By Matthew George Easton
Emmor - Face
an ass, Acts 7:16. (See HAMOR.)
Encamp - An encampment was the resting-place for a longer or shorter period of an army or company of travellers (Ex. 13:20; 14:19; Josh. 10:5; 11:5).
The manner in which the Israelites encamped during their march through the wilderness is described in Num. 2 and 3. The order of the encampment (see CAMP) was preserved in the march (Num. 2:17), the signal for which was the blast of two silver trumpets. Detailed regulations affecting the camp for sanitary purposes are given (Lev. 4:11, 12; 6:11; 8:17; 10:4, 5; 13:46; 14:3; Num. 12:14, 15; 31:19; Deut. 23:10, 12).
Criminals were executed without the camp (Lev. 4:12; comp. John 19:17, 20), and there also the young bullock for a sin-offering was burnt (Lev. 24:14; comp. Heb. 13:12).
In the subsequent history of Israel frequent mention is made of their encampments in the time of war (Judg. 7:18; 1 Sam. 13:2, 3, 16, 23; 17:3; 29:1; 30:9, 24). The temple was sometimes called "the camp of the Lord" (2 Chr. 31:2, R.V.; comp. Ps. 78:28). The multitudes who flocked to David are styled "a great host (i.e., "camp;" Heb. mahaneh), like the host of God" (1 Chr. 12:22).
Enchantments - (1.) The rendering of Hebrew latim_ or _lehatim, which means "something covered," "muffled up;" secret arts, tricks (Ex. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18), by which the Egyptian magicians imposed on the credulity of Pharaoh.
(2.) The rendering of the Hebrew keshaphim, "muttered spells" or "incantations," rendered "sorceries" in Isa. 47:9, 12, i.e., the using of certain formulae under the belief that men could thus be bound.
(3.) Hebrew lehashim, "charming," as of serpents (Jer. 8:17; comp. Ps. 58:5).
(4.) Hebrew nehashim, the enchantments or omens used by Balaam (Num. 24:1); his endeavouring to gain omens favourable to his design.
(5.) Hebrew heber (Isa. 47:9, 12), "magical spells." All kinds of enchantments were condemned by the Mosaic law (Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10-12). (See DIVINATION.)
End - in Heb. 13:7, is the rendering of the unusual Greek word ekbasin, meaning "outcome", i.e., death. It occurs only elsewhere in 1 Cor. 10:13, where it is rendered "escape."
Endor - fountain of Dor; i.e., "of the age", a place in the territory of Issachar (Josh. 17:11) near the scene of the great victory which was gained by Deborah and Barak over Sisera and Jabin (comp. Ps. 83:9, 10). To Endor, Saul resorted to consult one reputed to be a witch on the eve of his last engagement with the Philistines (1 Sam. 28:7). It is identified with the modern village of Endur, "a dirty hamlet of some twenty houses, or rather huts, most of them falling to ruin," on the northern slope of Little Hermon, about 7 miles from Jezreel.
En-eglaim - fountain of two calves, a place mentioned only in Ezek. 47:10. Somewhere near the Dead Sea.
En-gannim - fountain of gardens. (1.) A town in the plains of Judah (Josh. 15:34), north-west of Jerusalem, between Zanoah and Tappuah. It is the modern Umm Jina.
(2.) A city on the border of Machar (Josh. 19:21), allotted to the Gershonite Levites (21:29). It is identified with the modern Jenin, a large and prosperous town of about 4,000 inhabitants, situated 15 miles south of Mount Tabor, through which the road from Jezreel to Samaria and Jerusalem passes. When Ahaziah, king of Judah, attempted to escape from Jehu, he "fled by the way of the garden house" i.e., by way of En-gannim. Here he was overtaken by Jehu and wounded in his chariot, and turned aside and fled to Megiddo, a distance of about 20 miles, to die there.
Engedi - fountain of the kid, place in the wilderness of Judah (Josh. 15:62), on the western shore of the Dead Sea (Ezek. 47:10), and nearly equidistant from both extremities. To the wilderness near this town David fled for fear of Saul (Josh. 15:62; 1 Sam. 23:29). It was at first called Hazezon-tamar (Gen. 14:7), a city of the Amorites.
The vineyards of Engedi were celebrated in Solomon's time (Cant. 1:4). It is the modern 'Ain Jidy. The "fountain" from which it derives its name rises on the mountain side about 600 feet above the sea, and in its rapid descent spreads luxuriance all around it. Along its banks the osher grows abundantly. That shrub is thus described by Porter: "The stem is stout, measuring sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, and the plant grows to the height of 15 feet or more. It has a grayish bark and long oval leaves, which when broken off discharge a milky fluid. The fruit resembles an apple, and hangs in clusters of two or three. When ripe it is of a rich yellow colour, but on being pressed it explodes like a puff-ball. It is chiefly filled with air...This is the so-called 'apple of Sodom.'" Through Samaria, etc. (See APPLE.)
Engines - (1.) Heb. hishalon i.e., "invention" (as in Eccl. 7:29) contrivances indicating ingenuity. In 2 Chr. 26:15 it refers to inventions for the purpose of propelling missiles from the walls of a town, such as stones (the Roman balista) and arrows (the catapulta).
(2.) Heb. mechi kobollo, i.e., the beating of that which is in front a battering-ram (Ezek. 26:9), the use of which was common among the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Such an engine is mentioned in the reign of David (2 Sam. 20:15).
Engraver - Heb. harash (Ex. 35:35; 38:23) means properly an artificer in wood, stone, or metal. The chief business of the engraver was cutting names or devices on rings and seals and signets (Ex. 28:11, 21, 36; Gen. 38:18).
En-hakkore - fountain of the crier, the name of the spring in Lehi which burst forth in answer to Samson's prayer when he was exhausted with the slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:19). It has been identified with the spring 'Ayun Kara, near Zoreah.
Enmity - deep-rooted hatred. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed" (Gen. 3:15). The friendship of the world is "enmity with God" (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15, 16). The "carnal mind" is "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7). By the abrogation of the Mosaic institutes the "enmity" between Jew and Gentile is removed. They are reconciled, are "made one" (Eph. 2:15, 16).
Enoch - initiated. (1.) The eldest son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), who built a city east of Eden in the land of Nod, and called it "after the name of his son Enoch." This is the first "city" mentioned in Scripture.
(2.) The son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21; Luke 3:37). His father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch "walked with God three hundred years" (Gen. 5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life on earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the "seventh from Adam" (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5). When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch's prophesying only in Jude 1:14.
Enos - man the son of Seth, and grandson of Adam (Gen. 5:6-11; Luke 3:38). He lived nine hundred and five years. In his time "men began to call upon the name of the Lord" (Gen. 4:26), meaning either (1) then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord (marg.) i.e., to distinguish themselves thereby from idolaters; or (2) then men in some public and earnest way began to call upon the Lord, indicating a time of spiritual revival.
En-rogel - fountain of the treaders; i.e., "foot-fountain;" also called the "fullers' fountain," because fullers here trod the clothes in water. It has been identified with the "fountain of the virgin" (q.v.), the modern 'Ain Ummel-Daraj. Others identify it, with perhaps some probability, with the Bir Eyub, to the south of the Pool of Siloam, and below the junction of the valleys of Kidron and Hinnom. (See FOUNTAIN.)
It was at this fountain that Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid after the flight of David (2 Sam. 17:17); and here also Adonijah held the feast when he aspired to the throne of his father (1 Kings 1:9).
The Bir Eyub, or "Joab's well," "is a singular work of ancient enterprise. The shaft sunk through the solid rock in the bed of the Kidron is 125 feet deep...The water is pure and entirely sweet, quite different from that of Siloam; which proves that there is no connection between them." Thomson's Land and the Book.
En-shemesh - fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17). It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
Ensign - (1.) Heb. 'oth, a military standard, especially of a single tribe (Num. 2:2). Each separate tribe had its own "sign" or "ensign."
(2.) Heb. nes, a lofty signal, as a column or high pole (Num. 21:8, 9); a standard or signal or flag placed on high mountains to point out to the people a place of rendezvous on the irruption of an enemy (Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 18:3; 62:10; Jer. 4:6, 21; Ps. 60:4). This was an occasional signal, and not a military standard. Elevation and conspicuity are implied in the word.
(3.) The Hebrew word degel denotes the standard given to each of the four divisions of the host of the Israelites at the Exodus (Num. 1:52; 2:2; 10:14). In Cant. 2:4 it is rendered "banner." We have no definite information as to the nature of these military standards. (See BANNER.)
Entertain - Entertainments, "feasts," were sometimes connected with a public festival (Deut. 16:11, 14), and accompanied by offerings (1 Sam. 9:13), in token of alliances (Gen. 26:30); sometimes in connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of children (Gen. 21:8), at weddings (Gen. 29:22; John 2:1), on birth-days (Matt. 14:6), at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Sam. 13:23), and of vintage (Judg. 9:27), and at funerals (2 Sam. 3:35; Jer. 16:7).
The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3), who assigned them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19), except when special honour was intended, when the portion was increased (Gen. 43:34).
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).
In the entertainments common in apostolic times among the Gentiles were frequent "revellings," against which Christians were warned (Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3). (See BANQUET.)
Epaenetus - commendable, a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom. 16:5). He is spoken of as "the first fruits of Achaia" (R.V., "of Asia", i.e., of proconsular Asia, which is probably the correct reading). As being the first convert in that region, he was peculiarly dear to the apostle. He calls him his "well beloved."
Epaphras - lovely, spoken of by Paul (Col. 1:7; 4:12) as "his dear fellow-servant," and "a faithful minister of Christ." He was thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians. He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the Colossian church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon (1:23), where he is called by Paul his "fellow-prisoner."
Epaphroditus - fair, graceful; belonging to Aphrodite or Venus the messenger who came from Phillipi to the apostle when he was a prisoner at Rome (Phil. 2:25-30; 4:10-18). Paul mentions him in words of esteem and affection. On his return to Philippi he was the bearer of Paul's letter to the church there.
Ephah - gloom. (1.) One of the five sons of Midian, and grandson of Abraham (Gen. 25:4). The city of Ephah, to which he gave his name, is mentioned Isa. 60:6, 7. This city, with its surrounding territory, formed part of Midian, on the east shore of the Dead Sea. It abounded in dromedaries and camels (Judg. 6:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:46, a concubine of Caleb.
(3.) 1 Chr. 2:47, a descendant of Judah.
Ephah, a word of Egyptian origin, meaning measure; a grain measure containing "three seahs or ten omers," and equivalent to the bath for liquids (Ex. 16:36; 1 Sam. 17:17; Zech. 5:6). The double ephah in Prov. 20:10 (marg., "an ephah and an ephah"), Deut. 25:14, means two ephahs, the one false and the other just.
Epher - a calf. (1.) One of the sons of Midian, who was Abraham's son by Keturah (Gen. 25:4).
(2.) The head of one of the families of trans-Jordanic Manasseh who were carried captive by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chr. 5:24).
Ephes-dammim - boundary of blood, a place in the tribe of Judah where the Philistines encamped when David fought with Goliath (1 Sam. 17:1). It was probably so called as having been the scene of frequent sanguinary conflicts between Israel and the Philistines. It is called Pas-dammim (1 Chr. 11:13). It has been identified with the modern Beit Fased, i.e., "house of bleeding", near Shochoh (q.v.).
Ephesians, Epistle to - was written by Paul at Rome about the same time as that to the Colossians, which in many points it resembles.
Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly polemical, designed to refute certain theosophic errors that had crept into the church there. That to the Ephesians does not seem to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a letter springing from Paul's love to the church there, and indicative of his earnest desire that they should be fully instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains (1) the salutation (1:1, 2); (2) a general description of the blessings the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which they are attained, purpose for which they are bestowed, and their final result, with a fervent prayer for the further spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (1:3-2:10); (3) "a record of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom, a fact so considered as to keep them from being dispirited, and to lead him to pray for enlarged spiritual benefactions on his absent sympathizers" (2:12-3:21); (4) a chapter on unity as undisturbed by diversity of gifts (4:1-16); (5) special injunctions bearing on ordinary life (4:17-6:10); (6) the imagery of a spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and valedictory blessing (6:11-24).
Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried visit for the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in Acts 18:19-21. The work he began on this occasion was carried forward by Apollos (24-26) and Aquila and Priscilla. On his second visit, early in the following year, he remained at Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key to the western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and effectual" was opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9), and the church was established and strengthened by his assiduous labours there (Acts 20:20, 31). From Ephesus as a centre the gospel spread abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (19:26). The word "mightily grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution he encountered.
On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at Miletus, and summoning together the elders of the church from Ephesus, delivered to them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts 20:18-35), expecting to see them no more.
The following parallels between this epistle and the Milesian charge may be traced:
(1.) Acts 20:19 = Eph. 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind" occurs nowhere else.
(2.) Acts 20:27 = Eph. 1:11. The word "counsel," as denoting the divine plan, occurs only here and Heb. 6:17.
(3.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 3:20. The divine ability.
(4.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 2:20. The building upon the foundation.
(5.) Acts 20:32 = Eph. 1:14, 18. "The inheritance of the saints."
Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (3:1; 4:1; 6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there, about the year 62, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at Miletus. The subscription of this epistle is correct.
There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing of this letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not polemical. No errors had sprung up in the church which he sought to point out and refute. The object of the apostle is "to set forth the ground, the cause, and the aim and end of the church of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type or sample of the church universal." The church's foundations, its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the foundation of the church is the will of the Father; the course of the church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the church is the life in the Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes from the point of view of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; here he writes from the point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and hence of the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the lowest depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest heights of Christian experience;" and the fact that the apostle evidently expected the Ephesians to understand it is an evidence of the "proficiency which Paul's converts had attained under his preaching at Ephesus."
Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians (q.v.). "The letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of pastoral zeal and attachment, written without reserve and in unaffected simplicity; sentiments come warm from the heart, without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious arrangement of a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of coloquial idiom, and so much of conversational frankness and vivacity, that the reader associates the image of the writer with every paragraph, and the ear seems to catch and recognize the very tones of living address." "Is it then any matter of amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that two written about the same time should have so much in common and so much that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and subject between the epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike every reader. Their precise relation to each other has given rise to much discussion. The great probability is that the epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages in Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the appearance of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse. Compare:
Eph 1:7; Col 1:14 Eph 1:10; Col 1:20 Eph 3:2; Col 1:25 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16 Eph 6:22; Col 4:8 Eph 1:19-2:5; Col 2:12,13 Eph 4:2-4; Col 3:12-15 Eph 4:16; Col 2:19 Eph 4:32; Col 3:13 Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10 Eph 5:6-8; Col 3:6-8 Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5 Eph 6:19,20; Col 4:3,4 Eph 5:22-6:9; Col 3:18-4:1
"The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and corresponds with the state of the apostle's mind at the time of writing. Overjoyed with the account which their messenger had brought him of their faith and holiness (Eph. 1:15), and transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in the work of man's redemption, and of his astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars high in his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his thoughts utterance in sublime and copious expression."
Ephesus - the capital of proconsular Asia, which was the western part of Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from Athens. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana (q.v.), who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. It was, like all ancient theatres, open to the sky. Here were exhibited the fights of wild beasts and of men with beasts. (Comp. 1 Cor. 4:9; 9:24, 25; 15:32.)
Many Jews took up their residence in this city, and here the seeds of the gospel were sown immediately after Pentecost (Acts 2:9; 6:9). At the close of his second missionary journey (about A.D. 51), when Paul was returning from Greece to Syria (18:18-21), he first visited this city. He remained, however, for only a short time, as he was hastening to keep the feast, probably of Pentecost, at Jerusalem; but he left Aquila and Priscilla behind him to carry on the work of spreading the gospel.
During his third missionary journey Paul reached Ephesus from the "upper coasts" (Acts 19:1), i.e., from the inland parts of Asia Minor, and tarried here for about three years; and so successful and abundant were his labours that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (19:10). Probably during this period the seven churches of the Apocalypse were founded, not by Paul's personal labours, but by missionaries whom he may have sent out from Ephesus, and by the influence of converts returning to their homes.
On his return from his journey, Paul touched at Miletus, some 30 miles south of Ephesus (Acts 20:15), and sending for the presbyters of Ephesus to meet him there, he delivered to them that touching farewell charge which is recorded in Acts 20:18-35. Ephesus is not again mentioned till near the close of Paul's life, when he writes to Timothy exhorting him to "abide still at Ephesus" (1 Tim. 1:3).
Two of Paul's companions, Trophimus and Tychicus, were probably natives of Ephesus (Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Tim. 4:12). In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul speaks of Onesiphorus as having served him in many things at Ephesus (2 Tim. 1:18). He also "sent Tychicus to Ephesus" (4:12), probably to attend to the interests of the church there. Ephesus is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse (1:11; 2:1).
The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in Ephesus, where he died and was buried.
A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a small Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a corruption of the two Greek words, hagios theologos; i.e., "the holy divine."
Ephod - something girt, a sacred vestment worn originally by the high priest (Ex. 28:4), afterwards by the ordinary priest (1 Sam. 22:18), and characteristic of his office (1 Sam. 2:18, 28; 14:3). It was worn by Samuel, and also by David (2 Sam. 6:14). It was made of fine linen, and consisted of two pieces, which hung from the neck, and covered both the back and front, above the tunic and outer garment (Ex. 28:31). That of the high priest was embroidered with divers colours. The two pieces were joined together over the shoulders (hence in Latin called superhumerale) by clasps or buckles of gold or precious stones, and fastened round the waist by a "curious girdle of gold, blue, purple, and fine twined linen" (28:6-12).
The breastplate, with the Urim and Thummim, was attached to the ephod.
Ephphatha - the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning "Be opened," uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips. (See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)
Ephraim - double fruitfulness ("for God had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction"). The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt (Gen. 41:52; 46:20). The first incident recorded regarding him is his being placed, along with his brother Manasseh, before their grandfather, Jacob, that he might bless them (48:10; comp. 27:1). The intention of Joseph was that the right hand of the aged patriarch should be placed on the head of the elder of the two; but Jacob set Ephraim the younger before his brother, "guiding his hands wittingly." Before Joseph's death, Ephraim's family had reached the third generation (Gen. 50:23).
Ephraim, Gate of - one of the gates of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chr. 25:23), on the side of the city looking toward Ephraim, the north side.
Ephraim in the wilderness - (John 11: 54), a town to which our Lord retired with his disciples after he had raised Lazarus, and when the priests were conspiring against him. It lay in the wild, uncultivated hill-country to the north-east of Jerusalem, betwen the central towns and the Jordan valley.
Ephraim, Mount - the central mountainous district of Palestine occupied by the tribe of Ephraim (Josh. 17:15; 19:50; 20:7), extending from Bethel to the plain of Jezreel. In Joshua's time (Josh. 17:18) these hills were densely wooded. They were intersected by well-watered, fertile valleys, referred to in Jer. 50:19. Joshua was buried at Timnath-heres among the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash (Judg. 2:9). This region is also called the "mountains of Israel" (Josh. 11:21) and the "mountains of Samaria" (Jer. 31:5, 6: Amos 3:9).
Ephraim, The tribe of - took precedence over that of Manasseh by virtue of Jacob's blessing (Gen. 41:52; 48:1). The descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, whereas each of the other sons of Jacob was the founder of only one tribe. Thus there were in reality thirteen tribes; but the number twelve was preserved by excluding that of Levi when Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned separately (Num. 1:32-34; Josh. 17:14, 17; 1 Chr. 7:20).
Territory of. At the time of the first census in the wilderness this tribe numbered 40,500 (Num. 1:32, 33); forty years later, when about to take possession of the Promised Land, it numbered only 32,500. During the march (see CAMP ) Ephraim's place was on the west side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:18-24). When the spies were sent out to spy the land, "Oshea the son of Nun" of this tribe signalized himself.
The boundaries of the portion of the land assigned to Ephraim are given in Josh. 16:1-10. It included most of what was afterwards called Samaria as distinguished from Judea and Galilee. It thus lay in the centre of all traffic, from north to south, and from Jordan to the sea, and was about 55 miles long and 30 broad. The tabernacle and the ark were deposited within its limits at Shiloh, where it remained for four hundred years. During the time of the judges and the first stage of the monarchy this tribe manifested a domineering and haughty and discontented spirit. "For more than five hundred years, a period equal to that which elapsed between the Norman Conquest and the War of the Roses, Ephraim, with its two dependent tribes of Manasseh and Benjamin, exercised undisputed pre-eminence. Joshua the first conqueror, Gideon the greatest of the judges, and Saul the first king, belonged to one or other of the three tribes. It was not till the close of the first period of Jewish history that God 'refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved' (Ps. 78:67, 68). When the ark was removed from Shiloh to Zion the power of Ephraim was humbled."
Among the causes which operated to bring about the disruption of Israel was Ephraim's jealousy of the growing power of Judah. From the settlement of Canaan till the time of David and Solomon, Ephraim had held the place of honour among the tribes. It occupied the central and fairest portions of the land, and had Shiloh and Shechem within its borders. But now when Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom, and the centre of power and worship for the whole nation of Israel, Ephraim declined in influence. The discontent came to a crisis by Rehoboam's refusal to grant certain redresses that were demanded (1 Kings 12).
Ephraim, Wood of - a forest in which a fatal battle was fought between the army of David and that of Absalom, who was killed there (2 Sam. 18:6, 8). It lay on the east of Jordan, not far from Mahanaim, and was some part of the great forest of Gilead.
Ephratah - fruitful. (1.) The second wife of Caleb, the son of Hezron, mother of Hur, and grandmother of Caleb, who was one of those that were sent to spy the land (1 Chr. 2:19, 50).
(2.) The ancient name of Bethlehem in Judah (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7). In Ruth 1:2 it is called "Bethlehem-Judah," but the inhabitants are called "Ephrathites;" in Micah 5:2, "Bethlehem-Ephratah;" in Matt. 2:6, "Bethlehem in the land of Judah." In Ps. 132:6 it is mentioned as the place where David spent his youth, and where he heard much of the ark, although he never saw it till he found it long afterwards at Kirjath-jearim; i.e., the "city of the wood," or the "forest-town" (1 Sam. 7:1; comp. 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
Ephrathite - a citizen of Ephratah, the old name of Bethlehem (Ruth 1:2; 1 Sam. 17:12), or Bethlehem-Judah.
Ephron - fawn-like. (1.) The son of Zohar a Hittite, the owner of the field and cave of Machpelah (q.v.), which Abraham bought for 400 shekels of silver (Gen. 23:8-17; 25:9; 49:29, 30).
(2.) A mountain range which formed one of the landmarks on the north boundary of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:9), probably the range on the west side of the Wady Beit-Hanina.
Epicureans - followers of Epicurus (who died at Athens B.C. 270), or adherents of the Epicurean philosophy (Acts 17:18). This philosophy was a system of atheism, and taught men to seek as their highest aim a pleasant and smooth life. They have been called the "Sadducees" of Greek paganism. They, with the Stoics, ridiculed the teaching of Paul (Acts 17:18). They appear to have been greatly esteemed at Athens.
Epistles - the apostolic letters. The New Testament contains twenty-one in all. They are divided into two classes. (1.) Paul's Epistles, fourteen in number, including Hebrews. These are not arranged in the New Testament in the order of time as to their composition, but rather according to the rank of the cities or places to which they were sent. Who arranged them after this manner is unknown. Paul's letters were, as a rule, dictated to an amanuensis, a fact which accounts for some of their peculiarities. He authenticated them, however, by adding a few words in his own hand at the close. (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
The epistles to Timothy and Titus are styled the Pastoral Epistles.
(2.) The Catholic or General Epistles, so called because they are not addressed to any particular church or city or individual, but to Christians in general, or to Christians in several countries. Of these, three are written by John, two by Peter, and one each by James and Jude.
It is an interesting and instructive fact that a large portion of the New Testament is taken up with epistles. The doctrines of Christianity are thus not set forth in any formal treatise, but mainly in a collection of letters. "Christianity was the first great missionary religion. It was the first to break the bonds of race and aim at embracing all mankind. But this necessarily involved a change in the mode in which it was presented. The prophet of the Old Testament, if he had anything to communicate, either appeared in person or sent messengers to speak for him by word of mouth. The narrow limits of Palestine made direct personal communication easy. But the case was different when the Christian Church came to consist of a number of scattered parts, stretching from Mesopotamia in the east to Rome or even Spain in the far west. It was only natural that the apostle by whom the greater number of these communities had been founded should seek to communicate with them by letter."
Erastus - beloved. (1.) The "chamberlain" of the city of Corinth (Rom. 16:23), and one of Paul's disciples. As treasurer of such a city he was a public officer of great dignity, and his conversion to the gospel was accordingly a proof of the wonderful success of the apostle's labours.
(2.) A companion of Paul at Ephesus, who was sent by him along with Timothy into Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Corinth was his usual place of abode (2 Tim. 4:20); but probably he may have been the same as the preceding.
Erech - (LXX., "Orech"), length, or Moon-town, one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10); the Orchoe of the Greeks and Romans. It was probably the city of the Archevites, who were transplanted to Samaria by Asnapper (Ezra 4:9). It lay on the left bank of the Euphrates, about 120 miles south-east of Babylon, and is now represented by the mounds and ruins of Warka. It appears to have been the necropolis of the Assyrian kings, as the whole region is strewed with bricks and the remains of coffins. "Standing on the summit of the principal edifice, called the Buwarizza, a tower 200 feet square in the centre of the ruins, the beholder is struck with astonishment at the enormous accumulation of mounds and ancient relics at his feet. An irregular circle, nearly 6 miles in circumference, is defined by the traces of an earthen rampart, in some places 40 feet high."
Esaias - the Greek form for Isaiah, constantly used in the Authorized Version of the New Testament (Matt. 3:3; 4:14), but in the Revised Version always "Isaiah."
Esarhaddon - Assur has given a brother, successor of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38). He ascended the throne about B.C. 681. Nothing further is recorded of him in Scripture, except that he settled certain colonists in Samaria (Ezra 4:2). But from the monuments it appears that he was the most powerful of all the Assyrian monarchs. He built many temples and palaces, the most magnificent of which was the south-west palace at Nimrud, which is said to have been in its general design almost the same as Solomon's palace, only much larger (1 Kings 7:1-12).
In December B.C. 681 Sennacherib was murdered by two of his sons, who, after holding Nineveh for forty-two days, were compelled to fly to Erimenas of Ararat, or Armenia. Their brother Esarhaddon, who had been engaged in a campaign against Armenia, led his army against them. They were utterly overthrown in a battle fought April B.C. 680, near Malatiyeh, and in the following month Esarhaddon was crowned at Nineveh. He restored Babylon, conquered Egypt, and received tribute from Manasseh of Judah. He died in October B.C. 668, while on the march to suppress an Egyptian revolt, and was succeeded by his son Assur-bani-pal, whose younger brother was made viceroy of Babylonia.
Esau - hairy, Rebekah's first-born twin son (Gen. 25:25). The name of Edom, "red", was also given to him from his conduct in connection with the red lentil "pottage" for which he sold his birthright (30, 31). The circumstances connected with his birth foreshadowed the enmity which afterwards subsisted between the twin brothers and the nations they founded (25:22, 23, 26). In process of time Jacob, following his natural bent, became a shepherd; while Esau, a "son of the desert," devoted himself to the perilous and toilsome life of a huntsman. On a certain occasion, on returning from the chase, urged by the cravings of hunger, Esau sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, who thereby obtained the covenant blessing (Gen. 27:28, 29, 36; Heb. 12:16, 17). He afterwards tried to regain what he had so recklessly parted with, but was defeated in his attempts through the stealth of his brother (Gen. 27:4, 34, 38).
At the age of forty years, to the great grief of his parents, he married (Gen. 26:34, 35) two Canaanitish maidens, Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Bashemath, the daughter of Elon. When Jacob was sent away to Padan-aram, Esau tried to conciliate his parents (Gen. 28:8, 9) by marrying his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. This led him to cast in his lot with the Ishmaelite tribes; and driving the Horites out of Mount Seir, he settled in that region. After some thirty years' sojourn in Padan-aram Jacob returned to Canaan, and was reconciled to Esau, who went forth to meet him (33:4). Twenty years after this, Isaac their father died, when the two brothers met, probably for the last time, beside his grave (35:29). Esau now permanently left Canaan, and established himself as a powerful and wealthy chief in the land of Edom (q.v.).
Long after this, when the descendants of Jacob came out of Egypt, the Edomites remembered the old quarrel between the brothers, and with fierce hatred they warred against Israel.
Eschew - from old French eschever, "to flee from" (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3; 1 Pet. 3:11).
Esdraelon - the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jezreel," the name of the great plain (called by the natives Merj Ibn Amer; i.e., "the meadow of the son of Amer") which stretches across Central Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterraanean, separating the mountain ranges of Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee, extending about 14 miles from north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. It is drained by "that ancient river" the Kishon, which flows westward to the Mediterranean. From the foot of Mount Tabor it branches out into three valleys, that on the north passing between Tabor and Little Hermon (Judg. 4:14); that on the south between Mount Gilboa and En-gannim (2 Kings 9:27); while the central portion, the "valley of Jezreel" proper, runs into the Jordan valley (which is about 1,000 feet lower than Esdraelon) by Bethshean. Here Gideon gained his great victory over the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-25). Here also Barak defeated Sisera, and Saul's army was defeated by the Philistines, and king Josiah, while fighting in disguise against Necho, king of Egypt, was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-27; 2 Kings 23-29). This plain has been well called the "battle-field of Palestine." "It has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in this country, from the days of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in the history of whose wars with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain of Esdraelon, until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders, Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors out of every nation which is under heaven, have pitched their tents in the plain, and have beheld the various banners of their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" (Dr. Clark).
Esek - quarrel, a well which Isaac's herdsmen dug in the valley of Gerar, and so called because the herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled with them for its possession (Gen. 26:20).
Eshbaal - man of Baal, the fourth son of king Saul (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). He is also called Ish-bosheth (q.v.), 2 Sam. 2:8.
Eshcol - bunch; brave. (1.) A young Amoritish chief who joined Abraham in the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of grapes (Num. 13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of Eshcol," R.V.), which they took back with them to the camp of Israel as a specimen of the fruits of the Promised Land. On their way back they explored the route which led into the south (the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at Telilat el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of grape-mounds even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic clusters of grapes, and gathered the pomegranates and figs, to show how goodly was the land which the Lord had promised for their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
Eshean - a place in the mountains of Judah (Josh.15:52), supposed to be the ruin es-Simia, near Dumah, south of Hebron.
Eshtaol - narrow pass or recess, a town (Josh. 15:33) in the low country, the She-phelah of Judah. It was allotted to the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:41), and was one of their strongholds. Here Samson spent his boyhood, and first began to show his mighty strength; and here he was buried in the burying-place of Manoah his father (Judg. 13:25; 16:31; 18:2, 8, 11, 12). It is identified with the modern Yeshua, on a hill 2 miles east of Zorah. Others, however, identify it with Kustul, east of Kirjath-jearim.
Eshtemoa - obedience, a town in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 21:14; 1 Chr. 6:57), which was allotted, with the land round it, to the priests. It was frequented by David and his followers during their wanderings; and he sent presents of the spoil of the Amalekites to his friends there (1 Sam. 30:28). It is identified with es-Semu'a, a village about 3 1/2 miles east of Socoh, and 7 or 8 miles south of Hebron, around which there are ancient remains of the ruined city. It is the centre of the "south country" or Negeb. It is also called "Eshtemoh" (Josh. 15:50).
Espouse - (2 Sam. 3:14), to betroth. The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage. Espousals are in the East frequently contracted years before the marriage is celebrated. It is referred to as figuratively illustrating the relations between God and his people (Jer. 2:2; Matt. 1:18; 2 Cor. 11:2). (See BETROTH.)
Essenes - a Jewish mystical sect somewhat resembling the Pharisees. They affected great purity. They originated about B.C. 100, and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem. They are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although they may be referred to in Matt. 19:11, 12, Col. 2:8, 18, 23.
Esther - the queen of Ahasuerus, and heroine of the book that bears her name. She was a Jewess named Hadas'sah (the myrtle), but when she entered the royal harem she received the name by which she henceforth became known (Esther 2:7). It is a Syro-Arabian modification of the Persian word satarah, which means a star. She was the daughter of Abihail, a Benjamite. Her family did not avail themselves of the permission granted by Cyrus to the exiles to return to Jerusalem; and she resided with her cousin Mordecai, who held some office in the household of the Persian king at "Shushan in the palace." Ahasuerus having divorced Vashti, chose Esther to be his wife. Soon after this he gave Haman the Agagite, his prime minister, power and authority to kill and extirpate all the Jews throughout the Persian empire. By the interposition of Esther this terrible catastrophe was averted. Haman was hanged on the gallows he had intended for Mordecai (Esther 7); and the Jews established an annual feast, the feast of Purim (q.v.), in memory of their wonderful deliverance. This took place about fifty-two years after the Return, the year of the great battles of Plataea and Mycale (B.C. 479).
Esther appears in the Bible as a "woman of deep piety, faith, courage, patriotism, and caution, combined with resolution; a dutiful daughter to her adopted father, docile and obedient to his counsels, and anxious to share the king's favour with him for the good of the Jewish people. There must have been a singular grace and charm in her aspect and manners, since 'she obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her' (Esther 2:15). That she was raised up as an instrument in the hand of God to avert the destruction of the Jewish people, and to afford them protection and forward their wealth and peace in their captivity, is also manifest from the Scripture account."
Esther, Book of - The authorship of this book is unknown. It must have been obviously written after the death of Ahasuerus (the Xerxes of the Greeks), which took place B.C. 465. The minute and particular account also given of many historical details makes it probable that the writer was contemporary with Mordecai and Esther. Hence we may conclude that the book was written probably about B.C. 444-434, and that the author was one of the Jews of the dispersion.
This book is more purely historical than any other book of Scripture; and it has this remarkable peculiarity that the name of God does not occur in it from first to last in any form. It has, however, been well observed that "though the name of God be not in it, his finger is." The book wonderfully exhibits the providential government of God.
Etam - eyrie. (1.) A village of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:32). Into some cleft ("top," A.V.,; R.V., "cleft") of a rock here Samson retired after his slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:8, 11). It was a natural stronghold. It has been identified with Beit 'Atab, west of Bethlehem, near Zorah and Eshtaol. On the crest of a rocky knoll, under the village, is a long tunnel, which may be the "cleft" in which Samson hid.
(2.) A city of Judah, fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:6). It was near Bethlehem and Tekoah, and some distance apparently to the north of (1). It seems to have been in the district called Nephtoah (or Netophah), where were the sources of the water from which Solomon's gardens and pleasure-grounds and pools, as well as Bethlehem and the temple, were supplied. It is now 'Ain 'Atan, at the head of the Wady Urtas, a fountain sending forth a copious supply of pure water.
Eternal death - The miserable fate of the wicked in hell (Matt. 25:46; Mark 3:29; Heb. 6:2; 2 Thess. 1:9; Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 1:7). The Scripture as clearly teaches the unending duration of the penal sufferings of the lost as the "everlasting life," the "eternal life" of the righteous. The same Greek words in the New Testament (aion, aionios, aidios) are used to express (1) the eternal existence of God (1 Tim. 1:17; Rom. 1:20; 16:26); (2) of Christ (Rev. 1:18); (3) of the Holy Ghost (Heb. 9:14); and (4) the eternal duration of the sufferings of the lost (Matt. 25:46; Jude 1:6).
Their condition after casting off the mortal body is spoken of in these expressive words: "Fire that shall not be quenched" (Mark 9:45, 46), "fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:17), "the worm that never dies," the "bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:1), "the smoke of their torment ascending up for ever and ever" (Rev. 14:10, 11).
The idea that the "second death" (Rev. 20:14) is in the case of the wicked their absolute destruction, their annihilation, has not the slightest support from Scripture, which always represents their future as one of conscious suffering enduring for ever.
The supposition that God will ultimately secure the repentance and restoration of all sinners is equally unscriptural. There is not the slightest trace in all the Scriptures of any such restoration. Sufferings of themselves have no tendency to purify the soul from sin or impart spiritual life. The atoning death of Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit are the only means of divine appointment for bringing men to repentance. Now in the case of them that perish these means have been rejected, and "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26, 27).
Eternal life - This expression occurs in the Old Testament only in Dan. 12:2 (R.V., "everlasting life").
It occurs frequently in the New Testament (Matt. 7:14; 18:8, 9; Luke 10:28; comp. 18:18). It comprises the whole future of the redeemed (Luke 16:9), and is opposed to "eternal punishment" (Matt. 19:29; 25:46). It is the final reward and glory into which the children of God enter (1 Tim. 6:12, 19; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Rom. 5:21); their Sabbath of rest (Heb. 4:9; comp. 12:22).
The newness of life which the believer derives from Christ (Rom. 6:4) is the very essence of salvation, and hence the life of glory or the eternal life must also be theirs (Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Rom. 5:17, 21; 8:30; Eph. 2:5, 6). It is the "gift of God in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). The life the faithful have here on earth (John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 53-58) is inseparably connected with the eternal life beyond, the endless life of the future, the happy future of the saints in heaven (Matt. 19:16, 29; 25:46).
Etham - perhaps another name for Khetam, or "fortress," on the Shur or great wall of Egypt, which extended from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Suez. Here the Israelites made their third encampment (Ex. 13:20; Num. 33:6). The camp was probably a little to the west of the modern town of Ismailia. Here the Israelites were commanded to change their route (Ex. 14:2), and "turn" towards the south, and encamp before Pi-hahiroth. (See EXODUS; PITHOM.)
Ethan - firm. (1.) "The Ezrahite," distinguished for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). He is named as the author of the 89th Psalm. He was of the tribe of Levi.
(2.) A Levite of the family of Merari, one of the leaders of the temple music (1 Chr. 6:44; 15:17, 19). He was probably the same as Jeduthun. He is supposed by some to be the same also as (1).
Ethanim - the month of gifts, i.e., of vintage offerings; called Tisri after the Exile; corresponding to part of September and October. It was the first month of the civil year, and the seventh of the sacred year (1 Kings 8:2).
Eth-baal - with Baal, a king of Sidon (B.C. 940-908), father of Jezebel, who was the wife of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31). He is said to have been also a priest of Astarte, whose worship was closely allied to that of Baal, and this may account for his daughter's zeal in promoting idolatry in Israel. This marriage of Ahab was most fatal to both Israel and Judah. Dido, the founder of Carthage, was his granddaughter.
Ethiopia - country of burnt faces; the Greek word by which the Hebrew Cush is rendered (Gen. 2:13; 2 Kings 19:9; Esther 1:1; Job 28:19; Ps. 68:31; 87:4), a country which lay to the south of Egypt, beginning at Syene on the First Cataract (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6), and extending to beyond the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. It corresponds generally with what is now known as the Soudan (i.e., the land of the blacks). This country was known to the Hebrews, and is described in Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10. They carried on some commercial intercourse with it (Isa. 45:14).
Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6; Jer. 13:23; Isa. 18:2, "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in R.V., "tall and smooth"). Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes them as "the tallest and handsomest of men." They are frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, and they are all of the type of the true negro. As might be expected, the history of this country is interwoven with that of Egypt.
Ethiopia is spoken of in prophecy (Ps. 68:31; 87:4; Isa. 45:14; Ezek. 30:4-9; Dan. 11:43; Nah. 3:8-10; Hab. 3:7; Zeph. 2:12).
Ethiopian eunuch - the chief officer or prime minister of state of Candace (q.v.), queen of Ethiopia. He was converted to Christianity through the instrumentality of Philip (Act 8:27). The northern portion of Ethiopia formed the kingdom of Meroe, which for a long period was ruled over by queens, and it was probably from this kingdom that the eunuch came.
Ethiopian woman - the wife of Moses (Num. 12:1). It is supposed that Zipporah, Moses' first wife (Ex. 2:21), was now dead. His marriage of this "woman" descended from Ham gave offence to Aaron and Miriam.
Eunice - happily conquering, the mother of Timothy, a believing Jewess, but married to a Greek (Acts 16:1). She trained her son from his childhood in the knowledge of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15). She was distinguished by her "unfeigned faith."
Eunuch - literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings 9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel. Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
Euodias - a good journey, a female member of the church at Philippi. She was one who laboured much with Paul in the gospel. He exhorts her to be of one mind with Syntyche (Phil. 4:2). From this it seems they had been at variance with each other.
Euphrates - Hebrew, Perath; Assyrian, Purat; Persian cuneiform, Ufratush, whence Greek Euphrates, meaning "sweet water." The Assyrian name means "the stream," or "the great stream." It is generally called in the Bible simply "the river" (Ex. 23:31), or "the great river" (Deut. 1:7).
The Euphrates is first mentioned in Gen. 2:14 as one of the rivers of Paradise. It is next mentioned in connection with the covenant which God entered into with Abraham (15:18), when he promised to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (comp. Deut. 11:24; Josh. 1:4), a covenant promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests of David (2 Sam. 8:2-14; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the boundary of the kingdom to the north-east. In the ancient history of Assyria, and Babylon, and Egypt many events are recorded in which mention is made of the "great river." Just as the Nile represented in prophecy the power of Egypt, so the Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isa. 8:7; Jer. 2:18).
It is by far the largest and most important of all the rivers of Western Asia. From its source in the Armenian mountains to the Persian Gulf, into which it empties itself, it has a course of about 1,700 miles. It has two sources, (1) the Frat or Kara-su (i.e., "the black river"), which rises 25 miles north-east of Erzeroum; and (2) the Muradchai (i.e., "the river of desire"), which rises near Ararat, on the northern slope of Ala-tagh. At Kebban Maden, 400 miles from the source of the former, and 270 from that of the latter, they meet and form the majestic stream, which is at length joined by the Tigris at Koornah, after which it is called Shat-el-Arab, which runs in a deep and broad stream for above 140 miles to the sea. It is estimated that the alluvium brought down by these rivers encroaches on the sea at the rate of about one mile in thirty years.
Euroclydon - south-east billow, the name of the wind which blew in the Adriatic Gulf, and which struck the ship in which Paul was wrecked on the coast of Malta (Acts 27:14; R.V., "Euraquilo," i.e., north-east wind). It is called a "tempestuous wind," i.e., as literally rendered, a "typhonic wind," or a typhoon. It is the modern Gregalia or Levanter. (Comp. Jonah 1:4.)
Eutychus - fortunate, (Acts 20:9-12), a young man of Troas who fell through drowsiness from the open window of the third floor of the house where Paul was preaching, and was "taken up dead." The lattice-work of the window being open to admit the air, the lad fell out and down to the court below. Paul restored him to life again. (Comp. 1 Kings 17:21; 2 Kings 4:34.)
Evangelist - a "publisher of glad tidings;" a missionary preacher of the gospel (Eph. 4:11). This title is applied to Philip (Acts 21:8), who appears to have gone from city to city preaching the word (8:4, 40). Judging from the case of Philip, evangelists had neither the authority of an apostle, nor the gift of prophecy, nor the responsibility of pastoral supervision over a portion of the flock. They were itinerant preachers, having it as their special function to carry the gospel to places where it was previously unknown. The writers of the four Gospels are known as the Evangelists.
Eve - life; living, the name given by Adam to his wife (Gen. 3:20; 4:1). The account of her creation is given in Gen. 2:21, 22. The Creator, by declaring that it was not good for man to be alone, and by creating for him a suitable companion, gave sanction to monogamy. The commentator Matthew Henry says: "This companion was taken from his side to signify that she was to be dear unto him as his own flesh. Not from his head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should tyrannize over her; but from his side, to denote that species of equality which is to subsist in the marriage state." And again, "That wife that is of God's making by special grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a helpmeet to her husband." Through the subtle temptation of the serpent she violated the commandment of God by taking of the forbidden fruit, which she gave also unto her husband (1 Tim. 2:13-15; 2 Cor. 11:3). When she gave birth to her first son, she said, "I have gotten a man from the Lord" (R.V., "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord," Gen. 4:1). Thus she welcomed Cain, as some think, as if he had been the Promised One the "Seed of the woman."
Evening - the period following sunset with which the Jewish day began (Gen. 1:5; Mark 13:35). The Hebrews reckoned two evenings of each day, as appears from Ex. 16:12: 30:8; 12:6 (marg.); Lev. 23:5 (marg. R.V., "between the two evenings"). The "first evening" was that period when the sun was verging towards setting, and the "second evening" the moment of actual sunset. The word "evenings" in Jer. 5:6 should be "deserts" (marg. R.V.).
Everlasting - eternal, applied to God (Gen. 21:33; Deut. 33:27; Ps. 41:13; 90:2). We also read of the "everlasting hills" (Gen. 49:26); an "everlasting priesthood" (Ex. 40:15; Num. 25:13). (See ETERNAL.)
Evil eye - (Prov. 23:6), figuratively, the envious or covetous. (Comp. Deut. 15:9; Matt. 20:15.)
Evil-merodach - Merodach's man, the son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 25:27; Jer. 52:31, 34). He seems to have reigned but two years (B.C. 562-560). Influenced probably by Daniel, he showed kindness to Jehoiachin, who had been a prisoner in Babylon for thirty-seven years. He released him, and "spoke kindly to him." He was murdered by Nergal-sharezer=Neriglissar, his brother-in-law, who succeeded him (Jer. 39:3, 13).
Evil-speaking - is expressly forbidden (Titus 3:2; James 4:11), and severe punishments are denounced against it (1 Cor. 5:11; 6:10). It is spoken of also with abhorrence (Ps. 15:3; Prov. 18:6, 7), and is foreign to the whole Christian character and the example of Christ.
Example - of Christ (1 Pet. 2:21; John 13:15); of pastors to their flocks (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:3); of the Jews as a warning (Heb. 4:11); of the prophets as suffering affliction (James 5:10).
Executioner - (Mark 6:27). Instead of the Greek word, Mark here uses a Latin word, speculator, which literally means "a scout," "a spy," and at length came to denote one of the armed bodyguard of the emperor. Herod Antipas, in imitation of the emperor, had in attendance on him a company of speculatores. They were sometimes employed as executioners, but this was a mere accident of their office. (See MARK, GOSPEL OF.)
Exercise, bodily - (1 Tim. 4:8). An ascetic mortification of the flesh and denial of personal gratification (comp. Col. 2:23) to which some sects of the Jews, especially the Essenes, attached importance.
Exile - (1.) Of the kingdom of Israel. In the time of Pekah, Tiglath-pileser II. carried away captive into Assyria (2 Kings 15:29; comp. Isa. 10:5, 6) a part of the inhabitants of Galilee and of Gilead (B.C. 741).
After the destruction of Samaria (B.C. 720) by Shalmaneser and Sargon (q.v.), there was a general deportation of the Israelites into Mesopotamia and Media (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:26). (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.)
(2.) Of the kingdom of the two tribes, the kingdom of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 25:1), invaded Judah, and carried away some royal youths, including Daniel and his companions (B.C. 606), together with the sacred vessels of the temple (2 Chr. 36:7; Dan. 1:2). In B.C. 598 (Jer. 52:28; 2 Kings 24:12), in the beginning of Jehoiachin's reign (2 Kings 24:8), Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive 3,023 eminent Jews, including the king (2 Chr. 36:10), with his family and officers (2 Kings 24:12), and a large number of warriors (16), with very many persons of note (14), and artisans (16), leaving behind only those who were poor and helpless. This was the first general deportation to Babylon.
In B.C. 588, after the revolt of Zedekiah (q.v.), there was a second general deportation of Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 52:29; 2 Kings 25:8), including 832 more of the principal men of the kingdom. He carried away also the rest of the sacred vessels (2 Chr. 36:18). From this period, when the temple was destroyed (2 Kings 25:9), to the complete restoration, B.C. 517 (Ezra 6:15), is the period of the "seventy years."
In B.C. 582 occurred the last and final deportation. The entire number Nebuchadnezzar carried captive was 4,600 heads of families with their wives and children and dependants (Jer. 52:30; 43:5-7; 2 Chr. 36:20, etc.). Thus the exiles formed a very considerable community in Babylon.
When Cyrus granted permission to the Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1:5; 7:13), only a comparatively small number at first availed themselves of the privilege. It cannot be questioned that many belonging to the kingdom of Israel ultimately joined the Jews under Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, and returned along with them to Jerusalem (Jer. 50:4, 5, 17-20, 33-35).
Large numbers had, however, settled in the land of Babylon, and formed numerous colonies in different parts of the kingdom. Their descendants very probably have spread far into Eastern lands and become absorbed in the general population. (See JUDAH, KINGDOM OF; CAPTIVITY.)
Exodus - the great deliverance wrought for the children of Isreal when they were brought out of the land of Egypt with "a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm" (Ex 12:51; Deut. 26:8; Ps 114; 136), about B.C. 1490, and four hundred and eighty years (1 Kings 6:1) before the building of Solomon's temple.
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex. 12:40, the space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX., the words are, "The sojourning of the children of Israel which they sojourned in Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan version reads, "The sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years. This passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the council (Acts 7:6).
The chronology of the "sojourning" is variously estimated. Those who adopt the longer term reckon thus:
| Years | | From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the | death of Joseph 71 | | From the death of Joseph to the birth of | Moses 278 | | From the birth of Moses to his flight into | Midian 40 | | From the flight of Moses to his return into | Egypt 40 | | From the return of Moses to the Exodus 1 | | 430
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and fifteen years, holding that the period of four hundred and thirty years comprehends the years from the entrance of Abraham into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan) to the descent of Jacob into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| Years | | From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's | birth 25 | | From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons | Esau and Jacob 60 | | From Jacob's birth to the going down into | Egypt 130 | | (215) | | From Jacob's going down into Egypt to the | death of Joseph 71 | | From death of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64 | | From birth of Moses to the Exodus 80 | | In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of Midian, the Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for the great national crisis which was approaching. The plagues that successively fell upon the land loosened the bonds by which Pharaoh held them in slavery, and at length he was eager that they should depart. But the Hebrews must now also be ready to go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured for the Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And then, as the first step towards their independent national organization, they observed the feast of the Passover, which was now instituted as a perpetual memorial. The blood of the paschal lamb was duly sprinkled on the door-posts and lintels of all their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last stroke fell on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." Pharaoh rose up in the night, and called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was Pharaoh (q.v.) completely humbled and broken down. These words he spoke to Moses and Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of the humbled king, as he lamented his son snatched from him by so sudden a death, and tremble with a sense of the helplessness which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging hand of God had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure of the Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the dawn of the 15th day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which was to be to them henceforth the beginning of the year, as it was the commencement of a new epoch in their history, every family, with all that appertained to it, was ready for the march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward, increasing as they went forward from all the districts of Goshen, over the whole of which they were scattered, to the common centre. Three or four days perhaps elapsed before the whole body of the people were assembled at Rameses, and ready to set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num. 33:3). This city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court, and here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified with Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See PITHOM.) Their third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20, "in the edge of the wilderness," and was probably a little to the west of the modern town of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Here they were commanded "to turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route from east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their march in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They were then led along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came to an extensive camping-ground "before Pi-hahiroth," about 40 miles from Etham. This distance from Etham may have taken three days to traverse, for the number of camping-places by no means indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it took fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places during all that time. The exact spot of their encampment before they crossed the Red Sea cannot be determined. It was probably somewhere near the present site of Suez.
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went "forward" from the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened a pathway for them, so that they crossed to the farther shore in safety. The Egyptian host pursued after them, and, attempting to follow through the sea, were overwhelmed in its returning waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9; comp. Ps. 77:16-19).
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little way to the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there they encamped and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the other women sang the triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of the barren "wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the "wilderness of Etham" (Num. 33:8; comp. Ex. 13:20), without finding water. On the last of these days they came to Marah (q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made drinkable.
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve springs of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees (Ex. 15:27).
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from Elim," and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence removed to the "wilderness of Sin" (to be distinguished from the wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where they again encamped. Here, probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of bread they had brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur" for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them quails and manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses directed that an omer of manna should be put aside and preserved as a perpetual memorial of God's goodness. They now turned inland, and after three encampments came to the rich and fertile valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they found no water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb," one of the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly afterwards the children of Israel here fought their first battle with the Amalekites, whom they smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of march now probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady Solaf, meeting in the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in front of the magnificient cliffs of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11) before Sinai (q.v.).
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the time of their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land, are mentioned in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences that the Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their country, which could be none other than the exodus of the Hebrews.
Exodus, Book of - Exodus is the name given in the LXX. to the second book of the Pentateuch (q.v.). It means "departure" or "outgoing." This name was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence passed into other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words, according to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., "and these are the names").
It contains, (1.) An account of the increase and growth of the Israelites in Egypt (ch. 1) (2.) Preparations for their departure out of Egypt (2-12:36). (3.) Their journeyings from Egypt to Sinai (12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving of the law and the establishment of the institutions by which the organization of the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest and an holy nation" (19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to the erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one hundred and forty-five years, on the supposition that the four hundred and thirty years (12:40) are to be computed from the time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal. 3:17).
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other books of the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The unanimous voice of tradition and all internal evidences abundantly support this opinion.
Exorcist - (Acts 19:13). "In that sceptical and therefore superstitious age professional exorcist abounded. Many of these professional exorcists were disreputable Jews, like Simon in Samaria and Elymas in Cyprus (8:9; 13:6)." Other references to exorcism as practised by the Jews are found in Matt. 12:27; Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49, 50. It would seem that it was an opinion among the Jews that miracles might be wrought by invoking the divine name. Thus also these "vagabond Jews" pretended that they could expel daemons.
The power of casting out devils was conferred by Christ on his apostles (Matt. 10:8), and on the seventy (Luke 10:17-19), and was exercised by believers after his ascension (Mark 16:17; Acts 16:18); but this power was never spoken of as exorcism.
Expiation - Guilt is said to be expiated when it is visited with punishment falling on a substitute. Expiation is made for our sins when they are punished not in ourselves but in another who consents to stand in our room. It is that by which reconciliation is effected. Sin is thus said to be "covered" by vicarious satisfaction.
The cover or lid of the ark is termed in the LXX. hilasterion, that which covered or shut out the claims and demands of the law against the sins of God's people, whereby he became "propitious" to them.
The idea of vicarious expiation runs through the whole Old Testament system of sacrifices. (See PROPITIATION.)
Eye - (Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied (1) to a fountain, frequently; (2) to colour (Num. 11:7; R.V., "appearance," marg. "eye"); (3) the face (Ex. 10:5, 15; Num. 22:5, 11), in Num. 14:14, "face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the eyes", i.e., the forehead (Ex. 13:9, 16).
The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job 24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful eye" (Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa. 3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2; Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:7).
The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30, R.V.; Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40, a custom which still prevails extensively among Eastern women.
Ezekias - Grecized form of Hezekiah (Matt. 1:9, 10).
Ezekiel - God will strengthen. (1.) 1 Chr. 24:16, "Jehezekel."
(2.) One of the great prophets, the son of Buzi the priest (Ezek. 1:3). He was one of the Jewish exiles who settled at Tel-Abib, on the banks of the Chebar, "in the land of the Chaldeans." He was probably carried away captive with Jehoiachin (1:2; 2 Kings 24:14-16) about B.C. 597. His prophetic call came to him "in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity" (B.C. 594). He had a house in the place of his exile, where he lost his wife, in the ninth year of his exile, by some sudden and unforeseen stroke (Ezek. 8:1; 24:18). He held a prominent place among the exiles, and was frequently consulted by the elders (8:1; 11:25; 14:1; 20:1). His ministry extended over twenty-three years (29:17), B.C. 595-573, during part of which he was contemporary with Daniel (14:14; 28:3) and Jeremiah, and probably also with Obadiah. The time and manner of his death are unknown. His reputed tomb is pointed out in the neighbourhood of Bagdad, at a place called Keffil.
Ezekiel, Book of - consists mainly of three groups of prophecies. After an account of his call to the prophetical office (1-3:21), Ezekiel (1) utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24), warning them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced are described in ch. 4,5, show his intimate acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. (See Ex. 22:30; Deut. 14:21; Lev. 5:2; 7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8, etc.)
(2.) Prophecies against various surrounding nations: against the Ammonites (Ezek. 25:1-7), the Moabites (8-11), the Edomites (12-14), the Philistines (15-17), Tyre and Sidon (26-28), and against Egypt (29-32).
(3.) Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar: the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of God on earth (Ezek. 33-39); Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of God (40;48).
The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book of Revelation (Ezek. 38=Rev. 20:8; Ezek. 47:1-8=Rev. 22:1,2). Other references to this book are also found in the New Testament. (Comp. Rom. 2:24 with Ezek. 36:2; Rom. 10:5, Gal. 3:12 with Ezek. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:4 with Ezek. 12:22.)
It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel (14:14) along with Noah and Job as distinguished for his righteousness, and some five years later he is spoken of as pre-eminent for his wisdom (28:3).
Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and allegorical representations, "unfolding a rich series of majestic visions and of colossal symbols." There are a great many also of "symbolcal actions embodying vivid conceptions on the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5; 37:16, etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and allegories occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious character to the prophecies of Ezekiel. They are obscure and enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs them which it is almost impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book 'a labyrith of the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity that the Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age of thirty."
Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to the Pentateuch (e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11, 34; 47:13, etc.). He shows also an acquaintance with the writings of Hosea (Ezek. 37:22), Isaiah (Ezek. 8:12; 29:6), and especially with those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jer. 24:7, 9; 48:37).
Ezel - a separation, (1 Sam. 20:19), a stone, or heap of stones, in the neighbourhood of Saul's residence, the scene of the parting of David and Jonathan (42). The margin of the Authorized Version reads, "The stone that sheweth the way," in this rendering following the Targum.
Ezer - treasure. (1.) One of the sons of Seir, the native princes, "dukes," of Mount Hor (Gen. 36:21, 27). (2.) 1 Chr. 7:21; (3.) 4:4. (4.) One of the Gadite champions who repaired to David at Ziklag (12:9). (5.) A Levite (Neh. 3:19). (6.) A priest (12:42).
Ezion-geber - the giant's backbone (so called from the head of a mountain which runs out into the sea), an ancient city and harbour at the north-east end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here Solomon built ships, "Tarshish ships," like those trading from Tyre to Tarshish and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here also Jehoshaphat's fleet was shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36). It became a populous town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6, "Elath"). It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed further into the country than now, as far as 'Ain el-Ghudyan, which is 10 miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that Ezion-geber may have been there.
Ezra - help. (1.) A priest among those that returned to Jerusalem under Zerubabel (Neh. 12:1).
(2.) The "scribe" who led the second body of exiles that returned from Babylon to Jerusalem B.C. 459, and author of the book of Scripture which bears his name. He was the son, or perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). All we know of his personal history is contained in the last four chapters of his book, and in Neh. 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see DARIUS), he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him "all his request," and loading him with gifts for the house of God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about 5,000 in all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were put into order for their march across the desert, which was completed in four months. His proceedings at Jerusalem on his arrival there are recorded in his book.
He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." "He is," says Professor Binnie, "the first well-defined example of an order of men who have never since ceased in the church; men of sacred erudition, who devote their lives to the study of the Holy Scriptures, in order that they may be in a condition to interpret them for the instruction and edification of the church. It is significant that the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of Ezra's ministry (Neh. 8:4). He was much more of a teacher than a priest. We learn from the account of his labours in the book of Nehemiah that he was careful to have the whole people instructed in the law of Moses; and there is no reason to reject the constant tradition of the Jews which connects his name with the collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The final completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the work of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much into the shape in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible. When it is added that the complete organization of the synagogue dates from this period, it will be seen that the age was emphatically one of Biblical study" (The Psalms: their History, etc.).
For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the nation. In that year another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears on the scene. After the ruined wall of the city had been built by Nehemiah, there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day the whole population assembled, and the law was read aloud to them by Ezra and his assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening. For successive days they held solemn assemblies, confessing their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They kept also the feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm, and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's. Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the walls of the city (Neh. 12).
Ezra, Book of - This book is the record of events occurring at the close of the Babylonian exile. It was at one time included in Nehemiah, the Jews regarding them as one volume. The two are still distinguished in the Vulgate version as I. and II. Esdras. It consists of two principal divisions:
(1.) The history of the first return of exiles, in the first year of Cyrus (B.C. 536), till the completion and dedication of the new temple, in the sixth year of Darius Hystapes (B.C. 515), ch. 1-6. From the close of the sixth to the opening of the seventh chapter there is a blank in the history of about sixty years.
(2.) The history of the second return under Ezra, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, and of the events that took place at Jerusalem after Ezra's arrival there (7-10).
The book thus contains memorabilia connected with the Jews, from the decree of Cyrus (B.C. 536) to the reformation by Ezra (B.C. 456), extending over a period of about eighty years.
There is no quotation from this book in the New Testament, but there never has been any doubt about its being canonical. Ezra was probably the author of this book, at least of the greater part of it (comp. 7:27, 28; 8:1, etc.), as he was also of the Books of Chronicles, the close of which forms the opening passage of Ezra.
Ezrahite - a title given to Ethan (1 Kings 4:31; Ps. 89, title) and Heman (Ps. 88, title). They were both sons of Zerah (1 Chr. 2:6).
Ezri - help of Jehovah, the son of Chelub. He superintended, under David, those who "did the work of the field for tillage" (1 Chr. 27:26).
Fable - applied in the New Testament to the traditions and speculations, "cunningly devised fables", of the Jews on religious questions (1 Tim. 1:4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:16). In such passages the word means anything false and unreal. But the word is used as almost equivalent to parable. Thus we have (1) the fable of Jotham, in which the trees are spoken of as choosing a king (Judg. 9:8-15); and (2) that of the cedars of Lebanon and the thistle as Jehoash's answer to Amaziah (2 Kings 14:9).
Face - means simply presence, as when it is recorded that Adam and Eve hid themselves from the "face [R.V., 'presence'] of the Lord God" (Gen. 3:8; comp. Ex. 33:14, 15, where the same Hebrew word is rendered "presence"). The "light of God's countenance" is his favour (Ps. 44:3; Dan. 9:17). "Face" signifies also anger, justice, severity (Gen. 16:6, 8; Ex. 2:15; Ps. 68:1; Rev. 6:16). To "provoke God to his face" (Isa. 65:3) is to sin against him openly.
The Jews prayed with their faces toward the temple and Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:38, 44, 48; Dan. 6:10). To "see God's face" is to have access to him and to enjoy his favour (Ps. 17:15; 27:8). This is the privilege of holy angels (Matt. 18:10; Luke 1:19). The "face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6) is the office and person of Christ, the revealer of the glory of God (John 1:14, 18).