By Matthew George Easton
Shobai - Spring
captors (Ezra 2:42).
Shobal - pilgrim. (1.) The second son of Seir the Horite; one of the Horite "dukes" (Gen. 36:20).
(2.) One of the sons of Caleb, and a descendant of Hur (1 Chr. 2:50, 52; 4:1, 2).
Shobi - captor, son of Nahash of Rabbah, the Ammonite. He showed kindness to David when he fled from Jerusalem to Mahanaim (2 Sam. 17:27).
Shocho - (2 Chr. 28:18) = Shochoh (1 Sam. 17:1) = Shoco (2 Chr. 11:7). See SOCOH.
Shoe - Of various forms, from the mere sandal (q.v.) to the complete covering of the foot. The word so rendered (A.V.) in Deut. 33:25, min'al, "a bar," is derived from a root meaning "to bolt" or "shut fast," and hence a fastness or fortress. The verse has accordingly been rendered "iron and brass shall be thy fortress," or, as in the Revised Version, "thy bars [marg., "shoes"] shall be iron and brass."
Shomer - watchman. (1.) The mother of Jehozabad, who murdered Joash (2 Kings 12:21); called also Shimrith, a Moabitess (2 Chr. 24:26).
(2.) A man of Asher (1 Chr. 7:32); called also Shamer (34).
Shophan - hidden, or hollow, a town east of Jordan (Num. 32:35), built by the children of Gad. This word should probably be joined with the word preceding it in this passage, Atroth-Shophan, as in the Revised Version.
Shoshannim - lilies, the name of some musical instrument, probably like a lily in shape (Ps. 45; 69, title). Some think that an instrument of six strings is meant.
Shoshannim-Eduth - in title of Ps. 80 (R.V. marg., "lilies, a testimony"), probably the name of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
Shrines, Silver - little models and medallions of the temple and image of Diana of Ephesus (Acts 19:24). The manufacture of these was a very large and profitable business.
Shua - wealth. (1.) A Canaanite whose daughter was married to Judah (1 Chr. 2:3).
(2.) A daughter of Heber the Asherite (1 Chr. 7:32).
Shuah - prostration; a pit. (1.) One of Abraham's sons by Keturah (Gen. 25:2; Chr. 1:32). (2.) 1 Chr. 4:11.
Shual, The land of - land of the fox, a district in the tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 13:17); possibly the same as Shalim (9:4), in the neighbourhood of Shaalabbin (Josh. 19:42).
Shuhite - a designation of Bildad (Job 2:11), probably because he was a descendant of Shuah.
Shulamite - the same, as some think, with "Shunammite," from "Shunem:" otherwise, the import of the word is uncertain (Cant. 6:13; R.V., "Shulammite").
Shunammite - a person of Shunem (1 Kings 1:3; 2 Kings 4:12). The Syr. and Arab. read "Sulamite."
Shunem - two resting-places, a little village in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa (Josh. 19:18), where the Philistines encamped when they came against Saul (1 Sam. 28:4), and where Elisha was hospitably entertained by a rich woman of the place. On the sudden death of this woman's son she hastened to Carmel, 20 miles distant across the plain, to tell Elisha, and to bring him with her to Shunem. There, in the "prophet's chamber," the dead child lay; and Elisha entering it, shut the door and prayed earnestly: and the boy was restored to life (2 Kings 4:8-37). This woman afterwards retired during the famine to the low land of the Philistines; and on returning a few years afterwards, found her house and fields in the possession of a stranger. She appealed to the king at Samaria, and had them in a somewhat remarkable manner restored to her (comp. 2 Kings 8:1-6).
Shur - an enclosure; a wall, a part, probably, of the Arabian desert, on the north-eastern border of Egypt, giving its name to a wilderness extending from Egypt toward Philistia (Gen. 16:7; 20:1; 25:18; Ex.15:22). The name was probably given to it from the wall (or shur) which the Egyptians built to defend their frontier on the north-east from the desert tribes. This wall or line of fortifications extended from Pelusium to Heliopolis.
Shushan - a lily, the Susa of Greek and Roman writers, once the capital of Elam. It lay in the uplands of Susiana, on the east of the Tigris, about 150 miles to the north of the head of the Persian Gulf. It is the modern Shush, on the northwest of Shuster. Once a magnificent city, it is now an immense mass of ruins. Here Daniel saw one of his visions (Dan. 8); and here also Nehemiah (Neh. 1) began his public life. Most of the events recorded in the Book of Esther took place here. Modern explorers have brought to light numerous relics, and the ground-plan of the splendid palace of Shushan, one of the residences of the great king, together with numerous specimens of ancient art, which illustrate the statements of Scripture regarding it (Dan. 8:2). The great hall of this palace (Esther 1) "consisted of several magnificent groups of columns, together with a frontage of 343 feet 9 inches, and a depth of 244 feet. These groups were arranged into a central phalanx of thirty-six columns (six rows of six each), flanked on the west, north, and east by an equal number, disposed in double rows of six each, and distant from them 64 feet 2 inches." The inscriptions on the ruins represent that the palace was founded by Darius and completed by Artaxerxes.
Shushan-Eduth - lily of the testimony, the title of Ps. 60. (See SHOSHANNIM.)
Sibbecai - the Lord sustains, one of David's heroes (1 Chr. 11:29), general of the eighth division of the army (27:11). He slew the giant Saph in the battle of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18; R.V., "Sibbechai"). Called also Mebunnai (23:27).
Sibmah - coolness; fragrance, a town in Reuben, in the territory of Moab, on the east of Jordan (Josh. 13:19); called also Shebam and Shibmah (Num. 32:3, 38). It was famous for its vines (Isa. 16:9; Jer. 48:32). It has been identified with the ruin of Sumieh, where there are rock-cut wine-presses. This fact explains the words of the prophets referred to above. It was about 5 miles east of Heshbon.
Sichem - =She'chem, (q.v.), Gen. 12:6.
Sickle - of the Egyptians resembled that in modern use. The ears of corn were cut with it near the top of the straw. There was also a sickle used for warlike purposes, more correctly, however, called a pruning-hook (Deut. 16:9; Jer. 50:16, marg., "scythe;" Joel 3:13; Mark 4:29).
Siddim, Vale of - valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3, 8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards, on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace" (19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM.)
Sidon - fishing; fishery, Gen. 10:15, 19 (A.V. marg., Tzidon; R.V., Zidon); Matt. 11:21, 22; Luke 6:17. (See ZIDON.)
Signet - a seal used to attest documents (Dan. 6:8-10, 12). In 6:17, this word properly denotes a ring. The impression of a signet ring on fine clay has recently been discovered among the ruins at Nineveh. It bears the name and title of an Egyptian king. Two actual signet rings of ancient Egyptian monarchs (Cheops and Horus) have also been discovered.
When digging a shaft close to the south wall of the temple area, the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, at a depth of 12 feet below the surface, came upon a pavement of polished stones, formerly one of the streets of the city. Under this pavement they found a stratum of 16 feet of concrete, and among this concrete, 10 feet down, they found a signet stone bearing the inscription, in Old Hebrew characters, "Haggai, son of Shebaniah." It has been asked, Might not this be the actual seal of Haggai the prophet? We know that he was in Jerusalem after the Captivity; and it is somewhat singular that he alone of all the minor prophets makes mention of a signet (Hag. 2:23). (See SEAL.)
Sihon - striking down. The whole country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the Jabbok, was possessed by the Amorites, whose king, Sihon, refused to permit the Israelites to pass through his territory, and put his army in array against them. The Israelites went forth against him to battle, and gained a complete victory. The Amorites were defeated; Sihon, his sons, and all his people were smitten with the sword, his walled towns were captured, and the entire country of the Amorites was taken possession of by the Israelites (Num. 21:21-30; Deut. 2:24-37).
The country from the Jabbok to Hermon was at this time ruled by Og, the last of the Rephaim. He also tried to prevent the progress of the Israelites, but was utterly routed, and all his cities and territory fell into the hands of the Israelites (comp. Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-14; Ps. 135: 10-12; 136:17-22).
These two victories gave the Israelites possession of the country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of Hermon. The kingdom of Sihon embraced about 1,500 square miles, while that of Og was more than 3,000 square miles.
Sihor - (correctly Shi'hor) black; dark the name given to the river Nile in Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18. In Josh. 13:3 it is probably "the river of Egypt", i.e., the Wady el-Arish (1 Chr. 13:5), which flows "before Egypt", i.e., in a north-easterly direction from Egypt, and enters the sea about 50 miles south-west of Gaza.
Silas - wood, a prominent member of the church at Jerusalem; also called Silvanus. He and Judas, surnamed Barsabas, were chosen by the church there to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their return to Antioch from the council of the apostles and elders (Acts 15:22), as bearers of the decree adopted by the council. He assisted Paul there in his evangelistic labours, and was also chosen by him to be his companion on his second missionary tour (Acts 16:19-24). He is referred to in the epistles under the name of Silvanus (2 Cor. 1:19; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:12). There is no record of the time or place of his death.
Silk - Heb. demeshek, "damask," silk cloth manufactured at Damascus, Amos 3:12. A.V., "in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch;" R.V., "in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed" (marg., "in Damascus on a bed").
Heb. meshi, (Ezek. 16:10, 13, rendered "silk"). In Gen. 41:42 (marg. A.V.), Prov. 31:22 (R.V., "fine linen"), the word "silk" ought to be "fine linen."
Silk was common in New Testament times (Rev. 18:12).
Silla - a highway; a twig, only in 2 Kings 12:20. If taken as a proper name (as in the LXX. and other versions), the locality is unknown.
Siloah, The pool of - Heb. shelah; i.e., "the dart", Neh. 3:15; with the art. shiloah, "sending," Isa. 8:6 (comp. 7:3)=Siloam (q.v.)
Siloam, Pool of - sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley, to the south-east of the hill of Zion.
The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a subterranean channel springs from the "Fountain of the Virgin" (q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings, is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet. The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide, and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL.)
Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and has been found to be an account of the manner in which the tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be "twelve hundred cubits;" and the inscription further notes that the workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated from both ends, meeting in the middle.
Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20 feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6) probably refers.
The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their original place.
Siloam, Tower of - mentioned only Luke 13:4. The place here spoken of is the village now called Silwan, or Kefr Silwan, on the east of the valley of Kidron, and to the north-east of the pool. It stands on the west slope of the Mount of Olives.
As illustrative of the movement of small bands of Canaanites from place to place, and the intermingling of Canaanites and Israelites even in small towns in earlier times, M.C. Ganneau records the following curious fact: "Among the inhabitants of the village (of Siloam) there are a hundred or so domiciled for the most part in the lower quarter, and forming a group apart from the rest, called Dhiabrye, i.e., men of Dhiban. It appears that at some remote period a colony from the capital of king Mesha (Dibon-Moab) crossed the Jordan and fixed itself at the gates of Jerusalem at Silwan. The memory of this migration is still preserved; and I am assured by the people themselves that many of their number are installed in other villages round Jerusalem" (quoted by Henderson, Palestine).
Silver - used for a great variety of purposes, as may be judged from the frequent references to it in Scripture. It first appears in commerce in Gen. 13:2; 23:15, 16. It was largely employed for making vessels for the sanctuary in the wilderness (Ex. 26:19; 27:17; Num. 7:13, 19; 10:2). There is no record of its having been found in Syria or Palestine. It was brought in large quantities by foreign merchants from abroad, from Spain and India and other countries probably.
Silverling - (Isa. 7:23). Literally the words are "at a thousand of silver", i.e., "pieces of silver," or shekels.
Simeon - hearing. (1.) The second son of Jacob by Leah (Gen. 29:33). He was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25, 26). He was detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying, pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the Authorized Version (49:6), "they digged down a wall," ought to be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "they houghed an ox."
(2.) An aged saint who visited the temple when Jesus was being presented before the Lord, and uttered lofty words of thankgiving and of prophecy (Luke 2:29-35).
(3.) One of the ancestors of Joseph (Luke 3:30).
(4.) Surnamed Niger, i.e., "black," perhaps from his dark complexion, a teacher of some distinction in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). It has been supposed that this was the Simon of Cyrene who bore Christ's cross. Note the number of nationalities represented in the church at Antioch.
(5.) James (Acts 15:14) thus designates the apostle Peter (q.v.).
Simeon, The tribe of - was "divided and scattered" according to the prediction in Gen. 49:5-7. They gradually dwindled in number, and sank into a position of insignificance among the other tribes. They decreased in the wilderness by about two-thirds (comp. Num. 1:23; 26:14). Moses pronounces no blessing on this tribe. It is passed by in silence (Deut. 33).
This tribe received as their portion a part of the territory already allotted to Judah (Josh. 19:1-9). It lay in the south-west of the land, with Judah on the east and Dan on the north; but whether it was a compact territory or not cannot be determined. The subsequent notices of this tribe are but few (1 Chr. 4:24-43). Like Reuben on the east of Jordan, this tribe had little influence on the history of Israel.
Simon - the abbreviated form of Simeon. (1.) One of the twelve apostles, called the Canaanite (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18). This word "Canaanite" does not mean a native of Canaan, but is derived from the Syriac word Kanean or Kaneniah, which was the name of a Jewish sect. The Revised Version has "Cananaean;" marg., "or Zealot" He is also called "Zelotes" (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; R.V., "the Zealot"), because previous to his call to the apostleship he had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots. There is no record regarding him.
(2.) The father of Judas Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2, 26).
(3.) One of the brothers of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).
(4.) A Pharisee in whose house "a woman of the city which was a sinner" anointed our Lord's feet with ointment (Luke 7:36-38).
(5.) A leper of Bethany, in whose house Mary anointed our Lord's head with ointment "as he sat at meat" (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9).
(6.) A Jew of Cyrene, in North Africa, then a province of Libya. A hundred thousand Jews from Palestine had been settled in this province by Ptolemy Soter (B.C. 323-285), where by this time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue in Jerusalem for such of their number as went thither to the annual feasts. Simon was seized by the soldiers as the procession wended its way to the place of crucifixion as he was passing by, and the heavy cross which Christ from failing strength could no longer bear was laid on his shoulders. Perhaps they seized him because he showed sympathy with Jesus. He was the "father of Alexander and Rufus" (Matt. 27:32). Possibly this Simon may have been one of the "men of Cyrene" who preached the word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).
(7.) A sorcerer of great repute for his magical arts among the Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11). He afterwards became a professed convert to the faith under the preaching of Philip the deacon and evangelist (12, 13). His profession was, however, soon found to be hollow. His conduct called forth from Peter a stern rebuke (8:18-23). From this moment he disappears from the Church's history. The term "Simony," as denoting the purchase for money of spiritual offices, is derived from him.
(8.) A Christian at Joppa, a tanner by trade, with whom Peter on one occasion lodged (Acts 9:43).
(9.) Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18). See PETER.
Simri - watchman, a Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 26:10).
Sin - is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and (2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines.
The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin (Rom. 6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15).
The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it, however, in no way makes God the author of sin.
Adam's sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it, (1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and (2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command. By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works.
Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state of moral corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin.
"Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, (1) the loss of original righteousness; and (2) the presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin. It is called "sin" (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the "flesh" (Gal. 5:17, 24), "lust" (James 1:14, 15), the "body of sin" (Rom. 6:6), "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18, 19). It influences and depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam (Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7). Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1; 1 John 3:14).
The doctrine of original sin is proved, (1.) From the fact of the universal sinfulness of men. "There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23; Gal. 3:22). (2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life; man's apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16; Gen. 6:5,6). (3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov. 22:15). (4.) It is proved also from the necessity, absolutely and universally, of regeneration (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). (5.) From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20).
Various kinds of sin are mentioned, (1.) "Presumptuous sins," or as literally rendered, "sins with an uplifted hand", i.e., defiant acts of sin, in contrast with "errors" or "inadvertencies" (Ps. 19:13). (2.) "Secret", i.e., hidden sins (19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul. (3.) "Sin against the Holy Ghost" (q.v.), or a "sin unto death" (Matt. 12:31, 32; 1 John 5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of grace.
Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which means, as does also the Hebrew name, "clayey" or "muddy," so called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by Ezekel (Ezek. 30:15) "the strength of Egypt, "thus denoting its importance as a fortified city. It has been identified with the modern Tineh, "a miry place," where its ruins are to be found. Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns remain, and some few fragments of others.
Sinai - of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment, including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles. The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, "the desert of Sinai," about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and encamped there "before the mountain." The part of the mountain range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh (Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus describes the scene:, "The plain itself is not broken and uneven and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the very image of the 'mount that might be touched,' and from which the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain below." This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus, they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed order. After three days they reach the "wilderness of Paran," the "et-Tih", i.e., "the desert", and here they make their first encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses called the place Taberah (q.v.), Num. 11:1-3. The journey between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land (about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year. (See MAP facing page 204.)
Sinaiticus codex - usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is one of the most valuable of ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859, it was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX., which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS., which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent. The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. "On that day, when walking with the provisor of the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX., which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The MS. was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing. His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX. of 1844, which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph." This precious fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The entire codex consists of 346 1/2 folios. Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147 1/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament stand thus: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse of John. It is shown by Tischendorf that this codex was written in the fourth century, and is thus of about the same age as the Vatican codex; but while the latter wants the greater part of Matthew and sundry leaves here and there besides, the Sinaiticus is the only copy of the New Testament in uncial characters which is complete. Thus it is the oldest extant MS. copy of the New Testament. Both the Vatican and the Sinai codices were probably written in Egypt. (See VATICANUS.)
Sinim, The land of - (Isa. 49:12), supposed by some to mean China, but more probably Phoenicia (Gen. 10:17) is intended.
Sinite - an inhabitant of Sin, near Arka (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15). (See ARKITE.)
Sin-offering - (Heb. hattath), the law of, is given in detail in Lev. 4-6:13; 9:7-11, 22-24; 12:6-8; 15:2, 14, 25-30; 14:19, 31; Num. 6:10-14. On the day of Atonement it was made with special solemnity (Lev. 16:5, 11, 15). The blood was then carried into the holy of holies and sprinkled on the mercy-seat. Sin-offerings were also presented at the five annual festivals (Num. 28, 29), and on the occasion of the consecration of the priests (Ex. 29:10-14, 36). As each individual, even the most private member of the congregation, as well as the congregation at large, and the high priest, was obliged, on being convicted by his conscience of any particular sin, to come with a sin-offering, we see thus impressively disclosed the need in which every sinner stands of the salvation of Christ, and the necessity of making application to it as often as the guilt of sin renews itself upon his conscience. This resort of faith to the perfect sacrifice of Christ is the one way that lies open for the sinner's attainment of pardon and restoration to peace. And then in the sacrifice itself there is the reality of that incomparable worth and preciousness which were so significantly represented in the sin-offering by the sacredness of its blood and the hallowed destination of its flesh. With reference to this the blood of Christ is called emphatically "the precious blood," and the blood that "cleanseth from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Sin, Wilderness of - lying between Elim and sinai (Ex. 16:1; comp. Num. 33:11, 12). This was probably the narrow plain of el-Markha, which stretches along the eastern shore of the Red Sea for several miles toward the promontory of Ras Mohammed, the southern extremity of the Sinitic Peninsula. While the Israelites rested here for some days they began to murmur on account of the want of nourishment, as they had by this time consumed all the corn they had brought with them out of Egypt. God heard their murmurings, and gave them "manna" and then quails in abundance.
Sion - elevated. (1.) Denotes Mount Hermon in Deut. 4:48; called Sirion by the Sidonians, and by the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9). (See HERMON.)
(2.) The Greek form of Zion (q.v.) in Matt. 21:5; John 12:15.
Siphmoth - fruitful places, some unknown place in the south, where David found friends when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 30:28).
Sirah - retiring, a well from which Joab's messenger brought back Abner (2 Sam. 3:26). It is now called 'Ain Sarah, and is situated about a mile from Hebron, on the road to the north.
Sirion - a breastplate, the Sidonian name of Hermon (q.v.), Deut. 3:9; Ps. 29:6.
Sisera - (Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra"). (1.) The captain of Jabin's army (Judg. 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Judg. 5:24-27) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere patriotic outburst," and "is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel") is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):
"Extolled above women be Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite, Extolled above women in the tent. He asked for water, she gave him milk; She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman's hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he curled himself, he fell; And where he curled himself, there he fell dead."
(2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55).
Sitnah - strife, the second of the two wells dug by Isaac, whose servants here contended with the Philistines (Gen. 26:21). It has been identified with the modern Shutneh, in the valley of Gerar, to the west of Rehoboth, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.
Sitting - the attitude generally assumed in Palestine by those who were engaged in any kind of work. "The carpenter saws, planes, and hews with his hand-adze, sitting on the ground or upon the plank he is planning. The washerwoman sits by the tub; and, in a word, no one stands when it is possible to sit. Shopkeepers always sit, and Levi sitting at the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9) is the exact way to state the case.", Thomson, Land and Book.
Sivan - a Persian word (Assyr, sivanu, "bricks"), used after the Captivity as the name of the third month of the Jewish year, extending from the new moon in June to the new moon in July (Esther 8:9).
Skin, Coats made of - (Gen. 3:21). Skins of rams and badgers were used as a covering for the tabernacle (Ex. 25:5; Num. 4:8-14).
Skull, The place of a - See GOLGOTHA.
Slave - Jer. 2:14 (A.V.), but not there found in the original. In Rev. 18:13 the word "slaves" is the rendering of a Greek word meaning "bodies." The Hebrew and Greek words for slave are usually rendered simply "servant," "bondman," or "bondservant." Slavery as it existed under the Mosaic law has no modern parallel. That law did not originate but only regulated the already existing custom of slavery (Ex. 21:20, 21, 26, 27; Lev. 25:44-46; Josh. 9:6-27). The gospel in its spirit and genius is hostile to slavery in every form, which under its influence is gradually disappearing from among men.
Slime - (Gen. 11:3; LXX., "asphalt;" R.V. marg., "bitumen"). The vale of Siddim was full of slime pits (14:10). Jochebed daubed the "ark of bulrushes" with slime (Ex. 2:3). (See PITCH.)
Sling - With a sling and a stone David smote the Philistine giant (1 Sam. 17:40, 49). There were 700 Benjamites who were so skilled in its use that with the left hand they "could sling stones at a hair breadth, and not miss" (Judg. 20:16; 1 Chr. 12:2). It was used by the Israelites in war (2 Kings 3:25). (See ARMS.)
The words in Prov. 26:8, "As he that bindeth a stone in a sling," etc. (Authorized Version), should rather, as in the Revised Version, be "As a bag of gems in a heap of stones," etc.
Smith - The Hebrews were not permitted by the Philistines in the days of Samuel to have a smith amongst them, lest they should make them swords and spears (1 Sam. 13:19). Thus the Philistines sought to make their conquest permanent (comp. 2 Kings 24:16).
Smyrna - myrrh, an ancient city of Ionia, on the western coast of Asia Minor, about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus. It is now the chief city of Anatolia, having a mixed population of about 200,000, of whom about one-third are professed Christians. The church founded here was one of the seven addressed by our Lord (Rev. 2:8-11). The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna. Here he suffered martyrdom, A.D. 155.
Snail - (1.) Heb. homit, among the unclean creeping things (Lev. 11:30). This was probably the sand-lizard, of which there are many species in the wilderness of Judea and the Sinai peninsula.
(2.) Heb. shablul (Ps. 58:8), the snail or slug proper. Tristram explains the allusions of this passage by a reference to the heat and drought by which the moisture of the snail is evaporated. "We find," he says, "in all parts of the Holy Land myriads of snail-shells in fissures still adhering by the calcareous exudation round their orifice to the surface of the rock, but the animal of which is utterly shrivelled and wasted, 'melted away.'"
Snare - The expression (Amos 3:5), "Shall one take up a snare from the earth?" etc. (Authorized Version), ought to be, as in the Revised Version, "Shall a snare spring up from the ground?" etc. (See GIN.)
Snow - Common in Palestine in winter (Ps. 147:16). The snow on the tops of the Lebanon range is almost always within view throughout the whole year. The word is frequently used figuratively by the sacred writers (Job 24:19; Ps. 51:7; 68:14; Isa. 1:18). It is mentioned only once in the historical books (2 Sam. 23:20). It was "carried to Tyre, Sidon, and Damascus as a luxury, and labourers sweltering in the hot harvest-fields used it for the purpose of cooling the water which they drank (Prov. 25:13; Jer. 18:14). No doubt Herod Antipas, at his feasts in Tiberias, enjoyed also from this very source the modern luxury of ice-water."
So - (Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.
Soap - (Jer. 2:22; Mal. 3:2; Heb. borith), properly a vegetable alkali, obtained from the ashes of certain plants, particularly the salsola kali (saltwort), which abounds on the shores of the Dead Sea and of the Mediterranean. It does not appear that the Hebrews were acquainted with what is now called "soap," which is a compound of alkaline carbonates with oleaginous matter. The word "purely" in Isa. 1:25 (R.V., "throughly;" marg., "as with lye") is lit. "as with bor." This word means "clearness," and hence also that which makes clear, or pure, alkali. "The ancients made use of alkali mingled with oil, instead of soap (Job 9:30), and also in smelting metals, to make them melt and flow more readily and purely" (Gesenius).
Socho - a fence; hedge, (1 Chr. 4:18; R.V., Soco)=So'choh (1 Kings 4:10; R.V., Socoh), Sho'choh (1 Sam. 17:1; R.V., Socoh), Sho'co (2 Chr. 11:7; R.V., Soco), Sho'cho (2 Chr. 28:18; R.V., Soco), a city in the plain or lowland of Judah, where the Philistines encamped when they invaded Judah after their defeat at Michmash. It lay on the northern side of the valley of Elah (Wady es-Sunt). It has been identified with the modern Khurbet Shuweikeh, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem. In this campaign Goliath was slain, and the Philistines were completely routed.
Sodom - burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10; 14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29; Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
Sodoma - (Rom. 9:29; R.V., "Sodom"), the Greek form for Sodom.
Sodomites - those who imitated the licentious wickedness of Sodom (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; Rom. 1:26, 27). Asa destroyed them "out of the land" (1 Kings 15:12), as did also his son Jehoshaphat (22:46).
Solemn meeting - (Isa. 1:13), the convocation on the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35, R.V., "solemn assembly;" marg., "closing festival"). It is the name given also to the convocation held on the seventh day of the Passover (Deut. 16:8).
Solomon - peaceful, (Heb. Shelomoh), David's second son by Bathsheba, i.e., the first after their legal marriage (2 Sam. 12). He was probably born about B.C. 1035 (1 Chr. 22:5; 29:1). He succeeded his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about sixteen or eighteen years of age. Nathan, to whom his education was intrusted, called him Jedidiah, i.e., "beloved of the Lord" (2 Sam. 12:24, 25). He was the first king of Israel "born in the purple." His father chose him as his successor, passing over the claims of his elder sons: "Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign after me." His history is recorded in 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chr. 1-9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father's death, and was hastened on mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-40). During his long reign of forty years the Hebrew monarchy gained its highest splendour. This period has well been called the "Augustan age" of the Jewish annals. The first half of his reign was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous; the latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell, mainly from his heathen intermarriages (1 Kings 11:1-8; 14:21, 31).
Before his death David gave parting instructions to his son (1 Kings 2:1-9; 1 Chr. 22:7-16; 28). As soon as he had settled himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by the marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), of whom, however, nothing further is recorded. He surrounded himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. (See HIRAM.)
For some years before his death David was engaged in the active work of collecting materials (1 Chr. 29:6-9; 2 Chr. 2:3-7) for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the ark of the covenant. He was not permitted to build the house of God (1 Chr. 22:8); that honour was reserved to his son Solomon. (See TEMPLE.)
After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel (1 Kings 7:1-12). It was 100 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high. Its lofty roof was supported by forty-five cedar pillars, so that the hall was like a forest of cedar wood, and hence probably it received the name of "The House of the Forest of Lebanon." In front of this "house" was another building, which was called the Porch of Pillars, and in front of this again was the "Hall of Judgment," or Throne-room (1 Kings 7:7; 10:18-20; 2 Chr. 9:17-19), "the King's Gate," where he administered justice and gave audience to his people. This palace was a building of great magnificence and beauty. A portion of it was set apart as the residence of the queen consort, the daughter of Pharaoh. From the palace there was a private staircase of red and scented sandal wood which led up to the temple.
Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city (Eccl. 2:4-6). He then built Millo (LXX., "Acra") for the defence of the city, completing a line of ramparts around it (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27). He erected also many other fortifications for the defence of his kingdom at various points where it was exposed to the assault of enemies (1 Kings 9:15-19; 2 Chr. 8:2-6). Among his great undertakings must also be mentioned the building of Tadmor (q.v.) in the wilderness as a commercial depot, as well as a military outpost.
During his reign Palestine enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and India and the coasts of Africa, by which Solomon accumulated vast stores of wealth and of the produce of all nations (1 Kings 9:26-28; 10:11, 12; 2 Chr. 8:17, 18; 9:21). This was the "golden age" of Israel. The royal magnificence and splendour of Solomon's court were unrivalled. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, an evidence at once of his pride, his wealth, and his sensuality. The maintenance of his household involved immense expenditure. The provision required for one day was "thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and fatted fowl" (1 Kings 4:22, 23).
Solomon's reign was not only a period of great material prosperity, but was equally remarkable for its intellectual activity. He was the leader of his people also in this uprising amongst them of new intellectual life. "He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" (1 Kings 4:32, 33).
His fame was spread abroad through all lands, and men came from far and near "to hear the wisdom of Solomon." Among others thus attracted to Jerusalem was "the queen of the south" (Matt. 12:42), the queen of Sheba, a country in Arabia Felix. "Deep, indeed, must have been her yearning, and great his fame, which induced a secluded Arabian queen to break through the immemorial custom of her dreamy land, and to put forth the energy required for braving the burdens and perils of so long a journey across a wilderness. Yet this she undertook, and carried it out with safety." (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chr. 9:1-12.) She was filled with amazement by all she saw and heard: "there was no more spirit in her." After an interchange of presents she returned to her native land.
But that golden age of Jewish history passed away. The bright day of Solomon's glory ended in clouds and darkness. His decline and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Chief among the causes of his decline were his polygamy and his great wealth. "As he grew older he spent more of his time among his favourites. The idle king living among these idle women, for 1,000 women, with all their idle and mischievous attendants, filled the palaces and pleasure-houses which he had built (1 Kings 11:3), learned first to tolerate and then to imitate their heathenish ways. He did not, indeed, cease to believe in the God of Israel with his mind. He did not cease to offer the usual sacrifices in the temple at the great feasts. But his heart was not right with God; his worship became merely formal; his soul, left empty by the dying out of true religious fervour, sought to be filled with any religious excitement which offered itself. Now for the first time a worship was publicly set up amongst the people of the Lord which was not simply irregular or forbidden, like that of Gideon (Judg. 8:27), or the Danites (Judg. 18:30, 31), but was downright idolatrous." (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13.)
This brought upon him the divine displeasure. His enemies prevailed against him (1 Kings 11:14-22, 23-25, 26-40), and one judgment after another fell upon the land. And now the end of all came, and he died, after a reign of forty years, and was buried in the city of David, and "with him was buried the short-lived glory and unity of Israel." "He leaves behind him but one weak and worthless son, to dismember his kingdom and disgrace his name."
"The kingdom of Solomon," says Rawlinson, "is one of the most striking facts in the Biblical history. A petty nation, which for hundreds of years has with difficulty maintained a separate existence in the midst of warlike tribes, each of which has in turn exercised dominion over it and oppressed it, is suddenly raised by the genius of a soldier-monarch to glory and greatness. An empire is established which extends from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, a distance of 450 miles; and this empire, rapidly constructed, enters almost immediately on a period of peace which lasts for half a century. Wealth, grandeur, architectural magnificence, artistic excellence, commercial enterprise, a position of dignity among the great nations of the earth, are enjoyed during this space, at the end of which there is a sudden collapse. The ruling nation is split in twain, the subject-races fall off, the pre-eminence lately gained being wholly lost, the scene of struggle, strife, oppression, recovery, inglorious submission, and desperate effort, re-commences.", Historical Illustrations.
Solomon, Song of - called also, after the Vulgate, the "Canticles." It is the "song of songs" (1:1), as being the finest and most precious of its kind; the noblest song, "das Hohelied," as Luther calls it. The Solomonic authorship of this book has been called in question, but evidences, both internal and external, fairly establish the traditional view that it is the product of Solomon's pen. It is an allegorical poem setting forth the mutual love of Christ and the Church, under the emblem of the bridegroom and the bride. (Compare Matt. 9:15; John 3:29; Eph. 5:23, 27, 29; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17. Compare also Ps. 45; Isa. 54:4-6; 62:4, 5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 2:16, 19, 20.)
Solomon's Porch - (John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12), a colonnade, or cloister probably, on the eastern side of the temple. It is not mentioned in connection with the first temple, but Josephus mentions a porch, so called, in Herod's temple (q.v.).
Songs - of Moses (Ex. 15; Num. 21:17; Deut. 32; Rev. 15:3), Deborah (Judg. 5), Hannah (1 Sam. 2), David (2 Sam. 22, and Psalms), Mary (Luke 1:46-55), Zacharias (Luke 1:68-79), the angels (Luke 2:13), Simeon (Luke 2:29), the redeemed (Rev. 5:9; 19), Solomon (see SOLOMON, SONGS OF).
Son of God - The plural, "sons of God," is used (Gen. 6:2, 4) to denote the pious descendants of Seth. In Job 1:6; 38:7 this name is applied to the angels. Hosea uses the phrase (1:10) to designate the gracious relation in which men stand to God.
In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the relation into which we are brought to God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 19; 2 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 4:5, 6; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2). It occurs thirty-seven times in the New Testament as the distinctive title of our Saviour. He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father's right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David (Rom. 1:3, 4. Comp. Gal. 4:4; John 1:1-14; 5:18-25; 10:30-38, which prove that Christ was the Son of God before his incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of equality with God).
When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels, this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luke 3:38, where it is used of Adam.
Son of man - (1.) Denotes mankind generally, with special reference to their weakness and frailty (Job 25:6; Ps. 8:4; 144:3; 146:3; Isa. 51:12, etc.).
(2.) It is a title frequently given to the prophet Ezekiel, probably to remind him of his human weakness.
(3.) In the New Testament it is used forty-three times as a distinctive title of the Saviour. In the Old Testament it is used only in Ps. 80:17 and Dan. 7:13 with this application. It denotes the true humanity of our Lord. He had a true body (Heb. 2:14; Luke 24:39) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.
Soothsayer - one who pretends to prognosticate future events. Baalam is so called (Josh. 13:22; Heb. kosem, a "diviner," as rendered 1 Sam. 6:2; rendered "prudent," Isa. 3:2). In Isa. 2:6 and Micah 5:12 (Heb. yonenim, i.e., "diviners of the clouds") the word is used of the Chaldean diviners who studied the clouds. In Dan. 2:27; 5:7 the word is the rendering of the Chaldee gazrin, i.e., "deciders" or "determiners", here applied to Chaldean astrologers, "who, by casting nativities from the place of the stars at one's birth, and by various arts of computing and divining, foretold the fortunes and destinies of individuals.", Gesenius, Lex. Heb. (See SORCERER.)
Sop - a morsel of bread (John 13:26; comp. Ruth 2:14). Our Lord took a piece of unleavened bread, and dipping it into the broth of bitter herbs at the Paschal meal, gave it to Judas. (Comp. Ruth 2:14.)
Sopater - the father who saves, probably the same as Sosipater, a kinsman of Paul (Rom. 16:21), a Christian of the city of Berea who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4-6).
Sorcerer - from the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others. (See DIVINATION.)
In Dan. 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment (Mal. 3:5; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).
Sorek - choice vine, the name of a valley, i.e., a torrent-bed, now the Wady Surar, "valley of the fertile spot," which drains the western Judean hills, and flowing by Makkedah and Jabneel, falls into the sea some eight miles south of Joppa. This was the home of Deliah, whom Samson loved (Judg. 16:4).
Sosipater - (See SOPATER.)
Sosthenes - safe in strength, the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, who was seized and beaten by the mob in the presence of Gallio, the Roman governor, when he refused to proceed against Paul at the instigation of the Jews (Acts 18:12-17). The motives of this assault against Sosthenes are not recorded, nor is it mentioned whether it was made by Greeks or Romans. Some identify him, but without sufficient grounds, with one whom Paul calls "Sosthenes our brother," a convert to the faith (1 Cor. 1:1).
South - Heb. Negeb, that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt (Gen. 12:9; 13:1, 3; 46:1-6). "The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west." In Ezek. 20:46 (21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered "south." (1) "Set thy face toward the south" (Teman, the region on the right, 1 Sam. 33:24); (2) "Drop thy word toward the south" (Negeb, the region of dryness, Josh. 15:4); (3) "Prophesy against the forest of the south field" (Darom, the region of brightness, Deut. 33:23). In Job 37:9 the word "south" is literally "chamber," used here in the sense of treasury (comp. 38:22; Ps. 135:7). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version "out of the chamber of the south."
Sovereignty - of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure (Dan. 4:25, 35; Rom. 9:15-23; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 4:11).
Spain - Paul expresses his intention (Rom. 15:24, 28) to visit Spain. There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into effect, although some think that he probably did so between his first and second imprisonment. (See TARSHISH.)
Sparrow - Mentioned among the offerings made by the very poor. Two sparrows were sold for a farthing (Matt. 10:29), and five for two farthings (Luke 12:6). The Hebrew word thus rendered is tsippor, which properly denotes the whole family of small birds which feed on grain (Lev. 14:4; Ps. 84:3; 102:7). The Greek word of the New Testament is strouthion (Matt. 10:29-31), which is thus correctly rendered.
Spicery - Heb. nechoth, identified with the Arabic naka'at, the gum tragacanth, obtained from the astralagus, of which there are about twenty species found in Palestine. The tragacanth of commerce is obtained from the A. tragacantha. "The gum exudes plentifully under the heat of the sun on the leaves, thorns, and exteremity of the twigs."
Spices - aromatic substances, of which several are named in Ex. 30. They were used in the sacred anointing oil (Ex. 25:6; 35:8; 1 Chr. 9:29), and in embalming the dead (2 Chr. 16:14; Luke 23:56; 24:1; John 19:39, 40). Spices were stored by Hezekiah in his treasure-house (2 Kings 20:13; Isa. 39:2).
Spider - The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" (59:5), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is 'akkabish, "a swift weaver."
In Prov. 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.
Spies - When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to spy the land of Canaan (Num. 13), and to bring back to him a report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their important errand, and went through the land as far north as the district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks' absence they returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new generation should arise which would go up and posses the land. The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in the desert. (See ESHCOL.)
Two spies were sent by Joshua "secretly" i.e., unknown to the people (Josh. 2:1), "to view the land and Jericho" after the death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.), in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things they had heard that Jehovah had done for them (Ex. 15:14-16; comp. 23:27; Deut. 2:25; 11:25). As the result of their mission they reported: "Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us."
Spikenard - (Heb. nerd), a much-valued perfume (Cant. 1:12; 4:13, 14). It was "very precious", i.e., very costly (Mark 14:3; John 12:3,5). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, "the Indian spike." In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike. The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has "pistic nard," pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.
Spirit - (Heb. ruah; Gr. pneuma), properly wind or breath. In 2 Thess. 2:8 it means "breath," and in Eccl. 8:8 the vital principle in man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 5:5; 6:20; 7:34), and the soul in its separate state (Heb. 12:23), and hence also an apparition (Job 4:15; Luke 24:37, 39), an angel (Heb. 1:14), and a demon (Luke 4:36; 10:20). This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency (Zech. 12:10; Luke 13:11).
In Rom. 1:4, 1 Tim. 3:16, 2 Cor. 3:17, 1 Pet. 3:18, it designates the divine nature.
Spirit, Holy - See HOLY GHOST.
Sponge - occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.
Spouse - (Cant. 4:8-12; Hos. 4:13, 14) may denote either husband or wife, but in the Scriptures it denotes only the latter.
Spring - (Heb. 'ain, "the bright open source, the eye of the landscape"). To be carefully distinguished from "well" (q.v.). "Springs" mentioned in Josh. 10:40 (Heb. 'ashdoth) should rather be "declivities" or "slopes" (R.V.), i.e., the undulating ground lying between the lowlands (the shephelah) and the central range of hills.