Areopagus - the Latin form of the Greek word rendered "Mars' hill." But it denotes also the council or court of justice which met in the open air on the hill. It was a rocky height to the west of the Acropolis at Athens, on the south-east summit of which the council was held which was constituted by Solon, and consisted of nine archons or chief magistrates who were then in office, and the ex-archons of blameless life.
On this hill of Mars (Gr. Ares) Paul delivered his memorable address to the "men of Athens" (Acts 17:22-31).
Aretas - the father-in-law of Herod Antipas, and king of Arabia Petraea. His daughter returned to him on the occasion of her husband's entering into an adulterous alliance with Herodias, the wife of Herod-Philip, his half-brother (Luke 3:19, 20; Mark 6:17; Matt. 14:3). This led to a war between Aretas and Herod Antipas. Herod's army was wholly destroyed (A.D. 36). Aretas, taking advantage of the complications of the times on account of the death of the Emperor Tiberius (A.D. 37), took possession of Damascus (2 Cor. 11:32; comp. Acts 9:25). At this time Paul returned to Damascus from Arabia.
Argob - stony heap, an "island," as it has been called, of rock about 30 miles by 20, rising 20 or 30 feet above the table-land of Bashan; a region of crags and chasms wild and rugged in the extreme. On this "island" stood sixty walled cities, ruled over by Og. It is called Trachonitis ("the rugged region") in the New Testament (Luke 3:1). These cities were conquered by the Israelites (Deut. 3:4; 1 Kings 4:13). It is now called the Lejah. Here "sixty walled cities are still traceable in a space of 308 square miles. The architecture is ponderous and massive. Solid walls 4 feet thick, and stones on one another without cement; the roofs enormous slabs of basaltic rock, like iron; the doors and gates are of stone 18 inches thick, secured by ponderous bars. The land bears still the appearance of having been called the 'land of giants' under the giant Og." "I have more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace. Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are perfect, as if only finished yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs unbroken, and even the window-shutters in their places. These ancient cities of Bashan probably contain the very oldest specimens of domestic architecture in the world" (Porter's Giant Cities). (See BASHAN.)
(1.) One of the chief men sent by Ezra to procure Levites for the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16).
(2.) A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1, 2, 7) as "victorious under God," and in Ezek. 43:15, 16, for the altar (marg., Heb. 'ariel) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel's lion-like strength.
Arimathea - a "city of the Jews" (Luke 23:51), the birth-place of Joseph in whose sepulchre our Lord was laid (Matt. 27:57, 60; John 19:38). It is probably the same place as Ramathaim in Ephraim, and the birth-place of Samuel (1 Sam. 1:1, 19). Others identify it with Ramleh in Dan, or Rama (q.v.) in Benjamin (Matt. 2:18).
Arioch - lion-like, venerable. (1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1,9). The tablets recently discovered by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA) show the true reading is Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant "servant of the moon-god." It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, "Have mercy, O moon-god." (2.) Dan. 2:14.
Ark - Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen. 6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet. 2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean" one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3). It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found existing among all nations.
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex. 2:3) is called in the Hebrew teebah, a word derived from the Egyptian teb, meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus reed.
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word, 'aron', which is the common name for a chest or coffer used for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God" (1 Sam. 3:3), "ark of the covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), "ark of the testimony" (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8). The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the "pot of manna" (Ex. 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Num. 17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6; 10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17, 18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the settlement of Israel in Palestine the ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer. 7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years), who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem, where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points in which it was inferior to the first temple.
Arkite - (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15), a designation of certain descendants from the Phoenicians or Sidonians, the inhabitants of Arka, 12 miles north of Tripoli, opposite the northern extremity of Lebanon.
Armageddon - occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., "Har-Magedon"), as symbolically designating the place where the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the "mount of Megiddo." It is the scene of the final conflict between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of Esdraelon (q.v.).
Armenia - high land, occurs only in Authorized Version, 2 Kings 19:37; in Revised Version, "Ararat," which is the Hebrew word. A country in western Asia lying between the Caspian and the Black Sea. Here the ark of Noah rested after the Deluge (Gen. 8:4). It is for the most part high table-land, and is watered by the Aras, the Kur, the Euphrates, and the Tigris. Ararat was properly the name of a part of ancient Armenia. Three provinces of Armenia are mentioned in Jer. 51:27, Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz. Some, however, think Minni a contraction for Armenia. (See ARARAT.)
(1.) The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The "rod of iron" (Ps. 2:9) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The "maul" (Prov. 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered "battle-axe" in Jer. 51:20, and "slaughter weapon" in Ezek. 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The "sword" is the usual translation of hereb, which properly means "poniard." The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1 Sam. 17:39; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh. 8:18; 1 Sam. 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num. 25:7, 8; 1 Sam. 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1 Sam. 19:9, 10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Gen. 27:3; 48:22; Ps. 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1 Sam. 17:40; 1 Chr. 12:2. Comp. 1 Sam. 25:29).
(2.) Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the tzinnah), for the protection of the whole person (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 47:9; 1 Sam. 17:7; Prov. 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. mageen) or small shield (1 Kings 10:17; Ezek. 26:8). In Ps. 91:4 "buckler" is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Ezek. 27:10; 1 Sam. 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1 Sam. 17:5), or habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev. 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1 Sam. 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph. 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.
Armour-bearer - an officer selected by kings and generals because of his bravery, not only to bear their armour, but also to stand by them in the time of danger. They were the adjutants of our modern armies (Judg. 9:54; 1 Sam. 14:7; 16:21; 31:6).
Armoury - the place in which armour was deposited when not used (Neh. 3:19; Jer. 50:25). At first each man of the Hebrews had his own arms, because all went to war. There were no arsenals or magazines for arms till the time of David, who had a large collection of arms, which he consecrated to the Lord in his tabernacle (1 Sa,. 21:9; 2 Sam. 8:7-12; 1 Chr. 26:26, 27).
Army - The Israelites marched out of Egypt in military order (Ex. 13:18, "harnessed;" marg., "five in a rank"). Each tribe formed a battalion, with its own banner and leader (Num. 2:2; 10:14). In war the army was divided into thousands and hundreds under their several captains (Num. 31:14), and also into families (Num. 2:34; 2 Chr. 25:5; 26:12). From the time of their entering the land of Canaan to the time of the kings, the Israelites made little progress in military affairs, although often engaged in warfare. The kings introduced the custom of maintaining a bodyguard (the Gibborim; i.e., "heroes"), and thus the nucleus of a standing army was formed. Saul had an army of 3,000 select warriors (1 Sam. 13:2; 14:52; 24:2). David also had a band of soldiers around him (1 Sam. 23:13; 25:13). To this band he afterwards added the Cherethites and the Pelethites (2 Sam. 15:18; 20:7). At first the army consisted only of infantry (1 Sam. 4:10; 15:4), as the use of horses was prohibited (Deut. 17:16); but chariots and horses were afterwards added (2 Sam. 8:4; 1 Kings 10:26, 28, 29; 1 Kings 9:19). In 1 Kings 9:22 there is given a list of the various gradations of rank held by those who composed the army. The equipment and maintenance of the army were at the public expense (2 Sam. 17:28, 29; 1 Kings 4:27; 10:16, 17; Judg. 20:10). At the Exodus the number of males above twenty years capable of bearing arms was 600,000 (Ex. 12:37). In David's time it mounted to the number of 1,300,000 (2 Sam. 24:9).
Arnon - swift, the southern boundary of the territory of Israel beyond Jordan, separating it from the land of Moab (Deut. 3:8, 16). This river (referred to twenty-four times in the Bible) rises in the mountains of Gilead, and after a circuitous course of about 80 miles through a deep ravine it falls into the Dead Sea nearly opposite Engedi. The stream is almost dry in summer. It is now called el-Mujeb. The territory of the Amorites extended from the Arnon to the Jabbok.
(1.) A town on the north bank of the Arnon (Deut. 4:48; Judg. 11:26; 2 Kings 10:33), the southern boundary of the kingdom of Sihon (Josh. 12:2). It is now called Arair, 13 miles west of the Dead Sea.
(2.) One of the towns built by the tribe of Gad (Num. 32:34) "before Rabbah" (Josh. 13:25), the Ammonite capital. It was famous in the history of Jephthah (Judg. 11:33) and of David (2 Sam. 24:5). (Comp. Isa. 17:2; 2 Kings 15:29.)
(3.) A city in the south of Judah, 12 miles south-east of Beersheba, to which David sent presents after recovering the spoil from the Amalekites at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:26, 28). It was the native city of two of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:44). It is now called Ar'arah.
Arpad - (Isa. 10:9; 36:19; 37:13), also Arphad, support, a Syrian city near Hamath, along with which it is invariably mentioned (2 Kings 19:13; 18:34; Isa. 10:9), and Damascus (Jer. 49:23). After a siege of three years it fell (B.C. 742) before the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser II. Now Tell Erfud.
Arphaxad - son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age of 438 years (Gen. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 1:17, 18; Luke 3:36). He dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
Arrows - At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron. Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 18:14; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They were used in war as well as in the chase (Gen. 27:3; 49:23). They were also used in divination (Ezek. 21:21).
The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; 34:6; Ps. 38:2; Deut. 32:23. Comp. Ezek. 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps. 91:5), or bitter words (Ps. 64:3), or false testimony (Prov. 25:18).
(1.) The king who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:7). He was probably the Smerdis of profane history.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 7:1, in the seventh year (B.C. 458) of whose reign Ezra led a second colony of Jews back to Jerusalem, was probably Longimanus, who reigned for forty years (B.C. 464-425); the grandson of Darius, who, fourteen years later, permitted Nehemiah to return and rebuild Jerusalem.
Artillery - 1 Sam. 20:40, (Heb. keli, meaning "apparatus;" here meaning collectively any missile weapons, as arrows and lances. In Revised Version, "weapons"). This word is derived from the Latin artillaria = equipment of war.
Arvad - wandering, (Ezek. 27:8), a small island and city on the coast of Syria, mentioned as furnishing mariners and soldiers for Tyre. The inhabitants were called Arvadites. The name is written Aruada or Arada in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets.
Asa - physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land (1 Kings 15:8-14). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. It is recorded of him, however, that in his old age, when afflicted, he "sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians" (comp. Jer. 17:5). He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honoured by his people (2 Chr. 16:1-13), and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
Asahel - made by God, the youngest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting against Ish-bosheth at Gibeon, in the army of his brother Joab, he was put to death by Abner, whom he pursued from the field of battle (2 Sam. 2:18, 19). He is mentioned among David's thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:24; 1 Chr. 11:26). Others of the same name are mentioned (2 Chr. 17:8; 31:13; Ezra 10:15).
(1.) A Levite; one of the leaders of David's choir (1 Chr. 6:39). Psalms 50 and 73-83 inclusive are attributed to him. He is mentioned along with David as skilled in music, and a "seer" (2 Chr. 29:30). The "sons of Asaph," mentioned in 1 Chr. 25:1, 2 Chr. 20:14, and Ezra 2:41, were his descendants, or more probably a class of poets or singers who recognized him as their master.
(2.) The "recorder" in the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18, 37).
(3.) The "keeper of the king's forest," to whom Nehemiah requested from Artaxerxes a "letter" that he might give him timber for the temple at Jerusalem (Neh. 2:8).
Ash - (Heb. o'ren, "tremulous"), mentioned only Isa. 44:14 (R.V., "fir tree"). It is rendered "pine tree" both in the LXX. and Vulgate versions. There is a tree called by the Arabs aran, found still in the valleys of Arabia Petraea, whose leaf resembles that of the mountain ash. This may be the tree meant. Our ash tree is not known in Syria.
Ashdod - stronghold, a Philistine city (Josh. 15:47), about midway between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), but it never came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Palestine, and hence was strongly fortified (2 Chr. 26:6; Isa. 20:1). Uzziah took it, but fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C. 758). According to Sargon's record, it was captured by him in B.C. 711. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip's return from Gaza (Acts 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.
Ashdoth-pisgah - (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 12:3; 13:20) in Authorized Version, but in Revised Version translated "slopes of Pisgah." In Deut. 4:49 it is translated in the Authorized Version "springs of Pisgah." The name Ashdoth is translated "springs" in the Authorized Version, but "slopes" in the Revised Version, of Josh. 10:40 and 12:8. It has been identified with the springs under Mount Nebo, now called 'Ayun Musa.
Asher - happy, Jacob's eigth son; his mother was Zilpah, Leah's handmaid (Gen. 30:13). Of the tribe founded by him nothing is recorded beyond its holding a place in the list of the tribes (35:26; 46:17; Ex. 1:4, etc.) It increased in numbers twenty-nine percent, during the thirty-eight years' wanderings. The place of this tribe during the march through the desert was between Dan and Naphtali (Num. 2:27). The boundaries of the inheritance given to it, which contained some of the richest soil in Palestine, and the names of its towns, are recorded in Josh. 19:24-31; Judg. 1:31, 32. Asher and Simeon were the only tribes west of the Jordan which furnished no hero or judge for the nation. Anna the prophetess was of this tribe (Luke 2:36).
Asherah - and pl. Asherim in Revised Version, instead of "grove" and "groves" of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols ("groves") are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Ex. 34:13; Judg. 6:25; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Kings 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (2 Kings 21:7; "the graven image of Asherah," R.V.). (See GROVE .).
To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (2 Sam. 13:19; Esther 4:3; Jer. 6:26, etc.).
To feed on ashes (Isa. 44:20), means to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Comp. Hos. 12:1).
Ashkelon - =Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam. 1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are found letters or official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
Ashkenaz - one of the three sons of Gomer (Gen. 10:3), and founder of one of the tribes of the Japhetic race. They are mentioned in connection with Minni and Ararat, and hence their original seat must have been in Armenia (Jer. 51:27), probably near the Black Sea, which, from their founder, was first called Axenus, and afterwards the Euxine.
Ashtaroth - a city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 12:4; 13:12; 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (1 Chr. 6:71). Uzzia, one of David's valiant men (1 Chr. 11:44), is named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments B.C. 1700-1500. The name Beesh-terah (Josh. 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah, i.e., "the house of Ashtaroth."
Ashteroth Karnaim - Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen. 14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called "Karnaim", i.e., the "two-horned" (the crescent moon). The Samaritan version renders the word by "Sunamein," the present es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Ashtoreth - the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer. 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam. 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:25).
Asia - is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10,22; 20:4, 16, 18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26, 27; 21:27; 24:18; 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Acts 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's friends.
Asnapper - probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the "great and noble" (Ezra 4:10), was the son and successor (B.C. 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was "luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature." He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria.
Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH.)
Asp - (Heb. pethen), Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Isa. 11:8. It was probably the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which was very poisonous (Rom. 3:13; Gr. aspis). The Egyptians worshipped it as the uraeus, and it was found in the desert and in the fields. The peace and security of Messiah's reign is represented by the figure of a child playing on the hole of the asp. (See ADDER.)
Ass - frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3). (2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered "foal" in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Comp. Job 11:12; Isa. 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev. 11:26. Comp. 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16; 30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam. 25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt," etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.).
Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew 'arod, mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called pe're, the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass among men").
Asshur - second son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17). He went from the land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. (Gen. 10:11,12). He probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes retained (Num. 24:22, 24; Ezek. 27:23, etc.). In Gen. 2:14 "Assyria" ought to be "Asshur," which was the original capital of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by Bel-kap-kapu about B.C. 1700. At a later date the capital was shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank of the river. (See CALAH; NINEVEH.)
Assos - a sea-port town of Proconsular Asia, in the district of Mysia, on the north shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium. Paul came hither on foot along the Roman road from Troas (Acts 20:13, 14), a distance of 20 miles. It was about 30 miles distant from Troas by sea. The island of Lesbos lay opposite it, about 7 miles distant.
Assurance - The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the "assurance" (Gr. pistis, generally rendered "faith") or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The "full assurance [Gr. plerophoria, 'full bearing'] of faith" (Heb. 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Col. 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The "full assurance of hope" (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man's own particular salvation.
This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3; 4:16).
This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought.
"Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty."
This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH.)
Assyria - the name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians were Semites (Gen. 10:22), but in process of time non-Semite tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military people, the "Romans of the East."
Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is positively known. In B.C. 1120 Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest of the Assyrian kings, "crossed the Euphrates, defeated the kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean." He may be regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to Ahab's casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon.
About a hundred years after this (B.C. 745) the crown was seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which had by this time regained its independence, and took (B.C. 740) Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a yearly tribute.
In B.C. 738, in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (2 Kings 15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by means of a present of gold and silver (2 Kings 16:8); who accordingly "marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to death, and besieged the city itself." Leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, "he advanced through the province east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword," and became master of Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died B.C. 727, and was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till B.C. 722. He also invaded Syria (2 Kings 17:5), but was deposed in favour of Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into captivity, B.C. 722 (2 Kings 17:1-6, 24; 18:7, 9). He also overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 10:6, 12, 22, 24, 34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (B.C. 705), the son and successor of Sargon (2 Kings 18:13; 19:37; Isa. 7:17, 18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor, who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian kings made the seat of his government (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in Ezra 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In B.C. 727 the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians, under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12), who, after twelve years, was subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes successfully asserted their independence (B.C. 625), and Assyria fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (10:5-19), Nahum (3:19), and Zephaniah (3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of which it was composed ceased to recognize the "great king" (2 Kings 18:19; Isa. 36:4). Ezekiel (31) attests (about B.C. 586) how completely Assyria was overthrown. It ceases to be a nation. (See NINEVEH; BABYLON.)
Astrologer - (Dan. 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27, etc.) Heb. 'ashshaph', an enchanter, one who professes to divine future events by the appearance of the stars. This science flourished among the Chaldeans. It was positively forbidden to the Jews (Deut. 4:19; 18:10; Isa. 47:13).
Astronomy - The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmanent (Amos 5:8; Ps. 19). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning star" (Rev. 2:28; comp. Isa. 14:12), the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), "the crooked serpent," Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" (Acts 28:11). The stars were called "the host of heaven" (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22).
The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the "ordinances of heaven" (Gen. 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35; 33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the "zodiac." The word "Mazzaroth" (Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, "the twelve signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the "new moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens (Ps. 8; 19:1-6; Isa. 51:6, etc.)
Asuppim - (1 Chr. 26:15, 17, Authorized Version; but in Revised Version, "storehouse"), properly the house of stores for the priests. In Neh. 12:25 the Authorized Version has "thresholds," marg. "treasuries" or "assemblies;" Revised Version, "storehouses."
Atad - buckthorn, a place where Joseph and his brethren, when on their way from Egypt to Hebron with the remains of their father Jacob, made for seven days a "great and very sore lamentation." On this account the Canaanites called it "Abel-mizraim" (Gen. 50:10, 11). It was probably near Hebron. The word is rendered "bramble" in Judg. 9:14, 15, and "thorns" in Ps. 58:9.
(1.) A city east of Jordan, not far from Gilead (Num. 32:3).
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2, 7), called also Ataroth-adar (16:5). Now ed-Da'rieh.
(3.) "Ataroth, the house of Joab" (1 Chr. 2:54), a town of Judah inhabited by the descendants of Caleb.
(1.) Ezra 2:16.
(2.) (2.) Neh. 10:17.
(3.) (3.) Ezra 2:42.
(1.) The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Kings 8:18), who "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab" (2 Chr. 21:6), called "daughter" of Omri (2 Kings 8:26). On the death of her husband and of her son Ahaziah, she resolved to seat herself on the vacant throne. She slew all Ahaziah's children except Joash, the youngest (2 Kings 11:1,2). After a reign of six years she was put to death in an insurrection (2 Kings 11:20; 2 Chr. 21:6; 22:10-12; 23:15), stirred up among the people in connection with Josiah's being crowned as king.
(2.) Ezra 8:7. (3.) 1 Chr. 8:26.
Athens - the capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty (Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist that it was "easier to find a god at Athens than a man."
On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts 17:15; comp. 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown God" (23) was probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at the spot where they lay down, "to the god concerned."
Atonement - This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of frequent occurrence.
The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ.
But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf.
By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement." Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6; Rom. 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.
Atonement, Day of - the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11.
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to sunset. (See AZAZEL.)
Augustus - the cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His decree that "all the world should be taxed" was the divinely ordered occasion of Jesus' being born, according to prophecy (Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title meaning "majesty" or "venerable," first given to him by the senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire (Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.
Augustus band - (Acts 27:1.: literally, of Sebaste, the Greek form of Augusta, the name given to Caesarea in honour of Augustus Caesar). Probably this "band" or cohort consisted of Samaritan soldiers belonging to Caesarea.
(1.) Hosea speaks of the "high places of Aven" (10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it Beth-aven, i.e., "the house of vanity" (4:15), on account of the golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1 Kings 12:28).
(2.) Translated by the LXX. "On" in Ezek. 30:17. The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (q.v.).
(3.) In Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.
Avenger of blood - (Heb. goel, from verb gaal, "to be near of kin," "to redeem"), the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and duty to slay the murderer (2 Sam. 14:7, 11) if he found him outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Ex. 21:13; Num. 35:13; Deut. 19:1,9). These were in different parts of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety. Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities of the city, and the wilful murderer was on no account to be spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and was delivered up to the goel (Deut. 19:11-13). If the offence was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within the city till the death of the high priest (Num. 35:25).
Avim - a people dwelling in Hazerim, or "the villages" or "encampments" on the south-west corner of the sea-coast (Deut. 2:23). They were subdued and driven northward by the Caphtorim. A trace of them is afterwards found in Josh. 13:3, where they are called Avites.
Awl - an instrument only referred to in connection with the custom of boring the ear of a slave (Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17), in token of his volunteering perpetual service when he might be free. (Comp. Ps. 40:6; Isa. 50:5).
Axe - used in the Authorized Version of Deut. 19:5; 20:19; 1 Kings 6:7, as the translation of a Hebrew word which means "chopping." It was used for felling trees (Isa. 10:34) and hewing timber for building. It is the rendering of a different word in Judg. 9:48, 1 Sam. 13:20, 21, Ps. 74:5, which refers to its sharpness. In 2 Kings 6:5 it is the translation of a word used with reference to its being made of iron. In Isa. 44:12 the Revised Version renders by "axe" the Hebrew maatsad, which means a "hewing" instrument. In the Authorized Version it is rendered "tongs." It is also used in Jer. 10:3, and rendered "axe." The "battle-axe" (army of Medes and Persians) mentioned in Jer. 51:20 was probably, as noted in the margin of the Revised Version, a "maul" or heavy mace. In Ps. 74:6 the word so rendered means "feller." (See the figurative expression in Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9.)
Azal - (Zech. 14:5) should perhaps be rendered "very near" = "the way of escape shall be made easy." If a proper name, it may denote some place near the western extremity of the valley here spoken of near Jerusalem.
(1.) Son of Ethan, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:8).
(2.) Son of Ahimaaz, who succeeded his grandfather Zadok as high priest (1 Chr. 6:9; 1 Kings 4:2) in the days of Solomon. He officiated at the consecration of the temple (1 Chr. 6:10).
(3.) The son of Johanan, high priest in the reign of Abijah and Asa (2 Chr. 6:10, 11).
(4.) High priest in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:17-20). He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Joel.
(5.) High priest in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:10-13). Of the house of Zadok.
(6.) Several other priests and Levites of this name are mentioned (1 Chr. 6:36; Ezra 7:1; 1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 3:23, etc.).
(7.) The original name of Abed-nego (Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 16). He was of the royal family of Judah, and with his other two companions remarkable for his personal beauty and his intelligence as well as piety.
(8.) The son of Oded, a remarkable prophet in the days of Asa (2 Chr. 15:1). He stirred up the king and the people to a great national reformation.
Azazel - (Lev. 16:8, 10, 26, Revised Version only here; rendered "scape-goat" in the Authorized Version). This word has given rise to many different views. Some Jewish interpreters regard it as the name of a place some 12 miles east of Jerusalem, in the wilderness. Others take it to be the name of an evil spirit, or even of Satan. But when we remember that the two goats together form a type of Christ, on whom the Lord "laid the iniquity of us all," and examine into the root meaning of this word (viz., "separation"), the interpretation of those who regard the one goat as representing the atonement made, and the other, that "for Azazel," as representing the effect of the great work of atonement (viz., the complete removal of sin), is certainly to be preferred. The one goat which was "for Jehovah" was offered as a sin-offering, by which atonement was made. But the sins must also be visibly banished, and therefore they were symbolically laid by confession on the other goat, which was then "sent away for Azazel" into the wilderness. The form of this word indicates intensity, and therefore signifies the total separation of sin: it was wholly carried away. It was important that the result of the sacrifices offered by the high priest alone in the sanctuary should be embodied in a visible transaction, and hence the dismissal of the "scape-goat." It was of no consequence what became of it, as the whole import of the transaction lay in its being sent into the wilderness bearing away sin. As the goat "for Jehovah" was to witness to the demerit of sin and the need of the blood of atonement, so the goat "for Azazel" was to witness to the efficacy of the sacrifice and the result of the shedding of blood in the taking away of sin.
(1.) One of the Levitical harpers in the temple (1 Chr. 15:21).
(2.) The father of Hoshea, who was made ruler over the Ephraimites (1 Chr. 27:20).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple offerings (2 Chr. 31:13).
Azekah - dug over, a town in the Shephelah or low hills of Judah (Josh. 15:35), where the five confederated Amoritish kings were defeated by Joshua and their army destroyed by a hailstrom (10:10, 11). It was one of the places re-occupied by the Jews on their return from the Captivity (Neh. 11:30).
(1.) One of David's thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:31).
(2.) An overseer over the royal treasury in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:25).
(3.) A town in the tribe of Judah, near Jerusalem (Neh. 12:29; Ezra 2:24).
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:36
(1.) The wife of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:18, 19).
(2.) The daughter of Shilhi, and mother of king Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:42).
(1.) The father of Hananiah, a false prophet (Jer. 28:1).
(2.) The father of Jaazaniah (Ezek. 11:1).
(3.) One of those who sealed the covenant with Jehovah on the return from Babylon (Neh. 10:17).
(1.) The name appropriated to the principal male god of the Phoenicians. It is found in several places in the plural BAALIM (Judg. 2:11; 10:10; 1 Kings 18:18; Jer. 2:23; Hos. 2:17). Baal is identified with Molech (Jer. 19:5). It was known to the Israelites as Baal-peor (Num. 25:3; Deut. 4:3), was worshipped till the time of Samuel (1 Sam 7:4), and was afterwards the religion of the ten tribes in the time of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33; 18:19, 22). It prevailed also for a time in the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 8:27; comp. 11:18; 16:3; 2 Chr. 28:2), till finally put an end to by the severe discipline of the Captivity (Zeph. 1:4-6). The priests of Baal were in great numbers (1 Kings 18:19), and of various classes (2 Kings 10:19). Their mode of offering sacrifices is described in 1 Kings 18:25-29. The sun-god, under the general title of Baal, or "lord," was the chief object of worship of the Canaanites. Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals were summed up under the name of Baalim, or "lords." Each Baal had a wife, who was a colourless reflection of himself.
(2.) A Benjamite, son of Jehiel, the progenitor of the Gibeonites (1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36).
(3.) The name of a place inhabited by the Simeonites, the same probably as Baal-ath-beer (1 Chr. 4:33; Josh. 19:8).
(1.) A city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:29), elsewhere called Balah (Josh. 19:3) and Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29). Now Khurbet Zebalah.
(2.) A city on the northern border of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:10), called also Kirjath-jearim, q.v. (15:9; 1 Chr. 13:6), now Kuriet-el-Enab, or as some think, 'Erma.
(3.) A mountain on the north-western boundary of Judah and Dan (Josh. 15:11).
Baalbec - called by the Greeks Heliopolis i.e., "the city of the sun", because of its famous Temple of the Sun, has by some been supposed to be Solomon's "house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 9:16); by others it is identified with Baal-gad (q.v.). It was a city of Coele-Syria, on the lowest declivity of Anti-Libanus, about 42 miles north-west of Damascus. It was one of the most splendid of Syrian cities, existing from a remote antiquity. After sustaining several sieges under the Moslems and others, it was finally destroyed by an earthquake in 1759. Its ruins are of great extent.
Baal-berith - covenant lord, the name of the god worshipped in Shechem after the death of Gideon (Judg. 8:33; 9:4). In 9:46 he is called simply "the god Berith." The name denotes the god of the covenant into which the Israelites entered with the Canaanites, contrary to the command of Jehovah (Ex. 34:12), when they began to fall away to the worship of idols.
Baal-gad - lord of fortune, or troop of Baal, a Canaanite city in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon, hence called Baal-hermon (Judge. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), near the source of the Jordan (Josh. 13:5; 11:17; 12:7). It was the most northern point to which Joshua's conquests extended. It probably derived its name from the worship of Baal. Its modern representative is Banias. Some have supposed it to be the same as Baalbec.
Baal-hamon - place of a multitude, a place where Solomon had an extensive vineyard (Cant. 8:11). It has been supposed to be identical with Baal-gad, and also with Hammon in the tribe of Asher (Josh. 19:28). Others identify it with Belamon, in Central Palestine, near Dothaim.
(1.) A king of Edom, son of Achbor (Gen. 36:38, 39; 1 Chr. 1:49, 50).
(2.) An overseer of "the olive trees and sycomore trees in the low plains" (the Shephelah) under David (1 Chr. 27:28).
Baal-hazor - having a courtyard, or Baal's village, the place on the borders of Ephraim and Benjamin where Absalom held the feast of sheep-shearing when Amnon was assassinated (2 Sam. 13:23). Probably it is the same with Hazor (Neh. 11:33), now Tell' Asur, 5 miles north-east of Bethel.
(1.) A city near Mount Hermon inhabited by the Ephraimites (1 Chr. 5:23). Probably identical with Baal-gad (Josh. 11:17).
(2.) A mountain east of Lebanon (Judg. 3:3). Probably it may be the same as Mount Hermon, or one of its three peaks.
Baal-meon - lord of dwelling, a town of Reuben (Num. 32:38), called also Beth-meon (Jer. 48:23) and Beth-baal-meon (Josh. 13:17). It is supposed to have been the birth-place of Elisha. It is identified with the modern M'ain, about 3 miles south-east of Heshbon.
Baal-peor - lord of the opening, a god of the Moabites (Num. 25:3; 31:16; Josh. 22:17), worshipped by obscene rites. So called from Mount Peor, where this worship was celebrated, the Baal of Peor. The Israelites fell into the worship of this idol (Num. 25:3, 5, 18; Deut. 4:3; Ps. 106:28; Hos. 9:10).
Baal-perazim - Baal having rents, bursts, or destructions, the scene of a victory gained by David over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20; 1 Chr. 14:11). Called Mount Perazim (Isa. 28:21). It was near the valley of Rephaim, west of Jerusalem. Identified with the modern Jebel Aly.
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