Perfection - See SANCTIFICATION.
Perfumes - were used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Ex. 30:35-37; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 3:6; Isa. 57:9); and also in embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mark 14:8; Luke 24:1; John 19:39).
Perga - the capital of Pamphylia, on the coast of Asia Minor. Paul and his companions landed at this place from Cyprus on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13, 14), and here Mark forsook the party and returned to Jerusalem. Some time afterwards Paul and Barnabas again visited this city and "preached the word" (14:25). It stood on the banks of the river Cestrus, some 7 miles from its mouth, and was a place of some commercial importance. It is now a ruin, called Eski Kalessi.
Pergamos - the chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven churches" was planted here (Rev. 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20 miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city.
Perizzites - villagers; dwellers in the open country, the Canaanitish nation inhabiting the fertile regions south and south-west of Carmel. "They were the graziers, farmers, and peasants of the time." They were to be driven out of the land by the descendants of Abraham (Gen. 15:20; Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11). They are afterwards named among the conquered tribes (Josh. 24:11). Still lingering in the land, however, they were reduced to servitude by Solomon (1 Kings 9:20).
Persecution - The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, "a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race", sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab's example in this respect was followed by Manasseh, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16; comp. 24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad record may be made.
Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12). The words of Ps. 7:13, "He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors," ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, "He maketh his arrows fiery [shafts]."
Perseverance of the saints - their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life.
This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28, 29; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jer. 31:3; Matt. 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer. 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2-6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa. 53:6, 11; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Rom. 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 1 John 3:9).
This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue therein for some time. (See BACKSLIDE.)
Persia - an ancient empire, extending from the Indus to Thrace, and from the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia, on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European group. One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in Persia. Cyrus II., king of Anzan, finally united the divided power, conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia, and carried his arms into the far East. His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube.
Peter - originally called Simon (=Simeon ,i.e., "hearing"), a very common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona (Matt. 16:17). His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus (John 1:40-42). His native town was Bethsaida, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and was trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably died while he was still young, and he and his brother were brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; 16:1). There the four youths, Simon, Andrew, James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all the advantages of a religious training, and were early instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They did not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before the Sanhedrin, he looked like an "unlearned man" (Acts 4:13).
"Simon was a Galilean, and he was that out and out...The Galileans had a marked character of their own. They had a reputation for an independence and energy which often ran out into turbulence. They were at the same time of a franker and more transparent disposition than their brethren in the south. In all these respects, in bluntness, impetuosity, headiness, and simplicity, Simon was a genuine Galilean. They spoke a peculiar dialect. They had a difficulty with the guttural sounds and some others, and their pronunciation was reckoned harsh in Judea. The Galilean accent stuck to Simon all through his career. It betrayed him as a follower of Christ when he stood within the judgment-hall (Mark 14:70). It betrayed his own nationality and that of those conjoined with him on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:7)." It would seem that Simon was married before he became an apostle. His wife's mother is referred to (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38). He was in all probability accompanied by his wife on his missionary journeys (1 Cor. 9:5; comp. 1 Pet. 5:13).
He appears to have been settled at Capernaum when Christ entered on his public ministry, and may have reached beyond the age of thirty. His house was large enough to give a home to his brother Andrew, his wife's mother, and also to Christ, who seems to have lived with him (Mark 1:29, 36; 2:1), as well as to his own family. It was apparently two stories high (2:4).
At Bethabara (R.V., John 1:28, "Bethany"), beyond Jordan, John the Baptist had borne testimony concerning Jesus as the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29-36). Andrew and John hearing it, followed Jesus, and abode with him where he was. They were convinced, by his gracious words and by the authority with which he spoke, that he was the Messiah (Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:29); and Andrew went forth and found Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41).
Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means "a mass of rock detached from the living rock." The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him (Matt. 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31, comp. 21:15-17). We are not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced on the mind of Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:18-22). There the four (Simon and Andrew, James and John) had had an unsuccessful night's fishing. Jesus appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon's boat, bade him launch forth and let down the nets. He did so, and enclosed a great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought before Simon's eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at the feet of Jesus, crying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Jesus addressed him with the assuring words, "Fear not," and announced to him his life's work. Simon responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after this we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.
He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and becomes a "fisher of men" (Matt. 4:19) in the stormy seas of the world of human life (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16), and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading events of our Lord's life. It is he who utters that notable profession of faith at Capernaum (John 6:66-69), and again at Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20). This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and our Lord in response used these memorable words: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
"From that time forth" Jesus began to speak of his sufferings. For this Peter rebuked him. But our Lord in return rebuked Peter, speaking to him in sterner words than he ever used to any other of his disciples (Matt. 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33). At the close of his brief sojourn at Caesarea our Lord took Peter and James and John with him into "an high mountain apart," and was transfigured before them. Peter on that occasion, under the impression the scene produced on his mind, exclaimed, "Lord, it is good for us to be here: let us make three tabernacles" (Matt. 17:1-9).
On his return to Capernaum the collectors of the temple tax (a didrachma, half a sacred shekel), which every Israelite of twenty years old and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:15), came to Peter and reminded him that Jesus had not paid it (Matt. 17:24-27). Our Lord instructed Peter to go and catch a fish in the lake and take from its mouth the exact amount needed for the tax, viz., a stater, or two half-shekels. "That take," said our Lord, "and give unto them for me and thee."
As the end was drawing nigh, our Lord sent Peter and John (Luke 22:7-13) into the city to prepare a place where he should keep the feast with his disciples. There he was forewarned of the fearful sin into which he afterwards fell (22:31-34). He accompanied our Lord from the guest-chamber to the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46), which he and the other two who had been witnesses of the transfiguration were permitted to enter with our Lord, while the rest were left without. Here he passed through a strange experience. Under a sudden impulse he cut off the ear of Malchus (47-51), one of the band that had come forth to take Jesus. Then follow the scenes of the judgment-hall (54-61) and his bitter grief (62).
He is found in John's company early on the morning of the resurrection. He boldly entered into the empty grave (John 20:1-10), and saw the "linen clothes laid by themselves" (Luke 24:9-12). To him, the first of the apostles, our risen Lord revealed himself, thus conferring on him a signal honour, and showing how fully he was restored to his favour (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5). We next read of our Lord's singular interview with Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where he thrice asked him, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" (John 21:1-19). (See LOVE.)
After this scene at the lake we hear nothing of Peter till he again appears with the others at the ascension (Acts 1:15-26). It was he who proposed that the vacancy caused by the apostasy of Judas should be filled up. He is prominent on the day of Pentecost (2:14-40). The events of that day "completed the change in Peter himself which the painful discipline of his fall and all the lengthened process of previous training had been slowly making. He is now no more the unreliable, changeful, self-confident man, ever swaying between rash courage and weak timidity, but the stead-fast, trusted guide and director of the fellowship of believers, the intrepid preacher of Christ in Jerusalem and abroad. And now that he is become Cephas indeed, we hear almost nothing of the name Simon (only in Acts 10:5, 32; 15:14), and he is known to us finally as Peter."
After the miracle at the temple gate (Acts 3) persecution arose against the Christians, and Peter was cast into prison. He boldly defended himself and his companions at the bar of the council (4:19, 20). A fresh outburst of violence against the Christians (5:17-21) led to the whole body of the apostles being cast into prison; but during the night they were wonderfully delivered, and were found in the morning teaching in the temple. A second time Peter defended them before the council (Acts 5:29-32), who, "when they had called the apostles and beaten them, let them go."
The time had come for Peter to leave Jerusalem. After labouring for some time in Samaria, he returned to Jerusalem, and reported to the church there the results of his work (Acts 8:14-25). Here he remained for a period, during which he met Paul for the first time since his conversion (9:26-30; Gal. 1:18). Leaving Jerusalem again, he went forth on a missionary journey to Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43). He is next called on to open the door of the Christian church to the Gentiles by the admission of Cornelius of Caesarea (ch. 10).
After remaining for some time at Caesarea, he returned to Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18), where he defended his conduct with reference to the Gentiles. Next we hear of his being cast into prison by Herod Agrippa (12:1-19); but in the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates, and he went forth and found refuge in the house of Mary.
He took part in the deliberations of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31; Gal. 2:1-10) regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the church. This subject had awakened new interest at Antioch, and for its settlement was referred to the council of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Here Paul and Peter met again.
We have no further mention of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. He seems to have gone down to Antioch after the council at Jerusalem, and there to have been guilty of dissembling, for which he was severely reprimanded by Paul (Gal. 2:11-16), who "rebuked him to his face."
After this he appears to have carried the gospel to the east, and to have laboured for a while at Babylon, on the Euphrates (1 Pet. 5:13). There is no satisfactory evidence that he was ever at Rome. Where or when he died is not certainly known. Probably he died between A.D. 64 and 67.
Its object is to confirm its readers in the doctrines they had been already taught. Peter has been called "the apostle of hope," because this epistle abounds with words of comfort and encouragement fitted to sustain a "lively hope." It contains about thirty-five references to the Old Testament.
It was written from Babylon, on the Euphrates, which was at this time one of the chief seats of Jewish learning, and a fitting centre for labour among the Jews. It has been noticed that in the beginning of his epistle Peter names the provinces of Asia Minor in the order in which they would naturally occur to one writing from Babylon. He counsels
(1) to steadfastness and perseverance under persecution (1-2:10);
(2) to the practical duties of a holy life (2:11-3:13);
(3) he adduces the example of Christ and other motives to patience and holiness (3:14-4:19); and
(4) concludes with counsels to pastors and people (ch. 5).
Peter, Second Epistle of - The question of the authenticity of this epistle has been much discussed, but the weight of evidence is wholly in favour of its claim to be the production of the apostle whose name it bears. It appears to have been written shortly before the apostle's death (1:14). This epistle contains eleven references to the Old Testament. It also contains (3:15, 16) a remarkable reference to Paul's epistles. Some think this reference is to 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11. A few years ago, among other documents, a parchment fragment, called the "Gospel of Peter," was discovered in a Christian tomb at Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Origen (obiit A.D. 254), Eusebius (obiit 340), and Jerome (obiit 420) refer to such a work, and hence it has been concluded that it was probably written about the middle of the second century. It professes to give a history of our Lord's resurrection and ascension. While differing in not a few particulars from the canonical Gospels, the writer shows plainly that he was acquinted both with the synoptics and with the Gospel of John. Though apocryphal, it is of considerable value as showing that the main facts of the history of our Lord were then widely known.
(1.) The chief of one of the priestly courses (the nineteenth) in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:16).
(2.) A Levite (Ezra 10:23).
(3.) Neh. 9:5.
(4.) A descendant of Judah who had some office at the court of Persia (Neh. 11:24).
Pethor - interpretation of dreams, identified with Pitru, on the west bank of the Euphrates, a few miles south of the Hittite capital of Carchemish (Num. 22:5, "which is by the river of the land of the children of [the god] Ammo"). (See BALAAM.)
Pharaoh - the official title borne by the Egyptian kings down to the time when that country was conquered by the Greeks. (See EGYPT.) The name is a compound, as some think, of the words Ra, the "sun" or "sun-god," and the article phe, "the," prefixed; hence phera, "the sun," or "the sun-god." But others, perhaps more correctly, think the name derived from Perao, "the great house" = his majesty = in Turkish, "the Sublime Porte."
(1.) The Pharaoh who was on the throne when Abram went down into Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) was probably one of the Hyksos, or "shepherd kings." The Egyptians called the nomad tribes of Syria Shasu, "plunderers," their king or chief Hyk, and hence the name of those invaders who conquered the native kings and established a strong government, with Zoan or Tanis as their capital. They were of Semitic origin, and of kindred blood accordingly with Abram. They were probably driven forward by the pressure of the Hittites. The name they bear on the monuments is "Mentiu."
(2.) The Pharaoh of Joseph's days (Gen. 41) was probably Apopi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. To the old native Egyptians, who were an African race, shepherds were "an abomination;" but to the Hyksos kings these Asiatic shepherds who now appeared with Jacob at their head were congenial, and being akin to their own race, had a warm welcome (Gen. 47:5, 6). Some argue that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III., long after the expulsion of the Hyksos, and that his influence is to be seen in the rise and progress of the religious revolution in the direction of monotheism which characterized the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The wife of Amenophis III., of that dynasty, was a Semite. Is this singular fact to be explained from the presence of some of Joseph's kindred at the Egyptian court? Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell" (Gen. 47:5, 6).
(3.) The "new king who knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8-22) has been generally supposed to have been Aahmes I., or Amosis, as he is called by Josephus. Recent discoveries, however, have led to the conclusion that Seti was the "new king."
For about seventy years the Hebrews in Egypt were under the powerful protection of Joseph. After his death their condition was probably very slowly and gradually changed. The invaders, the Hyksos, who for some five centuries had been masters of Egypt, were driven out, and the old dynasty restored. The Israelites now began to be looked down upon. They began to be afflicted and tyrannized over. In process of time a change appears to have taken place in the government of Egypt. A new dynasty, the Nineteenth, as it is called, came into power under Seti I., who was its founder. He associated with him in his government his son, Rameses II., when he was yet young, probably ten or twelve years of age.
Note, Professor Maspero, keeper of the museum of Bulak, near Cairo, had his attention in 1870 directed to the fact that scarabs, i.e., stone and metal imitations of the beetle (symbols of immortality), originally worn as amulets by royal personages, which were evidently genuine relics of the time of the ancient Pharaohs, were being sold at Thebes and different places along the Nile. This led him to suspect that some hitherto undiscovered burial-place of the Pharaohs had been opened, and that these and other relics, now secretly sold, were a part of the treasure found there. For a long time he failed, with all his ingenuity, to find the source of these rare treasures. At length one of those in the secret volunteered to give information regarding this burial-place. The result was that a party was conducted in 1881 to Dier el-Bahari, near Thebes, when the wonderful discovery was made of thirty-six mummies of kings, queens, princes, and high priests hidden away in a cavern prepared for them, where they had lain undisturbed for thirty centuries. "The temple of Deir el-Bahari stands in the middle of a natural amphitheatre of cliffs, which is only one of a number of smaller amphitheatres into which the limestone mountains of the tombs are broken up. In the wall of rock separating this basin from the one next to it some ancient Egyptian engineers had constructed the hiding-place, whose secret had been kept for nearly three thousand years." The exploring party being guided to the place, found behind a great rock a shaft 6 feet square and about 40 feet deep, sunk into the limestone. At the bottom of this a passage led westward for 25 feet, and then turned sharply northward into the very heart of the mountain, where in a chamber 23 feet by 13, and 6 feet in height, they came upon the wonderful treasures of antiquity. The mummies were all carefully secured and brought down to Bulak, where they were deposited in the royal museum, which has now been removed to Ghizeh.
Among the most notable of the ancient kings of Egypt thus discovered were Thothmes III., Seti I., and Rameses II. Thothmes III. was the most distinguished monarch of the brilliant Eighteenth Dynasty. When this mummy was unwound "once more, after an interval of thirty-six centuries, human eyes gazed on the features of the man who had conquered Syria and Cyprus and Ethiopia, and had raised Egypt to the highest pinnacle of her power. The spectacle, however, was of brief duration. The remains proved to be in so fragile a state that there was only time to take a hasty photograph, and then the features crumbled to pieces and vanished like an apparition, and so passed away from human view for ever." "It seems strange that though the body of this man," who overran Palestine with his armies two hundred years before the birth of Moses, "mouldered to dust, the flowers with which it had been wreathed were so wonderfully preserved that even their colour could be distinguished" (Manning's Land of the Pharaohs).
Seti I. (his throne name Merenptah), the father of Rameses II., was a great and successful warrior, also a great builder. The mummy of this Pharaoh, when unrolled, brought to view "the most beautiful mummy head ever seen within the walls of the museum. The sculptors of Thebes and Abydos did not flatter this Pharaoh when they gave him that delicate, sweet, and smiling profile which is the admiration of travellers. After a lapse of thirty-two centuries, the mummy retains the same expression which characterized the features of the living man. Most remarkable of all, when compared with the mummy of Rameses II., is the striking resemblance between the father and the son. Seti I. is, as it were, the idealized type of Rameses II. He must have died at an advanced age. The head is shaven, the eyebrows are white, the condition of the body points to considerably more than threescore years of life, thus confirming the opinions of the learned, who have attributed a long reign to this king."
(4.) Rameses II., the son of Seti I., is probably the Pharaoh of the Oppression. During his forty years' residence at the court of Egypt, Moses must have known this ruler well. During his sojourn in Midian, however, Rameses died, after a reign of sixty-seven years, and his body embalmed and laid in the royal sepulchre in the Valley of the Tombs of Kings beside that of his father. Like the other mummies found hidden in the cave of Deir el-Bahari, it had been for some reason removed from its original tomb, and probably carried from place to place till finally deposited in the cave where it was so recently discovered.
In 1886, the mummy of this king, the "great Rameses," the "Sesostris" of the Greeks, was unwound, and showed the body of what must have been a robust old man. The features revealed to view are thus described by Maspero: "The head is long and small in proportion to the body. The top of the skull is quite bare. On the temple there are a few sparse hairs, but at the poll the hair is quite thick, forming smooth, straight locks about two inches in length. White at the time of death, they have been dyed a light yellow by the spices used in embalmment. The forehead is low and narrow; the brow-ridge prominent; the eye-brows are thick and white; the eyes are small and close together; the nose is long, thin, arched like the noses of the Bourbons; the temples are sunk; the cheek-bones very prominent; the ears round, standing far out from the head, and pierced, like those of a woman, for the wearing of earrings; the jaw-bone is massive and strong; the chin very prominent; the mouth small, but thick-lipped; the teeth worn and very brittle, but white and well preserved. The moustache and beard are thin. They seem to have been kept shaven during life, but were probably allowed to grow during the king's last illness, or they may have grown after death. The hairs are white, like those of the head and eyebrows, but are harsh and bristly, and a tenth of an inch in length. The skin is of an earthy-brown, streaked with black. Finally, it may be said, the face of the mummy gives a fair idea of the face of the living king. The expression is unintellectual, perhaps slightly animal; but even under the somewhat grotesque disguise of mummification there is plainly to be seen an air of sovereign majesty, of resolve, and of pride."
Both on his father's and his mother's side it has been pretty clearly shown that Rameses had Chaldean or Mesopotamian blood in his veins to such a degree that he might be called an Assyrian. This fact is thought to throw light on Isa. 52:4.
(5.) The Pharaoh of the Exodus was probably Menephtah I., the fourteenth and eldest surviving son of Rameses II. He resided at Zoan, where he had the various interviews with Moses and Aaron recorded in the book of Exodus. His mummy was not among those found at Deir el-Bahari. It is still a question, however, whether Seti II. or his father Menephtah was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Some think the balance of evidence to be in favour of the former, whose reign it is known began peacefully, but came to a sudden and disastrous end. The "Harris papyrus," found at Medinet-Abou in Upper Egypt in 1856, a state document written by Rameses III., the second king of the Twentieth Dynasty, gives at length an account of a great exodus from Egypt, followed by wide-spread confusion and anarchy. This, there is great reason to believe, was the Hebrew exodus, with which the Nineteenth Dynasty of the Pharaohs came to an end. This period of anarchy was brought to a close by Setnekht, the founder of the Twentieth Dynasty.
"In the spring of 1896, Professor Flinders Petrie discovered, among the ruins of the temple of Menephtah at Thebes, a large granite stela, on which is engraved a hymn of victory commemorating the defeat of Libyan invaders who had overrun the Delta. At the end other victories of Menephtah are glanced at, and it is said that 'the Israelites (I-s-y-r-a-e-l-u) are minished (?) so that they have no seed.' Menephtah was son and successor of Rameses II., the builder of Pithom, and Egyptian scholars have long seen in him the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Exodus is also placed in his reign by the Egyptian legend of the event preserved by the historian Manetho. In the inscription the name of the Israelites has no determinative of 'country' or 'district' attached to it, as is the case with all the other names (Canaan, Ashkelon, Gezer, Khar or Southern Palestine, etc.) mentioned along with it, and it would therefore appear that at the time the hymn was composed, the Israelites had already been lost to the sight of the Egyptians in the desert. At all events they must have had as yet no fixed home or district of their own. We may therefore see in the reference to them the Pharaoh's version of the Exodus, the disasters which befell the Egyptians being naturally passed over in silence, and only the destruction of the 'men children' of the Israelites being recorded. The statement of the Egyptian poet is a remarkable parallel to Ex. 1:10-22."
(6.) The Pharaoh of 1 Kings 11:18-22.
(7.) So, king of Egypt (2 Kings 17:4).
(8.) The Pharaoh of 1 Chr. 4:18.
(9.) Pharaoh, whose daughter Solomon married (1 Kings 3:1; 7:8).
(10.) Pharaoh, in whom Hezekiah put his trust in his war against Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:21).
(11.) The Pharaoh by whom Josiah was defeated and slain at Megiddo (2 Chr. 35:20-24; 2 Kings 23:29, 30). (See NECHO.)
(12.) Pharaoh-hophra, who in vain sought to relieve Jerusalem when it was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar (q.v.), 2 Kings 25:1-4; comp. Jer. 37:5-8; Ezek. 17:11-13. (See ZEDEKIAH.)
(1.) The princess who adopted the infant Moses (q.v.), Ex. 2:10. She is twice mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 7:21: Heb. 11:24). It would seem that she was alive and in some position of influence about the court when Moses was compelled to flee from Egypt, and thus for forty years he had in some way been under her influence. She was in all probability the sister of Rameses, and the daughter of Seti I. Josephus calls her Thermuthis. It is supposed by some that she was Nefert-ari, the wife as well as sister of Rameses. The mummy of this queen was among the treasures found at Deir-el-Bahari.
(2.) "Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took (1 Chr. 4:18).
(3.) The wife of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1). This is the first reference since the Exodus to any connection of Israel with Egypt.
Pharez - breach, the elder of the twin sons of Judah (Gen. 38:29). From him the royal line of David sprang (Ruth 4:18-22). "The chief of all the captains of the host" was of the children of Perez (1 Chr. 27:3; Matt. 1:3).
Pharisees - separatists (Heb. persahin, from parash, "to separate"). They were probably the successors of the Assideans (i.e., the "pious"), a party that originated in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in revolt against his heathenizing policy. The first mention of them is in a description by Josephus of the three sects or schools into which the Jews were divided (B.C. 145). The other two sects were the Essenes and the Sadducees. In the time of our Lord they were the popular party (John 7:48). They were extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the law of Moses (Matt. 9:14; 23:15; Luke 11:39; 18:12). Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6-8; 26:4, 5).
There was much that was sound in their creed, yet their system of religion was a form and nothing more. Theirs was a very lax morality (Matt. 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matt. 3:7), they are ranked by our Lord with the Sadducees as a "generation of vipers." They were noted for their self-righteousness and their pride (Matt. 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently rebuked by our Lord (Matt. 12:39; 16:1-4).
From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees showed themselves bitter and persistent enemies of our Lord. They could not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to destroy his influence among the people.
Pharpar - swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been identified with the 'Awaj, "a small lively river." The whole of the district watered by the 'Awaj is called the Wady el-'Ajam, i.e., "the valley of the Persians", so called for some unknown reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of Pharpar.
Phebe - a "deaconess of the church at Cenchrea," the port of Corinth. She was probably the bearer of Paul's epistle to the Romans. Paul commended her to the Christians at Rome; "for she hath been," says he, "a succourer of many, and of myself also" (Rom. 16:1, 2).
Phenicia - (Acts 21:2) = Phenice (11:19; 15:3; R.V., Phoenicia), Gr. phoinix, "a palm", the land of palm-trees; a strip of land of an average breadth of about 20 miles along the shores of the Mediterranean, from the river Eleutherus in the north to the promotory of Carmel in the south, about 120 miles in length. This name is not found in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament it is mentioned only in the passages above referred to.
"In the Egyptian inscriptions Phoenicia is called Keft, the inhabitants being Kefa; and since Keft-ur, or 'Greater Phoenicia,' was the name given to the delta of the Nile from the Phoenician colonies settled upon it, the Philistines who came from Caphtor or Keft-ur must have been of Phoenician origin" (comp. Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7)., Sayce's Bible and the Monuments.
Phoenicia lay in the very centre of the old world, and was the natural entrepot for commerce with foreign nations. It was the "England of antiquity." "The trade routes from all Asia converged on the Phoenician coast; the centres of commerce on the Euphrates and Tigris forwarding their goods by way of Tyre to the Nile, to Arabia, and to the west; and, on the other hand, the productions of the vast regions bordering the Mediterranean passing through the Canaanite capital to the eastern world." It was "situate at the entry of the sea, a merchant of the people for many isles" (Ezek. 27:3, 4). The far-reaching commercial activity of the Phoenicians, especially with Tarshish and the western world, enriched them with vast wealth, which introduced boundless luxury and developed among them a great activity in all manner of arts and manufactures. (See TYRE.)
The Phoenicians were the most enterprising merchants of the old world, establishing colonies at various places, of which Carthage was the chief. They were a Canaanite branch of the race of Ham, and are frequently called Sidonians, from their principal city of Sidon. None could "skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians" (1 Kings 5:6). King Hiram rendered important service to Solomon in connection with the planning and building of the temple, casting for him all the vessels for the temple service, and the two pillars which stood in the front of the porch, and "the molten sea" (1 Kings 7:21-23). Singular marks have been found by recent exploration on the great stones that form the substructure of the temple. These marks, both painted and engraved, have been regarded as made by the workmen in the quarries, and as probably intended to indicate the place of these stones in the building. "The Biblical account (1 Kings 5:17, 18) is accurately descriptive of the massive masonry now existing at the south-eastern angle (of the temple area), and standing on the native rock 80 feet below the present surface. The Royal Engineers found, buried deeply among the rubbish of many centuries, great stones, costly and hewed stones, forming the foundation of the sanctuary wall; while Phoenician fragments of pottery and Phoenician marks painted on the massive blocks seem to proclaim that the stones were prepared in the quarry by the cunning workmen of Hiram, the king of Tyre." (See TEMPLE.)
The Phoenicians have been usually regarded as the inventors of alphabetic writing. The Egyptians expressed their thoughts by certain symbols, called "hieroglyphics", i.e., sacred carvings, so styled because used almost exclusively on sacred subjects. The recent discovery, however, of inscriptions in Southern Arabia (Yemen and Hadramaut), known as Hemyaritic, in connection with various philogical considerations, has led some to the conclusion that the Phoenician alphabet was derived from the Mineans (admitting the antiquity of the kingdom of Ma'in, Judg. 10:12; 2 Chr. 26:7). Thus the Phoenician alphabet ceases to be the mother alphabet. Sayce thinks "it is more than possible that the Egyptians themselves were emigrants from Southern Arabia." (See MOABITE STONE.)
"The Phoenicians were renowned in ancient times for the manufacture of glass, and some of the specimens of this work that have been preserved are still the wonder of mankind...In the matter of shipping, whether ship-building be thought of or traffic upon the sea, the Phoenicians surpassed all other nations." "The name Phoenicia is of uncertain origin, though it may be derived from Fenkhu, the name given in the Egyptian inscriptions to the natives of Palestine. Among the chief Phoenician cities were Tyre and Sidon, Gebal north of Beirut, Arvad or Arados and Zemar."
Phicol - great, the chief captain of the army of Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar. He entered into an alliance with Abraham with reference to a certain well which, from this circumstance, was called Beersheba (q.v.), "the well of the oath" (Gen. 21:22, 32; 26:26).
Philadelphia - brotherly love, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, about 25 miles south-east of Sardis. It was the seat of one of the "seven churches" (Rev. 3:7-12). It came into the possession of the Turks in A.D. 1392. It has several times been nearly destroyed by earthquakes. It is still a town of considerable size, called Allahshehr, "the city of God."
Philemon - an inhabitant of Colosse, and apparently a person of some note among the citizens (Col. 4:9; Philemon 1:2). He was brought to a knowledge of the gospel through the instrumentality of Paul (19), and held a prominent place in the Christian community for his piety and beneficence (4-7). He is called in the epistle a "fellow-labourer," and therefore probably held some office in the church at Colosse; at all events, the title denotes that he took part in the work of spreading a knowledge of the gospel.
Philemon, Epistle to - was written from Rome at the same time as the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians, and was sent also by Onesimus. It was addressed to Philemon and the members of his family.
It was written for the purpose of interceding for Onesimus (q.v.), who had deserted his master Philemon and been "unprofitable" to him. Paul had found Onesimus at Rome, and had there been instrumental in his conversion, and now he sends him back to his master with this letter.
This epistle has the character of a strictly private letter, and is the only one of such epistles preserved to us. "It exhibits the apostle in a new light. He throws off as far as possible his apostolic dignity and his fatherly authority over his converts. He speaks simply as Christian to Christian. He speaks, therefore, with that peculiar grace of humility and courtesy which has, under the reign of Christianity, developed the spirit of chivalry and what is called 'the character of a gentleman,' certainly very little known in the old Greek and Roman civilization" (Dr. Barry). (See SLAVE.)
(1.) One of the twelve apostles; a native of Bethsaida, "the city of Andrew and Peter" (John 1:44). He readily responded to the call of Jesus when first addressed to him (43), and forthwith brought Nathanael also to Jesus (45,46). He seems to have held a prominent place among the apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 6:5-7; 12:21, 22; 14:8, 9; Acts 1:13). Of his later life nothing is certainly known. He is said to have preached in Phrygia, and to have met his death at Hierapolis.
(2.) One of the "seven" (Acts 6:5), called also "the evangelist" (21:8, 9). He was one of those who were "scattered abroad" by the persecution that arose on the death of Stephen. He went first to Samaria, where he laboured as an evangelist with much success (8:5-13). While he was there he received a divine command to proceed toward the south, along the road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. These towns were connected by two roads. The one Philip was directed to take was that which led through Hebron, and thence through a district little inhabited, and hence called "desert." As he travelled along this road he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man of Ethiopia, the eunuch or chief officer of Queen Candace, who was at that moment reading, probably from the Septuagint version, a portion of the prophecies of Isaiah (53:6,7). Philip entered into conversation with him, and expounded these verses, preaching to him the glad tidings of the Saviour. The eunuch received the message and believed, and was forthwith baptized, and then "went on his way rejoicing." Philip was instantly caught away by the Spirit after the baptism, and the eunuch saw him no more. He was next found at Azotus, whence he went forth in his evangelistic work till he came to Caesarea. He is not mentioned again for about twenty years, when he is still found at Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his companions were on the way to Jerusalem. He then finally disappears from the page of history.
(3.) Mentioned only in connection with the imprisonment of John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). He was the son of Herod the Great, and the first husband of Herodias, and the father of Salome. (See HEROD PHILIP I.)
(4.) The "tetrarch of Ituraea" (Luke 3:1); a son of Herod the Great, and brother of Herod Antipas. The city of Caesarea-Philippi was named partly after him (Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27). (See HEROD PHILIP II.)
Philippi - (1.) Formerly Crenides, "the fountain," the capital of the province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about 8 miles north-west of Kavalla. It is now a ruined village, called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name Philippi (B.C. 359-336). In the time of the Emperor Augustus this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the district recently conquered. It was a "miniature Rome," under the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers, called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe. (See LYDIA.) This success stirred up the enmity of the people, and they were "shamefully entreated" (Acts 16:9-40; 1 Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis (q.v.).
(2.) When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honour of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey. "The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life" (Professor Beet).
The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent, and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). "This was a characteristic of the Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion, really greater than that of the rich" (Moule's Philippians, Introd.).
The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written. Paul's imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his preaching the gospel, but rather "turned out to the furtherance of the gospel." The gospel spread very extensively among the Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the Christians grew into a "vast multitude." It is plain that Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome.
The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20 with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul's writings. The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph. 1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. "This exposition of the grace and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and personal exaltation after it," found in these epistles, "is, in a great measure, a new development in the revelations given through St. Paul" (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of the Captivity.
Philistines - (Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., "Philistim"), a tribe allied to the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam. 21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34; 26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanitish tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete, or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15; Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4).
This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47; 17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still, however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered by the Romans.
The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from their settlements in Palestine. As they did not enter Palestine till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly Gerar, as in ch. 20.
They are called Allophyli, "foreigners," in the Septuagint, and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised. It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines came to be extended to the whole of "Palestine." Many scholars identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.
(1.) Son of Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he distinguished himself at Shittim by his zeal against the immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num. 25:1-9), and thus "stayed the plague" that had broken out among the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them perished. For his faithfulness on that occasion he received the divine approbation (10-13). He afterwards commanded the army that went out against the Midianites (31:6-8). When representatives of the people were sent to expostulate with the two and a half tribes who, just after crossing Jordan, built an altar and departed without giving any explanation, Phinehas was their leader, and addressed them in the words recorded in Josh. 22:16-20. Their explanation follows. This great altar was intended to be all ages only a witness that they still formed a part of Israel. Phinehas was afterwards the chief adviser in the war with the Benjamites. He is commemorated in Ps. 106:30, 31. (See ED.)
(2.) One of the sons of Eli, the high priest (1 Sam. 1:3; 2:12). He and his brother Hophni were guilty of great crimes, for which destruction came on the house of Eli (31). He died in battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:4, 11); and his wife, on hearing of his death, gave birth to a son, whom she called "Ichabod," and then she died (19-22).
Phrygia - dry, an irregular and ill-defined district in Asia Minor. It was divided into two parts, the Greater Phrygia on the south, and the Lesser Phrygia on the west. It is the Greater Phrygia that is spoken of in the New Testament. The towns of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14), Colosse, Hierapolis, Iconium, and Laodicea were situated in it.
Phut - Phut is placed between Egypt and Canaan in Gen. 10:6, and elsewhere we find the people of Phut described as mercenaries in the armies of Egypt and Tyre (Jer. 46:9; Ezek. 30:5; 27:10). In a fragment of the annuals of Nebuchadrezzar which records his invasion of Egypt, reference is made to "Phut of the Ionians."
Phylacteries - (Gr. phulakteria; i.e., "defences" or "protections"), called by modern Jews tephillin (i.e., "prayers") are mentioned only in Matt. 23:5. They consisted of strips of parchment on which were inscribed these four texts:
(1.) Ex. 13:1-10;
(3.) Deut. 6:4-9;
(4.) 11:18-21, and which were enclosed in a square leather case, on one side of which was inscribed the Hebrew letter shin, to which the rabbis attached some significance. This case was fastened by certain straps to the forehead just between the eyes. The "making broad the phylacteries" refers to the enlarging of the case so as to make it conspicuous. (See FRONTLETS.)
Another form of the phylactery consisted of two rolls of parchment, on which the same texts were written, enclosed in a case of black calfskin. This was worn on the left arm near the elbow, to which it was bound by a thong. It was called the "Tephillah on the arm."
Physician - Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, "sought not to the Lord but to the physicians" (2 Chr. 16:12). The "physicians" were those who "practised heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah."
Pi-beseth - (Ezek. 30:17), supposed to mean. "a cat," or a deity in the form of a cat, worshipped by the Egyptians. It was called by the Greeks Bubastis. The hieroglyphic name is "Pe-bast", i.e., the house of Bast, the Artemis of the Egyptians. The town of Bubasts was situated on the Pelusian branch, i.e., the easternmost branch, of the Delta. It was the seat of one of the chief annual festivals of the Egyptians. Its ruins bear the modern name of Tel-Basta.
Pieces - (1) of silver. In Ps. 68:30 denotes "fragments," and not properly money. In 1 Sam. 2:36 (Heb. agorah), properly a "small sum" as wages, weighed rather than coined. Josh. 24:32 (Heb. kesitah, q.v.), supposed by some to have been a piece of money bearing the figure of a lamb, but rather simply a certain amount. (Comp. Gen. 33:19).
(2.) The word pieces is omitted in many passages, as Gen. 20:16; 37:28; 45:22, etc. The passage in Zech. 11:12, 13 is quoted in the Gospel (Matt. 26:15), and from this we know that the word to be supplied is "shekels." In all these omissions we may thus warrantably supply this word.
(3.) The "piece of money" mentioned in Matt. 17:27 is a stater=a Hebrew shekel, or four Greek drachmae; and that in Luke 15:8, 9, Act 19:19, a Greek drachma=a denarius. (See PENNY.)
Pigeon - Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14; 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)
Pi-hahiroth - place where the reeds grow (LXX. and Copt. read "farmstead"), the name of a place in Egypt where the children of Israel encamped (Ex. 14:2, 9), how long is uncertain. Some have identified it with Ajrud, a fortress between Etham and Suez. The condition of the Isthmus of Suez at the time of the Exodus is not exactly known, and hence this, with the other places mentioned as encampments of Israel in Egypt, cannot be definitely ascertained. The isthmus has been formed by the Nile deposits. This increase of deposit still goes on, and so rapidly that within the last fifty years the mouth of the Nile has advanced northward about four geographical miles. In the maps of Ptolemy (of the second and third centuries A.D.) the mouths of the Nile are forty miles further south than at present. (See EXODUS.)
Pilate, Pontius - probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and called "Pilate" from the Latin pileatus, i.e., "wearing the pileus", which was the "cap or badge of a manumitted slave," as indicating that he was a "freedman," or the descendant of one. He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea (A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he frequently went up to Jerusalem. His reign extended over the period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ, in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent notice. Pilate was a "typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and ever-smouldering revolt, was a dreary residence. When he did visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to occupy the palaces of the displaced sovereigns."
After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator, Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the Passover, and was now residing, perhaps, in the castle of Antonia, or it may be in Herod's palace. Pilate came forth from his palace and met the deputation from the Sanhedrin, who, in answer to his inquiry as to the nature of the accusation they had to prefer against Jesus, accused him of being a "malefactor." Pilate was not satisfied with this, and they further accused him
(1) of sedition,
(2) preventing the payment of the tribute to Caesar, and
(3) of assuming the title of king (Luke 23:2). Pilate now withdrew with Jesus into the palace (John 18:33) and examined him in private (37,38); and then going out to the deputation still standing before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus (Luke 23:4). This only aroused them to more furious clamour, and they cried that he excited the populace "throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee." When Pilate heard of Galilee, he sent the accused to Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction over that province, thus hoping to escape the difficulty in which he found himself. But Herod, with his men of war, set Jesus at nought, and sent him back again to Pilate, clad in a purple robe of mockery (23:11, 12).
Pilate now proposed that as he and Herod had found no fault in him, they should release Jesus; and anticipating that they would consent to this proposal, he ascended the judgment-seat as if ready to ratify the decision (Matt. 27:19). But at this moment his wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him to have nothing to do with the "just person." Pilate's feelings of perplexity and awe were deepened by this incident, while the crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Pilate answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry immediately followed. "Let him be crucified." Pilate, apparently vexed, and not knowning what to do, said, "Why, what evil hath he done?" but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out, "Away with him! crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate yielded, and sent Jesus away to be scourged. This scourging was usually inflicted by lictors; but as Pilate was only a procurator he had no lictor, and hence his soldiers inflicted this terrible punishment. This done, the soldiers began to deride the sufferer, and they threw around him a purple robe, probably some old cast-off robe of state (Matt. 27:28; John 19:2), and putting a reed in his right hand, and a crowd of thorns on his head, bowed the knee before him in mockery, and saluted him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They took also the reed and smote him with it on the head and face, and spat in his face, heaping upon him every indignity.
Pilate then led forth Jesus from within the Praetorium (Matt. 27:27) before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, saying, "Behold the man!" But the sight of Jesus, now scourged and crowned and bleeding, only stirred their hatred the more, and again they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" and brought forth this additional charge against him, that he professed to be "the Son of God." Pilate heard this accusation with a superstitious awe, and taking him once more within the Praetorium, asked him, "Whence art thou?" Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate was irritated by his continued silence, and said, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee?" Jesus, with calm dignity, answered the Roman, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above."
After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus go. The crowd perceiving this cried out, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend." This settled the matter. He was afraid of being accused to the emperor. Calling for water, he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." The mob, again scorning his scruples, cried, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Pilate was stung to the heart by their insults, and putting forth Jesus before them, said, "Shall I crucify your King?" The fatal moment had now come. They madly exclaimed, "We have no king but Caesar;" and now Jesus is given up to them, and led away to be crucified.
By the direction of Pilate an inscription was placed, according to the Roman custom, over the cross, stating the crime for which he was crucified. Having ascertained from the centurion that he was dead, he gave up the body to Joseph of Arimathea to be buried. Pilate's name now disappears from the Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the Acts of the Apostles (3:13; 4:27; 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13. In A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, according to tradition, he committed suicide.
Pillar - used to support a building (Judg. 16:26, 29); as a trophy or memorial (Gen. 28:18; 35:20; Ex. 24:4; 1 Sam. 15:12, A.V., "place," more correctly "monument," or "trophy of victory," as in 2 Sam. 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested (Ex. 13:2). The "plain of the pillar" in Judg. 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the "oak of the pillar", i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua (24:26).
Pine tree - Heb. tidhar, mentioned along with the fir-tree in Isa. 41:19; 60:13. This is probably the cypress; or it may be the stone-pine, which is common on the northern slopes of Lebanon. Some suppose that the elm, others that the oak, or holm, or ilex, is meant by the Hebrew word. In Neh. 8:15 the Revised Version has "wild olive" instead of "pine." (See FIR.)
Pinnacle - a little wing, (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more above the valley.
Pipe - (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; 30:29). The Hebrew word halil, so rendered, means "bored through," and is the name given to various kinds of wind instruments, as the fife, flute, Pan-pipes, etc. In Amos 6:5 this word is rendered "instrument of music." This instrument is mentioned also in the New Testament (Matt. 11:17; 1 Cor. 14:7). It is still used in Palestine, and is, as in ancient times, made of different materials, as reed, copper, bronze, etc.
(2.) Benaiah the Ephraimite (2 Sam. 23:30), one of David's thirty heroes.
Pisgah - a part, a mountain summit in the land of Moab, in the territory of Reuben, where Balak offered up sacrifices (Num. 21:20; 23:14), and from which Moses viewed the promised land (Deut. 3:27). It is probably the modern Jebel Siaghah. (See NEBO.)
Pison - Babylonian, the current, broad-flowing, one of the "four heads" into which the river which watered the garden of Eden was divided (Gen. 2:11). Some identify it with the modern Phasis, others with the Halys, others the Jorak or Acampis, others the Jaab, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.
Pit - a hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen. 37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).
Pitch - (Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called "slime" (Gen. 11:3; 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa. 34:9 to its inflammable character. (See SLIME.)
Pithom - Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."
Plague - a "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Num. 11:33; 14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev. 13:3, 5, 30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Ex. 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten in number.
(1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Ex. 7:14-25).
(2.) The plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-15).
(3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; 105:31), "out of the dust of the land" (Ex. 8:16-19).
(4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24.
(5.) The murrain (Ex.9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming.
(6.) The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third, was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27) "the botch of Egypt," A.V.; but in R.V., "the boil of Egypt." "The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it.
(7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; 105:32, 33).
(8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex. 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, arbeh, points to the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came.
(9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Ex. 10:21-29). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen.
(10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Ex. 11:4, 5; 12:29,30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)
Plain - (1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow." Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), comp. Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version; margin, "terebinth."
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has "Bikathaven."
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29; Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22; 12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land (Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13, because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain.
(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings 14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered "vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40; 11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1 Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13, Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the Philistines." (See VALLEY.)
Plane tree - Heb. 'armon (Gen. 30:37; Ezek. 31:8), rendered "chesnut" in the Authorized Version, but correctly "plane tree" in the Revised Version and the LXX. This tree is frequently found in Palestine, both on the coast and in the north. It usually sheds its outer bark, and hence its Hebrew name, which means "naked." (See CHESTNUT.)
Plough - first referred to in Gen. 45:6, where the Authorized Version has "earing," but the Revised Version "ploughing;" next in Ex. 34:21 and Deut. 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE.)
Poetry - has been well defined as "the measured language of emotion." Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man's relation to God. "Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this heaven-born poetry."
In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds of poetry,
(1) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon, which is dramatic;
(2) that of the Book of Psalms, which is lyrical; and
(3) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is didactic and sententious.
Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called parallelism, or "thought-rhyme." Various kinds of this parallelism have been pointed out:
(1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is repeated in the same words (Ps. 93:3; 94:1; Prov. 6:2), or in different words (Ps. 22, 23, 28, 114, etc.); or where it is expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative in the other (Ps. 40:12; Prov. 6:26); or where the same idea is expressed in three successive clauses (Ps. 40:15, 16); or in a double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding to the third and fourth (Isa. 9:1; 61:10, 11).
(2.) Antithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second clause is the converse of that of the first (Ps. 20:8; 27:6, 7; 34:11; 37:9, 17, 21, 22). This is the common form of gnomic or proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10-15.)
(3.) Synthetic or constructive or compound parallelism, where each clause or sentence contains some accessory idea enforcing the main idea (Ps. 19:7-10; 85:12; Job 3:3-9; Isa. 1:5-9).
(4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Ps. 135:15-18; Prov. 23:15, 16), or where the second line reverses the order of words in the first (Ps. 86:2).
Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these.
(1.) An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2, 3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet in regular order beginning every eighth verse.
(2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic expression at intervals (Ps. 42, 107, where the refrain is in verses, 8, 15, 21, 31). (Comp. also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6.)
(3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed in another (Ps. 121).
Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:9-20), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David's "song of the bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
(2.) Heb. rosh, "a head," a poisonous plant (Deut. 29:18), growing luxuriantly (Hos. 10:4), of a bitter taste (Ps. 69:21; Lam. 3:5), and coupled with wormwood; probably the poppy. This word is rendered "gall", q.v., (Deut. 29:18; 32:33; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 8:14, etc.), "hemlock" (Hos. 10:4; Amos 6:12), and "poison" (Job 20:16), "the poison of asps," showing that the rosh was not exclusively a vegetable poison.
(3.) In Rom. 3:13 (comp. Job 20:16; Ps. 140:3), James 3:8, as the rendering of the Greek ios.
Pomegranate - i.e., "grained apple" (pomum granatum), Heb. rimmon. Common in Egypt (Num. 20:5) and Palestine (13:23; Deut. 8:8). The Romans called it Punicum malum, i.e., Carthaginian apple, because they received it from Carthage. It belongs to the myrtle family of trees. The withering of the pomegranate tree is mentioned among the judgments of God (Joel 1:12). It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Cant. 4:3, 13, etc.). The skirt of the high priest's blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells (Ex. 28:33,34), as also were the "chapiters upon the two pillars" (1 Kings 7:20) which "stood before the house."
Pontus - a province of Asia Minor, stretching along the southern coast of the Euxine Sea, corresponding nearly to the modern province of Trebizond. In the time of the apostles it was a Roman province. Strangers from this province were at Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9), and to "strangers scattered throughout Pontus," among others, Peter addresses his first epistle (1 Pet. 1:1). It was evidently the resort of many Jews of the Dispersion. Aquila was a native of Pontus (Acts 18:2).
Pool - a pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made of the pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:13); the pool of Hebron (4:12); the upper pool at Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20); the pool of Samaria (1 Kings 22:38); the king's pool (Neh. 2:14); the pool of Siloah (Neh. 3:15; Eccles. 2:6); the fishpools of Heshbon (Cant. 7:4); the "lower pool," and the "old pool" (Isa. 22:9,11).
The "pool of Bethesda" (John 5:2,4, 7) and the "pool of Siloam" (John 9:7, 11) are also mentioned. Isaiah (35:7) says, "The parched ground shall become a pool." This is rendered in the Revised Version "glowing sand," etc. (marg., "the mirage," etc.). The Arabs call the mirage "serab," plainly the same as the Hebrew word sarab, here rendered "parched ground." "The mirage shall become a pool", i.e., the mock-lake of the burning desert shall become a real lake, "the pledge of refreshment and joy." The "pools" spoken of in Isa. 14:23 are the marshes caused by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood of Babylon.
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. These underground caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected with one another by passages and tunnels.
Pools of Solomon - the name given to three large open cisterns at Etam, at the head of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet by 220 in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their chief supply of water from a spring called "the sealed fountain," about 200 yards to the north-west of the upper pool, to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage. They are 150 feet distant from each other, and each pool is 20 feet lower than that above it, the conduits being so arranged that the lowest, which is the largest and finest of the three, is filled first, and then in succession the others. It has been estimated that these pools cover in all a space of about 7 acres, and are capable of containing three million gallons of water. They were, as is generally supposed, constructed in the days of Solomon. They are probably referred to in Eccles. 2:6. On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in the wilderness of Tekoa, Jehoshaphat assembled his army in the valley of Berachah ("blessing"), and there blessed the Lord. Berachah has been identified with the modern Bereikut, some 5 miles south of Wady Urtas, and hence the "valley of Berachah" may be this valley of pools, for the word means both "blessing" and "pools;" and it has been supposed, therefore, that this victory was celebrated beside Solomon's pools (2 Chr. 20:26).
These pools were primarily designed to supply Jerusalem with water. From the lower pool an aqueduct has been traced conveying the water through Bethlehem and across the valley of Gihon, and along the west slope of the Tyropoeon valley, till it finds its way into the great cisterns underneath the temple hill. The water, however, from the pools reaches now only to Bethlehem. The aqueduct beyond this has been destroyed.
(1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19,21).
(2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6).
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).
(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7-11).
(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21, etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.
Poplar - Heb. libneh, "white", (Gen. 30:37; Hos. 4:13), in all probability the storax tree (Styrax officinalis) or white poplar, distinguished by its white blossoms and pale leaves. It is common in the Anti-Libanus. Other species of the poplar are found in Palestine, such as the white poplar (P. alba) of our own country, the black poplar (P. nigra), and the aspen (P. tremula). (See WILLOW.)
Porch, Solomon's - a colonnade on the east of the temple, so called from a tradition that it was a relic of Solomon's temple left standing after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Comp. 1 Kings 7:6.) The word "porch" is in the New Testament the rendering of three different Greek words:
(1.) Stoa, meaning a portico or veranda (John 5:2; 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12).
(2.) Pulon, a gateway (Matt. 26:71).
(3.) Proaulion, the entrance to the inner court (Mark 14:68).
Porter - a gate-keeper (2 Sam. 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10; 1 Chr. 9:21; 2 Chr. 8:14). Of the Levites, 4,000 were appointed as porters by David (1 Chr. 23:5), who were arranged according to their families (26:1-19) to take charge of the doors and gates of the temple. They were sometimes employed as musicians (1 Chr. 15:18).
Post - (1.) A runner, or courier, for the rapid transmission of letters, etc. (2 Chr. 30:6; Esther 3:13, 15; 8:10, 14; Job 9:25; Jer. 51:31). Such messengers were used from very early times. Those employed by the Hebrew kings had a military character (1 Sam. 22:17; 2 Kings 10:25, "guard," marg. "runners"). The modern system of postal communication was first established by Louis XI. of France in A.D. 1464.
(2.) This word sometimes also is used for lintel or threshold (Isa. 6:4).
Potiphar - dedicated to Ra; i.e., to the sun-god, the Egyptian to whom the Ishmaelites sold Joseph (Gen. 39:1). He was "captain of the guard", i.e., chief, probably, of the state police, who, while they formed part of the Egyptian army, were also largely employed in civil duties (37:36; marg., "chief of the executioners"). Joseph, though a foreigner, gradually gained his confidence, and became overseer over all his possessions. Believing the false accusation which his profligate wife brought against Joseph, Potiphar cast him into prison, where he remained for some years. (See JOSEPH.)
Potters field - the name given to the piece of ground which was afterwards bought with the money that had been given to Judas. It was called the "field of blood" (Matt. 27:7-10). Tradition places it in the valley of Hinnom. (See ACELDAMA.)
Pottery - the art of, was early practised among all nations. Various materials seem to have been employed by the potter. Earthenware is mentioned in connection with the history of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), of Abraham (18:4-8), of Rebekah (27:14), of Rachel (29:2, 3, 8, 10). The potter's wheel is mentioned by Jeremiah (18:3). See also 1 Chr. 4:23; Ps. 2:9; Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 19:1; Lam. 4:2; Zech. 11:13; Rom. 9:21.
(2.) A sum of money; the Gr. mna or mina (Luke 19:13, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25). It was equal to 100 drachmas, and was of the value of about $3, 6s. 8d. of our money. (See MONEY.)
Praetorium - The Greek word (praitorion) thus rendered in Mark 15:16 is rendered "common hall" (Matt. 27:27, marg., "governor's house"), "judgment hall," (John 18:28, 33, marg., "Pilate's house", 19:9; Acts 23:35), "palace" (Phil. 1:13). This is properly a military word. It denotes (1) the general's tent or headquarters; (2) the governor's residence, as in Acts 23:35 (R.V., "palace"); and (3) the praetorian guard (See PALACE), or the camp or quarters of the praetorian cohorts (Acts 28:16), the imperial guards in immediate attendance on the emperor, who was "praetor" or commander-in-chief.
Prayer - is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex. 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps. 73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions.
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive" (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa. 62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17, 18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8; Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut. 9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah (2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church (12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex. 4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim. 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1 Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek. 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen. 24:10-20).
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg. 15:18-20).
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it (Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7, 8).
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.
Predestination - This word is properly used only with reference to God's plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered "predestinate" is found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and unconditional decree or "determinate purpose" of God governs all events.
This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many difficulties. It belongs to the "secret things" of God. But if we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the following passages be examined in addition to those referred to above; Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4; Isa. 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37; 15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom. 9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2. (See DECREES OF GOD; ELECTION.)
Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.) It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope" (Outlines).
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