of the annunciation of Messiah's birth (Genesis 17:17); and Sarah too, with some degree of incredulity because of the improbability at her age (Genesis 18:12), but at his birth with thankful joy toward God, saying "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me" (Genesis 21:6-7; compare Isaiah 54:1). His miraculous conception and naming before birth typify Messiah (Luke 1; Matthew 1). Born at Gerar when Abraham was 100 years old. "Mocked" by Ishmael (who was "born after the flesh") at the weaning feast; the mocking, as Paul implies, containing the germ and spirit of persecution, profanely sneering at the object of the promise. The child of the bond-woman must therefore give place to the child of the freewoman born "by promise. "... While the believing parents "laughed," Ishmael "mocked. " With the laugh of derision and spite. Isaac is type of the believing "children of the promise," "born after the Spirit," therefore, "children of the free" church, "heirs according to the promise," persecuted by the children of legal and carnal bondage, but ultimately about to "inherit all things" to the exclusion of the carnal (Galatians 4:22-31; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 3:29; Revelation 21:7-8). Isaac's submission (at 25 years of age: Josephus, Ant. 1:13, section 2) to his father's will when binding him, and his bearing the wood for his own intended sacrifice, make him a lively type of Him who bore His own cross to Calvary (John 19:17), and whose language was, "Lo I come to do Thy will O God" (Psalms 40:7-8; Hebrews 10:7). His living still after the three days (Genesis 22:4) in which he was dead in Abraham's purpose prefigures the Messiah's resurrection on the third day. ... The scene of the sacrifice, Mount Moriah, was probably that of Christ's suffering. What Isaac's sacrifice wanted to perfect the type was actual death and vicarious substitution; the offering of the ram's life instead of the human life, hereby saved, supplied the defect; the ram and Isaac jointly complete the type. Isaac typifies Christ's Godhead, the ram typifies His manhood (Theodoret) "caught in a thicket by his horns" as Jesus was crowned with thorns. Isaac was of too excellent a nature to be slain, for God's law gives no sanction to human sacrifices. The Father, in love to us, prepared a human body (Hebrews 10:5) for His Son, which can suffer death, the penalty which divine righteousness required for our sin; Christ's Godhead could not suffer. The manhood and Godhead formed one Christ, at once the Son of man and the Son of God, as Isaac and the ram formed one joint type. ... Thus Abraham had the wonderful honour of representing the Father, and Isaac, the only son of the promise, was the most remarkable of all the types of the Son Messiah. Abraham herein had the glimpse which he had desired of Messiah's day "and was glad" (Isaac meaning "laughter flowing from gladness") (John 8:56); not that he fully comprehended the anti-typical meaning. So Hebrews 11:19, "from whence (from the jaws of death, compare 2 Corinthians 1:9-10) he received him back in a parable," i. e. in the way of a typical representation of Christ's death and resurrection. So the slain goat and the scape-goat jointly on the day of atonement represented Christ's death and. resurrection. ... By this work "Abraham's faith was made perfect" (James 2:21-23), not was vivified, but attained its crowning development. His "faith" alone was "counted for righteousness" long before, and he was justified before God (Genesis 15:6). By this work he was also "justified" evidentially before men. Philo Byblius preserves from Sanchouiatho the Phoenician tradition, "Cronus, whom the Phoenicians call Israel, being king, having an only son by a nymph, Anobret, called Jahoud (Hebrew: Yahid), even now the Phoenician name for only begotten, when perils from wars were impending, having clothed his son in royal apparel, offered him upon an altar which he built" (Eusebius, Praep. Evang. , 1:10). This corruption of the Scripture history of Isaac's sacrifice was based on the pagan idea of the most precious human sacrifice being needed to appease the gods in times of calamity. ... So the king of Moab sacrificed his son to Chemosh when sore pressed by Israel, Judah, and Edom (2 Kings 3:27). The idea though wrong in its application, rested on a primeval tradition of God's justice having appointed the sacrifice of precious life as the atonement for sin. Abraham's trustful loving obedience to the true God, at the cost of the greatest self-sacrifice, was by the test shown to be at least equal to that of idolaters to their false gods. The angel's intervention, the ram's substitution, and the prohibition of the human sacrifice prevent the possibility of supposing God sanctions any human sacrifice save that of the Antitype. Not in blind credulity, for Abraham had now long experience that God can order nothing wrong or harsh to His people, but in faith "accounting that God was able to raise His son even from the dead," he obeyed. At 40 Isaac married his cousin, Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, by whom at 60 he had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. ... His contemplative character appears in his "going out to meditate" or pray "in the field at the eventide. " The death of his mother Sarah just before (Genesis 23) naturally pressed upon his spirit, and his resource in affliction was prayerful meditation, a type of Him who "went out into a mountain apart to pray" (Matthew 14:23), his calm and submissive temper also prefiguring the meek and lowly Lamb of God Isaiah 53:7). Solitude and prayer suit best the wounded spirit. That Sarah's death was uppermost in his meditation is implied most artlessly in what follows: Isaac "brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tent, and he loved her, and was comforted after his mother's death. " Rebekah supplied the void in his heart and home. Weakness and partiality for Esau, probably owing to the contrast which Esau's bold spirit presented to his own gentle unadventurous character, were his failings; his partaking of his favorite dish, venison, the produce of his son's hunting, confirmed his selfish partiality. The mother loved the steady, quiet Jacob. ... The gift from God of the twin sons was the answer to Isaac's prayer, after 20 years of childless marriage; for God in giving the greatest blessings delays fulfilling His promise in order to call forth His people's persevering, waiting, prayerful faith (Genesis 25:21). When Isaac was 137, the age at which Ishmael died 14 years before, the thought of his brother's death at that age suggested thoughts of his own, and the desire to bless his favorite before dying. As he lived 43 years afterward, to see Jacob return from Mesopotamia, he probably was now dangerously sick; hence, loathing ordinary food, he longed to have "savoury meat such as he loved. " Esau invited him to: "arise and sit" to eat of his venison; implying that he was laid in his bed. Moreover "he trembled exceedingly" when Esau came in. Esau's words imply his thinking Isaac near death, "the days of mourning for my father are at hand. " Isaac's unexpected prolongation of life probably deterred Esau from his murderous purpose against Jacob for having stolen his blessing. ... He reverenced his father amidst all his wildness, and finally joined with Jacob in paying the last mark of respect at his father's grave, even as Isaac and Ishmael had met at Abraham's Burial. Isaac's carnal partiality and Rebekah's tortuous policy eventuated in their being left in their old age by both children, Esau disappointed and disinherited, Jacob banished to a long and distant servitude; the idols of God's children becoming their scourges, in order to bring them back to Himself (1 Corinthians 11:32; Jeremiah 2:19). His equivocation as to his wife, as if she were his sister, through fear of Abimelech's people at Gerar, was another blemish in Isaac (Genesis 26) So Abram had erred in Egypt and in this same Philistine kingdom (Genesis 20) under a king also bearing the common title (See ABIMELECH , i. e. my father a king. Isaac had obeyed God's vision in not going down to Egypt, a place of spiritual danger though abundant in food, but sojourning in Gerar during the famine. Lack of godly and manly firmness betrayed him into the untruth. ... His wife was not taken into Abimelech's house, as Sarah had been. Abimelech discovering the real state of the case reproved him, and warned his people not to touch him or Rebekah. His meek, peaceable, and non-self-assertive character appears in his successively yielding to the grasping herdsmen of Gerar the wells Esek ("strife") and Sitnah ("hatred". ) So, the Lord who had given him a hundredfold increase in his harvests made room for him at last; and he retained the well Rehoboth ("room") without further contention, and made a covenant with Abimelech; compare Romans 12:18-21; Matthew 5:5; Matthew 5:25; Proverbs 16:7. Isaac lived to see Jacob whom he had sent with his blessing (for faith at last prevailed over his partiality, and he gave Jacob the blessing of Abraham, Genesis 28:1; Genesis 28:4) to seek a wife in Padan-aram return with a large family to him at Hebron (Genesis 35:27),... Before he died at 180; the longest lived of the three patriarchs, the least migratory, the least prolific, and the least favored with revelations. He was buried in the cave of Machpelah. His blessing Jacob and Esau "even (Greek) concerning things to come," as if they were actually present, and not merely concerning things present, is quoted (Hebrews 11:20) as evidencing his faith; as similar dying charges evidenced Jacob's and Joseph's faith. A faithful husband of one wife (compare Ephesians 5:23, etc. ), unlike Abraham and Jacob, of tender affections, he was a man of suffering rather than action; having the divine favor so markedly that Abimelech and his officers said, "we saw certainly that the Lord was with thee" (Genesis 26:28). ... As Abraham foreshadows the unsettled early history of the nation, and Jacob their commercial unwarlike later course, so Isaac their intermediate days of peace and separation from the nations in their fertile land of promise. As Abraham is associated with morning prayer, and Jacob associated with night prayer, so Isaac with evening prayer (Genesis 19:27; Genesis 28:11; Genesis 28:32; Genesis 24:63). God is still "the God of Isaac," who is one of the triad with whom the children of the kingdom shall sit down at the resurrection of the just (Luke 20:37-38, etc. ; Matthew 8:11, etc. ). ...
Balaam - (Hebrew balam ) "not of the people" (Israel), a "foreigner"; else bilam , "the destroyer of the people," corresponding to the Greek Νicolaos , "conqueror of the people" (Revelation 2:14-15), namely, by having seduced them to fornication with the Moabite women (Numbers 25), just as the Nicolaitanes sanctioned the eating of things sacrificed to idols and fornication. The -am , however, may be only a formative syllable. He belonged to Pethor, a city of Aram Naharaim, i. e. Mesopotamia (Deuteronomy 23:4). "Balak, the king of Moab" (he says, Numbers 23:7), "hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the E. ," a region famous for soothsayers (Isaiah 2:6). Pethor, from pathar , "to reveal," was the head quarters of oriental magi, who used to congregate in particular spots (Daniel 2:2; Matthew 2:1), Phathusae, S. of Circesium. It is an undesigned propriety, which marks the truth of Scripture, that it represents Balak of Moab, the descendant of Lot, as having recourse to a diviner of the land from which Lot came when he accompanied Abraham to Canaan. ... It was a practice of ancient nations to devote their enemies to destruction at the beginning of their wars; the form of execration is preserved in Macrobius, Saturnalia, 3:9. The traditional knowledge of the true God lingered among the descendants of Laban and Bethuel. Abimelech of Gerar, Melchizedek, Job, Jethro, are all instances of the truth that knowledge of the one true God was not restricted to Abraham's descendants. Balaam was son of Beor. The same name (omitting the last part, -am, of Balaam), Bela, (and he also "son of Beor," front baar , to "burn up,) occurs among the Edomites connected with Midian by a victory recorded in Genesis 36:32-37; also with the "river" Euphrates through Saul of Rehoboth which was on it, king of Edom. Now Balaam is mentioned in conjunction with the five kings of Midian (Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16). ... A dynasty of Balaam's ancestors from near the great river probably reigned once over Edom. Moab in his application to him was not alone. "Moab was sore afraid . . . because of the children of Israel, and Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field" (how natural the image in the mouth of a shepherd king, as "the king of Moab was a sheep master," 2 Kings 3:4). So "the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand. " It is natural that Balaam, living amidst idolaters, should, like Laban of old in the same region (Genesis 31:20), have been somewhat tainted. Hence, while owning Jehovah for his God and following patriarchal tradition (Job 42:8, who is thought by the decipherers of the Assyrian and Babylonian monuments to have lived in the region about the mouth of the Euphrates, Uz, the early seat of the first Babylonian empire) in offering victims by sevens. ... Balaam had recourse to "enchantments" also, so that he is called "the soothsayer" (Joshua 13:22) (ha -kosem , distinguished, from the true prophet, Isaiah 3:2), a practice denounced as "an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:12). In the portion that follows (Numbers 22:7-24) no further mention of Midian occurs, but only of Moab. But after Balaam's vain effort to curse, and God's constraining him to bless, Israel, "he went and returned to his place" (Numbers 24:14; Numbers 24:25). He had said: "Behold, I go unto my people. " But then follows (Numbers 25) Israel's whoredom, not only with Moabite women but also with Midianite women, of whom Cozbi, daughter of Zur (slain by Phinehas. with Zimri her paramour), was principal; and in Numbers 31:8; Numbers 31:16, Israel's slaughter of the Midianites with their five kings (Zur was one), and also of Balaam, son of Beor, because of his "counsel. " Beside those kings that fell in battle, Israel slew five Midianite kings and executed Balaam judicially after the battle (Numbers 31:8). ... So after all Balaam did not return as he had said, to his own place, Mesopotamia. Dismissed by the Moabites in dissatisfaction, He suffered his mind to dwell on the honors and riches which he had lost by blessing Israel, and so instead of going home he turned to the Midianites, who were joined with Moab in the original application to him. Availing himself of his head knowledge of divine truth, he, like Satan in Eden, used it with fiendish wisdom to break the union between God and Israel by tempting the latter to sin by lust. They fell into his trap: but staying among the Midianites, who doubtless rewarded with mammon his hellish counsel which succeeded so fatally against Israel, he in turn fell into the righteous judgment executed by Moses and Israel on his guilty patrons, Israel's seducers. The undesigned dovetailing together of these scattered incidents into such a harmonious whole is a strong confirmation of the truth of the Scripture history. ... In Numbers 22:12, at the first inquiry of Balaam, God said, "Thou shalt not go with them, thou shalt not curse the people. " Balaam acquiesced, although in language betraying the revolt of his covetous will against God's will he told Balak's princes, "Jehovah refuseth to give me leave to go with you. " Hence, instead of going back to Pethor, he begs them to tarry another night to see "what Jehovah will say unto him more. " In the very moment of saying "I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God," he tempts the Lord as if He might change His purpose, and allow him to earn "the wages of iniquity"; yet himself, with strange inconsistency, such as marks those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18), declares what condemns his perverse thought, "God is not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of man that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it, or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19. )... God did come that night, and seems to contradict His former command, "If the men come to call thee, rise up and go with them. " But God' s unchangeable principle is, with the pure to show Himself pure (Psalms 18:26), with the froward to show Himself froward. He at first speaks plainly to the conscience His will; if the sinner resists the voice of His Spirit and His word He "answers the fool according to his folly," and "gives him up to his own desire" (Psalms 78:29-30; compare Romans 1:25-26; Romans 1:28; Proverbs 1:31); after long resistance by man, God's Spirit ceases to strive with him (Genesis 6:3). Balaam rose up in the morning, and it is not written he waited for the "men to come and call" him. Certainly, "God's anger was kindled because he went"; for his going was in spite of the former plain prohibition; and the second voice was a permission giving him up in judicial anger to his own perversity (compare 1 Kings 22:15), a permission too resting on the condition, which Balaam did not wait for, "if the men come to call thee. " Judges 1:11 saith the "error of Balaam" was his" running greedily for reward. "... The apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:15) says, "Balaam the son of Bosor" (the same as Beor; Bosor is akin to basar , "flesh," and Balaam showed himself the "son of carnality. " Bosor is probably the Aramaic or Chaldee equivalent of Beor, Τsade ( צ ) being submitted for 'Αyin ( ע ). Peter residing at Babylon would naturally adopt the name usual in the Aramaic tradition) "loved the wages of unrighteousness: but was rebuked for his iniquity, the mute (voiceless) donkey, speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet": an awful contrast, a dumb beast forbidding an inspired prophet. The donkey turned aside at the sight of the angel; but Balaam, after God had said "thou shalt not go," persevered in wishing to go for gain. Not what the donkey said, but its speaking at all, withstood his perversity. The donkey indirectly, the angel directly, rebuked his worse than asinine obstinacy. ... The miracle, the object of the infidel's scoff, has a moral fitness which stamps its truth. He who made the cursing prophet bless could make an ass, His own creature, speak (Nehemiah 13:2; Joshua 24:9-10). The "seer" lacks the spiritual eye to discern the angel of the Lord, because it was blinded by lust of riches and honor. God opens the mouth of the irrational brute to show the seer his blindness in not seeing what even the brute could see. Even a beast can discern the spiritual world better than a man blinded by lust. Balaam's worse than brutish mind must be taught by the. brute, in order to chastize his vainly. Not until after the Lord opened the donkey's mouth is it written that" his eyes were opened" (Numbers 24:3-4), whereas they had been "shut" (margin): "falling" refers to his falling with his donkey (not as KJV: "into a trance") and then having his eyes "opened. "... No more efficient agent than Balaam could have been chosen to testify to his friends, Israel's enemies, the hopelessness of their conflict with the people whom Jehovah marks as His own. This famed diviner, brought to curse, blesses; lured by love of gain which depended on his cursing, he contradicts his own nature by forfeiting the promised gain, to bless a people from whom he expected no gain. A master of enchantments, he confesses "there is no enchantment (which can avail) against Jacob, neither any divination against Israel" (Numbers 23:23). The miracle wrought on him, whereby he belied his whole nature, is greater than that wrought on the ass. This truth moreover came with more weight, from him than from any other, and this publicly before a king and a whole people, the most esteemed soothsayer in spite of himself proclaiming Israel's blessedness. ... Balak first feasted Balaam at Kirjath Huzoth, a place of reputed sanctity on the borders. Thence Balaam was taken to "the high places (bamot ) of Baal," called Beth Bamoth in the Moabite stone. Thence to Pisgah's top by the field of Zophim. Thence to Peor's top looking toward Jeshimon. Then Balaam, seeing God's determinate counsel, stopped seeking further enchantments, but looking at Israel in their beautiful order by tribes, he compares them to the rows of lign aloes and cedars by the waters, and foretells the advent of a Hebrew prince who should smite Moab and Edom (David, 2 Samuel 8, the type), and of the Messiah, the Star out of Jacob" (compare Revelation 22:16; Matthew 2, announced to the Gentile wise men from the E. , Balaam's country, by the star in the sky) whose "scepter shall have dominion" (Revelation 2:27-28; Psalms 110:2; He shall restore "the scepter departed from Judah," Genesis 49:10). ... Balaam foretold also (See AMALEK'S utter ruin; the Kenites' being carried captive by Assyria; and Assyria in its turn being afflicted by the Greeks and Romans from Chittim (Cyprus, put for all western lands whence the approach to Palestine was by sea); and these, the last destroying power, in turn, "shall perish for ever" before Messiah's kingdom. "Eber," who was to be "afflicted" by Assyria, includes Eber's descendants through Peleg, and also through Joktan; the western Semites, sprung from Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram (Genesis 10:21). Balaam's prophecy is a comprehensive germ, which Isaiah and the prophets, especially Daniel, develop, concerning the four successive world empires which, after their successive rise and fall, shall be superseded by the universal and everlasting kingdom of Messiah (Daniel 2; 7). ... Jacob saw the dominion of the victorious Lion out of Judah attaining its perfection in Shiloh's (the Prince of peace) peaceful reign. Balaam, in the face of Israel's foes seeking to destroy her, declares that it is they who shall be destroyed. Appropriately the seer that God appoints to announce this belonged to Mesopotamia, the center of the great world powers whose doom he foretells, as rebels against Jehovah's purpose concerning Israel and Israel's Messianic king (Psalm 2). As a Judas was among the apostles, so Balaam among the prophets, a true seer but a bad man; at the transition to the Mosaic from the patriarchal age witnessing to the truth in spite of himself, as Caiaphas did at the transition from the legal to the Christian dispensation. Head knowledge without heart sanctification increases one's condemnation. Making "godliness a source of gain" is the damning sin of all such as Balaam and Simon Magus: 1 Timothy 6:5 (Greek). ... In Micah 6:5 ("O My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beer answered him from Shittim)," the sense is, Remember the fatal effects at Shittim of Israel's joining Baal Peer and committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and how but for God's sparing mercy Israel would have been given to utter destruction. Like Judas and Ahithophel, Balaam set in motion the train of events which entailed his own destruction. Balak's summons was the crisis in his history, bringing him into contact with God's people and so giving him the possibility of nearer communion with God than before. Trying to combine prophecy and soothsaying, the service of God and the wages of iniquity, he made the choice that ruined him for ever! He wanted to do opposite things at once, to curse and to bless (James 3:10-12), to earn at once the wages of righteousness and unrighteousness, if possible not to offend God, yet not to lose Balak's reward. ...
Nineveh - (See ASSYRIA. ) Nimrod builded Nineveh (Genesis 10:11); Herodotus (i. 7) makes Ninus founder of Nineveh. and grandson of Belus founder of Babylon; which implies that it was from Babylon, as Scripture says, that Nineveh's founder came. Nin is the Assyrian Hercules. Their mythology also makes Ninus son of Nimrod. Jonah is the next Scripture after Genesis 10 that mentions Nineveh. (See JONAH. ) Sennacherib after his host's destruction "went and dwelt at Nineveh" (2 Kings 19:36). Jonah (Jonah 3:3) describes it as an "exceeding great city of three days' journey" round (i. e. 60 miles, at 20 miles per day) with 120,000 children "who knew not their right hand from their left" (Jonah 4:11), which would make a population in all of 600,000 or even one million. Diodorus Siculus (ii. 3), agreeing with Jonah's "three days' journey," makes the circumference 55 miles, pastures and pleasure grounds being included within, from whence Jonah appositely (Jonah 4:11) mentions "much cattle. " G. Smith thinks that the ridges enclosing Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik (the mounds called "tels" opposite Mosul) were only the walls of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending beyond to the mound Yarenijah. ... The parallelogram in Assyria covered with remains has Khorsabad N. E. ; Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus (Nineveh in the narrow sense) near the Tigris N. W. ; Nimrud and Athur between the Tigris and Zab, N. W. ; and Karamles at a distance inward from the Zab S. E. From Koyunjik to Nimrud is 18 miles; from Khorsabad to Karamles 18; from Koyunjik to Khorsabad 13 or 14; from Nimrud to Karamles 14. The length was greater than the breadth; so Jonah 3:4 "entered into the city a day's journey. " The longer sides were 150 furlongs each, the shorter 90 furlongs, the whole circuit 480 or 460 miles. Babylon had a circuit of only 385 miles (Clitarchus in Diod. ii. 7, Strabo xvi. 737). The walls were 100 ft. high, with 1,500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Shereef Khan is the northern extremity of the collection of mounds on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and is five and a half miles N. of Koyunjik. There is also an enclosure, 5,000 yards in circuit, once enclosed by a moat at Selamivah three miles N. of Nimrud. Nimrud in inscriptions is called Kalkhu or Calah in Genesis 10:11; Khorsabad is called Sargina from Sargon. At Kileh Sherghat is the presumed original capital," Asshur," 60 miles S. of Mosul, on the right or western bank of the Tigris. ... Sennacherib first made Nineveh the capital. Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests around. It subsequently, with Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen, formed one great city, "Nineveh" in the larger sense. Thothmes III of Egypt is mentioned in inscriptions as capturing Nineveh. Phraortes the Mede perished in attempting to do so (Herodotus i. 102). Cyaxares his successor, after at first raising the siege owing to a Scythic invasion (Herodotus i. 103, 106) 625 B. C. , finally succeeded in concert with the Babylonian Nabopolassar, 606 B. C. , Saracus the last king, Esarhaddon's grandson, set fire to the palace and perished in the flames, as Ctesias states, and as the marks of fire on the walls still confirm. So Nahum 3:13; Nahum 3:15, "fire shall devour thy bars. " Charred wood, calcined alabaster, and heat splintered figures abound. Nahum (Nahum 2) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 2:13-15) foretold its doom; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly after attests the completeness of its overthrow, as a warning of the fatal issue of pride, Isaiah 10:7-14; Diodorus (ii. 27) says there was a prophecy that Nineveh should not fall until the river became its enemy. ... The immediate cause of capture was the city walls destruction by a sudden rise in the river. So Nahum (Nahum 1:8; Nahum 2:6; Nahum 2:8) foretold "with an over running flood He will make an utter end of the place;" "the gates of the rivers shall be opened and the palace shall be dissolved," namely, by the inundation; "Nineveh is of old like a pool of water (though of old defended by water around), yet (its inhabitants) shall flee. " There was a floodgate at the N. W. angle of the city, which was swept away; and the water pouring into the city "dissolved" the palace foundation platform, of sundried bricks. Nineveh then totally disappears from history; it never rose again. Nahum (Nahum 1:10; Nahum 3:11) accords with Diodorus Siculus that the final assault was made during a drinking bout of king and courtiers: "while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry . . . Thou shalt be drunken," etc. The treasures accumulated by many kings were rifled, as Nahum foretells; "take ye the spoil of silver . . . gold, for there is none end of the store;" the people were "scattered upon the mountains" (Nahum 3:18). ... He calls it "the city of bloods," truly (Nahum 3:1); the wall carvings represent the king in the act of putting out his captives' eyes, and dragging others by a hook through the lips and a cord. Other cities have revived, but Nahum foretells "there is no healing of thy bruise" (Nahum 3:19). Lucian of Samosara near the Euphrates asserts none in his day even knew where Nineveh stood. Its former luxury is embodied in the statue of Sardanapalus as a dancer, which he directed (Plutarch says) to be erected after his death, with the motto "eat, drink, enjoy lust . . . the rest is nothing!" The language of its inscriptions is Semitic, for the main population was a colony of Asshur, son of Shem; and besides the prevalent Semitic a Turanian dialect has been found on tablets at Koyunjik, derived from its original Cushite founder Nimrod of Babylon and his band. At Nimrud the oldest palaces are in the N. W. grainer, the most recent at the S. E. The table of Karnak in Egypt (1490 B. C. ) connects Niniu (Nineveh) with Naharaima or Naharaim or Mesopotamia. Sir H. Rawlinson published 1862 an Assyrian canon from the monuments. ... The first kings reigned when the early Chaldee empire had its seat in lower Mesopotamia. Asshur-bil-nisis, Buzur Ashur, and Asshur Vatila from 1653 to 1550 B. C. , when Purnapuriyas and Durri-galazu were the last of the early Chaldaean monarchy. Then Bel Sumill Kapi founds a dynasty after a chasm of two centuries. "Bellush, Pudil, and Ivalush" are inscribed on bricks at Kileh Sherghat, 1350-1270 B. C. Shalmaneser I, son of Ivalush I, is mentioned on a genealogical slab as founder of Nimrud. Tiglath-i-nin his son inscribes himself" conqueror of Babylon"; Sargon finally conquered it. Tiglath-inin's successor Ivalush II (1250 B. C. ) enlarged the empire and closes the dynasty. By a revolution Nin pala Zira ascends the throne, "the king of the commencement" as the Tiglath Pileser cylinder calls him. Then Asshurdahil, Mutaggil Nebo, Asshur-ris-ilim (conqueror of a Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon), Tiglath Pileser I (subdued Meshech), Asshur-belkala; a blank of two centuries follows when David's and Solomon's extensive dominion has place. Asshur-iddin-akhi begins the next dynasty (950-930 B. C. ). ... Asshur-danin-il and Iralush III follow; then Tiglath-i-nin; Asshur-idanni-pal next after ten victorious campaigns built a palace at Calah, 360 ft. long by 300 broad, with man lions at the gateways, and by a canal brought the Zab waters to Calah; he was "lord from the upper Tigris to Lebanon and the great sea. " His son Shalmaneser II took tribute from Tyre and Sidon and fought Benhadad and Hazael. A picture represents him receiving from Jewish captives tribute of Jehu king of Israel, gold, pearl, and oil. He built the central palace of Nimrud, opened by Layard. The black marble obelisk (in the British Museum) records his exploits and Jehu's name. Then Shamas-Iva, Iralush IV and his wife Semiramis, a Babylonian princess, Shalmaneser III, Asshur-danin-il II, Asshur-lush. Then Tiglath Pileser II, probably Pul, usurps the throne by revolution, for he does not mention his father as others do, 744 B. C. Under him "Menahem" appears in inscriptions, and "tribute from the house of Omri" i. e. Samaria (2 Kings 15:19; 2 Kings 15:29). ... Ahaz enlisted him as ally against Samaria and Damascus; Tiglath Pileser conquered them and received tribute from Jahu-khazi or Ahaz. An inscription in the British Museum records Rezin's death (Rawlinson's Monarchies, 2:398,399). Tiglath Pileser built a new palace at Nimrud. Then Shalmaneser IV (not in the canon) (2 Kings 17:3-4) assailed Samaria, upon Hoshea's leaguing with So of Egypt, and withholding tribute. In a chamber at Koyunjik was found among other seals now in British Museum the seal of So or Sabacho and that of Sennacherib affixed to a treaty between them, of which the parchment has perished. Sargon ("king de facto") usurped the throne and took Samaria (he says in inscriptions) in his first year; he built the palace at Khorsabad. Sennacherib his son succeeded 704 B. C. and reigned 24 years. He built the palace at the S. W. corner of Koyunjik, covering 100 acres almost, excavated by Layard. (See SENNACHERIB. ) Of it 60 courts, halls (some 150 ft. square), and passages (one 200 ft. long) have been discovered. The human headed lions and bulls at its many portals are some 20 ft. high. Esarhaddon succeeded, as he styles himself "king of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Meroe, and Ethiopia;" or Asnapper; he imprisoned Manasseh. (See ASNAPPER; MANASSEH. )... He built a temple at the S. W. corner of Nimrud, and a palace at Nebi Yunus. Asshurbani-pal succeeded, a hunter and warrior; his library of clay tablets, religious, legal, historical, and scientific, is in British Museum. He built a palace at Koyunjik, near Sennacherib's. His son, the last king, Asshuremid-ilin or Asshur-izzir-pal (Saracus or Sardanapalus), built the S. E. edifice at Nimrud. The palace walls were from five to fifteen feet thick, erected on an artificial platform 30 to 50 ft. above the surrounding level, and paneled with slabs of coarse alabaster sculptured and inscribed. The plaster above the alabaster wainscoting was ornamented with figures; the pavement was of alabaster or flat kiln-burnt bricks resting on bitumen and fine sand. The Nimrud grand hall is only 35 ft. broad (though 160 ft. long), to admit of roofing with the short beams to be had. The ceilings were gaily colored. ... The portals were guarded by colossal human headed bulls; thence was an ascent to a higher platform, and on the top a gateway, sometimes 90 ft. wide, guarded also by winged bulls; inside was the great door, opening into a sculpture adorned passage; then the inner court, then the state apartments. There may have been an upper story of sun-dried bricks and wood, for there are no stone or marble columns or burnt brick remains. The large halls may have been roofless, a ledge projecting round the four sides and supporting an awning as shelter against rain and sun. However Zephaniah 2:14 mentions "the cedar work," cedars from Lebanon may have reached from wall to wall with openings for light. ... The chambers were built round the central hall. In Nahum 2:3 translated "the chariots (shall be furnished) with fire flashing scythes," literally, "with the fire of scythes" or "iron weapons. " No traces of such scythe-armed chariots are found in Assyria; either then it applies to the besiegers, or "the chariots shall come with the glitter of steel weapons. " The "red shield" (Nahum 2:3) accords with the red painting of the shields and dresses in the sculptures. The king, with beardless eunuch behind holding an umbrella and the winged symbol of Deity above, appears in various carvings; he was despotic. Kitchen operations, husbandry and irrigation implements are represented also. ... Religion. The man bull and man lion answer to Nin and Nergal, the gods of war and the chase. Nisroch the eagle-headed god and Dagon the fishheaded god often appear in the sculptures. The sacred tree answers to Asheerah, "the grove" (2 Kings 21:7). The chief gods were Asshur, Bel, Beltis or Myletta, Sin the moon, Shamash (Hebrew shemesh ) the sun, Vul or Iva the thunder wielder, Nin, etc. "Witchcrafts" and "whoredoms" in connection with Nineveh's worship are denounced by Nahum 3:4. The immense palaces, the depositories of the national records, were at once the gods' temple and the king's abode, for he was the religious head of the nation and the favorite of the gods. ... Language and writing. Clay cylinders pierced through so as to turn round and present their sides to the reader, bricks, and slabs are the materials inscribed on. The wedge (cuneus from whence "cuneiform") in various forms and directions, upright, horizontal, and diagonal, is the main element of the 250 distinct alphabetical characters. This mode of writing prevailed for 2000 years B. C. in Assyria, Babylonia, and eastern Persia. The alphabet is syllabic. Determinatives are prefixed to some words, as... ↓ - prefixed marks the word as a man's name;... ↓↓ - marks the plural;... ↓← - marks the dual. ... It is related to Hebrew, thus, u "and" is the Hebrew ve ; ki is in both "if"; anaku or Hebrew 'anoki "I"; 'atta' in both is "thou"; 'abu or'ab (Hebrew), "father"; nahar in both is a "river. " Feminine nouns end in -it or -at; Hebrew end with -ith. Sh is the shortened relative pronoun "who, which," as in later Hebrew; mah in both asks a question. The verb as in Hebrew is conjugated by pronominal suffixes. The roots are biliteral, the Hebrew both biliteral and triliteral. Μit , "to die"; Hebrew muth . Sib , "to dwell"; Hebrew yashab . Τiglath means "adoration. " Ρal , "son," the Aramaic bar ; sat "king"; ris, Hebrew rosh , "head. "... The northwestern palace of Nineveh has the longest inscription; it records concerning Sardanapalus II. Sennacherib's inscription concerning Hezekiah, on two man-headed bulls from Koyunjik, is the most interesting. Bas-reliefs of the siege of Lachish accompany it. (See LACHISH. ) By a tentative process recurring proper names were first deciphered by Grotefend, Rawlinson, Hincks, Fox Talbot, Oppert, etc. , as in Darius' inscription at Behistun. Parallel parts of the same inscription in snorter language (as the hieroglyphics and Greek on the Rosetta stone enabled Champollion to discover the former) verified the results, and duplicate phrases brought, out the meaning of words. ... Tombs. Chaldaea is as full of tombs as Assyria is void of them. Probably Chaldaea was the burial place of the Assyrian kings; Arrian (Exped. Alex. 7:22) states that their tombs were in the marshes S. of Babylon. ... Art, Commerce. Egyptian art is characterized by calm repose, Assyrian art by energy and action. Egyptian architecture is derived from a stone prototype, Assyrian from a wooden one, in agreement with the physical features of the respective countries. Solomon's temple and palace, with grand hall and chambers, paneled with slabs sculptured with trees, the upper part of the walls painted in various colors, the winged cherubim carved all round, the flowers and pomegranates, correspond to the Nineveh palaces in a great measure. Silk, blue clothes, and embroidered work were traded in by Nineveh's merchants (Ezekiel 27:23-24; Nahum 3:16). The Chaldaean Nestorians in the Kurdistan mountains and the villages near Mosul are the sole representatives of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians. ...