Easton's Bible Dictionary (M)
Oppression, a small Syrian kingdom near Geshur, east of the
Hauran, the district of Batanea (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 10:6, 8; 1
(2.) A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population of
Geshur. She became one of David’s wives, and was the mother of
Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3).
(3.) The father of Hanan, who was one of David’s body-guard (1
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr.
11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1
Kings 15:2). She is called “Michaiah the daughter of Uriel,” who
was the husband of Absalom’s daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her
son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
(5.) The father of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39),
called also Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2).
Ascent of the scorpions; i.e., “scorpion-hill”, a pass on the
south-eastern border of Palestine (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is
identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Palestine from the
great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See
Desolation, a place in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:59),
probably the modern village Beit Ummar, 6 miles north of Hebron.
The work of Jehovah. (1.) One of the Levites whom David
appointed as porter for the ark (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
(2.) One of the “captains of hundreds” associated with Jehoiada
in restoring king Jehoash to the throne (2 Chr. 23:1).
(3.) The “king’s son,” probably one of the sons of king Ahaz,
killed by Zichri in the invasion of Judah by Pekah, king of
Israel (2 Chr. 28:7).
(4.) One who was sent by king Josiah to repair the temple (2
Chr. 34:8). He was governor (Heb. sar, rendered elsewhere in the
Authorized Version “prince,” “chief captain,” chief ruler”) of
(5.) The father of the priest Zephaniah (Jer. 21:1; 37:3).
(6.) The father of the false prophet Zedekiah (Jer. 29:21).
Maase’iah, refuge is Jehovah, a priest, the father of Neriah
(Jer. 32:12; 51:59).
Work of Jehovah, one of the priests resident at Jerusalem at the
Captivity (1 Chr. 9:12).
Small, a person named in our Lord’s ancestry (Luke 3:26).
Strength or consolation of Jehovah. (1.) The head of the
twenty-fourth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:18) in David’s reign.
(2.) A priest (Neh. 10:8).
This word does not occur in Scripture. It was the name given to
the leaders of the national party among the Jews who suffered in
the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded to the
Syrian throne B.C. 175. It is supposed to have been derived from
the Hebrew word (makkabah) meaning “hammer,” as suggestive of
the heroism and power of this Jewish family, who are, however,
more properly called Asmoneans or Hasmonaeans, the origin of
which is much disputed.
After the expulsion of Antiochus Epiphanes from Egypt by the
Romans, he gave vent to his indignation on the Jews, great
numbers of whom he mercilessly put to death in Jerusalem. He
oppressed them in every way, and tried to abolish altogether the
Jewish worship. Mattathias, an aged priest, then residing at
Modin, a city to the west of Jerusalem, became now the
courageous leader of the national party; and having fled to the
mountains, rallied round him a large band of men prepared to
fight and die for their country and for their religion, which
was now violently suppressed. In 1 Macc. 2:60 is recorded his
dying counsels to his sons with reference to the war they were
now to carry on. His son Judas, “the Maccabee,” succeeded him
(B.C. 166) as the leader in directing the war of independence,
which was carried on with great heroism on the part of the Jews,
and was terminated in the defeat of the Syrians.
Maccabees, Books of the
There were originally five books of the Maccabees. The first
contains a history of the war of independence, commencing (B.C.
175) in a series of patriotic struggles against the tyranny of
Antiochus Epiphanes, and terminating B.C. 135. It became part of
the Vulgate Version of the Bible, and was thus retained among
The second gives a history of the Maccabees’ struggle from B.C.
176 to B.C. 161. Its object is to encourage and admonish the
Jews to be faithful to the religion of their fathers.
The third does not hold a place in the Apocrypha, but is read in
the Greek Church. Its design is to comfort the Alexandrian Jews
in their persecution. Its writer was evidently an Alexandrian
The fourth was found in the Library of Lyons, but was afterwards
burned. The fifth contains a history of the Jews from B.C. 184
to B.C. 86. It is a compilation made by a Jew after the
destruction of Jerusalem, from ancient memoirs, to which he had
access. It need scarcely be added that none of these books has
any divine authority.
In New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of
Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of
proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the “man of
Macedonia” to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). Frequent
allusion is made to this event (18:5; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor.
1:16; 11:9; Phil. 4:15). The history of Paul’s first journey
through Macedonia is given in detail in Acts 16:10-17:15. At the
close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He
again passed through this country (20:1-6), although the details
of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited
it for a third time (Phil. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:3). The first convert
made by Paul in Europe was (Acts 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a
“seller of purple,” residing in Philippi, the chief city of the
eastern division of Macedonia.
The Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of
Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a
frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was
probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by
Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage
with Herodias. Here Herod “made a supper” on his birthday. He
was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to
whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the
banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who
danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John,
and “brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel”
(Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood “starkly bold and clear” 3,860
feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its
ruins, now called M’khaur, are still visible on the northern end
of Jebel Attarus.
Clad with a mantle, or bond of the Lord, one of the Gadite
heroes who joined David in the wilderness (1 Chr. 12:13).
Sold. (1.) Manasseh’s oldest son (Josh. 17:1), or probably his
only son (see 1 Chr. 7:14, 15; comp. Num. 26:29-33; Josh.
13:31). His descendants are referred to under the name of
Machirites, being the offspring of Gilead (Num. 26:29). They
settled in land taken from the Amorites (Num. 32:39, 40; Deut.
3:15) by a special enactment (Num. 36:1-3; Josh. 17:3, 4). He is
once mentioned as the representative of the tribe of Manasseh
east of Jordan (Judg. 5:14).
(2.) A descendant of the preceding, residing at Lo-debar, where
he maintained Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth till he was taken
under the care of David (2 Sam. 9:4), and where he afterwards
gave shelter to David himself when he was a fugitive (17:27).
Portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together
with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a
family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible
localities about the identification of which there can be no
doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron,
“before Mamre.” Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Sarah,
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31;
50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected,
probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This
church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is
surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., “the sacred enclosure,” about
200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50.
This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and
the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by
some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon,
while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon
as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture.
On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as
monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath.
Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular
opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of
Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was
embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed
bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in
Egypt, see PHARAOH), though those of the others there
buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of
the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a
special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting
account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley’s Lectures on the
Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of
Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany,
then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the
two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson
and others. (See Palestine Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
Middle land, the third “son” of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the name by
which the Medes are known on the Assyrian monuments.
Dunghill, the modern el-Minyay, 15 miles south-south-west of
Gaza (Josh. 15:31; 1 Chr. 2:49), in the south of Judah. The Pal.
Mem., however, suggest Umm Deimneh, 12 miles north-east of
Beersheba, as the site.
Ibid., a Moabite town threatened with the sword of the
Babylonians (Jer. 48:2).
Ibid., a town in Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, towards the
north (Isa. 10:31). The same Hebrew word occurs in Isa. 25:10,
where it is rendered “dunghill.” This verse has, however, been
interpreted as meaning “that Moab will be trodden down by
Jehovah as teben [broken straw] is trodden to fragments on the
threshing-floors of Madmenah.”
This word is used in its proper sense in Deut. 28:34, John
10:20, 1 Cor. 14:23. It also denotes a reckless state of mind
arising from various causes, as over-study (Eccl. 1:17; 2:12),
blind rage (Luke 6:11), or a depraved temper (Eccl. 7:25; 9:3; 2
Pet. 2:16). David feigned madness (1 Sam. 21:13) at Gath because
he “was sore afraid of Achish.”
Strife, a Canaanitish city in the north of Palestine (Josh.
11:1; 12:19), whose king was slain by Joshua; perhaps the ruin
Madin, near Hattin, some 5 miles west of Tiberias.
A tower, a town in Galilee, mentioned only in Matt. 15:39. In
the parallel passage in Mark 8:10 this place is called
Dalmanutha. It was the birthplace of Mary called the Magdalen,
or Mary Magdalene. It was on the west shore of the Lake of
Tiberias, and is now probably the small obscure village called
el-Mejdel, about 3 miles north-west of Tiberias. In the Talmud
this city is called “the city of colour,” and a particular
district of it was called “the tower of dyers.” The indigo plant
was much cultivated here.
A surname derived from Magdala, the place of her nativity, given
to one of the Marys of the Gospels to distinguish her from the
other Marys (Matt. 27:56, 61; 28:1, etc.). A mistaken notion has
prevailed that this Mary was a woman of bad character, that she
was the woman who is emphatically called “a sinner” (Luke
7:36-50). (See MARY.)
The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim (q.v.) for
oracular answers (Judg. 18:5, 6; Zech. 10:2). There is a
remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek.
21:19-22. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen.
44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the
history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient
Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life.
All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of
death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn
the “abomination” of the people of the Promised Land (Lev.
19:31; Deut. 18:9-14). The history of Saul’s consulting the
witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:3-20) gives no warrant for attributing
supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is
here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the
people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned
It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi
mentioned in Matt. 2:1-12 were not magicians in the ordinary
sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the
followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a
magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9-24); and Paul
and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos
(13:6-12). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical
books (Acts 19:18, 19).
Heb. hartumim, (dan. 1:20) were sacred scribes who acted as
interpreters of omens, or “revealers of secret things.”
A public civil officer invested with authority. The Hebrew
shophetim, or judges, were magistrates having authority in the
land (Deut. 1:16, 17). In Judg. 18:7 the word “magistrate”
(A.V.) is rendered in the Revised Version “possessing
authority”, i.e., having power to do them harm by invasion. In
the time of Ezra (9:2) and Nehemiah (2:16; 4:14; 13:11) the
Jewish magistrates were called seganim, properly meaning
“nobles.” In the New Testament the Greek word archon, rendered
“magistrate” (Luke 12:58; Titus 3:1), means one first in power,
and hence a prince, as in Matt. 20:25, 1 Cor. 2:6, 8. This term
is used of the Messiah, “Prince of the kings of the earth” (Rev.
1:5). In Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38, the Greek term strategos,
rendered “magistrate,” properly signifies the leader of an army,
a general, one having military authority. The strategoi were the
duumviri, the two praetors appointed to preside over the
administration of justice in the colonies of the Romans. They
were attended by the sergeants (properly lictors or “rod
Region of Gog, the second of the “sons” of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1
Chr. 1:5). In Ezekiel (38:2; 39:6) it is the name of a nation,
probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth.
They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of
the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes
“Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the
Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and
spread out even onward to India.” Perhaps the name “represents
the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or country of Gugu,’ the Gyges of the
Greeks” (Sayce’s Races, etc.).
Fear on every side, (Jer. 20:3), a symbolical name given to the
priest Pashur, expressive of the fate announced by the prophet
as about to come upon him. Pashur was to be carried to Babylon,
and there die.
Praise of God. (1.) The son of Cainan, of the line of Seth (Gen.
5:12-17); called Maleleel (Luke 3:37).
(2.) Neh. 11:4, a descendant of Perez.
A lute; lyre. (1.) The daughter of Ishmael, and third wife of
Esau (Gen. 28:9); called also Bashemath (Gen. 36:3).
(2.) The daughter of Jerimoth, who was one of David’s sons. She
was one of Rehoboam’s wives (2 Chr. 11:18).
Mahalath Leannoth Maschil
This word leannoth seems to point to some kind of instrument
unknown (Ps. 88, title). The whole phrase has by others been
rendered, “On the sickness of affliction: a lesson;” or,
“Concerning afflictive sickness: a didactic psalm.”
In the title of Ps. 53, denoting that this was a didactic psalm,
to be sung to the accompaniment of the lute or guitar. Others
regard this word “mahalath” as the name simply of an old air to
which the psalm was to be sung. Others, again, take the word as
meaning “sickness,” and regard it as alluding to the contents of
Two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob
was met by the “angels of God,” and where he divided his retinue
into “two hosts” on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This
name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that
place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30),
and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul’s son
Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at
Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was
murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought
his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being
rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder.
Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the
rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where
Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he
mustered his forces which were led against the army that had
gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of
this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between
the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him,
when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27).
The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of
Solomon’s purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with
the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called
el-Bukie’a, “the little vale,” near Penuel, south of the Jabbok,
and north-east of es-Salt.
Judg. 18:12 = “camp of Dan” 13:25 (R.V., “Mahaneh-dan”), a place
behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred
Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture
the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called “Dan, after the
name of their father” (18:11-31). The Palestine Explorers point
to a ruin called Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great
corn valley on the east of Samson’s home.
Grasping. (1.) A Kohathite Levite, father of Elkanah (1 Chr.
(2.) Another Kohathite Levite, of the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr.
Visions, a Kohathite Levite, chief of the twenty-third course of
musicians (1 Chr. 25:4, 30).
Plunder speedeth; spoil hasteth, (Isa. 8:1-3; comp. Zeph. 1:14),
a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters
on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a
son that was to be born to him (Isa. 8:1, 3), as denoting the
sudden attack on Damascus and Syria by the Assyrian army.
Disease, one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1-11)
who had their father’s inheritance, the law of inheritance
having been altered in their favour.
Sickly, the elder of Elimelech the Bethlehemite’s two sons by
Naomi. He married Ruth and died childless (Ruth 1:2, 5; 4:9,
10), in the land of Moab.
Dance, the father of four sons (1 Kings 4:31) who were inferior
in wisdom only to Solomon.
Mail, Coat of
“a corselet of scales,” a cuirass formed of pieces of metal
overlapping each other, like fish-scales (1 Sam. 17:5); also
(38) a corselet or garment thus encased.
(Gr. artemon), answering to the modern “mizzen-sail,” as some
suppose. Others understand the “jib,” near the prow, or the
“fore-sail,” as likely to be most useful in bringing a ship’s
head to the wind in the circumstances described (Acts 27:40).
Assemblies, a station of the Israelites in the desert (Num.
Herdsman’s place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites
(Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who
had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They
were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their
bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern
village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to
the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are
ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration
surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or “the
caves,” 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron,
because, they say, “at this site only of all possible sites for
Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist.” (See
Mortar, a place in or near Jerusalem inhabited by silver
merchants (Zeph. 1:11). It has been conjectured that it was the
“Phoenician quarter” of the city, where the traders of that
nation resided, after the Oriental custom.
Messenger or angel, the last of the minor prophets, and the
writer of the last book of the Old Testament canon (Mal. 4:4, 5,
6). Nothing is known of him beyond what is contained in his book
of prophecies. Some have supposed that the name is simply a
title descriptive of his character as a messenger of Jehovah,
and not a proper name. There is reason, however, to conclude
that Malachi was the ordinary name of the prophet.
He was contemporary with Nehemiah (comp. Mal. 2:8 with Neh.
13:15; Mal. 2:10-16 with Neh. 13:23). No allusion is made to him
by Ezra, and he does not mention the restoration of the temple,
and hence it is inferred that he prophesied after Haggai and
Zechariah, and when the temple services were still in existence
(Mal. 1:10; 3:1, 10). It is probable that he delivered his
prophecies about B.C. 420, after the second return of Nehemiah
from Persia (Neh. 13:6), or possibly before his return.
Malachi, Prophecies of
The contents of the book are comprised in four chapters. In the
Hebrew text the third and fourth chapters (of the A.V.) form but
one. The whole consists of three sections, preceded by an
introduction (Mal. 1:1-5), in which the prophet reminds Israel
of Jehovah’s love to them. The first section (1:6-2:9) contains
a stern rebuke addressed to the priests who had despised the
name of Jehovah, and been leaders in a departure from his
worship and from the covenant, and for their partiality in
administering the law. In the second (2:9-16) the people are
rebuked for their intermarriages with idolatrous heathen. In the
third (2:17-4:6) he addresses the people as a whole, and warns
them of the coming of the God of judgment, preceded by the
advent of the Messiah.
This book is frequently referred to in the New Testament (Matt.
11:10; 17:12; Mark 1:2; 9:11, 12; Luke 1:17; Rom. 9:13).
(2 Sam. 12:30, Heb., R.V., “their king;” Jer. 49:1, 3, R.V.;
Zeph. 1:5), the national idol of the Ammonites. When Rabbah was
taken by David, the crown of this idol was among the spoils. The
weight is said to have been “a talent of gold” (above 100 lbs.).
The expression probably denotes its value rather than its
weight. It was adorned with precious stones.
Jehovah’s king. (1.) The head of the fifth division of the
priests in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A priest, the father of Pashur (1 Chr. 9:12; Jer. 38:1).
(3.) One of the priests appointed as musicians to celebrate the
completion of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:42).
(4.) A priest who stood by Ezra when he “read in the book of the
law of God” (Neh. 8:4).
(5.) Neh. 3:11.
(6.) Neh. 3:31.
(7.) Neh. 3:14.
King of help, one of the four sons of Saul (1 Chr. 8:33). He
perished along with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam.
Reigning, the personal servant or slave of the high priest
Caiaphas. He is mentioned only by John. Peter cut off his right
ear in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). But our Lord cured
it with a touch (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51). This was
the last miracle of bodily cure wrought by our Lord. It is not
mentioned by John.
My fulness, a Kohathite Levite, one of the sons of Heman the
Levite (1 Chr. 25:4), and chief of the nineteenth division of
the temple musicians (26).
Occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., “saltwort”). The word so rendered
(malluah, from melah, “salt”) most probably denotes the Atriplex
halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the
shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in
salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height
sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other
saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Palestine.
Reigned over, or reigning. (1.) A Levite of the family of Merari
(1 Chr. 6:44).
(2.) A priest who returned from Babylon (Neh. 12:2).
(3.) Ezra 10:29. (4.) Ezra 10:32
A Chaldee or Syriac word meaning “wealth” or “riches” (Luke
16:9-11); also, by personification, the god of riches (Matt.
6:24; Luke 16:9-11).
Manliness. (1.) An Amoritish chief in alliance with Abraham
(Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron (q.v.)
where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also in
Authorized Version (13:18) the “plain of Mamre,” but in Revised
Version more correctly “the oaks [marg., terebinths’] of Mamre.”
The name probably denotes the “oak grove” or the “wood of
Mamre,” thus designated after Abraham’s ally.
This “grove” must have been within sight of or “facing”
Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with
Ballatet Selta, i.e., “the oak of rest”, where there is a tree
called “Abraham’s oak,” about a mile and a half west of Hebron.
Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
(1.) Heb. Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The
name is derived from a word meaning “to be red,” and thus the
first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red
earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26,
27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo
and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in
opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10).
(2.) Heb. ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes
properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt.
14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to
excellent mental qualities.
(3.) Heb. enosh, man as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chr.
14:11; Isa. 8:1; Job 15:14; Ps. 8:4; 9:19, 20; 103:15). It is
applied to women (Josh. 8:25).
(4.) Heb. geber, man with reference to his strength, as
distinguished from women (Deut. 22:5) and from children (Ex.
12:37); a husband (Prov. 6:34).
(5.) Heb. methim, men as mortal (Isa. 41:14), and as opposed to
women and children (Deut. 3:6; Job 11:3; Isa. 3:25).
Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically
different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7). His
complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct
substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor.
The words translated “spirit” and “soul,” in 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb.
4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1
Pet. 1:22). The “spirit” (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational;
the “soul” (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating
and vital principle of the body.
Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of
his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and
holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the
inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state
God’s law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and
yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his
own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him
to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his
integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)
Consoler, a Christian teacher at Antioch. Nothing else is known
of him beyond what is stated in Acts 13:1, where he is spoken of
as having been brought up with (Gr. syntrophos; rendered in R.V.
“foster brother” of) Herod, i.e., Herod Antipas, the tetrach,
who, with his brother Archelaus, was educated at Rome.
Who makes to forget. “God hath made me forget” (Heb. nashshani),
Gen. 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his
brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons
(48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr.
7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that
his grandchildren were “brought up upon Joseph’s knees” (Gen.
50:23; R.V., “born upon Joseph’s knees”) i.e., were from their
birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.
The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and
Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped
on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census
taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35;
2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to
52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most
distinguished of all the tribes.
The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their
territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan
(Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits
of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more
valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the
nine and a half tribes in the land of Palestine. It is sometimes
called “the land of Gilead,” and is also spoken of as “on the
other side of Jordan.” The portion given to the half tribe of
Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the
whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and
extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty
cities, that “ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about
in the wildest confusion,” lay in the midst of this territory.
The whole “land of Gilead” having been conquered, the two and a
half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified
cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the
Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The
allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed
the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic
service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over
Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED.)
On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh
was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the
very centre of Palestine, an area of about 1,300 square miles,
the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in
springs of water. Manasseh’s portion was immediately to the
north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh
defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes
of the Hauran.
(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of
Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings
21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he
reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king.
His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion
and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the
heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad
relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the
reformation under his father had been to a large extent only
superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and
persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish
the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread
idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets
(Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in
warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a
period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old
religion began. “The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in
France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland,
were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red
with blood.” There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was
put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30),
having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73,
77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid
the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been
called the “Nero of Palestine.”
Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s successor on the Assyrian throne, who
had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only
Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh
prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually
treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the
conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their
jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This
is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version
reads that Esarhaddon “took Manasseh among the thorns;” while
the Revised Version renders the words, “took Manasseh in
chains;” or literally, as in the margin, “with hooks.” (Comp. 2
The severity of Manasseh’s imprisonment brought him to
repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his
kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and
enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no
thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through
fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died,
and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the “garden of his own
house” (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of
David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is “Moses,” and not
“Manasseh.” The name “Manasseh” is supposed to have been
introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming
the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an
Hebrew dudaim; i.e., “love-plants”, occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16
and Cant. 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this
word dudaim. It has been rendered “violets,” “Lilies,”
“jasmines,” “truffles or mushrooms,” “flowers,” the “citron,”
etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded
as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, “a near relative of
the night-shades, the apple of Sodom’ and the potato plant.” It
possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16).
The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and
is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the “love-apple.”
The Arabs call it “Satan’s apple.” It still grows near
Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.
Portion (Ezek. 45:12), rendered “pound” (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra
2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72), a weight variously estimated, probably
about 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. A maneh of gold consisted of a hundred
common shekels (q.v.). (Comp. 1 Kings 10:17, and 2 Chr. 9:16).
(Luke 2:7, 12, 16), the name (Gr. phatne, rendered “stall” in
Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was
laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle.
Stables and mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times
unknown in the East. The word here properly denotes “the ledge
or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which
the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed.”
Heb. man-hu, “What is that?” the name given by the Israelites to
the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings
in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as
derived from man, an expression of surprise, “What is it?” but
more probably it is derived from manan, meaning “to allot,” and
hence denoting an “allotment” or a “gift.” This “gift” from God
is described as “a small round thing,” like the “hoar-frost on
the ground,” and “like coriander seed,” “of the colour of
bdellium,” and in taste “like wafers made with honey.” It was
capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in
a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the
following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the
Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was
given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the
Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the
gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3,
16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in
the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the
Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped
at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased,
and where they “did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had
the children of Israel manna any more” (Josh. 5:12). They now no
longer needed the “bread of the wilderness.”
This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly
different from any natural product with which we are acquainted,
and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes
chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a
species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it
is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to
harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from
the “manna-tamarisk” tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of
the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain
well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with
which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in
many particulars from all these natural products.
Our Lord refers to the manna when he calls himself the “true
bread from heaven” (John 6:31-35; 48-51). He is also the “hidden
manna” (Rev. 2:17; comp. John 6:49, 51).
Rest, a Danite, the father of Samson (Judg. 13:1-22, and
Man of sin
A designation of Antichrist given in 2 Thess. 2:3-10, usually
regarded as descriptive of the Papal power; but “in whomsoever
these distinctive features are found, whoever wields temporal
and spiritual power in any degree similar to that in which the
man of sin is here described as wielding it, he, be he pope or
potentate, is beyond all doubt a distinct type of Antichrist.”
One who was guilty of accidental homicide, and was entitled to
flee to a city of refuge (Num. 35:6, 12, 22, 23), his compulsory
residence in which terminated with the death of the high priest.
(See CITY OF REFUGE.)
(1.) Heb. addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of
Elijah’s mantle (1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8, 13, etc.),
which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only
garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins.
‘Addereth twice occurs with the epithet “hairy” (Gen. 25:25;
Zech. 13:4, R.V.). It is the word denoting the “goodly
Babylonish garment” which Achan coveted (Josh. 7:21).
(2.) Heb. me’il, frequently applied to the “robe of the ephod”
(Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic
wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven
without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It
was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4),
prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the
“little coat” which Samuel’s mother brought to him from year to
year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official
(3.) Semikah, “a rug,” the garment which Jael threw as a
covering over Sisera (Judg. 4:18). The Hebrew word occurs
nowhere else in Scripture.
(4.) Maataphoth, plural, only in Isa. 3:22, denoting a large
exterior tunic worn by females. (See DRESS.)
Compressed, the father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Sam. 27:2).
Called also Maachah (1 Kings 2:39).
Habitation, a town in the tribe of Judah, about 7 miles south of
Hebron, which gave its name to the wilderness, the district
round the conical hill on which the town stood. Here David hid
from Saul, and here Nabal had his possessions and his home (1
Sam. 23:24, 25; 25:2). “Only some small foundations of hewn
stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns are now to be
seen at Maon. Are they the remains of Nabal’s great
establishment?” The hill is now called Tell M’ain.
Bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself
because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20).
Bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites
(Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they
could not drink them. On this account they murmured against
Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain “a
certain tree” which took away its bitterness, so that the people
drank of it. This was probably the Ain Hawarah, where there are
still several springs of water that are very “bitter,” distant
some 47 miles from Ayun Mousa.
Trembling, a place on the southern boundary of Zebulun (Josh.
19:11). It has been identified with the modern M’alul, about 4
miles south-west of Nazareth.
(1 Cor. 16:22) consists of two Aramean words, Maran’athah,
meaning, “our Lord comes,” or is “coming.” If the latter
interpretation is adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, “Our
Lord is coming, and he will judge those who have set him at
nought.” (Comp. Phil. 4:5; James 5:8, 9.)
As a mineral, consists of carbonate of lime, its texture varying
from the highly crystalline to the compact. In Esther 1:6 there
are four Hebrew words which are rendered marble:, (1.) Shesh,
“pillars of marble.” But this word probably designates dark-blue
limestone rather than marble. (2.) Dar, some regard as Parian
marble. It is here rendered “white marble.” But nothing is
certainly known of it. (3.) Bahat, “red marble,” probably the
verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt. (4.) Sohareth, “black
marble,” probably some spotted variety of marble. “The marble
pillars and tesserae of various colours of the palace at Susa
came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various
colours is found, especially in the province of Hamadan
Susiana.” The marble of Solomon’s architectural works may have
been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly
white marble from Arabia. Herod employed Parian marble in the
temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at
The post-biblical name of the month which was the eighth of the
sacred and the second of the civil year of the Jews. It began
with the new moon of our November. It is once called Bul (1
Kings 6:38). Assyrian, Arah Samna, “eighth month,”
Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 1 Pet. 5:13; R.V., “Mark” (q.v.).
Possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa
defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified
with the ruin el-Mer’ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
The evangelist; “John whose surname was Mark” (Acts 12:12, 25).
Mark (Marcus, Col. 4:10, etc.) was his Roman name, which
gradually came to supersede his Jewish name John. He is called
John in Acts 13:5, 13, and Mark in 15:39, 2 Tim. 4:11, etc.
He was the son of Mary, a woman apparently of some means and
influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother
resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing. He was
cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). It was in his mother’s house
that Peter found “many gathered together praying” when he was
released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that
he was converted by Peter, who calls him his “son” (1 Pet.
5:13). It is probable that the “young man” spoken of in Mark
14:51, 52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25.
He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about
A.D. 47) as their “minister,” but from some cause turned back
when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three
years afterwards a “sharp contention” arose between Paul and
Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him.
He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle,
for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col.
4:10; Philemon 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in
Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), then, and for some centuries afterwards,
one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with
Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second
imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He then disappears from view.
Any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad
street (Matt. 11:16; 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place
proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public
assemblies and trials were held (Acts 16:19; 17:17). This word
occurs in the Old Testament only in Ezek. 27:13.
In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where
commodities were exposed for sale (2 Kings 7:18). In large towns
the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to
certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as “the
bakers’ street” (Jer. 37:21), and from the circumstance that in
the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah
was called the Tyropoeon or the “valley of the cheesemakers.”
Mark, Gospel according to
It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that
Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of
Peter. In his mother’s house he would have abundant
opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles
and their coadjutors, yet he was “the disciple and interpreter
of Peter” specially.
As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us with
no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the
destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before
that event, and probably about A.D. 63.
The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have
supposed Antioch (comp. Mark 15:21 with Acts 11:20).
It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable when
it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish law,
and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a
Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, “Boanerges”
(3:17); “Talitha cumi” (5:41); “Corban” (7:11); “Bartimaeus”
(10:46); “Abba” (14:36); “Eloi,” etc. (15:34). Jewish usages are
also explained (7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42). Mark also uses certain
Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as
“speculator” (6:27, rendered, A.V., “executioner;” R.V.,
“soldier of his guard”), “xestes” (a corruption of sextarius,
rendered “pots,” 7:4, 8), “quadrans” (12:42, rendered “a
farthing”), “centurion” (15:39, 44, 45). He only twice quotes
from the Old Testament (1:2; 15:28).
The characteristics of this Gospel are, (1) the absence of the
genealogy of our Lord, (2) whom he represents as clothed with
power, the “lion of the tribe of Judah.” (3.) Mark also records
with wonderful minuteness the very words (3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34;
14:36) as well as the position (9:35) and gestures (3:5, 34;
5:32; 9:36; 10:16) of our Lord. (4.) He is also careful to
record particulars of person (1:29, 36; 3:6, 22, etc.), number
(5:13; 6:7, etc.), place (2:13; 4:1; 7:31, etc.), and time
(1:35; 2:1; 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit. (5.)
The phrase “and straightway” occurs nearly forty times in this
Gospel; while in Luke’s Gospel, which is much longer, it is used
only seven times, and in John only four times.
“The Gospel of Mark,” says Westcott, “is essentially a
transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged
in it with the clearest outline.” “In Mark we have no attempt to
draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession
of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt
to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural
sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially
characterizes this evangelist, so that if any one desires to
know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and
grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more
graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'” The
leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed
in the motto: “Jesus came…preaching the gospel of the kingdom”
“Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with
Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51
peculiar to itself.” (See MATTHEW.)
Bitterness; i.e., “perfect grief”, a place not far from
Jerusalem; mentioned in connection with the invasion of the
Assyrian army (Micah 1:12).
Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen.
2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed
by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be
framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the
original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was
violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be
introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of
polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4;
22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in
the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued
to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to
the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for
fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6).
Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the
maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also
sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was
not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the
father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23,
25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic
law made no change.
In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and
the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and
take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in
general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of
the bride’s parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22,
27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a
thick veil, was conducted to her future husband’s home.
Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the
subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine
institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly
and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph.
5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be
“honourable” (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as
one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God
and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the
New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the
love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the
redeemed is the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 19:7-9).
(John 2:1-11) “lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of
such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests
sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually
consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most
honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating
dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin
bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After
the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in
honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for
women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands
before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the
fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after
serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on
the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from
the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those
outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark
7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round
the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or
listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily
supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a
smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room,
perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the
smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of
it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins
hung up on pegs on the wall. (Comp. Ps. 119:83.) To some such
marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana
of Galilee.” Geikie’s Life of Christ. (See CANA.)
The Areopagus or rocky hill in Athens, north-west of the
Acropolis, where the Athenian supreme tribunal and court of
morals was held. From some part of this hill Paul delivered the
address recorded in Acts 17:22-31. (See AREOPAGUS.)
Bitterness, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and probably the
eldest of the family, who all resided at Bethany (Luke 10:38,
40, 41; John 11:1-39). From the residence being called “her
house,” some have supposed that she was a widow, and that her
brother and sister lodged with her. She seems to have been of an
anxious, bustling spirit, anxious to be helpful in providing the
best things for the Master’s use, in contrast to the quiet
earnestness of Mary, who was more concerned to avail herself of
the opportunity of sitting at his feet and learning of him.
Afterwards at a supper given to Christ and his disciples in her
house “Martha served.” Nothing further is known of her.
“Mary and Martha are representatives of two orders of human
character. One was absorbed, preoccupied, abstracted; the other
was concentrated and single-hearted. Her own world was the all
of Martha; Christ was the first thought with Mary. To Martha
life was a succession of particular businesses;’ to Mary life
‘was rather the flow of one spirit.’ Martha was Petrine, Mary
was Johannine. The one was a well-meaning, bustling busybody;
the other was a reverent disciple, a wistful listener.” Paul had
such a picture as that of Martha in his mind when he spoke of
serving the Lord “without distraction” (1 Cor. 7:35).
One who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the
cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this sense
Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all
other cases is translated “witness.” (1.) In a court of justice
(Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19).
(2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has
seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5,
10; 1 John 1:2).
Hebrew Miriam. (1.) The wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus,
called the “Virgin Mary,” though never so designated in
Scripture (Matt. 2:11; Acts 1:14). Little is known of her
personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3. She was of
the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Ps. 132:11; Luke
1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of
the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36).
While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she
became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her
that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke
1:35). After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who
was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, Josh.
15:55; 21:16, in the neighbourhood of Maon), at a considerable
distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on
entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of
her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of
thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; comp. 1 Sam. 2:1-10). After three
months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was
supernaturally made aware (Matt. 1:18-25) of her condition, and
took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus
(Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Micah
5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were
there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for
strangers (Luke 2:6, 7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to
retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth
her son, who was called Jesus (Matt. 1:21), because he was to
save his people from their sins. This was followed by the
presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their
return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt.
2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the
carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering
over the strange things that had happened to her. During these
years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz.,
his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his
being found among the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:41-52).
Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not
After the commencement of our Lord’s public ministry little
notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in
Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum
(Matt. 12:46, 48, 49), where Christ uttered the memorable words,
“Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched
forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother
and my brethren!” The next time we find her is at the cross
along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and
other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his
own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room
after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly
disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death
(2.) Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the
western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time
noticed in Luke 8:3 as one of the women who “ministered to
Christ of their substance.” Their motive was that of gratitude
for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast
seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to
become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his
last journey to Jerusalem (Matt. 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55).
They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was
over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph’s tomb.
Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she,
with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Matt. 28:1; Mark
16:2), came to the sepulchre, bringing with them sweet spices,
that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the
sepulchre empty, but saw the “vision of angels” (Matt. 28:5).
She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living
together at this time (John 20:1, 2), and again immediately
returns to the sepulchre. There she lingers thoughtfully,
weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her,
but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name “Mary”
recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful,
reverent cry, “Rabboni.” She would fain cling to him, but he
forbids her, saying, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to
my Father.” This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala,
who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was “the
woman who was a sinner,” or that she was unchaste, is altogether
(3.) Mary the sister of Lazarus is brought to our notice in
connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is
contrasted with her sister Martha, who was “cumbered about many
things” while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen “the
good part.” Her character also appears in connection with the
death of her brother (John 11:20, 31, 33). On the occasion of
our Lord’s last visit to Bethany, Mary brought “a pound of
ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of
Jesus” as he reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who
had been a leper (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; John 12:2, 3). This was
an evidence of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is
known of her subsequent history. It would appear from this act
of Mary’s, and from the circumstance that they possessed a
family vault (11:38), and that a large number of Jews from
Jerusalem came to condole with them on the death of Lazarus
(11:19), that this family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier
class of the people. (See MARTHA.)
(4.) Mary the wife of Cleopas is mentioned (John 19:25) as
standing at the cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary
the mother of Jesus. By comparing Matt. 27:56 and Mark 15:40, we
find that this Mary and “Mary the mother of James the little”
are on and the same person, and that she was the sister of our
Lord’s mother. She was that “other Mary” who was present with
Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Matt. 27:61; Mark
15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning
of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became
one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1; Mark
16:1; Luke 24:1).
(5.) Mary the mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of our
Lord’s disciples. She was the sister of Barnabas (Col. 4:10),
and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving the
proceeds of the sale into the treasury of the Church (Acts 4:37;
12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common meeting-place for
the disciples there.
(6.) A Christian at Rome who treated Paul with special kindness
Instructing, occurs in the title of thirteen Psalms (32, 42, 44,
etc.). It denotes a song enforcing some lesson of wisdom or
piety, a didactic song. In Ps. 47:7 it is rendered, Authorized
Version, “with understanding;” Revised Version, marg., “in a
(= Meshech 1 Chr. 1:17), one of the four sons of Aram, and the
name of a tribe descended from him (Gen. 10:23) inhabiting some
part probably of Mesopotamia. Some have supposed that they were
the inhabitants of Mount Masius, the present Karja Baghlar,
which forms part of the chain of Taurus.
Entreaty, a levitical town in the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 6:74);
called Mishal (Josh. 21:30).
An artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially
skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This
art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where
ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at
the present day.
Vineyard of noble vines, a place in Idumea, the native place of
Samlah, one of the Edomitish kings (Gen. 36:36; 1 Chr. 1:47).
A lifting up, gift, one of the sons of Ishmael, the founder of
an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:14); a nomad tribe inhabiting the
Arabian desert toward Babylonia.
Trial, temptation, a name given to the place where the
Israelites, by their murmuring for want of water, provoked
Jehovah to anger against them. It is also called Meribah (Ex.
17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 95:8, 9; Heb. 3:8).
Gift. (1.) A priest of Baal, slain before his altar during the
reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18).
(2.) The son of Eleazar, and father of Jacob, who was the father
of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:15).
(3.) The father of Shephatiah (Jer. 38:1).
A gift, a station of the Israelites (Num. 21:18, 19) between the
desert and the borders of Moab, in the Wady Waleh.
Gift of Jehovah. (1.) A Levite, son of Heman, the chief of the
ninth class of temple singers (1 Chr. 25:4, 16).
(2.) A Levite who assisted in purifying the temple at the
reformation under Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:13).
(3.) The original name of Zedekiah (q.v.), the last of the kings
of Judah (2 Kings 24:17). He was the third son of Josiah, who
fell at Megiddo. He succeeded his nephew Jehoiakin.
Ibid. (1.) The son of Amos, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke
(2.) The son of Semei, in the same genealogy (Luke 3:26).
Gift, one of our Lord’s ancestry (Matt. 1:15).
Gift of God. (1.) The son of Levi, and father of Heli (Luke
(2.) Son of another Levi (Luke 3:29).
Gift of God, a common Jewish name after the Exile. He was the
son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at
Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the
lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew was seated, and said
to him, “Follow me.” Matthew arose and followed him, and became
his disciple (Matt. 9:9). Formerly the name by which he was
known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it,
possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same
day on which Jesus called him he made a “great feast” (Luke
5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his
disciples, and probably also many of old associates. He was
afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15). His name does
not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the
apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13. The time and
manner of his death are unknown.
Matthew, Gospel according to
The author of this book was beyond a doubt the Matthew, an
apostle of our Lord, whose name it bears. He wrote the Gospel of
Christ according to his own plans and aims, and from his own
point of view, as did also the other “evangelists.”
As to the time of its composition, there is little in the Gospel
itself to indicate. It was evidently written before the
destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24), and some time after the
events it records. The probability is that it was written
between the years A.D. 60 and 65.
The cast of thought and the forms of expression employed by the
writer show that this Gospel was written for Jewish Christians
of Palestine. His great object is to prove that Jesus of
Nazareth was the promised Messiah, and that in him the ancient
prophecies had their fulfilment. The Gospel is full of allusions
to those passages of the Old Testament in which Christ is
predicted and foreshadowed. The one aim prevading the whole book
is to show that Jesus is he “of whom Moses in the law and the
prophets did write.” This Gospel contains no fewer than
sixty-five references to the Old Testament, forty-three of these
being direct verbal citations, thus greatly outnumbering those
found in the other Gospels. The main feature of this Gospel may
be expressed in the motto, “I am not come to destroy, but to
As to the language in which this Gospel was written there is
much controversy. Many hold, in accordance with old tradition,
that it was originally written in Hebrew (i.e., the Aramaic or
Syro-Chaldee dialect, then the vernacular of the inhabitants of
Palestine), and afterwards translated into Greek, either by
Matthew himself or by some person unknown. This theory, though
earnestly maintained by able critics, we cannot see any ground
for adopting. From the first this Gospel in Greek was received
as of authority in the Church. There is nothing in it to show
that it is a translation. Though Matthew wrote mainly for the
Jews, yet they were everywhere familiar with the Greek language.
The same reasons which would have suggested the necessity of a
translation into Greek would have led the evangelist to write in
Greek at first. It is confessed that this Gospel has never been
found in any other form than that in which we now possess it.
The leading characteristic of this Gospel is that it sets forth
the kingly glory of Christ, and shows him to be the true heir to
David’s throne. It is the Gospel of the kingdom. Matthew uses
the expression “kingdom of heaven” (thirty-two times), while
Luke uses the expression “kingdom of God” (thirty-three times).
Some Latinized forms occur in this Gospel, as kodrantes (Matt.
5:26), for the Latin quadrans, and phragello (27:26), for the
Latin flagello. It must be remembered that Matthew was a
tax-gatherer for the Roman government, and hence in contact with
those using the Latin language.
As to the relation of the Gospels to each other, we must
maintain that each writer of the synoptics (the first three)
wrote independently of the other two, Matthew being probably
first in point of time.
“Out of a total of 1071 verses, Matthew has 387 in common with
Mark and Luke, 130 with Mark, 184 with Luke; only 387 being
peculiar to itself.” (See MARK; LUKE; GOSPELS.)
The book is fitly divided into these four parts: (1.) Containing
the genealogy, the birth, and the infancy of Jesus (1; 2).
(2.) The discourses and actions of John the Baptist preparatory
to Christ’s public ministry (3; 4:11).
(3.) The discourses and actions of Christ in Galilee
(4.) The sufferings, death and resurrection of our Lord
Gift of God. Acts 1:23.
Gift of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of Jeduthun (1 Chr. 25:3,
(2.) The eldest son of Shallum, of the family of Korah (1 Chr.
(3.) One who stood by Ezra while reading the law (Neh. 8:4).
(4.) The son of Amos, and father of Joseph, in the genealogy of
our Lord (Luke 3:25).
(1.) Heb. ma’eder, an instrument for dressing or pruning a
vineyard (Isa. 7:25); a weeding-hoe.
(2.) Heb. mahareshah (1 Sam. 13:1), perhaps the ploughshare or
(3.) Heb. herebh, marg. of text (2 Chr. 34:6). Authorized
Version, “with their mattocks,” marg. “mauls.” The Revised
Version renders “in their ruins,” marg. “with their axes.” The
Hebrew text is probably corrupt.
An old name for a mallet, the rendering of the Hebrew mephits
(Prov. 25:18), properly a war-club.
Prognostications, found only Job 38:32, probably meaning “the
twelve signs” (of the zodiac), as in the margin (comp. 2 Kings
(1.) Heb. ha’ahu (Gen. 41:2, 18), probably an Egyptain word
transferred to the Hebrew; some kind of reed or water-plant. In
the Revised Version it is rendered “reed-grass”, i.e., the sedge
or rank grass by the river side.
(2.) Heb. ma’areh (Judg. 20:33), pl., “meadows of Gibeah” (R.V.,
after the LXX., “Maareh-geba”). Some have adopted the rendering
“after Gibeah had been left open.” The Vulgate translates the
word “from the west.”
An hundred, a tower in Jersalem on the east wall (Neh. 3:1) in
the time of Nehemiah.
Are at the present day “eaten from a round table little higher
than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small
carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large
dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and
meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the
days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely
introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a
small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows
during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down
which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence
of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set
between the couches.” Geikie’s Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke
7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM’S BOSOM; BANQUET; FEAST.)
A cave, a place in the northern boundary of Palestine (Josh.
13:4). This may be the cave of Jezzin in Lebanon, 10 miles east
of Sidon, on the Damascus road; or probably, as others think,
Mogheirizeh, north-east of Sidon.
Several words are so rendered in the Authorized Version. (1.)
Those which are indefinite. (a) Hok, Isa. 5:14, elsewhere
“statute.” (b) Mad, Job 11:9; Jer. 13:25, elsewhere “garment.”
(c) Middah, the word most frequently thus translated, Ex. 26:2,
8, etc. (d) Mesurah, Lev. 19:35; 1 Chr. 23:29. (e) Mishpat, Jer.
30:11, elsewhere “judgment.” (f) Mithkoneth and token, Ezek.
45:11. (g) In New Testament metron, the usual Greek word thus
rendered (Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24).
(2.) Those which are definite. (a) Eyphah, Deut. 25:14, 15,
usually “ephah.” (b) Ammah, Jer. 51:13, usually “cubit.” (c)
Kor, 1 Kings 4:22, elsewhere “cor;” Greek koros, Luke 16:7. (d)
Seah, Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 25:18, a seah; Greek saton, Matt. 13:33;
Luke 13:21. (e) Shalish, “a great measure,” Isa. 40:12;
literally a third, i.e., of an ephah. (f) In New Testament
batos, Luke 16:6, the Hebrew “bath;” and choinix, Rev. 6:6, the
choenix, equal in dry commodities to one-eighth of a modius.
(Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word
came latterly to denote an “unbloody” sacrifice, as opposed to a
“bloody” sacrifice. A “drink-offering” generally accompanied it.
The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a
recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in
giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11).
It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the
offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was
presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and
consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with
oil and frankincense.
Construction, building of Jehovah, one of David’s bodyguard (2
Sam. 23:27; comp. 21:18); called Sibbechai and Sibbecai (1 Chr.
Love, one of the elders nominated to assist Moses in the
government of the people. He and Eldad “prophesied in the camp”
Contention, the third son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:2).
(Heb. Madai), a Median or inhabitant of Media (Dan. 11:1). In
Gen. 10:2 the Hebrew word occurs in the list of the sons of
Japheth. But probably this is an ethnic and not a personal name,
and denotes simply the Medes as descended from Japheth.
Waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was
assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought
the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their
allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; comp. 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of
Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the
Ammonites. (See HANUN.)
The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are
seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the
Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a
large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent,
which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name
Medeba, “waters of quiet.” (See OMRI.)
Heb. Madai, which is rendered in the Authorized Version (1)
“Madai,” Gen. 10:2; (2) “Medes,” 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; (3)
“Media,” Esther 1:3; 10:2; Isa. 21:2; Dan. 8:20; (4) “Mede,”
only in Dan. 11:1.
We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform records,
under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to have
been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of the
Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in the
Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four centuries
of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief, who at
length were brought under the Assyrian yoke (2 Kings 17:6). From
this subjection they achieved deliverance, and formed themselves
into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This monarch entered
into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and invaded Assyria,
capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh (B.C. 625), thus
putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy (Nah. 1:8; 2:5, 6; 3:13,
Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its
boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom.
It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with
him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the
Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two
nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C.
The “cities of the Medes” are first mentioned in connection with
the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of Samaria
(2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Soon afterwards Isaiah (13:17; 21:2)
speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction of
Babylon (comp. Jer. 51:11, 28). Daniel gives an account of the
reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus (Dan.
6:1-28). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was found
in “the palace that is in the province of the Medes,” Achmetha
or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median city
mentioned in Scripture.
One who intervenes between two persons who are at variance, with
a view to reconcile them. This word is not found in the Old
Testament; but the idea it expresses is found in Job 9:33, in
the word “daysman” (q.v.), marg., “umpire.”
This word is used in the New Testament to denote simply an
internuncius, an ambassador, one who acts as a medium of
communication between two contracting parties. In this sense
Moses is called a mediator in Gal. 3:19.
Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim.
2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He makes reconciliation between God
and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice. Such a mediator
must be at once divine and human, divine, that his obedience and
his sufferings might possess infinite worth, and that he might
possess infinite wisdom and knowlege and power to direct all
things in the kingdoms of providence and grace which are
committed to his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 5:22, 25, 26, 27); and
human, that in his work he might represent man, and be capable
of rendering obedience to the law and satisfying the claims of
justice (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15, 16), and that in his glorified
humanity he might be the head of a glorified Church (Rom. 8:29).
This office involves the three functions of prophet, priest, and
king, all of which are discharged by Christ both in his estate
of humiliation and exaltation. These functions are so inherent
in the one office that the quality appertaining to each gives
character to every mediatorial act. They are never separated in
the exercise of the office of mediator.
A calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13).
Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2).
The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim.
6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29),
Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8;
2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
Place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the
Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh
(Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by
the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15).
The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of
Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Palestine. It was here
Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor,
whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied
the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement
of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in
the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete
confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which
had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5).
Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his march
against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of
Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his
progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians.
He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his
chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and
all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this
mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11,
12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern
el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the north-eastern
brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of
Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with
Mujedd’a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of
its site is still undetermined.
Whose benefactor is God, the father of Delaiah, and grandfather
of Shemaiah, who joined Sanballat against Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10).
Wife of Hadad, one of the kings of Edom (Gen. 36:39).
Smitten by God, the son of Irad, and father of Methusael (Gen.
Faithful, one of the eunchs whom Ahasuerus (Xerxes) commanded to
bring in Vashti (Esther 1:10).
Habitations, (2 Chr. 26:7; R.V. “Meunim,” Vulg. Ammonitae), a
people against whom Uzziah waged a successful war. This word is
in Hebrew the plural of Ma’on, and thus denotes the Maonites who
inhabited the country on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah.
They are again mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:41 (R.V.), in the reign of
King Hezekiah, as a Hamite people, settled in the eastern end of
the valley of Gedor, in the wilderness south of Palestine. In
this passage the Authorized Version has “habitation,”
erroneously following the translation of Luther.
They are mentioned in the list of those from whom the Nethinim
were made up (Ezra 2:50; Neh. 7:52).
Waters of yellowness, or clear waters, a river in the tribe of
Dan (Josh. 19:46). It has been identified with the river Aujeh,
which rises at Antipatris.
A base or foundation, a town in the south of Judah (Neh. 11:28),
My king. (1.) The son of Addi, and father of Neri (Luke 3:28).
(2.) Luke 3:24.
King of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of
him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned
only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical
significance of his history is set forth in detail in the
Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the
superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several
respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed
Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4)
Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5)
the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the
abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not
without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be
transmitted nor interrupted by death: “this man, because he
continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given
rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old
tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who
may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanitish
prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar
history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great
High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is
from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek,
in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to
Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Fulness, the son of Menan and father of Eliakim, in the
genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
King, the second of Micah’s four sons (1 Chr. 8:35), and thus
grandson of Mephibosheth.
(Acts 27:28), an island in the Mediterranean, the modern Malta.
Here the ship in which Paul was being conveyed a prisoner to
Rome was wrecked. The bay in which it was wrecked now bears the
name of “St. Paul’s Bay”, “a certain creek with a shore.” It is
about 2 miles deep and 1 broad, and the whole physical condition
of the scene answers the description of the shipwreck given in
Acts 28. It was originally colonized by Phoenicians
(“barbarians,” 28:2). It came into the possession of the Greeks
(B.C. 736), from whom it was taken by the Carthaginians (B.C.
528). In B.C. 242 it was conquered by the Romans, and was
governed by a Roman propraetor at the time of the shipwreck
(Acts 28:7). Since 1800, when the French garrison surrendered to
the English force, it has been a British dependency. The island
is about 17 miles long and 9 wide, and about 60 in
circumference. After a stay of three months on this island,
during which the “barbarians” showed them no little kindness,
Julius procured for himself and his company a passage in another
Alexandrian corn-ship which had wintered in the island, in which
they proceeded on their voyage to Rome (Acts 28:13, 14).
Only in Num. 11:5, the translation of the Hebrew abattihim, the
LXX. and Vulgate pepones, Arabic britikh. Of this plant there
are various kinds, the Egyptian melon, the Cucumus chate, which
has been called “the queen of cucumbers;” the water melon, the
Cucurbita citrullus; and the common or flesh melon, the Cucumus
melo. “A traveller in the East who recollects the intense
gratitude which a gift of a slice of melon inspired while
journeying over the hot and dry plains, will readily comprehend
the regret with which the Hebrews in the Arabian desert looked
back upon the melons of Egypt” (Kitto).
Probably a Persian word meaning master of wine, i.e., chief
butler; the title of an officer at the Babylonian court (Dan.
1:11, 16) who had charge of the diet of the Hebrew youths.
Only in Hos. 9:6, Hebrew Moph. In Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 46:14,
19; Ezek. 30:13, 16, it is mentioned under the name Noph. It was
the capital of Lower, i.e., of Northern Egypt. From certain
remains found half buried in the sand, the site of this ancient
city has been discovered near the modern village of Minyet
Rahinch, or Mitraheny, about 16 miles above the ancient head of
the Delta, and 9 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the
Nile. It is said to have been founded by Menes, the first king
of Egypt, and to have been in circumference about 19 miles.
“There are few remains above ground,” says Manning (The Land of
the Pharaohs), “of the splendour of ancient Memphis. The city
has utterly disappeared. If any traces yet exist, they are
buried beneath the vast mounds of crumbling bricks and broken
pottery which meet the eye in every direction. Near the village
of Mitraheny is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. It is
apparently one of the two described by Herodotus and Diodorus as
standing in front of the temple of Ptah. They were originally 50
feet in height. The one which remains, though mutilated,
measures 48 feet. It is finely carved in limestone, which takes
a high polish, and is evidently a portrait. It lies in a pit,
which, during the inundation, is filled with water. As we gaze
on this fallen and battered statue of the mighty conqueror who
was probably contemporaneous with Moses, it is impossible not to
remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, 19:13; 44:16-19, and
Dignified, one of the royal counsellors at the court of
Ahasuerus, by whose suggestion Vashti was divorced (Esther 1:14,
Conforting, the son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of
Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C.
771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His
reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2 Kings 15:14-22).
During his reign, Pul (q.v.), king of Assyria, came with a
powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a
gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.
(Dan. 5:25, 26), numbered, one of the words of the mysterious
inscription written “upon the plaister of the wall” in
Belshazzar’s palace at Babylon. The writing was explained by
Daniel. (See BELSHAZZAR.)
Isa. 65:11, marg. (A.V., “that number;” R.V., “destiny”),
probably an idol which the captive Israelites worshipped after
the example of the Babylonians. It may have been a symbol of
destiny. LXX., tuche.
(Judg. 9:37; A.V., “the plain of Meonenim;” R.V., “the oak of
Meonenim”) means properly “soothsayers” or “sorcerers,”
“wizards” (Deut. 18:10, 14; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12). This may
be the oak at Shechem under which Abram pitched his tent (see
SHECHEM), the “enchanter’s oak,” so called, perhaps, from
Jacob’s hiding the “strange gods” under it (Gen. 35:4).
Splendour, a Levitical city (Josh. 21:37) of the tribe of Reuben
Exterminator of shame; i.e., of idols. (1.) The name of Saul’s
son by the concubine Rizpah (q.v.), the daughter of Aiah. He and
his brother Armoni were with five others “hanged on a hill
before the Lord” by the Gibeonites, and their bodies exposed in
the sun for five months (2 Sam. 21:8-10). (2.) The son of
Jonathan, and grandson of Saul (2 Sam. 4:4). He was but five
years old when his father and grandfather fell on Mount Gilboa.
The child’s nurse hearing of this calamity, fled with him from
Gibeah, the royal residence, and stumbling in her haste, the
child was thrown to the ground and maimed in both his feet, and
ever after was unable to walk (19:26). He was carried to the
land of Gilead, where he found a refuge in the house of Machir,
the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar, by whom he was brought up.
Some years after this, when David had subdued all the
adversaries of Israel, he began to think of the family of
Jonathan, and discovered that Mephibosheth was residing in the
house of Machir. Thither he sent royal messengers, and brought
him and his infant son to Jerusalem, where he ever afterwards
resided (2 Sam. 9).
When David was a fugitive, according to the story of Ziba (2
Sam. 16:1-4) Mephibosheth proved unfaithful to him, and was
consequently deprived of half of his estates; but according to
his own story, however (19:24-30), he had remained loyal to his
friend. After this incident he is only mentioned as having been
protected by David against the vengeance the Gibeonites were
permitted to execute on the house of Saul (21:7). He is also
called Merib-baal (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40). (See ZIBA.)
Increase, the eldest of Saul’s two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She
was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does
not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2,
17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of
Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south
of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance.
She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites
on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).
Resistance, a chief priest, a contemporary of the high priest
Joiakim (Neh. 12:12).
Rebellions. (1.) Father of Amariah, a high priest of the line of
Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:6, 7, 52).
(2.) Neh. 12:15, a priest who went to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel.
He is called Meremoth in Neh. 12:3.
Sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent
of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him
thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the
great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES.)
The descendants of Merari (Num. 26:57). They with the
Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle,
which they had to carry from place to place (Num. 3:20, 33-37;
4:29-33). In the distribution of the oxen and waggons offered by
the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites
(four waggons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites,
because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of
the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the
former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars,
sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply
of oxen and waggons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the
truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp
was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards
took part with the other Levitical families in the various
functions of their office (1 Chr. 23:6, 21-23; 2 Chr. 29:12,
13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them
(Josh. 21:7, 34-40).
Double rebellion, probably a symbolical name given to Babylon
(Jer. 50:21), denoting rebellion exceeding that of other
The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning “to travel
about,” “to migrate,” and hence “a traveller.” In the East, in
ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise
from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their
trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews
became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial
pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg.
5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief
marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr.
1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon’s time their trade with foreign
nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into
wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in
The Hermes (i.e., “the speaker”) of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a
heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter,
and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul
for this god because he was the “chief speaker.”
Compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the
atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of
mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of
truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps.
85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together.
Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).
(Heb. kapporeth, a “covering;” LXX. and N.T., hilasterion;
Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the
covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or
perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1
1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne
of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the
“place of the mercy-seat” (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).
It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning
“anything having regard to or employed in the burning of
incense”) mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the “mercy-seat,” at which
the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of
atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was
sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
Rebellion, one of the sons of Ezra, of the tribe of Judah (1
Exaltations, heights, a priest who returned from Babylon with
Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:3), to whom were sent the sacred vessels
(Ezra 8:33) belonging to the temple. He took part in rebuilding
the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:4).
Quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the
fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from
the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command,
“because of the chiding of the children of Israel” (Ex. 17:1-7).
It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady
Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of
Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned
together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by
the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place
Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12).
This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert
(Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
Contender with Baal, (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40), elsewhere called
Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4:4), the son of Jonathan.
Death; slaughter, the name of a Babylonian god, probably the
planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the
guardian divinity of Babylon. This name frequently occurs as a
surname to the kings of Assyria and Babylon.
Merodach has given a son, (Isa. 39:1), “the hereditary chief of
the Chaldeans, a small tribe at that time settled in the marshes
at the mouth of the Euphrates, but in consequence of his
conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the dominant caste
in Babylonia itself.” One bearing this name sent ambassadors to
Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings
20:12; 2 Chr. 20:31). (See HEZEKIAH.)
Height, a lake in Northern Palestine through which the Jordan
flows. It was the scene of the third and last great victory
gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not
again mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat
el-Huleh. “The Ard el-Huleh, the centre of which the lake
occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles in length from
north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from 7 to 8
miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range
of the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by
the lower and more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the
north it is shut in by a line of hills hummocky and irregular in
shape and of no great height, and stretching across from the
mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount Hermon, which towers
up at the north-eastern angle of the plain to a height of 10,000
feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed
by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow
clefts, the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its
rapid descent to the Sea of Galilee.”
The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by 3
1/2 at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that of
the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by a morass, which is
thickly covered with canes and papyrus reeds, which are
impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob Roy, was the
first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See
A name given to Jehdeiah, the herdsman of the royal asses in the
time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:30), probably as one being
a native of some unknown town called Meronoth.
A plain in the north of Palestine, the inhabitants of which were
severely condemned because they came not to help Barak against
Sisera (Judg. 5:23: comp. 21:8-10; 1 Sam. 11:7). It has been
identified with Marassus, on a knoll to the north of Wady Jalud,
but nothing certainly is known of it. Like Chorazin, it is only
mentioned in Scripture in connection with the curse pronounced
Middle district, Vulgate, Messa. (1.) A plain in that part of
the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants of Joktan
(2.) Heb. meysh’a, “deliverance,” the eldest son of Caleb (1
Chr. 2:42), and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb. id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of
great wealth in flocks and herds (2 Kings 3:4). After the death
of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead, Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel;
but on the ascension of Jehoram to the throne of Israel, that
king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt to reduce the
Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies of
the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and
gained over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated
by the conquering armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last
stronghold, Kir-harasheth (q.v.). Reduced to despair, he
ascended the wall of the city, and there, in the sight of the
allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice to
Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle
filled the beholders with horror, and they retired from before
the besieged city, and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2
The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician inscription
on a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab, usually
called the “Moabite stone” (q.v.).
The title given to Mishael, one of the three Hebrew youths who
were under training at the Babylonian court for the rank of Magi
(Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3:12-30). This was probably the name of some
Drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder
of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2, 3). They were in all
probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian
Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5
the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or
barbarians. “During the ascendency of the Babylonians and
Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems
probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range
and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the
Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that
name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they
are still generally known throughout the East”
Friendship of Jehovah, a Levite of the family of the Korhites,
called also Shelemiah (1 Chr. 9:21; 26:1, 2, 9, 14). He was a
temple gate-keeper in the time of David.
Requitals. (1.) The father of Berechiah (2 Chr. 28:12).
(2.) A priest, the son of Immer (Neh. 11:13).
Befriended. (1.) One of the chief Gadites in Bashan in the time
of Jotham (1 Chr. 5:13).
(2.) Grandfather of Shaphan, “the scribe,” in the reign of
Josiah (2 Kings 22:3).
(3.) A priest, father of Hilkiah (1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 11:11), in
the reign of Ammon; called Shallum in 1 Chr. 6:12.
(4.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (2 Chr. 34:12), in the
reign of Josiah.
(5.) 1 Chr. 8:17.
(6.) 1 Chr. 3:19.
(7.) Neh. 12:13.
(8.) A chief priest (Neh. 12:16).
(9.) One of the leading Levites in the time of Ezra (8:16).
(10.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
(11.) One of the principal Israelites who supported Ezra when
expounding the law to the people (Neh. 8:4).
Friend, the wife of Manasseh, and the mother of Amon (2 Kings
21:19), Kings of Judah.
The country between the two rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e.,
“Syria of the two rivers”), the name given by the Greeks and
Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Gen.
24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is
mentioned also under the name “Padan-aram;” i.e., the plain of
Aram, or Syria (Gen. 25:20). The northern portion of this
fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the
Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his
wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned
(28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were
born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this
region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used
chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till
after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of
Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
A portion of food given to a guest (Gen. 43:34; 2 Sam. 11:8).
(Heb. mal’ak, Gr. angelos), an angel, a messenger who runs on
foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14; 1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr.
36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).
(Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its
occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX.
“Christos.” It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15;
Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16;
16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to
their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed “above
his fellows” (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the
three offices. The Greek form “Messias” is only twice used in
the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., “Messiah”), and
in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the
Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., “the anointed
The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of
all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the
coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on
earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the
ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect
day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed
out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of
David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets
whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The
expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to
generation, till the “fulness of the times,” when Messiah came,
“made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law.” In him all these ancient prophecies have their
fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great
Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke
18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)
Bridle of the mother, a figurative name for a chief city, as in
2 Sam. 8:1, “David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the
Philistines” (R.V., “took the bridle of the mother-city”); i.e.,
subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1 Chr.
Champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so
called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of
Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
Man of the dart, the son of Enoch, and grandfather of Noah. He
was the oldest man of whom we have any record, dying at the age
of nine hundred and sixty-nine years, in the year of the Flood
(Gen. 5:21-27; 1 Chr. 1:3).
Water of gold, the father of Matred (Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50),
and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar, the last king of
=Mijamin, from the right hand. (1.) The head of one of the
divisions of the priests (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A chief priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel
(Neh. 12:5), called Mijamin (10:7) and Miniamin (12:17).
Choice, a Hagarene, one of David’s warriors (1 Chr. 11:38);
called also Bani the Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
Fragrance. (1.) One of Ishmael’s twelve sons, and head of an
Arab tribe (Gen. 25:13).
(2.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
Fortress, one of the Edomitish “dukes” descended from Esau (Gen.
36:42; 1 Chr. 1:53).
A shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah? (1.) A man of
Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Judg. 17,
apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the
settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for
the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in
which he lived (Judg. 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chr. 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of
Kohathites (1 Chr. 23:20).
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:5).
(5.) “The Morasthite,” so called to distinguish him from
Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of
Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of
Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very little is known of the
circumstances of his life (comp. Jer. 26:18, 19).
Micah, Book of
The sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The
superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised
his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we
reckon from the beginning of Jotham’s reign to the end of
Hezekiah’s (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about
fifty-nine years; but if we reckon from the death of Jotham to
the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726), his ministry lasted
only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable that this
book commences with the last words of another prophet, “Micaiah
the son of Imlah” (1 Kings 22:28): “Hearken, O people, every one
The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a
rebuke, “Hear ye,” etc., and closing with a promise, (1) ch. 1;
2; (2) ch. 3-5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of
the people; (3) ch. 6-7, in which Jehovah is represented as
holding a controversy with his people: the whole concluding with
a song of triumph at the great deliverance which the Lord will
achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the song
of Zacharias (Luke 1:72, 73). The prediction regarding the place
“where Christ should be born,” one of the most remarkable
Messianic prophecies (Micah 5:2), is quoted in Matt. 2:6.
There are the following references to this book in the New
5:2, with Matt. 2:6; John 7:42. 7:6, with Matt. 10:21, 35, 36.
7:20, with Luke 1:72, 73.
Who is like Jehovah?, the son of Imlah, a faithful prophet of
Samaria (1 Kings 22:8-28). Three years after the great battle
with Ben-hadad (20:29-34), Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, king of
Judah, that they should go up against Ramoth-Gilead to do battle
again with Ben-hadad. Jehoshaphat agreed, but suggested that
inquiry should be first made “at the word of Jehovah.” Ahab’s
prophets approved of the expedition; but Jehoshaphat, still
dissatisfied, asked if there was no other prophet besides the
four hundred that had appeared, and was informed of this
Micaiah. He was sent for from prison, where he had been
confined, probably on account of some prediction disagreeable to
Ahab; and he condemned the expedition, and prophesied that it
would end, as it did, in disaster. We hear nothing further of
this prophet. Some have supposed that he was the unnamed prophet
referred to in 1 Kings 20:35-42.
(1.) 2 Sam. 9:12 =MICAH (2).
(2.) The son of Zabdi, a Levite of the family of Asaph (Neh.
Who is like God? (1.) The title given to one of the chief angels
(Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a
nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the body of
Moses. He is also represented as warning against “that old
serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
world” (Rev. 12:7-9).
(2.) The father of Sethur, the spy selected to represent Asher
(3.) 1 Chr. 7:3, a chief of the tribe of Issachar.
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:16, a Benjamite.
(5.) A chief Gadite in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
(6.) A Manassite, “a captain of thousands” who joined David at
Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(7.) A Gershonite Levite (1 Chr. 6:40).
(8.) The father of Omri (1 Chr. 27:18).
(9.) One of the sons of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 21:2, 4). He
was murdered by his brother Jehoram.
(1.) The queen-mother of King Abijah (2 Chr. 13:2). (See
(2.) One of those sent out by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people
in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(3.) 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) The son of Gemariah. He reported to the king’s officers
Jeremiah’s prediction, which he had heard Baruch read (Jer.
36:11, 13) from his father Gemariah’s chamber in the temple.
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 12:35).
(6.) A priest (Neh. 12:41).
Rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul’s two daughters by
his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). “Attracted by the graces of
his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love
with David and became his wife” (18:20-28). She showed her
affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul
sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See
TERAPHIM). After this she did not see David for many years.
Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or
Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally
reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation
between her and David soon after this was altered. They became
alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day
when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary
resting-place to the Holy City. In David’s conduct on that
occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal
dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the
races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name
again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here
substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).
Something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel
and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It
lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on
the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit
(“valley of the little thorn-tree” or “the acacia”), and now
bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called “the passage of
Michmash” (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the
opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of
Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah.
This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of
Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued
for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of
Aijalon. “The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led
through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred
tribes.” The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily
increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in
Israel. (See SAUL.)
Hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and
Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
Prize of Jehovah, a Benjamite, the father of Uzzi (1 Chr. 9:8).
Writing; i.e., a poem or song found in the titles of Ps. 16;
56-60. Some translate the word “golden”, i.e., precious. It is
rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning “tablet inscription” or a
“stelograph.” The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and
hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to
be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation;
or, as others render, “a psalm precious as stamped gold,” from
the word kethem, “fine or stamped gold.”
Measures, one of the six cities “in the wilderness,” on the west
of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
Strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the
Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).
An Arabian tribe descended from Midian. They inhabited
principally the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. The
peninsula of Sinai was the pasture-ground for their flocks. They
were virtually the rulers of Arabia, being the dominant tribe.
Like all Arabians, they were a nomad people. They early engaged
in commercial pursuits. It was to one of their caravans that
Joseph was sold (Gen. 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in
connection with Moses’ flight from Egypt (Ex. 2:15-21). Here in
Midian Moses became the servant and afterwards the son-in-law of
Reuel or Jethro, the priest. After the Exodus, the Midianites
were friendly to the Israelites so long as they traversed only
their outlying pasture-ground on the west of the Arabah; but
when, having passed the southern end of Edom, they entered into
the land of Midian proper, they joined with Balak, the king of
Moab, in a conspiracy against them (Num. 22:4-7). Balaam, who
had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly failed to do
so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still
tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into
correspondence with the Israelites, so as to bring them into
association with them in the licentious orgies connected with
the worship of Baal-Peor. This crafty counsel prevailed. The
Israelites took part in the heathen festival, and so brought
upon themselves a curse indeed. Their apostasy brought upon them
a severe punishment. A plague broke out amongst them, and more
than twenty-four thousand of the people perished (Num. 25:9).
But the Midianites were not to be left unpunished. A terrible
vengeance was denounced against them. A thousand warriors from
each tribe, under the leadership of Phinehas, went forth against
them. The Midianites were utterly routed. Their cities were
consumed by fire, five of their kings were put to death, and the
whole nation was destroyed (Josh. 13:21, 22). Balaam also
perished by the sword, receiving the “wages of his
unrighteousness” (Num. 31:8; 2 Pet. 2:15). The whole of the
country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites
(see SIHON; OG), was divided between the two tribes of
Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh.
Some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had
regained their ancient power, and in confederation with the
Amalekites and the “children of the east” they made war against
their old enemies the Israelites, whom for seven years they
oppressed and held in subjection. They were at length assailed
by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great plain of
Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judg. 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent
allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Ps. 83:10,
12; Isa. 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of
history both sacred and profane.
The two midwives mentioned in Ex. 1:15 were probably the
superintendents of the whole class.
Tower of the flock, a place 2 miles south of Jerusalem, near the
Bethlehem road (Gen. 35:21). (See EDAR.)
Tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
Tower of fortune, a town in the plains of Judah, probably the
modern el-Mejdel, a little to the north-east of Ascalon (Josh.
Tower. (1.) A strongly-fortified place 12 miles from Pelusium,
in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14). This word is rendered
“tower” in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains the
name Migdol, “from Migdol to Syene;” i.e., from Migdol in the
north to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
(2.) A place mentioned in the passage of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:2;
Num. 33:7, 8). It is probably to be identified with Bir Suweis,
about 2 miles from Suez.
Precipice or landslip, a place between Aiath and Michmash (Isa.
10:28). The town of the same name mentioned in 1 Sam. 14:2 was
to the south of this.
Staves. (1.) An officer under Dodai, in the time of David and
Solomon (1 Chr. 27:4).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37, 38).
Eloquent, a Levitical musician (Neh. 12:36) who took part in the
dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
(the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning “to be yellow,”
yellowness), the result of cutting east winds blighting and thus
rendering the grain unproductive (Deut. 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; 2
(from Lat. mille, “a thousand;” Matt. 5:41), a Roman measure of
1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards,
being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
(Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital
of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from
Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that
noble and pathetic address to the elders (“presbyters,” ver. 28)
of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now
some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
(1.) Hebrew halabh, “new milk”, milk in its fresh state (Judg.
4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex.
3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut.
32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well
as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is
used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek.
25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of
doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated
word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem’ah, always rendered “butter” in the Authorized
Version. It means “butter,” but also more frequently “cream,” or
perhaps, as some think, “curdled milk,” such as that which
Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave
to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by
travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a
slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general
(Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
For grinding corn, mentioned as used in the time of Abraham
(Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular
stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower
of which was called the “nether millstone” (Job 41:24) and the
upper the “rider.” The upper stone was turned round by a stick
fixed in it as a handle. There were then no public mills, and
thus each family required to be provided with a hand-mill. The
corn was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isa.
47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper stone of a
hand-mill that “a certain woman” at Thebez broke Abimelech’s
skull (Judg. 9:53, “a piece of a millstone;” literally, “a
millstone rider”, i.e., the “runner,” the stone which revolves.
Comp. 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones could not be pledged (Deut.
24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
A thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev.
20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on
earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the
beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are
usually called “millenarians.” On the other hand, it is
maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture,
we think, that Christ’s second advent will not be premillennial,
and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of
his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it
is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient
operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending
the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of
this dispensation to judge the world at the “last day.” The
millennium will thus precede his coming.
(Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of
the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated
in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the
cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the
Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often
mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for
(Heb. always with the article, “the” Millo). (1.) Probably the
Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting of walls filled
in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north
as its outermost defence. It is always rendered Akra i.e., “the
citadel”, in the LXX. It was already existing when David
conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:9). He extended it to the right
and left, thus completing the defence of the city. It was
rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired by
Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:5).
(2.) In Judg. 9:6, 20 it is the name of a rampart in Shechem,
probably the “tower of Shechem” (9:46, 49).
(Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking affectedly short and quick
steps. Luther renders the word by “wag” or “waggle,” thus
representing “the affected gait of coquettish females.”
The process of mining is described in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks
of the mineral wealth of Palestine (Deut. 8:9). Job 28:4 is
rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, “He breaketh open
a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the
foot [that passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to
and fro.” These words illustrate ancient mining operations.
One who serves, as distinguished from the master. (1.) Heb.
meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as
to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant
of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants
at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer.
33:21; Ezek. 44:11).
(2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a “minister” of religion. Here used
of that class of sanctuary servants called “Solomon’s servants”
in Ezra 2:55-58 and Neh. 7:57-60.
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and
in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied
also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, “under-rower”), a personal
attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the
officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied
also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant
employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul
and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras (Col.
1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom. 15:8).
Only in Jer. 51:27, as the name of a province in Armenia, which
was at this time under the Median kings. Armenia is regarded by
some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country of Minni. (See
Distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat
was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in
the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a
gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called
Kurm Dhiban, “the vineyards of Dibon.” Tristram supposes that
this may be the “vineyards” mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
(Matt. 9:23), a flute-player. Such music was a usual
accompaniment of funerals. In 2 Kings 3:15 it denotes a player
on a stringed instrument.
(Gr. heduosmon, i.e., “having a sweet smell”), one of the garden
herbs of which the Pharisees paid tithes (Matt. 23:23; Luke
11:42). It belongs to the labiate family of plants. The species
most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint,
which grows much larger than the garden mint (M. sativa). It was
much used in domestic economy as a condiment, and also as a
medicine. The paying of tithes of mint was in accordance with
the Mosiac law (Deut. 14:22), but the error of the Pharisees lay
in their being more careful about this little matter of the mint
than about weightier matters.
An event in the external world brought about by the immediate
agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use
of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed
to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and
the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an
occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the
intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either
of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which
govern their movements, a supernatural power.
“The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in
miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around
us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the
chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can
control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight
from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor
violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true
as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of
iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth
that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical
forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate
from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not
superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes,
acting with or without them.” God ordinarily effects his purpose
through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also
of effecting his purpose immediately and without the
intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed
order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the
possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand
intervening to control or reverse nature’s ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used
to designate miracles: (1.) Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence
of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message
(Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John
2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and
working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents;
producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, “might works;” works of superhuman power (Acts
2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in
working” (John 5:20, 36).
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers
appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our
Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his
divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of
the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they
are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of
God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man,
therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that
he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials
that he is God’s messenger. The teacher points to these
credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the
authority of God. He boldly says, “God bears me witness, both
with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles.”
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of
the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and
to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses
were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers,
following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle,
because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that
miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to.
Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy
evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any
facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it
is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary
to our experience, but that does not prove that they were
contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We
believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that
are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the
ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must,
as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to
one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see
fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles
are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF
Their rebellion. (1.) The sister of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10;
1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in the history of the Exodus.
She is called “the prophetess” (Ex. 15:20). She took the lead in
the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea. She died
at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward the
close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there
(Num. 20:1). (See AARON; MOSES.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
(Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized Version reads, “should
behave themselves strangely;” i.e., not recognize the truth,
misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel’s ruin, which was
due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their
Height, a town of Moab, or simply, the height=the citadel, some
fortress so called; or perhaps a general name for the highlands
of Moab, as some think (Jer. 48:1). In Isa. 25:12, the word is
rendered “high fort.”
Who is like God! (1.) A Levite; the eldest of the three sons of
Uzziel (Ex. 6:22).
(2.) One of the three Hebrew youths who were trained with Daniel
in Babylon (Dan. 1:11, 19), and promoted to the rank of Magi. He
and his companions were afterwards cast into the burning fiery
furnace for refusing to worship the idol the king had set up,
from which they were miraculously delivered (3:13-30). His
Chaldean name was Meshach (q.v.).
A city of the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). It is
probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near Carmel.
Their cleansing or their beholding, a Benjamite, one of the sons
of Elpaal (1 Chr. 8:12).
(Josh. 19:26), a town of Asher, probably the same as Mishal.
Hearing. (1.) One of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:14), and
founder of an Arab tribe.
(2.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:25, 26).
Fatness, one of the Gadite heroes who gathered to David at
Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:10).
Burning of waters, supposed to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or
glass-factories, a place to which Joshua pursued a party of
Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It is
identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of
en-Nakhurah, some 11 miles north of Acre.
Contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation
of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper
coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the
fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a
halfpenny. (See FARTHING.)
Sweetness, one of the stations of the Israelites in the
wilderness (Num. 33:28, 29).
Given by Mithra, or dedicated to Mithra, i.e., the sun, the
Hebrew form of the Greek name Mithridates. (1.) The “treasurer”
of King Cyrus (Ezra 1:8).
(2.) Ezra 4:7, a Persian officer in Samaria.
(Heb. mitsnepheth), something rolled round the head; the turban
or head-dress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6, etc.).
In the Authorized Version of Ezek. 21:26, this Hebrew word is
rendered “diadem,” but in the Revised Version, “mitre.” It was a
twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the
form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Lev. 8:9; 16:4;
Zech. 3:5). On the front of it was a golden plate with the
inscription, “Holiness to the Lord.” The mitsnepheth differed
from the mitre or head-dress (migba’ah) of the common priest.
The chief city of the island of Lesbos, on its east coast, in
the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third missionary journey,
touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea (Acts
20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and
Chios. It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of
(Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they
journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the
Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the
Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains
of the Hyksos (see EGYPT; MOSES), as some think. The
same thing happened on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Neh.
13:3), a “mixed multitude” accompanied them so far.
Smallness, a summit on the eastern ridge of Lebanon, near which
David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps. 42:6). It may,
perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, “the little”,
in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
Or Miz’peh, watch-tower; the look-out. (1.) A place in Gilead,
so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot (Gen. 31:49)
on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban
set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as
Ramath-mizpeh (Josh. 13:26).
(2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he
assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national
danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter
submitted to her mysterious fate (Judg. 10:17; 11:11, 34). It
may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Josh. 20:8), but it is more
likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of
Gen. 31:23, 25, 48, 49.
(3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon,
inhabited by Hivites (Josh. 11:3, 8). The name in Hebrew here
has the article before it, “the Mizpeh,” “the watch-tower.” The
modern village of Metullah, meaning also “the look-out,”
probably occupies the site so called.
(4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for
safety during his persecution by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3). This was
probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David
resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned
for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him
leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah.
He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the
edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.
(5.) A city of Benjamin, “the watch-tower”, where the people
were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies (Josh.
18:26; Judg. 20:1, 3; 21:1, 5; 1 Sam. 7:5-16). It has been
supposed to be the same as Nob (1 Sam. 21:1; 22:9-19). It was
some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the
loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the
plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby
Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel’s
tomb is here. (See NOB.)
Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time
by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the
politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep
humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows
and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers.
It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived
national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came
up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with
great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated
this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he
called “Ebenezer” (q.v.), saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped
us” (1 Sam. 7:7-12).
Number, one of the Jews who accompanied Zerubbabel from Babylon
(Ezra 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh. 7:7).
The dual form of matzor, meaning a “mound” or “fortress,” the
name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6, 13; 1 Chr. 1:8,
11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land
of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and
the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
Despair, one of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen.
Reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian of Jerusalem with whom
Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus,
like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians
of Caesarea (4:36). He was an “old disciple” (R.V., “early
disciple”), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of
the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
The seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable
land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous birth.
(2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num. 22:3-14; Judg.
3:30; 2 Sam. 8:2; Jer. 48:11, 13).
(3.) The land of Moab (Jer. 48:24), called also the “country of
Moab” (Ruth 1:2, 6; 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead
Sea, and south of the Arnon (Num. 21:13, 26). In a wider sense
it included the whole region that had been occupied by the
Amorites. It bears the modern name of Kerak.
In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num. 22:1; 26:63; Josh.
13:32), the children of Israel had their last encampment before
they entered the land of Canaan. It was at that time in the
possession of the Amorites (Num. 21:22). “Moses went up from the
plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah,”
and “died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of
the Lord” (Deut. 34:5, 6). “Surely if we had nothing else to
interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was from the
top of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of the
prophets looked out with eye undimmed upon the Promised Land;
that it was here on Nebo, its loftiest mountain, that he died
his solitary death; that it was here, in the valley over against
Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre, we have enough to
enshrine the memory in our hearts.”
The designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot
(Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the
south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over
the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of
the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests.
Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the
Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num.
21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok,
and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then
confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon.
On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but
through the “wilderness” to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18),
at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here
they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see
SIHON; OG). The Moabites were alarmed, and their king,
Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4). It was
while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to Balak
took place. (See MOSES.)
After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations
with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg.
3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the
existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By
his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite
blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the
Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took
great spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11).
During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the defeat
of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA), they
regained, apparently, much of their former prosperty. At this
time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his “burden of Moab,” predicting
the coming of judgment on that land (comp. 2 Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1
Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah and the commencement
of the Babylonian captivity we have very seldom any reference to
Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph. 2:8-10).
After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief
part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh.
2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
A basalt stone, bearing an inscription by King Mesha, which was
discovered at Dibon by Klein, a German missionary at Jerusalem,
in 1868. It was 3 1/2 feet high and 2 in breadth and in
thickness, rounded at the top. It consisted of thirty-four
lines, written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. It was set up by
Mesha as a record and memorial of his victories. It records (1)
Mesha’s wars with Omri, (2) his public buildings, and (3) his
wars against Horonaim. This inscription in a remarkable degree
supplements and corroborates the history of King Mesha recorded
in 2 Kings 3:4-27.
With the exception of a very few variations, the Moabite
language in which the inscription is written is identical with
the Hebrew. The form of the letters here used supplies very
important and interesting information regarding the history of
the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally,
regarding the arts of civilized life of those times in the land
This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King
Mesha with Omri and Ahab, was erected about B.C. 900. Here “we
have the identical slab on which the workmen of the old world
carved the history of their own times, and from which the eye of
their contemporaries read thousands of years ago the record of
events of which they themselves had been the witnesses.” It is
the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters, and
hence is, apart from its value in the domain of Hebrew
antiquities, of great linguistic importance.
Birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh.
15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el-Milh,
10 miles east of Beersheba.
Heb. tinshameth (Lev. 11:30), probably signifies some species of
lizard (rendered in R.V., “chameleon”). In Lev. 11:18, Deut.
14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, “swan” (R.V.,
The Heb. holed (Lev. 11:29), rendered “weasel,” was probably the
mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in
Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) “is twice the size of
our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces
within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the
mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare
snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate;
its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only
In Isa. 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words _haphar
peroth_, which are rendered by Gesenius “into the digging of
rats”, i.e., rats’ holes. But these two Hebrew words ought
probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated
“to the moles”, i.e., the rat-moles. This animal “lives in
underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for
its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with
them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins
and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least
King, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom
children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and
destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos
5:26, “your Moloch” of the Authorized Version is “your king” in
the Revised Version (comp. Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7)
erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and
from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2
Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially
restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also
called Molech (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5,
33, etc.), and Malcham (Zeph. 1:5). This god became Chemosh
among the Moabites.
Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of
Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in
connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16),
and again in connection with Jacob’s purchase of a field at
Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for “an hundred pieces of money”=an
hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money,
as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb.
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of
money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the
subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal
as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in
trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels,
and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which
are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp.
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the
Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric
(Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric
(q.v.) was a gold piece current in Palestine in the time of
Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian
rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins
when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331),
the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The
usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins
tetradrachms and drachms.
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon
the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then
coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of
(Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from
twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the
sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to
Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There
was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who
exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these
half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts
of the world. (See PASSOVER.) When our Lord drove the
traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst.
Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was in use
long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of
their calculations. From the time of the institution of the
Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of
religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of a
month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The
number of months in the year was usually twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1
Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional month
(ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with
“The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save ‘moon,’
and only saved their calendar from becoming vague like that of
the Moslems by the interpolation of an additional month. There
is no evidence at all that they ever used a true solar year such
as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve months of
thirty days and five epagomenac or odd days.”, Palestine
Quarterly, January 1889.
Heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the
“white” (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator
to be with the sun “for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years” (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the
period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on
the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with
the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2;
Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its
being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3;
Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were
warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this
idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also
cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
The son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged
that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that
he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine years old
in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of
Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was
probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he “had been
carried away with the captivity.”
He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted his
cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly
brought up as his own daughter. When she was brought into the
king’s harem and made queen in the room of the deposed queen
Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the court of
Ahasuerus, and was one of those who “sat in the king’s gate”
(Esther 2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot
of the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his
vigilance, was defeated. His services to the king in this matter
were duly recorded in the royal chronicles.
Haman (q.v.) the Agagite had been raised to the highest position
at court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and Haman,
being stung to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai, resolved to
accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of the Jewish
exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15). Tidings of
this cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai, who
communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and by her wise and
bold intervention the scheme was frustrated. The Jews were
delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank,
and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation
erected for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal
deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews to this day
celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).
An archer, teacher; fruitful. (1.) A Canaanite probably who
inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and
Gerizim, and gave his name to the “plain” there (Gen. 12:6).
Here at this “plain,” or rather (R.V.) “oak,” of Moreh, Abraham
built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the
Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved
southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and
Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
Moreh, the Hill of
Probably identical with “little Hermon,” the modern Jebel
ed-Duhy, or perhaps one of the lower spurs of this mountain. It
is a gray ridge parallel to Gilboa on the north; and between the
two lay the battle-field, the plain of Jezreel (q.v.), where
Gideon overthrew the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-12).
Possession of the wine-press, the birthplace of the prophet
Micah (1:14), who is called the “Morasthite” (Jer. 26:18). This
place was probably a suburb of Gath.
The chosen of Jehovah. Some contend that Mount Gerizim is meant,
but most probably we are to regard this as one of the hills of
Jerusalem. Here Solomon’s temple was built, on the spot that had
been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:24,
25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the
north-east of which it lay, and from which it was separated by
the Tyropoean valley. This was “the land of Moriah” to which
Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been
supposed that the highest point of the temple hill, which is now
covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah, or “Dome of the
Rock,” is the actual site of Araunah’s threshing-floor. Here
also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and
offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM; NUMBERING THE
(Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14);
also potter’s clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. aphar,
usually rendered “dust,” clay or mud used for cement in building
(Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances
by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the
wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly
used in Palestine at the present day to pound wheat, from which
the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
A bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness
(Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Comp. Num. 33:37, 38).
It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the
bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
Bonds, one of the stations in the wilderness (Num. 33:30, 31),
probably the same as Mosera.
Drawn (or Egypt. mesu, “son;” hence Rameses, royal son). On the
invitation of Pharaoh (Gen. 45:17-25), Jacob and his sons went
down into Egypt. This immigration took place probably about 350
years before the birth of Moses. Some centuries before Joseph,
Egypt had been conquered by a pastoral Semitic race from Asia,
the Hyksos, who brought into cruel subjection the native
Egyptians, who were an African race. Jacob and his retinue were
accustomed to a shepherd’s life, and on their arrival in Egypt
were received with favour by the king, who assigned them the
“best of the land”, the land of Goshen, to dwell in. The Hyksos
or “shepherd” king who thus showed favour to Joseph and his
family was in all probability the Pharaoh Apopi (or Apopis).
Thus favoured, the Israelites began to “multiply exceedingly”
(Gen. 47:27), and extended to the west and south. At length the
supremacy of the Hyksos came to an end. The descendants of Jacob
were allowed to retain their possession of Goshen undisturbed,
but after the death of Joseph their position was not so
favourable. The Egyptians began to despise them, and the period
of their “affliction” (Gen. 15:13) commenced. They were sorely
oppressed. They continued, however, to increase in numbers, and
“the land was filled with them” (Ex. 1:7). The native Egyptians
regarded them with suspicion, so that they felt all the hardship
of a struggle for existence.
In process of time “a king [probably Seti I.] arose who knew not
Joseph” (Ex. 1:8). (See PHARAOH.) The circumstances of the
country were such that this king thought it necessary to weaken
his Israelite subjects by oppressing them, and by degrees
reducing their number. They were accordingly made public slaves,
and were employed in connection with his numerous buildings,
especially in the erection of store-cities, temples, and
palaces. The children of Israel were made to serve with rigour.
Their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, and “all their
service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour” (Ex.
1:13, 14). But this cruel oppression had not the result expected
of reducing their number. On the contrary, “the more the
Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew”
The king next tried, through a compact secretly made with the
guild of midwives, to bring about the destruction of all the
Hebrew male children that might be born. But the king’s wish was
not rigorously enforced; the male children were spared by the
midwives, so that “the people multiplied” more than ever. Thus
baffled, the king issued a public proclamation calling on the
people to put to death all the Hebrew male children by casting
them into the river (Ex. 1:22). But neither by this edict was
the king’s purpose effected.
One of the Hebrew households into which this cruel edict of the
king brought great alarm was that of Amram, of the family of the
Kohathites (Ex. 6:16-20), who with his wife Jochebed and two
children, Miriam, a girl of perhaps fifteen years of age, and
Aaron, a boy of three years, resided in or near Memphis, the
capital city of that time. In this quiet home a male child was
born (B.C. 1571). His mother concealed him in the house for
three months from the knowledge of the civic authorities. But
when the task of concealment became difficult, Jochebed
contrived to bring her child under the notice of the daughter of
the king by constructing for him an ark of bulrushes, which she
laid among the flags which grew on the edge of the river at the
spot where the princess was wont to come down and bathe. Her
plan was successful. The king’s daughter “saw the child; and
behold the child wept.” The princess (see PHARAOH’S
DAUGHTER ) sent Miriam, who was standing by, to fetch a
nurse. She went and brought the mother of the child, to whom the
princess said, “Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I
will give thee thy wages.” Thus Jochebed’s child, whom the
princess called “Moses”, i.e., “Saved from the water” (Ex.
2:10), was ultimately restored to her.
As soon as the natural time for weaning the child had come, he
was transferred from the humble abode of his father to the royal
palace, where he was brought up as the adopted son of the
princess, his mother probably accompanying him and caring still
for him. He grew up amid all the grandeur and excitement of the
Egyptian court, maintaining, however, probably a constant
fellowship with his mother, which was of the highest importance
as to his religious belief and his interest in his “brethren.”
His education would doubtless be carefully attended to, and he
would enjoy all the advantages of training both as to his body
and his mind. He at length became “learned in all the wisdom of
the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Egypt had then two chief seats of
learning, or universities, at one of which, probably that of
Heliopolis, his education was completed. Moses, being now about
twenty years of age, spent over twenty more before he came into
prominence in Bible history. These twenty years were probably
spent in military service. There is a tradition recorded by
Josephus that he took a lead in the war which was then waged
between Egypt and Ethiopia, in which he gained renown as a
skilful general, and became “mighty in deeds” (Acts 7:22).
After the termination of the war in Ethiopia, Moses returned to
the Egyptian court, where he might reasonably have expected to
be loaded with honours and enriched with wealth. But “beneath
the smooth current of his life hitherto, a life of alternate
luxury at the court and comparative hardness in the camp and in
the discharge of his military duties, there had lurked from
childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, a secret
discontent, perhaps a secret ambition. Moses, amid all his
Egyptian surroundings, had never forgotten, had never wished to
forget, that he was a Hebrew.” He now resolved to make himself
acquainted with the condition of his countrymen, and “went out
unto his brethren, and looked upon their burdens” (Ex. 2:11).
This tour of inspection revealed to him the cruel oppression and
bondage under which they everywhere groaned, and could not fail
to press on him the serious consideration of his duty regarding
them. The time had arrived for his making common cause with
them, that he might thereby help to break their yoke of bondage.
He made his choice accordingly (Heb. 11:25-27), assured that God
would bless his resolution for the welfare of his people. He now
left the palace of the king and took up his abode, probably in
his father’s house, as one of the Hebrew people who had for
forty years been suffering cruel wrong at the hands of the
He could not remain indifferent to the state of things around
him, and going out one day among the people, his indignation was
roused against an Egyptian who was maltreating a Hebrew. He
rashly lifted up his hand and slew the Egyptian, and hid his
body in the sand. Next day he went out again and found two
Hebrews striving together. He speedily found that the deed of
the previous day was known. It reached the ears of Pharaoh (the
“great Rameses,” Rameses II.), who “sought to slay Moses” (Ex.
2:15). Moved by fear, Moses fled from Egypt, and betook himself
to the land of Midian, the southern part of the peninsula of
Sinai, probably by much the same route as that by which, forty
years afterwards, he led the Israelites to Sinai. He was
providentially led to find a new home with the family of Reuel,
where he remained for forty years (Acts 7:30), under training
unconsciously for his great life’s work.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning
bush (Ex. 3), and commissioned him to go down to Egypt and
“bring forth the children of Israel” out of bondage. He was at
first unwilling to go, but at length he was obedient to the
heavenly vision, and left the land of Midian (4:18-26). On the
way he was met by Aaron (q.v.) and the elders of Israel (27-31).
He and Aaron had a hard task before them; but the Lord was with
them (ch. 7-12), and the ransomed host went forth in triumph.
(See EXODUS.) After an eventful journey to and fro in the
wilderness, we see them at length encamped in the plains of
Moab, ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land.
There Moses addressed the assembled elders (Deut. 1:1-4;
5:1-26:19; 27:11-30:20), and gives the people his last counsels,
and then rehearses the great song (Deut. 32), clothing in
fitting words the deep emotions of his heart at such a time, and
in review of such a marvellous history as that in which he had
acted so conspicious a part. Then, after blessing the tribes
(33), he ascends to “the mountain of Nebo (q.v.), to the top of
Pisgah, that is over against Jericho” (34:1), and from thence he
surveys the land. “Jehovah shewed him all the land of Gilead,
unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and
Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and
the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of
palm trees, unto Zoar” (Deut. 34:2-3), the magnificient
inheritance of the tribes of whom he had been so long the
leader; and there he died, being one hundred and twenty years
old, according to the word of the Lord, and was buried by the
Lord “in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor”
(34:6). The people mourned for him during thirty days.
Thus died “Moses the man of God” (Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6). He
was distinguished for his meekness and patience and firmness,
and “he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” “There arose
not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord
knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the
Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all
his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand,
and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of
all Israel” (Deut. 34:10-12).
The name of Moses occurs frequently in the Psalms and Prophets
as the chief of the prophets.
In the New Testament he is referred to as the representative of
the law and as a type of Christ (John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:13-18; Heb.
3:5, 6). Moses is the only character in the Old Testament to
whom Christ likens himself (John 5:46; comp. Deut. 18:15, 18,
19; Acts 7:37). In Heb. 3:1-19 this likeness to Moses is set
forth in various particulars.
In Jude 1:9 mention is made of a contention between Michael and
the devil about the body of Moses. This dispute is supposed to
have had reference to the concealment of the body of Moses so as
to prevent idolatry.
(Gr. karphos, something dry, hence a particle of wood or chaff,
etc.). A slight moral defect is likened to a mote (Matt. 7:3-5;
Luke 6:41, 42).
Heb. ash, from a root meaning “to fall away,” as moth-eaten
garments fall to pieces (Job 4:19; 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8; Hos.
Gr. ses, thus rendered in Matt. 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33. Allusion
is thus made to the destruction of clothing by the larvae of the
clothes-moth. This is the only lepidopterous insect referred to
Of the Gibeonites it is said that “all the bread of their
provision was dry and mouldy” (Josh. 9:5, 12). The Hebrew word
here rendered “mouldy” (nikuddim) is rendered “cracknels” in 1
Kings 14:3, and denotes a kind of crisp cake. The meaning is
that the bread of the Gibeonites had become dry and hard, hard
as biscuits, and thus was an evidence of the length of the
journey they had travelled.
Palestine is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13).
West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into
Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises
from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is
shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The
mountains of Western and Middle Palestine do not extend to the
sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall
down into the Ghor.
East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south,
terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which
reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river
Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are
traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually
descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of
the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south.
The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with
occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some
of large extent, found there.
Mount of beatitudes
Mount of corruption
(2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., “mount of offence”), the name given to a
part of the Mount of Olives, so called because idol temples were
there erected in the time of Solomon, temples to the Zidonian
Ashtoreth and to the “abominations” of Moab and Ammon.
Mount of the Amalekites
A place near Pirathon (q.v.), in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg.
Mount of the Amorites
The range of hills which rises abruptly in the wilderness of
et-Tih (“the wandering”), mentioned Deut. 1:19, 20, “that great
and terrible wilderness.”
Mount of the congregation
Only in Isa. 14:13, a mythic mountain of the Babylonians,
regarded by them as the seat of the gods. It was situated in the
far north, and in Babylonian inscriptions is described as a
mountain called Im-Kharasak, “the mighty mountain of Bel, whose
head reaches heaven, whose root is the holy deep.” In their
geography they are said to have identified it with mount
El-wend, near Ecbatana.
Mount of the valley
(Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the
territory of Reuben. The “valley” here was probably the Ghor or
valley of the Jordan, and hence the “mount” would be the hilly
region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See
Frequent references are found in Scripture to, (1.) Mourning for
the dead. Abraham mourned for Sarah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for
Joseph (37:34, 35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel
for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel
(1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and
Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2),
(2.) For calamities, Job (1:20, 21; 2:8); Israel (Ex. 33:4); the
Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin (Judg.
(3.) Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of
atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel’s ministry (1
Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10, 11); in many of
the psalms (51, etc.).
Mourning was expressed, (1) by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marg.; Luke
7:38, etc.); (2) by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2
Sam. 3:31); (3) by the disfigurement of the person, as rending
the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65), wearing sackcloth
(Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person
(2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and
plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job
1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Ex.
33:4; Deut. 21:12, 13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16, 17),
fasting (2 Sam. 1:12), covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah
3:7), cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6, 7), and sitting in silence
(Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20).
In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be
hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of
sorrow (2 Chr. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; Matt. 9:23).
The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was
seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses
(Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam.
31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great
mourning for the death of Abner.
Heb. akhbar, “swift digger”), properly the dormouse, the
field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is
used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat,
hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean
animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the
Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of
this group (akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Palestine.
God “laid waste” the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation
of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive
effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian,
accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings
19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the
camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields,
and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB.)
(Heb. gez), rendered in Ps. 72:6 “mown grass.” The expression
“king’s mowings” (Amos 7:1) refers to some royal right of early
pasturage, the first crop of grass for the cavalry (comp. 1
A going forth. (1.) One of the sons of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:46).
(2.) The son of Zimri, of the posterity of Saul (1 Chr. 8:36,
37; 9:42, 43).
An issuing of water, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
(Isa. 3:19), veils, light and tremulous. Margin, “spangled
Heb. bakah, “to weep;” rendered “Baca” (R.V., “weeping”) in Ps.
84:6. The plural form of the Hebrew bekaim is rendered “mulberry
trees” in 2 Sam. 5:23, 24 and 1 Chr. 14:14, 15. The tree here
alluded to was probably the aspen or trembling poplar. “We know
with certainty that the black poplar, the aspen, and the
Lombardy poplar grew in Palestine. The aspen, whose long
leaf-stalks cause the leaves to tremble with every breath of
wind, unites with the willow and the oak to overshadow the
watercourses of the Lebanon, and with the oleander and the
acacia to adorn the ravines of Southern Palestine” (Kitto). By
“the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees” we are
to understand a rustling among the trees like the marching of an
army. This was the signal that the Lord himself would lead forth
David’s army to victory. (See SYCAMINE.)
(Heb. pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its
power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews
bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Lev.
19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in
common use even by kings and nobles (2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33;
2 Kings 5:17; Ps. 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till
the time of David, for the word rendered “mules” (R.V.
correctly, “hot springs”) in Gen. 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes
the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead
Sea. In David’s reign they became very common (2 Sam. 13:29; 1
Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had
by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.
Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and
was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18,
21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the
fact of man’s having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5,
6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any
compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex.
21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses
were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut.
17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city
nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation
for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were
to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a
parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).
Of the Hebrews in the wilderness, called forth the displeasure
of God, which was only averted by the earnest prayer of Moses
(Num. 11:33, 34; 12; 14:27, 30, 31; 16:3; 21:4-6; Ps. 106:25).
Forbidden by Paul (1 Cor. 10:10).
Heb. deber, “destruction,” a “great mortality”, the fifth plague
that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper
that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle.
It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the
Receding, the second of the two sons of Merari (Ex. 6:19; Num.
3:20). His sons were called Mushites (Num. 3:33; 26:58).
Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). The
Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. Their whole
history and literature afford abundant evidence of this. After
the Deluge, the first mention of music is in the account of
Laban’s interview with Jacob (Gen. 31:27). After their triumphal
passage of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang
their song of deliverance (Ex. 15).
But the period of Samuel, David, and Solomon was the golden age
of Hebrew music, as it was of Hebrew poetry. Music was now for
the first time systematically cultivated. It was an essential
part of training in the schools of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5;
19:19-24; 2 Kings 3:15; 1 Chr. 25:6). There now arose also a
class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35; Eccl. 2:8). The
temple, however, was the great school of music. In the
conducting of its services large bands of trained singers and
players on instruments were constantly employed (2 Sam. 6:5; 1
Chr. 15; 16; 23;5; 25:1-6).
In private life also music seems to have held an important place
among the Hebrews (Eccl. 2:8; Amos 6:4-6; Isa. 5:11, 12; 24:8,
9; Ps. 137; Jer. 48:33; Luke 15:25).
(Heb. menatstseah), the precentor of the Levitical choir or
orchestra in the temple, mentioned in the titles of fifty-five
psalms, and in Hab. 3:19, Revised Version. The first who held
this office was Jeduthun (1 Chr. 16:41), and the office appears
to have been hereditary. Heman and Asaph were his two colleagues
(2 Chr. 35:15).
Among instruments of music used by the Hebrews a principal place
is given to stringed instruments. These were, (1.) The kinnor,
the “harp.” (2.) The nebel, “a skin bottle,” rendered
“psaltery.” (3.) The sabbeka, or “sackbut,” a lute or lyre. (4.)
The gittith, occurring in the title of Ps. 8; 8; 84. (5.) Minnim
(Ps. 150:4), rendered “stringed instruments;” in Ps. 45:8, in
the form minni, probably the apocopated (i.e., shortened)
plural, rendered, Authorized Version, “whereby,” and in the
Revised Version “stringed instruments.” (6.) Machalath, in the
titles of Ps. 53 and 88; supposed to be a kind of lute or
Of wind instruments mention is made of, (1.) The ugab (Gen.
4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31), probably the so-called Pan’s pipes or
syrinx. (2.) The qeren or “horn” (Josh. 6:5; 1 Chr. 25:5). (3.)
The shophar, rendered “trumpet” (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8). The word
means “bright,” and may have been so called from the clear,
shrill sound it emitted. It was often used (Ex. 19:13; Num.
10:10; Judg. 7:16, 18; 1 Sam. 13:3). (4.) The hatsotserah, or
straight trumpet (Ps. 98:6; Num. 10:1-10). This name is supposed
by some to be an onomatopoetic word, intended to imitate the
pulse-like sound of the trumpet, like the Latin taratantara.
Some have identified it with the modern trombone. (5.) The
halil, i.e, “bored through,” a flute or pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1
Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Jer. 48:36) which is still used in
Palestine. (6.) The sumponyah, rendered “dulcimer” (Dan. 3:5),
probably a sort of bagpipe. (7.) The maskrokith’a (Dan. 3:5),
rendered “flute,” but its precise nature is unknown.
Of instruments of percussion mention is made of, (1.) The toph,
an instrument of the drum kind, rendered “timbrel” (Ex. 15:20;
Job 21:12; Ps. 68:25); also “tabret” (Gen. 31:27; Isa. 24:8; 1
Sam. 10:5). (2.) The paamon, the “bells” on the robe of the high
priest (Ex. 28:33; 39:25). (3.) The tseltselim, “cymbals” (2
Sam. 6:5; Ps. 150:5), which are struck together and produce a
loud, clanging sound. Metsilloth, “bells” on horses and camels
for ornament, and metsiltayim, “cymbals” (1 Chr. 13:8; Ezra
3:10, etc.). These words are all derived from the same root,
tsalal, meaning “to tinkle.” (4.) The menaan’im, used only in 2
Sam. 6:5, rendered “cornets” (R.V., “castanets”); in the
Vulgate, “sistra,” an instrument of agitation. (5.) The
shalishim, mentioned only in 1 Sam. 18:6, rendered “instruments
of music” (marg. of R.V., “triangles or three-stringed
The words in Eccl. 2:8, “musical instruments, and that of all
sorts,” Authorized Version, are in the Revised Version
“concubines very many.”
A plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant,
growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens. The little round
seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is
not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three
instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Matt. 13:31,
32; Mark 4:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19) it is spoken of only with
reference to the smallness of its seed. The common mustard of
Palestine is the Sinapis nigra. This garden herb sometimes grows
to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as “a tree” as
compared with garden herbs.
Occurring only in the title of Psalm 9. Some interpret the words
as meaning “on the death of Labben,” some unknown person. Others
render the word, “on the death of the son;” i.e., of Absalom (2
Sam. 18:33). Others again have taken the word as the name of a
musical instrument, or as the name of an air to which the psalm
Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being
spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to
and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the
ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed
to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See
One of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor, about 2 1/2
miles from the coast (Acts 27:5). Here Paul removed from the
Adramyttian ship in which he had sailed from Caesarea, and
entered into the Alexandrian ship, which was afterwards wrecked
at Melita (27:39-44).
Heb. mor. (1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the
holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It formed part of the gifts
brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the
infant Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was used in embalming (John
19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17).
It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to
death by crucifixion “wine mingled with myrrh” to produce
insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the
two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon
Jesus “he received it not” (Mark 15:23). (See GALL.)
This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree
resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the
Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The “bundle of myrrh” in
Cant. 1:13 is rather a “bag” of myrrh or a scent-bag.
(2.) Another word lot is also translated “myrrh” (Gen. 37:25;
43:11; R.V., marg., “or ladanum”). What was meant by this word
is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich,
stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is
probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the
Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or
rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight
degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called
laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.
(Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the
East by the name as, the Myrtus communis of the botanist.
“Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives),
excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the
glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining
leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and
about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It
also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor,
and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through
Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine”
A province in the north-west of Asia Minor. On his first voyage
to Europe (Acts 16:7, 8) Paul passed through this province and
embarked at its chief port Troas.
The calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so
designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth
undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made
manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other
doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully
understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1
Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized
by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven
stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman
clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The
anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle
(2 Thess. 2:7) the “mystery of iniquity.”