See KAB.


kab’-on (kabbon; Chabra): An unidentified place in the Shephelah of Judah near Eglon (Jos 15:40). It is possibly the same as MACHBENA, which see.


kab’-in (chanuyyoth, "vaults"; Jer 37:16 the Revised Version (British and American), "cells"): In the East the prison often consisted of a pit (compare "dungeon-house" the Revised Version (British and American) and "house of the pit" the Revised Version, margin) with vaulted cells around it for the confinement of prisoners. The word is probably a gloss. The phrase "and into the cells" seems superfluous after "into the dungeonhouse."


ka’-bul (kabhul; Codex Vaticanus, Chobamasomel; Codex Alexandrinus, Chabol apo aristeron):

(1) A city on the boundary between Asher and Zebulun (Jos 19:27). It corresponds to the Chabolo of Josephus (Vita, 43, etc.), and is represented by the modern village Kabul, about nine miles Southeast of Acre.

(2) A district probably connected with (1), containing 20 cities, given by Solomon to Hiram king of Tyre (1Ki 9:10 ff).






See KEDESH (Apocrypha).


ka’-dez bar’-ne.

See KADESH-BARNEA (Apocrypha).


se’-zar (Kaisar): Originally the surname of the Julian gens (thus, Caius Julius Caesar); afterward a name borne by the Roman emperors. In the New Testament the name is definitely applied to Augustus (Lu 2:1, "Caesar Augustus"), to whom it belonged by adoption, and to Tiberius (Lu 3:1, "Tiberius Caesar"; compare Mt 22:17,21). The "Caesar" to whom Paul appealed (Ac 25:11,12,21) was Nero. The form is perpetuated in "Kaiser" and "Czar."


hous’-hold (hoi ek tes Kaisaros oikias, "they that are of Caesar’s household," Php 4:22): These words occur in the epistle which Paul wrote from Rome near the end of his first imprisonment there, probably in the end of 61 AD, to the church in Philippi. They give us most interesting information in regard to the progress made in the propagation of the gospel in Rome.

It is necessary to ask, in the first place, What is meant by the words "Caesar’s household"? and when the meaning of that phrase is known, then it is needful to discuss the question which rises at once, In what way did the gospel enter Caesar’s household? How is it that the gospel, which at the first chiefly advanced among the poorer classes in the Empire, made its way at a bound into the very palace of the Caesars?

1. What Exactly Was Caesar’s Household?:

"Caesar’s household" meant the whole of the persons, slaves and freemen alike, composing the establishment of the emperor in his palace on the Palatine Hill at Rome. The slaves of the imperial household formed a host in themselves. At a time when many a private citizen in Rome owned several hundreds of slaves, it need not surprise anyone to know that there was a vastly larger number of such persons in the palace of the emperor. This was a period when the city of Rome and the court of the Caesars swarmed with Asiatics, many of whom were Jews, and many of them would be in slavery, or in employment, in the imperial court. It cannot be forgotten that Poppea, Nero’s shameless consort, was a proselyte to Judaism and that she continued to advocate successfully the cause of the Jews before the emperor as occasion arose.

These persons in the emperor’s palace would be employed in every conceivable capacity as household servants, cooks, bathmen, gardeners, grooms, kennel-keepers, porters, doorkeepers, messengers, secretaries, amanuenses, teachers, librarians, architects, carpenters, shoemakers, and in all other forms of service. Of course they were not all slaves: there was a very large number of freemen. The domus or familia Caesaris (represented by the Greek oikia Kaisaros) included the whole of the imperial household, the meanest slaves as well as the most powerful courtiers. On the character and constitution of this household we happen to possess more information than perhaps on any other department of social life in Rome. "In Rome itself, if we may judge by these inscriptions, the domus Augusta must have formed no inconsiderable fraction of the whole population; but it comprised likewise all persons in the emperor’s service, whether slaves or freemen, in Italy and even in the provinces" (Lightfoot, Commentary on Phil, 171). In the list of offices filled by members of the imperial household were also such functions as those of keepers of the wardrobe or of the plate-chest; even the "tasters" formed a separate class of servants under a chief of their own. To belong to Caesar’s household would secure even to the lowest grade of slaves substantial privileges and immunities, and would give a certain social importance, which made this position a valued one. An office in the emperor’s household, however mean, was thought of so highly, that in the monumental inscriptions such a fact is recorded with scrupulous care.

2. How Did the Gospel Enter into Caesar’s Household?:

The next inquiry is, How did the gospel win its way into Caesar’s household? And, first, there is no need at all to suppose that the gospel was unknown, even in the palace, previous to the arrival of Paul in Rome.

3. The Gospel Known There before Paul’s Arrival:

For in that numerous household of the emperor there would be Jews, perhaps many of them; and all the Jews were at that time filled with Messianic hopes, and thus were ready to listen to the gospel. As soon therefore as the gospel entered Rome, as soon as it was proclaimed in the many synagogues there, these members of Caesar’s household could not fail, equally with the other members of the synagogue, to hear the story of Jesus Christ and of His cross and resurrection. A fact such as this, that the gospel was known in Rome previous to Paul’s arrival there, is quite sufficient to account for the other fact, that the gospel was known in Caesar’s palace.

4. The Gospel Advances in the Palace:

But the propagation of the gospel received a great impetus and help forward, when Paul arrived in the city. For although he was a "bound prisoner," his wrist fastened by an iron chain, day and night, to the soldier who guarded him, he was able to "preach the kingdom of God and to teach those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him" (Ac 28:31 the King James Version). And in this way the gospel would again reach members of the emperor’s household. Immediately after his arrival in Rome, Paul had put himself in communication with "the chief of the Jews"—probably the rulers of the synagogues in Rome—and many of them came to him in his lodging and conferred with him. Those chief men of the Jews expressed their great desire to hear from him what his thoughts were in regard to the hope of Israel (Ac 28:22); and naturally all the Jews in Rome would be equally desirous to gain this information from a man of the outstanding position and character of Paul. The Jewish community in Rome had for years past been permeated with the hope of the coming of the Messiah; indeed successive rumors of false Christs had kept them in a fever of excitement, which, on one occasion at least, had broken out in tumult, so strong was their hope of His speedy appearing. Thus it would come about, as a matter of course, that the gospel would reach all the Jews in Rome, and from this knowledge of Jesus, whom Paul proclaimed, the Jews who were in the service of the emperor could not possibly be excluded.

5. The Gospel Carried by Paul’s Soldier-Guard:

But besides this, the fact that Paul was in daily contact and intercourse with the soldiers who guarded him could not fail to lead to the introduction of the gospel into Gospel the regiment. And as part of the Praetorian Guard was quartered in buildings on the Palatine Hill, attached to the emperor’s palace there, there was thus one other channel through which the gospel would be made known to some of those who resided in the palace of Caesar. It is thus seen that there is nothing at all surprising in the fact that there were Christians in Caesar’s household.

6. Lightfoot’s Conjecture:

Some of Lightfoot’s suggestions and conjectures on this subject are exceedingly interesting. He reviews the names of the persons to whom Paul sends greeting in Ro 16 and compares them with the names of persons who lived at that time, and which have been found in monumental inscriptions on the columbaria or places of sepulture exhumed on the Appian Way. Many of the occupants of those columbaria were freedmen or slaves of the emperors, and were contemporaries of Paul. The result of Lightfoot’s review of the names is that he claims to have established a fair presumption that among the salutations in Ro 16 some members at least of the imperial household are included (Phil, 177).

In the household of the emperor there were necessarily many persons of high rank. Perhaps we may find a hint that the gospel had been embraced by some in the higher grades of society, in such strange facts as the execution of Titus Flavius Clemens, a man of consular rank and cousin to the emperor, and also in the fact that Flavia Domitilla, the wife of Flavius Clemens, was banished by Domitian, notwithstanding her near relationship to him, for she was the emperor’s niece. Her daughter Portia also shared in the same punishment of exile. The charges brought against all three were atheism and inclination to Jewish customs: surely such charges were sufficiently vague and even self-contradictory. The opinion has been suggested that probably these three persons in the inner circle of the emperor’s kinsmen were Christians.

7. Aristobulus and Narcissus:

Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveler, etc., 353), speaking of Lightfoot’s conjectures, already referred to, writes, "In all probability he is right in thinking that all the slaves of Aristobulus (son of Herod the Great) and of Narcissus (Claudius’ favorite freedman) had passed into the imperial household, and that members of their two families are saluted as Christians by Paul (Ro 16:10 ff)."

The fact of greatest interest in the whole subject is, that in society so profligate and corrupt as the court of Nero, there were "saints," Christian men whose garments were clean and who kept themselves unspotted from the world amid surroundings so dreadful and in temptation so unceasing; that the gospel was known and obeyed and loved, and that hearts and lives were loyal to Christ even in the palace of Nero Caesar.

John Rutherfurd


ses-a-re’-a, se-za-re’-a (Kaisareia):

(1) Caesarea Palestina (pal-es-ti’na).

The ancient name in the Arabic form Qaisariyeh still clings to the ruins on the sea shore, about 30 miles North of Jaffa. It was built by Herod the Great on the site of Strato’s Tower (Ant., XIII, xi, 2; XV, ix, 6), and the name Caesarea Sebaste was given it in honor of Augustus (ibid., XVI, v, 1). With his usual magnificence Herod lavished adornments on the city. He erected sumptuous palaces and public buildings, a theater, and amphitheater with prospect to the sea; while a spacious system of sewers under the city secured cleanliness and health. But "the greatest and most laborious work of all" was a magnificent harbor "always free from the waves of the sea," which Josephus says was not less than the Piraeus: this however is an exaggeration. It was of excellent workmanship, and all the more remarkable because the place itself was not suitable for such noble structures. The whole coast line, indeed, is singularly ill-fitted for the formation of harbors. The mighty breakwater was constructed by letting down stones 50 x 18 x 9 ft. in size into twenty fathoms deep. The mole was 200 ft. wide. Part was surmounted by a wall and towers. A promenade and dwellings for mariners were also provided. The work was done in ten or twelve years. It became the residence of the Roman procurator. It passed into the hands of Agrippa I; and here he miserably died (Ac 12:19,23). Here dwelt Philip the Evangelist (Ac 8:40; 21:8). To Caesarea Peter was sent to minister to the Roman centurion Cornelius (Ac 10). Thrice Paul passed through Caesarea (Ac 9:30; 18:22; 21:8); hither he was sent under guard from Jerusalem to escape danger from the Jews (Ac 23:23); and here he was imprisoned till his final departure for Rome.

Riots between Gentiles and Jews in Caesarea gave rise to the war (BJ, II, xiii, 7; . xiv, 4 f). Terrible cruelties were practiced on the Jews under Felix and Florus. Here Vespasian was hailed emperor by his soldiers. Titus here celebrated the birthday of his brother Domitian by setting 2,500 Jews to fight with beasts in the amphitheater. Eusebius was bishop of Caesarea (313-40 AD). In 548 AD a massacre of the Christians was organized and carried out by the Jews and Samaritans. The city passed into Moslem hands in 638. In the time of the Crusades it fell, now to the Christians and now to the Moslems; and was finally overthrown by Sultan Bibars in 1265 AD.

The cathedral stood on the site of a temple built by Herod, where the ruins are seen today; as are also those of two aqueducts which conveyed water from Nahr ez-Zerqa. The landward wall of the Roman city was nearly 3 miles in length.

(2) Caesarea Philippi (fi-lip’-i) (Kaisareia he Philippou).

At the Southwest base of Mt. Hermon, on a rocky terrace, 1,150 ft. above sea-level, between Wady Khashabeh and Wady Za‘areh, lie the ruins of the ancient city. It was a center for the worship of Pan: whence the name Paneas, applied not only to the city, but to the whole district (Ant., XV, x, 3). It is possible that this may have been the site of ancient Baal-hermon; while Principal G. A. Smith would place Da here (HGHL, 480). The district was given by Augustus to Herod the Great 20 BC, by whom a temple of white marble was built in honor of the emperor. Paneas formed part of the tetrarchy of Philip. He rebuilt and beautified the town, calling it Caesarea as a compliment to Augustus, and adding his own name to distinguish it from Caesarea on the coast of Sharon (Ant., XVIII, ii, 1; BJ, II, ix, 1). From Bethsaida Jesus and His disciples came hither, and on the way Peter made his famous confession, after which Jesus began to tell them of His coming passion (Mt 16:13 ff; Mr 8:27 ff). Some think that on a height near Caesarea Philippi Jesus was transfigured. See TRANSFIGURATION, MOUNT OF. Agrippa II renamed the town Neronias (Ant., XX, ix, 4). The ancient name however outlived both Caesare a and Neronias, and survives in the Arabic form Banias. The modern village, built among the ruins, contains 350 inhabitants. The walls and towers of which the remains are seen date from Crusading times. The castle, ec-Cubeibeh, crowns the hill behind the town, and must have been a place of strength from the earliest times. Its possession must always have been essential to the holding of the valley to the west. Immediately to the north of the town, at the foot of a steep crag, the fountain of the Jordan rises. Formerly the waters issued from a cave, Magharet ras en-Neba‘, "cave of the fountain head," now filled up with debris. Two niches cut in the face of the rock recall the idolatries practiced here in olden times. A shrine of el-Khudr stands on the west of the spring. With the rich soil and plentiful supplies of water, in a comparatively temperate climate, average industry might turn the whole district into a garden. As it is, the surroundings are wonderfully beautiful.

W. Ewing


kaj (kelubh; phulake): The earliest known form of cage made to confine a bird, for the pleasure of its song or the beauty of its coloring, was a crude affair of willows or other pliable twigs. Later cages were made of pottery, and now they are mostly made of wire. References in the Bible make it very clear that people were accustomed to confine in cages such birds as they especially prized for pets, or to detain them for market purposes. James indicated that cages were common when he wrote (Jam 3:7): "For every kind of beasts and birds .... is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind." In Job (Job 41:5) we find these lines " Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?" The only way to play with a bird is to confine it so that it grows accustomed to you and thus loses fear. Jeremiah compared the civil state of Judah to a "cage (crate) full of birds" (Jer 5:27), "the houses of the rich being stuffed with craftily-obtained wealth and articles of luxury" (HDB). The sale of sparrows as an article of food still continues in the eastern markets. Jesus referred to this (Mt 10:29) and it was He who entered the temple and overthrew "the seats of them that sold the doves" (Mt 21:12). In Re 18:2 we find a reference to "a hold (the King James Version "cage") of every unclean and hateful bird." See also Ecclesiasticus 11:30.

Gene Stratton-Porter


ka’-a-fas, ki’-a-fas (Kaiaphas; Caiaphas = Kephas (compare Dods in Expositor’s Greek Test, I, 803), and has also been interpreted as meaning "depression"): Caiaphas was the surname of Joseph, a son-in-law of Annas (compare Joh 18:13), who filled th e post of high priest from about 18-36 AD, when he was deposed by Vitellius (compare Josephus, Ant, XVIII, ii, 2; iv, 3). He is mentioned by Luke as holding office at the time of John the Baptist’s preaching in the wilderness (Lu 3:2).

Caiaphas took a leading part in the trial and condemnation of Jesus. It was in his court or palace that the chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees, who together constituted the Sanhedrin, assembled "that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him" (compare Mt 26:3,4; Joh 11:49). The regal claims of the new Messiah and the growing fame of His works had made them to dread both the vengeance of imperial Rome upon their nation, and the loss of their own personal authority and prestige (compare Joh 11:48). But Caiaphas pointed a way out of their dilemma: let them bide their time till the momentary enthusiasm of the populace was spent (compare Mt 26:5), and then by the single sacrifice of Jesus they could at once get rid of a dangerous rival and propitiate the frowns of Rome (compare Joh 11:49,50; 18:14). The commentary of John upon this (Joh 11:51,52) indicates how the death of Jesus was indeed to prove a blessing not only for Israel but also for all the children of God; but not in the manner which the cold-blooded statecraft of Caiaphas intended. The advice of the high priest was accepted by the Sanhedrin (Joh 11:53), and they succeeded in arresting Jesus. After being led "to Annas first" (Joh 18:13), Jesus was conducted thence in bonds to Caiaphas (Joh 18:24), According to Mt He was led immediately upon His arrest to Caiaphas (Mt 26:57). Mr and Lu do not refer to Caiaphas by name. His conduct at this preliminary trial of Jesus (Mt 26:57-68), its time and its procedure, were almost entirely illegal from the standpoint of then existing Jewish law (compare JESUS CHRIST, THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF; and A. Taylor Innes, The Trial of Jesus Christ). False witnesses were first called, and when Jesus refused to reply to their charges, Caiaphas asked of Him if He were "the Christ, the Son of God "( Mt 26:63). Upon our Lord’s answering "Thou hast said" (Mt 26:64), Caiaphas "rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy" (Mt 26:65). Upon this charge was Jesus found "worthy of death" (Mt 26:66). Caiaphas is also mentioned in Ac 4:6 as being among those who presided over the trial of Peter and John.

C. M. Kerr


kan (qayin, "spear" or "smith," resembling in sound the root qanah, "get," "acquire," Ge 4:1 the Revised Version, margin, but not necessarily derived from that root; Septuagint Kain):

1. The Scripture Narrative:

(1) In Ge 4:1-24 Cain is the first son of Adam and Eve. His birth is hailed as a manifestation of Yahweh’s help. He becomes "a tiller of the ground," and brings to Yahweh an offering of the produce of the soil, his brother Abel, the shepherd, bringing at the same time the fat of the first-born of his own flock. From Cain and from his offering Yahweh withholds the sign of acceptance which he grants to Abel. That the ground of this difference of treatment is to be found (so Heb 11:4) in Cain’s lack of right disposition toward Yahweh is shown by his behavior (see ABEL). Instead of humbling himself he gives signs of strong indignation at Yahweh’s refusal to favor him. Under the just rebuke of Yahweh he hardens his heart and is further confirmed in impenitence. His jealousy of Abel, unrepented of, increases until it culminates in deliberate murder. Deliberate, for in Ge 4:8 we must restore a clause to the Hebrew text, all the ancient versions bearing witness, and read "And Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go into the field," etc. In the vain attempt to conceal his crime Cain adds falsehood to his other sins. He is cursed "from," i.e. away from, that soil upon which he poured out his brother’s blood, and must become a fugitive and a wanderer, far from the immediate presence of Yahweh. Although his remonstrance against the severity of his sentence displays no genuine contrition, still Yahweh in pity appoints a "sign" for his protection. Cain takes up his abode in the land of Nod ("wandering"), and there builds a city and becomes the ancestor of a line which includes Jabal, forefather of tent-dwelling cattle-keepers; Jubal, forefather of musicians; Tubal-cain, forefather of smiths; and Lamech, like Cain, a man of violence. In Cain’s character we see "a terrible outburst of selfwill, pride, and jealousy, leading to a total and relentless renunciation of all human ties and affection." "Among the lessons or truths which the narrative teaches may be instanced: the nature of temptation, and the manner in which it should be resisted; the consequences to which an unsubdued temper may lead a man; the gradual steps by which in the end a deadly crime may be committed; the need of sincerity of purpose lest our offering should be rejected; God’s care for the guilty sinner after he has been punished; the interdependence upon one another of members of the human race; and the duties and obligations which we all owe to each other" (Driver). In Heb 11:4 Cain’s spiritual deficiency is pointed out; 1Jo 3:12 observes his envy and jealousy, as "of the wicked one," and Jude 1:11 makes him a very type of the ungodly.

2. Difficulties:

With few and bold strokes the story of Cain as it stands paints for us the character of the first of murderers and the scene of his detection and condemnation. To the religious purpose of the narrative all other things are made tributary. But if we can not refrain from putting the familiar question, Who was Cain’s wife? it is also impossible upon close study of Ge 4, as it stands, to avoid asking what was the nature of the sign of Yahweh’s acceptance (Gen 4:4), or of the "sign" appointed for Cain (Gen 4:15); or what we are to think of the introduction in the midst of the narrative, without explanation, of such important institutions as sacrifice (Gen 4:3,4) and blood-revenge (Gen 4:14); who were the persons of whom Cain stood in fear (Gen 4:14); who inhabited the city he built (Gen 4:17); how the wanderer and fugitive could become the city-builder; and why the shepherd life should be represented as beginning with Abel (Gen 4:2) and again with Jabal (Gen 4:20); also whether the narrator means that not only the collection of men in cities (Gen 4:17), but also animal husbandry, music and metal-working (Gen 4:20-22) are to be looked upon with disfavor as having sprung from Cain or from his descendants? Most of these questions find their answers in one consideration: the narrative is not exhaustively complete and is not intended to be so. That a large body of racial traditions existed, from which, with the severest condensation, the author of Ge selected his material, is the conclusion forced by close examination the Ge narrative and comparison of it with the most ancient extant traditions. "In Ge 4 these old stories are not told for their own sakes. The incompleteness and the difficulties left unsolved do not allow this assumption to be made. They form simply the material foundation, to which higher ideas and doctrines are attached" (Dillmann).

3. Critical Theories:

Without going outside the Scripture text we may find strong evidence that the narrative under consideration is founded in part upon ancient sources. Let the line of Cain (Ge 4:17-24) be compared with that of Seth (Ge 5:1-29):

The Hebrew forms of the names show even more clearly that Cain = Kenan, Irad = Jared, Methushael = Methuselah; a single transposition, that of the first and third names after Cain, brings the two Enochs together, and likewise the similar names Mehujael and Mahalalel. Thus we have six names nearly or quite identical; seven ancestors in one list and ten in the other, ending in both cases with a branching into three important characters. Resemblances equally certain, though not by any means so obvious, exist between the names in this double list and the names of the ten kings of Babylonia who reigned before the Flood, as the latter are given by Berosus, the Babylonian historian of the 3rd century BC (see Skinner, Driver, Sayce as below). Thus one source of which the author in Ge 4 made use appears to have been an ancient list in genealogical form, by which the first of mankind was linked with the beginnings of civilized institutions and articles Another part of his material was the story of a brother’s murder of a brother (Gen 4:1-16). Many maintain at this point that the narrative must be based upon the doings of tribes, rather than of individuals. It is true that not seldom in the Old Testament tribal history is related under individual names (compare Ge 49; , Jud 1, and the tables of tribes in Ge 25:1-4); yet the tribe referred to can hardly be the Kenites of the Old Testament, who appear as the close allies of Israel, not especially bloodthirsty or revengeful, and haunted by no shadow of early crime against a brother tribe (see KENITES). The indications in Ge 4:1-16 of a developed state of society and a considerable population may go to show that the narrative of the murder was not originally associated with the sons of the first man. Thus there is room to suppose that in the process of condensation and arrangement Cain, son of Adam; Cain, the murderer; and Cain, city-builder and head of a line of patriarchs, have been made one. The critical conclusions here epitomized are indeed reached by a delicate and difficult process; but it is asserted in their favor that they make possible the removal of difficulties which could be explained in no other manner. The question which will arise with many, What theory of inspiration can be held consistently with the application of such critical processes? is dealt with at length by most modern commentators (see CRITICISM; INSPIRATION).


A. Dillmann, Genesis (English translation); S. R. Driver, Genesis ("Westminster Commentaries"); H. E. Ryle, Early Narratives of Genesis; J. Skinner, Genesis (ICC); A. H. Sayce, "Archaeology of the Book of Genesis," The Expositor T, August, 1910, June, 1911. (2) In Jos 15:57, the Revised Version (British and American) KAIN, which see.

See also KENITES.

F. K. Farr


ka’-nan, ka-i’-nan (Kainan):

(1) Greek form of Kenan (Lu 3:37): also the King James Version form in Old Testament (except 1Ch 1:2).

(2) A son of Arphaxad (Lu 3:36), omitted in Ge 10:24; 11:12.




ka’-la (kalach; Chalach, also Chalak or Kalach; in Assyrian Kalhu, Kalha, Kalhi, Kalah): The name of one of the great cities of Nimrod (Ge 10:11), or rather, Asshur (text), which formed, with Nineveh, Resen between Calah and Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir (probably lying more to the North), Asshur’s great fourfold capital. The meaning of the name is unknown, but if a Sumerian etymology be accepted, some such signification as "Holy Gate" (Ka-lah) or the like—a parallel to Ka-dingira = Bab-ili, "Gate of God" (see BABEL, BABYLON)—might be regarded as possible.

1. Date of the City’s Foundation:

As Nineveh is mentioned by Hammurabi, who reigned about 2000 BC, it is clear that that city was already, in his time, an important place; and the passage in Ge 10:11 implies, though it does not actually prove, that Calah was of about the same period.

2. Early References to the City:

The Assyrian king Assur-nacir-apli (circa 885 BC) states that Calah was made (probably = founded) by Shalmaneser (I) circa 1300 BC, but this is possibly simply an indication that he rebuilt it. Later on, the site seems to have become neglected, for Assur-nacir-apli states that, the city having fallen into ruin, he rebuilt it, and it thereafter became practically the capital of the country, for he not only reerected or restored its shrines and temples—the temple of Ninip, with the god’s image; the temple of "the Lady of the Land," and the temples of Sin, Gula, and Enlil—but he also received tribute there. Among his other works may be mentioned the water-channel Pati-chengala, and the plantations, whose fruits, apparently, he offered to the god Assur (Asshur), and the temples of the city. It also became a favorite place of residence for the later kings of Assyria,’ who built palaces, and restored the city’s temples from time to time.

3. Its Position:

Calah occupied the roughly triangular tract formed by the junction of the Greater Zab with the Tigris, which latter stream in ancient times flowed rather closer to the western wall than it does now, and would seem to have separated the small town represented by Selamiyeh from the extensive ruins of Calah, which now bear the name of Nimroud. The main ruins are situated on a large, rectangular platform on the bank of the old bed of the Tigris.

4. The Temple-Tower:

The most prominent edifice was the great Temple-tower at the Northwest corner—a step-pyramid (ziq-qurat) like the Bah towers, constructed of brick faced with stone, and rising, in stages, to a height of circa 126 ft., probably with a sanctuary at the top (see BABEL, TOWER OF). A long vault occupies the basement-stage of this structure, and caused Sir A. H. Layard, its discoverer, to regard it as the probable traditional tomb of Ninus, under whose shadow the tragedy of Pyramis and Thisbe took place. Ovid (Metam. iv.98) describes the tomb of Ninus as having been situated "at the entrance of Nineveh," and, if this be correct, Calah must have been regarded as the southern portion of that great city, which, on a preaching journey, may well have taken three days (Jon 3:3) to traverse, provided Khorsabad was in reality its northern extremity.

5. The Temples and Palaces:

The platform upon which the temple-tower of Calah was situated measures circa 700 x 400 yds., and the portion not occupied by that erection afforded space for temples and palaces. In the center of the East side of this platform lie the remains of the palace of Assur-nacir-apli, the chambers and halls of which were paneled with sculptured and inscribed slabs, the principal doorways being flanked with finely carved winged and human-headed lions and bulls. In the Southeast corner are the remains of the palace of Esarhaddon, built, at least in part, with material taken from the palace of Tiglath-pileser IV, which was situated in the South portion of the platform. The remains of this last are, as a result of this spoliation, exceedingly meager. The Southwest corner of the platform contains the remains of the last palace built on the site—a very inferior erection constructed for Assur-etil-ilani (circa 626 BC).

6. The Temple of Ninip:

One of the temples on this platform was that dedicated to Ninip, situated at the Southwest corner of the temple-tower. The left-hand entrance was flanked by man-headed lions, while the sides of the right-hand entrance were decorated with slabs showing the expulsion of the evil spirit from the temple—a spirited sculpture now in the Nimroud Gallery of the British Museum. On the right-hand side of the entrance was an arch-headed slab with a representation of King Assur-nacir-apli in low relief, standing in the usual conventional attitude. Before it stood a stone tripod altar, implying that Divine honors were paid to this king. (Both these are now in the British Museum.) The remains of another temple were found to the East of this, and there are traces of further buildings at other points of the platform.

7. The Sculptures of Assur-nacir-apli:

The slabs from Assur-nacir-apli’s palace show this king’s warlike expeditions, but as descriptive lettering is wanting, the campaigns cannot be identified. Notwithstanding this disadvantage, however, they are of considerable importance, showing, as they do, incidents of his various campaigns—the crossing of rivers, the march of his armies, the besieging of cities, the reception of tribute, the life of the camp and hunting the lion and the wild bull. The reliefs from the temples, which are much larger and finer, show the king engaged in various religious ceremonies and ritual acts, and are among the most striking examples of Assyrian of sculpture. When looking at these works of art, the student’s thoughts go back with thankfulness to those Assyrians who, through the generations, cared for and preserved these monuments, though the vandalism of Esarhaddon in dressing off the slabs of Tiglath-pileser IV to carve his own bas-reliefs thereon will ever be regretted.

8. The City Walls:

The site is described as being 14 miles South of Kouyunjik (Nineveh) and consists of an enclosure formed of narrow mounds still having the appearance of walls. Traces of no less than 108 towers, the city’s ancient defenses, are said to be visible even now on the North and East, where the walls were further protected by moats. The area which the walls enclose—about 2,331 x 2,095 yards—would contain about 1,000 acres.

Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, and Nineveh and Babylon, still remain the standard works upon the subject, and his Monuments of Nineveh gives the most complete collection of the sculptures found. See also George Smith, Assyrian Discoveries, and Rassam, Asshur and the Land of Nimrod.

T. G. Pinches


ka-lam’-i-ti (’edh, "a load" or "burden" under which one is crushed, hence, "misfortune"; hayyah, hawwah, "fall," "ruin," the latter word used only in the plural; ra‘, "evil in essence" hence, "adversity," once only, Ps 141:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "wickedness"): Purely an Old Testament term, signifying adversities—natural, but more often those that result from wickedness or moral evil. Various kinds:

(1) folly, "a foolish son" (Pr 19:13);

(2) disease, poverty, bereavement, as in Job’s experience (Job 6:2; 30:13);

(3) persecution (2Sa 22:19; Ps 18:18);

(4) Divine retribution and judgment (De 32:35); compare ruin of the wicked (Pr 1:26, also Pr 1:27 the Revised Version (British and American) for "destruction" the King James Version);

(5) the devastation of war (Jer 46:21);

(6) adversities of any kind (Pr 27:10).

Dwight M. Pratt


kal-a-mol’-a-lus, -mol-a’-lus (Codex Alexandrinus, Kalamolalos, Codex Vaticanus, Kalamokalos): This name is corrupt (1 Esdras 5:22). It has evidently arisen through combining the two names Lod and Hadid, in the lists of Ezr 2:33 and Ne 7:37.


kal’-a-mus. See REED.


kal’-kol, kal’-kol (kalkol): Mentioned in 1Ki 4:31 as one of the wise men with whom Solomon was compared. The better orthography is Calcol which the King James Version gives for the same name in 1Ch 2:6. In the former passage, Calcol is the son of Mahol, while in the latter he is called the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, and a brother of Heman and Ethan.


kol’-drun (the rendering of qallachath, cir, dudh ‘aghmon) :Qallachath is found only in 1Sa 2:14; Mic 3:3. It is a pot for cooking, of undefined size and characteristics, in the former passage for sanctuary use, in the latter for domestic. Cir is translated caldron in Jer 1:13 (Revised Versions); Jer 52:18 f(the King James Version); Eze 11:3,7,11. It was distinctly a large pot, employed both for domestic use and in the sanctuary. Dudh is translated caldron only in 2Ch 35:13. It was also a pot for cooking. ‘Aghmon is translated caldron by the King James Version in Job 41:20, but it is a mistranslation; the Revised Version (British and American) correctly has "rushes."

George Ricker Berry


ka’-leb (kalebh; in the light of the cognate Syriac and Arabic words, the meaning is not "dog," which is kelebh, in Hebrew, but "raging with canine madness"; Chaleb): As a person, Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, occurs in the story of the spies (Nu 13 ff). He represents the tribe of Judah as its prince (Nu 13:6; compare Nu 13:2). While the majority of the men sent out by Moses bring back evil report, Caleb and Hoshea, or Joshua, the son of Nun, are the only ones to counsel the invasion of the promised land (Nu 13:30; 14:6 ff). Accordingly, these two alone are permitted to survive (Nu 14:38; 32:12). Upon the conquest and distribution of the land by Joshua, Caleb reminds the leader of the promise made by God through Moses, and so he receives Hebron as an inheritance for himself and his descendants (Jos 14:6-15), after driving out from thence the Anakim who were in possession of the city (Jos 15:14). In the parallel account in Jud 1:8 ff, the dispossession of the Canaanite inhabitants of Hebron is ascribed to Judah (Jud 1:10). Both accounts agree in mentioning Othniel, a younger brother of Caleb, as the conqueror of Kiriath-sepher or Debir; as his reward he receives the hand of Achsah, Caleb’s daughter. Achsah is given by her father a portion of the Southland; but, upon request, she obtains a more fruitful locality with upper and nether springs (Jos 15:15-19; Jud 1:12-15).

In 1Sa 30:14 Caleb is undoubtedly the name of a clan which is, moreover, differentiated from Judah. Modern scholars therefore assume that Caleb was originally an independent clan which in historical times merged with Judah. As Caleb is called the son f Kenaz (Jud 1:13) or the Kenizzite (Nu 32:12), it is further believed that the Calebites were originally associated with an Edomite clan named Kenaz (Ge 36:11), and that they entered their future homes in the southern part of Palestine from the south. Their migration up north would then be reflected in the story of the spies.

In the genealogical tables (1Ch 2), Caleb is made a descendant of Judah through his father Hezron. He is the brother of Jerahmeel, and the "father" of Hebron and of other towns in Judah. (Chelubai, 1Ch 9:9, is apparently identical with Caleb.)

Nabal, with whom David had an encounter, is called a Calebite, i.e. one belonging to the house of Caleb (1Sa 25:3).

Max. L. Margolis


ka’-leb ef’-ra-tha, -ef’-ra-ta (the King James Version Caleb-ephratah, kalebh ‘ephrathah): The place where Hezron died (1Ch 2:24). Many scholars, however, read with the Septuagint "after the death of Hezron, Caleb came unto Ephrath, the wife of Hezron, his father." The name does not occur elsewhere, and none resembling it has been recovered.


kal’-en-dar (Latin calendarium, "an account book," from calendae, "day on which accounts were due"): The Hebrew or Jewish calendar had three stages of development: the preexilic, or Biblical; the postexilic, or Talmudic; and the post-Talmudic. The first rested on observation merely, the second on observation coupled with calculation, and the third on calculation only. In the first period the priests determined the beginning of each month by the appearance of the new moon and the recurrence of the prescribed feasts from the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Thus, the month Abib (’abhibh), the first month of the year according to the Levitical law, in which the Passover was to be celebrated, was determined by observation (Ex 12:2; De 16). After the exile more accurate methods of determining the months and seasons came into vogue, and calculation was employed to supplement and correct observations and the calendar was regulated according to the Babylonian system, as is evidenced by the names of the months which are derived from it. In later times the calendar was fixed by mathematical methods (see the article "Calendar" in the Jewish Encyclopedia). The difficulty of ascertaining the first day of the new moon by observation, in the early period, led to the celebration of two days, as seems to be indicated in 1Sa 20:27. We have only four names of months belonging to the pre-exilic period, and they are Phoenician. Of these Abib (’abhibh) was the first month, as already indicated, and it corresponded to Nis (nican) in the later calendar. It was the month in which the Exodus occurred and the month of the Passover (Ex 13:4; 23:15; 34:18; De 16:1).

The 2nd month of this calendar was Ziv (ziw) (1Ki 6:1,37); Ethanim (’ethanim) was the 7th (1Ki 8:2), corresponding to Tishri of the later calendar, and Bul (bul) the 8th, corresponded to Marchesvan (marcheshwan) (1Ki 6:38). There were course other month names in this old calendar, but they have not come down to us. These names refer to the aspects of the seasons: thus Abib (’abhibh) means grain in the ear, just ripening (Le 2:14; Ex 9:31); Ziv (ziw) refers to the beauty and splendor of the flowers in the spring; Ethanim (’ethanim) means perennial, probably referring to living fountains; and Bul (bul) means rain or showers, being the month when the rainy season commenced. The full calendar of months used in the postexilic period is given in a table accompanying this article. The names given in the table are not all found in the Bible, as the months are usually referred to by number, but we find Nican in Ne 2:1 and Es 3:7; Siwan in Es 8:9; Tammuz in Eze 8:4, although the term as here used refers to a Phoenician god after whom the month was named; ‘Elul occurs in Ne 6:15; Kiclew (the American Standard Revised Version "chislev") in Ne 1:1 and Zec 7:1; Tebheth in Es 2:16; ShebhaT in Zec 1:7 and ‘Adhar in Ezr 6:15 and several times in Est. These months were lunar and began with the new moon, but their position in regard to the seasons varied somewhat because of the intercalary month about every three years.

The year (shanah) originally began in the autumn, as appears from Ex 23:16 and Ex 34:22, where it is stated that the feast of Ingathering should be at the end of the year; the Sabbatic year began, also, in the 7th month of the calendar year (Le 25:8-10), indicating that this had been the beginning of the year. This seems to have been a reckoning for civil purposes, while the year beginning with Nican was for ritual and sacred purposes. This resulted from the fact that the great feast of the Passover occurred in this month and the other feasts were regulated by this, as we see from such passages as Ex 23:14-16 and De 16:1-17. Josephus (Ant., I, iii, 3) says: "Moses appointed that Nican, which is the same with Xanthicus, should be the first month of their festivals, because he brought them out of Egypt in that month; so that this month began the year as to all solemnities they observed to the honor of God, although he preserved the original order of the months as to selling and buying and other ordinary affairs." A similar custom is still followed in Turkey, where the Mohammedan year is observed for feasts, the pilgrimage to Mecca and other sacred purposes, while the civil year begins in March O. S.

The year was composed of 12 or 13 months according as to whether it was ordinary or leap year. Intercalation is not mentioned in Scripture, but it was employed to make the lunar correspond approximately to the solar year, a month being added whenever the discrepancy of the seasons rendered it necessary. This was regulated by the priests, who had to see that the feasts were duly observed at the proper season. The intercalary month was added after the month of ‘Adhar and was called the second ‘Adhar (sheni, wa-’adhar, "and Adar"), and, as already indicated, was added about once in 3 years. More exactly, 4 years out of every 11 were leap years of 13 months (Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Calendar"), this being derived from the Babylonian calendar. If, on the 16th of the month Nican, the sun had not reached the vernal equinox, that month was declared to be the second ‘Adhar and the following one Nican. This method, of course, was not exact and about the 4th century of our era the mathematical method was adopted. The number of days in each month was fixed, seven having 30 days, and the rest 29. When the intercalary month was added, the first ‘Adhar had 30 and the second 29 days.

H. Porter


kaf (‘eghel; par, or par, often rendered "bullock"): The etymology of both words is uncertain, but the former has a close parallel in the Arabic ‘ijl, "calf." Par is generally used of animals for sacrifice, ‘eghel, in that and other senses. ‘Eghel is used of the golden calves and frequently in the expression, ‘eghel marbeq, "fatted calf," or "calf of the stall," the latter being the literal meaning (1Sa 28:24; Jer 46:21; Am 6:4; Mal 4:2).

At the present day beef is not highly esteemed by the people of the country, but mutton is much prized. In the houses of the peasantry it is common to see a young ram being literally stuffed with food, mulberry or other leaves being forced into its mouth by one of the women, who then works the sheep’s jaw with one hand. The animal has a daily bath of cold water. The result is deliciously fat and tender mutton. Such an animal is called a ma‘luf. From the same root we have ma‘laf, "manger," suggestive of the Hebrew marbeq, "stall."

The calf for sacrifice was usually a male of a year old. Other references to calves are: "to skip like a calf" (Ps 29:6); "the calf and the young lion and the fatling together" (Isa 11:6); "a habitation deserted .... there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof" (Isa 27:10).


Alfred Ely Day




kaf, gol’-d’-n:



1. Narrative of Aaron’s Golden Calf

2. Jeroboam’s Golden Calves




I. The Name.

The term ‘eghel, is the ordinary Hebrew name for a male calf and is as flexible as the English name, applying to any animal from one a year old (Mic 6:6) or perhaps younger (Le 9:3; 12:6) to one three years old (Ge 15:9; compare Jer 34:18,19). It has been thought that the habitual use of this diminutive term for the golden bulls which Aaron and Jeroboam set up—especially as it is twice made feminine (Ho 10:5; 13:2)—was intended to indicate their small size and thus to express contempt for them. This however, though plausible, is by no means certain. It was not their size which made these bulls contemptible in the eyes of the prophets, and besides there were no life-size bulls of molten gold in any surrounding countries so far as known. The reference to female calves that were kissed (Ho 13:2), presumably at Bethel, may refer not to the worship of the bulls, but to their female counterparts, since in all other countries such female deities invariably accompanied the bull gods. Bethel may be especially mentioned because it was the "king’s sanctuary" (Am 7:13) or because of the multitude of altars and high places found there (Ho 10:8; compare Ho 8:11; Am 5:26). False worship is also mentioned in connection with Jeroboam’s apostasy, at Gilgal and Gilead (Ho 4:15; 12:11; Am 4:4; 5:5), Samaria (Ho 8:6; 10:5; 13:2,16); and Beersheba (Am 5:5; 8:14) where no bulls had been set up by Jeroboam so far as stated. That these places receive more condemnation than Dan—which is explicitly mentioned in only one passage (Am 8:14) though it was a chief center of the bull worship (1Ki 12:30)—may be due to the fact that the worship of the female deity was the more popular. This was certainly true in neighboring countries and also in other cities in Palestine, as has recently been proved by the excavations (see below).

II. Ancient Calf Worship.

The origin of animal worship is hidden in obscurity, but reverence for the bull and cow is found widespread among the most ancient historic cults. Even in the prehistoric age the influence of the bull symbol was so powerful that it gave its name to one of the most important signs of the Zodiac, and from early historic times the horns of the bull were the familiar emblem of the rays of the sun, and solar gods were very commonly represented as bull-gods (Jensen, Kosmologie, 62-90; Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen, 1901-5, passim; Jeremias, Das Alter der bah. Astronomie, 1909, passim). The Egyptians, close neighbors of the Hebrews, in all eras from that of the Exodus onward, worshipped living bulls at Memphis (not Mendes, as EB) and Hellopolls as incarnations of Ptah and Ra, while one of the most elaborate rituals was connected with the life-size image of the Hathor-cow (Naville, Deir el Bahari, Part I (1907), 163-67), while the sun was revered as the "valiant bull" and the reigning Pharaoh as "Bull of Bulls." But far more important in this connection is the fact that "calf" worship was almost if not quite universal among all the ancient Semitic peoples. If the immediate ancestors of Abraham did not revere this deity, they were certainly quite unlike their relatives, the Babylonians, among whom, according to all tradition, they lived before they migrated to Palestine (Ge 11:28,30; Josephus, Ant, I, vi, 5), for the Babylonians revered the bull as the symbol of their greatest gods, Ann and Sin and Marduk—the ideograph of a young bullock forming a part of the latter’s name—while Hadadrimmon, an important Amorite deity, whose attributes remarkably resemble those of Yahweh (see Ward, AJSL, XXV, 175-85; Clay, Amurru (1909), 87-89), is pictured standing on the back of a bull. In Phoenicia also the bull was a sacred animal, as well as in northern Syria where it ranked as one of the chief Hittite deities its images receiving devout worship (see further, Sayce, Encyclopedia of Rel. and Ethics, under the word "Bull"). Among all these peoples the cow goddess was given at least equal honor. In Babylonia the goddess Ishtar has the cow for her symbol on very ancient seal cylinders, and when this nude or half-nude goddess appears in Palestine she often stands on a bull or cow (see William Hayes Ward, Cylinders and Other Ancient Oriental Seals), and under slightly different forms this same goddess is revered in Arabia, Moab, Phoenicia, Syria and elsewhere, while among the Semitic Canaanites the bull was the symbol of Baal, and the cow of Astarte (see particularly Barton, Hebraica, IX, 133-63; X, 1-74, and Semitic Origins, chapter vii; Driver, "Astarte" in DB). Recent excavations in Palestine have shown that during all eras no heathen worship was as popular as that of Astarte in her various forms (see S. A. Cook, Rel. of Ancient Palestine, 1909). That she once is found wearing ram’s horns (PEFS (1903), 227) only reveals her nature more clearly as the goddess of fertility. Her relation to the sacred fish at Carnion in Gilead and to the doves of Ascalon, as well as to female prostitution and to Nature’s "resurrection" and fruitage, had been previously well known, as also her relation to the moon which governs the seasons. Is there any rational motif which can account for this widespread "calf" worship? Is it conceivable that this cult could so powerfully influence such intelligent and rather spiritually-minded nations as the Egyptians and Babylonians if it were wholly irrational and contained no spiritual content? And is there no rational explanation behind this constant fusion of the deity which controls the breeding of cattle with the deity which controls vegetation? How did the bull come to represent the "corn spirit," so that the running of a bull through the corn (the most destructive act) came to presage good crops; and how did the rending of a bull, spilling his life blood on the soil, increase fertility? (See Fraser, Golden Bough, II, 291-93, 344.) The one real controlling motif of all these various representations and functions of the "calf" god may be found in the ancient awe, especially among the Semites, for the Mystery of Life. This seems to offer a sufficient reason why the bull, which is a most conspicuous example of life-giving power, should be so closely connected with the reproductive processes of the animal and vegetable kingdoms and also with the sun, which from earliest historic times was considered as preeminently the "giver of life." Bull worship was not always an exhibition of gross animalism, but, certainly in Bible times, often represented a concept which was the product of reflection upon one of the deepest mysteries of Nature. Few hymns in Egypt or Babylon express higher spiritual knowledge and aspiration than those addressed to the bull gods or to others honored with this title, e. g. this one to the god Sin of Ur, the "heifer of Anu," "Strong young bull; with strong horns, .... with beard of lapislazuli color .... self-created, full of developed fruit .... Mother-womb who has taken up his abode, begetter of all things, exalted habitation among living creatures; O merciful gracious father, in whose hand rests the life of the whole world; O Lord, thy divinity is full of awe like the far-off heaven and the broad ocean!" (Rogers, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (1908), 164). Many modern scholars believe that the primitive Egyptians and Babylonians really thought of their earthly and heavenly gods as animals (see especially Maspero, Bulletin critique, 1886; Revue de l’histoiredes religions, 1888), but it seems certain that at least as early as the date of the Exodus these stars and beasts were not regarded by all as being themselves deities, but rather as symbols or representations of deity (Davis and Cobern, Ancient Egypt, 281-89; Brugsch, Die Aegyptologie, I, 135; Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier u. der Ssabismus, II, 134).

1. Narrative of Aaron’s Golden Calf:

The text of Ex 32 is certainly composite (see e. g. Bacon’s "Exodus" in the place cited and DB), and some words and phrases are a verbal dupli care of the narrative of Jeroboam’s calf worship (compare Ex 32:4 with 1Ki 12:28, and see parallel columns in Driver’s Deteronomy). Some Bible critics so analyze the text as to make the entire calf story a later element, without ancient basis, added to some short original statement like Ex 32:7-11, for the sake of satirizing Jeroboam’s bull worship and its non-Levitical priesthood (see e. g. Kuenen, Hexateuch). Most recent critics have however accepted the incident as an ancient memory or historic fact attested by the oldest sources, and used thus by the Deuteronomist (De 9), though the verbal form may have been affected by the later editor’s scorn of the northern apostasy. It seems clearly unreasonable to suppose that a Hebrew writer at any era would so fiercely abuse his own ancestors, without any traditional basis for his statements, merely for the sake of adding a little more which cast reproach upon his northern neighbors, and it seems equally unlikely that any such baseless charges would have been accepted as true by the slandered nation. The old expositors, accepting the essential historicity of the account, generally followed Philo and the early Fathers in supposing this calf of gold was an image of the Apis or Mnevis bulls of Egypt, and this is occasionally yet advocated by some Egyptologists (e. g. Steindorf, Ancient Egypt (1903), 167; compare also Jeremias, Old Testament in Light of Ancient East (1911), II, 138). The objections made to this view by the skeptics of the 18th century, based on the supposed impossibility of such chemical and mechanical skill being possessed at that era, have mostly been made obsolete by recent discovery. The common modern objection that this could not have been Apis worship because the Apis was a living bull, is by no means conclusive, since images of Apis are not uncommon and were probably worshipped in the temple itself. It may be added that a renaissance of this worship occurred at this very era. So Erman, Handbook of Egyptian Rel. (1907), 23-79. Modern Bible scholars, however, are practically unanimous in the opinion that the Golden Calf, if worshipped at all, must have been a representation of a Semitic, not an Egyptian, deity. In favor of this it may be suggested:

(1) It was an era when each deity was considered as the god of a particular country and it would seem impossible that a native Egyptian god should be thought of as joining with Egypt’s enemies and assisting them to reach a land over which he had no control.

(2) The Israelite religion shows little influence from Egypt, but was immensely influenced from Canaan and Babylon, Apis only being mentioned once (Jer 46:20 (translated "heifer"); compare Eze 20:7,8, and see Brugsch, Steininschrift und Bibelwort, passim, and Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, 217).

(3) The bull and cow are now known to have been ordinary symbols for the most popular deities which were worshipped by all the race-relatives of the Hebrews and nowhere more devoutly than in Canaan and in the adjoining districts (see above).

(4) Some of the chief gods of the pasture land of Goshen, where the Hebrews had resided for centuries (Ge 47:6; 50:8), were Semitic gods which were worshipped not only by the Edomitic Bedouin and other foreigners living there by the "pools of Pithom" (compare Ex 1:11) but by the native Egyptians, Ramses II even naming a daughter after one of these. The special god of this district had as its symbol a bull calf, and one inscription actually speaks of the statue of a "golden calf of 600 pounds weight" which it was the custom to dedicate annually to one of these Semitic gods, while another inscription mentions a statue of gold "a cubit in height" (Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt (1905), III, 630-38; Naville, Goshen, Store City of Pithom; Erman, Handbook; 173-74; Brugsch, op. cit.).

(5) The chief proof, however, is the statement of the text that the feast in connection with this worship was a "feast to Yahweh" (Ex 32:5). When Moses disappeared for forty days in the Mount, it was not unnatural that the people should turn back to the visible symbols worshipped by their ancestors, and should give to them the new name or new attributes which had been attached to deity by Moses. The worship was condemned for much the same reason as that of Jeroboam’s calves (see next section).

2. Jeroboam’s Golden Calves:

Though this passage (1Ki 12:26-33; compare 2Ch 10:14,15) may have been reedited later, "there is no reason to infer that any detail of fact is underived from the olden time" (Burney, Hebrew Text of Kings (1902), and DB). These calves which Jeroboam set up were doubtless bulls (1Ki 12:28, Hebrew) but at least as early as Hosea’s time it seems probable (see above) that the more licentious worship of the feminine principle had been added to the official worship (Ho 10:5; 13:2, Hebrew). This which else here naturally and universally accompanied the bull worship could most truly be called "the sin of Samaria" (Am 8:14) and be classed as the "sin of Jeroboam" (1Ki 14:9,16; 16:26; 2Ki 10:29). There is no sufficient reason for explaining the term "molten" in any other an its most natural and usual sense (Ex 32:8,24; 2Ki 17:16; De 9:16), for molded metal idols were common in all eras in Palestine and the surrounding countries, though the core of the image might be molten or graven of some inferior metal overlaid with gold (Isa 30:22; 40:19, Hebrew; De 7:25; Ex 32:4). These bull images were undoubtedly intended to represent Yahweh (yet compare Robertson, op. cit., and Orr, Problem of Old Testament (1906), 145). The text explicitly identifies these images with Aaron’s calf (1Ki 12:28), so that nearly all the reasons given above to prove that Aaron’s image represented not an Egyptian but an ancient Semitic deity are equally valid here. To these various other arguments may be added:

(1) The text itself states that it is Yahweh who brought them from Egypt (Ho 2:15; 12:13; 13:4), whom they call "My lord," and to whom they swear (Ho 2:16, King James Version margin; Ho 4:15); and to whom they present their wine offerings, sacrifices and feasts (Ho 8:13; 9:4,5, Hebrew; compare Am 5:8).

(2) Jehu, though he destroyed all Baal idols, never touched these bulls (2Ki 10:28,29).

(3) The ritual, though freer, was essentially that of the Jerusalem temple (1Ki 12:32; Ho 5:6; Am 4:5; 5:22,23; see, Oettli, Greifswalder Studien (1895), quoted in DB, I, 342).

(4) Even the southern prophets recognized that it was Yahweh who had given Jeroboam the kingdom (1Ki 11:31; 12:15,24) and only Yahweh worship could have realized Jeroboam’s purpose of attaching to the throne by this cult such devout citizens as would otherwise be drawn to Jerusalem to worship. It was to guard against this appeal which the national sanctuary made to devout souls that this counter worship had been established. As Budde says, "A foreign cult would only have driven the devout Ephraimites the more surely over to Jerusalem" (Rel. of Israel (1899), 113). Jeroboam was not attempting to shock the conscience of his religious adherents by making heathenism the state religion, but rather to win these pious worshippers of Yahweh to his cause.

(5) The places selected for the bull worship were places already sacred to Yahweh. This was preeminently true of Bethel which, centuries before Jerusalem had been captured from the Jebusites, had been identified with special revelations of Yahweh’s presence (Ge 13:3,4; 28:19; 31:13; 35:15; 1Sa 7:16; Ho 12:4).

(6) The story shows that the allegiance of his most pious subjects was retained (1Ki 12:20) and that not even Elijah fled to the Southern, supposing that the Northern Kingdom had accepted the worship of heathen gods as its state religion. Instead of this, Elijah, though the boldest opponent of the worship of Baal, is never reported as uttering one word against the bull worship at Da and Bethel.

III. Attitude of Elijah to the Bull Symbols.

This surprising silence is variously explained. A few scholars, though without any historic or textual evidence for the charge, are sure that the Bible narratives (though written by southern men) are fundamentally defective at this point, otherwise they would report Elijah’s antagonism to this cult. Other few, equally without evidence, are comfortably sure that he fully approved the ancient ancestral calf cult. Others, with more probability, explain his position on the ground that, though he may not have favored the bull symbol—which was never used by the Patriarchs so far as known, and certainly was not used as a symbol of Yahweh in the Southern Kingdom, or Hosea the northern prophet would have spoken of it—yet being himself a northern man of old ideals and simple habits, Elijah may have believed that, even with this handicap, the freer and more democratic worship carried on al the ancient holy places in the North was less dangerous than the elaborate and luxurious ritual of the aristocratic and exclusive priesthood of the South, which insisted upon political and religious centralization, and was dependent upon such enormous revenues for its support (compare 1Ki 12:10,14). At any rate it is self-evident that if Elijah had turned against Jeroboam and the state religion, it would have divided seriously the forces which needed to unite, in order to oppose with all energy the much fouler worship of Baal which just at this crisis, as never before or afterward, threatened completely to overwhelm the worship of Yahweh.

IV. Attitude of Amos and Hosea to the Bull Symbols.

It is easy to see why Hosea might fiercely condemn a ritual which Elijah might rightly tolerate.

(1) This calf worship may have deteriorated. Elijah lived closer to the time when the new state ritual was inaugurated and would naturally be at its best. Hosea lived at an era when he could trace the history of this experiment for nearly two cents, and could see clearly that these images had not helped but greatly hindered the development of the ethical and spiritual religion of Yahweh. Even if at first recognized as symbols, these images had become common idols (Ho 12:11; 13:2, and passim). "This tiring became a sin" (1Ki 12:30; 13:34). The history of religion shows many such instances wher the visible or verbal symbol which in one era had been a real aid to devotion at a later time became positively antagonistic to it (see IMAGES). As Baal was also worshipped under the form of a calf and as Yahweh himself was at times called "Baal" (Isa 54:5; Jer 31:32; Ho 2:16 Hebrew) this unethical tendency would be accelerated, as also by the political antagonism between Judah and Ephraim and the bitter hatred between the two rival priesthoods (compare 2Ch 11:15; 13:9). Certain it is that by the middle of the 8th century the worship at Da and Bethel had extended itself to many other points and had become so closely affiliated with the heathen worship as to be practically indistinguishable—at least when viewed from the later prophetic standpoint. But

(2) it cannot be doubted that the prophetic standpoint had changed in 200 years. As the influence of the northern worship had tended toward heathenism, so the influence of the southern worship of an imageless god had tended toward higher spiritual ideals. Elijah could not have recognized the epoch-making importance of an imageless temple. The constant pressure of this idea—God is Spirit—had developed a new spiritual conscience, which by the 8th century was so keen that the worship of Yahweh under the form of an image was not improperly considered as almost if not quite as bad as out-and-out heathenism, just as the Reformers of the 16th century regarded the Roman Catholic images as little better than idols (Ho 8:5,6; 11:2; 13:2; compare 2Ki 17:16,17). The ifluence of this new conscience is also seen in the fact that it is not simply or perhaps chiefly the "calves" which are condemned, but the spirit of ungodliness and unkindness which also made the orthodox worship in Jerusalem little if any better than that at Bethel (Ho 6:4; 5:12,14). The influence of this theology—God is Spirit—had so filled the souls of these prophets that even the sacrifices had lost their importance when unaccompanied by kindness and spiritual knowledge (Ho 6:6; 7:1), and it is the absence of this essential spirit, rather than the form of worship, which Amos and Hosea condemn in the Northern Kingdom (Am 2:6-8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:7,12-15,21-24; 6:12; 8:4-6; Ho 4:2,3; 9:1; 10:12-14). These later prophets could also see, as Elijah could not possibly have seen, that unity of worship was imperatively needed, and that sacrifices in the old sacred "high places" must be discontinued. Only thus could superstitious fanaticism and religious disintegration be avoided. A miscellaneous and unregulated Yahweh cult might become almost as bad as heathenism. Indeed it might be worse if it gave the Baal spirit and interpretation to Yahweh worship.

See also ASTROLOGY, sec. II, 2.


Besides references above, see especially commentaries of Dillmann and Driver on Exodus; Kuenen, Religion of Israel; W. R. Smith, Religion of Semites, 93-113 and index; Konig, Hauptprobleme der altisraelitischen Religionsgeschichte; Baeth gen, Beitr. zur semit. Religionsgeschichte; Kittel, History of Hebrews; "Baal" and "Ashtoreth" in Encyclopedia of Rel. and Ethics (full lit.); "Golden Calf" in Jewish Encyclopedia for Rabbinical and Mohammedan lit.

Camden M. Cobern


kal’-i-tas (Kalitas, or Kaleitais): One of the Levites who put away their foreign wives at the request of Esdras (Ezra), 1 Esdras 9:23, "Colius, who was called Calitas." It is the Greek form of Hebrew Kelita (compare parallel passage, Ezr 10:23, elaiah, the same is "Kelita"). He is also named with those who explained the law when read to the people by Esdras (1 Esdras 9:48; compare Ne 8:7). It is not certain whether he is to be identified with the Kelita of Ne 10:10 (one of the Levites who signed the covenant made by Nehemiah). The word probably means "dwarf."

D. Miall Edwards





kol’-ing (klesis, from kaleo, "I call"): Is a New Testament expression. The word is used chiefly by Paul, though the idea and term are found also elsewhere. It has a definite, technical sense, the invitation given to men by God to accept salvation in His kingdom through Jesus Christ. This invitation is given outwardly by the preaching of the gospel, inwardly by the work of the Holy Spirit. With reference to Israel, it is on the part of God irrevocable, not repented of. Having in His eternal counsel called this people, He entrusted them with great gifts, and because He did thus enrich them, He also, in the course of time, summoned them to fulfill the task of initiating the world into the way of salvation, and of preparing salvation for the world. Therefore, He will not desert His people, for He Will not revoke that call (Ro 11:29). This calling is high or upward, in Christ, that is, made in heaven by God on account of Christ and calling man to heaven (Php 3:14). Similarly it is a heavenly calling (Heb 3:1); also a holy calling, holy in aim, means, and end (2Ti 1:9). Christians are urged to walk worthy of this calling (Eph 4:1) (the American Standard Revised Version and the Revised Version (British and American), but the King James Version has "vocation"). In it there is hope; it is the inspirer of hope, and furnishes for hope its supreme object (Eph 4:4). Men are exhorted so to live that God will count them worthy of their calling (2Th 1:11). They are also urged to make their calling and election sure (2Pe 1:10). See ELECTION. There is a somewhat peculiar use of the word in 1Co 1:26 and 1Co 7:20, namely, that condition of life in which men were when God called them, not many of them wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, some circumcised, some uncircumcised, some bond, some free, some male, some female, some married, some unmarried.

George Henry Trever


ka-lis’-the-nez (Kallisthenes): An officer of Nicanor who was charged with the burning of the sacred portals of the temple at the time of the desecration under Antiochus Epiphanes (168 BC). After the decisive defeat of Nicanor’s army at Emmaus (165 BC) the Jews celebrated the victory in the city of their fathers and burned C. who had fled into an outhouse with others who had set the sacred gates on fire, "the meet reward of their impiety" (2 Macc 8:33).


kal’-ne (kalneh; Chalanne): The name of the fourth city of Nimrod’s kingdom (Ge 10:10), the three preceding it being Babel, Erech, and Accad, i.e. the capital of the realm of Babylonia and the chief cities of three of the principal states. The meaning of the name is unknown, and many regard the identification as uncertain athers and burned C. who had fled into an outhouse with others who had set the sacred gates on fire, "the meet reward of their impiety" (2 Macc 8:33).

1. Identified with Nippur:

G. Rawlinson thought it to be the modern Niffer (or Noufar), comparing the Talmudic (compare Yoma’) Nopher, which is said to be the same as Calneh. What place-name Calneh corresponds with in cuneiform is doubtful. Fried. Delitzsch (Wo lag das Paradies?) compared it with Kul-unu, but as we are told to pronounce this group as Kullaba, it seems unlikely that there is any connection between the two. The identification proposed by G. Rawlinson, however, may be regarded as being supported by the bilingual Creation-legend, in which Merodach (= Nimrod) is made the founder of Babylon, Erech and Nippur, which would in that case be three of the four cities mentioned in Ge 10:10.

2. Nippur’s Importance:

The inscriptions reveal to us Nippur as a city with a glorious past. Sargon of Agade, Sur-Engur, Dungi and all the more prominent kings of Babylonia in its larger sense interested themselves in the rebuilding and restoration of its renowned temples, so as to gain the favor of their great divinities.

3. Its Deities and Their Legends:

The city’s earlier divine patrons were Enlil and Ninlil, the older Bel and Beltis, whose shrines were at the great temple-tower called E-kura, "the house of the land," and a poetical legend in Sumerian (dialectical) recording their visit to the city, and enumerating its sacred places, still exists (PSBA, March, 1911, 85 ff). Later, the chief deities of the city seem to have been Ninip, the son of Enlil, and his spouse Nin-Nipri, "the lady of Nippur." These two divine beings likewise evoked the muse of the city-scribes, who dealt with the glories of the god in a composition extending over several tablets, in which his favor to his spouse Nin-Nipri is extolled; and to whom a career very similar to that of Merodach, the head of the Babylonian pantheon, is attributed (PSBA, December, 1906, 270 ff).

4. Its Ruins Today:

The great temple-tower of Niffer, which was dedicated to the god Enlil, was a very striking object among the buildings and temples of the city, and the lower stages are still in an extremely perfect condition. Most interesting, also, are the remains of streets and houses which enable the general conditions of life in ancient Babylonia to be estimated, and suggest that they are similar to those subsisting even at the present day. Our knowledge of the city is almost entirely due to the American excavations at Niffer, inaugurated by J. P. Peters, which have been most fruitful and have shed quite a new light on the city’s history. See Peters’ Nippur (2 volumes, 1887); the many volumes written or edited by Professor H. V. Hilprecht under the general title The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania; and Professor A. T. Clay’s Light on the Old Testament from Babel (Philadelphia, 1907).

T. G. Pinches


kal’-ne, kal’-no (kalneh (Am 6:2), kalno (Isa 10:9)): "Probably the Kulnia (Kullani) associated with Arpad and Hadrach, Syrian cities, in the Assyrian ‘tribute’ list (Western Asiatic Inscriptions, II, 53, number 3); Kullanhu about six miles from Arpad" (HDB, I, 344, and 1-vol HDB, 109).








kavz, (Septuagint: karpon cheileon): This is the King James Version rendering of a dubious Hebrew text in Ho 14:2 (parim sephathenu). The Revised Version (British and American) runs "So will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips." Strange as the text is, it may be retained, and it admits of at least a possible explanation. The prophet calls on his contemporaries to return in penitence to Yahweh. Their worship should consist not of meaningless dumb ritual, but of "words"—hymns and prayers, expressive of real gratitude and of actual needs—or perhaps pledges of repentance and reform. The people respond and undertake that their worship shall consist of "calves or bullocks of lips," i.e. not of animal offerings, but of promises of reform or vows of obedience. But this explanation is forced and most modern commentators follow the Septuagint, which presupposes a slightly different Hebrew text, and renders peri sephathenu, "fruit of our lips," i.e. adoring gratitude or, as the author of the Epistle to the He, who quotes this verse from the Septuagint, explains it, "sacrifice of praise" (Heb 13:15). The same phrase occurs in Isa 57:19, where it signifies gladsome gratitude.

T. Lewis


kam-bi’-sez (Aram., c-n-b-n-z-y; Persian, Kambujiya; Assyrian, Kambuzia; Egyptian, Kambythet; Susian, Kanpuziya): The older son of Cyrus, king of Persia. Some have thought that he is the Ahasuerus of Ezr 4:6. This seems to be most improbable, inasmuch as the Hebrew form of Ahasuerus is the exact equivalent of the Old Persian form of Xerxes, and we have no evidence that Cambyses was ever called Xerxes.

Ancient authorities differ as to who was the mother of Cambyses. It is variously said that she was Cassandane, a Persian princess, Amytis, a Median princess, or Nititis, a daughter of Apries king of Egypt. He had one brother, Bardes or Smerdes, whom he put to death secretly shortly after his accession, probably because of an attempted rebellion. Cambyses organized an expedition for the conquest of Egypt, which was rendered successful by internal treachery and by the aid of the Phoenician, Cyprian and Greek fleets. During this campaign Cambyses seems to have acted with good generalship and with clemency toward the conquered. After the subjugation of Egypt, Cyrene and Barca, the modern Tripoli, submitted to his sway. He then desired to undertake the conquest of Carthage, but was compelled to give it up, because his Phoenician allies, without whose ships it was impossible for him to conduct his army in safety, refused to join in an attack upon a country that had been colonized by them. He is said to have sent an army of 50,000 men against the oasis of Jupiter Ammon. This army is said to have perished in the sands. A little less unsuccessful expedition was made against Ethiopia. After some initial successes, Cambyses was forced to return to Egypt with the shattered remains of his army. He found that the Egyptians were in revolt, led by their king Psammetichus III, whose life he had formerly spared. This revolt was put down with great harshness, the Egyptian king being taken and executed, and many of the temples being destroyed. Shortly after this, Cambyses heard that a certain Magian, who claimed to be his brother Smerdes whom he had secretly put to death, had set himself up as king of Persia, and that almost the whole of his Asiatic dominions had acknowledged him as king. With the fragments of his army he started toward Persia to attack the usurper, but on the way was killed by a wound inflicted by himself, it is uncertain whether by accident or with intention. His general and cousin, Darius Hystaspis, soon put down the false Smerdis and reigned in his stead.

For two or more years Cambyses was king of Babylon, while his father was king of the lands. The son was a drunkard and subject to fits of unbridled passion, but seems to have been of good capacity as a general and as an administrator. Many of the tales that have been told against him were doubtless invented by his enemies, and he has left us no records of his own. That he married his own sisters is probable; but it must be remembered that this was the custom of the Egyptian kings of that time and may have been of the Persian kings as well. As to his conduct in Egypt, the only contemporary Egyptian authority says that he worshipped before the holiness of Neit as all the pious kings had done, that he ordered that the temple of Neit should be purified, and that its revenues should be restored as they had been before they had been confiscated by Akhmes for his Greek troops. He adds also that not merely were the strangers who had taken up their abode in the temple of Neit ejected from her sanctuary, but that their goods were taken away and their houses destroyed. Darius Hystaspis, the only other contemporary source of information, says of him simply that he was the son of Cyrus, of the same father and mother as Bardes, whom he slew secretly at some time before he set out on his Egyptian campaign; and that he died by suicide shortly after he had heard of the rebellion of Persia, Media and the other provinces against him, and of the establishment of Gaumata the Magian as king under the claim that he was "Barzia, the son of Cyrus and brother of Cambyses."

The name of Cambyses is found in three of the Elephantine papyri recently published (September, 1911) by Professor Sachau of Berlin. The fragment numbered 59 1 is so broken that it is impossible to make out the connection or the sense. In papyrus I, we are told that when Cambyses came to Egypt he found in the fortress of Yeb (Elephantine) a temple or synagogue (’agora’), which had been built in the days of the Egyptian kings; and that although he had torn down the temples of the Egyptian gods, he had allowed no harm to be done to that of Yahweh. The third papyrus is so interesting, because of its mention of Bagoas, the Persian governor of Jerusalem in 407 BC, who had hitherto been known only from Josephus, and of Dalayah the son of the Sanballat who opposed the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem in the time of Ezra-Nehemiah, that we shall now give a translation of it in full: "A memorial of that which Bagoas and Dalayah said to me: Thou shalt say in Egypt unto Arsames with regard to the house of the altar of the God of heaven that was built in the fortress of Yeb before the time of Cambyses and which the accursed(?) Waidrang destroyed in the 14th year of Darius the king, that it shall be built again upon its place as it was before, and that meal-offerings and incense-offerings shall be offered upon that altar as they used to be."


For further information as to the history of Cambyses see Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies; Prasek, Geschichte der Meder und Perser; the Behistun inscription in the editions of the various recensions by Bezold, Spiegel, Weisbach, Thomson, and King; Herodotus; Josephus; the Sachau papyri; and Petrie, History of Egypt, III.

R. Dick Wilson


kam’-el (gamal; kamelos; bekher, and bikhrah (Isa 60:6; Jer 2:23 "dromedary," the American Revised Version, margin "young camel"), rekhesh (1Ki 4:28; see HORSE), kirkaroth (Isa 66:20, "swift beasts," the American Standard Revised ersion. "dromedaries"); bene ha-rammakhim (Es 8:10, "young dromedaries," the American Standard Revised Version "bred of the stud"); achashteranim (Es 8:10,14, the King James Version "camels," the American Standard Revised Version "that were used in the king’s service")): There are two species of camel, the Arabian or one-humped camel or dromedary, Camelus dromedarius, and the Bactrian or two-humped camel, Camelus bactrianus. The latter inhabits the temperate and cold parts of central Asia and is not likely to have been known to Biblical writers. The Arabian camel inhabits southwestern Asia and northern Africa and has recently been introduced into parts of America and Australia. Its hoofs are not typical of ungulates but are rather like great claws. The toes are not completely separated and the main part of the foot which is applied to the ground is a large pad which underlies the proximal joints of the digits. It may be that this incomplete separation of the two toes is a sufficient explanation of the words "parteth not the hoof," in Le 11:4 and De 14:7. Otherwise these words present a difficulty, because the hoofs are completely separated though the toes are not. The camel is a ruminant and chews the cud like a sheep or ox, but the stomach possesses only three compartments instead of four, as in other ruminants. The first two compartments contain in their walls small pouches, each of which can be closed by a sphincter muscle. The fluid retained in these pouches may account in part for the power of the camel to go for a relatively long time without drinking.

The Arabian camel is often compared with justice to the reindeer of the Esquimaux. It furnishes hair for spinning and weaving, milk, flesh and leather, as well as being an of invaluable means of transportation in the arid desert. There are many Arabic names for the camel, the commonest of which is jamal (in Egypt gamal), the root being common to Arabic, Hebrew and other Semitic languages. From it the names in Latin, Greek, English and various European languages are derived. There are various breeds camels, as there are of horses. The riding camels or dromedaries, commonly called hajin, can go, even at a walk, much faster than the pack camels. The males are mostly used for carrying burdens, the females being kept with the herds. Camels are used to a surprising extent on the rough roads of the mountains, and one finds in the possession of fellachin in the mountains and on the littoral plain larger and stronger pack camels than are often found among the Bedouin. Camels were apparently not much used by the Israelites after the time of the patriarchs. They were taken as spoil of war from the Amalekites and other tribes, but nearly the only reference to their use by the later Israelites was when David was made king over all Israel at Hebron, when camels are mentioned among the animals used for bringing food for the celebration (1Ch 12:40). David had a herd of camels, but the herdsman was Obil, an Ishmaelite (1Ch 27:30). Nearly all the other Biblical references to camels are to those possessed by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Midianites, Hagrites and the "children of the East" (see EAST). Two references to camels (Ge 12:16; Ex 9:3) are regarded as puzzling because the testimony of the Egyptian monuments is said to be against the presence of camels in ancient Egypt. For this reason, Ge 12-16, in connection with Abram’s visit to Egypt, is turned to account by Canon Cheyne to substantiate his theory that the Israelites were not in Egypt but in a north Arabian land of Mucri (Encyclopaedia Biblica under the word "Camel," 4). While the flesh of the camel was forbidden to the Israelites, it is freely eaten by the Arabs. There are three references to the camel in New Testament:

(1) to John’s raiment of camel’s hair (Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6);

(2) the words of Jesus that "it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Mt 19:24; Mr 10:25; Lu 18:25);

(3) the proverb applied to the Pharisees as blind guides, "that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel" (Mt 23:24). Some manuscripts read ho kamilos, "a cable," in Mt 19:24 and Lu 18:25.

There are a few unusual words which have been translated "camel" in text or margin of one or the other version. (See list of words at beginning of the article) Bekher and bikhrah clearly mean a young animal, and the Arabic root word and derivatives are used similarly to the Hebrew. Rakhash, the root of rekhesh, is compared with the Arabic rakad, "to run," and, in the Revised Version (British and American), rekhesh is translated "swift steeds." Kirkaroth, rammakhim and ‘achashteranim must be admitted to be of doubtful etymology and uncertain meaning.

Alfred Ely Day


(triches kamelou): In Mt 3:4 and Mr 1:6 the description of John’s raiment is explicit to the extent of telling the kind of hair of which his raiment was made. It is probable that his garment was made of a tawed camel skin, for the more expensive woven camel’s hair garment would not be in keeping with the rest of the description. It is still common among the poor in some parts of Syria, when a camel or other animal dies, to remove its skin and, after treating the inner surface to stop decomposition, to make it up into various domestic articles. The writer once saw a peasant dragging a skin along the road which proved to be that of a donkey which had just died on the route. His intention was probably to make it up into a cloak. Some believe that Elijah’s mantle was of camel’s hair (2Ki 1:8; compare Zec 13:4). Of that we cannot be sure, for in the East today the hairy garment is usually goat’s hair or wool either woven or still clinging to the skin. It was much more likely to have been one of these latter. See SHEEP. Camel’s hair, when woven into fabrics, as in rugs, makes an article of even softer and more glossy texture than wool.


James A. Patch


ka’-mon (qamon, "standing-place," Jud 10:5 the King James Version).



See WAR.





ka’-na, (Kana tes Galilaias): This was the scene of Christ’s earliest miracle, when, at the marriage feast, He turned water into wine (Joh 2:1 ff). It was the home of Nathaniel (Joh 21:2). From Cana, after the marriage, Jesus "went down" to Capernaum (Joh 2:12), and returned at the request of the centurion (Joh 4:46,51). These are the only notices of Cana in Scripture, and from them we learn merely that it was in Galilee, and in the uplands West of the lake. Other villages of the same name are mentioned by Josephus, but probably this one is intended by the Cana where for a time he dwelt (Vita, 16) which he locates in the plain of Asochis (ibid., 41). The Greek kana probably transliterates an old Hebrew qanah, "place of reeds." This ancient name survives in Khirbet Qana, a ruined site with rockhewn tombs, cisterns and a pool, on the northern edge of Sahl el-Battauf, the plain of Asochis. Near by are marshy stretches where reeds still abound: the name therefore is entirely appropriate. The name Qana el-Jelil , the exact Arabic equivalent of Kana tes Galilaias, is also heard among the natives. This, however, may have arisen from the suggested identification with Cana of the Gospel. The position agrees well enough with the Gospel data.

Kefr Kennah, a thriving village about 3 3/4 miles from Nazareth, on the southern edge of Sahl Tor‘an, the plain South of the range of that name, through which the road from Nazareth to Tiberias passes, has also many advocates. This identification is accepted by the Greek and Latin churches, which have both built extensively in the village; the Greeks showing stone jars said to have been used in the miracle, and the traditional house of Nathaniel being pointed out. A copious spring of excellent water rises West of the village; and the pomegranates grown here are greatly prized. The change of name, however, from Qana to Kennah—(note the doubled n), is not easy; and there are no reeds in the neighborhood to give the name any appropriateness.

Onom locates Cana in the tribe of Asher toward Great Sidon, probably thinking of Kana, a village about 8 miles South of Tyre. The pilgrims of the Middle Ages seem to be fairly divided as to the two sites. Saewulf (1102), Brocardius (1183), Marinus Sanutus (1321), Breydenbach (1483) and Anselm (1507) favor the northern site; while on the side of Kefr Kennah may be reckoned Paula (383), Willibald (720), Isaac Chelo (1334) and Quaresimus (1616). It seems pretty certain that the Crusaders adopted the identification with Khirbet Kana (Conder, Tent Work, 69 f). While no absolute decision is possible, on the available evidence probability points to the northern site.

Col. Conder puts in a claim for a third site, that of ‘Ain Kana on the road from er-Reineh (a village about 1 1/2 mile from Nazareth on the Tiberias road) to Tabor (Tent Work, 81).

W. Ewing


ka’-nan, ka’-nan-its (kena‘an; Chanaan):

1. Geography

2. Meaning of the Name

3. The Results of Recent Excavations

4. History

(1) Stone Age

(2) Bronze Age

(3) A Babylonian Province

(4) Jerusalem Founded

(5) The Hyksos

(6) Egyptian Conquest

(7) Tell el-Amarna Tablets

5. The Israelitsh Invasion

6. Culture

7. Art

8. Commerce

9. Art of Writing


Canaan is stated in Ge 10:6 to have been a son of Ham and brother of Mizraim, or Egypt. This indicates the Mosaic period when the conquerors of the XVIIIth and XIXth Egyptian Dynasties made Canaan for a time a province of the Egyptian empire. Under the Pharaoh Meneptah, at the time of the Exodus, it ceased to be connected with Egypt, and the Egyptian garrisons in the South of the country were expelled by the Philistines, who probably made themselves masters of the larger portion of it, thus causing the name of Philistia or Palestine to become synonymous with that of Canaan (see Ze 2:5). In the Tell el-Amarna Letters, Canaan is written Kinakhna and Kinakhkhi. The latter form corresponds with the Greek (Chna), a name given to Phoenicia (Hecat. Fragments 254; Eusebius, praep. Ev., i.10; ix.17).

1. Geography:

In Nu 13:29 the Canaanites are described as dwelling "by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan," i.e. in the lowlands of Palestine. The name was confined to the country West of the Jordan (Nu 33:51; Jos 22:9), and was especially applied to Phoenicia (Isa 23:11; compare Mt 15:22). Hence, Sidon is called the "firstborn" of Canaan (Ge 10:15, though compare Jud 3:3), and the Septuagint translates "Canaanites" by "Phoenicians" and "Canaan" by the "land of the Phoenicians" (Ex 16:35; Jos 5:12). Kinakhkhi is used in the same restricted sense in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, but it is also extended so as to include Palestine generally. On the other hand, on the Egyptian monuments Seti I calls a town in the extreme South of Palestine "the city of Pa-Kana’na" or "the Canaan," which Conder identifies with the modern Khurbet Kenan near Hebron. As in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, so in the Old Testament, Canaan is used in an extended sense to denote the whole of Palestine West of the Jordan (Ge 12:5; 23:2,19; 28:1; 31:18; 35:6; 36:2; 37:1; 48:7; Ex 15:15; Nu 13:2; Jos 14:1; 21:2; Ps 135:11). Thus, Jerusalem which had Amorite and Hittite founders is stated to be of "the land of the Canaanite" (Eze 16:3), and Isa 19:18 terms Hebrew, which was shared by the Israelites with the Phoenicians and, apparently, also the Amorites, "the language of Caaan." Jabin is called "the king of Canaan" in Jud 4:2,23,24; but whether the name is employed here in a restricted or extended sense is uncertain.

2. Meaning of the Name:

As the Phoenicians were famous as traders, it has been supposed that the name "Canaanite" is a synonym of "merchant" in certain passages of the Old Testament. The pursuit of trade, however, was characteristic only of the maritime cities of Phoenicia, not of the Canaanitish towns conquered the Israelites. In Isa 23:11 we should translate "Canaan" (as the Septuagint) instead of "merchant city" (the King James Version); in Ho 12:7 (8), "as, for Canaan" (Septuagint), instead of "he is a merchant" (the King James Version); in Ze 1:11, "people of Canaan" (Septuagint), instead of "merchant people" (the King James Version); on the other hand, "Canaanite" seems to have acquired the sense of "merchant," as "Chaldean" did of "astrologer," in Isa 23:8, and Pr 3:1:24, though probably not in Zec 14:21, and Job 41:6 (Hebrew 40:30).

3. The Results of Recent Excavation:

Much light has been thrown upon the history of Canaan prior to the Israelite occupation by recent excavation, supplemented by the monuments of Babylonia and Egypt. The Palestine Exploration led the way by its excavations in 1890-92 at Tell el-Hesy, which turned out to be the site of Lachish, first under Professor Flinders Petrie and then under Dr. Bliss. Professor Petrie laid the foundations of Palestine archaeology by fixing the chronological sequence of the Lachish pottery, and tracing the remains of six successive cities, the fourth of which was that founded by the Israelites. Between it and the preceding city was a layer of ashes, marking the period when the town lay desolate and uninhabited. The excavations at Lachish were followed by others at Tell es-Safi, the supposed site of Gath; at Tell Sandahanna, the ancient Marissa, a mile South of Bet Jibrin, where interesting relics of the Greek period were found, and at Jerusalem, where an attempt was made to trace the city walls. Next to Lachish, the most fruitful excavations have been at Gezer, which has been explored by Mr. Macalister with scientific thoroughness and skill, and where a large necropolis has been discovered as well as the remains of seven successive settlements, the last of which comes down to the Seleucid era, the third corresponding with the first settlement at Lachish. The two first settlements go back to the neolithic age. With the third the Semitic or "Amorite" period of Canaan begins; bronze makes its appearance; high-places formed of monoliths are erected, and inhumation of the dead is introduced, while the cities are surrounded with great walls of stone. While Mr. Macalister has been working at Gezer, German and Austrian expeditions under Dr. Schumacher have been excavating at Tell em-Mutesellim, the site of Megiddo, and under Dr. Sellin first at Tell Taanak, the ancient Taanach, and then at Jericho. At Taanach cuneiform tablets of the Mosaic age were found in the house of the governor of the town; at Samaria and Gezer cuneiform tablets have also been found, but they belong to the late Assyrian and Babylonian periods. At Jericho, on the fiat roof of a house adjoining the wall of the Canaanitish city, destroyed by the Israelites, a number of clay tablets were discovered laid out to dry before being inscribed with cuneiform characters. Before the letters were written and dispatched, however, the town, it seems, was captured and burnt. An American expedition, under Dr. Reisner, is now exploring Sebastiyeh (Samaria), where the ruins of Ahab’s palace, with early Hebrew inscriptions, have been brought to light, as well as a great city wall built in the age of Nebuchadrezzar.

4. History:

(1) Stone Age.

The history of Canaan begins with the paleolithic age, paleolithic implements having been found in the lowlands. Our first knowledge of its population dates from the neolithic period. The neolithic inhabitants of Gezer were of short stature (about 5 ft. 4 inches in height), and lived in caves—at least in the time of the first prehistoric settlement—and burned their dead. Their sacred place was a double cave with which cup-marks in the rock were connected, and their pottery was rude; some of it was ornamented with streaks of red or black on a yellow or red wash. In the time of the second settlement a rude stone wall was built around the town. The debris of the two neolithic settlements is as much as 12 ft. in depth, implying a long period of accumulation.

(2) Bronze Age.

The neolithic population was succeeded by one of Semitic type, which introduced the use of metal, and buried its dead. The name of Amorite has been given to it, this being the name under which the Semitic population of Canaan was known to the Babylonians. Gezer was surrounded by a great wall of stone intersected by brick towers; at Lachish the Amorite wall was of crude brick, nearly 29 ft. in thickness (compare De 1:28). A "high-place" was erected at Gezer consisting of 9 monoliths, running from North to South, and surrounded by a platform of large stones. The second monolith has been polished by the kisses of the worshippers; the seventh was brought from a distance. Under the pavement of the sanctuary lay the bones of children, more rarely of adults, who had been sacrificed and sometimes burnt, and the remains deposited in jars. Similar evidences of human sacrifice were met with under the walls of houses both here and at Taanach and Megiddo. In the Israelite strata the food-bowl and lamp for lighting the dead in the other world are retained, but all trace of human sacrifice is gone. At Lachish in Israelite times the bowl and lamp were filled with sand. The second "Amorite" city at Gezer had a long existence. The high-place was enlarged, and an Egyptian of the age of the XIIth Dynasty was buried within its precincts. Egyptian scarabs of the XIIth and XIIIth Dynasties are now met with; these give place to scarabs of the Hyksos period, and finally to those of the XVIIIth Dynasty (1600 BC). Hittite painted pottery of Cappadocian type is also found in the later debris of the city as well as seal-cylinders of the Babylonian pattern.

(3) A Babylonian Province.

Meanwhile Canaan had for a time formed part of the Babylonian empire. Gudea, viceroy of Lagas under the kings of the Dynasty of Ur (2500 BC), had brought "limestone" from the "land of the Amorites," alabaster from Mt. Lebanon, cedar-beams from Amanus, and golddust from the desert between Palestine and Egypt. A cadastral survey was drawn up about the same time by Uru-malik, "the governor of the land of the Amorites," the name by which Syria and Canaan were known to the Babylonians, and colonies of "Amorites" engaged in trade were settled in the cities of Babylonia. After the fall of the Dynasty of Ur, Babylonia was itself conquered by the Amorites who founded the dynasty to which Khammurabi, the Amraphel of Ge 14:1, belonged (see HAMMURABI). In an inscription found near Diarbekir the only title given to Khammu-rabi is "king of the land of the Amorites." Babylonian now became the official, literary and commercial language of Canaan, and schools were established there in which the cuneiform script was taught. Canaanitish culture became wholly Babylonian; even its theology and gods were derived from Babylonia. The famous legal code of Khammu-rabi (see HAMMURABI, CODE OF) was enforced in Canaan as in other parts of the empire, and traces of its provisions are found in Gen. Abram’s adoption of his slave Eliezer, Sarai’s conduct to Hagar, and Rebekah’s receipt of a dowry from the father of the bridegroom are examples of this. So, too, the sale of the cave of Machpelah was in accordance with the Babylonian legal forms of the Khammu-rabi age. The petty kings of Canaan paid tribute to their Babylonian suzerain, and Babylonian officials and "commerical travelers" (damgari) frequented the country.

(4) Jerusalem Founded.

We must ascribe to this period the foundation of Jerusalem, which bears a Babylonian name (Uru-Salim, "the city of Salim"), and commanded the road to the naphtha springs of the Dead-Sea. Bitumen was one of the most important articles of Babylonian trade on account of its employment for building and lighting purposes, and seems to have been a government monopoly. Hence, the rebellion of the Canaanitish princes in the naphtha district (Ge 14) was sufficiently serious to require a considerable force for its suppression.

(5) The Hyksos.

The Amorite dynasty in Babylonia was overthrown by a Hittite invasion, and Babylonian authority in Canaan came to an end, though the influence of Babylonian culture continued undiminished. In the North the Hittites were dominant; in the South, where Egyptian influence had been powerful since the age of the XIIth Dynasty, the Hyksos conquest of Egypt united Palestine with the Delta. The Hyksos kings bear Canaanitish names, and their invasion of Egypt probably formed part of that general movement which led to the establishment of an "Amorite" dynasty in Babylonia. Egypt now became an appanage of Canaan, with its capital, accordingly, near its Asiatic frontier. One of the Hyksos kings bears the characteristically Canaanitish name of Jacob-el, written in the same way as on Babylonian tablets of the age of Khammu-rabi, and a place of the same name is mentioned by Thothmes III as existing in southern Palestine

(6) Egyptian Conquest.

The Pharaohs of the XVIIIth Dynasty expelled the Hyksos and conquered Palestine and Syria. For about 200 years Canaan was an Egyptian province. With the Egyptian conquest the history of the second Amorite city at Gezer comes to an end. The old wall was partially destroyed, doubtless by Thothmes III (about 1480 BC). A third Amorite city now grew up, with a larger and stronger wall, 14 ft. thick. The houses built on the site of the towers of the first wall were filled with scarabs and other relics of the reign of Amon-hotep III (1440 BC). At Lachish the ruins of the third city were full of similar remains, and among them was a cuneiform tablet referring to a governor of Lachish mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters. At Taanach cuneiform tablets of the same age have been discovered, written by Canaanites to one another but all in the Babylonian script and language.

(7) Tell el-Amarna Tablets.

In the Tell el-Amarna Letters we have a picture of Canaan at the moment when the Asiatic empire of Egypt was breaking up through the religious and social troubles that marked the reign of Amon-hotep IV. The Hittites were attacking it in the North; in the South of Canaan the Khabiri or "confederate" bands of free-lances were acquiring principalities for themselves. The petty kings and governors had foreign troops in their pay with which they fought one against the other; and their mercenaries readily transferred their allegiance from one paymaster to another, or seized the city they were engaged to defend. Hittites, Mitannians from Mesopotamia, and other foreigners appear as governors of the towns; the Egyptian government was too weak to depose them and was content if they professed themselves loyal. At times the Canaanitish princes intrigued with the Assyrians against their Egyptian masters; at other times with the Mitannians of "Aram-Naharaim" or the Hittites of Cappadocia. The troops sent by the Egyptian Pharaoh were insufficient to suppress the rebellion, and the authority of the Egyptian commissioners grew less and less. Eventually the king of the Amorites was compelled to pass openly over to the Hittite king, and Canaan was lost to the Pharaohs.

5. The Israelite Invasion:

Gaza and the neighboring towns, however, still remained in their hands, and with the recovery of Egyptian power under the XIXth Dynasty allowed Seti I to march once more into Canaan and reduce it again to subjection. In spite of Hittite attacks the country on both sides of the Jordan acknowledged the rule of Seti and his son Ramses II, and in the 21st year of the latter Pharaoh the long war with the Hittites came to an end, a treaty being made which fixed the Egyptian frontier pretty much where the Israelite frontier afterward ran. A work, known as The Travels of the Mohar, which satirizes the misadventures of a tourist in Canaan, gives a picture of Canaan in the days of Ramses II. With the death of Ramses II Egyptian rule in Palestine came finally to an end. The Philistines drove the Egyptian garrisons from the cities which commanded the military road through Canaan, and the long war with the Hittites exhausted the inland towns, so that they made but a feeble resistance to the Israelites who assailed them shortly afterward. The Egyptians, however, never relinquished their claim to be masters of Canaan, and when the Philistines power had been overthrown by David we find the Egyptian king again marching northward and capturing Gezer (1Ki 9:16). Meanwhile the counry had become to a large extent Israelite. In the earlier days of the Israelite invasion the Canaanitish towns had been destroyed and the people massacred; later the two peoples intermarried, and a mixed race was the result. The portraits accompanying the names of the places taken by Shishak in southern Palestine have Amorite features, and the modern fellahin of Palestine are Canaanite rather than Jewish in type.

6. Culture:

Canaanitish culture was based on that of Babylonia, and begins with the introduction of the use of copper and bronze. When Canaan became a Babylonian province, it naturally shared in the civilization of the ruling power. The religious beliefs and deities of Babylonia were superimposed upon those of the primitive Canaanite. The local Baal or "lord" of the soil made way for the "lord of heaven," the Sun-god of the Babylonians. The "high-place" gradually became a temple built after a Babylonian fashion. The sacred stone, once the supreme object of Canaanitish worship, was transformed into a Beth-el or shrine of an indwelling god. The gods and goddesses of Babylonia migrated to Canaan; places received their names from Nebo or Nin-ip; Hadad became Amurru "the Amorite god"; Ishtar passed into Ashtoreth, and Asirtu, the female counterpart of Asir, the national god of Assyria, became Asherah, while her sanctuary, which in Assyria was a temple, was identified in Canaan with the old fetish of an upright stone or log. But human sacrifice, and more especially the sacrifice of the firstborn son, of which we find few traces in Babylonia, continued to be practiced with undiminished frequency until, as we learn from the excavations, the Israelite conquest brought about its suppression. The human victim is also absent from the later sacrificial tariffs of Carthage and Marseilles, its place being taken in them by the ram. According to these tariffs the sacrifices and offerings were of two kinds, the zau‘at or sin offering and the shelem or thank-offering. The sin offering was given wholly to the god; part of the thank-offering would be taken by the offerer. Birds which were not allowed as a sin offering might constitute a thank-offering. Besides the sacrifices, there were also offerings of corn, wine, fruit and oil.

7. Art:

What primitive Canaanitish art was like may be seen from the rude sculptures in the Wadi el-Kana near Tyre. Under Babylonian influence it rapidly developed. Among the Canaanite spoil captured by Thothmes III were tables, chairs and staves of cedar and ebony inlaid with gold or simply gilded, richly embroidered robes, chariots chased with silver, iron tent poles studded with precious stones, "bowls with goats’ heads on them, and one with a lion’s head, the workmanship of the land of Zahi" (the Phoenician coast), iron armor with gold inlay, and rings of gold and silver that were used as money. At Taanach, gold and silver ornaments have been found of high artistic merit. To the Israelites, fresh from the desert, the life of the wealthy Canaanite would have appeared luxurious in the extreme.

8. Commerce:

The position of Canaan made it the meeting-place of the commercial routes of the ancient world. The fleets of the Phoenician cities are celebrated in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, and it is probable that they were already engaged in the purple trade. The inland towns of Canaan depended not only on agriculture but also on a carrying trade: caravans as well as "commercial travelers" (damgari) came to them from Cappadocia, Babylonia and Egypt. Bronze, silver, lead, and painted ware were brought from Asia Minor, together with horses; naphtha was exported to Babylonia in return for embroidered stuffs; copper came from Cyprus, richly chased vessels of the precious metals from Crete and corn from Egypt. Baltic amber has been found at Lachish, where a furnace with iron slag, discovered in the third Amorite city, shows that the native iron was worked before the age of the Israelite conquest. The manufacture of glass goes back to the same epoch. As far back as 2500 BC, alabaster and limestone had been sent to Babylonia from the quarries of the Lebanon.

9. Art of Writing:

Long before the age of Abraham the Babylonian seal-cylinder had become known and been imitated in Syria and Canaan. But it was not until Canaan had been made a Babylonian province under the Khammu-rabi dynasty that the cuneiform system of writing was introduced together with the Babylonian language and literature. Henceforward, schools were established and libraries or archive-chambers formed where the foreign language and its complicated syllabary could be taught and stored. In the Mosaic age the Taanach tablets show that the inhabitants of a small country town could correspond with one another on local matters in the foreign language and script, and two of the Tell el-Amarna letters are from a Canaanitish lady. The official notices of the name by which each year was known in Babylonia were sent to Canaan as to other provinces of the Babylonian empire in the cuneiform script; one of these, dated in the reign of Khammurabi’s successor, has been found in the Lebanon.


H. Vincent, Canaan d’apres l’exploration recente, 1907; G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 1894; Publications of the Palestine Exploration Fund; E. Sellin, Tell Ta‘annek and Eine Nachlese auf dem Tell Ta‘annek, 1904-5; Schumacher, Tell Mutesellim, 1909; Thiersch, Die neueren Ausgrabungen in Palestina, 1908.


A. H. Sayce





ka-nalz’ (ye’orim): The word "canals" occurs in several places in the Revised Version, margin (Ex 7:19; 8:5; Isa 19:6; Na 3:8). ye’or is an Egyptian word, the designation of the Nile (Brugsch, Geogr, I, 8, 78). The proper name of the Nile as a god was Hapi. There were several common designations of the Nile, but the usual one was ye’or, Hebrew plural ye’orim. The primary meaning of ye’or in Egyptian is not certain, but its significance in use for the Nile is plain enough. All the waters in Egypt were of the Nile and this word ye’or was used to denote all of them, the Nile and all its ramifications through the whole irrigating system. Thus ye’orim, Niles, came to be used. As only the main channels of the Nile had much current, the ye’orim came naturally to convey the idea of sluggishness. In the account of the plagues (Ex 7:19), names are used descriptively to designate the different waters of Egypt: neharoth, "flowing streams," for the main channels of the river, and ye’orim for other streams, which by contrast must mean, as it should according to its use by the Egyptians, "the sluggish streams," i.e. "canals," as it is rendered by the Revisers. This meaning of the word being thus clearly established, it is appropriately used in the Revised Version, margin in the other instances of its occurrence in like circumstances.

M. G. Kyle


ka-na-ne’-an, ka’-nan-it.



kan’-da-se (Kandake): Queen of the Ethiopians (Ac 8:27). Pliny states that the name Candace had already been borne for many years by the queens of Ethiopia (vi, 29). See ETHIOPIA. Her treasurer, "a eunuch of great authority," was baptized by Philip the Evangelist on his return from worshipping in Jerusalem.


kan’-d’-l, kan’-d’-l-stik (ner; luchnos; menorah; luchnia):

(1) "Candle" is found in the Old Testament, the King James Version, as the rendering of ner, and in the New Testament for luchnos. In all places except Jer 25:10 and Ze 1:12 (see margin) the Revised Version (British and American) gives the more exact rendering "lamp." See LAMP. Candle, in our sense of the term, was unknown to antiquity.

(2) "Candlestick" stands for what was a common and indispensable article of ancient house furniture, a lamp-stand (menorah). Accordingly we find it mentioned in a case thoroughly representative of the furnishings of an oriental room of the plainer sort, in the account of "the prophet’s chamber" given in 2Ki 4:10. Here we find that the furniture consisted of a "bed," a "table," a "seat," and a "candlestick," or lamp-stand. The excavations of Petrie and Bliss at Lachish (Tell el-Hesy, 104), not to mention others, help to make it clear that a lamp-stand is meant in passages where the Hebrew word, menorah, or its Greek equivalent luchnia, is used. Accordingly throughout the New Testament, the Revised Version (British and American) has consistently rendered luchnia by "stand" (Mt 5:15; Mr 4:21; Lu 8:16; 11:33).

(3) The "candlestick" of Da 5:5 is rather the candelabrum (nebhrashta’) of Belshazzar’s banqueting-hall. The "golden candlestick" of the tabernacle and the temple requires special treatment.


(4) Certain figurative uses of "candle" and "candlestick" in the Bible demand attention. The ancient and still common custom of the East of keeping a house lamp burning night and day gave rise to the figure of speech so universally found in oriental languages by which the continued prosperity of the individual or the family is set forth by the perennially burning lamp (see Job 29:3; "when his lamp shined upon my head"; Ps 18:28 "Thou wilt light my lamp"). The converse in usage is seen in many passages—(see Job 18:6; "His lamp above him shall be put out"; 21:17: "How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out"; Pr 24:20; "The lamp of the wicked shall be put out"; Jer 25:10; "Take from them .... the light of the lamp"). The same metaphor is used in Re 2:5 to indicate the judgment with candlestick out of its place." "The seven golden candlesticks" (Re 1:20) which John saw were "the seven churches," the appointed light-bearers and dispensers of the religion of the risen Christ. Hence, the significance of such a threat. George B. Eager which the church of Ephesus was threatened: "I will move thy


kan’-d’-l-stik, gold’-’-n (menorah, literally "lamp-stand"): An important part of the furniture of the tabernacle and temples.


1. The Tabernacle:

The candlestick is first met with in the descriptions of the tabernacle (Ex 25:31-39; 37:17-24). It was, with the utensils connected with it (snuffers, snuff dishes), to be made of pure beaten gold, of one piece, a talent in weight (Ex 25:39). It consisted of a pedestal or base, of a central stem (the name "candlestick" is specially given to this), of six curving branches—three on each side—and of seven lamps resting on the tops of the branches and stem. Stem and branches were ornamented with cups like almond-blossoms, knops and flowers—four of this series on the stem, and three on each of the branches. Some, however, understand the "cup" to embrace the "knop" and "flower" (calyx and corolla). The shape of the pedestal is uncertain. Jewish tradition suggests three small feet; the representation of the candlestick on the Arch of Titus has a solid, hexagonal base. The position of the candlestick was on the South side of the holy place (Ex 40:24).

2. Temple of Solomon:

In Solomon’s temple the single golden candlestick was multiplied to ten, and the position was altered. The candlesticks were now placed in front of the Holy of Holies, five on one side, five on the other (1Ki 7:49; 2Ch 4:7). Further details are not given in the texts, from which it may be presumed that the model of the tabernacle candlestick was followed.

3. Temple of Zerubbabel:

The second temple reverted to the single golden candlestick. When the temple was plundered by Antiochus Epiphanes, the candlestick was taken away (1 Macc 1:21); after the cleansing, a new one was made by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 4:49,50).

4. Temple of Herod:

The same arrangement of a single golden candlestick, placed on the South side of the holy place, was continued in Herod’s Temple (Josephus, BJ, V, v, 5). It was this which, carried away by Titus, was represented on his Arch at Rome.

5. Use and Symbolism:

The immediate object of the candlestick was to give light in the holy place. The lamps were lighted in the evening and burned till the morning (Ex 30:7,8; Le 24:3; 1Sa 3:3; 2Ch 13:11), light being admitted into the temple during the day by the upper windows. Josephus in his Cosmical speculations (BJ, V, v, 5) takes the seven lamps to signify the seven planets. In Zechariah’s vision of the golden candlestick (Zec 4:2 ff), the seven lamps are fed by two olive trees which are interpreted to be "the two anointed ones," Zerubbabel and Joshua—the civil and spiritual representatives of theocracy. The candlestick here, like the seven candlesticks in Re 1:20; 2:1, symbolizes the church of God, then in its Old Testament form, the idea conveyed being that God’s church is set to be a lightgiver in the world. Compare Christ’s words (Mt 5:14,16; Lu 12:35), and Paul’s (Php 2:15).

The oldest known representation of the seven-branched candlestick is on a coin of Antigonus, circa 40 BC (see Madden’s Coins of the Jews, 102). For literature see TABERNACLE; TEMPLE.

James Orr








kan’-ker-wurm (yeleq, (Joe 1:4; 2:25; Na 3:15,16)): The name given to a larval stage of the LOCUST (which see).



kan’-kerd (Jas 5:3 the Revised Version (British and American), "rusted").


kan’-e (kanneh; Chanaa): Mentioned in Eze 27:23 in connection with Haran and Eden as one of the places with which Tyre had commercial relations. This is the only reference to the place and the site is unknown. Gesenius and others think it is probably the same as Calneh of Am 6:2 or of Ge 10:10, and Calno of Isa 10:9. According to the Targums, Eusebius, and Jerome, this place is identical with Ctesiphon, which was situated on the Tigris. One codex of De Rossi has made this identification in the passage in Eze 27:23. Cornill thinks Canneh is the Calneh of Am 6:2, but Cheyne thinks the name is really non-existent. He says the words rendered "and Canneh and Eden" should rather be "and the sons of Eden."

A. W. Fortune




1. Early Christians Had the Old Testament

2. No Intention of Writing the New Testament


1. From the Apostles to 170 AD

(1) Clement of Rome; Ignatius; Polycarp

(2) Forces Increasing Value of Writings

(a) Apologists, Justin Martyr

(b) Gnostics, Marcion

2. From 170 AD to 220 AD

(1) Irenaeus

(2) Muratorian Fragment

3. 3rd and 4th Centuries

(1) Origen

(2) Dionysius

(3) Cyprian

(4) Eusebins

(5) Athanasius

(6) Council of Carthage; Jerome; Augustine


I. Two Preliminary Considerations.

The canon is the collection of 27 books which the church (generally) receives as its New Testament Scriptures. The history of the canon is the history of the process by which these books were brought together and their value as sacred Scriptures officially recognized. That process was gradual, furthered by definite needs, and, though unquestionably continuous, is in its earlier stages difficult to trace. It is always well in turning to the study of it to have in mind two considerations which bear upon the earliest phases of the whole movement. These are:

1. Early Christians Had the Old Testament:

The early Christians had in their hands what was a Bible to them, namely, the Old Testament Scriptures. These were used to a surprising extent in Christian instruction. For a whole century after the death of Jesus this was the case. These Scriptures were read in the churches, and there could be at first no idea of placing beside them new books which could for a moment rank with them in honor and authority. It has been once and again discussed whether Christianity from the first was a "book-religion." The decision of the matter depends upon what is referred to by the word "book." Christianity certainly did have from the very beginning a book which it reverenced—the Old Testament—but years passed before it had even the beginnings of a book of its own. What has been called "the wealth of living canonical material," namely, prophets and teachers, made written words of subordinate value. In this very teaching, however, with its oral traditions lay the beginnings of that movement which was ultimately to issue in a canon of writings.

2. No Intention of Writing the New Testament:

When the actual work of writing began no one who sent forth an epistle or framed a gospel had before him the definite purpose of contributing toward the formation of what we call "the Bible." All the New Testament writers looked for "the end" as near. Their words, therefore, were to meet definite needs in the lives of those with whom they were associated. They had no thought of creating a new sacred literature. And yet these incidental occasional writings have come to be our choicest Scripture. The circumstances and influences which brought about this result are here briefly set forth.

II. Three Stages of the Process.

For convenience of arrangement and definiteness of impression the whole process may be marked off in three stages:

(1) that from the time of the apostles until about 170 AD;

(2) that of the closing years of the 2nd century and the opening of the 3rd (170-220 AD);

(3) that of the 3rd and 4th centuries. In the first we seek for the evidences of the growth in appreciation of the peculiar value of the New Testament writings; in the second we discover the clear, full recognition of a large part of these writings as sacred and authoritative; in the third the acceptance of the complete canon in the East and in the West.

1. From the Apostles to 170 AD:

(1) Clement of Rome; Ignarius; Polycarp:

The first period extending to 170 AD.—It does not lie within the scope of this article to recount the origin of the several books of the New Testament. This belongs properly to New Testament Introduction (which see). By the end of the 1st century all of the books of the New Testament were in existence. They were, as treasures of given churches, widely separated and honored as containing the word of Jesus or the teaching of the apostles. From the very first the authority of Jesus had full recognition in all the Christian world. The whole work of the apostles was in interpreting Him to the growing church. His sayings and His life were in part for the illumination of the Old Testament; wholly for the understanding of life and its issues. In every assembly of Christians from the earliest days He was taught as well as the Old Testament. In each church to which an epistle was written that epistle was likewise read. Paul asked that his letters be read in this way (1Th 5:27; Col 4:16). In this attentive listening to the exposition of some event in the life of Jesus or to the reading of the epistle of an apostle began the "authorization" of the traditions concerning Jesus and the apostolic writings. The widening of the area of the church and the departure of the apostles from earth emphasized increasingly the value of that which the writers of the New Testament left behind them. Quite early the desire to have the benefit of all possible instruction led to the interchange of Christian writings. Polycarp (110 AD ?) writes to the Philippians, "I have received letters from you and from Ignatius. You recommend me to send on yours to Syria; I shall do so either personally or by some other means. In return I send you the letter of Ignatius as well as others which I have in my hands and for which you made request. I add them to the present one; they will serve to edify your faith and perseverance" (Epistle to Phil, XIII). This is an illustration of what must have happened toward furthering a knowledge of the writings of the apostles. Just when and to what extent "collections" of our New Testament books began to be made it is impossible to say, but it is fair to infer that a collection of the Pauline epistles existed at the time Polycarp wrote to the Php and when Ignatius wrote his seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor, i.e. about 115 AD. There is good reason to think also that the four Gospels were brought together in some places as early as this. A clear distinction, however, is to be kept in mind between "collections" and such recognition as we imply in the word "canonical." The gathering of books was one of the steps preliminary to this. Examination of the testimony to the New Testament in this early time indicates also that it is given with no intention of framing the canonicity of New Testament books. In numerous instances only "echoes" of the thought of the epistles appear; again quotations are incomplete; both showing that Scripture words are used as the natural expression of Christian thought. In the same way the Apostolic Fathers refer to the teachings and deeds of Jesus. They witness "to the substance and not to the authenticity of the Gospels." That this all may be more evident let us note in more detail the witness of the subapostolic age.

Clement of Rome, in 95 AD, wrote a letter in the name of the Christians of Rome to those in Corinth. In this letter he uses material found in Mt, Lk, giving it a free rendering (see chapters 46 and 13); he has been much influenced by the Epistle to the Hebrews (see chapters 9, 10, 17, 19, 36). He knows Romans, Corinthians, and there are found echoes of 1 Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter and Ephesians.

The Epistles of Ignatius (115 AD) have correspondences with our gospels in several places (Eph 5; Ro 6; 7) and incorporate language from nearly all of the Pauline epistles. The Epistle to Polycarp makes large use of Phil, and besides this cites nine of the other Pauline epistles. Ignatius quotes from Matthew, apparently from memory; also from 1 Peter and 1 John. In regard to all these three writers—Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius—it is not enough to say that they bring us reminiscences or quotations from this or that book. Their thought is tinctured all through with New Testament truth. As we move a little farther down the years we come to "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (circa 120 AD in its present form; see DIDACHE); the Epistle of Barnabas (circa 130 AD) and the Shepherd of Hermas (circa 130 AD). These exhibit the same phenomena as appear in the writings of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp as far as references to the New Testament are concerned. Some books are quoted, and the thought of the three writings echoes again and again the teachings of the New Testament. They bear distinct witness to the value of "the gospel" and the doctrine of the apostles, so much so as to place these clearly above their own words. It is in the Epistle of Barnabas that we first come upon the phrase "it is written," referring to a New Testament book (Matthew) (see Epis., iv.14). In this deepening sense of value was enfolded the feeling of authoritativeness, which slowly was to find expression. It is well to add that what we have so far discovered was true in widely separated parts of the Christian world as e. g. Rome and Asia Minor.

(2) Forces Increasing Value of Writings:

(a) Apologists, Justin Martyr:

The literature of the period we are examining was not, however, wholly of the kind of which we have been speaking. Two forces were calling out other expressions of the singular value of the writings of the apostles, whether gospels or epistles. These were

(a) the attention of the civil government in view of the rapid growth of the Christian church and

(b) heresy.

The first brought to the defense or commendation of Christianity the Apologists, among whom were Justin Martyr, Aristides, Melito of Sardis and Theophilus of Antioch. By far the most important of these was Justin Martyr, and his work may be taken as representative. He was born about 100 AD at Shechem, and died as a martyr at Rome in 165 AD. His two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho are the sources for the study of his testimony. He speaks of the "Memoirs of the Apostles called Gospels" (Ap., i.66) which were read on Sunday interchangeably with the prophets (i.67). Here emerges that equivalence in value of these "Gospels" with the Old Testament Scriptures which may really mark the beginning of canonization. That these Gospels were our four Gospels as we now have them is yet a disputed question; but the evidence is weighty that they were. (See Purves, Testimony of Justin Martyr to Early Christianity, Lect V.) The fact that Tatian, his pupil, made a harmony of the Gospels, i.e. of our four Gospels, also bears upon our interpretation of Justin’s "Memoirs." (See Hemphill, The Diatessaron of Tatian.) The only other New Testament book which Justin mentions is the Apocalypse; but he appears to have known the Acts, six epistles of Paul, Hebrew and 1 John, and echoes of still other epistles are perceptible. When he speaks of the apostles it is after this fashion: "By the power of God they proclaimed to every race of men that they were sent by Christ to teach to all the Word of God" (Ap., i.39). It is debatable, however, whether this refers to more than the actual preaching of the apostles. The beginning of the formation of the canon is in the position and authority given to the Gospels.

(b) Gnostics, Marcion:

While the Apologists were busy commending or defending Christianity, heresy in the form of Gnosticism was also compelling attention to the matter of the writings of the apostles. From the beginning Gnostic teachers claimed that Jesus had favored chosen ones of His apostles with a body of esoteric truth which had been handed down by secret tradition. This the church denied, and in the controversy that went on through years the question of what were authoritative writings became more and more pronounced. Basilides e. g., who taught in Alexandria during the reign of Hadrian (AD 117-38), had for his secret authority the secret tradition of the apostle Matthias and of Glaucias, an alleged interpreter of Peter, but he bears witness to Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians in the effort to recommend his doctrines, and, what is more, gives them the value of Scripture in order to support more securely his teachings. (See Philosophoumena of Hippolytus, VII, 17). Valentinus, tracing his authority through Theodas to Paul, makes the same general use of New Testament books, and Tertullian tells us that he appeared to use the whole New Testament as then known.

The most noted of the Gnostics was Marcion, a native of Pontus. He went to Rome (circa 140 AD), there broke with the church and became a dangerous heretic. In support of his peculiar views, he formed a canon of his own which consisted of Luke’s Gospel and ten of the Pauline epistles. He rejected the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, Matthew, Mark, John, the Acts, the Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse, and made a recension of both the gospel of Luke and the Pauline epistles which he accepted. His importance, for us, however, is in the fact that he gives us the first clear evidence of the canonization of the Pauline epistles. Such use of the Scriptures inevitably called forth both criticism and a clearer marking off of those books which were to be used in the churches opposed to heresy, and so "in the struggle with Gnosticism the canon was made." We are thus brought to the end of the first period in which we have marked the collection of New Testament books in greater or smaller compass, the increasing valuation of them as depositions of the truth of Jesus and His apostles, and finally the movement toward the claim of their authoritativeness as over against perverted teaching. No sharp line as to a given year can be drawn between the first stage of the process and the second. Forces working in the first go on into the second, but results are accomplished in the second which give it its right to separate consideration.

2. From 170 AD to 220 AD:

The period from 170 AD to 220 AD.—This is the age of a voluminous theological literature busy with the great issues of church canon and creed. It is the period of the great names of Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, representing respectively Asia Minor, Egypt and North Africa. In passing into it we come into the clear light of Christian history. There is no longer any question as to a New Testament canon; the only difference of judgment is as to its extent. What has been slowly but surely shaping itself in the consciousness of the church now comes to clear expression.

(1) Irenaeus.

That expression we may study in Irenaeus as representative of the period. He was born in Asia Minor, lived and taught in Rome and became afterward bishop of Lyons. He had, therefore, a wide acquaintance with the churches, and was peculiarly competent to speak concerning the general judgment of the Christian world. As a pupil of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John, he is connected with the apostles themselves. An earnest defender of the truth, he makes the New Testament in great part his authority, and often appeals to it. The four Gospels, the Acts, the epistles of Paul, several of the Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse are to him Scripture in the fullest sense. They are genuine and authoritative, as much so as the Old Testament ever was. He dwells upon the fact that there are four gospels, the very number being prefigured in the four winds and the four quarters of the earth. Every attempt to increase or diminish the number is heresy. Tertullian takes virtually the same position (Adv. Marc., iv. 2), while Clement of Alexandria quotes all four gospels as "Scripture." By the end of the 2nd century the canon of the gospels was settled. The same is true also of the Pauline epistles. Irenaeus makes more than two hundred citations from Paul, and looks upon his epistles as Scripture (Adv. Haer., iii.12, 12). Indeed, at this time it may be said that the new canon was known under the designation "The Gospel and the Apostles" in contradistinction to the old as "the Law and the Prophets." The title "New Testament" appears to have been first used by an unknown writer against Montanism (circa 193 AD). It occurs frequently after this in Origen and later writers. In considering all this testimony two facts should have emphasis:

(1) its wide extent: Clement and Irenaeus represent parts of Christendom which are widely separated;

(2) the relation of these men to those who have gone before them. Their lives together with those before them spanned nearly the whole time from the apostles.

They but voiced the judgment which silently, gradually had been selecting the "Scripture" which they freely and fully acknowledged and to which they made appeal.

(2) The Muratorian Fragment.

Just here we come upon the Muratorian Fragment, so called because discovered in 1740 by the librarian of Milan, Muratori. It dates from some time near the end of the 2nd century, is of vital interest in the study of the history of the canon, since it gives us a list of New Testament books and is concerned with the question of the canon itself. The document comes from Rome, and Lightfoot assigns it to Hippolytus. Its list contains the Gospels (the first line of the fragment is incomplete, beginning with Mark, but Matthew is clearly implied), the Acts, the Pauline epistles, the Apocalypse, 1 and 2 John (perhaps by implication the third) and Jude. It does not mention Hebrew, 1 and 2 Peter, James. In this list we have virtually the real position of the canon at the close of the 2nd century. Complete unanimity had not been attained in reference to all the books which are now between the covers of our New Testament. Seven books had not yet found a secure place beside the gospel and Paul in all parts of the church. The Palestinian and Syrian churches for a long time rejected the Apocalypse, while some of the Catholic epistles were in Egypt considered doubtful. The history of the final acceptance of these belongs to the third period.

3. 3rd and 4th Centuries:

(1) Origen:

The period included by the 3rd and 4th centuries—It has been said that "the question of the canon did not make much progress in the course of the 3rd century" (Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scripture, 125). We have the testimony of a few notable teachers mostly from one center, Alexandria. Their consideration of the question of the disputed book serves just here one purpose. By far the most distinguished name of the 3rd century is Origen. He was born in Alexandria about 185 AD, and before he was seventeen became an instructor in the school for catechumens. In 203 he was appointed bishop, experienced various fortunes, and died in 254. His fame rests upon his ability as an exegete, though he worked laboriously and successfully in other fields. His testimony is of high value, not simply because of his own studies, but also because of his wide knowledge of what was thought in other Christian centers in the world of his time. Space permits us only to give in summary form his conclusions, especially in regard to the books still in doubt. The Gospels, the Pauline epistles, the Acts, he accepts without question. He discusses at some length the authorship of He, believes that "God alone knows who wrote it," and accepts it as Scripture. His testimony to the Apocalypse is given in the sentence, "Therefore John the son of Zebedee says in the Revelation." He also gives sure witness to Jude, but wavers in regard to James, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John.

(2) Dionysius:

Another noted name of this century is Dionysius of Alexandria, a pupil of Origen (died 265). His most interesting discussion is regarding the Apocalypse, which he attributes to an unknown John, but he does not dispute its inspiration. It is a singular fact that the western church accepted this book from the first, while its position in the East was variable. Conversely the Epistle to the He was more insecure in the West than in the East. In regard to the Catholic epistles Dionysius supports James, 2 John, and 3 John, but not 2 Peter or Jude.

(3) Cyprian:

In the West the name of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (248-58 AD), was most influential. He was much engaged in controversy, but a man of great personal force. The Apocalypse he highly honored, but he was silent about the Epistle to the Hebrews. He refers to only two of the Catholic epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John.

These testimonies confirm what was said above, namely, that the end of the 3rd century leaves the question of the full canon about where it was at the beginning. 1 Peter and 1 John seem to have been everywhere known and accepted. In the West the five Catholic epistles gained recognition more slowly than in the East.

(4) Eusebius:

In the early part of the 4th century Eusebius (270-340 AD), bishop of Caesarea before 315, sets before us in his Church History (III, chapters iii-xxv) his estimate of the canon in his time. He does not of course use the word canon, but he "conducts an historical inquiry into the belief and practice of earlier generations." He lived through the last great persecution in the early part of the 4th century, when not only places of worship were razed to the ground, but also the sacred Scriptures were in the public market-places consigned to the flames (Historia Ecclesiastica, VIII, 2). It was, therefore, no idle question what book a loyal Christian must stand for as his Scripture. The question of the canon had an earnest, practical significance. Despite some obscurity and apparent contradictions, his classification of the New Testament books was as follows:

(1) The acknowledged books. His criteria for each of these was authenticity and apostolicity and he placed in this list the Gospels, Acts, and Paul’s epistles, including He.

(2) The disputed books, i.e. those which had obtained only partial recognition, to which he assigned Jas, Jude, 2Pe and 2 Jn. About the Apocalypse also he was not sure. In this testimony there is not much advance over that of the 3rd century. It is virtually the canon of Origen.

All this makes evident the fact that as yet no official decision nor uniformity of usage in the church gave a completed canon. The time, however, was drawing on when various forces at work were to bring much nearer this unanimity and enlarge the list of acknowledged books. In the second half of the 4th century repeated efforts were made to put an end to uncertainty.

(5) Athanasius:

Athanasius in one of his pastoral letters in connection with the publishing of the ecclesiastical calendar gives a list of the books comprising Scripture, and in the New Testament portion are included all the 27 books which we now recognize. "These are the wells of salvation," he writes, "so that he who thirsts may be satisfied with the sayings in these. Let no one add to these. Let nothing be taken away." Gregory of Nazianzen (died 390 AD) also published a list omitting Revelation, as did Cyril of Jerusalem (died 386), and quite at the end of the century (4th) Isidore of Pelusium speaks of the "canon of truth, the Divine Scriptures." For a considerable time the Apocalypse was not accepted in the Palestinian or Syrian churches. Athanasius helped toward its acceptance in the church of Alexandria. Some differences of opinion, however, continued. The Syrian church did not accept all of the Catholic epistles until much later.

(6) Council of Carthage, Jerome; Augustine:

The Council of Carthage in 397, in connection with its decree "that aside from the canonical Scriptures nothing is to be read in church under the name of Divine Scriptures," gives a list of the books of the New Testament. After this fashion there was an endeavor to secure unanimity, while at the same time differences of judgment and practice continued. The books which had varied treatment through these early centuries were He, the Apocalypse and the five minor Catholic epistles. The advance of Christianity under Constantine had much to do with the reception of the whole group of books in the East. The task which the emperor gave to Eusebius to prepare "fifty copies of the Divine Scriptures" established a standard which in time gave recognition to all doubtful books. In the West, Jerome and Augustine were the controlling factors in its settlement of the canon. The publication of the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) virtually determined the matter.

In conclusion let it be noted how much the human element was involved in the whole process of forming our New Testament. No one would wish to dispute a providential overruling of it all. Also it is well to bear in mind that all the books have not the same clear title to their places in the canon as far as the history of their attestation is concerned. Clear and full and unanimous, however, has been the judgment from the beginning upon the Gospels, the Acts, the Pauline epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John.

LITERATURE. Reuss, History of the Canon of Holy Scriptures; E. C. Moore, The New Testament in the Christian Church; Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament; Introductions to New Testament of Julicher, Weiss, Reuss; Zahn, Geschichte des Neutest. Kanons; Harnack, Das New Testament um das Jahr 200; Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur; Westcott, The Canon of the New Testament; Zahn, Forschungen zur Gesch. des neutest. Kanons.

J. S. Riggs




1. The Christian Term "Canon"

2. The Corresponding Hebrew Expression

3. The "Hidden Books" of the Jews

4. The Determining Principle in the Formation of the Canon

5. The Tripartite Division of the Old Testament

6. How Account for the Tripartite Division?


1. The Old Testament’s Witness to Itself (circa 1450-444 BC)

2. The Samaritan Pentateuch (circa 432 BC)

3. The Septuagint Version (circa 250-150 BC)

4. Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach (circa 170 BC)

5. The Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (circa 132 BC)

6. 1 and 2 Maccabees (between 125 and 70 BC)

7. Philo (circa 20 BC-50 AD)

8. The New Testament as a Witness (circa 50-100 AD)

9. 4 Esdras (circa 81-96 AD)

10. Josephus’ "Contra Apionem" (circa 100 AD)

11. The Councils of Jamnia (90 and 118 AD)

12. The Talmud (200-500 AD)

13. Jewish Doubts in the 2nd Century AD

14. Summary and Conclusion


1. In the Eastern or Oriental Church

2. In the Western Church


I. Introductory.

The problem of how we came by 39 books known as Old Testament "Scripture" is a purely historical investigation. The question involved is, not who wrote the several books, but who made them into a collection, not their origin or contents, but their history; not God’s part, but man’s. Our present aim, accordingly, must be to trace the process by which the various writings became "Scripture."

1. The Christian Term "Canon":

The word "canon" is of Christian origin, from the Greek word kanon, which in turn is probably borrowed from the Hebrew word, qaneh, meaning a reed or measuring rod, hence, norm or rule. Later it came to mean a rule of faith, and eventually a catalogue or list. In present usage it signifies a collection of religious writings Divinely inspired and hence, authoritative, normative, sacred and binding. The term occurs in Ga 6:16; 2Co 10:13-16; but it is first employed of the books of Scripture in the technical sense of a standard collection or body of sacred writings, by the church Fathers of the 4th century; e. g. in the 59th canon of the Council of Laodicea (363 AD); in the Festal Epistle of Athanasius (365 AD); and by Amphilochius, archbishop of Iconium (395 AD).

2. The Corresponding Hebrew Expression:

How the ancient Hebrews expressed the conception of canonicity is not known; but it is safe to say that the idea, as an idea, existed long before there was any special phrase invented to express it. In the New Testament the word "Scriptures" conveys unquestionably the notion of sacredness (Mt 21:42; Joh 5:39; Ac 18:24). From the 1st century AD and following, however, according to the Talmud, the Jews employed the phrase "defile the hands." Writings which were suitable to be read in the synagogue were designated as books which "defile the hands." What this very peculiar oriental expression may have originally signified no one definitely knows. Probably Le 16:24 gives a hint of the true interpretation. According to this passage the high priest on the great Day of Atonement washed not only when he put on the holy garments of his office, but also when he put them off. Quite possibly, therefore, the expression "defile the hands" signified that the hands which had touched the sacred writings must first be washed before touching aught else. The idea expressed, accordingly, was one akin to that of taboo. That is to say, just as certain garments worn by worshippers in encircling the sacred Kaaba at Mecca are taboo to the Mohammedans of today, i.e. cannot be worn outside the mosque, but must be left at the door as the worshippers quit the sanctuary, so the Hebrew writings which were fit to be read in the synagogue rendered the hands of those who touched them taboo, defiling their hands, as they were wont to say, so that they must first be washed before engaging in any secular business. This seems to be the best explanation of this enigmatical phrase. Various other and somewhat fanciful explanations of it, however, have been given: for example, to prevent profane uses of worn-out synagogue rolls (Buhl); or to prevent placing consecrated grain alongside of the sacred rolls in the synagogues that it might become holy, as the grain would attract the mice and the mice would gnaw the rolls (Strack, Wildeboer and others); or to prevent the sacred, worn-out parchments from being used as coverings for animals (Graetz); or to "declare the hands to be unclean unless previously washed" (Furst, Green). But no one of these explanations satisfies. The idea of taboo is more likely imbedded in the phrase.

3. The "Hidden Books" of the Jews:

The rabbins invented a special phrase to designate rolls that were worn- out or disputed. These they called genuzim, meaning "hidden away." Cemeteries filled with Hebrew manuscripts which have long been buried are frequently found today in Egypt in connection with Jewish synagogues. Such rolls might first be placed in the genizah or rubbish chamber of the sanctuary. They were not, however, apocryphal or uncanonical in the sense of being extraneous or outside the regular collection. For such the Jews had a special term cepharim chitsonim, "books that are outside." These could not be read in the synagogues. "Hidden books" were rather worn-out parchments, or canonical rolls which might by some be temporarily disputed.


4. The Determining Principle in the Formation of the Canon:

Who had the right to declare a writing canonical? To this question widely divergent answers have been given. According to a certain class of theologians the several books of the Old Testament were composed by authors who were conscious not only of their inspiration but also that their writings were destined to be handed down to the church of future generations as sacred. In other words each writer canonized, as it were, his own writings. For example, Dr. W. H. Green (Canon, 35 f, 106, 110) says: "No formal declaration of their canonicity was needed to give them sanction. They were from the first not only eagerly read by the devout but believed to be Divinely obligatory .... Each individual book of an acknowledged prophet of Yahweh, or of anyone accredited as inspired by Him to make known His will, was accepted as the word of God immediately upon its appearance. .... Those books and those only were accepted as the Divine standards of their faith and regulative of their conduct which were written for this definite purpose by those whom they believed to be inspired of God. It was this which made them canonical. The spiritual profit found in them corresponded with and confirmed the belief in their heavenly origin. And the public official action which further attested, though it did not initiate, their canonicity, followed in the wake of the popular recognition of their Divine authority. .... The writings of the prophets, delivered to the people as a declaration of the Divine will, possessed canonical authority from the moment of their appearance. .... The canon does not derive its authority from the church, whether Jewish or Christian; the office of the church is merely that of a custodian and a witness." So likewise Dr. J. D. Davis (Pres. and Ref. Review, April, 1902, 182).

On the contrary, Dillmann (Jahrb. fur deutsche Theol., III, 420) more scientifically claims that "history knows nothing of the individual books having been designed to be sacred from their origin. .... These books bore indeed in themselves from the first those characteristics on account of which they were subsequently admitted into the sacred collection, but yet always had first to pass through a shorter or longer period of verification, and make trial of the Divine power resident within them upon the hearts of the church before they were outwardly and formally acknowledged by it as Divine books." As a matter of fact, the books of the Old Testament are still on trial, and ever will be. So far as is known, the great majority of the writers of Holy Scripture did not arbitrarily hand over their productions to the church and expect them to be regarded as canon Scripture. Two parties are involved in the making of canonical Scripture—the original authors and the church—both of whom were inspired by the same Spirit. The authors wrote inspired by the Divine Spirit, and the church ever since—Jewish and Christian alike—has been inspired to recognize the authoritative character of their writings. And so it will be to the end of time. "We cannot be certain that anything comes from God unless it bring us personally something evidently Divine" (Briggs, The Study of Holy Scripture, 162).

5. The Tripartite Division of the Old Testament:

The Jews early divided the Old Testament writings into three classes:

(1) the Torah, or Law; (2) the Nebhi’im, or Prophets; and

(3) the Kethubhim, or Writings, called in Greek the Hagiographa.

The Torah included the 5 books of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), which were called "the Five-fifths of the Law." The Nebhi’im embraced

(a) the four so-called Former Prophets, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, counted as one book, 1 and 2 Kings, also counted as one book; and

(b) the four so-called Latter Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets, counted as one book; a total of 8 books.

The Kethubhim, or Writings, were 11 in all, including Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, the five Meghilloth or Rolls (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, counted as one book, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, also counted as one book; in all 24 books, exactly the same as those of the Protestant canon. This was the original count of the Jews as far as we can trace it back. Later certain Jewish authorities appended Ru to Judges, and Lamentations to Jer, and thereby obtained the number 22, which corresponded to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet; but this manner of counting was secondary and fanciful. Still later others divided Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah and Jeremiah-Lamentations into two books each respectively and thereby obtained 27, which they fancifully regarded as equivalent to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet plus 5, the number of letters having a peculiar final form when standing at the end of a word. Jerome states that 22 is the correct reckoning, but he adds, "Some count both Ru and Lamentations among the Hagiographa, and so get 24." 4 Esdras, which is the oldest (85-96 AD) witness to the number of books in the Old Testament, gives 24.

6. How Account for the Tripartite Division?:

The answer to the question of how to account for the tripartite division involves the most careful investigation of the whole process by which the canon actually took shape. If the entire canon of the Old Testament were formed, as some allege, by one man, or by one set of men, in a single age, then it is obvious that the books must have been separated into three groups on the basis of some material differences in their contents. If, on the other hand; the process of canonization was gradual and extended over several generations, then the various books were separated from one another probably because one section of the canon was closed before certain other books of similar character were written. At any rate it is difficult to see why Kings and Chronicles are not included in the same division, and especially strange that Daniel does not stand among the prophets. To explain this mystery, medieval Jews were wont to say that "the Prophets were inspired by the spirit of prophecy, whereas the Writings by the Holy Spirit," implying different degrees of inspiration. But this is a distinction without a difference, the Holy Spirit and the spirit of prophecy are one and the same. Modern Protestants distinguish between the donum propheticum and the munus propheticum, i.e. between the gift and the office of prophecy. They allow that Daniel possessed the gift of prophecy, but they deny that he was Divinely appointed to the office of prophet. But compare Mt 24:15, which speaks of "Daniel the prophet," and on the other hand, Am 7:14, in which Amos resents being considered a prophet. Oehler modifies this explanation, claiming that the threefold division of the canon corresponds to the three stages of development in the religion of Israel, namely, Mosaism, Prophetism, and Hebraism. According to Oehler, the Law was the foundation of the entire canon. From it there were two lines of development, one objective, the Prophets, the other subjective, the Writings. But Oehler’s theory does not satisfactorily account for Ezra and Nehemiah and Chronicles, being in the third division; for in what sense can they be said to be more subjective than Judges, Samuel, and Kings? The Septuagint version (250-150 BC) takes no notice of the tripartite division. The true solution probably is that the process was gradual. When all the witnesses have been examined, we shall probably discover that the Law was canonized first, the Prophets considerably later, and the Writings last of all. And it may further become evident that the two last divisions were collected synchronously, and hence, that the tripartite divisions of the canon are due to material differences in their contents as well as to chronology.


II. Examination of the Witnesses.

1. The Old Testament’s Witness to Itself (circa 1450-444 BC):

Though the Old Testament does not tell us anything about the processes of its own canonization, it does furnish valuable hints as to how the ancient Hebrews preserved their writings. Thus in Ex 40:20 it is stated that the "testimony," by which is meant the two tables of the Law containing the Ten Commandments, was put into the Ark of the Covenant for safe-keeping. In De 31:9,24-26, the laws of Deuteronomy are said to have been delivered to the sons of Levi, and by them deposited "by the side of the ark .... that it may be there for a witness against thee." Such language indicates that the new lawbook is regarded "as a standard of faith and action" (Driver, Deuteronomy, 343). According to 1Ki 8:9, when Solomon brought the Ark up from the city of David to the Temple, the two tables were still its only contents, which continued to be carefully preserved. According to 2Ki 11:12, when Joash was crowned king, Jehoiada the high priest is said to have given (literally "put upon") him "the testimony," which doubtless contained "the substance of the fundamental laws of the covenant," and was regarded as "the fundamental charter of the constitution" (compare H. E. Ryle, Canon of the Old Testament 45). Likewise in Pr 25:1, it is stated that a large number of proverbs were copied out by Hezekiah’s men. Now all these, and still other passages which might be summoned, witness to the preservation of certain portions of the Old Testament. But preservation is not synonymous with canonization. A writing might easily be preserved without being made a standard of faith and conduct. Nevertheless the two ideas are closely related; for, when religious writings are sedulously preserved it is but natural to infer that their intrinsic value was regarded as correspondingly precious.

Two other passages of paramount importance remain to be considered. The first is 2Ki 22:8 ff, describing the finding of the "Book of the Law," and how Josiah the king on the basis of it instituted a religious reformation and bound the people to obey it precepts. Here is an instance in which the Law, or some portion of it (how much no one can say), is regarded as of normative and authoritative character. The king and his coadjutators recognize at once that it is ancient and that it contains the words of Yahweh (2Ki 22:13,18,19). Its authority is undisputed. Yet nothing is said of its "canonicity," or that it would "defile the hands"; consequently there is no real ground for speaking of it as "the beginnings of the canon," for in the same historic sense the beginnings of the canon are to be found in Ex 24:7. The other passage of paramount importance is Ne 8:8 f, according to which Ezra is said to have "read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly." Not only did Ezra read the Law; he accompanied it with an interpretation. This seems to imply, almost beyond question, that in Ezra’s time (444 BC) the Law, i.e. the Pentateuch, was regarded as canonical Scripture. This is practically all that the Old Testament says about itself, though other passages, such as Zec 7:12 and Da 9:2 might be brought forward to show the deep regard which the later prophets had for the writings of their predecessors. The former of these is the locus classicus in the Old Testament, teaching the inspiration of the Prophets; it is the Old Testament parallel to 2Ti 3:16.

2. The Samaritan Pentateuch (circa 432 BC):

Chronologically the Old Testament is of course our most ancient witness. It brings us down to 444 BC. The next in order is the Samaritan Pentateuch, the history of which is as follows: About 432 BC, as we know from Ne 13:28 and Josephus (Ant., XI, vii, 2 through viii, 4), Nehemiah expelled from the Jewish colony in Jerusalem Manasseh, the polygamous grandson of Eliashib the high priest and son-in-law of Sanballat. Manasseh founded the schismatic community of the Samaritans, and instituted on Mt. Gerizim a rival temple worship to that at Jerusalem. Of the Samaritans there still survive today some 170 souls; they reside in Shechem and are known as "the smallest religious sect in the world." It is true that Josephus, speaking of this event, confuses chronology somewhat, making Nehemiah and Alexander the Great contemporaries, whereas a century separated them, but the time element is of little moment. The bearing of the whole matter upon the history of the formation of the canon is this: the Samaritans possess the Pentateuch only; hence, it is inferred that at the time of Manasseh’s expulsion the Jewish canon included the Pentateuch and the Pentateuch only. Budde (Encyclopaedia Biblica col. 659) says: "If alongside of the Law there had been other sacred writings, it would be inexplicable why these last also did not pass into currency with the Samaritans." Such a conclusion, however, is not fully warranted. It is an argument from silence. There are patent reasons on the other hand why the Samaritans should have rejected the Prophets, even though the y were already canonized. For the Samaritans would hardly adopt into their canon books that glorified the temple at Jerusalem. It cannot, accordingly, be inferred with certainty from the fact that the Samaritans accept the Pentateuch only, that therefore the Pentateuch at the time of Manasseh’s expulsion was alone canonical, though it may be considered a reasonable presumption.

3. The Septuagint Version (circa 250-150 BC):

The Septuagint version in Greek is the first translation of the Old Testament ever made; indeed the Old Testament is the first book of any note in all literature to receive the honor of being translated into another tongue. This fact in itself is indicative of the esteem in which it was held at the time. The work of translation was inaugurated by Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 BC) and probably continued for well-nigh a century (circa 250-150 BC). Aristeas, a distinguished officer of Ptolemy, records how it came about. It appears that Ptolemy was exceedingly fond of books, and set his heart on adding to his famous collection in Alexandria a translation of the Hebrew Pentateuch In order to obtain it, so the story goes, the king set free 198,000 Jewish slaves, and sent them with presents to Jerusalem to ask Eleazar the high priest for their Law and Jewish scholars capable of translating it. Six learned rabbis from each tribe (6 X 12 = 72) were sent. They were royally feasted; 70 questions were asked them to test their wisdom, and after 72 days of cooperation and conference they gave the world the Old Testament in the Greek language, which is known as the Septuagint version. To this fabulous story, Christian tradition adds that the rabbis did the work of translating in 72 (some say 36) separate cells on the island of Pharos, all working independently of each other, and that it was found at the expiration of their seclusion that each had produced a translation exactly word for word alike, hence, supernaturally inspired. Justin Martyr of the 2nd century AD says that he was actually shown by his Alexandrian guide the ruins of these Septuagint cells. The story is obviously a fable. The kernel of real truth at the bottom of it is probably that Ptolemy Philadelphus about the middle of the 3rd century BC succeeded in obtaining a translation of the Law. The other books were translated subsequently, perhaps for private use. The lack of unity of plan in the books outside the Law indicates that probably many different hands at different times were engaged upon them. There is a subscription, moreover, at the close of the translation of Es which states that Lysimachus, the son of Ptolemy in Jerusalem, translated it. But the whole was apparently completed before Jesus ben Sirach the younger wrote his Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (circa 132 BC).

Now the Septuagint version, which was the Bible of our Lord and His apostles, is supposed to have included originally many of the Apocryphal books. Furthermore, in our present Septuagint, the canonical and Apocryphal books stand intermingled and in an order which shows that the translators knew nothing of the tripartite division of later Judaism, or if they did they quite ignored it. The order of the books in our English Old Testament is of course derived from the Septuagint through the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) of Jerome. The books in the Septuagint are arranged as follows: Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, 1 and 2 Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zepheniah, Hagai, Zechariah, Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Ep. Jer., Ezekiel, Daniel, 1, 2 and 3 Maccabees. On the basis of the Septuagint, Catholics advocate what is known as the "larger" canon of the Jews in Alexandria; Protestants, on the other hand, deny the existence of an independent canon in Alexandria in view of the "smaller" canon of the Jews in Palestine The actual difference between the Catholic and Protestant Old Testaments is a matter of 7 complete books and portions of two others: namely, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees, together with certain additions to Esther (Es 10:4-16:24) and to Daniel (Da 3:24-90; The So of the Three Holy Children (Azariah); Susanna verse 13 and Bel and the Dragon verse 14). These Protestants reject as apocryphal because there is no sufficient evidence that they were ever reckoned as canonical by the Jews anywhere. The fact that the present Septuagint includes them is far from conclusive that the original Septuagint did, for the following reasons:

(1) The design of the Septuagint was purely literary; Ptolemy and the Alexandrians were interested in building up a library.

(2) All the extant manuscripts of the Septuagint are of Christian not Jewish origin. Between the actual translation of the Septuagint (circa 250-150 BC) and the oldest manuscripts of the Septuagint extant (circa 350 AD) there is a chasm of fully 500 years, during which it is highly possible that the so-called Apocryphal books crept in.

(3) In the various extant manuscripts of the Septuagint, the Apocryphal books vary in number and name. For example, the great Vatican MS, which is probably "the truest representative which remains of the Alexandrian Bible," and which comes down to us from the 4th century AD, contains no Book of Maccabees whatever, but does include 1 Esdras, which Jerome and Catholics generally treat as apocryphal. On the other hand, the Alexandrian MS, another of the great manuscripts of the Septuagint, dating from the 5th century AD, contains not only the extra-canonical book of 1 Esdras, but 3 and 4 Maccabees, and in the New Testament the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Clement, none of which, however, is considered canonical by Rome. Likewise the great Sinaiticus MS, hardly less important than the Vatican as a witness to the Septuagint and like it dating from the 4th century AD, omits Baruch (which Catholics consider canonical), but includes 4 Macc, and in the New Testament the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas; all of which are excluded from the canon by Catholics. In other manuscripts, 3 Maccabees, 3 Esdras and The Prayer of Manasseh are occasionally included. The problem as to how many books the original Septuagint version actually included is a very complicated one. The probability is that it included no one of these variants.

(4) Still another reason for thinking that there never existed in Egypt a separate or "larger" canon is the fact that during the 2nd century AD, the Alexandrian Jews adopted Aquila’s Greek version of the Old Testament in lieu of their own, and it is known that Aquila’s text excluded all Apocryphal books. Add to all this the fact that Philo, who lived in Alexandria from circa 20 BC till 50 AD, never quotes from One of these Apocryphal books though he often does from the canonical, and that Origen, who also resided in Alexandria (circa 200 AD), never set his imprimatur upon them, and it becomes reasonably convincing that there was no "larger" canon in Alexandria. The value of the evidence derived from the Septuagint, accordingly, is largely negative. It only indicates that when the translation of the Old Testament into Greek was made in Alexandria, the process of canonization was still incomplete. For had it been actually complete, it is reasonable to suppose that the work of translation would have proceeded according to some well-defined plan, and would have been executed with greater accuracy. As it is, the translators seem to have taken all sorts of liberties with the text, adding to the books of Es and Da and omitting fully one-eighth of the text of Jer. Such work also indicates that they were not executing a public or ecclesiastical trust, but rather a private enterprise. Our necessary conclusion, therefore, is that the work of canonization was probably going on in Palestine while the work of translation was proceeding in Alexandria.

4. Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach (circa 170 BC):

Our next witness is Jesus ben Sirach who (circa 170 BC) wrote a formidable work entitled Ecclesiasticus, otherwise known as Sir. The author lived in Jerusalem and wrote in Hebrew. His book is a book of Wisdom resembling Proverbs; some of his precepts approach the high level of the Gospel. In many respects Ecclesiasticus is the most important of all the Apocryphal books; theologically it is the chief monument of primitive Sadduceeism. In chapters 44-50, the author sings a "hymn to the Fathers," eulogizing the mighty heroes of Israel from Enoch to Nehemiah, in fact from Adam to Simon, including the most famous men described in the Old Testament, and making explicit mention of the Twelve Prophets. These facts would indicate that the whole or, at least, the most of the Old Testament was known to him, and that already in his day (180 BC) the so-called Minor Prophets were regarded as a special group of writings by themselves. What the value of Ecclesiasticus is as a witness, however, depends upon the interpretation one places on 24:33, which reads: "I will yet pour out doctrine as prophecy and leave it unto generations of ages." From this it is inferred by some that he feels himself inspired and capable of adding to the canon already in existence, and that, though he knew the full prophetic canon, he did not draw any very definite line of demarcation between his own work and the inspired writings of the prophets. For example, he passes over from the patriarchs and prophets of Israel to Simon the son of Onias, who was probably the high priest in his own time, making no distinction between them. But this may have been partly due to personal conceit; compare 39:12, "Yet more will I utter, which I have thought upon; and I am filled as the moon at the full." Yet, perhaps, in his day still only the Law and the Prophets were actually canonized, but alongside of these a body of literature was being gathered and gradually augmented of a nature not foreign to his own writings, and therefore not clearly marked off from literary compositions like his own. Yet to Sirach the Law is everything. He identifies it with the highest Wisdom; indeed, all wisdom in his judgment is derived from a study of the Law (compare Sirach 19:20-24; 15:1-18; 24:23; 2:16; 39:1).

5. The Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (circa 132 BC):

The Prologue or Preface to Ecclesiasticus is our next witness to the formation of the canon. It was written by the grandson of Jesus ben Sirach, who bore his grandfather’s name (circa 132 BC). Jesus ben Sirach the younger translated in Egypt his grandfather’s proverbs into Greek, and in doing so added a Preface or Prologue of his own. In this Prologue, he thrice refers to the tripartite division of the Old Testament. In fact the Prologue to Ecclesiasticus is the oldest witness we have to the threefold division of the Old Testament books. He says: "Whereas many and great things have been delivered unto us by the Law and the Prophets, and by others, .... my grandfather, Jesus, when he had given himself to the reading of the Law, and the Prophets, and other books of our Fathers, and had gotten therein good judgment (the Revised Version (British and American) "having gained great familiarity therein"), was drawn on also himself to write something pertaining to learning and wisdom. .... For the same things uttered in Hebrew and translated into another tongue, have not the same force in them; and not only these things, but the Law itself, and the Prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language." These are explicit and definite allusions to the threefold division of the Old Testament writings, yet only the titles of the first and second divisions are the technical names usually employed; the third is especially vague because of his use of the terms, "the other books of the Fathers," and "the rest of the books." However, he evidently refers to writings with religious contents; and, by "the other books of the Fathers," he can hardly be supposed to have meant an indefinite number, though he has not told us which they were or what was their number. From his further statement that his grandfather, having immersed himself in the Law and the Prophets, and other books of the Fathers, felt drawn on also himself to write something for the profit of others, it may be inferred that in his time there was as yet no definite gulf fixed between canonical writings and those of other men, and that the sifting process was still going on (compare W. R. Smith, OTJC2, 178- 79).

6. 1 and 2 Maccabee (between 125 and 70 BC):

1 Maccabee was written originally in Hebrew; 2 Maccabee in Greek, somewhere between 125 and 70 BC. The author of 1 Maccabee is acquainted, on the one hand, with the deeds of John Hyrcanus (135 to 105 BC), and knows nothing on the other of the conquest of Palestine by Pompey (63 BC). The value of this book as a witness to the history of the canon centers about his allusions to Daniel and the Psalms. In 1 Macc 1:54, he tells how Antiochus Epiphanes "set up the abomination of desolation" upon the altar at Jerusalem, referring most likely to Da 9:24-27; and in 1 Macc 2:59,60 he speaks of Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who by believing were saved from the fiery furnace, and of Daniel, who was delivered from the mouths of the lions (compare Da 1:7; 3:26; 6:23). From these allusions, it would seem as though the Book of Daniel was at that time regarded as normative or canonical. This is confirmed by 1 Macc 7:16,17, which introduces a quotation from Ps 79:2, with the solemn formula, "According to the words which he wrote"; which would suggest that the Ps also were already canonical.

2 Maccabee, written circa 124 BC, also contains a couple of passages of considerable importance to us in this investigation. Both, however, are found in a spurious letter purporting to have been sent by the inhabitants of Judea to their fellow-countrymen residing in Egypt. The first passage (2 Macc 2:13) tells how Nehemiah, "founding a library, gathered together the acts of the kings, and the prophets, and of David, and the epistles of the kings concerning holy gifts." These words throw no special light upon the formation of the canon, but they do connect with the name of Nehemiah the preservation of public documents and historical records of national interest, and how he, as a lover of books, founded a library. This is in perfect agreement with what we know of Nehemiah’s character, for he compiled the genealogy of Ne 7; besides, collection precedes selection. The other passage (2 Macc 2:14) reads: "In like manner also Judas gathered together all things that were lost by reason of the war we had, and they remain with us." Though found in a letter, supposed to be spurious, there is every reason for believing this statement to be true. For when Antiochus, the arch enemy of the nation, sought to stamp out the religion of the Jews by destroying their books (compare 1 Macc 1:56,57), what would have been more natural for a true patriot like Judas than to attempt to re-collect their sacred writings? "This statement, therefore," as Wildeboer says, "may well be worthy of credence" (The Origin of the Canon of the Old Testament, 40). Though it yields nothing definite as to the number of the books recovered, it is obvious that the books collected were the most precious documents which the nation possessed. They were doubtless religious, as was the age.

7. Philo (circa 20 BC-50 AD):

Philo is our next witness. He flourished in Alexandria between circa 20 BC and 50 AD, leaving behind him a voluminous literature. Unfortunately, he does not yield us much of positive value for our present purpose. His evidence is largely negative. True, he nowhere mentions the tripartite division of the Old Testament, which is known to have existed in his day. Nor does he quote from Ezekiel, the Five Megilloth (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), Daniel, Chronicles, or from the Twelve Minor Prophets, except Hosea, Jonah, and Zechariah. Moreover he held a loose view of inspiration. According to Philo, inspiration was by no means confined to the sacred Scriptures; all truly wise and virtuous men are inspired and capable of expressing the hidden things of God. But as Dr. Green (Canon, 130) right fully contends, "Philo’s loose views of inspiration cannot be declared irreconcilable with the acceptance of a fixed canon, unless it is first shown that he places others whom he thinks inspired on a level with the writers of Scripture. This he never does." Philo’s reverence for the "Law" was unbounded. In this respect he is the type of other Alexandrians. He quotes predominatingly from the Law. Moses was to him the source of all wisdom, even the wisdom of the Gentiles. Concerning the laws of Moses, he is reported by Eusebius as saying: "They have not changed so much as a single word in them. They would rather die a thousand deaths than detract anything from these laws and statutes." On the other hand, Philo never quotes any of the Apocryphal books. Hence, it may safely be assumed that his canon was essentially ours.

8. The New Testament as a Witness (circa 50-100 AD):

The evidence furnished by the New Testament is of the highest importance. When summed up, it gives the unmistakable impression that when the New Testament was written (circa 50-100 AD) there was a definite and fixed canon of Old Testament Scripture, to which authoritative appeal could be made. And first, too much importance can scarcely be attached to the names or titles ascribed to the Old Testament writings by the authors of the New Testament: thus, "the scripture" (Joh 10:35; 19:36; 2Pe 1:20), "the scripture s" (Mt 22:29; Ac 18:24), "holy scriptures" (Ro 1:2), "sacred writings" (2Ti 3:15), "the law" (Joh 10:34; 12:34; 15:25; 1Co 14:21), "law and prophets" (Mt 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; Lu 16:16; 24:44; Ac 13:15; 28:23). Such names or titles, though they do not define the limits of the canon, certainly assume the existence of a complete and sacred collection of Jewish writings which are already marked off from all other literature as separate and fixed. One passage (Joh 10:35) in which the term "scripture," is employed seems to refer to the Old Testament canon as a whole; "and the scripture cannot be broken." In like manner the expression "law and prophets" is often used in a generic sense, referring to much more than merely the 1st and 2nd divisions of the Old Testament; it seems rather to refer to the old dispensation as a whole; but the term "the law" is the most general of all. It is frequently applied to the entire Old Testament, and apparently held in Christ’s time among the Jews a place akin to that which the term "the Bible" does with us. For example, in Joh 10:34; 11:34; 15:25, texts from the prophets or even from the Ps are quoted as part of "the Law"; in 1Co 14:21 also, Paul speaks of Isa 28:11 as a part of "the law." These names and titles, accordingly, are exceedingly important; they are never applied by New Testament writers to the Apocrypha.

One passage (Lu 24:44) furnishes clear evidence of the threefold division of the canon. But here again, as in the Prologue of Sirach, there is great uncertainty as to the limits of the 3rd division. Instead of saying "the law, the prophets and the writings," Luke says, "the law, the prophets and the psalms." But it is obvious enough why the Psalms should have been adduced by Jesus in support of His resurrection. It is because they especially testify of Christ: they were, therefore, the most important part of the 3rd division for His immediate purpose, and it may be that they are meant to stand a potiori for the whole of the 3rd division (compare Budde, Encyclopedia Biblica, col. 669).

Another passage (Mt 23:35; compare Lu 11:51) seems to point to the final order and arrangement of the books in the Old Testament canon. It reads: "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar." Now, in order to grasp the bearing of this verse upon the matter in hand, it must be remembered that in the modern arrangement of the Old Testament books in Hebrew, Chronicles stands last; and that the murder of Zachariah is the last recorded instance in this arrangement, being found in 2Ch 24:20,21. But this murder took place under Joash king of Judah, in the 9th century BC. There is another which is chronologically later, namely, that of Uriah son of Shemaiah who was murdered in Jehoiakim’s reign in the 7th century BC (Jer 26:23). Accordingly, the argument is this, unless Ch already stood last in Christ’s Old Testament, why did He not say, "from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Uriah"? He would then have been speaking chronologically and would have included all the martyrs whose martyrdom is recorded in the Old Testament. But He rather says, "from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah," as though He were including the whole range of Old Testament Scripture, just as we would say "from Genesis to Malachi." Hence, it is inferred, with some degree of justification also, that Chronicles stood in Christ’s time, as it does today in the Hebrew Bible of the Massorets, the last book of an already closed canon. Of course, in answer to this, there is the possible objection that in those early days the Scriptures were still written by the Jews on separate rolls.

Another ground for thinking that the Old Testament canon was closed before the New Testament was written is the numerous citations made in the New Testament from the Old Testament. Every book is quoted except Esther, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Nahum, and Zephaniah. But these exceptions are not serious. The Twelve Minor Prophets were always treated by the Jews en bloc as one canonical work; hence, if one of the twelve were quoted all were recognized. And the fact that 2Ch 24:20,21 is quoted in Mt 23:35 and Lu 11:51 presupposes also the canonicity of Ezra-Nehemiah, as originally these books were one with Chronicles, though they may possibly have already been divided in Jesus’ day. As for Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles, it is easy to see why they are not quoted: they probably failed to furnish New Testament writers material for quotation. The New Testament writers simply had no occasion to make citations from them. What is much more noteworthy, they never quote from the Apocryphal books, though they show an acquaintance with them. Professor Gigot, one of the greatest of Roman Catholic authorities, frankly admits this. In his General Introduction to the Study of the Scriptures, 43, he says: "They never quote them explicitly, it is true, but time and again they borrow expressions and ideas from them." As a matter of fact, New Testament writers felt free to quote from any source; for example, Paul on Mars’ Hill cites to the learned Athenians an astronomical work of the Stoic Aratus of Cilicia, or perhaps from a Hymn to Jupiter by Cleanthes of Lycia, when he says, "For we are also his off-spring" (Ac 17:28). And Jude 1:14,15 almost undeniably quotes from Enoch (1:9; 60:8)—a work which is not recognized as canonical by any except the church of Abyssinia. But in any case, the mere quoting of a book does not canonize it; nor, on the other hand, does failure to quote a book exclude it. Quotation does not necessarily imply sanction; no more than reference to contemporary literature is incompatible with strict views of the canon. Everything depends upon the manner in which the quotation is made. In no case is an Apocryphal book cited by New Testament authors as "Scripture," or as the work of the Holy Spirit. And the force of this statement is not weakened by the fact that the authors of New Testament writings cited the Septuagint instead of the original Hebrew; for, "they are responsible only for the inherent truthfulness of each passage in the form which they actually adopt" (Green, Canon, 145). As a witness, therefore, the New Testament is of paramount importance. For, though it nowhere tells us the exact number of books contained in the Old Testament canon, it gives abundant evidence of the existence already in the 1st century AD of a definite and fixed canon.

9. 4 Esdras (circa 81-96 AD):

4 Esdras in Latin (2 Esdras in English) is a Jewish apocalypse which was written originally in Greek toward the close of the 1st century (circa 81-96 AD). The passage of special interest to us is 2 Esdras 14:19-48 which relates in most fabulous style how Ezra is given spiritual illumination to reproduce the Law which had been burned, and how, at the Divine command, he secludes himself for a period of 40 days, after which he betakes himself with five skilled scribes to the open country. There, a cup of water is offered him; he drinks, and then dictates to his five amanuenses continuously for 40 days and nights, producing 94 books of which 70 are kept secret and 24 published. The section of supreme importance reads as follows: "And it came to pass, when the forty days were fulfilled, that the Most High spake, saying, ‘The first that thou hast written, publish openly, that the worthy may read it; but keep the seventy last, that thou mayest deliver them only to such as be wise among the people; for in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the stream of knowledge.’ And I did so" (4 Esdras 14:45-48). The story is obviously pure fiction. No wonder that a new version of it arose in the 16th century, according to which the canon was completed, not by Ezra alone, but by a company of men known as the Great Synagogue. From the legend of 4 Esdras it is commonly inferred that the 24 books which remain after subtracting 70 from 94 are the canonical books of the Old Testament. If so, then this legend is the first witness we have to the number of books contained in the Old Testament canon. This number corresponds exactly with the usual number of sacred books according to Jewish count, as we saw in section 5 above. The legend, accordingly, is not without value. Even as legend it witnesses to a tradition which existed as early as the 1st Christian century, to the effect that the Jews possessed 24 specially sacred books. It also points to Ezra as the chief factor in the making of Scripture and intimates that the Old Testament canon has long since been virtually closed.

10. Josephus’ "Contra Apionem" (circa 100 AD):

Flavius Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, was born 37 AD. He was a priest and a Pharisee. About 100 AD, he wrote a controversial treatise, known as Contra Apionem, in defense of the Jews against their assailants, of whom Apion is taken as a leading representative, Now Apion was a famous grammarian, who in his life had been hostile to the Jews. He had died some 50 years before Contra Apionem was written. Josephus wrote in Greek to Greeks. The important passage in his treatise (I, 8) reads as follows: "For it is not the case with us to have vast numbers of books disagreeing and conflicting with one another. We have but twenty-two, containing the history of all time, books that are justly believed in. And of these, five are the books of Moses, which comprise the laws and the earliest traditions from the creation of mankind down to the time of his (Moses’) death. This period falls short but by a little of three thousand years. From the death of Moses to the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, the successor of Xerxes, the prophets who succeeded Moses wrote the history of the events that occurred in their own time; in thirteen books. The remaining four documents comprise hymns to God and practical precepts to men. From the days of Artaxerxes to our own time every event has indeed been recorded. But these recent records have not been deemed worthy of equal credit with those which preceded them, because the exact succession of the prophets ceased. But what faith we have placed in our own writings is evident by our conduct; for though so great an interval of time (i.e. since they were written) has now passed, not a soul has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable. But it is instinctive in all Jews at once from their very birth to regard them as commands of God, and to abide by them, and, if need be, willingly to die for them."

The value of this remarkable passage for our study is obviously very great. In the first place Josephus fixes the number of Jewish writings which are recognized as sacred at 22, joining probably Ru to Jud and La to Jer. He also classifies them according to a threefold division, which is quite peculiar to himself: 5 of Moses, 13 of the prophets, and 4 hymns and maxims for human life. The 5 of Moses were of course the Pentateuch; the 13 of the prophets probably included the 8 regular Nebhi’im plus Daniel, Job, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Esther; the "4 hymns and maxims" would most naturally consist of Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles and Ecclesiastes. There is little doubt that his 22 books are those of our present Hebrew canon.

Another very remarkable fact about Josephus’ statement is the standard he gives of canonicity, namely, antiquity; because, as he says, since Artaxerxes’ age the succession of prophets had ceased. It was the uniform tradition of Josephus’ time that prophetic inspiration had ceased with Malachi (circa 445-432 BC). Hence, according to him, the canon was closed in the reign of Artaxerxes (465-425 BC). He does not pause to give any account of the closing of the canon; he simply assumes it, treating it as unnecessary. Prophecy had ceased, and the canon was accordingly closed; the fact did not require to be officially proclaimed. As remarked above. the value of Josephus as a witness is very great. But just here an important question arises: How literally must we interpret his language? Was the Old Testament canon actually closed before 425 BC? Were not there books and parts of books composed and added to the canon subsequent to his reign? Dr. Green seems to take Josephus literally (Canon, 40, 78). But Josephus is not always reliable in his chronology. For example, in his Antiquities (XI, vi, 13) he dates the story of Esther as occurring in the reign of Artaxerxes I (whereas it belongs to Xerxes’ reign), while in the same work (XI, v, 1) he puts Ezra and Nehemiah under Xerxes (whereas they belong to the time of Artaxerxes). On the whole, it seems safer on internal grounds to regard Josephus’ statements concerning the antiquity of the Jewish canon as the language not of a careful historian, but of a partisan in debate. Instead of expressing absolute fact in this case, he was reflecting the popular belief of his age. Reduced to its lowest terms, the element of real truth in what he says was simply this, that he voiced a tradition which was at that time universal and undisputed; one, however, which had required a long period, perhaps hundreds of years, to develop. Hence, we conclude that the complete Old Testament canon, numbering 22 books, was no new thing 100 AD.

11. The Councils of Jamnia (90 and 118 AD):

According to the traditions preserved in the Mishna, two councils of Jewish rabbis were held (90 and 118 AD respectively) at Jabne, or Jamnia, not far South of Joppa, on the Mediterranean coast, at which the books of the Old Testament, notably Ecclesiastes and Canticles, were discussed and their canonicity ratified. Rabbi Gamaliel II probably presided. Rabbi Akiba was the chief spirit of the council. What was actually determined by these synods has not been preserved to us accurately, but by many authorities it is thought that the great controversy which had been going on for over a century between the rival Jewish schools of Hillel and Shammai was now brought to a close, and that the canon was formally restricted to our 39 books. Perhaps it is within reason to say that at Jamnia the limits of the Hebrew canon were officially and finally determined by Jewish authority. Not that official sanction created public opinion, however, but rather confirmed it.

12. The Talmud (200-500 AD):

The Talmud consists of two parts:

(1) The Mishna (compiled circa 200 AD), a collection of systematized tradition; and

(2) the Gemara, Gemara (completed about 500 AD), a "vast and desultory commentary on the Mishna" A Baraitha’, or unauthorized gloss, known as the Babha’ Bathra’ 14 b, a Talmudic tractate, relates the "order" of the various books of the Old Testament and who "wrote" or edited them. But it says nothing of the formation of the canon.

To write is not the same as to canonize; though to the later Jews the two ideas were closely akin. As a witness, therefore, this tractate is of little value, except that it confirms the tripartite division and is a good specimen of rabbinic speculation. For the full text of the passage, see Ryle, Canon of the Old Testament, 273 ff.

13. Jewish Doubts in the 2nd Century AD:

During the 2nd century AD, doubts arose in Jewish minds concerning four books, Proverbs, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. In a certain Talmudic tractate it is related that an attempt was made to withdraw (ganaz, "conceal," "hide") the Book of Pr on account of contradictions which were found in it (compare Pr 26:4,5), but on deeper investigation it was not withdrawn. In another section of the Talmud, Rabbi Akiba is represented as saying concerning Canticles: "God forbid that any man of Israel should deny that the So of Songs defileth the hands, for the whole world is not equal to the day in which the So of Songs was given to Israel. For all Scriptures are holy, but the So of Songs is the holiest of the holy." Such extravagant language inclines one to feel that real doubt must have existed in the minds of some concerning the book. But the protestations were much stronger against Ecclesiates. In one tractate it is stated: "The wise men desired to hide it because its language was often self-contradictory (compare Ec 7:3 and Ec 2:2; 4:2; 9:4), but they did not hide it because the beginning and the end of it consist of words from the Torah (compare Ec 1:3; 12:13,14)." Likewise Es was vigorously disputed by both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Gemaras, because the name of God was not found in it; but a Rabbi Simeon ben Lakkish (circa 300 AD) defended its canonicity, putting Esther on an equality with the Law and above the Prophets and the other Writings. Other books, for example, Ezekiel and Jonah, were discussed in post-Talmudic writings, but no serious objections were ever raised by the Jews against either. Jonah was really never doubted till the 12th century AD. In the case of no one of these disputed books were there serious doubts; nor did scholastic controversies affect public opinion.

14. Summary and Conclusion:

This brings us to the end of our examination of the witnesses. In our survey we have discovered

(1) that the Old Testament says nothing about its canonization, but does emphasize the manner in which the Law was preserved and recognized as authoritative;

(2) that to conclude that the Jews possessed the Law only, when the renegade Manasseh was expelled by Nehemiah from Jerusalem, because the Samaritans admit of the Law alone as the true canon, is unwarrantable;

(3) that the Septuagint version as we know it from the Christian manuscripts extant is by no means a sufficient proof that the Alexandrians possessed a "larger" canon which included the Apocrpha;

(4) that Jesus ben Sirach is a witness to the fact that the Prophets in his day (180 BC) were not yet acknowledged as canonical;

(5) that his grandson in his Prologue is the first witness to the customary tripartite division of Old Testament writings, but does not speak of the 3rd division as though it were already closed;

(6) that the Books of Maccabees seem to indicate that Psalms and Daniel are already included in the canon of the Jews;

(7) that Philo’s testimony is negative, in that he witnesses against the Apocryphal books as an integral part of Holy Scripture;

(8) that the New Testament is the most explicit witness of the series, because of the names and titles it ascribes to the Old Testament books which it quotes;

(9) that 4 Esdras is the first witness to the number of books in the Old Testament canon—24;

(10) that Josephus also fixes the number of books, but in arguing for the antiquity of the canon speaks as an advocate, voicing popular tradition, rather than as a scientific historian;

(11) that the Councils of Jamnia may, with some ground, be considered the official occasion on which the Jews pronounced upon the limits of their canon; but that

(12) doubts existed in the 2nd century concerning certain books; which books, however, were not seriously questioned.

From all this we conclude, that the Law was canonized, or as we would better say, was recognized as authoritative, first, circa 444 BC; that the Prophets were set on an even footing with the Law considerably later, circa 200 BC; and that the Writings received authoritative sanction still later, circa 100 BC. There probably never were three separate canons, but there were three separate classes of writings, which between 450 and 100 BC doubtless stood on different bases, and only gradually became authoritative. There is, therefore, ground for thinking, as suggested above (section 6), that the tripartite division of the Old Testament canon is due to material differences in the contents as well as to chronology.

III. The Canon in the Christian Church.

1. In the Eastern or Oriental Church:

In making the transition from the Jewish to the Christian church, we find the same canon cherished by all. Christians of all sects have always been disposed to accept without question the canon of the Jews. For centuries all branches of the Christian church were practically agreed on the limits set by the Jews, but eventually the western church became divided, some alleging that Christ sanctioned the "larger" canon of Alexandria, including the Apocrypha, while others adhered, as the Jews have always done, to the canon of the Jews in Palestine taking the eastern or oriental church first, the evidence they furnish is as follows: The Peshitta, or Syriac version, dating from circa 150 AD, omits Chronicles; Justin Martyr (164 AD) held to a canon identical with that of the Jews; the Canon of Melito, bishop of Sardis, who (circa 170 AD) made a journey to Palestine in order carefully to investigate the matter, omits Est. His list, which is the first Christian list we have, has been preserved to us by Eusebius in his Eccl. Hist., IV, 26; Origen (died 254 AD), who was educated in Alexandria, and was one of the most learned of the Greek Fathers, also set himself the task of knowing the "Hebrew verity" of the Old Testament text, and gives us a list (also preserved to us by Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., VI, 5) in which he reckons the number of books as 22 (thus agreeing with Josephus). Inadvertently he omits the Twelve Minor Prophets, but this is manifestly an oversight on the part of either a scribe or of Eusebius, as he states the number of books is 22 and then names but 21. The so-called Canon of Laodicea (circa 363 AD) included the canonical books only, rejecting the Apocrypha. Athanasius (died 365 AD) gives a list in which Esther is classed as among the non-canonical books, but he elsewhere admits that "Esther is considered canonical by the Hebrews." However, he included Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah with Jeremiah. Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium (circa 380 AD), speaks of Esther as received by some only. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem (died 386 AD), gives a list corresponding with the Hebrew canon, except that he includes Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah. Gregory of Nazianzus in Cappadocia (died 390 AD) omits Esther. But Anastasius, patriarch of Antioch (560 AD), and Leontius of Byzantium (580 AD) both held to the strict Jewish canon of 22 books. The Nestorians generally doubted Esther. This was due doubtless to the influence of Theodore of Mopsuestia (circa 390-457 AD) who disputed the authority of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Job. The oriental churches as a whole, however, never canonized the Apocrypha.

2. In the Western Church:

Between 100 and 400 AD, the New Testament writings became canonical, occupying in the Christian church a place of authority and sacredness equal to those of the Old Testament. The tendency of the period was to receive everything which had been traditionally read in the churches. But the transference of this principle to the Old Testament writings produced great confusion. Usage and theory were often in conflict. A church Father might declare that the Apocryphal books were uninspired and yet quote them as "Scripture," and even introduce them with the accepted formula, "As the Holy Ghost saith." Theologically, they held to a strict canon, homiletically they used a larger one. But even usage was not uniform. 3 and 4 Esdras and the Book of Enoch are sometimes quoted as "Holy Writ," yet the western church never received these books as canonical. The criterion of usage, therefore, is too broad. The theory of the Fathers was gradually forgotten, and the prevalent use of the Septuagint and other versions led to the obliteration of the distinction between the undisputed books of the Hebrew canon and the most popular Apocryphal books; and being often publicly read in the churches they finally received a quasi-canonization.

Tertullian of Carthage (circa 150-230 AD) is the first of the Latin Fathers whose writings have been preserved. He gives the number of Old Testament books as 24, the same as in the Talmud Hilary, bishop of Poitiers in France (350-368 AD), gives a catalogue in which he speaks of "Jeremiah and his epistle," yet his list numbers only 22. Rufinus of Aquileia in Italy (died 410 AD) likewise gives a complete list of 22 books. Jerome also, the learned monk of Bethlehem (died 420 AD), gives the number of canonical books as 22, corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and explains that the five double books (1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Jeremiah-Lamentations) correspond to the five final letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In his famous Prologus Galeatus or "Helmed Preface" to the books of Samuel and Kings, he declares himself for the strict canon of the Jews; rejecting the authority of the deutero-canonical books in the most outspoken manner, even distinguishing carefully the apocryphal additions to Esther and to Daniel. As the celebrated Catholic writer, Dr. Gigot, very frankly allows, "Time and again this illustrious doctor (Jerome) of the Latin church rejects the authority of the deutero-canonical books in the most explicit manner" (General Intro, 56).

Contemporaneous with Jerome in Bethlehem lived Augustine in North Africa (353-430 AD). He was the bishop of Hippo; renowned as thinker, theologian and saint. In the three great Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397 and 419 AD), of which he was the leading spirit, he closed, as it were, the great debate of the previous generations on the subject of how large shall be the Bible. In his essay on Christian Doctrine, he catalogues the books of Scripture, which had been transmitted by the Fathers for public reading in the church, giving their number as 44, with which he says "the authority of the Old Testament is ended." These probably correspond with the present canon of Catholics. But it is not to be supposed that Augustine made no distinction between the proto-canonical and deutero-canonical books. On the contrary, he limited the term "canonical" in its strict sense to the books which are inspired and received by the Jews, and denied that in the support of doctrine the books of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus were of unquestioned authority, though long custom had entitled them to respect. And when a passage from 2 Maccabees was urged by his opponents in defense of suicide, he rejected their proof by showing that the book was not received into the Hebrew canon to which Christ was witness. At the third Council of Carthage (397 AD), however, a decree was ratified, most probably with his approval, which in effect placed all the canonical and deutero-canonical books on the same level, and in the course of time they actually became considered by some as of equal authority (see DEUTERO-CANONICAL). A few years later, another council at Carthage (419 AD) took the additional step of voting that their own decision concerning the canon should be confirmed by Boniface, the bishop of Rome; accordingly, thereafter, the question of how large the Bible should be became a matter to be settled by authority rather than by criticism.

From the 4th to the 16th century AD the process of gradually widening the limits of the canon continued. Pope Gelasius (492-496 AD) issued a decretal or list in which he included the Old Testament apocrypha. Yet even after this official act of the papacy the sentiment in the western church was divided. Some followed the strict canon of Jerome, while others favored the larger canon of Augustine, without noting his cautions and the distinctions he made between inspired and uninspired writings. Cassiodorus (556 AD) and Isidore of Seville (636 AD) place the lists of Jerome and Augustine side by side without deciding between them. Two bishops of North Africa, Primasius and Junilius (circa 550 AD) reckon 24 books as strictly canonical and explicitly state that the others are not of the same grade. Popular usage, however, was indiscriminate. Outside the Jews there was no sound Hebrew tradition. Accordingly, at the Council of Florence (1442 AD), "Eugenius IV, with the approval of the Fathers of that assembly, declared all the books found in the Latin Bibles then in use to be inspired by the same Holy Spirit, without distinguishing them into two classes or categories" (compare Gigot, General Introduction, 71). Though this bull of Eugenius IV did not deal with the canonicity of the Apocryphal books, it did proclaim their inspiration. Nevertheless, down to the Council of Trent (1546 AD), the Apocryphal books possessed only inferior authority; and when men spoke of canonical Scripture in the strict sense, these were not included.

Luther, the great Saxon Reformer of the 16th century, marks an epoch in the history of the Christian Old Testament canon. In translating the Scriptures into German, he gave the deutero-canonical books an intermediate position between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Lutheran church, also, while it does not expressly define the limits of the canon, yet places the Apocryphal writings by themselves as distinct and separate from Holy Scripture. This indeed was the attitude of all the early Reformers. In the Zurich Bible of 1529, as in the Genevan version in English of 1560, the Apocryphal books were placed apart with special headings by themselves. Thus the early Reformers did not entirely reject the Apocryphal writings, for it was not an easy task to do so in view of the usage and traditions of centuries.

Rome had vacillated long enough. She realized that something must be done. The Reformers had sided with those who stood by Jerome. She therefore resolved to settle the matter in an ecclesiastical and dogmatic manner. Accordingly the Council of Trent decreed at their fourth sitting (April 8, 1546), that the Apocryphal books were equal in authority and canonical value to the other books of sacred Scripture; and to make this decree effective they added: "If, however, anyone receive not as sacred and canonical the said books entire with all their facts, and as they have been used to be read in the Catholic church, and as they are contained in the Old Latin Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) edition .... let him be anathema." The decree was the logical outcome of the ever-accumulating snowball tendency in the western church. The historical effect of it upon the church is obvious. It closed forever the field of Biblical study against all free research. Naturally, therefore, the Vatican Council of 1870 not only reiterated the decree but found it easy to take still another step and canonize tradition.

Repeated endeavors were made during the 16th and 17th centuries to have the Apocryphal books removed from the Scriptures. The Synod of Dort (1618-19), Gomarus, Deodatus and others, sought to accomplish it, but failed. The only success achieved was in getting them separated from the truly canonical writings and grouped by themselves, as in the Gallican Confession of 1559, the Anglican Confession of 1562, and the Second Helvetic Confession of 1566. The Puritan Confession went farther, and declared that they were of a purely secular character. The various continental and English versions of the Bible then being made likewise placed them by themselves, apart from the acknowledged books, as a kind of appendix. For example, the Zurich Bible of 1529, the French Bible of 1535, Coverdale’s English translation of 1536, Matthew’s of 1537, the second edition of the Great Bible, 1540, the Bishops’ of 1568, and the King James Version of 1611. The first English version to omit them altogether was an edition of King James’ Version published in 1629; but the custom of printing them by themselves, between the Old Testament and the New Testament, continued until 1825, when the Edinburgh Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society protested that the Society should no longer translate these Apocryphal writings and send them to the heathen. The Society finally yielded and decided to exclude them (May 3, 1827). Since then, Protestants in Great Britain and America have given up the practice of publishing the Apocrypha as a part of sacred Scripture. In Europe, also, since 1850, the tendency has been in the same direction. The Church of England, however, and the American Episcopal church, do not wholly exclude them; certain "readings" being selected from Wisdom, Ecclesiastes and Baruch, and read on week days between October 27 and November 17. Yet, when the English Revised Version appeared in 1885, though it was a special product of the Church of England, there was not so much as a reference to the Apocryphal writings. The Irish church likewise removed them; and the American Standard Revised Version ignores them altogether.


G. Wildeboer, The Origin of the Canon of the Old Testament, translated by B. W. Bacon, London, Luzac and Co., 1895; H. E. Ryle, The Canon of the Old Testament, London and New York, Macmillan, 1892; F. Buhl, Canon and Text of the Old Testament, translated by John MacPherson, Edinburgh, T. and T. Clark, 1892; W. H. Green, General Introduction to the Old Testament, The Canon, New York, Scribner, 1898; W. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, 2nd edition, London, A. and C. Black, 1895; F. E. Gigot, General Introduction to the Holy Scriptures, 3rd edition, New York, Cincinnati and Chicago, Benziger Bros., 1903; B. F. Westcott, The Bible in the Christian Church, London and New York, Macmillan, 1901; C. A. Briggs, General Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture, New York, Scribner, 1899; A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Divine Library of the Old Testament, London and New York, Macmillan, 1892; Hastings, DB, III, 1900, article "Old Testament Canon" by F. H. Woods; Cheney and Black’s EB, I, 1899, article "Canon" by K. Budde; The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, II, 1908, article "Canon of Scripture" by H. L. Struck; Jour. of Biblical Lit., 1896, 118-28, article "The Alleged Triple Canon of the Old Testament," by W. J. Beecher; Abbe A. Loisy, Histoire du canon de l’ancien testament, Paris, 1890; J. Furst, Der Kanon des Altes Testament, Leipzig, 1868; E. Reuss, Histoire du canon des saintes ecritures dans l’eglise chretienne, Strassburg, 1864, English translation, Edinburgh, 1891.

George L. Robinson


kan’-o-pi (chuppah, from a root meaning "to enclose" or "cover"): Isa 4:5 the King James Version has "defence," the English Revised Version "canopy," the American Standard Revised Version "covering," the last being best, though "canopy" has much in its favor. In Ps 19:5 (Hebrew 19:6) chuppah is used of the bridegroom’s chamber and in Joe 2:16 of the bride’s. Among the Hebrews the chuppah was originally the chamber in which the bride awaited the groom for the marital union. In Judith 10:21; 13:9,15; 16:19 the word canopy occurs as the English equivalent of the Greek konopeion, which was primarily a mosquito-net and then a canopy over a bed, whether for useful or for decorative purposes.

John Richard Sampey





ka’-per-ber-i (’abhiyonah; kapparis; Ec 12:5 the Revised Version, margin): The translation "the caperberry shall fail" (the Revised Version (British and American) "burst") instead of "desire shall fail" (the King James Version) has the support of the Septuagint and of some Talmudic writers (see G. F. Moore, JBL, X, 55-64), but it is doubtful.

The caperberry is the fruit of the thorny caper, Capparis spinosa (Natural Order Capparidaceae), a common Palestine plant with pretty white flowers and brightly colored stamens. Largely on account of its habit of growing out of crevasses in old walls it has been identified by some with the HYSSOP (which see). The familiar "capers" of commerce are the young buds, but the berries were the parts most used in ancient times; their repute as excitants of sexual desire is ancient and widespread. Various parts of this plant are still used for medical purposes by the modern peasants of Palestine.

E. W. G. Masterman


ka-per’-na-um (Kapernaoum (Textus Receptus), Kapharnaoum (Codex Vaticanus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Bezae; etc.)): The woe spoken by the Master against this great city has been fulfilled to the uttermost (Mt 11:23; Lu 10:15). So completely has it perished that the very site is a matter of dispute today. In Scripture Capernaum is not mentioned outside the Gospels. When Jesus finally departed from Nazareth, He dwelt in Capernaum (Mt 4:13) and made it the main center of His activity during a large part of His public ministry. Near by He called the fishermen to follow Him (Mr 1:16), and the publican from the receipt of custom (Mt 9:9, etc.). It was the scene of many "mighty works" (Mt 11:23; Mr 1:34). Here Jesus healed the centurion’s son (Mt 8:5, etc.), the nobleman’s son (Joh 4:46), Simon Peter’s mother-in-law (Mr 1:31, etc.), and the paralytic (Mt 9:1, etc.); cast out the unclean spirit (Mr 1:23, etc.); and here also, probably, He raised Jairus’ daughter to life (Mr 5:22, etc.). In Capernaum the little child was used to teach the disciples humility, while in the synagogue Jesus delivered His ever-memorable discourse on the bread of life (Joh 6). From the notices in the Gospels we gather that Capernaum was a city of considerable importance. Some think that the words "shalt thou be exalted," etc. (Mt 11:23; Lu 10:15), mean that it stood on an elevated site. Perhaps more naturally they refer to the excessive pride of the inhabitants in their city. It was a customs station, and the residence of a high officer of the king (Mt 9:9; Joh 4:46, etc.). It was occupied by a detachment of Roman soldiers, whose commander thought the good will of the people worth securing at the expense of building for them a synagogue (Mt 8:5; Lu 7:5). It stood by the sea (Mt 4:13) and from Joh 6:17 ff (compare Mt 14:34; Mr 6:53), we see that it was either in or near the plain of Gennesaret.

Josephus twice mentions Capernaum. It played no great part in the history of his time, and seems to have declined in importance, as he refers to it as a "village." In battle in el-BaTeichah his horse fell into a quagmire, and he suffered injury which disabled him for further fighting. His soldiers carried him to the village of Capernaum (this reference is however doubtful; the name as it stands is Kepharnomon which Niese corrects to Kepharnokon), whence he was removed to Tarichea (Vita, 72). Again he eulogizes the plain of Gennesaret for its wonderful fruits, and says it is watered by a most fertile fountain which the people of the country call Capharnaum. In the water of this fountain the Coracinus is found (BJ, III, x, 8). Josephus therefore corroborates the Biblical data, and adds the information as to the fountain and the Coracinus fish. The fish however is found in other fountains near the lake, and is therefore no help toward identification.

The two chief rivals for the honor of representing Capernaum are Tell Chum, a ruined site on the lake shore, nearly 2 1/2 miles West of the mouth of the Jordan; and Khan Minyeh fully 2 1/2 miles farther west, at the Northeast corner of the plain of Gennesaret. Dr. Tristram suggested ‘Ain El-Madowwerah, a large spring enclosed by a circular wall, on the western edge of the plain. But it stands about a mile from the sea; there are no ruins to indicate that any considerable village ever stood here; and the water is available for only a small part of the plain.

In favor of Tell Chum is Eusebius, Onomasticon, Which places Chorazin 2 miles from Capernaum. If Kerazeh is Chorazin, this suits Tell Chum better than Khan Minyeh. To this may be added the testimony of Theodosius (circa 530), Antoninus Martyr (600), and John of Wurtzburg (1100). Jewish tradition speaks of Tankhum, in which are the graves of Nahum and Rabbi Tankhum. Identifying Kerr Nahum with Tankhum, and then deriving Tell Chum from Tankhum, some have sought to vindicate the claims of this site. But every link in that chain of argument is extremely precarious. A highway ran through Tell Chum along which passed the caravans to and from the East; but the place was not in touch with the great north-and-south traffic.

There is also no fountain near Tell Chum answering the description of Josephus. Of recent advocates of Tell Chum, it is sufficient to name Schurer (HJP, IV, 71) and Buhl (GAP, 224 f). In this connection it may be interesting to note that the present writer, when visiting the place recently (1911), drew his boatman’s attention to a bit of ruined wall rising above the greenery West of the lagoon, and asked what it was called. Kaniset el Kufry, was the reply, which may be freely rendered, "church of the infidels." This is just the Arabic equivalent of the Jewish "church of the minim."

For Khan Minyeh it may be noted that Gennesaret corresponds to el-Ghuweir, the plain lying on the Northwest shore, and that Khan Minyeh stands at the Northeast extremity of the plain; thus answering, as Tell Chum cannot do, the description of the Gospels. The copious fountains at eT-Tabigha, half a mile to the East, supplied water which was conducted round the face of the rock toward Khan Minyeh at a height which made it possible to water a large portion of the plain. If it be said that Josephus must have been carried to Tell Chum as being nearer the scene of his accident—see however, the comment above—it does not at all follow that he was taken to the nearest place. Arculf (1670) described Capernaum as on a "narrow piece of ground between the mountain and the lake." This does not apply to Tell Chum; but it accurately fits Khan Minyeh. Isaac Chelo (1334) says that Capernaum, then in ruins, had been inhabited by Minim, that is, Jewish converts to Christianity. The name Minyeh may have been derived from them. Quaresimus (1620-26) notes a Khan called Menieh which stood by the site of Capernaum. Between the ruined Khan and the sea there are traces of ancient buildings. Here the road from the East united with that which came down from the North by way of Khan Jubb Yusif, so that this must have been an important center, alike from the military point of view, and for customs. This is the site favored by, among others, G. A. Smith (HGHL, 456 f; EB, under the word) and Conder. Sanday argued in favor of Khan Minyeh in his book, The Sacred Sites of the Gospel, but later, owing to what the present writer thinks a mistaken view of the relation between Tell Chum and the fountain at eT-Tabigha, changed his mind (Expository Times, XV, 100 ff). There is no instance of a fountain 2 miles distant being called by the name of a town. Tell Chum, standing on the sea shore, was independent of this fountain, whose strength also was spent in a westward direction, away from Tell Chum.

The balance of evidence was therefore heavily in favor of Khan Minyeh until Professor R. A. S. Macalister published the results of his researches. He seems to be wrong in rejecting the name Tell Chum in favor of Talchum; and he falls into a curious error regarding the use of the word tell. No one who speaks Arabic, he says, "would ever think of applying the word Tell, ‘mound,’ to this flat widespread ruin." In Egyptian Arabic, however, tell means "ruin"; and Asad Mansur, a man of education whose native language is Arabic, writes: "I do not understand what the objectors mean by the word ‘tell.’ In Arabic ‘tell’ is used for any heap of ruins, or mound. So that the ruins of Tell Chum themselves are today a ‘tell’ "( Expos, April, 1907, 370). Professor Macalister is on surer ground in discussing the pottery found on the rival sites. At Khan Minyeh he found nothing older than the Arabian period, while at Tell Chum pottery of the Roman period abounds—"exactly the period of the glory of Capernaum" (PEFS, April and July, 1907). If this be confirmed by further examination, it disposes of the claim of Khan Minyeh. Important Roman remains have now been found between the ruined Khan and the sea. It is no longer open to doubt that this was the site of a great Roman city. The Roman period however covers a long space. The buildings at Tell Chum are by many assigned to the days of the Antonines. Is it possible from the remains of pottery to make certain that the city flourished in the time of the Herods? If the city at Tell Chum had not yet arisen in the days of Christ, those who dispute its claim to be Capernaum are under no obligation to show which city the ruins represent. They are not the only extensive ruins in the country of whose history we are in ignorance.

W. Ewing




kaf-ar-sal’-a-ma, kaf-ar-sala’-ma (Chapharsalama): The site of an indecisive skirmish between Judas Maccabeus and Nicanor, an officer of the king of Syria and governor of Judea. The situation cannot be precisely fixed but it must have been in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, for Nicanor, after losing 5,000 men, retired with the remainder to "the city of David" (1 Macc 7:26-32). The first part of the word, "Caphar," means village or hamlet; the last part has been identified with Siloam and also with Khirbet Deir Sellam, about 12 1/2 miles West of Jerusalem.





ka-fi’-ra (Codex Alexandrinus, Kaphira, Codex Vaticanus, Peira): A town whose inhabitants returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:19). It corresponds to CHEPHIRAH (Ezr 2:25), which see.


kaf’-tho-rim (kaphtorim).



kaf’-tor, kaf’-tor-im (kaphtor, kaphtorim; Kappadokia, Gaphtorieim, Kaphtoriem).

1. First Theory: Crete:

The country and people whence came the Philistines (Ge 10:14 = 1Ch 1:12 (here the clause "whence went forth the Philistines" should, probably come after Caphtorim); De 2:23; Jer 47:4; Am 9:7). Jer (loc. cit.) calls it an "island"; there is evidence of ancient connection between Crete and Philistia; and the Philistines are called Cherethites, which may mean Cretans (see CHERETHITES). These considerations have led many to identify Caphtor with the important island of Crete. It should be noted, however, that the word ‘i, used by Jeremiah, denotes not only "isle," but also "coastland."

2. Second Theory: Phoenicia:

Ebers (Aegypten und die Bucher Moses, 130 ff) thought that Caphtor represented the Egyptian Kaft-ur, holding that Kaft was the Egyptian name for the colonies of Phoenicians in the Delta, extended to cover the Phoenicians in the north and their colonies. Kaft-ur, therefore, would mean "Greater Phoenicia." But the discovery of Kaptar among the names of countries conquered by Ptolemy Auletes in an inscription on the Temple of Kom Ombo is fatal to this theory.

3. Third Theory: Cilicia:

A third theory would identify Caphtor with the Kafto of the Egyptian inscriptions. As early as the time of Thotmes III the inhabitants of this land, the Kafti, are mentioned in the records. In the trilingual inscription of Canopus the name is rendered in Greek by Phoinike, "Phoenicia." This seems to be an error, as the Kafti portrayed on the monuments have no features in common with the Semites. They certainly represent a western type. It is held that the Egyptian Kafto is a district in Asia Minor, probably Cilicia. The sea- pirates, the purasati, whom Rameses III subdued (circa 1200 BC), entered Syria from the north. The "R" in the name is the Egyptian equivalent of the Semitic "L". Therefore Purasati = Pilishti, "Philistines." And so it is proposed to identify Caphtor with Cilicia. A serious objection to this theory is the absence of the final "r" in Kafto. McCurdy’s suggestion (HDB) that it represents a Hebrew waw, written as a vowel-letter in an original Kafto, does not carry conviction.

It is impossible to give a certain decision; but the balance of probability seems still inclined to the first theory.

W. Ewing


kap-a-do’-shi-a (he Kappadokia): An extensive province in eastern Asia Minor, bounded by the Taurus mountains on the South, the Anti-Taurus and the Euphrates on the East, and, less definitely, by Pontus and Galatia on the North and West. Highest mountain, Argaeus, over 13,000 ft. above sea-level; chief rivers, the Pyramus now Jihan, Sarus now Sihon, and Halys now the Kuzul; most important cities, Caesarea Mazaca, Comana, Miletene now Malatia, and Tyana now Bor. At Malatia the country unrolls itself as a fertile plain; elsewhere the province is for the most part composed of billowy and rather barren uplands, and bleak mountain peaks and pastures.

The Greek geographers called Cappodax the son of Ninyas, thereby tracing the origin of Cappadocian culture to Assyria. Cuneiform tablets from Kul Tepe (Kara Eyuk), deciphered by Professors Pinches and Sayce, show that in the era of Khammurabi (see HAMMURABI) this extensive ruin on the ox-bow of the Halys and near Caesarea Mazaca, was an outpost of the Assyr-Bah Empire. A Hittite civilization followed, from about 2000 BC onward. Malatia, Gurun, Tyana and other old sites contain important and undoubted Hittite remains, while sporadic examples of Hittite art, architecture and inscriptions are found in many places, and the number is being steadily increased by fresh discovery. After the Hittites fade from sight, following the fall of Carchemish, about 718 BC, Cappadocia emerges as a satrapy of Persia. At the time of Alexander the Great it received a top-dressing of Greek culture, and a line of native kings established an independent throne, which lasted until Cappadocia was incorporated in the Roman Empire, 17 AD. Nine rulers bore the name of Ariarathes (the Revised Version (British and American) Arathes) the founder of the dynasty, and two were named Ariobarzanes. One of these kings is referred to in 1 Macc 15:22. The history of this Cappadocian kingdom is involved, obscure and bloody.

Pagan religion had a deep hold upon the population prior to the advent of Christianity. Comana was famous for its worship of the great goddess Ma, who was served, according to Strabo, by 6,000 priestesses, and only second to this was the worship paid to Zeus at Venasa.

Representatives from Cappadocia were present at Pentecost (Ac 2:9), and Peter includes the converts in this province in the address of his letter (1Pe 1:1). Caesarea became one of the most important early centers of Christianity. Here the Armenian youth of noble blood, Krikore, or Gregory the Illuminator, was instructed in the faith to which he afterward won the formal assent of his whole nation. Here Basil governed the churches of his wide diocese and organized monasticism. His brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen, lived and labored not far away. Cappadocia passed with the rest of Asia Minor into the Byzantine Empire, but from its exposed position early fell under the domination of the Turks, having been conquered by the Seljukians in 1074.

G. E. White


kap’-tin: In the King James Version there are no fewer than 13 Hebrew words, and 4 different Greek words, which are rendered by this one English word. In the Revised Version (British and American) some of these are rendered by other English words, and so we find for "captain": "marshal" (Jer 27; Na 3:17), "prince" (1Sa 9:16), "governor" (Jer 51:23,18), while in the case of one of these Hebrew words a different construction is found altogether (Jer 13:21).

1. In the Old Testament:

Of Hebrew words in the Old Testament rendered by "captain"

(1) the most frequent is sar, which denotes "a military commander," whether of thousands or hundreds or fifties (Nu 31:48; 1Sa 8:12 and many other places). Sar is the chief officer of any department, civil and religious, as well as military—captain of the guard the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), chief of the executioners the Revised Version, margin (Ge 37:36); chief butler (Ge 40:9); chief baker (Ge 40:16); chief of a district (Ne 3:15); chiefs of tribes (Naphtali; Zebulun, Ps 68:27); chiefs over gangs of slaves (Ex 1:11); chiefs of the priests and the Levites (Ezr 8:29).

(2) rabh, later Hebrew for chief of the executioners or captain of the guard, a title always given to Nebuzar-adan (2Ki 25:8 ff; Jer 39:9 ff) and to Arioch (Da 2:14). Compare also Rab-mag, chief of the magicians (Jer 39:13), and Ashpenaz, chief of the eunuchs (Da 1:3).

(3) ro’sh, "head" over a host (Israel in the wilderness, Nu 14:4), over tribes (De 29:10, where the Revised Version (British and American) renders "heads"), over thousands (1Ch 12:20). Abijah, king of Judah, before joining battle against Jeroboam, claimed "God himself is with us for our captain" the King James Version, "with us at our head" the Revised Version (British and American) (2Ch 13:12).

(4) shalish, originally the third man in the chariot, who, when the chief occupant was the king, or commander-in-chief, was of the rank of captain (2Ki 7:2; 9:25), the term "third man" being generalized to mean "a captain" in 2Ki 10:25; 2Ch 8:9, where "chief of his captains" combines (1) and (4).

(5) naghidh, leader by Divine appointment: of Saul (1Sa 9:16, "captain," the King James Version, "prince" the Revised Version (British and American) 1Sa 10:1); of David (2Sa 5:2); of Hezekiah (2Ki 20:5); with a charge in connection with the temple (2Ch 31:13). It is the word used of Messiah "the prince" (Da 9:25), who is also Prince of the Covenant (Da 11:22).

(6) nasi’, rendered "captain" in the King James Version Nu 2:3,5,7 only, there in the Revised Version (British and American) and in other places, both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), rendered "prince." In 1Ch 7:40 "chief of the princes" combines (3) and (6).

(7) pechah, is found almost entirely in a foreign title denoting "governor," and belongs to the later history of Israel (Ne 2:7,9; Ezr 8:36; Hag 1:1), rendered "captain" in exclusively foreign associations (1Ki 20:24; 2Ki 18:24; Da 3:27 f).

(8) qatsin (from root of qadi, Arabic for "judge"), denotes "dictator," almost "usurper," and is found in "rulers of Sodom" the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "judges of Sodom" the Revised Version, margin (Isa 1:10), used of Jephthah in sense of "captain" the King James Version, "chief" the Revised Version (British and American) (Jud 11:6), found combined with (3), "head and captain" (King James Version, "head and chief" the Revised Version (British and American) Jud 11:11). In Jos 10:24 it denotes commanders of troops, the King James Version "captains of the men of war," the Revised Version (British and American) "chiefs of the men of war."

(9) kar, in Eze 21:22 "to set captains" the King James Version, is translated "to set battering rams" the Revised Version (British and American).

(10) ba‘al, only once in "captain of the ward" (Jer 37:13).

(11) Tiphcar, a dignitary belonging to an oriental court, in the King James Version rendered "captain," in the Revised Version (British and American) "marshal" (Na 3:17; Jer 51:27).

(12) shalliT, in Da 2:15 of Arioch, the king’s captain; in Ec 8:8 "having power over," and in Ec 7:19 used of "mighty men" (the Revised Version (British and American) "rulers").

2. In the New Testament:

Of Greek words rendered by "captain" in New Testament there are the following:

(1) archegos, rendered "captain" in Hebrews 2:10 the King James Version but relegated to the margin in the Revised Version (British and American), where "author" (of their salvation) is preferred, this being the rendering of Hebrews 12:2 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "author" (and finisher of our faith), "captain" being still retained in the Revised Version, margin. Compare Ac 3:15 and Ac 5:31, where the same Greek word is rendered "Prince," the Revised Version, margin of the former passage giving "Author." In the Risen and Ascended Christ the various conceptions thus expressed are found to blend.

(2) chiliarchos, the Latin tribunus militum of which there were six to a legion, commanding the six cohorts of which it was composed. In its lit. acceptation it would be "commander of a thousand," and it is so used in Ac 22:28 where it designates the commander of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem, consisting of a cohort, and is rendered "chief captain" (Joh 18:12; Ac 21:31; 22:24; 24:22). It is used more vaguely in the sense of "military officer" in Mr 6:21; Re 6:15; 19:18.

(3) strategos, used only by Luke in the New Testament, and almost exclusively of

(a) officials in charge of the Temple (Lu 22:4,52; Ac 4:1; 5:24,26). The captain of the Temple had the superintendence of the Levites and priests who were on guard in and around the Temple, and under him were strategoi, who were also captains of the Temple police, although they took their instruction from him as their head. He was not only a priest, but second in dignity only to the high priest himself;

(b) the exception to Luke’s general usage is where the word is used of the chief authorities in civil affairs at Philippi; where "the magistrates," as the word is rendered (Ac 16:20 f), called themselves "praetors" (strategoi). In the case of Paul and Silas they placed themselves in peril of removal from their office by ordering them to be beaten, being Romans and uncondemned.

(4) stratopedarches, the captain of the guard to whom Julius of the Augustan band (according to the Textus Receptus of the New Testament, Ac 28:16) delivered Paul and his fellow-prisoners. The word has disappeared from the Revised Version (British and American), but the passage in which it occurs has attestation which satisfies Blass, Sir William Ramsay, and other scholars. It was supposed that this was the captain of the Praetorian guard, but Mommsen and Ramsay believe him to be the princeps peregrinorum castrorum.


T. Nicol.


kap’-tiv (shebhi, galah; aichmalotos and its derivatives): The frequent references in the Old Testament to captives as men forcibly deported (from the Hebrew root shabhah) or inhabiting a land foreign to them (from Hebrew galah) reflect the universal practice of the ancient world. The treatment of captives was sometimes barbarous (2Sa 8:2) but not always so (2Ki 6:21,22).

See further under ASSIR and WAR.

Figurative: Except in Job 42:10 the figurative use of the idea is confined to the New Testament, where reference is made to the triumphal reign of the Lord Jesus (Lu 4:18; Eph 4:8), or, on the other hand, to the power of the devil (2Ti 2:26), or of false teachers (2Ti 3:6); compare also Ro 7:23; 2Co 10:5.


F. K. Farr


kap-tiv’-i-ti (galah, galuth, shebhuth, shibhyah; metoikesia):


1. Western Campaigns of Shalmaneser II, 860-825 BC

2. Of Rimmon-nirari III, 810-781 BC

3. Of Tiglath-pileser III, 745-727 BC

4. Of Shalmaneser IV, 727-722 BC—Siege of Samaria

5. Samaria Captured by Sargon, 722 BC

6. Depopulation and Repopulation of Samaria

7. The Ten Tribes in Captivity


Southern Kingdom and House of David

1. Break-up of Assyria

2. Downfall of Nineveh, 606 BC

3. Pharaoh Necoh’s Revolt

4. Defeat at Carchemish, 604 BC

5. The New Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadrezzar, 604-562 BC

The Mission of Jeremiah, 626-580 BC

6. Revolt and Punishment of Jehoiakim, 608-597 BC

7. Siege and Surrender of Jerusalem under Jehoiachin, 597 BC

8. First Deportation, 597 BC

The Baskets of Figs

9. The Ministry of Ezekiel, 592-570 BC

10. Jeremiah’s Ministry in Jerusalem, 597-588 BC

11. Zedekiah’s Rebellion and Siege of Jerusalem, 588-586 BC

Jeremiah "Falling Away to the Chaldeans"

12. Destruction of Jerusalem, 586 BC

Flight, Capture, and Punishment of Zedekiah

13. Second Deportation of Inhabitants, 586 BC

14. Third Deportation, 581 BC

(1) Number and Quality of Exiles

(2) The Residue Left

15. Gedaliah, Governor of Judah

(1) Jeremiah and the Flight to Egypt

(2) Descendants of the Fugitives, 471-411 BC

16. The Exiles in Babylon: Their Social Condition, 464-405 BC

17. The Rise and Development of Judaism

18. The Return by Permission of Cyrus, 538 BC

19. Rebuilding of the Temple, 536 BC

Completed 515 BC

20. Reforms and Labors of Ezra and Nehemiah, 445 BC

21. Modern Theories of the Return

22. Importance of the Period of Ezra-Nehemiah


I. Of the Northern Kingdom (The Work of Assyria).

1. Western Campaigns of Shalmaneser II, 860-825 BC:

The captivity of the Northern Kingdom was the work of the great Assyrian power having its seat at Nineveh on the Tigris. The empire of Assyria, rounded nearly 2000 BC, had a long history behind it when its annals begin to take notice of the kingdom of Israel and Judah. The reign of Shalmaneser II (860-825 BC) marks the first contact between these powers. This is not the Shalmaneser mentioned in 2Ki 17 and 18, who is the fourth of the name and flourished more than a century later. Shalmaneser II was contemporary during his long reign with Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah and Joash, kings of Judah; with Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram and Jehu, kings of Israel; with Hazael and Benhadad II, kings of Syria at Damascus, and with Mesha, king of Moab. The Assyrian authorities for his reign are an inscription engraved by himself on the rocks of Armenia; the Black Obelisk brought by Layard from Nimroud, now in the British Museum; and the texts engraved on the bronze gates of Balawat, discovered by Hormuzd Rassam in 1878, and recognized as the swinging gates of Shalmaneser’s palace. From these authorities we learn that in his 6th year he encountered the combined forces of Damascus, Hamath, Israel, and other states which had united to oppose his progress westward, and completely routed them in the battle of Karkar (854 BC). The danger which threatened the western states in common had brought Syria and Israel together; and this is in accord with the Scripture narrative which tells of a covenant, denounced by God’s prophet, between Ahab and Benhadad (1Ki 20:34 ff), and mentions a period of three years when there was no war between Syria and Israel. The defeat of the allies seems, however, to have broken up the confederacy, for, soon after, Ahab is found, with the aid of Jehoshaphat of Judah, attempting unsuccessfully, and with fatal result to himself, to recover from the weakened power of Syria the city of Ramoth-gilead (1Ki 22). In another campaign to the West, which likewise finds no record in Scripture, Shalmaneser received the tribute of Tyre and Sidon, and of "Yahua of Khumri," that is, of Jehu, of the land of Omri, as Israel is called on the monuments.

2. Of Rimmon-nirari III, 810-781 BC:

The next Assyrian monarch who turned his arms against the West was Rimmon-nirari III (810-781 BC), grandson of Shalmaneser II. Although he is not mentioned by name in Scripture, his presence and activity had their influence upon contemporary events recorded in 2 Ki. He caused Syria to let go her hold of Israel; and although he brought Israel into subjection, the people of the Northern Kingdom would rather have a ruler exercising a nominal sovereignty over them in distant Nineveh than a king oppressing them in Damascus. Hence, Rimmon-nirari has been taken for the saviour whom God gave to Israel, "so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians" (2Ki 13:5; compare 2Ki 13:23).

With the death of Rimmon-nirari in 781 BC, the power of Assyria received a temporary check, and on the other hand the kingdom of Judah under Uzziah and the kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam II reached the zenith of their political prosperity. In 745 BC, however, a usurper, Pul, or Pulu, ascended the throne of Assyria, and reigned as Tiglath- pileser III. It is by the former name that he is first mentioned in the Scripture narrative (2Ki 15:19; 1Ch 5:26), and by the latter that he is mentioned on the monuments. That the two names belong to one man is now held to be certain (Schrader, COT, I, 230 f).

3. Of Tiglath-pileser III, 745-727 BC:

Tiglath-pileser was one of the greatest monarchs of antiquity. He was the first to attempt to consolidate an empire in the manner to which the world has become accustomed since Roman times. He was not content to receive tribute from the kings and rulers of the states which he conquered. The countries which he conquered became subject provinces of his empire, governed by Assyrian satraps and contributing to the imperial treasury. Not long after he had seated himself on the throne, Tiglath-pileser, like his predecessors, turned his attention to the West. After the siege of Arpad, northward of Aleppo, the Assyrian forces made their way into Syria, and putting into operation the Assyrian method of deportation and repopulation, the conqueror annexed Hamath which had sought the alliance and assistance of Azariah, that is Uzziah, king of Judah. Whether he then refrained from molesting Judah, or whether her prestige was broken by this campaign of the Assyrian king, it is not easy to say. In another campaign he certainly subjected Menahem of Israel with other kings to tribute. What is stated in a word or two in the Annals of Tiglath-pileser is recorded at length in the Bible history (2Ki 15:19 ff): "There came against the land Pul the king of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man 50 shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria tamed back, and stayed not there in the land." In the reign of Pekah, under his proper name of Tiglath-pileser, he is recorded to have raided the northern parts of Israel, and carried the inhabitants away into the land of Assyria (2Ki 15:29). We next hear of Ahaz, king of Judah, appealing to the Assyrians for help against "these two tails of smoking firebrands," Rezin of Syria and Pekah, the son of Remaliah (Isa 7:4). To secure this help he took the silver and gold of the house of the Lord, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria (2Ki 16:8). Meanwhile Tiglath-pileser was setting out on a new campaign to the West. He carried fire and sword through Syria and the neighboring lands as far as Gaza, and on his return he captured Samaria, without, however, razing it to the ground. Pekah having been slain by his own people, the Assyrian monarch left Hoshea, the leader of the conspiracy, on the throne of Israel as the vassal of Assyria.

4. Of Shalmaneser IV, 727-722 BC—Seige of Samaria:

In 727 BC Tiglath-pileser III died and was succeeded by Shalmaneser IV. His reign was short and no annals of it have come to light. In 2Ki 17 and 18, however, we read that Hoshea, relying upon help from the king of Egypt, thought the death of Tiglath-pileser a good opportunity for striking a blow for independence. It was a vain endeavor, for the end of the kingdom of Israel was at hand. The people were grievously given over to oppression and wickedness, which the prophets Amos and Hosea vigorously denounced. Hosea, in particular, was "the prophet of Israel’s decline and fall." Prophesying at this very time he says: "As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as foam upon the water. The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us" (Ho 10:7,8; compare Ho 10:14,15). No less stern are the predictions by Isaiah and Micah of the doom that is to overtake Samaria: "Woe to the crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley of them that are overcome with wine" (Isa 28:1). "For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? .... Therefore I will make Samaria as a heap of the field, and as places for planting vineyards" (Mic 1:5,6). No help came from Egypt. With the unaided and enfeebled resources of his kingdom Hoshea had to face the chastising forces of his sovereign. He was made prisoner outside Samaria and was most likely carried away to Nineveh. Meanwhile the land was over-run and the capital doomed to destruction, as the prophets had declared.

5. Samaria Captured by Sargon, 722 BC:

Not without a stubborn resistance on the part of her defenders did "the fortress cease from Ephraim" (Isa 17:3). It was only after a three years’ siege that the Assyrians captured the city (2Ki 17:5). If we had only the record of the Hebrew historian we should suppose that Shalmaneser was the monarch to whom fell the rewards and honors of the capture. Before the surrender of the city Shalmaneser had abdicated or died, and Sargon, only once mentioned in Scripture (Isa 20:1), but one of the greatest of Assyrian monarchs, had ascended the throne. From his numerous inscriptions, recovered from the ruins of Khorsabad, we learn that he, and not Shalmaneser, was the king who completed the conquest of the revolted kingdom and deported the inhabitants to Assyria. "In the beginning (of my reign)," says Sargon in his Annals, "the city Samaria (I took) with the help of Shamash, who secures victory to me (.... 27,290 people inhabiters of it) I took away captive; 50 chariots the property of my royalty, which were in it I appropriated. (.... the city) I restored, and more than before I caused it to be inhabited; people of the lands conquered by my hand in it (I caused to dwell. My governor over them I appointed, and tribute) and imposts just as upon the Assyrians I laid upon them." The Assyrian Annals and the Scripture history support and supplement each other at this point. The sacred historian describes the deportation as follows: "The king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes .... because they obeyed not the voice of Yahweh their God, but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses, the servant of Yahweh, commanded, and would not hear it, nor do it" (2Ki 17:6,7; 18:11,12).

6. Depopulation and Repopulation of Samaria:

The repopulation of the conquered territory is also described by the sacred historian: "And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof" (2Ki 17:24). The fact that Sargon introduced foreign settlers taken in war into Samaria is attested by inscriptions. That there were various episodes of deportation and repopulation in connection with the captivity of the Northern Kingdom appears to be certain. We have seen already that Tiglath-pileser III deported the population of the northern tribes to Assyria and placed over the depopulated country governors of his own. And at a time considerably later, we learn that Sargon’s grandson Esarhaddon, and his great-grandson Ashur-bani-pal, "the great and noble Osnappar," imported to the region of Samaria settlers of nations conquered by them in the East (Ezr 4:2,10). Of the original settlers, whom a priest, carried away by the king of Assyria but brought back to Bethel, taught "the law of the god of the land," it is said that "they feared Yahweh, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away" (2Ki 17:33). The hybrid stock descended from those settlers is known to us in later history and in the Gospels as the Samaritans.

7. The Ten Tribes in Captivity:

We must not suppose that a clean sweep was made Of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom. No doubt, as in the Babylonian captivity, "the poorest of the land were left to be vinedressers and husbandmen" (2Ki 25:12). The numbers actually deported were but a moiety of the whole population. But the kingdom of the Ten Tribes was now at an end. Israel had become an Assyrian province, with a governor established in Samaria. As regards the Golah—the captives of Israel in the cities of the Medes—it must not be supposed that they became wholly absorbed in the population among whom they were settled. We can well believe that they preserved their Israelite traditions and usages with sufficient clearness and tenacity, and that they became part of the Jewish dispersion so widespread throughout the East. It is quite possible that at length they blended with the exiles of Judah carried off by Nebuchadrezzar, and that then Judah and Ephraim became one nation as never before. The name Jew, therefore, naturally came to include members of what had earlier been the Northern Confederacy of Israel as well as those of the Southern Kingdom to which it properly belonged, so that in the post-exilic period, Jehudi, or Jew, means an adherent of Judaism without regard to local nationality.

II. Of Judah (The Work of the Chaldean Power).

Southern Kingdom and House of David

The captivity of Judah was the work of the great Chaldean power seated at Babylon on the Euphrates. While the Northern Kingdom had new dynasties to rule it in quick succession, Judah and Jerusalem remained true to the House of David to the end. The Southern Kingdom rested on a firmer foundation, and Jerusalem with its temple and priesthood secured the throne against the enemies who overthrew Samaria for nearly a century and a half longer.

1. Break-up of Assyria:

Sargon, who captured Samaria in 722 BC, was followed by monarchs with a great name as conquerors and builders and patrons of literature, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal. When Ashurbanipal died in 625 BC, the dissolution of the Assyrian Empire was not far off. Its hold over the West had greatly slackened, and the tributary peoples were breaking out into revolt. Bands of Scythians, a nomad Aryan race, from the region between the Caucasus and the Caspian, were sweeping through the Assyrian Empire as far as Palestine and Egypt, and the prophecies of Jeremiah and Zephaniah reflect their methods of warfare and fierce characteristics. They were driven back, however, at the frontier of Egypt, and appear to have returned to the North without invading Judah.

2. Downfall of Nineveh, 606 BC:

From the North these hordes were closing in upon Nineveh, and on all sides the Assyrian power was being weakened. In the "Burden of Nineveh," the prophet Nahum foreshadows the joy of the kingdom of Judah at the tidings of its approaching downfall: "Behold, upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! Keep thy feasts, O Judah, perform thy vows; for the wicked one shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off" (Na 1:15; compare Na 3:8-11). The Medes regained their independence and under their king, Cyaxares, formed an alliance with the Chaldeans, who soon afterward revolted under the leadership of Nabopolassar, viceroy of Babylon. Rallying these various elements to his standard Nabopolassar laid siege to the Assyrian capital, and in 606 BC, Nineveh, which had been the capital city of great conquerors, and had "multiplied (her) merchants above the stars of heaven" (Na 3:16), fell before the combined forces of the Medes and Chaldeans, fell suddenly and finally, to rise no more. Of the new Babylonian Empire upon which the Chaldeans now entered, Nebuchadrezzar, whose father Nabopolassar had associated him with him on the throne, was the first and most eminent ruler.

3. Pharaoh Necoh’s Revolt:

That the people of Judah should exult in the overthrow of Nineveh and the empire for which it stood we can well understand. Jerusalem herself had by God’s mercy remained unconquered when Sennacherib nearly a century before had carried off from the surrounding country 200,150 people and had devastated the towns and fortresses near. But the hateful Assyrian yoke had rested upon Judah to the end, and not upon Judah only but even upon Egypt and the valley of the Nile. In 608 BC Pharaoh Necoh revolted from his Assyrian suzerain and resolved upon an eastern campaign. He had no desire to quarrel with Josiah of Judah, through whose territory he must pass; but in loyalty to his Assyrian suzerain Josiah threw himself across the path of the Egyptian invader and perished in the battle of Megiddo. The Pharaoh seems to have returned to Egypt, taking Jehoahaz the son of Josiah with him, and to have appointed his brother Jehoiakim king of Judah, and to have exacted a heavy tribute from the land.

4. Defeat at Carchemish, 604 BC:

But he did not desist from his purpose to win an eastern empire. Accordingly he pressed forward till he reached the Euphrates, where he was completely routed by the Babylonian army under Nebuchadrezzar in the decisive battle of Carchemish, 604 BC. The battle left the Chaldeans undisputed masters of Western Asia, and Judah exchanged the yoke of Assyria for that of Babylon.

5. The New Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadrezzar, 604-562 BC:

So far as cruelty was concerned, there was little to choose between the new tyrants and the old oppressors. Of the Chaldeans Habakkuk, who flourished at the commencement of the new Empire, says: "They are terrible and dreadful. .... Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen spread themselves: yea, their horsemen come from far; they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour" (Hab 1:7,8 the American Revised Version, margin). Over Western Asia, including Judah, Nebuchadrezzar since the battle of Carchemish was supreme. It was vain for Judah to coquet with Egypt when Nebuchadrezzar had a long and powerful arm with which to inflict chastisement upon his disloyal subjects.

The Mission of Jeremiah, 626-580 BC.

The mission of Jeremiah the prophet in this crisis of the history of Judah was to preach obedience and loyalty to the king of Babylon, and moral reformation as the only means of escaping the Divine vengeance impending upon land and people. He tells them in the name of God of the great judgment that was to come at the hand of the Chaldeans on Jerusalem and surrounding peoples. He even predicts the period of their subjection to Chaldean domination: "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years" (Jer 25:11). This preaching was unpalatable to the partisans of Egypt and to those who believed in the inviolability of Jerusalem. But with stern rebuke and with symbolic action he proclaims the doom of Jerusalem, and in the face of persecution and at the risk of his life, the prophet fulfills his ministry.

6. Revolt and Punishment of Jehoiakim, 608-597 BC:

Jehoiakim, who was first the vassal of Pharaoh Necoh, and then of Nebuchadrezzar, was in corruption and wickedness too faithful a representative of the people. Jeremiah charges him with covetousness, the shedding of innocent blood, oppression and violence (Jer 22:13-19). The fourth year of Jehoiakim was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar, who, fresh from the victory of Carchemish, was making his sovereignty felt in the western world. The despicable king of Judah became Nebuchadrezzar’s vassal and continued in his allegiance three years, after which he turned and rebelled against him. But he received neither encouragement nor help from the neighboring peoples. "Yahweh sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spake by his servants the prophets" (2Ki 24:2). The history of the latter part of Jehoiakim’s reign is obscure. The Hebrew historian says that after a reign of eleven years he slept with his fathers, from which we infer that he died a natural death. From Daniel we learn that in the third year of Jehoiakim, Nebuchadrezzar came up against Jerusalem and besieged it, and carried off, along with vessels of the house of God, members of the seed royal, and of the nobility of Judah, among whom was Daniel the prophet. That Jehoiakim was included in what seems to be a first installment of the captivity of Judah is expressly affirmed by the Chronicler who says: "Against him (Jehoiakim) came up Nebuchadnezzar .... and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon" (2Ch 36:6). However the facts really stand, the historian adds to the record of the death of Jehoiakim and of the succession of Jehoiachin the significant comment: "And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of this land; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt" (2Ki 24:7).

7. Siege and Surrender of Jerusalem under Jehoiachin, 597 BC:

Jehoiachin who succeeded Jehoiakim reigned only three months, the same length of time as his unfortunate predecessor Jehoahaz (2Ki 23:31). The captivity of Jehoahaz in Egypt and the captivity of Jehoiachin in Babylon are lamented in a striking elegy by Ezekiel, who compares them to young lions, the offspring of the mother lioness Israel, which learned to catch and their prey and devoured men, but were taken in the pit of the nations and put in rings, so that their roar was no more heard in the mountains of Israel (Eze 19:1-9). Nebuchadrezzar came in person while his servants were besieging Jerusalem, and Jehoiachin surrendered at discretion. So the king and his mother and his servants and his princes and his officers were carried off with the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives. ‘None remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. He carried out thence all the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold, which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of Yahweh, as Yahweh had said.

8. First Deportation, 597 BC:

And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths a thousand, all of them strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s father’s brother, king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah’ (2Ki 24:10-17). From Jehoiachin dates the carrying away into Babylon, the year being 597 BC. The unfortunate monarch lived in exile in Babylon 38 years, and seems to have retained the respect and loyalty of the exiles among whom he dwelt.

The Baskets of Figs:

It was with reference to the deportation of the princes and craftsmen and smiths that Jeremiah had his vision of the baskets of figs—one containing figs very good, like the first ripe figs; the other very bad, so bad they could not be eaten (Jer 24:1-3). The good figs were the captives of Judah carried away into the land of the Chaldeans for good; the bad figs were the king Zedekiah and his princes and the residue of Jerusalem, upon whom severe judgments were yet to fall till they were consumed from off the land (Jer 24:4-10).

9. The Ministry of Ezekiel, 592-570 BC:

Among the captives thus carried to Babylon and placed on the banks of the Chebar was the priest-prophet Ezekiel. Five years after the captivity he began to have his wonderful "visions" of God, and to declare their import to the exiles by the rivers of Babylon. To the desponding captives who were engrossed with thoughts of the kingdom of Judah, not yet dissolved, and of the Holy City, not yet burned up with fire, Ezekiel could only proclaim by symbol and allegory the destruction of city and nation, till the day when the distressing tidings reached them of its complete overthrow. Then to the crushed and despairing captives he utters no lamentations like those of Jeremiah, but rather joyful predictions of a rebuilt city, of a reconstituted kingdom, and of a renovated and glorious temple.

10. Jeremiah’s Ministry in Jerusalem, 597-588 BC:

Although the flower of the population had been carried away into Babylon and the Temple had been despoiled of its treasures, Jerusalem and the Temple still stood. To the inhabitants who were left behind, and to the captives in Babylon, Jeremiah had a message. To the latter he offered counsels of submission and contentment, assured that the hateful and repulsive idolatries around them would throw them back upon the law of their God, and thus promote the work of moral and spiritual regeneration within them. ‘Thus saith Yahweh, I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Yahweh: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart’ (Jer 24:5,7). To "the residue of Jerus" his counsels and predictions were distasteful, and exposed him to the suspicion of disloyalty to his people and his God. None of his warnings was more impressive than that symbolically proclaimed by the bands and bars which the prophet was to put upon his neck to send to the kings of Edom and Moab and Ammon and Tyre and Sidon, who seem to have had ideas of forming an alliance against Nebuchadrezzar. Zedekiah was also urged to submit, but still entertained hopes that the king of Babylon would allow the captives of Judah to return. He even himself went to Babylon, perhaps summoned thither by his suzerain (Jer 51:59). With an Egyptian party in Jerusalem urging an alliance with Egypt, and with a young and warlike Pharaoh on the throne, Hophra (Apries), Zedekiah deemed the opportunity favorable for achieving independence, and entered into an intrigue with the Egyptian king. So Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon (2Ki 24:20).

11. Zedekiah’s Rebellion and the Siege of Jerusalem, 588-586 BC:

It was a bold throw, but Nebuchadrezzar would brook no such disloyalty from his vassals. He marched at once to the West, and committed to Nebuzaradan the task of capturing Jerusalem, while he himself established his headquarters at Riblah, in Syria, on the Orontes. Meanwhile the Pharaoh with his army crossed the frontier to the help of his allies, and compelled the Chaldeans to raise the siege of Jerusalem and meet him in the field (Jer 37:5). But here his courage failed him, and he retired in haste without offering battle. Nebuzaradan now led back his army and the siege became closer than before.

Jeremiah "Falling Away to the Chaldeans"

During the breathing-space afforded by the withdrawal of the Chaldeans, Jeremiah was going out of the city to his native Anathoth, some 4 miles to the Northeast across the ridge, on family business (Jer 37:11-15). His departure was observed, and he was charged with falling away to the Chaldeans, and cast into an improvised dungeon in the house of Jonathan the scribe. While there the king sent for him and asked, "Is there any word from Yahweh?" And Jeremiah answered fearlessly, "There is. Thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon." For a time Jeremiah, by the favor of Zedekiah, enjoyed after this a greater measure of freedom; but as he continued to urge in hearing of all the people the duty of surrender, his enemies vowed that he should be put to death, and had him cast into a foul empty cistern, where he ran the risk of being choked or starved to death. Once again the king sought an interview with the prophet, giving him private assurance that he would not put him to death nor allow his enemies to do so. Again the prophet counseled surrender, and again he was allowed a measure of freedom.

12. Destruction of Jerusalem, 586 BC:

Flight, Capture, and Punishment of Zedekiah

But the end of the doomed city was at hand. In the 11th year of Zedekiah, 586 BC, in the 4th month, the 9th day of the month, a breach was made in the city (Jer 39:1,2), and the final assault completed the work that had been done by months of famine and want. Zedekiah and his men of war do not seem to have waited for the delivery of the last assault. They fled from the city by night "by the way of the king’s garden, through the gate betwixt the two walls," and made eastward for the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They took him prisoner and brought him to Nebuchadrezzar at Riblah, where the king of Babylon first slew the son of Zedekiah, and then put out his eyes. With the sons of the captured monarch were slain all the nobles of Judah. This time neither city nor temple nor palace was spared. Nebuzaradan "burnt the house of Yahweh, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burnt he with fire" (2Ki 25:9). His soldiers, too, broke down the walls of Jerusalem round about. The treasure and the costly furnishings of the Temple, in so far as they had escaped the former spoliation, were carried away to Babylon. The ruin of Jerusalem was complete. The Book of Lamentations utters the grief and shame and penitence of an eyewitness of the captures and desolation of the Holy City: "Yahweh hath accomplished his wrath, he hath poured out his fierce anger; and he hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth believed not, neither all the inhabitants of the world, that the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem. Woe unto us! for we have sinned. For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim; for the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: the foxes walk upon it" (La 4:11,12; 5:16,18). 13. Second Deportation of Inhabitants, 586 BC:

"So Judah," says the prophet who had been through the siege and the capture (if not rather the editor of his prophecies), "was carried away captive out of his land" (Jer 52:27). The statements of the numbers carried away are, however, conflicting. In Jer 52:28-30 we read of three deportations: that of 597 BC when 3,023 Jews were carried off; that of 586 BC when Nebuchadrezzar carried off 832 persons; and one later than both in 581 BC, when Nebuzaradan carried away captive of the Jews 745 persons—a total of 4,600.

14. Third Deportation, 581 BC:

(1) Number and Quality of Exiles:

In 2Ki 24:15,16 it is said that in 597 Nebuchadrezzar carried to Babylon 8,000 men. Dr. George Adam Smith taking all the data together estimates that the very highest figures possible are 62,000 or 70,000 men, women and children, less than half of the whole nation (Jerusalem, II, 268-70). In 597 BC, Nebuchadrezzar carried off the princes and nobles and craftsmen and smiths, leaving behind the poorest sort of the people of the land (2Ki 24:14).

(2) The Residue Left:

In 586 BC Nebuzaradan carried off the residue of the people that were left in the city, but he "left of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen" (2Ki 25:12). "They were, as the Biblical narratives testify, the poorest of the land, from whom every man of substance and energy had been sifted; mere groups of peasants, without a leader and without a center; disorganized and depressed; bitten by hunger and compassed by enemies; uneducated and an easy prey to the heathenism by which they were surrounded. We can appreciate the silence which reigns in the Bible regarding them, and which has misled us as to their numbers. They were a negligible quantity in the religious future of Israel: without initiative or any influence except that of a dead weight upon the efforts of the rebuilders of the nation, when these at last returned from Babylonia" (Jerusalem, II, 269-70).

15. Gedaliah, Governor of Judah:

Over those who were left behind, Gedaliah was appointed governor, with his residence at Mizpah, where also a Babylonian contingent remained on guard. Jeremiah had the choice of being taken to Babylon or of remaining in Judah. He preferred to remain with the residue of the people under the care of Gedaliah. With the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael, a traitorous scion of the royal house, who in turn had to flee and made good his escape, it looked as if the last trace of the former kingdom of Judah was wiped out.

(1) Jeremiah and the Flight to Egypt:

Against the counsel of Jeremiah, the remnant, led by Johanan the son of Kareah, resolved to take refuge in Egypt and insisted that Jeremiah and his friend Baruch should accompany them. It is in Egypt, amid disappointment and misrepresentation which he had to endure, that we have our last glimpse of the prophet of the downfall of Judah.

(2) Descendants of the Fugitives, 471-411 BC:

Of the descendants of those settlers in Egypt remarkable remains have been discovered within the last few years. They consist of Aramaic papyri which were found at Assouan, the ancient Syene, and which belong to a time not more than a century after the death of Jeremiah. The documents are accounts and contracts and deeds of various kinds, from which we gather that in the 5th century BC there were Jews keeping themselves apart as they do still, worshipping Yahweh, and no other God, and even having a temple and an altar of sacrifice to which they brought offerings as their fathers did at Jerusalem before the destruction of the Temple. These papyri give us valuable glimpses of the social condition and religious interest of the settlers.


16. The Exiles in Babylon: Their Social Condition, 464-405 BC:

Of the Jewish captives carried off by Nebuchadrezzar and settled by the rivers of Babylon, we learn something from the prophecies of Daniel which are now generally believed to belong to the Maccabean period, and much from the prophecies of Ezekiel, from the Psalms of the Captivity, and from the Second Isaiah, whose glowing messages of encouragement and comfort were inspired by the thought of the Return. From Haggai and Zechariah we see how the work of rebuilding the Temple was conceived and carried out. Of the social condition of the Exiles an interesting revelation is given by the excavations at Nippur. From cuneiform tablets, now in the Imperial Ottoman Museum at Constantinople, preserved among the business archives of the wealthy firm of Murashu, sons of Nippur, in the reign of Artaxerxes I and Darius II (464- 405 BC), there can be read quite a number of Jewish names. And the remarkable thing is that many of the names are those known to us from the genealogical and other lists of the Books of Ki and Ch and Ezr and Neh. Professor Hilprecht (The Babylonian Expedition, IX, 13 ff) infers from an examination of these that a considerable number of the Jewish exiles, carried away by Nebuchadrezzar after the destruction of Jerusalem, were settled in Nippur and its neighborhood. Of this fact there are various proofs. The Talmudic tradition which identifies Nippur with Calneh (Ge 10:10) gains new force in the light of these facts. And "the river Khebar in the land of the Chaldeans," by which Ezekiel saw his vision, is now known from inscriptions to be a large navigable canal not far from Nippur (ibid., 27,28).

17. The Rise and Development of Judaism:

The influence of the Captivity as a factor in the development of Judaism can hardly be overestimated. "The captivity of Judah," says Dr. Foakes-Jackson (Biblical History of the Hebrews, 316) "is one of the greatest events in the history of religion. .... With the captivity the history of Israel ends, and the history of the Jews commences." Placed in the midst of heathen and idolatrous surroundings the Golah recoiled from the abominations of their neighbors and clung to the faith of their fathers in the God of Abraham. Exposed to the taunts and the scorn of nations that despised them, they formed an inner circle of their own, and cultivated that exclusiveness which has marked them ever since. Being without a country, without a ritual system, without any material basis for their life as a people, they learned as never before to prize those spiritual possessions which had come down to them from the past. They built up their nationality in their new surroundings upon the foundation of their religion. Their prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, had encouraged and stimulated them with the assurance of spiritual blessings, and the promise of restoration. For their whole social and domestic and spiritual life there was needed some steady and continuous regulative principle or scheme. The need of this threw their leaders and thinkers back upon the Law of Moses. The rabbi and the scribe took the place of the sacrificing priest. The synagogue and the Sabbath came to occupy a new place in the religious practice of the people. These and other institutions of Judaism only attained to maturity after the Return, but the Captivity and the Exile created the needs they were meant to supply. While the prophets were clear and explicit in setting forth the Captivity, they were not less so in predicting the Return. Isaiah with his doctrine of the Remnant, Micah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others gifted with the vision of God, cheered the nation, each in their day, with the hope of restoration and return, not for Judah only but for Israel as well. Vineyards were to be planted again upon the mountains of Samaria as well as in the valleys of Judah. Jeremiah had even predicted the length of the period of the Exile, when he declared that the inhabitants of the land should serve the king of Babylon for seventy years (Jer 25:12; 29:10).

18. The Return by Permission of Cyrus, 538 BC:

It was in Cyrus, who brought about the fall of Babylon and ended the New Babylonian Empire in 539 BC, that the hopes of the exiles came to be centered. He was "the battle- axe" with which Yahweh was to shatter Babylon (Jer 51:20), and as he proceeded on his path of victory the unknown Seer whom we call the Second Isaiah welcomed him as the liberator of his people. "Thus saith Yahweh .... of Jerusalem, She shall be inhabited; and of the cities of Judah, They shall be built, and I will raise up the waste places thereof; that saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure, even saying of Jerusalem, She shall be built; and of the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid" (Isa 44:26-28).

19. Rebuilding of the Temple, 536 BC:

Within a year of the entry of Cyrus into Babylon an edict was issued (2Ch 36:22,23; Ezr 1:1 ff), granting permission to the exiles to return and build a house for the Lord in Jerusalem. He also brought forth the vessels of the Temple which Nebuchadrezzar had carried away and handed them over to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah; and Sheshbazzar brought them with him when they of the Captivity were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.

Particulars of the Return are given in the Books of Ezr and Neh, and in the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah. Of the exiles 42,360 returned under Sheshbazzar, besides slaves; and under Jeshua the son of Jozadak the priest, and Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, first an altar was built and then the foundations of the Temple were laid. In consequence of the opposition of the Samaritans, who were refused any share in the restoration of the Temple, the work of rebuilding was greatly hindered, and came to a stop. It was then that Haggai and Zechariah urged the resumption of the work and partly by denouncing the niggardliness of the people and partly by foreshadowing the glorious future in store for the Temple, hastened forward the enterprise.

Completed 515 BC:

At length in the month Adar, in the 6th year of Darius (515 BC) the work was completed and the Passover celebrated within the courts of the restored Sanctuary (Ezr 6:15- 18).

20. Reforms and Labors of Ezra and Nehemiah, 445 BC:

For some decades the history is silent, and it was in 458 BC that Ezra set out for Jerusalem taking 1,800 Jews along with him. He found that the returned Jews had become allied in marriage with the people of the land and were in danger of losing their racial characteristics by absorption among the heathen (Ezr 9). It was due no doubt to his efforts and those of Nehemiah, supported by the searching and powerful utterances of Malachi, that this peril was averted. Thirteen years later (445 BC) Nehemiah, the cupbearer of Artaxerxes, having heard of the desolate condition of the Holy City, the place of his fathers’ sepulchers, obtained leave of his master to visit Jerusalem. With letters to the governors on the route and to the keeper of the king’s forest, he set out, and came safely to Jerusalem. Having himself inspected the walls he called the people to the work of repairing the ruins, and despite the taunts and calumny and active hostility of the Samaritan opposition he had the satisfaction of seeing the work completed, the gates set up and the city repopulated. Nehemiah and Ezra then gathered the people together to hear the words of the Law, and at a solemn convocation the Law was read and explained to the assembly. Thereafter a covenant was entered into by the people that they would observe the Law of Moses and not intermarry with the heathen nor traffic on the Sabbath, but would pay a third of a shekel annually for the services of the Temple and would bring first-fruits and tithes (Ne 10:28 ff).

21. Modern Theories of the Return:

The course of the history as here set forth has been disputed by some modern scholars, who hold that there was no return of the exiles under Cyrus and that the rebuilding of the Temple was the work of the Jews who remained behind in Judah and Jerusalem (EB, article "Ezra-Nehemiah"). This view, held by the late Professor Kosters of Leyden and supported by Professor H. P. Smith and other scholars, proceeds largely upon the rejection of the historical character of the Book of Ezra-Nehemiah. The historical difficulties which are found in the book are by no means such as to warrant us in denying the fact of the Return and the work of Ezra in connection with Nehemiah. As regards the Return, the course of the narrative is too well supported by documents which bear upon them the stamp of historical truth to be rashly disputed. Moreover, it seems highly improbable that an enterprise requiring such energy and skill and faith should have been undertaken, without stimulus from without, by the residue of the people. We have already seen how little initiative was to be expected of the poorest of the people; and the silence of Haggai, on the subject of the Return, is no argument against it. That the Judaism of Palestine required invigoration by an infusion of the zeal and enthusiasm which grew up in the Judaism of Babylonian, is manifest from the story of the Captivity.

22. Importance of the Period Ezra-Nehemiah:

From the age of Nehemiah and the period immediately preceding it came influences of the utmost moment for the future. "Within these hundred years," says the late Dr. P. Hay Hunter in After the Exile (I, xvi), "the teaching of Moses was established as the basis of the national life, the first steps were taken toward the formation of a canon of Scripture. Jewish society was moulded into a shape which succeeding centuries modified, but did not essentially change. During this period the Judea of the days of our Lord came into being. Within this period the forces which opposed Christ, the forces which rallied to His side, had their origin. This century saw the rise of parties, which afterward became sects under the names of Pharisees and Sadducees. It laid the foundation of Rabbinism. It fixed the attitude of the Jews toward the Gentiles. It put the priesthood in the way to supreme authority. It gave birth to the Samaritan schism."

Figurative uses.



Schrader, COT, I; McCurdy, HPM, I, 281 ff, II, 249 ff, III; C. F. Barney, Notes on Heb Text of Bks of Kings; Foakes-Jackson, Biblical Hist of the Hebrews, 260-412; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 223-349; Cambridge Biblical Essays, 93-135; P. Hay Hunter, The Story of Daniel and After the Exile; EB, article "Ezra-Nehemiah"; Nicol, Recent Archaeology and the Bible, 239-78; H. P. Smith, Old Testament Hist, 219-412; Kittel, History of the Hebrews, II, 329 ff.

T. Nicol.






kar-a-ba’-zi-on (Rhabasion, Karabasion; Marimoth): One of the sons of Baani (1 Esdras 9:34) who had married foreign wives, during the captivity. The name is allowed to be corrupt; it seems to be represented by Meremoth in the list of Ezr 10:36.


kar’-a-van, kar-a-van’ (’orach): This word is not found in the King James Version, but the Revised Version (British and American) employs it three times, namely, in Job 6:18,19 (’orchoth), where the King James Version renders "paths" (Job 6:18) and "troops" (Job 6:19); in Isa 21:13 (’orechoth), where the King James Version and English Versions of the Bible give "travelling companies," and in Eze 27:25 (sharoth), where the King James Version gives a totally different translation. The Hebrew text in Ezekiel is dubious, but in Isaiah and Job "caravan" is undoubtedly a correct rendering of the Hebrew (compare also Ge 37:25). The inhabitants of Palestine were familiar with the caravans—the goods trains of the Semitic world—which traveled between BabyIon and Syria on the one hand to Arabia and on the other to Egypt. The main routes between these countries passed through Canaan. Isaiah refers to "caravans of Jedanites"—a trading Arabic tribe who conveyed their wares to Babylon. Job compares his would-be friends to a deceitful brook, full in the rainy season, but dry in summer, which entices caravans to turn aside from the main route in the hope of a plentiful supply of water, but which fails the thirsty travelers when they need it most.

T. Lewis



See INN.





kar’-kas (karkac): One of seven chamberlains, ordered to summon Queen Vashti before King Ahasuerus (Es 1:10). The Targum allegorizes the first five of the names.


kar’-kas: The dead body of a beast; used sometimes in a contemptuous way of the dead body of a human being. The use of the word as applied to a living body is not found in either Old Testament or New Testament.

(1) It occurs as a translation of the Hebrew pegher, in Ge 15:11; this Hebrew word is also translated "dead body" in Nu 14:29; 1Sa 17:46; Isa 34:3; 66:24; Eze 6:5; 43:7:9, and "corpse" in Na 3:3.

(2) The Hebrew nebhelah, is also translated "carcass" in Le 5:2; 11:8,11; Jer 16:18, but as "dead body" in De 28:26 ("body," Jos 8:29; 1Ki 13:22,29; 2Ki 9:37); Isa 5:25; Jer 7:33; 16:4; 19:7.

(3) In Jud 14:8 the word mappelah, from naphal, "to incline" or "fall," is also translated "carcass."

(4) In Mt 24:28 the word "carcase" (not "carcass") is used to render the Greek ptoma, the reference probably being here to the dead body of an animal For the body of a human being the Greek is translated "corpse" (Mt 14:12; Mr 6:29; 15:45), and "dead bodies" (Re 11:8,9).

W. N. Stearns


kar’-ke-mish (karkemish; Charmeis, Karchameis) :An exceedingly ancient Hittite city on the banks of the Euphrates, identified with Jerablus (Hierapolis) about 23 hours from Aleppo, between Birejik and Membij. The Assyrian form of the name is Kargamis or Gargamis, but its meaning is doubtful, the interpretation "Fort of the god Chemosh" having been suggested before it was known that the Assyrian-Babylon form of Chemosh was not Kamish or Gamish, but Kammusu (Kammosu). Systematic excavations on the site have apparently only just been made, those undertaken by Consul J. Henderson, after the death of G. Smith the Assyriologist, having been mainly devoted to the excavation of sculptures, etc. The site has vast walls and palace-mounds about. 8,000 ft. in circumference.

1. Evidence of the City’s Early Existence:

The earliest occurrence of the name is in an adjectival form, namely, Karkarnisu, "Carchemishite," applied to a vase or measure of 200 qa, in a list of property at Sippar in the reign of Ammi-caduga (circa 1900 BC). Later on, the Egyptian poet known as Pentaur refers to the people of Carchemish (Qarqamesa) as forming, with the men of Arvad, Aleppo and Gozan, part of "the host of the miserable king of the Hittites" (Hattu-sil), who fought against Rameses II at the battle of Kadesh. The first Assyrian king to mention Carchemish is Tiglath-pileser I (circa 1268 BC), who states that he plundered "from the neighborhood of the land of Suhu (the Shuhites) as far as Carchemish of the land of Hattu" in one day.

2. Its Later History:

Later, the city attracted the attention of the Assyrian king Assur-nacir-apli, who started on the 8th of Iyyar, about the year 870 BC, to the conquest of the district, and received tribute from the son of Bit-Bahiani; and, a little later, from Sangara of Carchemish, who is described as king of the Hittites. This tribute consisted of 20 talents of silver, various objects of gold, 100 talents of copper, 250 talents of iron, furniture, chariots and horses—an enormous treasure. Shalmaneser II, son of Assur-nacir-apli, also took tribute from the king of Carchemish here referred to. On the first occasion when the two monarchs met, Sangara was in alliance with the Sam’alians, Patinians, and Til- Bursip. After the capture of Sazabe (858 BC), a strong city of Sangara of Carchemish, all the opposing princes submitted. The tribute paid by the Hittite king on this occasion is depicted on strip F of the bronze coverings of the gates of Balawat, which has four representations of the place—two in the upper and two in the lower row of reliefs. The Kurkh monolith states that the tribute consisted of "2 talents of gold, 70 talents of silver, 80 talents of bronze, 100 talents of iron, 30 talents of purple stuff, 500 weapons, his daughter with a dowry, and 100 daughters of his great men, 500 oxen, and 5,000 sheep." A yearly tax was also imposed. The reliefs show two long trains of tribute-bearers, that in the lower row escorting the princess, who, apparently accompanied by her father, goes to meet the Assyrian king. Samsi-Adad, Shalmaneser II’s son, merely mentions Carchemish as being on the western limits of his empire.

3. Tiglath-pileser IV Receives Its Tribute, and Sargon of Assyria Incorporates It:

In the time of Tiglath-pileser IV, the city was ruled by King Pisiri(s), who paid tribute as an Assyrian vassal. On the accession of Sargon of Assyria, however, Pisiris tried to throw off the Assyrian yoke, and made alliance with Meta of Moschi (Mesech) and other rulers, but was taken prisoner in the operations which followed. In the subsequent plundering of the city, those who suffered most were the inhabitants of the city who had been most active against Assyria. These were carried captive, and their places filled, as was the custom, by Assyrian settlers. The city’s importance under Assyrian rule continued, the "mana of Carchemish" being one of the standard weights in use at Nineveh. After incorporation into the Assyrian empire it was ruled by Assyrian governors, one of whom, Bel-emuranni, was eponym for. the year 691 BC (reign of Sennacherib). The Old Testament gives later details. In the time of Josiah, Pharaoh Necoh marched to fight against the city, and the Jewish king went out to meet him, but lost his life at Megiddo (2Ch 35:20 ff). Four years later (605 BC), the Egyptian king was himself defeated by Nebuchadrezzar under the walls of the city (Jer 46:2) in the battle which decided the fate of Western Asia.

4. Sculpture and Inscriptions Found at Carchemish:

The art of Carchemish was that of the Hittite nation to which the city belonged, but it was strongly influenced by the style of the Assyrians, and exhibits a mannerism if anything more pronounced. The Inscriptions found on the site are in the usual Hittite style—boldly carved natural objects and implements in relief arranged in boustrophedonbands between division-lines. It is not improbable, however, that cuneiform was also used, and texts in Phoenician characters may, by chance, be found. The patron-deity of the city was the Asiatic goddess Atargatis, whose worship, when the place lost its importance, was removed to the new Hierapolis now represented by the ruins of Membij.

T. G. Pinches


kar, kar’-fool-ness, kar’-fool: The English word "care" has such a variety of meanings, and so many Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible are translated by this English expression and its compounds, that it is difficult to organize them into a single brief article. We may do so, however, by remembering that into our word are really woven two strands, one Teutonic and one Latin. The former element implies a measure of trouble or sorrow, as the pain from a blow, a throb, a distress in the mind; the latter, from Latin cura, implies a stretching forward, attention to some person or thing. We can often discern these two senses side by side in the Bible, and sometimes they almost run into one another. This is so especially in the King James Version. We can treat the subject best by keeping separate, as far as possible, these two senses.

I. In the Sense of Anxiety, Solicitude.

1. Substantives:

In the Old Testament several words are translated "care" in this sense. "Thy father hath left off caring for the asses," concern about them literally, "matters of the asses" (dibhre, 1Sa 10:2). "They shall eat bread by weight, and with care" (de’-aghah, "carefulness" the Revised Version (British and American); "fearfulness" the American Standard Revised Version, Eze 4:16). The same word is rendered carefulness (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American); "fearfulness," the American Standard Revised Version, Eze 12:18-19); and "fear" (King James Version; "carefulness," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, Jos 22:24). Again, "heaviness" (the Kings James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version), but "care" (the Revised Version, margin and the American Revised Version, margin, Pr 12:25). Once more, "sorrow" (the King James Version, the Revised with Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version), but "care" (the Revised Version, margin and the American Revised Version, margin, Jer 49:23). There is also the word charadhah "trembling," "fear," "anxiety." It is rendered "trembling" (Ge 27:33 the King James Version). But "thou hast been careful for us all this care" ("showed us all this reverence," the Revised Version, margin, the American Revised Version, margin, 2Ki 4:13). In the New Testament, "care," in the sense of anxiety, is the meaning given to merimna, the condition of being drawn mentally in different directions, distraction of mind. "Care of the world" (Mt 13:22; Mr 4:19; Lu 8:14, "cares of this life," Lu 21:34); "care of all the churches" (2Co 11:28) ("anxiety," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version); "casting all your care upon him" ("anxiety," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, 1Pe 5:7). Also in the Apocrypha, "My heart faileth for care" (1 Macc 6:10); "Care bringeth old age before the time" (Sirach 30:24). To these may be added the adjective amerimnos, "I would have you without carefulness" (King James Version; "free from cares," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, 1Co 7:32).

2. Verbs:

In the Old Testament (da’agh, "to have concern or anxiety for"). "Not be careful in the year of drought" (Jer 17:8). (sum lebh, "to set the heart upon"), "If we flee away, they will not care for us" ("set their heart upon us" King James Version, margin, 2Sa 18:3).

In the New Testament (memrinao), "Thou art careful and troubled" ("anxious" the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, Lu 10:41). "He that is unmarried careth for things that belong to the Lord" ("is careful for," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, 1Co 7:32-34). "Members should have the same care one for another" (1Co 12:25). "Who will naturally care (the American Standard Revised Version "care truly") for your state" (Php 2:20). "Be careful for nothing" ("in nothing be anxious," the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, Php 4:6). The Apocrypha has "careful" (Baruch 3:18) and the Revised Version (British and American) has "be not careful overmuch," where a distinction is plainly made between care in the sense of anxiety and of attention, for a person cannot be too attentive, but he may be too anxious (2 Esdras 2:27).

The impersonal verb (melei), though not quite so strong as merimnao, always implies a degree of concern higher than is felt in mere attention. "Carest thou not that we perish?" (Mr 4:38). "Carest not for anyone" (the King James Version "no man," Mt 22:16; Mr 12:14). "Dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone?" (Lu 10:40). "Careth not for the sheep" (Joh 10:13). "Cared for the poor" (Joh 12:6). "Gallio cared for none of these things" (Ac 18:17). "Care not for it" (1Co 7:21). "He careth for you" (1Pe 5:7). "Doth God care for oxen?" (better, "Is it for the oxen that God careth?" the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version, 1Co 9:9).

II. In the Sense of Attention.

1. Substantives:

In the sense of attention, with the flavor of earnestness added from the original Teutonic meaning of the word care, we have the translation of spoude, "speed," "earnest care." "What carefulness it wrought in you" ("earnest care," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, 2Co 7:11). "Our care for you in the sight of God" ("earnest care," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, 2Co 7:12). "Put the same care into the heart of Titus" ("earnest care," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, 2Co 8:16). We have also phronein, the infin. used as a substantive "Your care for me hath flourished" ("thought," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Php 4:10). Also phrontis, "thought" ("care" the American Standard Revised Version, The Wisdom of Solomon 6:17; 7:4).

2. Verbs:

"A land which Yahweh thy God careth for" darash, "seek after" ("seeketh after," the Revised Version, margin, the American Revised Version, margin, De 11:12). "No man careth for my soul" ("sought" King James Versions margin, Ps 142:4; chashach). "We are not careful to answer" (King James Version, also compare the margin, the American Revised Version, margin; "We have no need to answer," the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Da 3:16). In the New Testament epimeleomai, "Take care of him" (Lu 10:34,35). "How shall he take care of the church of God?" (1Ti 3:5). phrontizo, "to be thoughtful or mindful of," "may be careful to maintain good works" (Ti 3:8).

G. H. Trever







kar’-fool-i: The same two strands of anxiety and of attention appear in this word as in care. Several words in the Hebrew and Greek are thus rendered in the English versions "Anxiously" is the thought in "The inhabitants of Maroth waited carefully for good" (chalah, "to be in pain," "was grieved" King James Version margin, "waiteth anxiously" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, "is in travail" the Revised Version, margin, the American Revised Version, margin, Mic 1:12).

In the sense of attentively, the Hebrew emphatic expression, the infinite absolute with the finite verb is rendered "carefully" in, "Thou shalt carefully hearken" (literally "hearing, thou shalt hear," "diligently hearken" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, De 15:5). The same Hebrew is rendered "diligently hearken" the King James Version; "hearken diligently" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version (De 11:13; 28:1).

In the New Testament spoudaioteros, "I sent him the more carefully" ("diligently" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Php 2:28)). The verb (ekzeteo, "I seek out," is translated "seek carefully": "though he sought it carefully with tears" ("diligently" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Hebrews 12:17).

The Revised Version (British and American) adds others (akriboo, "I ascertain exactly"), "learned of them carefully" the Revised Version (British and American) ("diligently" the King James Version; "exactly" the American Standard Revised Version, Mt 2:7,16). The adverb akribos, "search out carefully" the Revised Version (British and American) ("diligently" the King James Version; "exactly" the American Standard Revised Version, Mt 2:8). "Taught carefully" the Revised Version (British and American) ("diligently" the King James Version; "accurately" the American Standard Revised Version, Ac 18:25). "More carefully" the Revised Version (British and American) ("more perfectly" the King James Version, "more accurately" the American Standard Revised Version, Ac 18:26). episkopeo, "I oversee," is rendered "look carefully" (Revised Version, the American Standard Revised Version, "look diligently" the King James Version, Hebrews 12:15).

In the Apocrypha merimao is translated "carefully," as "We should carefully think of thy goodness" ("ponder" the Revised Version (British and American), The Wisdom of Solomon 12:22).

G. H. Trever


kar’-les, kar’-les-li: These words always mean, "without anxiety," the confidence springing from a sense of security. There is both the verb baTach, "he trusted," and the noun beTach, "Ye careless daughters" (the Revised Version, margin "confident") (Isa 32:9-11). People dwelt careless ("in security" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Jud 18:7); "careless Ethiopians" (Eze 30:9). "Thou that dwellest carelessly" ("sittest securely" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Isa 47:8). "Thou that dwellest carelessly" ("securely" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, "confidently" King James Version, margin, Eze 39:6). "The city that dwelt carelessly" (Ze 2:15). the American Standard Revised Version and the Revised Version (British and American) add bazah, "he despised," using the participle in "He that is careless of his ways shall die," "despiseth" the King James Version, the American Revised Version, margin, the Revised Version, margin (Pr 19:16).

G. H. Trever


ka’-rem (Karem): A city of Judah interpolated by the Septuagint (Jos 15:59). Probably BETH-HACCHEREM (which see).


ka’-ri-a (Karia): A country in the Southwest of Asia Minor which extended on the North to Lydia, on the East to Phrygia, on the South to Lycia, and the West to the Aegean Sea. Its borders, however, like those of most of the ancient countries of Asia Minor, were never definitely fixed; hence, the difficulty presented by the study of the political divisions. The general surface of the country is rugged, consisting of mountainous ridges running across it, and terminating as promontories jutting into the sea. Its history consists chiefly of that of its practically independent cities of which Miletus (Ac 20:15-20) and Cnidus (Ac 27:7) are the chief. For some time previous to 168 BC it had lost its independence, and belonged to the island of Rhodes, but in that year Rome made it again free. According to 1 Macc 15:23, Caria was one of several places to which the Roman senate in 139-138 BC sent letters in favor of the Jews, a fact showing that its population was mixed. Its coast cities, however, were peopled chiefly by Greeks. In 129 BC Caria became a part of the Roman province of Asia, and from that date its history coincides with that of the province. Though Paul and others of the apostles traversed Caria in their missionary journeys, only its cities are mentioned by name in that connection.

E. J. Banks


kar’-i-tez (kari) ,(" one ready," "life-guardsman"): A body of troops mentioned in 2Ki 11:4,19 (the King James Version "captains"). Instead of CHERETHITES (which see), the Kethibh of 2Sa 20:23 offers the reading Carites.




CARME kar’-me.


CARMEL kar’-mel (karmel, or, with article, ha-karmel, "fruit garden"; Josephus, ho Karmelos, Karmelion oros):

(1) A beautifully wooded mountain range running for about 13 miles in a south-easterly direction from the promontory which drops on the shore of the Mediterranean near Haifa, at the southern extremity of the plain of Acre, to the height of el-Machraqah which overlooks the plain of Esdraelon. On the top of the promontory, at a height of 500 ft. the monastery of Elias stands. From this point there is a gradual ascent until the greatest height is reached at Esfiyeh (1,742 ft.), the peak at el-Machraqah being only some 55 ft. lower. The mountain—usually named with the article, "the Carmel"—still justifies its name, "the garden with fruit trees." The steep slopes on the North and East, indeed, afford little scope for cultivation, although trees and brushwood grow abundantly. But to the South and West the mountain falls away to the sea and the plain in a series of long, fertile valleys, where the "excellency" of Carmel finds full illustration today. There are a few springs of good water; but the main supply is furnished by the winter rains, which are caught and stored in great cisterns. The villages on the slopes have a look of prosperity not too often seen in Syria, the rich soil amply rewarding the toil of the husbandmen. Oak and pine, myrtle and honeysuckle, box and laurel flourish; the sheen of fruitful olives fills many a hollow; and in the time of flowers Carmel is beautiful in a garment of many colors. Evidences of the ancient husbandry which made it famous are found in the cisterns, and the oil and wine presses cut in the surface of the rock. There is probably a reference to the vine culture here in 2Ch 26:10. In the figurative language of Scripture it appears as the symbol of beauty (So 7:5), of fruitfulness (Isa 35:2), of majesty (Jer 46:18), of prosperous and happy life (Jer 50:19). The languishing of Carmel betokens the vengeance of God upon the land (Na 1:4); and her decay, utter desolation (Am 1:2; Isa 33:9).

Asylum and Sanctuary:

Roughly triangular in form, with plains stretching from its base on each of the three sides, the mountain, with its majestic form and massive bulk, is visible from afar. Its position deprived it of any great value for military purposes. It commanded none of the great highways followed by armies: the passes between Esdraelon and Sharon, to the East of Carmel, furnishing the most convenient paths. But the mountain beckoned the fugitive from afar, and in all ages has offered asylum to the hunted in its caves and wooded glens. Also its remote heights with their spacious outlook over land and sea; its sheltered nooks and embowering groves have been scenes of worship from old time. Here stood an ancient altar of Yahweh (1Ki 18:30). We may assume that there was also a sanctuary of Baal, since the worshippers of these deities chose the place as common ground for the great trim (1Ki 18). The scene is traditionally located at el-Machraqah, "the place of burnt sacrifice," which is still held sacred by the Druzes. A Latin chapel stands near, with a great cistern. A good spring is found lower down the slope. Just below, on the North bank of the Kishon stands the mound ca11ed Tell el-qissis, "mound of the priest." From the crest of Carmel Elijah descried the coming storm, and, descending the mountain, ran before the chariot of Ahab to the gate of Jezreel (1Ki 18:42 ff). Under the monastery on the western promontory is a cave, said to be that of Elijah. An older tradition locates the cave of the prophet at ed-Deir, near ‘Ain es-Sih. It may have been the scene of the events narrated in 2Ki 1:9 ff. Elisha also was a familiar visitor to Mt. Carmel. It was within the territory allotted to Asher; in later times it passed into the hands of Tyre (BJ, III, iii, 1).

(2) A city of Judah, in the uplands near Hebron, named with Maon and Ziph (Jos 15:55). Here Saul for some reason not stated set up a monument or trophy (1Sa 15:12; literally "hand"). It was the home of Nabal the churlish and drunken flockmaster, whose widow Abigail David married (1Sa 25); and also of Hezro, one of David’s mighty men (2Sa 23:35; 1Ch 11:37). It is represented by the modern el-Karmil, about 10 miles to the Southeast of Hebron. Karmil is the pronunciation given me by several natives this spring. There are considerable ruins, the most outstanding feature being square tower dating from the 12th century, now going swiftly to ruin. There are also caves, tombs and a large reservoir.

W. Ewing


kar’-mel-it (karmeli; Karmelios, Karmelites): A native of the Judean Carmel. Those who are thus named are Nabal, the husband of Abigail (1Sa 30:5, etc.), and Hezro (the King James Version Hezrai), one of David’s mighty men (2Sa 23:35). In 2Sa 3:3 Septuagint reads tes Abigaias tes Karmelias, "of Abigail the Carmelitess" (1Sa 27:3; 1Ch 3:1).

See following article, CARMELITESS.


kar’-mel-it-es, kar-mel-i’-tes (karmelith; Karmelia): A name applied only to Abigail, the wife of Nabal, and subsequently of David, a native of Carmel in Judah (1Sa 27:3; 1Ch 3:1).

CARMI kar’-mi (karmi, "fruitful," "noble"):

(1) A son of Reuben who came to Egypt with Jacob (Ge 46:9; Ex 6:14; 1Ch 5:3). Also the name of a family of which Carmi was the head (Nu 26:6).

(2) A Judahite (1Ch 2:7), son of Zabdi, according to Jos 7:1, and father of Achan, who is given the name of "Achar" in 1Ch 2:7. This last form "Achar" is preferred to the usual "Achan" in order to bring out the play on the Hebrew word for "troubler." The Hebrew runs ‘akhar ‘okher yisra’el, "Achar, the troubler of Israel." As regards the phrase "the sons of Carmi" (1Ch 2:7), Carmi is probably to be taken as the son of Zimri (= Zabdi, Jos 7:1). The Targum, however, has "Carmi who is Zimri." The Septuagint identifies Zimri and Zabdi.

(3) In 1Ch 4:1, Carmi, elsewhere called son of Zabdi or Zimri, is made son of Judah; but Wellhausen correctly changes "Carmi" to "Chelubai" (compare 1Ch 2:9).

Horace J. Wolf


kar-mo’-ni-anz; the King James Version Carmanians: A people mentioned in one of the visions—"an horrible vision" (2 Esdras 15:30 ff)—of the "Apocalypse of Esdras." Their country, Carmania, was an extensive province of Asia lying between Parthia and Ariana and the North side of the Persian Gulf, and extending to Drangiana and Gedrosia on the East and to the river Bagradas and Persis on the West. It is frequently mentioned by the ancient writers, among others by Strabo and Arrian, who describe the inhabitants as closely resembling the Medians and Persians in manners and customs. In the passage cited they are intended to denote a fierce and warlike people, being described as "raging in wrath as wild boars of the wood" and associated with the "dragons of Arabia."

J. Hutchison


kar-na’-im, kar’-na-im (Karnein, 1 Macc 5:26, Karnain, verses 43 f, to Karnion, 2 Macc 12:21,26): One of the strong cities besieged and captured by Judas Maccabeus in his campaign East of the Jordan (1 Macc 5:26,43 f). In the temple of Atargatis, which was situated here, those who fled from the city were put to death. It is apparently identical with Ashteroth Karnaim. It is called Camion in 2 Macc 12:21.


kar’-nal: In the Old Testament there is an expression which indicates sexual intercourse shikhebhath zera‘, "lying of seed," (Le 18:20; 19:20; Nu 5:13). In the New Testament the words rendered "carnal" are derived from sarks, "flesh." This refers to the flesh as opposed to the pneuma, "spirit," and denotes, in an ethical sense, mere human nature, the lower side of man as apart from the Divine influence, and therefore estranged from God and prone to sin; whatever in the soul is weak and tends toward ungodliness (see FLESH). Thus one may be carnal (sarkinos), sold under sin (Ro 7:14). Christians may be carnal (sarkinos, 1Co 3:1; sarkikos, 1Co 3:3); the lower side of their being is dominant and not the spirit, hence, they fall into sins of envy and strife. The weapons of the Christian warfare are not carnal, not merely human (of the flesh the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version), but spiritual (2Co 10:4); "not after the law of a carnal commandment" (Hebrews 7:16); "The carnal mind is enmity against God" ("mind of the flesh" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Ro 8:7). So, "to be carnally minded is death" ("mind of the flesh" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, Ro 8:6). There are "carnal ordinances," in contrast to the spiritual ones of the gospel (Hebrews 9:10); "Minister unto them in carnal things," those that pertain to the body in contrast to spiritual things (Ro 15:27; 1Co 9:11). The same expressions are elsewhere rendered "fleshly" (2Co 1:12; 3:3 the Revised Version (British and American) "hearts of flesh"; 1Pe 2:11).

Is there any difference between sarkinos and sarkikos? The former more definitely denotes the material of which an object is made. It may express with emphasis the idea of sarkikos, the spiritual given up as it were to the flesh.


G. H. Trever





ka-rouz’-ingz (potois, dative plural of potos): This word is found only in the American Standard Revised Version and once only (1Pe 4:3). The King James Version translates it "banquetings." It is one of the Gentileexcesses of fleshly indulgence against which the Christians are warned by Peter.


kar’-pen-ter (charash; tekton): This word, which is a general word for graver or craftsman, is translated "carpenter" in 2Ki 22:6; 2Ch 24:12; Ezr 3:7; Isa 41:7. The same word is rendered "craftsman" in the American Standard Revised Version of Jer 24:1 and Jer 29:2 and "smith" in the American Standard Revised Version of Zec 1:20. In 2Sa 5:11; 2Ki 12:11; 1Ch 14:1; and Isa 44:13, charash occurs with ‘ets (wood), and is more exactly translated "carpenter" or "worker in wood." Tekton, the corresponding Greek word for artificer, is translated "carpenter" in Mt 13:55 and Mr 6:3.



kar’-pus (Karpos): A name but once mentioned in the New Testament (2Ti 4:13), "the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus." These words were written from the dungeons, where Paul was confined during his second imprisonment. The name, common enough in Paul’s day, signifies "fruit" (Young) or "wrist" (Davis). The words indicate that Paul must have been very well acquainted with the family of Carpus. He was presumably one of his converts; and the apostle must have lodged with him and also have had considerable confidence in him, since he committed to his care not only the comparatively valueless "cloak," but especially the priceless "books and parchments." It is idle to attempt to find out the identity of Carpus, but one cannot help wondering what were the contents of these books and parchments for which the apostle longed in his bitter second imprisonment.

Henry E. Dosken


kar’-ij (keli, kebhuddah, nesu’ah; episkeuasamenoi; the Revised Version (British and American) "We took up our baggage"; the American Revised Version, margin "made ready"): One or the other of the above words occurs in six different places and all have been translated in the King James Version by "carriage" in its obsolete meaning (Jud 18:21; 1Sa 17:22 (twice); Isa 10:28; 46:1; Ac 21:15). In the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version these are translated by the more modern expressions "goods," "baggage," or "the things that you carried." In 1Sa 17:20 the King James Version margin "place of the carriage" occurs as the equivalent of "trench." The Hebrew ma’galah may mean "the place of wagons" as translated in the Revised Version (British and American), as it is not at all improbable that the encampment was surrounded by the baggage train.

James A. Patch


kar’-i (nasa’, nahagh): The English Versions of the Bible rendering of a number of Hebrew and Greek words, and it has several shades of meaning, of which the following are the most important:

(1) "To take up," "to bear," "to transport from one place to another," as, "to carry away handkerchiefs" (Ac 19:12), "to carry a corpse" (Ge 50:13), and "to be carried away by the wind" (Da 2:35).

(2) "To cause to go" or "come," "to lead," "to drive" as, "to be carried away to Babylon" (2Ki 20:17), "to be carried away to Pilate" (Mr 15:1), "to carry away cattle" (Ge 31:18), and "to carry daughters" (Ge 31:26).

(3) "To uphold," or "sustain," "and even to hoar hairs will I carry you" (Isa 46:4).

(4) "To bear," or "endure," as, "to carry sorrows" (Isa 53:4).

(5) "To overwhelm," "to bear away," "to destroy," as, "to carry away as with a flood" (Ps 90:5).

(6) "To influence," "to move," as, "to carry away with dissimulation" (Ga 2:13), "to carry away with error" (2Pe 3:17), "to be carried away by strange teachings" (Hebrew 13:9).

A. W. Fortune


kar’-she-na, kar-she’-na (karshena’): The first named among the "seven princes of Persia and Media" under Ahasuerus (Es 1:14).



kart (‘aghalah): The Hebrew word has been translated in some passages "cart," and in others "wagon." In one verse only has it been translated "chariot." The context of the various passages indicates that a distinction was made between vehicles which were used for carrying baggage or produce and those used for carrying riders (chariots), although in their primitive form of construction they were much the same (compare English "cart" and "carriage").

Carts, like "chariots" (which see), were of Assyrian origin. They were early carried to Egypt where the flat nature of the country readily led to their adoption. From Egypt they gradually found their way among the people of the Palestinian plains. In the hills of Judea and Central Palestine, except where highways were built (1Sa 6:12), the nature of the country prevented the use of wheeled vehicles. 1Sa 6:7,8,10,11,14 show that the people of the plains used carts. The men of Kiriath-jearim found it easier to carry the ark (1Sa 7:1). Their attempt to use a cart later (2Sa 6:3,1; 1Ch 13:7) proved disastrous and they abandoned it for a safer way (2Sa 6:13).

That carts were used at a very early date is indicated by Nu 7:3,7,8. That these vehicles were not the common mode of conveyance in Palestine is shown in Ge 45. Pharaoh commanded that Joseph’s brethren should return to their father with their beasts of burden (Gen 45:21) and take with them Egyptian wagons (Gen 45:19,21; 46:6) for bringing back their father and their families. The very unusual sight of the wagons was proof to Jacob of Joseph’s existence (Gen 45:27).

Bible descriptions and ancient Babylonian and Egyptian pictures indicate that the cart was usually two-wheeled and drawn by two oxen.

With the Arabian conquests and subsequent ruin of the roads wheeled vehicles disappeared from Syria and Palestine. History is again repeating itself. The Circassians, whom the Turkish government has settled near Caesarea, Jerash (Gerasa) and Amman (Philadelphia), have introduced a crude cart which must be similar to that used in Old Testament times. The two wheels are of solid wood. A straight shaft is joined to the wooden axle, and to this a yoke of oxen is attached. On the Philistian plains may be seen carts of present-day Egyptian origin but of a pattern many centuries old. With the establishment of government roads during the last 50 years, European vehicles of all descriptions are fast coming into the country.

One figurative reference is made to the cart (Isa 5:18), but its meaning is obscure.

James A. Patch


karv’-ing: Carving, or engraving, was extensively used among the peoples of Bible lands. There were no materials used in the arts which were not subjected to the graver’s skill. Carved objects of wood, stone, ivory, clay, bronze, gold, silver and glass discovered today show how skillful the ancient carvers were. Carving was principally done in bas- relief, although Ex 28:11 shows that incised lines were also used. The signets and scarabs are examples of this class of carving. Several Hebrew words have been translated "carved" in the King James Version. Pecel or pecil is found in Jud 18:18; 2Ch 33:7,22; 34:3,1; chaqah in 1Ki 6:35. The translation "graven" appears in the Revised Version (British and American) of all these passages. In 1Ki 6:29,32,35, qala appears; in 1Ki 6:18,32, miqla‘ath; in 1Ki 6:29 and Ps 74:6, pittuach; in Ex 31:5; 35:33, charosheth (see CARPENTER); chaTubhah in Pr 7:16 is better translated "striped" as in the Revised Version (British and American). For further notes on carving, see CRAFTS.

James A. Patch





kas: Ordinarily to describe the circumstances or condition of things; sometimes, juridically (aitia, Mt 19:10; Ac 25:14), as that for which a reckoning has to be given, as frequently the Latin res. In Ex 5:19, "they were in evil case," is interpreted by the Revised Version (British and American) as "were set on mischief."





ka-sif’-i-a, ka-sif-e’-a (kaciphya’): An unidentified place in North Babylonia, near the river Ahava, to which Ezra sent for "ministers for the house of our God" (Ezr 8:17). Some have thought the name to be connected with keceph, "silver" or "money." Septuagint renders argurio tou topou, as in 1 Esdras 8:45, "the place of the treasury."


kas’-lu-him, kas-lu-him (kacluchim; Chasmonieim): The name of a people mentioned in Ge 10:14; 1Ch 1:12 as descended from Mizraim. The parenthesis should probably follow Caphtorim. From them, it is said, sprang the PHILISTINES, which see.





kas’-for (the King James Version Casphon; Kasphor, 1 Macc 5:26; Chasphon, Chasphoth, 5:36; Kaspein, 2 Macc 12:13): A city East of the Jordan captured by Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 5:36). It is probably identical with Caspis of 2 Macc 12:13. It was a fortress of great strength, with a lake near it. This has led some to think it may be represented by el-Muzerib, an important station on the pilgrim route to Mecca. The ancient name of this city, however, has not been discovered.



kas’-pin, kas’-pis.



kash’-a: Two Hebrew words,

(1) qiddah, which is mentioned, along with myrrh, cinnamon, calamus and olive oil, as one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil" (Ex 30:24); it was, too, one of the wares in which Vedan and Javan traded with Tyre (Eze 27:19); it is identified in the Peshitta and the Targum with (2).

(2) qetsi‘oth (plural only, probably referring to the strips of bark), a word from which is derived the Greek kasia, and hence, cassia (Ps 45:8).

It is probable that both (1) and (2) refer to Cassia lignea, the inner bark of Cinnamomum cassia, a plant growing in eastern Asia closely allied to that which yields the cinnamon of commerce. It is a fragrant, aromatic bark and was probably used in a powdered form. Both as an ingredient in unguents and as one of the perfumes at funerals, cassia, like cinnamon, was much used by the Romans. The cassia of Scripture must be clearly distinguished from the entirely distinct Cassia lanceolata and C. obovata which yield the familiar senna. The proper name KEZIAH (which see) is the singular form of ketsi‘oth.

E. W. G. Masterman


In general "to throw," with various degrees of violence; usually, with force, but not so necessarily, as e.g. in "cast a net," "cast lots." When applied to molten metal, as in English, first, "to let run. into molds," with reference to their descent by gravity, and, then, "to form," as in Ex 25:12, etc. Usually in the New Testament for ballo, but not always. Thus, in Lu 1:29 "cast in her mind" means "considered" (dielogizeto); "cast reproach" for Greek oneidizon, "reproached" (Mt 27:44); "casting down" for kathaireo, "demolishing" (2Co 10:4); "casting all anxiety upon" (1Pe 5:7), a still stronger term, as in Lu 17:2 the King James Version; Ac 27:19. As a fundamental Greek word, it is compounded with many prepositions, "about," "away," "down," "forth," "in," "into," "off," "out," "up," "upon." "Cast down" in 2Co 4:9 the King James Version is used in a military sense of one prostrated, but not killed in battle. Compare Ps 42:5 with the Revised Version, margin. "Castaway" of the King James Version in 1Co 9:27, is in the Revised Version (British and American) "rejected" (compare Hebrews 6:8), adokimos, i.e. what the application of a test shows to be counterfeit, or unfit; translated "reprobate" in Ro 1:28; 2Co 13:5,6,7, etc.

H. E. Jacobs


kas’-ta-nets, kas-ta-nets’ (mena‘an‘im): Are mentioned in 2Sa 6:5 among the musical instruments upon which David and the house of Israel played at the time of the bringing up of the ark out of the house of Abinadab. This word is incorrectly translated "cornets" in the King James Version. The castanet was probably about the same kind of instrument as the Egyptian sistrum, and the Revised Version (British and American) has "sistra" in the margin of 2Sa 6:5. The sialrum was a loop-shaped metal frame through which were passed loose rods at the ends of which were rings. The instrument was held by a long handle and was rattled during songs and dances. It was used in Egypt in religious worship or to scare away evil influences. There is only the one reference to this instrument in the Bible.

A. W. Fortune


kast’-a-wa (adokimos, from dokimazo, "I test," "I approve after testing," hence, approved after being tested): This word is rendered "castaway" only in the King James Version: "I myself should be a castaway" ("rejected" the Revised Version (British and American), the American Standard Revised Version, 1Co 9:27). But the same word occurs a number of times usually translated "reprobate" (Ro 1:28; 2Co 13:5-7; 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:16); "rejected" (Hebrews 6:8).





kas’-ter, pol’-uks.



(ailouros): The only mention of this animal is in Baruch 6:22. It is not mentioned in the canonical Scriptures, though Bochart (Hieroz., 862) gives "wild cats" as the equivalent of tsyim in Isa 13:21; 34:14; Jer 50:39; Ps 74:19, where English Versions of the Bible gives "wild beasts of the desert." Mention is, however, made of cats, cathod, in the Welsh Bible (Isa 34:14). The only mention of the catta in classical Latin writers is in Martial xiii.69. How the cat was regarded in Egypt is described in Herod. ii.66 and Rawlinson’s notes. In Baruch 6:22 cats are mentioned with "bats, swallows and birds" as sitting with impunity on the images of the heathen gods which are unable to drive them off.

See also ZOOLOGY.

J. Hutchison


kat’-e-kist, kate-ku’-men (katechizein "to resound," "to teach," "to instruct"): A catechist is a teacher who instructs his pupils in the elements of his own religion. In the Old Testament he teaches them the rudiments of Old Testament truth; in the New Testament he teaches the principles of the Christian faith. A catechumen, one whom the catechist instructs or catechizes, in preparation for the ceremony of baptism.

The words are derived from katechein, meaning "to give a sound," "to answer," "to echo." Classically it was used of the sounding down of rushing water, of the falling of music from a ship to the sea. Then it came to signify the sounding down of words of command or instruction. The preposition kata strengthens the meaning, bringing out more emphatically the back or return sound, the echo, the answer. So it came to mean familiar verbal instruction, a free informal discussion between teacher and pupil. Luke informs Theophilus (Lu 1:4) that he intends to give him a succinct and orderly account of those things which he had previously received by word of mouth (peri hon katechethes). See also the Greek in Ac 18:25 and Ac 21:21; Ro 2:18; 1Co 14:19; Ga 6:6. In all these passages the Greek verb is "catechised."

We do not find in the New Testament an organized catechumenate, such as we find in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The apostles preached mainly to synagogue-instructed Jews who were familiar with the law and the prophets and the Psalms, or to Gentiles who had, learned from the Jews and had become "proselytes" (which see). The first apostolic preaching and teaching was to convince the hearers that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world. As believers multiplied, the contrast between them and those who rejected the teaching became more and more marked. Opposition, scorn and persecution became more bold and bitter. The Christians were compelled to set forth and defend their beliefs more clearly. They had to meet and answer keen and persistent objections. And so the necessity for clear, systematic and organized teaching grew more and more into the form of an ordered catechumenate. The Apostolic Constitutions, from the latter part of the 3rd century, show the institution in a fair state of development. A Jew, pagan, or heretic of good moral standing, upon application to the deacon, presbyter, or bishop, was admitted into the state of catechumen by the sign of the cross and the imposition of hands (Schaff-Herzog, under the word).

The basis for the Christian catechumenate we find in the great commission (Mt 28:19,20). The aim of this commission was to make disciples, i.e. believing followers. The means for this discipling are baptizing and teaching. The result of using the means is that those who have become disciples are to observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded.

Jesus Himself at twelve years of age had become a child of the law, a catechumen. He increased in wisdom and learned obedience. He became the great Catechist instructing His disciples, other private individuals and the multitudes. See an example of His catechizing in Mt 16:13 ff.

Paul was a master in method. See examples of use of the modern pedagogical method of apperception in Ac 14:14ff; 17:16ff; 19:8,9. The cathechetical method is frequently found in the epistles (see 1Co 3:1,2; Heb 5:11,14; 6:1,2; 1Pe 2:2; 1Jo 2:13), and so the idea of religious nurture and instruction is found all through the New Testament. The catechist and the catechumen are there. It was not something new in the New Testament. Its roots lie back and run through the Old Testament. The narrative of God’s first communication with man, inside the gates of Eden, concerning commandment, law, sin, its consequences, its remedy, takes a catechetical form. The importance of systematic instruction, both public and private, is emphasized throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, although it might not always take the form of catechizing in the modern pedagogical sense. In the patriarchal age the father was the prophet, the teacher, the catechist, in his house, which often included several families with their servants (see Ge 18:19). Matthew Henry explains thus: "Abraham not only took care of his children, but his whole household, including his servants, were catechized" (see also Ex 12:26; De 6:1-9; Jos 4:6,7; 24:15; Ps 34:11). Priests and Levites in addition to their sacerdotal functions were catechists (instructors) among the people (Le 10:11; De 33:10; 2Ch 15:3; Eze 44:23). In later times the synagogues had regular instruction in the law and the prophets.


G. H. Gerberding


kat’-er-pil-er (chacil (Ps 78:46; Joe 1:4, etc.); yeleq (Ps 105:34 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "grasshopper"; Jer 51:14,27 the King James Version; elsewhere "canker-worm")): A name given to a larval stage of the LOCUST (which see).


kath’-o-lik (epistolai katholikai): In distinction from the apostolic or Pauline epistles which were addressed to individual churches or persons, the term "catholic," in the sense of universal or general, was applied by Origen and the other church Fathers to the seven epistles written by James, Peter, John and Jude. As early as the 3rd century it came to be used in the sense of "encyclical," "since," as Theodoret says, "they are not addressed to single churches, but generally (katholou) to the faithful, whether to the Jews of the Dispersion, as Peter writes, or even to all who are living as Christians under the same faith." Three other explanations of the term have been given, namely,

(1) that it was intended to indicate a common apostolic authorship (only a few support this view);

(2) that it signifies that the seven epistles were universally received as genuine;

(3) that it refers to the catholicity of their doctrine, i.e. orthodox and authoritative versus heretical epistles whose teachings were in harmony with Christian truth. By some misconception of the word "catholic" the Western Church interpreted it as signifying "canonical" and sometimes called these epistles epistolae canonicae. That it was originally used in the sense of "general" epistles is now commonly received.

This is evident from their form of address. James wrote to all Jews, "of the Dispersion," who had embraced the Christian faith. In his first epistle Peter addressed the same Christians, including also Gentileconverts, resident in five provinces of Asia Minor: "elect who axe sojourners of the Dispersion." His second epistle is to all Christians everywhere. John’s first letter was evidently written to a cycle of churches and intended for universal use. Jude also had in mind all Christians when he said "to them that are called beloved in God," etc. The seeming exceptions are 2 and 3 Jn, addressed to individuals, but included with the catholic epistles as properly belonging with John’s first epistle and of value to the general reader. The character and contents of these seven epistles are treated under their various heads. The letters of James and Jude belong to the Judaic school of Christianity; those of Peter to a broad and non-partisan type of faith that both includes and mediates between the Judaists and Paulinists. John’s letters were written after the internal doctrinal controversies of the church had ceased, and the pressure of opposition and error from without tended to unite his "little children" in a new community of love and spiritual life.

Dwight M. Pratt


ka-thu’-a (Kathoua; Codex Vaticanus, Koua): Head of a family of temple-servants who returned from the captivity with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:30); corresponds to Giddel in Ezr 2:47.


kat’-’-l (behemah, "a dumb beast"; miqneh, "a possession" from qanah, "to acquire" (compare Arabic qana’," to acquire," and Greek kienos, "beast," and plural ktenea, "flocks," from ktaomai, "to acquire," flocks being both with the Homeric peoples and with the patriarchs an important form of property; compare English "fee"); tso’n "small cattle," "sheep" or goats (compare Arabic da’n, "sheep"); seh, a single sheep or goat (compare Arabic shah); mela’khah, "property," from la’akh, "to minister" (compare Arabic malakah and mulk, "property," from malak, "to possess"); meri’ "fatling" (1Ki 19); thremma (Joh 4:12), "cattle," i.e. "that which is nourished," from trepho, "to nourish"; baqar, "kine," "oxen" (compare Arabic baqar, "cattle"); shor, tor (Da 4:25), tauros (Mt 22:4), "ox" or "bull"; bous, "ox" (Lu 13:15); ‘eleph, only in the plural, ‘alaphim, "oxen" (Ps 8:7)): From the foregoing and by examination of the many references to "cattle," "kine" or "oxen" it is apparent that there are important points of contact in derivation and usage in the Hebrew, Greek and English terms. It is evident that neat cattle were possessed in abundance by the patriarchs and later Israelites, which is fax from being the case in Palestine at the present day. The Bedouin usually have no cattle. The fellachin in most parts of the country keep them in small numbers, mostly for plowing, and but little for milk or for slaughtering. Travelers in the Holy Land realize that goat’s milk is in most places easier to obtain than cow’s milk. The commonest cattle of the fellachin are a small black breed. In the vicinity of Damascus are many large, fine milch cattle which furnish the delicious milk and cream of the Damascus bazaars. For some reason, probably because they are not confined and highly fed, the bulls of Palestine are meek creatures as compared with their European or American fellows.

In English Versions of the Bible the word "cattle" is more often used in a wide sense to include sheep and goats than to denote merely neat cattle. In fact, baqar, which distinctively denotes neat cattle, is often rendered "herds," as tso’n, literally "sheep," is in a large number of instances translated "flocks." A good illustration is found in Ge 32:7: "Then Jacob .... divided the, people (‘am) that were with him, and the flocks (tso’n), and the herds (baqar), and the camels (gemallim), into two companies (machanoth)." For the last word the King James Version has "drove" in Ge 33:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "company." Next to tso’n, the word most commonly rendered "flock" in English Versions of the Bible is ‘edher, from root "to arrange," "to set in order." ‘Edher is rendered "herd" in Pr 27:23, and in Joe 1:18 it occurs twice, being rendered "herds of cattle," ‘edhre baqar, and "flocks of sheep," ‘edhre ha-tso’n. Miqneh is rendered "flock" in Nu 32:26, "herd" in Ge 47:18, and "cattle" in a large number of passages. Other words rendered "flock" are: mar‘ith (r. ra‘ah (Arabic ra‘a), "to pasture"), once in Jer 10:21; ‘ashteroth tso’n, "flocks of thy sheep," the Revised Version (British and American) "young of thy flock," in De 7:13, etc., ‘ashiaroth being plural of ‘ashtoreth, or Ashtoreth; chasiph, once in 1Ki 20:27: "The Children of Israel encamped before them (the Syrians) like two little flocks of kids," chasiph signifying "something stripped off or separated," from root chasaph, "to strip" or "to peel," like the Arabic qaTi‘, "flock," from root qaTa‘, "to cut off"; poimne (Mt 26:31): "The sheep of the flock shall be scattered," and (Lu 2:8): "keeping watch by night over their flock"; poimnion (Lu 12:32): "Fear not, little flock," and (1Pe 5:2): "Tend the flock of God which is among you." Figurative: Not only poimne and poimnion but also ‘edher and tso’n are used figuratively of God’s people; e.g. Isa 40:11: "He will feed his flock (‘edher) like a shepherd"; Zec 10:3: "Yahweh of hosts hath visited his flock ([‘edher]), the house of Judah"; Isa 65:10: "And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks" (tso’n); Jer 23:2: "Ye have scattered my flock" (tso’n); Eze 34:22: "Therefore will I save my flock" (tso’n); Mic 7:14: "Feed .... the flock (tso’n) of thy heritage."

The wild ox or wild bull, the Revised Version (British and American) "antelope" (te’o or to’ of De 14:5 and Isa 51:20), is considered by the writer to be probably the Arabian oryx, and in this he is in agreement with Tristram (NHB). Tristram however thinks that the unicorn (rem or re’em), the Revised Version (British and American) "wild ox," was the aurochs, while the present writer believes that this also may well have been the oryx, which at the present day has at least three names in Arabic, one of which, baqar-ul-wachsh, means "wild ox."


Our domestic cattle are believed by some of the best authorities to be of the same species as the ancient European wild ox or aurochs, Bos taurus, which is by others counted as a distinct species under the title of Bos primigeniusú The aurochs was widely spread over Europe in Roman times, but is now extinct. Some degenerate wild cattle are preserved in some British parks, but these according to Lydekker in the Royal Natural History are probably feral descendants of early domestic breeds. Tristram cites the occurrence in the Dog River bone breccia of teeth which may be those of the aurochs, but this is a deposit accumulated by prehistoric man of an unknown antiquity to be variously estimated according to the predilections of the geologist at a few thousands or a few score of thousands of years, and is far from proving that this animal existed in Palestine in Bible times or at any time.

The European bison (Bos or Bison bonassus) is thought by some to be the wild ox of the Bible. This is a forest-dwelling species and is now confined to the forests of Lithuania and the Caucasus. It was formerly more widely distributed, but there is no certain evidence that it ever lived as far South as Palestine, and there have probably never existed in Palestine forests suitable to be the haunts of this animal.

About the Sea of Tiberias and the Jordan valley and in the plain of Coele-Syria there exist today Indian buffaloes (Bos bubalus) some feral and some in a state of domestication, which are believed to have been introduced in comparatively recent times.


Alfred Ely Day


ko’-da (Kauda; also called Klauda; the King James Version Clauda; the modern Greek name Gaudho supports the form Cauda): An island 23 miles West of Cape Matala. It is a small island, and can never have supported a large population, or have been of any importance. Its elevation to the rank of a bishopric in Byzantine times must have been due to its association with the voyage of Paul. The ship with Paul on board was driven under the lee of Cauda (Ac 27:16); in the calm water south of the island the crew succeeded in hauling in the boat, undergirding the ship and slackening sail.

W. M. Calder



(1) yothereth (Ex 29:13), the large lobe or flap of the liver, which is usually mentioned together with the kidneys and the fat as the special portions set aside for the burnt offering (Le 3:4,10,15; 4:9; 7:4; 8:16,25; 9:10,19).

(2) ceghor (from the root caghar, "to enclose," "shut up"), Ho 13:8, literally the enclosure or covering of the heart, the caul or pericardium, or perhaps the chest as surrounding the heart. It must not be forgotten, however, that the expression may be taken in the sense of "mailcoat of the heart," i.e. hardened heart, which is shut to the influence of God’s grace. So Luther and many modern translators and commentators.

H. L. E. Luering


kos: In both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "for this cause" (the King James Version "cause") occurs in Ex 9:16 as the rendering of ba‘abhur zo’th =" in order that"; "to the end that"; so also in Da 2:12 for kol-qebhel denah, and in 2Ch 32:20 the King James Version for ‘al-zo’th, where RVS read "because of." In the New Testament the word is used adverbially in the translation of several Greek phrases: heneka toutou (Mt 19:5; Mr 10:7); dia touto, Joh 12:27; Ro 1:26; 13:6; 15:9 (the Revised Version (British and American) "therefore"); 1Co 11:30; 1Th 2:13; 2Th 2:11; 1Ti 1:16; Hebrews 9:15; eis touto, Joh 18:37 (where the King James Version varying the phraseology reads "to this end" "for this cause"); 1Pe 4:6 the King James Version; toutou charin, Eph 3:14. Unusual renderings occur, as "for his cause" (=" because of"), 2Co 7:12; as =" affair," "thing," obsolete in the King James Version 1Ki 12:15; 2Ch 10:15, where the word occurs as a paraphrase of necibbah (=" turn of affairs"). In 1Sa 25:31 (King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American)) "causeless" (= without cause the American Standard Revised Version) occurs arbitrarily in adverb sense.

W. N. Stearns


koz’-wa, ko’-zi (more correctly): This word occurs in 1Ch 26:16,18 for the Hebrew mecillah; Septuagint pastophorion tes anabaseos. In 2Ch 9:11 the word is translated "terraces" (Septuagint anabaseis). Compare BDB, under the word, where mecilloth, is an error for mic‘adhoth (1Ki 10:12). In all the above passages reference is made to a series or flight of steps leading up into the temple. The word also signifies a prepared, traveled road, as in Nu 20:19; Jud 20:31 f, 45; 1Sa 6:12; 2Sa 20:12 f; 2Ki 18:17 (Isa 36:2); Isa 7:3; 11:16; 19:23; 33:8; 40:3; 49:11; Jer 31:21.

Figurative: In Isa 59:7 the word (mecillah) occurs in a figurative sense, so also in Jud 5:20; Pr 16:17.

W. N. Stearns


kav ([me‘arah] (compare Arabic magharah), chor (Job 30:6 the King James Version), mechilloth (Isa 2:19); ope (Hebrews 11:38), spelaion (Joh 11:38); chor, more often rendered "hole," is akin to Arabic khaur, "gulf" or "inlet," but is also related to me‘arah (compare also Arabic ghaur "low-land," especially of the Jordan valley and Dead Sea). Mechilloth (root, chalal, "to pierce" (compare Arabic khall, "to pierce")) occurs only in Isa 2:19, where the King James Version has "caves" and translates me‘aroth in the same verse by "holes." In the Revised Version (British and American) these words are very properly changed about. Spelaion is a common Greek word for "cave"; ope means rather "hole"): In Palestine as in other limestone countries, caves are of frequent occurrence, and not a few of large size are known. Water from the rain and snow, seeping down through cracks, enlarges the passages through which it goes by dissolving away the substance of the rock. Just as upon the surface of the land the trickling streams unite to form brooks and rivers, so many subterranean streams may come together in a spacious channel, and may issue upon the surface as a bold spring. The cave of the Dog River near Beirut and that of ‘Afqa (perhaps Aphek (Jos 13:4)) in Lebanon are excellent examples of this. Not infrequently after forming a cave the stream of water may find some lower outlet by a different route, leaving its former course dry. In some cases the hinder part of the roof of the cave may fall in, leaving the front part standing as a natural bridge. Numerous shallow caves, especially in the faces of cliffs, are formed not by seeping water, but by atmospheric erosion, a portion of a relatively soft stratum of rock being hollowed out, while harder strata above and below it are but little worn away. Many of the hermits’ caves originated in this way and were artificially enlarged and walled up at the mouth. The principal caves mentioned in the Bible are those of MACHPELAH, MAKKEDAH and ADULLAM (which see).

See DEN.

Alfred Ely Day


ses: A remarkable array of 20 Hebrew and 6 Greek words is so translated. In the King James Version 15 of the former and 3 of the latter are used only once with this rendering. The originals most frequently in use are chadhal, "to leave off"; shabhath "to rest from" (labor); pauomai, "to make to cease." Few words illustrate better the fertility of the Hebrew in expressing limitless shades of meaning, impoverished by the use of one English word. This extensive variety is, however, well expressed by "cease": i.e. stop, come to an end, e.g. ceasing of tears (Jer 14:17); work (Ezr 4:24); grinders (Ec 12:3); thunder (Ex 9:29); the wicked (Job 3:17); anger (Ps 37:8). The significance of shabhath lies in its being the Hebrew for Sabbath, implying complete cessation: as of manna (Jos 5:12); strife and ignominy (Pr 22:10); occurs with negative to show the ceaseless Providence of God in Nature: "summer and winter .... shall not c." (Ge 8:22). In the New Testament it illustrates Christ’s power over Nature; wind and raging sea ceased (Lu 8:24); over a sinner’s heart: "not ceased to kiss my feet" (dialeipo) (Lu 7:45); devotion of the early disciples, "ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ" (Ac 5:42); the eternity and blessedness of the believer’s sabbatic rest (apoleipo) (Hebrews 4:10 the King James Version).

Dwight M. Pratt


se’-dar, se’-der (’erez, from Hebrew root meaning "to be firm"; kedros): The ‘erez was in almost all the Old Testament references the true cedar, Cedrus libani, but the name may have been applied in a loose way to allied trees, such as junipers and pines. In Nu 24:6—"as cedar-trees beside the waters"—the reference must, as is most probable, be purely poetical (see ALOES) or the ‘arazim must signify some other kind of tree which flourishes beside water.

1. Cedar for Ritual Cleansing:

Cedar is twice mentioned as a substance for ritual cleansing. In Le 14:4 the cleansed leper was sprinkled with the blood of a "clean bird" into which had been put "cedar- wood, and scarlet, and hyssop." In Nu 19:6 "cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet" were to be cast into the holocaust of the red heifer. (For the symbolical meaning see CLEAN.) Here it is very generally considered that the cedar could not have been the wood of Cedrus libani, which so far as we know never grew in the wilderness, but that of some species of juniper—according to Post, Juniperis phoenicea, which may still be found in the wilderness of Edom.

2. Cedar Trees in the Old Testament:

Cedar trees are everywhere mentioned with admiration in the Old Testament. Solomon made the cedar the first of trees (1Ki 4:33). They are the "glory of Lebanon" (Isa 35:2; 60:13). The most boastful threat of Sennacherib was that he would cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon (Isa 37:24). They were strong, as is implied in— " The voice of Yahweh is powerful; .... The voice of Yahweh breaketh the cedars; Yea, Yahweh breaketh in pieces the cedars of Lebanon" (Ps 29:4,5). The cedars are tall—"whose height was like the height of the cedars"—(Am 2:9; 2Ki 19:23); majestic (2Ki 14:9), and excellent (So 5:15). The Assyrian power is compared to—"a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, an high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs .... its stature was exalted above all the trees of the field; and its boughs were multiplied, and its branches became long" (Eze 31:3-5). They are in particular God’s trees— " The trees of Yahweh are filled with moisture, The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted" (Ps 104:16). Doubtless as a reminiscence of this the Syrians today call the cedar ‘ars er rubb, "the cedar of the Lord." The growth of the cedar is typical of that of the righteous man (Ps 92:12).

That cedars were once very abundant in the Lebanon is evident (1Ki 6:9-18; 10:27). What they contributed to the glory and beauty of that district may be seen in Zec 11:1-2: " Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Wail, O fir-tree, for the cedar is fallen, because the glorious (Revised Version margin) ones are destroyed: Wail, O ye oaks of Bashan, for the strong forest is come down." 3. Cedar Timber:

The wood of the cedar has always been highly prized—much more so than the sycamore (1Ki 10:27; Isa 9:10). David had a house of cedar built for him by Hiram, king of Tyre (2Sa 5:11), and he prepared "cedar-trees without number" for the temple which his son was to build (1Ch 22:4). Cedar timber was very much used in the construction of Solomon’s temple and palace, the trees being cut in the Lebanon by Sidonians by orders of the king of Tyre—"Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire" (1Ki 5:6-10). One of Solomon’s most important buildings was known as "the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1Ki 7:2; 10:17; 2Ch 9:16), on account of the source of its materials. While cedar was well adapted for beams ( 1Ki 6:9; So 1:17), boards (So 8:9), pillars (1Ki 7:2) and ceilings (Jer 22:14), it was suited as well for carved work, such as idols (Isa 44:14,15). It was also used for ships’ masts (Eze 27:5).

4. Cedars in Modern Syria:

The Cedrus libani still survives in the mountains of Syria and flourishes in much greater numbers in the Taurus mountains. "There are groves of cedars above el-Ma‘acir, Baruk, ‘Ain Zehaltah, Hadith, Besherri, and Sir" (Post, Flora, 751). Of these the grove at Besherri is of world-wide renown. It consists of a group of about 400 trees, among them some magnificent old patriarchs, which lies on the bare slopes of the Lebanon some 6,000 ft. above the sea. Doubtless they are survivors of a forest which here once covered the mountain slopes for miles. The half a dozen highest specimens reach a height of between 70 and 80 ft., and have trunks of a circumference of 40 ft. or more. It is impossible to estimate with any certainty their age, but they may be as much as 800, or even 1,000, years old. Though magnificent, these are by no means the largest of their kind. Some of the cedars of Amanus are quite 100 ft. high and the Himalayan cedar, Cedrus deodara, a variety of Cedrus libani, reaches a height of 150 ft. The impressiveness of the cedar lies, however, not so much in its height and massive trunk, as in the wonderful lateral spread of its branches, which often exceeds its height. The branches grow out horizontally in successive tiers, each horizontal plane presenting, when looked at from above, the appearance of a green sward. The leaves are about an inch long, arranged in clusters; at first they are bright green, but they change with age to a deeper tint with a glaucous hue; the foliage is evergreen, the successive annual growths of leaves each lasting two years. The cones, 4 to 6 inches long, are oval or oblong-ovate, with a depression at times at the apex; they require two years to reach maturity and then, unlike other conifers, they remain attached to the tree, dropping out their scales bearing the seeds.

The wood of the cedar, specially grown under the conditions of its natural habitat, is hard, close grained, and takes a high polish. It is full of resin (Ps 92:14) which preserves it from rot and from worms. Cedar oil, a kind of turpentine extracted from the wood, was used in ancient times as a preservative for parchments and garments.

E. W. G. Masterman








seld, sel’-ing (the King James Version and the English Revised Version Cieled, Cieling; the Hebrew words for "ceiled" are chippah, caphan, sachiph; for "ceiling," cippun): Ceiling occurs only in 1Ki 6:15. It comes from the root caphan, meaning "to cover." It has its common meaning of the upper surface of a room; there is, however, some doubt of the textual Ceiled is found in 2Ch 3:5 ((chippah); Jer 22:14; Hag 1:4 (caphan in both); Eze 41:16 (sachiph)), the text of the last passage being doubtful. In none of these cases does "ceiled" refer to the upper surface of a room, but to the covering or paneling of the inner walls of a house with cedar or other costly wood. This is in accordance with a common early use of the English word, no longer frequent.

George Ricker Berry


sel’-e-brat: Of the three Hebrew words so rendered halal, "to praise" is preeminently significant. It is an onomatopoetic word meaning "to give a clear sharp sound," as word in vocal rejoicing, celebration. Its equivalent in Ethiopic is ellell, German hallen, English halloo, and appears in the great choral word Hallelujah of the Hebrew religion. Passing into Christian use it has become the term most expressive of majestic praise. Psalms 113-118 and 136 are called Hallel psalms. Found in Hezekiah’s psalm of praise for his miraculous recovery: "Death cannot celebrate thee" (Isa 38:18). chaghagh, root meaning "to move in a circle" hence, "to keep a festival" by sacred leaping and dancing; "celebrate (the Revised Version (British and American) "keep") a feast" (Le 23:41); shabhath, "to rest," i.e. keep or observe a holy day; "celebrate (the Revised Version (British and American) "keep") your sabbath" (Le 23:32).

Dwight M. Pratt


se-les’-chal (epouranios, "above the sky," "heavenly"): Peculiar to Paul’s majestic argument on the resurrection: celestial verses terrestrial bodies (1Co 15:40) with reference possibly to sun and moon, etc., but more probably to the bodies of angels in distinction from those of beasts and mortal men (compare Christ’s words, Mt 22:30; Lu 20:36); including also doubtless in the apostle’s thought the resurrection-body of Jesus and of the saints already taken-into glory. Light is thrown on its meaning by the rendering of the same Greek original as "heavenly places" (Eph 1:3,20; 2:6; 3:10); "heavenly" (1Co 15:48). Hence, "celestial" as used by Paul indicates the soul’s continued life beyond the grave, the spiritual body of the redeemed in heaven, who, in Christ, have put on immortality.

Dwight M. Pratt


sel’-er, sel’-ar (krupte; ‘otsar): Krupte is found only in Lu 11:33, and is rendered "cellar" in the Revised Version (British and American); the King James Version has "secret place." In this passage it doubtless means a cellar beneath a house. Etymologically the Greek word means "a covered place," and in classical Greek its usage includes vaults and crypts as well as cellars. It seems evident that it was only the larger houses in Palestine in which cellars were used with any frequency. It is shown by the excavations that in rebuilding a town which was in ruins the old houses were sometimes utilized as cellars for the new. ‘otsar, is rendered cellar only in 1Ch 27:27 f. It is an erroneous rendering, the correct meaning being stores, or supplies, of wine and oil.

George Ricker Berry





sen’-kre-e (Kegchreai, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek Kenchreai; the King James Version incorrectly Cenchrea): A seaport of Corinth on the eastern side of the isthmus (see CORINTH). Here according to Ac 18:18, Paul had his hair shorn before sailing for Syria, since he had a vow. A local church must have been established there by Paul, since Phoebe, the deaconess of Cenchrea, was entrusted with the Epistle to the Romans, and was commended to them in the highest terms by the apostle, who charged them to "assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need" (Ro 16:1,2).


sen-de-be’-us (Kendebaios; the King James Version Cendebeus): A general of Antiochus VII who was appointed "captain of the seacoast" of Palestine (1 Macc 15:38 ff) after the defeat of Tryphon by Antiochus 138 BC. He fortified Kedron and harassed the Jews in various ways. As Simon Maccabeus was too old to attack Cendebaeus in person he sent his two eldest sons, Judas and John, who defeated him with great loss at Modin (1 Macc 16:1-10).


sen’-ser: In the King James Version censer is used as a translation of two Hebrew words, namely, machtah, and miqTereth. The former word is generally rendered "censer," sometimes "firepan," and in three cases (Ex 25:38; 37:23; Nu 4:9) "snuffdish" It denoted a bowl-shaped vessel used for different purposes, namely,

(1) a censer, in which incense was burnt (Le 10:1);

(2) a firepan, made of bronze, used in connection with the altar of burnt offering (Ex 27:3);

(3) a snuffdish, i.e. a receptacle to hold pieces of burnt lamp-wick removed by the tongs or snuffers (Ex 25:38).

Probably in all these cases the same kind of vessel was meant, namely, a bowl-shaped utensil with a handle, not unlike a saucepan. The other Hebrew word (derived from the same root as the word for "incense") denoted a vessel for conveying incense (Eze 8:11; 2Ch 26:19). The Greek word thumiaterion, by which the Septuagint rendered miqTereth, is used also in Hebrews 9:4, where the King James Version gives "censer," but the American Standard Revised Version is probably more correct, namely, "altar of incense" (see Commentaries under the word). Compare also Re 8:3,1, where libanotos, properly the adjective of "frankincense," is translated "censer."

T. Lewis





sen-tu’-ri-un: As the name implies, hekatontarches or hekatontarchos, kenturion, Latin centurio, was the commander of a hundred men, more or less, in a Roman legion. Matthew and Luke use the Greek word while Mark prefers the Latin form, as he does in the case of other words, seeing that he wrote primarily for Roman readers. The number of centurions in a legion was 60, that being at all epochs the number of centuries, although the number varied in the cohort or speira. The ordinary duties of the centurion were to drill his men, inspect their arms, food and clothing, and to command them in the camp and in the field. Centurions were sometimes employed on detached service the conditions of which in the provinces are somewhat obscure. Men like Cornelius and Julius (Ac 10:1; 27:1) may have been separated from the legion to which they properly belonged for the discharge of special duties. They and other centurions mentioned in the Gospels and the Ac (Mt 8:5; Mr 15:39,44,45; Lu 23:47) are represented by the sacred writers in a favorable light.


T. Nicol.





se’-ras (Keras; the Revised Version (British and American) KERAS (which see)).


ser’-tin, ser’-tin-li, ser’tin-ti: The rendering of some Hebrew words and forms expressive of what is definitely settled or determined.

(1) Translation of the Hebrew nakhon, "to be established" or "fixed," as in De 13:14 (Hebrew 15); De 17:4; 1Sa 23:23 (of Ex 16:4, "a certain rate every day" the King James Version). In the New Testament it is the rendering of asphales, asphaleia, from "a" privative and sphallein, "to shake" or "move"; as in Lu 1:4, "the certainty of those things" = actual circumstances; Ac 21:34; 22:30; 25:26.

(2) The word "certain" is also employed in the Old Testament to bring out the force of the absolute infinitive form used with the finite verb to express emphasis or to strengthen the idea of the main verb (Kautzsch-Gesenius, Hebrew Grammar, translation Collins-Cowley, 357, 3). Such usage occurs in Ge 18:10; Jos 9:24; Le 5:19; 24:16; 1Sa 20:3 the King James Version; 1Ki 2:37; Jer 26:15; 36:29; 42:19,22; 44:17.

(3) The word "certain" is also made auxiliary to bring out the force of such expressions as the Hebrew yatsabh, "to be firm," as in Da 2:8; also in the New Testament, of the verb astatein as in 1Co 4:11, "have no certain dwelling-place."

(4) Mention might be made also of "certain" as the rendering of sundry words, as ‘akh, in La 2:16; ki, in Ex 3:12; and ontos, in Lu 23:47, all being expressions for what is sure, beyond doubt.

W. N. Stearns


ser’-ti-fi: Occurs in

(1) 2Sa 15:28 (haggidh, "to show," "announce," from naghadh);

(2) Ezr 4:14,16; 5:10; 7:24 (hodha‘, "to make known," from yedha’; Aramaic for yadha‘);

(3) Es 2:22 the King James Version (’amar, "to say," "tell," so the Revised Version (British and American)); and

(4) Ga 1:11 the King James Version gnorizo, "to make to know," so the Revised Version (British and American).

In the English Versions of the Bible, accordingly, the word has not the strong, specific sense of "to make certain," but only the broader sense of "to make to know." Compare Ps 39:5 (Prayer Book version), "that I may be certified how long I have to live."





ka’-bris (Abris, Chabreis): Son of Gothoniel, one of the three rulers of Bethulia in the time of Judith (Judith 6:15; 8:10; 10:6).


ka’-di-as, ka’-di-a-si; (the Revised Version (British and American) Codex Alexandrinus, Chadasai; Codex Vaticanus, hoi Chadiasai): The inhabitants of the city here referred to returned with Zerubbabel, along with the Ammidioi (1Es 5:20). The name is not found in Ezra and Nehemiah. The Chadiasai have been taken for the people of Kadesh and the Ammidioi for the people of Humtah (Jos 15:54). Possibly the place is identical with Kedesh of Jos 15:23.


ke’-re-as (Chaireas; the King James Version Chereas): Brother of Timotheus, the Ammonite leader against Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 5:6). He held the fortress of Gazara (the "Jazer" of 1 Macc 5:8) to which Timotheus fled from Judas. The latter pursued him and captured the fortress after a vigorous siege. In the slaughter which followed the two brothers, Chaereas and Timotheus, were killed (2 Macc 10:32,37).


chaf (mar, "bitter"; hence, bitter of soul, deadly, destructive, ferocious, "as a bear robbed of her whelps"): Occurs only in 2Sa 17:8; used by Hushai to characterize David’s supposedly fierce mood at the time of Absalom’s armed rebellion.


chaf: Four different words have been translated "chaff" in the Old Testament:

(1) mots, is found in Job 21:18; Ps 1:4; 35:5; Isa 17:13; 29:5; 41:15; Ho 13:3; Ze 2:2.

(2) chashash, occurs in two verses (Isa 5:24; 33:11). Compare "chashish," an Arabic word which, as commonly used, denotes grass either standing or cut, green or dry, although, strictly speaking, dry or cut grass alone. In the Revised Version (British and American) Isa 5:24 the translation is "dry grass."

(3) tebhen, is translated "chaff" in the King James Version (Jer 23:28). The same word is rendered "straw" in the Revised Version (British and American) (compare Arabic tibn).

(4) ‘ur, a Chaldaic word, occurs in Da 2:35.

In the New Testament achuron, is found in Mt 3:12 and Lu 3:17.

In the process of winnowing, as it has been carried on in the East for thousands of years, the grain is tossed into the air so that the wind may cause a separation of chaff and straw. The light husks from the wheat and fine particles of straw are dispersed by the wind in the form of a fine dust; the heavier straw which has been broken into short pieces by the threshing process falls near at hand on the edge of the threshing-floor, while the grain falls back upon the pile. In Syria and Palestine, that which falls near at hand as cut straw is called tibn. This word occurs in the Arabic translation of Mt 3:12 and Lu 3:17. This straw is ordinarily saved and fed as "roughage" to the animals. It could easily be gathered and burned, as indicated in the above-mentioned verses, while the chaff is blown away beyond recovery, a strong figure to depict complete annihilation (Job 21:18; Isa 29:5; 41:16; Ho 13:3, Da 2:35).


JAMES A. Patch


chan, chanz: Chains were used by the Hebrews:

(1) As ornaments: ‘ets‘adhah, neTiphah, ‘anaq, rabhidh, sharsherah, rattoq. As ornaments for the person they were worn about the ankles (Nu 31:50; Isa 3:20) and about the neck (So 4:9; Eze 16:11). They were used as ornaments for the ephod and breastplate of the high priest (Ex 28:14; 39:15). These chains were of pure gold. Solomon placed chains before the oracle in the temple (1Ki 6:21), and these were also of pure gold. They were used as ornaments for graven images (Isa 40:19) and around the necks of prized animals. This was true of the camels taken from the Midianites by Gideon (Jud 8:21,26).

(2) As marks of distinction: rabhidh, hamunekh (hamnikh): That seems to be true of the chain which Pharaoh placed about the neck of Joseph (Ge 41:42), and of the one which the king of Babylon promised to the wise men (Da 5:7).

(3) As means of confining prisoners: nechosheth; halusis: A number of passages that were translated "chains" in the King James Version are translated "fetters" in the Revised Version (British and American) (see Jud 16:21; 2Sa 3:34). Among the Romans the prisoner was chained to one or two guards (Ac 12:6,7; 21:33; Eph 6:20; 2Ti 1:16). These chains were perhaps made of copper or an alloy of copper and tin.

(4) As a figurative expression: ‘anaq. The Psalmist likens pride to a chain about the neck (Ps 73:6), and in Pr it is stated that the young man who hears the instruction of his father and forsakes not the law of his mother shall find that they are chains about his neck (Pr 1:9). In Re 20:1 the angel is described as descending with a great chain in his hand. According to the King James Version Peter speaks of the fallen angels as having been delivered into "chains of darkness" (2Pe 2:4), seira, and Jude speaks of them as being reserved in "everlasting chains" (Jude 1:6, the Revised Version (British and American) "bonds"), desmos.


A. W. Fortune





kal-sed’-o-ni, kal’-se-do-ni.






kal-de’-a, kal-de’-anz (kasdim, ‘erets kasdim; Chaldaia, Chaldaioi):

1. Geographical Position

Seats of the Chaldeans

2. Originally Sumero-Akkadian

3. History of the Chaldean Tribes

4. Merodach-baladan and Sargon of Assyria

5. Suzubu

6. Musezib-Marduk

7. Merodach-baladan’s Son

8. Na’id-Marduk

9. Palia

10. Nabu-bel-sumati and Others

His Tragic End

11. The Chaldeans Forge Ahead

12. Nabopolassar’s Revolt against Assyria

13. The Chaldeans as Learned Men

"Kasdim," "land of Kasdim" or "the Chaldeans," is the usual designation, in the Old Testament, for the land and the people (Jer 50:10; 51:24; 24:5; 25:12). The corresponding Greek form with l for s follows the Assyr-Bab Kaldu, mat Kaldi, "Chaldean, land of the Chaldeans." Kasdim is possibly connected with the name of Kesed (Kesedh), nephew of Abraham (Ge 22:22), and may be derived from the Assyr-Bab root kasadu, "to capture," suggesting that the Chaldeans were originally tribes of nomadic plunderers (compare Job 1:17).

1. Geographical Position:

Seats of the Chaldeans:

In its widest acceptation, Chaldea is the name of the whole of Babylonia, owing to the fact that the Chaldeans had given more than one king to the country. In the strict sense, however, their domain was the tract at the Northwest end of the Persian Gulf, which was often called by the Assyro-Babylonians mat Tamtim, "the Land of the Sea," a province of unknown extent. When these tribes migrated into Babylonia is uncertain, as is also their original home; but as they are closely related to the Arameans, it is possible that their first settlements lay in the neighborhood of the Aramean states bordering on the Holy Land. Tiglath-pileser IV (742 BC) speaks of the ra’asani or chiefs of the Kaldu, and the mention of numerous Aramean tribes in Babylonia itself shows that their example of settling there soon found imitators, as did the Anglo-Saxons when they invaded Britain. Among the Chaldean tribes in Babylonia may be mentioned Bit Amukkani, whose capital was Sapia; Bit Yakin which furnished the dynasty to which Merodach-baladan II belonged; and probably also Bit Dakkuri, as all three lay near the Persian Gulf. Sargon of Assyria excludes Bit-Amukkani and Bit-Dakkuri, and speaks of "the whole of the land of Chaldea, as much as there is; the land of Bit-Yakini, on the shore of the Salt River (the Persian Gulf), to the border of Tilmun" (the island of Bahrein and the adjacent mainland) (Pavement Inscr., IV, ll. 82, 83, 85, 86). It was probably the influence of theBabylonians among whom they settled which changed these nomads into city-dwellers. Sennacherib refers to 75 (var. 89) strong cities and fortresses of Chaldea, and 420 (var. 800) smaller towns which were around them; and there were also Chaldeans (and Arameans) in Erech, Nippur (Calneh), Kis, Hursag-kalama, Cuthah, and probably Babylon.

2. Originally Sumero-Akkadian:

The "land of the sea" (mat Tamtim)is mentioned in the chronicle of the early Babylonian kings (rev. 14) as being governed by Ea-gamil, contemporary of Samsu-Titana (circa 1900 BC), but at that period it was apparently one of the original Sumero-Akkadian states of Babylonia. It is doubtful whether, at that early date, the Chaldeans had entered Babylonia and founded settlements there, though the record mentions Arameans somewhat later on.

3. History of the Chaldean Tribes:

One of the earliest references to the Chaldeans is that of Shalmaneser II of Assyria, who, on invading Babylonia in the eponymy of Belbunaya (851 BC), captured the city Baqani, which belonged to Adini of the Chaldean tribe of Dakuri. After plundering and destroying the place, Shalmaneser attacked Enzudi, the capital, whereupon Adini submitted and paid tribute. On this occasion Yakini of "the Land of the Sea," also paid tribute, as did Musallim-Marduk, son of Amukkani (the Bit-Amukkani mentioned above). The next Assyrian ruler to mention the country is Adadnirari III (810 BC), who speaks of all the kings of the Chaldeans, which evidently refers to the various states into which the Chaldean tribes were divided. Later on, Sargon of Assyria, in his 12th year, decided to break the power of Merodach-baladan, who had made himself master of Babylon. To effect this, he first defeated the Gambulians, who were the Chaldean king’s supporters, and the Elamites, his allies over the border. The Chaldean, however, did not await the Assyrian king’s attack, but escaped to Yatburu in Elam, leaving considerable spoil behind him.

4. Merodach-baladan and Sargon of Assyria:

Though extensive operations were carried out, and much booty taken, the end of the campaign seems only to have come two years later, when Dur-Yakin was destroyed by fire and reduced to ruins. In the "Annals of Hall XIV" Sargon claims to have taken Merodach-baladan prisoner, but this seems doubtful. Merodach-baladan fled, but returned and mounted the throne again on Sargon’s death in 705 BC. Six months later Sennacherib, in his turn, attacked him, and he again sought safety in flight.

5. Suzubu:

A Chaldean chief named Suzubu, however, now came forward, and proclaimed himself king of Babylon, but being defeated, he likewise fled. Later on, Sennacherib attacked the Chaldeans at Nagitu and other settlements in Elamite-territory which Merodach-baladan and his followers had founded.

6. Musezib-Marduk:

After the death of Merodach-baladan, yet another Chaldean, whom Sennacherib calls likewise Suzubu, but whose full name was Musezib-Marduk, mounted the Babylonian throne. This ruler applied for help against Sennacherib of Assyria to Umman-menanu, the king of Elam, who, taking the bribe which was offered, supported him with an armed force, and a battle was fought at Chalule on the Tigris, in which Sennacherib claims the victory—probably rightly. Musezib-Marduk reigned 4 years, and was taken prisoner by his whilom ally, Umman-menanu, who sent him to Assyria.

7. Merodach-baladan’s Son:

In the reign of Esarhaddon, Nabu-zer-napistilisir, one of the sons of Merodach-baladan, gathered an army at Larsa, but was defeated by the Assyrians, and fled to Elam. The king of that country, however, wishing to be on friendly terms with Esarhaddon, captured him and put him to death.

8. Na’id-Marduk:

This prince had a brother named Na’id-Marduk, who, not feeling himself safe in the country which had acted treacherously toward his house, fled, and made submission to Esarhaddon, who received him favorably, and restored to him the dominion of the "Land of the Sea." This moderation secured the fidelity of the Chaldeans, and when the Elamite Urtaku sent inviting them to revolt against their suzerain, they answered to the effect that Na’id-Marduk was their lord, and they were the servants of the king of Assyria. This took place probably about 650 BC, in the reign of Esarhaddon’s son Assur-bani-apli (see OSNAPPAR).

9. Palia:

Hostility to Assyria, however, continued to exist in the tribe, Palia, grandson of Merodach-baladan, being one of the prisoners taken by Assur-bani-apli’s troops in their operations against the Gambulians (a Babylonian, and perhaps a Chaldean tribe) later on. It was only during the struggle of Samas-sumukin (Saosduchimos), king of Babylon, Assur-banl-apli’s brother, however, that they took sides against Assyria as a nationality. This change was due to the invitation of the Babylonian king—who may have been regarded, rather than Assur-bani-apli, as their overlord.

10. Nabu-bel-sumati:

The chief of the Chaldeans was at that time another grandson of Merodach-baladan, Nabu-bel-sumati, who seized the Assyrians in his domain, and placed them in bonds. The Chaldeans suffered, with the rest, in the great defeat of the Babylonian and allied forces, when Babylon and the chief cities of the land fell. Mannu-ki-Babili of the Dakkurians, Ea-sum-ikisa of Bit-Amukkani, with other Chaldean states, were punished for their complicity in Samas-sum-ukin’s revolt, while Nabu-bel-sumati fled and found refuge at the court of Indabigas, king of Elam. Assur-bani-apli at once demanded his surrender, but civil war in Elam broke out, in which Indabigas was slain, and Ummanaldas mounted the throne.

His Tragic End:

This demand was now renewed, and Nabu-bel-sumati, fearing that he would be surrendered, decided to end his life. He therefore directed his armor-bearer to dispatch him, and each ran the other through with his sword. The prince’s corpse, with the head of his armor-bearer, were then sent, with some of the Chaldean fugitives, to Assyria, and presented to the king. Thus ended, for a time, Chaldean ambition in Babylonia and in the domain of eastern politics.

11. The Chaldeans Forge Ahead:

With the death of Assur-bani-apli, which took place about 626 BC, the power of Assyria fell, his successors being probably far less capable men than he. This gave occasion for many plots against the Assyrian empire, and the Chaldeans probably took part in the general movement. In the time of Saracus (Sin-sarra-iskun of Assyria, circa 620 BC) Busalossor would seem to have been appointed general of the forces in Babylonia in consequence of an apprehended invasion of barbarians from the sea (the Persian Gulf) (Eusebius, Chronicon, book i).

12. Nabopolassar’s Revolt against Assyria:

The new general, however, revolted against the Assyrians, and made himself master of Babylonia. As, in other cases, the Assyrians seem to have been exceedingly faithful to their king, it has been thought possible that this general, who was none other than Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadpolassar’s rezzar, was not really an Assyrian, but a Babylonian, and probably a Chaldean. This theory; if correct, would explain how Babylonia, in its fullest sense, obtained the name of Chaldea, and was no longer known as the land of Shinar (Ge 10:10). The reputation of Merodach-baladan, the contemporary of Hezekiah, may have been partly responsible for the change of name.

13. The Chaldeans as Learned Men:

It was not in the restricted sense, but as a synonym of Babylonian, that the name Chaldean obtained the signification of "wise man." That the Chaldeans in the restricted and correct sense were more learned than, or even as learned as, the Babylonians in general, is unlikely. Moreover, the native inscriptions give no indication that this was the case. The Babylonians in general, on the other hand, were enthusiastic students from very early times. From their inscriptions, it is certain that among their centers of learning may be classed Sippar and Larsa, the chief seats of sun-worship; Nippur, identified with the Calneh of Ge 10:10; Babylon, the capital; Borsippa in the neighborhood of Babylon; Ur of the Chaldees; and Erech. There is, also, every probability that this list could be extended, and will be extended, when we know more; for wherever an important temple existed, there was to be found also a priestly school. "The learning of the Chaldeans" (Da 1:4; 2:2; 4:7; 5:7,11) comprised the old languages of Babylonia (the two dialects of Sumerian, with a certain knowledge of Kassite, which seems to have been allied to the Hittite; and other languages of the immediate neighborhood); some knowledge of astronomy and astrology; mathematics, which their sexagesimal system of numeration seems to have facilitated; and a certain amount of natural history. To this must be added a store of mythological learning, including legends of the Creation, the Flood (closely resembling in all its main points the account in the Bible), and apparently also the Temptation and the Fall. They had likewise a good knowledge of agriculture, and were no mean architects, as the many celebrated buildings of Babylonia show—compare not only the descriptions of the Temple of Belus (see BABEL, TOWER OF) and the Hanging Gardens, but also the remains of Gudea’s great palace at Lagas (Tel-loh), where that ruler, who lived about 2500 BC, is twice represented as an architect, with plan and with rule and measure. (These statues are now in the Louvre.) That their architecture never attained the elegance which characterized that of the West, is probably due to the absence of stone, necessitating the employment of brick as a substitute (Ge 11:3).


T. G. Pinches


chok’-ston (’abhneghir (compare Eben-ezer, ‘ebhen ha-‘ezer, "stone of the help," 1Sa 7:12)): In Isa 27:9 we have: "Therefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be forgiven, and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: that he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, so that the Asherim and the sun- images shall rise no more." ‘Abhne-ghir is compounded of ‘ebhen, "stone," which occurs in many passages, and gir or gir, "lime" (compare Arabic jir ," gypsum" or "quicklime"), which occurs only here and in Da 5:5: "wrote .... upon the plaster (gir) of the wall of the king’s palace." Nearly all the rock of Palestine is limestone. When limestone is burned, it is converted into lime, which is easily broken into pieces, and, if allowed to remain open to the air, becomes slaked by the moisture of the atmosphere and crumbles into dust. The reference is to the destruction of the altar. It may mean that the altar will be burned so that the stones will become lime, or, more probably, that the stones of the altar will be broken as chalkstones (i.e. lumps of quicklime) are broken. There is no doubt that lime was known to the Egyptians, Assyrians and Hebrews, though clay, with or without straw, was more commonly used in building. Even bitumen ("slime") appears to have been used for mortar.


Alfred Ely Day


chal’-enj: Only in Ex 22:9, where the King James Version has taken Hebrew ‘amar, "say," in the sense of "claim." the Revised Version (British and American) "whereof one saith, This is it," points more definitely to the idea of identification of the stolen personal property.


kal’-fi (Chalphi; the King James Version Calphi): Father of Judas, who, along with Mattathias, steadily supported Jonathan at the battle of Gennesar when the hosts of Demetrius’ princes were routed (1 Macc 11:70).


cham’-ber (the translation of the following Hebrew words: chedher, chuppah, yatsia‘, yatsua‘, lishkah, nishkah, ‘aliyah, tsela‘, and the Aramaic word ‘illith): For the most part the word chamber is the expression of an idea which would be adequately expressed by the English word "room," in accordance with an earlier use of the word, now little employed. For the arrangement of rooms in a Hebrew house, see HOUSE. Chedher is a word of frequent occurrence, and designates a private room. Chuppah is translated "chamber" only in Ps 19:5, where it is used in connection with "bridegroom," and means a bridal chamber. The same Hebrew word used of the bride in Joe 2:16 is rendered "closet." Yatsia‘ and yatsua‘ are found only in 1Ki 6:5,6,10 (the King James Version only in all the passages), yatsua‘ being the reading of Kethibh and yatsia‘ of Kere in each ease. Here the meaning is really "story," as given in the Revised Version (British and American), except in 1Ki 6:6, where doubtless the text should be changed to read ha-tsela‘, "the side-chamber." Lishkah, a frequent word, and the equivalent nishkah, infrequent, are used ordinarily of a room in the temple utilized for sacred purposes, occasionally of a room in the palace. ‘Aliyah and the equivalent Aramaic ‘illith signify "a roof chamber," i.e. a chamber built on the flat roof of a house. Tsela‘, when used of a chamber, designates a side-chamber of the temple. It is usually rendered "side-chamber," but "chamber" in 1Ki 6:5,8 (the King James Version), where the Revised Version (British and American) has "side-chamber."

George Ricker Berry




cham’-ber-ing: Illicit intercourse; the rendering in English Versions of the Bible since Tyndale of koitias (literally "beds," Ro 13:13). The Greek usage is paralleled in classic authors and the Septuagint; like the English participle, it denotes repeated or habitual acts. The word is not recorded elsewhere in English literature as verb or participle in this sense; in Othello, iii, 3, a chamberer is an intriguer, male wanton, in Byron, Werner, IV, 1, 404, a gallant or carpet knight, and in Chaucer, Clerk’s Tale, 766, a concubine.


cham’-ber-lin: In the Old Testament the word rendered chamberlain, caric, is more properly "eunuch," an officer which oriental monarchs placed over their harems (Es 1:10,12,15; 2:3,14,21; 4:4 f; 6:2,14; 7:9; 2Ki 23:11). This officer seems also to have had other duties. See under EUNUCH. In the New Testament:

(1) oikonomos, literally manager of the household, apparently the "treasurer" as in the Revised Version (British and American) "Erastus the treasurer of the city saluteth you" (Ro 16:23). Compare adapted use as applied to Christian apostles and teachers, bishops, and even to individual members; in which cases, rendered "stewards" (1Co 4:1; Tit 1:7; 1Pe 4:10).

(2) In Ac 12:20, "Blastus the king’s chamberlain" (ho epi toa koitonos tou basileos, "he who is over the king’s bed-chamber"), not treasure-chamber, as above; here praefectus cubiculo, or chief valet de chambre to the royal person, a position involving much honor and intimacy.

Edward Bagby Pollard






im’-aj-ri, im’-a-jer-i (maskith): The reference (Eze 8:12) is to chambers in the temple where the elders of Israel were wont to assemble and practice rites of an idolatrous character. What the imagery consisted of, we may gather from 8:10: symbolic representations of beasts and reptiles and "detestable things." It is thought that these symbols were of a zodiacal character. The worship of the planets was in vogue at the time of the prophet among the degenerate Israelites.


ka-me’-le-un (koach, the Revised Version (British and American) LAND CROCODILE (Le 11:30); tinshemeth, the King James Version mole, the Revised Version (British and American) CHAMELEON (Le 11:30)):

Koach, which in the King James Version is rendered "chameleon" and in the Revised Version (British and American) "land crocodile," means also "strength" or "power," as in Ge 4:12; 1Sa 2:9; Ps 22:15; Isa 40:29, and many other passages. The Septuagint has chamaileon, but on account of the ordinary meaning of the word, koach, it has been thought that some large lizard should be understood here. The desert monitor, Varanus griseus, one of the largest of lizards, sometime attaining the length of 4 ft., is common in Palestine and may be the animal here referred to. The name "monitor" is a translation of the German warnen, "to warn," with which has been confused the Arabic name of this animal, waran or waral, a word of uncertain etymology.

The word tinshemeth in the same verse is rendered in the King James Version "mole" and in the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon." The Septuagint has aspalax (= spalax, "mole"). Tinshemeth also occurs in the lists of unclean birds in Le 11:18 and De 14:16, where it is rendered: the King James Version "swan"; the Revised Version (British and American) "horned owl"; Septuagint porphurion (i.e. "coot" or, according to some, "heron"); Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) cygnus, "swan." It appears to come from the root nasham, "to breathe"; compare neshamah, "breath" (Ge 2:7; Job 27:3 the King James Version, etc.). It has therefore in Le 11:30 been referred to the chameleon on account of the chameleon’s habit of puffing up its body with air and hissing, and in the other passages to the pelican, on account of the pelican’s great pouched bill.

The common chameleon is abundant in Palestine, being found also in North Africa and in Spain. The other species of chameleons are found principally in Africa and Madagascar. It is not only a harmless but a decidedly useful creature, since it feeds upon insects, especially flies. Its mode of capturing its prey is most interesting. It slowly and cautiously advances until its head is from 4 to 6 inches from the insect, which it then secures by darting out its tongue with great rapidity. The pigment cel ls in its skin enable it to change its color from pale yellow to bright green, dark green and almost black, so that it can harmonize very perfectly with its surroundings. Its peculiar toes and prehensile tail help to fit it for its life in the trees. Its prominent eyes with circular lids, like iris diaphragms can be moved independently of each other, and add to its striking appearance.


Alfred Ely Day


sham’-i, sha-mwa’, sha-moi’ (zemer; kamelopdrdalis): Occurs only once in the Bible, i.e. in the list of clean animals in De 14:5. Gesenius refers to the verb zamar, "to sing," and suggests the association of dancing or leaping, indicating thereby an active animal. M’Lean in Encyclopedia Biblica cites the rendering of the Targums dica’, or "wild goat." Now there are two wild goats in Palestine. The better known is the ibex of the South, which may well be the ya‘el (English Versions, "wild goat"; Job 39:1; Ps 104:18; 1Sa 24:2), as well as the ‘aqqo (English Version, "wild goat," De 14:5). The other is the pasang or Persian wild goat which ranges from the Northeast of Palestine and the Syrian desert to Persia, and which may be the zemer (English Versions "chamois"). The accompanying illustration, which is taken from the Royal Natural History, shows the male and female and young. The male is distinguished by its larger horns and goatee. The horns are in size and curvature very similar to those of the ibex (see GOAT, section 2) , but the front edge is like a nicked blade instead of being thick and knotty as in the ibex. Like the ibex it is at home among the rocks, and climbs apparently impossible cliffs with marvelous ease.

Tristram (NHB) who is followed by Post (HDB) suggests that zemer may be the Barbary sheep (Ovis tragelaphus), though the latter is only known to inhabit the Atlas Mountains, from the Atlantic to Tunis. Tristram supports his view by reference to a kebsh ("ram") which the Arabs say lives in the mountains of Sinai, though they have apparently neither horns nor skins to show as trophies, and it is admitted that no European has seen it. The true chamois (Rupicapra tragus) inhabits the high mountains from t he Pyrenees to the Caucasus, and there is no reason to suppose that it was ever found in Syria or Palestine.

Alfred Ely Day


sham-pan’, sham’-pan (‘arabhah, biq‘ah): A champaign is a flat open country, and the word occurs in De 11:30 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah") as a translation of ‘arabhah, for which the King James Version has in most places "the plain," and the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah," when it is used with the article and denotes a definite region, i.e. the valley of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea (De 2:8; 3:17; 4:4:9; Jos 3:16; 8:14; 11:16; 12:1,3,1; 2Sa 2:29; 4:7; 2Ki 14:25; 25:4; Jer 39:4; 52:7), and also the valley running southward from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akabah (De 1:1). Eze 47:8 has for ha-‘arabhah "the desert," the King James Version margin "plain," the Revised Version (British and American) "the Arabah." The plural is used in Jos 5:10; 2Ki 25:5, "the plains of Jericho," and in Nu 22:1; 26:3, "the plains of Moab." Elsewhere ‘arabhah is rendered in English Versions of the Bible "desert" or "wilderness" (Job 24:5; 39:6; Isa 33:9; 35:1,6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3; Jer 2:6; 17:6; 50:12). At the present day, the Jordan va lley is called the Ghaur (compare Hebrew ‘ur, "to dig," me‘arah, "cave," and Arabic magharah, "cave"). This name is also applied to the deltas of streams flowing into the Dead Sea from the East, which are clothed with thickets of thorny trees and shrubs, i.e. Ghaur-ul-Mezra‘ah, at the mouths of Wadi-Kerak and Wadi-Beni-Chammad, Ghaur-uc-Cafiyeh, at the mouth of Wadi-ul-Hisa. The name "Arabah" (Arabic al-‘Arabah) is now confined to the valley running southward from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akabah, separating the mountains of Edom from Sinai and the plateau of at-Tih.


Eze 37:2 the King James Version margin has "champaign" for biq‘ah, which is elsewhere rendered "vale" or "valley." Biq‘ah seems to be applied to wide, open valleys, as: "the valley of Jericho" (De 34:3), "the valley of Megiddo" (2Ch 35:22; Zec 12:11), "the valley of Lebanon" (Jos 11:17). If Baal-Gad be Ba‘albeq and "the valley of Lebanon" be Coele-syria, the present name of Coele-syria, al-Biqa‘ (plural of buq‘ah, "a low, wet place or meadow"), may be regarded as a survival of the Hebre w biq‘ah.

Alfred Ely Day


cham’-pi-un (’ish habenayim): In 1Sa 17:4,23 this unusual expression occurs in the description of Goliath. It means literally "the man of the two spaces," "spaces," or "space between," and is perhaps to be explained by the fact that there was a brook flowing through the valley separating the two armies. In 1Sa 17:51 the word champion is the rendering of the Hebrew gibbor, "mighty man."


ka’-nan, ka’-na-an, ka’-nan-it (Chanaan), the King James Version in the Apocrypha (Judith 5:3,16) and New Testament (Ac 7:11; 13:19) for the Revised Version (British and American) CANAAN, CANAANITE (which see).


chans: The idea of chance in the sense of something wholly fortuitous was utterly foreign to the Hebrew creed. Throughout the whole course of Israel’s history, to the Hebrew mind, law, not chance, ruled the universe, and that law was not something blindly mechanical, but the expression of the personal Yahweh. Israel’s belief upon this subject may be summed up in the couplet, " The lot is cast into the lap; But the whole disposing thereof is of Yahweh" (Pr 16:33). A number of Hebrew and Greek expressions have been translated "chance," or something nearly equivalent, but it is noteworthy that of the classical words for chance, suntuchia, and tuche, the former never occurs in the Bible and the latter only twice in the Septuagint.

The closest approach to the idea of chance is found in the statement of the Philistines that if their device for ascertaining the cause of their calamities turned out a certain way they would call them a chance, that is, bad luck (miqreh, 1Sa 6:9). But note that it was a heathen people who said this. We have the same Hebrew noun and the verb, from which the noun is taken, a number of times, but variously rendered into English: Uncleanness that "chanceth him by night" (De 23:10). "Her hap was to ligh t on the portion of the field" (Ru 2:3). "Something hath befallen him" (1Sa 20:26). "One event happeneth to them all" (Ec 2:14,15); "that which befalleth the sons of men" ("sons of men are a chance," the English Revised Version, margin) (Ec 3:19). "There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked" (Ec 9:2,3). Here the idea certainly is not something independent of the will of God, but something unexpected by man.

There is also qara’," If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way" (De 22:6). Both the above Hebrew words are combined in the statement "As I happened by chance upon Mount Gilboa" (2Sa 1:6). "And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David" ("met the servants," 2Sa 18:9, the King James Version). "And there happened to be there a base fellow" (2Sa 20:1).

We have also pegha‘, "Time and chance happeneth to them all," meaning simply occurrence (Ec 9:11). "Neither adversary, nor evil occurrence" (1Ki 5:4).

In the New Testament we have sugkuria, "coincidence," a meeting apparently accidental, a coincidence. "By chance a certain priest was going down that way" (Lu 10:31). Also ei tuchoi. "It may chance of wheat, or of some other kind," i.e. we cannot tell which (1Co 15:37). "It may be" (1Co 14:10).

If we look at the Septuagint we find tuche used twice. "And Leah said, (En tuche) With fortune" ("a troop cometh," the King James Version; "fortunate," the Revised Version (British and American); "with fortune," the Revised Version, margin, Ge 30:11). Note, it was no Israelite, but who said this. "That prepare a table for Fortune, and that fill up mingled wine unto Destiny" ("fate," Isa 65:11). In this passage tuche stands or the Hebrew meni, the god of destiny, and Fortune is for Gad, the old Semitic name for the god of fortune found in inscriptions, private names, etc. Note here, however, also, that the prophet was rebuking idolatrous ones for apostasy to heathen divinities.

We have also in the Apocrypha, "these things which have chanced," the Revised Version (British and American) "to be opened unto thee" (2 Esdras 10:49).

See also GAD; MENI.

George Henry Trever


chan’-sel-er: The rendering in Ezr 4:8,9,17 of the Hebrew be‘el Te‘em; Septuagint Baal (4:9), Balgam (4:17), the latter being an incorrect translation of Hebrew ‘ayin. In 1 Esdras 2:16,25, Beeltethmos (compare Ezr 4:8) occurs as a corruption, doubtless of be‘el Te‘em. The term in question designates an Assyrian office, namely, that of the "master or lord of official intelligence," or "postmaster" (Sayce).


chanj: A word which seeks to express the many shades of meaning contained in 13 variations of 9 Hebrew words and 5 Greek. These signify, in turn, "to change" "to exchange," "to turn," "to put or place," "to make other" i.e. "alter," "to disguise oneself." chalaph, and its derivatives, occuring often, indicates "to pass away," hence, alter, renew, e.g.:

(1) "changes of raiment" (Ge 45:22; Jud 14:12,13,19);

(2) "changed my wages ten times" (Ge 31:7,41);

(3) heavens changed "as a vesture" (Ps 102:26);

(4) "changes and warfare" (Job 10:17), i.e. relays of soldiers as illustrated in 1Ki 5:14 (the Revised Version, margin "host after host is against me");

(5) "till my change come" (the Revised Version (British and American) "release"), i.e. death (Job 14:14);

(6) "changed the ordinances" (the American Standard Revised Version "violated the statutes"), i.e. disregarded law (Isa 24:5);

(7) change of mind (Hab 1:11 the King James Version). Used also of change of character, haphakh:

(1) of leprosy, "changed unto white" (Le 13:16);

(2) figuratively of the moral life, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?" (Jer 13:23); so also mur, and derivatives, "changed their gods" and "their glory," etc. (Ps 106:20; Jer 2:11; Ho 4:7).

Other words used to indicate change of name (2Ki 24:17); of day and night (Job 17:12); of times and seasons (Da 2:21); of countenance. (Da 7:28); of behavior (1Sa 21:13); God’s unchangeableness, "I, Yahweh, change not" (Mal 3:6).

In the New Testament the word has to do chiefly with spiritual realities:

(1) metatithemi, of the necessary change of the priesthood and law under Christ (Heb 7:12);

(2) allatto, of His changing the customs of Moses (Ac 6:14);

(3) of moral change, e.g. debasement (Ro 1:23,25,26);

(4) of bodily change at the resurrection (1Co 15:51,52; metaschematizo, Php 3:21 the King James Version);

(5) metaballo, of change of mind in presence of a miracle (Ac 28:6);

(6) of the change to come over the heavens at the great day of the Lord (Heb 1:12; compare 2Pe 3:10,12).

Figurative uses indicated separately in the course of the article.

Dwight M. Pratt





chan’-jer (kollubistes, "money-changer," and so rendered Mt 21:12; Mr 11:15): A banker or other person who changes money at a fixed rate. Indignant at the profane traffic in the temple Jesus "poured out the changers’ money" (Joh 2:15). So used only here. For fuller treatment see BANK; MONEY-CHANGERS.


chan’-el (’aphiq (root ‘aphaq, "to hold or contain," "to be strong"; compare Arabic ‘afaq "to overcome" and ‘afiq, "preeminent"); shibboleth (shabhal, "to go," "to go up or grow," "to flow"; compare Arabic ‘asbal, "to flow," "to rain," "to put forth ears"; sabalat, "an ear of grain"; sabil, "a road," "a public fountain")): In Job 12:21; 40:18; 41:15 we have ‘aphiq in the sense of "strong" (but compare 40:18, the Revised Version (British and American) "tubes" (of brass)). Elsewhere it is translated "river," "brook," "stream," "channel" or "watercourse." Shibboleth (in the dialect of Ephraim cibboleth (Jud 12:6)) means "an ear of grain" (Ge 41:5 ff; Ru 2:2; Isa 17:5) or "a flood of water" (Ps 69:2,15; Isa 27:12). In 2Sa 22:16 (compare Ps 18:15) we have: " Then the channels of the sea appeared, The foundations of the world were laid bare, By the rebuke of Yahweh, At the blast of the breath of his nostrils." This is reminiscent of "fountains of the deep" (Ge 7:11; 8:2; Pr 8:28). It is a question how far we should attribute to these ancient writers a share in modern notions of oceanography, but the idea seems to be that of a withdrawal of the water of the ocean, and the laying bare of submarine declivities and channels such as we know to exist as the result of erosion during a previous period of elevation, when the given portion of ocean floor was dry land.

The fact that many streams of Palestine flow only during the rainy season seems to be referred to in Job 6:15; and perhaps also in Ps 126:4.


Alfred Ely Day


(paraT): Occurs only once in the King James Version in Am 6:5, and the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. ParaT corresponds to an Arabic root meaning to anticipate. It may therefore signify to improvise, to sing without care or preparation. the Revised Version (British and American) "to sing idle songs" suits the context. See Driver, Joe and Amos.


ka-nun’-e-us (Chanounaios; the King James Version Channuneus): A Levite in the list of 1 Esdras 8:48, probably corresponding to "Merari" in Ezr 8:19.


chap’-el (miqdash, "a holy place"; the Revised Version (British and American) SANCTUARY, which see): "It is the king’s chapel" (Am 7:13 the King James Version), an expression indicative of the dependence of this sanctuary on the court.


ka-fen’-a-tha (Chaphenatha; the King James Version Caphenatha): A name apparently given to part of the eastern wall of Jerusalem or a fort in that neighborhood which is said (1 Macc 12:37) to have been repaired by Jonathan Maccabeus. The place cannot now be identified. Various speculations have been made as to the origin of the name, but they can hardly be said to throw any light on the passage cited.





chap’-man (plural ‘anshe ha-tarim): Word used only once in the King James Version (2Ch 9:14, the American Standard Revised Version "the traders"; compare also 1Ki 10:15 the Revised Version (British and American), where the Hebrew uses the same expression). The English word means "merchant"; compare the verb "to chaffer," and the German Kaufmann. The Hebrew means "those who go about" as merchants.


(chathath): The Hebrew term chathath means "broken," "terrified" or "dismayed." This term as it occurs in Jer 14:4 is rendered "chapt" in English Versions of the Bible, "cracked" in the American Standard Revised Version, and "dismayed" in the Revised Version, margin. Inasmuch as the Hebrew term means "broken," it is not incorrectly rendered "chapt" or "chapped," which means to be cracked Open.


kar-a-ath’-a-lan (Charaathalan; the King James Version Charaathalar (1 Esdras 5:36)): Most probably a corruption of the text. The names "Cherub, Addan, and Immer" in the lists of Ezr 2:59 and Ne 7:61 are presented in the text cited as "Charaathalan leading them, and Allar."





kar’-a-shim (charashim, "craftsmen").



kar’-ax, kar’-a-ka; (eis ton Charaka; the King James Version Charax): A place mentioned only in 2 Macc 12:17. It lay East of the Jordan and is said to be 750 stadia from Caspis, and to be inhabited by Jews called Tubieni, that is, of Tobie (Tob) in Gilead (1 Macc 5:9,13; 2 Macc 12:17). There is no clue as to the direction in which Ch. lay from Caspis. Possibly Kerak (Kir-moab), in post-Biblical times called Charamoba and Moboucharax, may represent the place. It lay about 100 miles South of el-Mezerib, Southeast of the Dead Sea.








kar’-re-a (Charea): Head of a family of temple-servants (1 Esdras 5:32); called "Harsha" in Ezr 2:52; Ne 7:54.


charj, char’-ja-b’-l (from Latin carrus, "a wagon," hence, "to lay or put a load on or in," "to burden, or be a burden"):


(1) of a special duty mishmereth, ("thing to be watched"), "the charge of Yahweh" (Le 8:35), the injunctions given in Ex 29; "the charge of the tabernacle" (Nu 1:53); "the charge of the sons of Getshon" (Nu 3:25);

(2) of the burden of expense (kabhedh, "to be, or make heavy"; adapanos, "without expense"), "lest we be chargeable unto thee" (2Sa 13:25 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "burdensome"); "The former governors .... were charge unto the people" (Ne 5:15 margin "laid burdens upon"); "that .... I may make the gospel without charge" (1Co 9:18; see CHARGES);

(3) of oversight, care, custody, "Who gave him a charge over the earth?" (Job 34:13); "to have the charge of the gate" (2Ki 7:17); "charge of the vessels of service" (1Ch 9:28); "cause ye them that have charge (pequddoth, "inspectors") over the city" (Eze 9:1); "who had the charge of all her treasure" (Ac 8:27 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "was over");

(4) of a command, injunction, requirement, "He gave him a charge" (Ge 28:6); "His father charged the people with the oath" (1Sa 14:27); "Jesus strictly (m "sternly") charged them" (Mt 9:30); "I charge you by the Lord" (1Th 5:27 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "adjure"); "having received such a charge" (Ac 16:24, paraggelia, "private or extra message"); "This charge I commit unto thee" (1Ti 1:18);

(5) of blame, responsibility, reckoning, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Ac 7:60); "nothing laid to his charge" (Ac 23:29); "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?" (Ro 8:33).

M. O. Evans


char’-jer (the American Standard Revised Version "platter"): A word which meant in the older English speech a flat dish or platter. It is used in the Bible as the translation:

(1) of qe‘arah, which in Nu 7:19 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "platter") and repeatedly in that chapter denotes one of the gifts made by the several princes at the dedication of the tabernacle;

(2) of ‘agharTal, a word of uncertain derivation used in Ezr 1:9 (the King James Version) twice to designate certain temple vessels which might better be called "libation bowls";

(3) of pinax, used Mt 14:8,11; Mr 6:25,28 (EV) for the dish in which the head of John the Baptist was presented.

David Foster Estes


char’-jiz (dapanao, "to spend"): "Be at charges for them" (Ac 21:24, the King James Version "with them"), i.e. pay the sacrificial expenses of these poorer Nazirites (compare Josephus, Ant, XIX, xvi, 1).


char’-i-ot (merkabh, merkabhah, "riding-chariot," rekhebh, "war-chariot"; harma):

1. Chariots of Egypt

2. Chariots of the Canaanites

3. Chariots of Solomon and Later Kings

4. Chariots of the Assyrians

5. Chariots of Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks

6. In the New Testament

7. Figurative Use


1. Chariots of Egypt:

It is to the chariots of ancient Egypt that reference is first made in Scripture. Joseph was honored by being made to ride in the second chariot of King Pharaoh (Ge 41:43). Joseph paid honor to his father on his arrival in Goshen by meeting him in his chariot (Ge 46:29). In the state ceremonial with which the remains of Jacob were escorted to Canaan, chariots and horsemen were conspicuous (Ge 50:9). In the narrative of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt and of Pharaoh’s futile attempts to detain them the chariots and horsemen of Pharaoh figure largely (Ex 14:17,18,23,15; 15:4,19). It was with the Hyksos invasion, some centuries before the Exodus, that the horse, and subsequently the chariot, were introduced for purposes of war into Egypt; and it may have been the possession of chariots that enabled those hated shepherd warriors to overpower the native Egyptians. The Egyptian chariot was distinguished by its lightness of build. It was so reduced in weight that it was possible for a man to carry his chariot on his shoulders without fatigue. The ordinary chariot was made of wood and leather, and had only two occupants, the fighting man and his shield-bearer. The royal chariots were ornamented with gold and silver, and in the battle of Megiddo Thothmes III is represented as standing in his chariot of electrum like the god of war, brandishing his lance. In the battle the victorious Egyptians captured 2,041 horses and 924 chariots from the Syrian allies.

2. Chariots of the Canaanites:

The Canaanites had long been possessed of horses and chariots when Joshua houghed their horses and burnt their chariots with fire at the waters of Merom (Jos 11:6,9). The chariots of iron which the Canaanites could maneuvere in the plains and valleys proved a formidable obstacle to the Complete conquest of the land (Jud 1:19). Jabin had 900 chariots of iron, and with them he was able to oppress the children of Israel twenty years (Jud 4:3). The Philistines of the low country and the maritime plain, of whom we read in Judges and Samuel, were a warlike people, were disciplined and well armed and their possession of chariots gave them a great advantage over the Israelites. In the war of Michmash they put into the field the incredible number of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, only in the end to suffer a grievous defeat (1Sa 13:5; 14:20). In the battle of Gilboa, however, the chariots and horsemen of the Philistines bore down all opposition, and proved the destruction of Saul and his house. Of these chariots there have come down to us no detailed description and no representation. But we cannot be far wrong in turning to the chariot of the Hittites as a type of the Canaanite and Philistine chariot. It is not from the monuments of the Hittites themselves, however, but from the representations of the Kheta of the Egyptian monuments, that we know what their chariots were like. Their chariotry was their chief arm of offense. The Hittite chariot was used, too, for hunting; but a heavier car with paneled sides was employed for war. The Egyptian monuments represent three Hittites in each car, a practice which differed from that of Egypt and attracted attention. Of the three, one guided the chariot, another did the fighting with sword and lance, and the third was the shield-bearer.

3. Chariots of Solomon and Later Kings:

The Israelites living in a mountainous country were tardy in adopting the chariot for purposes of war. David houghed all the chariot horses of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, and "reserved of them for a hundred chariots" (2Sa 8:4), and Adonijah prepared for himself chariots and horsemen with a view to contest the throne of his father (1Ki 1:5). But Solomon was the first in Israel to acquire chariots and horses on a national scale, and to build cities for their accommodation (1Ki 9:19). In Massoretic Text of the Old Testament we read that Solomon had agents who received droves of horses from Egypt, and it is added: "And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means" (1Ki 10:29). On the strength of a warrantable emendation of the text it is now proposed to read the preceding (1Ki 10:28): "And Solomon’s import of horses was from Mucri and from Kue; the king’s traders received them from Kue at a price"—where Mucri and Kue are North Syria and Cilicia. No doubt it was Egypt out of which the nation was forbidden by the Deuteronomic law to multiply horses (De 17:16), but on the other hand the statement of Eze (27:14) that Israel derived horses, chargers and mules not from Egypt but from Togarmah—North Syria and Asia Minor—agrees with the new rendering (Burney, Notes on Hebrew Text of the Books of Kings, in the place cited.). From Solomon’s time onward chariots were in use in both kingdoms. Zimri, who slew Elah, son of Baasha, king of Israel, was captain of half his chariots (1Ki 16:9). It was when sitting in his chariot in disguise beside the driver that Ahab received his fatal wound at Ramoth-gilead (1Ki 22:34). The floor of the royal chariot was a pool of blood, and "they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria" (1Ki 22:35,38). It was in his war-chariot that his servants carried Josiah dead from the fatal field of Megiddo (2Ki 23:30). The chief pieces of the Hebrew chariot were

(1) the pole to which the two horses were yoked,

(2) the axle—resting upon two wheels with six or eight spokes (1Ki 7:33)—into which the pole was fixed,

(3) a frame or body open behind, standing upon the axle and fitted by a leather band to the pole.

The chariots of iron of which we read (Jud 4:3) were of wood strengthened or studded with iron. Like that of the Hittite, the Hebrew chariot probably carried three men, although in the chariot of Ahab (1Ki 22:34) and in that of Jehu (2Ki 9:24 f) we read of only two.

4. Chariots of the Assyrians:

In the later days when the Assyrians overran the lands of the West, the Israelites had to face the chariots and the hosts of Sennacherib and of the kings (2Ki 19:23). And they faced them with chariots of their own. An inscription of Shalmaneser II of Assyria tells how in the battle of Karkar (854 BC) Ahab of the land of Israel had put into the field 2,000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers. But the Assyrian chariotry was too numerous and powerful for Israel. The Assyrian chariot was larger and heavier than the Egyptian or the Hebrew: it had usually three and sometimes four occupants (Maspero, Life in Ancient Egypt and Assyria, 322). When we read in Nahum’s prophecy of "chariots flashing with steel," "rushing to and fro in the broad ways" (Na 2:3,4), it is of the Assyrian chariots that we are to think being hastily got together for the defense of Nineveh.

5. Chariots of Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks:

In early Babylonian inscriptions of the 3rd millennium before Christ there is evidence of the use of the war-chariots, and Nebuchadrezzar in his campaigns to the West had chariots as part of his victorious host (Jer 47:3). It was the Persians who first employed scythed chariots in war; and we find Antiochus Eupator in the Seleucid period equipping a Greek force against Judea which had 300 chariots armed with scythes (2 Macc 13:2).

6. In the New Testament:

In the New Testament the chariot is only twice mentioned. Besides the chariot in which the Ethiopian eunuch was traveling when Philip the evangelist made up to him (Ac 8:28,29,38), there is only the mention of the din of war-chariots to which the onrush of locusts in Apocalyptic vision is compared (Re 9:9).

7. Figurative Use:

In the figurative language of Scripture, the chariot has a place. It is a tribute to the powerful influence of Elijah and Elisha when they are separately called "the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof" (2Ki 2:12; 13:14). The angelic hosts are declared to be God’s chariots, twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands (Ps 68:17). But chariots and horses themselves are a poor substitute for the might of God (Ps 20:7). God Himself is represented as riding upon His chariots of salvation for the defense of His people (Hab 3:8). In the Book of Zec, the four chariots with their horses of various colors have an apocalyptic significance (Zec 6). In the worship of the host of heaven which prevailed in the later days of the kingdom of Judah, "the chariots of the sun" (see article) were symbols which led the people into gross idolatry and King Josiah burnt them with fire (2Ki 23:11).


Nowack, Hebrew Archaeology, I, 366 f; Garstang, Land of the Hittites, 363 f; Maspero, Struggle of the Nations and Life in Ancient Egypt and Assyria; Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies, II, 1-21.

T. Nicol.


(markebhoth ha-shemesh): These, together with "horses of the sun," are mentioned in 2Ki 23:11. They are said to have stood in the temple, a gift of the kings of Judah. Josiah removed the horses from the precincts of the temple and burned the chariots. Among the Greeks, Helios was endowed with horses and chariots. Thus the course of the sun as he sped across the skies was understood by the mythological mind of antiquity. The Babylonian god Shamash (= Hebrew Shemesh) likewise had his chariot and horses as well as his charioteer. The cult of the sun and other heavenly bodies which was particularly in vogue during the latter days of the Judean monarchy (compare 2Ki 23:5; Eze 8:16 f; De 17:3; Jer 8:2) seems to have constituted an element of the Canaanitish religion (compare the names of localities like Beth-shemesh and the like). The chariots of the sun are also referred to in Enoch 72:5,37; 75:4, and Greek Apocrypha of Baruch 6.

Max L. Margolis


char’-i-ta-bli (kata agapen): The Revised Version (British and American), which substitutes "love" for "charity" regularly, removing the latter word from the vocabulary of Scripture, makes a like change in Ro 14:15, the only occurrence of "charitably" in the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "in love."



char’-i-ti (agape):

1. A New Word

2. A New Ideal

3. An Apostolic Term

4. Latin Equivalents

5. English Translation

6. Inward Motive

7. Character

8. Ultimate Ideal 9. Almsgiving

10. Tolerance

In the King James Version in 26 places from 1Co 8:1 onward. The same Greek word, which appears in the New Testament 115 times, is elsewhere translated by "love."

1. A New Word:

The substantive agape is mainly, if not exclusively, a Biblical and ecclesiastical word (see Deissmann, Bible Studies, 198 ff), not found in profane writings, although the verb agapan, from which it is derived, is used in classical Greek in the sense of "love, founded in admiration, veneration, esteem, like the Latin diligere" (Grimm-Thayer), rather than natural emotion (Latin, amare).

2. A New Ideal:

It is a significant evidence of the sense of a new ideal and principle of life that permeated the Christian consciousness of the earliest communities, that they should have made current a new word to express it, and that they should derive that word, not from the current or philosophical language of Greek morality, but from the Septuagint.

3. An Apostolic Term:

In the New Testament the word is apostolic, and appears first and predominantly in the Pauline writings. It is found only twice in the Synoptics (Mt 24:12; Lu 11:42), and although it is in both places put in the mouth of the Saviour, it can easily be understood how the language of a later time may have been used by the narrator, when it is considered that these gospels were compiled and reduced to writing many years after the spread of the Pauline epistles. The word is not found in James, Mark or Acts, but it appears in Paul 75 times, in John 30 times, in Peter 4 times, in Jude twice and in Hebrews twice. Jesus Christ gave the thing and the spirit in the church, and the apostles (probably Paul) invented the term to express it.

4. Latin Equivalents:

When Jerome came to translate the Greek Testament into Latin, he found in that language no word to represent agape. Amor was too gross, and he fell back on dilectio and caritas, words which, however, in their original meanings were too weak and colorless to represent agape adequately. No principle seems to have guided him in the choice of the one word or the other in particular places.

5. English Translation:

Caritas in English became "charity," and was taken over by the English translators from the Vulg, though not with any regularity, nor as far as can be judged, according to any definite principle, except that it is used of agape only in man, never as it denotes a quality or action of God, which is always translated by "love." When agape is translated by "charity" it means either

(1) a disposition in man which may qualify his own character (1Co 8:1) and be ready to go forth to God (1Co 8:3) or to men; or

(2) an active and actual relation with other men, generally within the church (Col 3:14; 1Th 3:6; 2Th 1:3; 1Ti 1:5; 4:12; 1Pe 4:8; 5:14), but also absolutely and universally (1Co 13). In the earlier epistles it stands first and unique as the supreme principle of the Christian life (1Co 13), but in the later writings, it is enumerated as one among the Christian virtues (1Ti 2:15; 2Ti 2:22; 3:10; Tit 2:2; 2Pe 1:7; Re 2:19).

6. Inward Motive:

In Paul’s psalm of love (1Co 13) it is set forth as an innermost principle contrasted with prophecy and knowledge, faith and works, as the motive that determines the quality of the whole inner life, and gives value to all its activities. If a man should have all gifts of miracles and intellect, and perform all the works of goodness and devotion, "and have not love, it profiteth nothing," for they would be purely external and legal, and lacking in the quality of moral choice and personal relation which give life its value (1Co 13:1-3). Love itself defines men’s relation to men as generous, tolerant and forgiving.

7. Character:

"Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not" (1Co 13:4). It determines and defines a man’s own character and personality. It is not boastful and arrogant, but dignified, pure, holy, courageous and serene. Evil cannot provoke it nor wrong delight it. It bears cheerfully all adversity and follows its course in confident hope (1Co 13:4- 7). It is final virtue, the ultimate ideal of life. Many of life’s activities cease or change, but "love never faileth."

8. Ultimate Ideal:

To it all other graces and virtues are subordinated. "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love" (1Co 13:8-13). In one passage only in the New Testament (3Jo 1:6) agape seems to have a meaning that comes near to the later, ecclesiastical meaning of charity as almsgiving.

9. Almsgiving:

With the growing legalism of the church and the prevalence of monastic ideals of morality, caritas came to mean the very opposite of Paul’s agape—just "the giving of goods to feed the poor," which "without love profiteth nothing." At present, the word means either liberality to the poor, or tolerance in judging the actions of others, both qualities of love, but very inadequate to express its totality.

10. Tolerance:

The Revisers have therefore accurately dropped the word and substituted "love" for it in all passages. It is interesting to note that in Welsh the reverse process has occurred: cariad (from Latin caritas) was used throughout to translate agape, with the result that, in both religious and ordinary speech, the word has established itself so firmly as almost to oust the native word "serch."

T. Rees


charm: Definition.—The word charm is derived from the Latin carmen, "a song," and denotes strictly what is sung; then it comes to mean a magical formula chanted or recited with a view to certain desired results. Charm is distinguished from amulet in this, that the latter is a material object having as such a magical potency, though it is frequently an inscribed formula on it that gives this object its power (see AMULET). The word charm stands primarily for the incantation, though it is often applied to an inscribed amulet.

A charm may be regarded as having a positive or a negative effect. In the first case it is supposed to secure some desired object or result (see AMULET). In the second, it is conceived as having the power of warding off evils, as the evil eye, the inflictions of evil spirits and the like. In the last, its negative meaning, the word "countercharm" (German, Gegenzauber) is commonly used.

Charms are divisible into two general classes according as they are written (or printed) or merely spoken:

(1) Written charms—Of these we have examples in the phylacteries and the mezuzah noticed in the article AMULET. In Ac 19:13-20 we read of written charms used by the Ephesians, such as are elsewhere called (ephesia grammata). Such magical formulas were written generally on leather, though sometimes on papyrus, on lead, and even on gold. Those mentioned in the above passage must have been inscribed on some very valuable material, gold perhaps, or they could not have cost 2,000 British pounds (= 50,000 drachmas). Charms of the kind have been dug up from the ruins of Ephesus. In modern Egypt drinking-bowls are used, inscribed with passages from the Koran, and it is considered very lucky to drink from such a "lucky bowl," as it is called. Parts of the Koran and often complete miniature copies are worn by Egyptians and especially by Egyptian soldiers during war. These are buried with the dead bodies, just as the ancient Egyptians interred with their dead portions of the Book of the Dead or even the whole book, and as the early Abyssinians buried with dead bodies certain magical texts. Josephus (Ant., VIII, ii, 5) says that Solomon composed incantations by which demons were exorcised and diseases healed.

(2) Spoken charms are at least as widespread as those inscribed. Much importance was attached by the ancients (Egyptians, Babylonians, etc.) to the manner in which the incantations were recited, as well as to the substance of the formulas. If beautifully uttered, and with sufficient frequency, such incantations possessed unlimited power. The stress laid on the mode of reciting magical charms necessitated the existence of a priestly class and did much to increase the power of such a class. The binding force of the uttered word is implied in many parts of the Old Testament (see Jos 9:20). Though the princes of Israel had promised under false pretenses to make a covenant on behalf of Israel with the Gibeonites, they refused to break their promise because the word had been given. The words of blessing and curse were believed to have in themselves the power of self-realization. A curse was a means of destruction, not a mere realization (see Nu 22-24, Balaam’s curses; Jud 5:23; Job 31). In a similar way the word of blessing was believed to insure its own realization. In Ge 48:8-22 the greatness of Ephraim and Manasseh is ascribed to the blessing of Jacob upon them (see further Ex 12:32; Jud 17:2; 2Sa 21:3). It is no doubt to be understood that the witch of Endor raised Samuel from the dead by the recitation of some magical formula (1Sa 28:7 ff).

The uttering of the tetragrammaton (~YHWH) was at a very early time (at latest 300 BC) believed to be magically potent, and hence, its ordinary use was forbidden, so that instead of Yahweh, the Jews of the time, when the earliest part of the Septuagint was translated, used for this Divine name the appellative ‘adhonai =" Lord." In a similar way among the Jews of post-Biblical and perhaps of even Biblical times, the pronunciation of the Aaronic blessing (Nu 6:24-26) was supposed to possess great efficacy and to be a means of certain good to the person or persons involved. Evil spirits were exorcised by Jews of Paul’s day through the use of the name of the Lord Jesus (Ac 19:13). In the Talmud (Pecachim 110a) it is an instruction that if a man meets a witch he should say, "May a pot of boiling dung be stuffed into your mouth, you ugly witch," and her power is gone.

For literature see AMULET.

T. Witton Davies


kar’-me (so the Revised Version (British and American); the King James Version Carme; Charme): A Greek transliteration of Hebrew charim. The name of a priestly family in the list of those who returned from the Exile (1 Esdras 5:25 = Harim in Ezr 2:39 = Ne 7:42).


kar’-mis (Charmeis, Charmeis, A, Chalmeis): The son of Melchiel, one of the three elders or rulers of the town of Bethulia (Judith 6:15; 8:10; 10:6).


kar’-an (Charrhan): Greek form of HARAN (which see) (Ac 7:2,4).





kas’-e-ba (Chaseba): The name of a family of temple-servants in the list of those who returned from Babylon (1 Esdras 5:31). The name is not given in the parallel passages in Ezra and Nehemiah.


chast, chas’-ti-ti.



chas’-’-n-ing, chas’-tiz-ment: These two words corresponding to Hebrew mucar, and Greek paideia, are distinguished in English use, in that "chastisement" is applied to the infliction of pain, either as a punishment or for recalling to duty, while "chastening," is a wider term, indicating the discipline or training to which one is subjected, without, as in the other term, referring to the means employed to this end. The narrower term occurs in the Revised Version (British and American) but once in the New Testament and then in its verbal form, Lu 23:16: "I will therefore chastise him." the King James Version uses it also in Heb 12:8.

The meaning of the word paideia grows with the progress of revelation. Its full significance is unfolded in the New Testament, when reconciliation through Christ has brought into prominence the true fatherhood of God (Heb 12:5,10). In the Old Testament, where it occurs about 40 times, the radical meaning is that simply of training, as in De 8:5: "As a man chasteneth his son, so Yahweh thy God chasteneth thee." But, as in a dispensation where the distinguishing feature is that of the strictest justice, retributive punishment becomes not only an important, but a controlling factor. in the training, as in Le 26:28: "I will chastise you seven times for your sins." In this sense, it is used of chastisements inflicted by man even unjustly: "My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions" (1Ki 12:11). As, therefore, the thought of the suffering inflicted, or that of the end toward which it is directed, preponderates, the Psalmist can pray: "Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure" (Ps 6:1), and take comfort in the words: "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest" (Ps 94:12). Hence, it is common in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) to find the Hebrew mucar, and Greek paideia translated as "instruction." Illustrations are most numerous in Prov.

In the New Testament the Greek paideia is used with a variety similar to its corresponding Hebrew in the Old Testament. Examples of the fundamental idea, namely, that of "training," are found in such passages as Ac 7:22; 22:3, where Moses and Paul are said to have been "instructed," and 2Ti 3:16, where Scripture is said to be "profitable .... for instruction" (compare 1Ti 1:20; 2Ti 2:25; Tit 2:12; Ro 2:20). A similar, but not identical, thought, is found in Eph 6:4: "Nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord." But when paideia is described as bringing pain, the mystery of suffering, which in the Old Testament is most fully treated in the Book of Job, at last finds its explanation. The child of God realizes that he cannot be beneath God’s wrath, and hence, that the chastening which he endures is not destructive, but corrective (1Co 10:13; 11:32; 2Co 6:9; Re 3:19). In Heb 12:5-11, such consolation is afforded, not, as in the above passages, by incidental allusions, but by a full argument upon the basis of Pr 3:11 f, an Old Testament text that has depth and richness that can be understood and appropriated only by those who through Christ have learned to recognize the Omnipotent Ruler of heaven and earth, as their loving and considerate Father. On the basis of this passage, a distinction is often drawn between punishment and chastisement; the former, as an act of justice, revealing wrath, and the latter, as an act of mercy, love. Since to them that are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation (Ro 8:1) they can suffer no punishment, but only chastisement. Where there is guilt, there is punishment; but where guilt has been removed, there can be no punishment. There being no degrees of justification, no one can be forgiven in part, with a partial guilt still set to his account for which he must yet give a reckoning, either here or hereafter. If, then, all the righteousness of Christ belongs to him, and no sin whatever remains to be forgiven, either in whole or in part, all life’s sorrows are remedial agencies against danger and to train for the kingdom of heaven.

H. E. Jacobs


chat’-er (tsaphaph): This word, which means to "peep," "twitter" or "chirp," as small birds do, is translated "chatter" only in Isa 38:14, "Like a swallow or a crane, so did I chatter."



ka’-va (Septuagint Zoe): A transliteration of the Hebrew chawwah or chavvah, which means "life giver" "living" and appears in our English versions as Eve (Ge 3:20, see the King James Version margin).


ke’-bar (kebhar, "joining" (Young), "length" (Strong); Chobar): The river by the side of which his first vision was vouchsafed to Ezekiel (Ez 1:1). It is described as in "the land of the Chaldeans," and is not, therefore, to be sought in northern Mesopotamia. This rules out the Habor, the modern Chabour, with which it is often identified. The two names are radically distinct: chabhor could not be derived from kebhar. One of the great Babylonian canals is doubtless intended. Hilprecht found mention made of (naru) kabaru, one of these canals large enough to be navigable, to the East of Nippur, "in the land of the Chaldeans." This "great canal" he identifies with the rood. shaTT en-Nil, in which probably we should recognize the ancient Chebar.

W. Ewing


(mucar): Occurs in Job 20:3 the King James Version, "I have heard the check of my reproach" (the Revised Version (British and American) "the reproof which putteth me to shame"), i.e. a check or reproof, such as that which closes the last speech of Job (chapter 19), and intended to put Zophar to shame.


chek’-er-wurk (sebhakhah): This was a kind of ornamentation used on the tops of the pillars of Jachin and Boaz before the porch of the Temple (1Ki 7:17). Its exact form is not known. See TEMPLE. For "a broidered coat" (Ex 28:4 the King James Version), the Revised Version (British and American) gives "a coat of checker work."



ked-or-la-o’-mer, ked-or-la’-omer (kedhorla‘omer; Chodollogomor):

1. was He the Elamite King Kudur-lahgumal?

2. Kudur-lahgumal and the Babylonians

3. The Son of Eri-Ekua

4. Durmah-ilani, Tudhul(a) and Kudur-lahmal

5. The Fate of Sinful Rulers

6. The Poetical Legend

7. Kudur-lahgumal’s Misdeeds

8. The Importance of the Series

The name of the Elamite overlord with whom Amraphel, Arioch and Tidal marched against Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain (Ge 14:1 ff). The Greek (Septuagint) form of the name is Chodollogomor, implying a different vocalization, the assimilation of "R "with "L", and the pronunciation of "‘o" as "gho" (Codorlaghomer). This suggests that the Elamite form, in cuneiform, would be Kudur-lagamar, the second element being the name of a god, and the whole therefore meaning "servant of La‘omer" (Lagamar), or the like. A Babylonian deity worshippeal at Dilmu, Lagamal, may be the same as the Elamite Lagamar. This name is not found in the cuneiform inscriptions, unless it be, as is possible, the fancifully-written Kudur-lah(gu)mal (or Kodorlahgomal) of three late Babylonian legends, one of which is in poetical form. Besides this Elamite ruler, two of these tablets mention also a certain Eri-Aku or Eri-Akua, son of Durmah-ilani, and one of them refers to Tudhul(a) or Tidal.

See ERI-AKU, 4.

1. Was He the Elamite King Kudur-lahgumal?:

Objections have been made to the identification of Chedorlaomer with the Kudur-lah(gu)mal of these texts, some Assyriologists having flatly denied the possibility, while others expressed the opinion that, though these names were respectively those with which they have been identified, they were not the personages referred to in Ge 14, and many have refrained from expressing an opinion at all. The main reason for the identification of Kudur-lah(gu)mal(?) with Chedorlaomer is its association with the names Eri-Eaku and Tudgul(a) found on two of the documents. No clear references to the expedition against the Cities of the Plain, however, have been found in these texts.

2. Kudur-lahgumal and the Babylonians:

The longer of the two prose compositions (Brit. Mus., Sp. II, 987) refers to the bond of heaven (extended?) to the four regions, and the fame which he (Merodach?) set for (the Elamites) in Babylon, the city of (his) glory. So (?the gods), in their faithful (or everlasting) counsel, decreed to Kudur-lahgumal, king of Elam (their favor?). He came down, and (performed) what was good to them, and exercised dominion in Babylon, the city of Kar-Dunias (Babylonia). When in power, however, he acted in a way which did not please the Babylonians, for he loved the winged fowl, and favored the dog which crunched the bone. "What(?) king of Elam was there who had (ever) (shown favor to?) the shrine of E-saggil?" (E-sagila, the great temple of Belus at Babylon).

3. The Son of Eri-Ekua:

A letter from Durmah-ilani son of Eri-Ekua (?Arioch) is at this point quoted, and possibly forms the justification for the sentences which had preceded, giving, as they do, reasons for the intervention of the native ruler. The mutilation of the inscription, however, makes the sense and sequence very difficult to follow.

4. Durmah-ilani, Tudhul(a) and Kudur-lahmal:

The less perfect fragment (Sp. III, 2) contains, near the beginning, the word hammu, and if this be, as Professor F. Hommel has suggested, part of the name Hammurabi (Amraphel), it would in all probability place the identification of Kudur-lahgumal(?) with Chedorlaomer beyond a doubt. This inscription states, that Merodach, in the faithfulness of his heart, caused the ruler not supporting (the temples of Babylonia) to be slain with the sword. The name of Durmah-ilani then occurs, and it seems to be stated of him that he carried off spoil, and Babylon and the temple E-saggil were inundated. He, however, was apparently murdered by his son, and old and young (were slain) with the sword. Then came Tudhul(a) or Tidal, son of Gazza(ni?), who also carried off spoil, and again the waters devastated Babylon and E-saggil. But to all appearance Tudhul(a), in his turn, was overtaken by his fate, for "his son shattered his head with the weapon of his hands." At this point there is a reference to Elam, to the city Ahhea(?), and to the land of Rabbatum, which he (? the king of Elam) had spoiled. Whether this refers to some expedition to Palestine or not is uncertain, and probably unlikely, as the next phrase speaks of devastation inflicted in Babylonia.

5. The Fate of Sinful Rulers:

But an untoward fate overtook this ruler likewise, for Kudur-lahmal (= lahgumal), his son, pierced his heart with the steel sword of his girdle. All these references to violent deaths are apparently cited to show the dreadful end of certain kings, "lords of sin," with whom Merodach, the king of the gods, was angry.

6. The Poetical Legend:

The third text is of a poetical nature, and refers several times to "the enemy, the Elamite"—apparently Kudur-lahgu(mal). In this noteworthy inscription, which, even in its present imperfect state, contains 78 lines of wedge-written text, the destruction wrought by him is related in detail. He cast down the door (of the temple) of Istar; entered Du- mah, the place where the fates were declared (see BABEL, BABYLON), and told his warriors to take the spoil and the goods of the temple.

7. Kudur-lahgumal’s Misdeeds:

He was afraid, however, to proceed to extremities, as the god of the place "flashed like lightning, and shook the (holy) places." The last two paragraphs state that he set his face to go down to Tiamtu (the seacoast; see CHALDEA), whither Ibi-Tutu, apparently the king of that district, had hastened, and founded a pseudo-capital. But the Elamite seems afterward to have taken his way north again, and after visiting Borsippa near Babylon, traversed "the road of darkness—the road to Mesku" (?Mesech). He destroyed the palace, subdued the princes, carried off the spoil of all the temples and took the goods (of the people) to Elam. At this point the text breaks off.

8. The Importance of the Series:

Where these remarkable inscriptions came from there ought to be more of the same nature, and if these be found, the mystery of Chedorlaomer and Kudur-lahgumal will probably be solved. At present it can only be said, that the names all point to the early period of the Elamite rulers called Kudurides, before the land of Tiamtu or Tamdu was settled by the Chaldeans. Evidently it was one of the heroic periods of Babylonian history, and some scribe of about 350 BC had collected together a number of texts referring to it. All three tablets were purchased (not excavated) by the British Museum, and reached that institution through the same channel. See the Journal of the Victoria Institute, 1895-96, and Professor Sayce in Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology (1906), 193 ff, 241 ff; (1907), 7 ff.

T. G. Pinches


(methalle‘ah, transposed from malta‘ah (only in Ps 58:6), literally "the biter," "crusher," "molar," "jaw-teeth," "great teeth" (Job 29:17 m; Joe 1:6)).

Figurative: The word is used as a synonym of reckless strength and cruelty.


chek, chek’-bon:

(1) lechi; siagon, "the jaw," "jaw-bone," "side of the face." The Hebrew word denotes originally freshness and rounded softness of the cheek, a sign of beauty in youth and maiden (So 1:10; 5:13). The oriental guards with jealous care his cheek from touch or defilement, therefore a stroke on the cheek was, and is to this day, regarded as an act of extreme rudeness of behavior, a deadly affront. Our Saviour, however, teaches us in Mt 5:39 and Lu 6:29 that even this insult is to be ignored and pardoned.

Jawbones of animals have been frequently used as tools and weapons among primitive people. We see this sufficiently proven from cave deposits in many parts of the world, and from recent ethnological researches, especially in Australia. In the light of this evidence it is interesting to note that Samson used a jawbone of an ass with success against his enemies the Philistines (Jud 15:15).

(2) malqoach (Ps 22:15), is a dual form indicative of the two jaws, to which a parched tongue seems to cleave.

(3) methalle‘ah (Job 29:17), better "cheek teeth" (which see).

H. L. E. Luering


cher, cher’-fool-nes: The English word "cheer" meant:

(1) originally face, countenance (Greek kara, "head," through Old French, chere, "face"),

(2) then the expression on the face, especially

(3) the expression of good spirits, and finally

(4) good spirits, without any reference to the facial expression.

The noun "cheer" in English Versions of the Bible is only found with adjective "good" (except 1 Esdras 9:54, "great cheer"), the word not having quite lost its earlier neutral character (any face expression, whether joyous or otherwise). In Old Testament, Tobh, is translated "cheer," "let thy heart cheer thee" (see GOOD); sameach, "to rejoice" is so translated in De 24:5, "shall cheer his wife" (the King James Version "cheer up his wife"), and Jud 9:13, "wine, which cheereth God (’elohim) and man." The phrase "of good cheer" occurs in Old Testament in Job 9:27 (the King James Version "comfort"); in Apocrypha, 1 Esdras 9:54; The Wisdom of Solomon 18:6; Baruch 4:5,30; Sirach 18:32 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "luxury"); in New Testament for Greek euthumeo, euthumos, in Ac 27:22,25,36, and for tharseo in Mt 9:2,22. (the King James Version "comfort"); Mt 14:27; Mr 6:50; 10:49 (RV; "comfort" in the King James Version); Joh 16:33; Ac 23:11. "Cheer" as verb transitive occurs in Ec 11:9; Deu 24:5; Jud 9:13.

Cheerful occurs in Pr 15:13,15 (the King James Version "merry"); Zec 8:19; 9:17 the King James Version; Sirach 30:25; 2Co 9:7.

Cheerfully, Ac 24:10.

Cheerfulness, Ro 12:8.

D. Miall Edwards





ke’-lal (kelal, "perfection"): One of the bene Pachath-Mo’abh who took "strange wives" (Ezr 10:30).





kel’-i-anz: The people of "Chellus" (Judith 2:23) (which see).





kel’-us (Chellous), a place named (Judith 1:9) among those West of the Jordan to which Nebuchadnezzar sent his summons. It is mentioned along with "Kades," and as it lay North of the "children of Ishmael" it may with some probability be taken as lying Southwest of Jerusalem. It has been conjectured that it may be Chalutzah (Reland, Palestine, 717), a place under the form Elusa well known to the ancient geographers.


ke’-lod (Cheleoud, Cheleoul): In Judith 1:6 it is said that "many nations of the sons of Chelod assembled themselves to the battle." They are mentioned as obeying the summons of Nebuchadnezzar to his war against Arphaxad. No very probable suggestion has been made as to the meaning of Chelod.



(1) kelubh, father of Mehir (1Ch 4:11); the name is probably a variation of Caleb. Wellhausen (De gentibus et familiis Judaeis) reads kalebh ben chezron.

(2) Father of Ezri (1Ch 27:26), one of the officers of David.



ke-loo’-bi (kelubhay): Another form of Caleb used in 1Ch 2:9; compare 1Ch 2:18,42. Caleb is here described as the brother of Jerahmeel, and son of Hezron, a remote ancestor, instead of as the son of Jephunneh.



kel’-oo-hi (keluhi, Kt.; keluhu, Qere; the Revised Version, margin Cheluhu; the King James Version Chelluh): Mentioned in the list of persons with foreign wives (Ezr 10:35 = 1 Esdras 9:34).


kem’-a-rim (kemarim, a plural whose singular komer is not found in the Old Testament): Occurs only once in the text of English Versions of the Bible (Ze 1:4, the King James Version Chemarims), though the Hebrew word is found also in 2Ki 23:5 (English Versions "idolatrous priests") and Ho 10:5 (English Versions "priests," English Versions margins, however, having "Chemarim" in both places). Some regard the word as an interpolation in Ze 1:4, since the Septuagint omits it and its presence disturbs the parallelism. The word, which is of Aramaic origin (kumra, priest), is used in the Old Testament only in an unfavorable sense, its origin and associations naturally suggesting Syriac affinities. In the Syriac, however, no such connotation is involved. In the Peshitta version of the Old Testament it is used indifferently of idolatrous priests and of priests of Yahweh, while in the same version of the New Testament it is used of the Levitical priests and of our Lord (e.g. Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14,15, and often) and in Ac 19:35 it is the rendering of neokoros (the Revised Version (British and American) "temple-keeper," the King James Version "worshipper"). The question of the root idea of the word remains unsettled. The traditional supposition, which finds some support even among modern scholars, is that the verbal form means "to be black," the priests being supposed to have been clad in black. But it is doubtful whether the root had this meaning. Another conjecture takes the root to mean "to be sad," the priest being a man of a sad countenance, an ascetic. Cheyne would relate the word to the Assyrian kummaru, having the sense of "a clean vesture." It is at all events probable that the priests, both in Israel and in the surrounding nations, employed white vestments, rather than black, when in the performance of their official functions. According to the Mishna, Middoth, verse 4, a Levitical priest who had become disqualified for service put on black garments and departed, while the others put on white garments and went in and ministered. The reference to the Baal worship in 2Ki 10:22 seems more congruous with this view; hence, probably blackrobed priests (Chemarim) of Baal and the unfaithful priests of Yahweh shall be cut off together. G. A. Smith (BTP, II, 56) reads "the priestlings with the priests."

J. R. Van Pelt


ke’-mosh (kemosh; Chamos):

1. Moabites, the People of Chemosh

2. Solomon and Chemosh Worship

3. Josiah Putting Down Chemosh Worship

4. Chemosh and Ammonites

5. Moabite Stone

6. Mesha’s Inscription and the Old Testament

7. Chemosh in the Inscription

8. Parallels between Inscription and Old Testament Record

9. Ethical Contrast


1. Moabites, the People of Chemosh:

The national God of the Moabites, as Baal of the Zidonians, or Milcom (Moloch, Malcam) of the Ammonites. The Moabites are apostrophized in an old Hebrew song as the "people of Chemosh" (Nu 21:29). Jeremiah in his oracle of doom upon Moab has recourse to the same old song and calls the people "the people of Chemosh." The impotence of the god to deliver his people is described by the prophet in figures representing him as going into captivity with them, his priests and princes together, and Moab is to be ashamed of him as Israel was of the Golden Calf of Bethel, which did not avail to save the Northern Kingdom from the conquering Assyrian power (Jer 48:7,13,16).

2. Solomon and Chemosh Worship:

For Chemosh, "the abomination of Moab," as for Moloch, "the abomination of the children of Ammon," Solomon, under the influence of his idolatrous wives, built a high place in the mount before Jerusalem (1Ki 11:7). It was natural that they should desire to worship still after the manner of the gods of their native land, but although the effect of all this was seen in the moral and spiritual deterioration of Solomon himself there is no indication that the immoralities and cruelties associated with such worship were then practiced in Jerusalem. In the days of Ahaz and Manasseh, even as early as the days of Abijam of Judah, they were (1Ki 15:12,13).

3. Josiah Putting Down Chemosh Worship:

Josiah found these abominations of alien worship, which had been introduced by Solomon and added to by Ahaz and Manasseh, flourishing when he came to the throne. Moved by the prohibitions of the Book of the Law (De 12:29-31; 18:10), Josiah pulled down and defiled the high places and the altars, and in order to make a clean sweep of the idolatrous figures, "he brake in pieces the pillars," or obelisks, "and cut down the Asherim," or sacred poles, "and filled their places with the bones of men" (2Ki 23:1- 20).

4. Chemosh and Ammonites:

There is one passage where Chemosh is designated the god of the Ammonites (Jud 11:24). Jephthah is disputing the right of the Ammonites to invade territory which belongs to Israel because Yahweh has given it to them by conquest. And he asks: ‘Shouldst thou not possess the territory of those whom Chemosh, thy god, dispossesses, and we the territory of all whom Yahweh, our god, dispossesses?’ It may be that he is called here the god of the Ammonites by a mere oversight of the historian; or that Moab and Ammon being kindred nations descended from a common ancestor, Lot, Chemosh may in a sense belong to both. We notice, however, that Jephthah’s argument in meeting the claim preferred by the king of Ammon passes on to Israel’s relation to the Moabites and makes mention only of well-known Moabite cities. Chemosh is accordingly named because of his association with Moab, the cities of which are being spoken of, although strictly and literally Milcom should have been named in an appeal addressed as a whole to the Ammonites (Jud 11:12-28; compare Moore at the place).

5. Moabite Stone:

The discovery of the Moabite Stone in 1868 at Dibon has thrown light upon Chemosh and the relations of Moab to its national god. The monument, which is now one of the most precious treasures of the Louvre in Paris, bears an inscription which is the oldest specimen of Semitic alphabetic writing extant, commemorating the successful effort made about 860 or 850 BC by Mesha, king of Moab, to throw off the yoke of Israel. We know from the Old Testament record that Moab had been reduced to subjection by David (2Sa 8:2); that it paid a heavy tribute to Ahab, king of Israel (2Ki 3:4); and that, on the death of Ahab, Mesha its king rebelled against Israelite rule (2Ki 3:5). Not till the reign of Jehoram was any effort made to recover the lost dominion. The king of Israel then allied himself with the kings of Judah and Edom, and marching against Moab by the way of the Red Sea, inflicted upon Mesha a defeat so decisive that the wrath of his god, Chemosh, could be appeased only by the sacrifice of his son (2Ki 3:6 ff).

6. Mesha’s Inscription and the Old Testament:

The historical situation described in the Old Testament narrative is fully confirmed by Mesha’s inscription. There are, however, divergences in detail. In the Book of Kings the revolt of Mesha is said to have taken place after the death of Ahab. The inscription implies that it must have taken place by the middle of Ahab’s reign. The inscription implies that the subjection of Moab to Israel had not been continuous from the time of David, and says that ‘Omri, the father of Ahab, had reasserted the power of Israel and had occupied at least a part of the land.

7. Chemosh in the Inscription:

It is with what the inscription says of Chemosh that we are chiefly concerned. On the monument the name appears twelve times. Mesha is himself the son of Chemosh, and it was for Chemosh that he built the high place upon which the monument was found. He built it because among other reasons Chemosh had made him to see his desire upon them that hated him. It was because Chemosh was angry with his land that ‘Omri afflicted Moab many days. ‘Omri had taken possession of the land of Medeba and Israel dwelt in it his days and half his son’s days, but Chemosh restored it in Mesha’s days. Mesha took ‘Ataroth which the king of Israel had built for himself, slew all the people of the city, and made them a gazing-stock to Chemosh and to Moab. Mesha brought thence the altar-hearth of Dodo, and dragged it before Chemosh in Kerioth. By command of Chemosh, Mesha attacked Nebo and fought against Israel, and after a fierce struggle he took the place, slaying the inhabitants en masse, 7,000 men and women and maidservants, devoting the city to ‘Ashtor-Chemosh and dragging the altar vessels of Yahweh before Chemosh. Out of Jahaz, too, which the king of Israel had built, Chemosh drove him before Mesha. At the instigation of Chemosh, Mesha fought against Horonaim, and, although the text is defective in the closing paragraph, we may surmise that Chemosh did not fail him but restored it to his dominions.

8. Parallels between Inscription and Old Testament Record:

Naturally enough there is considerable obscurity in local and personal allusions. Dodo may have been a local god worshipped by the Israelites East of the Jordan. Ashtor- Chemosh may be a compound divinity of a kind not unknown to Semitic mythology, Ashtor representing possibly the Phoenician Ashtoreth. What is of importance is the recurrence of so many phrases and expressions applied to Chemosh which are used of Yahweh in the Old Testament narratives. The religious conceptions of the Moabites reflected in the inscription are so strikingly like those of the Israelites that if only the name of Yahweh were substituted for that of Chemosh we might think we were reading a chapter of the Books of Kings. It is not in the inscriptions, however, but in the Old Testament narrative that we find a reference to the demand of Chemosh for human sacrifice. "He took his eldest son," says the Hebrew historian, "that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt-offering upon the wall. And there was great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land" (2Ki 3:27). This appears to indicate that the Israelites had to give up their purpose to fasten the yoke of bondage again upon Mesha and that they returned empty-handed to their own land. But this fortunate result for Moab was due to the favor of Chemosh, and in particular to the human sacrifice by which he was propitiated.

9. Ethical Contrast:

If we find in these representations of Chemosh in the Old Testament narrative and in Mesha’s inscription a striking similarity to the Hebrew conception of Yahweh, we cannot fail to notice the lack of the higher moral and spiritual elements supplied to the religion of Israel by the prophets and indeed from Moses and Abraham downward. "Chemosh," says W. Baudissin, "is indeed the ruler of his people whom he protects as Yahweh the Israelites, whom he chastises in his indignation, and from whom he accepts horrible propitiatory gifts. But of a God of grace whose long-suffering leads back even the erring to Himself, of a Holy God to whom the offering of a pure and obedient heart is more acceptable than bloody sacrifices, of such a God as is depicted in Israel’s prophets and sweet singers there is no trace in the Moabite picture of Chemosh. While Mesha is represented as offering up his own son in accordance with the stern requirements of his religion, Old Testament law-givers and prophets from the beginning condemned human sacrifice" (RE3, article "Kemosh").


RE3, article "Kemosh"; Cooke, Text-Book of North-Semitic Inscriptions, "Moabite Stone," 1-14; W. Robertson Smith, Prophets of Israel, 49 ff; Sayce, Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Monuments, 364 ff.

T. Nicol.


ke-na’-a-na (kena‘anah, feminine form of "Canaan," though others explain it as "toward Canaan"): The name of two men:

(1) The fourth-named of the seven sons of Bilham, son of Jediael, of the tribe of Benjamin, a leading warrior in the time of David (1Ch 7:10).

(2) Father of the false prophet Zedekiah, who encouraged Ahab against Micaiah (1Ki 22:11,24; 2Ch 18:10,23).


ke-na’-ni (kenani, "planted"): One of the names mentioned in Ne 9:4, in connection with the constitution of "congregation." If the names represent houses or families, eight Levitical houses probably sang some well-known psalm on this occasion. If they are names of individual representatives, they were probably deputed to recite or chant some special prayer in order to lead the worship of the people.


ken-a-ni’-a (kenanyahu, and kenanyah, literally "established by God"): Chief of the Levites who was over "the songs," or "the carrying" (namely, "of the ark") from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:22,27; 26:29).


ke-far-am’-o-ni (the King James Version Chephar-haammoni; kephar ha‘ammoni; Codex Vaticanus, Kepheira kai Monei; A, Kapherammin, "village of the Ammonites"): A place in the territory of Benjamin (Jos 18:24). It may be identical with Kefr ‘Ana, a ruined site about two miles to the Northeast of Bethel.





ke-fi’-ra (ha-kephirah; Codex Vaticanus, Kapheira (Jos 9); Codex Alexandrinus has Chepheira, Codex Vaticanus has kai Pheira (Jos 18)): One of the cities of the Hivites who by guile made alliance with Israel (Jos 9:17). It was in the lot of Benjamin (Jos 18:26), and was reoccupied after the return from Babylon (Ezr 2:25; Ne 7:29). It is represented by the modern Kefireh, to the Southwest of Gibeon, and North of Karyat el-‘Anab. It stands on high ground, with many ancient remains.


ke’-ran (keran): A Horite clan-name, occurring in the genealogy of Seir, the Horite (Ge 36:26), and in the parallel list in 1Ch 1:41. Dillmann derives it from kar, "a lamb."


ker’-e-thits (kerethim, ha-kerethi; Chelethi "executioners," "life-guardsmen"): A people in South Palestine whose territory bordered upon that of Judah (1Sa 30:14). In 1Sa 30:16 this land is apparently identical with that of the Philistines. In Eze 25:16 the Philistines and the Cherethites are threatened together; while in Zep 2:5 the Cherethites are evidently the dwellers in "the land of the Philistines," "the inhabitants of the seacoast." Septuagint in both Ezekiel and Zephaniah renders the name "Cretans." The translators may have been "guided only by the sound." But Zeus Cretagenes in Gaza suggests a connection with the island of Crete. See, however, CAPHTOR. It may be taken as certain that the Cherethites were a Philistine clan. In conjunction with the Pelethites they are frequently named as forming the guard of David (2Sa 8:18, etc.). It was the custom of many ancient monarchs to have a guard of foreign mercenaries.

W. Ewing


cher’-ish (cakhan; thalpo): Cakhan, "to act the friend," "to be useful," is translated "cherish" (1Ki 1:2,4); thalpo, "to warm," "to make warm," "to foster" (Eph 5:29), said of the regard the husband should have for his wife, even as his own flesh which he "nourisheth and cherisheth, even as Christ also the church," and in 1Th 2:7, of Paul amongst his converts, "as when a nurse cherisheth her own children."


ke’-rith (nachal kerith; Cheimarrhous Chorrhath): The place where Elijah hid and was miraculously fed, after announcing the drought to Ahab (1Ki 17:3). It is described as being "before," that is "east," of Jordan. It cannot therefore be identified with Wady el-Kelt, to the West of Jericho. The retreat must be sought in some recess of the Gilead uplands with which doubtless Elijah had been familiar in his earlier days.


ke’-rub (kerubh, Cheroub, Charoub): A place in Babylonia from which people whose genealogies had fallen into confusion went up at the return from exile (Ezr 2:59; Ne 7:61); unidentified. In 1 Esdras 5:36 we read "Charaathalan leading them, and Allar," a phrase that seems to have arisen through confusion of the names in the passages cited above.





cher’-u-bim, cher’-oo-bim (kerubhim, plural of cherub, kerubh): Through the influence of the Septuagint, "cherubim" was used in the earlier English versions, also as a singular, hence, the plural was made to sound "cherubims." The etymology of the word cannot be ascertained.

1. As Guardians of Paradise:

In Ge 3:24 the cherubim are placed by God, after the expulsion of Adam from the garden of Eden, at the east thereof, together with the flaming sword "to keep the way of the tree of life." In their function as guardians of Paradise the cherubim bear an analogy to the winged bulls and lions of Babylonia and Assyria, colossal figures with human faces standing guard at the entrance of temples (and palaces), just as in Egypt the approaches to the sanctuaries are guarded by sphinxes. But the Babylonian colossi go by the name of lamassu, or shedu; no designation at all approaching the Hebrew kerubh has so far been found in the Assyrian language. Nor are thus named the winged figures, half human and half animal, which in Babylonian and Persian art are found on both sides of the "sacred tree." Thus, a Babylonian origin of the Hebrew cherubim is neither proved nor disproved. If we look for further analogies which, of course, do not indicate a borrowing on the part of the Hebrews, we may mention the fabulous griffins (grupes), usually represented as having the heads and wings of an eagle and the body and hind quarters of a lion; they were believed by the Greeks to inhabit Scythia, and to keep jealous watch over the gold of that country.

2. The Garden as the Abode of the Gods:

If we read between the lines of the Paradise account in Ge (compare Ge 3:8), the garden of Eden, the primeval abode of man, reveals itself as more than that: it was apparently the dwelling-place of God. In the polytheistic story of the creation of the world and early life of man, which, while in several respects analogous (compare Ge 3:22), is devoid of the more spiritual notions of Hebraism, the garden was the abode of the gods who alone had access to the tree of life from the fruit of which they derived their immortality. Adam, before the fall, is conceived as a superhuman being; for while he is forbidden to taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the way to immortality is open to him; for it is only after transgressing the Divine command that he merits death and becomes mortal. The choice of immortal innocence and mortal knowledge lay before him; he elected death with knowledge.

3. The Cherubim as Attendants of the Deity:

The mythical elements of the Paradise story are still more patent in Eze 28:13 ff, where the fall of the king of Tyre is likened to that of primeval man. The garden is situated on a holy mountain of Elohim(= God to Ezekiel, but gods in the primitive source), the ‘mountain of assembly’ of Isa 14:13, high above the stars in the recesses of the North. It is a wonderful place, adorned with all manner of precious stones. There man, perfect from the day he was created, resplendent with beauty, excelling in wisdom, walks among the fiery stones, like a cherub with outstretched wings. The cherubs are apparently the attendants of the Deity, beauteous angels, of whom man was to be one: but he fell from glory and was hurled from the sanctuary which he had polluted. Some of the angelic attendants of the Deity within are placed in Genesis without, to do service as guardians of the unapproachable holy garden.

4. As Bearers of the Throne:

As attendants of God, they bear the throne upon which He descends from His high abode. Thus in the description of a theophany in Ps 18, we read: " He bowed the heavens also, and came down; And thick darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub and did fly; Yea, he soared upon the wings of the wind." (Ps 18:9,10) Hence, the Lord, or, as the fuller title goes, the Lord of Hosts, is repeatedly styled "He that sitteth (throned) above the cherubim" (Ps 80:1; 99:1; 1Sa 4:4, and elsewhere). There is certainly no trace here of bull figures: bulls do not fly. The underlying conception is, it seems, rather that of the storm cloud. Compare Ps 104:3: " Who maketh the clouds his chariot; Who walketh upon the wings of the wind." The Hebrew for "chariot" is rekhubh, a sort of inverted kerubh. 5. In the Vision of Ezekiel:

But the function of the cherubim as bearers and movers of the Divine throne is brought out most clearly in the vision of Ezekiel (Eze 1, with which compare Eze 10). In chapter 1 the prophet designates them as "living creatures" (chayyoth); but upon hearing God’s words addressed to the "man clothed in linen" (Eze 10:2) he perceives that the living creatures which he saw in the first vision were cherubim (Eze 10:20); hence, in Eze 9:3 the chariot or throne, from which the glory of God went up, is spoken of as a cherub. The following is a description in detail of the cherubim as seen by Ezekiel. They are represented as four living creatures, each with four faces, man, lion, ox (replaced in the parallel chapter by cherub), and eagle (Eze 1:10; 10:14), having the figure and hands of men (Eze 1:5,8), and the feet of calves (Eze 1:7). Each has four wings, two of which are stretched upward (Eze 1:11), meeting above and sustaining the "firmament," that is, the bottom of the Divine throne (Eze 1:22; 10:1), while two are stretched downward, conformable the one to the other, so as to cover their bodies (Eze 1:11,23). In appearance, the living creatures resemble coals of fire (compare Eze 10:2,6 f, where the "man clothed in linen" is bidden fill both his hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim), burning like torches, the fire flashing up and down among the creatures, a bright fire out of which lightning goes forth (Eze 1:13). Thus the creatures run and vanish as the appearance of a flash of lightning (Eze 1:14). The cherubim do not turn as they change direction, but always go straight forward (Eze 1:9,17; 10:11), as do the wheels of the cherubic chariot with rings full of eyes round about (Eze 1:18; 10:12). The cherubim represent the spirit, or will, in the wheels: at the direction of the spirit, the wheels are lifted up from the bottom and the chariot moves upward (Eze 1:19 f; 10:16 f). The cherubim are thus the moving force of the vehicle.

6. Relation to Seraphim and Other Angels:

Ezekiel’s cherubim are clearly related to the seraphim in Isaiah’s inaugural vision (Isa 6). Like the cherubim, the seraphim are the attendants on God as He is seated upon a throne high and exalted; they are also winged creatures: with twain they cover their faces, and with twain they cover their feet, and with twain they fly. Like the Levites in the sanctuary below, they sing a hymn of adoration: "Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." In the Book of Enoch, the cherubim, seraphim, and ophannim (wheels), and all the angels of power constitute the "host of God," the guardians of His throne, the singers of praise ascribing blessedness to "the Lord of Spirits," with the archangel Gabriel at their head (see Isa 61:10 f; ). And so in the Jewish daily liturgy the seraphim, ophannim, and "living creatures" constitute the heavenly choir who, the elect ministers of the Living God, ready to do the will of their maker with trembling, intone in sweet harmony the Thrice-holy. In the Talmud, the cherubim are represented as having the likeness of youths (with a fanciful etymology, ke plus rubh, "like a youth"; Cukk 5b; Chag 13b), while, according to the Midrash, they have no definite shape, but appear indifferently as men or women, or as spirits and angelic beings (Ge rabba’ 21).

7. In Revelation 4:

The "four living creatures" of Re 4:6 ff are clearly modeled upon Ezekiel, with supplementary touches from Isaiah. Full of eyes before and behind, they are in the midst of the throne, and round about it. One resembles a lion, the other a calf, and the third a man, and the fourth a flying eagle. Each of the creatures has six wings. "They have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come."

8. Ornamental Cherubim in the Temple of Solomon:

In the temple of Solomon, two gigantic cherubic images of olive-wood plated with gold, ten cubits high, stood in the innermost sanctuary (the debhir) facing the door, whose wings, five cubits each, extended, two of them meeting in the middle of the room to constitute the throne, while two extended to the walls (1Ki 6:23-28; 8:6,7; 2Ch 3:10-13; 5:7,8). The Chronicler represents them as the chariot of the Lord (1Ch 28:18). There were also images of the cherubim carved on the gold-plated cedar planks which constituted the inner walls of the temple, and upon the olive-wood doors (1Ki 6:29,35; 2Ch 3:7); also on the bases of the portable lavers, interchanging with lions and oxen (1Ki 7:29-36). According to the Chronicler, they were also woven in the veil of the Holy of Holies (2Ch 3:14).

9. In the Temple of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel represents the inner walls of the temple as carved with alternating palm trees and cherubim, each with two faces, the lion looking on one side, the man on the other (Eze 41:18-25).

10. In the Tabernacle:

In the Tabernacle, there were two cherubim of solid gold upon the golden slab of the "lid," or "mercy-seat," facing each other, with wings outstretched above, so as to constitute a throne on which the glory of the Lord appeared, and from which He spake (Ex 25:18-22; 37:7-9; Nu 7:89; Heb 9:5). There were also cherubim woven into the texture of the inner curtain of the Tabernacle and the veil (Ex 26:1,31; 36:8,35). There were no cherubim in the temple of Herod, but the walls were painted with figures of them (see Talmud Yoma’ 54a). In the times of Josephus no one knew what the Scriptural cherubim looked like (Ant., VIII, iii, 3).


Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, under the word; KAT3, 529 f, and references; commentaries on Genesis and Ezekiel.

Max L. Margolis


The cherubic forms in the constellation figures.

See ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 8.


kes’-a-lon (kecalon; Chaslon, Chasalon): One of the cities on the Northern boundary of Judah (Jos 15:10). In the 4th century it was a "very large village." It is now Kesla, 2,087 ft. above sea-level, a small village perched on a mountain ridge to the South of Wady el Humar. See Palestine Exploration Fund, III, 25, 26; Sh XVII.


ke’-sed, kes’-ed (kasdim; Chaszad): One of the sons of Nahor and Milcah (Ge 22:22); was probably the father of the Casdim. The early Babylonian form Kasdu appears in Assyrian as Kaldu or Kaldu. English Versions of the Bible follows the Assyrian and Greek style of writing the name and uses Chaldees or Chaldeans instead of Casdim. The Chaldeans dwelt in the lower valley of the Euphrates, at the head of the Persian Gulf. Abram came from Ur of the Chaldees (Ge 11:28,31; 15:7; Ne 9:7). In Job 1:17 the Casdim are described as invading the land of Uz, the eldest brother of Chesed (Ge 22:21,22). In the days of Nebuchadrezzar the Casdim overran Syria and Palestine and carried the people of Judah in successive deportations into captivity (2Ki 24:1-10; 25:1 ff). In Da 2:2,5 the Casdim are named with the magicians and astrologers as a learned class, skilled in interpretations. Casdim is sometimes used in Hebrew for the land of Chaldea (Eze 23:15 f; 11:24).

John Richard Sampey


ke’-sil, kes’-il (kecil; A, Chaseir): A town in the extreme South of Judah named with Eltolad, Hormah and Ziklag (Jos 15:30). The name does not occur again. In Jos 19:4 it is replaced by Bethul (Septuagint Baithel), and in 1Ch 4:30 by Bethuel. "Chesil" may have arisen from a misreading of the text.





chest (’aron, genazim; kibotos):

(1) The ark of the covenant in Old Testament is invariably denoted by the word ‘aron, elsewhere rendered the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "chest."

See ARK.

(2) ‘Aron is also the word rendered "coffin" (Ge 50:26: "and he was put in a coffin in E.").


(3) In Kings and Chronicles (2Ki 12:9,10; 2Ch 24:8,10,11) ‘aron stands uniformly for a money chest. It is the "chest" that Jehoiada, the priest, placed in the court "beside the altar" and "bored a hole in the lid of" that the priests might "put therein all the money that was brought into the house of Yahweh" (2Ki 12:9); and "the chest" that King Joash commanded to be made and set "without at the gate of the house of Yahweh" to receive "the tax that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel" (2Ch 24:8,10,11). One feature is common to the thing meant in all these applications—the c. was rectangular in shape, and, most probably in every instance, made of wood.

(4) Josephus (Ant., VI, 1,2) uses the equivalent of the word to denote the "coffer" (1Sa 6:8 ff English Versions), or small chest, in which the princes of Philistia deposited the gold mice.

(5) In New Testament times the "chests" that were provided in the court of the women, in the temple of Herod, to receive the various kinds of money gifts had the exceptional shape of a trumpet (if Sheqalim, vi.5 may be trusted)—wide at the bottom and gradually narrowing toward the top, hence, called shopharoth. It was into these that the Master was watching the multitude casting in their money when He saw the poor widow cast in her two mites (Mr 12:41,42).

(6) In Eze 27:24, where the prophet is giving an inventory of the merchandise of Tyre, another word entirely is used (genazim), and it is rendered in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "chests" ("chests of rich apparel, bound with cords and made of cedar"). According to Cornill, Davidson, Smend and others this rendering is without sufficient support (see Smith, Dictionary of the Bible and commentary in the place cited.).

George B. Eager





ke-sul’-oth (ha-keculloth; B, Chasaloth, A, Achesaloth): A town on the border of Zebulun (Jos 19:18), the same as Chisloth-tabor (Jos 19:12). It is represented by the modern village Iksal on the northern edge of Esdraelon, circa 3 miles West of Mt. Tabor.

CHETH khath.



ket’-i-im, ket-i’-im (kittim).



choo, chu, (ma‘aleh gerah, literally "bringing up" (American Revised Versions margin), i.e. "chewing the cud," from garar, "to roll," "ruminate"): One of the marks of cleanliness, in the sense of fitness for food, of a quadruped, given in Le 11:3 and De 14:6, is the chewing of the cud. Among the animals considered clean are therefore included the ox, the sheep, the goat, the hart, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the pygarg, the antelope and the chamois. Several of the forbidden animals are expressly named in the passages, e.g. the camel, the rock-badger, the hare and the swine. In addition to the distinctions between clean and unclean animals mentioned in the Bible, the Talmud points out that the clean animals have no upper teeth, that their horns are either forked, or if not forked they are clear of splinters, notched with scales and round, and that certain portions of the meat of clean animals tear lengthwise as well as across. Many theories have been advanced as to the reasons for the distinctions with regard to the chewing of the cud and the cloven hoof. See the Jewish Encyclopedia under the word "Clean." The most obvious is that ruminating animals and animals without claws were apparently cleaner-feeding animals than the others.

Nathan Isaacs



See ACHZIB (1).


chik’-’-n, chik’-in (Anglo-Saxon, cicen or cycen; Latin, Gallus ferrugineus; alektruon, masculine and fem.): A barnyard fowl of any age. The record is to be found in the books of the disciples, but Jesus is responsible for the only direct mention of chickens in the Bible. Mt 23:37, contains this: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Luke’s version of the same scene says: "Even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings" (Lu 13:34). There is no reference to chickens in the Old Testament sufficiently clear to specify our common domestic bird. The many references to "fatted fowl" in these older records, in accordance with the text and the history of the other nations, were pigeons, guineas, ducks, geese and swans. The importation of peafowl by Solomon is mentioned. The cock and hen are distinctive birds and would have been equally a marvel worth recording had they been introduced at that time. From the history of the bird in other countries it is a safe estimate to place their entrance into Palestine between five and six hundred years BC. That would allow sufficient time for them to increase and spread until they would be well known and common enough to be used effectively in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Every historical fact and indication points to the capture and domestication of the red jungle fowl in Burma. The Chinese records prove that they first secured imported fowl from the West in 1400 BC. Their use for food dated from 1200 to 800 BC, in the Book of Manu, but it was specified that only those that ran wild were to be eaten. From these countries they were imported to Greece and Italy, and from there carried south into Palestine Homer ([?] 10; compare also alektruon, P 602) names a man Cock, alektor, which seems to indicate that he knew the bird. Pindar gives them slight mention; Aristophanes wrote of them as "Persian birds," which indicates that they worked their way westward by importation. I cannot find them in the records of Aristotle, but Aristophanes advanced the idea that not the gods, but the birds were rulers of men in ancient times, and compared the comb of the cock with the crown of a king, and pointed out that when he "merely crows at dawn all jump up to their work" (Aves, 489-90). They were common in Italy in the days of Pliny, who was ten years old at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. Pliny gave many rules for raising chickens, proving that much was known of their habits in his time. Yet so credulous was he and so saturated with superstition, that, mixed with his instructions for preserving eggs, brooding and raising chickens, is the statement that on account of the fighting power of the cocks the lions feared them. He wrote that a man named Galerius in the time of the consuls, Lepidus and Catulus, owned a barnyard fowl that spoke. He names Lenius Strabo as the first man to devise a "coupe" to keep fowl in and "cram" them to fatness. He gave the laws governing the use of fowl at table and recorded that in Egypt eggs were hatched in manure beds, which is conclusive proof that birds had been carried across the Mediterranean several centuries previous. The records of Babylon, 600 BC, contain figures undoubtedly intended for cocks, and they were reproduced in marble in Lycia at that time, In all these reproductions the birds have the drooping tail of the wild, and there is no record of the date at which they erected the tail, lifted the head and assumed the upright bearing of today.

Gene Stratton-Porter


chid: Only in the Old Testament, translating Hebrew ribh, a word which is more frequently rendered "strive." Since in Ge 31:36; Jud 8:1; Ps 103:9, the strife is one of words, it means in these passages, "scold," or "sharply censure," and is applied either to mutinous protests and reproaches of inferiors to a superior, or, as in the last of these passages, to rebukes administered by a superior to inferiors.


ki’-don, (goren kidhon; Septuagint B, omits; A has Cheilo): The place where Uzza perished because he touched the ark (1Ch 13:9). In 2Sa 6:6 it is called the threshing- floor of Nachon. No name resembling either of these has been discovered.


chef: The English word is in the King James Version of Old Testament the translation of some 17 different Hebrew words, most frequently of ro’sh, "head," sar, "prince," and re’shith, "beginning." The principal changes made by the Revised Version (British and American) are:

(1) Hebrew beth’abh, "house of a father," being recognized as a technical term denoting a subdivision of a tribe, ro’sh is rendered literally "head," when it occurs in connection with this phrase, so that "chief fathers" (Num 31:26) and "chief of the fathers" (Ezr 1:5) become "heads of fathers’ houses";

(2) Hebrew naghidh and nasi’ are more accurately translated "prince" in such passages as 1Ch 5:2; Nu 3:32;

(3) the misinterpretations which brought about the translation "chief" for ‘atsilim, "corners," Isa 41:9, and for ma‘aleh, "ascent," in 2Ch 32:33, are corrected.

In the New Testament "chief" is in most of its appearances the translation of Greek protos, "first"; the Revised Version (British and American) reads "first" for the King James Version "chief," "chiefest," in Mt 20:27; Mr 10:44; Ac 16:12. The reading in the latter passage is a difficult one, but the King James Version "Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia," seems to imply a political authority which Philippi did not possess; the Revised Version (British and American) "a city of Macedonia, the first of the district." Greek archon, "prince," "ruler," is rendered by the King James Version "chief," by the Revised Version (British and American) "prince," in Lu 11:15; the King James Version "chief Pharisees," the Revised Version (British and American) "rulers of the Pharisees," in Lu 14:1.

The original meaning of "chief" having been weakened, the comparative and superlative were admitted into English, the latter only appearing in the King James Version or the Revised Version: 1Sa 2:29; So 5:10; 2Co 11:5, etc. On "chief of Asia" (Ac 19:31 the King James Version) see ASIARCH.

F. K. Farr







chef sets (protokathedria): It was one of the reproaches urged by our Lord against the scribes and Pharisees that they loved the chief seats in the synagogues (Mt 23:6; Mr 12:39; Lu 11:43; 20:46). These were special seats set in front of the ark containing the Scriptures and of the reader’s platform, and facing the congregation. They were specially reserved for those who were held in the highest honor in the congregation. There were seventy-one such seats in the great synagogue of Alexandria, which were occupied by the members of the great Council in that city (see SYNAGOGUE).

J. Macartney Wilson


child’-bar-ing: Only in 1Ti 2:15: "She shall be saved through her (m "the") child-bearing" (dia tes teknogonias). The reference is to the calling of woman as wife and mother, as her ordinary lot in life, and to the anxieties, pains and perils of maternity, as the culmination and representation of the penalties woman has incurred because of the Fall (Ge 3:16). "She shall be saved by keeping faithfully and simply to her allotted sphere as wife and mother" (Dummelow). The preposition dia is not used here instrumentally, as though child-bearing were a means of her salvation, but locally, as in 1Co 3:15, "saved so as through fire," where life is saved by rushing through the flames. The explanation by reference to the incarnation, with an appeal to Ga 4:4, favored by Ellicott and others, seems very mechanical.

H. E. Jacobs


child, chil’-dren (ben, "son," yeledh, "child" na‘ar, "lad"; teknon, paidion): The Hebrews regarded the presence of children in the family as a mark of Divine favor and greatly to be desired (Ge 15:2; 30:1; 1Sa 1:11,20; Ps 127:3; Lu 1:7,28). The birth of a male child was especially a cause for rejoicing (Ps 128:3, Hebrew); more men, more defenders for the tribe. If there were no sons born to a household, that family or branch became lost. If the wife proved childless, other wife or wives might be added to the family (Ge 16 f). Further, each Jewish mother, at least in later times, hoped that her son might prove to be the Messiah. The custom of Levirate marriage, which was not limited to the Hebrew people, rested on the principle that if a man died childless his brother should marry his widow, the children of such union being considered as belonging to the brother whose name and line were thus preserved from extinction (De 25:5; Ge 38:26; Mt 22:24).

Children were sometimes dedicated to God, even before their birth (1Sa 1:11). Names often were significant: Moses (Ex 2:10); Samuel (1Sa 1:20); Ichabod (1Sa 4:21; compare Ge 30) (see PROPER NAMES). The firstborn son belonged to God (Nu 3:44 ff). The ceremony of redeeming the firstborn occurred on the thirtieth day. Friends of the family were invited to a feast, the rabbi also being present. The child was placed in the hands of the priest. The father carried some gold or silver in a cup or vessel. The priest asked the mother whether this was her firstborn, and, on being answered in the affirmative, claimed the child as Yahweh’s. The father offered the redemption money, which was accepted in exchange for the child (compare 1Pe 1:18). See FIRSTBORN. Other stages in the life of the child were celebrated with fitting ceremonies. In the fourth year, in Palestine, on the second day of the Passover occurred the ceremony of the first cutting of the boy’s hair, the friends sharing the privilege. Sometimes, as in the case of the wealthy, the weight of the child in currency was given as a donation to the poor. In common with the custom of other eastern peoples, male children were circumcised (Ge 17:12), the rite being performed on the eighth day.

Early education was cared for in the home, the children growing up more or less with the mother (Pr 6:20; 31:1; 2Ti 1:5; 3:14,15), and the girl continuing with her mother until her marriage. In wealthier families tutors were employed (1Ch 27:32). Schools for children are first mentioned by Josephus (Ant., XV, x, 5). According to the Talmud the first school for children was established about 100 BC, but in the time of Jesus such schools were common. Children were taught to read and to write even in families of moderate means, these arts being widely diffused as early as 600 BC, if not earlier (Isa 8:1; 10:19). Great stress was laid on the Torah, i.e. the law of Moses. Boys were trained also in farming, the tending of cattle, and in the trades. The religious training of the boy began in his fourth year, as soon as he could speak distinctly. The religious life of the girl also began early. In later times at least children took part in the Sabbath and Passover festivals and boys attended synagogue and school regularly.

Children were subject to the father (Ne 5:5 marks the extreme), who in turn was bound to protect them, though he himself had the power of life and death (Le 18:21; 20:2 ff). Respect for and obedience to parents were stoutly upheld by public opinion (Ex 20:12; De 5:16; compare Pr 6:20; Mic 7:6; De 21:18-21; Ex 21:15).

Both the Old Testament and New Testament afford abundant evidence of the strength of the bond that bound the Hebrew family together (Ge 21:16; 2Sa 18:33; 1Ki 3:23 ff; 2Ki 4:19; Isa 8:4; Job 29:5; Mt 19:13; 20:20; Mr 9:24; Lu 2:48; Joh 4:47; Heb 2:13; 11:23). The gift of a son from Yahweh was the height of joy; the loss of a child marked the depth of woe. A hint occurs in the custom of naming a man as the father of his firstborn son (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, I, 382), or even the use of the father’s name as a surname (Bar-jonah, Bartimeus) and such continues in Syria at the present day. This idea is further instanced in the use, in both Old Testament and New Testament, of the terms to express the relation between God and men (Ex 4:22; De 14:1; 32:6; Jer 3:4; Zec 12:10; Mal 1:6).


LITERATURE. Benzinger, Hebraische Archaologie, 2nd edition, 1907, 112-23; for rabbinical lore, Friedenberg in Jewish Encyclopedia, IV, 27 f.

W. N. Stearns

Figurative: Child is the English Versions of the Bible rendering of the Greek teknon. The corresponding Hebrew words (ben, and yeledh), are usually translated "son," but they have practically the same significance in the figurative use of the term. Child is used figuratively to describe:

(1) An affectionate greeting. Jesus addressed the sick of the palsy as "child" (Mr 2:5 the Revised Version, margin).

(2) The disciples, or followers, of a teacher. Jesus addressed His disciples as children (Mr 10:24). Paul referred to Timothy as his child (1Ti 1:2), and also to Onesimus (Phm 1:10). John also designated the disciples to whom he was writing as his children (2Jo 1:4). The same use of "children" or "sons" is common in the Old Testament (see 1Ki 20:35; 2Ki 2:3,5,7; 4:38). As a term of special endearment, disciples are sometimes called "little children" (teknia). Jesus thus addressed His disciples when He was speaking about His departure (Joh 13:33). Paul thus addressed the Galatians (Ga 4:19), and that was a favorite expression with John (see 1Jo 2:1; 4:4; 5:21). A term that was even more endearing was paidia, which means "little ones" or "babes." Jesus used this term once in addressing His disciples after His resurrection (Joh 21:5), and John also used this term occasionally in saluting those to whom he was writing (1Jo 2:18).

(3) Those who belong to God. Children of God is a common expression in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is based on the relation between parents and children, and in general describes God’s affection for His own, and their dependence upon Him, and moral likeness to Him. The term is sometimes used of those who are disloyal to God, and they are designated as "rebellious children" (see Isa 30:1).


(4) Those who belong to the devil. Those who are like the devil in thought and action are designated as "children of the devil" (1Jo 3:10).

(5) One’s relation to something to which he belongs, or by which he is dominated in his affection for it. Thus we have:

(a) the children of a city or country (see Jer 2:16; Mt 23:37), and this designates those who belong to that particular city or country;

(b) children of wisdom (Mt 11:19 the King James Version; Lu 7:35), and these are the ones whose lives are dominated by wisdom. Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek adopted ergon for teknon in Mt 11:19, but this seems to be without any good reason;

(c) children of obedience (1Pe 1:14), and these are the ones who are eager to obey;

(d) children of light (Eph 5:8), and this designates those whose souls are illumined by the light.

(6) Those who are liable to some particular fate. Thus, we have

(a) children of cursing, or those who are exposed to cursing (2Pe 2:14), and

(b) children of wrath or those who are exposed to wrath (Eph 2:3).

(7) Moral likeness or spiritual kinship (Ga 3:7 the King James Version; compare Joh 8:39; "the children of Abraham"). See secs. (3), (4).

A. W. Fortune





e’-d’-n (bene ‘edhen): In 2Ki 19:12; Isa 37:12 "the children of Eden that were in Telassar" are mentioned in connection with "Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph" as having been destroyed by the Assyrians who were before the time of Sennacherib. The expression, "the children of Eden that were in Telassar," undoubtedly referred to a tribe which inhabited a region of which Telassar was the center. Telassar means "the hill of Asshur" and, according to Schrader, it was a name that might have been given to any place where a temple had been built to Asshur. Inasmuch as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph were in Mesopotamia it would seem probable that "the children of Eden that were in Telassar" belonged to the same locality. The "children of Eden" is quite probably to be identified with the Bit ‘Adini of the inscriptions and this referred to a district on the middle Euphrates. According to the inscriptions Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Bit ‘Adini were destroyed by Sennacherib’s forefathers, and this is in accord with the account in 2 Kings and Isaiah.

The "Eden" of Eze 27:23 is usually taken as the name of a place in Mesopotamia with which Tyre had commercial relations, and probably belongs to the region of "the chilrden of Eden," discussed above.

Some writers think the "Beth-eden" of Am 1:5 the Revised Version, margin (the American Standard Revised Version "Aven") is to be identified with the Bit ‘Adini of the inscriptions and hence, with "the children of Eden," but this is doubtful. This was perhaps in Syria in the neighborhood of Damascus.

A. W. Fortune


Introduction: Meaning of Terms


1. Mythological Survivals

2. Created Sonship

3. Israel’s Collective Covenant Sonship

4. Individual and Personal Relation

5. Universalizing the Idea


1. Physical and Limited Sonship Disappears

2. As Religious Experience, or Psychological Fact

(1) Filial Consciousness of Jesus

(2) Communicated to Men

3. As Moral Condition, or Ethical Fact

4. As State of Being, or Ontological Fact

(1) Essence of Christ’s Sonship

(2) Men’s Sonship

5. As Relation to God, or Theological Fact

(1) Eternal Generation

(2) The Work of Grace

Introduction: Meaning of Terms:

Children (Sons and Daughters) of God (bene and benoth ‘elohim, literally "sons and daughters of God"; tekna theou, and huioi theou): so the King James Version; but the Revised Version (British and American) translates the latter Greek phrase more accurately "sons of God." Tekna contains the idea of origin or descent, but also that of personal relation, and is often used metaphorically of "that intimate and reciprocal relationship formed between men by the bonds of love, friendship, trust, just as between parents and children" (Grimm-Thayer). Huioi, too, conveys the ideas of origin, and of personal relation, but the latter in the fuller form in which it appears in mature age. "The difference between huios and teknon appears to be that whereas teknon denotes the natural relationship of child to parent, huios implies in addition to this the recognized status and legal privileges reserved for sons" (Sanday and Headlam, on Ro 8:14). This difference obtains, however, only in a very general sense.

The above phrases denote the relation in which men are conceived to stand to God, either as deriving their being from Him and depending upon Him, or as standing in that personal relation of intimate trust and love toward Him which constitutes the psychological fact of sonship. The exact significance of the expression depends upon the conception of God, and particularly of His Fatherhood, to which it corresponds. It therefore attains to its full significance only in the New Testament, and its meaning in the Old Testament differs considerably, even though it marks stages of development up to the New Testament idea.

I. Old Testament Teaching.

The most primitive form of the idea appears in Ge 6:1-4, where the sons of God by marrying the fair daughters of men become the fathers of the giants.

1. Mythological Survivals:

These were a subordinate order of Divine beings or demi-gods, and the title here may mean no more, although it was probably a survival of an earlier idea of the actual descent of these gods from a higher God. The idea of a heavenly court where the sons of God come to present themselves before Yahweh is found in quite late literature (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps 29:1; 89:6). In all these cases the phrase implies a certain kinship with God and dependence upon Him on the part of the Divine society around Him. But there is no evidence to show whether the idea of descent of gods from God survived to any extent, nor is there any indication of a very close personal relationship. Satan is unsympathetic, if not hostile. In one obviously polytheistic reference, the term implies a similarity of appearance (Da 3:25). In a secondary sense the titles "gods," and "sons of the Most High" are given to magistrates, as exercising God’s authority (Ps 82:6).

2. Created Sonship:

The idea of creation has taken the place of that of procreation in the Old Testament, but without losing the sense of sonship. "Saith Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask me .... concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands" (Isa 45:11). Israel acknowledges the absolute sovereignty of God as her Father and Maker (Isa 64:8). Israel’s Maker is also her Husband, and by inference the Father of her children (Isa 54:5). Since all Israel has one Father, and one God created her, the tribes owe brotherly conduct to one another (Mal 2:10). Yahweh upbraids His sons and daughters whom He as their Father bought, made and established. "He forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. .... Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that gave thee birth" (De 32:6,15,18 ff). These passages reveal the transition from the idea of original creation to that of making and establishing Israel as a nation. All things might be described as children of God if creation alone brought it to pass, but Israel stands in a unique relation to God.

3. Israel’s Collective Covenant Sonship:

The covenant relation of God with Israel as a nation is the chief form in which man’s sonship and God’s fatherhood appear in the Old Testament. "Israel is my son, my firstborn" (Ex 4:22); "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Ho 11:1). And to be children of God involves the obligation to be a holy people (De 14:1,2). But Israel has proved unworthy of her status: "I .... have brought up children, and they have rebelled against me" (Isa 1:2,4; 30:1,9). Yet He will have pity upon them: "for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn" (Jer 31:9,20). Israel’s unworthiness does not abolish the relation on God’s side; she can therefore return to Him again and submit to His will (Isa 63:16; 64:8); and His pity exceeds a mother’s love (Isa 49:15). The filial relation of Israel to God is summed up and symbolized in a special way in the Davidic king: "I will be his father, and he shall be my son" (2Sa 7:14 = 1Ch 17:13; compare 1Ch 22:10; 28:6; Ps 2:7).

4. Individual and Personal Relation:

God’s fatherhood to collective Israel necessarily tends to develop into a personal relation of father and son between Him and individual members of the nation. The children of Israel, whatever their number, shall be called "the sons of the living God" (Ho 1:10). Yahweh’s marriage relation with Israel as a nation made individual Israelites His children (Ho 2:19,20; Jer 3:14,22; compare Isa 50:1; Eze 16:20,21; 23:37), and God’s ownership of His children, the individual members of the nation, is asserted (compare Ps 127:3). Chastisement and pity alike God deals forth as Father to His children (De 1:31; 8:5; Ps 103:13), and these are intimate personal relations which can only obtain between individuals.

5. Universalizing the Idea:

In another direction the idea of God as the father of Israel tends to be modified by the inclusion of the Gentiles. The word "first-born" (in Ex 4:22 and Jer 31:9,20) may be only an emphatic form of expressing sonship, or it may already suggest the possibility of the adoption of the Gentiles. If that idea is not present in words, it is an easy and legitimate inference from several passages, that Gentiles would be admitted some day into this among the rest of Israel’s privileges (Isa 19:25; 65:1; Zec 14:16).

II. New Testament Teaching.

1. Physical and Limited Sonship Disappears:

As the doctrine of Divine fatherhood attains its full spiritual and moral significance in the New Testament, so does the experience and idea of sonship. All traces of physical descent have disappeared. Paul’s quotation from a heathen poet: "For we are also his offspring" (Ac 17:28), whatever its original significance, is introduced by the apostle for the purpose of enforcing the idea of the spiritual kinship of God and men. The phrase "Son of God" applied to Christ by the Roman centurion (Mt 27:54; Mr 15:39) may or may not, in his mind, have involved the idea of physical descent, but its utterance was the effect of an impression of similarity to the gods, produced by the exhibition of power attending His death. The idea of creation is assumed in the New Testament, but generally it is not prominent in the idea of sonship. The virgin birth of Jesus, however, may be understood as implying either the creative activity of the Holy Spirit, or the communication of a preexistent Divine being to form a new human personality, but the latter idea also would involve creative activity in the physical realm (compare Lu 3:38: "Adam (son) of God"). The limitations of the Old Testament conception of sonship as national and collective disappear altogether in the New Testament; God is father of all men, and of every man. In potentiality at least every man and all men are sons of God. The essence of sonship consists in a personal experience and moral likeness which places man in the most intimate union and communion with God.

2. As Religious Experience, or Psychological Fact:

(1) Filial Conciousness of Jesus.

Divine sonship was first realized and made manifest in the consciousness of Jesus (Mt 11:27). For Him it meant unbroken personal knowledge of God and communion with Him, and the sense of His love for Him and of His satisfaction and delight in Him (Mt 3:17; 17:5; Mr 1:11; 9:7; Lu 3:22; 9:35). Whether the "voice out of the heavens saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" was objective or not, its message always dwelt in the filial consciousness of Jesus. The Father’s love was to Him a source of knowledge and power (Joh 5:20), the reward of His self-sacrifice (Joh 10:17) and the inspiration of His love for men (Joh 15:9).

Sonship meant for Him His Messianic mission (Mt 16:16,17). It involved His dependence on the Father and His obedience to Him (Joh 5:19,30; 8:29), and a resulting confidence in His mission (Joh 5:36; 10:36,37). It filled Him with a sense of dignity, power and glory which the Father gave Him, and would yet give in larger measure (Mt 26:63,14; 16:27; Joh 17:5).

(2) Communicated to Men.

Jesus communicated His own experience of God to men (Joh 14:9) that they also might know the Father’s love and dwell in it (Joh 17:26). Through Him and through Him alone can they become children of God in fact and in experience (Joh 1:12; 14:6; Mt 11:27). It is therefore a distinctively Christian experience and always involves a relation of faith in Christ and moral harmony with Him. It differs from His experience in one essential fact, at least in most men. It involves an inner change, a change of feeling and motive, of ideal and attitude, that may be compared to a new birth (Joh 3:3). Man must turn and return from disobedience and alienation through repentance to childlike submission (Lu 15:18-20). It is not the submission of slaves, but the submission of sons, in which they have liberty and confidence before God (Ga 4:6), and a heritage from Him for their possession (Ga 4:6,7; Ro 8:17). It is the liberty of self-realization. As sons they recognize their kinship with God, and share his mind and purpose, so that His commands become their pleasure: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1Jo 5:3). They have boldness and access to God (Eph 2:18; 3:12). With this free union of love with God there comes a sense of power, of independence of circumstances, of mastery over the world, and of the possession of all things necessary which become the heirs of God (Mt 6:26,32; 7:11). "For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world" (1Jo 5:4). They learn that the whole course and destiny of creation is for the "revealing of the sons of God" (Ro 8:19,21).

3. As Moral Condition, or Ethical Fact:

Christ’s sonship involved His moral harmony with the Father: "I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love" (Joh 15:10; 8:53). He accomplished the work which the Father gave Him to do (Joh 17:4; 5:19), "becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross" (Php 2:8). And sonship makes the same demand upon men. The peacemakers and those who forgive like God are His children (Mt 5:9,45; Lu 6:35). "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these (and these only) are sons of God" (Ro 8:14). God will be Father to the holy (2Co 6:18). The test and mark of the children of God is that they do righteousness and love the brethren (1Jo 3:10). They are blameless and harmless, without blemish, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Php 2:15). Therefore their ideal of life is to be "imitators of God" and to walk in love even as Christ did (Eph 5:1). Sonship grows to its consummation as the life grows in the likeness of Christ, and the final destiny of all sons is to be ever like Him (1Jo 3:2).

4. As State of Being, or Ontological Fact:

Sonship is properly and primarily a relation, but it may so dominate and transform the whole of a man’s life, thought and conduct as to become his essential being, the most comprehensive category under which all that he is may be summed up.

(1) Essence of Christ’s Sonship.

It is so that the New Testament comprehends the person of Christ. Everything that He did, He did as God’s son, so that He is the Son, always and ever Son. In the beginning, in the bosom of the Father, He is the ONLY BEGOTTEN (which see) Son (Joh 1:1,18). He is born a Son of God (Lu 1:35). He begins life in the things of His Father (Lu 2:49). His whole life is that of the beloved Son (Mt 3:17; 17:5). As Son of God He dies (Mt 26:63; Lu 22:70; Mt 27:40,43; compare Joh 5:18). In His resurrection He was declared to be the Son of God with power (Ro 1:4); as Jesus the Son of God He is our great high priest in heaven (Heb 4:14), and in the glory of His father He will come to judge in the last day (Mt 16:27).

(2) Men’s Sonship.

Unlike Him, men’s moral sonship is neither eternal nor universal. Are they therefore sons in any sense always and everywhere? All children are heirs of the kingdom of God and objects of the Father’s care (Lu 18:16; Mt 18:10). But men may turn away from the Father and become unworthy to be called His sons (Lu 15:13,19). They may become children of the devil (1Jo 3:10; Joh 8:44), and children of wrath (Eph 2:3). Then they lose the actuality, but not the potentiality, of sonship. They have not the experience or character of sons, but they are still moral and rational beings made in the image of God, open to the appeal and influence of His love, and able to "rise and go to their Father." They are objects of God’s love (Joh 15:13; Ro 5:8) and of His gracious search and seeking (Lu 15:4; Joh 11:52). But they are actual sons only when they are led by the Spirit of God (Ro 8:14); and even so their sonship will only be consummated in the resurrection (Ro 8:23; Lu 20:36).

5. As Relation to God, or Theological Fact:

In the relation of father and son, fatherhood is original and creative. That does not necessarily mean priority in time.

(1) Eternal Generation.

Origen’s doctrine of the eternal generation of Christ, by which is meant that God and Christ always stood in the relation of Father and Son to one another, is a just interpretation of the New Testament idea that the Son "was in the beginning with God" (pros ton Theon). But Jesus was conscious of His dependence upon the Father and that His sonship was derived from Him (Joh 5:19,36). Still more manifest is it that men derive their sonship from God. He made them for Himself, and whatever in human nature qualifies men to become sons of God is the free gift of God. But men in their sin and disobedience could not come to a knowledge of the Father, had He not "sent forth his Son .... that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Ga 4:4,5): "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God" (1Jo 3:1); "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son" (which see) who gave men "the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name" (Joh 3:16; 1:12). It is not the children of the flesh but the children of the promise who are children of God (Ro 9:4). The mere act of birth does not constitute men into children of God, but His covenant of free grace must be added. God being essentially Father made men and the universe, sent His Son and His Spirit, "for the revealing of the sons of God." But they can only know the Father, and realize their sonship when they respond to His manifestation of fatherly love, by faith in God and obedience to Him.

(2) The Work of Grace.

The question whether sonship is natural and universal or conditional upon grace working through faith, does not admit of a categorical answer. The alternatives are not strict antitheses. God does all things as Father. To endow man with rational and moral nature capable of his becoming a son was an act of love and grace, but its whole purpose can be communicated only in response to faith in Christ. But a natural sonship which is not actual is meaningless. A man’s moral condition and his attitude toward God are the most essential elements of his nature, for a man’s nature is just the sum total of his thoughts, acts and states. If these are hostile or indifferent to God, there is nothing left that can have the reality or bear the name of son. For if the word son be used of mere creaturehood and potentiality, that is to give it a meaning entirely different from New Testament usage. All men by nature are potential sons, because God has made them for sonship and does all things to win them into their heritage. Men may be sons of God in a very imperfect and elementary manner. The sharp transitions of Pauline and Johannine theology are rather abstract distinctions for thought than actual descriptions of spiritual processes. But Paul and John also contemplate a growth in sonship, "till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full- grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13).


For lit. and further discussion, see special articles on ADOPTION; GOD; JESUS CHRIST.

T. Rees


iz’-ra-el (bene yisra’el): A very common term in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it refers to the Israelites as the descendants of a common ancestor, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (see Ge 32:24-32). It was customary to designate the members of the various tribes as the children of the one from whom the tribe originated (see Nu 1:20-43; Ezr 2:3-61), and it was natural that the people who boasted of Israel as their ancestor should be designated as his children. The first reference to the descendants of Jacob is found in the account of the changing of Jacob’s name to Israel, and the purpose is to connect them with the experience in Jacob’s life which led to the change in his name: "Therefore the children of Israel eat not the sinew of the hip, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew of the hip." At the time when this was written "the children of Israel" was a phrase that was commonly applied to the Israelites. In 2Ki 17:34 they are called "the children of Jacob," and this occurs in connection with the account of the changing of Jacob’s name to Israel and is intended to connect them closely with their father Jacob, who was favored of God.

After a time, it is quite likely that the phrase "children of Israel" lost its peculiar significance and was simply one of the popular terms designating the inhabitants of Palestine, but at first it was intended to connect these people with their ancestor Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. The Jews of the New Testament times connected themselves with Abraham rather than with Jacob (see Joh 8:39; Ro 9:7; Ga 3:7, tekna, or, huioi Abraam).

A. W. Fortune




est (bene qedhem): A term which in a general way designated the inhabitants of the country East of Palestine The Hebrews thought of their own country as occupying the central place, and of the other parts of the world in relation to this. They spoke of the "queen of the south" (Mt 12:42), and of the "king of the south" (Da 11:5,6). They spoke of people coming from "the east and the west" and sitting down with the patriarchs (Mt 8:11).

The term "children of the east" seems to have been applied to the inhabitants of any part of the country East of Palestine It is stated that Jacob, when he fled from Esau, "came to the land of the children of the east" (Ge 29:1), and the place to which he came was Haran in Mesopotamia. In Jer 49:28 the inhabitants of Kedar are called "the children of the east," and in later Jewish literature, Kedar is identified with the Arabs (see KEDAR). Job was designated as "the greatest of all the children of the east" (Job 1:3), and the land of Uz was mentioned as his home (Job 1:1). While it is impossible absolutely to locate the land of Uz, it must have been on the edge of the desert which was East of Palestine. The children of the east seem to have been famous for their wisdom. It is said that "Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east" (1Ki 4:30), and "Wise-men from the east" came to Jerusalem seeking the one that was born king of the Jews (Mt 2:1).

Many of the inhabitants of the east country were regarded as descending from Abraham (see Ge 25:6), and hence, they were related to Israel.

A. W. Fortune


kil’-e-ab (kil’abh; Dalouia, "restraint of father"): A son of David, born to him at Hebron. His mother was Abigail, whom David married after the death of her husband Nabal, the Carmelite (2Sa 3:3). In the corresponding account (1Ch 3:1) he is called "Daniel," the meaning of which name ("God is my judge") points to its having been given in order to commemorate God’s judgment upon Nabal (1Sa 25:39; compare Ge 30:6). Some suppose that he bore both names, but the Septuagint reading here Dalouia (Ch Damniel), and the identity of the last three letters of the Hebrew word "Chileab" with the first three of the following word, seems to indicate that the text of Samuel is corrupt.

Horace J. Wolf


kil’-i-on (kilyon, "pining," "wasting away"): One of the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi, "Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah" (Ru 1:2). With his mother and brother he came into Moab and there both married Moabite women, Orpah being the name of Chilion’s wife and Ru that of the wife of Mahlon (Ru 4:9,10). Both died early and Orpah remained in Moab while Ru accompanied Naomi back to Bethlehem. When Boaz married Ru he "bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s, and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi" (Ru 4:9).

W. L. Walker


kil’-mad (kilmadh; Charman): A city or district mentioned after Sheba and Asshur as supplying merchandise to Tyre (Eze 27:23). By changing "m" into "w" (common in Assytoprian-Babylonian) this has been compared with Kalwadha near Bagdad (G. Smith, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, I, 61; Delitzsch, Paradies, 206), but the identification seems improbable. Though regarded as the name of a country in the Septuagint and the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) (Charman; Chelmad), there is some doubt whether this view of the word is correct. The Targum substitutes Madhai, "Media," and on this account Mez (Stadt Harran, 24) amends to Kol Madhai, "all Media." The absence of the copula "and" has caused others to further modify the vocalization, and by reading kelimmudh instead of Chilmad, the sense "Asshur was as the apprentice of thy trading" (Qimchi, Hitzig, Cornill) is obtained, but is not satisfactory. Probably both text and translation are susceptible of improvement.

T. G. Pinches


kim’-ham (kimham (2Sa 19:37,38) or kimhan (2Sa 19:40) or kemohem (Jer 41:17 Kt.); this reading, however, may probably be safely ignored): One of the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, who supported David while the latter was in exile in Mahanaim (2Sa 19:37). After the death of Absalom, Barzillai was invited to spend the remainder of his life with the king; but he refused, and sent his son Chimham in his stead. From the mention of "the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem" (Jer 41:17 the King James Version), it has been inferred that Chimham received a grant of land from David’s patrimony at Bethlehem, which retained his name for at least four centuries. It has been suggested that his name was probably Ahinoam (’achino‘am).

Horace J. Wolf

CHIMNEY chim’-ni.


kin’-e-reth, kin’-e-roth (kinnereth (De 3:17; Jos 19:35, etc.)), (kinaroth; Codex Vaticanus, Kenereth, Codex Alexandrinus, Cheneroth (Jos 11:2)): Taking the order in which the towns are mentioned, this city seems to have lain North of Rakkath (?Tiberias). It may have occupied the site of el-Mejdel, at the Southwest corner of the plain of Gennesaret. From this city the sea took its Old Testament name (Nu 34:11, etc.).


ke’-os, ki’-os (Chios): An island belonging to Turkey in the Aegean Sea, South of Lesbos, and very near the mainland of Asia Minor. Paul’s vessel passed it on his last voyage to Jerusalem (Ac 20:15). The channel here is very picturesque. From Luke’s expression, "we came the following day over against Chios," it has been conjectured that they were becalmed; more probably it simply means that, because of the dark moon, they lay at anchor for the night on the Asian coast opposite the island (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, under the word). Herod, when on his way to Agrippa at the Bosphorus, "continued many days at Chios" and conferred many royal benefactions upon the inhabitants (Josephus, Ant, XVI, ii, 2).

The soil is sterile (though well cultivated), the climate mild. Earthquakes are frequent. In the mountains (highest 4,000 ft.) beautiful blue marble with white veins, and excellent potter’s clay, were quarried in antiquity. In modern times large quantities of ochre are mined. The chief industry is the culture of the silkworm, the cocoons being sent to Lyons. Oranges, lemons, almonds, brandy, anise, mastich and leather are also exported. The inhabitants, who are almost entirely Greeks, number about 60,000. The capital, Castro, has a population of 15,000. The place where Homer is said to have collected his pupils around him is still pointed out to the traveler at the foot of Mt. Epos, near the coast. It is in reality (probably) a very old sanctuary of Cybele, the Mother of the Gods. The tragic poet Ion, the historian Theopompus and the sophist Theocritus were natives of Chios. The Chians were especially famous for their skill in telling stories, and for their levity. A familiar proverb says that "it is easier to find a green horse than a sober- minded Sciot" (Conybeare and Howson, XX, 549).

The oldest inhabitants of the island were Leleges, Cretans and Carians, who were conquered by the Ionians. The latter made Chios one of the most flourishing states in Ionia. When the Persians overran Asia Minor and oppressed the Greek colonies, the Chians showed a Pan-Hellenic spirit. They surrendered, however, to Cyrus in 546 BC. Nevertheless, 46 years later they joined in the rebellion of Aristagoras against the Persians. In the naval engagement off the island Lade they fought with 100 ships and displayed great bravery. Again they fell into the power of Persia; but after the battle of Mycale (479) the Chians joined the Athenian confederacy. In 412 they sided with the Peloponnesians, in the 19th year of the war which Athens had been waging against Sparta and her allies. For this act of treason the Athenians devastated the island. At the end of the war the Chians revolted from Sparta and, after the battle of Naxos (376), became an ally of Athens once more. Oppressed now by Athens, as she had been by Sparta, Chios made an alliance with Thebes in 363 and defended herself successfully against the Athenian general, Chares; and in 355 Athens was forced to recognize the island’s independence. Later the Chians became friends of the Romans and in the war with Mithridates were obliged to surrender their ships to the Pontic king and in addition pay him 2,000 talents.

In 1307 AD Turkish pirates subjugated and laid waste the island. The Turks themselves became masters of Chios in 1566. In the war of the Greek revolution the Chians joined the Greeks (February 1821) but were overpowered by the Turks. The Pasha decreed that the island should be utterly devastated; 23,000 Chians were massacred and 47,000 sold into slavery. Only 5,000 escaped. A second attempt to regain their freedom was made in 1827, but met with failure. When the kingdom of Greece was established two years later, Chios was not included. On April 3, 1881, the island was visited by a terrible earthquake, the city of Castro being almost entirely destroyed.


Conybeare and Howson, The Life and Epistles of Paul; W. M. Ramsay, Paul the Traveler; G. H. Gilbert, The Student’s Life of Paul (chiefly concerned with the chronology and order of events in Paul’s life); Eckenbrecher, Die Insel Chios (1845); Pauli, same person (in the Mitteilungen der Geogr. Gesellschaft in Hamburg, 1880-81).

J. E. Harry


cherp (tsaphaph): "Chirp" occurs in the King James Version marginand the Revised Version, margin of Isa 29:4, "Thy voice shall be as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper (margin, "chirp") out of the dust." The reference is to "the sounds made by wizards and ventriloquists, who imitated the chirping of the bats which was supposed to proceed from the Iower world"; hence, for "peep" of the King James Version in Isa 8:19 we have "chirp"—"wizards, that chirp and that mutter."

Figurative: We have also in Isa 10:14 the Revised Version (British and American), in a figurative allusion to young birds, "chirped" instead of "peeped."


W. L. Walker


kis’-lu, kis’-lev.



kis’-lon, kiz’-lon (kiclon, "strength"): A prince of Benjamin, the father of Elidad (Nu 34:21).


kis-loth-ta’-bor, kiz’-loth.



kit’-lish (kithlish, "separation"; the King James Version Kithlish, the English Revised Version "Chithlish," kith’lish): An unidentified town named with Lahman and Gederoth in the Shephelah of Judah (Jos 15:40).





ki’-un: Thus Hebrew kiyun, is transliterated in Am 5:26 the King James Version. The vowels represent an assimilation to some such word as shiqquts, "detestable thing," or gillul, "idol" (properly "a filthy thing"), in consonance with the well-known habit of the punctuators (compare molekh, Molech with the vowels of bosheth, "shame"). The Syriac version has preserved the correct vocalization; apparently also the Septuagint, albeit the consonants have suffered corruption (so particularly in the Greek manuscripts of Ac 7:43). There can be no doubt that we should vocalize kewan = the Assyrian Kai(a)-wanu = Kaiamanu by which at least in late Babylonian Saturn was indicated. The passage in Amos refers to the Saturn worship which appears to have been in vogue in the prophet’s days. The Israelites shall carry with them into exile the images of their gods (render with the margin of the Revised Version (British and American): "Yea, ye shall take up," etc.). The received vocalization is as old as Aquila and Symmachus. Max L. Margolis


ki’-un (Am 5:26 the King James Version): Called in Ac 7:43 "Rephan" (Rhemphan) the planet Saturn.



klo’-e (Chloe, "a tender shoot"): A woman, presumably a Christian, mentioned only in 1Co 1:11. She was a resident either of Corinth or of Ephesus. Paul had been informed by some of her household, probably Christian slaves, of the dissensions in the church at Corinth. Nothing more is known of her.


ko’-ba, ko’-ba-i (Choba, Judith 4:4; Chobai, 15:4 f): A place named along with Jericho, Asora, and the valley of Salem (Judith 4:4; 15:4 f). Reland’s (Pal, 721) suggestion of Choabis, which the Peutinger Tables give as 12 Roman miles from Scythopolis, seems probable. It may be identical with el-Mekhubby, about 11 miles from Beisan (Scythepolis), and 3 miles from Tubas.


ke’-niks (choinix): A Greek dry measure, almost equal to one quart. Mentioned in the New Testament only in Re 6:6, where the Revised Version, margin would read "choenix" instead of the indefinite translation "measure." The verse is then obviously a threat of famine.





chok (pnigo, and its compounds): Is used in its primary sense of "to strangle," or "to suffocate," in describing the fate of the swine (Lu 8:33 the King James Version). The Revised Version (British and American) has "drowned," but "choked" is the correct rendering of the Greek word.

Figurative: It is used in the sense of "to strangle" "smother," "suffocate," as if by depriving of breath, in describing the fate of the young grain growing in the midst of thorns (Mt 13:7). The figurative is carried a little farther still in describing the way the word, planted in the heart, is overcome by the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches (Mt 13:22).

A. W. Fortune


ko’-la (Chola; the King James Version, Cola): This names occurs only with that of Chobai (see CHOBA) in Judith 15:4. It may be identical with the modern Ka‘un, between el- Mekhubby and Beisan.


kol’-er: Lit. "bile," is used in the sense of a disease (cholera) (Sirach 31:20; 37:30), and in the sense of bitter anger (marar) (Da 8:7; 11:11 English Versions of the Bible, the American Standard Revised Version "anger").


chooz, cho’-z’-n (bachar, qabhal, bara’, barah; ek-lego):


1. Human Choice

2. God Chooses King of Israel

3. God Chooses Jerusalem

4. Election of Israel

5. Yahweh’s Grace

(1) An Act of Sovereignty

(2) For Mankind’s Sake


1. Various Meanings

2. Of God’s Free Grace

3. Ultimate Antinomies

4. Election Corresponds to Experience

The words denote an act of comparison of two or more objects or persons, the preference and selection of one, or of a few out of a larger number for a certain purpose, function, position or privilege.

I. In the Old Testament.

1. Human Choice:

For bachar and its derivatives: men choosing wives (Ge 6:2); Lot choosing the cities of the Plain (Ge 13:11); often of kings and generals choosing soldiers for their prowess (e.g. Ex 17:9; Jos 8:3; 1Sa 13:2; 2Sa 10:9; 17:1). The word bachar is often used for "young men," as being choice, in the prime of manhood. The most important uses of bachar are these: of Israel choosing a king (1Sa 8:18; 12:13); of moral and religious choice: choosing Yahweh as God (Jos 24:15,22), or other gods (Jud 5:8; 10:14); the way of truth (Ps 119:30); to refuse the evil and choose the good (Isa 7:15,16); compare David’s choice of evils (2Sa 24:12).

2. God Chooses King of Israel:

A leading idea is that of God choosing Moses as leader (Nu 16:5,7; 17:5); the Levites to the priesthood (1Sa 2:28; 2Ch 29:11); Saul as king (1Sa 10:24), David (2Sa 6:21; 1Ki 11:34), Solomon (1Ch 28:5). All this follows from theocratic idea that God rules personally over Israel as His chosen people.

3. God Chooses Jerusalem:

A more important, but still subsidiary, idea is that of Yahweh choosing Jerusalem as the place of His habitation and worship (De 12:5; 20 other times, Jos 9:27; 1Ki 8:44,48; Ps 132:13; Zec 1:17; 2:12; 3:2). This was the ruling idea of Josiah’s reformation which was instrumental in putting down polytheistic ideas and idolatrous practices in Israel, and was therefore an important factor in the development of Hebrew monotheism; but it was an idea that Hebrew monotheism had to transcend and reject to attain its full growth. "The hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father" (Joh 4:21).

4. Election of Israel:

But the fundamental idea of choosing, which governs all others in the Old Testament, is that of God choosing Israel to be His peculiar people. He chose Abraham, and made a covenant with him, to give him the land of Canaan (Ne 9:7 ff): "For thou art a holy people unto Yahweh thy God: Yahweh thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth .... because Yahweh loveth you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers" (De 7:6-8). Historically this idea originated in the old conception of Yahweh as the tribal God of Israel, bound to her by natural and indissoluble ties (see GOD). But as their conception of Yahweh became more moral, and the idea of His righteousness predominated, it was recognized that there was no natural and necessary relation and harmony between Israel and Yahweh that accounted for the favor of a righteous God toward her, for Israel was no better than her neighbors (Am 1; 2). Why then was Yahweh Israel’s God, and Israel His people?

5. Yahweh’s Grace:

It was by an act of free choice and sovereign grace on God’s part. "You only have I known of all the families of the earth" (Am 3:2). In Ho the relation is described under the figure of a marriage tie. Yahweh is Israel’s husband: and to realize the force of the figure, it is necessary to recall what ancient and oriental marriage customs were. Choice and favor were almost entirely made by the husband. The idea of the covenant which Yahweh out of His free grace made with Israel comes to the forefront in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah. Because He loved her, and for no other reason, He has chosen Israel to be His peculiar people. In Isa 40-66 the idea is carried farther in two directions:

(1) An Act of Sovereignty:

Yahweh’s gracious choice of Israel rests ultimately on His absolute sovereignty: "O Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen: thus saith Yahweh that made thee, and formed thee from the womb" (Isa 44:1,2; compare Isa 29:16; Jer 18:6; Isa 64:8). For Israel’s deliverance Cyrus and his world-empire are in Yahweh’s hands as clay in the potter’s hands (Isa 45:9,10).

(2) For Mankind’s Sake:

"Israel is elect for the sake of mankind." This is the moral interpretation of a choice that otherwise appears arbitrary and irrational. God’s purpose and call of salvation are unto all mankind. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else" (Isa 45:22). And Israel is His servant, chosen, the messenger He sends, "to bring forth justice to the Gentiles" (Isa 42:1,19; 43:10,12). The idea is further developed in the conception of the SERVANT OF JEHOVAH (which see) as the faithful few (or one) formed "from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him," "for a light to the Gentiles," God’s "salvation unto the end of the earth" (Isa 49:1-6; 52:13-53:12) (compare Isaiah’s doctrine of the Remnant: Shearjashub; also, the righteous, the godly, the meek, in Pss; and see Skinner, Isaiah, II, xxx ff). As the conception of personality and of individual relation and responsibility to God developed from Eze onward, together with the resulting doctrine of personal immortality, the conditions were prepared for the application of the idea of election to individuals (compare Ps 65:4).

Coordinate with the idea of God choosing Israel runs the complementary idea that Israel should prove faithful to the covenant, and worthy of the choice. God has chosen her, not for any merit in her, but of His free grace, and according to His purpose of salvation, but if Israel fails to respond by faithful conduct, fitting her to be His servant and messenger, He may and will cast her off, or such portion of her as proves unworthy. See Oehler, Old Testament Theology, I, 256 ff, 287 f.

Three other Hebrew words expressing choice in minor matters are: qabhal, for David’s choice of evils (1Ch 21:11); bara’, to mark out a place (Eze 21:19), to select singers and porters for the temple (1Ch 9:22; 16:41); barah, to choose a man to represent Israel against Goliath (1Sa 17:8).

II. In the New Testament.

1. Various Meanings:

The whole conception of God, of His relation to Israel, and of His action in history indicated above, constituted the religious heritage of Jesus Christ and His disciples. The national conciousness had to a considerable extent given place to that of the individual; and salvation extended beyond the present life into a state of blessedness in a future world. But the central ideas remain, and are only modified in the New Testament in so far as Jesus Christ becomes the Mediator and Agent of God’s sovereign grace. Eklego and its derivatives are the words that generally express the idea in the New Testament. They are used

(1) of the general idea of selecting one out of many (Lu 14:7);

(2) of choosing men for a particular purpose, e.g. of the church choosing the seven (Ac 6:5); of the choice of delegates from the Council of Jerusalem (Ac 15:22,25; compare 2Co 8:19), cheirotoneo; choose by vote (the Revised Version (British and American) "appoint") (compare Ac 10:41), procheirotoneo;

(3) of moral choice (Mr 13:20): "Mary hath chosen the good part" (Lu 10:42);

(4) of Christ as the chosen Messiah of God (Lu 23:35; 1Pe 2:4 the King James Version);

(5) of Christ choosing His apostles (Lu 6:13; Joh 6:70; 13:18; 15:16,19; Ac 1:2,24); Paul (Ac 9:15; compare Ac 22:14 the King James Version), procheirizomai; Rufus (Ro 16:13); and Paul chose Silas (Ac 15:40), epilego;

(6) of God

(a) choosing Israel (Ac 13:17; compare Ro 9:11),

(b) choosing the Christian church as the new Israel (1Pe 2:9 the King James Version),

(c) choosing the members of the church from among the poor (Jas 2:5), the foolish, weak and despised (1Co 1:27-28),

(d) choosing into His favor and salvation a few out of many: "Many are called, but few are chosen"‘ (Mt 20:16 (omitted in the Revised Version (British and American)); Mt 22:14); God shortens the days of the destruction of Jerusalem "for the elect’s sake, whom he chose" (Mr 13:20).

2. Of God’s Free Grace:

In Eph 1:4-6 every phrase tells a different phase of the conception:

(1) God chose (and foreordained) the saints in Christ before the foundation of the world;

(2) according to the good pleasure of His will;

(3) unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto Himself;

(4) to be holy and without blemish before Him in love;

(5) to the praise of the glory of His grace;

(6) which He freely bestowed on them in the Beloved. And in Re 17:14, the triumphant church in heaven is described as "called and chosen and faithful." God’s sovereign choice governs the experience and testing of the saints at every point from beginning to end.

Thus in the New Testament as in the Old Testament

(1) God’s covenant of grace is free and unconditional. It is unto all men, now as individuals rather than nations, and without distinction of race or class. It is no less free and sovereign, because it is a father’s grace.

(2) Israel is still a chosen race for a special purpose.

(3) The church and the saints that constitute it are chosen to the full experience and privileges of sonship.

(4) God’s purpose of grace is fully revealed and realized through Jesus Christ.

3. Ultimate Antinomies:

This doctrine raises certain theological and metaphysical difficulties that have never yet been satisfactorily solved.

(1) How can God be free if all His acts are preordained from eternity? This is an antinomy which indeed lies at the root of all personality. It is of the essence of the idea of personality that a person should freely determine himself and yet act in conformity with his own character. Every person in practice and experience solves this antinomy continually, though he may have no intellectual category that can coordinate these two apparently contradictory principles in all personality.

(2) How can God be just, if a few are chosen and many are left? And

(3) How can man be free if his moral character proceeds out of God’s sovereign grace? It is certain that if God chose all or left all He would be neither just nor gracious, nor would man have any vestige of freedom.

4. Election Corresponds to Experience:

The doctrine describes accurately (a) the moral fact, that some accept salvation and others reject it; (b) the religious fact that God’s sovereign and unconditional love is the beginning and cause of salvation. The meeting-point of the action of grace, and of man’s liberty as a moral and responsible being, it does not define. Nor has the category as yet been discovered wherewith to construe and coordinate these two facts of religious experience together, although it is a fact known in every Christian experience that where God is most sovereign, man is most free.

For other passages, and the whole idea in the New Testament, see ELECTION.

T. Rees



Figurative: This word, meaning "to cut in pieces," "to distribute," often translated "spread," is rendered "chop" in Mic 3:3, they "chop them in pieces, as for the pot," figuratively for the destruction of God’s people through the cruel exactions of their rulers.


kor-ash’-an, ko-ra’-shan.



ko-ra’-zin (Chorazin, Mt 11:21; Chorazin, Lu 10:13; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek Chorazein): A city whose name appears only in the woe pronounced against it by Christ (Mt 11:21; Lu 10:13). Its appearance there, however, shows that it must have been a place of some importance, and highly privileged by the ministry of Jesus. It was already deserted in the time of Eusebius, who places it 2 miles from Capernaum (Onomasticon, under the word). We can hardly doubt that it is represented by the extensive ruins of Kerazeh, on the heights to the north of Tell Chum. It is utterly desolate: a few carved stones being seen among the heaps. There are traces of a Roman road which connected the ancient city with the great highway between north and south which touched the lake shore at Khan Minyeh. W. Ewing

CHORBE kor’-be (Chorbe; the King James Version Corbe): Head of a family which returned with Zerubbabel (1 Esdras 5:12). The name apparently corresponds to Zaccai in Ezr 2:9 and Ne 7:14.


kos-a-me’-us (A, Simon Chosamaios; B, Chosamaos): Occurs in 1 Esdras 9:32 as the name of one of the sons of Annas. But in the parallel passage (Ezr 10:31) the name is simply Shimeon followed by "Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah," which are omitted in 1 Esdras. The Septuagint of Ezr 10:31 has Semeon, followed by the three omitted names. The difference may have arisen from a mistake of a copyist, or from the use of an imperfect MS.





ko-ze’-ba (kozebha’," deceitful"): Same as ACHZIB and CHEZIB (which see).


See under several titles; also CHRIST, OFFICES OF.









General Titles of our Lord


Historical Review of the Theory


The Failure of the Offices to Secure Their Desired Ends


The Forecast of the True Prophet


1. Christ’s Manner of Teaching

2. Christ as Prophet in His Church


1. Judaic Priesthood

2. Sacrificial Relations of Christ in the Gospels

3. Christ’s Ethical Teaching Affected by Sacrificial Ideas

4. Mutual Confirmations of the Synoptics

5. The Dual Outgrowth of Sacrifice, the Victim and Sacrificer

6. Christ’s Priesthood in the Apostolic Ministry and Epistles

7. The Crowning Testimony of the Epistle to the Hebrews

8. Christ’s Relation to Sin Expressed in Sacrificial Terms


The Breakdown of the Secular Monarchy



General Titles of our Lord:

This term has been used by theologians to describe the various characters of our Lord’s redemptive work. Many appellative and metaphorical titles are found in Scripture for Christ, designative of His Divine and human natures and His work: God (Joh 20:28); Lord (Mt 22:43,14); Word (Joh 1:1,14); Son of God (Mt 3:17; Lu 1:35; Col 1:15; 1 Joh 5:20); Firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18); Beginning of the Creation of God (Re 3:14); Image of God (2Co 4:4); Express Image of His Person (Heb 1:3 the King James Version); Alpha and Omega (Re 1:8; 22:13); Son of Man (Mt 8:20; Joh 1:51; Ac 7:56); Son of David (Mt 9:27; 21:9); Last Adam (1Co 15:45,47); Captain of Salvation (Heb 2:10 margin) ; Saviour (Lu 2:11; Joh 4:42; Ac 5:31); Redeemer (Isa 59:20; Tit 2:14); Author and Perfecter of Faith (Heb 12:2); Light of the World (Joh 8:12); Lamb of God (Joh 1:29,36); Creator of all things (Joh 1:3,10); Mediator (1Ti 2:5); Prophet (De 18:15; Lu 24:19); Great High Priest (Heb 4:14); King (Lu 1:33; Re 17:14; 19:16); Way, Truth and Life (Joh 14:6). These and many others express the mediatorial office of the Lord. As mediator, He stands between God and Man, revealing the Father to man, and expressing the true relation of man to God. The term (Greek mesites), moreover, signifies messenger, interpreter, advocate, surety or pledge in Ga 3:19,20, where a covenant is declared to be assured by the hand of one who intervenes. Thus the covenant is confirmed and fulfilled by Him who secures that its stipulations should be carried out, and harmony is restored where before there had been difference and separation (1Ti 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). Thus is expressed the purpose of God to redeem mankind by mediation.

I. Christ’s Mediation Expressed in the Specific Offices.

In presenting a systematic idea of this Redemptive Work of Christ by Mediation, Christian thought gave to it a harmonious character by choosing the most general and familiar titles of the Lord as the most inclusive categories expressive of the mode of Redemption. These were prophetic, priestly and regal.

Historical Review of the Theory:

The first trace of this division is found in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, I, 3, and his Demonstratio Evangelica, IV, 15. It was accepted very largely in the Greek church, and continues to be used by Russian ecclesiastical writers. The Roman church has not so generally followed it, though it is found in the writings of many Roman theologians. The earlier reformers, especially Lutheran, ignored it. But Gerhard employed it and the Lutheran theologians followed his example, although some of these repudiated it, as Ernesti, Doderlein and Knapp. Calvin employed the division in his Institutes, II, 15. It was incorporated in the Heidelberg Catechism and has been adopted by most theologians of the Reformed church and by English and American divines. In Germany most theological writers, such as De Wette, Schleiermacher, Tholuck, Nitzsch, Ebrard, adopt it, affirming it as expressive of the essential quality of the work of redemption, and the most complete presentment of its contents. The justification of this position is found in the important place occupied in the progress of revelation by those to whom were entrusted the duties of teaching and leading men in relation to God in the offices of priest, prophet and king. Even the modern development of Christian thought which extends the view of Divine dealing with man over the entire race and its religious history, not excluding those who would find in the most recent conditions of the world’s life the outworking of the will of God in the purposes of human salvation, cannot discover any better form of expressing Christ’s relation to man than in terms of the prophetic, the priestly and the governmental offices. The prophet is the instrument of teaching: the priest expresses the ethical relation of man to God; while the king furnishes the typical form of that exercise of sovereign authority and Providential direction which concerns the practical life of the race.

II. The Threefold Office in the Old Testament.

From the close relation which Jesus in both His person and work bore to the Old Testament dispensation, it is natural to turn to the preparatory history of the early Scriptures for the first notes of these mediatorial offices. That the development of the Jewish people and system ever moved toward Christ as an end and fulfillment is universally acknowledged. The vague and indeterminate conditions of both the religious and national life of Israel manifest a definite movement toward a clearer apprehension of man’s relationship to God. Nothing is more clear in Israel’s history than the gradual evolution of official service both of church and state, as expressed in the persons and duties of the prophet, the priest and the king. The early patriarch contained in himself the threefold dignity, and discharged the threefold duty. As the family became tribal, and the tribe national, these duties were divided. The order of the household was lost for a while in the chaos of the larger and less homogeneous society. The domestic altar was multiplied in many "high places." Professional interpreters of more or less religious value began to be seers, and here and there, prophets. The leadership of the people was occasional, ephemeral and uncertain. But the men of Divine calling appeared from time to time; the foundation work of Moses was built on; the regular order of the worship of Yahweh, notwithstanding many lapses, steadily prevailed. Samuel gave dignity to his post as judge, and he again beheld the open vision of the Lord; he offered the appointed sacrifices; he established the kingly office; and although he was not permitted to see the family of David on the throne, like Moses he beheld afar off the promised land of a Divinely appointed kingdom. With the accession of the Davidic house, the three orders of God’s service were completely developed. The king was seated on the throne, the priest was ministering at the one altar of the nation, the prophet with the Divine message was ever at hand to teach, to guide and to rebuke.

The Failure of the Offices to Secure Their Desired Ends:

Notwithstanding this growth of the special institutions—prophet, priest and king—the religious and national condition was by no means satisfactory. The kingdom was divided; external foes threatened the existence of the nation; idolatry was not extinguished, and the prophets who were true to Yahweh were compelled to warn and rebuke the sins of the rulers and the people, and even to testify against the priests for their unfaithfulness to the truth and purity of the religion which they professed. The best hopes of Israel and the Divine promises seem thus to be contradicted by the constant failure of the people to realize their best ideals. Hence, slowly arose a vague expectation of reform. The idea of the better condition which was coming grew ever more distinct, and settled down at length to Israel’s Messianic hope, expressed in various forms, finally converging to the looking for of one who should in some mysterious way gather into himself the ideas which belonged especially to the three great offices.

III. The Prophet.

In this article we are concerned only with the offices as they tend to their fulfillment in Christ. For the more general treatment of each office, reference must be made to the special articles.

The Forecast of the True Prophet:

The first appearance of the idea of the special prophet of Yahweh is in De 18:15. Moses had been sent by the people to hear the Lord’s words on their behalf (Ex 20:19; De 5:27); and this incident in the later passage of De 18:15-22 is connected with the promise of a prophet, while at the same time reference is made to the general fact of prophecy and the conditions of its validity and acceptance. Here we find the germ of the expectation of the Prophet, which occupied so large a place in the mind of Israel. In the act of the people sending Moses to receive the word, and Yahweh’s promise to send a prophet whom they would accept, we see also the suggestion of a distinction between the first dispensation and the latter. The Divine promise was to the effect that what was given by Moses God would consummate in a prophetic revelation through a person. The conception of this personality is found in the second part of Isa (40-66). Isaiah’s mission was vain, Isa 49:4, but the coming one shall prevail, 49-53 (passim). But the success of this servant of Yahweh was not to be only as a prophet, but by taking on himself the penalty of sin (Isa 53:5), and by being made an offering for sin; and as Mighty Victor triumphing over all foes (Isa 53:10-12), the dignities of whose kingship are set forth in various parts of the prophetic writings. Thus the general effect of the course of the earlier revelation may be summed up in this prophetic ministry with which has been combined a priestly and a royal character. It was an ever-advancing manifestation of the nature and will of God, delivered by inspired men who spake at sundry times and in divers manners, but whose message was perfected and extended by Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1), who thus became the Prophet of the Lord.

IV. Christ the Prophet.

Christ’s ministry illustrates the prophetic office in the most extensive and exalted sense of the term. He was designed and appointed by the Father (Isa 61:1,2; compare Lu 4:16-21; Mt 17:5). In 1Co 1:30, Christ is declared to be made to us wisdom. His intimate knowledge of God (Joh 1:18; Mt 11:27; Joh 16:15), the qualities of His teaching dependent upon His nature, both Divine and human (Joh 3:34); His authority (Joh 1:9,17,18; Lu 4:18-21); His knowledge of God (Mr 12:29; Joh 4:24; Mt 11:25; Joh 17:11,25; Mt 18:35)—these all peculiarly fitted Christ to be the Revealer of God. Besides His doctrine of God, His ministry included the truth concerning Himself, His nature, claims, mission, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and the religious life of man. He taught as none other the foundation of religion, the facts on which it was based, the essence of Divine service, the nature of sin, the grace of God, the means of atonement, the laws of the kingdom of God and the future state. By the acknowledgment of even those who have denied His Divine nature and redemptive work, He has been recognized as the Supreme Moral Teacher of the world. His claim to be the Prophet is seen in that He is the source of the ever-extending revelation of the eternal. His own words and works He declared were only part of the fuller knowledge which would be furnished by the system which He established (Lu 9:45; 18:34; Joh 12:16; 14:26; 15:26; 16:12,13,14).

1. Christ’s Manner of Teaching:

How remarkable was His method of teaching! Parable, proverb, absolute affirmation, suggestion, allusion to simple objects, practical life—these all made His teaching powerful, easily understood, living; sometimes His action was His word—and all with a commanding dignity and gracious winsomeness, that was felt by His hearers and has ever been recognized (Mt 7:29). So perfect and exalted was the teaching of Jesus that many have supposed that revelation ceased with Him, and the immediate followers whom He especially inspired to be His witnesses and interpreters. Certainly in Him the prophetic ministry culminated.

2. Christ as Prophet in His Church:

An important aspect of Christ’s prophetic office is that of His relation to the church as the source, through the instrumentality of His Spirit, of ever-enlarging knowledge of Divine truth which it has been able to gain. This is the real significance of the claim which some churches make to be the custodians and interpreters of the tradition of faith, with which has also gone theory of development—not as a human act but as a ministration of the Lord through His Spirit, which is granted to the church. Even those who hold that all Divine truth is to be found in the sacred Scriptures have yet maintained that God has much truth still to bring out of His word by the leading and direction of the Spirit of Jesus. The Scripture itself declares that Christ was the light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (Joh 1:9). He Himself promised that the Spirit which He would give would guide His followers into all truth (Joh 16:13). The apostles claimed to receive their teaching and direction of the church from the Lord (1Co 11:23). The testimony of Jesus is definitely declared to be the spirit of prophecy (Re 19:10). Indeed, all the apostolic writings in almost every line affirm that what they teach is received from the Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Lord.

V. The Priesthood of Christ.

1. Judaic Priesthood:

For the history of the development of the priesthood of Israel on which our Lord’s High-Priesthood is ideally based, reference must be made to the article especially dealing of with that subject. The bearings of that institution upon the work of Jesus as Redeemer alone fall under this section. Judaism like all religions developed an extensive system priestly service. As the moral sense of the people enlarged and became more distinct, the original simplicity of sacrifice, especially as a commensal act, in which the unity of the celebrants with each other and with God was expressed, was expanded into acts regularly performed by officials, in which worship, thanksgiving, covenant and priestly expiation and atonement were clearly and definitely expressed. The progress of sacrifice may be seen in the history of the Old Testament from Cain and Abel’s (Ge 4:3,4), Noah’s (Ge 8:20), Abraham’s covenant (Ge 15:9-18), etc., to the elaborate services of the Mosaic ritual set forth in Lev, the full development of which is found only in the later days of Israel. When Christ appeared, the entire sacerdotal system had become incorporated in the mind, customs and language of the people. They had learned more or less distinctly the truth of man’s relation to God in its natural character, and especially in that aspect where man by his sin had separated himself from God and laid himself open to the penalty of law. The conception of priesthood had thus grown in the consciousness of Israel, as the necessary instrument of mediation between man and God. Priestly acts were performed on behalf of the worshipper. The priest was to secure for man the Divine favor. This could only be gained by an act of expiation. Something must be done in order to set forth the sin of man, his acknowledgment of guilt, the satisfaction of the law, and the assurance of the Divine forgiveness, the restored favor of God and finally the unity of man and God.

2. Sacrificial Relations of Christ in the Gospels:

That the work of Christ partook of the nature of priestly service is already indicated by references in the Gospels themselves. He was called "Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21). Salvation from sin, in the habit of thought at which the Jew had arrived, must have expressed itself most clearly in the symbolic signification of the sacrifices in the temple. Thus in the very name which our Lord received His priesthood is suggested. The frankincense of the Magi’s offering is not without its mystical meaning (Mt 2:11). Some may find in the Baptist’s words, "baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire" (Mt 3:11), a suggestion of priestly action, for the understanding of John’s declaration must be found in the conventional ideas of the Jewish thought of the period, determined as they undoubtedly were by the history of priestly service in the past and the fully developed ritual of the temple. The baptizing of the proselyte was not necessarily a priestly act, as indeed we cannot be certain that the baptism was always necessary at the introduction of a proselyte into the Jewish church. But the association of circumcision with the initiation of the proselyte certainly introduced the priest, and the sprinkling of the congregation by the priest was a familiar part of his official duties. It is quite probable therefore that John’s use of the expression carried with it something of the sacerdotal idea.

3. Christ’s Ethical Teaching Affected by Sacrificial Ideas:

The spirit of our Lord’s teaching, as seen in the Sermon on the Mount, etc., as it reflects the thought of the Galilean ministry, may be regarded as prophetic rather than priestly. Still the end of the teaching was righteousness, and it was impossible for a Jew to conceive of the securing of righteousness without some reference to priestly administration and influence. The contrast of the effect of Christ’s teaching with that of the scribes (Mt 7:29) keeps us in the vicinity of the law as applied through the sacerdotal service of which the scribes were the interpreters and teachers, and surely therefore a hint of our Lord’s relation to priesthood may have found its way into the minds of His immediate hearers. He was careful to recognize the authority of the priest (Mt 8:4). The doctrine of sacrifice emerges somewhat more distinctly in the reference to the cross, which our Lord associates with the thought of finding life by losing it (Mt 16:24,25), and when the taking up the cross is interpreted by following Christ, and this hint is soon followed by Christ’s distinct reference to His coming sufferings (Mt 17:9,12), more definitely referred to in Mt 17:22,23. Now the object of the work of the Lord takes clearer form. The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost (Mt 18:11 the American Revised Version, margin). As the time of the catastrophe drew nearer, the Lord became still more distinct in His references to His coming death (Mt 20:18,19), and at length declares that "the Son of man came .... to give his life a ransom for many" (Mt 20:28). our Lord’s quotations (Mt 21:42; 23:39) concerning the rejected "corner stone," and the Blessed One "that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Ps 118:22,26), are drawn from a psalm filled with the spirit of the priestly service of the temple, and in their reference to Himself again illustrate the ever-increasing recognition of His priesthood. He also uses the official term "Christ" (Messiah, the anointed one) more frequently (Mt 24:5,23,14). On the eve of the betrayal and trial the crucifixion is clearly foretold (Mt 26:2); and the death (Mt 26:12). The full significance of the death is asserted at the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The bread is "my body," the wine is "my blood of the new covenant," and it is declared to be "poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Mt 26:26-28 margin).

4. Mutual Confirmations of the Synoptics:

A similar succession of ideas of our Lord’s priestly work may be found in the other gospels (see Mr 1:8,44; 8:29; see below on the significance of the term Christ; Mr 8:31,34; 9:9,10). The inability of the disciples to understand the life that was to follow death here is indicated—the truth of the gospel of death and resurrection so closely bound up with the conception of sacrifice, where the blood is the life which given becomes the condition of the new union with God, being thus revealed by Christ as the initial doctrine to be continuously enlarged (Mr 9:31; 10:21,33,14,45; 11:9; 12:10; 13:21,22; 14:8,22-25,61,62). In Luke the priestly "atmosphere" is introduced in the earliest part of the narrative, the history of Zacharias and Elisabeth giving emphasis to the setting of John’s own mission (Lu 1). The name Jesus (Lu 1:31); the special relation of the new kingdom to sin, necessarily connected with sacrifice in the mind of a priest, found in Zacharias’ psalm (Lu 1:77,78); the subtle suggestion of the Suffering One in the "also" of Lu 2:35 the King James Version (the American Standard Revised Version omits) shows that the third Gospel is quite in line with the two other Synoptics (see also Lu 3:3; 5:14). The claim to forgive sins must have suggested the sacrificial symbol of remission (Lu 5:24; 9:23; 13:35; 14:27; 18:31; 20:14; 22:19,20; 24:7,26,46,47). In the Fourth Gospel, we have the word of the Baptist, "Behold, the Lamb of God" (Joh 1:29,36), where Christ’s relation to sin is distinctly expressed (see LAMB OF GOD)—the baptism in the Spirit (Joh 1:33). It is highly probable that the apostle John was the "other" of the two disciples, (Joh 1:40) and, having heard the Baptist’s words, is the only evangelist who records them, thus introducing from his personal knowledge the sacrificial idea earlier into his history than the Synoptics. Christ declares that He will give His life for the life of the world (Joh 6:51). The entire passage (Joh 6:47-65) is suffused with the conception of "life for life," one of the elements constituting the conception of the sacrificial act. In Joh 8:28 (compare Joh 3:14; 12:32) Christ predicts His crucifixion. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep (Joh 10:15). In Joh 10:17,18, Christ claims the power to lay down His life and to take it again. He is the sacrifice and the Sacrificer.

5. The Dual Outgrowth of Sacrifice, the Victim and Sacrificer:

Here appears for the first time the double relation of Christ to the sacrificial idea, worked out in the later thought of the church into the full significance of our Lord’s priestly office. In Joh 11:25,26 Christ is the source of life, and life after death. It is hardly possible that this conception should not have, even if remotely suggested, some reference to the significance of sacrifice; for in the sacrifices the Divine claim for the blood, as specially to be set apart as the Divine portion, was ever present. God ever claimed the blood as His; for to Him the life was forfeited by sin. And moreover He alone possesses life and gives it. Of that forfeit and that Divine sovereignty of life, sacrifice is the expression. This is fully realized and made actual in Christ’s life and death for man, in which man shares by His unity with Christ. Man at once receives the penalty of sin in dying with Christ, and rises again into the new life which our Lord opened, and of which He is the ceaseless energy and power through the spirit of God. The emergence of this idea is illustrated by the evangelist in the sayings of Caiaphas, where as the high priest of the nation he gives, though unconsciously, a significant expression to the truth that it was "expedient" that Jesus ‘should die for the nation and for the children of God everywhere scattered’ (Joh 11:47-52). Here the symbolic significance of sacrifice is practically realized: death in the place of another and the giving of life to those for whom the sacrifice was offered. The vitalizing power of Christ’s death is asserted in the discourse following the visit of the Greeks (Joh 12:24-33). The idea of life from the dying seed is associated with the conception of the power of attraction and union by the cross. The natural law of life through death is thus in harmony with the gift of life through sacrifice involving death. That sacrifice may be found much more widely than merely in death, is shown by the law of service illustrated in the washing of the disciples’ feet (13:14-17); and this is declared to spring out of love (Joh 15:13). For the priestly ideas of our Lord’s prayer (Joh 17) see INTERCESSION; INTERCESSION OF CHRIST; PRAYERS OF CHRIST.

6. Christ’s Priesthood in the Apostolic Ministry and Epistles:

Christ’s priestly office finds illustration in the Ac of the Apostles, in the apostolic declaration of Christ’s Messianic office, not only Lord, but also Christ the Anointed One (Ac 2:36). Peter’s reference to the stone which completed the temple, the service of which was essentially sacrificial, as the Symbol of Christ, the Crown of that Spiritual Temple (Ac 4:11); Philip’s application of the passage in Isa of the sheep led to the slaughter (Isa 53:7,8) to our Lord (Ac 8:32,35); Peter’s discourse to Cornelius, culminating in the remission of sins through Christ (Ac 10:43)—all indicates the steady growth in the apostolic ministry of the conception of our Lord’s priestly office. The idea takes its most distinct form in Paul’s sermon at Antioch (Ac 13:38,39). The necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection was the essence of Paul’s message (Ac 17:3). And in the address to the elders, the church is declared to have been purchased by God with His own blood (Ac 20:28).

As the epistles express the more elaborated thought of the apostolic ministry, the sacrifice of our Lord naturally finds more definite exposition, and inasmuch as He was both active and passive in the offering of Himself, the conception of sacrifice branches into the twofold division, the object offered, and the person offering. It must never be forgotten, however, that the thought of Christ’s sacrifice even when thus separated into its two great divisions necessarily involves in each conception the suggestion of the other: God setting Him forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood (Ro 3:25). He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification (Ro 4:25). Through Him we have access to the conditions of justification and peace (Ro 5:2). Christ died for the ungodly, and we are justified by His blood (Ro 5:8,9). The conception of life both as forfeit from man and gift by God, expressed by sacrifice, runs through the reasoning of Ro 8 (see especially Ro 8:11,32-34, where Christ who died for man rises from the dead, and becomes the intercessor; the victim and the High Priest are thus united in the Lord, and thus He becomes full expression and supplier of the love of God which is the perfect life). In 1Co 1:23 Paul affirms the preaching of the cross as the center of his message. The subject of his teaching was not merely Christ, but Christ and Him crucified (1Co 2:2). In 1Co 5:7 Christ is declared to be the Passover, and sacrificed for us (1Co 10:16-18). The manifestation of the death of the Lord by the bread and wine is given in the account of the institution of the Supper (1Co 11:26). In 1Co 15:3 Christ is said expressly to have died for our sins. Christ’s sacrifice lies at the basis of all the thought of the Galatian epistle (Gal 1:4; 2:20; 3:13). In Eph we have the definite statement of redemption through the blood of Christ (Eph 1:7). Christ’s humiliation to the cross is given in Php 2:8; community with Christ’s death, one of the important elements of sacrifice, in Php 3:10,11. Forgiveness, the essence of redemption, is declared to be through the blood of Christ (Col 1:14). Peace is secured through the blood of the cross, and reconciliation (Col 1:20); the presentation of us in Christ’s flesh through death, holy and unblamable and unreprovable to God (Col 1:22). The community of sacrifice sets forth the oneness of believers with Christ (Col 3:1-4). Christ is declared to be the one Mediator between God and man, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1Ti 2:5,6).

7. The Crowning Testimony of the Epistle to the Hebrews:

The chief source of the priestly conception of our Lord is the Epistle to the Hebrews. Christ is declared to have by Himself purged our sins (Heb 1:3); to taste of death for every man (Heb 2:9); that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest to make reconciliation for the sins of the people (Heb 2:17; compare Heb 3:1); the community of sacrifice (Heb 3:14); our great High Priest has passed into the heavens (Heb 4:14); His pitifulness (Heb 4:15); the authority and power of Christ’s priesthood fully set forth (Heb 5). Christ was made a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 5:6). The priesthood of Christ being of the order of Melchizedek is more excellent than the Aaronic priesthood (Heb 7). Christ’s priesthood being eternal, that of the Aaronic is abolished (Heb 8). Christ’s high-priesthood is made effectual by His own blood; and He entered once for all into the holy place, and has become the Mediator of a New Covenant (Heb 9:11-15). Christ is forever the representative of man in heaven (Heb 9:24-28). Christ by the sacrifice of Himself forever takes away sin, and has consecrated the new and living way to God (Heb 10). He is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb 12:24). The entire Epistle is steeped in the conception of Christ’s priesthood.

In 1Pe 1:2 the sacrificial element appears in the "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." The sufferings of the Lord were prophesied, the spirit of the Anointed One signifying what the prophets desired to know (1Pe 1:11); the redemption by the precious blood of Christ is of "a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1Pe 1:19); the priesthood of believers was through Christ (1Pe 2:5), who carried up our sins in his body to the tree (1Pe 2:24 the Revised Version, margin).

In the Johannine writings we have the cleansing from sin by the blood of Jesus Christ (1Jo 1:7). Christ is said to have laid down His life for us (1Jo 3:16). The sacrifice as well as the teaching of Christ is insisted on in the coming by blood as well as by water (1Jo 5:6).

The appearance of Christ in Re 1:13 is high-priestly; His robe is the talar, the high-priestly garment. The sacrificial place of Christ is indicated by "a Lamb .... as though it had been slain" (Re 5:6,9,12). The repeated title of Christ throughout the Apocalypse is The Lamb.

8. Christ’s Relation to Sin Expressed in Sacrificial Terms:

This review of the Scripture teaching on priesthood clearly indicates the development of thought which led to the affirmation of our Lord’s priestly office. He came to put away sin. The doctrine of sin was intimately associated with the priestly service of the temple. The sacrifices were in some cases sin offerings, and in these there ever appeared, by the function of the blood which is the life, the fatal loss of life by sin, the punishment of which was the withdrawal of the Divine gift of life. The life was always in the sacrifice reserved for God. It was natural therefore when Christ appeared that His work in taking away sin should have been interpreted in the light of sacrificial thought. We find the idea steadily developed in the New Testament. He was the sacrifice, the Lamb of God. The question as to who offered the sacrifice was answered—Himself. Then He became in the conception of apostolic teaching, especially emphasized in the Epistle to the He, the priest as well as the sacrifice. This was at length completely defined in theology of the church, and has generally been accepted as setting forth an important aspect of our Lord’s redemptive work.

VI. Christ’s Kingly Office.

The Breakdown of the Secular Monarchy:

The association of rule with the redemption of mankind was early found in Divine revelation. It is in the Protevangelium of Ge 3:15; the covenant with Abraham contains it (Ge 22:17,18); the blessing of Jacob reflects it (Ge 49:10). After the successive attempts to establish a visible and earthly monarchy, its settlement in the family of David was associated with Divine premonitions of continued and gracious royalty (2Sa 7:18-29; 23:1-7; Psalms 2; 45; 72; 110). The failure of the earthly monarchy and the fatal experiences of the kingdom turned the thought of the devout, especially guided by prophetic testimony, to a coming king who should restore the glory of the Davidic house and the people of Israel. Here and there the conception appears of the more extended reign of the Coming One, and the royal authority finds a growing place in the prophetic Scriptures (Isa 2:1-4; 9:6,7; 11:1-10; 42:1-4; 52:13-15; 53:12; 60:1ff; Jer 23:5,6; 30:18-24; Da 2:44; 7:9-14,27; Mic 5:1-4; Zec 3). The postexilic conception of the king became one of the supreme and most active ideas in the Jewish mind. The reign of the Messiah was to be earthly, and all nations were to be subject to the Jew. The Jews of Palestine seem to have retained the more patriotic and the more material form of the idea (see 1 Macc 14:41), while the Egyptian and dispersed Jews began to regard the more spiritual character of the coming Messiah. References to the future blessedness of Israel under the restored royalty do not appear so largely in the Apocrypha writings which it must be remembered reflect chiefly their Egyptian-Jewish sources. Still there are some passages of interest (Baruch 4:21-5; Tobit 13; Ecclesiasticus 35:18,19; 36:11-16; 47:11,22). In the New Testament we have references to the strong ex pectation of the restored royalty and kingdom (Joh 1:49; 6:15; 12:12-15; Ac 1:6). Christ’s kingship was speedily recognized by those who saw His works of power, and acknowledged His authority. He Himself clearly claimed this authority (Mt 22:43-45; Joh 18:36,37). It was however not a kingdom based upon material and external power and rule, but on the foundation of truth and righteousness. The Kingdom of Heaven or of God is familiar to every reader of the words of Jesus. It was thus He described the new order which He had come to establish, of which He was to be the Lord and Administrator; not an earthly dominion after the fashion of this world’s kingdoms; it was to be the rule of mind and of spirit. It was to be extended by ethical forces, and the principle of its authority was centered in Christ Himself. It was to be developed on earth but perfected in the future and eternal life. Some divines have distinguished Christ’s regal power as that of nature, that of grace, that of glory. Many believe that there is to be a personal visible reign of Christ upon the earth. Some hold that this will be produced by His advent prior to an age of millennial glory. Other views regard the advent as the close of earthly conditions and the final judgment.

VII. The Messianic Basis of the Threefold Office of the Lord.

That the developments of Jewish thought centered round what may conveniently be called the idea of the Messiah is plain to any student of the Old Testament and other Jewish writings. They sprang from the ethical and theological ideas of this people, interpreted by and expressed in their political and religious forms, and continually nurtured by their experiences in the varied course of their national life. The essence of Messianic belief was a personal deliverer. Jewish history had always been marked by the appearance and the exploits of a great man. The capacity of the production of exceptional and creative individuals has been the characteristic of the race in all its ages. A judge, a lawgiver, a teacher, a seer, a king—each had helped, or even saved the people in some critical period. Each had added to the knowledge of God, whether received or rejected by the people. The issues of such service had remained, enshrined in a growing liturgy, or made permanent in a finally centralized and unified ritual, recorded in chronicle and lyric. The hope of Israel at one time did not take the completely personal form; indeed, it is probably easy to exaggerate the Messianic element as we look back from the perfect realization of it, in the Christian revelation and history. Much that has been called Messianic has been the result of reading into the Old Testament what has been derived from Christian thought and experience. Zephaniah has been described as a picture of Israel’s restoration and triumph. Yet apparently it has no reference to the personal element. Still the "Messiah" begins to appear in the prophetic writings (see above), especially in the royal elements of His office. It is at this point that the meaning of the term is to be considered. "Yahweh’s anointed" is found as applied to a king, and is familiar in this use in the Old Testament. But anointing belonged to the priesthood and to the prophetic order, if not actually, at least metaphorically, as sett ing apart (see 1Ki 19:16; Ps 105:15; Isa 61:1). And the word Messiah (Christ) the Anointed, came to be used for that conception of a person, perhaps first employed definitely (Da 9:24-26), who should be the Deliverer of the Jews and even still more widely, a Redeemer. In the age immediately preceding the Christian, the idea had taken possession not only of the Jews, but also of the Samaritans (Joh 4:25); and was not altogether unknown in Gentilethought; e.g. Sib Or, iii.97; Virgil Ecl. iv. It involves certainly the prophetic and royal offices and, in the idea of a Suffering Servant, was closely allied to the objects of the sacrificial order.

The claim of Jesus to be the Christ, and the recognition of this claim by His followers and apostles, gave a new meaning to the teaching of the Old Testament, and the writings lying outside the canon, but which were familiar to the people. Especially was the suffering and death of the Lord and its relation to sin the occasion of a new Understanding of the Mosaic and later-developed sacrificial system. Jesus as the Offerer of Himself perfected the function of the priest, as He became the Lamb of God who t aketh away the sins of the world. He thus completed the threefold ministry of the Messiah as the Prophet who reveals, the Priest who offers and intercedes, the King who rules. In Him the offices are commingled. He rules by His sacrifice and His teaching; He reveals by His Kingship and His offering. The offices spring from both His person and His work, and are united in the final issue of the salvation of the world.



Euseb., HE, I, 3; Aug., De civ. Dei, x. 6; Catech. Council of Trent; Calvin, Instit., II, 15; Heidelb. Catech. Ans. 31 and Reformed Liturg; Thanksgiving aft. Inft. Bapt.; J. Gerhard, Loci Theolog; Spener, Catechism.; Ernesti, De officio Christi triplici; Knapp, Theology, section 107; Ebrard, Herzog Realencyc., under the word Further discussion is found in the standard theologies, as Pye Smith, First Lines, and Scrip. Teatim. to the Messiah; Hodge, Shedd, Weiss, Biblical Theol. of the New Testament, Van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics. See also Higginson, Ecce Messias; Moule’s brief but suggestive statement in Outlines of Christian Doctrine; Ritschl, A Critical History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation, especially Introduction; Dorner, The Development of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ.

L. D. Bevan








1. Its Glorification of Christ

2. Resurrection Body—Identity, Change, Present Locality

3. The Agent of the Resurrection


1. Its Actuality

2. General Doctrine of the Church

3. Lutheran Doctrine

4. Theory of Laying Aside the Existence-Form of God

5. Necessity


1. Its Significance

2. Its Essential Necessity


1. Reality

2. Judgment

This term is given to that condition of blessedness, glory and dominion into which our Lord entered after the completion of His earthly career of humiliation and suffering, and which is to be regarded as the reward of His meritorious obedience, and the issue of His victorious struggle, and at the same time the means of His prosecution and completion of His work as Redeemer and Saviour of the world. The classic passage of Scripture, rich in suggestion, and the source of much controversy in the development of Christian theology, is Php 2:5-11. The word "exalted" of Php 2:9, huperupsoo, occurs only in this place in the New Testament and, like its Latin representative, is limited to ecclesiastical use. Compare Ro 14:9; Eph 1:19-23; 1Pe 3:21,22.

Christ’s Exaltation includes His Resurrection, Ascension, Session at the right hand of God, and Advent as Judge and Consummator of the world’s redemption.

I. The Resurrection.

1. Its Glorification of Christ:

The historic place and validity of this event will be found under other heads; our concern is with the event as it relates to the glorification of our Lord.

(1) It revealed His power over death.

(2) It confirms all His claims to Divine Sonship.

(3) It attests His acceptance and that of His work by God.

(4) It crowns the process of the redemption of the world.

(5) It forms the beginning of that new creation which is life eternal, and over which death can have no power.

(6) It is the entrance of the Son of God into the power and glory of the New Kingdom, or the restored Kingdom of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe.

The following Scriptures among many others may be consulted: Re 1:18; Ac 2:24; Ro 1:4; 1Co 15:20; Joh 5:25; Ro 4:25; Ro 6:4,5; Col 2:12; Php 3:10; Ro 6:9.

2. Resurrection Body—Identity, Change, Present Locality:

An interesting and important question arises in connection with Christ’s exaltation, relating to the nature of the body of the risen Lord. It was clearly identical with that of His natural life. It was recognized by the marks which were upon it: Lu 24:39,40; Joh 20:24-29. It received food: Lu 24:43 (compare Lu 24:30; Joh 21:12,13; Ac 10:41). Nevertheless it was changed. After the resurrection, it was not at once recognized: Joh 20:15; 21:7; Lu 24:31. It appeared under apparently new conditions of relation to material substance: Joh 20:19; Lu 24:36. It suddenly became visible, and as suddenly vanished. These facts suggest what reverently may be surmised as to its exalted condition. The apostle’s declaration as to the resurrection-body of the redeemed furnishes some hints: 1Co 15:35-49; compare Php 3:21. We may cautiously, from the history of the resurrection and the Pauline doctrine, conclude, that our Lord still possesses a human body. It is of material substance, with new properties. It occupies space. It was seen by Paul, by Stephen, by the seer of the Apocalypse. It is glorious, incorruptible, spiritual.

3. The Agent of the Resurrection:

By whom was the resurrection effected? It is referred by some Scriptures to God. See Ps 16:10 (compare Ac 2:27,31); and the distinct affirmation by Peter (Ac 2:32). Paul declares that Christ was "raised .... through the glory of the Father" (Ro 6:4). In Eph 1:19,20, it was the mighty power of God which was wrought in Christ "when he raised him from the dead." Elsewhere it is ascribed to Christ Himself. He declared: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Joh 2:19). In Joh 10:17,18, our Lord declares: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." The efficient agent is said, according to the generally received reading of Ro 8:2, to have been the Spirit of God, and thus the resurrection is referred to each person of the Godhead. The doctrine of the Lutheran church refers the act to the human power of the Lord Himself, which by incarnation had been endowed with attributes of Deity. This view consists with their teaching of the omnipresence of the body of Jesus (see below on the section "Ascension").

II. The Ascension of our Lord.

1. Its Actuality:

The exaltation of Christ consisted further in His ascension. Some have held that the resurrection and ascension of Jesus ought to be regarded as aspects of the same event. But Mary saw the risen Lord, though she was forbidden to touch Him, for "I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend," etc. (Joh 20:17). This, compared with the invitation to Thomas to touch Him, eight days later, suggests something in the ascension added to that which the resurrection implied, and the general thought of the church has consistently regarded the latter as a further step in the exaltation of the Lord.

2. General Doctrine of the Church:

The fact of ascension is recorded in Mr 16:19, and Lu 24:50,51, and with greater detail in Ac 1:9-11. According to these accounts, the ascension was seen by the disciples, and this suggests that heaven is a locality, where are the angels, who are not ubiquitous, and where Christ’s disciples will find the place which He declared He was going to prepare for them (Joh 14:2). Heaven is also undoubtedly referred to as a state (Eph 2:6; Php 3:20), but Christ’s body must be in some place, and where He is, there is Heaven.

3. Lutheran Doctrine:

This is certainly the doctrine of the church in general, and seems to be consistent with the Scriptural teaching. But the Lutherans have maintained that the ascension of the Lord merely involved a change of state in the human nature of Christ. He possessed during His life on earth the Divine attributes of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience, but He voluntarily abstained from their exercise. But at His ascension He returned to the full use of these powers. The ascension is Christ’s return to immensity. The community of natures gave these Divine qualities to the humanity of Jesus, which Luther declared involved its ubiquity, and that as He was at the right hand of God, and God was everywhere, so Christ in His human personality was in no specific place but everywhere. This omnipresence is not of the infinite extension of the body of the Lord, but He is present as God is everywhere present in knowledge and power.

4. Theory of Laying Aside the Existence-Form of God:

Another theory of the ascended humanity-of the Lord depends upon the conception of the Son of God laying aside at incarnation the "existence-form of God," and while affirming that Christ’s body is now in a definite place, it proceeds to hold that at the ascension the accidental and variable qualities of humanity were laid aside, and that He dwells in heaven as a glorified man. Ebrard says: "He has laid aside forever the existence form of God, and assumed that of man in perpetuity, in which form by His Spirit He governs the church and the world. He is thus dynamically present to all His people." This form of doctrine seems to involve as the result of the incarnation of the Son of God His complete and sole humanity. He is no more than a man. The Logos is no longer God, and as the ascension did not involve the reassumption of the "existence-form of God," Christ in glory is only a glorified man.

5. Necessity:

The ascension was necessary, in conformity with the spiritual character of the kingdom which Christ founded. Its life is that of faith, not sight. A perpetual life of even the resurrected Christ on earth would have been wholly inconsistent with the spiritual nature of the new order. The return of Christ to the special presence of God was also part of His high-priestly service (see CHRIST, OFFICES OF) and His corporal absence from His people was the condition of that gift of the Spirit by which salvation was to be secured to each believer and promulgated throughout the world, as declared by Himself (Joh 16:7). Finally, the ascension was that physical departure of the Lord to the place which He was to prepare for His people (Joh 14:2,3). The resurrection was this completion of the objective conditions of redemption. The ascension was the initial step in the carrying out of redemptive work in the final salvation of mankind.

III. Exaltation Completed at the Right Hand of God.

1. Its Significance:

The term "the right hand of God" is Scriptural (Ac 7:55,56; Ro 8:34; Eph 1:20; Heb 1:3; 10:12; 12:2; 1Pe 3:22) and expresses the final step in the Lord’s exaltation. Care must be taken in the use of the expression. It is a figure to express the association of Christ with God in glory and power. It must not be employed as by Luther to denote the relation of the body of Christ to space, neither must it be limited to the Divine nature of the Logos reinstated in the conditions laid aside in incarnation. Christ thus glorified is the God-man, theanthropic person, Divine and human.

2. Its Essential Necessity:

This exaltation is based upon the essential glory of the Son of God, who "being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person .... sat down on the right hand" (Heb 1:3 the King James Version). It is the claim which the Lord makes for Himself in His prayer (Joh 17:4,5), and is thus specifically declared in Php 2:6-11: "God highly exalted Him." But in His glory Christ received the power universal and Divine. In Eph 1:20-22 His supreme dignity and power are affirmed "far above .... every name," "all things .... under His feet" (compare Heb 2:8; 1Co 15:27; 1Pe 3:22). Christ at the "right hand of God" is the highly suggestive picture of His universal dominion asserted by Himself (Mt 28:18): "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth." It is vain to speculate upon the relation of Christ’s nature in this exalted state. We cannot distinguish between the human and Divine. We can only believe in, and trust and submit to the One Glorified Person who thus administers the kingdom in perfect harmony with its Divine laws in all the ages, and His own revelation of the will of God, as given to man in His own earthly career: pitiful, tender, serving, helping, restoring, saving, triumphant. The exaltation is for His mediatorial and finally saving work. He is the Head of His church; He is the Lord of angels and men; He is the Master of the ages.

IV. The Second Advent.

The exaltation of Christ is to be completed by His coming again at the close of the dispensation, to complete His redemptive work and judge the world, and so to establish the final Kingdom of God. This belief has found a place in all the ecumenical symbols. Theology has ever included it in its eschatology. It is clear that the apostles and the early church expected the second coming of the Lord as an immediate event, the significance of which, and especially the effect of the nonfulfillment of which expectation, does not fall within the province of this article to consider. The various theories of the Parousia, the different ideas as to the time and the form of the second Advent, do not concern its relation to the exaltation of the Lord. Whenever and however He may return; whether He is ever coming to the church and to the world, His visible or His spiritual presence, do not affect the fact that He has been exalted to the position of ultimate Lord and final judge of men. We may therefore define this crowning condition of exaltation as:

1. Reality:

An advent, real, personal and visible. We must guard against the extremes of limiting this advent on the one side to a final particular event, on the other to those critical and catastrophic movements in world history which have led to the extension of God’s kingdom and a virtual judgment of men. The Lord is ever coming, and also He will return. See Ac 1:11; Lu 17:24; Mt 24:30; 25:31; Lu 19:12; Mt 13:40,41,49; Lu 18:8; Joh 5:28,29; 6:40,54; 21:22; Ac 3:20; 2Th 1:10; Heb 9:28; Jas 5:8; Jude 1:14; 1Jo 2:28; Re 1:7. The reality and visibility of the advent depend upon the personal and abiding relation of the Lord to the world-redemption. Christianity is not merely a spiritual dynamic drawn from a series of past events. It is the living relation of the complete humanity of the redeemed to the God man, and must therefore be consummated in a spiritual and material form. The ultimate of Christianity is no more docetic than was its original. A reverent faith will be satisfied with the fact of the glory whenever it shall arrive. The form and time are unrevealed. Preparation and readiness are better than speculation and imaginary description.

2. Judgment:

The Judgment is clearly taught by Scripture. our Lord declares that He is appointed Judge. (Joh 5:22; 9:39). Paul teaches that we must "all stand before the judgment- seat of God" (Ro 14:10). Here again there is the suggestion of the judgment which is ever being made by the Lord in His office as Sovereign and Administrator of the kingdom; but there is also the expectation of a definite and final act of separation and discernment. Whatever may be the form of this judgment (and here again a wise and reverent silence as to the unrevealed is a becoming attitude for the believer), we are sure that He who will make it, is the glorified Word incarnate, and it will be the judgment of a wisdom and justice and love that will be the complete glory of the Christ.


L. D. Bevan


kris’-chan, kris’-ti-an (Christianos):

1. Historicity of Ac 11:26

2. Of Pagan Origin

3. The Christian Attitude to the Name

4. Was "Christian" the Original Form?

5. The Christians and the Empire

6. Social Standing of the Early Christians

7. Christian Self-Designations


1. Historicity of Ac 11:26:

The word Christian occurs only three times in the New Testament (Ac 11:26; 26:28; and 1Pe 4:16). The first passage, Ac 11:26, gives the origin of the term, "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." The older generation of critical scholars disputed the historicity of this statement. It was argued that, had the term originated so early, it must have been found far more frequently in the records of early Christianity; sometimes also that the termination -ianus points to a Latin origin. But there is general agreement now that these objections are groundless. The historicity of the Lukan account is upheld not only by Harnack, but by the more radical Knopf in Die Schriften des New Testament, edited by Johannes Weiss. In early imperial times, the adjectival termination -ianos was widely diffused throughout the whole empire. Originally applied to the slaves belonging to the great households, it had passed into regular use to denote the adherents of an individual or a party. A Christian is thus simply an adherent of Christ. The name belongs, as Ramsay says, to the popular slang, as indeed sect and party names generally do. It is only after a considerable interval, and very often under protest, that such names are accepted as self-designations.

2. Of Pagan Origin:

The name, then, did not originate with the Christians themselves. Nor would the Jews have applied it to the followers of Jesus, whose claim to be the Christ they opposed so passionately. They spoke of the Christians as "the sect of the Nazarenes" (Ac 24:5); perhaps also as "Galileans," a term which the emperor Julian attempted later vainly to revive. The word must have been coined by the heathen population of Antioch, as the church emerged from the synagogue, and a Christianity predominantly Gentiletook its place among the religions of the world.

3. The Christian Attitude to the Name:

Perhaps the earliest occurrence of Christian as a self-designation is in Didache 12:4. In the Apologists and Ignatius on the other hand the word is in regular use. 1Pe simply takes it over from the anti-Christian judicial procedure of the law courts, without in any way implying that the Christians used it among themselves. There is every probability, however, that it was the danger which thus began at an early date to attach to the name which commended it to the Christians themselves as a title of honor . Deissmann (Licht vom Osten, 286) suggests that Christian means slave of Christ, as Caesarian means slave of Caesar. But the word can scarcely have had that fullness of meaning till the Christians themselves had come to be proud of it.

According to tradition, Luke himself belonged to Antioch. In Ac 11:27,28 Codex Bezae (D) reads "There was much rejoicing, and when we had assembled, there stood up," etc. In view of the greater authority now so frequently accorded to the so-called Western text, we cannot summarily dispose of such a reading as an interpolation. If the historian was not only an Antiochene, but a member of the original GentileChristian church, we have the explanation alike of his interest in the origin of the name Chris tian, and of the detailed precision of his information.

4. Was "Christian" the Original Form?:

In all three New Testament passages the uncorrected Codex Sinaiticus reads "Chrestian." We know from many sources that this variant was widely current in the 2nd century. Blass in his edition of Ac not only consistently reads "Chrestian," but conjectures that "Chrestian" is the correct reading in Tacitus (Annals, xv.44), the earliest extra- Biblical testimony to the word. The Tacitus manuscript has since been published in facsimile. This has shown, according to Harnack (Mission and Expansion (English translation), I, 413, 414), that "Chrestian" actually was the original reading, though the name "Christ" is correctly given. Harnack accordingly thinks that the Latin historian intended to correct the popular appellation of circa 64 AD, in the light of his own more accurate knowledge. "The common people used to call them ‘Chrestians,’ but the real name of their founder was Christ." Be this as it may, a confusion between "Christos" (Christos) and the familiar Greek slave name "Chrestos" (chrestos is more intelligible at an early date than late r, when Christianity was better known). There must have been a strong tendency to conform the earlier witnesses to the later, familiar, and etymologically correct, usage. It is all the more remarkable, therefore, that the original scribe of Codex Sinaiticus retains "Chrestian." On the whole it seems probable that this designation, though bestowed in error, was the original one.

5. The Christians and the Empire:

The fuller discussion of this subject more appropriately falls under the articles dealing with the relation of the church and empire. Suffice it here to say that Paul apparently hoped that by his acquittal the legal position of Christianity as a religio licita would be established throughout the empire, and that 1 Peter belongs to a time when the mere profession of Christianity was a crime in the eyes of the state, but that in all probability this was a new position of affairs.

6. Social Standing of the Early Christians:

That early Christianity was essentially a movement among the lower non-literary classes has been rightly emphasized—above all by Deissmann. This is a circumstance of the utmost importance for the correct understanding of the early history of our faith, though probably Deissmann in some degree exaggerates and misplaces the significance. Is it correct to say, for example, that "primitive Christianity was relatively indifferent to politics, not as Christianity, but as a movement of the humbler folks, whose lot on the whole had certainly been lightened by the Empire" (Licht vom Osten, 254)? Very probably however the difficulties of the Pauline Gentilemission were appreciably increased by the fact that he touched a lower social stratum than that of the original Jewish Christianity of Palestine. No class more resents being associated in any way with the "submerged masses" than the self-respecting peasant or artisan, who seems to have formed the backbone of the Palestine church. The apostle had conseq uently to fight against social, no less than racial and religious, prejudices.

7. Christian Self-Designations:

The Christians originally called themselves "Disciples," a term afterward restricted to personal hearers of the Lord, and regarded as a title of high distinction. The ordinary self-designations of the apostolic age are "believers" (Ac 5:14; 1Ti 4:12), "saints" (Ac 9:13,12,41; Ro 1:7), "brethren" (Ac 6:3; 10:23, etc.), "the elect" (Col 3:12; 2Ti 2:10), "the church of God" (Ac 20:28 margin), "servants (slaves) to God" (Ro 6:22; 1Pe 2:16). The apostolic authors refer to themselves as "servants (slaves) of Christ Jesus" (Php 1:1). Other expressions are occasionally met with, of which perhaps the most significant is: Those "that call upon the name of the Lord" (Ac 9:14; Ro 10:12,13; 1Co 1:2). Compare Pliny’s report to Trajan (Epistles, X, 97): "They affirmed that .... they had been wont to assemble and address a hymn to Christ as to a god."


The most recent discussion of the names of Christian believers, including "Christian," is in Harnack’s Mission and Expansion of Christianity, English translation (2nd edition, 1908), I, 399 ff. See also EB, HDB, DCG, with the lit. there cited. On the social status of the early Christians, compare Orr’s Neglected Factors in the Study of the Early Progress of Christianity; on the religious significance of the name, see CHRISTIANITY.

John Dickie


kris-chan’-i-ti, kris-chi-an’-i-ti, kris-ti-an’-i-ti (Christianismos):


1. Early Use of Term

2. New Testament Implications:


Pauline Summaries

3. Did Jesus Claim to Be Christ?

4. The Resurrection

Its Evidence

5. Two Contrasted Estimates of our Lord’s Person

(1) The Non-Believing Estimate—not Truly Historical

(2) The Believing Estimate—Relation to Experience

6. Christianity an Experience of Salvation

7. Jesus and the Gospel

8. New Testament Types of Doctrines

9. Naturalistic Interpretations—the Religio-Historic School


1. "Religion of Christ" and "The Christian Religion"

(1) The Historical Jesus Is Supernatural

(2) Essence of Christianity in Redemption

2. Modern Definitions

(1) Schleiermacher

(2) Ritschl

3. Place in Historical Religions

(1) This Place Unique

(2) Universality of Christianity

(3) The Absolute Religion

(4) Religion of Redemption

4. Development and Influence

(1) Expansion of Christianity (a) Apostolic Age

(b) Succeeding Period

(c) Modern Missions

(2) Doctrinal Shaping

(a) Gnosticism

(b) Monarchianism

(c) Arianism

(d) Sin and Grace

(e) Person of Christ

(f) The Atonement

(g) The Reformation

(h) Lutheran and Reformed

(3) Its Influence

(a) The Ancient World

(b) The Modern World

(c) Testimony of Professor Huxley


I. In Principle and Essence.

1. Early Use of Term:

Unlike "Christian" (the King James Version), the term "Christianity," so far as is known, was first used by the Christians themselves, but does not occur in the New Testament. It is exactly parallel to Judaism ("the Jews’ religion"), found not only in Ga 1:13,14, but in 2 Macc 2:21, etc. Our earliest authority for the word "Christianism" is Ignatius of Antioch. Christian is now a title of honor, and the Christian’s glory is "to live according to Christianism" (Ignatius, Ad magnes, 10).

2. New Testament Implications: Messiahship—Resurrection—Redemption: While, however, the name is foreign to the New Testament, the New Testament is by universal consent our most important source of information regarding the thing. Christianity arose out of the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be "the Christ." During Jesus’ lifetime this claim was admitted by a circle of adherents, in whose view, afterwards, it was triumphantly vindicated by His resurrection from the dead. By resurrection He "was declared to be the Son of God with power" (Ro 1:4). With this was united from the first the recognition of Christ as the God-sent Redeemer, through whom has come to the world forgiveness, reconciliation with God and Divine spiritual power.

Pauline Summaries.

One of the oldest summaries of Christianity is that of Paul in 1Co 15:3,1: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; .... and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures." Of similar purport are the apostle’s words in 2Co 5:18,19: "God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses." From this reconciliation springs the new life of believers (Ro 6; 2Co 5:14-17).

3. Did Jesus Claim to Be Christ?:

More recently some have denied that Jesus advanced any such claim to Messiahship, but always upon purely arbitrary and subjective grounds. On the one hand these writers have been profoundly impressed by the grandeur of Jesus’ character; on the other they have looked upon the claim to stand in such a unique relation to God and man as unfounded or meaningless. They have sought, accordingly, to escape the difficulty by denying that Jesus regarded Himself as the Anointed of the Lord (thus, e.g. Wrede). Sometimes they have gone the length even of affirming that Jesus was not so regarded by His personal disciples. Divine honors were accorded Him only gradually, as the memory of what He actually was faded away, and an idealization begotten of Christian faith took its place. The notion of Messiah is merely a piece of Jewish folklore. This position in its distinctively modern form has been answered, it seems to us, with absolute conclusiveness, by Professor James Denney in his Jesus and the Gospel. In a historical point of view, nothing in Jesus’ life is more certain than that He regarded Himself as the Christ, the culmination and fulfillment of the Divine revelation given to Israel. This conviction of His is the point round which His whole message revolves. The most recent New Testament theology, that, e.g. of Dr. Paul Feine (1910), rightly starts from Jesus’ Messianic consciousness, and seeks to understand His whole teaching in the light of it. Doubtless, like everything else which Jesus touched, the concept of Messiahship becomes transmuted and glorified in His hands. our Lord was in no way dependent upon current beliefs and expectations for the content of His Messianic consciousness. But is it likely that His followers, without His authority, would have attributed Messiahship to one so utterly unlike the Messiah of popular fancy?

4. The Resurrection:

The New Testament proves not only that the Christians from the very outset were fully persuaded, on what they regarded as adequate grounds in history and experience, that their Lord had risen from the dead, but also that this conviction mastered them, giving direction and purpose to their whole lives. Historical Christianity was erected on the foundation of a Risen Lord.

Its Evidence.

On this point Professor Denney says (Jesus and the Gospel, 111): "The real historical evidence for the resurrection is the fact that it was believed, preached, propagated, and produced its fruit and effect in the new phenomenon of the Christian church, long before any of our gospels were written. .... Faith in the resurrection was not only prevalent but immensely powerful before any of our New Testament books were written. Not one of them would ever have been written but for that faith. It is not this or that in the New Testament—it is not the story of the empty tomb, or of the appearing of Jesus in Jerusalem or in Galilee—which is the primary evidence for the resurrection: it is the New Testament itself. The life that throbs in it from beginning to end, the life that always fills us again with wonder, as it beats upon us from its pages, is the life which the Risen Saviour has quickened in Christian souls. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is the existence of the church in that extraordinary spiritual vitality which confronts us in the New Testament. This is its own explanation of its being."

5. Two Contrasted Estimates of our Lord’s Person:

The best Christian thought of our day has no more difficulty than had the apostles in holding and establishing what Principal Forsyth fitly calls "the superhistoric finality of Christ." In the very nature of the case, wherever the problem of our Lord’s person has been seriously faced, there have always been two distinct estimates of His value, that of assured faith, based upon personal experience of His redemptive power, and that of mere externalism.

(1) The Non-Believing Estimate—not Truly Historical:

The latter or non-believing estimate has no more right now to call itself "historical" or "scientific," than it had, nearly nineteen hundred years ago, to crucify the Lord of glory. The priests doubtless thought that they understood Jesus better than the ignorant, deluded Galileans. Yet the boldest champion of "the religio-historic method" would scarcely claim that theirs was the correct judgment. As a matter of fact, the so-called critical school are no more free from presuppositions than is the most thoroughgoing traditionalist. Nor have they a monopoly either of historical knowledge or of critical acumen. No truths are accessible to them which are not equally available for the Christian believer. No proof exists, beyond their own unsupported assertions, that they are better interpreters of the common truth. On the other hand, that whole range of experience and conviction intop which the Christian believer finds the supreme assurance of the truth of his religion is to them a sealed book. Surel y, then, it is the height of absurdity to maintain that the external, non-believing, estimate of our Lord’s person is likely to be the more correct one. From the standpoint of Christian faith, such an external estimate is necessarily inadequate, whether it finds expression in a mechanical acceptance of the whole ecclesiastical Christology, or in the denial that such a person as Jesus of Nazareth ever lived.

(2) The Believing Estimate—Relation to Experience:

The believing estimate of our Lord’s person is the essence of Christianity as a historical religion. But according to the New Testament this estimate is itself Divinely- inwrought and Divinely attested (Mt 16:17; 1Co 12:3; 1Jo 4:2,3). It presupposes the perfect objective self-manifestation of God in Jesus Christ on the one hand, and the subjective appropriation of this revelation by faith on the other. No argument against the reality of the revelation can be built upon the fact, generally acknowle dged by Christian theologians nowadays, that the Deity of our Lord and the supernatural origin of our religion can neither be proved nor disproved independently of one’s personal attitude to Christianity. This follows necessarily from the nature of the apprehension of Divine truth. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. There can be no impersonal knowledge of religious, any more than of ethical and aesthetic, truth. In these realms another’s knowledge has no real meaning for anyone till he has felt its power and tested it in his own experience. Evangelical Christians do not accept the Deity of the Lord as the cardinal article of their religious faith on any merely external authority whether of Scripture or of tradition, or even of His own recorded words apart from experience of Christ. They accept it precisely as they accept the authority of Scripture itself, because of the witness of the Spirit with their spirits. The combined testimony of Scripture and tradition is confirmed in their religious life, when by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Saviour they experience the Christian power. This power is the great experienced reality in the light of which alone the other realities become intelligible. "One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see" (Joh 9:25). "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (Joh 6:68).

6. Christianity an Experience of Salvation:

The true church of Christ consists of all who have experienced the power of Christ, delivering them from the guilt, the stain, and the dominion of sin and bringing the peace of God into their souls. Nothing less than this is either the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or the historic faith of Christendom, or a religion adequate to human need. The Christian doctrine is partly the assertion of the reality of this power, partly its interpretation. Facts of history and theological propositions are vital to our faith, just in proportion as they are vitally related to this power. The Christian essentials are those elements, historical and dogmatic, without which Christianity would lose in whole or in part its living power to reconcile sinful man to the all-righteous, loving God.

7. Jesus and the Gospel:

Thus Jesus Himself belongs to His gospel. He is the heart and core of it. Christianity is both a rule of life and a doctrine. But in its inmost nature and being it is neither an ethic, nor a theology, but a religion—a new relation to God and man, Divinely mediated through Jesus Christ in His life, death and resurrection. As many as receive Him, to them gives He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name, who are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Joh 1:12). He brings man to God by bringing God to man, and the power of God into man’s sin-stained life.

8. New Testament Types of Doctrines:

It can scarcely be claimed that New Testament Christianity was in a theological point of view absolutely homogeneous. Various types can be distinguished with more or less clearness; even the ordinary reader feels a difference of theological atmosphere between e.g. Romans and James. This is inevitable, and need occasion no perplexity to Christian faith. All theology is partly interpretation—the relation of universal and eternal reality to personal thought. Hofmann rightly says that genuine Christian faith is one and the same for all, but that everyone must have his own theology, if he is to have any at all. In all genuine serious thought there is a personal element not precisely the same for any two individuals. It is possible to find in the New Testament foreshadowings of all the great distinctive types of historic Christianity. But the essential purpose of the New Testament is to make Christ real to us, to proclaim reconciliation to God through Him, and to convey the Christian power to our lives. The New Testa ment everywhere exhibits the same Christ, and bears witness to the same redeeming, life-transforming power.

9. Naturalistic Interpretations—the Religio-Historic School:

The attempt has often been made to explain Christianity as the natural product of contemporary forces intellectual and religious—most recently by the so-called "religio- historic school." But at most they have only shown that the form in which the religious concepts of primitive Christianity found articulate expression was to some extent influenced ab extra, and that the earliest Christians were in their general intellectual outlook the children of their own time. They have not proved that the distinctive content of Christianity was derived from any external source. They have not even realized what they have to prove, in order to make good their contention. They have done nothing to account for the Christian power on their principles.


See the New Testament Theologies, especially that of Feine (1910); Seeberg, Fundamental Truths of the Christian Religion (English translation very incorrect, 1908); Seeberg’s Lehrbuch d. Dogmengeschichte, 2nd edition I, 1908; Brown, Essence of Christianity, New York, 1902; W. N. Clarke, What Shall We Think of Christianity? New York, 1899; above all Denney, Jesus and the Gospel (1909), and Forsyth, Person and Place of Jesus Christ (1909).

John Dickie

II. Historical and Doctrinal.

In its historical and doctrinal relations, developments, and influence, and its connection with the successive phases of human thought, Christianity presents many points of interest, only the more prominent of which can here briefly be touched upon.

1. "Religion of Christ" and "The Christian Religion":

A convenient starting-point is the well-known distinction of Lessing (Fragment in Works, XI, 242 ff) between "the religion of Christ" and "the Christian religion"—a distinction which still exactly marks the attitude to Christianity of the modern so-called "historical" school. By "the religion of Christ" is meant the religion which Christ Himself acknowledged and practiced as man; by "the Christian religion" is meant the view which regards Christ as more than man, and exalts Him as an object of worship. From this standpoint the problem for the historian is to show how the religion of Christ came to develop into the Christian religion—in modern speech, how the "Jesus of history" became the "Christ of faith."

(1) The Historical Jesus Is Supernatural.

It has already been pointed out (under I above) that the view of Jesus on which the assumed contrast rests is not one truly historical. The fallacy lies in regarding the Jesus of history as simply a man among men—holier, diviner in insight, but not essentially distinguished from the race of which He was a member. This is not the Christ of apostolic faith, but as little is it the picture of the historical Jesus as the Gospels actually present it. There, in His relations alike to God and to man, in His sinlessness, in His origin, claims, relation to Old Testament revelation, judgeship of the world, in His resurrection, exaltation, and sending of the Spirit, Jesus appears in a light which it is impossible to confine within natural or purely human limits. He is the Saviour who stands over against the race He came to save. It is the same fallacy which under-lies the contrast frequently sought to be drawn between the religious standpoints of Christ and Paul. Pau l never for an instant dreamed of putting himself on the same plane with Christ. Paul was sinner; Christ was Saviour. Paul was disciple; Christ was Lord. Paul was weak, struggling man; Christ was Son of God. Jesus achieved redemption; Paul appropriated it. These things involved the widest contrasts in attitude and speech.

(2) Essence of Christianity in Redemption.

Though, therefore, Christ, in His relations of love and trust to the Father, and perfection of holy character, necessarily ever remains the Great Exemplar to whose image His people are to be conformed (Ro 8:29), in whose steps they are to follow (1Pe 2:21), it is not correct to describe Christianity simply as the religion which Christ practiced. Christianity takes into account also the work which Christ came to do, the redemption He achieved, the blessings which, through Him, are bestowed on those who accept Him as their Saviour, and acknowledge Him as their Lord. Essentially Christianity is a religion of redemption; not, therefore, a religion practiced by Jesus for Himself, but one based on a work He has accomplished for others. Experimentally, it may be described as consisting, above all, in the joyful consciousness of redemption from sin and reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ, and in the possession of a new life of sonship and holiness through Christ’s Spirit. Everything in the way of holy obedience is included here. This, at least, reduced to its simplest terms, is undeniably what Christianity meant for its first preachers and teachers, and what historically it has meant for the church ever since.

2. Modern Definitions:

Definitions of Christianity are as numerous as the writers who treat of the subject; but one or two definitions may be glanced at as illustrative of the positions above assumed. As modern types, Schleiermacher and Ritschl may be selected in preference to writers of more conspicuous orthodoxy.

(1) Schleiermacher:

Schleiermacher, in his Der Christliche Glaube, has an interesting definition of Christianity. Christianity he speaks of as "a form of monotheistic faith, of the teleological order of religion (i.e. in which the natural is subordinated to the moral), the peculiarity of which, in distinction from other religions of this type, essentially is, that in it everything is referred to the redemption accomplished through Jesus of Nazareth" (section 11). As, in general, Schleiermacher’s merit is recognized to lie in his bringing back, in a time of religious decay, the person of Christ to a central place in His religion, so here his true religious feeling is manifested in his fixing on the reference to redemption by Christ as the distinctive thing in Christianity.

(2) Ritschl:

Ritschl’s definition is more complicated, and need not here be cited in full (compare his Justif. and Recon., III; English translation, 13). The important point is that, like Schleiermacher, Ritschl gives, together with the idea of the kingdom of God, an essential place to the idea of redemption in the conception of Christianity. "Christianity," he says, "so to speak, resembles not a circle described from a single center, but an ellipse which is determined by two foci" (Jb., 11). The idea of the kingdom of God furnishes the teleological, the idea of redemption the religious, element in Christianity. There is truth in this; only it is to be remembered that the kingdom of God, as representing the end, can only, in a world of sin, be into existence through a redemption. Redemption, therefore, still remains the basal conception.

3. Place in Historical Religions:

In the enlarged view of modern knowledge, Christianity can be no longer regarded in isolation, but is seen to take its place in the long series of historical religions. It appears, like these other religions, in a historical context; has, like some of them, a personal founder; claims, as they also do, or did, the allegiance of multitudes of the population of the world; presents in externals (e.g. the possession of Scriptures), sometimes in ideas, analogies to features in these religions. For this reason, an influential modern school is disposed to treat Christianity, as before it, the religion of Israel, as simply one of these historical religions—"nothing less, but also nothing more"—explaining it from the inherent laws of religious development, and rejecting the idea of any special, authoritative revelation. Sacred books are pitted against sacred books; moral codes against moral codes; Jesus against founders of other religions; gospel stories against legends of the Buddha; ideas like those of the virgin birth, the incarnation, the resurrection, against seeming parallels on other soils. For examination of the principal of these alleged resemblances, see COMPARATIVE RELIGION.

(1) This Place Unique.

Here it is desirable to look at the place of Christianity in the series of historical religions in certain of its wider aspects. The uniqueness of Christ’s religion, and justification of its claim to a special, Divine origin, will only appear the more clearly from the comparison. In general, it need only be remarked that no other religion in the world has ever even professed to present a plain, historically developed, progressive revelation, advancing through successive stages in the unfolding of a Divine purpose of grace, till it culminates in the appearance of a person, life, character and work, like that of Jesus Christ; not in one single instance.

(2) Universality of Christianity.

A distinction is commonly made between national and universal religions, and Christianity is classed as one of the three universal religions—the other two being Buddhism and Mohammedanism (compare e.g. Kuenen’s Hibbert Lectures on National Religions and Universal Religions). There is certainly agreement in the fact that the two religions named with Christianity are not "national" religions; that they are "universal," in the sense in which Christianity is, may be denied. Neither Buddhism nor Mohammedanism has any fitness to become a religion for the world, nor, with all their remarkable extension, have they succeeded in establishing themselves, as Christianity has done, in East and West, in Old World and in New. Mohammed boasted that he would plant his religion wherever the palm tree grew (Palgrave), and this still marks very nearly the range of its conquests. It is not a revivifying influence, but a blight on all higher civilization. It degrades woman, perpetuates slavery, fosters intolerance, and brings no real healing for the spiritual woes of mankind. Buddhism, again, notwithstanding its wide spread in China and neighboring lands, has in it no real spring of moral progress, and is today withering up at the root. Its system of "salvation"—attainment of Nirvana—is not for the many but the few. It has not a message for all men alike. Buddha does not profess that all can accept his method, or ought to be asked to do so. For the multitude it is impossible of attainment. In practice, therefore, instead of one, he has three codes of duty—one for the laity, who continue to live in the world; one for the monks, who do not aspire to Arahatship or sainthood: and one for those who would reach the goal of Nirvana. These last are very few; only two cases are specified, besides Buddha himself, of success in this endeavor. In contrast with these Christianity approves itself as a strictly universal religion—the only religion of its kind in the world. In its doctrines of the one God and Father, and of the brotherhood of all mankind; its teaching on universal need through sin, and universal provision for salvation in Christ; its gospel of reconciliation addressed to all; its pure spirituality in worship and morality; its elevating and emancipating tendency in all the relations of human life, it approves itself as a religion for all sections and races of mankind, for all grades of civilization and stages of culture, appealing to that which is deepest in man, capable of being understood and received by all, and renewing and blessing each one who accepts and obeys it. The history of missions, even among the most degraded races, in all parts of the globe, is the demonstration of this truth. (On the universalism of Christianity, compare Baur, Church History of the First Three Centuries, I, Pt 1.)

(3) The Absolute Religion.

It is the custom, even in circles where the full supernatural claims of Christianity are not admitted, to speak of Christ’s religion as, in comparison with others, "the absolute religion," meaning by this that in Christianity the true idea of religion, which in other faiths is only striven after, attains to complete and final expression. Hegel, e.g. speaks of Christianity as the "Absolute or Revealed Religion" in the sense that in it the idea is discovered of the essential unity of God and man (thus also T. H. Green, E. Caird, etc.); others (e.g. Pfleiderer) in the meaning that it expresses the absolute "principle" of religion—a Divine sonship. Christianity also claims for itself, though in a more positive way, to be the absolute religion. It is the final and perfect revelation of God for which not only revelation in Israel, but the whole providential history of the race, was a Divinely ordained preparation (Ga 4:4). It is absolute in the sense that a larger and fulle r revelation than Christ has given is not needed, and is not to be looked for. Not only in this religion is all truth of Nature about God’s being, attributes and character, with all truth of Old Testament revelation, purely gathered up and preserved, but in the person and work of the incarnate Son a higher and more complete disclosure is made of God’s Fatherly love and gracious purposes to mankind, and a redemption is presented as actually accomplished adequate to all the needs of a sinful world. Mankind can never hope to attain to a higher idea of God, a truer idea of man, a profounder conception of the end of life, of sin, of duty, a Diviner provision for salvation, a more perfect satisfaction in fellowship with God, a grander hope of eternal life, than is opened to it in the gospel. In this respect again, Christianity stands alone (compare W. Douglas Mackenzie, The Final Faith, a Statement of the Nature and Authority of Christianity as the Religion of the World).

(4) Religion of Redemption.

A third aspect in which Christianity as a historical religion is sometimes regarded is as a religion of redemption. In this light a comparison is frequently instituted between it and Buddhism, which also in some sort is a religion of redemption. But the comparison brings out only the more conspicuously the unique and original character of the Christian system. Buddhism starts from the conception of the inherent evil and misery of existence, and the salvation it promises as the result of indefinitely prolonged striving through many successive lives is the eternal rest and peace of non-being; Christianity, on the other hand, starts from the conception that everything in its original nature and in the intent of its Creator is good, and that the evil of the world is the result of wrong and perverted development—holds, therefore, that redemption from it is possible by use of appropriate means. And redemption here includes, not merely deliverance from existing evils, but restoration of the Divine likeness which has been lost by man, and ultimate blessedness of the life everlasting. Dr. Boyd Carpenter sums up the contrast thus: "In Buddhism redemption comes from below; in Christianity it is from above; in Buddhism it comes from man; in Christianity it comes from God" (Permanent Elements in Religion, Introduction, 34).

4. Development and Influence:

Christianity, as an external magnitude, has a long and chequered history, into the details of which it is not the purpose of this article to enter. Ecclesiastical developments are left untouched. But a little may be said of its outward expansion, of the influences that helped to mould its doctrinal forms, and of the influence which it in turn has exercised on the thought and life of the peoples into whose midst it came.

(1) Expansion of Christianity.

From the first Christianity aimed at being a world-conquering principle. The task it set before itself was stupendous. Its message was not one likely to commend it to either Jew or Greek (1Co 1:23). It renounced temporal weapons (in this a contrast with Mohammedanism); had nothing to rely on but the naked truth. Yet from the beginning (Ac 2) it had a remarkable reception. Its universal principle was still partially veiled in the Jewish-Christian communities, but with Paul it freed itself from all limitations, and entered on a period of rapid and wide diffusion.

(a) Apostolic Age:

It is the peculiarity of the Pauline mission, as Professor W. M. Ramsay points out, that it followed the great lines of Roman communication, and aimed at establishing itself in the large cities—the centers of civilization (Church in Roman Empire, 147, etc.). The Book of Ac and the Epistles show how striking were the results. Churches were planted in all the great cities of Asia Minor and Macedonia. In Rome Tacitus testifies that by the time of Nero’s persecution (64 AD) the Christians were a "great multitude" ("ingens multitudo" (Annals xv.44)).

(b) Succeeding Period:

Our materials for estimating the progress of Christianity in the post-apostolic age are scanty, but they suffice to show us the church pursuing its way, and casting its spell alike on East and West, in centers of civilization and dim regions of barbarism. In the last quarter of the 2nd century great churches like those of Carthage and Alexandria burst into visibility, and reveal how firm a hold the new religion was taking of the empire. Deadly persecution could not stop this march of the church to victory. From the middle of the 3rd century there is no question that it was progressing by leaps and bounds. This is the period in which Harnack puts its great expansion (Expansion, II, 455, English Translation). On the back of the most relentless persecution it had yet endured, the Diocletian, it suddenly found itself raised by the arms of Constantine to a position of acknowledged supremacy. By this time it had penetrated into all ranks of society, and reckoned among its adherents many of noblest birth.

(c) Modern Missions:

It is unnecessary to trace the subsequent course of Christianity in its conquest of the northern nations. For a time the zeal for expansion slumbered, but, with the revival of the missionary spirit at the close of the 18th century, a new forward movement began, the effects of which in the various regions of the heathen world are only now beginning to be realized. It is impossible to read without a thrill what was accomplished by the pioneers of Christian missions in the South Seas a nd other early fields; now the tidings of what is being done in India, China, Japan, Korea, Africa and elsewhere, by Christian preaching and education, awaken even more astonishment. Countries long closed against the gospel are now opened, and the standard of the cross is being carried into all. The church is arousing to its missionary obligations as never before. Still, with all this progress, immense obstacles remain to be overcome. Including all the populations of nominally Christian lands, the adherents of the Christian religion are reckoned to amount only to some 560,000,000, out of a total of over 1,600,000,000 of the population of the world (Hickmann). This looks discouraging, but it is to be remembered that it is the Christian peoples that represent the really progressive portion of the human race.

(2) Doctrinal Shaping:

The doctrinal shaping of Christianity has taken place largely as the result of conflict with opposing errors. First, as was inevitable, its conflict was waged with that narrowest section of the Jewish-Christian community—the Ebionites of early church history—who, cleaving to circumcision, disowned Paul, and insisted that the Gentiles should observe the law (Ga 5:13,14; see EBIONITES). These, as a party of reaction, were soon left behind, and themselves fell under heretical (Essenian) influences.

(a) Gnosticism:

A more formidable conflict was that with Gnosticism—the distinctive heresy of the 2nd century, though its beginnings are already within the apostolic age (compare Lightfoot, Colossians). This strange compound of oriental theosophy and ideas borrowed from Christianity (see GNOSTICISM) would have dissolved Christ’s religion into a tissue of fantasies, and all the strength and learning of the Church were needed to combat its influence. Its opposition was overruled for good in leading t o a fixing of the earliest creed (see APOSTLES’ CREED), the formation of an authoritative New Testament canon (see BIBLE; CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; CANON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT), and the firm assertion of the reality of Christ’s humanity.

(b) Monarchianism:

Christianity had now entered the world of Greek thought, and ere long had contests to sustain within its own borders. First came assaults (3rd century) on the idea of the Trinity in what are known as the Monarchian heresies—the assertion that the Father Himself was incarnate and suffered in Christ (Patripassianism), or that the Trinity consisted only in "modes" of the Divine self-revelation (Sabellianism).

(c) Arianism:

These were hardly repelled when a yet greater danger overtook the church in the outbreak (318 AD) of the violent Arian controversy, the Son Himself being now declared to be a creature, exalted, before all worlds, but not truly of the nature of God. The commotion produced by this controversy led to the summoning of the first ecumenical council- -that of Nicea (325 AD), and the framing of the Nicene Creed, affirming the full deity of the Son. A like controversy about the Spirit (the Macedonian, 4th century), led to the confirming of this creed, and adoption of additional clauses, at the Council of Constantinople (381 AD).

(d) Sin and Grace:

The doctrine of the Trinity was now settled, but new controversies speedily sprang up—in the West on sin and grace (Pelagius and Augustine) (411-18 AD), and in the East in the long series of controversies known as the Christological, bearing on the right apprehension of the person of Christ (4th to 7th centuries): as against Pelagius, who denied original sin, and affirmed man’s natural ability to keep the whole law of God, Augustine vindicated the complete dependence of man on the grace of God for his salvation.

(e) Person of Christ:

And as against errors successively denying the reality of a human soul in Jesus (Appollinarianism), dissolving the unity of His person (Nestorianism, condemned at Ephesus, 431 AD), or conversely, fusing together the Divine and human into one nature (Eutychianism, Monophysitism), the church maintained, and embodied in a Creed at Chalcedon (451 AD), the integrity of the two natures, Divine and human, in the one Divine person of the Lord. These decisions are upheld by all branches of the church—Greek, Latin, Protestant.

(f) The Atonement:

The medieval scholastic period made one great advance in the attempt of Anselm in his Cur Deus Homo (1089) to lay deep the foundations of a doctrine of atonement in the idea of the necessity of a satisfaction for human sin: Abelard, on the other hand, denied the need of satisfaction, and became the representative of what are known as moral theories of the atonement. It was reserved for the Protestant Reformers, however, to bring this doctrine to its true bearing, as furnishing the ground for man’s free justification before God in his union with Christ, who had made full satisfaction for his guilt. There have been many theories of atonement, but the idea that Christ has "satisfied Divine justice" is too firmly imbedded in all the Reformation creeds, and has too profound a Scriptural support, to be removed.

(g) The Reformation:

The 16th century Reformation, on its outward side, was a revolt against the errors and corruptions of the papacy, but in its positive aspect it may be described as the reassertion of the sole mediatorship of Christ (as against priestly intervention), the sole authority of Scripture (as against tradition), and justification by faith alone (as against salvation by works of merit). The schism meant a separation of the great Protestant communities and nations from the church of Rome, which, by its claim o f papal supremacy, had already separated from itself the great Greek communion.

(h) Lutheran and Reformed:

Within Protestantism itself a difference of genius between the Swiss and German Reformers, with divergences of view on the sacraments, led to the formation of two main types—the Lutheran (German) and the Reformed (Swiss)—and between these two, as respects theology and church order, later Protestantism has mostly been divided. Luther represented the one; Calvin for long was the chief name in the other. With the rise of Arminianism and other forms of dissent from the peculiarities of Calvinism, the aspect of Protestantism became more variegated. Of the later divisions, producing the numerous modern sects which yet own allegiance to the common head (Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, etc.), it is not necessary here to speak. The unity of spirit revealed in creed, worship and combined endeavors in Christ’s service goes deeper than all outward differences.

(3) Its Influence.

Christianity preaches a kingdom of God, or supremacy of God’s will in human hearts and human affairs, by which is meant, on its earthly side, nothing less than a complete reconstruction of society on the two great bases of love to God and love to man—"Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth" (Mt 6:10). The influence of Christianity is paramount in all the great advances that have been made in the moral and social amelioration of the state of mankind.

(a) The Ancient World:

It was so undoubtedly in the ancient world. The world into which Christianity came was one fast sinking into dissolution through the weight of its own corruptions. Into that world Christianity brought a totally new idea of man as being of infinite dignity and immortal worth. It restored the well-nigh lost sense of responsibility and accountability to God; breathed into the world a new spirit of love and charity, and created that wealth of charitable and beneficent institutions with which Christian lands are now full (Lecky speaks of it as "covering the globe with countless institutions of mercy, absolutely unknown in the whole pagan world," History of Morals, II, 91); set up a new moral ideal and standard of integrity which has acted as an elevating force on moral conceptions till the present hour; restored woman to her rightful place as man’s helpmeet and equal; created the Christian home; gave the slave an equal place with his master in the kingdom of God, and struck at the foundations of slavery by its doctrines of the natural brotherhood and dignity of man; created self-respect, and a sense of duty in the use of one’s powers for self-support and the benefit of others; urged to honest labors; and in a myriad other ways, by direct teaching, by the protest of holy lives, and by its general spirit, struck at the evils, the malpractices, the cruelties of the time.

(b) The Modern World:

Despite many failures, and gross backslidings in the church itself, these ideas, implanted in the world, and liberating other forces, have operated ever since in advancing the progress of the race. They exist and operate far beyond the limits of the church. They have been taken up and contended for by men outside the church—by unbelievers even—when the church itself had become unfaithful to them. None the less they are of Christian parentage. They lie at the basis of our modern assertion of equal rights, of justice to the individual in social and state arrangements, of the desire for brotherhood, peace and amity among classes and nations. It is Christian love which is sustaining the best, purest and most self-sacrificing efforts for the raising of the fallen, the rescue of the drunkard, the promotion of enlightenment, virtues, social order and happiness. It is proving itself the grand civilizing agency in other regions of the world. Christian missions, with their benign effects in the spread of education, the checking of social evils and barbarities, the creation of trade and industry, the change in the status of women, the advance in social and civilized life, generally, is the demonstration of it (see Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress).

(c) Testimony of Professor Huxley:

Professor Huxley will not be regarded as a biased witness on behalf of Christianity. Yet this is what he writes on the influence of the Christian Scriptures, and his words may be a fitting close to this article: "Throughout the history of the western world," he says, "the Scriptures, Jewish, and Christian, have been the great instigators of revolt against the worst forms of clerical and political despotism. The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor, and of the oppressed; down to modern times no state has had a constitution in which the interests of the people are so largely taken into account, in which the duties, so much more than the privileges, of rulers are insisted upon, as that drawn up for Israel in De and Lev; nowhere is the fundamental truth that the welfare of the State, in the long run, depends upon the uprightness of the citizen so strongly laid down. Assuredly the Bible talks no trash about the rights of man; but it insists upon the equality of duties, on the liberty to bring about that righteousness which is somewhat different from struggling for ‘rights’; on the fraternity of taking thought for one’s neighbor as for one’s self."


See works cited in Part I above; also Kuenen, Hibbert Lectures for 1882, National Religions and Universal Religions; W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire; M. Dods, Mohammed, Buddha, and Christ; on early expansion of Christianity, Harnack, Mission and Expansion of Christianity, and Orr, Neglected Factors in the Study of the Early Progress of Christianity; on the essence of Christianity, W. Douglas Mackenzie, The Final Faith; on the influence of Christianity, C. L. Brace, Gesta Christi; Uhlhorn, Christian Charity in the Ancient Church; C. Schmidt, Social Results of Early Christianity; Lecky, History of European Morals; Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress; Reports of World Miss. Conference, 1910.

James Orr

CHRISTOLOGY kris-tol’-o-ji.






fols (pseudo-christoi).

1. Christ’s Warnings:

In His discourse on the last things, uttered by Him on the Tuesday of the week of His Passion, Jesus solemnly forewarned His disciples that many would come in His name, saying "I am the Christ," who would deceive many; that there would arise false Christs and false prophets, who would show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect; that, therefore, if any man said to them, "Lo, here is the Christ," or "Lo, there," they were not to believe it (Mt 24:5,11,23-25; Mr 13:6,21-23; Lu 21:8).

2. Early Notices:

The warning was needed. De Wette, Meyer, and others have, indeed, pointed out that there is no historical record of anyone expressly claiming to be the Christ prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. This, however, is probably only in appearance (compare Lange, Commentary on Mt 24:3). Edersheim remarks: "Though in the multitude of impostors, who, in the troubled time between the rule of Pilate and the destruction of Jerusalem, promised Messianic deliverance to Israel, few names and claims of this kind have be en specially recorded, yet the hints in the New Testament, and the references, however guarded, in the Jewish historian, imply the appearance of many such seducers" (Jesus the Messiah, V, chapter vi; in 1906 edition, II, 446). The revolts in this period were generally connected with religious pretensions in the leaders (Josephus, BJ, II, xiii, 4—"deceived and deluded the people under pretense of Divine inspiration"), and, in the fevered state of Messianic expectation, can hardly have lacked, in some instances, a Mes sianic character. Judas of Galilee (Ac 5:37; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, i, 1, 6; BJ, II, viii, 1) founded a numerous sect (the Gaulonites) by many of whom, according to Origen (Hom on Lk, 25), he was regarded as the Messiah (compare DB, under the word). The Theudas of Ac 5:36, "giving himself out to be somebody," may or may not be the same as the Theudas of Josephus (Ant., XX, v, 1), but the latter, at least, made prophetic claims and deluded many. He promised to divide the river Jordan by a word. Another instance is the "Egyptian" for whom Paul was mistaken, who had made an "uproar" (Ac 21:38; the Revised Version (British and American) "sedition")—one of a multitude of "impostors and deceivers," Josephus tells us, who persuaded multitudes to follow them into the wilderness, pretending that they would exhibit wonders and signs (Ant., XX, viii, 6). This Egyptian was to show them that, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down (BJ, II, xiii, 5). Of another class was the Samaritan Dositheus, with whom Simon Magus was said to be connected (see refs to Eusebius, Origen, Hippolytus, Clementine writings, etc., in DB, under the word). He is alleged to have been regarded as "the prophet like unto Moses," whom God was to raise up.

3. Bar-Cochba:

The most celebrated case of a false Christ is that of Bar-Cochba (to give the name its usual form), the leader of the great insurrection under Hadrian in 132 AD (Eus., HE, IV, 6; for Jewish and other authorities, see the full account in Schurer, HJP, I, 2, pp. 297 ff, English Translation). The insurrection was on a scale which it required the whole force of the Roman empire to put down (compare Schurer). The leader’s own name was Simon, but the title, "Bar-Cochba" ("son of a star"), was given him with reference to the pr ophecy in Nu 24:17 of the star that should come out of Jacob. Rabbi Akiba, the most celebrated doctor of his time, applied this prophecy, with that in Hag 2:6,7, to Simon, and announced him as the Messiah. He is commonly known in Jewish literature as Barcosiba, probably from his birthplace. Immense multitudes flocked to his standard, and the Christians in Palestine were severely persecuted. Coins were issued in his name. After tremendous efforts the rebellion was crushed, and Jerusalem was converted into a Roman colony (Aelia Capitolina), which Jews were forbidden to enter.

4. Jewish Pseudo-Messiahs:

Among the Jews themselves, in later times, many pseudo-Messiahs have arisen. An interesting account of some of these is given by Mr. Elkan Adler in his Introduction to the volume, Aspects of the Hebrew Genius (London, Routledge, 1910). "Such there had been," this writer says, "from time to time ever since the destruction of the Temple." In the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the belief in pseudo-Messiahs took new and remarkable shapes. Among the names mentioned is that of David Reubeni, or David of the tribe of Reuben (1524), who ultimately fell a sacrifice to the Inquisition. Under his influence a Portuguese royal secretary, Diego Pires, adopted the Jewish faith, changed his name to Solomon Molko, and finally proclaimed himself the Messiah. In 1529 he published some of his addresses under the title of The Book of Wonder. He was burned at the stake at Mantua. "Other Kabbalists, such as Isaac Luria and Chajim Vital and Abraham Shalom, proclaimed themselves to be Messiahs or forerunners of the Messiah, and their works and manuscripts are still piously studied by many oriental Jews." The chief of all these false Messiahs was Sabbatai Zevi, born at Smyrna in 1626. "His adventures," it is said, "created a tremendous stir in western Europe." He ultimately became an apostate to Islam; notwithstanding which fact he had a line of successors, in whom the sect of Donmeh, in Salonica, continue to believe. Another mentioned is Jacob Frank, of Podolia, who revealed himself in 1755 as the Holy Lord, in whom there dwelt the same Messiah-soul that had dwelt in David, Elijah, Jesus, Mohammed, Sabbatai Zevi, and his followers. Jewish literature in the 18th century is full of controversial writing connected with Sabbatianism. As a special source of information on modern false Messiahs among the Jews, Lange mentions the serial Dibhre ‘emeth, or Words of Truth (Breslau, 1853-54).

James Orr


kron’-i-k’-ls (dibhere ha-yamim), "The Words of the Days"; Septuagint paraleipomenon:

1. The Name

2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament

3. Two Books, or One?

4. The Contents

5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical

6. Nehemiah’s Library

7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources

8. Additions by the Chronicler

9. Omissions by the Chronicler

10. The Extra-Biblical Sources

11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles

12. The Text

13. Critical Estimates

14. Date and Authorship

15. Evidence as to Date and Authorship

Arguments for a Later Date

16. Truthfulness and Historicity

(1) Alleged Proofs of Untruthfulness

(2) Truthfulness in the Various Parts

17. The Values of the Chronicles


1. The Name:

The analogy of this title to such English words as diary, journal, chronicle, is obvious. The title is one which frequently appears in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. It is used to denote the records of the Medo-Persian monarchy (Es 2:23; 6:1; 10:2), and to denote public records, either Persian or Jewish, made in late postexilian times (Ne 12:23), and to denote public records of King David (1Ch 27:24). But its most common use is to denote the Judahite and Israelite records referred to in the Books o f Kings as sources (1Ki 14:19; 15:7 and about 30 other places). The references in Kings are not to our present Books of Chronicles, for a large proportion of them are to matters not mentioned in these. Either directly or indirectly they refer the reader to public archives.

As applied to our present Books of Chronicles this title was certainly not intended to indicate that they are strictly copies of public documents, though it may indicate that they have a certain official character distinguishing them from other contemporary or future writings. The Greek title is Paraleipomenon, "Of Things that have been Left Untold." Some copies add "concerning the kings of Judah," and this is perhaps the original form of the title. That is, the Greek translators thought of Chronicles as a supplement to the other narrative Scriptural books. Jerome accepted the Greek title, but suggested that the Hebrew title would be better represented by a derivative from the Greek word chronos, and that this would fit the character of the book, which is a chronicle of the whole sacred history. Jerome’s suggestion is followed in the title given to the book in the English and other languages.

2. The Position of Chronicles in the Old Testament:

In most of the VSS, as in the English, the Books of Chronicles are placed after the Books of Kings, as being a later account of the matters narrated in Kings; and Ezra and Nehemiah follow Chronicles as being continuations of the narrative. In the Hebrew Bibles the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah and 1 and 2 Chronicles are placed last. By common opinion, based on proof that is entirely sufficient, the three books constitute a single literary work or group of works, by one author or school of authors. It is co nvenient to use the term "the Chronicler" to designate the author, or the authors if there were more than one.

3. Two Books, or One?:

It is the regulation thing to say that 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one book, which has been divided into two. The fact is that Chronicles is counted as one book in the count which regards the Old Testament as 22 or 24 books, and as two books in the count which regards the whole number of books as 39; and that both ways of counting have been in use as far back as the matter can be traced. Both ways of counting appear in the earliest Christian lists, those of Origen and Melito, for example. 1 Chronicles closes with a summary which may naturally be regarded as the closing of a book.

4. The Contents:

With respect to their contents the Books of Chronicles are naturally divided into three parts. The first part is preliminary, consisting mostly of genealogical matters with accompanying facts and incidents (1Ch 1-9). The second part is an account of the accession and reign of David (1Ch 10-29). The third part is an account of the events under David’s successors in the dynasty (2 Ch).

The genealogies begin with Adam (1Ch 1:1) and extend to the latest Old Testament times (1Ch 9; compare Ne 11, and the latest names in the genealogical lines, e. g. 1Ch 3:19 ff). The events incidentally mentioned in connection with them are more numerous and of more importance than the casual reader would imagine. They are some dozens in number. Some of them are repeated from the parts of the Old Testament from which the Chronicler draws as sources—for example, such statements as that Nimrod was a mighty one, or that in the time of Peleg the earth was divided, or the details concerning the kings of Edom (1Ch 1:10,19,43 ff; compare Ge 10:8,25; 36:31 ff). Others are instances which the Chronicler has taken from other sources than the Old Testament—for instance, the story of Jabez, or the accounts of the Simeonite conquests of the Meunim and of Amalek (1Ch 4:9,10,38-43).

The account in Chronicles of the reign of David divides itself into three parts. The first part (1Ch 10-21) is a series of sections giving a general view, including the death of Saul, the crowning of David over the twelve tribes, his associates, his wars, the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the great Davidic promise, the plague that led to the purchase of the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. The second part (1Ch 22-29:22) deals with one particular event and the preparations for it. The event is the making Solomon king, at a great public assembly (1Ch 23:1; 28:1 ff). The preparations for it include arrangements for the site and materials and labor for the temple that is to be built, and the organizing of Levites, priests, singers, doorkeepers, captains, for the service of the temple and the kingdom. The third part (1Ch 29:22-30) is a brief account of Solomon’s being made king "a second time" (compare 1Ki 1), with a summary and references for the reign of David.

The history of the successors of David, as given in 2 Chronicles, need not here be commented upon.

5. Sources Biblical and Extra-Biblical:

The sources of the Books of Chronicles classify themselves as Biblical and extra-Biblical. Considerably more than half the contents come from the other Old Testament books, especially from Sam and Ki. Other sources mentioned in the Books of Chronicles are the following:

(1) The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2Ch 16:11; 25:26; 28:26; 32:32).

(2) The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah (2Ch 27:7; 35:27; 36:8).

(3) The Book of the Kings of Israel (2Ch 20:34).

(4) The Book of the Kings (2Ch 24:27).

It is possible that these may be four variant forms of the same title. It is also possible that they may be references to our present Books of Ki, though in that case we must regard the formulas of reference as conventional rather than exact.

(5) The Book of the Kings of Israel (1Ch 9:1), a genealogical work.

(6) The Midrash of the Book of the Kings (2Ch 24:27).

(7) The Words of the Kings of Israel (2Ch 33:18), referred to for details concerning Manasseh.

Observe that these seven are books of Kings, and that the contents of the last three do not at all correspond with those of our Biblical books. In the seventh title and in several of the titles that are yet to be mentioned it is commonly understood that "Words" is the equivalent of "acts" or "history"; but it is here preferred to retain the form "Words," as lending itself better than the others to the syntactical adjustments.

(8) The Words of Samuel the Man of Vision and the Words of Nathan the Prophet and the Words of Gad the Seer (1Ch 29:29) are perhaps to be counted as one work, and identified with our Books of Judges and Samuel.

(9) The Words of Nathan the Prophet (2Ch 9:29; compare 1Ki 11:41-43). Source concerning Solomon.

(10) The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (2Ch 9:29; compare 1Ki 11:29 ff; 14:2 ff, etc.). Solomon.

(11) The Visions of Jedo the Seer (2Ch 9:29; compare 1Ki 13). Solomon.

(12) The Words of Shemaiah the Prophet (2Ch 12:15; compare 1Ki 12:22 ff). Rehoboam.

(13) "Shemaiah wrote" (1Ch 24:6). David.

(14) Iddo the Seer in Reckoning Genealogies (2Ch 12:15). Rehoboam.

(15) "The Words (The History) of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the Book of the Kings of Israel" (2Ch 20:34; compare 1Ki 16:1,7,12). Jehoshaphat.

(16) "The rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the Prophet, the son of Amoz, write" (2Ch 26:22; compare Isa 1:1; 6).

(17) "The Vision of Isaiah .... in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel" (2Ch 32:32; compare 2Ki 18-20; Isa 36-39, etc.). Hezekiah.

(18) The Words of the Seers (2Ch 33:19 margin). Manasseh.

(19) References to "Lamentations," and to "Jeremiah" etc. (2Ch 35:25). Josiah.

(20) The Midrash of the Prophet Iddo (2Ch 13:22). Abijah. These numbers, from 12 to 20, are referred to as works of prophets. At first thought there is plausibility in the idea that the references may be to the sections in Samuel and Kings where these several prophets are mentioned; but in nearly all the cases this explanation fades out on examination. The Chronicler had access to prophetic writings not now known to be in existence.

(21) Liturgical writings of David and Solomon (2Ch 35:4; compare Ezr 3:10). Josiah.

(22) Commandments of David and Gad and Nathan (2Ch 29:25). Hezekiah.

(23) The Commandment of David and Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun (2Ch 35:15). Josiah.

(24) Chronicles of King David (1Ch 27:24).

(25) Last Words of David (1Ch 23:27).

Add to these many mentions of genealogical works, connected with particular times, those for example of David, Jotham, Jeroboam II (1Ch 9:22; 5:17), and mentions of matters that imply record-keeping, from Samuel and onward (e.g. 1Ch 26:26-28). Add also the fact that the Chronicler had a habit, exhibited in Ezra and Nehemiah, of using and quoting what he represents to be public documents, for example, letters to and from Cyrus and Artaxerxes and Darius and Artaxerxes Longimanus (Ezr 1:1; 6:3; 4:7,17; 5:6 ; 6:6; 7:11; Ne 2:7). It is no exaggeration to say that the Chronicler claims to have had a considerable library at his command.

6. Nehemiah’s Library:

If such a library as this existed we should perhaps expect to find some mention of it somewhere. Such a mention I think there is in the much discussed passage in 2 Macc 2:13-15. It occurs in what purports to be a letter written after 164 BC by the Maccabean leaders in Jerusalem to Aristobulus in Egypt. The letter has a good deal to say concerning Nehemiah, and among other things this: "And how he, founding a library, gathered together the books about the kings and prophets, and the (books) of David, and letters of kings about sacred gifts." It says that these writings have been scattered by reason of the war, but that Judas has now gathered them again, and that they may be at the service of Aristobulus and his friends.

This alleged letter contains statements that seem fabulous to most modern readers, though they may not have seemed so to Judas and his compatriots. Leaving out of view, however, the intrinsic credibility of the witness, the fitting of the statement into certain other traditions and into the phenomena presented in Chronicles is a thing too remarkable to neglect. In the past, men have cited this passage as an account of the framing of a canon of Scripture—the canon of the Prophets, or of the Prophets and the Hagiographa. But it purports to be an account of a library, not of a body of Scripture; and its list of contents does not appear to be that of either the Prophets or the Hagiographa or both. But it is an exact list of the sources to which the author (or authors) of Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah claim to have access—"books about the kings" (see above, Numbers 1-7), "and prophets" (Numbers 8-20), "and of David" (Numbers 21-25 ff), "and letters of kings about sacred gifts" (those cited in Ezra and Nehemiah). The library attributed to Nehemiah corresponds to the one which the Chronicler claims to have used; and the two independent pieces of evidence strongly confirm each the other.

7. The Way of Using the Biblical Sources:

The method in which the Biblical sources are used in Chronicles presents certain remarkable features. As a typical instance study 1Ch 10 in comparison with 1Sa 31. 1Ch 10:1-12 is just a transcription, with slight changes, of the passage in Samuel. A large part of Chronicles is thus made up of passages transcribed from Samuel and Kings. The alternative is that the Chronicler transcribed from sources which had earlier been transcribed in Samuel and Kings, and this alternative may in some cases be the true one.

This phenomenon is interesting for many reasons. It has its bearings on the trustworthiness of the information given; a copy of an ancient document is of higher character as evidence than a mere report of the contents of the document. It has a bearing on questions concerning the text; are the texts in Kings and Chronicles to be regarded as two recensions? It is especially interesting as illustrating the literary processes in use among the writers of our Scriptures.

It is sometimes said that they used their sources not by restating the contents as a modern compiler would do, but by just copying. It would be more correct to say that they do this part of the time. In 1Ch 10 the copying process ceases with 1Ch 10:12. In 1Ch 10:13,14 the Chronicler condenses into a sentence a large part of the contents of 1 Samuel; one clause in particular is a condensation of 1Sa 28. So it is with other parts. 1Ch 1:1-4 is abridged from Ge 5 at the rate of a name for a section; so is 1Ch 1:24-27 from Ge 11:10-26. In the various parts of Chronicles we find all the methods that are used by any compiler; the differentiating fact is simply that the method of transcribing is more used than it would be by a modern compiler.

In the transcribed passages, almost without exception, there has been a systematic editorial revision. Words and clauses have been pruned out, and grammatical roughness smoothed away. Regularly the text in Chronicles is somewhat briefer, and is more fluent than in Samuel or Kings. If we give the matter careful attention we will be sure that this revisional process took place, and that it accounts for most of the textual differences between Chronicles and the earlier writings, not leaving many to be accounted for as corruptions.

8. Additions by the Chronicler:

Of course the most significant changes made by the Chronicler are those which consist in additions and omissions. It is a familiar fact that the added passages in Chronicles which bulk largest are those which deal with the temple and its Worship and its attendants—its priests, Levites, musicians, singers, doorkeepers. Witness for example the added matter in connection with the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, the preparations for the temple, the priests’ joining Rehoboam, the war between Abijah and Jeroboam, the reforms under Asa and Jehoshaphat, details concerning Uzziah, Hezekiah’s passover, the reform of Manasseh, the passover of Josiah (1Ch 15-16; 22- 29; 2Ch 11:13-17; 13; 14; 15; 17; 19; 20; 26:16-21; 29-31; 33:10-20; 35). It has been less noticed than it should be that while the Chronicler in these passages magnifies the ceremonial laws of Moses, he magnifies those of David yet more.

Next in bulk comes the added genealogical and statistical matter, for example, the larger part of the preliminary genealogies, details as to David’s followers, Rehoboam’s fortified cities and family affairs with details concerning the Shishak invasion, Asa’s military preparations and the invasion by Zerah, with numbers and dates, Jehoshaphat’s military arrangements, with numbers, Jehoram’s brothers and other details concerning him, Uzziah’s army and his business enterprises (1Ch 2-9; 12; 27; 2Ch 11:5-12,18-23; 12:3-9; 14:3-15; 17:1-5,10-19; 26:6-15).

The Chronicler is sometimes spoken of as interested in priestly affairs, and not in the prophets. That is a mistake. He takes particular pains to magnify the prophets (e.g. 2Ch 20:20; 36:12,16). He uses the word "prophet" 30 times, and the two words for "seer" (chozeh and ro’eh) respectively 5 and 11 times. He gives us additional information concerning many of the prophets—for example, Samuel, Gad, Nathan, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Hanani, Jehu, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. He has taken pains to preserve for us a record of many prophets concerning whom we should otherwise be ignorant—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Jedo (2Ch 9:29), Iddo, the Oded of Asa’s time, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, Eliezer the son of Dodavah, two Zechariahs (2Ch 24:20; 26:5), unnamed prophets of the time of Amaziah (2Ch 25:5-10,15,16), Oded of the time of Ahaz (2Ch 28:9).

In addition, however, to the materials that can be thus classified, it is the method of the Chronicler to preserve interesting incidents of all kinds by working them into his narrative. When he reaches Jair in his genealogical list, he finds himself in possession of a bit of information not contained in the older writings, and he inserts it (1Ch 2:21 ff). He is interested to keep alive the memory of the "families of scribes which dwelt at Jabez" (1Ch 2:55). He has found items concerning craftsmen, and concerning a linen industry, and a potters’ industry, and he connects these with names in his list (1Ch 4:14,21,23). He has come across a bit of a hymn in the name of Jabez, and he attaches the hymn to his list of names as an annotation (1Ch 4:9,10). There are matters concerning the sickness and the burial of Asa, and concerning the bad conduct of Joash after the death of Jehoiada, and concerning constructions by Hezekiah (2Ch 16:12,13; 24:15-27; 32:27-30), that seem to the Chronicler worth preserving, though they are not recorded in the earlier writings. The fruits of the habit appear, in many scores of instances, in all parts of the Books of Chronicles.

9. Omissions by the Chronicler:

As the Books of Chronicles thus add matters not found in the older books, so they leave out much that is contained in the Books of Samuel and Kings. Here, however, the question should rather be as to what the Chronicler has retained from his sources than as to what he has omitted. He writes for readers whom he assumes to be familiar with the earlier books, and he retains so much of the older narrative as seems to him necessary for defining the relations of his new statements of fact to that narrative. From the point where the history of David begins he has omitted everything that is not strictly connected with David or his dynasty—the history of northern Israel as such, the long narratives concerning the prophets, such distressing affairs as those of Amnon and Absalom and Adonijah and the faithlessness of Solomon, and a multitude of minor particulars. We have already noticed his systematic shortening of the passages which he transcribes.

10. The Extra-Biblical Sources:

There are two marked phenomena in the parts of Chronicles which were not taken from the other canonical books. They are written in later Hebrew of a pretty uniform type; many parts of them are fragmentary. The Hebrew of the parts that were copied from Samuel and Kings is of course the classical Hebrew of those books, generally made more classical by the revision to which it has been subjected. The Hebrew of the other parts is presumably that of the Chronicler himself. The difference is unmistakable. An obvious way of accounting for it is by supposing that the Chronicler treated his Scriptural sources with especial respect, and his other sources with more freedom. We will presently consider whether this is the true account.

There are indications that some of the non-Biblical sources were in a mutilated or otherwise fragmentary condition when the Chronicler used them. Broken sentences and passages and constructions abound. In the translations these are largely concealed, the translators having guessed the meanings into shape, but the roughnesses are palpable in the Hebrew. They appear less in the long narratives than in the genealogies and descriptive passages. They are sometimes spoken of as if they were characteristic of the later Hebrew, but there is no sense in that.

For example, most of the genealogies are incomplete. The priestly genealogies omit some of the names that are most distinguished in the history, such names as those of Jehoiada and two Azariahs (2Ki 11:9, etc.; 2Ch 26:17; 31:10). Many of the genealogies are given more than once, and in variant forms, but with their incompleteness still palpable. There are many breaks in the lists. We read the names of one group, and we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of names that belong to another group, and with nothing to call attention to the transition. The same phenomena appear in the sections in 1Ch 23:2-27. These contain a succession of matters arranged in absolutely systematic order in classes and subclasses, while many of the statements thus arranged are so fragmentary as to be hardly intelligible. The most natural explanation of these phenomena assumes that the writer had a quantity of fragments in writing—clay tablets, perhaps, or pottery or papyrus, or what not, more or less mutilated, and that he copied them as best he could, one after another. A modern writer, doing such work, would indicate the lacunae by dots or dashes or other devices. The ancient copyist simply wrote the bits of text one after another, without such indications. In regard to many of the supposable lacunae in Chronicles scholars would differ, but there are a large number in regard to which all would agree. If someone would print a text of Chronicles in which these should be indicated, he would make an important contribution to the intelligibility of the books.

11. The Object in Writing the Books of Chronicles:

On the basis of these phenomena what judgment can we form as to the purposes for which the books of Chronicles were written? There are those who find the answer to this question a very simple one. They say that the interests of the writer were those of the temple priesthood, that it seemed to him that the older histories did not emphasize these interests as they ought, and that he therefore wrote a new history, putting into it the views and facts which he thought should be there. If this statement were modified so as not to impugn the good faith of the Chronicler, it would be nearly correct as a statement of part of his purpose. His purpose was to preserve what he regarded as historical materials that were in danger of being lost, materials concerning the temple-worship, but also concerning a large variety of other matters. He had the historian’s instinct for laying hold of all sorts of details, and putting them into permanent form. His respiration from God (we do not here discuss the nature of that inspiration) led him this way. He wanted to save for the future that which he regarded as historical fact. The contents of the book, determined in part by his enthusiasm for the temple, were also determined in part by the nature of the materials that were providentially at his disposal. There seems also to have been present in his consciousness the idea of bringing to completion the body of sacred writings which had then been accumulating for centuries.

As we have seen, the Greek translators gave to the Books of Chronicles a title which expressed the idea they had of the work. They regarded it as the presentation of matters which had been omitted in the earlier Scriptures, as written not to supersede the older books, but to supplement them, as being, along with Ezra and Nehemiah, a work that brought the Scriptures up to date, and made them complete.

12. The Text:

The text of the Books of Chronicles has been less carefully preserved than that of some other parts of the Old Testament. Witness for example the numbers 42 and 8 for the ages of Ahaziah and Jehoiachin (2Ch 22:2; compare 2Ki 8:26; 2Ch 36:9; compare 2Ki 24:8). There is no proof, however, of important textual corruption. As we have seen, the fragmentary character of certain parts is probably in the main due to exactness in following fragmentary sources, and not to bad text; and the differences between Samuel or Kings and Chronicles, in the transcribed passages, are mostly due to intended revision rather than to text variations.

13. Critical Estimates:

In critical discussions less semblance of fair play has been accorded to Chronicles than even to most of the other Scriptures. It is not unusual to assume that the Chronicler’s reference to sources is mere make-believe, that he "has cited sources simply to produce the impression that he is writing with authority." Others hurry to the generalization that the Books of Kings mentioned in Chronicles (see Numbers 1-7 above) are all one work, which must therefore have been an extensive Midrash (commentary, exe getical and anecdotal) on the canonical Books of Kings; and that the references to prophetic writings are to sections in this Midrash; so that practically the Chronicler had only two sources, the canonical books and this midrashic history of Israel; and that "it is impossible to determine" whether he gathered any bits of information from any other sources.

Into the critical theories concerning Chronicles enters a hypothesis of an earlier Book of Ki that was more extensive than our present canonical books. And in recent publications of such men as Buchler, Benzinger and Kittel are theories of an analysis of Chronicles into documents—for example, an earlier writing that made no distinction between priests and Levites, or an earlier writing which dealt freely with the canonical books; and the later writing of the Chronicler proper.

What we know in the matter is that three sets of authors combined in producing the Books of Chronicles—first, the men who produced the canonical sources, second, the men who produced the other sources, and third, the man or men who directly or indirectly put the contents of these sources together into the book which we have. We have no means of knowing what most of the intermediate processes were, and it is superlatively useless to guess. It is gratuitous to say that the mention of sources in Chronicl es is not made in good faith. It is probable that among the sources were Midrashim that were nearly contemporaneous. It is exceedingly improbable that none of the sources mentioned were genuine and ancient. All probabilities agree to the effect that the returned exiles and their near descendants were likely to study the ancient history of their race, and to gather materials for that purpose. As we have seen, the phenomena of the book indicate the presence of an antiquarian motive which was sure to be interested in genuine items of evidence from the remote past.

14. Date and Authorship:

The current opinion sixty years ago was that the Books of Chronicles and the whole Old Testament were completed about 404 BC, near the time when Artaxerxes Mnemon succeeded Darius Nothus. The statement now fashionable is that the Books of Chronicles were completed not later than about 250 BC, and this constantly degenerates into the statement that they were written about 250 BC or later. In fact, they were completed within the lifetime of Nehemiah, not later or not much later than 400 BC.

In discussing this we cannot ignore the fact that Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah are one work, or, if you prefer, one series. The closing verses of 2 Chronicles duplicate the opening verses of Ezr. This is not, probably, an inadvertent repetition. The Books of Chronicles were written later than the other parts of the series. The closing verses are the Chronicler’s notification to his readers that he has brought up the earlier history to the point at which he had previously begun the narrative in Ezr. The testimony concerning Ezra and the "men of the Great Synagogue" and Nehemiah and their work on the Scriptures does not deserve the contempt with which some persons treat it. We know nothing concerning the Great Synagogue as an organization, but we know much concerning the succession of men, from Daniel to Simon the Just, who are called the men of the Great Synagogue. The old traditions do not say that Ezra was the founder of the succession, but they make him the typical person in it. Two bits of tradition are not necessarily inconsistent if one attributes work to Ezra which the other attributes to the men of the Great Synagogue. The regulation remark that tradition attributes Biblical work to Ezra and not to Nehemiah is untrue. Nehemiah was one of the men of the Great Synagogue, and prominent as such. He is introduced to us as a handsome boy, a king’s favorite, coming to Jerusalem in 444 BC. In 433 BC he returned to the king. After an unknown interval of time he came back to Judea, and presumably spent the remainder of his long life there, dying some years or sortie decades after 400 BC.

15. Evidence as to Date and Authorship:

The placing of the work of the Chronicles at the close of the Hebrew Scriptures is in itself of the nature of testimony. The men who placed it there testify thereby to their belief that these are the latest writings of the Old Testament aggregate. We are familiar with the testimony of Babha’ Bathra’ to the effect that most of the later books of the Old Testament were due to the men of the Great Synagogue and to Ezra, but that Nehemiah completed the Books of Chronicles. We cannot avoid including the Chronicles among the 22 books which Josephus says were written before the death of Artaxerxes Longimanus (Apion, I, 8). Of course the limit of time here really intended by Josephus is not the death of Artaxerxes, but the lifetime of men who were contemporary with him—that of Nehemiah, for example. We have already noted the testimony concerning Nehemiah’s library (2 Macc 2:13-15). The time when the library was being gathered was the most likely time for it to be used as the Chronicler has used it. Add the recapitulation in Ecclesiasticus (44-49), which m entions Nehemiah latest in its list of Old Testament worthies.

Internal marks, also, justify the conclusion that the work of the Chronicler was complete before Nehemiah died. The abundant presence of Persian words and facts, with the absence of Greek words and facts, seems conclusive to the effect that the work was done before the conquests of Alexander rendered the Greek influence paramount. In some of the sections (e.g. Ezr 7:28 ff; Nehemiah passim) Ezra and Nehemiah speak in the first person. The whole work makes the impression of being written up to date. The latest situation in Chronicles is the same with that in Ne (1Ch 9; compare Ne 11:3-12:26). The latest event mentioned is the differentiating of the Samaritan schism. A certain enrollment was made (Ne 12:22-26) in the reign of Darius, up to the high-priesthood of Johanan (elsewhere called Jonathan and John), but including Jaddua the son of Johanan in the high-priestly succession. Ezra and Nehemiah were still in office (Ne 12:26). This enrollment naturally connects itself with the expulsion of Jaddua’s bro ther Manasseh for marrying into the family of Sanballat (Ne 13:28; Josephus, Ant, XI, 7-8). Jaddua belongs to the fifth generation from Jeshua, who was high priest 538 BC. Josephus says that Sanballat held a commission from Darius. He mentions a certain Bagoas, "general of another Artaxerxes’ army," as in relations with the high priest John.

Arguments for a Later Date.

Josephus, however, apparently regards the Darius who commissioned Sanballat as the last of the kings of that name, and says that Jaddua was contemporary with Alexander the Great, thus dating the Samaritan schism a little before 331 BC. All scholars reject these statements when they are used for dating the Samaritan schism, but some scholars eagerly accept them for the purpose of proving the late date of the last books of the Hebrew Bible. The argument never was valid, and it is completely exploded by the Aramaic papyri recently discovered in Egypt, which show that Bagoas and the high priest Johanan and the sons of Sanballat were contemporaries in 407 BC, the 17th year of Darius Nothus, and for some years earlier.

Dr. Driver (LOT, edition 1897, 518) expresses an opinion very commonly held concerning the Chronicles: "The only positive clue which the book contains as to the date at which it was composed is the genealogy in 1Ch 3:17-24, .... carried down to the sixth generation after Zerubbabel. This would imply a date not earlier than about 350 BC." Turn to the passage and do your own arithmetic on it. Jeconiah was born 614 BC (2Ki 24:8). If as an average each of the sons in the succession was born when his fat her was about 25 years old, that would bring the first birth in the 6th generation from Zerubbabel to about 414 BC, and not 350 BC. This is not an improbable showing.

Dr. Driver suggests, however, that in 1Ch 3:21 we should follow the Greek reading instead of the Hebrew. This would give us: "And the sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah, and Jeshaiah his son, Rephaiah his son, Arnan his son, Obadiah his son, Shecaniah his son." The meaning here is ambiguous. It may be understood to be that each of the six men named after Hananiah was the son of the man named before him (compare 1Ch 3:10-14, or 1Ch 6:20-30,50-53); or as counting the six as the sons of Hananiah (compare 1Ch 3:16; 7:20,21, etc.). Understanding it in the first of these two ways the number of generations after Zerubbabel would be increased to eleven. So many generations before the early decades of the 4th century BC would be exceptional, though not impossible. But the statement that there were 11 generations is weak, being based on a conjectural interpretation of an unproved text emendation, and standing unconfirmed in opposition to credible proof.

16. Truthfulness and Historicity:

"The Books of Chronicles are a tendency writing of little historical value"; "a distorted picture in the interest of the later institutions of postexilic Judaism"; "some ancient facts, having trickled down through oral or written tradition, are doubtless preserved. .... They are few indeed compared with the products of the imagination, and must be sifted like kernels of wheat from a mass of chaff." These statements, taken at random from the book that happens to be handiest, fairly represent the opinion held by many. They regard the Chronicles as a fabrication made in the interest of a religious party, a fabrication in which the history has been intentionally falsified.

A principal motive for this opinion is to discredit the testimony of Chronicles against certain critical theories, the said testimony being more full and detailed than that in Samuel and Kings and the prophets. But on the whole question the testimony of Chronicles is to the same effect with that of the other books. The testimony of the other books supports that of the Chronicles. The discrediting of Chronicles is part of a theory which denies the historical trustworthiness of practically all parts of the Old Testament and New Testament.

(1) Alleged Proofs of Untruthfulness.

Against the Chronicles it is alleged that they sometimes contradict the older books; but nearly all the instances are capable of satisfactory solution. The large numerals in Chronicles, for example those concerning the armies of David, Abijah, Jeroboam, Asa, Zerah, Jehoshaphat, Amaziah, Uzziah, are adduced as extravagant and incredible. Most of the difficulty in connection with such numbers, whether in Chronicles or Exodus or Numbers or Judges or Samuel, disappears when we observe that they clearly belong to an artificial way of counting. These numbers are given in even thousands or even hundreds (even fifties or tens in a very few instances), which would not be the case if the hundreds and thousands were merely numerical. It is alleged that the Chronicler views the glories of the past as on a larger scale than that in which they are presented in the earlier books, but this is not uniformly the case. On the basis of these allegations the Chronicler is charged with an extravagance that is inconsistent with sober truthfulness, but this charge follows the fate of the others. It is said that the Chronicler lacked trustworthy sources, but that is a thing to be proved, not taken for granted, and we have seen that it is improbable. It is alleged that the text is in such bad shape as to render the contents unreliable. This may be balanced against the counter conjecture that, since the Books of Chronicles have not been so often copied as the Books of Ki, their text is in the transcribed passages to be preferred to that of Ki. In fine, the reasons alleged against the historicity of Chronicles dwindle on examination, though there remain some problems that cannot be so easily disposed of.

(2) Truthfulness in the Various Parts.

Different parts of the Chronicles have their own separate problems of historicity. Take the genealogies, for example. If anyone had fabricated them, he would not have put them into their present fragmentary form, in which they have no story interest, and are of no direct use to anybody. On the other hand it is reasonable to account for their present form by the hypothesis that the writer used such materials as he had. This hypothesis is not derogatory to the inspiration of the writer. Deity saw fit to have these materials placed in the Scriptures, and to this end He influenced men of different generations through providential leadings and through impulses of the Spirit. No one thinks that the Spirit-guided man who put the genealogies in their final form received them as miraculous revelations. He received them as the product of effort in study—his own efforts and those of his predecessors. He is entitled to be counted as truthful if he used good judgment and fidelity in selecting and recording his materials.

Similar statements would be true in regard to the other statistical matter, and in regard to the many incidents that are mentioned in connection with the genealogies and other matters. To think of them as inventions by the Chronicler is not congruous with human experience. They are too brief and broken to have interest by themselves as stories. You can assign no possible reason that one could have for inventing them. They bear the marks of being genuine antiquarian discoveries. The final writer believed that he had come across facts which would be of interest if put into connection with the history as currently narrated. These matters are much more reasonably accounted for as facts than as inventions. And furthermore, a good many of them, first and last, have been corroborated by exploration. Take, for example, Manasseh’s being carried to Babylon by the captains of the king of Assyria, or the account of Uzziah’s military greatness (2Ch 33:11; 26:6 ff), or the references to industries in 1Ch 4:14-23 (compare PEFS, 1905, 243, 328; or Bible Sidelights from Gezer, 150 ff).

Possibly on a different footing is such a passage as the account of Abijah and Jeroboam (2Ch 13:3-18). It says that Abijah had 400,000 men and Jeroboam 800,000, of whom 500,000 were slain in the battle. One might plausibly argue that these numbers were intended as a notice to the reader that he is to understand the story, not as fact, but as a work of the imagination, a religious parable, a midrashic narrative sermon, taken from the Midrash of Iddo (verse 22). Whether or no one finds this argument convincing, anyone can see that it does not accuse the Books of Chronicles of being untruthful. If the passage is a parable it is true in the sense in which it was intended to be understood. A similar case is the account of Jehoshaphat’s peril from the invading nations and his wonderful rescue (2Ch 20).

On still a different footing are such narratives as those concerning the bringing up of the ark, the first making of Solomon king, the reforms under Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah. These are sober narratives, with nothing in them to suggest flights of the imagination. Probably no one doubts that the Chronicler intended them to be understood as historical fact. If one is under bondage to the modern tradition which dates De from the time of Josiah and the priestly laws from after the exile, he must needs count these parts of Chronicles as falsified history; but if he is free from that bondage he will see no strong reason for counting them so.

17. The Values of the Chronicles:

In fine men are correct when they say that the greatest values of the Books of Chronicles lie in their availability for vividly illustrating the great truths of religion. They are correct when they assign great value to these books as depicting the ideas of the time when they were written. But they are none the less of great value as repeating from the other Scriptures the outline of the history of the religion of Yahweh, and presenting additional material for the filling in of that outline.


Among the older commentaries on Chronicles see that of Keil in the Keil-Delitzsch series, published in English in 1872; that of Zockler in the Lange series, 1876; that of Barker in the Pulpit Commentary, after 1880. Among more recent works, from the point of view which denies the historicity of Chronicles, see R. Kittel in the Polychrome Bible, 1895, and Curtis and Masden in the International Critical Commentary, 1910. A brilliant characterization from that point of view is that by Torrey, "The Chronicler as Editor and as Independent Narrator" in AJSL, January, 1909, and subsequent numbers. On the other side see Beecher, Reasonable Biblical Criticism, 1911, chapters xviii and xxii; "Is the Chronicler a Veracious Historian?" in Bible Student (October, 1899 and subsequent numbers), is a defense of the historicity. All works on Old Testament Introduction discuss the questions concerning Chronicles. In view of the many proper names in Chronicles, such a book as Gray, Studies in Hebrew Proper Names, has its uses. For the chronological facts, especially in connection with the closing of the Old Testament history, see Beecher, Dated Events of the Old Testament, 1907. For the Egyptian papyri see Drei Aramaische Papyrusurkunden aus Elephantine, Sachau, Berlin, 1907, or the Appendix to Toffteen, Historic Exodus. Also Sprengling’s article in AJSL, April, 1911. As to light on the Chronicles from explorations, see "The Excavations of Gezer, 1902-5, and 1907-9," PEF; or Bible Sidelights from the Mounds of Gezer, 1906. For other books see the lists in Encyclopedia Biblica and HDB.

Willis J. Beecher



1. Birth of Jesus

(1) Death of Herod

(2) Census of Quirinius

(3) Star of the Magi

(4) Course of Abijah

(5) Day and Month

(6) Summary

2. Baptism of Jesus

3. First Passover

4. Death of John the Baptist

5. Length of Jesus’ Ministry

6. Death of Jesus

7. Summary of Dates



1. Paul’s Conversion

2. Death of Herod Agrippa I

3. Famine under Claudius

4. Sergius Paulus

5. Edict of Claudius

6. Gallio

7. Festus

8. Relative Chronology of Acts

9. Pauline Epistles

10. Release and Death of Paul

11. Death of Peter

12. Death of James the Just

13. The Synoptic Gospels, etc.

14. Death of John

15. Summary of Dates


The current Christian era is reckoned from the birth of Jesus and is based upon the calculations of Dionysius (6th century). Subsequent investigation has shown that the Dionysian date is at least four years too late. Several eras were in use in the time of Jesus; but of these only the Varronian will be used coordinately with the Dionysian in the discussion of the chronology of the life of Jesus, 753 A. U. C. being synchronous with 1 BC and 754 A. U. C. with 1 A. D.

I. Chronology of the Life of Jesus.

1. Birth of Jesus:

Jesus was born before the death of Herod the Great (Mt 2:1 ff) at the time of a census or enrollment made in the territory of Herod in accordance with a decree of Augustus when Quirinius (Revised Version; Cyrenius, the King James Version) was exercising authority in the Roman province of Syria (Lu 2:1 f). At the time of Jesus’ birth a star led the Magi of the East to seek in Jerusalem the infant whom they subsequently found in Bethlehem (Mt 2:1 ff). John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Lu 1:36) and he was born in the days of Herod (Lu 1:5; compare Lu 2:1) after his father, Zacharias, of the priestly course of Abijah, had been performing the functions of his office in the temple.

(1) Death of Herod.

The death of Herod the Great occurred in the spring of 750/4. (NOTE: The alternative numbers are BC or AD, i. e, 750 A. U. C. = 4 BC, etc.) He ruled from his appointment in Rome 714/40 (Ant., XIV, xiv, 4-5, in the consulship of Caius Domitius Calvinus and Caius Asinius Pollio) 37 years, and from his accession in Jerusalem after the capture of the city 717/37 (Ant., . XIV, xvi, 1-3; BJ, I, xvii, 9; I, xviii, 1-3; Dio Cassius xlix.22; compare Schurer, GJV3, I, 358, note 11) 34 years (Ant , XVII, xviii, 1; BJ, I, xxxiii, 7-8; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 415, note 167 where it is shown that Josephus reckons a year too much, probably counting from Nisan 1 and including partial years). Just before Herod’s death there was an eclipse of the moon (Ant., XVII, vi, 4). According to astronomical calculations an eclipse was visible in Palestine on March 23 and September 15, 749/5, March 12, 750/4 and January 9, 753/1. Of these the most probable is that of March 12, 750/4. Soon after the eclipse Herod put to death his son Antipater and died five days later (Ant., XVII, vii; BJ, I, xxxiii, 7). Shortly after Herod’s death the Passover was near at hand. (Ant., XVII, vi, 4 through ix, 3). In this year Passover (Nisan 15) fell on April 11; and as Archelaus had observed seven days of mourning for his father before this, Herod’s death would fall between March 17 and April 4. But as the 37th (34th) year of his reign was probably reckoned from Nisan 1 or March 28, his death may be dated between March 28 and April 4, 750/4.

This date for Herod’s death is confirmed by the evidence for the duration of the reigns of his three sons. Archelaus was deposed in 759/6 (Dio Cassius lv.27 in the consulship of Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius) in the 10th year of his reign (Ant., XVII, xiii, 2; compare BJ, II, vii, 3 which gives the year as the 9th). Antipas was deposed most probably in the summer of 792/39 (Ant., XVIII, vii, 1-2; compare XVIII, vi, 11; XIX, viii, 2; BJ, II, ix, 6; Schurer, op. cit., I, 448, note 46 and 416, note 167). There are coins of Antipas from his 43rd year (Madden, Coins of the Jews, 121 ff). The genuineness of a coin from the 44th year is questioned by Schurer but accepted by Madden. The coin from the 45th year is most probably spurious (Schurer, op. cit., I, 417, note 167). Philip died after reigning 37 years, in the 20th year of Tiberius—August 19, 786/33-787/34 (Ant., XVIII, iv, 6). There is also a coin of Philip from his 37th year (Madden, op. cit., 126). Thus Archelaus, Antipas and Philip began to reign in 750/4.

(2) Census of Quirinius.

The census or enrollment, which, according to Lu 2:1 f, was the occasion of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, is connected with a decree of Augustus embracing the Greek-Roman world. This decree must have been carried out in Palestine by Herod and probably in accordance with the Jewish method—each going to his own city—rather than the Roman (Dig. 15, 4, 2; Zumpt, Das Geburtsjahr Christi, 195; Kenyon, Greek Papyri in the British Museum, III, 124 f; Schurer, Theol. Ztg, 1907, 683 f; and on the other hand, Ramsay, Expositor, 1908, I, 19, note). Certainly there is no intimation of an insurrection such as characterized a later census (Ac 5:37; Ant, XVIII, i, 1; BJ, II, xvii, 7; compare Tac. Ann. vi.41; Livy Epit. cxxxvi, cxxxvii; Dessau, Inscrip. lat. Sel. number 212, col. ii, 36) and this may have been due in no small measure to a difference in method. Both Josephus and Luke mention the later census which was made by Quirinius on the deposition of A rchelaus, together with the insurrection of Judas which accompanied it. But while Josephus does not mention the Herodian census—although there may be some intimation of it in Ant, XVI, ix, 3; XVII, ii, 4; compare Sanclemente, De vulg. aerae emend., 438 f; Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Beth.1, 178 ff—Luke carefully distinguishes the two, characterizing the census at the time of Jesus’ birth as "first," i.e. first in a series of enrollments connected either with Quirinius or with the imperial policy inaugurated by t he decree of Augustus. The Greek- Roman writers of the time do not mention this decree and later writers (Cassiodor, Isidor and Suidas) cannot be relied upon with certainty as independent witnesses (Zumpt, Geburtsjahr, 148 ff). Yet the geographical work of Agrippa and the preparation of a breviarium totius imperil by Augustus (Tac. Ann. i.11; Suet. Aug. 28 and 101; Dio Cassius liii.30; lvi.33; compare Mommsen, Staatsrecht, II, 1025, note 3), together with the interest of the emperor in the organization and finances of the empire and the attention which he gave to the provinces (Marquardt, Rom. Staatsverwaltung, II, 211 f; compare 217), are indirectly corroborative of Luke’s statement. Augustus himself conducted a census in Italy in 726/28, 746/8, 767/14 (Mommsen, Res Ges., 34 ff) and in Gaul in 727/27 (Dio Cassius liii.22, 5; Livy Epit. cxxxiv) and had a census taken in other provinces (Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyc., under the word "Census," 1918 f; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 213). For Egypt there is evidence of a regular p eriodic census every 14 years extending back to 773/20 (Ramsay, op. cit., 131 if; Grenfell and Hunt, Oxy. Papyri, II, 207 ff; Wilcken, Griech. Ostraka, I, 444 ff) and it is not improbable that this procedure was introduced by Augustus (Schurer, op. cit., I, 515). The inference from Egyptian to similar conditions in other provinces must indeed be made cautiously (Wilcken, op. cit., 449; Marquardt, op. cit., 441); yet in Syria the regular tributum capitis seems to imply some such preliminary work (Dig, 1. 15, 3; Appian, Syriac., 50; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 200, note 2; Pauly-Wissowa, op. cit., 1921; Ramsay, op. cit., 154). The time of the decree is stated only in general terms by Luke, and it may have been as early as 727/27 (Zumpt, op. cit., 159; Marquardt, op. cit., II, 212) or later in 746-8 (Huschke, Census, 34; Ramsay, op. cit., 158 ff), its execution in different provinces and subject kingdoms being carried out at different times. Hence, Luke dates the census in the kingdom of Herod specifically by connecting it with the administrative functions of Quirinius in Syria. But as P. Quintilius Varus was the legate of Syria just before and after the death of Herod from 748/6-750/4 (Ant., XVII, v, 2; XVII, ix., 3; XVII, x, 1 and 9; XVII, xi, 1; Tac. Hist. v.9; and coins in Eckhel, Doctr. num. vet., III, 275) and his predecessor Was C. Sentius Saturninus from 745/9-748/6 (Ant; XVI, ix, 1; x, 8; xi, 3; XVII, i, 1; ii, 1; iii, 2), there seems to be no place for Quirinius during the closing years of Herod’s reign. Tertullian indeed speaks of Saturninus as legate at the time of Jesus’ birth (Adv. Marc., iv.9). The interpretation of Luke’s statement as indicating a date for the census before Quirinius was legate (Wieseler, Chron. Syn., 116; Lagrange, Revue Biblique, 1911, 80 ff) is inadmissible. It is possible that the connection of the census with Quirinius may be due to his having brought to completion what was begun by one of his predecessors; or Quirinius may have been commissioned especially by the emperor as legatus ad census accipiendos to conduct a census in Syria and this commission may have been connected temporally with his campaign against the Homonadenses in Cilicia (Tac. Ann. iii.48; compare Noris, Cenotaph. Pis., 320 ff; Sanclemente, op. cit., 426 passim; Ramsay, op. cit., 238). It has also been suggested by Bour (L’Inscription de Quirinius, 48 ff) that Quirinius may have been an imperial procurator specially charged with authority in the matter of the Herodian census. The titulus Tiburtinus (CIL, XIV, 3613; Dessau, Inscr. Latin Sel., 918)—if rightly assigned to him—and there seems to be no sufficient reason for questioning the conclusiveness of Mommsen’s defense of this attribution (compare Liebenam, Verwaltungsgesch., 365)—proves that he was twice legate of Syria, and the titulus Venetus (CIL, III, 6687; Dessau, op. cit., 2683) gives evidence of a census conducted by him in Syria. His administration is dated by Ramsay (op. cit., 243) in 747/7; by Mommsen in the end of 750/4 or the beginning of 751/3 (op. cit., 172 ff). Zahn (Neue kirch. Zeitschr., 1893, IV, 633 ff), followed by Spitta (Zeitschr. f. d. neutest. Wiss., 1906, VII, 293 ff), rejects the historicity of the later census connected by Josephus with the deposition of Archelaus, basing his view on internal grounds, and assigns the Lucan census to a time shortly after the death of Herod. This view however is rendered improbable by the evidence upon which the birth of Jesus is assigned to a time before the death of Herod (Mt 2:1 ff; Lu 1:5; 2:1 f); by the differentiation of the census in Lu 2:1 f and Ac 5:37; by the definite connection of the census in Josephus with Syria and the territory of Archelaus (compare also the tit. Venet.); and by the general imperial policy in the formation of a new province (Marquardt, op. cit., II, 213). Moreover there seems to be no adequate ground for identifying the Sabinus of Josephus with Quirinius as urged by Weber, who regards the two accounts (Ant., XVII, viii, 1 ff and XVII, iv, 5; XVIII, i, 2; ii, 1 ff) as due to the separation by Josephus of parallel accounts of the same events in his sources (Zeitschr. f. d. neutest. Wiss., 1909, X, 307 ff)—the census of Sabinus-Quirinius being assigned to 4 BC, just after the death of Herod the Great. The synchronism of the second census of Quirinius with the periodic year of the Egyptian census is probably only a coincidence, for it was occasioned by the deposition of Archelaus; but its extension to Syria may be indicative of its connection with the imperial policy inaugurated by Augustus (Tac. Ann. vi.41; Ramsay, op. cit., 161 f).

(3) Star of the Magi.

The identification of the star of the Magi (Mt 2:2; compare Mt 2:7,9,16; Macrobius, Sat., II, 4; Sanclemente, op. cit., 456; Ramsay, op. cit., 215 ff) and the determination of the time of its appearance cannot be made with certainty, although it has been associated with a conjunction in 747/7 and 748/6 of Saturn and Jupiter in the sign of Pisces- -a constellation which was thought to stand in close relation with the Jewish nation (Ideler, Handbuch d. math. u. tech. Chron., II, 400 ff). When the Magi came to Jerusalem, however, Herod was present in the city; and this must have been at least several months before his death, for during that time he was sick and absent from Jerusalem (Ant., XVII, vi, 1 ff; BJ, I, xxxiii, 1 ff).

(4) Course of Abijah.

The chronological calculations of the time of the service of the priestly course of Abijah in the temple, which are made by reckoning back from the time of the course of Jehoiarib which, according to Jewish tradition, was serving at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, are uncertain (Schurer, op. cit., II, 337, note 3; compare Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 836).

(5) Day and month.

The day and month of Jesus’ birth are also uncertain. December 25 was celebrated by the church in the West as early as the 2nd century—if the date in Hippolytus on Dan., IV, 23, be genuine (compare Ehrhardt, Altchr. Lit., 1880-1900, 383); but January 6 was celebrated in the East as the anniversary both of the birth and of the baptism. The fact that shepherds were feeding their flocks at night when Jesus was born (Lu 2:8) makes it improbable that the season of the year was winte r.

(6) Summary.

The birth of Jesus may therefore be assigned to the period 747/7 to 751/5, before the death of Herod, at the time of a census made by Herod in accordance with a decree of Augustus and when Quirinius was exercising extraordinary authority in Syria—Varus being the regular legate of the province, i.e. probably in 748/6.


2. Baptism of Jesus:

The Synoptic Gospels begin their description of the public ministry of Jesus with an account of the ministry of John the Baptist (Mt 3:1 ff; Mr 1:1 ff; Lu 3:1 ff; compare of in Joh 1:19 ff; Joh 4:24; Josephus, Ant, XVIII, iii, 3) and Luke definitely dates the baptism of Jesus by John in the 15th year of Tiberius. Luke also designates this event as the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and by stating Jesus’ age approximately brings it into connection with the date of His birth. If Luke reckoned the reign of Tiberius fro m the death Augustus, August 19, 767/14, the 15th year would extend from August 19, 781/28 to August 18, 782/29; and if Jesus was about thirty years old at this time, His birth would fall 751/3 to 752/2—or sometime after the death of Herod, which is inconsistent with Luke’s own and Matthew’s representation. This indeed was one of the common modes of reckoning the imperial reigns. The mode of reckoning from the assumption of the tribunician power or from the designation as imperator is altogether unlikely in Luke’s case and intrinsically improbable, since for Tiberius the one began in 748/6 and the other in 743/11 (Dio Cassius Iv.9; liv.33; Vell. ii.99; Suet. Tib. ix.11). But if, as seems likely, the method of reckoning by imperial years rather than by the yearly consuls was not definitely fixed when Luke wrote, it is possible that he may have counted the years of Tiberius from his appointment in 764/11 or 765/12 to equal authority with Augustus in the provinces (Veil. ii 121; Suet. Tib. xx.21; Tac. Ann. i.3). This method seems not to have been employed elsewhere (Lewin, op. cit., 1143 f; compare Ramsay, op. cit., 202 f). The coins of Antioch in which it is found are regarded as spurious (Eckhel, op. cit., III, 276), the genuine coins reckoning the reign of Tiberins from the death of Augustus (ibid., III, 278). If Luke reckoned the reign of Tiberins from 764/11 or 765/12, the 15th year would fall in 778/25 or 779/26, probably the latter, and Jesus’ birth about thirty years earlier, i.e. about 748/6 or 749/5.

3. First Passover:

At the time of the first Passover in Jesus’ ministry the Herodian temple had been building 46 years (Joh 2:20). Herod began the temple in the 18th year of his reign (Ant., XV, xi, 1, which probably corrects the statement in BJ, I, xxi, I that it was the 15th year; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 369 f, note 12). As Josephus reckons from the accession of Herod in 717/37, the 18th year would be 734/20 to 735/21 and 46 years later would be 780/27 to 781/28. The interval implied in John between this Passover an d the beginning of Jesus’ ministry agrees well with the Lucan dating of the baptism in 779/26.

4. Death of John the Baptist:

The imprisonment of John the Baptist, which preceded the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean work, was continued for a time (Mt 11:2-19; Lu 7:18-35) but was finally terminated by beheading at the order of Herod Antipas. Announcement of the death was made to Jesus while in the midst of His Galilean ministry (Mt 14:3-12; Mr 6:14-29; Lu 9:7-9). Josephus reports that the defeat of Antipas by Aretas, in the summer of 789/36, was popularly regarded as a Divine punishment for the murder of John (Ant., XVIII, v, 2); But although Josephus mentions the divorce of Aretas daughter by Antipas as one of the causes of hostilities, no inference can be drawn from this or from the popular interpretation of Antipas’ defeat, by which the int erval between John s death and this defeat can be fixed (Schurer, op. cit., I, 443 f).

5. Length of Jesus’ Ministry:

The Synoptic Gospels mention the Passion Passover at which Jesus’ ministry was terminated, but they contain no data by which the interval between the imprisonment of John the Baptist and this Passover can be fixed with certainty. Yet indications are not wanting that the interval consisted of at least two years. The Sabbath controversy broke out in Galilee when the grain was still standing in the fields (Mt 12:1; Mr 2:23; Lu 6:1) and the condition of the grass when the Five Thousand were fed (Mt 14:15; Mr 6:39; Lu 9:12) points to the springtime, the Passion Passover marking the return of still another springtime (compare also Lu 13:7; Mt 23:37). But the Gospel of John mentions explicitly three Passovers (Joh 2:23; 6:4; 11:55) and probably implies a fourth (Joh 5:1), thus necessitating a ministry of at least two years and making probable a ministry of three years after the first Passover. The Passover of 6:4 cannot be eliminated on textual grounds, for the documentary evidence is conclusive in its favor and the argument against it based on the statements of certain patristic writers is unconvincing (compare Turner, HDB, I, 407 f; Zahn, Kom., IV, 708 ff). The indications of time from Joh 6:4—the Passover when the Five Thousand were fed in Galilee—to Joh 11:55—the Passion Passover—are definite and clear (Joh 7:2; 10:22). But the interval between the first Passover (Joh 2:23) and the Galilean Passover (Joh 6:4) must have been one and may have been two years. The following considerations favor the latter view: Jesus was present in Jerusalem at a feast (Joh 5:1) which is not named but is called simply "a" or "the" feast of the Jews. The best authorities for the text are divided, some supporting the insertion, others the omission of the definite article before "feast." If the article formed part of the original text, the feast may have been either Tabernacles—from the Jewish point of view—or Passover—from the Christian point of view. If the article was wanting in the original text, the identification of the feast must be made on contextual and other grounds. But the note of time in Joh 4:35 indicates the lapse of about nine months since the Passover of Joh 2:23 and it is not likely that the Galilean ministry which preceded the feeding of the Five Thousand lasted only about three months. In fact this is rendered impossible by the condition of the grain in the fields at the time of the Sabbath controversy. The identification of the feast of Joh 5:1 with Purim, even if the article be not genuine, is extremely improbable; and if so, a Passover must have intervened between Joh 2:23 and Joh 6:4, making the ministry of Jesus extend over a period of three years and the months which preceded the Passover of Joh 2:23. While the identification cannot be made with certainty, if the feast was Passover the subject of the controversy with the Jews in Jerusalem as well as the season of the year would harmonize with the Synoptic account of the Sabbath controversy in Galilee which probably followed this Passover (compare the variant reading in Lu 6:1).

6. Death of Jesus:

Jesus was put to death in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea (Mt 27:2 ff; Mr 15:1 ff; Lu 23:1 ff; Joh 18:29 ff; Joh 19:1 ff; Ac 3:13; 4:27; 13:28; 1Ti 6:13; Tac. Ann. xv.44), Caiaphas being the high priest (Mt 26:3,17; Joh 11:49; 18:13 ff) and Herod Antipas the tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (Lu 23:7 ff). Pilate was procurator from 779/26 to 789/36 (Ant., XVIII, iv, 3; v, 3; compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 487, note 141); Caiaphas was high priest from 771/18 to 789/36 (Ant., XVIII, ii, 2; iv, 3; compare Schurer, op. cit., II, 271) and Antipas was tetrarch from 750/4 to 792/39. If the first Passover of Jesus’ ministry was in 780/27, the fourth would fall in 783/30. The gospels name Friday as the day of the crucifixion (Mt 27:62; Mr 15:42; Lu 23:54; Joh 19:14,31,42) and the Synoptic Gospels represent this Friday as Nisan 15—the day following (or according to Jewish reckoning from sunset to sunset, the same day as) the day on which the paschal supper was eaten (Mt 26:17 ff; Mr 14:12 ff; Lu 22:7 ff). But the Fourth Gospel is thought by many to represent the paschal meal as still uneaten when Jesus suffered (Joh 18:28; compare Joh 13:29); and it is held that the Synoptic Gospels also contain traces of this view (Mt 26:5; Mr 14:2; 15:21; Lu 23:26). Astronomical calculations show that Friday could have fallen on Nisan 14 or 15 in 783/30 according to different methods of reckoning (von Soden, EB, I, 806; compare Bacon, Journal of Biblical Literature, XXVIII, 2, 1910, 130 ff; Fotheringham, Jour. of Theol. Studies, October, 1910, 120 ff), but the empirical character of the Jewish calendar renders the result of such calculations uncertain (Schurer, op. cit., I, 749 f). In the year 783/30 Friday, Nican 15, would fall on April 7. There is an early patristic tradition which dates the death of Jesus in the year 782/29, in the consulship of the Gemini (Turner, HDB, I, 413 f), but its origin and trustworthy character are problematical.

7. Summary of Dates:

1. Birth of Jesus, 748/6.

2. Death of Herod the Great, 750/4.

3. Baptism of Jesus, 779/26.

4. First Passover of Jesus’ ministry, 780/27.

5. Death of Jesus, 783/30.


Schurer, Geschichte des Judischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 3. und 4. Aufl., 1901-9, 3 volumes, English translation of the 2nd edition, in 5 volumes, 1885-94; Ideler, Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie, 1825-26, 2 volumes; Wieseler, Chronologische Synopse der Evangelien, 1843, English translation; Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1865; Turner, article "Chronology of the NT" in HDB, 1900, I. 403-25; von Soden, article "Chronology" in Cheyne and Black, EB, 1899, I, 799-819; Ramsay, Wa s Christ Born at Bethlehem? 1898; F. R. Montgomery Hitchcock, article "Dates" in Hastings, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels; Mommsen, Res Gestae Divi Augusti2.

II. Chronology of the Apostolic Age.

The chronology of the apostolic age must be based on the data in Ac and the epistolary literature of the New Testament which afford contacts with persons or events of the Greek-Roman world. From the fixed points thus secured a general outline of the relative chronology may be established with reasonable probability.

1. Paul’s Conversion:

Paul was converted near Damascus (Ac 9:3 ff; Ac 22:5 ff; Ac 26:12 ff; Ga 1:17). After a brief stay in that city (Ac 9:19 ff) he went to Arabia and then came again to Damascus (Ga 1:17). When he left Damascus the second time, he returned to Jerusalem after an absence of three years (Ga 1:18). The flight of Paul from Damascus (Ac 9:24) probably terminated his second visit to the city. At that time the ethnarch of Aretas, the king of the Nabateans, acting with the resident Jews (Ac 9:23 f), guarded t he city to seize him (2Co 11:32). Aretas IV succeeded Obodas about 9 BC, and reigned until about 40 AD Damascus was taken by the Romans in 62 BC and probably continued under their control until the death of Tiberius (March 37 AD). Roman coins of Damascus exist from the time of Augustus, Tiberius and Nero, but there are no such coins from the time of Caligula and Claudius (Schurer, op. cit., I, 737; II, 153). Moreover the relations of Aretas to Augustus and Tiberius make it extremely improbable that he held Damascus during their reign as part of his kingdom or acquired it by conquest. The statement of Paul however seems to imply Nabatean control of the city, and this is best explained on the supposition that Damascus was given to Aretas by Caligula, the change in the imperial attitude being due perhaps to the influence primarily of Agrippa and possibly also of Vitellius (Steinmann, Aretas IV, 1909, 34 ff). But if Paul’s escape from Damascus was not earlier than 37 AD, his conversion cannot be placed earlier than 34 or 35 AD, and the journey to Jerusalem 14 years later (Ga 2:1) not earlier than 50 or 51 AD.

2. Death of Herod Agrippa I:

Herod Agrippa I died in Caesarea shortly after a Passover season (Ac 12:23; compare Ac 12:3,19). Caligula had given him the tetrarchy of Philip and of Lysanias in 37 AD—the latter either at this time or later—with the title of king (Ant., XVIII, vi, 10; BJ, II, ix, 6) and this was increased in 40 AD by the tetrarchy of Antipas (Ant., XVIII, vii, 1 f; BJ, II, ix, 6). Claudius gave him also Judea and Samaria (Ant., XIX, v, 1; BJ, II, xi, 5) thus making his territory even more extensive than that of his grandfather, Herod the Great. Agrippa reigned over "all Judea" for three years under Claudius (Ant., XIX, viii, 2; BJ, II, xi, 6), his death falling in the spring of 44 AD, in the 7th year of his reign. The games mentioned by Josephus in this connection are probably those that were celebrated in honor of the return of Claudius from Britain in 44 AD. There are coins of Agrippa from his 6th year, but the attribution to him of coins from other years is questioned (Schurer, op. cit., 560, note 40; Madden, op . cit., 132).

3. Famine under Claudius:

The prophecy of a famine and its fulfillment under Claudius (Ac 11:28) are associated in Ac with the death of Herod Agrippa I (Ac 11:30; 12:23). Famines in Rome during the reign of Claudius are mentioned by Suetonius (Claud. xviii), Dio Cassius (lx.11), Tacitus (Annals xii.43), and Orosius (vii.6). Josephus narrates in the time of Fadus the generosity of Helena during a famine in Palestine (Ant., XX, ii, 5), but subsequently dates the famine generally in the time of Fadus and Alexander. The famine in P alestine would fall therefore at some time between 44 and 48 (Schurer, op. cit., I, 567, note 8).

4. Sergius Paulus:

When Paul visited Cyprus with Barnabas the island was administered by Sergius Paulus (Ac 13:7 ff), a proprietor with the title proconsul (Marquardt, op. cit., I, 391). There is an inscription from Cyprus (Cagnat, Inscr. graec. ad res rom. pertin., III; 930) dating from the 1st century, and probably from the year 53 (Zahn, Neue kirch. Zeitschr., 1904, XV, 194) in which an incident in the career of a certain Apollonius is dated in the proconsulship of Paulus (epi Palilou (anth)upatou). From another inscription (CIG, 2632), dated in the 12th year of Claudius, it appears that L. Annins Bassus was proconsul in 52. If the Julius Cordus mentioned by Bassus was his immediate predecessor, the proconsulship of Sergius Paulus may be dated at some time before 51.

5. Edict of Claudius:

When Paul came to Corinth for the first time he met Aquila and Priscilla, who had left Rome because of an edict of Claudius expelling the Jews from the city (Ac 18:2). Suetonius mentions an expulsion of the Jews from Rome by Claudius but gives no date (Claud. xxv; compare Dio Cassius lx.6). Orosius however dates the edict in the 9th year of Claudius or 49 AD (Hist. vii.6, 15); and though Josephus, from whom he quotes, does not mention this edict. but records the favor shown by Claudius to the Jews and to Herod Agrippa I (Ant., XIX, v, 1-3; compare Dio Cassius lx.6, 6, 9, 10; 8, 2), it is not improbable that the date is approximately accurate (Schurer, op. cit., III, 62, note 92).

6. Gallio:

During Paul’s first sojourn in Corinth the apostle was brought before the proconsul Gallio (Ac 18:12). This could not have been earlier than the year 44 when Claudius gave Achaia back to the Senate and the province was administered by a proprietor with the title of proconsul (Dio Cassius lx.24; Marquardt, op. cit., I, 331 f; Ramsay, The Expositor., 1897, I, 207). Moreover the career of Seneca makes it improbable that his brother would be advanced to this position before 49 or 50 (Harnack, Chron., I, 237; Wieseler, Chron. d. apos. Zeitalters, 119). There is a fragmentary inscription from Delphi containing a letter from the emperor Claudius in which mention is made of Gallio. The inscription is dated by the title of the emperor which contains the number 26. This is referred naturally to the acclammatio as "imperator" and dated in the year 52 before August, after which time the number 27 occurs in the title of Claudian inscriptions. Gallio may therefore have been proconsul from the spring or summer of the year 51-52 or 52-53. The latter seems the more probable time (compare Aem. Bourguet, De rebus Delphicis, 1905, 63 f; Ramsay, The Expositor., 1909, I, 467 f; Princeton Theological Review, 1911, 290 f; 1912, 139 f; Deissmann, Paulus, 1911, 159-177; Lietzmann, Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1911, 345-54).

7. Festus:

When Paul had been for two years a prisoner in Caesarea Felix was succeeded by Festus as procurator of Judea (Ac 24:27). The accession of Festus, which is placed by Eusebius in the Church History in the reign of Nero (Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 22, 1), is dated in the Chronicle in the version of Jerome in the 2nd year of Nero, 56 AD, and in the Armenian version in the 14th year of Claudius, 54 AD. The excerpts from the Chronicle in Syncellus apparently follow the text underlying the version of Jerome, but state simply that Festus was sent as successor of Felix by Nero (ed. Schoene, II, 154). After his removal from office Felix was tried in Rome, but escaped punishment through the influence of his brother Pallas, who, according to Josephus, was in favor with Nero at that time (Ant., XX, viii, 9). Pallas was removed from office before February 13, 55 AD (Tac. Ann. xiii.14, 1; compare 15, 1), but apparently continued to have influence with the emperor; for he fixed the terms of his removal and was permitted to enjoy his fortune for several years (Tac. Ann. xiii.14, 1 f; 23, 1-3). His death occurred in 62 AD (Tac. Ann. xiv.65, 1). The trial of Felix must therefore have occurred before 62; but it is impossible to place it before the removal of Pallas, for this would necessitate the removal of Felix in 54 AD, and this is excluded by the fact that the first summer of Nero’s reign fell in 55 AD. But if Eusebius reckoned the imperial years from September 1st after the accession (Turner, Jour. of Theol. Studies, 1902, 120 f; HDB, I, 418 f), the summer of the second year of Nero would fall in 57. In any event the removal and trial of Felix must have fallen after the removal of Pallas. The date of the Eusebian Chronicle is thus without support from Tacitus or Josephus, and its value depends on the character of the source from which it was obtained—if there was such a source, for it is at least possible that the definite date owes its origin solely to the necessities imposed on Eusebius by the form of the Chronicle. It is not unlike ly that the error of 5 years made by Eusebius in the reign of Agrippa II may be the source of a similar error in regard to Festus in spite of the fact that the framework of the Chronicle is generally furnished not by the years of the Jewish kings but by the imperial years (Erbes in Gebhardt u. Harnack, Texte und Untersuchungen, N. F., IV, 1, 1899; Die Todestage d. Apos. Paulus u. Petrus; Turner, Jour. of Theol. Studies, 1902, III, 120 f; Ramsay, Pauline and Other Studies, 1906, 350 ff). There is evidence however in Ac 21:38 that Paul’s arrest could not have been earlier than the spring of 55 AD. For Paul was supposed by the chief captain to be the Egyptian who had led an insurrection that had been suppressed by Felix during the reign of Nero (Ant., XX, viii, 6; BJ, II, 13, 5). Thus the accession of Festus, two years later (Ac 24:27), could not have been earlier than 57 AD.

But if the summer of 57 AD is the earliest date possible for the accession of Festus, the summer of 60 AD is the latest date that is possible. Albinus, the successor of Festus, was present in Jerusalem in October, 62 AD (Ant., XX, ix, 1 ff), and while the administration of Festus was probably shorter than that of Felix (compare Ant, XX, viii, 9-11; BJ, II, xiv, 1 with Ant, XX, vii, 1-8, 8; BJ, II, 12-13), it is not likely that it lasted less than two years. But as between 57 AD and 60 AD, probability favo rs the latter. For greater justice is thus done to the words of Paul to Felix: "Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation," etc. (Ac 24:10). Felix was appointed by Claudius in 52 AD (Tac. Ann. xii. 54; Ant, XX, v, 2) and was continued in office by Nero. Most of the events of his administration are narrated by Josephus under Nero (Ant., XX, viii, 5 ff); and although Tacitus mentions an administration of Felix in Samaria when Cumanus was administering Galilee (Ann. xii.54) , the omission of any direct reference to Judea, the unusual character of such a double administration and the explicit statement of Josephus that Claudius sent Felix as successor of Cumanus, make it unlikely that Paul’s statement is to be understood of an administration beginning earlier than 52 AD. If Festus succeeded in the summer of 60 AD, Paul’s arrest would fall in 58 and the "many years" of Felix’ administration would cover a period of 6 years, from 52 AD to 58 AD (compare Schurer, op. cit., I, 577 f, note 38). Ramsay argues in favor of 57 AD as the year of Paul’s arrest and 59 AD as the year of the accession of Festus (Pauline and Other Studies, 1906, 345 ff).

8. Relative Chronology of Acts:

If Festus succeeded Felix in the summer of 60 AD, Paul would reach Rome in the spring of 61 AD, and the narrative in Ac would terminate in 63 AD (Ac 28:30). Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem 2 years before the accession of Festus (Ac 24:27) would fall in the spring of 58 AD. Previous to this Paul had spent 3 months in Corinth (Ac 20:3) and 3 years in Ephesus (Ac 20:31; compare Ac 19:10), which would make the beginning of the third missionary journey fall about 54 AD. There was an interval between the second and the third journeys (Ac 18:23), and as Paul spent 18 months at Corinth (Ac 18:11) the beginning of the second journey would fall about 51 AD. The Apostolic Council preceded the second journey and may be dated about 50 AD—14 years subsequent to Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem (37 AD) in the third year after his conversion in 35 AD. The first missionary journey was made after the visit of Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem with the alms from the church at Antioch (Ac 11:30; 12:25), about the time of the death of Herod Agrippa I, and would fall between 44 AD and 50 AD. The growth of the early church in Jerusalem previous to Paul’s conversion would thus extend over a period of about 5 years from 30 AD to 35 AD.

9. Pauline Epistles:

Ten of the thirteen Pauline epistles were written during a period of about ten years between Paul’s arrival in Corinth and the close of his first Roman imprisonment. These epistles fall into three groups, each possessing certain distinctive characteristics; and although each reflects the difference in time and occasion of its production, they all reveal an essential continuity of thought and a similarity of style which evidences unity of authorship. The earliest group consists of the Thessalonian epistles, both of which were written from Corinth on the second missionary journey about 52 or 53 AD, while Silas (Silvanus) was still in Paul’s company and shortly after Paul’s visit to Athens (1Th 1:1; 3:1,2,6; 2Th 1:1). The major epistles belong to the third missionary journey. 1 Corinthians was written from Ephesus about 55 AD; Galatians probably from Ephesus, either before or after 1 Corinthians, for Paul had been twice in Galatia (Ga 4:13); 2 Corinthians from Macedonia about 57 AD; and Romans from Cor inth about 57 or 58 AD. The imprisonment epistles were written from Rome: Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon about 62 AD, and Philippians about 63 AD.

10. Release and Death of Paul:

When Paul wrote to Philemon (Phm 1:22) and to the Philippians (Php 2:24; compare Php 1:25), he expected a favorable issue of his trial in Rome and was looking forward to another visit to the East. Before his arrest he had planned a journey to Spain by way of Rome (Ro 15:28), and when he bade farewell to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Ac 20:25) he must have had in mind not only the dangers of his journey to Jerusalem, but also his determination to enter another field of labor. 1 Clement 5, the Muratori Canon and the Apocryphal Ac of Peter (Zahn, Einltg.3, I, 444 f) witness to the Spanish journey, and the Pastoral Epistles to a journey to the East and to another imprisonment in Rome. The two lines of evidence for Paul’s release are independent and neither can be explained as derived merely from the statement of Paul’s intention in Romans and in Philemon and Philippians. The historical situation implied in the Pastoral Epistles can be charged with artificiality only on the hypothesis that Paul was not released from his first Roman imprisonment. The data of these epistles cannot be fitted into any period of Paul’s life previous to his imprisonment. But these data are embodied in just those parts of the Pastoral Epistles which are admitted to be Pauline by those who regard the epistles as containing only genuine fragments from Paul but assign the epistles in their present form to a later writer. On any hypothesis of authorship, however, the tradition which these epistles contain cannot be much later than the first quarter of the 2nd century. It is highly probable therefore that Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment; that he visited Spain and the East; and that he was imprisoned a second time in Rome where he met his death in the closing years of Nero’s reign, i.e. in 67 or 68 AD. According to early tradition Paul suffered martyrdom by beheading with the sword (Tert., De praescr. haer., xxxvi), but there is nothing to connect his death with the persecution of the Christians in Rome by Nero in 64 AD.

Little is known of Peter beside what is recorded of him in the New Testament. The tradition of his bishopric of 20 or 25 years in Rome (compare Harnack, Gesch. d. altchr. Lit., II; Die Chronologie, I, 243 f) accords neither with the implications of Ac and Galatians nor with Paul’s silence in Rom.

11. Death of Peter:

But 1Pe was probably written from Rome (1Pe 5:13; compare Euseb., HE, ii.15, 2) and the testimony to Peter’s martyrdom (implied in Joh 21:18 f) under Nero in Rome by crucifixion (Tert., De praes. haer., xxxvi; compare 1 Clem 5:1 ff) is early and probably trustworthy. Tradition also associates Peter and Paul in their Roman labors and martyrdom (Dionysius in Euseb., HE, ii. 25, 8; Iren., Adv. haer., iii.1, 2; iii. 3, 1). The mention of the Vatican as the place of Peter’s interment (Caius in Euseb., HE, ii. 25, 6 f) may indicate a connection of his martyrdom with the Neronian persecution in 64 AD; but this is not certain. Peter’s death may therefore be dated with some probability in Rome between 64 and 67 AD. His two epistles were written at some time before his death, probably the First about 64 and the Second at some time afterward and subsequent to the Epistle of Jude which it apparently uses. (The arguments against the Roman sojourn and martyrdom of Peter are stated fully by Schmiedel in the Encyclopedia Biblica, under the word "Simon Peter," especially col. 458 ff; on the other hand compare Zahn, Einleitung3, II, 17 ff, English translation, II, 158 ff.)

12. Death of James the Just:

James the Just, the brother of the Lord, was prominent in the church of Jerusalem at the time of the Apostolic Council (Ac 15:13 ff; Ga 2:9; compare Ga 1:19; 2:12) and later when Paul was arrested he seems still to have occupied this position (Ac 21:18 ff), laboring with impressive devotion for the Jewish people until his martyrdom about the year 66 AD (Ant., XX, ix, 1; Euseb., HE, ii.23, 3 ff; HRE3, VIII, 581; Zahn, Einltg.3, I, 76). The Epistle of Jas contains numerous indications of its early origin a nd equally clear evidence that it was not written during the period when the questions which are discussed in the major epistles of Paul were agitating the church. It is probably the earliest book of the New Testament, written before the Apostolic Council.

13. The Synoptic Gospels, etc.:

In the decade just preceding the fall of Jerusalem, the tradition of the life and teaching of Jesus was committed to writing in the Synoptic Gospels. Early tradition dates the composition of Matthew’s Gospel in the lifetime of Peter and Paul (Iren., Adv. haer., ill. l, 1; Eusebius, HE, v.8, 2 ff), and that of the Gospel of Mark either just before or after Peter’s death (Clement in Euseb., HE, vi.14, 7; compare ii.15; and Irenaeus, Adv. haer., iii.11, 1; Presbyter of Papias in Euseb., HE, iii. 39, 15; compare also 2Pe 1:15). The Lucan writings—both the Gospel and Acts—probably fall also in this period, for the Gospel contains no intimation that Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem had been fulfilled (compare Lu 21:21; Ac 11:28), and the silence of Ac about the issue of Paul’s trial is best explained on the hypothesis of an early date (Jerome, De vir. illustr., vii; Harnack, Neue Untersuch. zur Apostelgesch., 1911; compare also Lu 10:7; 1Ti 5:18). To this period belong also the Epistle of Jude and the Epistle to the He (if addressed to Jewish Christians of Palestine; but later, about 80 AD, if addressed to Jewish Christians of Rome (Zahn, Einltg.3, II, 152)), the former being used in 2 Peter and the latter in 1 Clement.

14. Death of John:

Early tradition connects John with Ephesus and mentions his continuing in life until the time of Trajan (Irenaeus, Adv. haer., ii.22, 5 (Eusebius, HE, v.24); iii. l, 1; v.30, 3; v.33, 4; Clement in Eusebius, HE, iii.23, 5-19; Polycrates in Eusebius, HE, iii.31, 3; v.24, 3; Justin, Dialogue, lxxxi; compare Re 1:1,4,9; 22:8; Joh 21:22,23,14; 19:35). He died probably about the end of the 1st century. There is another but less well-attested tradition of martyrdom based chiefly on the De Boor fragment of Papias (Texte u. Unters., 1888), a Syriac Martyrology of the 4th century (Wright, Jour. of Sacred Lit., 1865-66, VIII, 56 ff, 423 ff), the Codex Coislinianus 305 of Georgius Hamartolus. This tradition, it is thought, finds confirmation in Mr 10:35-40; Mt 20:20-23 (compare Bousset, Theologische Rundschau, . 1905, 225 ff, 277 ff). During the closing years of his life John wrote the Revelation, the Fourth Gospel and the three Epistles.

15. Summary of Dates:


In addition to the literature mentioned in section 8: Anger, De temporum in actis apostolorum ratione. 1833; Wieseler, Chronologie des apos. Zeitalters, 1848: Hoennicke, Die Chronologie des Lebens des Apostels Paulus, 1903; Harnack, Gesch. d. altchr. Lit. bis Euseb., II, 1, Die Chronologie bis Iren., 1897; Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, 1893; Zahn, Einleitung, II, 1907 (Eng. translation, 1909).

W. P. Armstrong




1. Difficulties of the Subject

2. Plan of Treatment

3. Bible to be Regarded as Highest Authority






1. Causes of Variation in Systems

2. Some Important and Pivotal Dates

3. Difficulties to Be Removed

4. Overlappings


Indications of Overlapping


Main Points at Issue


A Suggested Interpretation


I. Introductory.

1. Difficulties of the Subject:

For evident reasons the student of Biblical chronology must meet many difficulties, and must always be severely handicapped. First of all, the Old Testament is not purely nor intentionally a book of history. Nor does it present a formulated system of chronology, its many numbers and dates being used principally with a view to the spiritual facts and truths with which the authors were concerned. We are not, therefore, to expect to find a perfectly arranged order of periods and dates, though happily for us in our investigation we shall indeed find many accurately dated events, frequent consecutions of events, and orderly success ions of officials; as, for example, the numerous genealogical tables, the succession of judges and the lists of kings.

Furthermore, there is not to be found in the Old Testament one particular and definitely fixed era, from which all of its events are dated, as is the case in Christian history. The points of departure, or reckoning, are found to vary in different periods of the advancing history; being at one stage the Creation, at another the migration of Abraham, or the Exodus, or again the disruption of the kingdom. Ordinarily dates and all time-allusions are comparative, i.e. they are related to the reign of some contemporary monarch, as the vision of Isaiah "in the year that king Uzziah died" (Isa 6:1), or to some unusual occurrence, historical or natural, as the great earthquake (Am 1:1; Zec 14:5). Only occasional reference is found to some event, which marks an era-beginning; such as the Exodus (Jud 11:16,26; 1Ki 6:1).

The general lack of uniformity among writers on Biblical chronology contributes further toward increase of the already perplexing confusion. It is almost possible to say that no two writers agree; and proposed harmonies are with each other most inharmonious. The two articles on Old Testament chronology in a recent work (Murray, Illus. Bible Dictionary, 1908), for example, are several hundred years apart at certain points. Wide diversity of opinion exists about the most prominent events, such as the call of Abraham and the age of his famous contemporary Hammurabi, the year of the Exodus, and the beginning of Solomon’s temple. Naturally there is less variance of opinion about later dates, some of which, e.g. the fall of Samaria and the destruction of Jerusalem, may be considered as fixed. A like wide range of opinion prevails among archaeologists with regard to events in contemporaneous history, the difference between Goodspeed and Hommel in the dates of early Babylonian history being five hundred years, and the beginning and extent of the Hyksos period in Egypt varying in different "authorities" by hundreds of years. Nor should the difference in the various and total numbers of the Hebrew, Samaritan and Septuagint texts of the pre-Abrahamic ages be left out of sight in any statement of the difficulties attending the discussion of this subject.

2. Plan of Treatment:

These difficulties, and others as serious, have determined the plan of this article. The usual method of development has been to begin with the sources of Old Testament history, and to follow its course downward. While such a system may have its advantages, there is, however, this serious disadvantage connected with it: that the least certain dates are confessedly those at the beginning of the records, and the use of them at the foundation renders the whole structure of the discussion more or less uncertain. Archaeology and comparative history have done much to fix dates from the Exodus downward, bringing these later centuries by discovery and translation almost into the position of attested history. But the ages before the Exodus, and particularly before Abraham, still lie from the very nature of the ease in great obscurity. And thus any system beginning with the indistinct early past, with its compacted numbers and their uncertain interpretation, is much like a chain hung on thin air. The writer purposes, therefore, beginning with certain familiar, important and pivotal dates, to gather around and relate to these the events and persons of the Old Testament. Such accepted dates are: the completion of the Second Temple in 516, the fall of Jerusalem in 586, the fall of Samaria in 721, tribute to Shalmaneser II from Jehu in 842, and from a member of Omri’s dynasty in 854. Such Old Testament events as mark the beginning of eras are the Disruption, Solomon’s temple, the Exodus and Abraham’s Call. The material and the plan, then, almost necessarily require that we begin at the end of the history and work logically backward to the earlier stages, at which we may hope to arrive with firm ground under our feet for the disposition of the more uncertain problems. It is hoped that on this plan the system of chronology will not be mere speculation, nor a personal theory, but of some certainty and affording some assurance in days of wild assertion and free manipulation.

3. Bible to be Regarded as Highest Authority:

It should be remembered that this is a study of Bible chronology, and therefore full value will be given to the explicit and positive statements of the Bible. Surely the time has come, when all fair-minded men should recognize that a clear and straightforward declaration of the Sacred Scriptures is not to be summarily rejected because of its apparent contradiction by some unknown and irresponsible person, who could stamp clay or chisel stone. It has been all too common that archaeological and critical adventurers have doubted and required accurate proof of every Bible statement, but have been ready enough to give credence to any statement from ancient pagan sources. We assume, as we have every reason to do, the trustworthiness of the Bible records, which have been corroborated in countless instances; and we shall follow their guidance in preference to any other. The help of contemporaneous history and the witness of archaeology can be used to advantage, but should not be substituted for the plain facts of the Scriptures, which are full worthy of our trust and regard. The province of a chronology of the Bible is properly to present in system the dates therein given, with an honest effort to harmonize the difficulties, using the external helps, but ever regardful of Scripture authority and rights.

II. The Ages between the Testaments.

Between the coming of Christ and the end of Old Testament history there lie in round numbers four hundred years. But while these were extra-Biblical ages, they were neither barren nor uneventful years; for in them will be found much of the highest value in the development of Jewish life, and in the preparation for the Messiah. And thus they have their proper place in Bible chronology (see BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS). The birth of Jesus could not have been later than 4 BC, since Herod the Great died in April of that year. Herod became king of Judea in 37 BC. Palestine had been conquered and Jerusalem entered by the Romans under Pompey in 56 BC, the Jews coming in this way under the power of Rome. The Roman age was preceded by the government of priest-kings, with which the Idumean Antipater became identified by marriage, so that Herod, whom Rome made king, was both Jew and alien.

The period of the Maccabees, which ended in 39 BC with the removal of Antigonus by the Romans in favor of Herod, began 168 BC with Judas. Antipater, who had been appointed procurator of Judea in 47, was assassinated in 43 BC. The period of the Seleucids stretches from its close with the regency of Antiochus VII in 128 back to its founder, Seleucus, 312 BC. The most notable of these monarchs from the Jewish point of view was Antiochus Epiphanes, who reigned from 175 to 164, and in 168 gave occasion to the rise of the Maccabees by his many acts of impiety and oppression, particularly the desecration of the Jerusalem temple. In 203 BC Antiochus the Great, who had become king of Syria in 223, took Jerusalem, and later, in 198, annexed Judea to Syria. Previous to this Judea had been an Egyptian dependency, as after the death of Alexander the Great, 323 BC, and the division of his empire, it had been annexed by Ptolemy Soter to Egypt. Ptolemy Philadelphus, becoming king 280 BC, encouraged the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, the result being the Septuagint version, and all it meant by way of preparation for the spread of Christianity. Alexander’s defeat of Darius III, or Codomannus, at Arbela in 331 brought the Persian empire to an end, fulfilling the long-cherished ambition of the Greeks for mastery of Asia. The long reign of the Biblical king of Persia, Artaxerxes Longimanus, extended from 465 to 424 BC, and in reaching his reign we find ourselves in the region of the Old Testament history. Reversing the order of this brief review and setting out from Old Testament point of view, we have the following table for the centuries between the Testaments:

III. Persian Period.

Entering now the last period of Old Testament history, which may be called the Persian period, we find that the activities of Ezra, Nehemiah and other Jewish leaders are dated by the regnal years of the kings of Persia (e.g. Hag 1:1; Zec 1:1; Ezr 1:1; Ne 2:1); and consequently the difficulties in the chronology of this period are not great. Recently a fanciful effort has been made to place the events narrated in Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah in the time of the Babylonian Captivity, claiming Scripture warrant from the occurrence of these names, with Mordecai, in Ezr 2:2 and Ne 7:7; but altogether without success (see Prince of Judah, or Days of Nehemiah Redated). These names were doubtless of common occurrence, and their appearance among those returning with Zerubbabel is not sufficient to affect the historical evidence for the accepted dates of Ezra and Nehemiah. The attempt to move back these dates into the 6th century, to associate Nehemiah with Daniel and Mordecai and to place his work before Zerubbabel may be dismissed as pure fancy and impossible of reconciliation with the Old Testament narrative.

Artaxerxes I began his reign, which gives date to Ezra and Nehemiah, in 465 BC. In his 7th year, 458, Ezra went from Babylon to Jerusalem by the king’s decree (Ezr 7:7), taking back with him the vessels of the Temple and much besides for the worship at Jerusalem, accompanied also by a great company of returning Jews. Nehemiah followed from Shushan in the 20th year of the king (Ne 1:1), having heard of and being distressed by the partial failure of Ezra’s efforts. Under his wise and courageous leadershi p, the city walls were speedily restored, and many reforms accomplished. He returned after twelve years (433) to the service of the king in Shushan (Ne 13:6), but in a short time, hearing evil tidings from Jerusalem, went back to complete his reforms, and apparently spent the rest of his life in that work. Although the Bible is silent, such is the testimony of Josephus. The Book of Mal, reflecting the difficulties and evils of this time, is evidently to be placed here, but not with exactness, as it might hav e been written as early as 460 or as late as 420.

The period from the return under Ezra (458) back to the completion of the Temple in the reign of Darius I (516) is, with the exception of incidental references and the assignment of undated books and incidents, practically a blank. Here belong, we believe, the Book of Esther, possibly Mal, some of the Psalms, and those social and religious tendencies among the returned exiles, which made the vigorous reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah so necessary. But the Old Testament does not draw the curtain from the mystery of that half-century, that we may know the happenings and watch the development. Beyond this blank we come again to explicit dates. The second temple, begun with the Return under Zerubbabel, was completed in the 6th year of Darius, i.e. 516. The building of it, which had been early abandoned for selfish reasons, was resumed in the 2nd year of Darius under the exhortation of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (Hag 1:1; Zec 1:1). Darius the Great began his reign in 521. Cambyses succeeded Cyrus in 527. Babyl on was taken by the Persians in 538, and shortly after the Jews, under the edict of Cyrus, began their return to Jerusalem, reaching their destination by 536 at the latest. Cyrus overthrew Lydia in 545, the Medes five years earlier, and must have come to the Persian throne not later than 555. His conquest of Asia Minor opened the contest between Persia and Greece for supremacy, to be continued by Darius and. Xerxes, resulting finally at Arbela (331) in Greek triumph under Alexander, and the inauguration of a new age.

The table for the Persian period of Old Testament history, following the stream upward, is therefore as follows:

IV. Babylonian Period.

Just preceding the Persian is the Babylonian period of Old Testament chronology, overlapping, of course, the former, and finally superseded by it in Cyrus’ conquest of Babylonia. This period may properly be said to begin with the death in 626 BC of Ashurbanipal, the last great ruler of Assyria. At this time Nabopolassar had been made governor of Babylonia, subject to the supremacy of Assyria. With Ashurbanipal’s death Nabopolassar became independent sovereign of Babylonia , and shortly entered into league with the Medes to overthrow the rule of Assyria, and then to divide its empire between them. This was accomplished in the fall of Nineveh (606) which brought the end of the mighty Assyrian empire, the last king being Sinsharishkun (the historic Saracus), a son of Ashurbanipal. Some years before his death in 604 Nabopolassar associated with him on the throne of Babylonia his son Nebuchadnezzar, most illustrious ruler of the new Babylonian empire, and intimately connected with the history of Judah in the last years of that kingdom. His long reign came to an end in 562.

While the conflict, which brought Assyria to its end, and the attendant confusion, were absorbing the attention of Mesopotamian countries, Egypt under a new and virile dynasty was reviving her ambitions and intrigues for dominion in Asia. Pharaoh-necoh II taking advantage of the confusion and helplessness of Assyria invaded Palestine in 609, intending to march on through Palestine to attack Mesopotamia. King Josiah in loyalty to his Assyrian overlord opposed him, but was defeated and slain at the battle of Megiddo, after a reign of 31 years; apparently an unnecessary and foolish opposition on Josiah’s part, as the plan of Necoh’s march shows that Judah was not directly affected. After the victory at Megiddo, Necoh continued his march north-eastward, subduing Syria and hoping to have a hand in Mesopotamian affairs. But in 606 or 607 BC he was defeated at Carchemish and driven back to Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, fresh from victory over Nineveh. In the same year Nebuchadnezzar marched against Egypt, receiving the submission of Jerusalem as he passed through Palestine, and sending noble hostages back to Babylon, among whom were Daniel and his three friends. The death of his father and his endangered succession recalled Nebuchadnezzar suddenly to Babylon, where he became sole ruler in 604. It appears that Necoh must have returned to Egypt after Megiddo and before the battle of Carchemish, as he made Jehoiakim, king in place of Jehoahaz, whom he carried captive to Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar’s victory at Carchemish and his march southward brought Judah in close relations with Babylon, and opened up the dramatic chapter of Jerusalem’s fall and exile. These historic events fix the dates of the last kings and the closing incidents of the kingdom of Judah, as shown in the following table:

V. Assyrian Period and Judah after Fall of Samaria.

This section, which may for convenience be treated as a division, is the chronology of Judah under Assyria after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 721. As the Scripture time-references are frequent and explicit, and the contemporaneous Assyrian records are full, and explicit also, the problems of this period are neither many nor insoluble. One difficulty is found in the fact that the aggregate years of the reigns of Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon and Josiah fall one or two years short of the period between Hezekiah’s accession in 726 and Josiah’s death in 609. But there is evidence of anarchical conditions at the close of Amon’s reign (2Ki 21:23,14), and it is probable that at least a year should be counted for the interregnum. The chief difficulty is with the invasions of Sennacherib in Hezekiah’s reign. The confusion is caused by the apparent dating of Sennacherib’s famous and disastrous invasion of 701 in the 14th year of Hezekiah’s reign (2Ki 18:13). Various attempts reconciliation have been made; one attempt has been to place the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign in 715, which is out of the question entirely, as it disregards the exact terms in which the beginning of his reign is placed before the fall of Samaria (2Ki 18:10). Another suggestion has been that "24th" be read instead of "14th"; but this is pure conjecture. There is a simple and satisfactory solution: in the chapters which contain the record (2Ki 18 and Isa 36) it is evident that two invasions are described. Frequently in the Scriptures records are topical rather than chronological, and just so in this instance the topic is Sennacherib’s menace of Judah, and the ultimate deliverance by Yahweh. The story includes two invasions: the first in the 14th year of Hezekiah (713) when Sennacherib led the armies of his father Sargon, the end of which, so far as Jerusalem was concerned, was the payment of tribute by Hezekiah, as is accurately stated in 2Ki 18:16. The second invasion, the description of which begins with the following verse (2Ki 18:17), was the more serious, and is probably identified as that of 701, when Sennacherib had become king. The necessary insertion of a paragraph indicator between 2Ki 18:16 and 2Ki 18:17 satisfies every demand for harmony.

From 609 BC, the year of Josiah’s death, we count back 31 years to the beginning Of his reign in 639; he attained his majority in the 8th year (632; 2Ch 34:3); the reformation in his 12th year, at the time of the Scythian irruption, would fall in 628 (2Ch 34:3); in the following year Jeremiah began to prophecy; and in Josiah’s 18th year (621) the temple was cleansed and the Book of the Law found (2Ch 34:8). Allowing a year of confusion, Amon began his short reign in 642, and Manasseh his long reign of 55 years in 697, Hezekiah’s reign of 29 years dating back to 726. Some fixed important dates of contemporaneous history are: death of Ashurbanipal, Assyria’s last great king, in 626, with the consequent independence of Babylon and beginning of the 2nd Babylonian empire. Ashurbanipal’s long reign began in 668 on the death of his father Esarhaddon; who succeeded his father Sennacherib in 681. Sargon usurped the Assyrian throne in 722, and died in 705. Shalmaneser IV, successor of Tiglath-pileser III, r eigned for the brief space between 727 and 722. In Egypt the XXVth, or Ethiopian Dynasty, was in power from circa 720 to 667, two of its kings, So and Tirhakah, having mention in the Old Testament (2Ki 17:4; 19:9; Isa 37:9), and after this the XXVIth (a native) Dynasty appeared, Pharaoh-necoh being one of its kings. The dates of this period we may summarize in the following table:

VI. Period of Divided Kingdom.

The most complex, but most interesting, problems of Old Testament chronology are found in the period of the Divided Kingdom. In the literature of this period are found larger number of dates and historical references than in that of any other. We have the assistance of several important sources and factors in arranging these dates:

(1) The parallel records of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah serve as checks to each other, since the accession and death of the kings in each nation are fixed by reference to reigns of those of the other. Many other events are similarly related.

(2) The history of the two kingdoms, or parts of it, at least, is given in three parallel authorities: the Books of Kings, of Chronicles, and of the Prophets.

(3) The Assyrian records are fullest and are practically continuous in this period, the limu lists extending unbroken from 893 to 650 BC.

1. Causes of Variation in Systems:

But while this apparently should be the most satisfactory field for the chronologist, it has been found impossible to arrive at anything approaching certainty, and consequently there is considerable divergence among individuals and schools. One cause of variation is the difference between the Assyrian royal lists and the total of the Old Testament numbers for this period, the Old Testament aggregate being 51 years greater then the Assyrian lists. Two common methods of harmonizing this difference have bee n adopted:

(1) to accept the Old Testament aggregate as correct and to assume that the 51 years have been omitted from the Assyrian lists (see W. J. Beecher, Dated Events of Old Testament, 18, 19);

(2) to harmonize the Old Testament numbers with the Assyrian lists by taking into account the overlapping of reigns of kings who were, for brief periods, associated on the throne.

Instances of such overlapping are the co-regency of Uzziah and Jotham in Judah (2Ki 15:5), and possibly the reign of Pekah contemporaneously with Menahem and Pekahiah in Israel (2Ki 23-28). The latter method yields the most satisfactory results, and will be adopted in this article. The chief point of difference will be the age of Solomon and the foundation-laying of the Temple. This may be found according to the former method by adding 51 years to the dates as given below. That the method of following the aggregate of the Old Testament numbers must assume arbitrarily that there have been omissions from the Assyrian lists, and that it also must resort to some overlapping and justment of the numb ers as they are given in the text, are sufficient reasons against its adoption. And in meeting the difficulties of this period it should always be borne in mind that the Old Testament is not a book of annals merely, and that dates are given not for any special interest in them, but to correlate and emphasize events. Ordinarily dates are given with reference to local situations and contemporary persons, and not as fixed by some great epoch-marking event; e.g. Uzziah’s reign is fixed not with reference to the Disrupti on nor the Temple building, but by relation to his Israelite contemporary, Jeroboam II.

2. Some Important and Pivotal Dates:

However, there are some fixed dates, which are so by reason of their international significance, and upon these we may rest with reasonable assurance. Such are the fall of Samaria (721 BC); the accession of Tiglath-pileser III (745); tribute paid to Shalmaneser II by Jehu in 842, and by Ahab, or one of his dynasty, in 854; and the invasion of Judah by Pharaoh-shishak in the fifth year of Rehoboam (1Ki 14:25). There are also certain coincident dates, fixed with fair accuracy, in the parallel history of the two kingdoms, which serve both as starting-points and as checks upon each other. The most prominent of these are: the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign, 5 years before the fall of Samaria (2Ki 18:10); the synchronism of the reigns of Jeroboam II and Jotham (1Ch 5:17), Jotham’s accession being used as a basis of calculation for the reigns of Israelite kings (2Ki 15:30); the coincidence of the end of the Omri Dynasty and the death of Ahaziah, king of Judah (2Ki 9), Jehu and Athaliah therefore beginning their reigns at the same time; and, primarily, the division of the kingdom and the synchronous beginning of the reigns of Jeroboam I and Rehoboam. Using these fixed dates and coincidences, we must find the summaries of the reigns of Israelite and Jewish kings between 721, the 9th year of Hoshea and the 6th of Hezekiah, and 843, the beginning of the reigns of Jehu add Athaliah, to be 122 years each; and likewise the summaries from 843 back to the Disruption to be the same.

3. Difficulties to Be Removed:

The most serious difficulties are found near the end of the period, when conditions in the Northern Kingdom were becoming anarchical, and, also evident co-regencies, the extent of which is not evident, occurred in the Southern Kingdom. Pekah is said to have reigned 20 years (2Ki 15:27); and yet Menahem paid tribute to Assyria in 738, and he was succeeded for two years by his son Pekahiah, from whom Pekah seized the kingdom. This would allow Pekah only 6 years of sovereignty. The explanation lies in the context: in the confusion which followed the death of Jeroboam, Pekah established his authority over the section East of the Jordan, and to that year the numbers in 2Ki 15:27,32; 2Ki 16:1 refer. Uzziah was leprous the last 16 years of his life, and Jotham his son was over the kingdom (2Ki 15:5). The length of Jotham’s reign was just 16 years, not additional to the 16 of the co-regency, as this would result in the absurdity of making him co-regent at the age of 9 years (2Ki 15:33). Therefore nearly his whole reign is included in the 52 years of his father. For some reason Ahaz was associated with his father Jotham before the death of the latter, since the 16 years of his reign plus the 5 of Hezekiah before the fall of Samaria bring his accession before the death of Uzziah and Jotham, i.e. in 741. So that for approximately 6 years the three reigns were contemporaneous. That these 6 years may not be accounted for by a co-regency with Hezekiah at the other end of Ahaz’ reign is evident from the age of Hezekiah at his accession (2Ki 18:2), and from the radical difference in the policy of the two kings. 2Ki 7:1 may suggest that Uzziah and Jotham died about the same time, and that Ahaz was regarded as succeeding both directly.

Another difficulty is found at the beginning of Uzziah’s reign, where he is said to have succeeded his father Amaziah at the age of 16, but is also said to have accomplished certain notable things after his father’s death (2Ki 14:21,22). Evidently, then, he became king before the death of Amaziah. When did this co-regency begin? No better time is suggested than Amaziah’s ignominious defeat by Jehoash of Israel in the 15th year of his reign, after which the people arose and put Uzziah in his place, Amaziah living on for 15 years (2Ki 14:17), so that 15 of Amaziah’s 29 years were contemporaneous with Uzziah. Further, in the last years of Joash of Judah there may have been a co-regency, since he was "very sick" in those years (2Ch 24:25). Thus the totals of 146 years for the reigns of the kings of Israel and of 165 for the reigns of the kings of Judah between 721 and 842 are reduced to the actual 121 by the overlappings, which are suggested in the narrative itself.

4. Overlappings:

For the first division of this period, from the rise of Jehu, circa 843, to the division of the kingdom, the totals of the reigns of the kings of Israel is 98 years, and of the kings of Judah is 95. But there must be some overlappings. The interval between Ahab and Jehu, as shown by mention of them in the Assyrian records, is 12 years; but the two sons of Ahab reigned 14 years, Ahaziah 2 and Jehoram 12. Evidently the last year of Ahab, in which came the defeat at Karkar, was the 1st of Ahaziah, and the 2nd of Ahaziah, who suffered in that year serious accident (2Ki 1:2), was the first of Jehoram. It is probable that the long reign of Asa closed with Jehoshaphat as co-regent (1Ki 15:23), so the above totals of both kingdoms must be reduced to some extent, probably to 90 years, and the disruption of the kingdom placed about 933 BC. Shishak, founder of the XXIId Dynasty, invaded Palestine in the 5th year of Rehoboam (1Ki 14:25), and in, or shortly before, the 21st year of his own reign, so that he must have bec ome sovereign of Egypt about 950 BC. Jeroboam fled to Egypt after Solomon had reigned more than 20 years, as is shown by the connection of Jeroboam with the building of Millo; and so Jeroboam’s flight must have been about the beginning of Shishak’s reign. This is in accord with the Old Testament records, since the hostile Shishak Dynasty must have arisen in the reign of Solomon, the dynasty which was ruling at the beginning of his reign having been in alliance with him. So we place the accession of Shishak about 950, his invasion of Judah in 929, and the Disruption in 933 BC.

An interesting instance of co-regency in this period is that of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram, for while Ahaziah of Israel began to reign in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat (1Ki 22:51) and died in the 2nd year of Jehoram (2Ki 1:17), the year of his death was also the 18th of Jehoshaphat, so that the father and son reigned together about 5 years. It is evident also that Jehoshaphat ruled before his father’s death, as the total of his reign is counted from the co-regency’s beginning (1Ki 22:41), but certain events are dated from his sole reign on the death of Asa (1Ki 22:51; 2Ki 3:1). It is probable that the 6 years of Athaliah were included in the 40 years of the reign of Joash, the legitimate king. The age of his son, Amaziah, at his accession (2Ch 25:1) does not operate against this probability, since the precocious Jewish sovereigns attained their majority at 15 years of age (compare 2Ch 34:3). The co-regency for 2 years of Joash and Amaziah (2Ch 24:25) brings the aggregate years of the reigns of the kings of both kingdoms down to the accession of Jeroboam II, three years before Uzziah’s accession, into exact accord. Finally, the difference of three years in the totals of reigns in the two kingdoms from Jehu’ to the Disruption is explained by the fact that in Israel the first year of a king was coincident with the last of his predecessor, whereas in Judah, certainly at the beginning of this period, the first year of a king followed the death of his predecessor; e.g. while Asa began to reign in the 20th year of Jeroboam (1Ki 15:9), Jeroboam, who reigned 22 years, died three years later in the second year of Asa (1Ki 15:25). Observation of this principle in the accessions of the first three kings after Jeroboam removes the difference, the long numbers of the reign of Asa being found to corroborate. The preceding table will illustrate these facts of the records, as harmonizing the dates of the two contemporaneous kingdoms.

VII. From the Disruption to the Exodus.

The period now to be considered extends from the disruption of the kingdom back to the Exodus. The reasons for combining the Biblical events within these widely separated dates into one period of such length are evident, namely,

(1) the regular sequence of the history;

(2) the occurrence of comprehensive numbers for the period as a whole, e.g. Jud 11:26 and 1Ki 6:1; the chronological data of the Book of Judges, which lead directly up to the developments in the time of the united kingdom, e.g. the narrative of Ru preparing the way for the reign of David. Characteristic of this period is the frequent occurrence of the general numbers 80, 40 and 20, which are not necessarily to be taken always as exact, but possibly at times indicating a round, or generation, number.

In order to get the time limits of this period, it is necessary to count back 37 years from the end of Solomon’s reign in 933 BC, and this brings us to that epoch-marking event, the laying of the foundations of the Temple in 969 or 970, the 4th year of his reign (1Ki 6:1); and from this event we are brought by the addition of the comprehensive number 479, given in the same verse, back to the year of the Exodus, approximately 1448 BC, making the total length of the period about 516 years.

Indications of Overlapping:

But the addition of the numbers given for the various reigns and administrations of the period yields a total which is much greater than 516, and therefore one must seek in the text indications of overlapping, which will bring the narrative into harmony with itself. The reigns of Solomon (1Ki 11:42), David (1Ki 2:11) and Saul (Ac 13:21), are given as 40 years each; and here there may be some overlapping, Solomon, e.g. becoming king before David’s death (1Ki 1:43-48). We are rather surprised to find that there is no statement of the length of Samuel’s ministry, such as its important place in the national life would lead us to expect. The probable reason for this is that his life was paralleled largely by the reign of Saul and the administration of Eli. A period of 40 years is assigned to Eli (1Sa 4:18); the aggregate of numbers given for the Judges is 410 years; Joshua ruled for 40 years (Jud 2:8); and finally the wilderness wanderings covered another 40-year period. The sum total of all these numbers is 670—far beyond the comprehensive reckonings of Jud 11:26; 1Ki 6:1, and Ac 13:19. It is evident from Jud 10:7,8; 13:1 that the periods of Ammonite and Philistine oppression were either contemporaneous or very near together, and therefore that the comprehensive number, 300 years, of Jud 11:26, reaches from the entrance into Canaan under Joshua down to the age of Samson, as well as of Jephthah. The administrations of Ibzan, Elon and Abdon (Jud 12:8-13) should then be regarded as practically synchronous with Jephthah and Samson, and the number of their years should, in part at least, be left out of account. The numbers from Samson and Eli to Solomon are approximately fixed, 20 to Samson, 40 to Eli, 40 to Saul and 40 to David; and their total accords with the 300 before Jephthah, and the 40 of wilderness wanderings in making up the grand total (1Ki 6:1) from Solomon to the Exodus. This proportion before and after Jephthah, or Samson, and the Philistine oppression, approximately 330 and 150 yea rs, is in agreement with the genealogies of Ru 4:18-22; 1Sa 14:3; 22:9; 1Ch 2; 6; 24. The shortening therefore of the excessive aggregate of 670 years must be sought in the records from Samson back to Joshua. Assuming that the oppressions may be synchronous with the administrations of preceding or succeeding judges, that Abimelech’s abortive attempt to become king (Jud 9) should be included in Gideon’s 40 years, and that parallelings are possible in the three judges just after Jephthah (Jud 12:8-13) and the two just before (Jud 10:1-5), it is possible to bring the detailed time-references of the Books of Jud into satisfactory agreement with the comprehensive numbers. That the period of the Judges is shorter than the aggregate of the numbers assigned to each is further indicated by the manner in which the brief narratives at the end of the book—the migration of the Danites, the sin and punishment of Benjamin—and the Book of Ruth, bring the earlier generations into close touch with the later; compare the genealogy of David (Ru 4:18-22).

The preceding table (p. 641) shows the dates of events according to the longer reckoning, and also according to the suggested shortening by taking into account the possible synchronisms. It should be remembered that these figures are not indisputable, but merely tentative and suggestive.

VIII. From the Exodus to Birth of Abraham.

The period of Old Testament chronology now to receive our attention is that which extends from the Exodus in circa 1448 BC back to the call and migration of Abraham. This may be called the period of the patriarchal wanderings, the formative or infancy period of the nation, and therefore of the highest interest historically and religiously. But it is not possible to fix its dates with indisputable accuracy, since, with rare exceptions, the events of the Old Testament record are not related in their narration to eras or definite persons of the contemporary nations; and since also the chronology of these nations is much in dispute among historians and archaeologists, with variations of hundreds of years.

Main Points at Issue:

The chief points at issue here for determination of the chronological problems are the time of the Exodus, the duration of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and the date of Hammurabi. Considering these in their order:

(1) As to the Exodus, opinions have been divided among the XVIIIth, XIXth and XXth dynasties as the time of the Oppression and Exodus of Israel, and there are plausible arguments for, and serious objections to, each of these periods. When all things have been considered it seems best to fix upon the XVIIIth Dynasty as the age of the Oppression and Exodus, Thothmes III as the Pharaoh of the Oppression, and the years immediately following his death as the time of the Exodus, for the following reasons:

(a) This is in harmony with the time-reckoning from the Temple of Solomon back to the Exodus (1Ki 6:1), and fully satisfies the Biblical numbers for the intervening period, as shown above; while either later dynastic period would necessitate either unnatural cramping or ruthless rejection of the Biblical numbers. To place the Exodus so late as Ramses III, after 1200 BC, is in the light of the Biblical reckoning an evident absurdity.

(b) In the XVIIIth Dynasty we can look best for the Pharaoh "that knew not Joseph," as it was the leader of this dynasty, Ahmes I, who conquered and drove out the Hyksos, and left to his followers as a legacy cordial hatred of the Asiatics.

(c) Thothmes III was a great builder, and the heavy tasks of the Hebrews would fit well into his reign. He was also the champion of Amon, the god of Thebes, having been a priest of that god; therefore the religious significance of the Exodus and the struggle preceding it were most natural in his age.

(d) An inscription of Menephthah, son of Ramses II, indicates that Israel was in Palestine in his time, therefore he could not have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus, nor his father the oppressor.

(e) The objection that Pharaohs of the XIXth and XXth dynasties invaded and claimed sovereignty over Palestine is of little consequence, since these invasions usually involved only the sea-plain, and any city or district might secure immunity and maintain its status quo by payment of tribute. In later centuries many foreign invasions swept through Israel without disturbing the national integrity. As for the objection that the cities Ramses and Pithom indicate the age of Ramses II, it is altogether probable that they were built long before his time, and only restored by him. For these reasons the earlier date is assigned to the Exodus.

(2) Whether the duration of the sojourn in Egypt was 430 or 215 years will depend upon the interpretation of the comprehensive 430, or roundly 400, which is of frequent occurrence in the Bible as indicating the extent of the period of the Hebrews’ wanderings among, and oppression by, the nations (Ge 15:13; Ex 12:40; Ac 7:6; Ga 3:17). These passages have been, and may properly be, interpreted as indicating the time of the actual sojourn in Egypt, or the time from the entrance of Abraham into Canaan to the Exodus. Modern archaeological discoveries and the logical conclusions from them, our better knowledge of the history and conditions of contemporaneous Egypt, the shortening of the Hyksos period, as by Meyer, Mahler and Breasted, and the acceptance of a later date for Hammurabi, all seem to favor the shorter, or 215-year, view of the sojourn. The remaining 215 years cover the period from Jacob’s descent into Egypt back to the migration of Abraham. The shorter period is adopted here for the reasons alread y given; but by the addition of 215 the dates from the death of Joseph backward may be conformed to theory of the longer period.

(3) Accepting the almost universal and well-grounded judgment that the Amraphel of Ge 14 is the famous Hammurabi of the 1st Babylonian Dynasty, we should have assistance in determining the date of his Biblical contemporary Abraham, if the opinions of scholars about the age of Hammurabi were not so divergent. Goodspeed (Hist Babylonian and Assyrian.) places his reign at 22:97-2254 BC; Hommel (art. on "Babylonia," HDB) fixes the probable date at 1772-1717, an astonishing divergence of 500 years, and suggestive of the spend-thrift manner in which chronologists are accustomed to dispose of the past ages of man. The difference in this instance is caused by the disposition of the IId Babylonian Dynasty, Goodspeed making its more than 360 years follow the Hammurabi Dynasty, and adding the years of the two; Hommel on the other hand regarding the IId, or Southern, Dynasty as contemporaneous with the Ist, or Northern. But it is more probable that the truth lies between these extremes, since the IId Dynasty must have had some independent standing, and must have ruled alone for a time, in order to secure consideration as a dynasty. This moderate reckoning is now commonly adopted, Breasted placing Hammurabi at 1900 BC, Davis (in DB) about 1975, and Pinches (in Murray’s Illus. B. Dict.) later than 2000 BC. It is in accord with the Bible numbers, as the following table shows, and does not vary materially from the reckoning of Ussher, which was based upon those numbers. Therefore the age of Hammurabi and Abraham may be considered as about 1900 BC, or 2100, if one estimates the sojourn in Egypt at 430 years. The former is more reasonable. The Tell el- Amarna Letters, preserving correspondence of the 14th and 15th centuries between the Pharaohs of the XVIIIth Dynasty and Palestine and Babylon, by showing the contemporary sovereigns of the empires of the Nile and the Euphrates, contribute confirmation to the Biblical reckoning. It is possible that increased knowledge of the Hittite empire and its dealings with Egypt, Palestine and Babylonian may in the near future contribute further confirmation. The foregoing conclusions may be summarized in the following table:

IX. From Abraham to the Creation.

One other general period of Old Testament chronology remains for consideration: from the age of Abraham back to the creation of the world, about which in the nature of the case there can be no absolute certainty, and in which there is neither reason nor need for inflexible accuracy. The system, or succession, of numbers in the early chapters of Ge (Ge 5 and Ge 11:10-26) has given rise, in the effort to explain these numbers, to several theories.

(1) The literal interpretation, the best known advocate of which was Archbishop Ussher (died 1656), whose literal arrangement was introduced into the margin of the King James Version after his death. This theory takes the birth- and death-numbers just as they are, and by addition of the time intervals between the birth of the various patriarchs, together with Adam’s age at the birth of Seth, shows that 1,656 years elapsed from the Creation to the Flood, and 290 years from the Flood to Abraham’s birth, accor ding to the Massoretic Text. But it must be apparent at the very outset, that, on the most liberal arrangement of the numbers and the most conservative geological and anthropological estimate, this reckoning is not sufficiently long to satisfy the known facts of the age of the earth, of the life of man upon the earth, and of established historic dates. Even the conservative system of Professor Breasted (Ancient Egypt) places the first certain date of Egyptian history, namely, the introduction of the Sothic calendar, as early as 4241 BC, which is more than two centuries beyond Ussher’s beginning of the world. Moreover, at that time an astronomical basis of reckoning time was in existence, implying an age of culture already gone before. This difficulty was appreciated by the earliest interpreters, as indicated by the variations of the Sam and Septuagint texts, the latter increasing the total of the age about 1,500 years and inserting a new name into the genealogical list of Ge 11. An interesting commentary on the literal method is that it make s Noah live until Abraham was seventy years old, and prolongs the life of Shem to within the lifetime of Jacob.

(2) A second theory is the dynastic: that the long number of a patriarch’s lifetime indicates the era during which his house or dynasty prevailed, to be followed by the long number of the next dynasty; e.g. the 930 years of Adam were followed by the 912 of Seth, and so on until the period is stretched to cover thousands of years. But there are evident objections to this view: it does not account for the invariable origin of each succeeding dynasty so near the beginning of its predecessor, and it disregards the manifest plan of the inspired author to narrate the descent of the human race through families and not by eras or empires.

(3) By others it has been conjectured that the units of time have been different in the ancient ages of man; that originally the time-unit was the lunar cycle, by which the 969 lunar cycles of Methuselah’s life really should be reduced to a little more than 80 years of more recent times; and that in the days of Abraham a year measured from equinox to equinox had superseded the lunar time-measurement. It is possible that the Septuagint variations were based upon this idea, since it increased the age at which every father begat a son to at least 162 in the generations before the Flood. But even this expedient would not remove all difficulties from the physical side; nor have we the slightest indication of the points at which these radical changes of the time-units were made. On the contrary the decrease of man’s years seems to have come by somewhat gradual process, and not by sharp and tremendous breaks.

(4) Others have thought to meet the difficulties by suggesting the omission of links in the chain of descent, in accordance with Hebrew custom of omitting inconsequential names from a genealogical list. The omission by Matthew of certain names from his genealogy of Jesus Christ, in order to preserve his symmetrical scheme of fourteens (Mt 1:8), is an illustration in point. As corroborative of this it might be urged that the Septuagint does insert a name between Arpachshad and Shelah (Ge 11:12). It may be said confidently that whatever theory of the genealogies before Abraham one may adopt, it is altogether reasonable to suppose that one name, or many, may have been omitted from the line of descent.

The dates resulting from the literal and exact interpretation of the genealogical lists of Ge 5 and Ge 11 may be tabulated as follows:

If the 130 years of Kainan, whom the Septuagint inserts between Shelah and Arpachshad, be added, the date for Adam’s creation is increased to 4031 BC. The exhibit of this table is most interesting and suggestive. Noah, Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg were contemporaries of Abraham. Shem, Shelah and Eber were living after Jacob’s birth. Adam, Enoch, Methuselah and Lamech were contemporary; and Methuselah’s long life came to an end in the year of the Flood.

A Suggested Interpretation:

These genealogical lists of the early chapters of Ge appear therefore not to have been given as an exact and exclusive system of chronology; but it is more probable that they were written to present a general, compact, or mere outline statement of the origin, early experience and apostasy of the human race, given without the purpose of recording every possible link in the chain of descent, or every incident in the early racial experience. There are many indications, or suggestions at least, that this is the sensible and Divinely intended interpretation, some of which have been stated: the variant items and summaries of the Massoretic Text, Septuagint and Sam; the frequent omission in Hebrew genealogies of one or more generations, the third, or later, descendant being truly regarded as a son; the age of the world; the comparative antiquity of man; and the more ancient dates disclosed by archaeology. It should be noticed further that the inspired writer gives ten generations from Adam to the Flood, and ten also from the Flood to Abraham, as if by the use of the decimal, or representatively human, number he would indicate to us that he is dealing with comprehensively complete numbers and not with those that are minutely complete, arranging in symbolic form the account of man’s descent.


But while the age of man may be greater than the mechanical and exact sum of the Genesis numbers, we should not be deluded into the belief that it is so great as some anthropologists and geologists, who are prodigal of their numbers, would have us think. The numbers of Ge are much nearer the facts than these dreary stretches and wastes of time. The formation of the Nile and the Euphrates valleys, which furnished historic man’s first home, is quite recent, possibly not antedating 7000 BC; the account of the Flood is the record of a great cataclysm which came upon historic man within these millenniums; we have the records of the presence of intelligent man in these fertile and recently formed centers without traces of his origin and development in, and movement from, other homes. Archaeology and ancient history bring civilized man upon us with somewhat of suddenness, well established in homelands of recent formation. Whence came these peoples whose great works and thoughts are found near the beginning of an era so clearly limited by history and geography? If they came from elsewhere and developed tediously, why have they left no trail of their movement and no trace of the evolution? So late as the 3rd millennium BC Mesopotamia was sparsely settled, and Palestine in the first half of the 2nd millennium was still thinly settled. It is a legitimate conclusion, then, that intelligent man’s life on the earth does not extend far beyond the total of the Bible numbers (see ANTEDILUVIANS; DELUGE OF NOAH). At the same t ime it is far from necessary to force a literal and exact interpretation on these numbers, which were given rather to trace lineage, keep relationships, show development under the Divine purpose, and fix responsibility, than to mark particular years.


Ussher, Chronologia Sacra; G. Smith, Assyrian Eponym Canon; Maspero, The Dawn of Civilization; The Struggle of the Nations; The Passing of the Empires; Goodspeed, A History of the Babylonians and Assyrians; Breasted, Ancient Egypt; History of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel in Hist of World; Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition; L. W. King, Chronology of the Babylonian Kings; Beecher, Dated Events of Old Testament; Auchinloss, Chronology of the Holy Bible; various commentaries; Driver, Book of Genesis; Skinner, Genesis; Moore, Commentary on Judges; G. A. Smith, "Isaiah" in Expositor’s Bible, etc. Magazines: James Orr, "Assyrian and Hebrew Chronology" in Presbyterian Review, 1889; "Israel and the Exodus" in Expositor, 1897; J. D. Davis. "Chronology of the Divided Kingdom" in Presbyterian and Reformed Review, 1891. Bible Dictionaries: J. D. Davis in Dict. of the Bible, Westminster Press; Hommel, articles on "Assyria" and "Babylonia" in HDB. Of interest also, Franke Parker, Chronology, 1858.

Edward Mack

CHRYSOLITE kris’o-lit.



kris’-o-praz, kri-sop’ra-sus.



chub (kubh).

See CUB.


chun (kun, "founding").

See CUN.






1. In the Gospels

2. In Acts

3. In the Pauline Epistles


1. Faith

2. Fellowship

3. Unity

4. Consecration

5. Power


1. The General and Prophetic Ministry

2. The Local and Practical Ministry


The word "church," which is derived from kuriakos, "of or belonging to the Lord," represents in the English Versions of the Bible of the New Testament the Greek word ekklesia; Latin, ecclesia. It is with the signification of this word ekklesia as it meets us in the New Testament, and with the nature of the society which the word is there used to describe, that the present article is concerned.

I. Pre-Christian History of the Term.

Although ekklesia soon became a distinctively Christian word, it has its own pre-Christian history; and to those, whether Jews or Greeks, who first heard it applied to the Christian society it would come with suggestions of familiar things. Throughout the Greek world and right down to New Testament times (compare Ac 19:39), ekklesia was the designation of the regular assembly of the whole body of citizens in a free city-state, "called out" (Greek ek, "out," and kalein, "to call") by the herald for the discussion and decision of public business. The Septuagint translators, again, had used the word to render the Hebrew qahal, which in the Old Testament denotes the "congregation" or community of Israel, especially in its religious aspect as the people of God. In this Old Testament sense we find ekklesia employed by Stephen in the Book of Acts, where he describes Moses as "he that was in the church (the Revised Version, margin "congregation") in the wilderness" (Ac 7:38). The word thus came into Christian history with associations alike for the Greek and the Jew. To the Greek it would suggest a self-governing democratic society; to the Jew a theocratic society whose members were the subjects of the Heavenly King. The pre-Christian history of the word had a direct bearing upon its Christian meaning, for the ekklesia of the New Testament is a "theocratic democracy" (Lindsay, Church and Ministry in the Early Centuries, 4), a society of those who are free, but are always conscious that their freedom springs from obedience to their King.

II. Its Adoption by Jesus.

According to Mt 16:18 the name ekklesia was first applied to the Christian society by Jesus Himself, the occasion being that of His benediction of Peter at Caesarea Philippi. The authenticity of the utterance has been called in question by certain critics, but on grounds that have no textual support and are made up of quite arbitrary presuppositions as to the composition of the First Gospel. It is true that Jesus had hitherto described the society He came to found as the "kingdom of God" or the "kingdom of heaven," a designation which had its roots in Old Testament teaching and which the Messianic expectations of Israel had already made familiar. But now when it was clear that He was to be rejected by the Jewish people (compare Mt 16:21), and that His society must move on independent lines of its own, it was natural that He should employ a new name for this new body which He was about to create, and thus should say to Peter, on the ground of the apostle’s believing confession, "Upon this rock I will build my church." The adoption of this name, however, did not imply any abandonment of the ideas suggested by the conception of the kingdom. In this very passage (Mt 16:19) "the kingdom of heaven" is employed in a manner which, if it does not make the two expressions church and kingdom perfectly synonymous, at least compels us to regard them as closely correlative and as capable of translation into each other’s terms. And the comparative disuse by the apostolic writers of the name "kingdom," together with their emphasis on the church, so far from showing that Christ’s disciples had failed to understand His doctrine of the kingdom, and had substituted for it the more formal notion of the church, only shows that they had followed their Master’s guidance in substituting for a name and a conception that were peculiarly Jewish, another name whose associations would enable them to commend their message more readily to the world at large.

III. Its Use in the New Testament.

1. In the Gospels:

Apart from the passage just referred to, the word ekklesia occurs in the Gospels on one other occasion only (Mt 18:17). Here, moreover, it may be questioned whether Our Lord is referring to the Christian church, or to Jewish congregations commonly known as synagogues (see the Revised Version, margin) The latter view is more in keeping with the situation, but the promise immediately given to the disciples of a power to bind and loose (Mt 18:18) and the assurance "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20) are evidently meant for the people of Christ. If, as is probable, the ekklesia of Mt 18:17 is the Christian ekklesia of which Christ had already spoken to Peter, the words show that He conceived of the church as a society possessing powers of self-government, in which questions of discipline were to be decided by the collective judgment of the members.

2. In Acts:

In Ac the ekklesia has come to be the regular designation for the society of Christian believers, but is employed in two distinct senses. First in a local sense, to denote the body of Christians in a particular place or district, as in Jerusalem (Ac 5:11; 8:1), in Antioch (Ac 13:1; 15:22), in Caesarea (Ac 18:22)—a usage which reappears in the Apocalypse in the letters to the Seven Churches. Then in a wider and what may be called a universal sense, to denote the sum total of existing local churches (Ac 9:31 the Revised Version (British and American)), which are thus regarded as forming one body.

3. In the Pauline Epistles:

In the Pauline Epistles both of these usages are frequent. Thus the apostle writes of "the church of the Thessalonians" (1Th 1:1), "the church of God which is at Corinth" (1Co 1:2; 2Co 1:1). Indeed he localizes and particularizes the word yet further by applying it to a single Christian household or to little groups of believers who were accustomed to assemble in private houses for worship and fellowship (Ro 16:5; 1Co 16:19; Col 4:15; Phm 1:2)—an employment of the word which recalls the saying of Jesus in Mt 18:20. The universal use, again, may be illustrated by the contrast he draws between Jews and Greeks on the one hand and the church of God on the other (1Co 10:32), and by the declaration that God has set in the church apostles, prophets, and teachers (1Co 12:28).

But Paul in his later epistles has another use of ekklesia peculiar to himself, which may be described as the ideal use. The church, now, is the body of which Christ is the head (Eph 1:22 f; Col 1:18,24). It is the medium through which God’s manifold wisdom and eternal purpose are to be made known not only to all men, but to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:9-11). It is the bride of whom He is the heavenly Bridegroom, the bride for whom in His love He gave Himself up, that He might cleanse and sanctify her and might present her to Himself a glorious church, a church without blemish, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Eph 5:25 ff). This church clearly is not the actual church as we know it on earth, with its divisions, its blemishes, its shortcomings in faith and love and obedience. It is the holy and catholic church that is to be when the Bridegroom has completed the process of lustration, having fully "cleansed it by the washing of water with the word." It is the ideal which the actual church must keep before it and strive after, the ideal up to which it shall finally be guided by that Divine in-working power which is able to conform the body to the head, to make the bride worthy of the Bridegroom, so that God may receive in the church the glory that is His (Eph 3:21).

IV. The Notes of the Church.

1. Faith:

Although a systematic doctrine of the church is neither to be found nor to be looked for in the New Testament, certain characteristic notes or features of the Christian society are brought before us from which we can form some conception as to its nature. The fundamental note is faith. It was to Peter confessing his faith in Christ that the promise came, "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Mt 16:18). Until Jesus found a man full of faith He could not begin to build His church; and unless Peter had been the prototype of others whose faith was like his own, the walls of the church would never have risen into the air. Primarily the church is a society not of thinkers or workers or even of worshippers, but of believers. Hence, we find that "believers" or "they that believed" is constantly used as a synonym for the members of the Christian society (e.g. Ac 2:44; 4:32; 5:14; 1Ti 4:12). Hence, too, the rite of baptism, which from the first was the condition of entrance into the apostolic church and the seal of membership in it, was recognized as preeminently the sacrament of faith and of confession (Ac 2:41; 8:12,36; Ro 6:4; 1Co 12:13). This church-founding and church-building faith, of which baptism was the seal, was much more than an act of intellectual assent. It was a personal laying hold of the personal Saviour, the bond of a vital union between Christ and the believer which resulted in nothing less than a new creation (Ro 6:4; 8:1,2; 2Co 5:17).

2. Fellowship:

If faith in Christ is the fundamental note of the Christian society, the next is fellowship among the members. This follows from the very nature of faith as just described; for if each believer is vitally joined to Christ, all believers must stand in a living relation to one another. In Paul’s favorite figure, Christians are members one of another because they are members in particular of the body of Christ (Ro 12:5; 1Co 12:27). That the Christian society was recognized from the first as a fellowship appears from the name "the brethren," which is so commonly applied to those who belong to it. In Ac the name is of very frequent occurrence (Ac 9:30, etc.), and it is employed by Paul in the epistles of every period of his career (1Th 4:10, etc.). Similar testimony lies in the fact that "the koinonia" (English Versions "fellowship") takes its place in the earliest meetings of the church side by side with the apostles’ teaching and the breaking of bread and prayers (Ac 2:42). See COMMUNION. The koinonia at first carried with it a community of goods (Ac 2:44; 4:32), but afterward found expression in the fellowship of ministration (2Co 8:4) and in such acts of Christian charity as are inspired by Christian faith (Heb 13:16). In the Lord’s Supper, the other sacrament of the primitive church, the fellowship of Christians received its most striking and most sacred expression. For if baptism was especially the sacrament of faith, the Supper was distinctively the sacrament of love and fellowship—a communion or common participation in Christ’s death and its fruits which carried with it a communion of hearts and spirits between the participants themselves.

3. Unity:

Although local congregations sprang up wherever the gospel was preached, and each of these enjoyed an independent life of its own, the unity of the church was clearly recognized from the first. The intercourse between Jerusalem and Antioch (Ac 11:22; 15:2), the conference held in the former city (Ac 15:6 ff), the right hand of fellowship given by the elder apostles to Paul and Barnabas (Ga 2:9), the untiring efforts made by Paul himself to forge strong links of love and mutual service between Gentileand Jewish Christians (2Co 8)—all these things serve to show how fully it was realized that though there were many churches, there was but one church. This truth comes to its complete expression in the epistles of Paul’s imprisonment, with their vision of the church as a body of which Christ is the head, a body animated by one spirit, and having one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (Eph 4:4 ff; Col 1:18; 3:11). And this unity, it is to be noticed, is conceived of as a visible unity. Jesus Himself evidently conceived it so when He prayed for His disciples that they all might be one, so that the world might believe (Joh 17:21). And the unity of which Paul writes and for which he strove is a unity that finds visible expression. Not, it is true, in any uniformity of outward polity, but through the manifestation of a common faith in acts of mutual love (Eph 4:3,13; 2Co 9).

4. Consecration:

Another dominant note of the New Testament church lay in the consecration of its members. "Saints" is one of the most frequently recurring designations for them that we find. As thus employed, the word has in the first place an objective meaning; the sainthood of the Christian society consisted in its separation from the world by God’s electing grace; in this respect it has succeeded to the prerogatives of Israel under the old covenant. The members of the church, as Peter said, are "an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession" (1Pe 2:9). But side by side with this sense of an outward and priestly consecration, the flame "saints" carried within it the thought of an ethical holiness—a holiness consisting, not merely in a status determined by relation to Christ, but in an actual and practical saintliness, a consecration to God that finds expression in character and conduct. No doubt the members of the church are called saints even when the living evidences of sainthood are sadly lacking. Writing to the Corinthian church in which he found so much to blame, Paul addresses its members by this title (1Co 1:2; compare 1Co 6:11). But he does so for other than formal reasons—not only because consecration to God is their outward calling and status as believers; but also because he is assured that a work of real sanctification is going on, and must continue to go on, in their bodies and their spirits which are His. For those who are in Christ are a new creation (2Co 5:17), and those to whom has come the separating and consecrating call (2Co 6:17) must cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 7:1). Paul looks upon the members of the church, just as he looks upon the church itself, with a prophetic eye; he sees them not as they are, but as they are to be. And in his view it is "by the washing of water with the word," in other words by the progressive sanctification of its members, that the church itself is to be sanctified and cleansed, until Christ can present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Eph 5:26,27).

5. Power:

Yet another note of the church was spiritual power. When the name ekklesia was given by Jesus to the society He came to found, His promise to Peter included the bestowal of the gift of power (Mt 16:18,19). The apostle was to receive the "power of the keys," i.e. he was to exercise the privilege of opening the doors of the kingdom of heaven to the Jew (Ac 2:41) and to the Gentile (Ac 10:34-38; 15:7). He was further to have the power of binding and loosing, i.e. of forbidding and permitting; in other words he was to possess the functions of a legislator within the spiritual sphere of the church. The legislative powers then bestowed upon Peter personally as the reward of his believing confession were afterward conferred upon the disciples generally (Mt 18:18; compare Mt 18:1 and also Mt 18:19,20), and at the conference in Jerusalem were exercised by the church as a whole (Ac 15:4,22). The power to open the gates of the kingdom of heaven was expanded into the great missionary commission, "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:19)—a commission that was understood by the apostolic church to be addressed not to the eleven apostles only, but to all Christ’s followers without distinction (Ac 8:4, etc.). To the Christian society there thus belonged the double power of legislating for its own members and of opening the kingdom of heaven to all believers. But these double functions of teaching and government were clearly recognized as delegated gifts. The church taught the nations because Christ had bid her go and do it. She laid down laws for her own members because He had conferred upon her authority to bind and to loose. But in every exercise of her authority she relied upon Him from whom she derived it. She believed that Christ was with her alway, even unto the end of the world (Mt 28:20), and that the power with which she was endued was power from on high (Lu 24:49).

V. Organization of the Church.

It seems evident from the New Testament that Jesus gave His disciples no formal prescriptions for the organization of the church. In the first days after Pentecost they had no thought of separating themselves from the religious life of Israel, and would not realize the need of any distinct organization of their own. The temple-worship was still adhered to (Ac 2:46; 3:1), though it was supplemented by apostolic teaching, by prayer and fellowship, and by the breaking of bread (Ac 2:42,46). Organization was a thing of gradual growth suggested by emerging needs, and the differentiation of function among those who were drawn into the service of the church was due to the difference in the gifts bestowed by God upon the church members (1Co 12:28). At first the Twelve themselves, as the immediate companions of Jesus throughout His ministry and the prime witnesses of the Christian facts and especially of the resurrection (compare Ac 1:21,22), were the natural leaders and teachers of the community. Apart from this, the earliest evidence of anything like organization is found in the distinction drawn by the Twelve themselves between the ministry of the word and the ministry of tables (Ac 6:2,4)—a distinction which was fully recognized by Paul (Ro 12:6,8; 1Co 1:17; 9:14; 12:28), though he enlarged the latter type of ministry so as to include much more than the care of the poor. The two kinds of ministry, as they meet us at the first, may broadly be distinguished as the general and prophetic on the one hand, the local and practical on the other.

1. The General and Prophetic Ministry:

From Ac 6:1 ff we see that the Twelve recognized that they were Divinely called as apostles to proclaim the gospel; and Paul repeatedly makes the same claim for himself (1Co 1:17; 9:16; 2Co 3:6; 4:1; Col 1:23). But apostle ship was by no means confined to the Twelve (Ac 14:14; Ro 16:7; compare Didache 11 4 ff); and an itinerant ministry of the word was exercised in differing ways by prophets, evangelists, and teachers, as well as by apostles (1Co 12:28,29; Eph 4:11). The fact that Paul himself is variously described as an apostle, a prophet, a teacher (Ac 13:1; 14:14; 1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11) appears to show that the prophetic ministry was not a ministry of stated office, but one of special gifts and functions. The apostle carried the good tidings of salvation to the ignorant and unbelieving (Ga 2:7,8), the prophet (in the more specific sense of the word) was a messenger to the church (1Co 14:4,22); and while the teacher explained and applied truth that was already possessed (Heb 5:12), the prophet was recognized by those who had spiritual discernment (1Co 2:15; 14:29; 1Jo 4:1) as the Divinely employed medium of fresh revelations (1Co 14:25,30,31; Eph 3:5; compare Didache 4 1).

2. The Local and Practical Ministry:

The earliest examples of this are the Seven of Jerusalem who were entrusted with the care of the "daily ministration" (Ac 6:1 ff). With the growth of the church, however, other needs arose, and the local ministry is seen developing in two distinct directions. First there is the presbyter or elder, otherwise known as the bishop or overseer, whose duties, while still local, are chiefly of a spiritual kind (Ac 20:17,28,35; 1Ti 3:2,5; Jas 5:14; 1Pe 5:2). See BISHOP. Next there are the deacon and the deaconess (Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8-13), whose work appears to have lain largely in house to house visitation and a practical ministry to the poor and needy (1Ti 5:8-11). The necessities of government, of discipline, and of regular and stated instruction had thus brought it to pass that within New Testament times some of the functions of the general ministry of apostles and prophets were discharged by a local ministry. The general ministry, however, was still recognized to be the higher of the two. Paul addresses the presbyter- bishops of Ephesus in a tone of lofty spiritual authority (Ac 20:17ff). And according to the Didache, a true prophet when he visits a church is to take precedence over the resident bishops and deacons (Didache 10 7; 13 3).



Hort, The Christian Ecclesia; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry in the Early Cents., lects I-V; Hatch, Bampton Lectures; Gwatkin, Early Church History to AD 313; Kostlin, article "Kirche" in See Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche; Armitage Robinson, article "Church" in Encyclopedia Biblica; Fairbairn Christ in Modern Theology, 513-34; Dargan, Ecclesiology; Denney, Studies in Theology, Ch viii.

J. C. Lambert




1. The General Sense

2. The Local Sense


1. Subjects of Admission

2. Definite Organizations

3. Ministers

(1) General

(2) Local

4. Ecclesiastical Functions

(1) Control of Membership

(2) Selection of Officers, etc.

(3) Observations of Ordinances

5. Independent (Autonomous) Organizations




The object here sought is to discover what kind of church government is mirrored in the New Testament. To do this with perfect definiteness is, no doubt, quite impossible. Certain general features, however, may clearly be seen.

I. Approach to the Subject.

The subject is best approached through the Greek word ekklesia, translated "church." Passing by the history of this word, and its connection with the Hebrew words ‘edhah and qahal (which the Septuagint sometimes renders by ekklesia), we come at once to the New Testament usage. Two perfectly distinct senses are found, namely, a general and a local.

1. The General Sense:

Christ is "head over all things to the church, which is his body ...."( Eph 1:22); "the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" (Heb 12:23). Here we have "church" in the broadest sense, including all the redeemed in earth and heaven, and in all ages (see also Eph 1:22; 3:10; 5:22-27; Col 1:24; Heb 12:23).

2. The Local Sense:

Here the Scripture passages are very numerous. In some cases, the word is used in the singular, and in others the plural; in some it is used with reference to a specified church, and in others without such specification. In all cases the sense is local.

In Ac 11:26, it is said that Paul and Barnabas were "gathered together with the church," where the church at Antioch is meant. In Ac 14:23, Paul and Barnabas are said to have "appointed elders in every church," that is, churches which they had planted. In Re 2 and Re 3 the seven churches of Asia Minor are addressed. In Ac 16:5 we are told that the churches "were strengthened in the faith." On the local sense see, further, Ac 8:1; 15:4; 16:5; 20:17; Ro 16:4; 1Co 12; 6:4; 11:16; Ga 1:2,22, and many other places.

There are a few passages that do not seem exactly to fit into either of the above categories. Such, for example, are Mt 18:17 and 1Co 12:28, where it seems best to understand a generic sense. Such, also, are passages like Ac 9:31, and 1Co 10:32, where a collective sense best suits the cases.

Church government in the New Testament applies only to the local bodies.

II. Internal Order.

With respect to the constitution and life of these New Testament churches, several points may be made out beyond reasonable doubt.

1. Subjects of Admission:

They were composed of persons who professed faith in Christ, and who were believed to have been regenerated, and who had been baptized. See Ac 2:41,44,47 (the Revised Version (British and American) "added to them"); Ac 8:12; Ro 1:8; 6:4; 10:9,10; 1Co 1:2; Col 1:2,4; 1Ti 6:12, and others, where they are called "saints," "sons of God," "faithful brethren," "sanctified in Christ Jesus."

2. Definite Organizations:

They are definitely and permanently organized bodies, and not temporary and loose aggregations of individuals. It is quite impossible, for example, to regard the church at Antioch as a loose aggregation of people for a passing purpose. The letters of Paul to the churches at Rome, Corinth, Philippi, Thessalonica, cannot be regarded as addressed to other than permanent and definitely organized bodies.

3. Ministers:

They were served by two classes of ministers—one general, the other local.

(1) General.

At the head of these is the "apostle" (1Co 12:28; Eph 4:11). His official relation to the churches was general. He did not necessarily belong to the group of the original Eleven. Besides Matthias (Ac 1:26), Paul and Barnabas (1Co 9:5,6), James, the Lord’s brother (Ga 1:19), Andronicus and Junias (Ro 16:7) are reckoned as "apostles." The one invariable and necessary qualification of an apostle was that he should have seen the Lord after the Resurrection (Ac 1:22; 1Co 9:1). Another qualification was to have wrought "the signs of an apostle" (2Co 12:12; compare 1Co 9:2). He was to bear witness to what he had seen and heard, to preach the gospel of the kingdom (Ac 1:8; 1Co 1:17), to found churches and have a general care of them (2Co 11:28). From the nature of his chief qualification, his office was temporary.

Next comes the "prophet." His relation to the churches, also, was general. It was not necessary that he should have seen the Lord, but it appertained to his spiritual function that he should have revelations (Eph 3:5). There is no indication that his office was in any sense administrative.

After the "prophet" come the "evangelist" and "teacher," the first, a traveling preacher, the second, one who had special aptitude for giving instruction.

After the "teacher" and "evangelist" follow a group of special gifts of "healing," "helps," "governments," "tongues." It may be that "helps" and "governments" are to be identified with "deacons" and "bishops," to be spoken of later. The other items in this part of Paul’s list seem to refer to special charismata.

(2) Local.

There were two clearly distinct offices of a local and permanent kind in the New Testament churches. Paul (Php 1:1) addresses "all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."


The most common designation of the first of these officers is "elder" (presbuteros). In one passage (Eph 4:11) he is called "pastor" (poimen). In Ac 20:17-28, it becomes clear that the office of elder, bishop, and pastor was one; for there the apostle charges the elders of the church at Ephesus to feed (pastor) the church in which the Holy Spirit has made them bishops (compare Titus 1:5,7; 1Pe 5:1,2).

The function of the elders was, in general, spiritual, but involved an oversight of all the affairs of the church (1Ti 3:2; 5:17).

As to the second of the local church officers, it has to be said that little is given us in the New Testament. That the office of deacon originated with the appointment of the Seven in Ac 6 is not certain. If we compare the qualifications there given by the apostles with those given by Paul in 1Ti 3:8-13, it seems quite probable that the necessity which arose at Jerusalem, and which led to the appointment of the Seven was really the occasion for originating the office of deacon in the churches. The work assigned the Seven was secular, that is to say, the "service of tables." They were to relieve the apostles of that part of the work. A similar relation to the work of the elders seems to have been borne by that of the deacons.

Again, they exercised the highest ecclesiastical functions.

4. Ecclesiastical Functions:

(1) Control of Membership.

In Mt 18:17, our Lord, by anticipation, lodges final action, in the sphere of church discipline, with the church. When the church has taken action, the matter is ended. There is no direction to take it to a higher court. In the church at Corinth, there was a man who was guilty of an infamous offense against purity. With regard to the case, Paul urged the most summary discipline (1Co 5:5). If the church should act upon the judgment which he communicated to them, they would act when "gathered together"; that is to say, action would be taken in conference of the church. In 2Co 2, a reference to the case shows that they had acted upon his advice, and that the action was taken by the majority ("the many," the more, 2Co 2:6). In 2Co 2 he counsels restoration of this excluded member now repentant. Exclusion and restoration of members were to be effected by a church. This, of course, carried with it the reception of members in the first instance.

(2) Selection of Officers, etc.

This was true in case of the Seven (Ac 6:3-13; see other cases in Ac 15:22; 1Co 16:3; 2Co 8:1 ff; Php 2:25). Ac 14:23 and Titus 1:5 seem, at first, to offset the passages just given. In one of these, Paul and Barnabas are said to have "appointed" (cheirotonesantes) elders in the churches which they had planted. But scholars of first quality, though themselves adhering to Presbyterial or Episcopal forms of church government, maintain that Paul and Barnabas ordained the elders whom the churches selected—that they "appointed" them in the usual way, by the suffrages of the members of the churches concerned. The word rendered "appoint" in Tit 1:5 (katasteses) is more easily understood as referring to ordination instead of selection.

(3) Observation of Ordinances.

Paul gives direction (1Co 11:20-34) to the church at Corinth about the observance of the Lord’s Supper. These directions are given, not to any officer or set of officers, but to the church. Ecclesiastically, of course, the two ordinances are on the same level; and, if one of them had been committed to the custody, so to say, of the churches, so must the other.

5. Independent (Autonomous) Organizations:

The management of their business was in their own hands. Paul wrote the church at Corinth: "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40). In that comprehensive injunction, given to a church, is implied control of its affairs by the church.

III. External Authority.

The investigation up to this point places us in position to see that there is in the New Testament no warrant for ecclesiastical grades in the ministry of the churches, by which there may be created an ascending series of rulers who shall govern the churches merged into one vast ecclesiastical organization called "the church." So, also, we are in position to see that there is no warrant for an ascending series of courts which may review any "case" that originates in a local church. We may see, on the contrary, that to each local church has been committed by Christ the management of its own affairs; and that He had endowed every such church with ecclesiastical competency to perform every function that any ecclesiastical body has a right to perform.

As the churches are not to be dominated by any external ecclesiastical authority, so they are not to be interfered with, in their church life, by civil government. Jesus taught that Christians should be good citizens (Mt 22:15-22); so did the apostles (Ro 13:1-7; 1Pe 2:13-16). Jesus also taught the spirituality of His Kingdom: "My kingdom is not of this world" (Joh 18:36). It follows that only where the life of a church touched the civic life of the community has the civil authority any right to interfere.

IV. Cooperative Relations.

While each local church, according to the New Testament, is independent of every other in the sense that no other has jurisdiction over it, yet cooperative relations were entered into by New Testament churches. Examples and indications of that may be found in Ro 15:26,27; 2Co 8; 9; Ga 2:10; Ro 15:1; 3 Joh 1:8. The principle of cooperation effective in those cases is susceptible of indefinite expansion. Churches may properly cooperate in matters of discipline, by seeking and giving counsel, and by respecting each other’s disciplinary measures. In the great, paramount business of evangelizing and teaching the nations, they may cooperate in a multitude of ways. There is no sphere of general Christian activity in which the churches may not voluntarily and freely cooperate for the betterment of the world, the salvation of humanity.

For other standpoints see BISHOP; GOVERNMENT; MINISTRY, etc.


Hort, The Christian Ecclesia; Hatch, Organization of the Early Christian Churches; Whitley, Church, Ministry and Sacraments in the New Testament; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry in the Early Cents.; French, Synonyms of New Testament; Vitringa, De Synagoga Vetere; Holzinger, ZAW; Schurer, Schurer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II; Driver, Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament; Thayer, New Testament Lexicon, and Cremer, Biblical Theol. Lexicon, under the word, "ekklesia" and "sunagoge"; Neumann, Rom. Staat und die all-gemeine Kirche; Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire.; Lightfoot, "The Christian Ministry," in Commentary on Philippians; Harvey, The Church; Dagg, Church Order; Hovey, Religion and the State; Owen, Church Government; Ladd, Principles of Church Polity; Dexter, Congregationalism; Hodge, Discussions in Church Polity; Abbey, Ecclesiastical Constitutions; Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity; Jacob, Ecclesiastical Polity; Bore, The Church and Its Ministry; Dollinger, The Church and The Churches; Stanley, Lectures on the Eastern Church; Dargan, Ecclesiology.

E. J. Forrester







churl (kilay or kelay): The Hebrew word occurs only in Isa 32:5,7, in the latter verse in a form slightly modified so as to produce a pleasing assonance with the word immediately following. The word probably means "crafty" or "miserly," both ideas being suitable to the context, though "miserly" accords with the setting in Isa somewhat better.

In 1Sa 25:3 the Hebrew qasheh which means "hard," "severe," "rough," is rendered "churlish." In Saxon, churl, as the name for the lowest order of freemen, came to be used of persons boorish in manner. The rough and ill-mannered Nabal is aptly described as churlish.

John Richard Sampey





ku’-si, (Chous): A place only named in Judith 7:18, as near Ekrebel on the brook Mochmur. It was in central Palestine, and has with some probability been identified with Quzah, a village 5 1/2 miles South of Nablus and 5 miles West of Agrabeh (Ekrebel).


ku’-zas, chu’-zas (Chouzas; the King James Version Chuza): The steward of Herod Antipas. In Lu 8:3 we read that his wife Joanna, "and Susanna, and many others," ministered to Christ and His disciples.

See JOANNA (Lu 24:10).


sik’-ar (kikkar, "circle"): Used of the circle of the Jordan (Ge 13:10, Hebrew).



seld, sel’-ing.



si-lish’-i-a (he Kilikia): An important province at the Southeast angle of Asia Minor, corresponding nearly with the modern Turkish vilayet of Adana; enfolded between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, with the Amanus range on the East and Pamphylia on the West; chief rivers, the Pyramus, Sarus, Cydnus and Calycadnus. The character of Cilician history has been largely determined by the physical features of the province. It is divided by nature into a mountainous part to the West, called Tracheia, and a broad, alluvial plain, hot and fertile, toward the East, termed Campestris or Pedias. Cilicia has always been isolated from its neighbors by land by its encircling mountains, save for its two famous mountain passes, the "Syrian Gates," which offer an easy road to Antioch and the South, and the wonderful "Cilician Gates," which open a road to central and western Asia Minor. Through these passes the armies and the pilgrims, the trade and the travel of the centuries have made their way. Alexander was one of the most renowned leaders of such expeditions, and at Issus he met and shattered the power of the Persian empire.

The early settlers of Cilicia are held to have been Semitic Syrians and Phoenicians, but in the still earlier days the inhabitants must have been Hittites. While few Hittite remains have been brought to light in Cilicia proper, the province was so surrounded by Hittites, and such important works of Hittite art and industry remain on the outskirts of the province, as at Ivriz, Marash, Sinjirli and Sakche Geuzi, that the intervening territory could hardly fail to be overspread with the same civilization and imperial power. See Professor John Garstang’s The Land of the Hittites.

Cilicia appears as independent under Syennesis, a contemporary of Alyattes of Lydia, 610 BC. Later it passed under the Persian sway, but retained its separate line of kings. After Alexander the Seleucid rulers governed Cilicia from Antioch. The disturbances of the times enabled the pirates so to multiply and establish themselves in their home base, in Cilicia, Tracheia, that they became the scourge of the Mediterranean until their power was broken by Pompey (67-66 BC). Cilicia was by degrees incorporated in the Roman administration, and Cicero, the orator, was governor (51-50 BC).

The foremost citizen of the province was Saul of Tarsus (Ac 21:39; 22:3; 23:34). Students or pilgrims from Cilicia like himself disputed with Stephen (Ac 6:9). Some of the earliest labors of the great apostle were near his home, in Syria and Cilicia (Ga 1:21; Ac 15:23,11). On his voyage to Rome he sailed across the sea which is off Cilicia (Ac 27:5). Constantinople and Antioch may be regarded as the front and back door of Asia Minor, and as the former was not founded till the 4th century, Asia Minor may be regarded as fronting during apostolic days on Antioch. Cilicia was intimately connected with its neighbor province on the South. The first Christian apostles and evangelists followed the great highways, through the famous mountain passes, and carried the religion of Jesus to Asia Minor from Antioch as a base.

Armenians migrating from the North founded kingdom in Cilicia under Roupen which was terminated by the overthrow of King Levon, or Leo, by the conquering Turks in 1393. A remnant of this kingdom survives in the separate Armenian catholicate of Sis, which has jurisdiction over few bishoprics, and Armenians are among the most virile of the present inhabitants of the province.

G. E. White


sin’-a-mun (qinnamon; kinnamomon): Mentioned, like cassia, as a perfume. In Ex 30:23 it is one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil"; in Pr 7:17 it is, along with myrrh and aloes, a perfume for a bed; in So 4:14 it is a very precious spice. Cinnamon is (Re 18:13) part of the merchandise of "Babylon the great."

Cinnamon is the product of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a laurel-like plant widely cultivated in Ceylon and Java. It has a profuse white blossom, succeeded by a nut from which the fragrant oil is obtained. The wood is the inner bark from branches which have reached a diameter of from 2 to 3 inches; the epidermis and pulpy matter are carefully scraped off before drying. In commerce the cheaper Cassia ligra of China is sometimes substituted for true cinnamon, and it is thought by some authorities that this was the true cinnamon of the ancients.

See, however, CASSIA.

E. W. G. Masterman


sin’-e-roth (kinneroth).



si-ra’-ma, sir’-a-ma.



sur’-k’-l: Is used with reference to the vault of the heavens (hugh) in Isa 40:22, and in a similar sense in The Wisdom of Solomon 13:2 (Revised Version margin), "circle of stars" (kuklos astron). It is also used in the sense of surrounding territory, as in the expression "circle of Jordan" (Ge 13:10 the Revised Version, margin).

See also CICCAR; ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 1.


sur’-kit, "a going around": Used to represent several Hebrew words in several senses, e.g. the sun’s orbit (tequphah), Ps 19:6; the vault of the heavens (chugh), Job 22:14 the King James Version; the circuit of the winds (cabhibh), Ec 1:6 (see ASTRONOMY); Samuel’s visiting of communities (cabhabh), 1Sa 7:16. In the Revised Version (British and American) the idea of encircling or "fetching a compass" (the King James Version) is expressed by the phrase "to make a circuit" (hacebh), 2Sa 5:23; 2Ki 3:9; and in the Revised Version, margin it indicates a plain (ha-kikkar), Ne 3:22. The Greek perielthontes is translated in the same way (Ac 28:13), but the Revised Version, margin reads "cast loose," following the Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek reading perielontes.

Nathan Isaacs


sur-kum-sizh’-un (mul, muloth; peritome): The removal of the foreskin is a custom that has prevailed, and prevails, among many races in different parts of the world—in America, Africa and Australia. It was in vogue among the western Semites—Hebrews, Arabians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Egyptians, but was unknown among the Semites of the Euphrates. In Canaan the Philistines were an exception, for the term "uncircumcised" is constantly used in connection with them. Generally speaking, the rite of circumcision was a precondition of the enjoyment of certain political and religious privileges (Ex 12:48; Eze 44:9); and in view of the fact that in the ancient world religion played such an important role in life, it may be assumed that circumcision, like many other strange customs whose original significance is no longer known, originated in connection with religion. Before enumerating the different theories which have been advanced with regard to the origin and original significance of circumcision, it may be of advantage to consider some of the principal references to the rite in the Old Testament.

1. Circumcision in the Old Testament:

In the account of the institution of the covenant between Yahweh and Abraham which Priestly Code (P) gives (Ge 17), circumcision is looked upon as the ratification of the agreement. Yahweh undertook to be the God of Abraham and of his descendants. Abraham was to be the father of a multitude of nations and the founder of a line of kings. He and his descendants were to inherit Canaan. The agreement thus formed was permanent; Abraham’s posterity should come within the scope of it. But it was necessary to inclusion in the covenant that every male child should be circumcised on the 8th day. A foreigner who had attached himself as a slave to a Hebrew household had to undergo the rite—the punishment for its non-fulfilment being death or perhaps excommunication. According to Ex 12:48 (also P) no stranger could take part in the celebration of the Passover unless he had been circumcised. In the Book of Jos (Jos 5:2-9) we read that the Israelites were circumcised at Gilgal ("Rolling"), and thus the "reproach of Egypt" was "rolled away." Apparently circumcision in the case of the Hebrews was prohibited during the Egyptian period—circumcision being a distinctive mark of the ruling race. It is noticeable that flint knives were used for the purpose. This use of an obsolete instrument is one of many proofs of conservatism in religion. According to the strange and obscure account of the circumcision by Zipporah of her eldest son (Ex 4:25) the performance of the rite in the case of the son apparently possesses a vicarious value, for thereby Moses becomes a "bridegroom of blood." The marriage bond is ratified by the rite of blood (see 4 below). But it is possible that the author’s meaning is that owing to the fact that Moses had not been circumcised (the "reproach of Egypt") he was not fit to enter the matrimonial estate (see 3 below).

2. Theories of Origin:

The different theories with regard to the origin of circumcision may be arranged under four heads:

(1) Herodotus (ii.37), in dealing with circumcision among the Egyptians, suggests that it was a sanitary operation. But all suggestions of a secular, i.e. non-religious, origin to the rite, fail to do justice to the place and importance of religion in the life of primitive man.

(2) It was a tribal mark. Tattooed marks frequently answered the purpose, although they may have been originally charms. The tribal mark enabled one member of the tribe to recognize another and thus avoid injuring or slaying a fellow-tribesman. It also enabled the tribal deity to recognize a member of the tribe which was under his special protection. A mark was placed on Cain to indicate that he was under the special protection of Yahweh (Ge 4:15). It has been suggested, in the light of Isa 44:5 the Revised Version, margin, that the employer’s mark was engraved (tattooed) on the slave’s hand. The prophet represents Jews as inscribing on their hands that they belong to Yahweh. The walls of Jerusalem are engraved on Yahweh’s palms (Isa 49:16). On the other hand "cuttings in the flesh" are prohibited in Le 19:28 because they were common in the case of the non-Jewish religions. Such tattooed marks might be made in conspicuous places when it was necessary that they should be easily seen, but there might be reason for secrecy so that the marks might be known only to the members of the tribe in question.

(3) It was a rite which celebrated the coming of age of the person. It signified the attainment of puberty and of the right to marry and to enjoy full civic privileges.

(4) As human sacrifices began to be done away with, the sacrifice of the most easily removed portion of the anatomy provided a vicarious offering.

(5) It was a sacramental operation. "The shedding of blood" was necessary to the validity of any covenant between tribes or individuals. The rite of blood signifies the exchange of blood on the part of the contracting parties, and therefore the establishment of physical affinity between them. An alliance based on blood-relationship was inviolable. In the same way the tribal god was supposed to share in the blood of the sacrificed animal, and a sacred bond was established between him and the tribe. It is not quite obvious why circumcision should be necessary in connection with such a ceremony. But it may be pointed out that the process of generation excited the wonder and awe of primitive man. The prosperity of the tribe depended on the successful issue of the marriage bond, and a part of the body which had so much to do with the continuation and numerical strength of the tribe would naturally be fixed upon in connection with the covenant of blood. In confirmation of the last explanation it is urged that in the case of the covenant between Yahweh and Abraham circumcision was the rite that ratified the agreement. In opposition to (3) it has been urged that among the Hebrews circumcision was performed in infancy—when the child was 8 days old. But this might have been an innovation among the Hebrews, due to ignorance of the original significance of the rite. If circumcision conferred upon the person circumcised the right to the enjoyment of the blessings connected with membership in the tribe it was natural that parents should be anxious that such an initiatory act should be performed early in life. The question of adult and infant baptism is capable of similar explanation. When we examine explanations (2), (3), (4), (5), we find that they are really different forms of the same theory. There can be no doubt that circumcision was originally a religions act. Membership in the tribe, entrance upon the rights of citizenship, participation in the religious practices of the tribe—these privileges are interdependent. Anyone who had experienced the rite of blood stood within the scope of the covenant which existed between the tribe and the tribal god, and enjoyed all the privileges of tribal society. It is easily understood why the historian carefully relates the circumcision of the Israelites by Joshua on their arrival in Canaan. It was necessary, in view of the possible intermingling of the conquerors and the conquered, that the distinctive marks of the Abrahamic covenant should be preserved (Jos 5:3).

3. Spiritual Significance:

In Jer 9:25 and De 30:6 we find the spiritual significance of circumcision. A prophet like Jeremiah was not likely to attach much importance to an external act like circumcision. He bluntly tells his countrymen that they are no better than Egyptians, Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites. They are uncircumcised in heart. Paul uses the term concision for this outward circumcision unaccompanied by any spiritual change (Php 3:2). The question of circumcision occasioned a protracted strife among the early Christians. Judaizing Christians argued for the necessity of circumcision. It was a reminiscence of the unrelenting particularism which had sprung up during the prolonged oppression of the Greek and Roman period. According to their view salvation was of the Jews and for the Jews. It was necessary to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. Paul consented to circumcision in the case of Timothy "because of the Jews" (Ac 16:3). But he saw that a principle was at stake and in most of his epistles he points out the sheer futility of the contention of the Judaizers. (See commentaries on Romans and Galatians.)

4. Figurative Uses:

In a few suggestive passages we find a figurative application of the term. For three years after the settlement in Canaan the "fruit of the land" was to be considered as "uncircumcised" (Le 19:23), i.e. it was the property of the Baalim, the gods of Palestine The fruit of the fourth year belonged to Yahweh. Moses with characteristic humility describes himself as a man of "uncircumcised lips" (Ex 6:30). Jeremiah charges his contemporaries with having their ear uncircumcised (Jer 6:10) and their heart (Jer 9:26). "An uncircumcised heart" is one which is, as it were, closed in, and so impervious to good influences and good impressions, just as an uncircumcised ear (Jer 6:10) is an ear which, from the same cause, hears imperfectly; and uncircumcised lips (compare Ex 6:12,30) are lips which open and speak with difficulty (Driver on De 10:16).

T. Lewis


sis (Keis): The form given in Ac 13:21 the King James Version for Kish, the father of Saul the first king of Israel (1Sa 9:1 f).






Use of Terms

1. General

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns

3. Private Cisterns

4. Public Cisterns

5. Pools and Aqueducts

6. Figurative Uses


Several words are rendered by "cistern," "well," "pool," the relations of which in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) are as follows:

Use of Terms:

"Cistern," bo’r (Jer 2:13, etc.), or bor (2Ki 18:31). The latter word is frequently in the King James Version translated "well." the Revised Version (British and American) in these cases changes to "cistern" in text (De 6:11; 2Ch 26:10; Ne 9:25) margin (Jer 14:3), rendered "pit" in the King James Version are changed to "cistern" the Revised Version (British and American) (the latter in the American Standard Revised Version only).

The proper Hebrew word for "well" is be’er (seen in Beer-sheba, "well of the oath," Ge 21:31), but other terms are thus rendered in the King James Version, as ‘ayin (Ge 24:13,16, etc., and frequently), ma‘yan (Jos 18:15), maqor (Pr 10:11). ally changes to "fountain"; in Ex 15:27, however, it renders ‘ayin by "springs," and in Ps 84:6, ma‘yan by, "place of springs." "Pool," ‘agham (Isa 14:23, etc.; in the King James Version, Ex 7:19; 8:5, rendered "ponds"); more frequently berekhah (2Sa 2:13; 4:12, etc.). In Ps 84:6 the cognate berakhah, is changed to "blessing."

In the New Testament "well" represents the two words: pege (Joh 4:6,14; in the Revised Version, margin "spring"; 2Pe 2:17; the Revised Version (British and American) renders "springs"), and phrear (Joh 4:11,12). "Pool" is kolumbethra, in Joh 5:2,4,7; 9:7,11.

1. General:

The efforts made to supplement the natural water supply, both in agricultural and in populated areas, before as well as after the Conquest, are clearly seen in the innumerable cisterns, wells and pools which abound throughout Palestine The rainy season, upon which the various storage systems depend, commences at the end of October and ends in the beginning of May. In Jerusalem, the mean rainfall in 41 years up to 1901 was 25,81 inches, falling in a mean number of 56 days (see Glaisher, Meteorological Observations, 24). Toward the end of summer, springs and wells, where they have not actually dried up, diminish very considerably, and cisterns and open reservoirs become at times the only sources of supply. Cisterns are fed from surface and roof drainage. Except in the rare instances where springs occur, wells depend upon percolation. The’ great open reservoirs or pools are fed from surface drainage and, in some cases, by aqueducts from springs or from more distant collecting pools. In the case of private cisterns, it is the custom of the country today to close up the inlets during the early days of the rain, so as to permit of a general wash down of gathering surfaces, before admitting the water. Cisterns, belonging to the common natives, are rarely cleansed, and the inevitable scum which collects is dispersed by plunging the pitcher several times before drawing water. When the water is considered to be bad, a somewhat primitive cure is applied by dropping earth into the cistern, so as to sink all impurities with it, to the bottom. The accumulation often found in ancient cisterns probably owes some of its presence to this same habit.

2. Wells or Cylindrical Cisterns:

It is necessary to include wells under the head of cisterns, as there appears to be some confusion in the use of the two terms. Wells, so called, were more often deep cylindrical reservoirs, the lower part of which was sunk in the rock and cemented, the upper part being built with open joints, to receive the surface percolation. They were often of great depth. Job’s well at Jerusalem, which is certainly of great antiquity, is 125 ft. deep (see Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 371).

The discovery of "living water" when digging a well, recorded in Ge 26:19 margin, appears to have been an unusual incident. Uzziah hewed out many cisterns in the valley for his cattle (2Ch 26:9,10 the Revised Version (British and American)), and he built towers, presumably to keep watch over both cattle and cisterns. Isaac "digged again the wells" which had been filled in by the Philistines (Ge 26:18). Wells were frequently dug in the plain, far from villages, for flocks and herds, and rude stone troughs were provided nearby. The well was usually covered with a stone, through which a hole was pierced sufficiently large to allow of free access for the pitchers. A stone was placed over this hole (Ge 29:10) when the well was not in use. The great amount of pottery found in ancient cisterns suggests that clay pots were used for drawing water (see Bible Sidelights, 88). Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 37) elucidates the passage in Ex 21:33 requiring the mouth of a "pit" or "well" to be covered with planks against accidents. This would seem to apply to wide-mouthed wells which had not been narrowed over to receive a stone cover. It may have been a well or cistern similar to these into which Joseph was cast (Ge 37:24). In fact, dry-wells and cisterns formed such effective dungeons, that it is very probable they were often used for purposes of detention. From earliest times, wells have been the cause of much strife. The covenant between Abimelech and Abraham at Beersheba (Ge 32) was a necessity, no less pressing then than it is now. The well, today, is a center of life in the East. Women gather around it in pursuit of their daily duties, and travelers, man and beast, divert their course thereto, if needs be, for refreshment; and news of the outer world is carried to and from the well. It is, in fact, an all-important center, and daily presents a series of characteristic Bible scenes. The scene between Rebekah and the servant of Abraham (Ge 24:11 ff) is one with frequent parallels. The well lies usually at some little distance from the village or city. Abraham’s servant made his "camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of the evening, the time that women go out to draw water." Saul and his servant found young maidens going out of the city to draw water (1Sa 9:11). Moses helped the daughters of the priest of Midian at the well, which was evidently at some distance from habitation (Ex 2:16 ff).

3. Private Cisterns:

Private cisterns must be distinguished from public cisterns or wells. They were smaller and were sunk in the rocks within private boundaries, each owner having his own cistern (2Ki 18:31; Pr 5:15). Ancient sites are honeycombed with these cisterns. A common type in Jerusalem seems to have been bottle-shaped in section, the extended bottom part being in the softer rock, and the narrow neck in the hard upper stratum. Many irregularly shaped cisterns occur with rock vaults supported by rock or masonry piers. Macalister tells of the discovery at Gezer of a small silt catchpit attached to a private cistern, and provided with an overflow channel leading to the cistern. It is an early instance of a now well-known method of purification. The universal use of cement rendering to the walls of the cisterns was most necessary to seal up the fissures of the rock. The "broken cisterns" (Jer 2:13) probably refer to insufficiently sealed cisterns.

4. Public Cisterns:

Besides private cisterns there were huge public rock-cut cisterns within the city walls. The great water caverns under the Temple area at Jerusalem show a most extensive system of water storage (see Recovery of Jerusalem, chapter vii). There are 37 of these described in Palestine Exploration Fund, "Jerus," 217 ff, and the greatest is an immense rock-cut cavern the roof of which is partly rock and partly stone, supported by rock piers (see Fig. 1, Palestine Exploration Fund). It is 43 ft. deep with a storage capacity of over two million gallons and there are numerous access manholes. This cistern is fed by an aqueduct from Solomon’s Pools about 10 miles distant by road, and is locally known as Bahar el Kebir, the "Great Sea." One of the most recent and one of the most interesting rock-cut reservoirs yet discovered is that at Gezer. (See Palestine Exploration Fund Statement, 1908, 96 ff.) In this example, the pool of spring water is reached by a great rock-tunnel staircase which descends 94 ft. 6 inches from the surface. The staircase diminishes in size as it descends, and at its greatest, it is 23 ft. high and 12 ft. 10 inches wide. These proportions may seem unnecessarily large, but may be accounted for by the necessity for providing light at the water level. As a matter of fact, the brink of the pool receives the light from above. The work dates back to pre-Israelite times.

5. Pools and Aqueducts:

Open pools were common in every city. They were cut out of the rock and were built and cemented at points where occasion demanded. They were often of great size. The pool outside Jerusalem known as Birket es Sultan measures 555 ft. x 220 ft. x 36 ft. deep, and the so-called Hezekiah’s Pool within the walls, is 240 ft. x 144 ft. x about 20 ft. deep. The latter probably owes its origin to the rock-cut fosse of early Jewish date. The Birket es Sultan, on the other hand, probably dates from the time of the Turkish occupation. They may, however, be taken as examples, which, if somewhat larger, are still in accord with the pool system of earlier history. Pools were usually fed by surface drainage, and in some cases by aqueducts from springs at some distance away. They seem to have been at the public service, freely accessible to both man and beast. Pools situated outside the city walls were sometimes connected by aqueducts with pools within the city, so that the water could be drawn within the walls in time of siege. The so-called Pools of Solomon, three in number (see Fig. 3), situated about 10 miles by road from Jerusalem, are of large proportions and are fed by surface water and by aqueducts from springs. The water from these pools is conveyed in a wonderfully engineered course, known as the lower-level aqueduct, which searches the winding contours of the Judean hills for a distance of about 15 miles, before reaching its destination in "the great sea" under the Temple area. This aqueduct is still in use, but its date is uncertain (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, 131, where the author finds reason for ascribing it to the period of Herod). The course and destination of another aqueduct known as the high-level aqueduct is less definite. These aqueducts are of varying dimensions. The low-level aqueduct at a point just before it enters the Temple area was found to measure 3 ft. high x 2 ft. 3 inches wide, partly rock-cut and partly built, and rendered in smooth-troweled cement, with well-squared stone covers (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 53 ff). There are many remains of rock-cut aqueducts throughout Palestine (see Fig. 4) which seem to indicate their use in early Hebrew times, but the lack of Old Testament references to these works is difficult to account for, unless it is argued that in some cases they date back to pre-Israelite times. The great tunnel and pool at Gezer lends a measure of support to this hypothesis. On the other hand, a plea for a Hebrew origin is also in a measure strengthened by the very slight reference in the Old Testament to such a great engineering feat as the cutting of the Siloam tunnel, which is doubtless the work of Hezekiah. The pool of Siloam was originally a simple rock-cut reservoir within the walls, and was constructed by Hezekiah (2Ch 32:30). It measures 75 ft. x 71 ft. It is the upper pool of Isa 7:3. A lower overflow pool existed immediately beyond, contained by the city wall across the Tyropoeon valley. The aqueduct which supplies the upper pool takes a tortuous course of about 1,700 ft. through the solid rock from the Virgin’s fountain, an intermittent spring on the East slope of the hill. The water reaches the pool on the Southwest of the spur of Ophel, and it was in the rock walls of this aqueduct that the famous Siloam inscription recording the completion of the work was discovered.

Herod embellished the upper pool, lining it with stone and building arches around its four sides (see Palestine Exploration Fund, Excavations at Jerusalem, 154 ff), and the pool was most likely in this condition in the time of Christ (Joh 9:6,7). There are numerous other pools, cisterns and aqueducts in and around Jerusalem, which provide abundant evidence of the continual struggle after water, made by its occupants of all times (see G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, chapter v, volume I).

See also PIT; WELL, etc.

6. Figurative Uses:

Good wives are described as cisterns (Pr 5:15 ff). "The left ventricle of the heart, which retains the blood till it be redispersed through the body, is called a cistern" (Ec 12:6). Idols, armies and material objects in which Israel trusted were "broken cisterns" (Jer 2:13, see above) "soon emptied of all the aid and comfort which they possess, and cannot fill themselves again."


G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Palestine Exploration Fund Memoirs, Jerusalem vol; Wilson, The Recovery of Jerusalem; Macalister, Bible Sidelights; Palestine Exploration Fund Statement; Bliss and Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem; Josephus.

Arch. C. Dickie


sit’-a-del (1 Macc 1:33; 3:45).



sith’-ern (kithara; 1 Macc 4:54 the King James Version, kitharais kai kinurais is translated "citherns and harps"; the Revised Version (British and American) "harps and lutes"; compare guitar, zither): As 1 Macc was originally written in Hebrew, it is natural to suppose that these two Greek words stand for Hebrew nebhalim and kinnoroth; but to this it may be objected that kithara and kinura are not used elsewhere together to represent two different instruments. On the contrary we have either kinura kai nabla or kithara kai psalterion. The most probable explanation of the unusual collocation of these two words in 1 Maccabees is that kithara was a gloss meant to explain the obsolescent kinura.


James Millar




sit’-iz, plan, (kikkar ha-yarden): Included Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. The locality is first referred to in Ge 13:10, where it is said that Lot "lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar." The word translated plain is kikkar, "circle." In this ver, and in the 11th, as well as in 1Ki 7:46 and Mt 3:5, we have the full phrase "circle of the Jordan." Elsewhere (Ge 13:12; 19:17,29; De 34:3; 2Sa 18:23) the word for "circle" is used alone with the article. Until recently the traditional view that this circle of the Jordan was at the south end of the Dead Sea was universally maintained. The arguments in favor of this view are:

(1) The name of Sodom is preserved in Jebel Usdum—Usdum having the same consonants with Sodom; moreover, the name is known to have referred to a place in that region as early as the days of Galen (De Simpl. medic. Facult., 4,19) who describes certain "salts of Sodom" from the mountains surrounding the lake which are called Sodom.

(2) Zoar seems to have been represented in the Middle Ages by a place which the Crusaders called Segore, and Arabic writers Zoghar. Under the name Zughar or Sughar the place is often referred to by medieval Arabian geographers as situated 1ø South of Jericho "at the end of the Dead Sea" and as a station on the route between the Gulf of Akabah and Jericho, two days’ journey from Jericho. Ptolemy (v.17,5) reckons Zoar as belonging to Arabia Petrea. Eusebius (Onom., 261) describes the Dead Sea as lying between Jericho and Zoar. Josephus (Ant., I, xi, 4) makes the Dead Sea extend 580 stadia "as far as Zoar of Arabia" (Wars, IV, viii, 4). These references would locate Zoar at the base of the mountains just Southeast of the Dead Sea, and, as it was within easy reach of Sodom, from which Lot fled, would fix the Cities of the Plain in that locality. Jerome (Comm. on Isa 15:5) says that Zoar was in the borders of Moab.

On the other hand, it is maintained that the "kikkar of the Jordan" lay North of the Dead Sea for the following reasons:

(1) That is the region which is visible from the heights of Bethel whence Abraham and Lot looked down upon it (Ge 13:10), while the south end of the lake is not visible. But it may be answered that the phrase need not be limited to the actual region in sight, but may have included the whole known extension of the valley.

(2) Zoar was said to be in range of Moses’ vision from the top of Pisgah (De 34:1-3) whereas the south end of the Dead Sea is invisible from that point, on account of intervening mountains. But this description in De evidently is not intended to be limited to the points which are actually visible, but should be understood as describing the extreme limits of the land some points of which are visible in their near vicinity. Certainly the vision did not comprehend all portions of Da or Judah "unto the hinder sea." The phrase from Jericho to. Zoar is like "from Da to Beersheba." The mountain heights overlooking Zoar were certainly visible.

(3) In Ge 14 the four kings coming up from Kadesh attacked the Amorites "that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar" before reaching Sodom, and Hazezon-tamar is to be identified with Engedi. On the other hand, it is possible that it is to be identified with the Tamar of Eze 47:19; 48:28, and that this place lay Southwest of the Dead Sea. Or, if that explanation is not accepted, it is proper to note that the course of this expedition led at first a considerable distance South of the Dead Sea through Mt. Seir to El-paran, when "they smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites." In accomplishing this they would naturally be led along the highland to Hebron from which they could easily descend to Engedi, whence they could proceed without difficulty to the south end of the end Sea. Besides, it is by no means certain that there was not an easy passage along the whole western shore of the Dead Sea at that time. See DEAD SEA.

(4) It is argued that the region at the south end of the Dead Sea could not be described "as the garden of the Lord," etc. Neither, for that matter, could the region around the north end be so described in its present condition. But, on the other hand, the region South of the sea is by no means as devoid of vegetation as is sometimes represented, while there are convincing arguments to prove that formerly it was much more extensive and fertile than now. To the fertility of this area there is no more capable witness than Professor Hull, though he is an ardent advocate of the location of these cities at the north end of the lake. This appears both in his original diary, and in his more mature and condensed account contained in his article on the Dead Sea in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), where he writes, "When, in December, 1883. the writer found himself standing on the edge of the terrace overlooking the Ghor, he beheld at his feet a wide plain stretching away northward toward the margin of the Dead Sea, and to a large extent green with vegetation and thickets of small trees. To the right in an open space were seen several large Bedouin camps, from which the shouts of wild men, the barking of dogs, and the bellowing of camels ascended. Numerous flocks of black goats and white sheep were being tended by women in long blue cloaks; and on the party of travelers being observed, groups of merry children came tripping up toward the path accompanied by a few of the elders, and, ranging themselves in a line, courteously returned salutations. Here the Arabs remain enjoying the warmth, of the plain till the increasing heat of the summer’s sun calls them away to their high pasture grounds on the table-land of Edom and Moab. At a short distance farther toward the shore of the lake is the village of Es-Safieh, inhabited by a tribe of fellahin called the Ghawarneh, who by means of irrigation from the Wady el-Hessi cultivate with success fields of wheat, maize, dhurah, indigo and cotton, while they rear herds of camels and flocks of sheep and goats. On the produce of these fields the Arabs largely depend for their supplies of food and raiment, which they obtain by a kind of rude, often compulsory, barter."


Authorities favoring the south end of the Dead Sea: Dillmann, Genesis, 111 f; Robinson, BRP2, II, 187:ff; G. A. Smith, Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 505 ff; Baedeker-Socin, Palestine, III, 146; Buhl, Buhl, Geographic des alten Palastina, 117, 271, 274; see also especially Samuel Wolcott, "Site of Sodom," Bibliotheca Sacra, XXV, 112-51. Favoring the north end: Sir George Grove in various articles in Smith, Dictionary of the Bible; Canon Tristram, Land of Moab, 330 ff; Selah Merrill, East of the Jordan, 232-39; W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book.

George Frederick Wright








See CHITTIM (1 Macc 8:5 the King James Version).


sit’-i-zen-ship: All the words in use connected with this subject are derived from polis, "city."

1. Philological:

These words, with the meanings which they have in the Bible, are the nouns, polites, "citizen"; politeia, "citizenship"; politeuma, "commonwealth"; sumpolites, "fellow-citizen"; and the verb, politeuo, "to behave as a citizen." Each will be considered more fully in its proper place.

2. Civil:

(1) The word for citizen is sometimes used to indicate little if anything more than the inhabitant of a city or country. "The citizens of that country" (Lu 15:15); "His citizens hated him" (Lu 19:14). Also the quotation from the Septuagint, "They shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen" (Heb 8:11; compare Jer 31:34). So also in the Apocrypha (2 Macc 4:50; 5:6; 9:19).

(2) Roman citizenship.—This is of especial interest to the Bible student because of the apostle Paul’s relation to it. It was one of his qualifications as the apostle to the Gentiles. Luke shows him in Ac as a Roman citizen, who, though a Jew and Christian receives, for the most part, justice and courtesy from the Roman officials, and more than once successfully claims its privileges. He himself declares that he was a citizen of Tarsus (Ac 21:39). He was not only born in that city but had a citizen’s rights in it.


But this citizenship in Tarsus did not of itself confer upon Paul the higher dignity of Roman citizenship. Had it done so, Claudius Lysias would not have ordered him to be scourged, as he did, after having learned that he was a citizen of Tarsus (Ac 21:39; compare Ac 22:25). So, over and above this Tarsian citizenship, was the Roman one, which availed for him not in one city only, but throughout the Roman world and secured for him everywhere certain great immunities and rights. Precisely what all of these were we are not certain, but we know that, by the Valerian and Porcian laws, exemption from shameful punishments, such as scourging with rods or whips, and especially crucifixion, was secured to every Roman citizen; also the right of appeal to the emperor with certain limitations. This sanctity of person had become almost a part of their religion, so that any violation was esteemed a sacrilege. Cicero’s oration against Verres indicates the almost fanatical extreme to which this feeling had been carried. Yet Paul had been thrice beaten with rods, and five times received from the Jews forty stripes save one (2Co 11:24,25). Perhaps it was as at Philippi before he made known his citizenship (Ac 16:22,23), or the Jews had the right to whip those who came before their own tribunals. Roman citizenship included also the right of appeal to the emperor in all cases, after sentence had been passed, and no needless impediment must be interposed against a trial. Furthermore, the citizen had the right to be sent to Rome for trial before the emperor himself, when charged with capital offenses (Ac 16:37; 22:25-29; 25:11).

How then had Paul, a Jew, acquired this valued dignity? He himself tells us. In contrast to the parvenu citizenship of the chief captain, who seems to have thought that Paul also must have purchased it, though apparently too poor, Paul quietly, says, "But I was free born" (King James Versions; "a Roman born" the Revised Version (British and American), Ac 22:28). Thus either Paul’s father or some other ancestor had acquired the right and had transmitted it to the son.

3. Metaphorical and Spiritual:

What more natural than that Paul should sometimes use this civic privilege to illustrate spiritual truths? He does so a number of times. Before the Sanhedrin he says, in the words of our English Versions, "I have lived before God in all good conscience" (Ac 23:1). But this translation does not bring out the sense. Paul uses a noticeable word, politeuo, "to live as a citizen." He adds, "to God" (to Theo). That is to say, he had lived conscientiously as God’s citizen, as a member of God’s commonwealth. The day before, by appealing to his Roman citizenship, he had saved himself from ignominious whipping, and now what more natural than that he should declare that he had been true to his citizenship in a higher state? What was this higher commonwealth in which he has enjoyed the rights and performed the duties of a citizen? What but theocracy of his fathers, the ancient church, of which the Sanhedrin was still the ostensible representative, but which was really continued in the kingdom of Christ without the national restrictions of the older one? Thus Paul does not mean to say simply, "I have lived conscientiously before God," but "I have lived as a citizen to God, of the body of which He is the immediate Sovereign." He had lived theocratically as a faithful member of the Jewish church, from which his enemies claimed he was an apostate. Thus Paul’s conception was a kind of blending of two ideas or feelings, one of which came from the old theocracy, and the other from his Roman citizenship.

Later, writing from Rome itself to the Philippians, who were proud of their own citizenship as members of a colonia, a reproduction on a small scale of the parent commonwealth, where he had once successfully maintained his own Roman rights, Paul forcibly brings out the idea that Christians are citizens of a heavenly commonwealth, urging them to live worthy of such honor (Php 1:27 margin).

A similar thought is brought out when he says, "For our commonwealth (politeuma) is in heaven" (Php 3:20 margin). The state to which we belong is heaven. Though absent in body from the heavenly commonwealth, as was Paul from Rome when he asserted his rights, believers still enjoy its civic privileges and protections; sojourners upon earth, citizens of heaven. The Old Testament conception, as in Isa 60-62, would easily lend itself to this idea, which appears in Heb 11:10,16; 12:22-24; 13:14; Ga 4:26, and possibly in Re 21.

See also ROME.

G. H. Trever





sit’-i (‘ir, qiryah; polis):


1. Origin

2. Extent

3. Villages

4. Sites

5. External Appearance

6. General


1. Tower or Stronghold

2. High Place

3. Broad Place

4. Streets

5. General Characteristics




I. The Canaanite City.

1. Origin:

The development of the Canaanite city has been traced by Macalister in his report on the excavation at Gezer (Palestine Exploration Fund Statement, 1904, 108 ff). It originated on the slopes of a bare rocky spur, in which the Neolithic Troglodytes quarried their habitations out of the solid rock, the stones therefrom being used to form a casing to the earthen ramparts, with which the site was afterwards surrounded and which served as a protection against the intrusion of enemies. Later Semitic intruders occupied the site, stone houses were built, and high stone defense walls were substituted for the earthen stone-cased ramparts. These later walls were much higher and stronger than those of the Neilithic occupation and were the walls seen by the Israelites when they viewed the country of their promise.

2. Extent:

"The people that dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified, and very great" (Nu 13:28) was the report of the spies sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan, to see "what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in camps, or in strongholds" (Nu 13:19,20). The difficulties of the task set before the advancing Israelites and their appreciation of the strength of the cities, is here recorded, and also in De 1:28: "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there." This assessment of greatness was based upon comparative ignorance of such fortifications and the want of war experience and the necessary implements of assault. It need not, therefore, be supposed that the cities were "great" except by comparison in the eyes of a tent- dwelling and pastoral people. On the contrary, most recent exploration has proved that they were small (see Pere Vincent, Canaan, 27, note 3, and Pl. I, where comparative measurements of the areas of ancient cities show that, in nine cities compared, Tell Sandahannah (barely 6 acres) is the smallest). Gezer measures approximately 22 1/4 acres and Tell el-Hesy somewhat greater. By way of illustration, it is interesting to note that the Acropolis at Athens, roughly computed, measures 7:1/4 acres, while the Castle Rock at Edinburgh is about 6 acres, or the same as the whole Seleucidan city of Tell Sandahannah. The Acropolis at Tell Zakariya measures about 2 acres or nearly one-fourth of the area of the whole city (about 8 1/2 acres). It is unlikely that Jebus (Jerusalem) itself was an exception, although in Solomonic and later times it extended to a far greater area.

3. Villages:

Besides the walled cities there were "unwalled (country) towns a great many" (De 3:5), "villages," unfortified suburbs, lying near to and under the protection of the walled cities and occupied by the surplus population. The almost incredible number of cities and their villages mentioned in the Old Testament, while proving the clannishness of their occupants, proves, at the same time, their comparatively small scale.

4. Sites:

Traces of similar populations that rise and fall are seen in China and Japan today. As a little poem says of Karakura: " Where were palaces and merchants and the blades of warriors, Now are only the cicadas and waving blades of grass." " Cities that stood on their mounds" (Jos 11:13; Jer 30:18) as at Lachish and Taanach are distinguished from those built on natural hills or spurs of hills, such as Jebus, Gezer, Tell es Sail (Gath?), Bethshemesh (see Vincent, Canaan, 26 ff). The Arabic name "Tell" is applied to all mounds of ancient cities, whether situated on a natural eminence or on a plain, and the word is common in the geographical nomenclature of Palestine Sites were chosen near a water supply, which was ever the most essential qualification. For purposes of defense, the nearest knoll or spur was selected. Sometimes these knolls were of no great height and their subsequent elevation is accounted for by the gradual accumulation of debris from town refuse and from frequent demolitions; restoration being effected after a levelng up of the ruins of the razed city (see Fig. 2: Tell el-Hesy, Palestine Exploration Fund, which shows a section of the Tell from which the levels of the successive cities in distinct stratification were recovered). Closely packed houses, in narrow alleys, with low, rude mud, brick, or stone and mud walls, with timber and mud roofs, burned readily and were easily razed to the ground (Jos 8:1 ff; Jos 11:11).

It would seem that, viewed from the outside, these cities had the appearance of isolated forts, the surrounding walls being strengthened at frequent intervals, with towers. The gates were approached by narrow roads, which mounted the slopes of the mound at the meeting-point of the meandering paths on the plain below.

5. External Appearance:

The walls of Tell ej-Judeideh were strengthened by towers in the inside, and presented an unbroken circuit of wall to the outside view (see Fig. 4, PEF). Houses on the wall (Jos 2:15; 2Co 11:33) may have been seen from the outside; but it is unlikely that any building within the walls was visible, except possibly the inner tower or stronghold. The whole of the interior of the early Jerusalem (Jebus) was visible from the hills to the East, but this peculiarity of position is uncommon. Strong and high walls, garrisoned by men-at-arms seen only through the battlements, showed no weakness, and the gates, with their narrow and steep approaches and projecting defense towers, looked uninviting traps. The mystery of these unseen interiors could therefore be easily conjured into an exaggeration of strength.

6. General:

The inhabitants of the villages (banoth, "daughters," Nu 32:42 margin) held feudal occupation and gave service to their lord of the city (’em, "mother," 2Sa 20:19), in defense of their own or in attacks on their neighbor’s property. Such were the cities of the truculent, marauding kings of Canaan, whose broken territories lent themselves to the upkeep of a condition, of the weakness of which, the Israelites, in their solid advance, took ready advantage.

II. The City of the Jewish Occupation.

After the conquest, and the abandonment of the pastoral life for that of agriculture and general trade, the condition of the cities varied but little, except that they were, from time to time, enlarged and strengthened. Solomon’s work at Jerusalem was a step forward, but there is little evidence that, in the other cities which he is credited with having put his hands to, there was any embellishment. Megiddo and Gezer at least show nothing worthy of the name. Greek influence brought with it the first real improvements in city building; and the later work of Herod raised cities to a grandeur which was previously undreamed of among the Jews. Within the walls, the main points considered in the "layout" were, the Tower or Stronghold, the High Place, the Broad Place by the Gate, and the Market-Place.

1. Tower or Stronghold:

The Tower or Stronghold was an inner fort which held a garrison and commander, and was provisioned with "victuals, and oil and wine" (2Ch 11:11), to which the defenders of the city when hard pressed betook themselves, as a last resource. The men of the tower of Shechem held out against Abimelech (Jud 9:49) who was afterward killed by a stone thrown by a woman from the Tower of Thebez "within the city" (Jud 9:51,53). David took the stronghold of Zion, "the same is the city of David" (2Sa 5:7), which name (Zion) was afterward applied to the whole city. It is not unlikely that the king’s house was included in the stronghold. Macalister (Palestine Exploration Fund Statement, 1907, 192 ff) reports the discovery of a Canaanite castle with enormously thick walls abutting against the inside of the city wall. The strongholds at Taanach and Tell el-Hesy are similarly placed; and the Acropolis at Tell Zakariya lies close to, but independent of, the city wall.

2. High Place:

The High Place was an important feature in all Canaanite cities and retained its importance long after the conquest (1Sa 9:12 ff; 1Ki 3:2; Am 7:9). It was a sanctuary, where sacrifices were offered and feasts were held, and men did "eat before Yahweh" (De 14:26). The priests, as was their custom, received their portion of the flesh (1Sa 2:12 ff). The High Place discovered at Gezer (Bible Sidelights, chapter iii) is at a lower level than the city surrounding it, and lies North and South. It is about 100 ft. in length, and when complete consisted of a row of ten rude undressed standing stones, of which eight are still remaining, the largest being 10 ft. 6 inches high, and the others varying to much smaller sizes.


3. Broad Place:

The Broad Place (Ne 8:1,3,16; Jer 5:1) seems to have been, usually, immediately inside the city gate. It was not, in early Jewish cities, an extensive open area, but simply a widening of the street, and was designated "broad" by comparison with the neighboring alleys, dignified by the name of street. It took the place of a general exchange. Justice was dispensed (Ru 4:2) and punishment was administered. Jeremiah was put in "the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin" (Jer 20:2), proclamations were read, business was transacted, and the news and gossip of the day were exchanged. It was a place for all classes to congregate (Job 29:7; Pr 31:23), and was also a market-place (2Ki 7:1). In later times, the market-place became more typically a market square of the Greek agora plan, with an open area surrounded by covered shelters. The present market-place at Haifa resembles this. Probably it was this type of market-place referred to in Mt 11:16; 20:3 and Lu 7:32; 11:43. The street inside the Damascus gate of Jerusalem today is, in many ways, similar to the Broad Place, and retains many of its ancient uses. Here, Bedouin and Fellahin meet from the outlying districts to barter, to arbitrate, to find debtors and to learn the news of the day. Lying as it did immediately inside the gate, the Broad Place had a defensive value, in that it admitted of concentration against the forcing of the gate. There does not seem to have been any plan of either a Canaanite or early Jewish city, in which this question of defense did not predominate. Open areas within the city were "waste places" (Isa 58:12) and were not an integral part of the plan.

4. Streets:

The streets serving these quarters were not laid out on any fixed plan. They were, in fact, narrow, unpaved alleys, all seeming of equal importance, gathering themselves crookedly to the various centers. Having fixed the positions of the City Gates, the Stronghold and the High Place, the inhabitants appear to have been allowed to situate themselves the best way they could, without restriction of line or frontage. Houses were of modest proportions and were poorly built; planned, most often, in utter disregard of the square, and presenting to the street more or less dead walls, which were either topped by parapets or covered with projecting wood and mud roofs (see ARCHITECTURE, fig. 1; HOUSE).

The streets, as in the present day in Palestine, were allocated to separate trades: "bakers’ street" (Jer 37:21), place "of the merchants" (Ne 3:31,32 the King James Version), "goldsmiths," etc. The Valley of the Cheesemakers was a street in the Tyropceon Valley at Jerusalem.

For a discussion of the subject of "cisterns" , see the separate article under the word

5. General Characteristics:

The people pursued the industries consequent upon their own self-establishment. Agriculture claimed first place, and was their most highly esteemed occupation. The king’s lands were farmed by his subjects for his own benefit, and considerable tracts of lands belonged to the aristocracy. The most of the lands, however, belonged to the cities and villages, and were allotted among the free husbandmen. Various cereals were raised, wheat and barley being most commonly cultivated. The soil was tilled and the crops reaped and threshed in much the same manner and with much the same implements as are now used in Syria. Cities lying in main trade routes developed various industries more quickly than those whose positions were out of touch with foreign traffic. Crafts and trades, unknown to the early Jews, were at first monopolized by foreigners who, as a matter of course, were elbowed out as time progressed. Cities on the seaboard of Phoenicia depended chiefly on maritime trade. Money, in the form of ingots and bars of precious metals, "weighed out" (2Ki 12:11), was current in preexilic times, and continued in use after foreign coinage had been introduced. The first native coinage dates from the Maccabean period (see Madden, Jewish Coinage, chapter iv). Slavery was freely trafficked in, and a certain number of slaves were attached to the households of the more wealthy. Although they were the absolute property of their masters, they enjoyed certain religious privileges not extended to the "sojourners" or "strangers" who sought the protection of the cities, often in considerable numbers.

The king’s private property, from which he drew full revenue, lay partly within the city, but to a greater extent beyond it (1Sa 8:15,16). In addition to his private property, he received tithes of fields and flocks, "the tenth part of your seed." He also drew a tax in the shape of certain "king’s mowings" (Am 7:1). Vassal kings, paid tribute; Mesha, king of Moab, rendered wool unto the king of Israel (2Ki 3:4).

See G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, I, chapters v-x, for detailed account of the conditions of Jewish city life. For details of government, see ELDER; JUDGES; SANHEDRIN.

III. Store Cities.

These were selected by Solomon and set aside for stores of victuals, chariots, horsemen, etc. (1Ki 9:19). Jehoshaphat "built in Judah castles and cities of store" (2Ch 17:12). Twelve officers were appointed by Solomon to provision his household, each officer being responsible for the supply in one month in the year (1Ki 4:7). There were also "storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages" (1Ch 27:25 the King James Version).

IV. Levitical Cities.

These were apportioned 13 to the children of Aaron, 10 to Kohath, 13 to Gershon, 12 to Merari, 48 cities in all (Jos 21:13 ff), 6 of which were cities of Refuge (Nu 35:6); see REFUGE, CITIES OF. For further details see ARCHITECTURE; HOUSE.


PEFS; Bliss and Dickie, Excavations at Jerusalem; Macalister, Excavation at Gezer; Bliss and Macalister, Excavations in Palestine; Sellin, Excavation at Taanach; Schumacher, Excavation at Tell Mutesellim; Macalister, Bible Sidelights; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem; Historical Geography of the Holy Land; Bliss, Mounds of Many Cities; Vincent, Canaan.

Arch. C. Dickie


kon-fu’-zhun (qiryath-tohu): A name applied to Jerusalem (Isa 24:10 the King James Version).




de-struk’-shun ‘ir ha-herec; (Septuagint Base-dek): In his prediction of the future return of Egypt to Yahweh, Isaiah declares, "In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Yahweh of hosts; one shall be called The city of destruction" (Isa 19:18). The name ‘ir ha-herec, "the city of overthrow," is evidently a play upon ‘ir ha-cherec, "city of the sun," a designation of Heliopolis (same meaning; compare the name for this city, Beth-shemesh, Jer 43:13), in Egyptian, On (Ge 41:45), which last name Ezekiel, by a similar play on sound, changes into Aven. See ON. Some codices, however, as the Revised Version, margin notes, read here ‘ir ha-cherec, the actual name of the city.

James Orr


pam’-trez (‘ir ha-temarim).

See JERICHO (De 34:3; Jud 1:16; 3:13; 2Ch 28:15).










rool’-erz: The English Versions of the Bible rendering of the politarchai, of Thessalonica, before whom Jason and the other Christians were dragged by the mob (Ac 17:6,8). The term distinguishes the magistrates of a free Greek city from the ordinary Roman officials. It primarily denotes "rulers of the citizens," and hence, was used only of magistrates of free cities. The term seems to have been confined largely to Macedonia, although there have been found a few inscriptions elsewhere in which it is used. The use of this term well illustrates the accuracy of the author of the Book of Acts, for while politarchai is not used by classical authors, this form is attested by a number of Macedonian inscriptions. Much work has been done in this field in recent years and the results throw light on the reference in Acts. Of the inscriptions that have been found at least five belong to Thessalonica (see article by Professor Burton, in the American Journal of Theology of 1898, "The Politarchs").

"The rulers" of Philippi, before whom Paul and Silas were brought is the English Versions of the Bible rendering of archonies, which is commonly used in the New Testament (Ac 16:19). This is the ordinary term for "rulers" and is not the same as "rulers of the city."

A. W. Fortune


An emphatic expression of joy, "They clapped their hands (nakhah), and said, Long live (the King James Version "God save") the king" (2Ki 11:12); "Oh clap your hands (taqa‘), all ye peoples" (Ps 47:1); or exultation (caphaq, La 2:15; macha’, Eze 25:6; taqa‘, Na 3:19); or repudiation (caphaq, Job 27:23; 34:37).

Figurative: To denote Nature’s "sympathy" with God’s people. "Let the floods clap (macha’) their hands" (Ps 98:8); "All the trees of the field shall clap their hands" (Isa 55:12; compare Jud 5:20).


klasps (qerec): The word occurs nine times in Ex 26; 36, 39; which record the specifications for the erection of the tabernacle and their subsequent carrying out. In each of these passages the King James Version renders "taches"—an early English word of French origin now embodied in our "attachment." 50 clasps or taches of gold were ordered to be used in connecting together the two sets of inner tapestry curtains (10 in number) of the tabernacle (Ex 26:6), and 50 clasps of brass (bronze) were similarly to be used in joining the two sets of goats’ hair curtains (11 in number) which formed the outer covering (Ex 26:11). See TABERNACLE. As to the nature of the clasp itself, it seems to have belonged to a double set of loops, opposite to each other, to one of which in each set, required to be of blue cord, a gold or brass button or pin was attached, which, being inserted into the loop opposite, kept the curtain in position (Ex 26:4-6).

A difficulty arises from the direction in Ex 26:33 that the veil which divided the "dwelling" into two parts—the holy place and the most holy—was to be suspended "under the clasps." If the clasps are supposed to be midway in the total length of the tabernacle, this would make the two holy places to be of equal size, contrary to the usual assumption that the outer was twice the length of the inner. The term "under" must therefore be used with some latitude, or the ordinary conception of the arrangement of the curtains, or of the size of the holy places will have to be revised (the dimensions are not actually given in the description).

W. Shaw Caldecott

CLAUDA klo’-da.



klo’-di-a (Klaudia): A member of the Christian congregation at Rome, who, with other members of that church, sends her greetings, through Paul, to Timothy (2Ti 4:21). More than this concerning her cannot be said with certainty. The Apostolical Constitutions (VII, 21) name her as the mother of Linus, mentioned subsequently by Irenaeus and Eusebius as bishop of Rome. An ingenious theory has been proposed, upon the basis of the mention of Claudia and Pudens as husband and wife in an epigram of Martial, that they are identical with the persons of the same name here mentioned. A passage in the Agricola of Tacitus and an inscription found in Chichester, England, have been used in favor of the further statement that this Claudia was a daughter of a British king, Cogidubnus. See argument by Alford in the Prolegomena to 2Ti in his Greek Testament. It is an example of how a very few data may be used to construct a plausible theory. If it be true, the contrast between their two friends, the apostle Paul, on the one hand, and the licentious poet, Martial, on the other, is certainly unusual. If in 2Ti 4:21, Pudens and Claudia be husband and wife, it is difficult to explain how Linus occurs between them. See argument against this in Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers.

H. E. Jacobs


klo’-di-us (Klaudios): Fourth Roman emperor. He reigned for over 13 years (41-54 AD), having succeeded Caius (Caligula) who had seriously altered the conciliatory policy of his predecessors regarding the Jews and, considering himself a real and corporeal god, had deeply offended the Jews by ordering a statue of himself to be placed in the temple of Jerusalem, as Antiochus Epiphanes had done with the statue of Zeus in the days of the Maccabees (2 Macc 6:2). Claudius reverted to the policy of Augustus and Tiberius and marked the opening year of his reign by issuing edicts in favor of the Jews (Ant., XIX, 5), who were permitted in all parts of the empire to observe their laws and customs in a free and peaceable manner, special consideration being given to the Jews of Alexandria who were to enjoy without molestation all their ancient rights and privileges. The Jews of Rome, however, who had become very numerous, were not allowed to hold assemblages there (Dio LX, vi, 6), an enactment in full correspondence with the general policy of Augustus regarding Judaism in the West. The edicts mentioned were largely due to the intimacy of Claudius with Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, who had been living in Rome and had been in some measure instrumental in securing the succession for Claudius. As a reward for this service, the Holy Land had a king once more. Judea was added to the tetrarchies of Philip and Antipas; and Herod Agrippa I was made ruler over the wide territory which had been governed by his grandfather. The Jews’ own troubles during the reign of Caligula had given "rest" (the American Standard Revised Version "peace") to the churches "throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria" (Ac 9:31). But after the settlement of these troubles, "Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church" (Ac 12:1). He slew one apostle and "when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize" another (Ac 12:3). His miserable death is recorded in Ac 12:20-23, and in Ant, XIX, 8. This event which took place in the year 44 AD is held to have been coincident with one of the visits of Paul to Jerusalem. It has proved one of the chronological pivots of the apostolic history.

Whatever concessions to the Jews Claudius may have been induced out of friendship for Herod Agrippa to make at the beginning of his reign, Suetonius records (Claud. chapter 25) "Judaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantes Roma expulit," an event assigned by some to the year 50 AD, though others suppose it to have taken place somewhat later. Among the Jews thus banished from Rome were Aquila and Priscilla with whom Paul became associated at Corinth (Ac 18:2). With the reign of Claudius is also associated the famine which was foretold by Agabus (Ac 11:28). Classical writers also report that the reign of Claudius was, from bad harvest or other causes, a period of general distress and scarcity over the whole world (Dio LX, 11; Suet. Claud. xviii; Tac. Ann. xi. 4; xiii.43; see Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, chapter ix; and Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of Paul, I).

J. Hutchison


klo’-di-us lis’-i-as (Klaudios Lysias): A chief captain who intervened when the Jews sought to do violence to Paul at Jerusalem (Ac 21:31; 24:22). Lysias, who was probably a Greek by birth (compare Ac 21:37), and who had probably assumed the Roman forename Claudius (Ac 23:26) when he purchased the citizenship (Ac 22:28), was a military tribune or chiliarch (i.e. leader of 1,000 men) in command of the garrison stationed in the castle overlooking the temple at Jerusalem. Upon learning of the riot instigated by the Asiatic Jews, he hastened down with his soldiers, and succeeded in rescuing Paul from the hands of the mob. As Paul was the apparent malefactor, Lysias bound him with two chains, and demanded to know who he was, and what was the cause of the disturbance. Failing amid the general tumult to get any satisfactory reply, he conducted Paul to the castle, and there questioned him as to whether he was the "Egyptian," an postor that had lately been defeated by Felix (Josephus, BJ, II, xiii, 5; Ant, XX, viii, 6). Upon receiving the answer of Paul that he was a "Jew of Tarsus," he gave him permission to address the people from the stairs which connected the castle and the temple. As the speech of Paul had no pacifying effect, Lysias purposed examining him by scourging; but on learning that his prisoner was a Roman citizen, he desisted from the attempt and released him from his bonds. The meeting of the Sanhedrin which Lysias then summoned also ended in an uproar, and having rescued Paul with difficulty he conducted him back to the castle. The news of the plot against the life of one whom he now knew to be a Roman citizen decided for Lysias that he could not hope to cope alone with so grave a situation. He therefore dispatched Paul under the protection of a bodyguard to Felix at Caesarea, along with a letter explaining the circumstances (Ac 23:26-30. The genuineness of this letter has been questioned by some, but without sufficient reason.) In this letter he took care to safeguard his own conduct, and to shield his hastiness in binding Paul. There is evidence (compare Ac 24:22) that Lysias was also summoned to Caesarea at a later date to give his testimony, but no mention is made of his arrival there. It is probable, however, that he was among the chief captains who attended the trial of Paul before King Agrippa and Festus (compare Ac 25:22). For the reference to him in the speech of Tertullus (see Ac 24:7 the Revised Version, margin), see TERTULLUS.

C. M. Kerr


klo (parcah, literally, "hoof"): One of the marks of a "clean" animal is stated thus: "Every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, ye shall eat" (De 14:6 the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "hath the hoof cloven in two"). See CHEW; CUD. the King James Version uses the word "claws" where the Revised Version (British and American) supplies "hoofs" in Zec 11:16, "and will tear their hoofs in pieces," as the sheep are being overdriven. In the only other passage containing the word (Da 4:33) there is no Hebrew equivalent in the original—"his nails like birds’ (claws)."


kla (chomer, chacaph, TiT, meleT, ‘abhi, ma‘abheh, abhTiT; pelos, "wet clay," "mud"): True clay, which is a highly aluminous soil, is found in certain localities in Palestine, and is used in making pottery. The Hebrew and Greek words, as well as the English "clay," are, however, used loosely for any sticky mud. In making mud bricks, true clay is not always used, but ordinary soil is worked up with water and mixed with straw, molded and left to dry in the sun. Chomer (compare chmar, "slime" or "bitumen") is rendered both "clay" and "mortar." TiT is rendered "clay" or "mire." In Isa 41:25 we have: "He shall come upon rulers as upon mortar (chomer), and as the potter treadeth clay" (TiT). In Na 3:14, "Go into the clay (TiT), and tread the mortar (chomer); make strong the brickkiln" (i.e. make the walls ready to withstand a siege). Chacaph is the clay of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Da 2:33 ff). MeleT occurs only in Jer 43:9, where we find: the King James Version, "Take great stones .... and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln"; the Revised Version (British and American), "hide them in mortar in the brickwork"; the Revised Version, margin, "lay them with mortar in the pavement." In Hab 2:6, ‘abhTiT (found only here) is rendered in the King James Version "thick clay," as if from ‘abhi and TiT, but the Revised Version (British and American) has "pledges," referring the word to the root ‘abhaT, "to give a pledge." In 1Ki 7:46, ma‘abheh ha-’adhamah (compare 2Ch 4:17, ‘abhi ha-’adhamah) is the compact or clayey soil in the plain of Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan, in which Hiram cast the vessels of brass for Solomon’s temple. In Joh 9:6,11,14, Thayer gives "made mud of the spittle"; in Ro 9:21, "wet clay."

Alfred Ely Day


klen (Anglo-Saxon cloene, "clear," "pure"): Rendering four Hebrew roots: bar, etc., "purify," "select," "make shining"; zakh, etc., "bright," "clean" "pure"; naqi, "free from," "exempt"; Taher, "clean," "pure," "empty," "bright" (?) the principal root, rendered "clean" 80 times (the King James Version); occurring in all its forms in various renderings about 200 times; also one Greek root, katharos, etc., akin to castus, "chaste," "free from admixture or adhesion of anything that soils, adulterates, corrupts" (Thayer’s Lexicon). The physical, ritual, ethical, spiritual, figurative uses continually overlap, especially the last four.

1. Physical:

The physical use is infrequent: "Wash .... with snow water, and make my hands never so clean" (zakhakh, Job 9:30; figurative also); "clean provender" (hamits, the Revised Version (British and American) "savory"; the Revised Version, margin "salted"); "Cleanse .... inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also" (katharos, Mt 23:26); "arrayed in fine linen, clean (katharon) and white" (Re 19:8; the American Standard Revised Version "bright and pure").

2. Ceremonial:

The principal use was the ceremonial; applied to persons, places or things, "undefiled," "not causing defilement," or "from which defilement has just been removed"; Taher, almost exclusively ceremonial, being the chief Hebrew root. Katharos (New Testament), or derivatives, has this use clearly in Mr 1:44; Lu 5:14: "Offer for thy cleansing the things which Moses," etc.; Heb 9:13,12,23: "the cleanness of the flesh," etc. "Clean" is applied to animals and birds: "of every clean beast" (Ge 7:2); "of all clean birds" (De 14:11); (for list of unclean creatures see Le 14-20); to places: "Carry forth .... unto a clean place" (Le 4:12); to buildings: "Make atonement for the house; and it shall be clean" (Le 14:53); to persons: "A clean person shall take hyssop" (Nu 19:18); to clothing: "garment .... washed the second time, and shall be clean" (Le 13:58); and to objects of all sorts, free or freed from defilement.

3. Ethical or Spiritual:

The ethical or spiritual meaning, either directly or figuratively, is found in the Old Testament chiefly in Job, Psalms, the Prophets, whose interest is ethico-religious, rather than ritual, but the predominant uses are found in the New Testament: "Cleanse yourselves (barar) ye that bear the vessels of Yahweh" (Isa 52:11); "How can he be clean (zakhah) that is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) (principally moral, perhaps with allusion to the ceremonial defilement of childbirth); "The fear of Yahweh is clean" (Ps 19:9), that is, the religion of Yahweh is morally undefiled, in contrast to heathen religions; "He that hath clean (naqi) hands, and a pure heart" (Ps 24:4); "Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" (Taher, Ps 51:7); "Therefore said he, Ye are not all clean" (katharos, Joh 13:11). Here, as in Ps 51:7 and many others, the ritual furnishes a figure for the spiritual, illustrating the Divine purpose in the ritual, to impress, prefigure and prepare for the spiritual. A somewhat similar figurative moral use is found in Ac 18:6: "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean" (katharos, "guiltless," "unstained").


Clean.—Adverb (in one case adjective): "utterly," "wholly"; usually rendering an intensive use of the Hebrew verb as Joe 1:7: "He hath made it clean bare" (lit. "stripping he will strip"); Zec 11:17: "Arm .... clean dried up"; Isa 24:19 the King James Version :"Earth is clean dissolved." Twice it renders a principal verb: Jos 3:17: "Passed clean over the Jordan" (literally, "finished with regard to J."); Le 23:22 King James Version: "Shall not make a clean riddance" (literally, "shall not finish the corners"; the American Standard Revised Version "shalt not wholly reap"). Once it renders a noun: Ps 77:8: "Is his lovingkindness clean gone for ever?" ("end," he-’aphec, "has his lovingkindness come to an end?"); and once an adverb "clean (ontos, "actually," "really") escaped" (2Pe 2:18); but the American Standard Revised Version, following the reading "oligos," "a little," "scarcely," renders "just escaping."

Philip Wendell Crannell


klenz: "Make clean," "purify" being a frequent rendering of the original. It is found often (American Revised Version) instead of "purge," "purify" (the King James Version), renders nearly the same roots, and has the same overlapping phases, as "clean."

1. Physical:

Physical cleansing, often figuratively used: "Stripes that wound cleanse away (tamriq) evil" (Pr 20:30); "A hot wind .... not to winnow, nor to cleanse" (barar, Jer 4:11); "Straightway his leprosy was cleansed" (katharizo, Mt 8:3).

2. Ceremonial:

In the ceremonial sense:

(1) With a very strong religious aspect: to purify from sin by making atonement (chaTe); e.g. the altar, by the sin offering (Ex 29:36); the leprous house (Le 14:48-53); the people, by the offering of the Day of Atonement (Le 16:30); the sanctuary, by the blood of the sin offering (Eze 45:18 ff).

(2) To expiate (kaphar, "cover," "hide"); sin (in this case blood-guiltiness): "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood" (the King James Version Nu 35:33; the American Standard Revised Version "no expiation can be made for the land").

(3) To remove ceremonial defilement, the principal use, for which the chief root is Taher: "Take the Levites .... and cleanse them" (Nu 8:6); "and she shall be cleansed (after childbirth) from the fountain of her blood" (Le 12:7); "Cleanse it, and hallow it (the altar) from the uncleannesses of the children of Israel" (Le 16:19), etc. This use is infrequent in the New Testament, except figuratively. Clear instances are Mr 1:44: "Offer for thy cleansing (katharismos) .... for a testimony unto them" (also Lu 5:14); Heb 9:22,23: "necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these." Physical, ritual, and figurative uses are combined in Mt 23:25: "Ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter." Ac 10:15: "What God hath cleansed, make not thou common" uses the figure of the ritual to declare the complete abolition of ceremonial defilement and hence, of ceremonial cleansing. For the elaborate system of ceremonial cleansing see especially Le 12-17, also articles UNCLEANNESS; PURIFICATION. Its principal agencies were water, alone, as in minor or indirect defilements, like those produced by contact with the unclean (Le 15:5-18, etc.); or combined with a sin offering and burnt offering, as with a woman after childbirth (Le 12:6-8); fire, as with Gentile booty (Nu 31:23; by water, when it would not endure the fire\); the ashes of a red heifer without spot, mingled with running water, for those defiled by contact with the dead (Nu 19:2 ff). For the complex ceremonial in cases of leprosy, combining water, cedar, hyssop, crimson thread, the blood and flight of birds, the trespass offering, sin offering, burnt offering, see Le 14. Blood, the vehicle and emblem of life, plays a large part in the major cleansings, in which propitiation for sin, as well as the removal of ceremonial defilement, is prominent, as of the temple, altar, etc.: "According to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood" (Heb 9:22).

3. Ethical and Spiritual:

In the ethical and spiritual sense, using the symbolism chiefly of 2. This embodies two phases: (1) the actual removal of sin by the person’s own activity, "Wherewith shall a young man cleanse (zakhah) his way?" (Ps 119:9); "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners" (Jas 4:8); "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement" (2Co 7:1);

(2) God’s removal of the guilt and power of sin, as, by discipline or punishment: "He cleanseth it" (Joh 15:2, the King James Version "purgeth"); "I have cleansed thee" (Eze 24:13); or in forgiveness, justification, sanctification. In these latter cases the exculpatory idea is sometimes the prominent, although the other is not absent: "I will cleanse (Taher) them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon aH their iniquities" (Jer 33:8); "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse (Taher, "declare me clean") me from my sin" (Ps 51:2). "Cleanse (naqqeh; the American Standard Revised Version "clear") thou me from hidden faults" (Ps 19:12), while formally to be understood "hold innocent," really connotes forgiveness. In Eph 5:26, it is hard to determine whether pardon or God-given holiness is predominant: "That he might sanctify it (the church), having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word." In 1Jo 1:7, the sanctificatory meaning seems almost wholly to absorb the other: "The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us ("is purifying, sanctifying") from all sin"; but in 1Jo 1:9 it is again hard to determine the predominance: "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The uncertainty lies in that the second clause may not, as in our speech, add a distinct idea, but may be Hebrew synonymous parallelism. Perhaps it is not wise to seek too curiously to disentangle the two ideas, since they cannot be separated. God never "clears" where he has not begun to "cleanse," and never "cleanses" by the Spirit without "clearing" through the blood.

Philip Wendell Crannell


kler, kler’-nes (bar; diablepo): Equivalent of several Hebrew and Greek words for bright, unclouded, shining without obstruction, distinct, brilliant; "clearer than the noon-day" (Job 11:17): "clear as the sun" (So 6:10); "clear shining after rain" (2Sa 23:4); "clear heat in sunshine" (Isa 18:4); "clear as crystal" (Re 21:11). Adverb, "clearly," for distinctly (Mt 7:5; Mr 8:25; Ro 1:20). Noun, "clearness," for brilliancy, in Ex 24:10, "as the very heaven for clearness."

From this physical, it is applied, in a moral sense, to character, as spotless and free from guilt, or charge, or obligation "from oath" (Ge 24:8); "from transgression" (Ps 19:13). Hence, the verb "to clear" means juridically to declare or prove innocent, to vindicate (Ge 44:16; Ex 34:7; Nu 14:18; compare hagnos, 2Co 7:11, the Revised Version (British and American) "pure") "Be clear when thou judgest" (Ps 51:4) refers to the proof and vindication of the righteousness of God.

H. E. Jacobs


klev: Is used in the Bible in two different senses:

(1) baqa‘ "to split," or "to rend." We are told that Abraham "clave the wood for the burnt-offering" (Ge 22:3), and that "they clave the wood of the cart" (1Sa 6:14). The Psalmist speaks of Yahweh cleaving fountain and flood (Ps 74:15), and the plowman cleaving the earth (Ps 141:7). For other examples see Jud 15:19; Ec 10:9; Ps 78:15; Hab 3:9.

(2) dabhaq; kollao, "to adhere to," or "to join one’s self to." This meaning is the reverse of the preceding. The Psalmist speaks of his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth (Ps 137:6). We are told that a man should cleave unto his wife (Ge 2:24; Mt 19:5). It is said that Ru clave unto her mother-in-law (Ru 1:14), and that certain men clave unto Paul (Ac 17:34; compare Ac 4:23; 11:23 margin).

"Cleave" is also used in this sense to describe one’s adherence to principles. Paul admonished the Romans to cleave to that which is good (Ro 12:9).

A. W. Fortune


kleft, klif, klift: The first of these words, from cleave, "to split," is a crevice or narrow opening, as "of the ragged rocks" (Isa 2:21); "under the clefts of the rocks" (Isa 57:5). "Clift" is an obsolete form of cleft, found in the King James Version Ex 33:22; Isa 57:5, but not in the Revised Version (British and American). "Cliff," an abrupt, precipitous, towering rock, is not in the Revised Version (British and American), but is found in the King James Version 2Ch 20:16, the Revised Version (British and American) "ascent," Job 30:6.


klem’-en-si (epietkeia, "fairness," "sweet reasonableness," Ac 24:4): The Greek word is rendered elsewhere "gentleness," 2Co 10:1; Tit 3:2, "meekhess"; Jas 3:17; 1Pe 2:18.


klem’-ent (Klemes, "mild"): A fellow-worker with Paul at Philippi, mentioned with especial commendation in Php 4:3. The name being common, no inference can be drawn from this statement as to any identity with the author of the Epistle to the Corinthians published under this name, who was also the third bishop of Rome. The truth of this supposition ("it cannot be called a tradition," Donaldson, The Apostolical Fathers, 120), although found in Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius and Jerome, can neither be proved nor disproved. Even Roman Catholic authorities dispute it (article "Clement," Catholic Cyclopaedia, IV, 13). The remoteness between the two in time and place is against it; "a wholly uncritical view" (Cruttwell, Literary History of Early Christianity, 31).

H. E. Jacobs


kle’-o-pas (Kleopas, "renowned father"): One of the two disciples whom Jesus met on the way to Emmaus (Lu 24:18). The name is a contraction of Cleopatros, not identical with Clopas of Joh 19:25.



kle-o-pa’-tra (Kleopatra, "from a famous father"): A daughter of Ptolemy VI (Philometor) and of Queen Cleopatra, who was married first to Alexander Balas 150 BC (1 Macc 10:58; Josephus, Ant, XIII, iv, 1) and was afterward taken from him by her father and given to Demetrius Nicator on the invasion of Syria by the latter (1 Macc 11:12; Josephus, Ant, XIII, iv, 7). Alexander was killed in battle against the joint forces of Ptolemy and Demetrius while Demetrius was in captivity in Parthia. Cleopatra married his brother Antiochus VII (Sidetes), who in the absence of Demetrius had gained possession of the Syrian throne (137 BC). She was probably privy (Appian, Syriac., 68) to the murder of Demetrius on his return to Syria 125 BC, but Josephus (Ant., XIII, ix, 3) gives a different account of his death. She afterward murdered Seleucus, her eldest son by Nicator, who on his father’s death had taken possession of the government without her consent. She attempted unsuccessfully to poison her second son by Nicator, Antiochus VIII (Grypus), for whom she had secured the succession, because he was unwilling to concede to her what she considered her due Share of power. She was herself poisoned (120 BC) by the draught which she had prepared for their son (Justin 39). She had also a son by Antiochus VII (Sidetes Antiochus Cyzicenus), who took his name from the place in which he was educated. He was killed in battle 95 BC. The name Cleopatra was borne by many Egyptian princesses, the first of whom was daughter of Antiochus III and was married to Ptolemy V (Epiphanes) 193 BC.

J. Hutchison









klok, (me‘il, simlah, etc.; himation, stole, etc.): "Cloke" is retained in the English Revised Version, as in the King James Version, instead of modern "cloak" (American Revised Version). In the Old Testament, me’il (compare New Testament himation) uniformly stands for the ordinary upper garment worn over the coat (kethoneth). In Mt 5:40 both "cloak" and "coat" are mentioned together; compare Lu 6:29. In size and material the "cloak" differed according to age and sex, class and occupation, but in shape it was like our mantle or shawl. It might be sewed up to have the surplice form of the robe of the Ephod (Ex 39:23), or be worn loose and open like a Roman toga, the Arabic Abaa, or the Geneva gown. This is the "garment" referred to in Ge 39:12; Ex 22:26; De 24:13; "the robe" that Jonathan "stripped himself of" and gave to David (1Sa 18:4); "the robe" of Saul, "the robe" in which it is said the "old man" (Samuel) was "covered" (1Sa 28:14); and in the New Testament "the best robe" put on the returning prodigal (Lu 15:22). Paul’s "cloak" that he left at Troas (2Ti 4:13; phailones, Latin, paenula, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek phelones), it has been suggested, "may have been a light mantle like a cashmere dust-cloak, in which the books and parchment were wrapped"

(HDB, under the word).

Figuratively: The word lent itself easily and naturally to figurative uses. We find Paul (1Th 2:5) disclaiming using "a cloak of covetousness" (compare 1Pe 2:16) and Jesus (Joh 15:22) saying, "Now they have no excuse ("cloak") for their sin." Some such usage seems common to all languages; compare English "palliate."


George B. Eager


In Job 7:5 (gish, gush, "a mass of earth"), "clods of dust," the crust of his sores, formed by the dry, swollen skin—a symptom of leprosy, though not peculiar to it. In Job 21:33; 38:38 (reghebh, "a soft clod," "lump of clay"), "The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him," "The clods cleave fast together." In Joe 1:17 (meghraphah, "a furrow," "something thrown off" (by the spade)), "The seeds rot (m "shrivel") under their clods."

Figurative: "Jacob shall break his clods" (Ho 10:11), i.e. "must harrow for himself," used figuratively of spiritual discipline (compare Isa 28:24 the King James Version).

M. O. Evans


klo’-pas (Klopas): The former in the Revised Version (British and American), the latter in the King James Version, of Joh 19:25, for the name of the husband of one of the women who stood by the cross of Christ. Upon the philological ground of a variety in pronunciation of the Hebrew root, sometimes identified with Alpheus, the father of James the Less. Said by tradition to have been the brother of Joseph, the husband of Mary; see BRETHREN OF THE LORD. Distinguished from Cleopas, a Greek word, while Clopas is Aramaic


kloz, klos verb, adjective and adverb, (kacah, caghar; kammuo): Other words are charah, "to burn"; "Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar?" (Jer 22:15 the King James Version), the Revised Version (British and American) "strivest to excel in cedar," margin "viest with the cedar"; atsam, "to harden"; "Yahweh has closed your eyes" (Isa 29:10); gadhar, "to hedge" or "wall up" (Am 9:11); ‘atsar, "to restrain" (Ge 20:18). In Lu 4:20, ptusso, "to fold up." the Revised Version (British and American) has "was closed," margin "is opened," for "are open" (Nu 24:3,15), "closed" for "narrow" or "covered" (Eze 40:16; 41:16,26). To "keep close," sigao (Lu 9:36), the Revised Version (British and American) "held their peace." We have also "kept close" (the Revised Version (British and American) Nu 5:13; Hebrew cathar, "to hide"); also Job 28:21; "kept himself close," the Revised Version, margin "shut up" (1Ch 12:1); "close places," micgereth (2Sa 22:46; Ps 18:45 =" castles or holds shut in with high walls").

W. L. Walker


kloz’-et: Is the rendering in the King James Version of

(1) chuppah, and

(2) tameion, also tamieion.

Chuppah, derived from chaphah, "to cover," was probably originally the name of the tent specially set apart for the bride, and later (Joe 2:16) used for the bride’s chamber. The word tameion, originally storeroom (compare Lu 12:24, the King James Version "storehouse"; the Revised Version (British and American) "storechamber"), but since for safety it was the inner rooms of the Hebrew house which were used for storage purposes, the word came to mean inner room, as in Mt 6:6; Lu 12:3, in both the King James Version "closet" (compare Mt 24:26, the King James Version "secret chamber"). In all cases the Revised Version (British and American) uses "inner chamber."

See also HOUSE.

David Foster Estes


kloth, kloth’-ing.



klothd, (ependuo, "to put on over" another garment): Used only in 2Co 5:2,4. In 5:4 in contrast with unclothed, compare 1Co 15:53 f, in which the idea of putting on, as a garment, is expressed of incorruption and immortality. The meaning here is very subtle and difficult of interpretation. In all probability Paul thinks of a certain envelopment of his physical mortal body even in this life ("in this we groan," i.e. in this present body), hence, the force of the prefixed preposition. The body itself was regarded by the philosophers of his day as a covering of the soul, and hence, it was to be clothed upon and at the same time transformed by the superimposed heavenly body. Ependutes, an outer garment, is used several times in Septuagint for me‘il, an upper garment or robe (compare Joh 21:7).

Walter G. Clippinger


klothz, (keri‘ath beghadhim): This term is used to describe an ordinary tear made in a garment. Samuel’s skirt was rent when Saul laid hold upon it (1Sa 15:27). Jesus spoke about a rent being made in a garment (Mt 9:16). The term is also used to describe a Hebrew custom which indicated deep sorrow. Upon the death of a relative or important personage, or when there was a great calamity, it was customary for the Hebrews to tear their garments. Reuben rent his clothes when he found that Joseph had been taken from the pit (Ge 37:29). The sons of Jacob rent their clothes when the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack (Ge 44:13). A messenger came to Eli with his clothes rent to tell of the taking of the ark of God and of the death of his two sons (1Sa 4:12). David rent his garments when he heard that Absalom had slain his brothers (2Sa 13:31). See also 2Sa 15:32; 2Ki 18:37; Isa 36:22; Jer 41:5. Rending of clothes was also an expression of indignation. The high priest rent his garment when Jesus spoke what he thought was blasphemy (Mt 26:65).

See also MOURNING.

A. W. Fortune


kloud (‘anan, ‘abh; nephele, nephos):

I. Clouds in Palestine.

In the Bible few references are found of particular clouds or of clouds in connection with the phenomena of the weather conditions. The weather in Palestine is more even and has less variety than that in other lands. It is a long, narrow country with sea on the West and desert on the East. The wind coming from the West is always moist and brings clouds with it. If the temperature over the land is low enough the clouds will be condensed and rain will fall, but if the temperature is high, as in the five months of summer, there can be no rain even though clouds are seen. As a whole the winter is cloudy and the summer clear.

1. Rain Clouds:

In the autumn rain storms often arise suddenly from the sea, and what seems to be a mere haze, "as small as a man’s hand," such as Gehazi saw (1Ki 18:44) over the sea, within a few hours becomes the black storm cloud pouring down torrents of rain (1Ki 18:45). Fog is almost unknown and there is very seldom an overcast, gloomy day. The west and southwest winds bring rain (Lu 12:54).

2. Disagreeable Clouds:

In the months of April, May and September a hot east wind sometimes rises from the desert and brings with it a cloud of dust which fills the air and penetrates everything. In the summer afternoons, especially in the month of August, on the seacoast there is apt to blow up from the South a considerable number of low cirro-stratus clouds which seem to fill the air with dampness, making more oppressive the dead heat of summer. These are doubtless the detested "clouds without water" mentioned in Jude 1:12, and "heat by the shade of a cloud" (Isa 25:5).

II. Figurative Uses.

1. Yahweh’s Presence and Glory:

The metaphoric and symbolic uses of clouds are many, and furnish some of the most powerful figures of Scripture. In the Old Testament, Yahweh’s presence is made manifest and His glory shown forth in a cloud. The cloud is usually spoken of as bright and shining, and it could not be fathomed by man: "Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through" (La 3:44). Yahweh Himself was present in the cloud (Ex 19:9; 24:16; 34:5) and His glory filled the places where the cloud was (Ex 16:10; 40:38; Nu 10:34); "The cloud filled the house of Yahweh" (1Ki 8:10). In the New Testament we often have "the Son of man coming on" or "with clouds" (Mt 24:30; 26:64; Mr 13:26; 14:62; Lu 21:27) and received up by clouds (Ac 1:9). The glory of the second coming is indicated in Re 1:7 for "he cometh with the clouds" and "we that are alive .... shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord" and dwell with Him (1Th 4:17).

2. Pillar of Cloud:

The pillar of cloud was a symbol of God’s guidance and presence to the children of Israel in their journeys to the promised land. The Lord appeared in a pillar of cloud and forsook them not (Ne 9:19). They followed the guidance of this cloud (Ex 40:36; Ps 78:14).

3. Bow in Cloud:

The clouds are spoken of in the Old Testament as the symbol of God’s presence and care over His people; and so the "bow in the cloud" (Ge 9:13) is a sign of God’s protection.

4. Clouds Blot Out:

As the black cloud covers the sky and blots out the sun from sight, so Yahweh promises "to blot out the sins" of Israel (Isa 44:22); Egypt also shall be conquered, "As for her, a cloud shall cover her" (Eze 30:18; compare La 2:1).

5. Transitory:

There is usually a wide difference in temperature between day and night in Palestine. The days axe warm and clouds coming from the sea are often completely dissolved in the warm atmosphere over the land. As the temperature falls, the moisture again condenses into dew and mist over the hills and valleys. As the sun rises the "morning cloud" (Ho 6:4) is quickly dispelled and disappears entirely. Job compares the passing of his prosperity to the passing clouds (Job 30:15).

6. God’s Omnipotence and Man’s Ignorance:

God "bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds" (Job 26:8) and the "clouds are the dust of his feet" (Na 1:3). Yahweh "commands the clouds that they rain no rain" (Isa 5:6), but as for man, "who can number the clouds?" (Job 38:37); "Can any understand the spreadings of the clouds?" (Job 36:29); "Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?" (Job 37:16). See BALANCINGS. "He that regardeth the clouds shall not reap" (Ec 11:4), for it is God who controls the clouds and man cannot fathom His wisdom. "Thick clouds are a covering to him" (Job 22:14).

7. Visions:

Clouds are the central figure in many visions. Ezekiel beheld "a stormy wind .... out of the north, a great cloud" (Eze 1:4), and John saw "a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting" (Re 14:14). See also Da 7:13; Re 10:1; 11:12.

8. The Terrible and Unpleasant:

The cloud is also the symbol of the terrible and of destruction. The day of Yahweh’s reckoning is called the "day of clouds" (Eze 30:3) and a day of "clouds and thick darkness" (Zec 1:15). The invader is expected to "come up as clouds" (Jer 4:13). Joe 2:2 foretells the coming of locusts as "a day of clouds and thick darkness" which is both literal and figurative. Misfortune and old age are compared to "the cloudy and dark day" (Eze 34:12) and "the clouds returning after rain" (Ec 12:2).

9. Various Other Figures:

Clouds are used in connection with various other figures. Rapidity of motion, "these that fly as a cloud" (Isa 60:8). As swaddling clothes of the newborn earth (Job 38:9); indicating great height (Job 20:6) and figurative in Isa 14:14, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds," portraying the self- esteem of Babylon. "A morning without clouds" is the symbol of righteousness and justice (2Sa 23:4); partial knowledge and hidden glory (Le 16:2; Ac 1:9; Re 1:7).

Alfred H. Joy




klout: As substantive (ha-cechabhoth) a patch or piece of cloth, leather, or the like, a rag, a shred, or fragment. Old "cast clouts and old rotten rags" (Jer 38:11,12 the King James Version). As verb (Tala’)" to bandage," "patch," or mend with a clout. "Old shoes and clouted (the American Standard Revised Version "patched") upon their feet" (Jos 9:5); compare Shakespeare, Cym., IV, 2: "I thought he slept, And put my clouted brogues from off my feet"; Milton, Comus: "And the dull swain treads on it daily with his clouted shoon."


klo’-v’-n: In the Old Testament, represented by a participle from shaca, "to split," and applied to beasts that divide the hoof (Le 11:3; De 14:7). Beasts with hoofs completely divided into two parts, that were also ruminant, were allowed the Israelites as food; see CUD; HOOF. In the New Testament, for diamerizomenai, in Ac 2:3 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "tongues parting asunder," i.e. "bifurcated flames." Another explanation found in the Revised Version, margin applies the word, not to tongues, but to the multitude, "parting among them," or "distributing themselves among them," settling upon the head of each disciple.

H. E. Jacobs






(1) ‘eshkol; compare proper name VALE OF ESHCOL. (which see), from root meaning "to bind together." A cluster or bunch of grapes (Ge 40:10; Nu 13:23; Isa 65:8; So 7:8; Mic 7:1, etc.); a cluster of henna flowers (So 1:14); a cluster of dates (So 7:7). "Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter." (De 32:32).

(2) botrus, "gather the clusters of the vine of the earth" (Re 14:18).

The "cluster of raisins" (tsimmuqim) of 1Sa 25:18; 30:12, should rather be "raisin cakes" or "dried raisins."

E. W. G. Masterman


ni’-dus, kni’-dus (Knidos, "age"): A city of Caria in the Roman province of Asia, past which, according to Ac 27:7, Paul sailed. At the Southwest corner of Asia Minor there projects for 90 miles into the sea a long, narrow peninsula, practically dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean. It now bears the name of Cape Crio. Ships sailing along the southern coast of Asia Minor here turn northward as they round the point. Upon the very end of the peninsula, and also upon a small island off its point was the city of Cnidus. The island which in ancient times was connected with the mainland by a causeway is now joined to it by a sandy bar. Thus were formed two harbors, one of which could be closed by a chain. Though Cnidus was in Caria, it held the rank of a free city. There were Jews here as early as the 2nd century BC.

The ruins of Cnidus are the only objects of interest on the long peninsula, and as they may be reached by land only with great difficulty, few travelers have visited them; they may, however, be reached more easily by boat. The nearest modern village is Yazi Keui, 6 miles away. The ruins of Cnidus are unusually interesting, for the entire plan of the city may easily be traced. The sea-walls and piers remain. The acropolis was upon the hill in the western portion of the town; upon the terraces below stood the public buildings, among which were two theaters and the odeum still well preserved. The city was especially noted for its shrine of Venus and for the statue of that goddess by Praxiteles. Here in 1875-78 Sir C. Newton discovered the statue of Demeter, now in the British Museum. See also the Aphrodite of Cnidus in the South Kensington Museum, one of the loveliest statues in the world. From here also came the huge Cnidian lion. The vast necropolis West of the ruins contains tombs of every size and shape, and from various ages.

E. J. Banks


kol (pecham, "charcoal"; compare Arabic fachm, "charcoal"; gacheleth, "burning coal" or "hot ember"; compare Arabic jacham, "to kindle"; shechor, "a black coal" (La 4:8); compare Arabic shachchar, "soot" or "dark-colored sandstone"; retseph (1Ki 19:6), and ritspah (= Rizpah) (Isa 6:6), margin "a hot stone"; compare resheph, "a flame" (So 8:6; Hab 3:5); anthrax, "a live coal" (Ro 12:20) (= gacheleth in Pr 25:22); anthrakia, "a live coal" (Joh 18:18; 21:9)): There is no reference to mineral coal in the Bible. Coal, or more properly lignite, of inferior quality, is found in thin beds (not exceeding 3 ft.) in the sandstone formation (see GEOLOGY OF PALESTINE, under Nubian Sandstone), but there is no evidence of its use in ancient times. Charcoal is manufactured in a primitive fashion which does not permit the conservation of any by-products. A flat, circular place (Arabic beidar, same name as for a threshing-floor) 10 or 15 ft. in diameter is prepared in or conveniently near to the forest. On this the wood, to be converted into charcoal, is carefully stacked in a dome-shaped structure, leaving an open space in the middle for fine kindlings. All except the center is first covered with leaves, and then with earth. The kindlings in the center are then fired and afterward covered in the same manner as the rest. While it is burning or smoldering it is carefully watched, and earth is immediately placed upon any holes that may be formed in the covering by the burning of the wood below. In several days, more or less, according to the size of the pile, the wood is converted into charcoal and the heap is opened. The charcoal floor is also called in Arabic mashcharah, from shachchar, "soot"; compare Hebrew shechor. The characteristic odor of the mashcharah clings for months to the spot.

In Ps 120:4, there is mention of "coals of juniper," the Revised Version, margin "broom," rothem. This is doubtless the Arabic retem, Retama roetam, Forsk., a kind of broom which is abundant in Judea and Moab. Charcoal from oak wood, especially Quercus coccifera, L., Arabic sindyan, is much preferred to other kinds, and fetches a higher price.

In most of the passages where English versions have "coal," the reference is not necessarily to charcoal, but may be to coals of burning wood. Pecham in Pr 26:21, however, seems to stand for charcoal: " As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to inflame strife." The same may be true of pecham in Isa 44:12 and Isa 54:16; also of shechor in La 4:8.

Alfred Ely Day


kost (gebhul, etc., "boundary"; compare gebhal, "mountain" and Arabic jebel, "mountain"; chebhel, literally, "a rope"; compare Arabic chabl (Jos 19:29 the King James Version; Zec 2:5,6,7); choph, literally, "that which is washed"; compare Arabic chaffet (Jos 9:1 the King James Version; Eze 25:16); paralios, literally, "by the sea" (Lu 6:17)): "Coast" (from Latin costa, "rib" or "side") in the sense of "seacoast," occurs but a few times in the Bible. In nearly all the many passages where the King James Version has "coast," the Revised Version (British and American) correctly has "border," i.e. "boundary," translating gebhul, etc.; in Ac 27:2 the American Standard Revised Version, "coast" is the translation of topos, literally, "place." That the seacoast is but seldom mentioned arises naturally from the fact that, while the promised land extended to the sea, the coast was never effectively occupied by the Israelites. RVm in a number of places renders ‘i English Versions of the Bible "isle" or "island" (which see), by "coastland," e.g. Isa 11:11; 23:6; 24:15; 59:18; Jer 25:22; Eze 39:6; Da 11:18; Ze 2:11. In Isa 20:6, the King James Version has "isle," the King James Version margin "country," and the Revised Version (British and American) "coast-land." In Jer 47:4, the King James Version has "country," the King James Version marginand the Revised Version (British and American) "isle," and the Revised Version, margin "sea-coast."


Alfred Ely Day



See CLOAK; DRESS, etc.





kok (alektor; Latin gallus): There is no reference in the Old Testament to domesticated poultry, which was probably first introduced into Judea after the Roman conquest. See CHICKEN. The cock is several times mentioned in the New Testament and always with reference to its habit of crowing in eastern countries with such regularity as to be almost clocklike. The first full salute comes almost to the minute at half-past eleven, the second at half-past one, and the third at dawn. So uniformly do the cocks keep time and proclaim these three periods of night that we find cock-crowing mentioned as a regular division of time: "Watch therefore: for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh, whether at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning" (Mr 13:35). Jesus had these same periods of night in mind when he warned Peter that he would betray Him. Mt 26:34; Lu 22:34; Joh 13:38, give almost identical wording of the warning. But in all his writing Mark was more explicit, more given to exact detail. Remembering the divisions of night as the cocks kept them, his record reads: "And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say into thee, that thou today, even this night, before the cock crow twice, shalt deny me thrice" (Mr 14:30). See CHICKEN. It is hardly necessary to add that the cocks crow at irregular intervals as well as at the times indicated, according to the time of the year and the phase of the moon (being more liable to crow during the night if the moon is at the full), or if a storm threatens, or there is any disturbance in their neighborhood.

Gene Stratton-Porter


kok’-kro-ing (alektorophonia): An indefinite hour of the night between midnight and morning (Mr 13:35), referred to by all the evangelists in their account of Peter’s denial (Mt 26:34,74; Mr 14:30; Lu 22:34; Joh 13:38). It is derived from the habit of the cock to crow especially toward morning.


COCKATRICE kok’-a-tris, kok’-a-tris (tsepha‘; tsph‘oni; Septuagint, basiliskos, "basilisk" (which see), and aspis, "asp" (see ADDER; ASP; SERPENT)): A fabulous, deadly, monster. The name "cockatrice" appears to be a corruption of Latin calcatrix, from calcare, "to tread," calcatrix being in turn a translation of the Greek ichneumon, from ichnos, "track" or "footstep." Herpestes ichneumon, the ichneumon, Pharaoh’s rat, or mongoose, a weasel-like animal, is a native of northern Africa and southern Spain. There are also other species, including the Indian mongoose. It preys on rats and snakes, and does not despise poultry and eggs.

Pliny (see Oxford Dictionary, under the word "Cockatrice") relates that the ichneumon darts down the open mouth of the crocodile, and destroys it by gnawing through its belly. In the course of time, as the story underwent changes, the animal was metamorphosed into a water snake, and was confused with the crocodile itself, and also with the basilisk. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, the cockatrice was believed as late as the 17th century to be produced from a cock’s egg and hatched by a serpent, and "to possess the most deadly powers, plants withering at its touch, and men and animals being poisoned by its look. It stood in awe however of the cock, the sound of whose crowing killed it. .... The weasel alone among animals was unaffected by the glance of its evil eye, and attacked it at all times successfully; for when wounded by the monster’s teeth it found a ready remedy in rue, the only plant which the cockatrice could not wither." The real ichneumon does kill the most deadly snakes, and has been supposed to resort to a vegetable antidote when bitten. It actually dies however when bitten by a deadly snake, and does not possess a knowledge of herbs, but its extraordinary agility enables it ordinarily to escape injury. It is interesting to see how the changing tale of this creature with its marvelous powers has made a hodge-podge of ichneumon, weasel, crocodile, and serpent.

The Biblical references (the King James Version Isa 11:8; 59:5; Jer 8:17) are doubtless to a serpent, the word "cockatrice," with its medieval implications, having been introduced by the translators of the King James Version.


Alfred Ely Day


kok’-er (titheneo, "to nurse," "coddle," "pamper"): Occurs only in Ecclesiasticus 30:9 with the meaning "to pamper": "Cocker thy child, and he shall make thee afraid"; so Shakespeare, "a cockered silken wanton"; now seldom used; Jean Ingelow, "Poor folks cannot afford to cocker themselves."


kok’-’-l (King James Version margin "stinking weeds," the Revised Version, margin "noisome weeds"; bo’shah, from Hebrew root ba’ash, "to stink"; batos): "Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley" (Job 31:40). On account of the meaning of the Hebrew root we should expect that the reference was rather to repulsive, offensive weeds than to the pretty corn cockle. It is very possible that no particular plant is here intended, though the common Palestinian "stinking" arums have been suggested by Hooker.




se-le-sir’-i-a (the King James Version Celosyria; Koile Suria, "hollow Syria"): So the Greeks after the time of Alexander the Great named the valley lying between the two mountain ranges, Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. It is referred to in the Old Testament as Biq‘ath ha-Lebhanon, "the valley of Lebanon" (Jos 11:17), a name the echo of which is still heard in el-Buqa‘, the designation applied today to the southern part of the valley. This hollow, which extends about 100 miles in length, is the continuation northward of the Jordan valley. The main physical features are described under LEBANON (which see). The name, however, did not always indicate the same tract of territory. In Strabo (xvi.2) and Ptolemy (v.15), it covers the fertile land between Jebel esh-Sharqy and the desert presided over by Damascus. In 1 Esdras 2:17; 2 Macc 3:8, etc., it indicates the country South and East of Mt. Lebanon, and along with Phoenicia it contributed the whole of the Seleucid dominions which lay South of the river Eleutherus. Josephus includes in Coele-Syria the country East of the Jordan, along with Scythopolis (Beisan) which lay on the West, separated by the river from the other members of the Decapolis (Ant., XIII, xiii, 2, etc.). In XIV, iv, 5, he says that "Pompey committed Coele-Syria as far as the river Euphrates and Egypt to Scaurus." The term is therefore one of some elasticity.

W. Ewing


kof’-er (’argaz): A small box such as that in which the Philistines placed their golden mice and other offerings in returning the Ark (1Sa 6:8,11,15).





koj-i-ta’-shun, ra‘yon, "the act of thinking or reflecting," as in Da 7:28, "my cogitations much troubled me" (the Revised Version (British and American) "my thoughts").


ko’-hort: In the Revised Version, margin of Mt 27:27; Mr 15:16; Joh 18:3,12; Ac 10:1; 21:31; 27:1, the translation of speira (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "band"); the tenth part of a legion; ordinarily about 600 men. In Joh 18 the word seems to be used loosely of a smaller body of soldiers, a detachment, detail.



koinz: There were no coins in use in Palestine until after the Captivity. It is not quite certain whether gold and silver were before that time divided into pieces of a certain weight for use as money or not, but there can be no question of coinage proper until the Persian period. Darius I is credited with introducing a coinage system into his empire, and his were the first coins that came into use among the Jews, though it seems probable that coins were struck in Lydia in the time of Croesus, the contemporary of Cyrus the Great, and these coins were doubtless the model upon which Darius based his system, and they may have circulated to some extent in Babylonia before the return of the Jews. The only coins mentioned in the Old Testament are the Darics (see DARIC), and these only in the Revised Version (British and American), the word "dram" being used in the King James Version (Ezr 2:69; 8:27; Ne 7:70-72). The Jews had no native coins until the time of the Maccabees, who struck coins after gaining their independence about 143-141 BC. These kings struck silver and copper, or the latter, at least (see MONEY), in denominations of shekels and fractions of the shekel, until the dynasty was overthrown by the Romans. Other coins were certainly in circulation during the same period, especially those of Alexander and his successors the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria, both of whom bore sway over Palestine before the rise of the Maccabees. Besides these coins there were the issues of some of the Phoenician towns, which were allowed to strike coins by the Persians and the Seleucids. The coins of Tyre and Sidon, both silver and copper, must have circulated largely in Palestine on account of the intimate commercial relations between the Jews and Phoenicians (for examples, see under MONEY). After the advent of the Romans the local coinage was restricted chiefly to the series of copper coins, such as the mites mentioned in the New Testament, the silver denarii being struck mostly at Rome, but circulating wherever the Romans went. The coins of the Herods and the Procurators are abundant, but all of copper, since the Romans did not allow the Jewish rulers to strike either silver or gold coins. At the time of the first revolt (66-70 AD) the Jewish leader, Simon, struck shekels again, or, as some numismatists think, he was the first to do so. But this series was a brief one, lasting between 3 and 4 years only, as Jerusalem was taken by Titus in 70 AD, and this put an end to the existence of the Jewish state. There was another short period of Jewish coinage during the second revolt, in the reign of Hadrian, when Simon Barcochba struck coins with Hebrew legends which indicate his independence of Roman rule. They were of both silver and copper, and constitute the last series of strictly Jewish coins (see MONEY). After this the coins struck in Judea were Roman, as Jerusalem was made a Roman colony.

H. Porter


kol-ho’-ze (kol-chozeh, "all seeing"; Septuagint omits): A man whose son Shallum rebuilt the fountain gate of Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah (Ne 3:15). The Col-hozeh of Ne 11:5 is probably another man.





kold (qor; psuchros (adj.), psuchos (noun)): Palestine is essentially a land of sunshine and warmth.

1. Temperature in Palestine:

The extreme cold of northern latitudes is unknown. January is the coldest month; but the degree of cold in a particular place depends largely on the altitude above the sea. On the seacoast and plain the snow never falls; and the temperature reaches freezing-point, perhaps once in thirty years. In Jerusalem at 2,500 ft. above the sea the mean temperature in January is about 45 degrees F., but the minimum may be as low as 25 degrees F. Snow occasionally falls, but lasts only a short time. On Mt. Hermon and on the Lebanons snow may be found the whole year, and the cold is most intense, even in the summer. In Jericho and around the Dead Sea, 1,292 ft. below sea-level, it is correspondingly hotter, and cold is not known.

2. Provision against Cold:

Cold is of such short duration that no adequate provision is made by the people to protect themselves against the cold. The sun is always bright and warm, and nearly always shines for part of the day, even in winter. After sunset the people wrap themselves up and go to sleep. They prefer to wrap up their heads rather than their feet in order to keep warm. The only means of heating the houses is the charcoal brazier around which as many as possible gather for a little warmth. It is merely a bed of coals in an iron vessel. Peter was glad to avail himself of the little heat of the coals as late as the beginning of April, when the nights are often chilly in Jerusalem: "Having made a fire of coals; for it was cold: .... and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself" (Joh 18:18). There is no attempt made to heat the whole house. In the cold winter months the people of the mountains almost hibernate. They wrap up their heads in shawls and coverings and only the most energetic venture out: "The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter" (Pr 20:4, the King James Version "cold"). The peasants and more primitive people of the desert often make a fire in the open or in partial shelter, as in Melita where Paul was cast ashore after shipwreck: "The barbarians .... kindled a fire .... because of the cold" (Ac 28:2).

3. Dread of Cold:

The cold is greatly dreaded because it causes so much actual suffering: "Who can stand before his cold?" (Ps 147:17). The last degree of degradation is to have "no covering in the cold" (Job 24:7).

4. Cold Grateful in Summer:

In the heat of the long summer, the shadow of a rock or the cool of evening is most grateful, and the appreciation of a cup of cold water can easily be understood by anyone who has experienced the burning heat of the Syrian sun: "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Pr 25:25); "cold of snow in the time of harvest" (Pr 25:13), probably with reference to the use of snow (shaved ice) in the East to cool a beverage.

Figurative uses: "The love of the many shall wax cold" (Mt 24:12); "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot" (Re 3:15).

Alfred H. Joy


ko’-li-us (Kolios, 1 Esdras 9:23).



kol’-ar, kol’-er:

(1) (neTphah, plural neTphoth, literally, "drops," from naTaph, "to drop"). Jud 8:26 includes neTphoth among the spoils taken from the Midianites and Ishmaelites; the Revised Version (British and American) "pendants," the King James Version "collars." Qimchi at the place suggests "perfume-dropper."

(2) (peh, literally, "mouth"). In Job 30:18 the word is used to indicate the collar band, or hole of a robe, through which the head was inserted. Job, in describing his suffering and writhing, mentions the disfiguring of his garment, and suggests that the whole thing feels as narrow or close-fitting as the neckband, or perhaps that in his fever and pains he feels as if the neckband itself is choking him.

(3) (tsinoq, Jer 29:26, "stocks"; the Revised Version (British and American) "shackles," which see; the Revised Version, margin "collar"). An instrument of torture or punishment.

Nathan Isaacs



(1) In the Old Testament (mas’eth, "something taken up"), used in 2Ch 24:6,9 the King James Version with reference to the tax prescribed in Ex, 30:12,16; the Revised Version (British and American) "tax."

(2) In the New Testament "collection" is the translation given to logia, found only twice (classical, sulloge). It is used with reference to the collection which Paul took up in the Gentilechurches for the poor Christians in Jerusalem, as, for some reason, perhaps more severe persecutions, that church was especially needy (1Co 16:1,2; verse 2 the King James Version "gatherings"). Other words, such as bounty, contribution, blessing, alms, ministration, are used to indicate this same ministry. Paul seems to have ascribed to it great importance. Therefore, he planned it carefully long in advance; urged systematic, weekly savings for it; had delegates carefully chosen to take it to Jerusalem; and, in spite of dangers, determined himself to accompany them. Evidently he thought it the crowning act of his work in the provinces of Galatia, Asia, Macedonia and Achaia, for as soon as it was finished he purposed to go to Rome and the West (Ac 24:17; Ro 15:25,26; 2Co 8; 9).

See also COMMUNION. G. H. Trever


kol’-ej: This is the rendering of the King James Version for Hebrew Mishneh (mishneh, 2Ki 22:14 = 2Ch 34:22; compare Ze 1:10). It is found in the Targum of Jonathan on 2Ki 22:14 and rests on a faulty combination with Mishna, the well-known code of laws of the 2nd century AD. the Revised Version (British and American) renders "second quarter" (of the city); 2Ch 34:22 the King James Version margin, "the school."


kol’-up (pimah): A slice of meat or "fat," the King James Version in Job 15:27, "maketh collops of fat (thick folds of flesh) on his flanks," said of the "wicked man." the American Standard Revised Version reads "(hath) gathered fat upon his loins."


kol’-o-ni (kolonia, Greek transliteration of Latin colonia, from the root, col, "cultivate"): The word occurs but once (Ac 16:12) in reference to Philippi in Macedonia. Roman colonies were of three kinds and of three periods:

(1) Those of the early republic, in which the colonists, established in conquered towns to serve the state as guardians of the frontier, were exempt from ordinary military service. They were distinguished as

(a) c. civium Romanorum, wherein the colonists retained Roman citizenship, also called c. maritumae, because situated on the coast, and

(b) c. Latinae, situated inland among the allies (socii), wherein the colonists possessed the ius Latinum, entitling them to invoke the Roman law of property (commercium), but not that of the family (connubium), and received Roman citizenship only when elected to magistracies.

(2) The colonies of the Gracchan period, established in pursuance of the scheme of agrarian reforms, to provide land for the poorer citizens.

(3) After the time of Sulla colonies were founded in Italy by the Republic as a device for granting lands to retiring veterans, who of course retained citizenship. This privilege was appropriated by Caesar and the emperors, who employed it to establish military colonies, chiefly in the provinces, with various rights and internal organizations. To this class belonged Philippi. Partly organized after the great battle of 42 BC, fought in the neighboring plain by Brutus and Cassius, the champions of the fated Republic, and Antonius and Octavian, it was fully established as a colony by Octavian (afterward styled Augustus) after the battle of Actium (31 BC), under the name Colonia Aug. Iul. Philippi or Philippensis. It received the ius Italicum, whereby provincial cities acquired the same status as Italian cities, which possessed municipal self-government and exemption from poll and land taxes.


William Arthur Heidel


kul’-er, kul’-erz: The word translated "color" in the King James Version is ‘ayin, which literally means "eye" or "appearance," and has been so translated in the Revised Version (British and American). In the New Testament the Greek prophasis, has the meaning of pretense or show (Ac 27:30; compare Re 17:4 the King James Version). The references to Joseph’s coat of many colors (Ge 37:3,13,12) and "garments of divers colors" (2Sa 13:18,19) probably do not mean the color of the garment at all, but the form, as suggested in the American Revised Version, margin, "a long garment with sleeves." In Jud 5:30 the word for "dip" or "dye" appears in the original and has been so translated in the American Standard Revised Version. (see DYE). In 1Ch 29:2 riqmah, meaning "variegated," hence, "varicolored," is found. In Isa 54:11, pukh is used. This name was applied to the sulfide of antimony (Arabic kochl) used for painting the eyes. Hence, the American Revised Version, margin rendering "antimony" instead of "fair colors" (see PAINT). In Eze 16:16 Tala’, is found, meaning "covered with pieces" or "spotted," hence, by implication "divers colors."

Although the ancient Hebrews had no specific words for "color," "paint" or "painter," still, as we know, they constantly met with displays of the art of coloring among the Babylonians (Eze 23:14) and Egyptians and the inhabitants of Palestine Pottery, glazed bricks, glassware, tomb walls, sarcophagi, wood and fabrics were submitted to the skill of the colorist. This skill probably consisted in bringing out striking effects by the use of a few primary colors, rather than in any attempt at the blending of shades which characterizes modern coloring. That the gaudy show of their heathen neighbors attracted the children of Israel is shown by such passages as Jud 8:27; Eze 23:12,16.

Two reasons may be given for the indefiniteness of many of the Biblical references to color.

(1) The origin of the Hebrew people: They had been wandering tribes or slaves with no occasion to develop a color language.

(2) Their religious laws: These forbade expression in color or form (Ex 20:4). Yielding to the attractions of gorgeous display was discouraged by such prophets as Ezekiel, who had sickened of the abominations of the Chaldeans (Eze 23:14,15,16); "And I said unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes" (Eze 20:7).

Indefiniteness of color language is common to oriental literature, ancient and modern. This does not indicate a want of appreciation of color but a failure to analyze and define color effects. The inhabitants of Syria and Palestine today delight in brilliant colors. Bright yellow, crimson, magenta and green are used for adornment with no evident sense of fitness, according to the foreigners’ eyes, other than their correspondence with the glaring brightness of the eastern skies. A soapmaker once told the writer that in order to make his wares attractive to the Arabs he colored them a brilliant crimson or yellow. A peasant chooses without hesitation a flaring magenta or yellow or green zun-nar (girdle), rather than one of somber hues. The oriental student in the chemical or physical laboratory often finds his inability to distinguish or classify color a real obstacle. His closest definition of a color is usually "lightish" or "darkish." This is not due to color blindness but to a lack of education, and extends to lines other than color distinctions. The colloquial language of Palestine today is poor in words denoting color, and an attempt to secure from a native a satisfactory description of some simple color scheme is usually disappointing. The harmonious color effects which have come to us from the Orient have been, in the past, more the result of accident (see DYE) than of deliberate purpose, as witness the clashing of colors where modern artificial dyes have been introduced.

This inability of the peoples of Bible lands to define colors is an inheritance from past ages, a consideration which helps us to appreciate the vagueness of many of the Biblical references.

The following color words occur in the King James Version or Revised Version:

(1) bay,

(2) black,

(3) blue,

(4) brown,

(5) crimson,

(6) green,

(7) grey,

(8) hoar,

(9) purple,

(10) red,

(11) scarlet,

(12) sorrel,

(13) vermilion,

(14) white,

(15) yellow.

In addition there are indefinite words indicating mixtures of light and dark:

(a) grisled (grizzled),

(b) ringstraked (ringstreaked),

(c) speckled,

(d) spotted.

(1) Bay or Red:

Bay or red is more properly translated "strong" in the Revised Version (British and American).

(2) Black (Blackish):

Eight different words have been translated "black." They indicate various meanings such as "dusky like the early dawn," "ashen," "swarthy," "moved with passion." Black is applied to hair (Le 13:31; So 5:11; Mt 5:36); to marble or pavement (Es 1:6); to mourning (Job 30:28,30; Jer 14:2); to passion (Jer 8:21 the King James Version; La 5:10); to horses (Zec 6:2,6; Re 6:5); to the heavens (1Ki 18:45; Job 3:5; Pr 7:9 the King James Version; Jer 4:28; Mic 3:6); to the sun (Re 6:12); to the skin (racial) (So 1:5,6); to flocks (Ge 30:32,33,15,40); to brooks because of ice (Job 6:16).

(3) Blue:

Blue (tekheleth, a color from the cerulean mussel): This word was applied only to fabrics dyed with a special blue dye obtained from a shellfish. See DYE. shesh in one passage of the King James Version is translated "blue" (Es 1:6). It is properly translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "white cloth." "Blueness of a wound" (Pr 20:30) is correctly rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "stripes that wound." Blue is applied to the fringes, veil, vestments, embroideries, etc., in the description of the ark and tabernacle (Ex 25 ff; Nu 4:6 f; 15:38); to workers in blue (2Ch 2:7,14; 3:14); to palace adornments (Es 1:6); to royal apparel (Es 8:15; Jer 10:9; Eze 23:6; 27:7,24).

(4) Brown:

The Hebrew word meaning "sunburnt" or "swarthy" is translated "black" in the Revised Version (British and American) (Ge 30:32 ff).

(5) Crimson:

Crimson (karmil): This word is probably of Persian origin and applies to the brilliant dye obtained from a bug. A second word tola‘ath, is also found. Its meaning is the same. See DYE. Crimson is applied to raiment (2Ch 2:7,14; 3:14; Jer 4:30 the King James Version); to sins (Isa 1:18).

(6) Green (Greenish):

This word in the translation refers almost without exception to vegetation. The Hebrew yaraq, literally, "pale," is considered one of the three definite color words used in the Old Testament (see WHITE; RED). The Greek equivalent is chloros; compare English "chlorine." This word occurs in the following vs: Ge 1:30; 9:3; Ex 10:15; Le 2:14 (the King James Version); 23:14 (the King James Version); 2Ki 19:26; Ps 37:2; Isa 15:6; 37:27; Job 39:8; chloros, Mr 6:39; Re 8:7; 9:4. ra‘anan, closely allied in meaning to yaraq, is used to describe trees in the following passages: De 12:2; 1Ki 14:23; 2Ki 16:4; 17:10; 19:26; 2Ch 28:4; Job 15:32; Ps 37:35; 52:8; So 1:16; Isa 57:5; Jer 2:20; 3:6; 11:16; 17:2,8; Eze 6:13; Ho 14:8. In the remaining verses the Hebrew equivalents do not denote color, but the condition of being full of sap, fresh or unripe (compare similar uses in English) (Ge 30:37 (the King James Version); Jud 16:7,8; Ps 23:2; So 2:13; Job 8:16; Eze 17:24; 20:47; Lu 23:31). In Es 1:6 the Hebrew word refers to a fiber, probably cotton, as is indicated by the American Revised Version, margin. Greenish is used to describe leprous spots in Le 13:49; 14:37. The same word is translated "yellow" in Ps 68:13.

(7) Gray:

The Hebrew sebhah, means old age, hence, refers also to the color of the hair in old age (Ge 42:38; 44:29; 44:31; De 32:25; Ps 71:18; Ho 7:9). See Hoar, next paragraph.

(8) Hoar (Hoary):

The same word which in other verses is translated "gray" is rendered "hoar" or "hoary," applying to the hair in 1Ki 2:6,9; Isa 46:4; Le 19:32; Job 41:32; Pr 16:31. Another Hebrew word is translated "hoar" or "hoary," describing "frost" in Ex 16:14; Job 38:29; Ps 147:16.

(9) Purple:

The Hebrew equivalent is ‘argaman; Greek porphura. The latter word refers to the source of the dye, namely, a shell-fish found on the shores of the Mediterranean. See DYE. This color, which varied widely according to the kind of shellfish used and the method of dyeing, was utilized in connection with the adornment of the tabernacle (Ex 25; 26; 27; 28; 35; 36; 38; 39; Nu 4:13). There were workers in purple called to assist in beautifying the temple (2Ch 2:7,14; 3:14). Purple was much used for royal raiment and furnishings (Jud 8:26; Es 1:6; 8:15; So 3:10; Mr 15:17,20; Joh 19:2,5). Purple was typical of gorgeous apparel (Pr 31:22; Jer 10:9; So 7:5; Eze 27:7,16; Lu 16:19; Ac 16:14; Re 17:4; 18:12,16).

(10) Red:

The Hebrew ‘adhom, is from dam, "blood," hence, "bloodlike." This is one of the three distinctive color words mentioned in the Old Testament (see GREEN; WHITE), and is found in most of the references to red. Four other words are used:

(a) chakhlili, probably "darkened" or "clouded" (Ge 49:12; Pr 23:29);

(b) chamar, "to ferment" (Ps 75:8 margin; Isa 27:2 the King James Version);

(c) bahaT, probably "to glisten" (Es 1:6);

(d) purros "firelike" (Mt 16:2,3; Re 6:4; 12:3). Red is applied to dyed skins (Ex 25:5; 26:14; 35:7,23; 36:19; 39: 34); to the color of animals (Nu 19:2; Zec 1:8; 6:2; Re 6:4; 12:3); to the human skin (Ge 25:25; ruddy, 1Sa 16:12; 17:42; So 5:10; La 4:7); to the eyes (Ge 49:12; Pr 23:29); to sores (Le 13); to wine (Ps 75:8 m; Pr 23:31; Isa 27:2 the King James Version); to water (2Ki 3:22); to pavement (Es 1:6); to pottage (Ge 25:30); to apparel (Isa 63:2); to the sky (Mt 16:2,3); to sins (Isa 1:18); to a shield (Na 2:3).

(11) Scarlet:

Scarlet and crimson colors were probably from the same source (see CRIMSON; DYE). tola‘ath, or derivatives have been translated by both "scarlet" and "crimson" (Greek kokkinos). A Chaldaic word for purple has thrice been translated "scarlet" in the King James Version (Da 5:7,16,29). Scarlet is applied to fabrics or yarn used

(a) in the equipment of the tabernacle (Ex 25 ff; Nu 4:8);

(b) in rites in cleansing lepers (Le 14); in ceremony of purification (Nu 19:6); to royal or gorgeous apparel (2Sa 1:24; Pr 31:21; La 4:5; "purple"; Na 2:3; Mt 27:28; Re 17:4; 18:12,16); to marking thread (Ge 38:28,30; Jos 2:18,21); to lips (So 4:3); to sins (Isa 1:18); to (Re 17:3); to wool (Heb 9:19).

(12) Sorrel:

This word occurs once in the Revised Version (British and American) (Zec 1:8).

(13) Vermilion:

This word, shashar, occurs in two passages (Jer 22:14; Eze 23:14). Vermilion of modern arts is a sulfide of mercury. It is not at all improbable that the paint referred to was an oxide of iron. This oxide is still taken from the ground in Syria and Palestine and used for decorative outlining.

(14) White:

The principal word for denoting whiteness in the Hebrew was labhan, a distinctive color word. Some of the objects to which it was applied show that it Da was used as we use the word "white" (Ge 49:12). Mt. Lebanon was probably named because of its snow-tipped peaks (Jer 18:14). White is applied to goats (Ge 30:35); to rods (Ge 30:37); to teeth (Ge 49:12); to leprous hairs and spots (Le 13; Nu 12:10); to garments (Ec 9:8; 7:9); as symbol of purity (Da 11:35; 12:10; Isa 1:18); to horses (Zec 1:8; 6:3,1); to tree branches (Joe 1:7); to coriander seed (Ex 16:31). The corresponding Greek word, leukos, is used in New Testament. It is applied to hair (Mt 5:36; Re 1:14); to raiment (Mt 17:2; 28:3; Mr 9:3; 16:5; Lu 9:29; Joh 20:12; Ac 1:10; Re 3:4,5,18; 6:11; 7:9,13,14; 19:14); to horses (Re 6:2; 19:11,14); to a throne (Re 20:11); to stone (Re 2:17); to a cloud (Re 14:14). Besides labhan, four other Hebrew words have been translated "white":

(a) chori, or chur, meaning "bleached," applied to bread (Ge 40:16); to linen (Es 1:6; 8:15);

(b) tsach, or tsachor, literally, "dazzling," is applied to asses (Jud 5:10); to human appearance (So 5:10); to wool (Eze 27:18);

(c) dar, probably mother of pearl or alabaster (Es 1:6);

(d) rir, literally, "saliva," and, from resemblance, "white of egg" (Job 6:6).

(15) Yellow:

This word occurs in Es 1:6 to describe pavement; in Le 13 to describe leprous hair; in Ps 68:13 to describe gold.

Mixtures of colors:

(a) grizzled (grisled), literally, "spotted as with hail," applied to goats (Ge 31:10,12); to horses (Zec 6:3,1);

(b) ringstreaked (ringstraked), literally, "striped with bands," applied to animals (Ge 30:35 ff; 31:8 ff);

(c) speckled, literally, "dotted or spotted," applied to cattle and goats (Ge 30:32 ff; 31:8 ff); to a bird (Jer 12:9); to horses (Zec 1:8 the King James Version);

(d) spotted, literally, "covered with patches," applied to cattle and goats (Ge 30:32 ff). In Jude 1:23 "spotted" means "defiled."

Figurative: For figurative uses, see under separate colors.


Perrot and Chipiez, History of Art in Ancient Egypt, History of Art in Chaldea and Assyria, History of Art in Phoenicia and its Dependencies; Wilkinson, The Ancient Egyptians; Jewish Encyclopedia; EB; Delitzsch, Iris.

James A. Patch


ko-los’-e (Kolossai, "punishment"; the King James Version Colosse): A city of Phrygia on the Lycus River, one of the branches of the Meander, and 3 miles from Mt. Cadmus, 8,013 ft. high. It stood at the head of a gorge where the two streams unite, and on the great highway traversing the country from Ephesus to the Euphrates valley, 13 miles from Hierapolis and 10 from Laodicea. Its history is chiefly associated with that of these two cities. Early, according to both Herodotus and Xenophon, it was a place of great importance. There Xerxes stopped 481 BC (Herodotus vii.30) and Cyrus the Younger marched 401 BC (Xen. Anab. i.2,6). From Col 2:1 it is not likely that Paul visited the place in person; but its Christianization was due to the efforts of Epaphras and Timothy (Col 1:1,7), and it was the home of Philemon and Epaphras. That a church was es