By Matthew George Easton
the giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son
who is not a son by birth.
(1.) Natural. Thus Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses (Ex. 2:10), and Mordecai Esther (Esther 2:7).
(2.) National. God adopted Israel (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 7:6; Hos. 11:1; Rom. 9:4).
(3.) Spiritual. An act of God's grace by which he brings men into the number of his redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings he has provided for them. Adoption represents the new relations into which the believer is introduced by justification, and the privileges connected therewith, viz., an interest in God's peculiar love (John 17:23; Rom. 5:5-8), a spiritual nature (2 Pet. 1:4; John 1:13), the possession of a spirit becoming children of God (1 Pet. 1:14; 2 John 4; Rom. 8:15-21; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 2:15), present protection, consolation, supplies (Luke 12:27-32; John 14:18; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 2 Cor. 1:4), fatherly chastisements (Heb. 12:5-11), and a future glorious inheritance (Rom. 8:17,23; James 2:5; Phil. 3:21).
Adore - to worship; to express reverence and homage. The forms of adoration among the Jews were putting off the shoes (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15), and prostration (Gen. 17:3; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 44:15, 17, 19; 46:6). To "kiss the Son" in Ps. 2:12 is to adore and worship him. (See Dan. 3:5, 6.) The word itself does not occur in Scripture.
Adrammelech - Adar the king. (1.) An idol; a form of the sun-god worshipped by the inhabitants of Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:31), and brought by the Sepharvite colonists into Samaria. (2.) A son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Adramyttium - a city of Asia Minor on the coast of Mysia, which in early times was called AEolis. The ship in which Paul embarked at Caesarea belonged to this city (Acts 27:2). He was conveyed in it only to Myra, in Lycia, whence he sailed in an Alexandrian ship to Italy. It was a rare thing for a ship to sail from any port of Palestine direct for Italy. It still bears the name Adramyti, and is a place of some traffic.
Adria - (Acts 27:27; R.V., "the sea of Adria"), the Adriatic Sea, including in Paul's time the whole of the Mediterranean lying between Crete and Sicily. It is the modern Gulf of Venice, the Mare Superum_ of the Romans, as distinguished from the Mare Inferum_ or Tyrrhenian Sea.
Adriel - flock of God, the son of Barzillai, the Meholathite, to whom Saul gave in marriage his daughter Merab (1 Sam. 18:19). The five sons that sprang from this union were put to death by the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:8, 9. Here it is said that Michal "brought up" [R.V., "bare"] these five sons, either that she treated them as if she had been their own mother, or that for "Michal" we should read "Merab," as in 1 Sam. 18:19).
Adullam - one of the royal cities of the Canaanites, now 'Aid-el-ma (Josh. 12:15; 15:35). It stood on the old Roman road in the valley of Elah (q.v.), which was the scene of David's memorable victory over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2), and not far from Gath. It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified against Egypt (2 Chr. 11:7). It was called "the glory of Israel" (Micah 1:15).
The Cave of Adullam has been discovered about 2 miles south of the scene of David's triumph, and about 13 miles west from Bethlehem. At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented" (1 Sam. 22:2). Some of these caverns are large enough to hold 200 or 300 men. According to tradition this cave was at Wady Khureitun, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, but this view cannot be well maintained.
Adullamite - an inhabitant of the city of Adullam (Gen. 38:1, 12, 20).
Adultery - conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy." There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John 8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev. 2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek. 23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)
Adummim - the red ones, a place apparently on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, "on the south side of the torrent" Wady Kelt, looking toward Gilgal, mentioned Josh. 15:7; 18:17. It was nearly half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and now bears the name of Tal-at-ed-Dumm. It is supposed to have been the place referred to in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Recently a new carriage-road has been completed, and carriages for the first time have come along this road from Jerusalem.
Adversary - (Heb. satan), an opponent or foe (1 Kings 5:4; 11:14, 23, 25; Luke 13:17); one that speaks against another, a complainant (Matt. 5:25; Luke 12:58); an enemy (Luke 18:3), and specially the devil (1 Pet. 5:8).
Advocate - (Gr. parakletos), one who pleads another's cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered "Comforter," q.v.). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered "Advocate," the rendering which it should have in all the places where it occurs. Tertullus "the orator" (Acts 24:1) was a Roman advocate whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix.
AEnon - springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far'ah, an open valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of springs. A place has been found called 'Ainun, four miles north of the springs.
Affection - feeling or emotion. Mention is made of "vile affections" (Rom. 1:26) and "inordinate affection" (Col. 3:5). Christians are exhorted to set their affections on things above (Col. 3:2). There is a distinction between natural and spiritual or gracious affections (Ezek. 33:32).
Affinity - relationship by alliance (2 Chr. 18:1) or by marriage (1 Kings 3:1). Marriages are prohibited within certain degrees of affinity, enumerated Lev. 18:6-17. Consanguinity is relationship by blood.
Afflictions - common to all (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ps. 34:19); are for the good of men (James 1:2, 3, 12; 2 Cor. 12:7) and the glory of God (2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 4:14), and are to be borne with patience by the Lord's people (Ps. 94:12; Prov. 3:12). They are all directed by God (Lam. 3:33), and will result in the everlasting good of his people (2 Cor. 4:16-18) in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35-39).
Agabus - a "prophet," probably one of the seventy disciples of Christ. He prophesied at Antioch of an approaching famine (Acts 11:27, 28). Many years afterwards he met Paul at Caesarea, and warned him of the bonds and affliction that awaited him at Jerusalem should he persist in going thither (Acts 21:10-12).
Agag - flame, the usual title of the Amalekite kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian. (1.) A king of the Amalekites referred to by Balaam (Num. 24:7). He lived at the time of the Exodus.
(2.) Another king of the Amalekites whom Saul spared unlawfully, but whom Samuel on his arrival in the camp of Saul ordered, in retributive justice (Judg. 1), to be brought out and cut in pieces (1 Sam. 15:8-33. Comp. Ex. 17:11; Num. 14:45).
Agagite - a name applied to Haman and also to his father (Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5). Probably it was equivalent to Amalekite.
Agate - (Heb. shebo), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa. 54:12 and Ezek. 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means "ruddy," and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints.
This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.
Age - used to denote the period of a man's life (Gen. 47:28), the maturity of life (John 9:21), the latter end of life (Job 11:17), a generation of the human race (Job 8:8), and an indefinite period (Eph. 2:7; 3:5, 21; Col. 1:26). Respect to be shown to the aged (Lev. 19:32). It is a blessing to communities when they have old men among them (Isa. 65:20; Zech. 8:4). The aged supposed to excel in understanding (Job 12:20; 15:10; 32:4, 9; 1 Kings 12:6, 8). A full age the reward of piety (Job 5:26; Gen. 15:15).
Agee - fugitive, the father of Shammah, who was one of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:11)
Agony - contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane.
The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Comp. 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.
Agriculture - Tilling the ground (Gen. 2:15; 4:2, 3, 12) and rearing cattle were the chief employments in ancient times. The Egyptians excelled in agriculture. And after the Israelites entered into the possession of the Promised Land, their circumstances favoured in the highest degree a remarkable development of this art. Agriculture became indeed the basis of the Mosaic commonwealth.
The year in Palestine was divided into six agricultural periods:-
I. SOWING TIME. Tisri, latter half (beginning about the autumnal equinox.) Marchesvan. Kisleu, former half. Early rain due = first showers of autumn.
II. UNRIPE TIME. Kisleu, latter half. Tebet. Sebat, former half.
III. COLD SEASON. Sebat, latter half. Adar. [Veadar.] Nisan, former half. Latter rain due (Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Zech. 10:1; James 5:7; Job 29:23).
IV. HARVEST TIME. Nisan, latter half. (Beginning about vernal equinox. Barley green. Passover.) Ijar. Sivan, former half., Wheat ripe. Pentecost.
V. SUMMER (total absence of rain) Sivan, latter half. Tammuz. Ab, former half.
VI. SULTRY SEASON Ab, latter half. Elul. Tisri, former half., Ingathering of fruits.
The six months from the middle of Tisri to the middle of Nisan were occupied with the work of cultivation, and the rest of the year mainly with the gathering in of the fruits. The extensive and easily-arranged system of irrigation from the rills and streams from the mountains made the soil in every part of Palestine richly productive (Ps. 1:3; 65:10; Prov. 21:1; Isa. 30:25; 32:2, 20; Hos. 12:11), and the appliances of careful cultivation and of manure increased its fertility to such an extent that in the days of Solomon, when there was an abundant population, "20,000 measures of wheat year by year" were sent to Hiram in exchange for timber (1 Kings 5:11), and in large quantities also wheat was sent to the Tyrians for the merchandise in which they traded (Ezek. 27:17). The wheat sometimes produced an hundredfold (Gen. 26:12; Matt. 13:23). Figs and pomegranates were very plentiful (Num. 13:23), and the vine and the olive grew luxuriantly and produced abundant fruit (Deut. 33:24).
Lest the productiveness of the soil should be exhausted, it was enjoined that the whole land should rest every seventh year, when all agricultural labour would entirely cease (Lev. 25:1-7; Deut. 15:1-10).
It was forbidden to sow a field with divers seeds (Deut. 22:9). A passer-by was at liberty to eat any quantity of corn or grapes, but he was not permitted to carry away any (Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1). The poor were permitted to claim the corners of the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in the field was to be left also for the poor. (See Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19.)
Agricultural implements and operations.
The sculptured monuments and painted tombs of Egypt and Assyria throw much light on this subject, and on the general operations of agriculture. Ploughs of a simple construction were known in the time of Moses (Deut. 22:10; comp. Job 1:14). They were very light, and required great attention to keep them in the ground (Luke 9:62). They were drawn by oxen (Job 1:14), cows (1 Sam. 6:7), and asses (Isa. 30:24); but an ox and an ass must not be yoked together in the same plough (Deut. 22:10). Men sometimes followed the plough with a hoe to break the clods (Isa. 28:24). The oxen were urged on by a "goad," or long staff pointed at the end, so that if occasion arose it could be used as a spear also (Judg. 3:31; 1 Sam. 13:21).
When the soil was prepared, the seed was sown broadcast over the field (Matt. 13:3-8). The "harrow" mentioned in Job 39:10 was not used to cover the seeds, but to break the clods, being little more than a thick block of wood. In highly irrigated spots the seed was trampled in by cattle (Isa. 32:20); but doubtless there was some kind of harrow also for covering in the seed scattered in the furrows of the field.
The reaping of the corn was performed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a species of sickle, according to circumstances. The corn when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer. 9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26).
The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28). On occasions flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Ruth 2:17; Isa. 28:27). There was also a "threshing instrument" (Isa. 41:15; Amos 1:3) which was drawn over the corn. It was called by the Hebrews a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). It was somewhat like the Roman tribulum, or threshing instrument.
When the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then laid up in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8; Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).
Agrippa I. - the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and Bernice. The Roman emperor Caligula made him governor first of the territories of Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias, with the title of king ("king Herod"), and finally of that of Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Thus he became ruler over the whole of Palestine. He was a persecutor of the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-4). He died at Caesarea, being "eaten of worms" (Acts 12:23), A.D. 44. (Comp. Josephus, Ant. xix. 8.)
Agrippa II. - son of the foregoing, was born at Rome, A.D. 27. He was the brother of Bernice and Drusilla. The Emperor Claudius (A.D. 48) invested him with the office of superintendent of the Temple of Jerusalem, and made him governor (A.D. 50) of Chalcis. He was afterwards raised to the rank of king, and made governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias (Acts 25:13; 26:2, 7). It was before him that Paul delivered (A.D. 59) his speech recorded in Acts 26. His private life was very profligate. He died (the last of his race) at Rome, at the age of about seventy years, A.D. 100.
Ague - the translation in Lev. 26:16 (R.V., "fever") of the Hebrew word kaddah'ath, meaning "kindling", i.e., an inflammatory or burning fever. In Deut. 28:22 the word is rendered "fever."
Agur - gatherer; the collector, mentioned as author of the sayings in Prov. 30. Nothing is known of him beyond what is there recorded.
Ah! - an exclamation of sorrow or regret (Ps. 35:25; Isa. 1:4, 24; Jer. 1:6; 22:18; Mark 15:29).
Aha! - an exclamation of ridicule (Ps. 35:21; 40:15; 70:3). In Isa. 44:16 it signifies joyful surprise, as also in Job 39:25, R.V.
Ahab - father's brother. (1.) The son of Omri, whom he succeeded as the seventh king of Israel. His history is recorded in 1 Kings 16-22. His wife was Jezebel (q.v.), who exercised a very evil influence over him. To the calf-worship introduced by Jeroboam he added the worship of Baal. He was severely admonished by Elijah (q.v.) for his wickedness. His anger was on this account kindled against the prophet, and he sought to kill him. He undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II., king of Damascus. In the first two, which were defensive, he gained a complete victory over Ben-hadad, who fell into his hands, and was afterwards released on the condition of his restoring all the cities of Israel he then held, and granting certain other concessions to Ahab. After three years of peace, for some cause Ahab renewed war (1 Kings 22:3) with Ben-hadad by assaulting the city of Ramoth-gilead, although the prophet Micaiah warned him that he would not succeed, and that the 400 false prophets who encouraged him were only leading him to his ruin. Micaiah was imprisoned for thus venturing to dissuade Ahab from his purpose. Ahab went into the battle disguised, that he might if possible escape the notice of his enemies; but an arrow from a bow "drawn at a venture" pierced him, and though stayed up in his chariot for a time he died towards evening, and Elijah's prophecy (1 Kings 21:19) was fulfilled. He reigned twenty-three years. Because of his idolatry, lust, and covetousness, Ahab is referred to as pre-eminently the type of a wicked king (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chr. 22:3; Micah 6:16).
(2.) A false prophet referred to by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:21), of whom nothing further is known.
Ahasuerus - There are three kings designated by this name in Scripture. (1.) The father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Dan. 9:1. This was probably the Cyaxares I. known by this name in profane history, the king of Media and the conqueror of Nineveh.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 4:6, probably the Cambyses of profane history, the son and successor of Cyrus (B.C. 529).
(3.) The son of Darius Hystaspes, the king named in the Book of Esther. He ruled over the kingdoms of Persia, Media, and Babylonia, "from India to Ethiopia." This was in all probability the Xerxes of profane history, who succeeded his father Darius (B.C. 485). In the LXX. version of the Book of Esther the name Artaxerxes occurs for Ahasuerus. He reigned for twenty-one years (B.C. 486-465). He invaded Greece with an army, it is said, of more than 2,000,000 soldiers, only 5,000 of whom returned with him. Leonidas, with his famous 300, arrested his progress at the Pass of Thermopylae, and then he was defeated disastrously by Themistocles at Salamis. It was after his return from this invasion that Esther was chosen as his queen.
Ahava - water, the river (Ezra 8:21) by the banks of which the Jewish exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be the name of a place (Ezra 8:15) now called Hit, on the Euphrates, east of Damascus.
Ahaz - possessor. (1.) A grandson of Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:35; 9:42).
(2.) The son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings 16; Isa. 7-9; 2 Chr. 28). He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humilating subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29). He also introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs (Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). He died at the age of thirty-five years, after reigning sixteen years (B.C. 740-724), and was succeeded by his son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was "not brought into the sepulchre of the kings."
Ahaziah - held by Jehovah. (1.) The son and successor of Ahab. He followed the counsels of his mother Jezebel, and imitated in wickedness the ways of his father. In his reign the Moabites revolted from under his authority (2 Kings 3:5-7). He united with Jehoshaphat in an attempt to revive maritime trade by the Red Sea, which proved a failure (2 Chr. 20:35-37). His messengers, sent to consult the god of Ekron regarding his recovery from the effects of a fall from the roof-gallery of his palace, were met on the way by Elijah, who sent them back to tell the king that he would never rise from his bed (1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 1:18).
(2.) The son of Joram, or Jehoram, and sixth king of Judah. Called Jehoahaz (2 Chr. 21:17; 25:23), and Azariah (2 Chr. 22:6). Guided by his idolatrous mother Athaliah, his reign was disastrous (2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:29). He joined his uncle Jehoram, king of Israel, in an expedition against Hazael, king of Damascus; but was wounded at the pass of Gur when attempting to escape, and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:22-28). He reigned only one year.
Ahiam - mother's brother, one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:33; 1 Chr. 11:35).
Ahiezer - brother of help; i.e., "helpful." (1.) The chief of the tribe of Dan at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:12; 2:25; 10:25).
(2.) The chief of the Benjamite slingers that repaired to David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Ahihud - brother (i.e., "friend") of union. (1.) A son of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:7).
(2.) Name different in Hebrew, meaning brother of Judah. Chief of the tribe of Asher; one of those appointed by Moses to superintend the division of Canaan among the tribe (Num. 34:27).
Ahijah - brother (i.e., "friend") of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of Bela (1 Chr. 8:7, R.V.). In A.V. called "Ahiah."
(2.) One of the five sons of Jerahmeel, who was great-grandson of Judah (1 Chr. 2:25).
(3.) Son of Ahitub (1 Sam. 14:3, 18), Ichabod's brother; the same probably as Ahimelech, who was high priest at Nob in the reign of Saul (1 Sam. 22:11). Some, however, suppose that Ahimelech was the brother of Ahijah, and that they both officiated as high priests, Ahijah at Gibeah or Kirjath-jearim, and Ahimelech at Nob.
(4.) A Pelonite, one of David's heroes (1 Chr. 11:36); called also Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34).
(5.) A Levite having charge of the sacred treasury in the temple (1 Chr. 26:20).
(6.) One of Solomon's secretaries (1 Kings 4:3).
(7.) A prophet of Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29; 14:2), called the "Shilonite," in the days of Rehoboam. We have on record two of his remarkable prophecies, 1 Kings 11:31-39, announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; and 1 Kings 14:6-16, delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretelling the death of Abijah the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's house, and the captivity of Israel "beyond the river." Jeroboam bears testimony to the high esteem in which he was held as a prophet of God (1 Kings 14:2,3).
Ahikam - brother of support = helper, one of the five whom Josiah sent to consult the prophetess Huldah in connection with the discovery of the book of the law (2 Kings 22:12-14; 2 Chr. 34:20). He was the son of Shaphan, the royal secretary, and the father of Gedaliah, governor of Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5-16; 43:6). On one occasion he protected Jeremiah against the fury of Jehoiakim (Jer. 26:24). It was in the chamber of another son (Germariah) of Shaphan that Baruch read in the ears of all the people Jeremiah's roll.
Ahimaaz - brother of anger = irascible. (1.) The father Ahinoam, the wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) The son and successor of Zadok in the office of high priest (1 Chr. 6:8, 53). On the occasion of the revolt of Absalom he remained faithful to David, and was of service to him in conveying to him tidings of the proceedings of Absalom in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-37; 17:15-21). He was swift of foot, and was the first to carry to David tidings of the defeat of Absalom, although he refrained, from delicacy of feeling, from telling him of his death (2 Sam. 18:19-33).
Ahiman - brother of a gift = liberal. (1.) One of the three giant Anakim brothers whom Caleb and the spies saw in Mount Hebron (Num. 13:22) when they went in to explore the land. They were afterwards driven out and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
(2.) One of the guardians of the temple after the Exile (1 Chr. 9:17).
Ahimelech - brother of the king, the son of Ahitub and father of Abiathar (1 Sam. 22:20-23). He descended from Eli in the line of Ithamar. In 1 Chr. 18:16 he is called Abimelech, and is probably the same as Ahiah (1 Sam. 14:3, 18). He was the twelfth high priest, and officiated at Nob, where he was visited by David (to whom and his companions he gave five loaves of the showbread) when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:1-9). He was summoned into Saul's presence, and accused, on the information of Doeg the Edomite, of disloyalty because of his kindness to David; whereupon the king commanded that he, with the other priests who stood beside him (86 in all), should be put to death. This sentence was carried into execution by Doeg in the most cruel manner (1 Sam. 22:9-23). Possibly Abiathar had a son also called Ahimelech, or the two names, as some think, may have been accidentally transposed in 2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chr. 18:16, marg.; 24:3, 6, 31.
Ahinadab - brother of liberality = liberal, one of the twelve commissariat officers appointed by Solomon in so many districts of his kingdom to raise supplies by monthly rotation for his household. He was appointed to the district of Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14), east of Jordan.
Ahinoam - brother of pleasantness = pleasant. (1.) The daughter of Ahimaaz, and wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) A Jezreelitess, the first wife of David (1 Sam. 25:43; 27:3). She was the mother of Amnon (2 Sam. 3:2). (See 1 Sam. 30:5, 18; 2 Sam. 2:2.)
Ahio - brotherly. (1.) One of the sons of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehiel the Gibeonite (1 Chr. 8:31; 9:37).
(3.) One of the sons of Abinadab the Levite. While Uzzah went by the side of the ark, he walked before it guiding the oxen which drew the cart on which it was carried, after having brought it from his father's house in Gibeah (1 Chr. 13:7; 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
Ahira - brother of evil = unlucky, or my brother is friend, chief of the tribe of Naphtali at the Exodus (Num. 1:15; 2:29).
Ahishar - brother of song = singer, the officer who was "over the household" of Solomon (1 Kings 4:6).
Ahithophel - brother of insipidity or impiety, a man greatly renowned for his sagacity among the Jews. At the time of Absalom's revolt he deserted David (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:12). David sent his old friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31-37). This end was so far gained that Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh, his native place, where, after arranging his wordly affairs, he hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers (2 Sam. 17:1-23). He was the type of Judas (Ps. 41:9).
Ahitub - brother of goodness = good. (1.) The son of Phinehas. On the death of his grandfather Eli he succeeded to the office of high priest, and was himself succeeded by his son Ahijah (1 Sam. 14:3; 22:9, 11, 12, 20).
(2.) The father of Zadok, who was made high priest by Saul after the extermination of the family of Ahimelech (1 Chr. 6:7, 8; 2 Sam. 8:17).
Ahlab - fatness, a town of Asher lying within the unconquered Phoenician border (Judg. 1:31), north-west of the Sea of Galilee; commonly identified with Giscala, now el-Jish.
Ahoah - brotherly, one of the sons of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4). He is also called Ahiah (ver. 7) and Iri (1 Chr. 7:7). His descendants were called Ahohites (2 Sam. 23:9, 28).
Ahohite - an epithet applied to Dodo, one of Solomon's captains (1 Chr. 27:4); to his son Eleazar, one of David's three mightiest heroes (2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12); and to Zalmon, one of the thirty (2 Sam. 23:28; 1 Chr. 11:29), from their descent from Ahoah.
Aholah - she has her own tent, a name used by Ezekiel (23:4, 5, 36, 44) as a symbol of the idolatry of the kingdom of Israel. This kingdom is described as a lewdwoman, an adulteress, given up to the abominations and idolatries of the Egyptians and Assyrians. Because of her crimes, she was carried away captive, and ceased to be a kingdom. (Comp. Ps. 78:67-69; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chr. 11:13-16.)
Aholiab - tent of the father, an artist of the tribe of Dan, appointed to the work of preparing materials for the tabernacle (Ex. 31:6; 35:34; 36:1, 2; 38:23).
Aholibah - my tent is in her, the name of an imaginary harlot, applied symbolically to Jerusalem, because she had abandoned the worship of the true God and given herself up to the idolatries of foreign nations. (Ezek. 23:4, 11, 22, 36, 44).
Aholibamah - tent of the height, the name given to Judith, the daughter of Beeri = Anah (Gen. 26:34; 36:2), when she became the wife of Esau. A district among the mountains of Edom, probably near Mount Hor, was called after her name, or it may be that she received her name from the district. From her descended three tribes of Edomites, founded by her three sons.
Ai - ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
Aijeleth Shahar - hind of the dawn, a name found in the title of Ps. 22. It is probably the name of some song or tune to the measure of which the psalm was to be chanted. Some, however, understand by the name some instrument of music, or an allegorical allusion to the subject of the psalm.
Air - the atmosphere, as opposed to the higher regions of the sky (1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 9:2; 16:17). This word occurs once as the rendering of the Hebrew ruah (Job 41:16); elsewhere it is the rendering of shamaiyim, usually translated "heavens."
The expression "to speak into the air" (1 Cor. 14:9) is a proverb denoting to speak in vain, as to "beat the air" (1 Cor. 9:26) denotes to labour in vain.
Ajalon - and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.) speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
Akkub - (another form of Jacob). (1.) The head of one of the families of Nethinim (Ezra 2:45).
(2.) A Levite who kept the gate of the temple after the return from Babylon (1 Chr. 9:17; Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45).
(3.) A descendant of David (1 Chr. 3:24).
Akrabbim - scorpions, probably the general name given to the ridge containing the pass between the south of the Dead Sea and Zin, es-Sufah, by which there is an ascent to the level of the land of Palestine. Scorpions are said to abound in this whole district, and hence the name (Num. 34:4). It is called "Maaleh-acrabbim" in Josh. 15:3, and "the ascent of Akrabbim" in Num. 34:4.
Alabaster - occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of "ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37). These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman "broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done, the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day's wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money, then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was Mary's offering.
Alamoth - virgins, a musical term (1 Chr. 15:20), denoting that the psalm which bears this inscription (Ps. 46) was to be sung by soprano or female voices.
Alarm - a particular quivering sound of the silver trumpets to give warning to the Hebrews on their journey through the wilderness (Num. 10:5, 6), a call to arms, or a war-note (Jer. 4:19; 49:2; Zeph. 1:16).
Alemeth - covering. (1.) One of the nine sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehoadah, or Jarah, son of Ahaz (1 Chr. 8:36).
(3.) A sacerdotal city of Benjamin (1 Chr. 6:60), called also Almon (Josh. 21:18), now Almit, a mile north-east of the ancient Anathoth.
Alexander - man-defender. (1.) A relative of Annas the high priest, present when Peter and John were examined before the Sanhedrim (Acts 4:6).
(2.) A man whose father, Simon the Cyrenian, bore the cross of Christ (Mark 15:21).
(3.) A Jew of Ephesus who took a prominent part in the uproar raised there by the preaching of Paul (Acts 19:33). The Jews put him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had. It is possible that this man was the same as the following.
(4.) A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated certain heresies regarding the resurrection (1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim. 4:14), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Paul excommunicated him (1 Tim. 1:20; comp. 1 Cor. 5:5).
Alexander the Great - the king of Macedonia, the great conqueror; probably represented in Daniel by the "belly of brass" (Dan. 2:32), and the leopard and the he-goat (7:6; 11:3,4). He succeeded his father Philip, and died at the age of thirty-two from the effects of intemperance, B.C. 323. His empire was divided among his four generals.
Alexandria - the ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200 years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue (Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. At one time it is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or 150. (See VERSION.)
Algum - (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10,11), the same as almug (1 Kings 10:11).
Alien - a foreigner, or person born in another country, and therefore not entitled to the rights and privileges of the country where he resides. Among the Hebrews there were two classes of aliens.
(1.) Those who were strangers generally, and who owned no landed property.
(2.) Strangers dwelling in another country without being naturalized (Lev. 22:10; Ps. 39:12).
Both of these classes were to enjoy, under certain conditions, the same rights as other citizens (Lev. 19:33, 34; Deut. 10:19). They might be naturalized and permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord by submitting to circumcision and abandoning idolatry (Deut. 23:3-8).
This term is used (Eph. 2:12) to denote persons who have no interest in Christ.
Allegory - used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically.
Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt," etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.
Alleluia - the Greek form (Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye Jehovah, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.).
Alliance - a treaty between nations, or between individuals, for their mutual advantage.
Abraham formed an alliance with some of the Canaanitish princes (Gen. 14:13), also with Abimelech (21:22-32). Joshua and the elders of Israel entered into an alliance with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). When the Israelites entered Palestine they were forbidden to enter into alliances with the inhabitants of the country (Lev. 18:3, 4; 20:22, 23).
Solomon formed a league with Hiram (1 Kings 5:12). This "brotherly covenant" is referred to 250 years afterwards (Amos 1:9). He also appears to have entered into an alliance with Pharaoh (1 Kings 10:28, 29).
In the subsequent history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel various alliances were formed between them and also with neighbouring nations at different times.
From patriarchal times a covenant of alliance was sealed by the blood of some sacrificial victim. The animal sacrificed was cut in two (except birds), and between these two parts the persons contracting the alliance passed (Gen. 15:10). There are frequent allusions to this practice (Jer. 34:18). Such alliances were called "covenants of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5), salt being the symbol of perpetuity. A pillar was set up as a memorial of the alliance between Laban and Jacob (Gen. 31:52). The Jews throughout their whole history attached great importance to fidelity to their engagements. Divine wrath fell upon the violators of them (Josh. 9:18; 2 Sam. 21:1, 2; Ezek. 17:16).
Allon - oak. (1.) The expression in the Authorized Version of Josh. 19:33, "from Allon to Zaanannim," is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "from the oak in Zaanannim." The word denotes some remarkable tree which stood near Zaanannim, and which served as a landmark.
(2.) The son of Jedaiah, of the family of the Simeonites, who expelled the Hamites from the valley of Gedor (1 Chr. 4:37).
Allon-bachuth - oak of weeping, a tree near Bethel, at the spot where Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried (Gen. 35:8). Large trees, from their rarity in the plains of Palestine, were frequently designated as landmarks. This particular tree was probably the same as the "palm tree of Deborah" (Judg. 4:5).
Almodad - immeasurable, the first named of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:26), the founder of an Arabian tribe.
Almon - hidden, one of the sacerdotal cities of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18), called also Alemeth (1 Chr. 6:60).
Almond - a native of Syria and Palestine. In form, blossoms, and fruit it resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, shaked, signifying "wakeful, hastening," is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January. In Eccl. 12:5, it is referred to as illustrative, probably, of the haste with which old age comes. There are others, however, who still contend for the old interpretation here. "The almond tree bears its blossoms in the midst of winter, on a naked, leafless stem, and these blossoms (reddish or flesh-coloured in the beginning) seem at the time of their fall exactly like white snow-flakes. In this way the almond blossom is a very fitting symbol of old age, with its silvery hair and its wintry, dry, barren, unfruitful condition." In Jer. 1:11 "I see a rod of an almond tree [shaked]...for I will hasten [shaked] my word to perform it" the word is used as an emblem of promptitude. Jacob desired his sons (Gen. 43:11) to take with them into Egypt of the best fruits of the land, almonds, etc., as a present to Joseph, probably because this tree was not a native of Egypt. Aaron's rod yielded almonds (Num. 17:8; Heb. 9:4). Moses was directed to make certain parts of the candlestick for the ark of carved work "like unto almonds" (Ex. 25:33, 34). The Hebrew word luz, translated "hazel" in the Authorized Version (Gen. 30:37), is rendered in the Revised Version "almond." It is probable that luz denotes the wild almond, while shaked denotes the cultivated variety.
Alms - Not found in the Old Testament, but repeatedly in the New. The Mosaic legislation (Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7) tended to promote a spirit of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people. Such passages as these, Ps. 41:1; 112:9; Prov. 14:31; Isa. 10:2; Amos 2:7; Jer. 5:28; Ezek. 22:29, would also naturally foster the same benevolent spirit.
In the time of our Lord begging was common (Mark 10:46; Acts 3:2). The Pharisees were very ostentatious in their almsgivings (Matt. 6:2). The spirit by which the Christian ought to be actuated in this duty is set forth in 1 John 3:17. A regard to the state of the poor and needy is enjoined as a Christian duty (Luke 3:11; 6:30; Matt. 6:1; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4), a duty which was not neglected by the early Christians (Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Gal. 2:10; Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). They cared not only for the poor among themselves, but contributed also to the necessities of those at a distance (Acts 11:29; 24:17; 2 Cor. 9:12). Our Lord and his attendants showed an example also in this (John 13:29).
In modern times the "poor-laws" have introduced an element which modifies considerably the form in which we may discharge this Christian duty.
Almug - (1 Kings 10:11, 12) = algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10, 11), in the Hebrew occurring only in the plural almuggim (indicating that the wood was brought in planks), the name of a wood brought from Ophir to be used in the building of the temple, and for other purposes. Some suppose it to have been the white sandal-wood of India, the Santalum album of botanists, a native of the mountainous parts of the Malabar coasts. It is a fragrant wood, and is used in China for incense in idol-worship. Others, with some probability, think that it was the Indian red sandal-wood, the pterocarpus santalinus, a heavy, fine-grained wood, the Sanscrit name of which is valguka. It is found on the Coromandel coast and in Ceylon.
Aloes - (Heb. 'ahalim), a fragrant wood (Num. 24:6; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 4:14), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood. It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39); but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain.
The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves Aloe vulgaris.
Alphaeus - (1.) The father of James the Less, the apostle and writer of the epistle (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), and the husband of Mary (John 19:25). The Hebrew form of this name is Cleopas, or Clopas (q.v.).
(2.) The father of Levi, or Matthew (Mark 2:14).
Altar - (Heb. mizbe'ah, from a word meaning "to slay"), any structure of earth (Ex. 20:24) or unwrought stone (20:25) on which sacrifices were offered. Altars were generally erected in conspicuous places (Gen. 22:9; Ezek. 6:3; 2 Kings 23:12; 16:4; 23:8; Acts 14:13). The word is used in Heb. 13:10 for the sacrifice offered upon it--the sacrifice Christ offered.
Paul found among the many altars erected in Athens one bearing the inscription, "To the unknown God" (Acts 17:23), or rather "to an [i.e., some] unknown God." The reason for this inscription cannot now be accurately determined. It afforded the apostle the occasion of proclaiming the gospel to the "men of Athens."
The first altar we read of is that erected by Noah (Gen. 8:20). Altars were erected by Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 13:4; 22:9), by Isaac (Gen. 26:25), by Jacob (33:20; 35:1, 3), and by Moses (Ex. 17:15, "Jehovah-nissi").
In the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, two altars were erected.
(1.) The altar of burnt offering (Ex. 30:28), called also the "brasen altar" (Ex. 39:39) and "the table of the Lord" (Mal. 1:7).
This altar, as erected in the tabernacle, is described in Ex. 27:1-8. It was a hollow square, 5 cubits in length and in breadth, and 3 cubits in height. It was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid with plates of brass. Its corners were ornamented with "horns" (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 4:18).
In Ex. 27:3 the various utensils appertaining to the altar are enumerated. They were made of brass. (Comp. 1 Sam. 2:13, 14; Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:6, 7.)
In Solomon's temple the altar was of larger dimensions (2 Chr. 4:1. Comp. 1 Kings 8:22, 64; 9:25), and was made wholly of brass, covering a structure of stone or earth. This altar was renewed by Asa (2 Chr. 15:8). It was removed by Ahaz (2 Kings 16:14), and "cleansed" by Hezekiah, in the latter part of whose reign it was rebuilt. It was finally broken up and carried away by the Babylonians (Jer. 52:17).
After the return from captivity it was re-erected (Ezra 3:3, 6) on the same place where it had formerly stood. (Comp. 1 Macc. 4:47.) When Antiochus Epiphanes pillaged Jerusalem the altar of burnt offering was taken away.
Again the altar was erected by Herod, and remained in its place till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (70 A.D.).
The fire on the altar was not permitted to go out (Lev. 6:9).
In the Mosque of Omar, immediately underneath the great dome, which occupies the site of the old temple, there is a rough projection of the natural rock, of about 60 feet in its extreme length, and 50 in its greatest breadth, and in its highest part about 4 feet above the general pavement. This rock seems to have been left intact when Solomon's temple was built. It was in all probability the site of the altar of burnt offering. Underneath this rock is a cave, which may probably have been the granary of Araunah's threshing-floor (1 Chr. 21:22).
(2.) The altar of incense (Ex. 30:1-10), called also "the golden altar" (39:38; Num. 4:11), stood in the holy place "before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony." On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the brazen altar. The morning and the evening services were commenced by the high priest offering incense on this altar. The burning of the incense was a type of prayer (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4).
This altar was a small movable table, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold (Ex. 37:25, 26). It was 1 cubit in length and breadth, and 2 cubits in height.
In Solomon's temple the altar was similar in size, but was made of cedar-wood (1 Kings 6:20; 7:48) overlaid with gold. In Ezek. 41:22 it is called "the altar of wood." (Comp. Ex. 30:1-6.)
In the temple built after the Exile the altar was restored. Antiochus Epiphanes took it away, but it was afterwards restored by Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. 1:23; 4:49). Among the trophies carried away by Titus on the destruction of Jerusalem the altar of incense is not found, nor is any mention made of it in Heb. 9. It was at this altar Zacharias ministered when an angel appeared to him (Luke 1:11). It is the only altar which appears in the heavenly temple (Isa. 6:6; Rev. 8:3,4).
Altaschith - destroy not, the title of Ps. 57, 58, 59, and 75. It was probably the name of some song to the melody of which these psalms were to be chanted.
Alush - one of the places, the last before Rephidim, at which the Hebrews rested on their way to Sinai (Num. 33:13, 14). It was probably situated on the shore of the Red Sea.
Amalek - dweller in a valley, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Idumean tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
Amalekite - a tribe that dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:7). They were probably a tribe that migrated from the shores of the Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. "They dwelt in the land of the south...from Havilah until thou comest to Shur" (Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7). They were a pastoral, and hence a nomadic race. Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8). They attempted to stop the Israelites when they marched through their territory (Deut. 25:18), attacking them at Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13; comp. Deut. 25:17; 1 Sam. 15:2). They afterwards attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num. 14:45). We read of them subsequently as in league with the Moabites (Judg. 3:13) and the Midianites (Judg. 6:3). Saul finally desolated their territory and destroyed their power (1 Sam. 14:48; 15:3), and David recovered booty from them (1 Sam. 30:18-20). In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in those of Egypt Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets include them under the general name of Khabbati, or "plunderers."
Amana - perennial. (1.) The Hebrew margin of 2 Kings 5:12 gives this as another reading of Abana (q.v.), a stream near Damascus.
(2.) A mountain (Cant. 4:8), probably the southern summit of Anti-Libanus, at the base of which are the sources of the Abana.
Amariah - said by Jehovah. (1.) One of the descendants of Aaron by Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:7,52). He was probably the last of the high priests of Eleazar's line prior to the transfer of that office to Eli, of the line of Ithamar.
(2.) A Levite, son of Hebron, of the lineage of Moses (1 Chr. 23:19; 24:23).
(3.) A "chief priest" who took an active part in the reformation under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 19:11); probably the same as mentioned in 1 Chr. 6:9.
(4.) 1 Chr. 6:11; Ezra 7:3. (5.) One of the high priests in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:15). (6.) Zeph. 1:1. (7.) Neh. 11:4. (8.) Neh. 10:3. (9.) Ezra 10:42.
Amasa - burden. (1.) The son of Abigail, a sister of king David (1 Chr. 2:17; 2 Sam. 17:25). He was appointed by David to command the army in room of his cousin Joab (2 Sam. 19:13), who afterwards treacherously put him to death as a dangerous rival (2 Sam. 20:4-12).
(2.) A son of Hadlai, and chief of Ephraim (2 Chr. 28:12) in the reign of Ahaz.
Amasai - burdensome. (1.) A Levite, son of Elkanah, of the ancestry of Samuel (1 Chr. 6:25, 35).
(2.) The leader of a body of men who joined David in the "stronghold," probably of Adullam (1 Chr. 12:18).
(3.) One of the priests appointed to precede the ark with blowing of trumpets on its removal from the house of Obed-edom (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) The father of a Levite, one of the two Kohathites who took a prominent part at the instance of Hezekiah in the cleansing of the temple (2 Chr. 29:12).
Amashai - the son of Azareel, appointed by Nehemiah to reside at Jerusalem and do the work of the temple (Neh. 11:13).
Amasiah - burden of (i.e., "sustained by") Jehovah, the "son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord," a captain over thousands under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:16; comp. Judg. 5:9).
Amaziah - strengthened by Jehovah. (1.) A Levite, son of Hilkiah, of the descendants of Ethan the Merarite (1 Chr. 6:45).
(2.) The son and successor of Joash, and eighth king of the separate kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 14:1-4). He began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father (5-7; 2 Chr. 25:3-5). He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah (2 Chr. 25:5, 6). He was commanded by a prophet of the Lord to send back the mercenaries, which he did (2 Chr. 25:7-10, 13), much to their annoyance. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chr. 25:14-16). Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, and this was his ruin, for he was vanquished by Joash, king of Israel, whom he challenged to battle. The disaster he thus brought upon Judah by his infatuation in proclaiming war against Israel probably occasioned the conspiracy by which he lost his life (2 Kings 14:8-14, 19). He was slain at Lachish, whither he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28).
(3.) A priest of the golden calves at Bethel (Amos 7:10-17).
(4.) The father of Joshah, one of the Simeonite chiefs in the time of Hezekiah (1 Chr. 4:34).
Ambassador - In the Old Testament the Hebrew word tsir, meaning "one who goes on an errand," is rendered thus (Josh. 9:4; Prov. 13:17; Isa. 18:2; Jer. 49:14; Obad. 1:1). This is also the rendering of melits, meaning "an interpreter," in 2 Chr. 32:31; and of malak, a "messenger," in 2 Chr. 35:21; Isa. 30:4; 33:7; Ezek. 17:15. This is the name used by the apostle as designating those who are appointed by God to declare his will (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20).
The Hebrews on various occasions and for various purposes had recourse to the services of ambassadors, e.g., to contract alliances (Josh. 9:4), to solicit favours (Num. 20:14), to remonstrate when wrong was done (Judg. 11:12), to condole with a young king on the death of his father (2 Sam. 10:2), and to congratulate a king on his accession to the throne (1 Kings 5:1).
To do injury to an ambassador was to insult the king who sent him (2 Sam. 10:5).
Amber - (Ezek. 1:4, 27; 8:2. Heb., hashmal, rendered by the LXX. elektron, and by the Vulgate electrum), a metal compounded of silver and gold. Some translate the word by "polished brass," others "fine brass," as in Rev. 1:15; 2:18. It was probably the mixture now called electrum. The word has no connection, however, with what is now called amber, which is a gummy substance, reckoned as belonging to the mineral kingdom though of vegetable origin, a fossil resin.
Ambush - Joshua at the capture of Ai lay in ambush, and so deceived the inhabitants that he gained an easy victory (Josh. 8:4-26). Shechem was taken in this manner (Judg. 9:30-45. Comp. Jer. 51:12).