By Matthew George Easton
Week - Zelotes
From the beginning, time was divided into weeks, each consisting
of six days of working and one of rest (Gen. 2:2, 3; 7:10; 8:10,
12; 29:28). The references to this division of days becomes
afterwards more frequent (Ex. 34:22; Lev. 12:5; Num. 28:26;
Deut. 16:16; 2 Chr. 8:13; Jer. 5:24; Dan. 9:24-27; 10:2, 3). It
has been found to exist among almost all nations.
Weeks, Feast of - See PENTECOST.
Weights - Reduced to English troy-weight, the Hebrew weights were: (1.) The gerah (Lev. 27:25; Num. 3:47), a Hebrew word, meaning a grain or kernel, and hence a small weight. It was the twentieth part of a shekel, and equal to 12 grains.
(2.) Bekah (Ex. 38:26), meaning "a half" i.e., "half a shekel," equal to 5 pennyweight.
(3.) Shekel, "a weight," only in the Old Testament, and frequently in its original form (Gen. 23:15, 16; Ex. 21:32; 30:13, 15; 38:24-29, etc.). It was equal to 10 pennyweight.
(4.) Ma'neh, "a part" or "portion" (Ezek. 45:12), equal to 60 shekels, i.e., to 2 lbs. 6 oz.
(5.) Talent of silver (2 Kings 5:22), equal to 3,000 shekels, i.e., 125 lbs.
(6.) Talent of gold (Ex. 25:39), double the preceding, i.e., 250 lbs.
Well - (Heb. beer), to be distinguished from a fountain (Heb. 'ain). A "beer" was a deep shaft, bored far under the rocky surface by the art of man, which contained water which percolated through the strata in its sides. Such wells were those of Jacob and Beersheba, etc. (see Gen. 21:19, 25, 30, 31; 24:11; 26:15, 18-25, 32, etc.). In the Pentateuch this word beer, so rendered, occurs twenty-five times.
Westward - sea-ward, i.e., toward the Mediterranean (Deut. 3:27).
Whale - The Hebrew word tan (plural, tannin) is so rendered in Job 7:12 (A.V.; but R.V., "sea-monster"). It is rendered by "dragons" in Deut. 32:33; Ps. 91:13; Jer. 51:34; Ps. 74:13 (marg., "whales;" and marg. of R.V., "sea-monsters"); Isa. 27:1; and "serpent" in Ex. 7:9 (R.V. marg., "any large reptile," and so in ver. 10, 12). The words of Job (7:12), uttered in bitter irony, where he asks, "Am I a sea or a whale?" simply mean, "Have I a wild, untamable nature, like the waves of the sea, which must be confined and held within bounds, that they cannot pass?" "The serpent of the sea, which was but the wild, stormy sea itself, wound itself around the land, and threatened to swallow it up...Job inquires if he must be watched and plagued like this monster, lest he throw the world into disorder" (Davidson's Job).
The whale tribe are included under the general Hebrew name tannin (Gen. 1:21; Lam. 4:3). "Even the sea-monsters [tanninim] draw out the breast." The whale brings forth its young alive, and suckles them.
It is to be noticed of the story of Jonah's being "three days and three nights in the whale's belly," as recorded in Matt. 12:40, that here the Gr. ketos means properly any kind of sea-monster of the shark or the whale tribe, and that in the book of Jonah (1:17) it is only said that "a great fish" was prepared to swallow Jonah. This fish may have been, therefore, some great shark. The white shark is known to frequent the Mediterranean Sea, and is sometimes found 30 feet in length.
Wheat - one of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name hittah, and was extensively cultivated in Palestine. There are various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one stalk (Gen. 41:5). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" (Deut. 32:14), and the "finest of the wheat" (Ps. 81:16; 147:14), denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Palestine in great quantities (1 Kings 5:11; Ezek. 27:17; Acts 12:20).
Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Palestine (Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam. 17:17; 2 Sam. 17:28). The disciples, under the sanction of the Mosaic law (Deut. 23:25), plucked ears of corn, and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matt. 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest, however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented before the Lord (Lev. 23:14).
Wheel - (Heb. galgal; rendered "wheel" in Ps. 83:13, and "a rolling thing" in Isa. 17:13; R.V. in both, "whirling dust"). This word has been supposed to mean the wild artichoke, which assumes the form of a globe, and in autumn breaks away from its roots, and is rolled about by the wind in some places in great numbers.
White - a symbol of purity (2 Chr. 5:12; Ps. 51:7; Isa. 1:18; Rev. 3:18; 7:14). Our Lord, at his transfiguration, appeared in raiment "white as the light" (Matt. 17:2, etc.).
Widows - to be treated with kindness (Ex. 22:22; Deut. 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:17, 19-21; 26:12; 27:19, etc.). In the New Testament the same tender regard for them is inculcated (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 5:3-16) and exhibited.
Wife - The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen. 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife's legal rights (Ex. 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tim. 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases (Deut. 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery (Matt. 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2-5; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
Wilderness - (1.) Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Ps. 65:12; Isa. 42:11; Jer. 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place. This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14), on the southern border of Palestine; the wilderness of the Red Sea (Ex. 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Lev. 7:38), Moab (Deut. 2:8), Judah (Judg. 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Sam. 23:14, 24; 24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chr. 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Ps. 29:8).
"The wilderness of the sea" (Isa. 21:1). Principal Douglas, referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9), perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (comp. Ezek. 20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in Isa. 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea (comp. 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T.
(2.) Jeshimon, a desert waste (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 68:7).
(3.) 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deut. 1:1; 2:8, it is rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
(4.) Tziyyah, a "dry place" (Ps. 78:17; 105:41).
(5.) Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied" (Deut. 32:10; Job 12:24; comp. Gen. 1:2, "without form"). The wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250 miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad. Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is not a single river. The northern part of this triangular peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings" (et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of Shur" (Ex. 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
The "wilderness of Judea" (Matt. 3:1) is a wild, barren region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Sam. 23:19.
Willows - (1.) Heb. 'arabim (Lev. 23:40; Job 40:22; Isa. 15:7; 44:3, 4; Ps. 137:1, 2). This was supposed to be the weeping willow, called by Linnaeus Salix Babylonica, from the reference in Ps. 137. This tree is frequently found "on the coast, overhanging wells and pools. There is a conspicuous tree of this species over a pond in the plain of Acre, and others on the Phoenician plain." There are several species of the salix in Palestine, but it is not indigenous to Babylonia, nor was it cultivated there. Some are of opinion that the tree intended is the tamarisk or poplar.
(2.) Heb. tzaphtzaphah (Ezek. 17:5), called by the Arabs the safsaf, the general name for the willow. This may be the Salix AEgyptica of naturalists.
Tristram thinks that by the "willow by the water-courses," the Nerium oleander, the rose-bay oleander, is meant. He says, "It fringes the Upper Jordan, dipping its wavy crown of red into the spray in the rapids under Hermon, and is nutured by the oozy marshes in the Lower Jordan nearly as far as to Jericho...On the Arnon, on the Jabbok, and the Yarmuk it forms a continuous fringe. In many of the streams of Moab it forms a complete screen, which the sun's rays can never penetrate to evaporate the precious moisture. The wild boar lies safely ensconced under its impervious cover."
Wimple - Isa. 3:22, (R.V., "shawls"), a wrap or veil. The same Hebrew word is rendered "vail" (R.V., "mantle") in Ruth 3:15.
Window - properly only an opening in a house for the admission of light and air, covered with lattice-work, which might be opened or closed (2 Kings 1:2; Acts 20:9). The spies in Jericho and Paul at Damascus were let down from the windows of houses abutting on the town wall (Josh. 2:15; 2 Cor. 11:33). The clouds are metaphorically called the "windows of heaven" (Gen. 7:11; Mal. 3:10). The word thus rendered in Isa. 54:12 ought rather to be rendered "battlements" (LXX., "bulwarks;" R.V., "pinnacles"), or as Gesenius renders it, "notched battlements, i.e., suns or rays of the sun"= having a radiated appearance like the sun.
Winds - blowing from the four quarters of heaven (Jer. 49:36; Ezek. 37:9; Dan. 8:8; Zech. 2:6). The east wind was parching (Ezek. 17:10; 19:12), and is sometimes mentioned as simply denoting a strong wind (Job 27:21; Isa. 27:8). This wind prevails in Palestine from February to June, as the west wind (Luke 12:54) does from November to February. The south was a hot wind (Job 37:17; Luke 12:55). It swept over the Arabian peninsula. The rush of invaders is figuratively spoken of as a whirlwind (Isa. 21:1); a commotion among the nations of the world as a striving of the four winds (Dan. 7:2). The winds are subject to the divine power (Ps. 18:10; 135:7).
Wine - The common Hebrew word for wine is yayin, from a root meaning "to boil up," "to be in a ferment." Others derive it from a root meaning "to tread out," and hence the juice of the grape trodden out. The Greek word for wine is oinos_, and the Latin _vinun. But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others which are thus rendered.
(1.) Ashishah (2 Sam. 6:19; 1 Chr. 16:3; Cant. 2:5; Hos. 3:1), which, however, rather denotes a solid cake of pressed grapes, or, as in the Revised Version, a cake of raisins.
(2.) 'Asis, "sweet wine," or "new wine," the product of the same year (Cant. 8:2; Isa. 49:26; Joel 1:5; 3:18; Amos 9:13), from a root meaning "to tread," hence juice trodden out or pressed out, thus referring to the method by which the juice is obtained. The power of intoxication is ascribed to it.
(3.) Hometz. See VINEGAR.
(4.) Hemer, Deut. 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isa. 27:2 ("red wine"), Ezra 6:9; 7:22; Dan. 5:1, 2, 4. This word conveys the idea of "foaming," as in the process of fermentation, or when poured out. It is derived from the root hamar, meaning "to boil up," and also "to be red," from the idea of boiling or becoming inflamed.
(5.) 'Enabh, a grape (Deut. 32:14). The last clause of this verse should be rendered as in the Revised Version, "and of the blood of the grape ['enabh] thou drankest wine [hemer]." In Hos. 3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Comp. Gen. 49:11; Num. 6:3; Deut. 23:24, etc., where this Hebrew word is rendered in the plural "grapes.")
(6.) Mesekh, properly a mixture of wine and water with spices that increase its stimulating properties (Isa. 5:22). Ps. 75:8, "The wine [yayin] is red; it is full of mixture [mesekh];" Prov. 23:30, "mixed wine;" Isa. 65:11, "drink offering" (R.V., "mingled wine").
(7.) Tirosh, properly "must," translated "wine" (Deut. 28:51); "new wine" (Prov. 3:10); "sweet wine" (Micah 6:15; R.V., "vintage"). This Hebrew word has been traced to a root meaning "to take possession of" and hence it is supposed that tirosh is so designated because in intoxicating it takes possession of the brain. Among the blessings promised to Esau (Gen. 27:28) mention is made of "plenty of corn and tirosh." Palestine is called "a land of corn and tirosh" (Deut. 33:28; comp. Isa. 36:17). See also Deut. 28:51; 2 Chr. 32:28; Joel 2:19; Hos. 4:11, ("wine [yayin] and new wine [tirosh] take away the heart").
(8.) Sobhe (root meaning "to drink to excess," "to suck up," "absorb"), found only in Isa. 1:22, Hos. 4:18 ("their drink;" Gesen. and marg. of R.V., "their carouse"), and Nah. 1:10 ("drunken as drunkards;" lit., "soaked according to their drink;" R.V., "drenched, as it were, in their drink", i.e., according to their sobhe).
(9.) Shekar, "strong drink," any intoxicating liquor; from a root meaning "to drink deeply," "to be drunken", a generic term applied to all fermented liquors, however obtained. Num. 28:7, "strong wine" (R.V., "strong drink"). It is sometimes distinguished from wine, c.g., Lev. 10:9, "Do not drink wine [yayin] nor strong drink [shekar];" Num. 6:3; Judg. 13:4, 7; Isa. 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink"). Translated "strong drink" also in Isa. 5:11; 24:9; 29:9; 56:12; Prov. 20:1; 31:6; Micah 2:11.
(10.) Yekebh (Deut. 16:13, but in R.V. correctly "wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the press. Joel 2:24, "their vats;" 3:13, "the fats;" Prov. 3:10, "Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [tirosh];" Hag. 2:16; Jer. 48:33, "wine-presses;" 2 Kings 6:27; Job. 24:11.
(11.) Shemarim (only in plural), "lees" or "dregs" of wine. In Isa. 25:6 it is rendered "wines on the lees", i.e., wine that has been kept on the lees, and therefore old wine.
(12.) Mesek, "a mixture," mixed or spiced wine, not diluted with water, but mixed with drugs and spices to increase its strength, or, as some think, mingled with the lees by being shaken (Ps. 75:8; Prov. 23:30).
In Acts 2:13 the word gleukos, rendered "new wine," denotes properly "sweet wine." It must have been intoxicating.
In addition to wine the Hebrews also made use of what they called debash, which was obtained by boiling down must to one-half or one-third of its original bulk. In Gen. 43:11 this word is rendered "honey." It was a kind of syrup, and is called by the Arabs at the present day dibs. This word occurs in the phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (debash), Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev. 20:24; Num. 13: 27. (See HONEY.)
Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). The Rechabites were forbidden the use of wine (Jer. 35). The Nazarites also were to abstain from its use during the period of their vow (Num. 6:1-4); and those who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were perpetually to abstain from it (Judg. 13:4, 5; Luke 1:15; 7:33). The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong drink when engaged in their sacred functions (Lev. 10:1, 9-11). "Wine is little used now in the East, from the fact that Mohammedans are not allowed to taste it, and very few of other creeds touch it. When it is drunk, water is generally mixed with it, and this was the custom in the days of Christ also. The people indeed are everywhere very sober in hot climates; a drunken person, in fact, is never seen", (Geikie's Life of Christ). The sin of drunkenness, however, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible.
A drink-offering of wine was presented with the daily sacrifice (Ex. 29:40, 41), and also with the offering of the first-fruits (Lev. 23:13), and with various other sacrifices (Num. 15:5, 7, 10). Wine was used at the celebration of the Passover. And when the Lord's Supper was instituted, the wine and the unleavened bread then on the paschal table were by our Lord set apart as memorials of his body and blood.
Several emphatic warnings are given in the New Testament against excess in the use of wine (Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Eph. 5:18; 1 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:7).
Winefat - (Mark 12:1). The original word (hypolenion) so rendered occurs only here in the New Testament. It properly denotes the trough or lake (lacus), as it was called by the Romans, into which the juice of the grapes ran from the trough above it. It is here used, however, of the whole apparatus. In the parallel passage in Matt. 21:33 the Greek word lenos is used. This properly denotes the upper one of the two vats. (See WINE-PRESS.)
Wine-press - Consisted of two vats or receptacles, (1) a trough (Heb. gath, Gr. lenos) into which the grapes were thrown and where they were trodden upon and bruised (Isa. 16:10; Lam. 1:15; Joel 3:13); and (2) a trough or vat (Heb. yekebh, Gr. hypolenion) into which the juice ran from the trough above, the gath (Neh. 13:15; Job 24:11; Isa. 63:2, 3; Hag. 2:16; Joel 2:24). Wine-presses are found in almost every part of Palestine. They are "the only sure relics we have of the old days of Israel before the Captivity. Between Hebron and Beersheba they are found on all the hill slopes; they abound in southern Judea; they are no less common in the many valleys of Carmel; and they are numerous in Galilee." The "treading of the wine-press" is emblematic of divine judgment (Isa. 63:2; Lam. 1:15; Rev. 14:19, 20).
Winnow - Corn was winnowed, (1.) By being thrown up by a shovel against the wind. As a rule this was done in the evening or during the night, when the west wind from the sea was blowing, which was a moderate breeze and fitted for the purpose. The north wind was too strong, and the east wind came in gusts. (2.) By the use of a fan or van, by which the chaff was blown away (Ruth 3:2; Isa. 30:24; Jer. 4:11, 12; Matt. 3:12).
Wise men - mentioned in Dan. 2:12 included three classes, (1) astrologers, (2) Chaldeans, and (3) soothsayers. The word in the original (hakamim) probably means "medicine men. In Chaldea medicine was only a branch of magic. The "wise men" of Matt. 2:7, who came from the East to Jerusalem, were magi from Persia or Arabia.
Wise, wisdom - a moral rather than an intellectual quality. To be "foolish" is to be godless (Ps. 14:1; comp. Judg. 19:23; 2 Sam. 13:13). True wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it (Job 28:12-28; Prov. 3:13-18; Rom. 1:22; 16:27; 1 Cor. 1:17-21; 2:6-8; James 1:5). "Wisdom" in Prov. 1:20; 8:1; 9:1-5 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24). In Matt. 11:19 it is the personified principle of wisdom that is meant.
Witch - Occurs only in Ex. 22:18, as the rendering of mekhashshepheh, the feminine form of the word, meaning "enchantress" (R.V., "sorceress"), and in Deut. 18:10, as the rendering of mekhashshepheth, the masculine form of the word, meaning "enchanter."
Witchcraft - (1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Chr. 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Gal. 5:20). In the popular sense of the word no mention is made either of witches or of witchcraft in Scripture.
The "witch of En-dor" (1 Sam. 28) was a necromancer, i.e., one who feigned to hold converse with the dead. The damsel with "a spirit of divination" (Acts 16:16) was possessed by an evil spirit, or, as the words are literally rendered, "having a spirit, a pithon." The reference is to the heathen god Apollo, who was regarded as the god of prophecy.
Witness - More than one witness was required in criminal cases (Deut. 17:6; 19:15). They were the first to execute the sentence on the condemned (Deut. 13:9; 17:7; 1 Kings 21:13; Matt. 27:1; Acts 7:57, 58). False witnesses were liable to punishment (Deut. 19:16-21). It was also an offence to refuse to bear witness (Lev. 5:1).
Witness of the Spirit - (Rom. 8:16), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before the world," etc.
Wizard - a pretender to supernatural knowledge and power, "a knowing one," as the original Hebrew word signifies. Such an one was forbidden on pain of death to practise his deceptions (Lev. 19:31; 20:6, 27; 1 Sam. 28:3; Isa. 8:19; 19:3).
Wolf - Heb. zeeb, frequently referred to in Scripture as an emblem of treachery and cruelty. Jacob's prophecy, "Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf" (Gen. 49:27), represents the warlike character of that tribe (see Judg. 19-21). Isaiah represents the peace of Messiah's kingdom by the words, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb" (Isa. 11:6). The habits of the wolf are described in Jer. 5:6; Hab. 1:8; Zeph. 3:3; Ezek. 22:27; Matt. 7:15; 10:16; Acts 20:29. Wolves are still sometimes found in Palestine, and are the dread of shepherds, as of old.
Woman - was "taken out of man" (Gen. 2:23), and therefore the man has the preeminence. "The head of the woman is the man;" but yet honour is to be shown to the wife, "as unto the weaker vessel" (1 Cor. 11:3, 8, 9; 1 Pet. 3:7). Several women are mentioned in Scripture as having been endowed with prophetic gifts, as Miriam (Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Judg. 4:4, 5), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Noadiah (Neh. 6:14), Anna (Luke 2:36, 37), and the daughters of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8, 9). Women are forbidden to teach publicly (1 Cor. 14:34, 35; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12). Among the Hebrews it devolved upon women to prepare the meals for the household (Gen. 18:6; 2 Sam. 13:8), to attend to the work of spinning (Ex. 35:26; Prov. 31:19), and making clothes (1 Sam. 2:19; Prov. 31:21), to bring water from the well (Gen. 24:15; 1 Sam. 9:11), and to care for the flocks (Gen. 29:6; Ex. 2:16).
The word "woman," as used in Matt. 15:28, John 2:4 and 20:13, 15, implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect. Only where revelation is known has woman her due place of honour assigned to her.
Wood-offering - (Neh. 10:34; 13:31). It would seem that in the time of Nehemiah arrangements were made, probably on account of the comparative scarcity of wood, by which certain districts were required, as chosen by lot, to furnish wood to keep the altar fire perpetually burning (Lev. 6:13).
Wool - one of the first material used for making woven cloth (Lev. 13:47, 48, 52, 59; 19:19). The first-fruit of wool was to be offered to the priests (Deut. 18:4). The law prohibiting the wearing of a garment "of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together" (Deut. 22:11) may, like some other laws of a similar character, have been intended to express symbolically the separateness and simplicity of God's covenant people. The wool of Damascus, famous for its whiteness, was of great repute in the Tyrian market (Ezek. 27:18).
Word of God - (Heb. 4:12, etc.). The Bible so called because the writers of its several books were God's organs in communicating his will to men. It is his "word," because he speaks to us in its sacred pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or precept. (See INSPIRATION ; BIBLE.) All saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15, 16; 1 Pet. 1:23).
Word, The - (Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the writings of John (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13). As such, Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things (comp. Ps.33: 6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:18; Isa. 40:8).
Works, Covenant of - entered into by God with Adam as the representative of the human race (comp. Gen. 9:11, 12; 17:1-21), so styled because perfect obedience was its condition, thus distinguishing it from the covenant of grace. (See COVENANT OF WORKS.)
Works, Good - The old objection against the doctrine of salvation by grace, that it does away with the necessity of good works, and lowers the sense of their importance (Rom. 6), although it has been answered a thousand times, is still alleged by many. They say if men are not saved by works, then works are not necessary. If the most moral of men are saved in the same way as the very chief of sinners, then good works are of no moment. And more than this, if the grace of God is most clearly displayed in the salvation of the vilest of men, then the worse men are the better.
The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true, unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by one reconciled to God (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18:22). (2.) Good works have the glory of God as their object; and (3) they have the revealed will of God as their only rule (Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18, 19).
Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's heart (John 14:15, 23; Gal. 5:6). They are the fruits of the Spirit (Titus 2:10-12), and thus spring from grace, which they illustrate and strengthen in the heart.
Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect, yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17), and so are rewarded; they have no merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.
Worm - (1.) Heb. sas (Isa. 51:8), denotes the caterpillar of the clothes-moth.
(2.) The manna bred worms (tola'im), but on the Sabbath there was not any worm (rimmah) therein (Ex. 16:20, 24). Here these words refer to caterpillars or larvae, which feed on corrupting matter.
These two Hebrew words appear to be interchangeable (Job 25:6; Isa. 14:11). Tola'im in some places denotes the caterpillar (Deut. 28:39; Jonah 4:7), and rimmah, the larvae, as bred from putridity (Job 17:14; 21:26; 24:20). In Micah 7:17, where it is said, "They shall move out of their holes like worms," perhaps serpents or "creeping things," or as in the Revised Version, "crawling things," are meant.
The word is used figuratively in Job 25:6; Ps. 22:6; Isa. 41:14; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Isa. 66:24.
Wormwood - Heb. la'anah, the Artemisia absinthium of botanists. It is noted for its intense bitterness (Deut. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; Amos 5:7). It is a type of bitterness, affliction, remorse, punitive suffering. In Amos 6:12 this Hebrew word is rendered "hemlock" (R.V., "wormwood"). In the symbolical language of the Apocalypse (Rev. 8:10, 11) a star is represented as falling on the waters of the earth, causing the third part of the water to turn wormwood.
The name by which the Greeks designated it, absinthion, means "undrinkable." The absinthe of France is distilled from a species of this plant. The "southernwood" or "old man," cultivated in cottage gardens on account of its fragrance, is another species of it.
Worship - homage rendered to God which it is sinful (idolatry) to render to any created being (Ex. 34:14; Isa. 2:8). Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev. 22:8,9).
Worshipper - (Gr. neocoros = temple-sweeper (Acts 19:35) of the great goddess Diana). This name neocoros appears on most of the extant Ephesian coins
Wrestle - (Eph. 6:12). See GAMES.
Writing - The art of writing must have been known in the time of the early Pharaohs. Moses is commanded "to write for a memorial in a book" (Ex. 17:14) a record of the attack of Amalek. Frequent mention is afterwards made of writing (28:11, 21, 29, 36; 31:18; 32:15, 16; 34:1, 28; 39:6, 14, 30). The origin of this art is unknown, but there is reason to conclude that in the age of Moses it was well known. The inspired books of Moses are the most ancient extant writings, although there are written monuments as old as about B.C. 2000. The words expressive of "writing," "book," and "ink," are common to all the branches or dialects of the Semitic language, and hence it has been concluded that this art must have been known to the earliest Semites before they separated into their various tribes, and nations, and families.
"The Old Testament and the discoveries of Oriental archaeology alike tell us that the age of the Exodus was throughout the world of Western Asia an age of literature and books, of readers and writers, and that the cities of Palestine were stored with the contemporaneous records of past events inscribed on imperishable clay. They further tell us that the kinsfolk and neighbours of the Israelites were already acquainted with alphabetic writing, that the wanderers in the desert and the tribes of Edom were in contact with the cultured scribes and traders of Ma'in [Southern Arabia], and that the 'house of bondage' from which Israel had escaped was a land where the art of writing was blazoned not only on the temples of the gods, but also on the dwellings of the rich and powerful.", Sayce. (See DEBIR; PHOENICIA.)
The "Book of the Dead" was a collection of prayers and formulae, by the use of which the souls of the dead were supposed to attain to rest and peace in the next world. It was composed at various periods from the earliest time to the Persian conquest. It affords an interesting glimpse into the religious life and system of belief among the ancient Egyptians. We learn from it that they believed in the existence of one Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, judgement after death, and the resurrection of the body. It shows, too, a high state of literary activity in Egypt in the time of Moses. It refers to extensive libraries then existing. That of Ramessium, in Thebes, e.g., built by Rameses II., contained 20,000 books.
When the Hebrews entered Canaan it is evident that the art of writing was known to the original inhabitants, as appears, e.g., from the name of the city Debir having been at first Kirjath-sepher, i.e., the "city of the book," or the "book town" (Josh. 10:38; 15:15; Judg. 1:11).
The first mention of letter-writing is in the time of David (2 Sam. 11:14, 15). Letters are afterwards frequently spoken of (1 Kings 21:8, 9, 11; 2 Kings 10:1, 3, 6, 7; 19:14; 2 Chr. 21:12-15; 30:1, 6-9, etc.).
Yarn - Found only in 1 Kings 10:28, 2 Chr. 1:16. The Heb. word mikveh, i.e., "a stringing together," so rendered, rather signifies a host, or company, or a string of horses. The Authorized Version has: "And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price;" but the Revised Version correctly renders: "And the horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt; the king's merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price."
Year - Heb. shanah, meaning "repetition" or "revolution" (Gen. 1:14; 5:3). Among the ancient Egyptians the year consisted of twelve months of thirty days each, with five days added to make it a complete revolution of the earth round the sun. The Jews reckoned the year in two ways, (1) according to a sacred calendar, in which the year began about the time of the vernal equinox, with the month Abib; and (2) according to a civil calendar, in which the year began about the time of the autumnal equinox, with the month Nisan. The month Tisri is now the beginning of the Jewish year.
Yeshebi - the Hebrew word rendered "inhabitants" in Josh. 17:7, but probably rather the name of the village Yeshepheh, probably Yassuf, 8 miles south of Shechem.
Yoke - (1.) Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Num. 19:2; Deut. 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called 'ol.
(2.) In Jer. 27:2; 28:10, 12 the word in the Authorized Version rendered "yoke" is motah, which properly means a "staff," or as in the Revised Version, "bar."
These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Lev. 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa. 47:6; Lam. 1:14; 3:27). In the New Testament the word "yoke" is also used to denote servitude (Matt. 11:29, 30; Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1).
(3.) In 1 Sam. 11:7, 1 Kings 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus translated is tzemed, which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked or coupled together, and hence in 1 Sam. 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin jugum. In Isa. 5:10 this word in the plural is translated "acres."
Yoke-fellow - (Phil. 4:3), one of the apostle's fellow-labourers. Some have conjectured that Epaphroditus is meant. Wyckliffe renders the phrase "the german felowe", i.e., "thee, germane [=genuine] comrade."
Zaanaim - wanderings; the unloading of tents, so called probably from the fact of nomads in tents encamping amid the cities and villages of that region, a place in the north-west of Lake Merom, near Kedesh, in Naphtali. Here Sisera was slain by Jael, "the wife of Heber the Kenite," who had pitched his tent in the "plain [R.V., 'as far as the oak'] of Zaanaim" (Judg. 4:11).
It has been, however, suggested by some that, following the LXX. and the Talmud, the letter b, which in Hebrew means "in," should be taken as a part of the word following, and the phrase would then be "unto the oak of Bitzanaim," a place which has been identified with the ruins of Bessum, about half-way between Tiberias and Mount Tabor.
Zaanan - place of flocks, mentioned only in Micah 1:11. It may be identified with Zenan, in the plain country of Judah (Josh. 15:37).
Zaanannim - =Zaanaim, (Josh. 19:33).
Zaavan - terror, one of the "dukes of Edom" (Gen. 36:27); called also Zavan (1 Chr. 1:42).
Zabad - gift. (1.) One of David's valiant men (1 Chr. 11:41), the descendant of Ahlai, of the "children of Sheshan" (2:31).
(2.) A descendant of Tahath (7:21).
(3.) The son of Shemath. He conspired against Joash, king of Judah, and slew him (2 Chr. 24:25, 26). He is called also Jozachar (2 Kings 12:21).
(4.) Ezra 10:27.
(5.) Ezra 10:33.
(6.) Ezra 10:43.
Zabbai - wanderer; pure. (1.) Ezra 10:28.
(2.) The father of Baruch, who "earnestly repaired" part of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:20; marg., "Zaccai").
Zabbud - gift, Ezra 8:14.
Zabdi - gift of Jehovah. (1.) An ancestor of Achan (Josh. 7:1, 17, 18). He is probably the "Zimri" of 1 Chr. 2:6.
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:19).
(3.) Called "the Shiphmite," one of David's officers, who had charge of his vineyards (1 Chr. 27:27).
(4.) A Levite, one of the sons of Asaph (Neh. 11:17); probably the same as Zichri (1 Chr. 9:15), and Zaccur (Neh. 12:35).
Zabdiel - gift of God. (1.) The father of Jashobeam, who was one of David's officers (1 Chr. 27:2).
(2.) An overseer of the priests after the Captivity (Neh. 11:14).
Zabud - gift, the son of Nathan, who was "king's friend" in the court of Solomon (1 Kings 4:5).
Zabulon - (Matt. 4:13, 15; Rev. 7:8). See ZEBULUN.
Zaccai - pure, one whose "sons" returned with Zerubbabel to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:9; Neh. 7:14). (See ZABBAI.)
Zacchaeus - pure, a superintendant of customs; a chief tax-gather (publicanus) at Jericho (Luke 19:1-10). "The collection of customs at Jericho, which at this time produced and exported a considerable quantity of balsam, was undoubtedly an important post, and would account for Zacchaeus being a rich man." Being short of stature, he hastened on before the multitude who were thronging about Christ as he passed through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, and climbed up a sycamore tree that he might be able to see him. When our Lord reached the spot he looked up to the publican among the branches, and addressing him by name, told him to make haste and come down, as he intended that day to abide at his house. This led to the remarkable interview recorded by the evangelist, and to the striking parable of the ten pounds (Luke 19:12-27). At Er-riha (Jericho) there is a large, venerable looking square tower, which goes by the traditional name of the House of Zacchaeus.
Zaccur - mindful. (1.) Father of Shammua, who was one of the spies sent out by Moses (Num. 13:4).
(2.) A Merarite Levite (1 Chr. 24:27).
(3.) A son of Asaph, and chief of one of the courses of singers as arranged by David (1 Chr. 25:2, 10).
(4.) Son of Imri (Neh. 3:2).
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 10:12).
(6.) The son of Mattaniah (Neh. 13:13).
Zachariah - remembered by the Lord. (1.) Son of Jeroboam II., king of Israel. On the death of his father there was an interregnum of ten years, at the end of which he succeeded to the throne, which he occupied only six months, having been put to death by Shallum, who usurped the throne. "He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done" (2 Kings 14:29; 15:8-12). In him the dynasty of Jehu came to an end.
(2.) The father of Abi, who was the mother of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:2).
Zacharias - (1.) A priest of the course of Abia, the eighth of the twenty-four courses into which the priests had been originally divided by David (1 Chr. 23:1-19). Only four of these courses or "families" of the priests returned from the Exile (Ezra 2:36-39); but they were then re-distributed under the old designations. The priests served at the temple twice each year, and only for a week each time. Zacharias's time had come for this service. During this period his home would be one of the chambers set apart for the priests on the sides of the temple ground. The offering of incense was one of the most solemn parts of the daily worship of the temple, and lots were drawn each day to determine who should have this great honour, an honour which no priest could enjoy more than once during his lifetime.
While Zacharias ministered at the golden altar of incense in the holy place, it was announced to him by the angel Gabriel that his wife Elisabeth, who was also of a priestly family, now stricken in years, would give birth to a son who was to be called John, and that he would be the forerunner of the long-expected Messiah (Luke 1:12-17). As a punishment for his refusing to believe this message, he was struck dumb and "not able to speak until the day that these things should be performed" (20). Nine months passed away, and Elisabeth's child was born, and when in answer to their inquiry Zacharias wrote on a "writing tablet," "His name is John," his mouth was opened, and he praised God (60-79). The child (John the Baptist), thus "born out of due time," "waxed strong in spirit" (1:80).
(2.) The "son of Barachias," mentioned as having been slain between the temple and the altar (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51). "Barachias" here may be another name for Jehoiada, as some think. (See ZECHARIAH.)
Zacher - memorial, a son of Jehiel (1 Chr. 8:31; 9:35); called Zechariah (9:37).
Zadok - righteous. (1.) A son of Ahitub, of the line of Eleazer (2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chr. 24:3), high priest in the time of David (2 Sam. 20:25) and Solomon (1 Kings 4:4). He is first mentioned as coming to take part with David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:27, 28). He was probably on this account made ruler over the Aaronites (27:17). Zadok and Abiathar acted as high priests on several important occasions (1 Chr. 15:11; 2 Sam. 15:24-29, 35, 36); but when Adonijah endeavoured to secure the throne, Abiathar went with him, and therefore Solomon "thrust him out from being high priest," and Zadok, remaining faithful to David, became high priest alone (1 Kings 2:27, 35; 1 Chr. 29:22). In him the line of Phinehas resumed the dignity, and held it till the fall of Jerusalem. He was succeeded in his sacred office by his son Azariah (1 Kings 4:2; comp. 1 Chr. 6:3-9).
(2.) The father of Jerusha, who was wife of King Uzziah, and mother of King Jotham (2 Kings 15:33; 2 Chr. 27:1).
(3.) "The scribe" set over the treasuries of the temple by Nehemiah along with a priest and a Levite (Neh. 13:13).
(4.) The sons of Baana, one of those who assisted in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:4).
Zair - little, a place probably east of the Dead Sea, where Joram discomfited the host of Edom who had revolted from him (2 Kings 8:21).
Zalmon - shady. (1.) One of David's warriors, called the Ahohite (2 Sam. 23:28); called also Ilai (1 Chr. 11:29).
(2.) A wood near Shechem, from which Abimelech and his party brought boughs and "put them to the hold" of Shechem, "and set the hold on fire" (Judg. 9:48). Probably the southern peak of Gerizim, now called Jebel Sulman. (See SALMON.)
Zalmonah - shady, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:41, 42).
Zalmunna - one of the two kings of Midian whom the "Lord delivered" into the hands of Gideon. He was slain afterwards with Zebah (Judg. 8:5-21). (See ZEBAH.)
Zamzummims - a race of giants; "a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Deut. 2:20, 21). They were overcome by the Ammonites, "who called them Zamzummims." They belonged to the Rephaim, and inhabited the country afterwards occupied by the Ammonites. It has been conjectured that they might be Ham-zuzims, i.e., Zuzims dwelling in Ham, a place apparently to the south of Ashteroth (Gen. 14:5), the ancient Rabbath-ammon.
Zanoah - marsh. (1.) A town in the low country or shephelah of Judah, near Zorah (Josh. 15:34). It was re-occupied after the return from the Captivity (Neh. 11:30). Zanu'ah in Wady Ismail, 10 miles west of Jerusalem, occupies probably the same site.
(2.) A town in the hill country of Judah, some 10 miles to the south-west of Hebron (Josh. 15:56).
Zaphnath-paaneah - the name which Pharaoh gave to Joseph when he raised him to the rank of prime minister or grand vizier of the kingdom (Gen. 41:45). This is a pure Egyptian word, and has been variously explained. Some think it means "creator," or "preserver of life." Brugsch interprets it as "governor of the district of the place of life", i.e., of Goshen, the chief city of which was Pithom, "the place of life." Others explain it as meaning "a revealer of secrets," or "the man to whom secrets are revealed."
Zarephath - smelting-shop, "a workshop for the refining and smelting of metals", a small Phoenician town, now Surafend, about a mile from the coast, almost midway on the road between Tyre and Sidon. Here Elijah sojourned with a poor widow during the "great famine," when the "heaven was shut up three years and six months" (Luke 4:26; 1 Kings 17:10). It is called Sarepta in the New Testament (Luke 4:26).
Zaretan - When the Hebrews crossed the Jordan, as soon as the feet of the priests were dipped in the water, the flow of the stream was arrested. The point of arrest was the "city of Adam beside Zaretan," probably near Succoth, at the mouth of the Jabbok, some 30 miles up the river from where the people were encamped. There the water "stood and rose upon an heap." Thus the whole space of 30 miles of the river-bed was dry, that the tribes might pass over (Josh. 3:16, 17; comp. Ps. 104:3).
Zareth-shahar - the splendour of the dawn, a city "in the mount of the valley" (Josh. 13:19). It is identified with the ruins of Zara, near the mouth of the Wady Zerka Main, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, some 3 miles south of the Callirrhoe. Of this town but little remains. "A few broken basaltic columns and pieces of wall about 200 yards back from the shore, and a ruined fort rather nearer the sea, about the middle of the coast line of the plain, are all that are left" (Tristram's Land of Moab).
Zarthan - a place near Succoth, in the plain of the Jordan, "in the clay ground," near which Hiram cast the brazen utensils for the temple (1 Kings 7:46); probably the same as Zartan. It is also called Zeredathah (2 Chr. 4:17). (See ZEREDA.)
Zatthu - a sprout, Neh. 10:14.
Zattu - id., one whose descendants returned from the Captivity with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:8; Neh. 7:13); probably the same as Zatthu.
Zaza - plenty, a descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:33).
Zeal - an earnest temper; may be enlightened (Num. 25:11-13; 2 Cor. 7:11; 9:2), or ignorant and misdirected (Rom. 10:2; Phil. 3:6). As a Christian grace, it must be grounded on right principles and directed to right ends (Gal. 4:18). It is sometimes ascribed to God (2 Kings 19:31; Isa. 9:7; 37:32; Ezek. 5:13).
Zealots - a sect of Jews which originated with Judas the Gaulonite (Acts 5:37). They refused to pay tribute to the Romans, on the ground that this was a violation of the principle that God was the only king of Israel. They rebelled against the Romans, but were soon scattered, and became a lawless band of mere brigands. They were afterwards called Sicarii, from their use of the sica, i.e., the Roman dagger.
Zebadiah - gift of Jehovah. (1.) A son of Asahel, Joab's brother (1 Chr. 27:7).
(2.) A Levite who took part as one of the teachers in the system of national education instituted by Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:7, 8).
(3.) The son of Ishmael, "the ruler of the house of Judah in all the king's matters" (2 Chr. 19:8-11).
(4.) A son of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:15).
(5.) A Korhite porter of the Lord's house (1 Chr. 26:2). Three or four others of this name are also mentioned.
Zebah - man-killer, or sacrifice, one of the two kings who led the vast host of the Midianites who invaded the land of Israel, and over whom Gideon gained a great and decisive victory (Judg. 8). Zebah and Zalmunna had succeeded in escaping across the Jordan with a remnant of the Midianite host, but were overtaken at Karkor, probably in the Hauran, and routed by Gideon. The kings were taken alive and brought back across the Jordan; and confessing that they had personally taken part in the slaughter of Gideon's brothers, they were put to death (comp. 1 Sam. 12:11; Isa. 10:26; Ps. 83:11).
Zebaim - (Ezra 2:57; Neh. 7:59). "Pochereth of Zebaim" should be read as in the Revised Version, "Pochereth-hazzebaim" ("snaring the antelopes"), probably the name of some hunter.
Zebedee - a Galilean fisherman, the husband of Salome (q.v.), and the father of James and John, two of our Lord's disciples (Matt. 4:21; 27:56; Mark 15:40). He seems to have been a man of some position in Capernaum, for he had two boats (Luke 5:4) and "hired servants" (Mark 1:20) of his own. No mention is made of him after the call of his two sons by Jesus.
Zeboim - gazelles or roes. (1.) One of the "five cities of the plain" of Sodom, generally coupled with Admah (Gen. 10:19; 14:2; Deut. 29:23; Hos. 11:8). It had a king of its own (Shemeber), and was therefore a place of some importance. It was destroyed along with the other cities of the plain.
(2.) A valley or rugged glen somewhere near Gibeah in Benjamin (1 Sam. 13:18). It was probably the ravine now bearing the name Wady Shakh-ed-Dub'a, or "ravine of the hyena," north of Jericho.
(3.) A place mentioned only in Neh. 11:34, inhabited by the Benjamites after the Captivity.
Zebudah - given, the wife of Josiah and mother of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).
Zebul - habitation, the governor of Shechem under Abimelech (Judg. 9:28, 30, 36). He informed his master of the intention of the people of Shechem to transfer their allegiance to the Hivite tribe of Hamor. This led to Abimelech's destroying the city, when he put its entire population to the sword, and sowed the ruins with salt (Judg. 9:28-45).
Zebulonite - the designation of Elon, the judge who belonged to the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:11, 12).
Zebulun - dwelling, the sixth and youngest son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 30:20). Little is known of his personal history. He had three sons (46:14).
Zebulun, Lot of - in Galilee, to the north of Issachar and south of Asher and Naphtali (Josh. 19:10-16), and between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean. According to ancient prophecy this part of Galilee enjoyed a large share of our Lord's public ministry (Isa. 9:1, 2; Matt. 4:12-16).
Zebulun, Tribe of - numbered at Sinai (Num. 1:31) and before entering Canaan (26:27). It was one of the tribes which did not drive out the Canaanites, but only made them tributary (Judg. 1:30). It took little interest in public affairs. It responded, however, readily to the summons of Gideon (6:35), and afterwards assisted in enthroning David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:33, 40). Along with the other northern tribes, Zebulun was carried away into the land of Assyria by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29).
In Deborah's song the words, "Out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer" (Judg. 5:14) has been rendered in the R.V., "They that handle the marshal's staff." This is a questionable rendering. "The word sopher ('scribe' or 'writer') defines the word shebhet ('rod' or 'pen') with which it is conjoined. The 'rod of the scribe' on the Assyrian monuments was the stylus of wood or metal, with the help of which the clay tablet was engraved, or the papyrus inscribed with characters. The scribe who wielded it was the associate and assistant of the 'lawgivers.'" (Sayce).
Zechariah - Jehovah is renowned or remembered. (1.) A prophet of Judah, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets. Like Ezekiel, he was of priestly extraction. He describes himself (1:1) as "the son of Berechiah." In Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 he is called "the son of Iddo," who was properly his grandfather. His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius (B.C. 520), about sixteen years after the return of the first company from exile. He was contemporary with Haggai (Ezra 5:1).
His book consists of two distinct parts, (1) chapters 1 to 8, inclusive, and (2) 9 to the end. It begins with a preface (1:1-6), which recalls the nation's past history, for the purpose of presenting a solemn warning to the present generation. Then follows a series of eight visions (1:7-6:8), succeeding one another in one night, which may be regarded as a symbolical history of Israel, intended to furnish consolation to the returned exiles and stir up hope in their minds. The symbolical action, the crowning of Joshua (6:9-15), describes how the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of God's Christ.
Chapters 7 and 8, delivered two years later, are an answer to the question whether the days of mourning for the destruction of the city should be any longer kept, and an encouraging address to the people, assuring them of God's presence and blessing.
The second part of the book (ch. 9-14) bears no date. It is probable that a considerable interval separates it from the first part. It consists of two burdens.
The first burden (ch. 9-11) gives an outline of the course of God's providential dealings with his people down to the time of the Advent.
The second burden (ch. 12-14) points out the glories that await Israel in "the latter day", the final conflict and triumph of God's kingdom.
(2.) The son or grandson of Jehoiada, the high priest in the times of Ahaziah and Joash. After the death of Jehoiada he boldly condemned both the king and the people for their rebellion against God (2 Chr. 24:20), which so stirred up their resentment against him that at the king's commandment they stoned him with stones, and he died "in the court of the house of the Lord" (24:21). Christ alludes to this deed of murder in Matt. 23:35, Luke 11:51. (See ZACHARIAS .)
(3.) A prophet, who had "understanding in the seeing of God," in the time of Uzziah, who was much indebted to him for his wise counsel (2 Chr. 26:5).
Besides these, there is a large number of persons mentioned in Scripture bearing this name of whom nothing is known.
(4.) One of the chiefs of the tribe of Reuben (1 Chr. 5:7).
(5.) One of the porters of the tabernacle (1 Chr. 9:21).
(6.) 1 Chr. 9:37.
(7.) A Levite who assisted at the bringing up of the ark from the house of Obededom (1 Chr. 15:20-24).
(8.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 24:25).
(9.) A Merarite Levite (1 Chr. 27:21).
(10.) The father of Iddo (1 Chr. 27:21).
(11.) One who assisted in teaching the law to the people in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:7).
(12.) A Levite of the sons of Asaph (2 Chr. 20:14).
(13.) One of Jehoshaphat's sons (2 Chr. 21:2).
(14.) The father of Abijah, who was the mother of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:1).
(15.) One of the sons of Asaph (2 Chr. 29:13).
(16.) One of the "rulers of the house of God" (2 Chr. 35:8).
(17.) A chief of the people in the time of Ezra, who consulted him about the return from captivity (Ezra 8:16); probably the same as mentioned in Neh. 8:4,
(18.) Neh. 11:12.
(19.) Neh. 12:16.
(20.) Neh. 12:35,41.
(21.) Isa. 8:2.
Zedad - side; sloping place, a town in the north of Palestine, near Hamath (Num. 34:8; Ezek. 47:15). It has been identified with the ruins of Sudud, between Emesa (Hums) and Baalbec, but that is uncertain.
Zedekiah - righteousness of Jehovah. (1.) The last king of Judah. He was the third son of Josiah, and his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, and hence he was the brother of Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:31; 24:17, 18). His original name was Mattaniah; but when Nebuchadnezzar placed him on the throne as the successor to Jehoiachin he changed his name to Zedekiah. The prophet Jeremiah was his counsellor, yet "he did evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 24:19, 20; Jer. 52:2, 3). He ascended the throne at the age of twenty-one years. The kingdom was at that time tributary to Nebuchadnezzar; but, despite the strong remonstrances of Jeremiah and others, as well as the example of Jehoiachin, he threw off the yoke of Babylon, and entered into an alliance with Hophra, king of Egypt. This brought up Nebuchadnezzar, "with all his host" (2 King 25:1), against Jerusalem. During this siege, which lasted about eighteen months, "every worst woe befell the devoted city, which drank the cup of God's fury to the dregs" (2 Kings 25:3; Lam. 4:4, 5, 10). The city was plundered and laid in ruins. Zedekiah and his followers, attempting to escape, were made captive and taken to Riblah. There, after seeing his own children put to death, his own eyes were put out, and, being loaded with chains, he was carried captive (B.C. 588) to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1-7; 2 Chr. 36:12; Jer. 32:4,5; 34:2, 3; 39:1-7; 52:4-11; Ezek. 12:12), where he remained a prisoner, how long is unknown, to the day of his death.
After the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuzaraddan was sent to carry out its complete destruction. The city was razed to the ground. Only a small number of vinedressers and husbandmen were permitted to remain in the land (Jer. 52:16). Gedaliah, with a Chaldean guard stationed at Mizpah, ruled over Judah (2 Kings 25:22, 24; jer. 40:1, 2, 5, 6).
(2.) The son of Chenaanah, a false prophet in the days of Ahab (1 Kings 22:11, 24; 2 Chr. 18:10, 23).
(3.) The son of Hananiah, a prince of Judah in the days of Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:12).
Zeeb - the wolf, one of the two leaders of the great Midianite host which invaded Israel and was utterly routed by Gideon. The division of that host, which attempted to escape across the Jordan, under Oreb and Zeeb, was overtaken by the Ephraimites, who, in a great battle, completely vanquished them, their leaders being taken and slain (Judg. 7:25; Ps. 83:11; Isa. 10:26).
Zelah - slope; side, a town in Benjamin, where Saul and his son Jonathan were buried (2 Sam. 21:14). It was probably Saul's birthplace.
Zelek - cleft, an Ammonite; one of David's valiant men (2 Sam. 23:37).
Zelophehad - first-born, of the tribe of Manasseh, and of the family of Gilead; died in the wilderness. Having left no sons, his daughters, concerned lest their father's name should be "done away from among his family," made an appeal to Moses, who, by divine direction, appointed it as "a statute of judgment" in Israel that daughters should inherit their father's portion when no sons were left (Num. 27:1-11). But that the possession of Zelophehad might not pass away in the year of jubilee from the tribe to which he belonged, it was ordained by Moses that his daughters should not marry any one out of their father's tribe; and this afterwards became a general law (Num. 36).
Zelotes - (Luke 6:15). See SIMON; ZEALOTS.