By Matthew George Easton
Salutation - Shaddai
"Eastern modes of salutation are not unfrequently so prolonged
as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The
profusely polite Arab asks so many questions after your health,
your happiness, your welfare, your house, and other things, that
a person ignorant of the habits of the country would imagine
there must be some secret ailment or mysterious sorrow
oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the
feelings of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the
depth of his anxiety, would desire to hear of. I have often
listened to these prolonged salutations in the house, the
street, and the highway, and not unfrequently I have experienced
their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless
waste of time" (Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on
which the disciples were sent forth was one of urgency, which
left no time for empty compliments and prolonged greetings (Luke
Salvation - This word is used of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, "the great salvation" (Heb. 2:3). (See REDEMPTION; REGENERATION.)
Samaria - a watch-mountain or a watch-tower. In the heart of the mountains of Israel, a few miles north-west of Shechem, stands the "hill of Shomeron," a solitary mountain, a great "mamelon." It is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. Omri, the king of Israel, purchased this hill from Shemer its owner for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which he gave the name of "Shomeron", i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his kingdom instead of Tirzah (1 Kings 16:24). As such it possessed many advantages. Here Omri resided during the last six years of his reign. As the result of an unsuccessful war with Syria, he appears to have been obliged to grant to the Syrians the right to "make streets in Samaria", i.e., probably permission to the Syrian merchants to carry on their trade in the Israelite capital. This would imply the existence of a considerable Syrian population. "It was the only great city of Palestine created by the sovereign. All the others had been already consecrated by patriarchal tradition or previous possession. But Samaria was the choice of Omri alone. He, indeed, gave to the city which he had built the name of its former owner, but its especial connection with himself as its founder is proved by the designation which it seems Samaria bears in Assyrian inscriptions, Beth-khumri ('the house or palace of Omri').", Stanley.
Samaria was frequently besieged. In the days of Ahab, Benhadad II. came up against it with thirty-two vassal kings, but was defeated with a great slaughter (1 Kings 20:1-21). A second time, next year, he assailed it; but was again utterly routed, and was compelled to surrender to Ahab (20:28-34), whose army, as compared with that of Benhadad, was no more than "two little flocks of kids."
In the days of Jehoram this Benhadad again laid siege to Samaria, during which the city was reduced to the direst extremities. But just when success seemed to be within their reach, they suddenly broke up the seige, alarmed by a mysterious noise of chariots and horses and a great army, and fled, leaving their camp with all its contents behind them. The famishing inhabitants of the city were soon relieved with the abundance of the spoil of the Syrian camp; and it came to pass, according to the word of Elisha, that "a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barely for a shekel, in the gates of Samaria" (2 Kings 7:1-20).
Shalmaneser invaded Israel in the days of Hoshea, and reduced it to vassalage. He laid siege to Samaria (B.C. 723), which held out for three years, and was at length captured by Sargon, who completed the conquest Shalmaneser had begun (2 Kings 18:9-12; 17:3), and removed vast numbers of the tribes into captivity. (See SARGON.)
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
It is now represented by the hamlet of Sebustieh, containing about three hundred inhabitants. The ruins of the ancient town are all scattered over the hill, down the sides of which they have rolled. The shafts of about one hundred of what must have been grand Corinthian columns are still standing, and attract much attention, although nothing definite is known regarding them. (Comp. Micah 1:6.)
In the time of Christ, Western Palestine was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Samaria occupied the centre of Palestine (John 4:4). It is called in the Talmud the "land of the Cuthim," and is not regarded as a part of the Holy Land at all.
It may be noticed that the distance between Samaria and Jerusalem, the respective capitals of the two kingdoms, is only 35 miles in a direct line.
Samaritan Pentateuch - On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read as one book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however, was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all their priests' copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience. This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.
The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the writing which need not here be specified.
There are important differences between the Hebrew and the Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that differs from the Jewish. Thus Ex. 12:40 in the Samaritan reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years" (comp. Gal. 3:17). It may be noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.
Samaritans - the name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These strangers (comp. Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25; 9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the world."
Samgar-nebo - be gracious, O Nebo! or a cup-bearer of Nebo, probably the title of Nergal-sharezer, one of the princes of Babylon (Jer. 39:3).
Samos - an island in the AEgean Sea, which Paul passed on his voyage from Assos to Miletus (Acts 20:15), on his third missionary journey. It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about 42 miles south-west of Smyrna.
Samothracia - an island in the AEgean Sea, off the coast of Thracia, about 32 miles distant. This Thracian Samos was passed by Paul on his voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11) on his first missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad. Its modern name is Samothraki.
Samson - of the sun, the son of Manoah, born at Zorah. The narrative of his life is given in Judg. 13-16. He was a "Nazarite unto God" from his birth, the first Nazarite mentioned in Scripture (Judg. 13:3-5; comp. Num. 6:1-21). The first recorded event of his life was his marriage with a Philistine woman of Timnath (Judg. 14:1-5). Such a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses, as the Philistines did not form one of the seven doomed Canaanite nations (Ex. 34:11-16; Deut. 7:1-4). It was, however, an ill-assorted and unblessed marriage. His wife was soon taken from him and given "to his companion" (Judg. 14:20). For this Samson took revenge by burning the "standing corn of the Philistines" (15:1-8), who, in their turn, in revenge "burnt her and her father with fire." Her death he terribly avenged (15:7-19). During the twenty years following this he judged Israel; but we have no record of his life. Probably these twenty years may have been simultaneous with the last twenty years of Eli's life. After this we have an account of his exploits at Gaza (16:1-3), and of his infatuation for Delilah, and her treachery (16:4-20), and then of his melancholy death (16:21-31). He perished in the last terrible destruction he brought upon his enemies. "So the dead which he slew at his death were more [in social and political importance=the elite of the people] than they which he slew in his life."
"Straining all his nerves, he bowed: As with the force of winds and waters pent, When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars With horrible convulsion to and fro He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Upon the heads of all who sat beneath, Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, Their choice nobility and flower." Milton's Samson Agonistes.
Samuel - heard of God. The peculiar circumstances connected with his birth are recorded in 1 Sam. 1:20. Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to Shiloh nd consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite (1:23-2:11). Here his bodily wants and training were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus, probably, twelve years of his life passed away. "The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men" (2:26; comp. Luke 2:52). It was a time of great and growing degeneracy in Israel (Judg. 21:19-21; 1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased in number and in power, were practically masters of the country, and kept the people in subjection (1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3).
At this time new communications from God began to be made to the pious child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night season, calling him by name, and, instructed by Eli, he answered, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only answer to the terrible denunciations (1 Sam. 3:11-18) was, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good", the passive submission of a weak character, not, in his case, the expression of the highest trust and faith. The Lord revealed himself now in divers manners to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now commenced.
The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under the wide-spread oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and "went out against the Philistines to battle." A fierce and disastrous battle was fought at Aphek, near to Ebenezer (1 Sam. 4:1, 2). The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000 dead "in the field." The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great disaster by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of Jehovah's presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel, fetched it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of the ark among them the people "shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again." A second battle was fought, and again the Philistines defeated the Israelites, stormed their camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings of this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon as the aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his neck brake, and he died. The tabernacle with its furniture was probably, by the advice of Samuel, now about twenty years of age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety, and finally to Nob, where it remained many years (21:1).
The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon Shiloh, which they plundered and destroyed (comp. Jer. 7:12; Ps. 78:59). This was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For twenty years after this fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay under the oppression of the Philistines. During all these dreary years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so far successful that "all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord." Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and prepared themselves there, under his direction, for a great war against the Philistines, who now marched their whole force toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the Israelites once for all. At the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed. They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about B.C. 1095, put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the battlefield, and called it "Ebenezer," saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:1-12). This was the spot where, twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God was taken.
This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace for Israel (1 Sam. 7:13, 14), during which Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going "from year to year in circuit" from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important influence on the national character and history of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption. They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth.
Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the functions of his judicial office, being the friend and counsellor of the people in all matters of private and public interest. He was a great statesman as well as a reformer, and all regarded him with veneration as the "seer," the prophet of the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now an old man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (1 Sam. 8:4, 5, 19-22); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation was exposed from the misconduct of Samuel's sons, whom he had invested with judicial functions as his assistants, and had placed at Beersheba on the Philistine border, and also from a threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded that a king should be set over them. This request was very displeasing to Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the consequences of such a step. At length, however, referring the matter to God, he acceded to their desires, and anointed Saul (q.v.) to be their king (11:15). Before retiring from public life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal (ch. 12), and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own relation to them as judge and prophet.
The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah, only occasionally and in special circumstances appearing again in public (1 Sam. 13, 15) with communications from God to king Saul. While mourning over the many evils which now fell upon the nation, he is suddenly summoned (ch.16) to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel instead of Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about eighty years of age. "And all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah" (25:1), not in the house itself, but in the court or garden of his house. (Comp. 2 Kings 21:18; 2 Chr. 33:20; 1 Kings 2:34; John 19:41.)
Samuel's devotion to God, and the special favour with which God regarded him, are referred to in Jer. 15:1 and Ps. 99:6.
Samuel, Books of - The LXX. translators regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings as forming one continuous history, which they divided into four books, which they called "Books of the Kingdom." The Vulgate version followed this division, but styled them "Books of the Kings." These books of Samuel they accordingly called the "First" and "Second" Books of Kings, and not, as in the modern Protestant versions, the "First" and "Second" Books of Samuel.
The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad, and Nathan. Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the companion of David (1 Sam. 22:5), continued the history thus commenced; and Nathan completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (1 Chr. 29:29).
The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period of about a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of Samuel. It contains (1) the history of Eli (1-4); (2) the history of Samuel (5-12); (3) the history of Saul, and of David in exile (13-31). The second book, comprising a period of perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David (1) over Judah (1-4), and (2) over all Israel (5-24), mainly in its political aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel may be regarded as a sort of appendix recording various events, but not chronologically. These books do not contain complete histories. Frequent gaps are met with in the record, because their object is to present a history of the kingdom of God in its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns of the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Sam. 11:2-12: 29) containing an account of David's sin in the matter of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chr. 20.
Sanballat - held some place of authority in Samaria when Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to rebuild its ruined walls. He vainly attempted to hinder this work (Neh. 2:10, 19; 4:1-12; 6). His daughter became the wife of one of the sons of Joiada, a son of the high priest, much to the grief of Nehemiah (13:28).
Sanctification - involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man (Rom. 6:13; 2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:10; 1 John 4:7; 1 Cor. 6:19). It is the special office of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification, inasmuch as it (1) secures union to Christ (Gal. 2:20), and (2) brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield obedience "to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come."
Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life (1 Kings 8:46; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8). See Paul's account of himself in Rom. 7:14-25; Phil. 3:12-14; and 1 Tim. 1:15; also the confessions of David (Ps. 19:12, 13; 51), of Moses (90:8), of Job (42:5, 6), and of Daniel (9:3-20). "The more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing, self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes, and the more closely he clings to Christ. The moral imperfections which cling to him he feels to be sins, which he laments and strives to overcome. Believers find that their life is a constant warfare, and they need to take the kingdom of heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are always subject to the constant chastisement of their Father's loving hand, which can only be designed to correct their imperfections and to confirm their graces. And it has been notoriously the fact that the best Christians have been those who have been the least prone to claim the attainment of perfection for themselves.", Hodge's Outlines.
Sanctuary - denotes, (1) the Holy Land (Ex. 15:17; comp. Ps. 114:2); (2) the temple (1 Chr. 22:19; 2 Chr. 29:21); (3) the tabernacle (Ex. 25:8; Lev. 12:4; 21:12); (4) the holy place, the place of the Presence (Gr. hieron, the temple-house; not the naos, which is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Lev. 4:6; Eph. 2:21, R.V., marg.; (5) God's holy habitation in heaven (Ps. 102:19). In the final state there is properly "no sanctuary" (Rev. 21:22), for God and the Lamb "are the sanctuary" (R.V., "temple"). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence; all is sancturary.
Sandals - Mentioned only in Mark 6:9 and Acts 12:8. The sandal was simply a sole, made of wood or palm-bark, fastened to the foot by leathern straps. Sandals were also made of seal-skin (Ezek. 16:10; lit. tahash, "leather;" A.V., "badger's skin;" R.V., "sealskin," or marg., "porpoise-skin"). (See SHOE.)
Sanhedrim - more correctly Sanhedrin (Gr. synedrion), meaning "a sitting together," or a "council." This word (rendered "council," A.V.) is frequently used in the New Testament (Matt. 5:22; 26:59; Mark 15:1, etc.) to denote the supreme judicial and administrative council of the Jews, which, it is said, was first instituted by Moses, and was composed of seventy men (Num. 11:16, 17). But that seems to have been only a temporary arrangement which Moses made. This council is with greater probability supposed to have originated among the Jews when they were under the domination of the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees. The name is first employed by the Jewish historian Josephus. This "council" is referred to simply as the "chief priests and elders of the people" (Matt. 26:3, 47, 57, 59; 27:1, 3, 12, 20, etc.), before whom Christ was tried on the charge of claiming to be the Messiah. Peter and John were also brought before it for promulgating heresy (Acts. 4:1-23; 5:17-41); as was also Stephen on a charge of blasphemy (6:12-15), and Paul for violating a temple by-law (22:30; 23:1-10).
The Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of seventy-one members, the high priest being president. They were of three classes (1) the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four priestly courses (1 Chr. 24), (2) the scribes, and (3) the elders. As the highest court of judicature, "in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil, supreme," its decrees were binding, not only on the Jews in Palestine, but on all Jews wherever scattered abroad. Its jurisdiction was greatly curtailed by Herod, and afterwards by the Romans. Its usual place of meeting was within the precincts of the temple, in the hall "Gazith," but it sometimes met also in the house of the high priest (Matt. 26:3), who was assisted by two vice-presidents.
Sansannah - a palm branch, or a thorn bush, a town in the south (the negeb) of Judah (Josh. 15:31); called also Hazarsusah (19:5), or Hazar-susim (1 Chr. 4:31).
Saph - extension, the son of the giant whom Sibbechai slew (2 Sam. 21:18); called also Sippai (1 Chr. 20:4).
Saphir - beautiful, a town of Judah (Micah 1:11), identified with es-Suafir, 5 miles south-east of Ashdod.
Sapphira - beautiful, the wife of Ananias (q.v.). She was a partner in his guilt and also in his punishment (Acts 5:1-11).
Sapphire - Associated with diamonds (Ex. 28:18) and emeralds (Ezek. 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour of a sapphire (Ex. 24:10; comp. Ezek. 1:26).
Sarah - princess, the wife and at the same time the half-sister of Abraham (Gen. 11:29; 20:12). This name was given to her at the time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage identified with that of the patriarch till the time of her death. Her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years (the only instance in Scripture where the age of a woman is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham's purchasing the cave of Machpelah as a family burying-place.
In the allegory of Gal. 4:22-31 she is the type of the "Jerusalem which is above." She is also mentioned as Sara in Heb. 11:11 among the Old Testament worthies, who "all died in faith." (See ABRAHAM.)
Sarai - my princess, the name originally borne by Sarah (Gen. 11:31; 17:15).
Sardine stone - (Rev. 4:3, R.V., "sardius;" Heb. 'odhem; LXX., Gr. sardion, from a root meaning "red"), a gem of a blood-red colour. It was called "sardius" because obtained from Sardis in Lydia. It is enumerated among the precious stones in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17; 39:10). It is our red carnelian.
Sardis - the metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev. 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called Sert-Kalessi.
Sardonyx - (Rev. 21:20), a species of the carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety of the chalcedony.
Sarepta - (Luke 4:26). See ZAREPHATH.
Sargon - (In the inscriptions, "Sarra-yukin" [the god] has appointed the king; also "Sarru-kinu," the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Sargon," after that of the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod (Isa. 20:1).
At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9-12). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.
Satan - adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word so rendered has the article "the adversary" (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called "the dragon," "the old serpent" (Rev. 12:9; 20:2); "the prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30); "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2); "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4); "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). The distinct personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He is "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils" (12:24). He is "the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way." His power is very great in the world. He is a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are said to be "taken captive by him" (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are warned against his "devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to "resist" him (James 4:7). Christ redeems his people from "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). Satan has the "power of death," not as lord, but simply as executioner.
Satyr - hairy one. Mentioned in Greek mythology as a creature composed of a man and a goat, supposed to inhabit wild and desolate regions. The Hebrew word is rendered also "goat" (Lev. 4:24) and "devil", i.e., an idol in the form of a goat (17:7; 2 Chr. 11:15). When it is said (Isa. 13:21; comp. 34:14) "the satyrs shall dance there," the meaning is that the place referred to shall become a desolate waste. Some render the Hebrew word "baboon," a species of which is found in Babylonia.
Saul - asked for. (1.) A king of Edom (Gen. 36:37, 38); called Shaul in 1 Chr. 1:48.
(2.) The son of Kish (probably his only son, and a child of prayer, "asked for"), of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king of the Jewish nation. The singular providential circumstances connected with his election as king are recorded in 1 Sam. 8-10. His father's she-asses had strayed, and Saul was sent with a servant to seek for them. Leaving his home at Gibeah (10:5, "the hill of God," A.V.; lit., as in R.V. marg., "Gibeah of God"), Saul and his servant went toward the north-west over Mount Ephraim, and then turning north-east they came to "the land of Shalisha," and thence eastward to the land of Shalim, and at length came to the district of Zuph, near Samuel's home at Ramah (9:5-10). At this point Saul proposed to return from the three days' fruitless search, but his servant suggested that they should first consult the "seer." Hearing that he was about to offer sacrifice, the two hastened into Ramah, and "behold, Samuel came out against them," on his way to the "bamah", i.e., the "height", where sacrifice was to be offered; and in answer to Saul's question, "Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is," Samuel made himself known to him. Samuel had been divinely prepared for his coming (9:15-17), and received Saul as his guest. He took him with him to the sacrifice, and then after the feast "communed with Saul upon the top of the house" of all that was in his heart. On the morrow Samuel "took a vial of oil and poured it on his head," and anointed Saul as king over Israel (9:25-10:8), giving him three signs in confirmation of his call to be king. When Saul reached his home in Gibeah the last of these signs was fulfilled, and the Sprit of God came upon him, and "he was turned into another man." The simple countryman was transformed into the king of Israel, a remarkable change suddenly took place in his whole demeanour, and the people said in their astonishment, as they looked on the stalwart son of Kish, "Is Saul also among the prophets?", a saying which passed into a "proverb." (Comp. 19:24.)
The intercourse between Saul and Samuel was as yet unknown to the people. The "anointing" had been in secret. But now the time had come when the transaction must be confirmed by the nation. Samuel accordingly summoned the people to a solemn assembly "before the Lord" at Mizpeh. Here the lot was drawn (10:17-27), and it fell upon Saul, and when he was presented before them, the stateliest man in all Israel, the air was rent for the first time in Israel by the loud cry, "God save the king!" He now returned to his home in Gibeah, attended by a kind of bodyguard, "a band of men whose hearts God had touched." On reaching his home he dismissed them, and resumed the quiet toils of his former life.
Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the Ammonite at Jabeshgilead (q.v.), an army out of all the tribes of Israel rallied at his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek, and he led them forth a great army to battle, gaining a complete victory over the Ammonite invaders at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the universal joy occasioned by this victory he was now fully recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of Samuel "all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal." Samuel now officially anointed him as king (11:15). Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in Israel, yet now his work in that capacity practically came to an end.
Saul now undertook the great and difficult enterprise of freeing the land from its hereditary enemies the Philistines, and for this end he gathered together an army of 3,000 men (1 Sam. 13:1, 2). The Philistines were encamped at Geba. Saul, with 2,000 men, occupied Michmash and Mount Bethel; while his son Jonathan, with 1,000 men, occupied Gibeah, to the south of Geba, and seemingly without any direction from his father "smote" the Philistines in Geba. Thus roused, the Philistines, who gathered an army of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and "people as the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude," encamped in Michmash, which Saul had evacuated for Gilgal. Saul now tarried for seven days in Gilgal before making any movement, as Samuel had appointed (10:8); but becoming impatient on the seventh day, as it was drawing to a close, when he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and warned him of the fatal consequences of his act of disobedience, for he had not waited long enough (13:13, 14).
When Saul, after Samuel's departure, went out from Gilgal with his 600 men, his followers having decreased to that number (13:15), against the Philistines at Michmash (q.v.), he had his head-quarters under a pomegrante tree at Migron, over against Michmash, the Wady esSuweinit alone intervening. Here at Gibeah-Geba Saul and his army rested, uncertain what to do. Jonathan became impatient, and with his armour-bearer planned an assault against the Philistines, unknown to Saul and the army (14:1-15). Jonathan and his armour-bearer went down into the wady, and on their hands and knees climbed to the top of the narrow rocky ridge called Bozez, where was the outpost of the Philistine army. They surprised and then slew twenty of the Philistines, and immediately the whole host of the Philistines was thrown into disorder and fled in great terror. "It was a very great trembling;" a supernatural panic seized the host. Saul and his 600 men, a band which speedily increased to 10,000, perceiving the confusion, pursued the army of the Philistines, and the tide of battle rolled on as far as to Bethaven, halfway between Michmash and Bethel. The Philistines were totally routed. "So the Lord saved Israel that day." While pursuing the Philistines, Saul rashly adjured the people, saying, "Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening." But though faint and weary, the Israelites "smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon" (a distance of from 15 to 20 miles). Jonathan had, while passing through the wood in pursuit of the Philistines, tasted a little of the honeycomb which was abundant there (14:27). This was afterwards discovered by Saul (ver. 42), and he threatened to put his son to death. The people, however, interposed, saying, "There shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground." He whom God had so signally owned, who had "wrought this great salvation in Israel," must not die. "Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place" (1 Sam. 14:24-46); and thus the campaign against the Philistines came to an end. This was Saul's second great military success.
Saul's reign, however, continued to be one of almost constant war against his enemies round about (14:47, 48), in all of which he proved victorious. The war against the Amalekites is the only one which is recorded at length (1 Sam. 15). These oldest and hereditary (Ex. 17:8; Num. 14:43-45) enemies of Israel occupied the territory to the south and south-west of Palestine. Samuel summoned Saul to execute the "ban" which God had pronounced (Deut. 25:17-19) on this cruel and relentless foe of Israel. The cup of their iniquity was now full. This command was "the test of his moral qualification for being king." Saul proceeded to execute the divine command; and gathering the people together, marched from Telaim (1 Sam. 15:4) against the Amalekites, whom he smote "from Havilah until thou comest to Shur," utterly destroying "all the people with the edge of the sword", i.e., all that fell into his hands. He was, however, guilty of rebellion and disobedience in sparing Agag their king, and in conniving at his soldiers' sparing the best of the sheep and cattle; and Samuel, following Saul to Gilgal, in the Jordan valley, said unto him, "Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he also hath rejected thee from being king" (15:23). The kingdom was rent from Saul and was given to another, even to David, whom the Lord chose to be Saul's successor, and whom Samuel anointed (16:1-13). From that day "the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him." He and Samuel parted only to meet once again at one of the schools of the prophets.
David was now sent for as a "cunning player on an harp" (1 Sam. 16:16, 18), to play before Saul when the evil spirit troubled him, and thus was introduced to the court of Saul. He became a great favourite with the king. At length David returned to his father's house and to his wonted avocation as a shepherd for perhaps some three years. The Philistines once more invaded the land, and gathered their army between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim, on the southern slope of the valley of Elah. Saul and the men of Israel went forth to meet them, and encamped on the northern slope of the same valley which lay between the two armies. It was here that David slew Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines (17:4-54), an exploit which led to the flight and utter defeat of the Philistine army. Saul now took David permanently into his service (18:2); but he became jealous of him (ver. 9), and on many occasions showed his enmity toward him (ver. 10, 11), his enmity ripening into a purpose of murder which at different times he tried in vain to carry out.
After some time the Philistines "gathered themselves together" in the plain of Esdraelon, and pitched their camp at Shunem, on the slope of Little Hermon; and Saul "gathered all Israel together," and "pitched in Gilboa" (1 Sam. 28:3-14). Being unable to discover the mind of the Lord, Saul, accompanied by two of his retinue, betook himself to the "witch of Endor," some 7 or 8 miles distant. Here he was overwhelmed by the startling communication that was mysteriously made to him by Samuel (ver. 16-19), who appeared to him. "He fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel" (ver. 20). The Philistine host "fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa" (31:1). In his despair at the disaster that had befallen his army, Saul "took a sword and fell upon it." And the Philistines on the morrow "found Saul and his three sons fallen in Mount Gilboa." Having cut off his head, they sent it with his weapons to Philistia, and hung up the skull in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. They suspended his headless body, with that of Jonathan, from the walls of Bethshan. The men of Jabesh-gilead afterwards removed the bodies from this position; and having burnt the flesh, they buried the bodies under a tree at Jabesh. The remains were, however, afterwards removed to the family sepulchre at Zelah (2 Sam. 21:13, 14). (See DAVID.)
(3.) "Who is also called Paul" (q.v.), the circumcision name of the apostle, given to him, perhaps, in memory of King Saul (Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1).
Saviour - one who saves from any form or degree of evil. In its highest sense the word indicates the relation sustained by our Lord to his redeemed ones, he is their Saviour. The great message of the gospel is about salvation and the Saviour. It is the "gospel of salvation." Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ secures to the sinner a personal interest in the work of redemption. Salvation is redemption made effectual to the individual by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scapegoat - Lev. 16:8-26; R.V., "the goat for Azazel" (q.v.), the name given to the goat which was taken away into the wilderness on the day of Atonement (16:20-22). The priest made atonement over the scapegoat, laying Israel's guilt upon it, and then sent it away, the goat bearing "upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited."
At a later period an evasion or modification of the law of Moses was introduced by the Jews. "The goat was conducted to a mountain named Tzuk, situated at a distance of ten Sabbath days' journey, or about six and a half English miles, from Jerusalem. At this place the Judean desert was supposed to commence; and the man in whose charge the goat was sent out, while setting him free, was instructed to push the unhappy beast down the slope of the mountain side, which was so steep as to insure the death of the goat, whose bones were broken by the fall. The reason of this barbarous custom was that on one occasion the scapegoat returned to Jerusalem after being set free, which was considered such an evil omen that its recurrence was prevented for the future by the death of the goat" (Twenty-one Years' Work in the Holy Land). This mountain is now called el-Muntar.
Scarlet - This dye was obtained by the Egyptians from the shell-fish Carthamus tinctorius; and by the Hebrews from the Coccus ilicis, an insect which infests oak trees, called kermes by the Arabians.
This colour was early known (Gen. 38:28). It was one of the colours of the ephod (Ex. 28:6), the girdle (8), and the breastplate (15) of the high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections (Josh. 2:18; 2 Sam. 1:24; Lam. 4:5; Nahum 2:3). A scarlet robe was in mockery placed on our Lord (Matt. 27:28; Luke 23:11). "Sins as scarlet" (Isa. 1:18), i.e., as scarlet robes "glaring and habitual." Scarlet and crimson were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.
Sceptre - (Heb. shebet = Gr. skeptron), properly a staff or rod. As a symbol of authority, the use of the sceptre originated in the idea that the ruler was as a shepherd of his people (Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6; Isa. 14:5). There is no example on record of a sceptre having ever been actually handled by a Jewish king.
Sceva - an implement, a Jew, chief of the priests at Ephesus (Acts 19:13-16); i.e., the head of one of the twenty-four courses of the house of Levi. He had seven sons, who "took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus," in imitation of Paul. They tried their method of exorcism on a fierce demoniac, and failed. His answer to them was to this effect (19:15): "The Jesus whom you invoke is One whose authority I acknowledge; and the Paul whom you name I recognize to be a servant or messenger of God; but what sort of men are ye who have been empowered to act as you do by neither?" (Lindsay on the Acts of the Apostles.)
Schism - a separation, an alienation causing divisions among Christians, who ought to be united (1 Cor. 12:25).
Schoolmaster - the law so designated by Paul (Gal. 3:24, 25). As so used, the word does not mean teacher, but pedagogue (shortened into the modern page), i.e., one who was intrusted with the supervision of a family, taking them to and from the school, being responsible for their safety and manners. Hence the pedagogue was stern and severe in his discipline. Thus the law was a pedagogue to the Jews, with a view to Christ, i.e., to prepare for faith in Christ by producing convictions of guilt and helplessness. The office of the pedagogue ceased when "faith came", i.e., the object of that faith, the seed, which is Christ.
Schools of the Prophets - (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 12, 15) were instituted for the purpose of training young men for the prophetical and priestly offices. (See PROPHET; SAMUEL.)
Scorpions - mentioned along with serpents (Deut. 8:15). Used also figuratively to denote wicked persons (Ezek. 2:6; Luke 10:19); also a particular kind of scourge or whip (1 Kings 12:11). Scorpions were a species of spider. They abounded in the Jordan valley.
Scourging - (1 Kings 12:11). Variously administered. In no case were the stripes to exceed forty (Deut. 25:3; comp. 2 Cor. 11:24). In the time of the apostles, in consequence of the passing of what was called the Porcian law, no Roman citizen could be scourged in any case (Acts 16:22-37). (See BASTINADO.) In the scourging of our Lord (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15) the words of prophecy (Isa. 53:5) were fulfilled.
Scribes - anciently held various important offices in the public affairs of the nation. The Hebrew word so rendered (sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office (Judg. 5:14; A.V., "pen of the writer;" R.V., "the marshal's staff;" marg., "the staff of the scribe"). The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25; 1 Chr. 18:16; 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9-11; 18:18-37, etc.). They discharged various other important public duties as men of high authority and influence in the affairs of state.
There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites. They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch, who "wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord" (Jer. 36:4, 32).
In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence, the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others (Ezra 7:6, 10-12; Neh. 8:1, 4, 9, 13). It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions (Matt. 23), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles "scribes" and "lawyers" (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matt. 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39, etc.). They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles (Acts 4:5; 6:12).
Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with "teaching in this name," to "refrain from these men and let them alone" (Acts 5:34-39; comp. 23:9).
Scrip - a small bag or wallet usually fastened to the girdle (1 Sam. 17:40); "a shepherd's bag."
In the New Testament it is the rendering of Gr. pera, which was a bag carried by travellers and shepherds, generally made of skin (Matt. 10:10; Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3; 10:4). The name "scrip" is meant to denote that the bag was intended to hold scraps, fragments, as if scraped off from larger articles, trifles.
Scripture - invariably in the New Testament denotes that definite collection of sacred books, regarded as given by inspiration of God, which we usually call the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:15, 16; John 20:9; Gal. 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:20). It was God's purpose thus to perpetuate his revealed will. From time to time he raised up men to commit to writing in an infallible record the revelation he gave. The "Scripture," or collection of sacred writings, was thus enlarged from time to time as God saw necessary. We have now a completed "Scripture," consisting of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament canon in the time of our Lord was precisely the same as that which we now possess under that name. He placed the seal of his own authority on this collection of writings, as all equally given by inspiration (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; Luke 16:29, 31). (See BIBLE; CANON.)
Scythian - The Scythians consisted of "all the pastoral tribes who dwelt to the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, and were scattered far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little was anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to a great extent, includes the same territories." They were the descendants of Japheth (Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic times there were some of this people that embraced Christianity (Col. 3:11).
Seah - In land measure, a space of 50 cubits long by 50 broad. In measure of capacity, a seah was a little over one peck. (See MEASURE.)
Seal - commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25). Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6; Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by 1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the Egyptian king Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p. 46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET.)
The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in connection with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66). The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God's mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4; 22:10).
Sea of glass - a figurative expression used in Rev. 4:6 and 15:2. According to the interpretation of some, "this calm, glass-like sea, which is never in storm, but only interfused with flame, represents the counsels of God, those purposes of righteousness and love which are often fathomless but never obscure, always the same, though sometimes glowing with holy anger." (Comp. Ps. 36:6; 77:19; Rom. 11:33-36.)
Sea of Jazer - (Jer. 48:32), a lake, now represented by some ponds in the high valley in which the Ammonite city of Jazer lies, the ruins of which are called Sar.
Seasons - (Gen. 8:22). See AGRICULTURE; MONTH.
Sea, The - (Heb. yam), signifies (1) "the gathering together of the waters," the ocean (Gen. 1:10); (2) a river, as the Nile (Isa. 19:5), the Euphrates (Isa. 21:1; Jer. 51:36); (3) the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16, 27; 15:4, etc.); (4) the Mediterranean (Ex. 23:31; Num. 34:6, 7; Josh. 15:47; Ps. 80:11, etc.); (5) the "sea of Galilee," an inland fresh-water lake, and (6) the Dead Sea or "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3, 12, etc.). The word "sea" is used symbolically in Isa. 60:5, where it probably means the nations around the Mediterranean. In Dan. 7:3, Rev. 13:1 it may mean the tumultuous changes among the nations of the earth.
Sea, The molten - the great laver made by Solomon for the use of the priests in the temple, described in 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chr. 4:2-5. It stood in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. It was 5 cubits high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference. It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three thousand baths of water (comp. 2 Chr. 4:5), which was originally supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards brought by a conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of "brass" (copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of Hadarezer, the king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8). Ahaz afterwards removed this laver from the oxen, and placed it on a stone pavement (2 Kings 16:17). It was destroyed by the Chaldeans (25:13).
Seba - (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7).
(2.) The name of a country and nation (Isa. 43:3; 45:14) mentioned along with Egypt and Ethiopia, and therefore probably in north-eastern Africa. The ancient name of Meroe. The kings of Sheba and Seba are mentioned together in Ps. 72:10.
Sebat - the eleventh month of the Hebrew year, extending from the new moon of February to that of March (Zech. 1:7). Assyrian sabatu, "storm." (See MONTH.)
Secacah - enclosure, one of the six cities in the wilderness of Judah, noted for its "great cistern" (Josh. 15:61). It has been identified with the ruin Sikkeh, east of Bethany.
Sechu - a hill or watch-tower, a place between Gibeah and Ramah noted for its "great well" (1 Sam. 19:22); probably the modern Suweikeh, south of Beeroth.
Sect - (Gr. hairesis, usually rendered "heresy", Acts 24:14; 1 Chr. 11:19; Gal. 5:20, etc.), meaning properly "a choice," then "a chosen manner of life," and then "a religious party," as the "sect" of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5), the Nazarenes, i.e., Christians (24:5). It afterwards came to be used in a bad sense, of those holding pernicious error, divergent forms of belief (2 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:20).
Secundus - second, a Christian of Thessalonica who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4).
Seer - a name sometimes applied to the prophets because of the visions granted to them. It is first found in 1 Sam. 9:9. It is afterwards applied to Zadok, Gad, etc. (2 Sam. 15:27; 24:11; 1 Chr. 9:22; 25:5; 2 Chr. 9:29; Amos 7:12; Micah 3:7). The "sayings of the seers" (2 Chr. 33:18, 19) is rendered in the Revised Version "the history of Hozai" (marg., the seers; so the LXX.), of whom, however, nothing is known. (See PROPHET.)
Seethe - to boil (Ex. 16:23).
Seething pot - a vessel for boiling provisions in (Job 41:20; Jer. 1:13).
Segub - elevated. (1.) The youngest son of Hiel the Bethelite. His death is recorded in 1 Kings 16:34 (comp. Josh. 6:26).
(2.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:21, 22).
Seir - rough; hairy. (1.) A Horite; one of the "dukes" of Edom (Gen. 36:20-30).
(2.) The name of a mountainous region occupied by the Edomites, extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from the south-eastern extremity of the Dead Sea to near the Akabah, or the eastern branch of the Red Sea. It was originally occupied by the Horites (Gen. 14:6), who were afterwards driven out by the Edomites (Gen. 32:3; 33:14, 16). It was allotted to the descendants of Esau (Deut. 2:4, 22; Josh. 24:4; 2 Chr. 20:10; Isa. 21:11; Exek. 25:8).
(3.) A mountain range (not the Edomite range, Gen. 32:3) lying between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab (Josh. 15:10).
Seirath - woody district; shaggy, a place among the mountains of Ephraim, bordering on Benjamin, to which Ehud fled after he had assassinated Eglon at Jericho (Judg. 3:26, 27).
Sela - =Se'lah, rock, the capital of Edom, situated in the great valley extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea (2 Kings 14:7). It was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is called "the rock" (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it Joktheel (q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1; Obad. 1:3) as doomed to destruction.
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under the name of Petra. "The caravans from all ages, from the interior of Arabia and from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut on the ocean, and even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from Petra the tide seems again to have branched out in every direction, to Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem, and Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the Mediterranean." (See EDOM .)
Selah - a word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning "silence" or "pause;" others, "end," "a louder strain," "piano," etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., "a division."
Sela-hammahlekoth - cliff of divisions the name of the great gorge which lies between Hachilah and Maon, south-east of Hebron. This gorge is now called the Wady Malaky. This was the scene of the interview between David and Saul mentioned in 1 Sam.26:13. Each stood on an opposing cliff, with this deep chasm between.
Seleucia - the sea-port of Antioch, near the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and his companions sailed from this port on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus Nicator, the "king of Syria." It is said of him that "few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas." Seleucia became a city of great importance, and was made a "free city" by Pompey. It is now a small village, called el-Kalusi.
Semei - mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:26).
Senaah - thorny, a place many of the inhabitants of which returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:35; Neh. 7:38).
Senate - (Acts 5:21), the "elders of Israel" who formed a component part of the Sanhedrin.
Seneh - the acacia; rock-thorn, the southern cliff in the Wady es-Suweinit, a valley south of Michmash, which Jonathan climbed with his armour-bearer (1 Sam. 14:4, 5). The rock opposite, on the other side of the wady, was called Bozez.
Senir - =Shenir, the name given to Hermon by the Amorites (Deut. 3:9). It means "coat of mail" or "breastplate," and is equivalent to "Sirion." Some interpret the word as meaning "the prominent" or "the snowy mountain." It is properly the name of the central of the three summits of Hermon (q.v.).
Sennacherib - Sin (the god) sends many brothers, son of Sargon, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 705), in the 23rd year of Hezekiah. "Like the Persian Xerxes, he was weak and vainglorious, cowardly under reverse, and cruel and boastful in success." He first set himself to break up the powerful combination of princes who were in league against him. Among these was Hezekiah, who had entered into an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. He accordingly led a very powerful army of at least 200,000 men into Judea, and devastated the land on every side, taking and destroying many cities (2 Kings 18:13-16; comp. Isa. 22, 24, 29, and 2 Chr. 32:1-8). His own account of this invasion, as given in the Assyrian annals, is in these words: "Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape...Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense booty...All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government." (Comp. Isa. 22:1-13 for description of the feelings of the inhabitants of Jerusalem at such a crisis.)
Hezekiah was not disposed to become an Assyrian feudatory. He accordingly at once sought help from Egypt (2 Kings 18:20-24). Sennacherib, hearing of this, marched a second time into Palestine (2 Kings 18:17, 37; 19; 2 Chr. 32:9-23; Isa. 36:2-22. Isa. 37:25 should be rendered "dried up all the Nile-arms of Matsor," i.e., of Egypt, so called from the "Matsor" or great fortification across the isthmus of Suez, which protected it from invasions from the east). Sennacherib sent envoys to try to persuade Hezekiah to surrender, but in vain. (See TIRHAKAH.) He next sent a threatening letter (2 Kings 19:10-14), which Hezekiah carried into the temple and spread before the Lord. Isaiah again brought an encouraging message to the pious king (2 Kings 19:20-34). "In that night" the angel of the Lord went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians. In the morning, "behold, they were all dead corpses." The Assyrian army was annihilated.
This great disaster is not, as was to be expected, taken notice of in the Assyrian annals.
Though Sennacherib survived this disaster some twenty years, he never again renewed his attempt against Jerusalem. He was murdered by two of his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer), and was succeeded by another son, Esarhaddon (B.C. 681), after a reign of twenty-four years.
Seorim - barley, the chief of the forth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:8).
Sephar - numbering, (Gen. 10:30), supposed by some to be the ancient Himyaritic capital, "Shaphar," Zaphar, on the Indian Ocean, between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Sepharad - (Obad. 1:20), some locality unknown. The modern Jews think that Spain is meant, and hence they designate the Spanish Jews "Sephardim," as they do the German Jews by the name "Ashkenazim," because the rabbis call Germany Ashkenaz. Others identify it with Sardis, the capital of Lydia. The Latin father Jerome regarded it as an Assyrian word, meaning "boundary," and interpreted the sentence, "which is in Sepharad," by "who are scattered abroad in all the boundaries and regions of the earth." Perowne says: "Whatever uncertainty attaches to the word Sepharad, the drift of the prophecy is clear, viz., that not only the exiles from Babylon, but Jewish captives from other and distant regions, shall be brought back to live prosperously within the enlarged borders of their own land."
Sepharvaim - taken by Sargon, king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:24; 18:34; 19:13; Isa. 37:13). It was a double city, and received the common name Sepharvaim, i.e., "the two Sipparas," or "the two booktowns." The Sippara on the east bank of the Euphrates is now called Abu-Habba; that on the other bank was Accad, the old capital of Sargon I., where he established a great library. (See SARGON.) The recent discovery of cuneiform inscriptions at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt, consisting of official despatches to Pharaoh Amenophis IV. and his predecessor from their agents in Palestine, proves that in the century before the Exodus an active literary intercourse was carried on between these nations, and that the medium of the correspondence was the Babylonian language and script. (See KIRJATH-SEPHER.)
Septuagint - See VERSIONS.
Sepulchre - first mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were burried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was "laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." It has been proposed, as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts 7:16 thus: "And they [i.e., our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor [the son] of Sychem." In this way the purchase made by Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham there is no direct record in the Old Testament. (See TOMB.)
Serah - abundance; princess, the daughter of Asher and grand-daughter of Jacob (Gen. 46:17); called also Sarah (Num. 26:46; R.V., "Serah").
Seraiah - soldier of Jehovah. (1.) The father of Joab (1 Chr. 4:13, 14).
(2.) The grandfather of Jehu (1 Chr. 4:35).
(3.) One of David's scribes or secretaries (2 Sam. 8:17).
(4.) A Netophathite (Jer. 40:8), a chief priest of the time of Zedekiah. He was carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, and there put to death (2 Kings 25:18, 23).
(5.) Ezra 2:2.
(6.) Father of Ezra the scribe (7:1).
(7.) A ruler of the temple (Neh. 11:11).
(8.) A priest of the days of Jehoiakim (Neh. 12:1, 12).
(9.) The son of Neriah. When Zedekiah made a journey to Babylon to do homage to Nebuchadnezzar, Seraiah had charge of the royal gifts to be presented on that occasion. Jeremiah took advantage of the occasion, and sent with Seraiah a word of cheer to the exiles in Babylon, and an announcement of the doom in store for that guilty city. The roll containing this message (Jer. 50:1-8) Seraiah was to read to the exiles, and then, after fixing a stone to it, was to throw it into the Euphrates, uttering, as it sank, the prayer recorded in Jer. 51:59-64. Babylon was at this time in the height of its glory, the greatest and most powerful monarchy in the world. Scarcely seventy years elapsed when the words of the prophet were all fulfilled. Jer. 51:59 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain," instead of "was a quiet prince," as in the Authorized Version.
Seraphim - mentioned in Isa. 6:2, 3, 6, 7. This word means fiery ones, in allusion, as is supposed, to their burning love. They are represented as "standing" above the King as he sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears to have been human, with the addition of wings. (See ANGELS.) This word, in the original, is used elsewhere only of the "fiery serpents" (Num. 21:6, 8; Deut. 8:15; comp. Isa. 14:29; 30:6) sent by God as his instruments to inflict on the people the righteous penalty of sin.
Sered - fear, one of the sons of Zebulun (Gen. 46:14).
Sergeants - Acts 16:35, 38 (R.V., "lictors"), officers who attended the magistrates and assisted them in the execution of justice.
Sergius Paulus - a "prudent man" (R.V., "man of understanding"), the deputy (R.V., "proconsul") of Cyprus (Acts 13:6-13). He became a convert to Christianity under Paul, who visited this island on his first mission to the heathen.
A remarkable memorial of this proconsul was recently (1887) discovered at Rome. On a boundary stone of Claudius his name is found, among others, as having been appointed (A.D. 47) one of the curators of the banks and the channel of the river Tiber. After serving his three years as proconsul at Cyprus, he returned to Rome, where he held the office referred to. As he is not saluted in Paul's letter to the Romans, he probably died before it was written.
Sermon on the mount - After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luke 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the "sermon on the mount" (Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of was probably that known by the name of the "Horns of Hattin" (Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards called the "Mount of Beatitudes."
Serpent - (Heb. nahash; Gr. ophis), frequently noticed in Scripture. More than forty species are found in Syria and Arabia. The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to in Jacob's blessing on Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov. 30:18, 19; James 3:7; Jer. 8:17). (See ADDER.)
This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy (Luke 10:19).
The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history of the temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has been well remarked regarding this temptation: "A real serpent was the agent of the temptation, as is plain from what is said of the natural characteristic of the serpent in the first verse of the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced upon the animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1) from the nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may be the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he has not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both directly asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9; 20:2)." Hodge's System. Theol., ii. 127.
Serpent, Fiery - (LXX. "deadly," Vulg. "burning"), Num. 21:6, probably the naja haje of Egypt; some swift-springing, deadly snake (Isa. 14:29). After setting out from their encampment at Ezion-gaber, the Israelites entered on a wide sandy desert, which stretches from the mountains of Edom as far as the Persian Gulf. While traversing this region, the people began to murmur and utter loud complaints against Moses. As a punishment, the Lord sent serpents among them, and much people of Israel died. Moses interceded on their behalf, and by divine direction he made a "brazen serpent," and raised it on a pole in the midst of the camp, and all the wounded Israelites who looked on it were at once healed. (Comp. John 3:14, 15.) (See ASP.) This "brazen serpent" was preserved by the Israelites till the days of Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). (See BRASS.)
Serug - branch, the father of Nahor (Gen. 11:20-23); called Saruch in Luke 3:35.
Servitor - occurs only in 2 Kings 4:43, Authorized Version (R.V., "servant"). The Hebrew word there rendered "servitor" is elsewhere rendered "minister," "servant" (Ex. 24:13; 33:11). Probably Gehazi, the personal attendant on Elisha, is here meant.
Seth - appointed; a substitute, the third son of Adam and Eve (Gen. 4:25; 5:3). His mother gave him this name, "for God," said she, "hath appointed me [i.e., compensated me with] another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."
Sethur - hidden, one of the spies sent to search the Promised Land. He was of the tribe of Asher (Num. 13:13).
Seven - This number occurs frequently in Scripture, and in such connections as lead to the supposition that it has some typical meaning. On the seventh day God rested, and hallowed it (Gen. 2:2, 3). The division of time into weeks of seven days each accounts for many instances of the occurrence of this number. This number has been called the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. "Jacob's seven years' service to Laban; Pharaoh's seven fat oxen and seven lean ones; the seven branches of the golden candlestick; the seven trumpets and the seven priests who sounded them; the seven days' siege of Jericho; the seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, and many others, sufficiently prove the importance of this sacred number" (see Lev. 25:4; 1 Sam. 2:5; Ps. 12:6; 79:12; Prov. 26:16; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4). The feast of Passover (Ex. 12:15, 16), the feast of Weeks (Deut. 16:9), of Tabernacles (13:15), and the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8), were all ordered by seven. Seven is the number of sacrifice (2 Chr. 29:21; Job 42:8), of purification and consecration (Lev. 42:6, 17; 8:11, 33; 14:9, 51), of forgiveness (Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4), of reward (Deut. 28:7; 1 Sam. 2:5), and of punishment (Lev. 26:21, 24, 28; Deut. 28:25). It is used for any round number in such passages as Job 5:19; Prov. 26:16, 25; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 12:45. It is used also to mean "abundantly" (Gen. 4:15, 24; Lev. 26:24; Ps. 79:12).
Seventy weeks - a prophetic period mentioned in Dan. 9:24, and usually interpreted on the "year-day" theory, i.e., reckoning each day for a year. This period will thus represent 490 years. This is regarded as the period which would elapse till the time of the coming of the Messiah, dating "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" i.e., from the close of the Captivity.
Shaalabbin - or Shaal'bim, a place of foxes, a town of the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:42; Judg. 1:35). It was one of the chief towns from which Solomon drew his supplies (1 Kings 4:9). It is probably the modern village of Selbit, 3 miles north of Ajalon.
Shaaraim - two gates. (1.) A city in the plain of Judah (1 Sam. 17:52); called also Sharaim (Josh. 15:36).
(2.) A town in Simeon (1 Chr. 4:31).
Shaashgaz - servant of the beautiful, a chief eunuch in the second house of the harem of king Ahasuerus (Esther 2:14).
Shabbethai - Sabbath-born, a Levite who assisted in expounding the law and investigating into the illegal marriages of the Jews (Ezra 10:15; Neh. 8:7; 11:16).
Shaddai - the Omnipotent, the name of God in frequent use in the Hebrew Scriptures, generally translated "the Almighty."