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Easton's Bible Dictionary (N)

          Pleasantness, one of the three sons of Caleb, the son of
          Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).

          The beautiful. (1.) The daughter of Lamech and Zillah (Gen. 4:

          (2.) The daughter of the king of Ammon, one of the wives of
          Solomon, the only one who appears to have borne him a son, viz.,
          Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21, 31).

          (3.) A city in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:41), supposed by
          some to be identified with Na’aneh, some 5 miles south-east of

          Pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad
          II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with
          leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on
          his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her
          master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it
          to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design
          against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of
          this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took
          place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that
          is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by
          dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word
          of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).

          The designation of Zophar, one of Job’s three friends (Job 2:11;
          11:1), so called from some place in Arabia, called Naamah

          A girl, the second of Ashur’s two wives, of the tribe of Judah
          (1 Chr. 4:5, 6).

          Youthful, a military chief in David’s army (1 Chr. 11:37),
          called also Paarai (2 Sam. 23:35).

          Boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho
          (1 Chr. 7:28).

          Girl, a town on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh.
          16:7), not far probably from Jericho, to the north (1 Chr.

          Foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25),
          the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was “very
          great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats…but the man was
          churlish and evil in his doings.” During his wanderings David
          came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to
          shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask “whatsoever
          cometh unto thy hand for thy servants.” Nabal insultingly
          resented the demand, saying, “Who is David, and who is the son
          of Jesse?” (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood
          by and saw the reception David’s messengers had met with,
          informed Abigail, Nabal’s wife, who at once realized the danger
          that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the
          camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions
          (25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that
          David’s anger was appeased, and he said to her, “Blessed be the
          Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me.”

          On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness
          of understanding the state of matters, and not till the
          following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was
          stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had
          exposed him. “His heart died within him, and he became as a
          stone.” and about ten days after “the Lord smote Nabal that he
          died” (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail

          Fruits, “the Jezreelite,” was the owner of a portion of ground
          on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26).
          This small “plat of ground” seems to have been all he possessed.
          It was a vineyard, and lay “hard by the palace of Ahab” (1 Kings
          21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on
          any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from
          his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property
          (Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, was grievously offended at
          Naboth’s refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and
          cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his
          fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and
          said, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not
          alive, but dead.” Ahab arose and went forth into the garden
          which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly
          enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared
          before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings
          21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so
          deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu’s memory that
          many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he
          was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and
          Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was
          extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his
          kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).

          Ahab humbled himself at Elijah’s words (1 Kings 21:28, 29), and
          therefore the prophecy was fulfilled not in his fate but in that
          of his son Joram (2 Kings 9:25).

          The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel,
          furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive
          providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps.
          109:17, 18).

          Prepared, the owner of a thrashing-floor near which Uzzah was
          slain (2 Sam. 6:6); called also Chidon (1 Chr. 13:9).

          Liberal, generous. (1.) The eldest of Aaron’s four sons (Ex.
          6:23; Num. 3:2). He with his brothers and their father were
          consecrated as priests of Jehovah (Ex. 28:1). He afterwards
          perished with Abihu for the sin of offering strange fire on the
          altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 3:4; 26:60).

          (2.) The son and successor of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1
          Kings 14:20). While engaged with all Israel in laying siege to
          Gibbethon, a town of southern Dan (Josh. 19:44), a conspiracy
          broke out in his army, and he was slain by Baasha (1 Kings
          15:25-28), after a reign of two years (B.C. 955-953). The
          assassination of Nadab was followed by that of his whole house,
          and thus this great Ephraimite family became extinct (1 Kings

          (3.) One of the sons of Shammai in the tribe of Judah (1 Chr.
          2:28, 30).

          Illuminating, one of the ancestors of Christ in the maternal
          line (Luke 3:25).

          Possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the
          Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of
          Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M’ain, the
          ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan,
          not far from the Dead Sea.

          Pasture, a city in Zebulun on the border of Issachar (Josh.
          19:15), the same as Nahalol (Judg. 1:30). It was given to the
          Levites. It has been by some identified with Malul in the plain
          of Esdraelon, 4 miles from Nazareth.

          Snorer, a Berothite, one of David’s heroes, and armour-bearer of
          Joab (1 Chr. 11:39).

          Serpent. (1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The
          inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger
          from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their
          extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering
          together an army he marched against Nahash. “And it came to pass
          that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them
          [the Ammonites] were not left together” (1 Sam. 11:1-11).

          (2.) Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is
          mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings (2
          Sam. 10:2). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to
          Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The
          grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a
          war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians,
          were completely routed in a battle fought at “the entering in of
          the gate,” probably of Medeba (2 Sam. 10:6-14). Again Hadarezer
          rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the
          Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam
          (2 Sam. 10:17), near to Hamath (1 Chr. 18:3). “So the Syrians
          feared to help the children of Ammon any more” (2 Sam. 10:19).

          (3.) The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of
          Abasolom’s army (2 Sam. 17:25). Jesse’s wife had apparently been
          first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah,
          who were thus David’s sisters, but only on the mother’s side (1
          Chr. 2:16).

          Rest. (1.) One of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen.
          36:13, 17). (2.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 6:26). (3.) A
          Levite, one of the overseers of the sacred offerings of the
          temple (2 Chr. 31:13).

          Hidden, one of the twelve spies sent out to explore the land of
          Canaan (Num. 13:14).

          Snorting. (1.) The father of Terah, who was the father of
          Abraham (Gen. 11:22-25; Luke 3:34).

          (2.) A son of Terah, and elder brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:26,
          27; Josh. 24:2, R.V.). He married Milcah, the daughter of his
          brother Haran, and remained in the land of his nativity on the
          east of the river Euphrates at Haran (Gen. 11:27-32). A
          correspondence was maintained between the family of Abraham in
          Canaan and the relatives in the old ancestral home at Haran till
          the time of Jacob. When Jacob fled from Haran all intercourse
          between the two branches of the family came to an end (Gen.
          31:55). His grand-daughter Rebekah became Isaac’s wife (24:67).

          Sorcerer, the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of
          Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the
          wilderness (Ex. 6:23). His sister Elisheba was the wife of
          Aaron. He died in the wilderness (Num. 26:64, 65). His name
          occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ
          (Matt, 1:4; Luke 3:32).

          Consolation, the seventh of the so-called minor prophets, an
          Elkoshite. All we know of him is recorded in the book of his
          prophecies. He was probably a native of Galilee, and after the
          deportation of the ten tribes took up his residence in
          Jerusalem. Others think that Elkosh was the name of a place on
          the east bank of the Tigris, and that Nahum dwelt there.

   Nahum, Book of
          Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the
          reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his
          prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of
          Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion,
          internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book
          was written in Jerusalem (soon after B.C. 709), where he
          witnessed the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his
          host (2 Kings 19:35).

          The subject of this prophecy is the approaching complete and
          final destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the great and at
          that time flourishing Assyrian empire. Assur-bani-pal was at the
          height of his glory. Nineveh was a city of vast extent, and was
          then the centre of the civilzation and commerce of the world, a
          “bloody city all full of lies and robbery” (Nah. 3:1), for it
          had robbed and plundered all the neighbouring nations. It was
          strongly fortified on every side, bidding defiance to every
          enemy; yet it was to be utterly destroyed as a punishment for
          the great wickedness of its inhabitants.

          Jonah had already uttered his message of warning, and Nahum was
          followed by Zephaniah, who also predicted (Zeph. 2:4-15) the
          destruction of the city, predictions which were remarkably
          fulfilled (B.C. 625) when Nineveh was destroyed apparently by
          fire, and the Assyrian empire came to an end, an event which
          changed the face of Asia. (See [428]NINEVEH.)

          For fastening. (1.) Hebrew yathed, “piercing,” a peg or nail of
          any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex.
          27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the
          temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used
          metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as
          “the battle-bow” represents a warrior.

          (2.) Masmer, a “point,” the usual word for a nail. The words of
          the wise are compared to “nails fastened by the masters of
          assemblies” (Eccl. 12:11, A.V.). The Revised Version reads, “as
          nails well fastened are the words of the masters,” etc. Others
          (as Plumptre) read, “as nails fastened are the masters of
          assemblies” (comp. Isa. 22:23; Ezra 9:8). David prepared nails
          for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3; 2 Chr. 3:9). The nails by which our
          Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned (John 20:25; Col.

          Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, “scraping”). To “pare the
          nails” is in Deut. 21:12 (marg., “make,” or “dress,” or “suffer
          to grow”) one of the signs of purification, separation from
          former heathenism (comp. Lev. 14:8; Num. 8:7). In Jer. 17:1 this
          word is rendered “point.”

          (from Heb. nain, “green pastures,” “lovely”), the name of a town
          near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow’s son (Luke
          7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein,
          standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (=the “hill
          Moreh” = “Little hermon”), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25
          southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it
          stands is the great plain of Esdraelon.

          This was the first miracle of raising the dead our Lord had
          wrought, and it excited great awe and astonishment among the

          Dwellings, the name given to the prophetical college established
          by Samuel near Ramah. It consisted of a cluster of separate
          dwellings, and hence its name. David took refuge here when he
          fled from Saul (1 Sam. 19:18, 19, 22, 23), and here he passed a
          few weeks in peace (comp. Ps. 11). It was probably the common
          residence of the “sons of the prophets.”

          This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21;
          Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa.
          58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has
          laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears
          clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1
          Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used
          figuratively, meaning “being discovered” or “made manifest” (Job
          26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression “the people were
          naked” (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version
          “the people were broken loose”, i.e., had fallen into a state of
          lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words “he
          made Judah naked” (A.V.), but Revised Version “he had dealt
          wantonly in Judah,” mean “he had permitted Judah to break loose
          from all the restraints of religion.”

          The lovable; my delight, the wife of Elimelech, and mother of
          Mahlon and Chilion, and mother-in-law of Ruth (1:2, 20, 21;
          2:1). Elimelech and his wife left the district of
          Bethlehem-Judah, and found a new home in the uplands of Moab. In
          course of time he died, as also his two sons Mahlon and Chilion,
          who had married women of Moab, and three widows were left
          mourning the loss of their husbands. Naomi longs to return now
          to her own land, to Bethlehem. One of her widowed
          daughters-in-law, Ruth, accompanies her, and is at length
          married to Boaz (q.v.).

          Refresher, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chr. 1:31).
          He was the father of an Arab tribe.

          My wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah,
          Rachel’s handmaid (Gen. 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt,
          Naphtali had four sons (Gen. 46:24). Little is known of him as
          an individual.

   Naphtali, Mount
          The mountainous district of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).

   Naphtali, Tribe of
          On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing,
          “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Gen.
          49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery
          the future character and history of the tribe.

          At the time of the Exodus this tribe numbered 53,400 adult males
          (Num. 1:43), but at the close of the wanderings they numbered
          only 45,400 (26:48-50). Along with Dan and Asher they formed
          “the camp of Dan,” under a common standard (2:25-31), occupying
          a place during the march on the north side of the tabernacle.

          The possession assigned to this tribe is set forth in Josh.
          19:32-39. It lay in the north-eastern corner of the land,
          bounded on the east by the Jordan and the lakes of Merom and
          Galilee, and on the north it extended far into Coele-Syria, the
          valley between the two Lebanon ranges. It comprehended a greater
          variety of rich and beautiful scenery and of soil and climate
          than fell to the lot of any other tribe. The territory of
          Naphtali extended to about 800 square miles, being the double of
          that of Issachar. The region around Kedesh, one of its towns,
          was originally called Galil, a name afterwards given to the
          whole northern division of Canaan. A large number of foreigners
          settled here among the mountains, and hence it was called
          “Galilee of the Gentiles” (q.v.), Matt. 4:15, 16. The southern
          portion of Naphtali has been called the “Garden of Palestine.”
          It was of unrivalled fertility. It was the principal scene of
          our Lord’s public ministry. Here most of his parables were
          spoken and his miracles wrought.

          This tribe was the first to suffer from the invasion of
          Benhadad, king of Syria, in the reigns of Baasha, king of
          Israel, and Asa, king of Judah (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4). In
          the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, the Assyrians under
          Tiglath-pileser swept over the whole north of Israel, and
          carried the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Thus the
          kingdom of Israel came to an end (B.C. 722).

          Naphtali is now almost wholly a desert, the towns of Tiberias,
          on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and Safed being the only
          places in it of any importance.

          A Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others
          identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and
          territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe,
          at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal
          residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there
          are extensive and splendid ruins.

          (Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a
          “sweat-cloth”), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But
          the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and
          as an article of dress, a “handkerchief” worn on the head (Acts

          Daffodil, a Roman whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:11). He is supposed
          to have been the private secretary of the emperor Claudius. This
          is, however, quite uncertain.

          Given. (1.) A prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon (2 Chr.
          9:29). He is first spoken of in connection with the arrangements
          David made for the building of the temple (2 Sam. 7:2, 3, 17),
          and next appears as the reprover of David on account of his sin
          with Bathsheba (12:1-14). He was charged with the education of
          Solomon (12:25), at whose inauguration to the throne he took a
          prominent part (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 11, 22-45). His two sons, Zabad
          (1 Chr. 2:36) and Azariah (1 Kings 4:5) occupied places of
          honour at the king’s court. He last appears in assisting David
          in reorganizing the public worship (2 Chr. 29:25). He seems to
          have written a life of David, and also a life of Solomon (1 Chr.
          29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29).

          (2.) A son of David, by Bathsheba (2 Sam. 5:14), whose name
          appears in the genealogy of Mary, the mother of our Lord (Luke

          (3.) Ezra 8:16.

          Given or gift of God, one of our Lord’s disciples, “of Cana in
          Galilee” (John 21:2). He was “an Israelite indeed, in whom was
          no guile” (1:47, 48). His name occurs only in the Gospel of
          John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions
          Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified. He
          was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive after his
          resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.

   Nativity of Christ
          The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted
          by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2;
          Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially
          led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was
          born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day
          of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We
          know, however, that it took place in the “fulness of the time”
          (Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world’s history.
          Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before
          the Christian era was the year of Christ’s nativity, and
          consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.

   Naughty figs
          (Jer. 24:2). “The bad figs may have been such either from having
          decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as
          being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice”
          (Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here
          referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his

          This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once
          (Matt. 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered “of
          Nazareth” (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek
          designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant
          simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time
          the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word “Nazarene”
          carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of
          Christ as “despised of men” (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think
          that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew netser,
          which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the
          Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the
          Netse, the “Branch.”

          The followers of Christ were called “the sect of Nazarenes”
          (Acts 24:5). All over Palestine and Syria this name is still
          given to Christians. (See [429]NAZARETH.)

          Separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew
          netser, a “shoot” or “sprout.” Some, however, think that the
          name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill
          behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine
          is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew
          notserah, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the
          hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.

          This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home
          of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to
          the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here Jesus grew
          up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he began his
          public ministry in the synagogue (Matt. 13:54), at which the
          people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from
          the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke 4:29). Twice
          they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29; Matt. 13:54-58);
          and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many
          mighty works because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58), and took
          up his residence in Capernaum.

          Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on
          the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of
          Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with
          the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand
          inhabitants. It lies “as in a hollow cup” lower down upon the
          hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between
          Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot
          of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.

          It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that the
          city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either because, it
          is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less cultivated
          class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles who mingled
          with them, or because of their lower type of moral and religious
          character. But there seems to be no sufficient reason for these
          suppositions. The Jews believed that, according to Micah 5:2,
          the birth of the Messiah would take place at Bethlehem, and
          nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as his countrymen,
          and believed that the great “good” which they were all expecting
          could not come from Nazareth. This is probably what Nathanael
          meant. Moreover, there does not seem to be any evidence that the
          inhabitants of Galilee were in any respect inferior, or that a
          Galilean was held in contempt, in the time of our Lord. (See Dr.
          Merrill’s Galilee in the Time of Christ.)

          The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of
          Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls.

          “The so-called Holy House’ is a cave under the Latin church,
          which appears to have been originally a tank. The brow of the
          hill’, site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the
          northern cliff: the traditional site has been shown since the
          middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the
          traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no
          authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means a watch tower’ (now
          en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer,
          ‘a branch’ (Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Matt. 2:23),
          Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite.”

          (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on
          them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes
          generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to
          God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson,
          yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses.
          The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1)
          abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from
          cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the
          continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with
          the dead.

          When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end,
          the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary
          with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a
          ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for
          a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the
          priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it
          into the fire under the peace-offering.

          For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth,
          Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be
          terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair
          which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been
          allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was
          to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed.
          This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage
          into Syria (Acts 18:18).

          On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost,
          Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. “The ceremonies
          involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but
          the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find
          companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and
          who permitted him to join their company. This permission was
          commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required
          from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair
          and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the
          others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and
          would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their
          expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last
          seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the
          temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had
          joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and
          that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the
          temple during the last period of seven days, because they could
          be secure there against any accidental defilement” (Lindsay’s

          As to the duration of a Nazarite’s vow, every one was left at
          liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture
          of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and
          John the Baptist (Judg. 13:4, 5; 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15). In its
          ordinary form, however, the Nazarite’s vow lasted only thirty,
          and at most one hundred, days. (See [430]RECHABITES.)

          This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and
          separated from all sin, a holy life.

          Shaking, or settlement, or descent, a town on the east side of
          Zebulun, not far from Rimmon (Josh. 19:13).

          New city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe
          (Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of
          Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul
          embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is
          identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.

          Height. (1.) Ishmael’s eldest son (Gen. 25:13), and the prince
          of an Israelitish tribe (16). He had a sister, Mahalath, who was
          one of Esau’s wives (Gen. 28:9; 36:3).

          (2.) The name of the Ishmaelite tribe descended from the above
          (Gen. 25:13, 18). The “rams of Nebaioth” (Isa. 60:7) are the
          gifts which these wandering tribes of the desert would
          consecrate to God.

          Wickedness in secret, (Neh. 11:34), probably the village of Beit
          Nebala, about 4 miles north of Lydda.

          Sight; aspect, the father of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1
          Kings 11:26, etc.).

          Proclaimer; prophet. (1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was
          introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this
          idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen
          at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was
          set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.

          (2.) A mountain in the land of Moab from which Moses looked for
          the first and the last time on the Promised Land (Deut. 32:49;
          34:1). It has been identified with Jebel Nebah, on the eastern
          shore of the Dead Sea, near its northern end, and about 5 miles
          south-west of Heshbon. It was the summit of the ridge of Pisgah
          (q.v.), which was a part of the range of the “mountains of
          Abarim.” It is about 2,643 feet in height, but from its position
          it commands a view of Western Palestine. Close below it are the
          plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw the
          tents of Israel spread along.

          (3.) A town on the east of Jordan which was taken possession of
          and rebuilt by the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 38; 1 Chr. 5:8).
          It was about 8 miles south of Heshbon.

          (4.) The “children of Nebo” (Ezra 2:29; Neh. 7:33) were of those
          who returned from Babylon. It was a town in Benjamin, probably
          the modern Beit Nubah, about 7 miles north-west of Hebron.

          In the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means
          “Nebo, protect the crown!” or the “frontiers.” In an inscription
          he styles himself “Nebo’s favourite.” He was the son and
          successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its
          dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the
          greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He
          married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and
          Babylonian dynasties were united.

          Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the
          Assyrians at Carchemish. (See [431]JOSIAH; [432]MEGIDDO.) This
          secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of
          Assyria, including Palestine. The remaining provinces of the
          Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But
          Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the
          western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son
          with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The Egyptians met him
          at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in
          the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back (Jer.
          46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of
          Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time “the king of Egypt came not
          again any more out of his land” (2 Kings 24:7). Nebuchadnezzar
          also subdued the whole of Palestine, and took Jerusalem,
          carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom
          were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2; Jer. 27:19; 40:1).

          Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem
          as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting
          to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led Nebuchadnezzar to
          march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once
          yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and
          deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large
          portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of
          the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his
          stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered
          into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This
          brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length
          taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken
          captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of
          Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life.

          An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an
          arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and
          genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine
          also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a
          usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel,
          who took the name of “Nebuchadrezzar.” The inscription has been
          thus translated:, “In honour of Merodach, his lord,
          Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made.”

          A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following
          inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars:
          “In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the
          country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis,
          king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread
          abroad.” Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer.
          46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of
          Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar
          now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan.
          4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom
          by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing
          in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in
          history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a “king of kings,”
          ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list
          of officers and rulers under him, “princes, governors,
          captains,” etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have
          created the mighty empire over which he ruled.

          “Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest
          monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever
          produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human
          labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths
          of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover
          the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He
          appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple
          in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account
          of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon
          itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, Is not this great
          Babylon which I have build?'” Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations.

          After the incident of the “burning fiery furnace” (Dan. 3) into
          which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was
          afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment
          for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as
          lycanthropy (i.e, “the change of a man into a wolf”). A
          remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded
          by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an
          inscription to the effect that it was presented by
          Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive
          offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness.
          (See [433]DANIEL.)

          He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in
          the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign
          of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son
          Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by
          Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius
          (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a
          century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under
          Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia.

          “I have examined,” says Sir H. Rawlinson, “the bricks belonging
          perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the
          neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend
          than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of
          Babylon.” Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of
          Babylon are stamped with his name.

          =Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 21:2, 7; 22:25; 24:1, etc.), a nearer
          approach to the correct spelling of the word.

          Adorer of Nebo, or Nebo saves me, the “Rabsaris,” or chief
          chamberlain, of the court of Babylon. He was one of those whom
          the king sent to release Jeremiah from prison in Jerusalem (Jer.

          “the captain of the guard,” in rank next to the king, who
          appears prominent in directing affairs at the capture of
          Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5). He showed
          kindness toward Jeremiah, as commanded by Nebuchadnezzar (40:1).
          Five years after this he again came to Jerusalem and carried
          captive seven hundred and forty-five more Jews.

   Necho II
          An Egyptian king, the son and successor of Psammetichus (B.C.
          610-594), the contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah. For some
          reason he proclaimed war against the king of Assyria. He led
          forth a powerful army and marched northward, but was met by the
          king of Judah at Megiddo, who refused him a passage through his
          territory. Here a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was slain
          (2 Chr. 35:20-24). Possibly, as some suppose, Necho may have
          brought his army by sea to some port to the north of Dor (comp.
          Josh. 11:2; 12:23), a Phoenician town at no great distance from
          Megiddo. After this battle Necho marched on to Carchemish
          (q.v.), where he met and conquered the Assyrian army, and thus
          all the Syrian provinces, including Palestine, came under his

          On his return march he deposed Jehoahaz, who had succeeded his
          father Josiah, and made Eliakim, Josiah’s eldest son, whose name
          he changed into Jehoiakim, king. Jehoahaz he carried down into
          Egypt, where he died (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chr. 36:1-4). Four years
          after this conquest Necho again marched to the Euphrates; but
          here he was met and his army routed by the Chaldeans (B.C. 606)
          under Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Egyptians back, and took
          from them all the territory they had conquered, from the
          Euphrates unto the “river of Egypt” (Jer. 46:2; 2 Kings 24:7,
          8). Soon after this Necho died, and was succeeded by his son,
          Psammetichus II. (See [434]NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)

          Used sometimes figuratively. To “lay down the neck” (Rom. 16:4)
          is to hazard one’s life. Threatenings of coming judgments are
          represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the
          people’s necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors
          put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their
          subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).

          (Deut. 15:11), i.e., “one who interrogates the dead,” as the
          word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets
          of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See [435]DIVINATION.)

          Moved of Jehovah, one of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:18).

          Used only in the proverb, “to pass through a needle’s eye”
          (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the
          expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal
          gate, usually called the “eye of a needle” in the East; but it
          is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled
          in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).

          In the title of Ps. 61, denotes the music of stringed
          instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; Isa. 38:20). It is the singular form
          of Neginoth.

          I.e., songs with instrumental accompaniment, found in the titles
          of Ps. 4; 6; 54; 55; 67; 76; rendered “stringed instruments,”
          Hab. 3:19, A.V. It denotes all kinds of stringed instruments, as
          the “harp,” “psaltery,” “viol,” etc. The “chief musician on
          Neginoth” is the leader of that part of the temple choir which
          played on stringed instruments.

          The name given to a false prophet Shemaiah, who went with the
          captives to Babylon (Jer. 29:24, 31, 32). The origin of the name
          is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, “dreamer.”

          Comforted by Jehovah. (1.) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7. (2.) Neh. 3:16.

          (3.) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the tribe
          of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh. 2:3).
          He was one of the “Jews of the dispersion,” and in his youth was
          appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer at the
          palace of Shushan. The king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, seems to
          have been on terms of friendly familiarity with his attendant.
          Through his brother Hanani, and perhaps from other sources (Neh.
          1:2; 2:3), he heard of the mournful and desolate condition of
          the Holy City, and was filled with sadness of heart. For many
          days he fasted and mourned and prayed for the place of his
          fathers’ sepulchres. At length the king observed his sadness of
          countenance and asked the reason of it. Nehemiah explained it
          all to the king, and obtained his permission to go up to
          Jerusalem and there to act as tirshatha, or governor of Judea.
          He went up in the spring of B.C. 446 (eleven years after Ezra),
          with a strong escort supplied by the king, and with letters to
          all the pashas of the provinces through which he had to pass, as
          also to Asaph, keeper of the royal forests, directing him to
          assist Nehemiah. On his arrival he set himself to survey the
          city, and to form a plan for its restoration; a plan which he
          carried out with great skill and energy, so that the whole was
          completed in about six months. He remained in Judea for thirteen
          years as governor, carrying out many reforms, notwithstanding
          much opposition that he encountered (Neh. 13:11). He built up
          the state on the old lines, “supplementing and completing the
          work of Ezra,” and making all arrangements for the safety and
          good government of the city. At the close of this important
          period of his public life, he returned to Persia to the service
          of his royal master at Shushan or Ecbatana. Very soon after this
          the old corrupt state of things returned, showing the
          worthlessness to a large extent of the professions that had been
          made at the feast of the dedication of the walls of the city
          (Neh. 12. See [436]EZRA). Malachi now appeared among the people
          with words of stern reproof and solemn warning; and Nehemiah
          again returned from Persia (after an absence of some two years),
          and was grieved to see the widespread moral degeneracy that had
          taken place during his absence. He set himself with vigour to
          rectify the flagrant abuses that had sprung up, and restored the
          orderly administration of public worship and the outward
          observance of the law of Moses. Of his subsequent history we
          know nothing. Probably he remained at his post as governor till
          his death (about B.C. 413) in a good old age. The place of his
          death and burial is, however, unknown. “He resembled Ezra in his
          fiery zeal, in his active spirit of enterprise, and in the piety
          of his life: but he was of a bluffer and a fiercer mood; he had
          less patience with transgressors; he was a man of action rather
          than a man of thought, and more inclined to use force than
          persuasion. His practical sagacity and high courage were very
          markedly shown in the arrangement with which he carried through
          the rebuilding of the wall and balked the cunning plans of the
          adversaries.’ The piety of his heart, his deeply religious
          spirit and constant sense of communion with and absolute
          dependence upon God, are strikingly exhibited, first in the long
          prayer recorded in ch. 1:5-11, and secondly and most remarkably
          in what have been called his interjectional prayers’, those
          short but moving addresses to Almighty God which occur so
          frequently in his writings, the instinctive outpouring of a
          heart deeply moved, but ever resting itself upon God, and
          looking to God alone for aid in trouble, for the frustration of
          evil designs, and for final reward and acceptance” (Rawlinson).
          Nehemiah was the last of the governors sent from the Persian
          court. Judea after this was annexed to the satrapy of
          Coele-Syria, and was governed by the high priest under the
          jurisdiction of the governor of Syria, and the internal
          government of the country became more and more a hierarchy.

   Nehemiah, Book of
          The author of this book was no doubt Nehemiah himself. There are
          portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7;
          12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which
          Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). It is
          supposed that these portions may have been written by Ezra; of
          this, however, there is no distinct evidence. These portions had
          their place assigned them in the book, there can be no doubt, by
          Nehemiah. He was the responsible author of the whole book, with
          the exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23.

          The date at which the book was written was probably about B.C.
          431-430, when Nehemiah had returned the second time to Jerusalem
          after his visit to Persia.

          The book, which may historically be regarded as a continuation
          of the book of Ezra, consists of four parts. (1.) An account of
          the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and of the register
          Nehemiah had found of those who had returned from Babylon (ch.
          1-7). (2.) An account of the state of religion among the Jews
          during this time (8-10). (3.) Increase of the inhabitants of
          Jerusalem; the census of the adult male population, and names of
          the chiefs, together with lists of priests and Levites
          (11-12:1-26). (4.) Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the
          arrangement of the temple officers, and the reforms carried out
          by Nehemiah (12:27-ch. 13).

          This book closes the history of the Old Testament. Malachi the
          prophet was contemporary with Nehemiah.

          Only in the title of Ps. 5. It is probably derived from a root
          meaning “to bore,” “perforate,” and hence denotes perforated
          wind instruments of all kinds. The psalm may be thus regarded as
          addressed to the conductor of the temple choir which played on
          flutes and such-like instruments.

          Copper, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, and the wife of
          Jehoiakin (2 Kings 24:8), king of Judah.

          Of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the
          serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which
          Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to
          regard it as an idol and “burn incense to it.” The lapse of
          nearly one thousand years had invested the “brazen serpent” with
          a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from
          their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its
          worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, “Nehushtan,” a
          brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).

          Dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near
          its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with
          the ruin Y’anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less
          than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.

          Cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has
          with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles
          east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount

          Day of God. (1.) One of Simeon’s five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called
          also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and
          brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).

          (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left
          untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish
          tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew
          gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, “mighty men.”

          Opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border
          between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been
          identified with Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles north-west
          of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it with Ain’
          Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is conveyed
          through “Pilate’s aqueduct” to the Haram area at Jerusalem.

          Light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be
          read, “Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner,
          were the sons of Abiel.” And hence this Kish and Ner were
          brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr.

          A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom.

          The great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the
          Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and
          hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.

          Nergal, protect the king! (1.) One of the “princes of the king
          of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against
          Jerusalem” (Jer. 39:3, 13).

          (2.) Another of the “princes,” who bore the title of “Rabmag.”
          He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from
          prison (Jer. 39:13) by “the captain of the guard.” He was a
          Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the
          inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar
          who murdered Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and
          succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (B.C. 559-556). He was
          married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace,
          the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear
          inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was
          succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign
          of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom,
          Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period
          of seventeen years (B.C. 555-538), at the close of which period
          Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in
          connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to
          have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called
          Nebuchadnezzar’s son (Dan. 5:11, 18, 22), because he had married
          his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that
          Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his
          father’s associate on the throne at the time of the fall of
          Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of
          Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered
          “father,” to represent also such a relationship as that of
          “grandfather” or “great-grandfather.”

          Occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious,
          and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to
          Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen
          years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character
          of a cruel tyrant and heathen debauchee. In May A.D. 64, a
          terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six
          days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the
          city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time,
          and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime.
          “Hence, to suppress the rumour,” says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44),
          “he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most
          exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who
          are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that
          name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate,
          procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the
          pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again,
          not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but
          through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and
          disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle,
          and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were
          seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their
          information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the
          charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in
          their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they
          were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death
          by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day
          declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his
          own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game,
          indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of
          a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling
          of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and
          deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because
          they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims
          to the ferocity of one man.” Another Roman historian, Suetonius
          (Nero, xvi.), says of him: “He likewise inflicted punishments on
          the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious
          superstition” (Forbes’s Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60).

          Nero was the emperor before whom Paul was brought on his first
          imprisonment at Rome, and the apostle is supposed to have
          suffered martyrdom during this persecution. He is repeatedly
          alluded to in Scripture (Acts 25:11; Phil. 1:12, 13; 4:22). He
          died A.D. 68.

          In use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The
          fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used
          by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets.
          (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size,
          and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from
          the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat,
          as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The
          hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown
          from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt.
          4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of
          circular form, “like the top of a tent.” (3.) The bag-net (Gr.
          diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).

          The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread
          over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it
          fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, “gin;” Ps. 69:22; Job
          18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch
          birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The
          decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27).
          Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.

          Given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of
          Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).

          (2.) One of David’s brothers (1 Chr. 2:14).

          (3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was
          brought up to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).

          (4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).

          (5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr.

          (6.) One of the “princes” appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the
          law through the cities of Judah (2 Chr. 17:7).

          (7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).

          (8.) Ezra 10:22.

          (9.) Neh. 12:21.

          (10.) A priest’s son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of the
          walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).

          Given of Jehovah. (1.) One of Asaph’s sons, appointed by David
          to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).

          (2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chr.

          (3.) Jer. 36:14.

          (4.) 2 Kings 25:23, 25.

          The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the
          post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e.,
          “those set apart”, viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for
          the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case
          in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in “s”,
          “Nethinims;” in the Revised Version, correctly without the “s”
          (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the
          Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards
          called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from
          captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David
          to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e.,
          the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only
          612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were
          under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh.
          7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament,
          because it is probable that they became merged in the general
          body of the Jewish people.

          Distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood,
          probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David’s
          guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been
          identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the
          north-east of Bethlehem.

          (1.) Heb. haral, “pricking” or “burning,” Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V.
          marg., “wild vetches”); Job 30:7; Zeph. 2:9. Many have supposed
          that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such
          as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or
          prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the
          Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in
          corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word “designates the
          prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and
          troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine.”

          (2.) Heb. qimmosh, Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Prov. 24:31 (in both
          versions, “thorns”). This word has been regarded as denoting
          thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly
          rendered “nettle,” the Urtica pilulifera, “a tall and vigorous
          plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe
          and irritating than that of our common nettle.”

   New Moon, Feast of
          Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month
          (Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See [437]FESTIVALS.)

   New Testament
          (Luke 22:20), rather “New Covenant,” in contrast to the old
          covenant of works, which is superseded. “The covenant of grace
          is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works.
          It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the
          gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive,
          and powerful manner than of old” (Brown of Haddington). Hence is
          derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See

          Victory; pure, Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56.

          A town in the “plain” of Judah. It has been identified with Beit
          Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur
          (Josh. 15:43).

          Barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the
          Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31),
          probably in the form of a dog.

          Fertile; light soil, a city somewhere “in the wilderness” of
          Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.

          Conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic
          Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.

          The people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.
          He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for
          the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord
          then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of
          being “born again.” He is next met with in the Sanhedrin
          (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were
          taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as
          taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of
          the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him.
          There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.

          The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the
          “deeds” of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is
          blamed for having them who hold their “doctrines” (15). They
          were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to
          introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness,
          thus abusing Paul’s doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16,
          19), and were probably identical with those who held the
          doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.

          The victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the
          seven deacons (Acts 6:5).

          City of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12).
          There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to
          was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus
          Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C.
          31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., “Old Prevesa.” The
          subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it “Nicopolis of
          Macedonia”, i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably

          Black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so
called from his dark complexion.

(Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev.
11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar
(Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived
from a root meaning “to scratch or tear the face,” and may be
best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, “an owl”
(Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders “night-hawk.”

Dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to
in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., “the black
stream” (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply “the river” (Gen. 41:1;
Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the “flood of Egypt” (Amos 8:8). It consists
of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the
Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the
Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum,
whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the
Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided
a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch.
(See [439]EGYPT.)

Pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the
same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with
the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from

Nimrim, Waters of
The stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer.
48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant
spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.

Firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who
claimed to be a “mighty one in the earth.” Babel was the
beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen.
10:8-10). The “land of Nimrod” (Micah 5:6) is a designation of
Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.

Saved. Jehu was “the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi” (2
Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).

First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised
Version, “He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded
Nineveh.” It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when
it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city,
the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36;
Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively
taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its
ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah. 1:14; 3:19, etc.).
Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the
fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time
there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in
gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).

This “exceeding great city” lay on the eastern or left bank of
the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles,
having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river
back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now
one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the
great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean,
thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from
many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient

About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of
weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who
subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians
and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed
to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the
Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them.
“After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous
tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the
Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and
Egypt, it vanished like a dream” (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was
strange, sudden, tragic. It was God’s doing, his judgement on
Assyria’s pride (Isa. 10:5-19).

Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and
of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague
memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but
very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which
had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins
to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of
this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to
remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter
of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made “an utter end
of the place.” It became a “desolation.”

In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had
become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian
passed the place in the “Retreat of the Ten Thousand,” the very
memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight,
and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its

At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years,
the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the
French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay
along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed
in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the
ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further
exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of
the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive
courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths
many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient

The work of exploration has been carried on almost continuously
by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and others, in the
mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and Khorsabad, and a
vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art has been exhumed.
Palace after palace has been discovered, with their decorations
and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life and manners of
this ancient people, their arts of war and peace, the forms of
their religion, the style of their architecture, and the
magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city have
been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets and
sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of their
history have been brought to light.

One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of the
library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians call
him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See
[440]ASNAPPER.) This library consists of about ten thousand flat
bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian characters.
They contain a record of the history, the laws, and the religion
of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange clay leaves
found in the royal library form the most valuable of all the
treasuries of the literature of the old world. The library
contains also old Accadian documents, which are the oldest
extant documents in the world, dating as far back as probably
about the time of Abraham. (See [441]SARGON.)

“The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our
century [reign of Assur-bani-pa]…Its victories and conquests,
uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the
spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the
Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of
Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and
Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities,
Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates…Now foreign
merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most
valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from
South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and
glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths’ work, tin, silver,
Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by
worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia” (Ancient Egypt
and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271).

The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments found
in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to
confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The
appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city
was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and
the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it.
“The recent excavations,” says Rawlinson, “have shown that fire
was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh
palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal,
colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts
of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy.”

Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an “exceeding great city of
three days’ journey”, i.e., probably in circuit. This would give
a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of an
irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud,
Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with
the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by
lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as
composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.

Month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish
sacred year. (See [442]ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu, “beginning.”

Probably connected with the Hebrew word nesher, an eagle. An
Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of
an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2
Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).

(Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., “soda”), properly “natron,” a
substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake
Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the
soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a
carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally
denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. “lye”).

Or No-A’mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient
capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or
Southern Egypt. “The multitude of No” (Jer. 46:25) is more
correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, “Amon of No”,
i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16
it is simply called “No;” but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew
Hamon prefixed to it, “Hamon No.” This prefix is probably the
name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8
the “populous No” of the Authorized Version is in the Revised
Version correctly rendered “No-Amon.”

It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for its
hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both sides of
the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included Karnak and
Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared to
Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to,
which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the
Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards
“delivered into the hand” of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal
(Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525),
further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81)
by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the
most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great
storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two
thousand years. “As I wandered day after day with ever-growing
amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt
that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and
medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall
far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single
Egyptian city.” Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.

Meeting with the Lord. (1.) A Levite who returned from Babylon
(Ezra 8:33).

(2.) A false prophetess who assisted Tobiah and Sanballat
against the Jews (Neh. 6:14). Being bribed by them, she tried to
stir up discontent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so to
embarrass Nehemiah in his great work of rebuilding the ruined
walls of the city.

Rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who
was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and
the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of
Adam’s death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the
connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the
second great progenitor of the human family.

The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have
been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a
type of Him who is the true “rest and comfort” of men under the
burden of life (Matt. 11:28).

He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him
three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a “just
man and perfect in his generation,” and “walked with God” (comp.
Ezek. 14:14, 20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth
began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race
distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more
corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked
population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a
covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened
deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark
(6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval
of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being
built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against
the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20;
2 Pet. 2:5).

When the ark of “gopher-wood” (mentioned only here) was at
length completed according to the command of the Lord, the
living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and
then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it,
and the “Lord shut him in” (Gen. 7:16). The judgment-threatened
now fell on the guilty world, “the world that then was, being
overflowed with water, perished” (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated
on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on
the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3, 4); but not for a
considerable time after this was divine permission given him to
leave the ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut
up within it (Gen. 6-14).

On leaving the ark Noah’s first act was to erect an altar, the
first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of
adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant
with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him
possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which
remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign
and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set
apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth
be destroyed by a flood.

But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21);
and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable
prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah
“lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he
died” (28:29). (See [443]DELUGE).

Noah, motion, (Heb. No’ah) one of the five daughters of
Zelophehad (Num. 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).

High place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the
history of David’s wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle
was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See
[444]AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been near
Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh, one
mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But according to
Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the road to
Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This identification
does not meet these conditions, and hence others (as Dean
Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount Olivet,
the place where David “worshipped God” when fleeing from Absalom
(2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was the same
as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16, at Nebi
Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.

After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and
girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from
behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the
court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into
prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)

Howling. (1.) Num. 32:42.

(2.) The name given to Kenath (q.v.) by Nobah when he conquered
it. It was on the east of Gilead (Judg. 8:11).

(Gr. basilikos, i.e., “king’s man”), an officer of state (John
4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have
been the Chuza, Herod’s steward, whose wife was one of those
women who “ministered unto the Lord of their substance” (Luke
8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go
down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point
of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that
his son was alive.

Exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which
Cain fled (Gen. 4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.

Noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of
Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1 Chr.

Splendour, one of David’s sons, born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:7).

The Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16;
44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name
is Moph, and is translated “Memphis,” which is its Greek and
Latin form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities
of Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo,
on the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower
Egypt. Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue
of Rameses the Great. (See [445]MEMPHIS.)

Blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num.

North country
A general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine.
Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north
(Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14, 15; 50:3, 9, 41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).

(Heb. tsaphon), a “hidden” or “dark place,” as opposed to the
sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of
the compass was considered as always having his face to the
east, and hence “the left hand” (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes
the north. The “kingdoms of the north” are Chaldea, Assyria,
Media, etc.

Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47,
Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of
ancient female ornaments. They “were made of ivory or metal, and
occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter,
and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was
of gold and weighed half a shekel…At the present day the women
in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of
the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in

Numbering of the people
Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of
the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a
general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which
David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very
reluctantly began to carry out the king’s command.

This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose
from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance
on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not
by the divine favour but by the material resources of his
kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and
forgot that he was God’s vicegerent. In all this he sinned
against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David’s heart
smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in
profound humiliation he confessed, “I have sinned greatly in
what I have done.” The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before
him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for “seven years”
in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have “three years”),
three of Jehovah’s four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of
these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months
before Absalom, and had suffered three years’ famine on account
of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his “strait” David said,
“Let me fall into the hands of the Lord.” A pestilence broke out
among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At
David’s intercession the plague was stayed, and at the
threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel
was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there
offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1).

The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at least
1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that time a
population of about six or seven millions in all. (See

Numbers, Book of
The fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew
be-midbar, i.e., “in the wilderness.” In the LXX. version it is
called “Numbers,” and this name is now the usual title of the
book. It is so called because it contains a record of the
numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of
their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).

This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us
with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness
and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three

1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for
their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an
account of the vow of a Nazarite.

2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out
of the spies and the report they brought back, and the
murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the
way (10:11-21:20).

3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the
Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).

The period comprehended in the history extends from the second
month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of
the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about
thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of
wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in
the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their
wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this
history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty
over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the
other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended
their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his
displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should “not enter
into his rest” because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19).

This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence of
having been written by Moses.

The expression “the book of the wars of the Lord,” occurring in
21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all, “what
this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel not
now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained
songs and triumphs of their king Sihon’s victories, out of which
Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of
heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12).”

Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is
known of him (Ex. 33:11).

Were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of
conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the
pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of
an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word (egoz), which
means “walnuts,” is used.

Nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a
member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).