Easton's Bible Dictionary (D)
Pasture, a Levitical town of Issachar (Josh. 19:12; 21:28), near
the border of Zebulum. It is the modern small village of
Deburich, at the base of Mount Tabor. Tradition has incorrectly
made it the scene of the miracle of the cure of the lunatic
child (Matt. 17:14).
The Greek form, rendered “devil” in the Authorized Version of
the New Testament. Daemons are spoken of as spiritual beings
(Matt. 8:16; 10:1; 12:43-45) at enmity with God, and as having a
certain power over man (James 2:19; Rev. 16:14). They recognize
our Lord as the Son of God (Matt. 8:20; Luke 4:41). They belong
to the number of those angels that “kept not their first
estate,” “unclean spirits,” “fallen angels,” the angels of the
devil (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7-9). They are the “principalities
and powers” against which we must “wrestle” (Eph. 6:12).
One “possessed with a devil.” In the days of our Lord and his
apostles, evil spirits, “daemons,” were mysteriously permitted
by God to exercise an influence both over the souls and bodies
of men, inflicting dumbness (Matt. 9:32), blindness (12:22),
epilepsy (Mark 9:17-27), insanity (Matt. 8:28; Mark 5:1-5).
Daemoniacs are frequently distinguished from those who are
afflicted with ordinary bodily maladies (Mark 1:32; 16:17, 18;
Luke 6:17, 18). The daemons speak in their own persons (Matt.
8:29; Mark 1:23, 24; 5:7). This influence is clearly
distinguished from the ordinary power of corruption and of
temptation over men. In the daemoniac his personality seems to
be destroyed, and his actions, words, and even thoughts to be
overborne by the evil spirit (Mark, l.c.; Acts 19:15).
Little fish; diminutive from dag = a fish, the fish-god; the
national god of the Philistines (Judg. 16:23). This idol had the
body of a fish with the head and hands of a man. It was an
Assyrio-Babylonian deity, the worship of which was introduced
among the Philistines through Chaldea. The most famous of the
temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Judg. 16:23-30) and Ashdod (1
Sam. 5:1-7). (See FISH.)
(1 Sam. 5:2), or Beth-dagon, as elsewhere rendered (Josh. 15:
41; 19:27), was the sanctuary or temple of Dagon.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 15:41 was one of the cities of the tribe
of Judah, in the lowland or plain which stretches westward. It
has not been identified.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 19:27 was one of the border cities of
That of 1 Chr. 10:10 was in the western half-tribe of Manasseh,
where the Philistines, after their victory at Gilboa, placed
Saul’s head in the temple of their god. (Comp. 1 Sam. 31:8-13).
(Dan. 8:12; 11:31; 12:11), a burnt offering of two lambs of a
year old, which were daily sacrificed in the name of the whole
Israelitish people upon the great altar, the first at dawn of
day, and the second at evening (Dan. 9:21), or more correctly,
“between the two evenings.” (See SACRIFICE.)
Dale, the king’s
The name of a valley, the alternative for “the valley of Shaveh”
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
A place on the west of the Sea of Galilee, mentioned only in
Mark 8:10. In the parallel passage it is said that Christ came
“into the borders of Magdala” (Matt. 15:39). It is plain, then,
that Dalmanutha was near Magdala, which was probably the Greek
name of one of the many Migdols (i.e., watch-towers) on the
western side of the lake of Gennesaret. It has been identified
in the ruins of a village about a mile from Magdala, in the
little open valley of Ain-el-Barideh, “the cold fountain,”
called el-Mejdel, possibly the “Migdal-el” of Josh. 19:38.
A mountainous country on the eastern shore of the Adriatic, a
part of the Roman province of Illyricum. It still bears its
ancient name. During Paul’s second imprisonment at Rome, Titus
left him to visit Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4:10) for some unknown
purpose. Paul had himself formerly preached in that region (Rom.
The present Emperor of Austria bears, among his other titles,
that of “King of Dalmatia.”
A heifer, an Athenian woman converted to Christianity under the
preaching of Paul (Acts 17:34). Some have supposed that she may
have been the wife of Dionysius the Areopagite.
Activity, the most ancient of Oriental cities; the capital of
Syria (Isa. 7:8; 17:3); situated about 133 miles to the north of
Jerusalem. Its modern name is Esh-Sham; i.e., “the East.”
The situation of this city is said to be the most beautiful of
all Western Asia. It is mentioned among the conquests of the
Egyptian king Thothmes III. (B.C. 1500), and in the Amarna
tablets (B.C. 1400).
It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham’s
victory over the confederate kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen.
14:15). It was the native place of Abraham’s steward (15:2). It
is not again noticed till the time of David, when “the Syrians
of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer” (q.v.), 2 Sam. 8:5; 1
Chr. 18:5. In the reign of Solomon, Rezon became leader of a
band who revolted from Hadadezer (1 Kings 11:23), and betaking
themselves to Damascus, settled there and made their leader
king. There was a long war, with varying success, between the
Israelites and Syrians, who at a later period became allies of
Israel against Judah (2 Kings 15:37).
The Syrians were at length subdued by the Assyrians, the city of
Damascus was taken and destroyed, and the inhabitants carried
captive into Assyria (2 Kings 16:7-9; comp. Isa. 7:8). In this,
prophecy was fulfilled (Isa. 17:1; Amos 1:4; Jer. 49:24). The
kingdom of Syria remained a province of Assyria till the capture
of Nineveh by the Medes (B.C. 625), when it fell under the
conquerors. After passing through various vicissitudes, Syria
was invaded by the Romans (B.C. 64), and Damascus became the
seat of the government of the province. In A.D. 37 Aretas, the
king of Arabia, became master of Damascus, having driven back
This city is memorable as the scene of Saul’s conversion (Acts
9:1-25). The street called “Straight,” in which Judas lived, in
whose house Saul was found by Ananias, is known by the name
Sultany, or “Queen’s Street.” It is the principal street of the
city. Paul visited Damascus again on his return from Arabia
(Gal. 1:16, 17). Christianity was planted here as a centre (Acts
9:20), from which it spread to the surrounding regions.
In A.D. 634 Damascus was conquered by the growing Mohammedan
power. In A.D. 1516 it fell under the dominion of the Turks, its
present rulers. It is now the largest city in Asiatic Turkey.
Christianity has again found a firm footing within its walls.
In Rom. 13:2, means “condemnation,” which comes on those who
withstand God’s ordinance of magistracy. This sentence of
condemnation comes not from the magistrate, but from God, whose
authority is thus resisted.
In 1 Cor. 11:29 (R.V., “judgment”) this word means condemnation,
in the sense of exposure to severe temporal judgements from God,
as the following verse explains.
In Rom. 14:23 the word “damned” means “condemned” by one’s own
conscience, as well as by the Word of God. The apostle shows
here that many things which are lawful are not expedient; and
that in using our Christian liberty the question should not
simply be, Is this course I follow lawful? but also, Can I
follow it without doing injury to the spiritual interests of a
brother in Christ? He that “doubteth”, i.e., is not clear in his
conscience as to “meats”, will violate his conscience “if he
eat,” and in eating is condemned; and thus one ought not so to
use his liberty as to lead one who is “weak” to bring upon
himself this condemnation.
A judge. (1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah,
Rachel’s maid (Gen. 30:6, “God hath judged me”, Heb. dananni).
The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, “Dan shall
judge his people” (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship
of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan.
The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the
wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31;
10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in
the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in
The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim
and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very
fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda,
Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this
district was too limited. “Squeezed into the narrow strip
between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great
beyond its numbers.” Being pressed by the Amorites and the
Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a
wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of
their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and
brought back a favourable report regarding that region. “Arise,”
they said, “be not slothful to go, and to possess the land,” for
it is “a place where there is no want of any thing that is in
the earth” (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites
girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives
and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought
against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt
therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan
(Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home,
and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Palestine,
the length of which came to be denoted by the expression “from
Dan to Beersheba”, i.e., about 144 miles.
“But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have
succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk
down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never
emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city
show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there
remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate
tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural
and the spiritual Israel.”, Manning’s Those Holy Fields.
This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern
name is Tell el-Kady, “Hill of the Judge.” It stands about four
miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of
surpassing richness and beauty.
(2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the
words there, “Dan also,” should be simply, as in the Revised
Version, “Vedan,” an Arabian city, from which various kinds of
merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been
the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN.)
Found in Judg. 21:21, 23; Ps. 30:11; 149:3; 150:4; Jer. 31:4,
13, etc., as the translation of hul, which points to the
whirling motion of Oriental sacred dances. It is the rendering
of a word (rakad’) which means to skip or leap for joy, in Eccl.
3:4; Job 21:11; Isa. 13:21, etc.
In the New Testament it is in like manner the translation of
different Greek words, circular motion (Luke 15:25); leaping up
and down in concert (Matt. 11:17), and by a single person (Matt.
It is spoken of as symbolical of rejoicing (Eccl. 3:4. Comp. Ps.
30:11; Matt. 11: 17). The Hebrews had their sacred dances
expressive of joy and thanksgiving, when the performers were
usually females (Ex. 15:20; 1 Sam. 18:6).
The ancient dance was very different from that common among
Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Ex.
15:20; Judg. 11:34; comp. 5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David’s
conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14). The
women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in
accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself
led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion
and “looking through the window.” David led the choir
“uncovered”, i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He
thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself.
From being reserved for occasions of religious worship and
festivity, it came gradually to be practised in common life on
occasions of rejoicing (Jer. 31:4). The sexes among the Jews
always danced separately. The daughter of Herodias danced alone
God is my judge, or judge of God. (1.) David’s second son, “born
unto him in Hebron, of Abigail the Carmelitess” (1 Chr. 3:1). He
is called also Chileab (2 Sam. 3:3).
(2.) One of the four great prophets, although he is not once
spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet. His life and
prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. He was descended
from one of the noble families of Judah (Dan. 1:3), and was
probably born in Jerusalem about B.C. 623, during the reign of
Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar
(the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century
before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at
the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign
of Jehoiakim (B.C. 606), Daniel and other three noble youths
were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of
the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of
the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the
age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., “prince of
Bel,” or “Bel protect the king!” His residence in Babylon was
very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified
with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right
bank of the river.
His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon (Dan.
1:4) was to fit him for service to the empire. He was
distinguished during this period for his piety and his stict
observance of the Mosaic law (1:8-16), and gained the confidence
and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention
gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to
master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to
excel his compeers.
At the close of his three years of discipline and training in
the royal schools, Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency
in the “wisdom” of his day, and was brought out into public
life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation
of dreams (1:17; 2:14), and rose to the rank of governor of the
province of Babylon, and became “chief of the governors” (Chald.
Rab-signin) over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and
also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; and many years
afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and
consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar’s impious
feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother
(perhaps Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar) to interpret
the mysterious handwriting on the wall. He was rewarded with a
purple robe and elevation to the rank of “third ruler.” The
place of “second ruler” was held by Belshazzar as associated
with his father, Nabonidus, on the throne (5:16). Daniel
interpreted the handwriting, and “in that night was Belshazzar
the king of the Chaldeans slain.”
After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus, who was now master of all
Asia from India to the Dardanelles, placed Darius (q.v.), a
Median prince, on the throne, during the two years of whose
reign Daniel held the office of first of the “three presidents”
of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs,
no doubt interesting himself in the prospects of the captive
Jews (Dan. 9), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing
restored to their own land, although he did not return with
them, but remained still in Babylon. His fidelity to God exposed
him to persecution, and he was cast into a den of lions, but was
miraculously delivered; after which Darius issued a decree
enjoining reverence for “the God of Daniel” (6:26). He
“prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the
Persian,” whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of
the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C. 536).
He had a series of prophetic visions vouch-safed to him which
opened up the prospect of a glorious future for the people of
God, and must have imparted peace and gladness to his spirit in
his old age as he waited on at his post till the “end of the
days.” The time and circumstances of his death are not recorded.
He probably died at Susa, about eighty-five years of age.
Ezekiel, with whom he was contemporary, mentions him as a
pattern of righteousness (14:14, 20) and wisdom (28:3). (See
Daniel, Book of
Is ranked by the Jews in that division of their Bible called the
Hagiographa (Heb. Khethubim). (See BIBLE.) It consists of
two distinct parts. The first part, consisting of the first six
chapters, is chiefly historical; and the second part, consisting
of the remaining six chapters, is chiefly prophetical.
The historical part of the book treats of the period of the
Captivity. Daniel is “the historian of the Captivity, the writer
who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and
dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees
that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general
to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and
Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch
which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in
his last chapter: And them that had escaped from the sword
carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they
were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom
of Persia'” (2 Chr. 36:20).
The prophetical part consists of three visions and one
lengthened prophetical communication.
The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the
arguments in its favour fully establish its claims. (1.) We have
the testimony of Christ (Matt. 24:15; 25:31; 26:64) and his
apostles (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Thess. 2:3) for its authority; and (2)
the important testimony of Ezekiel (14:14, 20; 28:3). (3.) The
character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony
with the times and circumstances in which the author lived. (4.)
The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as
might be expected. Certain portions (Dan. 2:4; 7) are written in
the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in
a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of
the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is
familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the
one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict
accordance with the position of the author and of the people for
whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this
book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1, 28; 8:2; 9:2;
10:1, 2; 12:4, 5). (See BELSHAZZAR.)
Woodland Dan, a place probably somewhere in the direction of
Dan, near the sources of the Jordan (2 Sam. 24:6). The LXX. and
the Vulgate read “Dan-ja’ar”, i.e., “Dan in the forest.”
Murmuring, a city (Josh. 15:49) in the mountains of Judah about
8 miles south-west of Hebron.
Pearl of wisdom, one of the four who were noted for their
wisdom, but whom Solomon excelled (1 Kings 4:31).
In the Revised Version of 1 Chr. 29:7; Ezra 2:69; 8:27; Neh.
7:70-72, where the Authorized Version has “dram.” It is the
rendering of the Hebrew darkemon and the Greek dareikos. It was
a gold coin, bearing the figure of a Persian King with his crown
and armed with bow and arrow. It was current among the Jews
after their return from Babylon, i.e., while under the Persian
domination. It weighed about 128 grains troy, and was of the
value of about one guinea or rather more of our money. It is the
first coin mentioned in Scripture, and is the oldest that
history makes known to us.
The holder or supporter, the name of several Persian kings. (1.)
Darius the Mede (Dan. 11:1), “the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed
of the Medes” (9:1). On the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean he
“received the kingdom” of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus. During
his brief reign (B.C. 538-536) Daniel was promoted to the
highest dignity (Dan. 6:1, 2); but on account of the malice of
his enemies he was cast into the den of lions. After his
miraculous escape, a decree was issued by Darius enjoining
“reverence for the God of Daniel” (6:26). This king was probably
the “Astyages” of the Greek historians. Nothing can, however, be
with certainty affirmed regarding him. Some are of opinion that
the name “Darius” is simply a name of office, equivalent to
“governor,” and that the “Gobryas” of the inscriptions was the
person intended by the name.
(2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the
royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed
Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz.,
Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned
from B.C. 529-522, and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis,
who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by
this Darius (B.C. 521-486). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore
had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which
they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the
restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:17-22). But
soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews
resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be
now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the
religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time
in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused
search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not
found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezra 6:2); and Darius
forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to
prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian
satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was
with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous
battle of Marathon (B.C. 490). During his reign the Jews enjoyed
much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known
to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years.
(3.) Darius the Persian (Neh. 12:22) was probably the Darius II.
(Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes
Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes).
There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was
Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great
The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is
described as darkness “which may be felt.” It covered “all the
land of Egypt,” so that “they saw not one another.” It did not
extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23).
When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt. 27:45; Luke 23:44), from
the “sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the
On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) “drew near unto the thick
darkness where God was.” This was the “thick cloud upon the
mount” in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The
Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the
cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the
inscrutable nature of God’s workings among the sons of men, he
says, “Clouds and darkness are round about him.” God dwells in
Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the
judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol
of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek.
30:18). The “day of darkness” in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of
locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine
proceedings. “Works of darkness” are impure actions (Eph. 5:11).
“Outer darkness” refers to the darkness of the streets in the
East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps
after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in
the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2;
Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).
Ps. 22:20; 35:17) means an “only one.”
An instrument of war; a light spear. “Fiery darts” (Eph. 6:16)
are so called in allusion to the habit of discharging darts from
the bow while they are on fire or armed with some combustible
material. Arrows are compared to lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps.
The fruit of a species of palm (q.v.), the Phoenix dactilifera.
This was a common tree in Palestine (Joel 1:12; Neh. 8:15). Palm
branches were carried by the Jews on festive occasions, and
especially at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15).
Welled; belonging to a fountain, a son of Eliab, a Reubenite,
who joined Korah (q.v.) in his conspiracy, and with his
accomplices was swallowed up by an earthquake (Num. 16:1; 26:9;
Deut. 11:6; Ps. 106:17).
This word, besides its natural and proper sense, is used to
designate, (1.) A niece or any female descendant (Gen. 20:12;
24:48; 28:6). (2.) Women as natives of a place, or as professing
the religion of a place; as, “the daughters of Zion” (Isa.
3:16), “daughters of the Philistines” (2 Sam. 1:20). (3.) Small
towns and villages lying around a city are its “daughters,” as
related to the metropolis or mother city. Tyre is in this sense
called the daughter of Sidon (Isa. 23:12). (4.) The people of
Jerusalem are spoken of as “the daughters of Zion” (Isa. 37:22).
(5.) The daughters of a tree are its boughs (Gen. 49:22). (6.)
The “daughters of music” (Eccl. 12:4) are singing women.
Beloved, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a citizen of
Bethlehem. His father seems to have been a man in humble life.
His mother’s name is not recorded. Some think she was the Nahash
of 2 Sam. 17:25. As to his personal appearance, we only know
that he was red-haired, with beautiful eyes and a fair face (1
Sam. 16:12; 17:42).
His early occupation was that of tending his father’s sheep on
the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history,
doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged,
with his shepherd’s flute, while he drank in the many lessons
taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first
recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of
the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a
lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock,
beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam.
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged
with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem,
having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam. 16:1-13).
There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel
and Jesse’s family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who
appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought.
David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him
as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now
departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He
accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing
oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but “the Spirit
of the Lord came upon David from that day forward,” and “the
Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul” (1 Sam. 16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp
the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange
melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully
that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great
affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to
Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of
the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley
of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was
sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who
were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in
the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was
made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the
Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David
took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone “out
of the brook,” which struck the giant’s forehead, so that he
fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and
cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam. 17). The result was
a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines
to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David’s popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened
Saul’s jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-16), which he showed in various
ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various
stratagems sought his death (1 Sam. 18-30). The deep-laid plots
of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David
“prospered exceedingly,” all proved futile, and only endeared
the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to
Jonathan, Saul’s son, between whom and David a life-long warm
friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled to
Ramah (1 Sam. 19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he
dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under
Samuel’s training. It is supposed by some that the sixth,
seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time.
This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon
discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried
ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless
effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward
David (1 Sam. 20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no
hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find
him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of
the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him
into his service, as he expected that he would, and David
accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam
(22:1-4; 1 Chr. 12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered
around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this
time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position,
cried, “Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well
of Bethlehem;” when three of his heroes broke through the lines
of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed
(2 Sam. 23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David,
Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family
at Nob, “persons who wore a linen ephod”, to the number of
eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite.
The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by
Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was
harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1
Sam. 23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the
strongholds in the “hill country” of Judah. Comp. Ps. 31. While
encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was
visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement
(23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul
continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at
this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the
western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 23:29). Here Saul, who
still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the
generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what
David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and
David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he
maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district.
Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife
Abigail (1 Sam. 25), whom David married after Nabal’s death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam. 26) in pursuit of David, who had
hid himself “in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon,” in
the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his
forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence
for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his
elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving
from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought
refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam. 27). He was welcomed by the
king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived
among his followers for some time as an independent chief
engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on
the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against
Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of
David’s loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which
he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during
his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the
Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag
tidings reached him of Saul’s death (2 Sam. 1). An Amalekite
brought Saul’s crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet.
David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who
had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a
beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a
“lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son” (2 Sam.
1:18-27). It bore the title of “The Bow,” and was to be taught
to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be
preserved among them. “Behold, it is written in the book of
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for Hebron
under divine direction (2 Sam. 2:1-4). There they were cordially
welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was now about
thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took
Ish-bosheth, Saul’s only remaining son, over the Jordan to
Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war
in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies,
led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took
place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner.
Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2
Sam. 3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For
the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron.
Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his
advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in
revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon
(3:22-39). This was greatly to David’s regret. He mourned for
the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also
treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and
there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all
David king over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chr. 11:1-3). The
elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance
to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest
enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and
sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron,
as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite
fortress, “the stronghold”, on the hill of Zion, called also
Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel’s
capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards
built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The
Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now
made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place
afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim.
Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by
him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his
new capital (2 Sam. 6). It was in the house of Abinadab at
Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been
for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it
home (1 Sam. 6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it
was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the
ark, Num. 4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when
the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the
roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed
the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath.
After three months David brought the ark from the house of
Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps. 24. Here it was placed in a
new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose.
About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the
tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at
which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr. 16) carefully set in
order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with
Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service
of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship.
Zion became henceforth “God’s holy hill.”
David’s wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which
greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam. 8). In a
few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of
Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was
under his sway (2 Sam. 8:3-13; 10).
David’s fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He
ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the
spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he
fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery
(2 Sam. 11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the
Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few
verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story
full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the
attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder.
Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim,
the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, “set in the front
of the hottest battle” at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he
might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:1-17;
12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the
conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He
bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and
fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and
his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah’s death. Her first-born
son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth
to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately
succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam. 12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David
formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he
was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a
man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious
message (2 Sam. 7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the
sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord,
and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving
(18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son
Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr. 22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David’s carrer had been one of great
prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His
eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was
guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam. 13). This was the
beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years
Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon
to death. This brought sore trouble to David’s heart. Absalom,
afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond
Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought
back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam. 14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three years’
famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14). This was soon after followed by a
pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David’s
sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24), in which no
fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly
lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular
sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of
the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of
jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the
tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this
state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length
openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne.
Ahithophel was Absalom’s chief counsellor. The revolt began in
Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king.
David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam.
15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous
day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness
of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament
history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east
of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks
the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in
hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:1-8). Absalom’s
army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab
(9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled
the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He “went up to
the chamber over the gate, and wept” (33), giving utterance to
the heart-broken cry, “Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom,
my son, my son!” Peace was now restored, and David returned to
Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy
dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel
(19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of
Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to
death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and
that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David’s life
passed away. During those years he seems to have been
principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for
the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his
successor to build (1 Chr. 22; 28; 29), a house which was to be
“exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all
countries” (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent,
and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left
him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that
his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy
broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured
Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the “Fuller’s spring,”
in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan
hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of
Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah’s party failed. Solomon was
brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his
father’s throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David’s last words are a
grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his
joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam.
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam. 5:5; 1 Chr.
3:4) David died (B.C. 1015) at the age of seventy years, “and
was buried in the city of David.” His tomb is still pointed out
on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a
type of the Messiah (1 Sam. 16:13). The book of Psalms commonly
bears the title of the “Psalms of David,” from the circumstance
that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the
collection. (See PSALMS.)
“The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had lived
in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a sure
sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly loyal
to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not been
oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment of its
ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had striven to
act justly to all (2 Sam. 8:15). His weak indulgence to his
sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly atoned,
and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of his
long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem
and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). Israel at his
accession had reached the lowest point of national depression;
its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory assailed by
the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial power, with
dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The sceptre of Solomon
was already, before his father’s death, owned from the
Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to the Red
Sea.”, Geikie’s Hours etc., iii.
David, City of
(1.) David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion.
He “dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David” (1 Chr.
11:7). This was the name afterwards given to the castle and
royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem
generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1), It was on the south-west side of
Jerusalem, opposite the temple mount, with which it was
connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley.
(2) Bethlehem is called the “city of David” (Luke 2:4, 11),
because it was David’s birth-place and early home (1 Sam.
The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32). It
was originally divided into three parts (Ps. 55:17). “The heat
of the day” (1 Sam. 11:11; Neh. 7:3) was at our nine o’clock,
and “the cool of the day” just before sunset (Gen. 3:8). Before
the Captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (1)
from sunset to midnight (Lam. 2:19); (2) from midnight till the
cock-crowing (Judg. 7:19); and (3) from the cock-crowing till
sunrise (Ex. 14:24). In the New Testament the division of the
Greeks and Romans into four watches was adopted (Mark 13:35).
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan. 3:6,
15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the
Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to
sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John
The word “day” sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen. 2:4;
Isa. 22:5; Heb. 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a birthday,
and in Isa. 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim. 1:18, the great day of
The usual length of a day’s journey in the East, on camel or
horseback, in six or eight hours, is about 25 or 30 miles. The
“three days’ journey” mentioned in Ex. 3:18 is simply a journey
which would occupy three days in going and returning.
An umpire or arbiter or judge (Job 9:33). This word is formed
from the Latin diem dicere, i.e., to fix a day for hearing a
cause. Such an one is empowered by mutual consent to decide the
cause, and to “lay his hand”, i.e., to impose his authority, on
both, and enforce his sentence.
(Job 38:12; Luke 1:78), the dawn of the morning; daybreak.
(Comp. Isa. 60:1, 2; Mal. 4:2; Rev. 22:16.)
Which precedes and accompanies the sun-rising. It is found only
in 2 Pet. 1:19, where it denotes the manifestation of Christ to
the soul, imparting spiritual light and comfort. He is the
“bright and morning star” of Rev. 2:28; 22:16. (Comp. Num.
Anglicized form of the Greek word diaconos, meaning a “runner,”
“messenger,” “servant.” For a long period a feeling of mutual
jealousy had existed between the “Hebrews,” or Jews proper, who
spoke the sacred language of palestine, and the “Hellenists,” or
Jews of the Grecian speech, who had adopted the Grecian
language, and read the Septuagint version of the Bible instead
of the Hebrew. This jealousy early appeared in the Christian
community. It was alleged by the Hellenists that their widows
were overlooked in the daily distribution of alms. This spirit
must be checked. The apostles accordingly advised the disciples
to look out for seven men of good report, full of the Holy
Ghost, and men of practical wisdom, who should take entire
charge of this distribution, leaving them free to devote
themselves entirely to the spiritual functions of their office
(Acts 6:1-6). This was accordingly done. Seven men were chosen,
who appear from their names to have been Hellenists. The name
“deacon” is nowhere applied to them in the New Testament; they
are simply called “the seven” (21:8). Their office was at first
secular, but it afterwards became also spiritual; for among
other qualifications they must also be “apt to teach” (1 Tim. 3:
8-12). Both Philip and Stephen, who were of “the seven,”
preached; they did “the work of evangelists.”
Rom. 16:1, 3, 12; Phil. 4:2, 3; 1 Tim. 3:11; 5:9, 10; Titus 2:3,
4). In these passages it is evident that females were then
engaged in various Christian ministrations. Pliny makes mention
of them also in his letter to Trajan (A.D. 110).
The name given by Greek writers of the second century to that
inland sea called in Scripture the “salt sea” (Gen. 14:3; Num.
34:12), the “sea of the plain” (Deut. 3:17), the “east sea”
(Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply “the sea” (Ezek. 47:8). The
Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16
miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface
is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It
covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from
1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been
observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about
53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no
outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid
evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers
that run into it (see JORDAN), is maintained with little
variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less than six
million tons of water every twenty-four hours.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral
salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus
they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most
abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But
terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan
show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of
Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters
were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead
Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that
time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. “The fish carried down by
the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live in
it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that
there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found
on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and
grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in
shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen
species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or
swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe
it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of
mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and
innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the
atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is
perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place
in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so
much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).”, Geikie’s
A scarcity of provisions (1 Kings 17). There were frequent
dearths in Palestine. In the days of Abram there was a “famine
in the land” (Gen. 12:10), so also in the days of Jacob (47:4,
13). We read also of dearths in the time of the judges (Ruth
1:1), and of the kings (2 Sam. 21:1; 1 Kings 18:2; 2 Kings 4:38;
In New Testament times there was an extensive famine in
Palestine (Acts 11:28) in the fourth year of the reign of the
emperor Claudius (A.D. 44 and 45).
May be simply defined as the termination of life. It is
represented under a variety of aspects in Scripture: (1.) “The
dust shall return to the earth as it was” (Eccl. 12:7).
(2.) “Thou takest away their breath, they die” (Ps. 104:29).
(3.) It is the dissolution of “our earthly house of this
tabernacle” (2 Cor. 5:1); the “putting off this tabernacle” (2
Pet. 1:13, 14).
(4.) Being “unclothed” (2 Cor. 5:3, 4).
(5.) “Falling on sleep” (Ps. 76:5; Jer. 51:39; Acts 13:36; 2
(6.) “I go whence I shall not return” (Job 10:21); “Make me to
know mine end” (Ps. 39:4); “to depart” (Phil. 1:23).
The grave is represented as “the gates of death” (Job 38:17; Ps.
9:13; 107:18). The gloomy silence of the grave is spoken of
under the figure of the “shadow of death” (Jer. 2:6).
Death is the effect of sin (Heb. 2:14), and not a “debt of
nature.” It is but once (9:27), universal (Gen. 3:19), necessary
(Luke 2:28-30). Jesus has by his own death taken away its sting
for all his followers (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
There is a spiritual death in trespasses and sins, i.e., the
death of the soul under the power of sin (Rom. 8:6; Eph. 2:1, 3;
The “second death” (Rev. 2:11) is the everlasting perdition of
the wicked (Rev. 21:8), and “second” in respect to natural or
THE DEATH OF CHRIST is the procuring cause incidentally of all
the blessings men enjoy on earth. But specially it is the
procuring cause of the actual salvation of all his people,
together with all the means that lead thereto. It does not make
their salvation merely possible, but certain (Matt. 18:11; Rom.
5:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4; 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 2:16; Rom.
Oracle town; sanctuary. (1.) One of the eleven cities to the
west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Josh. 15:49; Judg.
1:11-15). It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim
(Josh. 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher (q.v.) and
Kirjath-sannah (49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken
possession of the town and district of Hebron (Josh. 14:6-15),
offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would
successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger
brother (Judg. 1:13; 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained
Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her
father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home,
she “lighted from off her ass” and said to him, “Give me a
blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land”
(Josh. 15:19, A.V.); or, as in the Revised Version, “Thou hast
set me in the land of the south”, i.e., in the Negeb, outside
the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land. “Give me
also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and
the nether springs.”
Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e.,
“the well on the ridge”, to the south of Hebron.
(2.) A place near the “valley of Achor” (Josh. 15:7), on the
north boundary of Judah, between Jerusalem and Jericho.
(3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who
were hanged by Joshua (Josh. 10:3, 23) after the victory at
Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah.
Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the
pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be
brought forth, and “Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged
them on five trees” (26).
A bee. (1.) Rebekah’s nurse. She accompanied her mistress when
she left her father’s house in Padan-aram to become the wife of
Isaac (Gen. 24:59). Many years afterwards she died at Bethel,
and was buried under the “oak of weeping”, Allon-bachuth (35:8).
(2.) A prophetess, “wife” (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the king
of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading
subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the
nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their
lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a “mother in
Israel” (Judg. 4:6, 14; 5:7), and “the children of Israel came
up to her for judgment” as she sat in her tent under the palm
tree “between Ramah and Bethel.” Preparations were everywhere
made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke
of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command
of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount
Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its north-east end. With his
aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and
the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin,
which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive
victory. The Canaanitish army almost wholly perished. That was a
great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judg. 5 is given the
grand triumphal ode, the “song of Deborah,” which she wrote in
grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See
LAPIDOTH, JABIN .)
The Mosaic law encouraged the practice of lending (Deut. 15:7;
Ps. 37:26; Matt. 5:42); but it forbade the exaction of interest
except from foreigners. Usury was strongly condemned (Prov.
28:8; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; 22:12; Ps. 15:5). On the Sabbatical
year all pecuniary obligations were cancelled (Deut. 15:1-11).
These regulations prevented the accumulation of debt.
Various regulations as to the relation between debtor and
creditor are laid down in the Scriptures.
(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor
what he could most easily dispense with (Deut. 24:10, 11).
(2.) A mill, or millstone, or upper garment, when given as a
pledge, could not be kept over night (Ex. 22:26, 27).
(3.) A debt could not be exacted during the Sabbatic year (Deut.
For other laws bearing on this relation see Lev. 25:14, 32, 39;
Matt. 18:25, 34.
(4.) A surety was liable in the same way as the original debtor
(Prov. 11:15; 17:18).
The name given by the Greek fathers to the ten commandments;
“the ten words,” as the original is more literally rendered (Ex.
20:3-17). These commandments were at first written on two stone
slabs (31:18), which were broken by Moses throwing them down on
the ground (32:19). They were written by God a second time
(34:1). The decalogue is alluded to in the New Testament five
times (Matt. 5:17, 18, 19; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 7:7, 8;
13:9; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10).
These commandments have been divided since the days of Origen
the Greek father, as they stand in the Confession of all the
Reformed Churches except the Lutheran. The division adopted by
Luther, and which has ever since been received in the Lutheran
Church, makes the first two commandments one, and the third the
second, and so on to the last, which is divided into two. “Thou
shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house” being ranked as ninth,
and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife,” etc., the
tenth. (See COMMANDMENTS.)
Ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east
and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing “ten cities,”
which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of
Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New
Testament (Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were
Scythopolis, i.e., “city of the Scythians”, (ancient Bethshean,
the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos,
Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the
destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon),
Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans
conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain
privileges, these “ten cities,” and the province connected with
them they called “Decapolis.”
Decision, Valley of
A name given to the valley of Jehoshaphat (q.v.) as the vale of
the sentence. The scene of Jehovah’s signal inflictions on
Zion’s enemies (Joel 3:14; marg., “valley of concision or
Decrees of God
“The decrees of God are his eternal, unchangeable, holy, wise,
and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that
ever were or will be in their causes, conditions, successions,
and relations, and determining their certain futurition. The
several contents of this one eternal purpose are, because of the
limitation of our faculties, necessarily conceived of by us in
partial aspects, and in logical relations, and are therefore
styled Decrees.” The decree being the act of an infinite,
absolute, eternal, unchangeable, and sovereign Person,
comprehending a plan including all his works of all kinds, great
and small, from the beginning of creation to an unending
eternity; ends as well as means, causes as well as effects,
conditions and instrumentalities as well as the events which
depend upon them, must be incomprehensible by the finite
intellect of man. The decrees are eternal (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:4;
2 Thess. 2:13), unchangeable (Ps. 33:11; Isa. 46:9), and
comprehend all things that come to pass (Eph. 1:11; Matt. 10:29,
30; Eph. 2:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28; Ps. 17:13, 14).
The decrees of God are (1) efficacious, as they respect those
events he has determined to bring about by his own immediate
agency; or (2) permissive, as they respect those events he has
determined that free agents shall be permitted by him to effect.
This doctrine ought to produce in our minds “humility, in view
of the infinite greatness and sovereignty of God, and of the
dependence of man; confidence and implicit reliance upon wisdom,
rightenousness, goodness, and immutability of God’s purpose.”
Low ground. (1.) A son of Raamah (Gen. 10:7). His descendants
are mentioned in Isa. 21:13, and Ezek. 27:15. They probably
settled among the sons of Cush, on the north-west coast of the
(2.) A son of Jokshan, Abraham’s son by Keturah (1 Chr. 1:32).
His descendants settled on the Syrian borders about the
territory of Edom. They probably led a pastoral life.
The descendants of Dedan, the son of Raamah. They are mentioned
in Isa. 21:13 as sending out “travelling companies” which lodged
“in the forest of Arabia.” They are enumerated also by Ezekiel
(27:20) among the merchants who supplied Tyre with precious
Dedication, Feast of the
(John 10:22, 42), i.e., the feast of the renewing. It was
instituted B.C. 164 to commemorate the purging of the temple
after its pollution by Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 167), and the
rebuilding of the altar after the Syrian invaders had been
driven out by Judas Maccabaeus. It lasted for eight days,
beginning on the 25th of the month Chisleu (December), which was
often a period of heavy rains (Ezra 10:9, 13). It was an
occasion of much rejoicing and festivity.
But there were other dedications of the temple. (1) That of
Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chr. 5:3); (2) the dedication
in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29); and (3) the dedication of
the temple after the Captivity (Ezra 6:16).
Used to denote (1) the grave or the abyss (Rom. 10:7; Luke
8:31); (2) the deepest part of the sea (Ps. 69:15); (3) the
chaos mentioned in Gen. 1:2; (4) the bottomless pit, hell (Rev.
9:1, 2; 11:7; 20:13).
Degrees, Song of
Song of steps, a title given to each of these fifteen psalms,
120-134 inclusive. The probable origin of this name is the
circumstance that these psalms came to be sung by the people on
the ascents or goings up to Jerusalem to attend the three great
festivals (Deut. 16:16). They were well fitted for being sung by
the way from their peculiar form, and from the sentiments they
express. “They are characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by
epanaphora [i.e, repetition], and by their epigrammatic
style…More than half of them are cheerful, and all of them
hopeful.” They are sometimes called “Pilgrim Songs.” Four of
them were written by David, one (127) by Solomon, and the rest
Villagers, one of the Assyrian tribes which Asnapper sent to
repopulate Samaria (Ezra 4:9). They were probably a nomad
Persian tribe on the east of the Caspian Sea, and near the Sea
Freed by Jehovah. (1.) The head of the twenty-third division of
the priestly order (1 Chr. 24:18).
(2.) A son of Shemaiah, and one of the courtiers to whom
Jeremiah’s first roll of prophecy was read (Jer. 36:12).
(3.) The head of one of the bands of exiles that returned under
Zerubbabel to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:60; Neh. 7:62).
Languishing, a Philistine woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek
(Judg. 16:4-20). She was bribed by the “lords of the
Philistines” to obtain from Samson the secret of his strength
and the means of overcoming it (Judg. 16:4-18). She tried on
three occasions to obtain from him this secret in vain. On the
fourth occasion she wrung it from him. She made him sleep upon
her knees, and then called the man who was waiting to help her;
who “cut off the seven locks of his head,” and so his “strength
went from him.” (See SAMSON.)
The name given to Noah’s flood, the history of which is recorded
in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar
months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence that
filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in
righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the
ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one
household that continued faithful and true to God, the household
of Noah. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.”
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50
broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a
period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the
purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following
table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God
to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons
with their wives (Gen. 7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month (Gen.
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward (Gen.
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty
days after the Deluge began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth
month (Gen. 8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening
she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven
days, and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of
the new year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month (Gen. 8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is
established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.
24:37; comp. Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20;
2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood is referred to as “the
waters of Noah.” The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so
far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family,
who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race
is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great divisions
of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a whole,
wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree with it
in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the Biblical is
the authentic narrative, of which all these traditions are more
or less corrupted versions. The most remarkable of these
traditions is that recorded on tablets prepared by order of
Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These were, however, copies
of older records which belonged to somewhere about B.C. 2000,
and which formed part of the priestly library at Erech (q.v.),
“the ineradicable remembrance of a real and terrible event.”
(See NOAH; CHALDEA.)
A companion and fellow-labourer of Paul during his first
imprisonment at Rome (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14). It appears,
however, that the love of the world afterwards mastered him, and
he deserted the apostle (2 Tim. 4:10).
(1.) A silversmith at Ephesus, whose chief occupation was to
make “silver shrines for Diana” (q.v.), Acts 19:24, i.e., models
either of the temple of Diana or of the statue of the goddess.
This trade brought to him and his fellow-craftsmen “no small
gain,” for these shrines found a ready sale among the countless
thousands who came to this temple from all parts of Asia Minor.
This traffic was greatly endangered by the progress of the
gospel, and hence Demetrius excited the tradesmen employed in
the manufacture of these shrines, and caused so great a tumult
that “the whole city was filled with confusion.”
(2.) A Christian who is spoken of as having “a good report of
all men, and of the truth itself” (3 John 1:12).
A lair of wild beasts (Ps. 10:9; 104:22; Job 37:8); the hole of
a venomous reptile (Isa. 11:8); a recess for secrecy “in dens
and caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:38); a resort of thieves (Matt.
21:13; Mark 11:17). Daniel was cast into “the den of lions”
(Dan. 6:16, 17). Some recent discoveries among the ruins of
Babylon have brought to light the fact that the practice of
punishing offenders against the law by throwing them into a den
of lions was common.
In 1 Kings 22:47, means a prefect; one set over others. The same
Hebrew word is rendered “officer;” i.e., chief of the
commissariat appointed by Solomon (1 Kings 4:5, etc.).
In Esther 8:9; 9:3 (R.V., “governor”) it denotes a Persian
prefect “on this side” i.e., in the region west of the
Euphrates. It is the modern word pasha.
In Acts 13:7, 8, 12; 18:12, it denotes a proconsul; i.e., the
governor of a Roman province holding his appointment from the
senate. The Roman provinces were of two kinds, (1) senatorial
and (2) imperial. The appointment of a governor to the former
was in the hands of the senate, and he bore the title of
proconsul (Gr. anthupatos). The appointment of a governor to the
latter was in the hands of the emperor, and he bore the title of
propraetor (Gr. antistrategos).
A small town on the eastern part of the upland plain of
Lycaonia, about 20 miles from Lystra. Paul passed through Derbe
on his route from Cilicia to Iconium, on his second missionary
journey (Acts 16:1), and probably also on his third journey
(18:23; 19:1). On his first journey (14:20, 21) he came to Derbe
from the other side; i.e., from Iconium. It was the native place
of Gaius, one of Paul’s companions (20:4). He did not here
suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:11).
(1.) Heb. midbar, “pasture-ground;” an open tract for pasturage;
a common (Joel 2:22). The “backside of the desert” (Ex. 3:1) is
the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as the east is
the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered
“wildernes,” and is used of the country lying between Egypt and
Palestine (Gen. 21:14, 21; Ex. 4:27; 19:2; Josh. 1:4), the
wilderness of the wanderings. It was a grazing tract, where the
flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage during the
whole of their journey to the Promised Land.
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of
Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage
to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the
western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father’s
flocks (1 Sam. 17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the
word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without
streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a
country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a
settled people (Isa. 35:1; 50:2; Jer. 4:11). Such, also, is the
meaning of the word “wilderness” in Matt. 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew Aribah’, “an arid tract”
(Isa. 35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is
specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of
the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the
Elanitic gulf. While midbar denotes properly a pastoral region,
arabah denotes a wilderness. It is also translated “plains;” as
“the plains of Jericho” (Josh. 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5), “the plains
of Moab” (Num. 22:1; Deut. 34:1, 8), “the plains of the
wilderness” (2 Sam. 17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Num. 21:20 the Hebrew word
jeshimon is properly rendered “desert,” meaning the waste tracts
on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also rendered
“desert” in Ps. 78:40; 106:14; Isa. 43:19, 20. It denotes a
greater extent of uncultivated country than the other words so
rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the
peninsula of Arabia (Num. 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of
all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is
called “the desert” in Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:24. (See
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps. 9:6), desolate (Lev.
26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word horbah’. It is rendered
“desert” only in Ps. 102:6, Isa. 48:21, and Ezek. 13:4, where it
means the wilderness of Sinai.
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they had
forsaken God (Isa. 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge of
God are called a “wilderness” (32:15, midbar). It is a symbol of
temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isa. 27:10, midbar_;
Desire of all nations
(Hag. 2:7), usually interpreted as a title of the Messiah. The
Revised Version, however, more correctly renders “the desirable
things of all nations;” i.e., the choicest treasures of the
Gentiles shall be consecrated to the Lord.
Desolation, Abomination of
(Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14; comp. Luke 21:20), is interpreted of
the eagles, the standards of the Roman army, which were an
abomination to the Jews. These standards, rising over the site
of the temple, were a sign that the holy place had fallen under
the idolatrous Romans. The references are to Dan. 9:27. (See
(Ex. 12:23), the agent employed in the killing of the
first-born; the destroying angel or messenger of God. (Comp. 2
Kings 19:35; 2 Sam. 24:15, 16; Ps. 78:49; Acts 12:23.)
In Job 26:6, 28:22 (Heb. abaddon) is sheol, the realm of the
Destruction, City of
(Isa. 19:18; Heb. Ir-ha-Heres, “city of overthrow,” because of
the evidence it would present of the overthrow of heathenism),
the ideal title of On or Heliopolis (q.v.).
In all the Hebrew manuscripts the Pentateuch (q.v.) forms one
roll or volume divided into larger and smaller sections called
parshioth_ and _sedarim. It is not easy to say when it was
divided into five books. This was probably first done by the
Greek translators of the book, whom the Vulgate follows. The
fifth of these books was called by the Greeks Deuteronomion,
i.e., the second law, hence our name Deuteronomy, or a second
statement of the laws already promulgated. The Jews designated
the book by the two first Hebrew words that occur, _’Elle
haddabharim_, i.e., “These are the words.” They divided it into
eleven parshioth. In the English Bible it contains thirty-four
It consists chiefly of three discourses delivered by Moses a
short time before his death. They were spoken to all Israel in
the plains of Moab, in the eleventh month of the last year of
The first discourse (1-4:40) recapitulates the chief events of
the last forty years in the wilderness, with earnest
exhortations to obedience to the divine ordinances, and warnings
against the danger of forsaking the God of their fathers.
The seond discourse (5-26:19) is in effect the body of the whole
book. The first address is introductory to it. It contains
practically a recapitulation of the law already given by God at
Mount Sinai, together with many admonitions and injunctions as
to the course of conduct they were to follow when they were
settled in Canaan.
The concluding discourse (ch. 27-30) relates almost wholly to
the solemn sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient,
and the curse that would fall on the rebellious. He solemnly
adjures them to adhere faithfully to the covenant God had made
with them, and so secure for themselves and their posterity the
These addresses to the people are followed by what may be called
three appendices, namely (1), a song which God had commanded
Moses to write (32:1-47); (2) the blessings he pronounced on the
separate tribes (ch. 33); and (3) the story of his death
(32:48-52) and burial (ch. 34), written by some other hand,
probably that of Joshua.
These farewell addresses of Moses to the tribes of Israel he had
so long led in the wilderness “glow in each line with the
emotions of a great leader recounting to his contemporaries the
marvellous story of their common experience. The enthusiasm they
kindle, even to-day, though obscured by translation, reveals
their matchless adaptation to the circumstances under which they
were first spoken. Confidence for the future is evoked by
remembrance of the past. The same God who had done mighty works
for the tribes since the Exodus would cover their head in the
day of battle with the nations of Palestine, soon to be invaded.
Their great lawgiver stands before us, vigorous in his hoary
age, stern in his abhorrence of evil, earnest in his zeal for
God, but mellowed in all relations to earth by his nearness to
heaven. The commanding wisdom of his enactments, the dignity of
his position as the founder of the nation and the first of
prophets, enforce his utterances. But he touches our deepest
emotions by the human tenderness that breathes in all his words.
Standing on the verge of life, he speaks as a father giving his
parting counsels to those he loves; willing to depart and be
with God he has served so well, but fondly lengthening out his
last farewell to the dear ones of earth. No book can compare
with Deuteronomy in its mingled sublimity and tenderness.”
Geikie, Hours, etc.
The whole style and method of this book, its tone and its
peculiarities of conception and expression, show that it must
have come from one hand. That the author was none other than
Moses is established by the following considerations: (1.) The
uniform tradition both of the Jewish and the Christian Church
down to recent times. (2.) The book professes to have been
written by Moses (1:1; 29:1; 31:1, 9-11, etc.), and was
obviously intended to be accepted as his work. (3.) The
incontrovertible testimony of our Lord and his apostles (Matt.
19:7, 8; Mark 10:3, 4; John 5:46, 47; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Rom.
10:19) establishes the same conclusion. (4.) The frequent
references to it in the later books of the canon (Josh. 8:31; 1
Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2;
7:6; Neh. 8:1; Dan. 9:11, 13) prove its antiquity; and (5) the
archaisms found in it are in harmony with the age in which Moses
lived. (6.) Its style and allusions are also strikingly
consistent with the circumstances and position of Moses and of
the people at that time.
This body of positive evidence cannot be set aside by the
conjectures and reasonings of modern critics, who contended that
the book was somewhat like a forgery, introduced among the Jews
some seven or eight centuries after the Exodus.
(Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man’s spiritual
interest (Job 1:6; Rev. 2:10; Zech. 3:1). He is called also “the
accuser of the brethen” (Rev. 12:10).
In Lev. 17:7 the word “devil” is the translation of the Hebrew
sair, meaning a “goat” or “satyr” (Isa. 13:21; 34:14), alluding
to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the
In Deut. 32:17 and Ps. 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew
shed, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a “demon,”
as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.
In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the “casting out of
devils” a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of
our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession
(Matt. 12:25-30; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:35; 10:18, etc.).
“There is no dew properly so called in Palestine, for there is
no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops
by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is
unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after
day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation
would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night
from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to
radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold
as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which
poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this
coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all
plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed
of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it
into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on
every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests
like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills,
which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At
sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling
light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which
presently break into separate masses and rise up the
mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by
the increasing heat. These are the morning clouds and the early
dew that go away’ of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so
touchingly” (Geikie’s The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a
source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12),
and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21;
1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12;
Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of
brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual
blessings (Hos. 14:5).
The tiara of a king (Ezek. 21:26; Isa. 28:5; 62:3); the turban
(Job 29:14). In the New Testament a careful distinction is drawn
between the diadem as a badge of royalty (Rev. 12:3; 13:1;
19:12) and the crown as a mark of distinction in private life.
It is not known what the ancient Jewish “diadem” was. It was the
mark of Oriental sovereigns. (See CROWN.)
For the measurement of time, only once mentioned in the Bible,
erected by Ahaz (2 Kings 20:11; Isa. 38:8). The Hebrew word
(ma’aloth) is rendered “steps” in Ex. 20:26, 1 Kings 10:19, and
“degrees” in 2 Kings 20:9, 10, 11. The ma’aloth was probably
stairs on which the shadow of a column or obelisk placed on the
top fell. The shadow would cover a greater or smaller number of
steps, according as the sun was low or high.
Probably the sun-dial was a Babylonian invention. Daniel at
Babylon (Dan. 3:6) is the first to make mention of the “hour.”
(1.) A precious gem (Heb. yahalom’, in allusion to its
hardness), otherwise unknown, the sixth, i.e., the third in the
second row, in the breastplate of the high priest, with the name
of Naphtali engraven on it (Ex. 28:18; 39:11; R.V. marg.,
(2.) A precious stone (Heb. shamir’, a sharp point) mentioned in
Jer. 17:1. From its hardness it was used for cutting and
perforating other minerals. It is rendered “adamant” (q.v.) in
Ezek. 3:9, Zech. 7:12. It is the hardest and most valuable of
So called by the Romans; called Artemis by the Greeks, the
“great” goddess worshipped among heathen nations under various
modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus. It was
built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders
of the ancient world. “First and last it was the work of 220
years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad;
supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred
museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the centre,
hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very
ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have
fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as
in the safest bank in Asia,’ nations and kings stored their most
precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted till
A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths” (Acts 19:23-41).,
Moule on Ephesians: Introd.
Doubled cakes, the mother of Gomer, who was Hosea’s wife (Hos.
Two cakes, a city of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea (Num.
33:46; Jer. 48:22).
Pining; wasting. (1.) A city in Moab (Num. 21:30); called also
Dibon-gad (33:45), because it was built by Gad and Dimon (Isa.
15:9). It has been identified with the modern Diban, about 3
miles north of the Arnon and 12 miles east of the Dead Sea. (See
(2.) A city of the tribe of Judah, inhabited after the Captivity
(Neh. 11:25); called also Dimonah (Josh. 15:22). It is probably
the modern ed-Dheib.
(Gr. twin = Heb. Thomas, q.v.), John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2.
Dunghill, a city of Zebulun given to the Merarite Levites (Josh.
21:35). In 1 Chr. 6:77 the name “Rimmon” is substituted.
Judged; vindicated, daughter of Jacob by Leah, and sister of
Simeon and Levi (Gen. 30:21). She was seduced by Shechem, the
son of Hamor, the Hivite chief, when Jacob’s camp was in the
neighbourhood of Shechem. This led to the terrible revenge of
Simeon and Levi in putting the Shechemites to death (Gen. 34).
Jacob makes frequent reference to this deed of blood with
abhorrence and regret (Gen. 34:30; 49:5-7). She is mentioned
among the rest of Jacob’s family that went down into Egypt (Gen.
(Gen. 43:16). It was the custom in Egypt to dine at noon. But it
is probable that the Egyptians took their principal meal in the
evening, as was the general custom in the East (Luke 14:12).
Robbers’ den, an Edomitish city, the capital of king Bela (Gen.
36:32). It is probably the modern Dibdiba, a little north-east
The Areopagite, one of Paul’s converts at Athens (Acts 17:34).
Jove-nourished, rebuked by John for his pride (3 John 1:9). He
was a Judaizer, prating against John and his fellow-labourers
“with malicious words” (7).
A scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the
Baptist (Matt. 9:14), and of the Pharisees (22:16), but
principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is
one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice,
(3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Matt.
10:24; Luke 14:26, 27, 33; John 6:69).
For eating from (2 Kings 21:13). Judas dipped his hand with a
“sop” or piece of bread in the same dish with our Lord, thereby
indicating friendly intimacy (Matt. 26:23). The “lordly dish” in
Judg. 5:25 was probably the shallow drinking cup, usually of
brass. In Judg. 6:38 the same Hebrew word is rendered “bowl.”
The dishes of the tabernacle were made of pure gold (Ex. 25:29;
Antelope, the youngest son of Seir the Horite, head of one of
the tribes of Idumaea (Gen. 36:21, 28, 30).
(Gr. oikonomia, “management,” “economy”). (1.) The method or
scheme according to which God carries out his purposes towards
men is called a dispensation. There are usually reckoned three
dispensations, the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or Jewish, and the
Christian. (See COVENANT, Administration of.) These were so
many stages in God’s unfolding of his purpose of grace toward
men. The word is not found with this meaning in Scripture.
(2.) A commission to preach the gospel (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10;
3:2; Col. 1:25).
Dispensations of Providence are providential events which affect
men either in the way of mercy or of judgement.
(Gr. diaspora, “scattered,” James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews.
At various times, and from the operation of divers causes, the
Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries “to the
outmost parts of heaven” (Deut. 30:4).
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and
Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by
the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom
for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C.
721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never
returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many
individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt,
joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the
proclamation of Cyrus.
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode there.
This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings 18:21, 24;
Isa. 30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number of Jews in
Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on them equal
rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it is said,
caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into Greek (the
work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian Jews. The
Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a powerful
influence on the public interests of that country. From Egypt
they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts 2:10) and
to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the
captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated
into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the
Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor.
Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000
families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted
them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and Macedonia,
chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles’ time they
were found in considerable numbers in all the principal cities.
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews from
Palestine and Greece went to Rome, where they had a separate
quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the
overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great
degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by the
confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were scattered
abroad “every one after his tongue, after their families, in
their nations” (Gen. 10:5, 20, 31).
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the
principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the
plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the
Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of
Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the
central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The
following table shows how the different families were dispersed:
| – Japheth | – Gomer | Cimmerians, Armenians | – Magog |
Caucasians, Scythians | – Madal | Medes and Persian tribes | –
Javan | – Elishah | Greeks | – Tarshish | Etruscans, Romans | –
Chittim | Cyprians, Macedonians | – Dodanim | Rhodians | – Tubal
| Tibareni, Tartars | – Mechech | Moschi, Muscovites | – Tiras |
Thracians | | – Shem | – Elam | Persian tribes | – Asshur |
Assyrian | – Arphaxad | – Abraham | – Isaac | – Jacob | Hebrews
| – Esau | Edomites | – Ishmael | Mingled with Arab tribes | –
Lud | Lydians | – Aram | Syrians | | – Ham | – Cush | Ethiopans
| – Mizrain | Egyptians | – Phut | Lybians, Mauritanians | –
Canaan | Canaanites, Phoenicians
(Heb. pelek, a “circle”), the instrument used for twisting
threads by a whirl (Prov. 31:19).
Of false prophets (Deut. 18:10, 14; Micah 3:6, 7, 11), of
necromancers (1 Sam. 28:8), of the Philistine priests and
diviners (1 Sam. 6:2), of Balaam (Josh. 13:22). Three kinds of
divination are mentioned in Ezek. 21:21, by arrows, consulting
with images (the teraphim), and by examining the entrails of
animals sacrificed. The practice of this art seems to have been
encouraged in ancient Egypt. Diviners also abounded among the
aborigines of Canaan and the Philistines (Isa. 2:6; 1 Sam. 28).
At a later period multitudes of magicians poured from Chaldea
and Arabia into the land of Israel, and pursued their
occupations (Isa. 8:19; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6). This
superstition widely spread, and in the time of the apostles
there were “vagabond Jews, exorcists” (Acts 19:13), and men like
Simon Magus (Acts 8:9), Bar-jesus (13:6, 8), and other jugglers
and impostors (19:19; 2 Tim. 3:13). Every species and degree of
this superstition was strictly forbidden by the law of Moses
(Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:27; Deut. 18:10, 11).
But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are
instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God
was pleased to make known his will.
(1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in
matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will
(Josh. 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num. 26:55,
56); Achan’s guilt was detected (Josh. 7:16-19), Saul was
elected king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), and Matthias chosen to the
apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was thus also that
the scape-goat was determined (Lev. 16:8-10).
(2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3;
Judg. 7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is
illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of
Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim
and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod.
(4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal
communications to men (Deut. 34:10; Ex. 3:4; 4:3; Deut. 4:14,
15; 1 Kings 19:12). He also communed with men from above the
mercy-seat (Ex. 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Ex.
(5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave
intimations of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer. 51:63, 64).
The dissolution of the marriage tie was regulated by the Mosaic
law (Deut. 24:1-4). The Jews, after the Captivity, were reguired
to dismiss the foreign women they had married contrary to the
law (Ezra 10:11-19). Christ limited the permission of divorce to
the single case of adultery. It seems that it was not uncommon
for the Jews at that time to dissolve the union on very slight
pretences (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18).
These precepts given by Christ regulate the law of divorce in
the Christian Church.
Region of gold, a place in the desert of Sinai, on the western
shore of the Elanitic gulf (Deut. 1:1). It is now called Dehab.
(Luke 2:46; 5:17; Acts 5:34), a teacher. The Jewish doctors
taught and disputed in synagogues, or wherever they could find
an audience. Their disciples were allowed to propose to them
questions. They assumed the office without any appointment to
it. The doctors of the law were principally of the sect of the
Pharisees. Schools were established after the destruction of
Jerusalem at Babylon and Tiberias, in which academical degrees
were conferred on those who passed a certain examination. Those
of the school of Tiberias were called by the title “rabbi,” and
those of Babylon by that of “master.”
Loving, one of David’s captains (1 Chr. 27:4). (See DODO
Leaders, a race descended from Javan (Gen. 10:4). They are known
in profane history as the Dardani, originally inhabiting
Illyricum. They were a semi-Pelasgic race, and in the
ethnographical table (Gen. 10) they are grouped with the Chittim
(q.v.). In 1 Chr. 1:7, they are called Rodanim. The LXX. and the
Samaritan Version also read Rhodii, whence some have concluded
that the Rhodians, the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes, are
Amatory; loving. (1.) A descendant of Issachar (Judg. 10:1).
(2.) An Ahohite, father of Eleazar, who was one of David’s three
heroes (2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12). He was the same with Dodai
mentioned in 1 Chr. 27:4.
(3.) A Bethlehemite, and father of Elhanan, who was one of
David’s thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:24).
Fearful, an Edomite, the chief overseer of Saul’s flocks (1 Sam.
21:7). At the command of Saul he slew the high priest Ahimelech
(q.v.) at Nob, together with all the priests to the number of
eighty-five persons. (Comp. Ps. 52, title.)
Frequently mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments. Dogs
were used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses (Isa.
56:10), and for guarding their flocks (Job 30:1). There were
also then as now troops of semi-wild dogs that wandered about
devouring dead bodies and the offal of the streets (1 Kings
14:11; 16:4; 21:19, 23; 22:38; Ps. 59:6, 14).
As the dog was an unclean animal, the terms “dog,” “dog’s head,”
“dead dog,” were used as terms of reproach or of humiliation (1
Sam. 24:14; 2 Sam. 3:8; 9:8; 16:9). Paul calls false apostles
“dogs” (Phil. 3:2). Those who are shut out of the kingdom of
heaven are also so designated (Rev. 22:15). Persecutors are
called “dogs” (Ps. 22:16). Hazael’s words, “Thy servant which is
but a dog” (2 Kings 8:13), are spoken in mock
humility=impossible that one so contemptible as he should attain
to such power.
(occurring only Isa. 13:21. Heb. ochim, i.e., “shrieks;” hence
“howling animals”), a general name for screech owls (howlets),
which occupy the desolate palaces of Babylon. Some render the
This word is used in Ps. 84:10 (R.V. marg., “stand at the
threshold of,” etc.), but there it signifies properly “sitting
at the threshold in the house of God.” The psalmist means that
he would rather stand at the door of God’s house and merely look
in, than dwell in houses where iniquity prevailed.
Persons were appointed to keep the street door leading into the
interior of the house (John 18:16, 17; Acts 12:13). Sometimes
females held this post.
The Jews were commanded to write the divine name on the posts
(mezuzoth’) of their doors (Deut. 6:9). The Jews,
misunderstanding this injunction, adopted the custom of writing
on a slip of parchment these verses (Deut. 6:4-9, and 11:13-21),
which they enclosed in a reed or cylinder and fixed on the
right-hand door-post of every room in the house.
Moved on pivots of wood fastened in sockets above and below
(Prov. 26:14). They were fastened by a lock (Judg. 3:23, 25;
Cant. 5:5) or by a bar (Judg. 16:3; Job 38:10). In the interior
of Oriental houses, curtains were frequently used instead of
The entrances of the tabernacle had curtains (Ex. 26:31-33, 36).
The “valley of Achor” is called a “door of hope,” because
immediately after the execution of Achan the Lord said to
Joshua, “Fear not,” and from that time Joshua went forward in a
career of uninterrupted conquest. Paul speaks of a “door opened”
for the spread of the gospel (1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col.
4:3). Our Lord says of himself, “I am the door” (John 10:9).
John (Rev. 4:1) speaks of a “door opened in heaven.”
Knocking, an encampment of the Israelites in the wilderness
(Num. 33:12). It was in the desert of Sin, on the eastern shore
of the western arm of the Red Sea, somewhere in the Wady Feiran.
Dwelling, the Dora of the Romans, an ancient royal city of the
Canaanites (Josh. 11:1, 2; 12:23). It was the most southern
settlement of the Phoenicians on the coast of Syria. The
original inhabitants seem never to have been expelled, although
they were made tributary by David. It was one of Solomon’s
commissariat districts (Judg. 1:27; 1 Kings 4:11). It has been
identified with Tantura (so named from the supposed resemblance
of its tower to a tantur, i.e., “a horn”). This tower fell in
1895, and nothing remains but debris and foundation walls, the
remains of an old Crusading fortress. It is about 8 miles north
of Caesarea, “a sad and sickly hamlet of wretched huts on a
A female antelope, or gazelle, a pious Christian widow at Joppa
whom Peter restored to life (Acts 9:36-41). She was a
Hellenistic Jewess, called Tabitha by the Jews and Dorcas by the
Two wells, a famous pasture-ground where Joseph found his
brethren watching their flocks. Here, at the suggestion of
Judah, they sold him to the Ishmaelite merchants (Gen. 37:17).
It is mentioned on monuments in B.C. 1600.
It was the residence of Elisha (2 Kings 6:13), and the scene of
a remarkable vision of chariots and horses of fire surrounding
the mountain on which the city stood. It is identified with the
modern Tell-Dothan, on the south side of the plain of Jezreel,
about 12 miles north of Samaria, among the hills of Gilboa. The
“two wells” are still in existence, one of which bears the name
of the “pit of Joseph” (Jubb Yusuf).
(batsek, meaning “swelling,” i.e., in fermentation). The dough
the Israelites had prepared for baking was carried away by them
out of Egypt in their kneading-troughs (Ex. 12:34, 39). In the
process of baking, the dough had to be turned (Hos. 7:8).
In their wild state doves generally build their nests in the
clefts of rocks, but when domesticated “dove-cots” are prepared
for them (Cant. 2:14; Jer. 48:28; Isa. 60:8). The dove was
placed on the standards of the Assyrians and Babylonians in
honour, it is supposed, of Semiramis (Jer. 25:38; Vulg.,
“fierceness of the dove;” comp. Jer. 46:16; 50:16). Doves and
turtle-doves were the only birds that could be offered in
sacrifice, as they were clean according to the Mosaic law (Ge.
15:9; Lev. 5:7; 12:6; Luke 2:24). The dove was the harbinger of
peace to Noah (Gen. 8:8, 10). It is often mentioned as the
emblem of purity (Ps. 68:13). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit
(Gen. 1:2; Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32); also of
tender and devoted affection (Cant. 1:15; 2:14). David in his
distress wished that he had the wings of a dove, that he might
fly away and be at rest (Ps. 55:6-8). There is a species of dove
found at Damascus “whose feathers, all except the wings, are
literally as yellow as gold” (68:13).
(2 Kings 6:25) has been generally understood literally. There
are instances in history of the dung of pigeons being actually
used as food during a famine. Compare also the language of
Rabshakeh to the Jews (2 Kings 18:27; Isa. 36:12). This name,
however, is applied by the Arabs to different vegetable
substances, and there is room for the opinion of those who think
that some such substance is here referred to, as, e.g., the
seeds of a kind of millet, or a very inferior kind of pulse, or
the root of the ornithogalum, i.e., bird-milk, the
(mohar; i.e., price paid for a wife, Gen. 34:12; Ex. 22:17; 1
Sam. 18:25), a nuptial present; some gift, as a sum of money,
which the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride as a
satisfaction before he can receive her. Jacob had no dowry to
give for his wife, but he gave his services (Gen. 29:18; 30:20;
(1.) Heb. tannim, plural of tan. The name of some unknown
creature inhabiting desert places and ruins (Job 30:29; Ps.
44:19; Isa. 13:22; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 10:22; Micah 1:8; Mal.
1:3); probably, as translated in the Revised Version, the jackal
(2.) Heb. tannin. Some great sea monster (Jer. 51:34). In Isa.
51:9 it may denote the crocodile. In Gen. 1:21 (Heb. plural
tanninim) the Authorized Version renders “whales,” and the
Revised Version “sea monsters.” It is rendered “serpent” in Ex.
7:9. It is used figuratively in Ps. 74:13; Ezek. 29:3.
In the New Testament the word “dragon” is found only in Rev.
12:3, 4, 7, 9, 16, 17, etc., and is there used metaphorically of
“Satan.” (See WHALE.)
(Neh. 2:13), supposed by some to be identical with the Pool of
The Authorized Version understood the word adarkonim (1 Chr.
29:7; Ezra 8:27), and the similar word darkomnim (Ezra 2:69;
Neh. 7:70), as equivalent to the Greek silver coin the drachma.
But the Revised Version rightly regards it as the Greek
dareikos, a Persian gold coin (the daric) of the value of about
1 pound, 2s., which was first struck by Darius, the son of
Hystaspes, and was current in Western Asia long after the fall
of the Persian empire. (See DARIC.)
(2 Kings 10:27). Jehu ordered the temple of Baal to be
destroyed, and the place to be converted to the vile use of
receiving offal or ordure. (Comp. Matt. 15:17.)
Drawer of water
(Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21, 23), a servile employment to which the
Gibeonites were condemned.
God has frequently made use of dreams in communicating his will
to men. The most remarkable instances of this are recorded in
the history of Jacob (Gen. 28:12; 31:10), Laban (31:24), Joseph
(37:9-11), Gideon (Judg. 7), and Solomon (1 Kings 3:5). Other
significant dreams are also recorded, such as those of Abimelech
(Gen. 20:3-7), Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker (40:5), Pharaoh
(41:1-8), the Midianites (Judg. 7:13), Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1;
4:10, 18), the wise men from the east (Matt. 2:12), and Pilate’s
To Joseph “the Lord appeared in a dream,” and gave him
instructions regarding the infant Jesus (Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13,
19). In a vision of the night a “man of Macedonia” stood before
Paul and said, “Come over into Macedonia and help us” (Acts
16:9; see also 18:9; 27:23).
(Job 24:6). See CORN.
(Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17, 22), the lees of wine which settle at the
bottom of the vessel.
(1.) Materials used. The earliest and simplest an apron of
fig-leaves sewed together (Gen. 3:7); then skins of animals
(3:21). Elijah’s dress was probably the skin of a sheep (2 Kings
1:8). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving
hair into cloth (Ex. 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of
mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist’s robe
(Matt. 3:4). Wool was also woven into garments (Lev. 13:47;
Deut. 22:11; Ezek. 34:3; Job 31:20; Prov. 27:26). The Israelites
probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in
Egypt (1 Chr. 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the
high priest (Ex. 28:5), as well as by the rich (Gen. 41:42;
Prov. 31:22; Luke 16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and
flax, was forbidden (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11).
(2.) Colour. The prevailing colour was the natural white of the
material used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the
fuller’s art (Ps. 104:1, 2; Isa. 63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews
were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Gen. 37:3, 23). Various
modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving
(Ex. 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judg. 5:30; Ps.
45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries,
particularly from Phoenicia (Zeph. 1:8). Purple and scarlet
robes were the marks of the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Sam. 1:24).
(3.) Form. The robes of men and women were not very much
different in form from each other.
(a) The “coat” (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was worn
by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in
use and form our shirt (John 19:23). It was kept close to the
body by a girdle (John 21:7). A person wearing this “coat” alone
was described as naked (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 20:2; 2 Kings 6:30;
John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.
(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used
somewhat as a night-shirt (Mark 14:51). It is mentioned in Judg.
14:12, 13, and rendered there “sheets.”
(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the “coat” (1 Sam. 2:19;
24:4; 28:14). In 1 Sam. 28:14 it is the mantle in which Samuel
was enveloped; in 1 Sam. 24:4 it is the “robe” under which Saul
slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two “coats” (Matt.
10:10; Luke 9:3).
(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen
cloth like a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or
thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends hanging
down in front, or it might be thrown over the head so as to
conceal the face (2 Sam. 15:30; Esther 6:12). It was confined to
the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of
the robe served as a pocket (2 Kings 4:39; Ps. 79:12; Hag. 2:12;
Prov. 17:23; 21:14).
Female dress. The “coat” was common to both sexes (Cant. 5:3).
But peculiar to females were (1) the “veil” or “wimple,” a kind
of shawl (Ruth 3:15; rendered “mantle,” R.V., Isa. 3:22); (2)
the “mantle,” also a species of shawl (Isa. 3:22); (3) a “veil,”
probably a light summer dress (Gen. 24:65); (4) a “stomacher,” a
holiday dress (Isa. 3:24). The outer garment terminated in an
ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa. 47:2;
The dress of the Persians is described in Dan. 3:21.
The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the
garments generally came forth from the loom ready for being
worn, and all that was required in the making of clothes
devolved on the women of a family (Prov. 31:22; Acts 9:39).
Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 16:10;
Zeph. 1:8 (R.V., “foreign apparel”); 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3.
Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Gen. 37:29, 34), fear
(1 Kings 21:27), indignation (2 Kings 5:7), or despair (Judg.
11:35; Esther 4:1).
Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a
sign of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head,
of awe (1 Kings 19:13) or grief (2 Sam. 15:30; casting them off,
of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication
(1 Sam. 15:27). In the case of travelling, the outer garments
were girded up (1 Kings 18:46). They were thrown aside also when
they would impede action (Mark 10:50; John 13:4; Acts 7:58).
The drinks of the Hebrews were water, wine, “strong drink,” and
vinegar. Their drinking vessels were the cup, goblet or “basin,”
the “cruse” or pitcher, and the saucer.
To drink water by measure (Ezek. 4:11), and to buy water to
drink (Lam. 5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to
be satiated with slaughter.
The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve,
through fear of violating the law of Lev. 11:20, 23, 41, 42.
(See Matt. 23:24. “Strain at” should be “strain out.”)
Consisted of wine (Num. 15:5; Hos. 9:4) poured around the altar
(Ex. 30:9). Joined with meat-offerings (Num. 6:15, 17; 2 Kings
16:13; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14), presented daily (Ex. 29:40), on the
Sabbath (Num. 28:9), and on feast-days (28:14). One-fourth of an
hin of wine was required for one lamb, one-third for a ram, and
one-half for a bullock (Num. 15:5; 28:7, 14). “Drink offerings
of blood” (Ps. 16:4) is used in allusion to the heathen practice
of mingling the blood of animals sacrificed with wine or water,
and pouring out the mixture in the worship of the gods, and the
idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake of the
abominations of the heathen.
(Heb. shekar’), an intoxicating liquor (Judg. 13:4; Luke 1:15;
Isa. 5:11; Micah 2:11) distilled from corn, honey, or dates. The
effects of the use of strong drink are referred to in Ps.
107:27; Isa. 24:20; 49:26; 51:17-22. Its use prohibited, Prov.
20:1. (See WINE.)
(Isa. 60:6), an African or Arabian species of camel having only
one hump, while the Bactrian camel has two. It is distinguished
from the camel only as a trained saddle-horse is distinguished
from a cart-horse. It is remarkable for its speed (Jer. 2:23).
Camels are frequently spoken of in partriarchal times (Gen.
12:16; 24:10; 30:43; 31:17, etc.). They were used for carrying
burdens (Gen. 37:25; Judg. 6:5), and for riding (Gen. 24:64).
The hair of the camel falls off of itself in spring, and is
woven into coarse cloths and garments (Matt. 3:4). (See
Mentioned only in Luke 14:2. The man afflicted with it was cured
by Christ on the Sabbath.
The impurities of silver separated from the one in the process
of melting (Prov. 25:4; 26:23; Ps. 119:119). It is also used to
denote the base metal itself, probably before it is smelted, in
Isa. 1:22, 25.
From the middle of May to about the middle of August the land of
Palestine is dry. It is then the “drought of summer” (Gen.
31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut. 28:23: Ps. 102:4),
vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11). (See
(Ex. 15:4; Amos 8:8; Heb. 11:29). Drowning was a mode of capital
punishment in use among the Syrians, and was known to the Jews
in the time of our Lord. To this he alludes in Matt. 18:6.
The first case of intoxication on record is that of Noah (Gen.
9:21). The sin of drunkenness is frequently and strongly
condemned (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Eph. 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:7,
8). The sin of drinking to excess seems to have been not
uncommon among the Israelites.
The word is used figuratively, when men are spoken of as being
drunk with sorrow, and with the wine of God’s wrath (Isa. 63:6;
Jer. 51:57; Ezek. 23:33). To “add drunkenness to thirst” (Deut.
29:19, A.V.) is a proverbial expression, rendered in the Revised
Version “to destroy the moist with the dry”, i.e., the
well-watered equally with the dry land, meaning that the effect
of such walking in the imagination of their own hearts would be
to destroy one and all.
Third and youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1-4,
20-23). Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea, induced her to
leave her husband, Azizus, the king of Emesa, and become his
wife. She was present with Felix when Paul reasoned of
“righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come” (Acts 24:24).
She and her son perished in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A.D.
Derived from the Latin dux, meaning “a leader;” Arabic, “a
sheik.” This word is used to denote the phylarch or chief of a
tribe (Gen. 36:15-43; Ex. 15:15; 1 Chr. 1:51-54).
(Heb. sumphoniah), a musical instrument mentioned in Dan. 3:5,
15, along with other instruments there named, as sounded before
the golden image. It was not a Jewish instrument. In the margin
of the Revised Version it is styled the “bag-pipe.” Luther
translated it “lute,” and Grotius the “crooked trumpet.” It is
probable that it was introduced into Babylon by some Greek or
Western-Asiatic musician. Some Rabbinical commentators render it
by “organ,” the well-known instrument composed of a series of
pipes, others by “lyre.” The most probable interpretation is
that it was a bag-pipe similar to the zampagna of Southern
Silence, (comp. Ps. 94:17), the fourth son of Ishmael; also the
tribe descended from him; and hence also the region in Arabia
which they inhabited (Gen. 25:14; 1 Chr. 1:30).
There was also a town of this name in Judah (Josh. 15:52), which
has been identified with ed-Domeh, about 10 miles southwest of
Hebron. The place mentioned in the “burden” of the prophet
Isaiah (21:11) is Edom or Idumea.
From natural infirmity (Ex. 4:11); not knowing what to say
(Prov. 31:8); unwillingness to speak (Ps. 39:9; Lev. 10:3).
Christ repeatedly restored the dumb (Matt. 9:32, 33; Luke 11:14;
Matt. 12:22) to the use of speech.
(1.) Used as manure (Luke 13:8); collected outside the city
walls (Neh. 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside the camp (Ex.
29:14; Lev. 4:11; 8:17; Num. 19:5). To be “cast out as dung,” a
figurative expression (1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2;
Ps. 18:42), meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with
difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek. 4:12-15),
where cows’ and camels’ dung is used to the present day for this
Different from the ordinary prison in being more severe as a
place of punishment. Like the Roman inner prison (Acts 16:24),
it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6). To be shut
up in, a punishment common in Egypt (Gen. 39:20; 40:3; 41:10;
42:19). It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a
mode of punishment. Under the later kings imprisonment was
frequently used as a punishment (2 Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2;
32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after the Exile (Matt.
11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).
(Neh. 2:13), a gate of ancient Jerusalem, on the south-west
quarter. “The gate outside of which lay the piles of sweepings
and offscourings of the streets,” in the valley of Tophet.
To sit on a, was a sign of the deepest dejection (1 Sam. 2:8;
Ps. 113:7; Lam. 4:5).
The circle, the plain near Babylon in which Nebuchadnezzar set
up a golden image, mentioned in Dan. 3:1. The place still
retains its ancient name. On one of its many mounds the pedestal
of what must have been a colossal statue has been found. It has
been supposed to be that of the golden image.
Storms of sand and dust sometimes overtake Eastern travellers.
They are very dreadful, many perishing under them. Jehovah
threatens to bring on the land of Israel, as a punishment for
forsaking him, a rain of “powder and dust” (Deut. 28:24).
To cast dust on the head was a sign of mourning (Josh. 7:6); and
to sit in dust, of extreme affliction (Isa. 47:1). “Dust” is
used to denote the grave (Job 7:21). “To shake off the dust from
one’s feet” against another is to renounce all future
intercourse with him (Matt. 10:14; Acts 13:51). To “lick the
dust” is a sign of abject submission (Ps. 72:9); and to throw
dust at one is a sign of abhorrence (2 Sam. 16:13; comp. Acts
A lean or emaciated person (Lev. 21:20).
Tents were in primitive times the common dwellings of men.
Houses were afterwards built, the walls of which were frequently
of mud (Job 24:16; Matt. 6:19, 20) or of sun-dried bricks.
God “dwells in light” (1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 1:7), in heaven (Ps.
123:1), in his church (Ps. 9:11; 1 John 4:12). Christ dwelt on
earth in the days of his humiliation (John 1:14). He now dwells
in the hearts of his people (Eph. 3:17-19). The Holy Spirit
dwells in believers (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14). We are exhorted
to “let the word of God dwell in us richly” (Col. 3:16; Ps.
Dwell deep occurs only in Jer. 49:8, and refers to the custom of
seeking refuge from impending danger, in retiring to the
recesses of rocks and caverns, or to remote places in the
The materials used in buildings were commonly bricks, sometimes
also stones (Lev. 14:40, 42), which were held together by cement
(Jer. 43:9) or bitumen (Gen. 11:3). The exterior was usually
whitewashed (Lev. 14:41; Ezek. 13:10; Matt. 23:27). The beams
were of sycamore (Isa. 9:10), or olive-wood, or cedar (1 Kings
7:2; Isa. 9:10).
The form of Eastern dwellings differed in many respects from
that of dwellings in Western lands. The larger houses were built
in a quadrangle enclosing a court-yard (Luke 5:19; 2 Sam. 17:18;
Neh. 8:16) surrounded by galleries, which formed the
guest-chamber or reception-room for visitors. The flat roof,
surrounded by a low parapet, was used for many domestic and
social purposes. It was reached by steps from the court. In
connection with it (2 Kings 23:12) was an upper room, used as a
private chamber (2 Sam 18:33; Dan. 6:11), also as a bedroom (2
Kings 23:12), a sleeping apartment for guests (2 Kings 4:10),
and as a sick-chamber (1 Kings 17:19). The doors, sometimes of
stone, swung on morticed pivots, and were generally fastened by
wooden bolts. The houses of the more wealthy had a doorkeeper or
a female porter (John 18:16; Acts 12:13). The windows generally
opened into the courtyard, and were closed by a lattice (Judg.
5:28). The interior rooms were set apart for the female portion
of the household.
The furniture of the room (2 Kings 4:10) consisted of a couch
furnished with pillows (Amos 6:4; Ezek. 13:20); and besides
this, chairs, a table and lanterns or lamp-stands (2 Kings
The art of dyeing is one of great antiquity, although no special
mention is made of it in the Old Testament. The Hebrews probably
learned it from the Egyptians (see Ex. 26:1; 28:5-8), who
brought it to great perfection. In New Testament times Thyatira
was famed for its dyers (Acts 16:14). (See COLOUR.)