dab’-e-sheth (dabbesheth; Dabasthai; the King James Version Dabbasheth, dab’a-sheth): A town on the western boundary of Zebulun (Jos 19:11). It is probably identical with the modern Dabsheh, a ruined site to the East of Acre.


dab’-e-rath (ha-dabherath, "pasture"; Dabeiroth): A city in the territory of Issachar, on the boundary between that tribe and Zebulun (Jos 19:12). It was assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Jos 21:28; 1Ch 6:72). The most probable identification is with Dabuiriyeh, a village on the lower western slopes of Tabor.


da’-bri-a: One of the five who wrote down the visions of Esdras, described (2 Esdras 14:24) as "ready to write swiftly."


da-ku’-bi, da-ko’-bi, King James Version: Head of a family of gate-keepers (1 Esdras 5:28).



da-de’-us, the Revised Version (British and American); LODDEUS (Loddaios), which see.





da’-gon (daghon; apparently derived from dagh, "fish"): Name of the god of the Philistines (according to Jerome on Isa 46:1 of the Philistines generally); in the Bible, Dagon is associated with Gaza (Jud 16) but elsewhere with Ashdod (compare 1Sa 5 and 1 Macc 10:83 f; 11:4); in 1Ch 10:10 there is probably an error (compare the passage 1Sa 31:10). The god had his temple ("the house of Dagon") and his priests. When the ark was captured by the Philistines, it was conducted to Ashdod where it was placed in the house of Dagon by the side of the idol. But on the morrow it was found that the idol lay prostrate before the ark of the Lord. It was restored to its place; but on the following day Dagon again lay on the ground before the ark, this time with the head and both hands severed from the body and lying upon the miphtan (the word is commonly interpreted to mean "threshold"; according to Winckler, it means "pedestal"); the body alone remained intact. The Hebrew says: "Dagon alone remained." Whether we resort to an emendation (dagho, "his fish-part") or not, commentators appear to be right in inferring that the idol was half-man, half-fish. Classic authors give this form to Derceto. The sacred writer adds that from that time on the priests of Dagon and all those that entered the house of Dagon refrained from stepping upon the miphtan of Dagon. See 1Sa 5:1-5. The prophet Zephaniah (Ze 1:9) speaks of an idolatrous practice which consisted in leaping over the miphtan. The Septuagint in 1 Samuel indeed adds the clause: "but they were accustomed to leap." Leaping over the threshold was probably a feature of the Philistine ritual which the Hebrews explained in their way. A god Dagon seems to have been worshipped by the Canaanites; see BETH-DAGON.


Commentaries on Judges and 1 Samuel; Winckler, Altoriental. Forschungen, III, 383.

Max L. Margolis


da’-li: This word, coming as it does from the Hebrew yom "day," and the Greek hemera, suggests either day by day (Ex 5:13), that which is prepared for one daily (Ne 5:18), as e.g. our "daily bread," meaning bread sufficient for that day (Mt 6:11); or day by day continuously, one day after another in succession, as "the daily burnt offering" (Nu 29:6 the King James Version), "daily ministration" (Ac 6:1), and "daily in the temple" (Ac 5:42 the King James Version). The meaning of the word "daily" as used in the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:11) seems to indicate sufficient for our need, whether we consider that need as a day at a time, or day after day as we are permitted to live. "Give us bread sufficient for our sustenance."

William E. Vans




dan’-tis (maT‘ammoth, "things full of taste," man‘ammim, ma‘adhan; liparos, "fat," "shining"): Jacob is represented as predicting of Asher, "He shall yield royal dainties" (Ge 49:20; compare parallel clause, "His bread shall be fat," and De 33:24, "Let him dip his foot in oil"). David, praying to be delivered from the ways of "men that work inquiry," cries, "Let me not eat of their dainties" (Ps 141:4). The man who sitteth "to eat with a ruler" (Pr 23:1-3) is counseled, "If thou be a man given to appetite, be not desirous of his dainties; seeing they are deceitful food" (compare John’s words in the woes upon Babylon (Re 18:14), "All things that were dainties and sumptuous are perished from thee," and Homer’s Iliad (Pope). xviii.456). "Dainties," then, are luxuries, costly, delicate and rare. This idea is common to all the words thus rendered; naturally associated with kings’ tables, and with the lives of those who are lovers of pleasure and luxury. By their associations and their softening effects they are to be abstained from or indulged in moderately as "deceitful food" by those who would live the simple and righteous life which wisdom sanctions. They are also "offered not from genuine hospitality, but with some by-ends." He should also shun the dainties of the niggard (Pr 23:6), who counts the cost (Pr 23:7 the Revised Version, margin) of every morsel that his guest eats.


George B. Eager


da’-san, da’-i-san (Daisan): Head of a family of temple servants (1 Esdras 5:3:1) called Rezin in Ezr 2:48; Ne 7:50, the interchange of "D" and "R" in Hebrew being not uncommon.


da-ku’-bi, da-koo’-bi (Dakoub, Dakoubi; the King James Version Dacobi): Head of a family of gate-keepers (1 Esdras 5:28) called "Akkub" in the canonical lists.


da-la’-a, da-la-i’-a.



da’-lan (Dalan; the King James Version Ladan): Head of a family that returned to Jerusalem, but which "could shew neither their families, nor their stock, how they were of Israel" (1 Esdras 5:37); corresponds to Delaiah (Ezr 2:60). Another reading is "Asan."


(dal, ‘emeq hamelekh) :

(1) "Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king’s dale" (2Sa 18:18). According to Josephus (Ant., VII, x, 3) this was a marble pillar, which he calls "Absalom’s hand" and it was two furlongs from Jerusalem. Warren suggests that this dale was identical with the KING’S GARDEN (which see), which he places at the open valley formed at the junction of the Tyropoen with the Kidron (see JERUSALEM). The so-called Absalom’s Pillar, which the Jews still pelt with stones in reprobation of Absalom’s disobedience, and which a comparatively recent tradition associates with 2Sa 18:18, is a very much later structure, belonging to the Greco- Roman period, but showing Egyptian influence.

(2) King’s Vale (Ge 14:17; the King James Version dale). See KING’S VALE; VALE.

E. W. G. Masterman


da’-leth (...): The 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and as such used in Ps 119 to designate the 4th section; transliterated in this Encyclopedia with the dagesh as d, and, without, as dh ( = th in "the"). It came also to be used for the number four (4), and with the dieresis for 4,000. With the apostrophe it is sometimes used as abbreviation for the tetragrammaton. For name, etc., see ALPHABET.


dal’-i: Occurs in The Wisdom of Solomon 12:26: "But they that would not be reformed by that correction wherein he dallied with them" (paigniois epitimeseos, "child play of correction"), the reference being to the earlier and lighter plagues of Egypt; Version (British and American) renders "by a mocking correction as of children," "by a correction which was as children’s play," Greek (as above). He first tried them by those lighter inflictions before sending on them the heavier. In later usage "daily" implies delay.


dal-ma-nu’-tha. See MAGADAN. Compare Mr 8:10; Mt 15:39.


dal-ma’-shi-a (Dalmatia, "deceitful"): A district of the Roman empire lying on the eastern shore of the Adriatic. Writing from Rome to Timothy during his second imprisonment (in 66 or 67 AD, according to Ramsay’s chronology), Paul records the departure of Titus to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10). No mention is made of his special mission, and we cannot tell whether his object was to traverse regions hitherto unevangelized or to visit churches already formed. Nor can we determine with certainty the meaning of the word Dalmatia as here used. Originally it denoted the land of the barbarous Dalmatae or Delmatae, a warlike Illyrian tribe subjugated by the Romans after a long and stubborn resistance; it was then applied to the southern portion of the Roman province of Illyricum, lying between the river Titius (modern Kerka) and the Macedonian frontier; later the name was extended to the entire province. On the whole it seems most probable that the apostle uses it in this last sense. See further under the word ILLYRICUM.

Marcus N. Tod


dal’-fon (dalphon, "crafty"): The second of the ten sons of Haman, slain by the Jews (Es 9:7).


(’em, ordinary Hebrew word for "mother"): Hebrew law prohibited the destruction of the "dam" and the young of birds at the same time, commanding that if the young be taken from a nest the dam be allowed to escape (De 22:6,7). In the same spirit it enjoined the taking of an animal for slaughter before it had been seven days with its "dam" (Ex 22:30; Le 22:27; compare Ex 23:19).


dam’-aj (chabhala’): This word expresses any inflicted loss of value or permanent injury to persons or things. "Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezr 4:22). In Pr 26:6 "damage" means "wrong," "injury" (Hebrew chamac). The translation of Es 7:4 is doubtful: "Although the adversary could not have compensated for the king’s damage" (the Revised Version, margin "For our affliction is not to be compared with the king’s damage" the King James Version "could not countervail the king’s damage") but Hebrew nezeq (Es 7:4) and Aramaic naziq (Da 6:2) have the meaning of "molestation" or "annoyance" (see Ges.6 Buhl Dict. (15th edition) 489, 806, 908). We therefore ought to read ‘for that oppression would not have been worthy of the molestation of the king’ (Es 7:4) and ‘that the king should have no molestation’ (Da 6:2). The Greek zemia, "loss" and zemioo, "to cause loss"; the Revised Version (British and American) therefore translates Ac 27:10 "will be with injury and much loss" (the King James Version "damage"), and 2Co 7:9 "that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing" (the King James Version "damage").

A. L. Breslich


dam’-a-ris (Damaris, possibly a corruption of damalis, "a heifer"): The name of a female Christian of Athens, converted by Paul’s preaching (Ac 17:34). The fact that she is mentioned in this passage together with Dionysius the Areopagite has led some, most probably in error, to regard her as his wife. The singling out of her name with that of Dionysius may indicate some personal or social distinction. Compare Ac 17:12.


dam-a-senz’, dam’-a-senz ten polin Damaskenon, ("the city of the Damascenes"): The inhabitants of Damascus under Aretas the Arabian are so called (2Co 11:32).



1. The Name

2. Situation and Natural Features

3. The City Itself

4. Its History

(1) The Early Period (to circa 950 BC)

(2) The Aramean Kingdom (circa 950-732 BC)

(3) The Middle Period (732 BC-650 AD)

(4) Under Islam

1. Name:

The English name is the same as the Greek Damaskos. The Hebrew name is Dammeseq, but the Aramaic form Darmeseq, occurs in 1Ch 18:5; 2Ch 28:5. The name appears in Egyptian inscriptions as Ti-mas-ku (16th century BC), and Sa-ra-mas-ki (13th century BC), which W. M. Muller, Asien u. Europa, 227, regards as representing Ti-ra-mas-ki, concluding from the "ra" in this form that Damascus had by that time passed under Aramaic influence. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters the forms Ti-ma-as-gi and Di-mas-ka occur. The Arabic name is Dimashk esh-Sham ("Damascus of Syria") usually contrasted to Esh-Sham simply. The meaning of the name Damascus is unknown. Esh-Sham (Syria) means "the left," in contrast to the Yemen (Arabia) =" the right."

2. Situation and Natural Features:

Damascus is situated (33 degrees 30’ North latitude, 36 degrees 18’ East longitude) in the Northwest corner of the Ghuta, a fertile plain about 2,300 ft. above sea level, West of Mt. Hermon. The part of the Ghuta East of the city is called el-Merj, the "meadow-land" of Damascus. The river Barada (see ASANA) flows through Damascus and waters the plain, through which the Nahr el-Awaj (see PHARPAR) also flows, a few miles South of the city.

Surrounded on three sides by bare hills, and bordered on the East, its open side, by the desert, its well-watered and fertile Ghuta, with its streams and fountains, its fields and orchards, makes a vivid impression on the Arab of the desert. Arabic literature is rich in praises of Damascus, which is described as an earthly paradise. The European or American traveler is apt to feel that these praises are exaggerated, and it is perhaps only in early summer that the beauty of the innumerable fruit trees—apricots, pomegranates, walnuts and many others—justifies enthusiasm. To see Damascus as the Arab sees it, we must approach it, as he does, from the desert. The Barada (Abana) is the life blood of Damascus. Confined in a narrow gorge until close to the city, where it spreads itself in many channels over the plain, only to lose itself a few miles away in the marshes that fringe the desert, its whole strength is expended in making a small area between the hills and the desert really fertile. That is why a city on this site is inevitable and permanent. Damascus, almost defenseless from a military point of view, is the natural mart and factory of inland Syria. In the course of its long history it has more than once enjoyed and lost political supremacy, but in all the vicissitudes of political fortune it has remained the natural harbor of the Syrian desert.

3. The City Itself:

Damascus lies along the main stream of the Barada, almost entirely on its south bank. The city is about a mile long (East to West) and about half a mile broad (North to South). On the south side a long suburb, consisting for the most part of a single street, called the Meidan, stretches for a mile beyond the line of the city wall, terminating at the Bawwabet Allah, the "Gate of God," the starting-point of the Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. The city has thus roughly the shape of a broad-headed spoon, of which the Meidan is the handle. In the Greek period, a long, colonnaded street ran through the city, doubtless the "street which is called Straight" (Ac 9:11). This street, along the course of which remains of columns have been discovered, runs westward from the Babesh-Sherki, the "East Gate."

Part of it is still called Derb el-Mustakim ("Straight Street"), but it is not certain that it has borne the name through all the intervening centuries. It runs between the Jewish and Christian quarters (on the left and right, respectively, going west), and terminates in the Suk el-Midhatiyeh, a bazaar built by Midhat Pasha, on the north of which is the main Moslem quarter, in which are the citadel and the Great Mosque. The houses are flat-roofed, and are usually built round a courtyard, in which is a fountain. The streets, with the exception of Straight Street, are mostly narrow and tortuous, but on the west side of the city there are some good covered bazaars. Damascus is not rich in antiquities.

The Omayyad Mosque, or Great Mosque, replaced a Christian church, which in its time had taken the place of a pagan temple. The site was doubtless occupied from time immemorial by the chief religious edifice of the city. A small part of the ancient Christian church is still extant. Part of the city wall has been preserved, with a foundation going back to Roman times, surmounted by Arab work. The traditional site of Paul’s escape (Ac 9:25; 2Co 11:33) and of the House of Naaman (2Ki 5) are pointed out to the traveler, but the traditions are valueless.

The charm of Damascus lies in the life of the bazaars, in the variety of types which may be seen there—the Druse, the Kurd, the Bedouin and many others—and in its historical associations. It has always been a manufacturing city. Our word "damask" bears witness to the fame of its textile industry, and the "Damascus blades" of the Crusading period were equally famous; and though Timur (Tamerlane) destroyed the trade in arms in 1399 by carrying away the armorers to Samarcand, Damascus is still a city of busy craftsmen in cloth and wood. Its antiquity casts a spell of romance upon it. After a traceable history of thirty-five centuries it is still a populous and flourishing city, and, in spite of the advent of the railway and even the electric street car, it still preserves the flavor of the East.

4. Its History:

(1) The Early Period (to circa 950 BC).

The origin of Damascus is unknown. Mention has already been made (section 1) of the references to the city in Egyptian inscriptions and in the Tell el-Amarna Letters. It appears once—possibly twice—in the history of Abraham. In Ge 14:15 we read that Abraham pursued the four kings as far as Hobah, "which is on the left hand (i.e. the north) of Damascus." But this is simply a geographical note which shows only that Damascus was well known at the time when Ge 14 was written. Greater interest attaches to Ge 15:2, where Abraham complains that he is childless and that his heir is "Dammesek Eliezer" (English Revised Version), for which the Syriac version reads "Eliezer the Damaschul." The clause, however, is hopelessly obscure, and it is doubtful whether it contains any reference to Damascus at all. In the time of David Damascus was an Aramean city, which assisted the neighboring Aramean states in their unsuccessful wars against David (2Sa 8:5 f). These campaigns resulted indirectly in the establishment of a powerful Aramean kingdom in Damascus. Rezon, son of Eliada, an officer in the army of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, escaped in the hour of defeat, and became a captain of banditti. Later he established himself in Damascus, and became its king (1Ki 11:23 ff). He cherished a not unnatural animosity against Israel and the rise of a powerful and hostile kingdom in the Israelite frontier was a constant source of anxiety to Solomon (1Ki 11:25).

(2) The Aramean Kingdom (circa 950-732 BC).

Whether Rezon was himself the founder of a dynasty is not clear. He has been identified with Hezion, father of Tab-rimmon, and grandfather of Ben-hadad (1Ki 15:18), but the identification, though a natural one, is insecure. Ben-hadad (Biridri) is the first king of Damascus, after Rezon, of whom we have any detailed knowledge. The disruption of the Hebrew kingdom afforded the Arameans an opportunity of playing off the rival Hebrew states against each other, and of bestowing their favors now on one, and now on the other. Benhadad was induced by Asa of Judah to accept a large bribe, or tribute, from the Temple treasures, and relieve Asa by attacking the Northern Kingdom (1Ki 15:18 ff). Some years later (circa 880 BC) Ben-hadad (or his successor?) defeated Omri of Israel, annexed several Israelite cities, and secured the right of having Syrian "streets" (i.e. probably a bazaar for Syrian merchants) in Samaria (1Ki 20:34). Ben-hadad II (according to Winckler the two Ben-hadads are really identical, but this view, though just possible chronologically, conflicts with 1Ki 20:34) was the great antagonist of Ahab. His campaigns against Israel are narrated in 1Ki 20:22. At first successful, he was subsequently twice defeated by Ahab, and after the rout at Aphek was at the mercy of the conqueror, who treated him with generous leniency, claiming only the restoration of the lost Israelite towns, and the right of establishing an Israelite bazaar in Damascus.

On the renewal of hostilities three years later Ahab fell before Ramoth-gilead, and his death relieved Ben-hadad of the only neighboring monarch who could ever challenge the superiority of Damascus. Further light is thrown upon the history of Damascus at this time by the Assyrian inscriptions. In 854 BC the Assyrians defeated a coalition of Syrian and Palestine states (including Israel) under the leadership of Ben-hadad at Karqar. In 849 and 846 BC renewed attacks were made upon Damascus by the Assyrians, who, however, did not effect any considerable conquest. From this date until the fall of the city in 732 BC the power of the Aramean kingdom depended upon the activity or quiescence of Assyria. Hazael, who murdered Ben-hadad and usurped his throne circa 844 BC, was attacked in 842 and 839, but during the next thirty years Assyria made no further advance westward. Hazael was able to devote all his energies to his western neighbors, and Israel suffered severely at his hands. In 803 Mari’ of Damascus, who is probably identical with the Ben-hadad of 2Ki 13:3, Hazael’s son, was made tributary to Ramman-nirari III of Assyria. This blow weakened Aram, and afforded Jeroboam II of Israel an opportunity of avenging the defeats inflicted upon his country by Hazael. In 773 Assyria again invaded the territory of Damascus.

Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 BC) pushed vigorously westward, and in 738 Rezin of Damascus paid tribute. A year or two later he revolted, and attempted in concert with Pekah of Israel, to coerce Judah into joining an anti- Assyrian league (2Ki 15:37; 16:5; Isa 7). His punishment was swift and decisive. In 734 the Assyrians advanced and laid siege to Damascus, which fell in 732. Rezin was executed, his kingdom was overthrown, and the city suffered the fate which a few years later befell Samaria.

(3) The Middle Period (circa 732 BC-650 AD).

Damascus had now lost its political importance, and for more than two centuries we have only one or two inconsiderable references to it. It is mentioned in an inscription of Sargon (722-705 BC) as having taken part in an unsuccessful insurrection along with Hamath and Arpad. There are incidental references to it in Jer 49:23 ff and Eze 27:18; 47:16 ff. In the Persian period Damascus, if not politically of great importance, was a prosperous city. The overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander was soon followed (301 BC) by the establishment of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria, with Antioch as its capital, and Damascus lost its position as the chief city of Syria. The center of gravity was moved toward the sea, and the maritime commerce of the Levant became more important than the trade of Damascus with the interior. In 111 BC the Syrian kingdom was divided, and Antiochus Cyzicenus became king of Coele-Syria, with Damascus as his capital. His successors, Demetrius Eucaerus and Antiochus Dionysus, had troubled careers, being involved in domestic conflicts and in wars with the Parthians, with Alexander Janneus of Judea, and with Aretas the Nabatean, who obtained possession of Damascus in 85 BC. Tigranes, being of Armenia, held Syria for some years after this date, but was defeated by the Romans, and in 64 BC Pompey finally annexed the country.

The position of Damascus during the first century and a half of Roman rule in Syria is obscure. For a time it was in Roman hands, and from 31 BC-33 AD its coins bear the names of Augustus or Tiberius. Subsequently it was again in the hands of the Nabateans, and was ruled by an ethnarch, or governor, appointed by Aretas, the Nabatean king. This ethnarch adopted a hostile attitude to Paul (2Co 11:32 f) . Later, in the time of Nero, it again became a Roman city. In the early history of Christianity Damascus, as compared with Antioch, played a very minor part. But it is memorable in Christian history on account of its associations with Paul’s conversion, and as the scene of his earliest Christian preaching (Ac 9:1-25). All the New Testament references to the city relate to this event (Ac 9:1:25; 22:5-11; 26:12,20; 2Co 11:32 f; Ga 1:17). Afterward, under the early Byzantine emperor, Damascus, though important as an outpost of civilization on the edge of the desert, continued to be second to Antioch both politically and ecclesiastically. It was not until the Arabian conquest (634 AD when it passed out of Christian hands, and reverted to the desert, that it once more became a true capital.)

(4) Under Islam.

Damascus has now been a Moslem city, or rather a city under Moslem rule, for nearly thirteen centuries. For about a century after 650 AD it was the seat of the Omayyad caliphs, and enjoyed a position of preeminence in the Moslem world. Later it was supplanted by Bagdad, and in the 10th century it came under the rule of the Fatimites of Egypt. Toward the close of the 11th century the Seljuk Turks entered Syria and captured Damascus. In the period of the Crusades the city, though never of decisive importance, played a considerable part, and was for a time the headquarters of Saladin. In 1300 it was plundered by the Tartars, and in 1399 Timur exacted an enormous ransom from it, and carried off its famous armorers, thus robbing it of one of its most important industries. Finally, in 1516 AD, the Osmanli Turks under Sultan Selim conquered Syria, and Damascus became, and still is, the capital of a province of the Ottoman Empire.

C. H. Thomson


(Ge 15:2 the English Revised Version). See ELIEZER (1).


dam, dam-na’-shun, dam’-na-bl: These words have undergone a change of meaning since the King James Version was made. They are derived from Latin damnare =" to inflict a loss," "to condemn," and that was their original meaning in English Now they denote exclusively the idea of everlasting punishment in hell. It is often difficult to determine which meaning was intended by the translators in the King James Version. They have been excluded altogether from the Revised Version (British and American). The words for which they stand in the King James Version are:

(1) apoleia, "destruction," translated "damnable" and "damnation" only in 2Pe 2:1-3 (the Revised Version (British and American) "destructive," "destruction"). False prophets taught doctrines calculated to destroy others, and themselves incurred the sentence of destruction such as overtook the fallen angels, the world in the Deluge, and the cities of the Plain. Apoleia occurs otherwise 16 times in the New Testament, and is always translated in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) by either "perdition" or "destruction": twice of waste of treasure (Mt 26:8 = Mr 14:4); twice of the beast that comes out of the abyss and goes into perdition (Re 17:8,11). In all other cases, it refers to men, and defines the destiny that befalls them as the result of sin: Judas is the "son of perdition" (Joh 17:12). Peter consigns Simon Magus and his money to perdition (Ac 8:20). Some men are "vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction" (Ro 9:22), and others, their "end is perdition" (Php 3:19). It is the antithesis of salvation (Heb 10:39; Php 1:28). Of the two ways of life, one leads to destruction (Mt 7:13). Whether it is utter, final and irretrievable destruction is not stated.

(2) krino, translated "damned" only in the King James Version of 2Th 2:12 (the Revised Version (British and American) "judged") means "to judge" in the widest sense, "to form an opinion" (Lu 7:43), and forensically "to test and try" an accused person. It can only acquire the sense of "judging guilty" or "condemning" from the context.

(3) katakrino, translated "damned" only in the King James Version of Mr 16:16; Ro 14:23 ("condemned" in the Revised Version (British and American)), means properly "to give judgment against" or "to condemn" and is so translated 17 times in the King James Version and always in the Revised Version (British and American).

(4) krisis, translated "damnation" in the King James Version of Mt 23:33; Mr 3:29; Joh 5:29 (the Revised Version (British and American) "judgment," but in Mr 3:29, "sin" for hamartema), means (a) judgment in general like krino, and is so used about 17 times, besides 14 times in the phrase "day of judgment"; (b) "condemnation," like katakrino, about 14 times.

(5) krima, translated in the King James Version "damnation" 7 times (Mt 23:14 = Mr 12:40 = Lu 20:47; Ro 3:8; 13:2; 1Co 11:29; 1Ti 5:12), "condemnation" 6 times, "judgment" 13 times, "law" and "avenged" once each; in the Revised Version (British and American) "condemnation" 9 t (Mt 23:14 only inserted in margin), "judgment" 17 times, and once in margin, "lawsuit" and "sentence" once each. "Judgment" may be neutral, an impartial act of the judge weighing the evidence (so in Mt 7:2; Ac 24:25; Ro 11:33; Heb 6:2; 1Pe 4:17; Re 20:4) and "lawsuit" (1Co 6:7); or it may be inferred from the context that judgment is unto condemnation (so in Ro 2:2,3; 5:16; Ga 5:10; 2Pe 2:3; Re 17:1; 18:20, and the Revised Version (British and American) Ro 13:2; 1Co 11:29). In places where krima and krisis are rightly translated "condemnation," and where "judgment" regarded as an accomplished fact involves a sentence of guilt, they together with katakrino define the relation of a person to the supreme authority, as that of a criminal, found and held guilty, and liable to punishment. So the Roman empire regarded Jesus Christ, and the thief on the cross (Lu 23:40; 24:20).

But generally these words refer to man as a sinner against God, judged guilty by Him, and liable to the just penalty of sin. They imply nothing further as to the nature of the penalty or the state of man undergoing it, nor as to its duration. Nor does the word "eternal" (aion, aionios, often wrongly translated "everlasting" in the King James Version) when added to them, determine the question of duration. Condemnation is an act in the moral universe, which cannot be determined under categories of time.

These terms define the action of God in relation to man’s conduct, as that of the Supreme Judge, but they express only one aspect of that relation which is only fully conceived, when coordinated with the more fundamental idea of God’s Fatherhood. See ESCHATOLOGY; JUDGMENT.

LITERATURE. Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality; Charles, Eschatology.

T. Rees


dam’-zel: A young, unmarried woman; a girl (lass); maiden (compare French demoiselle). The Revised Version (British and American) in Mt 26:69; Joh 18:17; Ac 12:13; 16:16 gives "maid" for paidiske, "a girl," i.e. (spec.) a maidservant or young female slave (the King James Version "damsel"), and "child" for paidion, "a half-grown boy or girl," in Mr 5:39,40 bis. 41.


(dan, "judge"; Dan).

1. Name:

The fifth of Jacob’s sons, the first borne to him by Bilhah, the maid of Rachel, to whom, as the child of her slave, he legally belonged. At his birth Rachel, whose barrenness had been a sore trial to her, exclaimed "God hath judged me .... and hath given me a son," so she called his name Dan, i.e. "judge" (Ge 30:6). He was full brother of Naphtali. In Jacob’s Blessing there is an echo of Rachel’s words, "Da shall judge his people" (Ge 49:16). Of the patriarch Da almost nothing is recorded. Of his sons at the settlement in Egypt only one, Hushim, is mentioned (Ge 46:23). The name in Nu 26:42 is Shuham.

2. The Tribe:

The tribe however stands second in point of numbers on leaving Egypt, furnishing 62,700 men of war (Nu 1:39); and at the second census they were 64,400 strong (Nu 26:43). The standard of the camp of Da in the desert march, with which were Asher and Naphtali, was on the north side of the tabernacle (Nu 2:25; 10:25; compare Jos 6:9 the King James Version margin, "gathering host"). The prince of the tribe was Ahiezer (Nu 1:12). Among the spies Da was represented by Ammiel the son of Gemalli (Nu 13:12). Of the tribe of Da was Oholiab (the King James Version "Aholiab") one of the wise-hearted artificers engaged in the construction of the tabernacle (Ex 31:6). One who was stoned for blasphemy was the son of a Danite woman (Le 24:10 f). At the ceremony of blessing and cursing, Da and Naphtali stood on Mount Ebal, while the other Rachel tribes were on Gerizim (De 27:13). The prince of Da at the division of the land was Bukki the son of Jogli (Nu 34:22).

3. Territory:

The portion assigned to Da adjoined those of Ephraim, Benjamin and Judah, and lay on the western slopes of the mountain. The reference in Jud 5:17: "And Dan, why did he remain in ships?" seems to mean that on the West, Da had reached the sea. But the passage is one of difficulty. We are told that the Amorites forced the children of Da into the mountain (Jud 1:34), so they did not enjoy the richest part of their ideal portion, the fertile plain between the mountain and the sea. The strong hand of the house of Joseph kept the Amorites tributary, but did not drive them out. Later we find Da oppressed by the Philistines, against whom the heroic exploits of Samson were performed (Jud 14 ff). The expedition of the Danites recorded in Jud 18 is referred to in Jos 19:47 ff.

4. The Danite Raid:

The story affords a priceless glimpse of the conditions prevailing in those days. Desiring an extension of territory, the Danites sent out spies, who recommended an attack upon Laish, a city at the north end of the Jordan valley. The people, possibly a colony from Sidon, were careless in their fancied security. The land was large, and there was "no want of anything that was in the earth." The expedition of the 600, their dealings with Micah and his priest, their capture of Laish, and their founding of an idol shrine with priestly attendant, illustrate the strange mingling of lawlessness and superstition which was characteristic of the time. The town rebuilt on the site of Laish they called Dan—see following article. Perhaps 2Ch 2:14 may be taken to indicate that the Danites intermarried with the Phoenicians. Divided between its ancient seat in the South and the new territory in the North the tribe retained its place in Israel for a time (1Ch 12:35; 27:22), but it played no part of importance in the subsequent history.

The name disappears from the genealogical lists of Chronicles; and it is not mentioned among the tribes in Re 7:5 ff.

Samson was the one great man produced by Dan, and he seems to have embodied the leading characteristics of the tribe: unsteady, unscrupulous, violent, possessed of a certain grim humor; stealthy in tactics—"a serpent in the way, an adder in the path" (Ge 49:17)—but swift and strong in striking—"a lion’s whelp, that leapeth forth from Bashan" (De 33:22). Along with Abel, Da ranked as a city in which the true customs of old Israel were preserved (2Sa 20:18 Septuagint).

W. Ewing

DAN (2)

A city familiar as marking the northern limit of the land of Israel in the common phrase "from Da even to Beer- sheba" (Jud 20:1; 1Sa 3:20, etc.). Its ancient name was Laish or Leshem (Jud 18:7, etc.). It was probably an outlying settlement of Tyre of Sidon. Its inhabitants, pursuing the ends of peaceful traders, were defenseless against the onset of the Danite raiders. Having captured the city the Danites gave it the name of their own tribal ancestor (Jud 18). It lay in the valley near Beth-rehob (Jud 18:28). Josephus places it near Mt. Lebanon and the fountain of the lesser Jordan, a day’s journey from Sidon (Ant., V, iii, 1; VIII, viii, 4; BJ, IV, i, 1). Eusebius, Onomasticon says it lay 4 Roman miles from Paneas on the way to Tyre, at the source of the Jordan.

This points decisively to Tell el-Qady, in the plain West of Banias. The mound of this name—Kady is the exact Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Dan—rises from among the bushes and reeds to a height varying from 40 to 80 ft. The largest of all the springs of the Jordan rises on the west side. The waters join with those of a smaller spring on the other side to form Nahr el-Leddan which flows southward to meet the streams from Banias and Chasbeiyeh. The mound, which is the crater of an extinct volcano, has certain ancient remains on the south side, while the tomb of Sheikh Marzuk is sheltered by two holy trees. The sanctuary and ritual established by the Danites persisted as long as the house of God was in Shiloh, and the priesthood in this idolatrous shrine remained in the family of Jonathan till the conquest of Tiglath-pileser (Jud 18:30; 2Ki 15:29). Here Jeroboam I set up the golden calf. The ancient sanctity of the place would tend to promote the success of his scheme (1Ki 12:28 f, etc.). The calf, according to a Jewish tradition, was taken away by Tiglath-pileser. Da fell before Benhadad, king of Syria (1Ki 15:20; 2Ch 16:4). It was regained by Jeroboam II (2Ki 14:25). It shared the country’s fate at th hands of Tiglath-pileser (2Ki 15:29).

It was to this district that Abraham pursued the army of Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:14). For Dr. G. A. Smith’s suggestion that Da may have been at Banias see HGHL1, 473, 480 f.

W. Ewing

DAN (3)

(Eze 27:19 the King James Version). See VEDAN.


dan-ja’-an (dan ya‘-an; B, Da Eidan kai Oudan): A place visited by Joab and his officers when taking the census (2Sa 24:6). It is mentioned between Gilead and Sidon. Some would identify it with Khan Danian, a ruined site North of Achzib. The text is probably corrupt. Klostermann would read "toward Da and Ijon" (compare 1Ki 15:20).


dan’-sing. See GAMES.


dan’-d’-l. (sha‘-osha‘, a Pulpal form, from root (sha‘-a‘) with sense of to "be caressed"). Occurs in Isa 66:12, "shall be dandled upon the knees."


dan’-jer: Danger does not express a state of reality but a possibility. In Mt 5:21 f, however, and also the King James Version Mr 3:29 (the Revised Version (British and American)) "but is guilty of an eternal sin"the expression "danger" refers to a certainty, for the danger spoken of is in one case judgment which one brings upon himself, and in the other the committing of an unpardonable sin. Both are the necessary consequences of a man’s conduct. The reason for translating the Greek (enochos, literally, "to be held in anything so one cannot escape") by "is in danger," instead of "guilty" or "liable," may be due to the translator’s conception of these passages as a warning against such an act rather than as a statement of the judgment which stands pronounced over every man who commits the sin.

A. L. Breslich


dan’-yel (daniye’l, dani’-el, "God is my judge"; Daniel):

(1) One of the sons of David (1Ch 3:1).

(2) A Levite of the family of Ithamar (Ezr 8:2; Ne 10:6).

(3) A prophet of the time of Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, the hero and author of the Book of Daniel.

1. Early Life:

We know nothing of the early life of Daniel, except what is recorded in the book bearing his name. Here it is said that he was one of the youths of royal or noble seed, who were carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar in the third year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. These youths were without blemish, well-favored, skillful in all wisdom, endued with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king’s palace. The king commanded to teach them the knowledge and tongue of the Chaldeans; and appointed for them a daily portion of the king’s food and of the wine which he drank. After having been thus nourished for three years, they were to stand before the king. Ashpenaz, the master or chief of the eunuchs, into whose hands they had been entrusted, following a custom of the time, gave to each of these youths a new and Babylonian name. To Daniel, he gave the name Belteshazzar.

In Babylonian this name was probably Belu-lita-sharri-usur, which means "O Bel, protect thou the hostage of the king," a most appropriate name for one in the place which Daniel occupied as a hostage of Jehoiakim at the court of the king of Babylon. The youths were probably from 12 to 15 years of age at the time when they were carried captive. (For changes of names, compare Joseph changed to Zaphenath-paneah (Ge 41:45); Eliakim, to Jehoiakim (2Ki 23:34); Mattaniah, to Zedekiah (2Ki 24:17); and the two names of the high priest Johanan’s brother in the Sachau Papyri, i.e. Ostan and Anani.)

Having purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the food and drink of the king, Daniel requested of Ashpenaz permission to eat vegetables and drink water. Through the favor of God, this request was granted, notwithstanding the fear of Ashpenaz that his head would be endangered to the king on account of the probably resulting poor appearance of the youths living upon this blood-diluting diet, in comparison with the expected healthy appearance of the others of their class. However, ten days’ trial having been first granted, and at the end of that time their countenances having been found fairer and their flesh fatter than the other youths’, the permission was made permanent; and God gave to Daniel and his companions knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and to Daniel understanding in all visions and dreams; so that at the end of the three years when the king communed with them, he found them much superior to all the magicians and enchanters in every matter of wisdom and understanding.

2. Dream-Interpreter:

Daniel’s public activities were in harmony with his education. His first appearance was as an interpreter of the dream recorded in Da 2. Nebuchadnezzar having seen in his dream a vision of a great image, excellent in brightness and terrible in appearance, its head of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass, its legs of iron, its feet part of iron and part of clay, beheld a stone cut out without hands smiting the image and breaking it in pieces, until it became like chaff and was carried away by the wind; while the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. When the king awoke from his troubled sleep, he forgot, or reigned that he had forgotten, the dream, and summoned the wise men of Babylon both to tell him the dream and to give the interpretation thereof. The wise men having said that they could not tell the dream, nor interpret it as long as it was untold, the king threatened them with death. Daniel, who seems not to have been present when the other wise men were before the king, when he was informed of the threat of the king, and that preparations were being made to slay all of the wise men of Babylon, himself and his three companions included, boldly went in to the king and requested that he would appoint a time for him to appear to show the interpretation, Then he went to his house, and he and his companions prayed, and the dream and its interpretation were made known unto Daniel. At the appointed time, the dream was explained and the four Hebrews were loaded with wealth and given high positions in the service of the king. In the 4th chapter, we have recorded Daniel’s interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar about the great tree that was hewn at the command of an angel, thus prefiguring the insanity of the king.

3. Interpreter of Signs: Daniel’s third great appearance in the book is in chapter 5, where he is called upon to explain the extraordinary writing upon the wall of Belshazzar’s palace, which foretold the end of the Babylonian empire and the incoming of the Medes and Persians. For this service Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold put around his neck, and he was made the third ruler in the kingdom.

4. Seer of Visions:

Daniel, however, was not merely an interpreter of other men’s visions. In the last six chapters we have recorded four or five of his own visions, all of which are taken up with revelations concerning the future history of the great world empires, especially in their relation to the people of God, and predictions of the final triumph of the Messiah’s kingdom.

5. Official of the Kings:

In addition to his duties as seer and as interpreter of signs and dreams, Daniel also stood high in the governmental service of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius the Mede, and perhaps also of Cyrus. The Book of Dnl, our only reliable source of information on this subject, does not tell us much about his civil duties and performances. It does say, however, that he was chief of the wise men, that he was in the gate of the king, and that he was governor over the whole province of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar; that Belshazzar made him the third ruler in his kingdom; and that Darius made him one of the three presidents to whom his hundred and twenty satraps were to give account; and that he even thought to set him over his whole kingdom. In all of these positions he seems to have conducted himself with faithfulness and judgment.

While in the service of Darius the Mede, he aroused the antipathy of the other presidents and of the satraps. Unable to find any fault with his official acts, they induced the king to make a decree, apparently general in form and purpose, but really aimed at Daniel alone. They saw that they could find no valid accusation against him, unless they found it in connection with something concerning the law of his God. They therefore caused the king to make a decree that no one should make a request of anyone for the space of thirty days, save of the king. Daniel, having publicly prayed three times a day as he was in the habit of doing, was caught in the act, accused, and on account of the irrevocability of a law of the Medes and Persians, was condemned in accordance with the decree to be cast into a den of lions. The king was much troubled at this, but was unable to withhold the punishment. However, he expressed to Daniel his belief that his God in whom he trusted continually would deliver him; and so indeed it came to pass. For in the morning, when the king drew near to the mouth of the den, and called to him, Daniel said that God had sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions. So Daniel was taken up unharmed, and at the command of the king his accusers, having been cast into tile den, were destroyed before they reached the bottom.


Besides the commentaries and other works mentioned in the article on the Book of Daniel, valuable information may be found in Josephus and in Payne Smith’s Lectures on Daniel.

R. Dick Wilson









1. The Predictions

2. The Miracles

3. The Text

4. The Language

5. The Historical Statements



Commentaries and Introductions



I. Name.

The Book of Daniel is rightly so called, whether we consider Daniel as the author of it, or as the principal person mentioned in it.

II. Place in the Canon.

In the English Bible, Daniel is placed among the Major Prophets, immediately after Ezk, thus following the order of the Septuagint and of the Latin Vulgate (Jerome’s Bible, 390-405 A. D.) In the Hebrew Bible, however, it is placed in the third division of the Canon, called the Kethuvim or writings, by the Hebrews, and the hagiographa, or holy writings, by the Seventy. It has been claimed, that Daniel was placed by the Jews in the third part of the Canon, either because they thought the inspiration of its author to be of a lower kind than was that of the other prophets, or because the book was written after the second or prophetical part of the Canon had been closed. It is more probable, that the book was placed in this part of the Hebrew Canon, because Daniel is not called a nabhi’ ("prophet"), but was rather a chozeh ("seer") and a chakham ("wise man"). None but the works of the nebhi’im were put in the second part of the Jewish Canon, the third being reserved for the heterogeneous works of seers, wise men, and priests, or for those that do not mention the name or work of a prophet, or that are poetical in form. A confusion has arisen, because the Greek word prophet is used to render the two Hebrew words nabhi’ and chozeh. In the Scriptures, God is said to speak to the former, whereas the latter see visions and dream dreams. Some have attempted to explain the position of Daniel by assuming that he had the prophetic gift without holding the prophetic office. It must be kept in mind that all reasons given to account for the order and place of many of the books in the Canon are purely conjectural, since we have no historical evidence bearing upon the subject earlier than the time of Jesus ben Sirach, who wrote probably about 180 BC.

III. Divisions of the Book.

According to its subject-matter, the book falls naturally into two great divisions, each consisting of six chapters, the first portion containing the historical sections, and the second the apocalyptic, or predictive, portions; though the former is not devoid of predictions, nor the latter of historical statements. More specifically, the first chapter is introductory to the whole book; Da 2-6 describe some marvelous events in the history of Daniel and his three companions in their relations with the rulers of Babylon; and chapters 7-12 narrate some visions of Daniel concerning the great world-empires, especially in relation to the kingdom of God.

According to the languages in which the book is written, it may be divided into the Aramaic portion, extending from Da 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, and a Hebrew portion embracing the rest of the book.

IV. Languages.

The language of the book is partly Hebrew and partly a dialect of Aramaic, which has been called Chaldee, or Biblical Aramaic This Aramaic is almost exactly the same as that which is found in portions of Ezra. On account of the large number of Babylonian and Persian words characteristic of this Aramaic and of that of the papyri recently found in Egypt, as well as on account of the general similarity of the nominal, verbal and other forms, and of the syntactical construction, the Aramaic of this period might properly be called the Babylonian-Persian Aramaic With the exception of the sign used to denote the sound "dh," and of the use of qoph in a few cases where Daniel has ‘ayin, the spelling in the papyri is the same in general as that in the Biblical books. Whether the change of spelling was made at a later time in the manuscripts of Daniel, or whether it was a peculiarity of the Babylonian Aramaic as distinguished from the Egyptian or whether it was due to the unifying, scientific genius of Daniel himself, we have no means at present to determine.

In view of the fact that the Elephantine Papyri frequently employ the "d" sign to express the "dh" sound, and that it is always employed in Ezra to express it; in view further of the fact that the "z" sign is found as late as the earliest Nabatean inscription, that of 70 BC (see Euting, 349: 1, 2, 4) to express the "dh" sound, it seems fatuous to insist on the ground of the writing of these two sounds in the Book of Daniel, that it cannot have been written in the Persian period. As to the use of qoph and ‘ayin for the Aramaic sound which corresponds to the Hebrew tsadhe when equivalent to an Arabic dad, any hasty conclusion is debarred by the fact that the Aramaic papyri of the 5th century BC, the manuscripts of the Samaritan Targum and the Mandaic manuscripts written from 600 to 900 AD all employ the two letters to express the one sound. The writing of ‘aleph and he without any proper discrimination occurs in the papyri as well as in Daniel.

The only serious objection to the early date of upon the ground of its spelling is that which is based upon the use of a final "n" in the pronominal suffix of the second and third persons masculine plural instead of the margin of the Aramaic papyri and of the Zakir and Sendschirli inscriptions. It is possible that was influenced in this by the corresponding forms of the Babylonian language. The Syriac and Mandaic dialects of the Aramaic agree with the Babylonian in the formation of the pronominal suffixes of the second and third persons masculine plural, as against the Hebrew, Arabic, Minaean, Sabean and Ethiopic. It is possible that the occurrence of "m" in some west Aramaic documents may have arisen through the influence of the Hebrew and Phoenician, and that pure Aramaic always had "n" just as we find it in Assyrian and Babylonian, and in all east Aramaic documents thus far discovered.

The supposition that the use of "y" in Daniel as a preformative of the third person masculine of the imperfect proves a Palestinian provenience has been shown to be untenable by the discovery that the earliest east Syriac also used "y". (See M. Pognon, Inscriptions semitiques, premiere partie, 17.)

This inscription is dated 73 AD. This proof that in the earlier stages of its history the east Aramaic was in this respect the same as that found in Daniel is confirmed by the fact that the forms of the 3rd person of the imperfect found in the proper names on the Aramaic dockets of the Assyrian inscriptions also have the preformative y. (See Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, II, 47.)

V. Purpose of the Book.

The book is not intended to give an account of the life of Daniel. It gives neither his lineage, nor his age, and recounts but a few of the events of his long career. Nor is it meant to give a record of the history of Israel during the exile, nor even of the captivity in Babylon. Its purpose is to show how by His providential guidance, His miraculous interventions, His foreknowledge and almighty power, the God of heaven controls and directs the forces of Nature and the history of nations, the lives of Hebrew captives and of the mightiest of the kings of the earth, for the accomplishment of His Divine and beneficent plans for His servants and people.

VI. Unity.

The unity of the book was first denied by Spinoza, who suggested that the first part was taken from the chronological works of the Chaldeans, basing his supposition upon the difference of language between the former and latter parts. Newton followed Spinoza in suggesting two parts, but began his second division with Da 7, where the narrative passes over from the 3rd to the 1st person. Kohler follows Newton, claiming, however, that the visions were written by the Daniel of the exile, but that the first 6 chapters were composed by a later writer who also redacted the whole work. Von Orelli holds that certain prophecies of Daniel were enlarged and interpolated by a Jew living in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, in order to show his contemporaries the bearing of the predictions of the book upon those times of oppression. Zockler and Lange hold to the unity of the book in general; but the former thought that Da 11:5-45 is an interpolation; and the latter, that 10:1-11:44 and 12:5-13 have been inserted in the original work. Meinhold holds that the Aramaic portions existed as early as the times of Alexander the Great—a view to which Strack also inclines. Eichhorn held that the book consisted of ten different original sections, which are bound together merely by the circumstance that they are all concerned with Daniel and his three friends. Finally, De Lagarde, believing that the fourth kingdom was the Roman, held that Da 7 was written about 69 AD. (For the best discussion of the controversies about the unity of Daniel, see Eichhorn, Einleitung, sections 612-19, and Buhl in See Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche, IV, 449-51.)

VII. Genuineness.

With the exception of the neo-Platonist Porphyry, a Greek non-Christian philosopher of the 3rd century AD, the genuineness of the Book of was denied by no one until the rise of the deistic movement in the 17th century. The attacks upon the genuineness of the book have been based upon:

(1) the predictions,

(2) the miracles,

(3) the text,

(4) the language,

(5) the historical statements.

1. The Predictions:

The assailants of the genuineness of Daniel on the ground of the predictions found therein, may be divided into two classes—those who deny prediction in general, and those who claim that the apocalyptic character of the predictions of Daniel is a sufficient proof of their lack of genuineness. The first of these two classes includes properly those only who deny not merely Christianity, but theism; and the answering of them may safely be left to those who defend the doctrines of theism, and particularly of revelation. The second class of assailants is, however, of a different character, since it consists of those who are sincere believers in Christianity and predictive prophecy.

They claim, however, that certain characteristics of definiteness and detail, distinguishing the predictive portions of the Book of Daniel from other predictions of the Old Testament, bring the genuineness of Daniel into question. The kind of prediction found here, ordinarily called apocalyptic, is said to have arisen first in the 2nd century BC, when parts of the Book of Enoch and of the Sibylline Oracles were written; and a main characteristic of an apocalypse is said to be that it records past events as if they were still future, throwing the speaker back into some distant past time, for the purpose of producing on the reader the impression that the book contains real predictions, thus gaining credence for the statements of the writer and giving consolation to those who are thus led to believe in the providential foresight of God for those who trust in Him.

Since those who believe that God has spoken unto man by His Son and through the prophets will not be able to set limits to the extent and definiteness of the revelations which He may have seen fit to make through them, nor to prescribe the method, style, time and character of the revelations, this attack on the genuineness of Daniel may safely be left to the defenders of the possibility and the fact of a revelation. One who believes in these may logically believe in the genuineness of Daniel, as far as this objection goes. That there are spurious apocalypses no more proves that all are spurious than that there are spurious gospels or epistles proves that there are no genuine ones.

The spurious epistles of Philaris do not prove that Cicero’s Letters are not genuine; nor do the false statements of 2 Macc, nor the many spurious Ac of the Apostles, prove that 1 Macc or Luke’s Ac of the Apostles is not genuine. Nor does the fact that the oldest portions of the spurious apocalypses which have been preserved to our time are thought to have been written in the 2nd century BC, prove that no apocalypses, either genuine or spurious, were written before that time. There must have been a beginning, a first apocalypse, at some time, if ever. Besides, if we admit that the earliest parts of the Book of Enoch and of the Sibylline Oracles were written about the middle of the 2nd century BC, whereas the Book of Esdras was written about 300 AD, 450 years later, we can see no good literary reason wh Daniel may not have antedated Enoch by 350 years. The period between 500 BC and 150 BC is so almost entirely devoid of all known Hebrew literary productions as to render it exceedingly precarious for anyone to express an opinion as to what works may have characterized that long space of time.

2. The Miracles:

Secondly, as to the objections made against the Book of Daniel on the ground of the number or character of the miracles recorded, we shall only say that they affect the whole Christian system, which is full of the miraculous from beginning to end. If we begin to reject the books of the Bible because miraculous events are recorded in them, where indeed shall we stop?

3. The Text:

Thirdly, a more serious objection, as far as Daniel itself is concerned, is the claim of Eichhorn that the original text of the Aramaic portion has been so thoroughly tampered with and changed, that we can no longer get at the genuine original composition. We ourselves can see no objection to the belief that these Aramaic portions were written first of all in Hebrew, or even, if you will, in Babylonian; nor to the supposition that some Greek translators modified the meaning in their version either intentionally, or through a misunderstanding of the original. We claim, however, that the composite Aramaic of Daniel agrees in almost every particular of orthography, etymology and syntax, with the Aramaic of the North Semitic inscriptions of the 9th, 8th and 7th centuries BC and of the Egyptian papyri of the 5th century BC, and that the vocabulary of Daniel has an admixture of Hebrew, Babylonian and Persian words similar to that of the papyri of the 5th century BC; whereas, it differs in composition from the Aramaic of the Nabateans, which is devoid of Persian, Hebrew, and Babylonian words, and is full of Arabisms, and also from that of the Palmyrenes, which is full of Greek words, while having but one or two Persian words, and no Hebrew or Babylonian. As to different recensions, we meet with a similar difficulty in Jeremiah without anyone’s impugning on that account the genuineness of the work as a whole. As to interpolations of verses or sections, they are found in the Samaritan recension of the Hebrew text and in the Samaritan and other Targums, as also in certain places in the text of the New Testament, Josephus and many other ancient literary works, without causing us to disbelieve in the genuineness of the rest of their works, or of the works as a whole.

4. The Language:

Fourthly, the objections to the genuineness of Daniel based on the presence in it of three Greek names of musical instruments and of a number of Persian words do not seem nearly as weighty today as they did a hundred years ago. The Greek inscriptions at Abu Simbal in Upper Egypt dating from the time of Psamtek II in the early part of the 6th century BC, the discovery of the Minoan inscriptions and ruins in Crete, the revelations of the wide commercial relations of the Phoenicians in the early part of the 1st millennium BC, the lately published inscriptions of Sennacherib about his campaigns in Cilicia against the Greek seafarers to which Alexander Poly-histor and Abydenus had referred, telling about his having carried many Greeks captive to Nineveh about 700 BC, the confirmation of the wealth and expensive ceremonies of Nebuchadnezzar made by his own building and other inscriptions, all assure us of the possibility of the use of Greek musical instruments at Babylon in the 6th century BC. This, taken along with the well-known fact that names of articles of commerce and especially of musical instruments go with the thing, leave no room to doubt that a writer of the 6th century BC may have known and used borrowed Greek terms. The Arameans being the great commercial middlemen between Egypt and Greece on the one hand and Babylon and the Orient on the other, and being in addition a subject people, would naturally adopt many foreign words into their vocabulary.

As to the presence of the so-called Persian words in Daniel, it must be remembered that many words which were formerly considered to be such have been found to be Babylonian. As to the others, perhaps all of them may be Median rather than Persian; and if so, the children of Israel who were carried captive to the cities of the Medes in the middle of the 8th century BC, and the, Arameans, many of whom were subject to the Medes, at least from the time of the fall of Nineveh about 607 BC, may well have adopted many words into their vocabulary from the language of their rulers. Daniel was not writing merely for the Jews who had been carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, but for all Israelites throughout the world. Hence, he would properly use a language which his scattered readers would understand rather than the purer idiom of Judea. Most of his foreign terms are names of officials, legal terms, and articles of clothing, for which there were no suitable terms existing in the earlier Hebrew or Aramaic There was nothing for a writer to do but to invent new terms, or to transfer the current foreign words into his native language. The latter was the preferable method and the one which he adopted.

5. The Historical Statements:

Fifthly, objections to the genuineness of the Book of Daniel are made on the ground of the historical misstatements which are said to be found in it. These may be classed as:

(1) chronological,

(2) geographical, and

(3) various.

(1) Chronological Objections.

The first chronological objection is derived from Da 1:1, where it is said that Nebuchadnezzar made an expedition against Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim, whereas Jeremiah seems to imply that the expedition was made in the 4th year of that king. As Daniel was writing primarily for the Jews of Babylon, he would naturally use the system of dating that was employed there; and this system differed in its method of denoting the 1st year of a reign from that used by the Egyptians and by the Jews of Jerusalem for whom Jeremiah wrote.

The second objection is derived from the fact that Daniel is said (Da 1:21) to have lived unto the 1st year of Cyrus the king, whereas in Da 10:1 he is said to have seen a vision in the 3rd year of Cyrus, king of Persia. These statements are easily reconciled by supposing that in the former case it is the 1st year of Cyrus as king of Babylon, and in the second, the 3rd year of Cyrus as king of Persia.

The third chronological objection is based on Da 6:28, where it is said that Daniel prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian. This statement is harmonized with the facts revealed by the monuments and with the statements of the book itself by supposing that Darius reigned synchronously with Cyrus, but as sub-king under him.

The fourth objection is based on Da 8:1, where Daniel is said to have seen a vision in the third year of Belshazzar the king. If we suppose that Belshazzar was king of the Chaldeans while his father was king of Babylon, just as Cambyses was king of Babylon while his father, Cyrus, was king of the lands, or as Nabonidus II seems to have been king of Harran while his father, Nabonidus I, was king of Babylon, this statement will harmonize with the other statements made with regard to Belshazzar.

(2) Geographical Objections.

As to the geographical objections, three only need be considered as important. The first is, that Shushan seems to be spoken of in Da 7:2 as subject to Babylon, whereas it is supposed by some to have been at that time subject to Media. Here we can safely rest upon the opinion of Winckler, that at the division of the Assyrian dominions among the allied Medes and Babylonians, Elam became subject to Babylon rather than to Media. If, however, this opinion could be shown not to be true, we must remember that Daniel is said to have been at ShuShan in a vision. The second geographical objection is based on the supposition that Nebuchadnezzar would not have gone against Jerusalem, leaving an Egyptian garrison at Carchemish in his rear, thus endangering his line of communication and a possible retreat to Babylon. This objection has no weight, now that the position of Carchemish has been shown to be, not at Ciressium, as formerly conjectured, but at Jirabis, 150 miles farther up the Euphrates. Carchemish would have cut off a retreat to Nineveh, but was far removed from the direct line of communication with Babylon. The third geographical objection is derived from the statement that Darius placed 120 satraps in, or over, all his kingdom. The objection rests upon a false conception of the meaning of satrap and of the extent of a satrapy, there being no reason why a sub-king under Darius may not have had as many satraps under him as Sargon of Assyria had governors and deputies under him; and the latter king mentions 117 peoples and countries over which he appointed his deputies to rule in his place.

(3) Other Objections.

Various other objections to the genuineness of Daniel have been made, the principal being those derived from the supposed non-existence of Kings Darius the Mede and Belshazzar the Chaldean, from the use of the word Chaldean to denote the wise men of Babylon, and from the silence of other historical sources as to many of the events recorded in Daniel. The discussion of the existence of Belshazzar and Darius the Mede will be found under BELSHAZZAR and DARIUS. As to the argument from silence in general, it may be said that it reduces itself in fact to the absence of all reference to Daniel on the monuments, in the Book of Ecclus, and in the post-exilic literature. As to the latter books it proves too much; for Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, as well as Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, refer to so few of the older canonical books and earlier historical persons and events, that it is not fair to expect them to refer to Daniel—at least, to use their not referring to him or his book as an argument against the existence of either before the time when they were written.

As to Ecclesiasticus, we might have expected him to mention Daniel or the So of Three Children; but who knows what reasons Ben Sira may have had for not placing them in his list of Hebrew heroes? Perhaps, since he held the views which later characterized the Sadducees, he may have passed Daniel by because of his views on the resurrection and on angels. Perhaps he failed to mention any of the four companions because none of their deeds had been wrought in Palestine; or because their deeds exalted too highly the heathen monarchies to which the Jews were subject. Or, more likely, the book may have been unknown to him, since very few copies at best of the whole Old Testament can have existed in his time, and the Book of Daniel may not have gained general currency in Palestine before it was made so preeminent by the fulfillment of its predictions in the Maccabean times.

It is not satisfactory to say that Ben Sira did not mention Daniel and his companions, because the stories concerning them had not yet been imbedded in a canonical book, inasmuch as he does place Simon, the high priest, among the greatest of Israel’s great men, although he is not mentioned in any canonical book. In conclusion, it may be said, that while it is impossible for us to determine why Ben Sira does not mention Daniel and his three companions among his worthies, if their deeds were known to him, it is even more impossible to understand how these stories concerning them cannot merely have arisen but have been accepted as true, between 180 BC, when Ecclesiasticus is thought to have been written, and 169 BC, when, according to 1 Maccabees, Matthias, the first of the Asmoneans, exhorted his brethren to follow the example of the fortitude of Ananias and his friends. As to the absence of all mention of Daniel on the contemporary historical documents of Babylon and Persia, such mention is not to be expected, inasmuch as those documents give the names of none who occupied positions such as, or similar to, those which Daniel is said to have filled.

VIII. Interpretation.

Questions of the interpretation of particular passages may be looked for in the commentaries and special works. As to the general question of the kind of prophecy found in the Book of Daniel, it has already been discussed above under the caption of "Genuineness." As to the interpretation of the world monarchies which precede the monarchy of the Messiah Prince, it may be said, however, that the latest discoveries, ruling out as they do a separate Median empire that included Babylon, support the view that the four monarchies are the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman. According to this view, Darius the Mede was only a sub-king under Cyrus the Persian. Other interpretations have been made by selecting the four empires from those of Assyria, Babylonia, Media, Persia, Medo-Persia, Alexander, the Seleucids, the Romans, and the Mohammedans. The first and the last of these have generally been excluded from serious consideration. The main dispute is as to whether the 4th empire was that of the Seleucids, or that of the Romans, the former view being held commonly by those who hold to the composition of in the 2nd century BC, and the latter by those who hold to the traditional view that it was written in the 6th century BC.

IX. Doctrines.

It is universally admitted that the teachings of Daniel with regard to angels and the resurrection are more explicit than those found elsewhere in the Old Testament. As to angels, Daniel attributes to them names, ranks, and functions not mentioned by others. It has become common in certain quarters to assert that these peculiarities of Daniel are due to Persian influences. The Babylonian monuments, however, have revealed the fact that the Babylonians believed in both good and evil spirits with names, ranks, and different functions. These spirits correspond in several respects to the Hebrew angels, and may well have afforded Daniel the background for his visions. Yet, in all such matters, it must be remembered that Daniel purports to give us a vision, or revelation; and a revelation cannot be bound by the ordinary laws of time and human influence.

As to the doctrine of the resurrection, it is generally admitted that Daniel adds some new and distinct features to that which is taught in the other canonical books of the Old Testament. But it will be noted that he does not dwell upon this doctrine, since he mentions it only in Da 12:2. The materials for his doctrine are to be found in Isa 26:14,21 and 66:24; Eze 37:1-14, and in Job 14:12; 19:25; Ho 6:2; 1Ki 17:4; 2Ki 4$ 2Ki 8:1-5, as well as in the use of the words for sleep and awakening from sleep, or from the dust, for everlasting life or everlasting contempt in Isa 26:19; Ps 76:6; 13:3; 127:2; De 31:16; 2Sa 7:12; 1Ki 1:21; Job 7:21, and Jer 20:11; 23:40. The essential ideas and phraseology of Daniel’s teachings are found in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The first two parts of the books of Enoch and 2 Maccabees make much of the resurrection; but on the other hand, Ecclesiastes seems to believe not even in the immortality of the soul, and Wisdom and 1 Maccabees do not mention a resurrection of the body. That the post-exilic prophets do not mention a resurrection does not prove that they knew nothing about Daniel any more than it proves that they knew nothing about Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

There are resemblances, it is true, between the teachings of Daniel with regard to the resurrection and those of the Avesta. But so are there between his doctrines and the ideas of the Egyptians, which had existed for millenniums before his time. Besides there is no proof of any derivation of doctrines from the Persians by the writers of the canonical books of the Jews; and, as we have seen above, both the ideas and verbiage of Daniel are to be found in the generally accepted early Hebrew literature. And finally, this attempt to find a natural origin for all Biblical ideas leaves out of sight the fact that the Scriptures contain revelations from God, which transcend the ordinary course of human development. To a Christian, therefore, there can be no reason for believing that the doctrines of Daniel may not have been promulgated in the 6th century BC.

Commentaries and Introductions:

The best commentaries on Daniel from a conservative point of view are those by Calvin, Moses Stuart, Keil, Zockler, Strong in Lange’s Bibelwerk, Fuller in the Speaker’s Commentary, Thomson in the Pulpit Commentary, and Wright, Daniel and His Critics. The best defenses of Daniel’s authenticity and genuineness are Hengstenberg, Authenticity of the Book of Daniel, Tregelles, Defense of the Authenticity, Auberlen, The Prophecies of Daniel, Fuller, Essay on the Authenticity of Daniel, Pusey, Daniel the Prophet (still the best of all), C. H. H. Wright, Daniel and His Critics, Kennedy, The Book of Daniel from the Christian Standpoint, Joseph Wilson, Daniel, and Sir Robert Anderson, Daniel in the Critics’ Den. One should consult also Pinches, The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of Assyria and Babylonia, Clay, Light on the Old Testament from Babel, and Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament. For English readers, the radical school is best represented by Driver in his Literature of the Old Testament and in his Daniel; by Bevan, The Book of Daniel; by Prince, Commentary on Daniel, and by Cornill in his Introduction to the Old Testament.

X. Apocryphal Additions.

In the Greek translations of Daniel three or four pieces are added which are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic text as it has come down to us. These are The Prayer of Azarias, The So of the Three Children, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon. These additions have all been rejected from the Canon by the Protestant churches because they are not contained in the Hebrew Canon. In the Church of England they are "read for example of life and instruction of manners." The So of Three Children was "ordered in the rubric of the first Prayer Book of Edward VI (AD 1549) to be used in Lent as a responsory to the Old Testament Lesson at the Morning Prayer." It contains the Prayer of Azarias from the midst of the fiery furnace, and the song of praise by the three children for their deliverance; the latter being couched largely in phrases borrowed from Ps 148.

Susanna presents to us the story of a virtuous woman who resisted the seductive attempts of two judges of the elders of the people, whose machinations were exposed through the wisdom of Daniel who convicted them of false witness by the evidence of their own mouth, so that they were put to death according to the law of Moses; and from that day forth Daniel was held in great reputation in the sight of the people. Bel and the Dragon contains three stories. The first relates how Daniel destroyed the image of Bel which Nebuchadnezzar worshipped, by showing by means of ashes strewn on the floor of the temple that the offerings to Bel were devoured by the priests who came secretly into the temple by night. The second tells how Daniel killed the Dragon by throwing lumps of mingled pitch, fat and hair into his mouth, so causing the Dragon to burst asunder. The third gives a detailed account of the lions’ den, stating that there were seven lions and that Daniel lived in the den six days, being sustained by broken bread and pottage which a prophet named Habakkuk brought to him through the air, an angel of the Lord having taken him by the arm and borne him by the hair of his head and through the vehemency of his spirit set him in Babylon over the den, into which he dropped the food for Daniel’s use.


For commentaries on the additions to the Book of Daniel, see the works on Daniel cited above, and also The Apocrypha by Churton and others; the volume on the Apocrypha in Lange’s Commentary by Bissell; "The Apocrypha" by Wace in the Speaker’s Commentary, and Schurer, History of the Jewish People.

R. Dick Wilson


dan’-its (ha-dani): Occurs as describing those belonging to Da in Jud 13:2; 18:1,11; 1Ch 12:35.


dan’-a (dannah): One of the cities in the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:49) between Socoh and Kiriath-sannah (Debir), probably Idhna—the Iedna of the Onom—8 miles W. of Hebron. See PEF, III, 305, 330.


daf’-ne (Daphne, "bay-tree"): A suburb of Antioch on the Orontes, according to Strabo and the Jerusalem itinerary, about 40 furlongs, or 5 miles distant. It is identified with Beit el-Ma’ on the left bank of the river, to the Southwest of the city. Here were the famous grove and sanctuary of Apollo. The grove and shrine owed their origin to Seleucus Nicator. It was a place of great natural beauty, and the Seleucid kings spared no outlay in adding to its attractions. The precincts enjoyed the right of asylum. Hither fled Onias the high priest (171 BC) from the wrath of Menelaus whom he had offended by plain speech. To the disgust and indignation of Jew and Gentile alike, he was lured from the sanctuary by Andronicus and basely put to death (2 Macc 4:33-38). It sheltered fugitives dyed with villainy of every shade. It was the great pleasure resort of the citizens of Antioch; and it gained an evil repute for immorality, as witnessed by the proverbial Daphnici mores. In Tiberim defluxit Orontes, says Juvenal (iii.62), indicating one main source of the corruption that demoralized the imperial city. The decline of Daphne dates from the days of Christian ascendancy in the reign of Julian. The place is still musical with fountains and luxuriant with wild vegetation; but nothing now remains to suggest its former splendor. See ANTIOCH; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chapter xxiii.

W. Ewing


dar’-a (dara‘). See DARDA.


dar’-da (darda‘, "pearl of wisdom"): One of the wise men to whom Solomon is compared (1Ki 4:31). He was either a son of Mahol (ibid.) or a son of Zerah, son of Judah (1Ch 2:6, where the corresponding name in the same list is given as DARA). In rabbinic lore the name has been interpreted as dor dea, "the generation of knowledge"—the generation of the wilderness.


dar: The expression "to dare" in the Scriptures never has the meaning of "to defy," "to challenge," or "to terrify." It is always found as the translation of tolmao, "to manifest courage." This is particularly evident from 2Co 10:12, "for we are not bold to number or compare ourselves" (the King James Version "for we dare not make ourselves of the number").


dar’-ik (darkemon, and ‘adharkon; dareikos): A Persian gold coin about a guinea or five dollars in value. The first form of the word occurs in 1Ch 29:7; Ezr 2:69, and Ne 7:70-72; the second in Ezr 8:27 and is rendered, "dram" in the King James Version and "daric" in the Revised Version (British and American). In the passage in Chronicles, it must refer to a weight, since at the time of David there were no coins, but in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah the Persian darics were current. See MONEY.


da-ri’-us: The name of three or four kings mentioned in the Old Testament. In the original Persian it is spelled "Darayavaush"; in Babylonian, usually "Dariamush"; in Susian(?), "Tariyamaush"; in Egyptian "Antaryuash"; on Aramaic inscriptions, d-r-y-h-w-sh or d-r-y-w-h-w-sh; in Hebrew, dareyawesh; in Greek, Dareios; in Latin, "Darius." In meaning it is probably connected with the new Persian word Dara, "king." Herodotus says it means in Greek, Erxeies, coercitor, "restrainer," "compeller," "commander."

(1) Darius the Mede (Da 6:1; 11:1) was the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the seed of the Medes (Da 9:1). He received the government of Belshazzar the Chaldean upon the death of that prince (Da 5:30,31; 6:1), and was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans.

From Da 6:28 we may infer that Darius was king contemporaneously with Cyrus. Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans. Some reasons for this identification are as follows:

(a) Gubaru is possibly a translation of Darius. The same radical letters in Arabic mean "king," "compeller," "restrainer." In Hebrew, derivations of the root mean "lord," "mistress," "queen"; in Aramaic, "mighty," "almighty."

(b) Gutium was the designation of the country North of Babylon and was in all possibility in the time of Cyrus a part of the province of Media.

(c) But even if Gutium were not a part of Media at that time, it was the custom of Persian kings to appoint Medes as well as Persians to satrapies and to the command of armies. Hence, Darius-Gubaru may have been a Mede, even if Gutium were not a part of Media proper.

(d) Since Daniel never calls Darius the Mede king of Media, or king of Persia, it is immaterial what his title or position may have been before he was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans. Since the realm of the Chaldeans never included either Media or Persia, there is absolutely no evidence in the Book of Daniel that its author ever meant to imply that Darius the Mede ever ruled over either Media or Persia.

(e) That Gubaru is called governor (pihatu), and Darius the Mede, king, is no objection to this identification; for in ancient as well as modern oriental empires the governors of provinces and cities were often called kings.

Moreover, in the Aramaic language, no more appropriate word than "king" can be found to designate the ruler of a sub-kingdom, or province of the empire.

(f) That Darius is said to have had 120 satraps under him does not conflict with this; for the Persian word "satrap" is indefinite as to the extent of his rule, just like the English word "governor." Besides, Gubaru is said to have appointed pihatus under himself. If the kingdom of the Chaldeans which he received was as large as that of Sargon he may easily have appointed 120 of these sub-rulers; for Sargon names 117 subject cities and countries over which he appointed his prefects and governors.

(g) The peoples, nations and tongues of chapter 6 are no objection to this identification; for Babylonia itself at this time was inhabited by Babylonians, Chaldeans, Arabians, Arameans and Jews, and the kingdom of the Chaldeans embraced also Assyrians, Elamites, Phoenicians and others within its limits.

(h) This identification is supported further by the fact that there is no other person known to history that can well be meant. Some, indeed, have thought that Darius the Mede was a reflection into the past of Darius Hystaspis; but this is rendered impossible inasmuch as the character, deeds and empire of Darius Hystaspis, which are well known to us from his own monuments and from the Greek historians, do not resemble what Daniel says of Darius the Mede.

(2) Darius, the fourth king of Persia, called Hystaspes because he was the son of a Persian king named Hystaspis, is mentioned in Ezr (4:5, et al.), Hag (1:1) and Zec (1:1). Upon the death of Cambyses, son and successor to Cyrus, Smerdis the Magian usurped the kingdom and was dethroned by seven Persian nobles from among whom Darius was selected to be king. After many rebellions and wars he succeeded in establishing himself firmly upon the throne (Ant., XI, i). He reorganized and enlarged the Persian empire. He is best known to general history from his conflict with Greece culminating at Marathon, and for his re-digging of the Suez Canal. In sacred history he stands forth as the king who enabled the Jews under Jeshua and Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem.

(3) Darius, called by the Greeks Nothus, was called Ochus before he became king. He reigned from 424 to 404 BC. In the Scriptures he is mentioned only in Ne 12:22, where he is called Darius the Persian, probably to distinguish him from Darius the Mede.

It is not necessary to suppose that Darius Codomannus who reigned from 336 to 330 BC, is meant by the author of Ne 12, because he mentions Jaddua; for (a) Johanan, the father of this Jaddua, was high priest about 408 BC, as is clear from the Aramaic papyrus from Elephantine lately published by Professor Sachau of Berlin, and Jaddua may well have succeeded him in those troubled times before the death of Darius Nothus in 404 BC. And (b) that a high priest named Jaddua met Alexander in 332 BC, is attested only by Josephus (Ant., XI, viii, 5). It is not fair to take the testimony of Josephus as to Jaddua without taking his testimony as to the meeting with Alexander and as to the appeal of Jaddua to the predictions of the Book of Daniel. But even if Josephus be right, there may have been two Jadduas, one high priest in 404 BC, and the other in 332 BC; or the one who was alive and exercising his functions in 404 BC may still have been high priest in 332 BC. He need not have exceeded 90 years of age.

According to the Eshki Harran inscription, which purports to have been written by himself, the priest of the temple in that city had served for 104 years. In our own time how many men have been vigorous in mind and body at the age of 90, or thereabouts; Bismarck and Gladstone, for example?

R. Dick Wilson


(Pr 1:6; Ps 78:2; singular, Ps 49:4,5; chidhoth, singular chidhah, elsewhere rendered "riddle," "proverb"): In the heading to the canonical Book of Proverbs, the general term "proverbs" is made to include "a proverb mashal, and a figure (or, an interpretation, melitsah), the words (singular dabhar) of the wise, and their dark sayings (or, riddles)."

The "proverb" is either a saying current among the people (compare 1Sa 10:12; "the proverb of the ancients" 24:13 (14)), or a sentence of ethical wisdom composed by the order of wise men (chakhamim). Of the latter kind are the sententious maxims of the Wisdom literature (chiefly Proverbs, but also Job, Ecclesiastes, and among the uncanonical writings, Ecclesiasticus). They are characterized by a secular touch; wisdom, moreover, flourished among the neighbors of Israel as well; so in Edom and elsewhere.

Whatever the date of the collection known as the "Proverbs of Solomon," the wise men existed in Israel at a very early period; the prophets allude to them. But the Hebrew mashal is sometimes of a more elaborate character corresponding to our "parables"; frequently a vein of taunt runs through them, and they played an important part in compositions directed against other nations (compare Nu 21:27). The prophets are fond of employing this genre of literary production; in their hands the mashal becomes a figurative or allegorical discourse (compare Eze 21:5 ff (8 ff)). The mashal in the sense of a didactic poem occurs also in the Psalms (Pss 49 and 78). Hence, it is that "proverb" and "figure," or "proverb" and "dark saying" are interchangeable terms. The "dark saying" is the popular "riddle" (compare Jud 14) raised to the dignity of elaborate production.

It is in short an allegorical sentence requiring interpretation. Both prophets and psalmists avail themselves thereof. The word of God comes to the prophet in the form of a vision (compare the visions of Amos or Jeremiah), i.e. the truth presents itself to them in the form of a simile. To the perfect prophet of the type of Moses the revelation comes direct in the shape of the naked truth without the mediation of figures of speech or obscure utterances requiring elucidation (compare Nu 12). In the same way Paul (1Co 13) distinguishes between the childish manner of speaking of things spiritual and the manner of a man: "For now we see in a mirror, darkly (Greek "in a riddle"); but then face to face." The rabbis say that, whereas all the other prophets saw God and things Divine in a dim mirror, Moses saw them in a polished, clear mirror. Both Paul and the rabbis feel the difference between mediate and immediate vision, the revelation which requires dark figurative language as a vehicle and the clear perception which is the direct truth.

Max L. Margolis


dark, dark’-nes (choshekh; skotos):

1. Darkness and Light in Palestine:

The day and night, light and darkness, are notable antitheses in Palestine. There the day does not slowly fade away into the night after a period of twilight, but before sunset there is the brightness of day, and when the sun has disappeared everything has changed and night is at hand. From sunset until the darkness of night is less than an hour.

2. Symbolic Uses:

In the Bible the main use of darkness is in contrast to light. Light is the symbol of God’s purity, wisdom and glory. Darkness is the opposite. Miraculous occurrence of darkness in the land of Egypt for three days is recorded in Ex 10:21,22, and at the death of Christ (Mt 27:45). See PLAGUE; ECLIPSE.

The figurative uses of darkness are many and various. It is used as a symbol

(a) of moral depravity and its punishment. The wicked walk and work in darkness (Ps 82:5; Pr 2:13; Joh 3:19; Ro 13:12), and their reward is to "sit in darkness" (Ps 107:10) or to be "cast forth into the outer darkness" (Mt 8:12);

(b) of things mysterious or inexplicable (1Ki 8:12; Ps 97:2);

(c) of trouble and affliction (2Sa 22:29; Job 5:14; Pr 20:20; Isa 9:2; compare Ge 15:12);

(d) of punishment (La 3:2; Eze 32:8; Ze 1:15); (e) of death (1Sa 2:9; Job 10:21 f; Ec 11:8); (f) of nothingness (Job 3:4-6); (g) of human ignorance (Job 19:8; 1 Joh 2:11).

"A dark (the Revised Version, margin "squalid") place" (2Pe 1:19) refers especially to the state of things described in 2Pe 2.

Alfred H. Joy


dark’-li: The word occurs in 1Co 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror, darkly," in translation of the words en ainigmati, the Revised Version, margin "in a riddle." The contrast is with the "face to face" vision of Divine things in eternity. Earth’s best knowledge is partial, obscure, enigmatic, a broken reflection of the complete truth ("broken lights of Thee").


dar’-kon (darqon, "carrier"): Ancestor of a subdivision of "Solomon’s servants," so called, in post-exilic times (Ezr 2:56; Ne 7:58; Lozon, 1 Esdras 5:33).


dar’-ling (yachidh, "only," the King James Version margin, "only one"; the American Revised Version, margin, "dear life"): Used poetically for the life or soul (Ps 22:20; 35:17).


dart (chets; belos): A pointed missile weapon, as an arrow or light spear (2Sa 18:14; Job 41:26). See ARMOR; ARMS, III, 4; ARROW. Figurative:

(1) Of the penalty of sin (Pr 7:23 the King James Version);

(2) of strong suggestions and fierce temptations to evil (Eph 6:16; compare 1 Macc 5:51).


dart’-snake (Isa 34:15). See ARROWSNAKE.


The idea of "to throw violently" or "to strike" with purpose of causing destruction is usually connected with the word "to dash." There is perhaps but one exception to this: Ps 91:12 and the quotations of this passage in the New Testament (Mt 4:6; Lu 4:11, proskopto), have the meaning "to strike against accidentally" and not intentionally. Na 2:1, "he that dasheth in pieces" is doubtful. "He that scatters" would be in better harmony with the Hebrew mephits, and the following description of destruction. In all other cases "to dash" is connected with the idea of destruction, especially the infliction of punishment which is usually expressed by raTash, "to dash to the ground" (2Ki 8:12; Isa 13:16 ff, et al., "to dash in pieces," the King James Version simply "to dash"), but also by naphats, "to break to pieces" (Ps 2:9; 137:9, et al.). See also PUNISHMENTS.

A. L. Breslich


dats (debhash): Arabic, dibbs (2Ch 31:5, King James Version margin); English Versions of the Bible HONEY (which see). See also PALM TREE.


da’-than (dathan, meaning and derivation unknown, though the name is found in Assyrian, in the records of Shalmaneser II): The son of Eliab the son of Pallu the son of Reuben (Nu 26:5 ff; De 11:6; Ps 106:17). He and his brother Abiram, with others, followed Korah the Levite in disputing the authority of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness (Nu 16-17; 26; De 11:6; Ps 106:17). Other followers of Korah perished by fire before the tent of meeting, but Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the earth, with their families and their goods, at their tents. See KORAH.

Willis J. Beecher


dath’-e-ma (Dathema): A stronghold (1 Macc 5:29) in Gilead to which the Jews fled for refuge from the heathen (1 Macc 5:9). They were delivered by Judas and Jonathan his brother. It was within a night’s march from Bosora. It may possibly be identical with ‘Athaman which lies East of el-Muzeribe in disputing the authority of Moses and Aaron in the wilderness (Nu 16-17; 26; De 11:6; Ps 106:17). Other followers of Korah perished by fire before the tent of meeting, but Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the earth, with their families and their goods, at their tents.


dob: "To daub" always has the meaning "to cover," "to smear with" in the Scriptures. Ezekiel compares the flatteries of the false prophets to a slight wall covered with whitewash (literally, "spittle"). See Eze 13:10, 22:28. In Ex 2:3 "daubed it with slime and with pitch" (Hebrew wattachmerah, denominative of chemar, "bitumen" or "asphalt"), "to daub" has the same meaning as in the Ezekiel passage.


do’-ter (bath; thugater): Used in Scriptures in several more or less distinct senses:

(a) for daughter in the ordinary, literal sense (Ge 46:25; Ex 1:16);

(b) daughter-in-law (Ru 2:2);

(c) grand-daughter or other female descendant (Ex 21; Lu 1:5; 13:16);

(d) the women of a country, or of a place, taken collectively (Lu 23:28), of a particular religion (Mal 2:11);

(e) all the population of a place, taken collectively, especially in Prophets and poetic books (Ps 9:14; Isa 23:10; Jer 46:24; Mt 21:5);

(f) used in familiar address, "Daughter, be of good comfort" (Mt 9:22 the King James Version; Mr 5:34; Lu 8:48);

(g) women in general (Pr 31:29);

(h) the personification of towns or cities, as of the female sex (Isa 47:1; Eze 16:44,46; compare Na 3:4,7), especially of dependent towns and villages (Ps 48:11; Nu 21:25 margin; Jud 1:27 margin);

(i) in Hebrew idiom for person or thing belonging to or having the characteristics of that with which it is joined, as "daughter of ninety years," of Sarah, ninety years old (Ge 17:17); "daughters of music," singing birds, or singing women (Ec 12:4); daughters of a tree, i. e. branches; daughter of the eye, i. e. the pupil.

Daughters were not so highly prized as sons, not being usually mentioned by name. A father might sometimes sell his daughter as bondwoman (Ex 21:7); though not to a foreigner (Ex 21:8); daughters might sometimes inherit as did sons, but could not take the inheritance outside of the tribe (Nu 36:1-12).

Edward Bagby Pollard




da’-vid (dawidh, or dawidh, "beloved"; Daueid, also in New Testament, Dauid, Dabid; see Thayer’s Lexicon):



1. Shepherd

2. Slinger

3. Harpist

4. Poet

5. Psalmist

6. Tribesman


1. David First Meets Saul

2. His First Exploit

3. Envy of Saul and Flight of David

4. Jonathan and David


1. David as Outlaw

2. David Joins the Philistines


1. Civil War

2. Conquests Abroad

3. Political Situation

4. The Ark


1. His Wives and Children

2. Domestic Troubles


1. Prophets

2. Priests

3. Military Officers

4. Other Officials

5. Mutual Rivalry


1. Chronicles

2. Psalms

3. Complex Character

4. Physical Courage

5. Moral Courage

6. Prudence

7. Strategy

8. Nobility

9. David in Relation to His Family

10. David in Relation to His Friends

11. His Success

12. His Foreign Friends

13. Nemesis

14. References in the New Testament


I. Name and Genealogy.

This name, which is written "defectively" in the older books, such as those of Samuel, but fully with the yodh in Chronicles and the later books, is derived, like the similar name Jedidish (2Sa 12:25), from a root meaning "to love." The only person who bears this name in the Bible is the son of Jesse, the second king of Israel. His genealogy is given in the table appended to the Book of Ru (Ru 4:18-22). Here the following points are to be noted: David belonged to the tribe of Judah: his ancestor Nahshon was chieftain of the whole tribe (Nu 1:7; 2:3; 1Ch 2:10) and brother-in-law of Aaron the high priest (Ex 6:23). As no other descendants of Nahshon are mentioned, his authority probably descended to Jesse by right of primogeniture. This supposition is countenanced by the fact that Salma (Salmon), the name of the son of Nahshon and father of Boaz, is also the name of a grandson of Caleb who became "father" of Bethlehem, the home of Jesse (1Ch 2:51). David was closely connected with the tribe of Moab, the mother of his grandfather Obed being Ru the Moabitess. Of the wife or wives of Jesse we know nothing, and consequently are without information upon a most interesting point—the personality of the mother of David; but that she too may have been of the tribe of Moab is rendered probable by the fact that, when hard pressed, David placed his parents under the protection of the king of that country (1Sa 22:3,1).

II. Early Years.

The home of David when he comes upon the stage of history was the picturesque town of Bethlehem.

1. Shepherd:

There his family had been settled for generations, indeed ever since the Israelite nation had overrun the land of Canaan. His father was apparently not only the chief man of the place, but he seems to have been chieftain of the whole clan to which he belonged—the clan of Judah. Although the country round Bethlehem is more fertile than that in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, the inhabitants joined to the cultivation of the soil the breeding of cattle (Lu 2:8). David’s father, not only cultivated his ancestral fields, but kept flocks of sheep and goats as well. The flocks were sent out every day to pasture in the neighboring valleys attended by the herdsmen armed so as to defend themselves and their charge, not only against marauders from the surrounding deserts, but also from the lions and bears with which the country was then infested. David seems to have been in the habit of accompanying his father’s servants in their task (1Sa 17:20,22), and on occasion would be left in full charge by himself. Nor was his post at such times a sinecure. He had not only to keep a sharp lookout for thieves, but on more than one occasion had with no other weapon than his shepherd’s club or staff to rescue a lamb from the clutches of a lion or a bear (1Sa 17:34 ff). Such adventures, however, must have been rare, and David must often have watched eagerly the lengthening of the shadow which told of the approach of sunset, when he could drive his charge into the zariba for the night and return home. There is, indeed, no life more monotonous and enervating than that of an eastern shepherd, but David must have made good use of his idle time. He seems, in fact, to have made such good use of it as to have neglected his handful of sheep. The incidents of which he boasted to Saul would not have occurred, had his proper occupation taken up all his thoughts; but, like King Alfred, his head seems to have been filled with ideas far removed from his humble task.

2. Slinger:

David, like Nelson, does not seem to have known what it was to be afraid, and it was not to be expected that he could be satisfied with the lot of the youngest of eight sons of the now aged chief (1Sa 17:12; 1Ch 2:13 ff). In the East every man is a soldier, and David’s bent was in that direction. The tribesmen of Benjamin near whose border his home was situated were famed through all Israel as slingers, some of whom could sling at a hair and not miss (Jud 20:16). Taught, perhaps, by one of these, but certainly by dint of constant practice, David acquired an accuracy of aim which reminds one of the tales of William Tell or Robin Hood (1Sa 17:49).

3. Harpist:

Another of the pastimes in the pursuit of which David spent many an hour of his youthful days was music. The instrument which he used was the "harp" (Hebrew kinnor). This instrument had many forms, which may be seen on the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments; but the kind used by David was probably like the modern Arabic, rubaba, having only one or two strings, played not with a plectrum (Ant., VII, xii, 3) but by the hand (compare 1Sa 16:23, etc., which do not exclude a quill). Whatever the nature of the instrument was, David acquired such proficiency in playing it that his fame as a musician soon spread throughout the countryside (1Sa 16:18). With the passing of time he becomes the Hebrew Orpheus, in whose music birds and mountains joined (compare Koran, chapter 21).

4. Poet:

To the accompaniment of his lyre David no doubt sang words, either of popular songs or of lyrics of his own composition, in that wailing eastern key which seems to be an imitation of the bleating of flocks. The verses he sang would recount his own adventures or the heroic prowess of the warrior of his clan, or celebrate the loveliness of some maiden of the tribe, or consist of elegies upon those slain in battle. That the name of David was long connected with music the reverse of sacred appears from the fact that Amos denounces the people of luxury of his time for improvising to the sound of the viol, inventing instruments of music, like David (6:5). (It is not clear to which clause "like David" belongs, probably to both.) The only remains of the secular poetry of David which have come down to us are his elegies on Saul and Jonathan and on Abner (2Sa 1:19-27; 3:33,14), which show him to have been a true poet.

5. Psalmist:

Did David also compose religious verses? Was he "the sweet psalmist of Israel" (2Sa 23:1)? In the oldest account which we have, contained in the books of Samuel, David appears as a musician and as a secular poet only, for it is obvious the poetical passages, 2Sa 22:1-23:7, do not belong to the original form of that book but are thrust in in the middle of a long list of names of David’s soldiers. The position is the same in Am 6:5. It is in the later books and passages that sacred music and psalms begin to be ascribed to him. Perhaps the earliest instance is the passage just cited containing the "last words" of David (2Sa 23:1-7). The Chronicler (about 300 BC) seems to put parts of Psalms 105; 96, and 106 into the mouth of David (1Ch 16:7 ff), and Ne 12:36 regards him apparently as the inventor of the instruments used in the Temple service (1Ch 23:5), or as a player of sacred music. So too in the Septuagint psalter (Ps 150:2) we read, "My hands made an organ, my fingers fashioned a psaltery"; and gradually the whole of the Psalms came to be ascribed to David as author. In regard to this question it must be remembered that in the East at any rate there is no such distinction as that of sacred and secular. By sacred poetry we mean poetry which mentions the name of God or quotes Scripture, but the Hebrew or Arab poet will use the name of God as an accompaniment to a dance, and will freely sprinkle even comic poetry with citations from his sacred book. David must have composed sacred poems if he composed at all, and he would use his musical gift for the purposes of religion as readily as for those of amusement and pleasure (2Sa 6:14,15). Whether any of our psalms was composed by David is another question. The titles cannot be considered as conclusive evidence, and internal proofs of his authorship are wanting. Indeed the only psalm which claims to have been written by David is the 18th (= 2Sa 22). One cannot help wishing that the 23rd Psalm had been sung by the little herd lad as he watched his father’s flocks and guarded them from danger.

6. Tribesman:

There are sayings of Mohammed that the happiest life is that of the shepherd, and that no one became a prophet who had not at one time tended a flock of sheep. What Mohammed meant was that the shepherd enjoys leisure and solitude for reflection and for plunging into those day dreams out of which prophets are made. If David, like the Arab poet Tarafa, indulged in sport, in music and in poetry, even to the neglect of his charge, he must have sought out themes on which to exercise his muse; and it must have been with no little chagrin that he learnt that whereas the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Issachar, Zebulun, Levi, Dan, and even the non-Israelite tribes of Kenaz and the debatable land of Gilead could boast of having held the hegemony of Israel and led the nation in battle, his own tribe of Judah had played a quite subordinate part, and was not even mentioned in the national war song of Deborah. As contrasted with the poets of these tribes he could boast in his verses only of Ibzan who belonged to his own town of Bethlehem (Jud 12:8). The Jerahmeelites were no doubt a powerful clan, but neither they nor any other of the subdivisions of Judah had ever done anything for the common good. Indeed, when the twelve pathfinders had been sent in advance into Canaan, Judah had been represented by Caleb, a member of the Uitlander tribe of Kenaz (Nu 13:6). He became apparently the adopted son of Hezron and so David might claim kinship with him, and through him with Othniel the first of the judges (Jud 1:13). David thus belonged to the least efficient of all the Israelite tribes except one, and one which, considering its size and wealth, had till now failed to play a worthy part in the confederacy. It is difficult to believe that the young David never dreamed of a day when his own tribe should take its true place among its fellows, and when the deliverer of Israel from its oppressors should belong for once to the tribe of Judah.

III. In the Service of Saul.

The earliest events in the career of David are involved in some obscurity.

1. David First Meets Saul:

This is due mainly to what appears to be an insoluble difficulty in 1 Samuel 16 and 17. In chapter 16, David is engaged to play before Saul in order to dispel is melancholy, and becomes his squire or armor-bearer (16:21), whereas in the following chapter he is unknown to Saul, who, after the death of Goliath, asks Abner who he is, and Abner replies that he does not know (17:55). This apparent contradiction may be accounted for by the following considerations:

(a) 16:14-23 may be inserted out of its chronological order for the sake of the contrast with the section immediately preceding—"the spirit of Yahweh came mightily upon David from that day forward .... the spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul" (16:13,14);

(b) the fact of David becoming Saul’s squire does not imply constant personal attendance upon him; the text says David became an (not his) armor-bearer to Saul. The king would have many such squires: Joab, though only commander-in-chief, had, it seems, eighteen (2Sa 23:37 reads "armor-bearers");

(c) David would not play before Saul every day: his presence might not be required for a space of weeks or months;

(d) Saul’s failure to recognize David may have been a result of the ‘evil spirit from Yahweh’ and Abner’s denial of knowledge may have been feigned out of jealousy. If we accept all the statements of the dramatis personae in these narratives we shall not get very far.

2. His First Exploit:

The facts seem to have been somewhat as follows: It had become evident that Saul was not equal to the task to which he had been set—the task of breaking the Philistine power, and it became the duty of Samuel, as the vicar of Yahweh and as still holding very large powers, to look about for a successor. He turned to the tribe of Judah (the full brother of his own ancestor Levi), a tribe which was fast becoming the most powerful member of the federation. The headman of this clan was Jesse of Bethlehem. His name was well known in the country—Saul does not require to be told who he is (1Sa 16:18; 17:58)—but he was by this time advanced in years (1Sa 17:12). He had, however, many sons. Old men in the East often foretell a great future for a young boy (compare Lu 2:34). Samuel saw that David was formed of other clay than his brothers, and he anointed him as he had done Saul (1Sa 10:1). But whereas the anointing of Saul was done surreptitiously and for a definite purpose which was explained at the time (1Sa 10:1), that of David was performed before his whole family, but with what object he was not told (1Sa 16:13). His brothers do not seem to have thought the matter of much consequence (compare 1Sa 17:28), and all David could conclude from it was that he was destined to some high office—perhaps that of Samuel’s successor (compare 1Ki 19:15,16). It would have the effect of nerving him for any adventure and raising his hopes high and steeling his courage. Whether by accident or by contrivance he became attached to Saul as minstrel (compare 2Ki 3:15) and subsequently as one of his armor-bearers. He would probably be at this time about twenty years of age. It must have been after an interval of some months that an event happened which made it impossible for Saul ever again to forget the existence of David. This was the famous duel between David and the Philistine Goliath, which saved the situation for Saul for the time (1Sa 17). In regard to this narrative it must be noted that 1Sa 17:12-31,41,50,55-58 and 18:1-5 are lacking in the best manuscript of the Septuagint, that is, the sending of David from Bethlehem and his fresh introduction to Saul and Saul’s failure to recognize him are left out. With the omission of these verses all the difficulties of the narrative vanish. For the reason why David could not wear the armor offered him was not because he was still a child, which is absurd in view of the fact that Saul was exceptionally tall (1Sa 9:2), but because he had had no practice with it (1Sa 17:39). It is ridiculous to suppose that David was not at this time full-grown, and that two armies stood by while a child advanced to engage a giant. The event gained for David the reputation won in modern times at the cannon’s mouth, but also the devoted friendship of Jonathan and the enmity of Saul (1Sa 18:1-9).

The next years of David’s life were spent in the service of Saul in his wars with the Philistines. David’s success where Saul had failed, however, instead of gratifying only inflamed the jealousy of the latter, and he determined to put David out of the way. More than once he attempted to do so with his own hand (1Sa 18:11; 19:10), but he also employed stratagem. It came to his ears that his daughter Michal, as well as his son Jonathan, loved David, and Saul undertook to give her to David on the condition of his killing one hundred Philistines.

3. Envy of Saul and Flight of David:

The gruesome dowry was paid, and David became Saul’s son-in-law. The Hebrew text states that Saul first offered his elder daughter to David, and then failed to implement his promise (1Sa 18:17-19,21), but this passage is not found in the Greek. David’s relation to Saul did not mitigate the hatred of the latter; indeed his enmity became so bitter that David determined upon flight. With the help of stratagem on the part of Michal, this was effected and David went to Samuel at Ramah for counsel and advice (1Sa 19:18). There Saul pursued him, but when he came into the presence of the prophet, his courage failed and he was overcome by the contagion of the prophetic ecstasy (1Sa 19:24) as he had been on a previous occasion (1Sa 10:11). David returned to Gibeah, while the coast was clear, to meet Jonathan, but Saul also returned immediately, his hatred more intense than before. David then continued his flight and came to Ahimelech, the priest at Nob (1Sa 21:1). It is sometimes supposed that we have here two inconsistent accounts of David’s flight, according to one of which he fled to Samuel at Ramah, and according to the other to Ahimelech at Nob; but there is no necessity for such a supposition, and even if it were correct, it would not clear up all the difficulties of the narrative. There is evidently much in these narratives that is left untold and our business should be to fill up the gaps in a way consistent with what we are given. That Saul made sure that David would not return is shown by the fact that he gave his daughter Michal to a man of the tribe of Benjamin as wife (1Sa 25:44).

4. Jonathan and David:

The relation existing between Jonathan and David was one of pure friendship. There was no reason why it should not be so. A hereditary monarchy did not yet exist in Israel. The only previous attempt to establish such an institution—that of Gideon’s family (Jud 9$)—though not of Gideon himself (1Sa 8:22)—had ended in failure. The principle followed hitherto had been that of election by the sheikhs or caids of the clans. To this Saul owed his position, for the lot was a kind of ballot. Moreover, behind all national movements there lay the power of the prophets, the representatives of Yahweh. Saul was indebted for his election to Samuel, just as Barak was to Deborah (Jud 4:6). Like the judges who preceded him he had been put forward to meet a definite crisis in the national affairs—the rise of the Philistine power (1Sa 9:16). Had he succeeded in crushing these invaders, the newly-established kingdom would in the absence of this bond of union have dissolved again into its elements, as had happened on every similar occasion before. He was the only judge who had failed to accomplish the task for which he was appointed, and he was the only one who had been appointed on the understanding that his son should succeed him, for this constitutes the distinction between king and judge. Moreover, not only was Saul aware that he had failed, but he saw before him the man who was ready to step into his place and succeed. His rival had, besides, the backing of the mass of the people and of Samuel who was still virtual head of the state and last court of appeal. It is not to be wondered at that Saul was hostile to David. Jonathan, on the other hand, acquiesced in the turn things had taken and bowed to what he believed to be the inevitable. Such was his love for David that he asked only to be his wazeer (vizier) when David came to the throne (1Sa 23:17). David’s position was perhaps the most difficult imaginable. He had to fight the battles of a king whose one idea was to bring about his ruin. He was the bosom friend of a prince whom he proposed to supplant in his inheritance. His hope of salvation lay in the death of his king, the father of his wife and of his best friend. The situation would in ordinary circumstances be intolerable, and it would have been impossible but for the fact that those concerned were obsessed by a profound belief in Fate. Jonathan bore no grudge against David for aiming at the throne, because to the throne he was destined by the will of Yahweh. To David it would never occur that he had the choice of declining the high destiny in store for him. Had he had the power to refuse what he believed to be the decree of Fate, he would hardly escape censure for his ambition and disloyalty.

IV. David in Exile.

1. David as Outlaw:

From the moment of his flight David became an outlaw and remained so until the death of Saul. This period of his career is full of stirring adventures which remind us of Robert Bruce or William Wallace of Scotland. Like King Arthur and other heroes he carried a famous sword—the sword of Goliath (1Sa 21:9). Having obtained it of Ahimelech, he for the first time left Israelite territory and went to the Philistine city of Gath (1Sa 21:10). Not feeling safe here he left and took up his abode in the cave of Adullam (1Sa 22:1) in the country of Judah, almost within sight of his native Bethlehem. This cave was admirably suited to the outlaw’s purpose and no doubt David had many a time explored its recesses when a boy. Here he was joined by his parents and brothers, with their servants, as well as by all sorts of persons who were at war with the government, debtors, fugitives from justice, and discontented persons generally. David thus became the chief of a band of outlaws who numbered about 400. Of such stuff some of his bravest soldiers were made (2Sa 23:13 ff). He had an augur, too, to direct his actions, and, after the massacre of the priests at Nob, a priest, Abiathar, carrying an ephod with which to cast lots (1Sa 22:5; 23:6). During this period he supported himself and his men by making raids on the Philistine outposts and levying blackmail on his own countrymen (1Sa 25:2 ff) in return for giving them his protection from the Philistines (1Sa 23:1 ff). Hard pressed both by Saul and the Philistines (who had established themselves even in Bethlehem) he committed his parents to the keeping of the king of Moab, and began to rove as a freebooter through the country (1Sa 23:5,15,25,29). On two occasions David had Saul in his power, but refused to seize the opportunity of taking his life (1Sa 24-26). Here again there are no adequate grounds for supposing we have two accounts of one and the same incident. During his wandering David’s followers increased in numbers (compare 1Sa 22:2; 23:13; 25:13). His chief lieutenant was his nephew Abishai, the son of his sister Zeruiah, but his brothers, Joab and Asahel, do not seem to have joined David yet. Another of his nephews, Jonathan the son of Shimei (Shammah), is mentioned (2Sa 21:21; compare 1Sa 16:9) and the Chronicler thinks many other knights joined him during this period (1Ch 11:10 ff). The position of David at this time was very similar to that of the brigand Raisuli of late in Morocco. That there was some stability in it is shown by his taking two wives at this time—Ahinoam and Abigail (1Sa 25:42,43).

2. David Joins the Philistines:

David now, abandoning all hope of ever conciliating the king (1Sa 27:1), made a move which shows at once his reckless daring and consummate genius. He offered the services of himself and his little army of 600 men to the enemies of his country. The town of Gath appears to have been an asylum for fugitive Israelites (1Ki 2:39). David’s first impulse on his flight from Saul had been to seek safety there (1Sa 21:10-15). Then, however, he was the hero of Israel, whose assassination would be the highest gain to the Philistines; now he was the embittered antagonist of Saul, and was welcomed accordingly. Achish placed at his disposal the fortified town of Ziklag in the territory of the now extinct tribe of Simeon, and there he and his followers, each of whom had his family with him, took up their quarters for sixteen months (1Sa 27:6,7). The advantages to David were many. He was safe at last from the persecution of Saul (1Sa 27:4); he could secure ample supplies by making raids upon the Amalekites and other tribes hostile to Israel toward the South (1Sa 27:8); and if the opportunity presented itself he could deal a serious blow at the Philistine arms. The position was no doubt a precarious one. It could last just as long as David could hoodwink Achish by persuading him that his raids were directed against his own tribe (1Sa 27:10). This he succeeded in doing so completely that Achish would have taken him with him on the campaign which ended in the decisive battle of Gilboa, but the other chiefs, fearing treachery, refused to allow him to do so. David was forced to return with his followers to Ziklag, only to find that town razed to the ground and all the women and children carried off by his old enemies the Amalekites (1Sa 30:1,2). By the time he had recovered the spoil and returned in triumph to Ziklag the battle of Gilboa had been fought and Saul was slain. The conduct of David in his relations with the Philistines was not more reprehensible than that of the Cid who allied himself with Al-Mu’taman of Saragossa, or of Coriolanus who went over to the Volsci. David composed upon the death of Saul and Jonathan an elegy every sentence of which has become classic.

V. David as King.

1. Civil War: David immediately removed from Ziklag and took up his quarters at Hebron, where he was at once anointed king over his own tribe of Judah. Thus began the cleavage between Judah and Israel. Here he was joined, apparently for the first time, by his nephew Joab. Abner, however, loyal to his former master, had Esh-baal (1Ch 8:33), son of Saul, anointed king over the remaining tribes at Mahanaim, a fortified town East of the Jordan. War continued between David and Abner for several years, fortune always favoring David. Seeing things were going against him Abner forced Esh-baal into a personal quarrel with himself and then transferred his allegiance and persuaded his side to transfer theirs to David (2Sa 3:21). He did not reap the fruit of his defection, as he was immediately after assassinated by Joab in revenge for the death of Asahel whom Abner had killed in self-defence (2Sa 3:27). Deprived of his chief support Esh-baal also fell a victim to assassination (2Sa 4:2 ff). David denounced both crimes with apparent sincerity. He composed an elegy and fasted for Abner (2Sa 3:33 ff) and avenged the death of Esh-baal (2Sa 4:9 ff). Yet these acts of violence laid the sovereignty of all Israel at his feet. Of the male heirs of Saul there remained only a son of Jonathan, Merib-baal (1Ch 8:34) who was a crippled child of 7. David was therefore elected king over the nation (2Sa 5:1 ff). His sovereignty of Judah is said to have lasted 7 1/2 years and that over the undivided people 33, making a reign of 40 years, beginning from David’s 30th year (2Sa 5:5; 1Ch 3:4; in 2Sa 2:10 the text is probably corrupt). These are round numbers.

2. Conquests Abroad:

King of all the Israelite tribes, David found his hands free to expel the foreigners who had invaded the sacred territory. His first step was to move his headquarters from the Southern Hebron, which he had been compelled at first to make his capital, to the more central Jerusalem. The fort here, which was still held by the aboriginal Jebusites, was stormed by Joab, David’s nephew, who also superintended the rebuilding for David. He was in consequence appointed commander-in-chief (1Ch 11:6,8), a post which he held as long as David lived. The materials and the skilled workmen for the erection of the palace were supplied by Hiram of Tyre (2Sa 5:11). David now turned his attention to the surrounding tribes and peoples. The most formidable enemy, the Philistines, were worsted in several campaigns, and their power crippled (2Sa 5:17 ff; 8:1). In one of these David so nearly came by his death, that his people would not afterward permit him to take part in the fighting (2Sa 21:16,17). One of the first countries against which David turned his arms was the land of Moab, which he treated with a severity which would suggest that the Moabite king had ill-treated David’s father and mother, who had taken refuge with him (2Sa 8:2). Yet his conduct toward the sons of Ammon was even more cruel (2Sa 12:31), and for less cause (10:1 ff). The king of Zobah (Chalkis) was defeated (2Sa 8:3), and Israelite garrisons were placed in Syria of Damascus (2Sa 8:6) and Edom (2Sa 8:14). The sons of Ammon formed a league with the Syrian kingdoms to the North and East of Palestine (2Sa 10:6,16), but these also had no success. All these people became tributary to the kingdom of Israel under David (2Sa 10:18,19) except the sons of Ammon who were practically exterminated for the time being (2Sa 12:31). Thus, Israel became one of the "great powers" of the world during the reign of David and his immediate successor.

3. Political Situation:

There is no doubt that the expansion of the boundaries of Israel at this period almost to their ideal limits (De 11:24, etc.) was largely due to the fact that the two great empires of Egypt and Assyria were at the moment passing through a period of weakness and decay. The Assyrian monarchy was in a decadent state from about the year 1050 BC, and the 22nd Dynasty—to which Shishak belonged (1Ki 14:25)—had not yet arisen. David, therefore, had a free hand when his time came and found no more formidable opposition than that of the petty states bordering upon Palestine. Against the combined forces of all the Israelite tribes these had never been able to effect much.

4. The Ark:

It had been the custom of the Israelites on setting out upon expeditions in which the nation as a whole took part to carry with them the sacred box or "ark" which contained the two stone tables (Jos 4:7, etc.). When David had secured the fortress of Jebus for his metropolis one of his first thoughts was to bring into it this emblem of victory. It was then lying at Kiriath-jearim, possibly Abu Gosh about 8 miles Northwest of Jerusalem (compare Ps 132). Owing to the sudden death of one of the drivers, which he interpreted as indicative of anger on the part of Yahweh, David left the ark at the house of a Philistine which happened to be near at hand. Since no misfortune befell this person, but on the contrary much prosperity, David took courage after three months to bring the sacred chest and its contents into his royal city. The ceremony was conducted with military honors in 2Sa 6:1 and with religious dancing and music (6:5,14) and festivity (6:18,19). A tent was pitched for it, in which it remained (7:2), except when it was sent with the army to the seat of war (11:11; 15:24). David, however, had already built for himself a stone palace, and he wished now to add to it a chapel royal in the shape of a small temple, such as the neighboring kings had. He was the more anxious to so do since he had much of the material ready at hand in the precious metals which formed the most valuable part of the plunder of the conquered races, such as bronze from Chalkis (8:8), gold and silver (8:11) and the vessels which he had received as a present from the king of Hamath (8:10). He was persuaded, however, by the prophet Nathan to forego that task, on the ground of his having shed much human blood, and to leave it to his successor (1Ch 22:8; 28:3).

VI. Domestic Life.

1. His Wives and Children:

In accordance with the practice of the kings of his time, David had several wives. His first wife was Michal, the younger daughter of Saul. When David fled from Saul she was given to Phaltiel, but was restored to David after Saul’s death. She does not appear to have borne any children. In 2Sa 21:8 "Michal" should be Merab (1Sa 18:19). During the period of separation from Michal, David took to wife Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the wife of Nabal (1Sa 25:43,12), who accompanied him to Ziklag (1Sa 27:3 ff), when they were among those captured by the Amalekites (1Sa 30:5). A fourth wife was the daughter of Talmai of Geshur, Maacah, whom he had captured in war (1Sa 27:8; 2Sa 3:3). When he removed to Hebron Ahinoam bore him his oldest son Amnon, and Abigail his second son Chileab or Daniel (2Sa 3:2,3; 1Ch 3:1); his third son was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, and his fourth Adonijah. His mother’s name was Haggith; nothing is known about her. Two other sons, Shephatiah and Ithream were also born in Hebron (2Sa 3:2-5; 1Ch 3:1-4). When David added the kingdom of Israel to that of Judah, he, in accordance with custom, took more wives with a view to increase his state and dignity. One of these was Bathsheba, who became the mother of Solomon (2Sa 5:13 ff; 1Ch 3:5 ff; 14:3 ff). David’s sons discharged priestly functions (2Sa 8:18; compare Nathan in Zec 12:12).

2. Domestic Troubles:

It was perhaps inevitable that in so large a household the usual dissensions and crimes of the harem should have sprung up in plenty. A most unvarnished account of these is given in 2Sa 11-20—it has been suggested by Abiathar the priest in order to avenge himself on Solomon for his disgrace (1Ki 2:26,27), Solomon’s mother being Bathsheba (2Sa 11; 12). 1Ch 13 recounts the wrong done to Tamar, the daughter of David and Maacah, and sister of Absalom, and how the last named, having avenged his sister’s honor by killing Amnon, his oldest brother, fled for asylum to his mother’s father, the king of-Geshur. Thence after two years he returned (chapter 14), only to foment rebellion against his father (chapter 15), leading to civil war between David and Judah on the one side and Absalom and Israel on the other (chapters 16; 17), and ending in the death of himself (chapter 18) and of Amasa, David’s nephew, at the hands of his cousins Joab and Abishai (20:7 ff), as well as nearly precipitating the disruption of the newly founded kingdom (19:43). The rebellion of Absalom was probably due to the fact of Solomon having been designated David’s successor (compare 12:24; 1Ch 22:9), for Absalom had the best claim, Amnon being dead and Chileab apparently of no account.

VII. His Officials.

As David’s circumstances improved he required assistance in the management of his affairs.

1. Prophets:

The beginning of his good fortune had been the friendship of the prophet Samuel (1Sa 16:13; 19:18). The prophet or seer was keeper of the king’s conscience and was not appointed by him, but claimed divine authority (2Sa 7:3,1 ff; 12:1 ff; 24:11 ff). Among the persons who discharged this duty for David were Gad the seer (1Sa 22:5) and Nathan the prophet (1Ki 1:11 ff). All these are said to have written memoirs of their times (1Ch 29:29; 2Ch 9:29).

2. Priests:

Next to the prophet came the priest. The kohen (priest) was, as the name indicates, a soothsayer or diviner. The duty of Abiathar, David’s first priest (1Sa 22:20 ff), was to carry the ephod—an object used for casting lots (1Sa 23:6 ff), in order to decide what to do in cases where there was no other way of making up one’s mind (1Sa 30:7). It is not to be confused with the dress of the same name (1Sa 2:18). Later, at Hebron, Abiathar was given a colleague, Zadok (1Ch 12:28), and it became their duty to carry the ark in expeditions (2Sa 15:24). Shortly after the death of David, Abiathar was deposed by Solomon for his part in Adonijah’s attempt to seize the throne (1Ki 2:26,27), and Zadok remained sole priest to the king (1Ki 2:35). David’s sons also acted in the same capacity (2Sa 8:18). An extra private priest is mentioned in 2Sa 20:26 (compare 2Sa 23:26,38).

3. Military Officers:

When still an outlaw David required the services of a henchman to take command of his men in his absence. This post was held at first by different persons according to circumstances, but generally, it seems, by his nephew Abishai (1Sa 26:6). It was only after the death of Saul that his brother Joab threw in his lot with David. His great military talents at once gave him a leading place, and as a reward for the capture of Jebus he was given the chief command, which he held against all rivals (2Sa 3:27; 20:10) during the whole reign. David’s special body-guard of Philistine troops—the Cherethites and Pelethites—were commanded by Benaiah, who in the following reign, succeeded Joab (1Ki 2:35).

4. Other Officials:

The office of recorder or magister memoriae was held during this reign and in the following by Jehoshaphat (2Sa 8:16); and that of secretary by Seraiah (2Sa 8:17), also called Shavsha (1Ch 18:16) or Shisha (1Ki 4:3). There were also the counselors, men noted for their great acumen and knowledge of human nature, such as Ahithophel and Hushai.

5. Mutual Rivalry:

It was natural that there should be much mutual jealousy and rivalry among these officials, and that some of them should attach themselves to one of David’s many sons, others to another. Thus, Amnon is the special patron of David’s nephew Jonadab (2Sa 13:3; compare 2Sa 21:21), and Absalom is backed by Amasa (2Sa 17:25). The claim of Adonijah to the throne is supported by Joab and Abiathar (1Ki 1:7), as against that of Solomon who is backed by Nathan, Benaiah, Zadok (1Ki 1:8) and Hushai (compare Ant, VII, xiv, 4). Ahithophel sides with Absalom; Hushai with David (2Sa 15:12,32).

VIII. Personal Character of David.

1. Chronicles:

We would obtain a very different idea of the personal character of David if we drew our conclusions from the books of Samuel and Kings or from the books of Chronicles. There is no doubt whatever that the former books are much truer to fact, and any estimate or appreciation of David or of any of the other characters described must be based upon them. The Chronicler, on the other hand, is biased by the religious ideas of his own time and is prejudiced in favor of some of those whose biographies he writes and against others. He accordingly suppresses the dark passages of David’s life, e. g. the murder of Uriah (1Ch 20$), or sets them in a favorable light, e. g. by laying the blame of the census upon Satan (1Ch 21:1). David’s success, especially as against Saul’s misfortune, is greatly exaggerated in 1Ch 12:2,22. Ceremonial functions are greatly elaborated (chapter 16; compare 2Sa 6). The various orders of priests and singers in the second temple have their origin traced back to David (16:4 ff, 37 ff; 1Ch 23-27), and the temple of Solomon itself is to all intents and purposes built by him (chapters 22; 28). At the same time there may be much material in the shape of names and isolated statements not found in the older books, which so long as they are not tinged with the Chronicler’s pragmatism or "tendency," may possibly be authentic records preserved within the circle of the priestly caste, e. g. we are told that Saul’s skull was fastened in the temple of Dagon (1Ch 10:10). There is no doubt that the true names of Ish-bosheth, Mephibosheth and Eliada (2Sa 2:8; 4:4; 5:16) were Ish-baal (Esh-baal), Merib-baal and Beeliada (1Ch 8:33; 9:39; 8:34; 9:40; 14:7); that the old name of Jerusalem was Jebus (11:4,5; compare Jud 19:10,11); perhaps a son of David called Nogah has to be added to 2Sa 5:15 from 1Ch 3:7; 14:6; in 2Sa 8:8 and 21:18, for Betah and Gob read Tebah (Tibhath) and Gezer (1Ch 18:8; Ge 22:24; 1Ch 20:4). The incident recounted in 2Sa 23:9 ff happened at Pasdammim (1Ch 11:13). Shammah the Harodite was the son of Elika (2Sa 23:25; compare 1Ch 11:27), and other names in this list have to be corrected after the readings of the Chronicler. Three (not seven) years of famine was the alternative offered to David (2Sa 24:13; compare 1Ch 21:12).

2. Psalms:

If we could believe that the Book of Psalms was in whole or in part the work of David, it would throw a flood of light upon the religious side of his nature. Indeed, we should know as much about his religious life as can well be known about anyone. Unfortunately the date and authorship of the Psalms are questions regarding which the most divergent opinions are held. In the early Christian centuries all the Psalms were ascribed to David and, where necessary, explained as prophecies. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of the Book of Psalms simply as "David" (Heb 4:7). The Greek text, however, of that book ascribes only some 87 of the poems to David, and the Hebrew only 73. Some of these are not David’s, and in the whole book there is only one which professes from its contents to be his, namely, Ps 18 (= 2Sa 22). The occasion on which a psalm was composed is stated only in the case of thirteen psalms, all of which are ascribed to David. Each of these is referred to some incident recorded in the books of Samuel, although sometimes the citation is erroneous (see PSALMS). The Septuagint supplies occasions to two or three more psalms; but all such statements are merely the conjectures of readers and scribes and are of no historical value.

3. Complex Character:

To form a correct opinion of anyone is much more difficult than to state the facts of his life; to form an opinion which will be generally accepted is impossible. Of David’s character the most opposite estimates have been formed. On one hand he is extolled as a saint, and yet few men have committed worse crimes. The character of David must remain, like that of everyone, an insoluble enigma. A person is to be judged by his motives rather than by his actions, and one’s true motives are unknown even to oneself (Jer 17:9). There are several sides of David’s nature in regard to which there cannot be two opinions.

4. Physical Courage:

Perhaps the feature of his character which stands out most prominently in his earlier years, at any rate, is his boundless physical courage. He never shirked danger (1Sa 17:28,34 ff) and delighted in hairbreadth escapes in 1Sa 26:6. Like most Semites he was fond of gambling and liked to take risks (18:26; compare 23:9; 30:7), even when modesty would have led him to decline them (17:32; compare Jud 8:20). A native indifference to the shedding of blood grew into a liking for it, giving rise to acts of gross cruelty (1Sa 27:9; 2Sa 8:2; 16:7, etc.). He had need, indeed, to be a brave man, considering the character of the men whom he ruled (1Sa 22:2). Yet he could rule them by gentleness as well as by force (30:23). All classes had unbounded confidence in his personal courage and soldierly qualities (2Sa 18:3), and were themselves driven to restrain his military ardor (2Sa 21:17).

5. Moral Courage:

Whether David possessed moral courage to an equal degree is another matter. Had he done so he would hardly have permitted the execution of seven sons of Saul (2Sa 21:1 ff), and that, too, at the cost of breaking his plighted word (1Sa 24:21); he would not have stood in awe of the sons of his sister Zeruiah (2Sa 3:39), and would have punished Joab instead of weakly invoking an imprecation on his head (2Sa 3:29), however much he might have felt the loss of his services. But in many matters his natural sense of justice was blunted by the superstitions of the age in which he lived.

6. Prudence:

But David was even more prudent than courageous. He is so described by the person who recommended him (somewhat eulogistically) to Saul (1Sa 16:18). Prudence or wisdom was indeed what his biographer most remarks in him (1Sa 18:5,30), and situated as he was he could not have too much of it. It shows itself in the fact that he consistently made as many friends and as few enemies as was possible. His wonderful foresight is shown in such acts as his conciliating the Judean chiefs with gifts taken from his spoil (1Sa 30:26 ff), in his commendation of the men of Ja-besh-gilead (2Sa 2:5-7), and in his reception of Abner (2Sa 3:20). Yet it must be confessed that this constant looking forward to the future takes away from the spontaneity of his virtue. His gratitude is often a keen sense of favors to come. His kindness to Merib-baal did him no harm and some advantage (2Sa 9; 19:24 ff), and his clemency to Shimei helped to win him the tribe of Benjamin (2Sa 19:16 ff). Even in his earliest youth he seems to have preferred to attain his ends by roundabout ways. The means by which he obtained introduction or reintroduction to Saul (1Sa 17:26 ff) afford some justification for the opinon which his oldest brother held of him (1Sa 17:28). Perhaps nothing proves the genius of David better than his choice of Jebus as the capital of the country—which it still continues to be after a lapse of three thousand years.

7. Strategy:

Yet it must be confessed that David’s prudence often degenerates into cunning. With true oriental subtlety he believed firmly in keeping one’s secret to oneself at all costs (1Sa 21:2). The manner in which he got himself out of Gath after this first visit there (1Sa 21:13) and the fact that he hoodwinked Achish during sixteen months (1Sa 27; 28:1) may excite our admiration but not our respect. The Oriental, however, delights in a display of cunning and makes use of it without shame (2Sa 15:34), just as the European does in secret. There is something curiously modern in the diplomacy which David employed to ensure his own return in due state (2Sa 19:11 ff). We must remember, however, that David lived among persons hardly one of whom he could trust. Joab accuses Abner of deceit, while he himself was faithful to none except David (2Sa 3:25). Ziba accuses Merib-baal of treachery, and Merib-baal accuses Ziba of falsehood, and David cannot tell which is speaking the truth (2Sa 16:1; 19:24 ff). David himself is out-witted by Joab, though with a friendly purpose (2Sa 14:1 ff). The wonder, therefore, is, not that David was guilty of occasional obliquity, but that he remained as straightforward and simple as he was.

8. Nobility:

David was, indeed, a man very much ahead of the times in which he lived. His fine elegies upon the death of Saul and Jonathan, Abner and Absalom show that his nature was untainted with malice. It was no superstitious fear but a high sense of honor which kept him back from putting out of his way his arch-enemy when he had him in his power (1Sa 24-26). He even attempts to find an excuse for him (1Sa 26:19), while depreciating himself (1Sa 24:14; 26:20) in phrases which are more than a mere oriental metonymy (2Sa 9:8). It was the ambition of his life to be the founder of a permanent dynasty (2Sa 7:29), yet he was willing that his house should be sacrificed to save his nation from destruction (2Sa 24:17). Like most Orientals he was endowed with a refinement of feeling unknown in the West. His refusal to drink of water obtained at the cost of bloodshed has become classic (2Sa 23:17). And he seems to have been gifted with the saving sense of humor (1Sa 26:15). That he was a religious person goes without saying (2Sa 7; 8:11). He probably did not believe that outside the land of Israel Yahweh ceased to rule: the expression used in 1Sa 26:19 is not a term of dogmatic theology. Like other Hebrews David had no theology. He believed in Yahweh alone as the ruler, if not of the universe, at any rate of all the world known to him. He certainly did not believe in Chemosh or Milcom, whether in the lands of Moab and Ammon or out of them (2Sa 12:30; for "their king" read Malcam (Milcom)).

9. David in Relation to His Family:

David discharged, as most Orientals do, his duty toward his parents (1Sa 22:3). To Michal, his first wife, his love was constant (2Sa 3:13), although she did not bear him any children. In accordance with the custom of the times, as his estate improved, he took other wives and slave-girls. The favorite wife of his latter days was Bathsheba. His court made some show of splendor as contrasted with the dwellings of the peasantry and the farmer class (2Sa 19:28,35), but his palace was always small and plain, so that it could be left to the keeping of ten women when he removed from it (2Sa 15:16). David and Michal seem to have lived on terms of perfect equality (2Sa 6:20 ff). In this he contrasts somewhat with Ahab (1Ki 21:5 ff). David’s chief weakness in regard to his family was his indulgence of some of his sons and favoring some above others, and want of firmness in regard to them. He could refuse them nothing (2Sa 13:27). His first favorite was his oldest son Amnon (2Sa 13:21, Septuagint). After the death of Amnon, Absalom became the favorite (2Sa 18:33), and after the death of Absalom, Adonijah (1Ki 1:6). Yet David lived for two whole years in Jerusalem along with Absalom without seeing him (2Sa 14:28), and he was succeeded not by Adonijah, but by Solomon, whose mother was the favorite wife of his later years.

10. David in Relation to His Friends:

Not only did David know the value of having many friends, but he was capable of sincere attachment. There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his love for Jonathan, although it is not so completely cut off from all suspicion of self-interest as is that of Jonathan for him. David, indeed, had the faculty of winning the confidence and love of all sorts and conditions of people, not only of Jonathan (1Sa 18:1 ff; 20; 23:16 ff), but of Jonathan’s sister Michal (1Sa 18:20), of the whole people (1Sa 18:28 Septuagint; 2Sa 19:14), and even of his people’s enemies (2Sa 17:27 ff). His friendship lasted as long as the object of it lived (2Sa 1:17 ff; 10:1 f). In the case of his officers this was partly due to his faculty for choosing good men (2Sa 8:16 ff), so that the same persons often held the same offices during David’s life (2Sa 20:23 ff). Yet the services of one of them at least were retained more by compulsion than by choice (2Sa 3:39). He seems, indeed, to have continued Joab in his post because he felt he could not do without him. Joab was devoted to David with the devotion of Caleb Balderstone to his master, and he was as utterly unscrupulous. He did not hesitate to commit any crime that would benefit David. The latter dared not perpetrate these atrocities himself, but he did not mind taking advantage of such a useful instrument, and never punished Joab for them, save with an impotent curse (2Sa 3:29). He dealt otherwise with malefactors who could be better spared (2Sa 1:14 ff; 4:9 ff). Indeed, a suspicious juryman might find that David put both Abner and Amasa, in the way of Joab (2Sa 3:23 ff; 19:13; 4 ff). It does not say much for David that he fell so low as to fear losing the good opinion even of Joab, this ready instrument of his worst crime (2Sa 11:25).

11. His Success:

One reason for the high position David held in the popular estimation was no doubt his almost uninterrupted success. He was regarded as the chosen of Heaven, by friend and foe alike (1Sa 23:17). Fortune seemed to favor him. Nothing could have been more timely than the death of Saul and Jonathan, of Ishbaal and Abner, of Absalom and Amasa, and he did not raise his hand against one of them. As a guerrilla chief with his 600 bandits he could keep at bay. Saul with his 3,000 picked men (1Sa 24:2; 26:2), but he was not a great general. Most of the old judges of Israel did in one pitched battle what David effected in a campaign (1Sa 18:30; 19:8; 23:1 ff; 2Sa 5:17 ff; 21:15 ff). Most of his conquests were won for him by Joab (1Ch 11:6; 2Sa 11:1), who willingly accorded David the credit of what he himself had done (2Sa 12:27,28; compare 2Sa 8:13; 1Ch 18:11 with the title of Ps 60$). And to crown all, when he came to turn his arms east and west, he found his two most formidable opponents in these directions crippled and harmless. That he ever survived Saul he owed to a timely incursion of the Philistines (1Sa 23:24 ff), and his whole career is largely to be explained by the fact that, at the moment, the tribe of Judah as a whole was passing from insignificance to supremacy.

12. His Foreign Friends:

In the prosecution of his military achievements David employed everyone who came to his hand as an instrument without any question of nationality. This is not to impugn his patriotism. Eastern peoples are united not by the ties of country but of religion. Still it does seem strange that two of David’s best friends were two enemies of his nation—Nahash, king of the sons of Ammon (1Sa 11:1; 2Sa 10:1 ff) and Achish, lord of Gath (1Sa 21:10; 27$; 28:1 ff; 29$). He appears to have found the Philistines more reliable and trustworthy than the Hebrews. When he became king, his personal body-guard was composed of mercenaries of that nation—the Cherethites and Pelethites—with whom he had become acquainted when at Ziklag (1Sa 30:14; 2Sa 8:18; 20:23). It was to a native of Gath that he committed the care of the sacred ark on its passage from Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem (2Sa 6:10,11). When the rebellion broke out under Absalom, he committed one-third of his forces to a banished soldier of the same town, who had come to him a little while before with a band of followers (2Sa 15:19 ff; 18:2). Some of the soldiers in whom he placed the greatest confidence were Hittites (1Sa 26:6; 2Sa 11:6), and his commissariat was furnished by persons outside of Israel (2Sa 17:27; the Machir tribe were half Syrian; Gilead is the son of Machir, 1Ch 7:14). The threshing-floor of a Jebusite became the site of the temple of Solomon (2Sa 24:18 ff).

13. Nemesis:

David was a strong believer in the power of Nemesis, and that daughter of Night played a considerable part in his life. He felt a peculiar satisfaction in being undeservedly cursed by Shimei, from a conviction that poetic justice would in the end prevail (2Sa 16:12). He must have felt that the same unseen power was at work when his own oldest son was guilty of a crime such as his father had committed before him (2Sa 13 and 11), and when the grandfather of the wife of Uriah the Hittite became the enemy whom he had most to fear (2Sa 11:3; 23:34; compare Ps 41:9; 55:12 f). And David’s own last hours, instead of being spent in repose and peace following upon a strenuous and successful life, were passed in meting out vengeance to those who had incurred his displeasure as well as commending those who had done him service (1Ki 2:5 ff).

14. References in the New Testament:

Even as early as Ezekiel, David became the ruler who was to govern the restored people of Israel (34:23,14; 37:24). If there were to be a ruling house, it must be the Davidic dynasty; it did not occur to the Jews to think of any other solution (Am 9:11; Ho 3:5; Jer 30:9; Zec 12:8). That Jesus was descended from David (Mt 9:27, etc.) is proved by the fact that his enemies did not deny that he was so (Mt 22:41 ff). In the New Testament, David is regarded as the author of the Psalms (Ac 4:25; Ro 4:6; Heb 4:7). He is also one of the Old Testament saints (Heb 11:32) whose actions (unless otherwise stated) are to be imitated (Mt 12:3); but yet not to be compared with the Messiah (Ac 2:29 ff; 13:36) who has power over the life to come (Re 3:7) and who is "the Root of David" (Re 5:5; 22:16).


See the commentaries on the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Psalms, and histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, especially Wellhausen and Kittel. A sketch of the life and historical position of David from the modern Continental point of view will be found in G. Beer, Saul, David, Salomo, published by Mohr, Tubingen, 1906.

Thomas Hunter Weir




root (he rhiza Daueid, Re 5:5; 22:16): Root here means stock, family, descendant, hence, "the Root of David" is that which descended from David, not that from which David descended. Jesus Christ in His human nature and family connections was a descendant of David, a member of his family.


tou’-er. See JERUSALEM.


don: The word means the approach of the morning light, the breaking of the day. There are several words in the Bible that indicate this. nesheph, "twilight" of the morning (Job 7:4; Ps 119:147). The same word is used for evening twilight (1Sa 30:17; 2Ki 7:5,7); penoth ha-boqer, "the turning" of the morning, the change from darkness to light, approach of the morning (Jud 19:26); ‘aph‘-appe shachar, "the eyelids" of the morning (Job 3:9; 41:18 (10)); aloth ha-shachar, "the ascent" or "rise" of the morning (Jos 6:15); epi-phosko, "to grow light," the approach of the dawn (Mt 28:1; Lu 23:54 margin); diaugazo, "to grow bright", "lustrous" (2Pe 1:19), "until the day dawn" figurative of the Second Coming of Christ (compare 2Pe 1:16).

H. Porter


da (yom; hemera): This common word has caused some trouble to plain readers, because they have not noticed that the word is used in several different senses in the English Bible. When the different uses of the word are understood the difficulty of interpretation vanishes. We note several different uses of the word:

(1) It sometimes means the time from daylight till dark. This popular meaning is easily discovered by the context, e. g. Ge 1:5; 8:22, etc. The marked periods of this daytime were morning, noon and night, as with us. See Ps 55:17. The early hours were sometimes called "the cool of the day" (Ge 3:8). After the exile the day. or daytime was divided into twelve hours and the night into twelve (see Mt 20:1-12; Joh 11:9; Ac 23:23); 6 a. m. would correspond to the first hour, 9 a. m. to the third; 12 noon to the sixth, etc. The hours were longer during the longer days and shorter during the shorter days, since they always counted 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.

(2) Day also means a period of 24 hours, or the time from sunset to sunset. In Bible usage the day begins with sunset (see Le 23:32; Ex 12:15-20; 2Co 11:25, where night is put before day). See DAY AND NIGHT.

(3) The word "day" is also used of an indefinite period, e. g "the day" or "day that" means in general "that time" (see Ge 2:4; Le 14:2); "day of trouble" (Ps 20:1); "day of his wrath" (Job 20:28); "day of Yahweh" (Isa 2:12); "day of the Lord" (1Co 5:5; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10); "day of salvation" (2Co 6:2); ." day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6).

(4) It is used figuratively also in Joh 9:4, where "while it is day" means "while I have opportunity to work, as daytime is the time for work." In 1Th 5:5,8, "sons of the day" means spiritually enlightened ones.

(5) We must also bear in mind that with God time is not reckoned as with us (see Ps 90:4; 2Pe 3:8).

(6) The apocalyptic use of the word "day" in Da 12:11; Re 2:10, etc., is difficult to define. It evidently does not mean a natural day. See APOCALYPSE.

(7) On the meaning of "day" in the story of Creation we note (a) the word "day" is used of the whole period of creation (Ge 2:4); (b) these days are days of God, with whom one day is as a thousand years; the whole age or period of salvation is called "the day of salvation"; see above. So we believe that in harmony with Bible usage we may understand the creative days as creative periods. See also ASTRONOMY; CREATION; EVOLUTION.

G. H. Gerberding

Figurative: The word "day" is used figuratively in many senses, some of which are here given.

(1) The span of human life.—Ge 5:4: "And the days of Adam .... were eight hundred years." "And if thou wilt walk .... then I will lengthen thy days" (1Ki 3:14; compare Ps 90:12; Isa 38:5).

(2) An indefinite time.—Existence in general: Ge 3:14: "All the days of thy life" (compare Ge 21:34; Nu 9:19; Jos 22:3; Lu 1:24; Ac 21:10).

(3) A set time.—Ge 25:24: "And when her days .... were fulfilled"; Da 12:13: "Thou shalt stand in thy lot, at the end of the days" (compare Le 12:6; Da 2:44).

(4) A historic period.—Ge 6:4: "The Nephilim were in the earth in those days"; Jud 17:6: "In those days there was no king in Israel" (compare 1Sa 3:1; 1Ch 5:17; Ho 2:13).

(5) Past time.—Ps 18:18: "the day of my calamity"; Ps 77:5: "I have considered the days of old" (of Mic 7:20; Mal 3:7; Mt 23:30).

(6) Future time.—De 31:14: "Thy days approach that thou must die"; Ps 72:7: "In his days shall ...."( compare Eze 22:14; Joe 2:29; Mt 24:19; 2Pe 3:3; Re 9:6).

(7) The eternal.—In Da 7:9,13, where God is called "the ancient of days."

(8) A season of opportunity.—Joh 9:4: "We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (compare Ro 13:12,13; 1Th 5:5-8). See DAY (4), above.

(9) Time of salvation.—Specially referring to the hopes and prospects of the parousia (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). Ro 13:12: "The night is far spent, and the day is at hand."

Henry E. Dosker


"Day," yom; ordinarily, the Hebrew "day" lasted from dawn to the coming forth of the starts (Ne 4:21). The context usually makes it clear whether the term "day" refers to the period of twenty-four hours or to daytime; when there was a possibility of confusion, the term laylah, "night," was added (Ge 7:4,12; 31:39). The "day" is reckoned from evening to evening, in accordance with the order noted in the account of Creation, namely, "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Ge 1:5); Le 23:32 and Da 8:14 reflect the same mode of reckoning the day. The phrase ‘erebh boker, "evening-morning," used in this last passage, is simply a variation of yom and laylah, "day" and "night"; it is the equivalent of the Greek nuchthemeron (2Co 11:25). That the custom of reckoning the day as beginning in the evening and lasting until the following evening was probably of late origin is shown by the phrase "tarry all night" (Jud 19:6-9); the context shows that the day is regarded as beginning in the morning; in the evening the day "declined," and until the new day (morning) arrived it was necessary to "tarry all night" (compare also Nu 11:32).

The transition of day to night begins before sunset and lasts till after sunset; the change of night to day begins before sunrise and continues until after sunrise. In both cases, neither ‘erebh, "evening," nor boqer, "morning," indicate an exact space of time (compare Ge 8:11; Ex 10:13; De 16:6).

The term nesheph, is used for both evening twilight and morning dawn (compare 1Sa 30:17; 2Ki 7:5,7; Job 7:4). Since there were no definite measurements of the time of day, the various periods were indicated by the natural changes of the day; thus "midday" was the time of the day when the sun mounted its highest (cohorayim); afternoon was that part of the day when the sun declined ( neToth ha-yom); and evening was the time of the going down of the sun (‘erebh). "Between the evenings" (ben ha-‘arbayim) was the interval between sunset and darkness. The day was not divided into hours until a late period. [~sha‘ah = Aramaic] (Da 3:6), is common in Syriac and in later Hebrew; it denoted, originally, any short space of time, and only later came to be equivalent to our "hour" (Driver). The threefold division of the day into watches continued into post-exilic Roman times; but the Roman method of four divisions was also known (Mr 13:35), where all four divisions are referred to: "at even" (opse), "midnight" (mesonuktion), "at cock crowing" (alektorophonia), "in the morning" (proi). These last extended from six to six o’clock (of also Mt 14:25; Mr 13:35). Ac 12:4 speaks of four parties of four Roman soldiers (quaternions), each of whom had to keep guard during one watch of the night. In Berakhoth 3b, Rabbi Nathan (2nd century) knows of only three night-watches; but the patriarch, Rabbi Judah, knows four. See also DAY.

Horace J. Wolf


(he paraskeue, "preparation"): Considered as a day of preparation, in accordance with Ex 16:23, both before the regular Sabbath and before a feast Sabbath (Mt 27:62; Mr 15:42; Lu 23:54; Joh 19:14,31,42). At 3 p. m., the Hebrews began to prepare their food for the next day, and to perform all labors which were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath and yet must be done. They bathed and purified themselves, dressed in festive apparel, set their tables, and lighted their lamps. On the day before Easter, the Hebrews of the later period made it their chief business to remove all leaven from the house (1Co 5:7). This custom of converting at least a portion of the day before the Sabbath into a holy day was recognized by the Romans to such an extent that, according to a rescript of Augustus, Jews need not appear in court after 3 p. m. on such days. Criminal cases were not brought before court on this day, and journeys exceeding 12 Roman miles were prohibited. The signal for the preparations was given by the priests by means of trumpets blown six times at intervals.

Frank E. Hirsch







DAY OF THE LORD (YAHWEH) (yom Yahweh; he hemera tou Kuriou): The idea is a common Old Testament one. It denotes the consummation of the kingdom of God and the absolute cessation of all attacks upon it (Isa 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Eze 13:5; 30:3; Joe 1:15; 2:11; Am 5:18; Ze 1:14; Zec 14:1) It is a "day of visitation" (Isa 10:3), a day "of the wrath of Yahweh" (Eze 7:19), a "great day of Yahweh" (Ze 1:14). The entire conception in the Old Testament is dark and foreboding.

On the other hand the New Testament idea is pervaded with the elements of hope and joy and victory. In the New Testament it is eminently the day of Christ, the day of His coming in the glory of His father. The very conception of Him as the "Son of Man" points to this day (E. Kuehl, Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu, 68). Joh 5:27: "And he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man" (compare Mt 24:27,30; Lu 12:8). It is true in the New Testament there is a dark background to the bright picture, for it still remains a "day of wrath". (Ro 2:5,6), a "great day" (Re 6:17; Jude 1:6), a "day of God" (2Pe 3:12), a "day of judgment" (Mt 10:15; 2Pe 3:7; Ro 2:16).

Sometimes it is called "that day" (Mt 7:22; 1Th 5:4; 2Ti 4:8), and again it is called "the day" without any qualification whatever, as if it were the only day worth counting in all the history of the world and of the race (1Co 3:13). To the unbeliever, the New Testament depicts it as a day of terror; to the believer, as a day of joy. For on that day Christ will raise the dead, especially His own dead, the bodies of those that believed in Him—"that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day" (Joh 6:39). In that day He comes to His own (Mt 16:27), and therefore it is called "the day of our Lord Jesus" (2Co 1:14),"the day of Jesus Christ" or "of Christ" (Php 1:6,10), the day when there "shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven" (Mt 24:30). All Paulinic literature is especially suffused with this longing for the "parousia," the day of Christ’s glorious manifestation. The entire conception of that day centers therefore in Christ and points to the everlasting establishment of the kingdom of heaven, from which sin will be forever eliminated, and in which the antithesis between Nature and grace will be changed into an everlasting synthesis. See also ESCHATOLOGY (OF THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW TESTAMENT).

Henry E. Dosker




jur’-ni (derekh yom, Ge 30:36; Nu 10:33; 11:31; hemeras hodos, Lu 2:44): The common way of estimating distances in the East is by hours and days. This is natural in a country where roads are mere bridle paths or non-existent, as in the desert. The distance traveled must of course differ largely according to the difficulties of the way, and it is more important to know where night will overtake the traveler than the actual distance accomplished. A day’s journey is now commonly reckoned at about 3 miles per hour, the distance usually covered by a loaded mule, the number of hours being about 8. Hence, a day’s journey is about 24 miles, and this may be taken as a fair estimate for Bible times.

H. Porter






(he eschate hemera): Repeatedly used by Jesus in Joh 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24; 12:48, for the day of resurrection and judgment (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). Compare the usage in the Old Testament (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1) and the New Testament (Ac 2:17; 2Ti 3:1; 2Pe 3:3; 1 Joh 2:18; Jude 1:18) of "last days" and "last time" to denote the Messianic age.


In Joh 7:37, "the last day, the great day of the feast" refers to the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles. This closing day was observed as a Sabbath (Le 23:36). On it the libation of water made on other days was not made; hence, the allusion of Jesus to Himself as the Giver of the living water.

James Orr






(helel ben-shachar, Isa 14:12; phosphoros, 2Pe 1:19): The Old Testament passage is rendered in the King James Version "Lucifer, son of the morning," in the King James Version margin and the Revised Version (British and American) "day-star," i.e. the morning star. The reference is to the king of Babylon (Isa 14:4). In 2Pe 1:19, "Until .... the daystar arise in your hearts," the word is literally, "light-bringer." It is applicable, therefore, not only to the planet Venus, seen as a morning star, herald of the dawn, but to the sun itself, and is used here as a title of our Lord. See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 6.




daz’-man (yakhach, "to argue, decide, convince," the Revised Version (British and American) UMPIRE): The use of this word appears to have been more common in the 16th century than at the later date of the translation of the King James Version, when its adoption was infrequent. The oldest instance of the term given in the Oxford English Dictionary is Plumpton Corresp. (1489), p. 82: "Sir, the dayesmen cannot agre us." It appears also in the 1551 edition of the Old Testament in 1Sa 2:25, where the English Versions of the Bible "judge" is translated "dayes-man." Tyndale’s translation has for Ex 21:22, "He shall paye as the dayesmen appoynte him" (EV as the "judges determine"). See also Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, ii, c. 8, published in 1590. As used in the King James Version (Job 9:33) the word means an arbitrator, umpire, referee; one who stands in a judicial capacity between two parties, and decides upon the merits of their arguments or case at law. "Neither is there-any daysman (the Revised Version (British and American) "umpire") betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both" (compare Ge 31:37). It was the eastern custom for a judge to lay his hands upon the heads of the two parties in disagreement, thus emphasizing his adjudicatory capacity and his desire to render an unbiased verdict. Job might consider a human judge as capable of acting as an umpire upon his own claims, but no man was worthy to question the purposes of Yahweh, or metaphorically, to "lay his hands upon" Him.

In the New Testament (1Co 4:3, anthropine, hemera) "man’s judgment" is literally, "man’s day," in the sense of a day fixed for the trial of a case. Both Tyndale and Coverdale so translate. See also 1Ti 2:5, where the Saviour is termed the "one mediator .... between God and men." Here the word understands a pleader, an advocate before an umpire, rather than the adjudicator himself (see Job 19:25-27).

Arthur Walwyn Evans


da’-spring: This beautiful English word, in current use in the time of the King James Version, is found in the Old Testament as the translation of shachar, "Hast thou .... caused the dayspring to know his place?" (Job 38:12 the King James Version). This is no doubt intended literally for the dawn. The "place" of the dayspring is the particular point of the horizon at which the sun comes up on any given day. This slowly changes day by day through the year, moving northward from midwinter till midsummer, and back again southward from midsummer to midwinter. See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 2. Also once in the New Testament for anatole, "a rising." "The dayspring from on high hath visited us" (the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American)) "shall visit us," Lu 1:78). Also in Apocrypha, "At the dayspring pray unto thee" (AV; the Revised Version (British and American) "plead with thee at the dawning of the light," The Wisdom of Solomon 16:28). Both the Hebrew and Greek words, however, are of frequent occurrence, but variously rendered "dawn," "break of day," "morning," "sunrise," "east." Note especially "the spring of the day" (1Sa 9:26), "the day began to spring" (Jud 19:25). Used with heliou, "sun," for rising of the sun (Re 7:2; 16:12). In the Septuagint the same Greek word is used for Hebrew tsemach, "branch," to designate the Messiah (Jer 23:5; Zec 6:12. But this sense of the word is wholly unknown in profane Greek The word is also employed in Septuagint to express the rising of a heavenly body, as the moon (Isa 60:19). This is good Greek See the kindred verb anatello, "to rise" (the Septuagint, Isa 60:1; Mal 4:2).

What is the meaning of anatole in Lu 1:78? Certainly not branch; that does not fit any of the facts, unless it be rendered "branch of light" (see Reynolds, John the Baptist, 115).

It occurs in Zacharias’ hymn over the birth of his son. The ode consists of two parts, "The glory and security of the Messiah’s kingdom," and "The glory of the Forerunner." The expression before us is in the latter part. It naturally refers, therefore, not to the Messiah himself, but to John. He is the dayspring from on high who hath visited the people who sat in darkness and the shadow of death. With Godet we believe that the picture is borrowed from the caravan which has missed its way in the desert. The unfortunate pilgrims, overtaken by the night, are sitting down expecting death, when suddenly a star brightly beams above them. They take courage at the sight. The whole caravan leaps to its feet. It is the herald of the coming day and soon they see the great orb himself filling the east with orient pearl and gold. Is not one tempted to go a little farther and see here the morning star, herald of the coming sun to be obliterated by his rising? ‘He must wax, but I must wane’ (Joh 3:30). What was John’s work but, by his own testimony, to guide the benighted pilgrims into the way of peace, that is, to Him who was the Prince of Peace? If, however, as by most commentators, it be taken to refer to the Messiah, it probably implies prophetic knowledge that the conception of Jesus had already taken place, and that the Messianic era was at hand, when the Jewish world should be filled with spiritual splendor. See DAY-STAR.

G. H. Trever


de’-k’-n, de’-k’-n-es: The term diakonos, and its cognates occur many times in the New Testament, as do its synonyms huperetes, and doulos, with their respective cognates. It may be said in general that the terms denote the service or ministration of the bondservant (doulos), underling (huperetes) or helper (diakonos), in all shades and gradations of meaning both literal and metaphorical. It would serve no useful purpose to list and discuss all the passages in detail. Christianity has from the beginning stood for filial service to God and His kingdom and for brotherly helpfulness to man, and hence, terms expressive of these functions abound in the New Testament. It behooves us to inquire whether and where they occur in a technical sense sufficiently defined to denote the institution of a special ecclesiastical office, from which the historical diaconate may confidently be said to be derived.

Many have sought the origin of the diaconate in the institution of the Seven at Jerusalem (Ac 6), and this view was countenanced by many of the church Fathers.

The Seven were appointed to "serve tables" (diakonein trapezais), in order to permit the Twelve to "continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry (diakonia) of the word." They are not called deacons (diakonoi), and the qualifications required are not the same as those prescribed by Paul in 1Ti 3:8-12; furthermore, Stephen appears in Ac preeminently as a preacher, and Philip as an evangelist. Paul clearly recognizes women as deaconesses, but will not permit a woman to teach (1Ti 2:12). The obvious conclusion is that the Seven may be called the first deacons only in the sense that they were the earliest recorded helpers of the Twelve as directors of the church, and that they served in the capacity, among others, of specially appointed ministrants to the poor.

Paul says, "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (the Revised Version, margin "or, deaconess") of the church that is at Cenchrea" (Ro 16:1). This is by many taken as referring to an officially appointed deaconess; but the fact that there is in the earlier group of Paul’s epistles no clear evidence of the institution of the diaconate, makes against this interpretation. Phoebe was clearly an honored helper in the church closely associated with that at Corinth, where likewise evidence of special ecclesiastical organization is wanting.

In Php 1:1 Paul and Timothy send greetings "to all the saints .... at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." Here then we find mention of "deacons" in a way to suggest a formal diaconate; but the want of definition as to their qualifications and duties renders it impossible to affirm with certainty the existence of the office.

In 1Ti 3:8-12, after prescribing the qualifications and the method of appointment of a bishop or overseer, Paul continues: "Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless. Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." Deacons and deaconesses are here provided for, and the character of their qualifications makes it clear that they were to be appointed as dispensers of alms, who should come into close personal relations with the poor.

We conclude, therefore, that the Seven and Phoebe did not exercise the diaconate in a technical sense, which appears first certainly in 1Ti 3, although it is not improbably recognized in Php 1:1, and was foreshadowed in the various agencies for the dispensing of alms and the care of the poor of the church instituted in various churches at an earlier date.


William Arthur Heidel


ded (muth; nekros): Used in several senses:

(1) as a substantive, denoting the body deprived of life, as when Abraham speaks of burying his dead (Ge 23);

(2) as a collective noun including all those that have passed away from life (as Re 20:12). In several passages dead in this sense is used in contrast to the quick or living (as Nu 16:48). This collective mode of expression is used when resurrection is described as "rising from the dead";

(3) as an adjective, coupled with body, carcass or man, as De 14:8 the King James Version;

(4) most frequently it is used as a complement of the verb "to be," referring to the condition of being deceased or the period of death, e. g. 2Sa 12:19; Mr 5:35;

(5) in the sense of being liable to death it occurs in Ge 20:3; Ex 12:33; 2Sa 16:9;

(6) as an intensive adjective it is used in the phrase "dead sleep," to mean profound sleep simulating death (Ps 76:6);

(7) figuratively "dead" is used to express the spiritual condition of those who are unable to attain to the life of faith. They are dead in trespasses, as in Eph 2:1, or conversely, those who by the New Birth are delivered from sin, are said to be dead to the Law (as Col 2:20, etc.). A faith which does not show its life in the practical virtues of Christianity is called dead (Jas 2:17);

(8) in Ro 4:19; Heb 11:12, "dead" signifies the senile condition of loss of vigor and virility.

The passage in Job 26:5, wherein in the King James Version "dead things" seem to mean things that never had life, is more accurately translated in the Revised Version (British and American) as "they that are deceased," i.e. the shades of the dead.

There are few references to the physical accompaniments of the act of dying. Deborah has a poetical account of the death of Sisera (Jud 5:24 ff), and in Ec 12, where the failure of the bodily faculties in old age culminates in death, it is pictorially compared to the breaking of a lamp extinguishing the flame ("golden" being probably used of "oil," as it is in Zec 4:12), and the loosing of the silver chebhel or chain by which the lamp is suspended in the tent of the Arabic.

The dead body defiled those who touched it (Le 11:31) and therefore sepulture took place speedily, as in the case of Lazarus (Joh 11:17-39) and Ananias and Sapphira (Ac 5:6-10). This practice is still followed by the fellahin.

The uselessness of the dead is the subject of proverb (Ec 9:4) and the phrase "dead dog" is used as a contemptuous epithet as of a person utterly worthless (1Sa 24:14; 2Sa 9:8; 16:9).

Alex. Macalister











1. The Plain of the Jordan

2. Ain Jidi (En-gedi)

3. The Fortress of Masada

4. Jebel Usdum (Mount of Sodom)

5. Vale of Siddim

6. El-Lisan



The name given by Greek and Latin writers to the remarkable inland lake occupying the deepest part of the depression of the ARABAH (which see). In the Bible it is called the Salt Sea (Ge 14:3; De 3:17); the Sea of the Plain (‘Ardbhah). (Jos 3:16); and the (East) Eastern Sea (Eze 47:18; Joe 2:20). Among the Arabs it is still called Bahr Lut (Sea of Lot). By the time of Josephus it was called Lake Asphaltires (Ant., I, ix) from the quantities of bitumen or asphalt occasionally washed upon its shores and found in some of the tributary wadies.

I. Present Area.

The length of the lake from North to South is 47 miles; its greatest width is 10 miles narrowing down to less than 2 miles opposite Point Molyneux on el-Lisan. Its area is approximately 300 square miles. From various levelings its surface is found to be 1,292 ft. below that of the Mediterranean, while its greatest depth, near the eastern shore 10 miles South of the mouth of the Jordan is 1,278 ft. But the level varies from 10 to 15 ft. semiannually, and more at longer intervals; and we are not sure from which one of these levels the above figures have been derived. Throughout the northern half of the lake on the East side the descent to the extreme depth is very rapid; while from the western side the depth increases more gradually, especially at the extreme northern end, where the lake has been filled in by the delta of the Jordan.

About two-thirds of the distance to the southern end, the peninsula, el-Lisan ("the Tongue"), projects from the East more than half-way across the lake, being in the shape, however, of a boot rather than a tongue, with the toe to the North, forming a bay between it and the eastern mainland. The head of this bay has been largely filled in by the debris brought down by Wady Kerak, and Wady Ben Hamid, and shoals very gradually down to the greatest depths to the North. The toe of this peninsula is named Point Costigan, and the heel, Point Molyneux, after two travelers who lost their lives about the middle of the 19th century in pioneer attempts to explore the lake. Over the entire area South of Point Molyneux, the water is shallow, being nowhere more than 15 ft. deep, and for the most part not over 10 ft., and in some places less than 6 ft. In high water, the lake extends a mile or more beyond low-water mark, over the Mud Flat (Sebkah) at the south end.

From the history of the crossing of the Jordan by Joshua and the expedition of Chedorlaomer when Lot was captured, it is evident that the outlines of the sea were essentially the same 3,500 years ago as they are now, showing that there has been no radical change in climatic conditions since then.

II. Former Enlargement.

But if we go back a few thousand years into prehistoric times the evidence is abundant that the valley has witnessed remarkable climatic changes (see ARABAH). At Ain Abu Werideh, about 40 miles beyond the south end of the lake, Hull in 1883 discovered deposits of an abandoned shore line 1,400 ft. above its level (see ARABAH). A pronounced abandoned shore line at the 650 ft. level had been observed first by Tristram, and noted afterward by many travelers. But from the more detailed examination made by Professor Ellsworth Huntington in 1909 (see Palestine and Its Transformation) five abandoned shore lines of marked size have been determined, surrounding the valley at the following approximate heights above the present level of the lake: 1,430, 640, 430, 300 and 250 ft. He writes that "at its greatest extent the sea stretched at least 30 miles south of its present termination, while northward it probably covered the Sea of Galilee and the Waters of Merom, and sent an arm into the Vale of Jezreel. .... Lacustrine deposits exist in the Jordan valley shortly south of the Sea of Galilee. A mile north of Jisr el-Mujamiyeh, as the modern railroad bridge is called, a tilted series of clays, apparently lacustrine, lies under some untilted whitish clays, also apparently lacustrine. The elevation here is about 840 ft. below that of the Mediterranean Sea, or 450 above the Dead Sea. .... So far as can be detected by the aneroid the highest deposits (about the Dead Sea) lie at the same elevation on all sides of the lake."

There are also numerous minor strands below the 250 ft. major strand. These are estimated by Huntington as 210, 170, 145, 115, 90, 70, 56, 40, 30 and 12 ft. above the lake successively, It is noted, also, that the lower beaches all show less erosion than those above them. This certainly points to a gradual diminution of the water in the basin during the prehistoric period, while on the other hand there is much evidence that there has been a considerable rise in the water within the historic period. Date palms and tamarisks are seen standing out from the water in numerous places some little distance from the present shore where the water is several feet deep. These are of such size as to show that for many years the soil in which they grew was not subject to overflow. As long ago as 1876 Merrill noticed such trees standing in the water 40 ft. from the shore, near the Northeast corner of the lake (East, of the Jordan, 224). Numerous trunks of date palms and tamarisks can now be seen submerged to a similar extent along the western shore. In 1818 Irby and Mangles (Travels, 454) saw a company of Arabs ford the lake from Point Molyneux to the west side, and noted that the line of the ford was marked by branches of trees which had been stuck into the bottom. In 1838 Robinson found the water at such a stage that the ford was impracticable and so it has been reported by all travelers since that time. But Mr. A. Forder, having recently examined the evidence for the Palestine Exploration Fund, learns from the older Arabs that formerly there was a well-known causeway leading from el-Lisan opposite Wady Kerak to Wady Umm Baghek, across which sheep, goats and men could pass, while camels and mules could be driven across anywhere in the water. Moreover the Arab guide said that the channel "was so narrow that the people of his tribe used to sit on the edge of the Lisan and parley with Arabs from the west as to the return of cattle that had been stolen by one or other of the parties." (See PEFS (April, 1910), 112.)

III. Level of, in Early Historic Times.

Numerous general considerations indicate that in the early historic period the level of the water was so much lower than now that much of the bay South of Point Molyneux was dry land. In Jos 15:2,5 f the south border of Judah is said to extend from "the bay (tongue, Lisan) that looketh southward"; while the "border of the north quarter was from the bay (tongue, Lisan) of the sea at the end of the Jordan; and the border went up to Beth-hoglah, and passed along by the north of Beth-arabah." If the limits of the north end of the Dead Sea were the same then as now the boundary must have turned down to the mouth of the Jordan by a sharp angle. But according to the description it runs almost exactly East and West from beyond Jerusalem to Beth-hoglah, and nothing is said about any change in direction, while elsewhere, any such abrupt change in direction as is here supposed is carefully noted. Furthermore, in detailing the boundary of Benjamin (Jos 18:19) we are told that "the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward; and the goings out of the border were at the north bay (tongue, Lisan) of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan: this was the south border." This can hardly have any other meaning than that the north end of the Dead Sea was at Beth-hoglah. From these data Mr. Clermont-Ganneau (see Recueil d’archeologie orientale, V (1902), 267-80) inferred that in the time of Joshua the level of the sea was so much higher than now that a tongue-like extension reached the vicinity of Beth- hoglah, while the underlying topography was essentially the same as now. On the contrary, our present knowledge of the geologic forces in operation would indicate that at that time the Dead Sea was considerably lower than now, and that its rise to its present level has been partly caused by the silting up of a bay which formerly extended to Beth-hoglah.

The geological evidence concerning this point is so interesting, and of so much importance in its bearing upon our interpretation of various historical statements concerning the region, that it is worth while to present it somewhat in detail. As already stated (see ARABAH), the present level of the Dead Sea is determined by the equilibrium established between the evaporation (estimated at 20,000,000 cubic ft. per diem) over the area and the amount of water brought into the valley by the tributary streams. The present area of the sea is, in round numbers, 300 square miles. The historical evidence shows that this evaporating surface has not varied appreciably since the time of Abraham. But the encroachments of the delta of the Jordan upon this area, as well as of the deltas of several other streams, must have been very great since that period. The effect of this would be to limit the evaporating surface, which would cause the water to rise until it overflowed enough of the low land at the south end to restore the equilibrium.

It is easy to make an approximate calculation of the extent to which these encroachments have tended to narrow the limits of the original lake. The sediment deposited by the Jordan, at the north end of the Dead Sea, is practically all derived from the portion of the drainage basin between it and the Sea of Galilee—the latter serving as a catch-basin to retain the sediment brought down from the upper part of the valley. The Zor, or narrow channel which the Jordan has eroded in the sedimentary plain through which it flows (see JORDAN, VALLEY OF), is approximately half a mile wide, 100 feet deep, and 60 miles long. All the sediment which formerly filled this has been swept into the head of the sea, while the Jarmuk, the Jabbok, and a score of smaller tributaries descending rapidly from the bordering heights of Gilead, three or four thousand ft. above the valley, bring an abnormal amount of debris into the river, as do a large number of shorter tributaries which descend an equal amount from the mountains of Galilee, Samaria, and Judah. The entire area thus contributing to this part of the Jordan is not less than 3,000 square miles.

All writers are impressed by the evidence of the torrential floods which fill these water courses after severe storms. The descent being so rapid, permits the water after each rainfall to run off without delay, and so intensifies its eroding power. The well-known figure of our Lord (Mt 7:26 ff) in describing the destruction of the house which is built upon the sand, when the rains descend and the winds beat upon it, is drawn from Nature. The delta terraces at the mouths of such mountain streams where they debouch on the lowlands are formed and re-formed with extreme rapidity, each succeeding storm tending to wash the previous delta down to lower levels and carry away whatever was built upon it.

The storms which descend upon the plains of Gilead, as well as those upon the Judean hills, are exceedingly destructive. For though the rainfall at Jerusalem, according to the observations of Chaplin (see J. Glaisher, "On the Fall of Rain at Jerusalem," PEFS (January, 1894), 39) averages but 20 inches annually, ranging from 32,21 inches in 1878 to 13,19 inches in 1870, nearly all occurs in the three winter months, and therefore in quantities to be most effective in erosive capacity. And this is effective upon both sides of the Jordan valley, in which the rainfall is very slight. "Day after day," Tristram remarks, "we have seen the clouds, after pouring their fatness on Samaria and Judea, pass over the valley, and then descend in torrents on the hills of Gilead and Moab," a phenomenon naturally resulting from the rising column of heated air coming up from the torrid conditions of the depressed Jordan valley.

Tristram (The Land of Moab, 23, 24) gives a vivid description of the effect of a storm near Jerusalem. As his party was encamped during the night the whole slope upon which they pitched became a shallow stream, while "the deep ravines of the wilderness of Judah (were) covered with torrents, and tiny cascades rolling down from every rock. .... So easily disintegrated is the soft limestone of these wadies, that the rain of a few hours .... did more to deepen and widen the channels than the storms of several years could effect on a Northumbrian hillside. No geologist could watch the effect of this storm without being convinced that in calculating the progress of denudation, other factors than that of time must be taken into account, and that denudation may proceed most rapidly where rains are most uncertain." Lieutenant Lynch writes that while ascending the Kerak "there came a shout of thunder from the dense cloud which had gathered at the summit of the gorge, followed by a rain, compared to which the gentle showers of our more favored clime are as dew drops to the overflowing cistern. .... The black and threatening cloud soon enveloped the mountain tops, the lightning playing across it in incessant flashes, while the loud thunder reverberated from side to side of the appalling chasm. Between the peals we soon heard a roaring and continuous sound. It was the torrent from the rain cloud, sweeping in a long line of foam down the steep declivity, bearing along huge fragments of rocks, which, striking against each other, sounded like mimic thunder."

I can bear similar testimony from observations when traveling in Turkestan where the annual rainfall is only about 4 inches. At one time a storm was seen raging upon the mountains 20 miles away, where it spent its entire force without shedding a drop upon the plain. Upon skirting the base of the mountain the next day, however, the railroad track was covered for a long distance 2 or 3 ft. deep with debris which had been washed down by the cloudburst. No one can have any proper comprehension of the erosive power of the showers of Palestine without duly taking into account the extent and the steepness of the descent from the highlands on either side, and the irregularity of the rainfall. These form what in the Rocky Mountains would be called arroyos. After the debris has been brought into the Jordan by these torrents, and the rise of water makes it "overflow all its banks," the sediment is then swept on to the Dead Sea with great rapidity.

All these considerations indicate that the deltas of the streams coming into the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea must be increasing at an unusually rapid rate. It will be profitable, therefore, to compare it with other deltas upon which direct observations have been made. The Mississippi River is sweeping into the Gulf of Mexico sediment at a rate which represents one foot of surface soil over the whole drainage basin, extending from the Rocky Mountains to the Alleghenies, in a little less than 5,000 years. The Hoang-Ho is lowering its drainage basin a foot in 1,464 years, while the river Po is reducing its level a foot in 729 years. So rapidly has the river Po filled up its valley that the city of Adria, which was a seaport 2,000 years ago, is now 14 miles from the mouth of the river. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers have silted up the head of the Persian Gulf nearly 100 miles. (See Croll, Climate and Time, 332, 333; Darwin, Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, 233.) From these considerations it is a conservative estimate that the tributaries of the Jordan valley between the Lake of Galilee and the Dead Sea bring down sediment enough to lower the basin one foot in 2,000 years, so that since the time of Abraham 167,270,400,000 cubic feet of solid matter have been added to its delta. This would cover 25 square miles 250 ft. deep. Taking into consideration the probable depth of water at the north end of the sea, it is, therefore, not an extravagant supposition that the Jordan delta has encroached upon the sea to the extent of 15 or 20 square miles, limiting the evaporating surface to that extent and causing the level of the water to rise, and extend an equal amount over the low lands at the south end.

At the same time the other streams coming directly into the lake have been contributing deltas to narrow its margin at various points. The Kerak, the Amen and the Zerka Ma’ain bring in an immense amount of sediment from the East; el-Hessi, el-Jeib and el-Fikri from the South; and Wady el. Muhauwdt, el-Areyeh and the Kedron, with numerous smaller intermediate streams, from the West. A detailed examination of these deposits will serve the double purpose of establishing the point in question and of giving a vivid conception of the sea and its surroundings.

Throughout the lower part of its course the river Jordan flows as has been already said, through a narrow gorge called the Zor, which the river has eroded in the soft sedimentary deposits which cover the bottom of the valley (or Ghor) from side to side. Opposite Jericho the Ghor is about 15 miles wide. The Zor, however, does not average more than one-half mile in width and is about 100 ft. lower than the general level of the Ghor, But at "the Jews’ Castle." about 8 miles from the mouth of the Jordan, the Zor begins to enlarge and merge into a true delta. The embankment of the Zor slopes away in a Southwest direction till it reaches the Judean mountains at Khurbet Kumran. 10 miles distant, leaving a triangle of low land between it and the Dead Sea averaging fully one mile in width and being nearly 3 miles wide opposite the mouth of the Jordan. The face of the embankment separating the Zor from the Ghor has in several places been deeply cut into by the small wadies which come down from the western mountains, and the wash from these wadies as well as that from more temporary streams after every shower has-considerably raised the western border of the Zor throughout this distance. But it can safely be estimated that the original boundary of the Dead Sea has here been encroached upon to the extent of 10 or 15 square miles. Again, upon the eastern side of the Jordan the other limb of the delta, though smaller, is equally in evidence. Merrill (East of the Jordan, 223, 224), in describing his survey of the region, says he was compelled to walk for some hours along the shore and then north to reach his horses, which evidently had been coming over the harder and more elevated surface of the Ghor. "The plain." he says, "for many square miles north of the sea is like ashes in which we often. sank over shoe."

Returning to the Northwest corner of the lake we find the delta deposit which we left at Khurbet Kumran extending 2 miles farther south with an average width of one-half mile to Ras Feshkah, which rises abruptly from the water’s edge, and renders it impossible for travelers to follow along the shore. But just beyond Ras Feshkah a delta half a mile or more in length and width is projected into the sea at the mouth of Wady en Nar, which comes down from Jerusalem and is known in its upper portions as Kedron. This is the wady which passes the convent of Mar Saba and is referred to in such a striking manner in Eze 47. Like most of the other wadies coming into the Dead Sea, this courses the most of its way through inaccessible defiles and has built up a delta at its mouth covered with "fragments of rock or boulders swept along by the torrent in its periodical overflows" (De Saulcy, I, 137, 138).

From Ras Feshkah to Ras Mersid, a distance of 15 miles, the shore is bordered with a deposit of sand and gravel averaging a half a mile in width, while opposite Wady edition Derajeh and Wady Husasa (which descend from Bethlehem and the wilderness of Tekoah) the width is, fully one mile. At the mouth of one of the smaller gorges De Saulcy noted what geologists call a "cone of dejection" where "the gravel washed down from the heights was heaped up to the extent of nearly 250 yards" (I, 44).

Ras Mersid, again, obstructs the passage along the shore almost as effectually as did Ras Feshkah, but farther south there is no other obstruction. The plain of En-gedi, connected in such an interesting manner with the history of David and with numerous other events of national importance, is described by the Palestine Exploration Fund as "about half a mile broad and a mile in length." This consists of material brought down for the most part by Wady el-’Areijeh, which descends from the vicinity of Hebron with one branch passing through Tekoah. The principal path leading from the west side of the Dead Sea to the hills of Judea follows the direction of this wady.

Between En-gedi and Sebbeh (Masada), a distance of 10 miles, the limestone cliffs retreat till they are fully 2 miles from the shore. Across this space numerous wadies course their way bringing down an immense amount of debris and depositing it as deltas at the water’s edge. These projecting deltas were noticed by Robinson as he looked southward from the height above En-gedi, but their significance was not understood.

"One feature of the sea," he says, "struck us immediately, which was unexpected to us, namely, the number of shoal-like points and peninsulas which run into its southern part, appearing at first sight like flat sand-banks or islands. Below us on the South were two such projecting banks on the western shore, composed probably of pebbles and gravel, extending out into the sea for a considerable distance. The larger and more important of these is on the South of the spot called Birket el-Khulil, a little bay or indentation in the western precipice, where the water, flowing into shallow basins when it is high, evaporates, and deposits salt. This spot is just South of the mouth of Wady el-Khubarah" (BR, I, 501). One of these deltas is described by De Saulcy as 500 yds. in breadth and another as indefinitely larger.

Six miles South of Masada, probably at the mouth of Wady Umm Baghek, Lynch notes a delta extending "half a mile out into the sea." Still farther South the combined delta of the Wady Zuweirah and Wady Muhauwat covers an area of 2 or 3 square miles, and is dotted with boulders and fragments of rock a foot or more in diameter, which have been washed over the area by the torrential floods. Beyond Jebel Usdum, Wady el-Fikreh, draining an area of 200 or 300 square miles, has deposited an immense amount of coarse sediment on the West side of the Sebkah (a mud flat which was formerly occupied, probably by a projection of the Dead Sea). Into the South end of the depression, extending from the Sebkah to the Ascent of Akrabbim, deltas of Wady el-Jeib, Wady el-Khanzireh and Wady Tufileh have in connection with Wady Fikreh encroached upon the valley to the extent of 12 or 15 square miles. Although these wadies drain an area of more than 3,000 sq. miles, and the granitic formations over which they pass have been so disintegrated by atmospheric influences that an excessive amount of coarse sediment is carried along by them (see Hull, Mount Seir, etc., 104-106). In ascending them, one encounters every indication of occasional destructive floods.

Following up the eastern shore, Wady el-Hessi coming down from the mountains of Edom has built up the plain of Safieh which pushes out into the neck of the Sebkah and covers an area of 3 or 4 square miles. Farther North, Wady Kerak and Wady Beni Hamid have with their deltas encroached to the extent of 2 or 3 square miles upon the head of the bay, projecting into the Lisan east of Point Costigan. Still farther North, Wady Mojib (the Arnon) and Wady Zerka Ma’ain (coming down from the hot springs of Callirrhoe) have built up less pronounced deltas because of the greater depth of the water on the East side, but even so they are by no means inconsiderable, in each case projecting a half-mile or more into the lake. Putting all these items together, there can be little doubt that the area of the Dead Sea has been encroached upon to the extent of 25 or 30 square miles since the time of Abraham and that this has resulted in a rise of the general level of the water sufficient to overflow a considerable portion of the lagoon at the South end, thus keeping the evaporating area constant. The only escape from this conclusion is the supposition that the rainfall of the region is less than it was at the dawn of history, and so the smaller evaporating area would be sufficient to maintain the former level. But of this we have no adequate evidence. On the contrary there is abundant evidence that the climatic conditions connected with the production of the Glacial Period had passed away long before the conquest of the Vale of Siddim by Amraphel and his confederates (Ge 14). The consequences of this rise of water are various and significant. It lends credibility to the persistent tradition that the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah are covered by the shallow water at the South end of the sea, and also to the statement of Scripture that the region about these cities (on the supposition that they were at the South end of the sea) was like the garden of the Lord; for that plain was then much larger than it is now, and was well watered, and possessed greater elements of fertility than are now apparent. Furthermore, this supposed lower level of the lake in early times may have greatly facilitated the passage of armies and caravans from one end to the other, thus rendering it more easy to understand the historical statements relating to the earliest periods of occupation. Even now the road at the base of Jebel Usdum which is open at low water is impassable at high water. On the last of December, 1883, Professor Hull (Mount Seir, etc., 133) traversed the shore at the base of the salt cliffs along a gravel terrace 100 ft. wide, which "abruptly terminated in a descent of about 5 ft. to the line of driftwood which marked the upper limit of the waters." On the 1st of January, 1901, the water along the base of the salt cliffs was so deep that it was impossible for my party to pass along the shore. It is easy to believe that the level might have been lowered sufficiently to expose a margin of shore which could be traversed on the West side from one end to the other.

IV. Constitution of the Water.

As in the case of all enclosed basins, the waters of the Dead Sea are impregnated to an excessive degree with saline matter. "The salt which they contain," however, "is not wholly or even principally common salt, but is mostly the chloride and bromide of magnesium and calcium, so that they are not merely a strong brine, but rather resemble the mother liquors of a saltpan left after the common salt has crystallized out" (Dawson, Egypt and Syria, 123). The following analysis is given by Booth and Muckle of water brought by Commander Lynch and taken by him May 5 from 195 fathoms deep opposite the mouth of Wady Zerka Ma’ain. Other analyses vary from this more or less, owing doubtless to the different localities and depths from which the specimens had been obtained. Specific gravity at 60 degrees ......... 1,22742 Chloride of magnesium ................... 145,8971 Chloride of calcium ..................... 31.0746 Chloride of sodium ...................... 78,5537 Chloride of potassium ................... 6,5860 Bromide of potassium .................... 1,3741 Sulphate of lime ........................ 0,7012————sub-total: 264,1867 Water ................................... 735,8133————Total: 1000.0000 Total amount of solid matter found

by direct experiment .................. 264.0000 What is here labeled bromide of potassium, however, is called by most other analysts bromide of magnesium, it being difficult to separate and distinguish these elements in composition. The large percentage of bromide, of which but a trace is found in the ocean, is supposed to have been derived from volcanic emanations. As compared with sea water, it is worthy of note that that of the Dead Sea yields 26 lbs. of salts to 100 lbs. of water, whereas that of the Atlantic yields only 6 lbs. in the same quantity. Lake Urumiah is as salty as the Dead Sea.

As results of this salinity the water is excessively buoyant and is destructive of all forms of animal life. Lynch found that his metal boats sank an inch deeper in the Jordan when equally heavily laden than they did in the Dead Sea. All travelers who bathe in it relate that when they throw themselves upon their backs their bodies will be half out of the water. Josephus (BJ, IV, viii, 4) relates that the emperor Vespasian caused certain men who could not swim to be thrown into the water with their hands tied behind them, and they floated on the surface. Dead fish and various shells are indeed often found upon the shore, but they have evidently been brought in by the tributary fresh-water streams, or belong to species which live in the brackish pools of the bordering lagoons, which are abundantly supplied with fresh water.

The report extensively circulated in earlier times that birds did not fly over the lake has no foundation in fact, since some species of birds are known even to light upon the surface and frolick upon the waters. The whole depression is subject to frequent storms of wind blowing through its length. These produce waves whose force is very destructive of boats encountering them because of the high specific gravity of the water; but for the same reason the waves rapidly subside after a storm, so that the general appearance of the lake is placid in the extreme.

The source from which these saline matters have been derived has been a subject of much speculation—some having supposed that it was derived from the dissolution of the salt cliffs in Jebel Usdum. But this theory is disproved by the fact that common salt forms but a small portion of the material held in solution by the water. It is more correct to regard this salt mountain as a deposit precipitated from the saturated brine which had accumulated, as we have supposed, during the Cretaceous age. Probably salt is now being deposited at the bottom of the lake from the present saturated solution to appear in some future age in the wreck of progressive geological changes. The salts of the Dead Sea, like those in all similarly enclosed basins, have been brought in by the streams of water from all over the drainage basin. Such streams always contain more or less solid matter in solution, which becomes concentrated through the evaporation which takes. place over enclosed basins. The ocean is the great reservoir of such deposits, but is too large to be affected to the extent noticeable in smaller basins. The extreme salinity of the Dead Sea water shows both the long continuance of the isolation of the basin and the abundance of soluble matter contained in the rocks of the inscribed area. The great extent of recent volcanic rocks, especially in the region East of the Jordan, accounts for the large relative proportion of some of the ingredients.

V. Climate.

Because of the great depression below sea level, the climate is excessively warm, so that palms and other tropical trees flourish on the borders of the rivers wherever fresh water finds soil on which to spread itself. Snow never falls upon the lake, though it frequently covers the hills of Judea and the plateau of Moab. As already explained the rainfall in the Jordan valley is less than on the bordering mountains. During the winter season the Arab tribes go down to the valley with their flocks of sheep and goats and camp upon the surrounding plains. But the excessive heat of the summer, rising sometimes to 130 degrees F., drives them back to the hills again.

VI. Roads.

Except at the North end, the approaches to the Dead Sea are few and very difficult to travel. On the West side the nearest approach is at En-gedi, and this down a winding descent of 2,000 ft. where a few men at the top of the cliff could hold an army at bay below. The path up Wady Zuweirah from the North end of Jebel Usdum is scarcely better. Upon the South end the path leads up Wady Fikreh for a considerable distance on the West side of the Mud Flat, and then crosses over to the Wady el-Jeib, up whose torrential bed during the dry season caravans can find their way through the Arabah to Akabah. More difficult paths lead up from the East of the Mud Flat into the Arabah, and through the mountains of Moab to Petra into the plains beyond and the Pilgrim route from Damascus to Mecca. From the Lisan a difficult path leads up Wady Kerak to the fortress of the same name 20 miles distant and 5,000 ft. above the lake. Another path a little farther north leads up the Wady Beni Hamid to Ar of Moab. From the Arnon to the North end of the Dead Sea the mountains are so precipitous that travel along the shore is now practically impossible. But there are, according to Tristram (The Land of Moab, 355), remnants of an "old and well-engineered road of ancient times" extending as far South at least as the Zerka Ma’ain.

VII. Miscellaneous Items.

There are numerous points around the border of the lake of special interest:

1. The Plain of the Jordan:

When Lot and Abraham looked down from the heights of Bethel (Ge 13:10 ff) they are said to have 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. So Lot chose him all the Plain of the Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: .... and Lot dwelt in the cities of the Plain, and moved his tent as far as Sodom." The word here translated "Plain" is kikkar (Ciccar), meaning "circle," and indicating the appearance from Bethel of the Jordan valley surrounding the North end of the Dead Sea. From this fact, many recent writers have located Sodom and Gomorrah at that end of the sea (see CITIES OF THE PLAIN). But it is by no means certain that it is necessary thus to narrow down the meaning of the phrase. Though the South end. of the Dead Sea is not visible from the heights of Bethel, it is so connected with the general depression that it may well have been in the minds of Abraham and Lot as they were dividing the country between them, one choosing the plain, a part of which was visible, the other remaining on the bordering mountainous area, so different in all its natural resources and conditions. The extent of the region chosen by Lot may therefore be left to be determined by other considerations.

2. Ain Jidi (En-gedi):

Ain Jidi, "fountain of the kid" (?)( see EN-GEDI) is an oasis at the base of the western cliffs about half-way between the North and the South ends of the lake, fed by springs of warm water which burst from beneath the overhanging cliffs. The 650 ft. shore line composed of shingle and calcareous marl is here prominent, and, as already remarked, there is an extensive gravel terrace at the present water level. Palms and vines formerly flourished here (So 1:14), but now only a few bushes of acacia and tamarisk are to be found. From time immemorial, however, it has been the terminus of the principal trail which zig-zags up the cliffs to the plateau, across which paths lead to Hebron and Bethlehem.

3. The Fortress of Masada:

The Fortress of Masada was the last stronghold held by the fanatical Jews (Zealots) after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and offers a bird’s-eye view of the Dead Sea, which is as instructive as it is interesting. It is situated half-way between Jebel Usdum and En-gedi, directly opposite the northern promontory of el-Lisan. Here on a precipitous height, 2,000 ft. above the sea, is a plateau about 700 yds. long, and 200 wide, adorned with ruins of dwellings, palaces and temples of the Herodian age. Standing upon this height one sees the outlines of the Roman camp, near the shore of the sea, and those of another camp in a depression several hundred yards to the West, from which the final attack of the besiegers was made over a pathway constructed along a sloping ridge. Here many miles away from their base of supplies the Romans slowly but irresistibly drew in their besieging lines to the final tragic consummation when the last remnant of the defenders committed suicide (BJ, VII, ix, 1). The view gives one a profound impression of the difficulties attending military campaigns in all that region. Upon lifting up one’s eyes to take in the broader view, he sees the Dead Sea in its whole length with the low ridge of Jebel Usdum, the Valley of Salt, the Ascent of Akrabbim, the depression of the Arabah, and Mt. Hor, to the South, while across the whole horizon to the East is the long wall of Moab dissected by Wady Kerak and the river Arnon, leading up to the strongholds of Ker, Aroer and Dibon, of Moab; while immediately in the front are the white cliffs of el-Lisan, and to the North, near by, the green oasis of En-gedi, and, dimmed by distance, the plains of Jericho, and the cluster of peaks surrounding Mt. Pisgah; while the sea itself sparkles like a gem of brilliant azure in the midst of its desolate surroundings, giving no token of the deadly elements which permeate its water.

4. Jebel Usdum (Mount of Sodom):

Jebel Usdum (Mount of Sodom) is a salt mountain extending 7 or 8 miles along the Southwest shore of the lake and on the West side of the Valley of Salt to its southern boundary. Its name is derived from the traditional belief that Sodom was located at the South end of the sea; but, on the other hand, it is not unlikely that the name would become attached to it because of its seeming to contain the pillar of salt, which, according to the ordinary translation, marked the place where Lot’s wife was overwhelmed. The mountain rises 600 ft. above the lake, and has a general level surface except where streams have worn furrows and gullies in it. The eastern face presents a precipitous wall of rock salt, which, as said above, at the time of my visit (January, 1901), was washed by the waves of the lake making it impossible to pass along its base. At other times. when the water is low, travelers can pass along the whole length of the shore. This wall of salt presents much the appearance of a glacier, the salt being as transparent as ice, while the action of the waves has hollowed out extensive and picturesque caverns and left isolated towers and connected pinnacles of salt often resembling a Gothic cathedral. These towers and pinnacles are, of course, being displaced from time to time, while others are formed to continue the illusion. Any pillar of salt known to the ancients must be entirely different from those which meet the eye of the modern traveler. It follows also as a matter of course that the gradual dissolution of this salt must partly account for the excessive salinity of the Dead Sea.

It is uncertain how deep the deposit extends below the surface. It rises upward 200 or 300 ft., where it is capped by consolidated strata of sedimentary material, consisting of sand and loam, which most geologists think was deposited at the time of the formation of the 650 ft. terrace already described, and which they connect with the climatic conditions of the Glacial period.

This view is presented as follows by Professor B. K. Emerson: "In the earlier portion of the post-glacial stadium, a final sinking of a fraction of the bottom of the trough, near the South end of the lake, dissected the low salt plateau, sinking its central parts beneath the salt waters, while fragments remain buttressed against the great walls of the trench forming the plains of Jebel Usdum and the peninsula el-Lisan with the swampy Sebkah between. .... It exposed the wonderful eastern wall of Jebel Usdum: 7 miles long, with 30-45 m. of clear blue salt at the base, capped by 125-140 m. of gypsum-bearing marls impregnated with sulphur, and conglomerates at times cemented by bitumen" ("Geological Myths," Proc. Am. Assoc. for Adv. of Sci. (1896), 110, 111). If this was the case there has been a depression of the South end of the Dead Sea to the extent of several hundred feet within a comparatively few thousand years, in which case the traditional view that Sodom and Gomorrah were overwhelmed by Dead Sea water at the time of their destruction would refer to an occurrence exactly in line with movements that have been practically continuous during Tertiary, Glacial, and post- Glacial times.

With more reason, Lartet contends that this salt is a Cretaceous or Tertiary deposit covered with late Tertiary strata, in which case the sinking of the block between Jebel Usdum and el-Lisan, for the most part, took place at a much earlier date than the formation of the 650 ft. terrace. A striking corollary of this supposition would be that the climatic conditions have been practically the same during all of the post-Carboniferous times, there having been cycles of moist and dry climate in that region succeeding each other during all these geological periods.

The Vale of Siddim (Ge 14:3,8,10) is probably the same as the Valley of Salt (2Ki 14:7; 1Ch 18:12; 2Ch 25:11).

5. Vale of Siddim:

This is in all probability the plain extending from the southern end of the Dead Sea to the "Ascent of Akrabbim" which crosses the valley from side to side, and forms the southern margin of the Ghor. At present the area of the vale is about 50 square miles; but if our theory concerning the lower level of the Dead Sea in the time of Abraham is correct, it may then have included a considerable portion of the lagoon South of el-Lisan and so have been a third larger than now. In Ge 14:10 the vale is said to have been full of slime (that is, of bitumen or asphalt) pits. In modern times masses of asphalt are occasionally found floating in the southern part of the Dead Sea. After the earthquake of 1834 a large quantity was cast upon the shore near the Southwest corner of the lake, 3 tons of which were brought to market by the Arab natives. After the earthquake of January, 1837, a mass of asphalt was driven aground on the West side not far from Jebel Usdum. The neighboring Arabs swam off to it, cut it up with axes and carried it to market by the camel load, and sold it to the value of several thousand dollars. At earlier times such occurrences seem to have been still more frequent. Josephus affirms that "the sea in many places sends up black masses of asphalt having the form and size of headless oxen"; while Diodorus Siculus relates that the bitumen (asphalt) was thrown up in masses covering sometimes two or three acres and having the appearance of islands (Josephus, BJ, IV, viii, 4; Diod. Sic. ii.48; Pliny, NH, vii.13; Tac. Hist. verse 6; Dioscor., De re Med., i.99).

Since asphalt is a product of petroleum from which the volatile elements have been evaporated, the ultimate source of these masses is doubtless to be found in the extensive beds of bituminous limestone which appear in numerous places on both sides of the Dead Sea. An outcrop of it can be observed at Neby Mousa, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, which Dawson describes as resembling dry chalk saturated with coal tar. When long weathered this becomes white and chalky at the surface, so that a mass of it, quite white externally, reveals an intense blackness when broken. It is this that the people of Bethlehem call "Dead Sea stone," and which they carve into various ornamental articles and expose for sale. Some specimens of it are sufficiently bituminous to burn with flame like cannel-coal. These beds are still more abundant around the South end of the lake and doubtless underlie the whole region, and for all time must have been exuding bituminous and gaseous matter, but much more abundantly in former times than now.

In these accumulations of bitumen at the South end of the Ghor we probably have the incentive which led the Babylonians under Amraphel and Chedorlaomer to make such long expeditions for the sake of conquering the region and holding it under their power. Bitumen was much in demand in Babylonia.

6. El-Lisan:

El-Lisan (the Tongue), which projects half-way across the lake from the mouth of Wady Kerak, is, like Jebel Usdum, a promontory of white calcareous sediment containing beds of salt and gypsum, and breaking off on its western side in a cliff 300 ft. high. Its upper surface rises in terraces to the 600 ft. level on the East, as Jebel Usdum does on the West. The length of the promontory from North to South is 9 miles. This corresponds so closely in general structure and appearance to Jebel Usdum on the opposite side of the lake that we find it difficult to doubt theory of Professor Emerson, stated above, that the formation originally extended across and that a block of the original bottom of the lake has dropped down, leaving these remnants upon the sides. Frequent occurrences similar to this are noted by the United States geologists in the Rocky Mountain region.

VIII. History.

Difficulty of access has prevented the Dead Sea from playing any important part in history except as an obstruction both to commerce and to military movements. Boats have never been used upon it to any considerable extent. From earliest times salt has been gathered on its western shores and carried up to market over the difficult paths leading to Jerusalem. A similar commerce has been carried on in bitumen; that from the Dead Sea being specially prized in Egypt, while as already remarked, it is by no means improbable that the pits of bitumen which abounded in the "Vale of Siddim" were the chief attraction leading the kings of Babylonia to undertake long expeditions for the conquest of the region. Productive as may have been the plain at the South end of the sea, it was too far outside the caravan route leading through Petra to the South end of the Arabah and the mines of the Sinaitic Peninsula to divert the course of travel. Still the settlements on the eastern border of the Vale of Siddim were of sufficient importance in medieval times to induce the Crusaders to visit the region and leave their marks upon it. The Arabian town of Zoghar, probably the Biblical Zoar, appears at one time to have been a most important place, and was the center of considerable commercial activity. Indigo was grown there, and the oasis was noted for its fine species of dates. The country round about abounded in springs and there was much arable land (see Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems, 286 ff). The hot springs upon the eastern shore of the Dead Sea at Callirrhoe some distance up the Wady Zerka Ma’ain were much resorted to for their medicinal properties. Here Herod came as a last resort, to secure relief from his loathsome malady, but failed of help. The fortress of Macherus, where John the Baptist was imprisoned, is situated but a few miles South of the Zerka Ma’ain, but access to this region is possible only through a difficult road leading over the mountains a few miles East of the sea.

On four occasions important military expeditions were conducted along the narrow defiles which border the Southwest end of the Dead Sea:

(1) That of Amraphel and his confederates from Babylonia, who seem first to have opened the way past Petra to the mines of the Sinaitic Peninsula, and then to have swept northward through the land of the Amalekites and Amorites and come down to the Dead Sea at En-gedi, and then to have turned to subdue the Cities of the Plain, where Lot was dwelling. This accomplished, they probably retreated along the west shore of the lake, which very likely afforded at that time a complete passageway to the valley of the Jordan. Or they may have gone on eastward to the line of the present pilgrim route from Damascus to Mecca and followed it northward.

(2) In the early part of the reign of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 20), the Moabites, Ammonites and some other tribes joined together, forming a large army, and, following around the South end of the Dead Sea, marched along the West shore to En-gedi, and having ascended the zigzag path leading up the precipitous heights to the wilderness of Tekoa, were there thrown into confusion and utterly annihilated.

(3) Not many years later Jehoram and Jehoshaphat "fetched a compass (the Revised Version (British and American) "made a circuit") of seven days’ journey" (2Ki 3:9) around the South end of the Dead Sea and attacked the Moabites in their own country, but returned without completing the conquest. The particulars of this expedition are given in 2Ki 3 and in the inscription on the Moabite Stone.

(4) The Romans shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem conducted a long siege of the fortress of Masada, of which an account has already been given in a previous section (VII, 3). All their supplies must have come down the tortuous path to En-gedi and thence been brought along the western shore to the camp, the remains of which are still to be seen at the base of the fortress.

For many centuries, indeed for nearly 1,800 years, the Dead Sea remained a mystery, and its geology and physical characteristics were practically unknown. The first intimation of the depression of the lake below sea level was furnished in 1837 by Moore and Beke, who made some imperfect experiments with boiling water from which they inferred a depression of 500 ft. In 1841 Lieutenant Simmons of the British navy, by trigonometrical observations, estimated the depression to be 1,312 ft. In 1835. Costigan, and again in 1847 Lieutenant Molyneux ventured upon the sea in boats; but the early death of both, consequent upon their exposures, prevented their making any full reports. Appropriately, however, their names have been attached to prominent points on the Lisan. In 1848 Lieutenant Lynch, of the United States navy, was dispatched to explore the Jordan and the Dead Sea. The results of this expedition were most important. Soundings of the depths were carefully and systematically conducted, and levels were run from the Dead Sea by Jerusalem to the Mediterranean, giving the depression at the surface of the Dead Sea as 1,316,7 ft., and its greatest depth 1,278 ft. More recently Sir C. W. Wilson in connection with the Ordinance Survey of Palestine carried levels over the same route with the result of reducing the depression to 1,292 ft., which is now generally accepted to be correct. But as already stated the stage of water in the lake is not given, and that is known to vary at least 15 ft. annually, and still more at longer intervals.


Hull, Mount Seir, Sinai and Western Palestine, 1889; Huntington, Palestine and Its Transformation, 1911; Lartet, Voyage d’exploration de la Mer Morte, 1880; Lynch, Report of U. S. Expedition to the Jordan and Dead Sea, 1852; Robinson, BR, 1841; De Saulcy, Voyage dans la Syrie, 1853; Tristram, Land of Israel, 2nd edition, 1872, The Land of Moab, 1873; G. A. Smith, HGHL; Wright; Scientific Confirmations of Old Testament Hist, 1906, and Journal of Biblical Lit., 1911.

George Frederick Wright






ded’-li: In the Old Testament two words are used in the sense of a "mortal (Hebrew nephesh, "hateful," "foul") enemy" (Ps 17:9), and in the sense of "fatal disease," the destructiveness of which causes a general panic (Hebrew maweth, "death," 1Sa 5:11).

In the New Testament we have in Re 13:3,12 the expression "deadly wound" (Greek thanatos), better "death-stroke," as in the Revised Version (British and American), and the phrases "deadly thing," i.e. poison (thanasimon ti, Mr 16:18), and "full of deadly poison" (meste iou thanatephorou, Jas 3:8), said of an unruly tongue. Both Greek words convey the idea of "causing or bringing death" and occur in classical literature in a variety of uses in combination with the bite of venomous reptiles, deadly potions, mortal wounds and fatal contagion.

H. L. E. Luering


def (cheresh; kophos): Used either in the physical sense, or figuratively as expressing unwillingness to hear the Divine message (Ps 58:4), or incapacity to understand it for want of spirituality (Ps 38:13). The prophetic utterances were sufficiently forcible to compel even such to hear (Isa 42:18; 43:8) and thereby to receive the Divine mercy (Isa 29:18; 35:5).

The expression "deaf adder that stoppeth her car" (Ps 58:4) alludes to a curious notion that the adder, to avoid hearing the voice of the charmer, laid its head with one car on the ground and stopped the other with the tip of its tail (Diary of John Manninghan, 1602). The adder is called deaf by Shakespeare (2 Hen VI, iii, 2, 76; Troilus and Cressida, ii, 2, 172). The erroneous idea probably arose from the absence of external ears. Physical deafness was regarded as a judgment from God (Ex 4:11; Mic 7:16), and it was consequently impious to curse the deaf (Le 19:14).

In New Testament times deafness and kindred defects were attributed to evil spirits (Mr 9:18 ff). See DUMB.

Alex. Macalister


del: The noun "deal" is not found in the Revised Version (British and American). The King James Version translation of ‘issaron, "the tenth deal" (Ex 29:40; Le 14:10, et al.) is rendered uniformly "the tenth part" in the Revised Version (British and American) (see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES). The verb "to deal" often means "to apportion," "to distribute" (compare 2Sa 6:19; 1Ch 16:3; Isa 58:7; Ro 12:3), but more frequently it is used in the sense of "to act" "to do," "to have transaction of any kind with." In the Psalms "to deal" always means "to confer benefit," "to deal bountifully," with the exception of Ps 105:25, where it means "to deal subtly with." The expression "to deal," i.e. "to be engaged in," is not found in the Scriptures. The translation of sugchraomai, in Joh 4:9, "Jews have no dealings with Samaritans," conveys the idea that they have nothing in common.

A. L. Breslich


der, der’-li ("held at a great price," "highly valued"): In Ac 20:24, Paul does not hold his life "dear" (timios, "at a price"); compare 1Co 3:12, "costly stones"; 1Pe 1:19, "precious blood." Lu 7:2, the servant was "dear" to the centurion (entimos, "highly prized"; compare Php 2:29; 1Pe 2:6). 1Th 2:8, "very dear to us" (agapetos, "beloved"). In the Revised Version (British and American), agapetos is generally translated "beloved." "Dearly" before "beloved" of the King James Version is omitted in all passages in the Revised Version (British and American). The word "dear" occurs but once in the Old Testament, namely, Jer 31:20. the Revised Version (British and American) correctly changes "dear Son" of the King James Version (Col 1:13) into "the Son of his love."

H. E. Jacobs


durth. See FAMINE.


(maweth; thanatos):


The word "Death" is used in the sense of

(1) the process of dying (Ge 21:16);

(2) the period of decease (Ge 27:7);

(3) as a possible synonym for poison (2Ki 4:40);

(4) as descriptive of person in danger of perishing (Jud 15:18; "in deaths oft" 2Co 11:23). In this sense the shadow of death is a familiar expression in Job, the Psalms and the Prophets;

(5) death is personified in 1Co 15:55 and Re 20:14. Deliverance from this catastrophe is called the "issues from death" (Ps 68:20 the King James Version; translated "escape" in the Revised Version (British and American)). Judicial execution, "putting to death," is mentioned 39 times in the Levitical Law.

Figuratively: Death is the loss of spiritual life as in Ro 8:6; and the final state of the unregenerate is called the "second death" in Re 20:14.

Alex. Macalister


1. Conception of Sin and Death:

According to Ge 2:17, God gave to man, created in His own image, the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and added thereto the warning, "in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Though not exclusively, reference is certainly made here in the first place to bodily death. Yet because death by no means came upon Adam and Eve on the day of their transgression, but took place hundreds of years later, the expression, "in the day that," must be conceived in a wider sense, or the delay of death must be attributed to the entering-in of mercy (Ge 3:15).

However this may be, Ge 2:17 places a close connection between man’s death and his transgression of God’s commandment, thereby attaching to death a religious and ethical significance, and on the other hand makes the life of man dependent on his obedience to God. This religious-ethical nature of life and death is not only decidedly and clearly expressed in Ge 2, but it is the fundamental thought of the whole of Scripture and forms an essential element in the revelations of salvation. The theologians of early and more recent times, who have denied the spiritual significance of death and have separated the connection between ethical and physical life, usually endeavor to trace back their opinions to Scripture; and those passages which undoubtedly see in death a punishment for sin (Ge 2:17; Joh 8:44; Ro 5:12; 6:23; 1Co 15:21), they take as individual opinions, which form no part of the organism of revelation. But this endeavor shuts out the organic character of the revelation of salvation. It is true that death in Holy Scripture is often measured by the weakness and frailty of human nature (Ge 3:19; Job 14:1,12; Ps 39:5,6; 90:5; 103:14,15; Ec 3:20, etc.).

Death is seldom connected with the transgression of the first man either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, or mentioned as a specified punishment for sin (Joh 8:44; Ro 5:12; 6:23; 1Co 15:21; Jas 1:15); for the most part it is portrayed as something natural (Ge 5:5; 9:29; 15:15; 25:8, etc.), a long life being presented as a blessing in contrast to death in the midst of days as a disaster and a judgment (Ps 102:23 f; Isa 65:20). But all this is not contrary to the idea that death is a consequence of, and a punishment for, sin. Daily, everyone who agrees with Scripture that death is held out as a punishment for sin, speaks in the same way. Death, though come into the world through sin, is nevertheless at the same time a consequence of man’s physical and frail existence now; it could therefore be threatened as a punishment to man, because he was taken out of the ground and was made a living soul, of the earth earthy (Ge 2:7; 1Co 15:45,47). If he had remained obedient, he would not have returned to dust (Ge 3:19), but have pressed forward on the path of spiritual development (1Co 15:46,51); his return to dust was possible simply because he was made from dust (see ADAM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT). Thus, although death is in this way a consequence of sin, yet a long life is felt to be a blessing and death a disaster and a judgment, above all when man is taken away in the bloom of his youth or the strength of his years. There is nothing strange, therefore, in the manner in which Scripture speaks about death; we all express ourselves daily in the same way, though we at the same time consider it as the wages of sin. Beneath the ordinary, everyday expressions about death lies the deep consciousness that it is unnatural and contrary to our innermost being.

2. The Meaning of Death:

This is decidedly expressed in Scripture much more so even than among ourselves. For we are influenced always more or less by the Greek, Platonic idea, that the body dies, yet the soul is immortal. Such an idea is utterly contrary to the Israelite consciousness, and is nowhere found in the Old Testament. The whole man dies, when in death the spirit (Ps 146:4; Ec 12:7), or soul (Ge 35:18; 2Sa 1:9; 1Ki 17:21; Jon 4:3), goes out of a man. Not only his body, but his soul also returns to a state of death and belongs to the nether-world; therefore the Old Testament can speak of a death of one’s soul (Ge 37:21 (Hebrew); Nu 23:10 m; De 22:21; Jud 16:30; Job 36:14; Ps 78:50), and of defilement by coming in contact with a dead body (Le 19:28; 21:11; 22:4; Nu 5:2; 6:6; 9:6; 19:10 ff; De 14:1; Hag 2:13). This death of man is not annihilation, however, but a deprivation of all that makes for life on earth. The Sheol (she’ol) is in contrast with the land of the living in every respect (Job 28:13; Pr 15:24; Eze 26:20; 32:23); it is an abode of darkness and the shadow of death (Job 10:21,22; Ps 88:12; 143:3), a place of destruction, yea destruction itself (Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12; Ps 88:11; Pr 27:20), without any order (Job 10:22), a land of rest, of silence, of oblivion (Job 3:13,17,18; Ps 94:17; 115:17), where God and man are no longer to be seen (Isa 38:11), God no longer praised or thanked (Ps 6:5; 115:17), His perfections no more acknowledged (Ps 88:10-13; Isa 38:18,19), His wonders not contemplated (Ps 88:12), where the dead are unconscious, do no more work, take no account of anything, possess no knowledge nor wisdom, neither have any more a portion in anything that is done under the sun (Ec 9:5,6,10). The dead ("the Shades" the Revised Version, margin; compare article DECEASE) are asleep (Job 26:5; Pr 2:18; 9:18; 21:6; Ps 88:11; Isa 14:9), weakened (Isa 14:10) and without strength (Ps 88:4).

3. Light in the Darkness:

The dread of death was felt much more deeply therefore by the Israelites than by ourselves. Death to them was separation from all that they loved, from God, from His service, from His law, from His people, from His land, from all the rich companionship in which they lived. But now in this darkness appears the light of the revelation of salvation from on high. The God of Israel is the living God and the fountain of all life (De 5:26; Jos 3:10; Ps 36:9). He is the Creator of heaven and earth, whose power knows no bounds and whose dominion extends over life and death (De 32:39; 1Sa 2:6; Ps 90:3). He gave life to man (Ge 1:26; 2:7), and creates and sustains every man still (Job 32:8; 33:4; 34:14; Ps 104:29; Ec 12:7). He connects life with the keeping of His law and appoints death for the transgression of it (Ge 2:17; Le 18:5; De 30:20; 32:47). He lives in heaven, but is present also by His spirit in Sheol (Ps 139:7,8). Sheol and Abaddon are open to Him even as the hearts of the children of men (Job 26:6; 38:17; Pr 15:11). He kills and makes alive, brings down into Sheol and raises from thence again (De 32:39; 1Sa 2:6; 2Ki 5:7). He lengthens life for those who keep His commandments (Ex 20:12; Job 5:26), gives escape from death, can deliver when death menaces (Ps 68:20; Isa 38:5; Jer 15:20; Da 3:26), can take Enoch and Elijah to Himself without dying (Ge 5:24; 2Ki 2:11), can restore the dead to life (1Ki 17:22; 2Ki 4:34; 13:21). He can even bring death wholly to nothing and completely triumph over its power by rising from the dead (Job 14:13-15; 19:25-27; Ho 6:2; 13:14; Isa 25:8; 26:19; Eze 37:11,12; Da 12:2).

4. Spiritual Significance:

This revelation by degrees rejects the old contrast between life on earth and the disconsolate existence after death, in the dark place of Sheol, and puts another in its place. The physical contrast between life and death gradually makes way for the moral and spiritual difference between a life spent in the fear of the Lord, and a life in the service of sin. The man who serves God is alive (Ge 2:17); life is involved in the keeping of His commandments (Le 18:5; De 30:20); His word is life (De 8:3; 32:47). Life is still for the most part understood to mean length of days (Pr 2:18; 3:16; 10:30; Isa 65:20). Nevertheless it is remarkable that Pr often mentions death and Sheol in connection with the godless (Pr 2:18; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18), and on the other hand only speaks of life in connection with the righteous. Wisdom, righteousness, the fear of the Lord is the way of life (Pr 8:35,36; 11:19; 12:28; 13:14; 14:27; 19:23). The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his death (Pr 14:32). Blessed is he who has the Lord for his God (De 33:29; Ps 1:1,2; 2:12; 32:1,2; 33:12; 34:9, etc.); he is comforted in the greatest adversity (Ps 73:25-28; Hab 3:17-19), and sees a light arise for him behind physical death (Ge 49:18; Job 14:13-15; 16:16-21; 19:25-27; Ps 73:23-26). The godless on the contrary, although enjoying for a time much prosperity, perish and come to an end (Ps 1:4-6; 73:18-20; Isa 48:22; Mal 4:3, etc.).

The righteous of the Old Testament truly are continually occupied with the problem that the lot of man on earth often corresponds so little to his spiritual worth, but he strengthens himself with the conviction that for the righteous it will be well, and for the wicked, ill (Ec 8:12,13; Isa 3:10,11). If they do not realize it in the present, they look forward to the future and hope for the day in which God’s justice will extend salvation to the righteous, and His anger will be visited on the wicked in judgment. So in the Old Testament the revelation of the new covenant is prepared wherein Christ by His appearance hath abolished death and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2Ti 1:10). See ABOLISH. This everlasting life is already here on earth presented to man by faith, and it is his portion also in the hour of death (Joh 3:36; 11:25,26). On the other hand, he who lives in sin and is disobedient to the Son of God, is in his living dead (Mt 8:22; Lu 15:32; Joh 3:36; 8:24; Eph 2:1; Col 2:13); he shall never see life, but shall pass by bodily death into the second death (Re 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8).

5. Death in Non-Christian Religions and in Science:

This view of Scripture upon death goes much deeper than that which is found in other religions, but it nevertheless receives support from the unanimous witness of humanity with regard to its unnaturalness and dread. The so-called nature-peoples even feel that death is much more of an enigma than life; Tiele (Inleiding tot de goddienst- artenschap, II (1900), 202, referring to Andrew Lang, Modern Mythology, chapter xiii) says rightly, that all peoples have the conviction that man by nature is immortal, that immortality wants no proof, but that death is a mystery and must be explained. Touching complaints arise in the hearts of all men on the frailty and vanity of life, and the whole of mankind fears death as a mysterious power. Man finds comfort in death only when he hopes it will be an end to a still more miserable life. Seneca may be taken as interpreter of some philosophers when he says: Stultitia est timore morris mori ("It is stupid to die through the fear of death") and some may be able, like a Socrates or a Cato, to face death calmly and courageously; what have these few to say to the millions, who through fear of death are all their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb 2:15)? Such a mystery has death remained up to the present day. It may be said with Kassowitz, Verworm and others that the "cell" is the beginning, and the old, gray man is the natural end of an uninterrupted life-development, or with Metschnikoff, that science will one day so lengthen life that it will fade away like a rose at last and death lose all its dread; death still is no less a riddle, and one which swallows up all the strength of life. When one considers, besides, that a number of creatures, plants, trees, animals, reach a much higher age than man; that the larger half of mankind dies before or shortly after birth; that another large percentage dies in the bloom of youth or in the prime of life; that the law of the survival of the fittest is true only when the fact of the survival is taken as a proof of their fitness; that the graybeards, who, spent and decrepit, go down to the grave, form a very small number; then the enigma of death increases more and more in mysteriousness.

The endeavors to bring death into connection with certain activities of the organism and to explain it by increasing weight, by growth or by fertility, have all led to shipwreck. When Weismann took refuge in the immortality of the "einzellige Protozoen," he raised a hypothesis which not only found many opponents, but which also left mortality of the "Korperplasma" an insoluble mystery (Beth, "Ueber Ursache und Zweck des Todes, Glauben und Wissen" (1909), 285-304, 335-48). Thus, science certainly does not compel us to review Scripture on this point, but rather furnishes a strong proof of the mysterious majesty of death. When Pelagius, Socinus, Schleiermacher, Ritschl and a number of other theologians and philosophers separate death from its connection with sin, they are not compelled to do so by science, but are led by a defective insight into the relation between ethos and phusis. Misery and death are not absolutely always consequences and punishment of a great personal transgression (Lu 13:2; Joh 9:3); but that they are connected with sin, we learn from the experience of every day. Who can number the victims of mammonism, alcoholism and licentiousness? Even spiritual sins exercise their influence on corporal life; envy is a rottenness of the bones (Pr 14:30). This connection is taught us in a great measure by Scripture, when it placed the not yet fallen man in a Paradise, where death had not yet entered, and eternal life was not yet possessed and enjoyed; when it sends fallen man, who, however, is destined for redemption, into a world full of misery and death; and at last assigns to the wholly renewed man a new heaven and a new earth, where death, sorrow, crying or pain shall no longer exist (Re 21:4). Finally, Scripture is not the book of death, but of life, of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It tells us, in oft-repeated and unmistakable terms, of the dreaded reality of death, but it proclaims to us still more loudly the wonderful power of the life which is in Christ Jesus. See also DECEASE.

Herman Bavinck




(ho deuteros thanatos): An expression, peculiar to the Book of Rev.(re 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8) in Scripture, denoting the final penalty of the unrighteous; parallel with another expression likewise peculiar, "the lake of fire," in Re 20:14; 21:8. See ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.


de-bat’:This word is used only once in the Revised Version (British and American) (Pr 25:9). It evidently refers to the settling of a difficulty with a neighbor, and anticipates Mt 18:15. It argues for and shows the advantage of private, peaceable settlement of difficulties. Compare Ecclesiasticus 28:9, and see MAKEBATES.


de’-ber (debhir, or debhir, "oracle"): King of Eglon, one of the five Amorite kings whose confederation against Israel was overcome and who were killed by Joshua (Jos 10:3).


de’-ber (debhir; Dabeir): "And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir, and fought against it: and he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword .... he left none remaining" (Jos 10:38,39). In Jos 15:15-17 and Jud 1:11-13 is an account of how Othniel captured Debir, which "beforetime was Kiriath-sepher," and won thereby the hand of Achsah, Caleb’s daughter. In Jos 15:49 Debir is called Kiriath-sannah. It had once been inhabited by the Anakim (Jos 11:21). It was a Levitical city (Jos 21:15; 1Ch 6:58).

1. The Meaning of the Name:

(1) Debir is usually accepted as meaning "back," but this is doubtful; the word debhir is used to denote the "holy of holies" (1Ki 6:5). According to Sayce (HDB), "the city must have been a sacred one with a well-known temple." Kiriath-sepher is translated "town of books," and Sayce and others consider that in all probability there was a great storehouse of clay tablets here; perhaps the name may have been qiryath copher, "town of scribes." Kiriath-sannah (Jos 15:49) is probably a corruption of Kiriath-sepher; the Septuagint has here as in references to the latter polis grammaton, "town of books."

2. The Site:

Unfortunately this site, important even if the speculations about the books are doubtful, is still a matter of uncertainty. Edh-Dhaheriyeh, some 11 miles Southwest of Hebron, has a good deal of support. It was unquestionably a site of importance in ancient times as the meeting-place of several roads; it is in the Negeb (compare Jud 1:15), in the neighborhood of the probable site of Anab (Jos 11:21; 15:50); it is a dry site, but there are "upper" and "lower" springs about 6 1/2 miles to the North. A more thorough examination of the site than has as yet been undertaken might produce added proofs in favor of this identification. No other suggestion has any great probability. See PEF, III, 402; PEFS, 1875.

(2) Debir, on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Jos 15:7), must have been somewhere East of Jerusalem not far from the modern Jericho road. Thoghgret edition Debr, "the pass of the rear," half a mile Southwest of the Tal‘at edition Dumm (see ADUMMIM), close to the so-called, "Inn of the Good Samaritan," may be an echo of the name which has lingered in the neighborhood. Many authorities consider that there is no place-name in this reference at all, the text being corrupt.

(3) Debir the Revised Version, margin, Lidebir (Jos 13:26), a town on the border of Gad, near Mahanaim; Ibdar, South of the Yarmuk has been suggested. May be identical with Lo-debar (2Sa 9:4).

E. W. G. Masterman


deb’-o-ra (debhorah, signifying "bee"):

(1) Rebekah’s nurse, who died near Bethel and was buried under "the oak of weeping" (Ge 35:8 margin).

(2) A prophetess, fourth in the order of the "judges." In aftertime a palm tree, known as the "palm tree of Deborah," was shown between Ramah and Bethel, beneath which the prophetess was wont to administer justice. Like the rest of the "judges" she became a leader of her people in times of national distress. This time the oppressor was Jabin, king of Hazor, whose general was Sisera. Deborah summoned Barak of Kedesh-naphtali and delivered to him the Divine message to meet Sisera in battle by the brook Kishon. Barak induced Deborah to accompany him; they were joined by 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali. The battle took place by the brook Kishon, and Sisera’s army was thoroughly routed. While Barak pursued the fleeing army, Sisera escaped and sought refuge with Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, near Kedesh. The brave woman, the prototype of Judith, put the Canaanite general to sleep by offering him a draft of milk and then slew him by driving a peg into his temple.

Thus runs the story in Jud 4. It is on the whole substantiated by the ode in chapter 5 which is ascribed jointly to Deborah and Barak. It is possible that the editor mistook the archaic form qamti, in 5:7 which should be rendered "thou arosedst" instead of "I arose." Certainly the ode was composed by a person who, if not a contemporary of the event, was very near it in point of time. The song is spoken of as one of the oldest pieces of Hebrew literature. Great difficulties meet the exegete. Nevertheless the general substance is clear. The Lord is described as having come from Sinai near the "field of Edom" to take part in the battle; ‘for from heaven they fought, the very stars from their courses fought against Sisera’ (5:20). The nation was in a sad plight, oppressed by a mighty king, and the tribes loth to submerge their separatist tendencies. Some, like Reuben, Gilead, Da and Asher remained away. A community by the name of Meroz is singled out for blame, ‘because they came not to the help of Yahweh, to the help of Yahweh among the mighty’ (5:23; compare the Revised Version, margin).

Ephraim, Issachar, Machir, Benjamin were among the followers of Barak; "Zebulun .... jeopardized their lives unto the death, and Naphtali, upon the high places of the field" (verse 18). According to the song, the battle was fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; Sisera’s host was swept away by "that ancient river, the river Kishon" (verse 21). Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, receives here due reward of praise for her heroic act. The paean vividly paints the waiting of Sisera’s mother for the home-coming of the general; the delay is ascribed to the great booty which the conqueror is distributing among his Canaanite host. "So let all thine enemies perish," concludes the song; "O Yahweh: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might." It is a song in praise of the "righteous acts" of the Lord, His work of victory which Israel’s leaders, ‘the long-haired princes,’ wrought, giving their lives freely to the nation’s cause. And the nation was sore bestead because it had become faithless to the Lord and chosen new gods. Out of the conflict came, for the time being, victory and moral purification; and the inspiring genius of it all was a woman in Israel, the prophetess Deborah.

(3) Tobit’s grandmother (the King James Version "Debora," Tobit 1:8).

Max L. Margolis


det, det’-er: It is difficult nowadays to think of debt without associating with it the idea of interest, and even usury. Certain it is that this idea is associated with the Old Testament idea of the word, at least in the later period of Old Testament history. This is true of the New Testament entire. The Hebrew word (neshi) always carries with it the idea of "biting interest" (compare 2Ki 4:7). The Greek words daneion (Mt 18:27), and opheile (Mt 18:32), may point only to the fact of indebtedness; the idea of interest, however, is clearly taught in the New Testament (compare Mt 25:27).

Quite extensive legislation is provided in the Old Testament governing the matter of debt and debtors. Indebtedness and loaning had not, however, the commercial aspect among the Jews so characteristic of the nations surrounding Palestine. Indeed the Mosaic legislation was seemingly intended to guard against just such commercialism. It was looked upon as a misfortune to be in debt; it indicated poverty brought on probably by blighted harvests; consequently those in debt were to be looked upon with pity and dealt with in leniency. There must be no oppression of the poor under such circumstances (Ex 22:25; De 23:19,20; Eze 18:18). Even where a pledge is given and received, certain restrictions are thrown around it, e. g. the creditor must not take a mill, nor a necessary garment, nor a widow’s ox, etc., in pledge (Ex 22:25-27; De 24:6,10-13; Job 22:6; Am 2:8). And further, the pledge is to be restored in some instances "before the sun goeth down" (Ex 22:26,27), and in all cases full redemption in the seventh and jubilee years (Ne 10:31, etc.). The Jews were strictly exhorted to take no interest at all from their own nation (Ex 22:25; De 23:19,20). Strangers, however, might be charged interest (ibid.). A devout Jew would not lend money to another Jew on interest.

It would seem that as Israel came into contact with the surrounding nations, debt became increasingly a commercial matter. The Mosaic laws regarding clemency toward the poor who were compelled for the time being to become debtors were utterly disregarded, and the poor were oppressed by the rich. An illustration of the severity with which debtors came to be dealt with is to be found in 2Ki 4:1-7, in which, because of the inability of a widow to pay a small debt contracted by her dead husband, the woman complains to the prophet that the creditors have come to sell her two children in order that the debt might be paid. Strangely the prophet, while helping the widow by miraculously multiplying the oil in order that the debt might be paid, says nothing by way of condemnation of such conduct on the part of the creditors. Are we to understand by this that commercialism had already so powerful a grip upon Israel that even to a prophet the practice had come to seem proper, or at least expected? The debtor himself or his family might be sold for debt, or the debtor might become a slave for a certain length of time until the debt was paid (Le 25:39,47; Isa 50:1). So oppressive had the commercial system in Israel become that the debtor cursed the creditor and the creditor the debtor (Jer 15:10). Sometimes debtors were outlawed, as in the case of the men who came to David in the cave of Adullam (1Sa 22:2). That the matter of borrowing and lending had assumed very grievous proportions is evident from the very sharp warnings concerning the matter in the Book of Pr (Pr 6:1; 11:15; 20:16, etc.).

The teaching of the New Testament on this subject is confined very largely to the parables of our Lord. Some think that the expression, "Owe no man anything" (Ro 13:8), is an absolute warning against indebtedness. Quite a noticeable advance in the matter of debts and debtors is noticed as we enter the time of the New Testament. We read of bankers, exchangers, moneychangers, interest, investments, usury (Mt 25:16-27; Joh 2:13-17). The taking of interest does not seem to be explicitly condemned in the New Testament. The person of the debtor, as well as his family and lands, could be seized for non-payment of debt (Mt 18:21-26). Indeed, the debtor was often cast into prison and tormented because of non-payment (Mt 18:30,34). That compassion and leniency should be exercised toward those in debt is the clear teaching of Christ in the parables of the Unmerciful Servant (Mt 18:23-35) and the Two Debtors (Lu 7:41-43).

Figurative: Debt and debtor are used in a moral sense also as indicating the obligation of a righteous life which we owe to God. To fall short in righteous living is to become a debtor. For this reason we pray, "Forgive us our debts" (Mt 6:12). Those who are ministered to in spiritual things are said to be debtors to those who minister to them (Ro 15:27). To make a vow to God is to put one’s self in debt in a moral sense (Mt 23:16-18; the Revised Version, margin "bound by his oath"). In a deeply spiritual sense the apostle Paul professed to be in debt to all men in that he owed them the opportunity to do them good (Ro 1:14).

The parables of Jesus as above named are rich with comforting truth. How beautiful is the willingness of God, the great and Divine Creditor, to release us from our indebtedness! Just so ought we to be imitators of the Father in heaven who is merciful.

William Evans





de-kap’-o-lis (Dekapolis): The name given to the region occupied by a league of "ten cities" (Mt 4:25; Mr 5:20; 7:31), which Eusebius defines (in Onomastica) as "lying in the Peraea, round Hippos, Pella and Gadara." Such combinations of Greek cities arose as Rome assumed dominion in the East, to promote their common interests in trade and commerce, and for mutual protection against the peoples surrounding them.

This particular league seems to have been constituted about the time of Pompey’s campaign in Syria, 65 BC, by which several cities in Decapolis dated their eras. They were independent of the local tetrarchy, and answerable directly to the governor of Syria. They enjoyed the rights of association and asylum; they struck their own coinage, paid imperial taxes and were liable to military service (Ant., XIV, iv, 4; BJ, I, vii, 7; II, xviii, 3; III, ix, 7; Vita, 65, 74). Of the ten cities, Scythopolis, the ancient Bethshean, alone, the capital of the league, was on the West side of Jordan. The names given by Pliny (NH, v.18) are Scythopolis (Beisan), Hippos (Susiyeh), Gadara (Umm Qeis), Pella (Fahil), Philadelphia (‘Amman), Gerasa (Jerash), Dion (Adun?), Canatha (Qanawat), Damascus and Raphana. The last named is not identified, and Dion is uncertain. Other cities joined the league, and Ptolemy, who omits Raphans, gives a list of 18. The Greek inhabitants were never on good terms with the Jews; and the herd of swine (Mr 5:11 ff) indicates contempt for what was probably regarded as Jewish prejudice. The ruins still seen at Gadara, but especially at Kanawat (see KENATH) and Jerash, of temples, theaters and other public buildings, attest the splendor of these cities in their day.

W. Ewing


de-ka’:Although this word is still in good use in both its literal sense, of the putrefaction of either animal or vegetable matter, and its derived sense, denoting any deterioration, decline or gradual failure, the Revised Version (British and American) has replaced it by other expressions in Le 25:35; Ec 10:18; Isa 44:26; Heb 8:13; in some of these cases with a gain in accuracy of translation. In Ne 4:10 (kashal, "to be feeble," "stumble") the Revised Version (British and American) retains "is decayed"; in Job 14:11 (charebh, "to be dried up") the American Standard Revised Version substitutes "wasteth," and in Joh 11:39 the American Standard Revised Version has "the body decayeth" instead of the more literal translation offensive to modern ears (ozei, "emits a smell").

F. K. Farr


de-ses’ (teleutao, "to come to an end," "married and deceased" (Mt 22:25)): With thanato, "death," "die the death" (Mt 15:4; Mr 7:10, the Revised Version, margin "surely die"). Elsewhere the word is translated "die" (Mt 2:19; 9:18; Mr 9:48 and often; Heb 11:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "end was nigh").

Also the substantive, exodos, "exodus," "exit," "departure," "his decease which he was about to accomplish" (Lu 9:31, the Revised Version, margin "departure"); "after my decease" (2Pe 1:15, the Revised Version, margin "departure").


de-ses’ (rapha’, plural repha’im, "ghosts," "shades," is translated by "dead," "dead body," and "deceased" in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)): The word seems to mean "soft," "inert," but its etymology is uncertain (see REPHAIM). The various writers of the Old Testament present, as is to be expected on such a subject, different conceptions of the condition of the deceased. In the beginning probably a vague idea of the continuation of existence was held, without the activities (Isa 59:10) and the joys of the present life (Ps 49:17). They dwell in the "land of forgetfulness" (Job 14:21; Ps 88:5; compare Isa 26:14), they "tremble" of cold (Job 26:5), they totter and "stumble at noonday as in the twilight" (Isa 59:10), their voice is described as low and muttering or chirping (Isa 8:19; 29:4), which may refer to the peculiar pitch of the voice of the spirit medium when a spirit speaks through him. (The calling up of the dead, which was strictly forbidden to Israel (Le 19:31; 20:27) is referred to in 1Sa 28:13 and perhaps in Isa 14:9.) The deceased are separated from their friends; love and hatred have both ceased with them (Ec 9:5,6); "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol" (Ec 9:10). The deceased are unable to praise Yahweh (Ps 6:5; 88:10-12; Isa 38:18; Baruch 2:17; Sirach 17:27,28). Nor does there seem to have been at first an anticipation of reward or punishment after death (Ps 88:10; Sirach 41:4), probably because the shades were supposed to be lacking the organs by which either reward or punishment could be perceived; nevertheless they are still in the realm of God’s power (1Sa 2:6; Ps 86:13; 139:8; Pr 15:11; Isa 7:11; Ho 13:14; Am 9:2; Tobit 13:2).

Gradually the possibility of a return of the departed was conceived (Ge 5:24; 2Ki 13:21; Ps 49:15; 73:24; 86:13; Ho 13:14; The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-7; 4:13,14; 6:18,19; 10:14). Even here it is often more the idea of the immortality of the soul than that of the resurrection of the body, and some of these passages may be interpreted as allegorical expressions for a temporal rescue from great disaster (e. g. 1Sa 2:6); nevertheless this interpretation presupposes the existence of a deliverance from the shadows of Sheol to a better life in the presence of Yahweh. Some passages refer clearly to such an escape at the end of the age (Da 12:2; Isa 26:19). Only very few of the Old Testament believers reached the sublime faith of Job (19:25,26) and none the blessed expectation taught in the New Testament, for none but Christ has "brought life and immortality to light" (2Ti 1:10; Joh 5:28,29).

The opinion that the dead or at least the newly buried could partake of the food which was placed in graves, a custom which recent excavations have clearly shown to have been almost universal in Palestine, and which is referred to in De 26:14 and Tobit 4:17, was soon doubted (Sirach 30:18), and food and drink prepared for the funeral was henceforth intended as the "bread of comfort" and the "cup of consolation" for the mourners (Jer 16:7; 2Sa 3:35; Eze 24:17). Similarly the offering and burning of incense, originally an homage to the deceased, became a relief for the mourner (2Ch 16:14; 21:19; Jer 34:5). See also The Wisdom of Solomon 3:2; 7:6; Sirach 38:23, and articles on CORPSE; DEATH; HADES; SHEOL.

H. L. E. Luering


de-set’ (mirmah; (dolos)): The intentional misleading or beguiling of another; in Scripture represented as a companion of many other forms of wickedness, as cursing (Ps 10:7), hatred (Pr 26:24), theft, covetousness, adultery, murder (Mr 7:22; Ro 1:29). The Revised Version (British and American) introduces the word in Pr 14:25; 2Th 2:10; but in such passages as Ps 55:11; Pr 20:17; 26:26; 1Th 2:3, renders a variety of words, more accurately than the King James Version, by "oppression," "falsehood," "guile," "error."


de-sev’-a-b’-l-nes, de-sev’ (nasha’," to lead astray"): "The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee" (Jer 49:16), i.e. "Thy stern mountain fastnesses have persuaded thee that thou art impregnable." In Jer 20:7, "O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived," pathah, signifies "to be enticed," "persuaded," as in the American Standard Revised Version and the Revised Version, margin.

In the Old Testament most often, and in the New Testament regularly, the various words rendered in the King James Version "deceive" denote some deliberate misleading in the moral or spiritual realm. False prophets (Jer 29:8), false teachers (Eph 5:6) and Satan himself (Re 12:9) are deceivers in this sense. In the gospels, the King James Version "deceive" (planao, 9 times Mt 24:4,5 parallel Mr 13:5,6 parallel Lu 21:8; Mt 24:11,24; Joh 7:12,47) becomes in the Revised Version (British and American) "lead astray"; the same change is made in 1Joh 2:26; 3:7; but elsewhere (13 t) both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) render planao by "deceive."

"Deceivableness" (apate), only in 2Th 2:10, signifies power to deceive, not liability to deception; the Revised Version (British and American) "deceit."

F. K. Farr


de’-sent-li (euschemonos): Only once is this word found in our English Bible (1Co 14:40). It is in the last verse of that remarkable chapter on the proper use of spiritual gifts in the church and the proper conduct of public worship. It does not refer here to absence of impurity or obscenity. It rather refers to good order in the conduct of public worship. All things that are done and said in public worship are to be in harmony with that becoming and reverent spirit and tone that befit the true worshippers of God.


de-sizh’-un: Has several different shades of meaning. It expresses the formation of a judgment on a matter under consideration. It expresses the quality of being firm or positive in one’s actions. It expresses the termination of a contest or question in favor of one side or the other, as the decision of the battle, or the decision of the judge.

1. National Decisions:

Until recent times the decision of disputed points between nations was determined by force of arms. Thus the questions of dispute were decided between Israel and the surrounding tribes, between Israel and Assyria, between Israel and Egypt, and later between Judea and Rome.

2. Judicial Decisions:

In the earliest times the questions of dispute between individuals were decided by the patriarch who was the head of the family. When Israel became a nation men were appointed to decide the difficulties between the people. At first this was one of the most important duties of Moses, but when the task became too great he appointed judges to assist him (see Ex 18:13-26). One important function of those who are called judges was to decide the difficulties between the people (see Jud 4:4,5). The kings also decided questions of dispute between individuals (see 2Sa 15:1-6; 1Ki 3:16-28). As the people developed in their national ideals the decisions in judicial matters were rendered by councils appointed for that purpose.

3. Methods of Forming Decisions:

Perplexing questions were many times decided by the casting of lots. The people believed that God would in this way direct them to the right decision (Pr 16:33; Jos 7:10-21; 14:2; 1Sa 10:20 f). Casting lots must have been a common method of deciding perplexing questions (see 1Sa 14:41,42; Jon 1:7). It was resorted to by the apostles to decide which of the two men they had selected should take the place of Judas (Ac 1:21-26). The custom gradually lost in favor, and decisions, even of perplexing questions, were formed by considering all the facts. See AUGURY, IV, 3; LOTS.

A. W. Fortune




dek-la-ra’-shun, deklar’:"Declare" is the translation of a variety of Hebrew and Greek words in the Old Testament and New Testament, appearing to bear uniformly the meaning "to make known," "set forth," rather than (the older meaning) "to explain" (De 1:5). Declaration (Es 10:2 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "full account"; Job 13:17; Ecc 43:6; Lu 11 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "narrative"; 2Co 8:19 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "to show") has the like meaning.


de-klin’ [(@cur], or sur, naTah): In the King James Version this word occurs 9 times in its original sense (now obsolete) of "turn aside." the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "turn aside" in Ex 23:2; De 17:11; 2Ch 34:2; Job 23:11. In Ps 102:11; 109:23, the lengthening shadows of afternoon are said to "decline," and the Revised Version (British and American) introduces the word in the same general sense in Jud 19:8; 2Ki 20:10; Jer 6:4. See AFTERNOON.


de’-dan, de’dan-its (the King James Version Dedanim, ded’-a-nim; dedhan, "low," dedhanim): An Arabian people named in Ge 10:7 as descended from Cush; in Ge 25:3 as descended from Keturah. Evidently, they were, like the related Sheba (Sabaeans), of mixed race (compare Ge 10:7,28). In Isa 21:13 allusion is made to the "caravans of Dedanites" in the wilds of Arabia, and Eze mentions them as supplying Tyre with precious things (Eze 27:20; in verse 15, "Dedan" should probably be read as in Septuagint, "Rodan," i.e. Rhodians). The name seems still to linger in the island of Dadan, on the border of the Persian Gulf. It is found also in Min. and Sab. inscriptions (Glazer, II, 392 ff).

James Orr


ded’-i-kat, ded-ika’-shun (chanukkah, "initiation," "consecration"; qadhesh, "to be clean," "sanctify"; cherem, "a thing devoted (to God)"): Often used in Hebrew of the consecration of persons, but usually in the English Versions of the Bible of the setting apart of things to a sacred use, as of the altar (Nu 7:10 f, 84,88; compare Da 3:2,3, "the dedication of the image"), of silver and gold (2Sa 8:11; 2Ki 12:4), of the Temple (1Ki 8:63; Ezr 6:16 f; compare Ex 29:44), of the wall of Jerusalem (Ne 12:27), of private dwellings (De 20:5). the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "devoted" for "dedicated" in Eze 44:29. See CONSECRATION; SANCTIFICATION.


ded-i-ka’-shun (ta egkainia, Joh 10:22): A feast held by the Jews throughout the country for eight days, commencing on the 25th Kiclev (December), in commemoration of the cleansing of the temple and dedication of the altar by Judas Maccabeus after their desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 4:56,59). The feast was to be kept "with mirth and gladness." 2 Macc 10:6,7 says it was kept like the Feast of the Tabernacles, with the carrying of palm and other branches, and the singing of psalms. Josephus calls it "Lights," from the joy which accompanied it (Ant., XII, vii, 7). At this winter feast Jesus delivered in the temple the discourse recorded in Joh 10:24 ff, at Jerusalem.

James Orr


ded: Used in its ordinary modern sense in EV. In the Old Testament it is used to translates five Hebrew words: gemylah, literally, "recompense" (Isa 59:18); dabhar, literally, "word," "thing" (2Ch 35:27 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "acts"; Es 1:17,18; Jer 5:28); ma‘aseh (Ge 20:9; 44:15; Ezr 9:13); ‘alilah (1Ch 16:8 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "doings"; Ps 105:1 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "doings"); po‘al (Ps 28:4 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "work"; Jer 25:14).

In the New Testament "deed" very frequently translates ergon (same root as English "work"; compare "energy"), which is still more frequently (espescially in the Revised Version (British and American)) rendered "work." In Lu 23:51; Ac 19:18; Ro 8:13; Col 3:9 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "doings," it stands for Greek praxis (literally, "a doing," "transaction"), each time in a bad sense, equivalent to wicked deed, crime, a meaning which is frequently associated with the plural of praxis (compare English "practices" in the sense of trickery; so often in Polybius; Deissmann maintains that praxis was a technical term in magic), although in Mt 16:27 (the King James Version "works") and Ro 12:4 the same Greek word has a neutral meaning. In Jas 1:25 the King James Version "deed" is the translation of Greek poiesis, more correctly rendered "doing" in the Revised Version (British and American).

D. Miall Edwards


(tehom; abussos, Lu 8:31 the King James Version; Ro 10:7 the King James Version; bathos, Lu 5:4; buthos, 2Co 11:25):

The Hebrew word ("water in commotion") is used

(1) of the primeval watery waste (Ge 1:2), where some suggest a connection with Babylonian Tiamat in the creation-epic;

(2) of the sea (Isa 51:10 and commonly);

(3) of the subterranean reservoir of water (Ge 7:11; 8:2; 49:25; De 33:13; Eze 31:4, etc.). In the Revised Version (British and American) the Greek word first noted is rendered, literally, "abyss." See ABYSS; also ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 7.




der (’ayyal, feminine ‘ayyalah, and ‘ayyeleth (compare Arabic, ‘ayyal and ‘iyal, "deer" and ‘ayil, "ram," and Latin caper and capra, "goat," caprea, capreolus, "wild goat," "chamois," or "roe deer")); yachmur (compare Arabic, yachmur, "deer"); ya‘alah, feminine of ya‘el (compare Arabic, wa‘l, "Pers wild goat"); tsebhi, and feminine tsebhiyah (compare Arabic, zabi and feminine zabiyah, "gazelle"); ‘opher (compare Arabic, ghafr and ghufr, "young of the mountain goat"):

Of the words in the preceding list, the writer believes that only the first two, i.e. ‘ayyal (with its feminine forms) and yachmur should be translated "deer," ‘ayyal for the roe deer and yachmur for the fallow deer. Further, he believes that ya‘el (including ya‘alah) should be translated "ibex," and tsebhi, "gazelle." ‘Opher is the young of a roe deer or of a gazelle.

‘Ayyal and its feminine forms are regularly in English Versions of the Bible rendered "hart" and "hind," terms which are more commonly applied to the male and female of the red deer, Cervus elaphus, which inhabits Great Britain, the continent of Europe, the Caucasus and Asia Minor, but which has never been reported as far south as Syria or Palestine. The roe deer, Capreolus caprea, however, which inhabits the British Isles, the greater part of Europe, the Caucasus and Persia, is certainly found in Palestine. The museum of the Syrian Protestant College at Beirut possesses the skeleton of a roe deer which was shot in the mountains near Tyre. As late as 1890 it was fairly common in southern Lebanon and Carmel, but has now (1912) become very scarce. The fallow deer, Cervus dama, is a native of Northern Africa and countries about the Mediterranean. It is found in central Europe and Great Britain, where it has been introduced from its more southern habitat. A variety of the fallow deer, sometimes counted as a separate species under the name of Cervus Mesopotamicus, inhabits northeastern Mesopotamia and Persia. It may in former times have been found in Palestine, and Tristram reports having seen the fallow deer in Galilee (Fauna and Flora of Pal), but while Tristram was a remarkably acute observer, he appears sometimes to have been too readily satisfied, and his observations, when unaccompanied, as in this case, by specimens, are to be accepted with caution. Now ‘ayyal (and its feminine forms) occurs in the Bible 22 times, while yachmur occurs only twice, i.e. in the list of clean animals in De 14:5, and in 1Ki 4:23, in the list of animals provided for Solomon’s table. In both places the King James Version has "fallow deer" and the Revised Version (British and American) "roebuck." In view of the fact that the roe deer has within recent years been common in Palestine, while the occurrence of the fallow deer must be considered doubtful, it seems fair to render ‘ayyal "roe deer" or "roebuck," leaving yachmur for fallow deer.

The Arabs call the roe deer both ‘ayyal and wa‘l. Wa‘l is the proper name of the Persian wild goat, Capra aegagrus, and is also often used for the Arabic or Sinaitic ibex, Capra beden, though only by those who do not live within its range. Where the ibex is at home it is always called beden. This looseness of nomenclature must be taken into account, and we have no reason to suppose that the Hebrews were more exact than are the Arabs. There are many examples of this in English, e. g. panther, coney, rabbit (in America), locust, adder and many others.

Ya‘el (including ya‘alah) occurs 4 times. In Job 39:1; Ps 104:18; 1Sa 24:2, English Versions of the Bible render ya‘el by "wild goat." For ya‘alah in Pr 5:19, the King James Version has "roe," while the Revised Version (British and American) has "doe," which is non-committal, since the name, "doe," may be applied to the female of a deer or of an ibex. Since the Arabic, wa‘l, which is etymologically closely akin to ya‘el, means the Persian wild goat, it might be supposed that that animal was meant, were it not that it inhabits the plains of the Syrian desert, and not the mountains of Southern Palestine, where the ibex lives. At least two of the passages clearly indicate the latter locality, i.e. Ps 104:18: "The high mountains are for the wild goats," and 1Sa 24:2: "Saul .... went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats." The conclusion then seems irresistible that ya‘el, and consequently ya‘alah, is the ibex.

Tsebhi (including tsebhiyah) is uniformly rendered "roe" or "roebuck" in the King James Version, while the Revised Version (British and American), either in the text or in the margin, has in most cases "gazelle." In two places "roe" is retained in the Revised Version (British and American) without comment, i.e. 2Sa 2:18: "Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe," and 1Ch 12:8: "were as swift as the roes upon the mountains." ‘Ayyal and tsebhi occur together in De 12:15,22; 14:5; 15:22; 1Ki 4:23; So 2:9,17, i.e. in 7 of the 16 passages in which we find tsebhi. If therefore it be accepted that ‘ayyal is the roe deer, it follows that tsebhi must be something else. Now the gazelle is common in Palestine and satisfies perfectly every passage in which we find tsebhi. Further, one of the Arabic names of the gazelle is zabi, a word which is etymologically much nearer to tsebhi than appears in this transliteration.

‘Opher is akin to ‘aphar, "dust," and has reference to the color of the young of the deer or gazelle, to both of which it is applied. In So 2:9,17 and 8:14, we have ‘opher ha- ‘ayyalim, English Versions of the Bible "young hart," literally, "fawn of the roe deer." In So 4:5 and 7:3, we have ‘opharim te’ome tsebhiyah, the King James Version "young roes that are twins," the Revised Version (British and American) "fawns that are twins of a roe," the Revised Version, margin "gazelle" (for "roe"). For further reference to these questions, see ZOOLOGY.

With the exception of mere lists of animals, as in De 14 and 1Ki 4, the treatment of these animals is highly poetical, and shows much appreciation of their grace and beauty.

Alfred Ely Day


de-fam’, de-fam’-ing: These words occur but twice in the King James Version, and are translations of dibbah, "slander," from dabhath, "to slander," or spread an evil report, and blasphemeo, "to speak injuriously" of anyone (Jer 20:10; 1Co 4:13). "To defame" differs from "to revile" in that the former refers to public slander, the latter to personal abuse.


de-fekt’, de-fekt’-iv (hettema, "loss," "a defect"): Occurs in 1Co 6:7: "Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you (the King James Version "there is utterly a fault among you"), that ye have lawsuits one with another." "Defect" means "want or absence of something necessary for completeness" (the Revised Version, margin "a loss to you"). The meaning of the passage in the Revised Version (British and American) is that when Christians have lawsuits one with another it produces a lack of something which brings them short of completeness, they suffer a spiritual loss or defeat, and perhaps defect is not quite strong enough fully to express that idea.

Defective: Sirach 49:4 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "committed trespass."

A. W. Fortune


de-fens’. See COURTS, JUDICIAL.




de-fur’ (’achar (in Hiphil), ‘arakh (in Hiphil), mashakh (in Niphal), "to postpone," more or less definitely; "delay": In Old Testament passages such as Isa 48:9; Eze 12:25,28; Da 9:19, the idea of indefinite postponement agrees with the Hebrew and with the context. In the only New Testament occurrence of the word anaballo, in the middle voice, Ac 24:22) a definite postponement is implied.


de-fil’, de-fil’-ment (Anglo-Saxon, afylau, etc.; Middle English, defoulen, "make foul," "pollute," render (the King James Version) 9 Hebrew roots (the Revised Version (British and American) six): ga‘al, "defile"; chalal, "defile" (from "untie, loosen, open," i.e. "make common," hence, "profane"); chaneph, "incline away" (from right or religion), hence, "profane," "defile" (Jer 3:9, the American Standard Revised Version "pollute"); Tame’, the principal root, over 250 times translated "defile" 74 times "to become, or render, unclean"; Tanaph, "to soil" (So 5:3); ‘alal, "deal severely, or decidedly, with," "roll" (Job 16:15, the King James Version, the American Revised Version, margin); ‘anah, "humble" (Ge 34:2 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "humble"); qadhash, "separate," "sanctify," "devote to religious use," hence, "forfeit" (De 22:9 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "forfeit," margin "consecrated"). They also render 6 (the King James Version) Greek roots (American Revised Version, 4): koinos, etc., "common" or "unclean," because appertaining to the outside world and not to the people of God, opposite of katharos, "clean," used 13 times; miaino, miasma, miasmos, "stain," "tinge," "dye": "In their dreamings defile the flesh," Jude 1:8; moluno, "stain," "contaminate": "not defile their garments" (Re 3:4); spiloo, "spot," "stain": "defile the whole body" (Jas 3:6); phtheiro, "corrupt," "destroy": the temple of God (1Co 3:17 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "destroyeth"); arsenokoites: "defile themselves with men" (1Ti 1:10 the King James Version, the American Standard Revised Version "abusers of")):

1. Defilement in the Old Testament:

Defilement in the Old Testament was physical, sexual, ethical, ceremonial, religious, the last four, especially, overlapping.

(1) Physical: "I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?" (So 5:3).

(2) Sexual: which might be ceremonial or moral; of individuals by illicit intercourse (Le 18:20), or by intercourse at forbidden times (Le 15:24; 1Sa 21:5); of the land by adultery: "Shall not that land be greatly defiled?" (Jer 3:1 the American Standard Revised Version "polluted," usually substituted where the moral or religious predominates over the ceremonial).

(3) Ethical: "Your hands are defiled with blood" (Isa 59:3); "Neither shall they defile themselves any more with .... any of their transgressions" (Eze 37:23).

(4) Ceremonial: to render ceremonially unclean, i.e. disqualified for religious service or worship, and capable of communicating the disqualification.

(a) Persons were defiled by contact with carcasses of unclean animals (Le 11:24); or with any carcass (Le 17:15); by eating a carcass (Le 22:8); by contact with issues from the body, one’s own or another’s, e. g. abnormal issues from the genitals, male or female (Le 15:2,25); menstruation (Le 15:19); by contact with anyone thus unclean (Le 15:24); copulation (Le 15:16-18); uncleanness after childbirth (Le 12:2-5); by contact with unclean persons (Le 5:3), or unclean things (Le 22:6), or with leprosy (especially defiling; Le 13:14), or with the dead (Nu 6:12), or with one unclean by such contact (Nu 19:22), or by funeral rites (Le 21:1); by contact with creeping things (Le 22:5), or with unclean animals (Le 11:26).

(b) Holy objects were ceremonially defiled by the contact, entrance or approach of the defiled (Le 15:31; Nu 19:13); by the presence of dead bodies, or any remains of the dead (Eze 9:7; 2Ki 23:16: Josiah’s defilement of heathen altars by the ashes of the priests); by the entrance of foreigners (Ps 79:1; see Ac 21:28); by forbidden treatment, as the altar by being tooled (Ex 20:25); objects in general by contact with the unclean. Ceremonial defilement, strictly considered, implied, not sin, but ritual unfitness.

(5) Religious: not always easily distinguished or entirely distinguishable from the ceremonial, still less from the ethical, but in which the central attitude and relationship to Yahweh as covenant God and God of righteousness, was more fully in question. The land might be defiled by bloodshed (Nu 35:33), especially of the just or innocent; by adultery (Jer 3:1); by idolatry and idolatrous practices, like sacrificing children to idols, etc. (Le 20:3; Ps 106:39); the temple or altar by disrespect (Mal 1:7,12); by offering the unclean (Hag 2:14); by any sort of unrighteousness (Eze 36:17); by the presence of idols or idolatrous paraphernalia (Jer 7:30).

2. Defilement in New Testament:

The scope of defilement in its various degrees (direct, or primary, as from the person or thing defiled; indirect, or secondary, tertiary, or even further, by contact with the defiled) had been greatly widened by rabbinism into a complex and immensely burdensome system whose shadow falls over the whole New Testament life. Specific mentions are comparatively few. Physical defilement is not mentioned. Sexual defilement appears, in a figurative sense: "These are they that were not defiled with women" (Re 14:4). Ceremonial defilement is found in, but not approved by, the New Testament. Examples are: by eating with unwashed, "common," not ceremonially cleansed, hands (Mr 7:2); by eating unclean, "common," food (Ac 10:14; Peter’s vision); by intimate association with Gentiles, such as eating with them (not expressly forbidden in Mosaic law; Ac 11:3), or entering into their houses (Joh 18:28; the Pharisees refusing to enter the Pretorium); by the presence of Gentiles in the Temple (Ac 21:28).

But with Christ’s decisive and revolutionary dictum (Mr 7:19): "This he said, making all meats clean," etc., and with the command in Peter’s vision: "What God hath cleansed, make not thou common" (Ac 10:15), and with Paul’s bold and consistent teaching: "All things indeed are clean" (Ro 14:20, etc.), the idea of ceremonial or ritual defilement, having accomplished its educative purpose, passed. Defilement in the New Testament teaching, therefore, is uniformly ethical or spiritual, the two constantly merging. The ethical is found more predominantly in: "The things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart; and they defile the man" (Mt 15:18); "that did not defile their garments" (Re 3:4); "defileth the whole body" (Jas 3:6). The spiritual seems to predominate in: "defiled and unbelieving" (Tit 1:15); "conscience being weak is defiled" (by concession to idolatry.) (1Co 8:7); "lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled" (Heb 12:15). For the supposed origins of the idea and details of defilement, as from hygienic or aesthetic causes, "natural aversions," "taboo," "totemism," associations with ideas of death, or evil life, religious symbolism, etc., see POLLUTION; PURIFICATION; UNCLEANNESS. Whatever use God may have made of ideas and feelings common among many nations in some form, the Divine purpose was clearly to impress deeply and indelibly on the Israelites the ideas of holiness and sacredness in general, and of Yahweh’s holiness, and their own required holiness and separateness in particular, thus preparing for the deep New Testament teachings of sin, and of spiritual consecration and sanctification.

Philip Wendell Crannell


de-fi’ (charaph, za‘am): In 1Sa 17:10,25,26,36,45 (the story of David and Goliath) and kindred passages, this word is used in its most familiar sense—"to taunt," "challenge to combat" (Hebrew charaph). In Nu 23:7,8 "denounce" would be a better translation than "defy" (Hebrew za‘am).


de-jen’-er-at: Only in Jer 2:21, where Judah is compared to a "noble vine" which it "turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine." It represents Hebrew curim =" stray" or "degenerate (shoots)," from cur =" to turn aside," especially to turn aside from the right path (Greek pikria, literally, "bitterness").


de-gre’ (ma‘alah, "a going up" or "ascent," hence, a staircase or flight of steps; "rank": tapeinos, "low"): By derivation it should mean "a step down" (Latin, de, down, gradus, step). It is used, however, of any step, up or down; then of grade or rank, whether high or low.

(1) In its literal sense of step (as of a stair), it is used in the plural to translate Hebrew ma‘aloth ("steps"), in the parallel passages 2Ki 20:9-11 the King James Version (5 t); Isa 38:8 the King James Version (3 t), where we read of the "degrees" (the Revised Version (British and American) "steps") on the "dial of Ahaz" (Hebrew "steps of Ahaz"). See DIAL OF AHAZ. It seems to mean steps or progressive movements of the body toward a certain place in the phrase "A So of Degrees" (the Revised Version (British and American) "Ascents"), which forms the title of each of the Psalms 120-134, probably because they were sung on the way up to the great feasts at Jerusalem. See PSALMS

(2) The secondary (but now the more usual) sense of rank, order, grade is found in the following passages:

(a) 1Ch 15:18, "their brethren of the second (degree)," literally, "of the seconds" (Hebrew mishnim; compare 2Ch 28:7, "Elkanah that was next to the king," Hebrew, "the king’s second," i.e. in rank);

(b) 1Ch 17:17, "a man of high degree" (Hebrew ma‘alah, "step");

(c) Ps 62:9, "men of low degree .... men of high degree," a paraphrase of Hebrew "sons of man .... sons of man," the first "man" being Hebrew ‘adham ("common humanity"; compare Greek anthropos, Latin homo, Welsh dyn), and the second Hebrew ‘ish (man in a superior sense; compare Greek aner, Latin vir, Welsh gwr) ;

(d) "of low degree" for Greek tapeinos in Sirach 11:1; Lu 1:52; Jas 1:9;

(e) In 1Ti 3:13 the King James Version "a good degree" (Greek bathmos kalos, the Revised Version (British and American) "a good standing") is assured to those who have "served well as deacons." Some take this to mean promotion to a higher official position in the church; but it probably means simply a position of moral weight and influence in the church gained by faithfulness in service (so Hort).

D. Miall Edwards


(shir ha-ma‘aloth; Septuagint ode ton anabathmon; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) canticum graduum, the Revised Version (British and American) "a song of ascents"): The title prefixed to 15 psalms (Pss 120-134) as to the significance of which there are four views:

(1) The Jewish interpretation. According to the Mishna, Middoth 2 5, Cukkah 51b, there was in the temple a semi-circular flight of stairs with 15 steps which led from the court of the men of Israel down to the court of the women. Upon these stairs the Levites played on musical instruments on the evening of the first day of Tabernacles. Later Jewish writers say that the 15 psalms derived their title from the 15 steps.

(2) Gesenius, Delitzsch and others affirm that these psalms derive their name from the step-like progressive rhythm of their thoughts. They are called Songs of Degrees because they move forward climactically by means of the resumption of the immediately preceding word. But this characteristic is not found in several of the group.

(3) Theodoret and other Fathers explain these 15 hymns as traveling songs of the returning exiles. In Ezr 7:9 the return from exile is called "the going up (ha-ma‘alah) from Babylon." Several of the group suit this situation quite well, but others presuppose the temple and its stated services.

(4) The most probable view is that the hymns were sung by pilgrim bands on their way to the three great festivals of the Jewish year. The journey to Jerusalem was called a "going up," whether the worshipper came from north or south, east or west. All of the songs are suitable for use on such occasions. Hence, the title Pilgrim Psalms is preferred by many scholars. See DIAL OF AHAZ.

John Richard Sampey


de-ha’-tez (dehawe’; the King James Version Dehavites): A people enumerated in Ezr 4:9 with Elamites, ere, as among those settled by the Assyrian king Osnappar (Assurbanipal) in Samaria. The identification is uncertain.

DEHORT de-hort’ (apostrepho; the Revised Version (British and American) DISSUADE): Not found in the English Bible; once only in Apocrypha (1 Macc 9:9). An obsolete English word; the opposite of "exhort." It means "to dissuade," "to forbid," "to restrain from."


de’-kar (deqer, "lancer"): Father of one of Solomon’s commissaries (1Ki 4:9 the King James Version). See BEN-DEKER.


de-la’-ya (delayah, "God has raised"):

(1) A descendant of David (1Ch 3:24; the King James Version "Dalaiah").

(2) One of David’s priests and leader of the 23rd course (1Ch 24:18).

(3) One of the princes who pleaded with Jehoiakim not to destroy the roll containing the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jer 36:12,25).

(4) The ancestor of a post-exilic family whose genealogy was lost (Ezr 2:60; Ne 7:62; 1 Esdras 5:37 margin). See DALAN.

(5) The father of timorous Shemaiah (Ne 6:10).


de-la’:The noun "delay" (Ac 25:17, "I made no delay"; the King James Version "without any delay") means "procrastination." The verb "to delay" (Ex 22:29; ‘achar) involves the idea "to stop for a time," the people being admonished not to discontinue a custom. The Pil. perfect of bush (Ex 32:1), "Moses delayed to come," expresses not only the fact that he tarried, but also the disappointment on the part of the people, being under the impression that he possibly was put to shame and had failed in his mission, which also better explains the consequent action of the people. "To delay" (chronizo) is used transitively in Mt 24:48 (the Revised Version (British and American) "My lord tarrieth") and in Lu 12:45. The meaning here is "to prolong," "to defer."

A. L. Breslich


de-lek’-ta-bl (chamadh, "to desire"): Found only in Isa 44:9, King James Version: "Their delectable things shall not profit," the King James Version margin"desirable." the American Standard Revised Version translates: "the things that they delight in." The reference is to idols or images. Delitzsch renders the phrase: "Their darlings are good for nothing." The word may be traced back to the Latin delectabilis, "pleasant," or "delightful."


del’-i-ka-si (to strenos): Found only in Re 18:3, King James Version: "The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." the Revised Version (British and American) has very properly changed delicacies to "wantonness," and "luxury" in the margin, which is much nearer to the original.


del’-i-kat, del’-i-kat-li (‘edhen, ‘anogh; en truphe): "Delicate" usually an adjective, but once a substantive (Jer 51:34 the King James Version). "He hath filled his belly (the Revised Version (British and American) "maw") with my delicates." the Revised Version (British and American) retains the word, but the American Standard Revised Version very properly has replaced it with "delicacies." In Sirach 30:18, the Revised Version (British and American) agatha, "good things." The adjective seems to have two meanings, though not easily distinguished:

(1) tenderly reared, and

(2) wanton or voluptuous. In De 28:54,56; Isa 47:1; Jer 6:2, "luxurious" or "daintily bred" would certainly be nearer the original than "delicate." "Delicate children" of Mic 1:16, the King James Version, is changed by the Revised Version (British and American) to "children of thy delight," i.e. beloved children, rather than children begotten in passion. The adverb "delicately" is employed in the same sense as the adjective (La 4:5; Lu 7:25). In the old English writers "delicate" is often used for voluptuous: "Dives for his delicate life to the devil went" (Piers Ploughman). The meaning of "delicately" (ma‘adhan) in 1Sa 15:32 (the King James Version) is a real puzzle. The King James Version reads, "And Agag came unto him delicately," with a possible suggestion of weakness or fear. the American Standard Revised Version and the Revised Version, margin substitute "cheerfully." Others, by metathesis or change of consonants in the Hebrew word, translation "in bonds" or "fetters."

W. W. Davies


de-lish’-us-li (streniao "to live hard or wantonly"): "She (Babylon) .... lived deliciously" (Re 18:7,9 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "wantonly," the Revised Version, margin "luxuriously").


de-lit’ (verb, chaphets, ratsah, sha‘a‘; sunedomai): "To delight" is most frequently expressed by chaphets, which means originally "to bend" (compare Job 40:17, "He moveth his tail"), hence, "to incline to," "take pleasure in." It is used of God’s pleasure in His people (Nu 14:8; 2Sa 22:20; Ps 18:19, etc.), and in righteousness, etc. (Isa 66:4; Jer 9:24; Mic 7:18, etc.), also of man’s delight in God and His will (Ps 40:8; 73:25; the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "There is none upon earth that I desire besides thee"), and in other objects (Ge 34:19; 1Sa 18:22; Es 2:14; Isa 66:3); sha‘a‘, "to stroke," "caress," "be fond of," occurs in Ps 94:19, "Thy comforts delight my soul"; Ps 119:16,47,70, "I will delight myself in thy statutes." Similarly, Paul says (Ro 7:22), "I delight (sunedomai) in (margin, the Revised Version (British and American) "Greek with") the law of God after the inward man." This is the only occurrence of the word in the New Testament.

"To delight one’s self" (in the Lord) is represented chiefly by ‘anagh (Job 22:26; 27:10; Ps 37:4,11; Isa 58:14).

Delight (noun), chiefly chephets (1Sa 15:22; Ps 1:2; 16:3), ratson (Pr 11:1,20; 12,22; 15:8), sha‘ashu‘im (Ps 119:24,77,92,143,174; Pr 8:30,31). the Revised Version (British and American) has "delight" for "desire" (Ne 1:11; Ps 22:8; 51:16), for "observe," different reading (Pr 23:26), "no delight in" for "smell in" (Am 5:21), "delightest in me" for "favorest me" (Ps 41:11), "his delight shall be in" (m "Hebrew ‘scent’ ") for "of quick understanding" (Isa 11:3).

The element of joy, of delight in God and His law and will, in the Hebrew religion is noteworthy as being something which we are apt to fall beneath even in the clearer light of Christianity.

W. L. Walker


de-lit’-sum: chephets, is rendered "delightsome": Mal 3:12, "Ye shall be a delightsome land," literally, "a land of delight."


de-li’-la (delilah, "dainty one," perhaps; Septuagint Daleida, Dalida): The woman who betrayed Samson to the Philistines (Jud 16). She was presumably a Philistine, though that is not expressly stated. She is not spoken of as Samson’s wife, though many have understood the account in that way. The Philistines paid her a tremendously high price for her services. The account indicates that for beauty, personal charm, mental ability, self-command, nerve, she was quite a wonderful woman, a woman to be admired for some qualities which she exhibits, even while she is to be utterly disapproved. See SAMSON.

Willis J. Beecher


de-liv’-er (natsal, nathan; rhuomai, paradidomi): Occurs very frequently in the Old Testament and represents various Hebrew terms.

The English word is used in two senses,

(1) "to set free," etc.,

(2) "to give up or over."

(1) The word most often translated "deliver" in the first sense is natsal, meaning originally, perhaps, "to draw out." It is used of all kinds of deliverance (Ge 32:11; Ps 25:20; 143:9, etc.; Jer 7:10; Eze 3:19, etc.; Ze 1:18, etc.). The Aramaic netsal occurs in Da 3:29; 6:14; 8:4,7; yasha‘, "to save," in Jud 3:9,31 the King James Version, etc. ; malaT, "to let or cause to escape," in Isa 46:2, "recover," etc. In the New Testament rhuomai, "to rescue," is most frequently translated "deliver" in this sense (Mt 6:13 the King James Version, "Deliver us from evil"); katargeo, "to make useless" or "without effect" (Ro 7:6 the Revised Version (British and American), "discharged"). In the New Testament "save" takes largely the place of "deliver" in the Old Testament, and the idea is raised to the spiritual and eternal.

(2) For "deliver" in the sense of "give over, up," etc., the most frequent word is nathan, the common word for "to give" (Ge 32:16; 40:13 the King James Version; Ex 5:18). Other words are maghan (Ho 11:8, the King James Version and the English Revised Version "How shall I deliver thee Israel?" i. e. "How shall I give thee up?" as in the first clause of the verse, with a different word (nathan), the American Standard Revised Version "How shall I cast thee off?"), yehabh, Aramaic (Ezr 5:14). In the New Testament paradidomi, "to give over to," is most frequent (Mt 5:25; 11:27, "All things have been delivered (given or made over) unto me of my Father"; Mr 7:13; Lu 1:2; 1Ti 1:20, etc.); charizomai, "to grant as a favor" (Ac 25:11,16 the King James Version).

(3) Yaladh, "to bring forth," is also rendered "deliver" in the sense of childbirth (Ge 25:24; Ex 1:19, etc.). In the New Testament this sense is borne by tikto (Lu 1:57; 2:6; Re 12:2,4), and gennao (Joh 16:21).

In the Revised Version (British and American) there are many changes, such as, for "deliver," "restore" (Ge 37:22; 40:13; Ex 22:26; De 24:13); for "delivered," "defended" (1Ch 11:14); for "cannot deliver thee," "neither .... turn thee aside" (Job 36:18); for "betray," "betrayed" we have "deliver," "delivered up," etc. (Mt 10:4 margin; Mr 13:12; 14:10 f; Lu 21:16); for "delivered into chains," "committed to pits" (2Pe 2:4, margin "some ancient authorities read chains"; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 17:17); "Deliver us from evil," omitted in Lu 11:4, margin "Many ancient authorities add but deliver us from the evil one (or, from evil)." W. L. Walker


de’-los (Delos): An island, now deserted, one of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, about 3 miles long and 1 mile broad, with a rocky mountain (Cynthus) several hundred feet high in the center. In antiquity Delos enjoyed great prosperity. According to Greek legend the island once floated on the surface of the water, until Poseidon fastened it on four diamond pillars for the wandering Leto, who, like Io, was pursued by the vengeful Hera. It was here that Apollo and Artemis were born; hence, the island was sacred, and became one of the chief seats of worship of the two deities. Numerous temples embellished Delos. The most magnificent was that of Apollo, which contained a colossal statue of the god, a dedicatory offering of the Naxians. This temple was a sanctuary visited by all the Greeks, who came from far and near to worship at the deity’s shrine. There was a Dorian peripteral temple in Delos from the beginning of the 4th century BC. To the North was a remarkable altar composed entirely of ox-horns. The various Ionian cities sent sacred embassies (theoriai) with rich offerings. There was also a celebrated oracle in Delos which was accounted one of the most trustworthy in the world. Every five years the famous Delian festival was celebrated with prophecies, athletic contests and games of every kind. All the nations of Greece participated.

The earliest inhabitants of Delos were Carians; but about 1000 BC the island was occupied by Ionians. For a long time it enjoyed independence. In 478 Delos was chosen as the place for the convention of the representatives of the Greek states for deliberation about means for defense against Persia. The treasury of the Athenian Confederacy was kept here after 476. The island became independent of Athens in 454. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC it became one of the chief ports of the Aegean. This was partly due to its location, and partly to the fact that the Romans, after 190 BC, favored the island as a rival to the sea-power of Rhodes. In 166 Delos was given to Athens; the inhabitants fled to Achea, and the island was colonized by Athenians, together with Romans.

The ruins of the city of Delos, which became a flourishing commercial port, are to the North of the temple. It became the center of trade between Alexandria and the Black Sea, and was for a long time one of the chief slave markets of the Greek world. But Delos received a severe blow, from which it never recovered, in the war between Rome and Mithridates. The latter’s general landed in 88 BC and massacred many, and sold the remainder of the defenseless people, and sacked and destroyed the city together with the temple and its countless treasures. At the conclusion of peace (84) Delos came into the possession of the Romans, who later gave it back to Athens. Under the Empire the island lost its importance entirely.

Delos was one of the states to which Rome addressed letters in behalf of the Jews (138-137 BC; see 1 Macc 15:16-23). Among those who came to Delos from the East must have been many of this nation. Josephus cites in full a decree passed in Delos which confirmed the Jewish exemption from military service (Ant., XIV, x, 4).

The excavations of the French have laid bare 8 temples within the sacred enclosure (Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus). Numerous statues, dating from the earliest times of Greek art down to the latest, have been discovered; also 2,000 inscriptions, among which was an inventory of the temple treasure.

By the side of Delos, across a very narrow strait, lies Rheneia, another island which was the burying-ground of Delos; for on the sacred isle neither births, deaths nor burials were permitted. In 426 BC Delos was "purified" by the Athenians—by the removal of the bodies that had been interred there previously.


Lebegue, Recherches sur Delos (Paris, 1876); V. v. Schoffer, De Deli Insulae rebus, Berliner Studien fur klass. Phil. (Berlin, 1889); Homolle, S. Reinach and others, in the Bulletin de corresp. Hellen. (VI, 1-167; VII, 103-25, 329-73; VIII, 75-158; XIV, 389-511; XV, 113-68); Homolle, Archives de l’intendance sacree a Delos; Jebb, Journal of Hellenic Studies (1880), 7-62.

J. E. Harry



1. The Biblical Account

2. "Noah’s Log Book"

3. The Egyptian Tradition

4. The Indian Tradition

5. The Chinese Tradition

6. The Greek Tradition

7. The British Tradition

8. The American Indian Traditions

9. The Babylonian Tradition

10. Cuneiform Tablets

11. Was the Flood Universal?

1. The Biblical Account:

The means described in Ge 6-8 by which the Lord destroyed, on account of their wickedness, all the members of the human race except Noah and his family. According to the account, Noah was warned of the event 120 years before (Ge 6:3; 1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:5). During all this time he is said to have been a "preacher of righteousness" "while the ark was a preparing," when we may well suppose (according to theory to be presently propounded) the physical events leading up to the final catastrophe may have given point to his preaching. When the catastrophe came, the physical means employed were twofold, namely, the breaking up of the "fountains of the great deep" and the opening of "the windows of heaven" (Ge 7:11). But the rain is spoken of as continuing as a main cause only 40 days, while the waters continued to prevail for 150 days (Ge 7:24), when (Ge 8:2,3) "the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; and the waters returned from off the earth continually," so that after 10 months the ark rested upon "the mountains of Ararat" (not the peak of Mount Ararat, but the highlands of Armenia in the upper part of the valley of the Euphrates and Tigris; see ARARAT). Here it rested 40 days before the water subsided sufficiently to suggest disembarking, when a raven (which could easily find its food on the carcasses of the animals which had been destroyed) was sent forth, and did not return (Ge 8:7); but a dove sent out at the same time found no rest and returned empty to the ark (Ge 8:9). After 7 days, however, it was sent out again and returned with a fresh olive leaf (Ge 8:11). After 7 days more the dove was sent forth again and did not return. After 56 days more of waiting Noah and his family departed from the ark.

2. "Noah’s Log Book":

The following are the leading points in the story which has been appropriately styled by Sir William Dawson "Noah’s log book" (see Southeast Bishop’s article in Biblical Sac. (1906), 510-17, and Joseph B. Davidson in the author’s Scientific Confirmations of Old Testament History, 180-184).

It will thus be seen that there is no need of supposing any duplication and overlapping of accounts in the Biblical story. There is continual progress in the account from beginning to end, with only such repetitions for literary effect as we are familiar with in oriental writings. In Ge 6:5-7:13 the wickedness of the world is assigned as the reason which prevailed in the Divine counsels for bringing about the contemplated catastrophe. While emphasizing the righteousness of Noah which led to his preservation, Ge 6:13-21 contains the direction for the making of the ark and of the preparations to bring into it a certain number of animals. This preparation having been made, the order was given (Ge 7:1-4) for the embarkation which (Ge 7:5) was duly accomplished. We are then told that Noah and his family, and beasts both clean and unclean, were shut up in the ark during the prevalence of the water and its final subsidence. Altogether the account is most graphic and impressive (see W. H. Green, Unity of the Book of Genesis, 83 ff).

Compared with other traditions of the Deluge, the Biblical account appears in a most favorable light, while the general prevalence of such traditions strongly confirms the reality of the Biblical story.

3. The Egyptian Tradition:

An Egyptian legend of the Deluge is referred to in Plato’s Timaeus, where the gods are said to have purified the earth by a great flood of water from which only a few shepherds escaped by climbing to the summit of a high mountain. In the Egyptian documents themselves, however, we find only that Ra’ the creator, on account of the insolence of man, proceeded to exterminate him by a deluge of blood which flowed up to Heliopolis, the home of the gods; but the heinousness of the deed so affected him that he repented and swore never more to destroy mankind.

4. The Indian Tradition:

In Indian mythology there is no reference to the Flood in the Rig Veda, but in the laws of Manu we are told that a fish said to Manu, "A deluge will sweep all creatures away ..... Build a vessel and worship me. When the waters rise enter the vessel and I will save thee ..... When the Deluge came, he had entered the vessel. .... Manu fastened the cable of the ship to the horn of the fish, by which means the latter made it pass over the mountains of the North. The fish said: ‘I have saved thee; fasten the vessel to a tree that the water may not sweep it away while thou art in the mountain; and in proportion as the waters decrease, thou shalt descend.’ Manu descended with the waters, and this is what is called the Descent of Manu on the mountains of the North. The Deluge had carried away all creatures, and Manu remained alone" (translated by Max Muller).

5. The Chinese Tradition:

The Chinese tradition is embodied in sublime language in their book of Li-Ki: "And now the pillars of heaven were broken, the earth shook to its very foundation; the sun and the stars changed their motions; the earth fell to pieces, and the waters enclosed within its bosom burst forth with violence, and overflowed. Man having rebelled against heaven, the system of the universe was totally disordered, and the grand harmony of nature destroyed. All these evils arose from man’s despising the supreme power of the universe. He fixed his looks upon terrestrial objects and loved them to excess, until gradually he became transformed into the objects which he loved, and celestial reason entirely abandoned him."

6. The Greek Tradition:

The Greeks, according to Plutarch, had five different traditions of the Deluge, that of Deucalion being the most important. According to this, Prometheus warned his son Deucalion of the flood which Zeus had resolved to bring upon the earth by reason of its wickedness. Accordingly, Deucalion constructed an ark and took refuge in it, but with his vessel was stranded on Mount Parnassus in Thessaly, whereupon they disembarked and repopulated the earth by the fantastic process revealed to them by the goddess Themis of throwing stones about them, those which Deucalion threw becoming men and those which Pyrrha threw becoming women. Lucian’s form of the legend, however, is less fantastic and more nearly in line with Semitic tradition. In the Greek legend as in the Semitic, a dove is sent forth which returns both a first and a second time, its feet being tinged with mud the second time, intimating the abatement of the flood. But neither Homer nor Hesiod have this tradition. Probably it was borrowed from the Semites or the Hindus.

7. The British Tradition:

In Britain there is a Druid legend that on account of the profligacy of mankind, the Supreme Being sent a flood upon the earth when "the waves of the sea lifted themselves on high round the border of Britain. The rain poured down from heaven and the waters covered the earth." But the patriarch, distinguished for his integrity, had been shut up with a select company in a strong ship which bore them safely upon the summit of the waters (Editor Davies in his Mythology and Rites of British Druids). From these the world was again repopulated. There are various forms of this legend but they all agree in substance.

8. The American Indian Traditions:

Among the American Indians traditions of the Deluge were found by travelers to be widely disseminated. Mr. Catlin says, "Among the 120 different tribes which I visited in North, South, and Central America, not a tribe exists that has not related to me distinct or vague traditions of such a calamity, in which one, or three, or eight persons were saved above the waters upon the top of a high mountain" (quoted by Wm. Restelle in Biblical Sac. (January, 1907), 157). While many, perhaps most, of these traditions bear the stamp of Christian influence through the early missionaries, the Mexican legend bears evident marks of originality. According to it the 4th age was one of water, when all men were turned into fishes except Tezpi and his wife Hochiquetzal and their children, who with many animals took refuge in a ship which sailed safely over the tumultuous waters which overwhelmed the earth. When the flood subsided the ship stranded on Mount Cohuacan, whereupon he sent forth a vulture which did not return, and then a humming bird which returned with some leaves in its beak. The Peruvian story differs from this in many particulars. According to it a single man and woman took refuge in a box and floated hundreds of miles from Cuzco to an unknown land where they made clay images of all races, and animated them.

The Moravian missionary Cranz, in his History of Greenland, says that "the first missionaries among the Greenlanders found a tolerably distinct tradition of the Deluge" to the effect that "the earth was once tilted over and all men were drowned" except one "who smote afterward upon the ground with a stick and thence came out a woman with whom he peopled the earth again." Moreover, the Greenlanders point to the remains of fishes and bones of a whale on high mountains where men never could have dwelt, as proof that the earth was once flooded. Among the North American Indians generally legends of the Deluge are so embellished that they become extremely fantastic, but in many of them there are peculiarities which point unquestionably to a common origin of extreme antiquity.

The unprejudiced reader cannot rise from the study of the subject without agreeing in general with Francois Lenormant, who writes: "As the case now stands, we do not hesitate to declare that, far from being a myth, the Biblical Deluge is a real and historical fact, having, to say the least, left its impress on the ancestors of three races—Aryan, or Indo-European, Semitic, or Syrio-Arabian, Chamitic, or Kushite—that is to say on the three great civilized races of the ancient world, those which constitute the higher humanity—before the ancestors of these races had as yet separated, and in the part of Asia together inhabited" (Contemporary Review, November, 1879).

9. The Babylonian Tradition:

The most instructive of these traditions are those which have come down to us from Babylonia, which until recently were known to us only through the Greek historian Berosus of the 4th century BC, who narrates that a great deluge happened at some indefinite time in the past during the reign of Xisuthrus, son of Ardates. Xisuthrus was warned beforehand by the deity Cronos, and told to build a ship and take with him his friends and relations and all the different animals with all necessary food and trust himself fearlessly to the deep, whereupon he built "a vessel 5 stadia (3,000 ft.) long and 2 stadia (1,200 ft.) broad." After the flood subsided Xisuthrus, like Noah, sent out birds which returned to him again. After waiting some days and sending them out a second time, they returned with their feet tinged with mud. Upon the third trial they returned no more, whereupon they disembarked and Xisuthrus with his wife, daughter and pilot offered sacrifice to the gods and were translated to live with the gods. It was found that the place where they were was "the land of Armenia," but they were told to return to Babylon. Berosus concluded his account by saying that "the vessel being thus stranded in Armenia, some part of it yet remains in the Corcyrean mountains."

10. Cuneiform Tablets:

An earlier and far more important tradition was found inscribed on cuneiform tablets in Babylonia dating from 3000 BC. These were discovered by George Smith in 1870 and filled as many as 180 lines. The human hero of the account, corresponding to Noah of the Bible and Xisuthrus of Berosus, is Gilgamesh, who lived is Shurippak, a city full of violence, on the banks of the Euphrates. He was warned of an approaching flood and exhorted to pull down his house and build a ship and cause "seed of life of every sort to go up into it." The ship, he says, was to be "exact in its dimensions, equal in its breadth and its length. .... Its sides were 140 cubits high, the border of its top equaled 140 cubits. .... I constructed it in 6 stories, dividing it into 7 compartments. Its floors I divided into 9 chambers. .... I chose a mast (or rudder pole), and supplied what was necessary. Six sars of bitumen I poured over the outside; three sars of bitumen over the inside." After embarking, the storm broke with fearful violence and the steering of the ship was handed over to Bezur-Bel, the ship man. But amidst the roll of thunder and the march of mountain waves the helm was wrenched from the pilot’s hands and the pouring rain and the lightning flashes dismayed all hearts. "Like a battle charge upon mankind" the water rushed so that the gods even were dismayed at the flood and cowered like dogs, taking refuge in the heaven of Anu while Ishtar screamed like a woman in travail, and repenting of her anger, resolved to save a few and "to give birth to my people" till like "the fry of fishes they fill the sea." The ship was therefore turned to the country of Nizir (Armenia).

It is worthy of notice that the cuneiform tablet exhibits as much variety of style as does the Biblical account. Plain narrative and rhetorical prose are intermingled in both accounts, a fact which effectually disposes of the critical theory which regards the Biblical account as a clumsy combination made in later times by piecing together two or more independent traditions. Evidently the piecing together, if there was any, had been accomplished early in Babylonian history. See BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA.

On comparing the Biblical account with that of the cuneiform tablets, the following similarities and contrasts are brought to light:

(1) That the cuneiform inscription is from start to finish polytheistic (II. 3-17), whereas the narrative in Ge is monotheistic.

(2) The cuneiform agrees with the Biblical narrative in making the Deluge a Divine punishment for the wickedness of the world (II. 5, 6).

(3) The names differ to a degree that is irreconcilable with our present knowledge.

(4) The dimensions of the ark as given in Ge (6:15) are reasonable, while those of Berosus and the cuneiform tablets are unreasonable. According to Gen, the ark was 300 cubits (562 1/2 ft.) long, 50 cubits (93 2/3 ft.) wide, and 30 cubits (56 1/4 ft.) deep, which are the natural proportions for a ship of that size, being in fact very close to those of the great steamers which are now constructed to cross the Atlantic. The "Celtic" of the White Star line, built in 1901, is 700 ft. long, 75 ft. wide and 49 1/3 ft. deep. The dimensions of the "Great Eastern," built in 1858 (692 ft. long, 83 ft. broad, and 58 ft. deep), are still closer to those of the ark. The cuneiform tablets represent the length, width and depth each as 140 cubits (262 ft.) (II. 22, 23, 38-41), the dimensions of an entirely unseaworthy structure. According to Berosus, it was 5 stadia (3,000 ft.) and 2 stadia (1,200 ft.) broad; while Origen (Against Celsus, 4,41), represented it to be 135,000 ft. (25 miles) long, and 3,750 ft. (3/4 mile) wide.

(5) In the Biblical account, nothing is introduced conflicting with the sublime conception of holiness and the peculiar combination of justice and mercy ascribed to God throughout the Bible, and illustrated in the general scheme of providential government manifest in the order of Nature and in history; while, in the cuneiform tablets, the Deluge is occasioned by a quarrel among the gods, and the few survivors escape, not by reason of a merciful plan, but by a mistake which aroused the anger of Bel (II. 146-50).

(6) In all the accounts, the ark is represented as floating up stream. According to Gen, it was not, as is usually translated, on "Mount Ararat" (8:4), but in the "mountains of Ararat," designating an indefinite region in Armenia upon which the ark rested; according to the inscriptions, it was in Nizir (II. 115-20), a region which is watered by the Zab and the Tornadus; while, according to Berosus, it was on the Corcyrean Mountains, included in the same indefinite area. In all three cases, its resting-place is in the direction of the headwaters of the Euphrates valley, while the scene of the building is clearly laid in the lower part of the valley.

(7) Again, in the Biblical narrative, the spread of the water floating the ark is represented to have been occasioned, not so much by the rain which fell, as by the breaking-up of "all the fountains of the great deep" (Ge 7:11), which very naturally describes phenomena connected with one of the extensive downward movements of the earth’s crust with which geology has made us familiar. The sinking of the land below the level of the ocean is equivalent, in its effects, to the rising of the water above it, and is accurately expressed by the phrases used in the sacred narrative. This appears, not only in the language concerning the breaking-up of the great deep which describes the coming-on of the Flood, but also in the description of its termination, in which it is said, that the "fountains also of the deep .... were stopped, .... and the waters returned from off the earth continually" (Ge 8:2,3). Nothing is said of this in the other accounts.

(8) The cuneiform tablets agree in general with the two other accounts respecting the collecting of the animals for preservation, but differ from Ge in not mentioning the sevens of clean animals and in including others beside the family of the builder (II. 66-69).

(9) The cuneiform inscription is peculiar in providing the structure with a mast, and putting it in charge of a pilot (II. 45, 70, 71).

(10) The accounts differ decidedly in the duration of the Flood. According to the ordinary interpretation of the Biblical account, the Deluge continued a year and 17 days; whereas, according to the cuneiform tablets, it lasted only 14 days (II. 103-7, 117-22).

(11) All accounts agree in sending out birds; but, according to Ge (8:8) a raven was first sent out, and then in succession two doves (8:8-12); while the cuneiform inscription mentions the dove and the raven in reverse order from Gen, and adds a swallow (II. 121-30).

(12) All accounts agree in the building of an altar and offering a sacrifice after leaving the ark. But the cuneiform inscription is overlaid with a polytheistic coloring: "The gods like flies swarmed about the sacrifices" (II. 132-43).

(13) According to the Biblical account, Noah survived the Flood for a long time; whereas Nuhnapishtim and his wife were at once deified and taken to heaven (II. 177-80).

(14) Both accounts agree in saying that the human race is not again to be destroyed by a flood (Ge 9:11; II. 162-6).

Close inspection of these peculiarities makes it evident that the narrative in Genesis carries upon its face an appearance of reality not found in the other accounts. It is scarcely possible that the reasonable dimensions of the ark, its floating up stream, and the references to the breaking-up of the fountains of the great deep should have been hit upon by accident. It is in the highest degree improbable that correct statements of such unobvious facts should be due to the accident of legendary guesswork. At the same time, the duration of the Deluge, according to Genesis, affords opportunity for a gradual progress of events which best accords with scientific conceptions of geological movements. If, as the most probable interpretation would imply, the water began to recede after 150 days from the beginning of the Flood and fell 15 cubits in 74 days, that would only be 3 2/3 inches per day—a rate which would be imperceptible to an ordinary observer. Nor is it necessary to suppose that the entire flooded area was uncovered when Noah disembarked. The emergence of the land may have continued for an indefinite period, permitting the prevailing water to modify the climate of all western and central Asia for many centuries. Evidence that this was the case will be found in a later paragraph.

11. Was the Flood Universal?:

In considering the credibility of the Biblical story we encounter at the outset the question whether the narrative compels us to believe the Flood to have been universal. In answer, it is sufficient to suggest that since the purpose of the judgment was the destruction of the human race, all the universality which it is necessary to infer from the language would be only such as was sufficient to accomplish that object. If man was at that time limited to the Euphrates valley, the submergence of that area would meet all the necessary conditions. Such a limitation is more easily accepted from the fact that general phrases like "Everybody knows," "The whole country was aroused," are never in literature literally interpreted. When it is said (Ge 41:54-57) that the famine was "in all lands," and over "all the face of the earth," and that "all countries came into Egypt .... to buy grain," no one supposes that it is intended to imply that the irrigated plains of Babylonia, from which the patriarchs had emigrated, were suffering from drought like Palestine (For other examples of the familiar use of this hyperbole, see De 2:25; Job 37:3; Ac 2:25; Ro 1:8.)

As to the extent to which the human race was spread over the earth at the time of the Flood, two suppositions are possible. First, that of Hugh Miller (Testimony of the Rocks) that, owing to the shortness of the antediluvian chronology, and the violence and moral corruption of the people, population had not spread beyond the boundary of western Asia. An insuperable objection to this theory is that the later discoveries have brought to light remains of prehistoric man from all over the northern hemisphere, showing that long before the time of the Flood he had become widely scattered.

Another theory, supported by much evidence, is that, in connection with the enormous physical changes in the earth’s surface during the closing scenes of the Glacial epoch, man had perished from off the face of the earth except in the valley of the Euphrates, and that the Noachian Deluge is the final catastrophe in that series of destructive events (see ANTEDILUVIANS). The facts concerning the Glacial epoch naturally lead up to this conclusion. For during the entire epoch, and especially at its close, the conditions affecting the level of the land surfaces of the northern hemisphere were extremely abnormal, and continued so until some time after man had appeared on the earth.

The Glacial epoch followed upon, and probably was a consequence of, an extensive elevation of all the land surfaces of the northern hemisphere at the close of the Tertiary period. This elevation was certainly as much as 2,000 ft. over the northern part of the United States, and over Canada and Northern Europe. Snow accumulated over this high land until the ice formed by it was certainly a mile thick, and some of the best authorities say 2, or even 3 miles. The surface over which this was spread amounted to 2,000,000 square miles in Europe and 4,000,000 in North America. The total amount of the accumulation would therefore be 6,000,000 cubic miles at the lowest calculation, or twice or three times that amount if the largest estimates are accepted. (For detailed evidence see Wright, Ice Age in North America, 5th edition) But in either case the transference of so much weight from the ocean beds to the land surfaces of the northern hemisphere brings into the problem a physical force sufficient to produce incalculable effects. The weight of 6,000,000 cubic miles of ice would be twenty-four thousand million million (24,000,000,000,000,000) tons, which is equal to that of the entire North American continent above sea level. Furthermore this weight was first removed from the ocean beds, thus disturbing still more the balance of forces which secure the stability of the land. The geological evidence is abundant that in connection with the overloading of the land surfaces in the Northern Hemisphere, and probably by reason of it, the glaciated area and a considerable margin outside of it sank down until it was depressed far below the present level. The post-Glacial depression in North America was certainly 600 ft. below sea level at Montreal, and several hundred feet lower further north. In Sweden the post-Glacial sea beaches show a depression of the land 1,000 ft. below the sea.

The evidences of a long-continued post-Glacial subsidence of the Aral-Caspian basin and much of the surrounding area is equally conclusive. At Trebizond, on the Black Sea, there is an extensive recent sea beach clinging to the precipitous volcanic mountain back of the city 750 ft. above the present water level. The gravel in this beach is so fresh as to compel a belief in its recent origin, while it certainly has been deposited by a body of water standing at that elevation after the rock erosion of the region had been almost entirely effected. The deposit is about 100 ft. thick, and extends along the precipitous face of the mountain for a half-mile or more. So extensive is it that it furnishes an attractive building place for a monastery. When the water was high enough to build up this shore line, it would cover all the plains of southern Russia, of Western Siberia and of the Aral-Caspian depression in Turkestan. Similar terraces of corresponding height are reported by competent authorities on the south shore of the Crimea and at Baku, on the Caspian Sea.

Further and most interesting evidence of this post-Glacial land depression is found in the existence of Arctic seal 2,000 miles from the Arctic Ocean in bodies of water as widely separated as the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea and Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is now 1,500 ft. above sea level. It is evident, therefore, that there must have been a recent depression of the whole area to admit the migration of this species to that distant locality. There are also clear indications of a smaller depression around the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, where there are abandoned sea beaches from 200 to 300 ft. above tide, which abound in species of shells identical with those now living nearby.

These are found in Egypt, in the valley of the Red Sea, and in the vicinity of Joppa and Beirut. During their formation Asia and Africa must have been separated by a wide stretch of water connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. The effect of such lingering wide expanses of water upon the climate of Western Asia must have been profound, and would naturally provide those conditions which would favor the early development of the human race in Armenia (where even now at an elevation of 5,000 ft. the vine is indigenous), from which the second distribution of mankind is said to have taken place.

Furthermore there is indubitable evidence that the rainfall in central Asia was, at a comparatively recent time, immensely greater than it has been in the historic period, indicating that gradual passage from the conditions connected with the Deluge to those of the present time, at which we have hinted above. At the present time the evaporation over the Aral Sea is so great that two rivers (the ancient Oxus and the Jaxartes), coming down from the heights of central Asia, each with a volume as great as that of Niagara, do not suffice to cause an overflow into the Caspian Sea. But the existence of such an overflow during the prehistoric period is so plain that it has been proposed to utilize its channel (which is a mile wide and as distinctly marked as that of any living stream) for a canal.

Owing to the comparatively brief duration of the Noachian Deluge proper, we cannot expect to find many positive indications of its occurrence. Nevertheless, Professor Prestwich (than whom there has been no higher geological authority in England during the last century) adduces an array of facts relating to Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin which cannot be ignored (see Phil. Trans. of the Royal Soc. of London, CXXIV (1893), 903-84; Wright, Scientific Confirmation of the Old Testament History, 238-82). Among these evidences one of the most convincing is to be found in the cave of San Ciro at the base of the mountains surrounding the plain of Palermo in Sicily. In this cave there was found an immense mass of the bones of hippopotami of all ages down to the fetus, mingled with a few of the deer, ox and elephant. These were so fresh when discovered that they were cut into ornaments and polished and still retained a considerable amount of their nitrogenous matter. Twenty tons of these bones were shipped for commercial purposes in the first six months after their discovery. Evidently the animals furnishing these bones had taken refuge in this cave to escape the rising water which had driven them in from the surrounding plains and cooped them up in the amphitheater of mountains during a gradual depression of the land. Similar collections of bones are found in various ossiferous fissures, in England and Western Europe, notably in the Rock of Gibraltar and at Santenay, a few miles South of Chalons in central France, where there is an accumulation of bones in fissures 1,000 ft. above the sea, similar in many respects to that in the cave described at San Ciro, though the bones of hippopotami did not appear in these places; but the bones of wolves, bears, horses and oxen, none of which had been gnawed by carnivora, were indiscriminately commingled as though swept in by all-pervading currents of water. Still further evidence is adduced in the deposits connected with what is called the rubble drift on both sides of the English Channel and on the Jersey Islands. Here in various localities, notably at Brighton, England, and near Calais, France, elephant bones and human implements occur beneath deep deposits of unassorted drift, which is not glacial nor the product of limited and local streams of water, but can be accounted for only by general waves of translation produced when the land was being reelevated from beneath the water by a series of such sudden earthquake shocks as cause the tidal waves which are often so destructive.

Thus, while we cannot appeal to geology for direct proof of the Noachian Deluge, recent geological discoveries do show that such a catastrophe is perfectly credible from a scientific point of view; and the supposition that there was a universal destruction of the human race, in the northern hemisphere at least, in connection with the floods accompanying the melting off of the glacial ice is supported by a great amount of evidence. There was certainly an extensive destruction of animal species associated with man during that period. In Europe the great Irish elk, the machairodus, the cave lion, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus and the elephant disappeared with prehistoric man, amid the floods at the close of the Glacial epoch. In North America equally large felines, together with horses, tapirs, llamas, great mastodons and elephants and the huge megalonyx went to destruction in connection with the same floods that destroyed so large a part of the human race during the dramatic closing scenes of the period. It is, therefore, by no means difficult for an all-round geologist to believe in a final catastrophe such as is described in Gen. If we disbelieve in the Biblical Deluge it is not because we know too much geology, but too little.

George Frederick Wright



(1) Isa 66:4, "I also will choose their delusions" (the Revised Version, margin "mockings"), Hebrew ta‘alulim, which occurs only here and Isa 3:4 (where it is translated "babes," the Revised Version, margin "childishness"). Its meaning is somewhat ambiguous. The best translation seems to be "wantonness," "caprice." "Their wanton dealing, i .e. that inflicted on them" (BDB). Other translations suggested are "insults" (Skinner), "freaks of fortune" (Cheyne), "follies" (Whitehouse). Septuagint has empaigmata, "mockings," Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) illusiones.

(2) 2Th 2:11 the King James Version, "God shall send them strong delusion" (the Revised Version (British and American) "God sendeth them a working of error"), plane, "a wandering," "a roaming about," in the New Testament "error" either of opinion or of conduct.

D. Miall Edwards


de-mand’:The peremptory, imperative sense is absent from this word in its occurrences in the King James Version, where it means no more than "ask," "inquire" (compare French, demander) one or the other of which the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes in 2Sa 11:7; Mt 2:4; Lu 3:14; 17:20; Ac 21:33. the Revised Version (British and American) retains "demand" in Ex 5:14; Job 38:3; 40:7; 42:4; Da 2:27; and inserts it (the King James Version "require") in Ne 5:18.


de’-mas (Demas, "popular"): According to Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:10; Phm 1:24, one who was for a time a "fellow-worker" with Paul at Rome (Col, Philem), but at last, "having loved this present world," forsook the apostle and betook himself to Thessalonica (2 Tim). No other particulars are given concerning him. See APOSTASY; DEMETRIUS.


de-me’-tri-us (Demetrios, "of" or "belonging to Demeter," an ordinary name in Greece):

(1) Demetrius I, surnamed Soter ("saviour"), was the son of Seleucus IV (Philopator). He was sent as a boy to Rome, by his father, to serve as a hostage, and remained there quietly during his father’s life. He was detained also during the reign of his uncle, ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES (which see) from 175 to 164 BC; but when Antiochus died Demetrius, who was now a young man of 23 (Polyb. xxxi.12), chafed at a longer detention, particularly as his cousin, Antiochus Eupator, a boy of 9, succeeded to the kingdom with Lysias as his guardian. The Roman Senate, however, refused to listen to his plea for the restoration to Syria, because, as Polybius says, they felt surer of their power over Syria with a mere boy as king.

In the meantime, a quarrel had arisen between Ptolemy Philometor and Euergetes Physkon (Livy Epit. 46; Diod. Sic. fr xi), and Gnaeus Octavius, who had been sent to quell the disorder, was assassinated in Syria, while plundering the country. Demetrius, taking advantage of the troubled condition of affairs, consulted with his friend Polybius as to the advisability of attempting to seize the throne of Syria (op. cit. xxxi. 19). The historian advised him not to stumble twice on the same stone, but to venture something worthy of a king, so after a second unsuccessful appeal to the Senate, Demetrius escaped to Tripolis, and from there advanced to Antioch where he was proclaimed king (162 BC). His first act was to put to death young Antiochus, his cousin, and his minister Lysias (Appian, Syriac., c. 47; Ant, XII, x, 1; 1 Macc 7:1-4; 2 Macc 14:1,2).

As soon as he was established in power, Demetrius made an attempt to placate the Romans by sending them valuable gifts as well as the assassin of Gn. Octavius (Polyb. xxi.23); and he then tried to secure the Hellenizing party by sending his friend BACCHIDES (which see) to make the wicked Alcimus high priest. After a violent struggle and much treachery on the part of Bacchides (Ant., XII, x, 2), the latter left the country, having charged all the people to obey Alcimus, who was protected by an army.

The Jews under Judas resented his presence, and Judas inflicted severe punishment on all who had gone over to Alcimus (1 Macc 7:24). Alcimus, in fear, sent a message for aid to Demetrius, who sent to his assistance Nicanor, the best disposed and most faithful of his friends, who had accompanied him in his flight from Rome (Ant., XII, x, 4). On his arrival in Judea, he attempted to win by guile, but Judas saw through his treachery, and Nicanor was forced to fight openly, suffering two signal defeats, the first at Capharsalama (1 Macc 7:31,32), and the second (in which Nicanor himself was killed), at Adasa (1 Macc 7:39 ff; 2 Macc 15:26 ff).

In a short while, however, Demetrius, hearing of the death of Nicanor, sent Bacchides and Alcimus into Judea again (1 Macc 9:1). Judas arose against them with an army of 3,000 men, but when these saw that 20,000 opposed them, the greater part of them deserted, and Judas, with an army of 800, lost his life, like another Leonidas, on the field of battle (1 Macc 9:4,6,18). Then Bacchides took the wicked men and made them lords of the country (1 Macc 9:25); while Jonathan, who was appointed successor to Judas, fled with his friends (1 Macc 9:29 ff).

During the next seven years, Demetrius succeeded in alienating both the Romans (Polyb. xxxii.20) and his own people, and ALEXANDER BALAS (which see) was put forward as a claimant to the throne, his supporters maintaining that he was the son of Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 10:1-21; Ant, XIII, ii, 1-3). Both Alexander and Demetrius made bids for the support of the Jews, the former offering the high-priesthood and the title of King’s Friend (1 Macc 10:20), and the latter freedom from taxes, tributes and customs (1 Macc 10:28 ff). Alexander’s bait proved more alluring, since the Jews "gave no credence" to the words of Demetrius, and with the aid of the Maccabees, he vied with Demetrius for the space of two years for the complete sovereignty of Syria. At the end of this time, a decisive battle took place, in which Demetrius was slain, and Alexander became king of Syria (150 BC) (1 Macc 10:48-50; Ant, XIII, ii, 4; Polyb. iii.5; see also MACCABEES).

(2) Demetrius II, surnamed Nikator ("conqueror"), was the son of Demetrius Soter. When Balas was warring with Demetrius I, he sent his son to a place of safety in Crete. Three years after his father’s death (147 BC), the unpopularity of Alexander gave the young man an opportunity to return and seize the government. He landed in Cilicia with Cretan mercenaries and secured the support of all Syria with the exception of Judea (1 Macc 10:67 ff). Apollonius, his general, the governor of Coele-Syria, who essayed the conquest of the Jews, was defeated at Azotus with great loss.

Ptolemy Philometor, whose daughter was the wife of Alexander Balas, now entered into the struggle, and taking Cleopatra, his daughter, from Alexander, he gave her to Demetrius (1 Macc 11:12). He then joined Demetrius’ army and the combined forces inflicted a defeat on Balas (145 BC), and from this Demetrius received his surname Nikator (Ant., XIII, iv, 8; 1 Macc 11:14 ff).

Jonathan now concluded a favorable treaty with Demetrius, whereby three Samaritan provinces were added to Judea and the whole country was made exempt from tax (1 Macc 11:20-37; Ant, XIII, iv, 9). Demetrius then dismissed his army except the foreigners, thinking himself safe with the loyalty of the Jews assured. In the meantime, Tryphon, one of Balas’ generals, set up the son of Alexander, Antiochus, as a claimant to the throne, and secured the assistance of the discarded army of Demetrius. Jonathan’s aid was sought and he quelled the rebellion, on condition that the Syrian garrison be removed from Jerusalem (1 Macc 11:41-52; Ant, XIII, v, 2-3).

The king, however, falsified all that he had said, and kept none of his promises, so the Jews, deserting him, took sides with Tryphon and supported the claims of the boy Antiochus (1 Macc 11:53-59; Ant, XIII, v, 5-11). Demetrius’ generals then entered Syria but were defeated by Jonathan at Hazor (1 Macc 11:63-74), and by skillful generalship he made futile a second attempt at invasion (1 Macc 12:24 ff).

Tryphon, who was now master of Syria, broke faith with Jonathan (1 Macc 12:40) and essayed the conquest of Judea. Jonathan was killed by treachery, and Simon, his successor, made proposals of peace to Demetrius, who agreed to let bygones be bygones (1 Macc 13:36-40; Ant, XIII, vi, 7). Demetrius then left Simon to carry on the war, and set out to Parthia, ostensibly to secure the assistance of the king, Mithridates, against Tryphon (1 Macc 14:1). Here he was captured and imprisoned (14:3; Ant, XIII, v, 11; Josephus, however, puts this event in 140 rather than 138 BC).

After an imprisonment of ten years, he was released and resumed the sovereignty 128 BC, but becoming involved in a quarrel with Ptolemy Physkon, he was defeated in battle at Damascus. From this place, he fled to Tyre, where he was murdered in 125 BC, according to some, at the instigation of Cleopatra, his wife (Josephus, Ant, XIII, ix, 3).

(3) Demetrius III, Eukairos ("the fortunate"), was the son of Antiochus Grypus, and grandson of Demetrius Nikator. When his father died, civil war arose, in which his two elder brothers lost their lives, while Philip, the third brother, secured part of Syria as his domain. Demetrius then took up his abode in Coele-Syria with Damascus as his capital (Ant., XIII, xiii, 4; BJ, I, iv, 4).

War now broke out in Judea between Alexander Janneus and his Pharisee subjects, who invited Demetrius to aid them. Thinking this a good opportunity to extend his realm, he joined the insurgent Jews and together they defeated Janneus near Shechem (Ant., XIII, xiv, 1; BJ, 1, iv, 5).

The Jews then deserted Demetrius, and he withdrew to Berea, which was in the possession of his brother Philip. Demetrius besieged him, and Philip summoned the Parthians to his assistance. The tables were turned, and Demetrius, besieged in his camp and starved into submission, was taken prisoner and sent to Arsaces, who held him captive until his death (Ant., XIII, xiv, 3). The dates of his reign are not certain.

Arthur J. Kinsella


de-me’-tri-us (Demetrios, "belonging to Ceres"): The name of two persons:

(1) A Christian disciple praised by John (3Joh 1:12).

(2) A silversmith of Ephesus who manufactured the little silver shrines of the goddess Diana to sell to the visiting pilgrims (Ac 19:23 ff). Because the teachings of Paul were injuring the trade of the silversmiths, there arose a riot of which Demetrius was the chief. Upon an inscription which Mr. Wood discovered among the ruins of the city, there appeared the name Demetrius, a warden of the Ephesian temple for the year 57 AD, and some authors believe the temple warden to be identical with the ringleader of the rebellion. The name, however, has been most common among the Greeks of every age. Because of its frequent use it cannot be supposed that Demetrius, the disciple of 3Joh 1:12, was the silversmith of Ephesus, nor that Demas of 2Ti 4:10, who bore the name in a contracted form, may be identified with him.

E. J. Banks


dem’-mon, de-mo’-ni-ak, de-mon-ol’-o-ji (daimonion, earlier form daimon = pneuma akatharton, poneron, "demon," "unclean or evil spirit," incorrectly rendered "devil" in the King James Version):

I. Definition.

The word daimon or daimonion seems originally to have had two closely related meanings; a deity, and a spirit, superhuman but not supernatural. In the former sense the term occurs in the Septuagint translation of De 32:17; Ps 106:37; Ac 17:18. The second of these meanings, which involves a general reference to vaguely conceived personal beings akin to men and yet belonging to the unseen realm, leads to the application of the term to the peculiar and restricted class of beings designated "demons" in the New Testament.

II. The Origin of Biblical Demonology.

An interesting scheme of development has been suggested (by Baudissin and others) in which Biblical demonism is brought through polytheism into connection with primitive animism.

1. The Evolutionary Theory:

A simple criticism of this theory, which is now the ascendant, will serve fittingly to introduce what should be said specifically concerning Biblical demonology.

(1) Animism, which is one branch of that general primitive view of things which is designated as spiritism, is theory that all Nature is alive (see Ladd, Phil. Rel., I, 89 f) and that all natural processes are due to the operation of living wills.

(2) Polytheism is supposed to be the outcome of animism. The vaguely conceived spirits of the earlier conception are advanced to the position of deities with names, fixed characters and specific functions, organized into a pantheon.

(3) Biblical demonology is supposed to be due to the solvent of monotheism upon contemporary polytheism. The Hebrews were brought into contact with surrounding nations, especially during the Persian, Babylonian and Greek periods, and monotheism made room for heathenism by reducing its deities to the dimension of demons. They are not denied all objective reality, but are denied the dignity and prerogatives of deity.

2. Objections to the Theory:

The objections to this ingenious theory are too many and too serious to be overcome.

(1) The genetic connection between animism and polytheism is not clear. In fact, the specific religious character of animism is altogether problematical. It belongs to the category of primitive philosophy rather than of religion. It is difficult to trace the process by which spirits unnamed and with characteristics of the vaguest become deities—especially is it difficult to understand how certain spirits only are advanced to the standing of deities. More serious still, polytheism and animism have coexisted without close combination or real assimilation (see Sayce, Babylonia and Assyria, 232; Rogers, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, 75 f) for a long course of history. It looks as if animism and polytheism had a different raison d’etre, origin and development. It is, at least, unsafe to construct a theory on the basis of so insecure a connection.

(2) The interpretation of heathen deities as demons by no means indicates that polytheism is the source of Biblical demonology. On general principles, it seems far more likely that the category of demons was already familiar, and that connection with polytheism brought about an extension of its application. A glance at the Old Testament will show how comparatively slight and unimportant has been the bearing of heathen polytheism upon Biblical thought. The demonology of the Old Testament is confined to the following passages: Le 16:21,22; 17:7; Isa 13:21; 34:13; De 32:17; Ps 106:37 (elsewhere commented upon; see COMMUNION WITH DEMONS). Gesenius well says of Le 16:21 that it is "vexed with the numerous conjectures of interpreters." If the prevalent modern view is accepted we find in it an actual meeting-point of popular superstition and the religion of Yahweh (see AZAZEL). According to Driver (HDB, I, 207), this item in the Levitical ritual "was intended as a symbolical declaration that the land and the people are now purged from guilt, their sins being handed over to the evil spirit to whom they are held to belong, and whose home is in the desolate wilderness remote from human habitations (verse 22, into a land cut off)." A more striking instance could scarcely be sought of the way in which the religion of Yahweh kept the popular spiritism at a safe distance. Le 17:7 (see COMMUNION WITH DEMONS) refers to participation in the rites of heathen worship. The two passages—Isa 13:20,21; 34:13,14—are poetical and really imply nothing as to the writer’s own belief. Creatures both seen and unseen supposed to inhabit places deserted of man are used, as any poet might use them, to furnish the details for a vivid word-picture of uninhabited solitude. There is no direct evidence that the narrative of the Fall (Ge 3:1-19) has any connection with demonology (see HDB, I, 590 note), and the suggestion of Whitehouse that the mention of satyrs and night-monsters of current mythology with such creatures as jackals, etc., implies "that demons were held to reside more or less in all these animal denizens of the ruined solitude" is clearly fanciful. It is almost startling to find that all that can possibly be affirmed of demonology in the Old Testament is confined to a small group of passages which are either legal or poetical and which all furnish examples of the inhibiting power of high religious conceptions upon the minds of a naturally superstitious and imaginative people. Even if we add all the passages in which a real existence seems to be granted to heathen deities (e. g. Nu 21:29; Isa 19:1, etc.) and interpret them in the extreme sense, we are still compelled to affirm that evidence is lacking to prove the influence of polytheism in the formation of the Biblical doctrine of demons.

(3) This theory breaks down in another still more vital particular. The demonology of the Bible is not of kin either with primitive animism or popular Sere demonism. In what follows we shall address ourselves to New Testament demonology—that of the Old Testament being a negligible quantity.

III. New Testament Demonology.

The most marked and significant fact of New Testament demonology is that it provides no materials for a discussion of the nature and characteristics of demons. Whitehouse says (HDB, I, 593) that New Testament demonology "is in all its broad characteristics the demonology of the contemporary Judaism stripped of its cruder and exaggerated features." How much short of the whole truth this statement comes will appear later, but as it stands it defines the specific direction of inquiry into the New Testament treatment of demons; namely, to explain its freedom from the crude and exaggerated features of popular demonism. The presence among New Testament writers of an influence curbing curiosity and restraining the imagination is of all things the most important for us to discover and emphasize. In four of its most vital features the New Testament attitude on this subject differs from all popular conceptions:

(a) in the absence of all imaginative details concerning demons;

(b) in the emphasis placed upon the moral character of demons and their connection with the ethical disorders of the human race; (c) in the absence of confidence in magical methods of any kind in dealing with demons;

(d) in its intense restrictions of the sphere of demoniacal operations.

A brief treatment under each of these heads will serve to present an ordered statement of the most important facts.

(a) In the New Testament we are told practically nothing about the origin, nature, characteristics or habits of demons. In a highly figurative passage (Mt 12:43) our Lord speaks of demons as passing through "waterless places," and in the story of the Gadarene demoniac (Lu 8:31) the "abyss" is mentioned as the place of their ultimate detention. The method of their control over human beings is represented in two contrasted ways (compare Mr 1:23 ff; Lu 4:33 ff), indicating that there was no fixed mode of regarding it. With these three scant items our direct information ceases. We are compelled to infer from the effects given in the limited number of specific instances narrated. And it is worthy of more than passing mention that no theoretical discussion of demons occurs. The center of interest in the Gospels is the person of Jesus, the sufferers and the cures. Interest in the demons as such is absent. Certain passages seem to indicate that the demons were able to speak (see Mr 1:24,26,34; Lu 4:41, etc.), but comparing these statements with others (compare Mr 1:23; Lu 8:28) it is seen that no distinction is drawn between the cries of the tormented in the paroxysms of their complaint and the cries attributed to the demons themselves. In other particulars the representation is consistent. The demons belong to the unseen world, they are incapable of manifestation except in in the disorders which they cause—there are no materializations, no grotesque narratives of appearances and disappearances, no morbid dealing with repulsive details, no license of speculation in the narratives. In contrast with this reticence is not merely the demonology of primitive people, but also that of the non-canonical Jewish books. In the Book of Enoch demons are said to be fallen angels, while Josephus holds that they are the spirits of the wicked dead. In the rabbinical writings speculation has run riot in discussing the origin, nature and habits of demons. They are represented as the offspring of Adam and Eve in conjunction with male and female spirits, as being themselves sexed and capable of reproduction as well as performing all other physical functions. Details are given of their numbers, haunts and habits, of times and places where they are especially dangerous, and of ways and methods of breaking their power (see EXORCISM). Full sweep is also given to the imagination in descriptive narratives, oftentimes of the most morbid and unwholesome character, of their doings among men. After reading some of these narratives one can agree with Edersheim when he says, "Greater contrast could scarcely be conceived than between what we read in the New Testament and the views and practices mentioned in Rabbinic writings" (LTJM, II, 776).

(b) It is also clearly to be noted that while in its original application the term daimonion is morally indifferent, in New Testament usage the demon is invariably an ethically evil being. This differentiates the New Testament treatment from extra-canonical Jewish writings. In the New Testament demons belong to the kingdom of Satan whose power it is the mission of Christ to destroy. It deepens and intensifies its representations of the earnestness of human life and its moral issues by extending the sphere of moral struggle to the invisible world. It clearly teaches that the power of Christ extends to the world of evil spirits and that faith in Him is adequate protection against any evils to which men may be exposed. (For significance of this point see Plummer, Luke (ICC), 132-33.)

(c) The New Testament demonology differs from all others by its negation of the power of magic rites to deliver from the affliction. Magic which is clearly separable from religion at that specific point (see Gwatkin, Knowledge of God, I, 249) rests upon and is dependent upon spiritism. The ancient Babylonian incantation texts, forming a surprisingly large proportion of the extant documents, are addressed directly to the supposed activities and powers of demons. These beings, who are not trusted and prayed to in the sense in which deities are, command confidence and call forth prayer, are dealt with by magic rites and formulas (see Rogers, op. cit., 144). Even the Jewish non-canonical writings contain numerous forms of words and ceremonies for the expulsion of demons. In the New Testament there is no magic. The deliverance from a demon is a spiritual and ethical process (see EXORCISM).

(d) In the New Testament the range of activities attributed to demons is greatly restricted. According to Babylonian ideas: "These demons were everywhere; they lurked in every corner, watching for their prey. The city streets knew their malevolent presence, the rivers, the seas, the tops of mountains; they appeared sometimes as serpents gliding noiselessly upon their victims, as birds horrid of mien flying resistlessly to destroy or afflict, as beings in human forms, grotesque, malformed, awe-inspiring through their hideousness. To these demons all sorts of misfortune were ascribed—a toothache; a headache, a broken bone, a raging fever, an outburst of anger, of jealousy, of incomprehensible disease" (Rogers, op. cit., 145). In the extra-canonical Jewish sources the same exuberance of fancy appears in attributing all kinds of ills of mind and body to innumerable, swarming hosts of demons lying in wait for men and besieging them with attacks and ills of all descriptions. Of this affluence of morbid fancy there is no hint in the New Testament. A careful analysis of the instances will show the importance of this fact. There are, taking repetitions and all, about 80 references to demons in the New Testament. In 11 instances the distinction between demon-possession and diseases ordinarily caused is clearly made (Mt 4:24; 8:16; 10:8; Mr 1:32,34; 6:13; 16:17,18; Lu 4:40,41; 9:1; 13:32; Ac 19:12). The results of demon-possession are not exclusively mental or nervous (Mt 9:32,33; 12:22). They are distinctly and peculiarly mental in two instances only (Gadarene maniac, Mt 8:28 and parallels, and Ac 19:13 f). Epilepsy is specified in one case only (Mt 17:15). There is distinction made between demonized and epileptic, and demonized and lunatic (Mt 4:24). There is distinction made between diseases caused by demons and the same disease not so caused (compare Mt 12:22; 15:30). In most of the instances no specific symptoms are mentioned. In an equally large proportion, however, there are occasional fits of mental excitement often due to the presence and teaching of Christ.


A summary of the entire material leads to the conclusion that, in the New Testament cases of demon-possession, we have a specific type of disturbance, physical or mental, distinguishable not so much by its symptoms which were often of the most general character, as by its accompaniments. The aura, so to say, which surrounded the patient, served to distinguish his symptoms and to point out the special cause to which his suffering was attributed. Another unique feature of New Testament demonology should be emphasized. While this group of disorders is attributed to demons, the victims are treated as sick folk and are healed. The whole atmosphere surrounding the narrative of these incidents is calm, lofty and pervaded with the spirit of Christ. When one remembers the manifold cruelties inspired by the unreasoning fear of demons, which make the annals of savage medicine a nightmare of unimaginable horrors, we cannot but feel the worldwide difference between the Biblical narratives and all others, both of ancient and modern times, with which we are acquainted. Every feature of the New Testament narratives points to the conclusion that in them we have trustworthy reports of actual cures. This is more important for New Testament faith than any other conclusion could possibly be.

It is also evident that Jesus treated these cases of invaded personality, of bondage of depression, of helpless fear, as due to a real superhuman cause, to meet and overcome which He addressed Himself. The most distinctive and important words we have upon this obscure and difficult subject, upon which we know far too little to speak with any assurance or authority, are these: "This kind can come out by nothing, save by prayer" (Mr 9:29).


(1) The most accessible statement of Baudissin’s theory is in Whitehouse’s article "Demons," etc., in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes).

(2) For extra-canonical Jewish ideas use Lange, Apocrypha, 118, 134; Edersheim, LTJM, Appendices XIII, XVI.

(3) For spirit-lore in general see Ladd, Phil. Rel., index under the word, and standard books on Anthropology and Philosophy of Religion under Spiritism.

(4) For Babylonian demonology see summary in Rogers, Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, 144 ff.

Louis Matthews Sweet


dem’-o-fon (Demophon): A Syrian general in Palestine under Antiochus V (Eupator) who continued to harass the Jews after covenants had been made between Lysias and Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 12:2).


(ma‘on, me‘onah, "habitation"; me‘arah, and spelaion, "cave"; me’urah (Isa 11:8), "a light-hole," from ‘or, "light," perhaps for me‘arah; cokh (Ps 10:9 the King James Version), and cukkah (Job 38:40), "a covert," elsewhere "booth"; ‘erebh (Job 37:8), "covert," as in the Revised Version (British and American); gobh; compare Arabic jubb, "pit" (Da 6:7); minharoth, "fissure" or "cleft" (Jud 6:2)): In the limestone mountains of Palestine caves, large and small, are abundant, the calcium carbonate, of which the rock is mainly composed, being dissolved by the water as it trickles over them or through their crevices. Even on the plains, by a similar process, pits or "lime sinks" are formed, which are sometimes used by the Arabs for storing straw or grain. Of this sort may have been the pit, bor, into which Joseph was cast by his brethren (Ge 37:20). Caves and crevices and sometimes spaces among piled-up boulders at the foot of a cliff or in a stream bed are used as dens by jackals, wolves and other wild animals. Even the people, for longer or shorter periods, have lived as troglodytes. Compare Jud 6:2: "Because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens (minharoth) which are in the mountains, and the caves (me‘arah), and the strongholds (metsadh)." The precipitous sides of the valleys contain many caves converted by a little labor into human habitations. Notable instances are the valley of the Kidron near Mar-Saba, and Wadi-ul-Chamam near the Sea of Tiberias. See CAVE.

Alfred Ely Day


de-na’-ri-us (denarion): A Roman silver coin, 25 of which went to the aureus, the standard gold coin of the empire in the time of Augustus, which was equal in value to about one guinea or $5,25; more exactly £1.0,6 =$ 5.00, the £ =$ 4,866. Hence, the value of the denarius would be about 20 cents and this was the ordinary wage of a soldier and a day laborer. The word is uniformly rendered "penny" in the King James Version and "shilling" in the American Standard Revised Version, except in Mt 22:19; Mr 12:15 and Lu 20:24, where the Latin word is used, since in these passsages it refers to the coin in which tribute was paid to the Roman government. See MONEY.

H. Porter


de-nouns’:Occurs in De 30:18: "I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish." It is used here in the obsolete sense of "to declare," to make known in a solemn manner. It is not found in the Bible with the regular meaning of "to censure," "arraign," etc.


de-ni’:This word is characteristic of the New Testament rather than the Old Testament, although it translates three different Hebrew originals, namely, kachash, "to lie," "disown" (Ge 18:15; Jos 24:27; Job 8:18; 31:28; Pr 30:9); mana‘, "to withhold," "keep back" (1Ki 20:7; Pr 30:7); shubh, "to turn back," "say no" (1Ki 2:16).

In the New Testament, antilego, is once translated "deny," in the case of the Sadducees who denied the resurrection (Lu 20:27 the King James Version), and where it carries the sense of speaking against the doctrine. But the word commonly is arneomai, with or without the prefix ap-. In the absence of the prefix the sense is "to disown," but when it is added it means "to disown totally" or to the fullest extent. In the milder sense it is found in Mt 10:33; 26:70,72; of Simon Peter, Mr 14:68,70 (Ac 3:13,14; 2Ti 2:12,13; 2Pe 2:1; 1 Joh 2:22,23; Jude 1:4; Re 2:13; 3:8). But it is significant that the sterner meaning is associated with Mt 16:24 and its parallels, where Christ calls upon him who would be His disciple to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Him. See also PETER, SIMON.

James M. Gray


de-poz’-it (paratheke, 1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 1:12,14 the Revised Version, margin, paraphrased in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) into "that which is committed" (see COMMEND)): The noun was used in the classical Greek, just as its English equivalents, for "that which is placed with another for safe keeping," a charge committed to another’s hands, consisting often of money or property; compare Ex 22:7; Le 6:2. This practice was common in days when there were no banks.

(1) In 1Ti 6:20; also 2Ti 1:14, the reference is to a deposit which God makes with man, and for which man is to give a reckoning. The context shows that this deposit is the Christian faith, "the pattern of sound words" (2Ti 1:13), that which is contrasted with the "oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called" (1Ti 6:20). "Keep the talent of the Christian faith safe and undiminished" (Vincentius Lirenensis).

(2) In 2Ti 1:12, the deposit is one which man makes with God. The key to the meaning of this expression is found probably in Ps 31:5: "Into thy hand I commend my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me," i.e. "All that I am, with all my interests, have been entrusted to Thy safe keeping, and, therefore, I have no anxieties with respect to the future. The day of reckoning, ‘that day,’ will show how faithful are the hands that hold this trust."

H. E. Jacobs




dep’-u-ti: This is the correct rendering of nitsabh (1Ki 22:47). In Es 8:9, 9:3 the term improperly represents caghan, in the King James Version, and is corrected to "governor" in the Revised Version (British and American). In the New Testament "deputy" represents anthupatos (Ac 13:7,8,12; 18:12; 19:38), which the Revised Version (British and American) correctly renders "proconsul" (which see). The Roman proconsuls were officers invested with consular power over a district outside the city, usually for one year. Originally they were retiring consuls, but after Augustus the title was given to governors of senatorial provinces, whether they had held the office of consul or not. The proconsul exercised judicial as well as military power in his province, and his authority was absolute, except as he might be held accountable at the expiration of his office. See GOVERNMENT.

William Arthur Heidel


dur’-be (Derbe, Ac 14:20,21; 16:1; Derbaios, 20:4; Derbetes, Strabo, Cicero): A city in the extreme Southeast corner of the Lycaonian plain is mentioned twice as having been visited by Paul (on his first and second missionary journeys respectively), and it may now be regarded as highly probable that he passed through it on his third journey (to the churches of Galatia). The view that these churches were in South Galatia is now accepted by the majority of English and American scholars, and a traveler passing through the Cilician Gates to Southern Galatia must have traversed the territory of Derbe.

1. History:

Derbe is first mentioned as the seat of Antipater, who entertained Cicero, the Roman orator and governor of Cilicia. When the kingdom of Amyntas passed, at his death in 25 BC, to the Romans, it was made into a province and called Galatia (see GALATIA). This province included Laranda as well as Derbe on the extreme. Southeast, and for a time Laranda was the frontier city looking toward Cappadocia and Cilicia and Syria via the Cilician Gates. But between 37 and 41 AD Laranda was transferred to the "protected" kingdom of Antiochus, and Derbe became the frontier city. It was the last city on distinctively Roman territory, on the road leading from Southern Galatia to the East; it was here that commerce entering the province had to pay the customs dues. Strabo records this fact when he calls Derbe a limen or "customs station." It owed its importance (and consequently its visit from Paul on his first journey) to this fact, and to its position on a great Roman road leading from Antioch, the capital of Southern Galatia, to Iconium, Laranda, Heracleia-Cybistra, and the Cilician Gates. Roman milestones have been found along the line of this road, one at a point 15 miles Northwest of Derbe. It was one of those Lycaonian cities honored with the title "Claudian" by the emperor Claudius; its coins bear the legend "Claudio-Derbe." This implied considerable importance and prosperity as well as strong pro-Roman feeling; yet we do not find Derbe standing aloof, like the Roman colonies Iconium and Lystra, from the Common Council of Lycaonian cities (Koinon Lykaonias).

Derbe remained in the province Galatia till about 135 AD, when it passed to the jurisdiction of the triple province Cilicia-Isauria-Lycaonia. It continued in this division till 295 AD, and was then included in the newly formed province Isauria. This arrangement lasted till about 372 AD, when Lycaonia, including Derbe, was formed into a separate province. The statement of Stephanus of Byzantium that Derbe was "a fortress of Isauria" originated in the arrangement which existed from 295 to 372 AD. Coins of the city represent Heracles, Fortuna and a winged Victory writing on a shield (after the pattern of the Venus of Melos, in the Louvre, Paris). Derbe is mentioned several times in the records of the church councils. A bishop, Daphnus of Derbe, was present at the Council of Constantinople in 381.

2. Situation:

The site of Derbe was approximately fixed by the American explorer Sterrett, and more accurately by Sir W. M. Ramsay, who, after carefully examining all the ruins in the neighborhood, placed it at Gudelisin. Up to 1911, certain epigraphic evidence fixing the site had not been found, but Ramsay’s identification meets all the conditions, and cannot be far wrong. On the East, Derbe was conterminous with Laranda, on the Northeast with Barata in the Kara Dagh. It bordered on the territory of Iconium on the Northwest, and on Isauria on the West. Its territory touched the foothills of Taurus on the South, and the site commands a fine view of the great mountain called Hadji Baba or the Pilgrim Father. The Greeks of the district say that the name is a reminiscence of Paul, "over whose travels" the mountain "stood as a silent witness."

The remains are mostly of the late Roman and Byzantine periods, but pottery of an earlier date has been found on the site. An inscription of a village on the territory of Derbe records the erection of a building by two architects from Lystra. A line of boundary stones, separating the territory of Derbe from that of Barata, is still standing. It probably belongs to an early delimitation of the territory of the frontier town of Galatia (Ramsay).

3. Paul at Derbe:

In Ac 14:20,21, it is narrated that Paul and Barnabas, after being driven out of Lystra, departed to Derbe, where they "preached the gospel .... and made many disciples." But they did not further. Paul’s mission included only the centers of Greco-Roman civilization; it was no part of his plan to pass over the frontier of the province into non- Roman territory. This aspect of his purpose is illustrated by the reference to Derbe on his second journey (Ac 16:1). Paul started from Antioch and "went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches" (Ac 15:41). "Then he came to Derbe and Lystra" (Ac 16:1 the King James Version). The unwarned reader might forget that in going from Cilicia to Derbe, Paul must have, passed through a considerable part of Antiochus’ territory, and visited the important cities of Heracleia-Cybistra and Laranda. But his work ends with the Roman Cilicia and begins again with the Roman Galatia; to him, the intervening country is a blank. Concentration of effort, and utilization only of the most fully prepared material were the characteristics of Paul’s missionary journeys in Asia Minor. That Paul was successful in Derbe may be gathered (as Ramsay points out) from the fact that he does not mention Derbe among the places where he had suffered persecution (2Ti 3:11). Gaius of Derbe (among others) accompanied Paul to Jerusalem, in charge of the donations of the churches to the poor in that city (Ac 20:4).


The only complete account of Derbe is that given in Sir W. M. Ramsay’s Cities of Paul, 385-404. On Paul’s mission there, see the same author’s Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen, 119, 178. Many inscriptions of the later Roman period are collected in Sterrett, Wolfe Expedition to Asia Minor, Numbers 18-52. The principal ancient authorities, besides Acts, are Cicero Ad Fam. xiii.73; Strabo xxx.569; Ptolemeus, v.6, 17; Steph. Byz., Hierocl., 675; Notit, Episcop., I, 404, and the Acta Conciliorum.

W. M. Calder


de-rizh’-un: Three verbs are so translated luts, "scorn" (Ps 119:51); la‘agh, "mock" (Ps 2:4; 59:8; Eze 23:32); and sachaq, "laugh at" (Job 30:1; Ex 32:25 margin, "a whispering"; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 5:3). This word is found almost exclusively in the Psalms and Prophets; Jeremiah is fond of it. It is used both as a substantive and a verb, the latter in the phrase "to have in derision:"


de-send’, de-sent’ (yaradh; katabaino, "go down"); (katabasis): Of Yahweh (Ex 34:5); of the Spirit (Mt 3:16); of angels (Ge 28:12; Mt 28:2; Joh 1:51); of Christ (1Th 4:16; Eph 4:9). "He also descended into the lower parts of the earth" is variously interpreted, the two chief interpretations being the one of the incarnation, and the other of the "descent into hell" (1Pe 3:19). The former regards the clause "of the earth," an appositive genitive, as when we speak of "the city of Rome," namely, "the lower parts, i.e. the earth." The other regards the genitive as possessive, or, with Meyer, as governed by the comparative, i.e. "parts lower than the earth." For the former view, see full discussion in Eadie; for the latter, Ellicott and especially Meyer, in commentaries on Eph.

H. E. Jacobs





de-skrib’:This verb, now obsolete, in the sense used in Jos 18:4,6,8,9 and Jud 8:14, is a translation of kathabh, usually rendered "to write" or "inscribe." But in the above passages it has the Old English meaning of dividing into parts or into lots, as for example: "Walk through the land, and describe it according to their inheritance" (Jos 18:4); that is, describe in writing the location and size of the several parcels of land thus portioned out. In Jud 8:14 "described" should be translated "wrote down a list of." "Describe" occurs twice in the King James Version of the New Testament (Ro 4:6, 10:5), where lego, and grapho, are both rendered "describeth." the Revised Version (British and American) corrects both, and substitutes "pronounceth" in the first and "writeth" in the second passage.

Description =" list" (1 Esdras 5:39).

W. W. Davies


de-skri’:This word like "describe" came into the English through the French descrire (Latin, describere); it occurs only in the King James Version of Jud 1:23: "And the house of Joseph sent to Bethel." tur the verb thus translated, signifies "to explore" or "examine," and the Revised Version (British and American) correctly renders "sent to spy out."


dez’-ert midhbar, chorbah, yeshimon, ‘arabhah, tsiyah, tohu; eremos, eremia: Midhbar, the commonest word for "desert," more often rendered "wilderness," is perhaps from the root dabhar, in the sense of "to drive," i.e. a place for driving or pasturing flocks. Yeshimon is from yasham, "to be empty", chorbah (compare Arabic kharib, "to lie waste"; khirbah, "a ruin"; kharab, "devastation"), from charabh "to be dry"; compare also ‘arabh, "to be dry," and ‘arabhah, "a desert" or "the Arabah" (see CHAMPAIGN). For ‘erets tsiyah (Ps 63:1; Isa 41:18), "a dry land," compare tsiyim, "wild beasts of the desert" (Isa 13:21, etc.). Tohu, variously rendered "without form" (Ge 1:2 the King James Version), "empty space," the King James Version "empty place" (Job 26:7), "waste," the King James Version "nothing" (Job 6:18), "confusion," the Revised Version, margin, "wasteness" (Isa 24:10 the English Revised Version), may be compared with Arabic tah, "to go astray" at-Tih, "the desert of the wandering." In the New Testament we find eremos and eremia: "The child (John) .... was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel" (Lu 1:80); "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert" (Joh 6:31 the King James Version).

The desert as known to the Israelites was not a waste of sand, as those are apt to imagine who have in mind the pictures of the Sahara. Great expanses of sand, it is true, are found in Arabia, but the nearest one, an-Nufud, was several days’ journey distant from the farthest southeast reached by the Israelites in their wanderings. Most of the desert of Sinai and of Palestine is land that needs only water to make it fruitful. East of the Jordan, the line between "the desert" and "the sown" lies about along the line of the Chijaz railway. To the West there is barely enough water to support the crops of wheat; to the East there is too little. Near the line of demarcation, the yield of wheat depends strictly upon the rainfall. A few inches more or less of rain in the year determines whether the grain can reach maturity or not. The latent fertility of the desert lands is demonstrated by the season of scant rains, when they become carpeted with herbage and flowers. It is marvelous, too, how the camels, sheep and goats, even in the dry season, will find something to crop where the traveler sees nothing but absolute barrenness. The long wandering of the Israelites in "the desert" was made possible by the existence of food for their flocks and herds. Compare Ps 65:11,12: " Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; And thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the Wilderness. And the hills are girded with joy"; and also Joe 2:22: "The pastures of the wilderness do spring."

"The desert" or "the wilderness" (ha-midhbar) usually signifies the desert of the wandering, or the northern part of the Sinaitic Peninsula. Compare Ex 3:1 King James Version: "MOSES .... led theflock (of Jethro) to the backside of the desert"; Ex 5:3 King James Version: "Let us go .... three days’ journey into the desert"; Ex 19:2 King James Version: "They .... were come to the desert of Sinai"; Ex 23:31 King James Version: "I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river" (Euphrates). Other uncultivated or pasture regions are known as Wilderness of Beersheba (Ge 21:14), West of Judah (Jud 1:16), West of En-gedi (1Sa 24:1), West of Gibeon (2Sa 2:24), West of Maon (1Sa 23:24), West of Damascus; compare Arabic Badiyet-ush-Sham (1Ki 19:15), etc. Midhbar yam, "the wilderness of the sea" (Isa 21:1), may perhaps be that part of Arabia bordering upon the Persian Gulf.

Aside from the towns and fields, practically all the land was midhbar or "desert," for this term included mountain, plain and valley. The terms, "desert of En-gedi," "desert of Maon," etc., do not indicate circumscribed areas, but are applied in a general way to the lands about these places. To obtain water, the shepherds with their flocks traverse long distances to the wells, springs or streams, usually arranging to reach the water about the middle of the day and rest about it for an hour or so, taking shelter from the sun in the shadows of the rocks, perhaps under some overhanging ledge.

Alfred Ely Day


de-zir’:The verb "to desire" in the Scriptures usually means "to long for," "to ask for," "to demand," and may be used in a good or bad sense (compare De 7:25 the King James Version). the Revised Version (British and American) frequently renders the more literal meaning of the Hebrew. Compare Job 20:20, "delight"; Pr 21:20, "precious"; Ps 40:6, "delight"; aiteo (except Col 1:9), and erotao (except Lu 7:36) are rendered "to ask" and zeteo, "to seek" (compare Lu 9:9 et. al.). The Hebrew kacaph, literally, "to lose in value," is translated (Zep 2:1) by "hath no shame" (the Revised Version, margin "longing," the King James Version "not desired"). The literal translation "to lose in value," "to degenerate," would be more in harmony with the context than the translations offered. The Hebrew chemdah (2Ch 21:20, "without being desired"), means according to the Arabic "to praise," "to give thanks." The context brings in contrast the burial of the king Jehoram with that of his fathers. In the latter case there was "burning," i.e. recognition and praise, but when Jehoram died, there was no chemdah, i.e. there was no praise for his services rendered to the kingdom. For "desire" in Ec 12:5, see CAPERBERRY.

A. L. Breslich


This phrase occurs only in Hag 2:7 (King James Version, the English Revised Version "desirable things," the American Revised Version, margin "things desired"), and is commonly applied to the Messiah.

At the erection of the temple in Ezra’s time, the older men who had seen the more magnificent house of Solomon were disappointed and distressed at the comparison. The prophet, therefore, is directed to encourage them by the assurance that Yahweh is with them nevertheless, and in a little while will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, the dry land and the nations, and "the desire of all nations" shall come, and the house shall be filled with glory, so that "the later glory of this house shall be greater than the former."

(1) Many expositors refer the prophecy to the first advent of Christ. The shaking of the heavens, the earth, the sea and the dry land is the figurative setting of the shaking of the nations, while this latter expression refers to those changes of earthly dominion coincident with the overthrow of the Persians by the Greeks, the Greeks by the Romans, and so on down to the beginning of our era. The house then in process of construction was filled with glory by the later presence of the Messiah, which glory was greater than the Shekinah of Solomon’s time. Objections are presented to this view as follows: First, there is the element of time. Five centuries, more or less, elapsed between the building of Ezra’s temple and the first advent of Christ, and the men of Ezra’s time needed comfort for the present. Then there is the difficulty of associating the physical phenomena with any shaking of the nations occurring atthe first advent. Furthermore, in what sense, it is asked, could Christ, when He came, be said to be the desire of all nations? And finally, what comfort would a Jew find in this magnifying of the Gentiles?

(2) These difficulties, though not insuperable, lead others to apply the prophecy to the second advent of Christ. The Jews are to be restored to Jerusalem, and another temple is to be built (Eze 40-48). The shaking of the nations and the physical phenomena find their fulfillment in the "Great Tribulation" so often spoken of in the Old Testament and Revelation, and which is followed by the coming of Christ in glory to set up His kingdom (Mal 3:1; Mt 24:29,30 and other places). Some of the difficulties spoken of in the first instance apply here also, but not all of them, while others are common to both interpretations. One such common difficulty is that Ezra’s temple can hardly be identified with that of the time of Herod and Christ, and certainly not with that of Ezekiel; which is met, however, by saying that all the temples, including Solomon’s, are treated as but one "house"—the house of the Lord, in the religious sense, at least, if not architecturally. Another such difficulty touches the question of time, which, whether it includes five centuries or twenty, is met by the principle that to the prophets, "ascending in heart to God and the eternity of God, all times and all things of this world are only a mere point." When the precise time of particular events is not revealed, they sometimes describe them as continuous, and sometimes blend two events together, having a near or partial, and also a remote or complete fulfillment. "They saw the future in space rather than in time, or the perspective rather than the actual distance." It is noted that the Lord Jesus so blends together the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, AD 70, and the days of the anti-Christ at the end of this age, that it is difficult to separate them, and to say which belongs exclusively to either (Mt 24). That the words may have an ultimate fulfillment in the second advent of Christ receives strength from a comparison of Hag 2:21,22 with Heb 12:26,27. The writer of that epistle condenses the two passages in Hag 2:6,7 and Hag 2:21,22, implying that it was one and the same shaking, of which the former verses denote the beginning, and the latter the end. The shaking, in other words, began introductory to the first advent and will be finished at the second. Concerning the former, compare Mt 3:17; 27:51; 28:2; Ac 2:2; 4:31, and concerning the latter, Mt 24:7; Re 16:20; 20:11 (Bengel, quoted by Canon Faussett).

(3) Other expositors seek to cut the Gordian knot by altogether denying the application to the Messiah, and translating "the desire of all nations" by "the beauty," or "the desirable things of all nations," i.e. their precious gifts (see Isa 60:5,11; 61:6). This application is defended in the following way:

(a) The Hebrew word means the quality and not the thing desired;

(b) the Messiah was not desired by all the nations when He came;

(c) the verb "shall come" is plural, which requires the noun to be understood in the plural, whereas if the Messiah be intended, the noun is singular;

(d) "The silver is mine," etc. (Hag 2:8) accords with the translation "the desirable things of all nations";

(e) the agreement of the Septuagint and Syriac versions with such rendering.

All these arguments, however, can be fairly met by counter-arguments, leaving the reader still in doubt.

(a) An abstract noun is often put for the concrete;

(b) the result shows that while the Jews rejected Christ, the Gentiles received and hence, desired Him;

(c) where two nouns stand together after the manner of "the desire" and "nations," the verb agrees in number sometimes with the latter, even though the former be its nominative;

(d) the 8th verse of the prophecy can be harmonized about as easily with one view as the other;

(e) the King James Version is sustained by the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) and early Jewish rabbis.

James M. Gray


des’-o-lat (very frequently in the Old Testament for shamem, and its derivatives; less frequently, charebh, and its derivatives, and other words. In the New Testament it stands for eremos (Mt 23:38; Ac 1:20; Ga 4:27) eremoo (Re 17:16), and monoo (1Ti 5:5)): From Latin de, intens., solus, alone. Several shades of meaning can be distinguished:

(1) Its primary sense is "left lonely," "forlorn," e. g. Ps 25:16, "Have mercy upon me; for I am desolate" (Hebrew yachidh, "alone"); 1Ti 5:5, "she that is a widow indeed, and desolate" (Greek memonomene, "left alone").

(2) In the sense of "laid waste," "destitute of inhabitants," e. g. Jer 4:7, "to make thy land desolate, that thy cities be laid waste, without inhabitant."

(3) With the meaning "comfortless," "afflicted," e. g. Ps 143:4, "My heart within me is desolate."

(4) In the sense of "barren," "childless," "unfruitful," e. g. Job 15:34; Isa 49:21 (Hebrew galmudh).

D. Miall Edwards




de-spar’:The substantive only in 2Co 4:8, "perplexed, but not in (the Revised Version (British and American) "yet not unto") despair," literally, "being at a loss, but not utterly at a loss." "Unto despair" here conveys the force of the Greek prefix ex ("utterly," "out and out"). Desperate, in Job 6:26; Isa 17:11. In the latter instance, the Hebrew adjective is derived from a verb =" to be sick," and the literally, rendering would be "incurable" (compare Job 34:6, "my wound is incurable"). Desperately in Jer 17:9 the King James Version, where the heart is said to be "desperately (i.e. incurably) wicked" or "sick."


de-spit’, de-spit’-fool: "Despite" is from Latin despectus, "a looking down upon." As a noun (=" contempt") it is now generally used in its shortened form, "spite," while the longer form is used as a preposition (=" in spite of"). In English Versions of the Bible it is always a noun. In the Old Testament it translates Hebrew she’aT, in Eze 25:6, and in the Revised Version (British and American) Eze 25:15; 36:5 ("with despite of soul"). In Heb 10:29 ("hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace") it stands for Greek enubrizo, "to treat with contempt."

The adjective "despiteful" occurs in the King James Version Eze 25:15; 36:5; Sirach 31:31 ("despiteful words," the Revised Version (British and American) "a word of reproach"); Ro 1:30 (the Revised Version (British and American) "insolent" = Greek hubristes, from huper, "above"; compare English "uppish").

D. Miall Edwards


des’-o, des’-a-u (Dessaou (2 Macc 14:16)): the Revised Version (British and American) LESSAU (which see).


des’-ti-ni: A god of Good Luck, possibly the Pleiades.



de-stroi’-er: In several passages the word designates a supernatural agent of destruction, or destroying angel, executing Divine judgment.

(1) In Ex 12:23, of the "destroyer" who smote the first-born in Egypt, again referred to under the same title in Heb 11:28 the Revised Version (British and American) (the King James Version "he that destroyed").

(2) In Job 33:22, "the destroyers" (literally, "they that cause to die") = the angels of death that are ready to take away a man’s life during severe illness. No exact parallel to this is found in the Old Testament. The nearest approach is "the angel that destroyed the people" by pestilence (2Sa 24:16,17 parallel 1Ch 21:15,16); the angel that smote the Assyrians (2Ki 19:35 = Isa 37:36 parallel 2Ch 32:21); "angels of evil" (Ps 78:49).

(3) In the Apocrypha, "the destroyer" is once referred to as "the minister of punishment" (Revised Version; literally, "him who was punishing"), who brought death into the world (The Wisdom of Solomon 18:22-25).

(4) In 1Co 10:10, "the destroyer" is the angelic agent to whose instrumentality Paul attributes the plague of Nu 16:46-49.

In later Jewish theology (the Targums and Midrash), the "destroyer" or "angel of death" appears under the name Sammael (i.e. the poison of God), who was once an arch-angel before the throne of God, and who caused the serpent to tempt Eve. According to Weber, he is not to be distinguished from Satan. The chief distinction between the "destroyer" of early thought and the Sammael of later Judaism is that the former was regarded as the emissary of Yahweh, and subservient to His will, and sometimes was not clearly distinguished from Yahweh Himself, whereas the latter was regarded as a perfectly distinct individuality, acting in independence or semi-independence, and from purely malicious and evil motives. The change was largely due to the influence of Persian dualism, which made good and evil to be independent powers.

D. Miall Edwards


de-struk’-shun: In the King James Version this word translates over 30 Hebrew words in the Old Testament, and 4 words in the New Testament. Of these the most interesting, as having a technical sense, is ‘abhaddon (from verb ‘abhadh, "to be lost," "to perish"). It is found 6 times in the Wisdom Literature, and nowhere else in the Old Testament; compare Re 9:11. See ABADDON.



de-tur’-mi-nat (horismenos, "determined," "fixed"): Only in Ac 2:23, "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of. God," Greek horismenos, from horizo, "to set boundaries," "determine," "settle" (compare English word "horizon"—literally, "that which bounds"). It is remarkable that Peter in one and the same sentence speaks of the death of Christ from two quite distinct points of view.

(1) From the historical standpoint, it was a crime perpetrated by men who were morally responsible for their deed ("him .... ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay").

(2) From the standpoint of Divine teleology, it was part of an eternal plan ("by the determinate," etc.). No effort is made to demonstrate the logical consistency of the two ideas. They represent two aspects of the one fact. The same Greek word is used in Lu 22:22, where Christ speaks of His betrayal as taking place "as it was (the Revised Version (British and American) "hath been") determined" (kata to horismenon). Compare Lu 24:26.

D. Miall Edwards



(1) "To resolve," "decide." This is the primary meaning of the word and it is also the one that is the most common. In the New Testament the Greek word krino, is translated "determine," and it has the above meaning (Ac 20:16; 25:25; 1Co 2:2). The word occurs frequently in the Old Testament with this meaning (see Ex 21:22; 1Sa 20:7,9,33).

(2) "To decree," "ordain," "mark out." The Greek word that is rendered "determine" with this meaning is horizo. See DETERMINATE.

The Hebrew term charats is translated "determine" with the above meaning; as "his days are determined" (Job 14:5); "a destruction is determined" (Isa 10:22); "desolations are determined" (Da 9:26). The Hebrew term mishpaT, which means "judgment" or "sentence," is translated "determination" in Ze 3:8.

A. W. Fortune.


de-tes’-ta-b’-l, (shiqquts; sheqets, synonymous with to‘ebhah, "abomination," "abominable thing"): The translation of shiqqutsim in Jer 16:18; Eze 5:11; 7:20; 11:18,21; 37:23; a term always applied to idol-worship or to objects connected with idolatry; often also translated "abomination," as in 1Ki 11:5,7 (bis); Jer 4:1; Eze 20:7,8,30. Sheqets, translated "abomination," is applied in the Scriptures to that which is ceremonially unclean (Le 7:21), creatures forbidden as food, as water animals without fins or scales in Le 11:10-12, birds of prey and the like (verse 18), winged creeping things (verses 20,23), creeping vermin (verses 41 f). Compare also Isa 66:17. By partaking of the food of the animals in question one makes himself detestable (Le 11:43; 20:25). Similarly the idolatrous appurtenances are to be held in detestation; nothing of the kind should be appropriated for private use (De 7:26). See ABOMINATION.

Max L. Margolis


du’-el, de-u’-el de‘u’el, ("knowledge of God"): A Gadite, the father of Eliasaph, the representative of the tribe of Gad in the census-taking (Nu 1:14), in making the offering of the tribe at the dedication of the altar (Nu 7:42,47), and as leader of the host of the tribe of the children of Gad in the wilderness (Nu 10:20). Called Reuel in Nu 2:14, daleth (d) being confused with resh (r).


du-ter-o-ka-non’-i-kal: A term sometimes used to designate certain books, which by the Council of Trent were included in the Old Testament, but which the Protestant churches designated as apocryphal (see APOCRYPHA), and also certain books of the New Testament which for a long time were not accepted by the whole church as Scripture. Webster says the term pertains to "a second Canon or ecclesiastical writing of inferior authority," and the history of these books shows that they were all at times regarded by a part of the church as being inferior to the others and some of them are so regarded today. This second Canon includes Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclusiasticus, 2 Esdras, 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees of the Old Testament, and Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation of the New Testament.

1. The Old Testament Books:

The Old Testament books under consideration were not in the Hebrew Canon and they were originally designated as apocryphal. The Septuagint contained many of the apocrphyal books, and among these were most of those which we have designated deutero-canonical. The Septuagint was perhaps the Greek Bible of New Testament times and it continued to be the Old Testament of the early church, and hence, these books were widely distributed. It seems, however, that they did not continue to hold their place along with the other books, for Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, in his Festal Epistle in 367 gave a list of the books of the Bible which were to be read, and at the close of this list he said: "There are also other books besides these, not canonized, yet set by the Fathers to be read to those who have just come up and who wish to be informed as to the word of godliness: Wisdom, Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, the so-called Teaching of the Apes, and the Shepherd of Hermas." Jerome also made a distinction between the apocryphal books and the others. In his Preface, after enumerating the books contained in the Hebrew Canon, he adds: "This prologue I write as a preface to the books to be translated by us from the Hebrew into Latin, that we may know that all the books which are not of this number are apocrphyal; therefore Wisdom, which is commonly ascribed to Solomon as its author, and the book of Jesus the son of Sirach, Judith, Tobit and the Shepher are not in the Canon." Rufinus made the same distinction as did Jerome. He declared that "these books are not canonical, but have been called by our forefathers ecclesiastical." Augustine included these books in his list which he published in 397. He begins the list thus: "The entire canon of Scripture is comprised in these books." Then follows a list of the books which includes Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 2 Esdras, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, and it closes with these words: "In these 44 books is comprised all the authority of the Old Testament." Inasmuch as these books were regarded by the church at large as ecclesiastical and helpful, and Augustine had given them canonical sanction, they rapidly gained in favor and most of them are found in the great manuscripts.


2. The New Testament Books:

It is not probable that there was any general council of the church in those early centuries that set apart the various books of the New Testament and canonized them as Scripture for the whole church. There was no single historical event which brought together the New Testament books which were everywhere to be regarded as Scripture. These books did not make the same progress in the various provinces and churches. A careful study of conditions reveals the fact that there was no uniform New Testament canon in the church during at least the first 3 centuries. The Ethiopic church, for example, had 35 books in its New Testament, while the Syrian church had only 22 books.

From an early date the churches were practically agreed on those books which are sometimes designated as the protocanonical, and which Eusebius designated as the homologoumena. They differed, however, in regard to the 7 disputed books which form a part of the so-called deutero-canon, and which Eusebius designated as the antilegomena. They also differed in regard to other ecclesiastical writings, for there was no fixed line between canonical and non-canonical books. While there was perhaps no council of the church that had passed on the books and declared them canonical, it is undoubtedly true that before the close of the 2nd century all the books that are in our New Testament, with the exception of those under consideration, had become recognized as Scripture in all orthodox churches.

The history of these seven books reveals the fact that although some of them were early used by the Fathers, they afterward fell into disfavor. That is especially true of Hebrews and Revelation. Generally speaking, it can be said that at the close of the 2nd century the 7 books under consideration had failed to receive any such general recognition as had the rest; however, all, with perhaps the exception of 2 Peter, had been used by some of the Fathers. He was freely attested by Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr; James by Hermas and probably by Clement of Rome; 2 John, 3 John and Jude by the Muratorian Fragment; Revelation by Hermas and Justin Martyr who names John as its author.


Jerome, who prepared the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) in the closing years of the 4th century, accepted all 7 of the doubtful books, yet he held that 2 John and 3 John were written by the Presbyter, and he intimated that 2 Peter and Jude were still rejected by some, and he said the Latins did not receive He among the canonical Scriptures, neither did the Greek churches receive Augustine, who was one of the great leaders during the last part of the 4th century and the first part of the 5th, accepted without question the 7 disputed books. These books had gradually gained in favor and the position of Jerome and Augustine practically settled their canonicity for the orthodox churches. The Council of Carthage, held in 397, adopted the catalogue of Augustine. This catalogue contained all the disputed books both of the New Testament and the Old Testament.

Since the Reformation.

The Canon of Augustine became the Canon of the majority of the churches and the Old Testament books which he accepted were added to the Vulgate, but there were some who still held to the Canon of Jerome. The awakening of the Reformation inevitably led to a reinvestigation of the Canon, since the Bible was made the source of authority, and some of the disputed books of the New Testament were again questioned by the Reformers. The position given the Bible by the Reformers led the Roman church to reaffirm its sanction and definitely to fix the books that should be accepted. Accordingly the Council of Trent, which convened in 1546, made the Canon of Augustine, which included the 7 apocphyal books of the Old Testament, and the 7 disputed books of the New Testament, the Canon of the church, and it pronounced a curse upon those who did not receive these books. The Protestants at first followed the example of Rome and adopted these books which had long had the sanction of usage as their Bible. Gradually, however, the questioned books of the Old Testament were separated from the others. That was true in Coverdale’s translation, and in Matthew’s Bible they were not only separated from the others but they were prefaced with the words, "the volume of the book called Hagiographa." In Cranmer’s Bible, Hagiographa was changed into Apocrypha, and this passed through the succeeding edition into the King James Version.

A. W. Fortune



1. Name

2. What Deuteronomy Is

3. Analysis

4. Ruling Ideas

5. Unity

6. Authorship

7. Deuteronomy Spoken Twice

8. Deuteronomy’s Influence in Israel’s History

9. The Critical Theory


1. Name:

In Hebrew ‘elleh ha-debharim, "these are the words"; in Greek, Deuteronomion, "second law"; whence the Latin deuteronomii, and the English Deuteronomy. The Greek title is due to a mistranslation by the Septuagint of the clause in De 17:18 rendered, "and he shall write for himself this repetition of the law." The Hebrew really means "and he shall write out for himself a copy of this law." However, the error on which the English title rests is not serious, as Deuteronomy is in a very true sense a repetition of the law.

2. What Deuteronomy Is:

Deuteronomy is the last of the five books of the Pentateuch, or "five-fifths of the Law." It possesses an individuality and impressiveness of its own. In Exodus—Numbers Yahweh is represented as speaking unto Moses, whereas in Deuteronomy, Moses is represented as speaking at Yahweh’s command to Israel (De 1:1-4; 5:1; 29:1). It is a hortatory recapitulation of various addresses delivered at various times and places in the desert wanderings—a sort of homily on the constitution, the essence or gist of Moses’ instructions to Israel during the forty years of their desert experience. It is "a Book of Reviews"; a translation of Israel’s redemptive history into living principles; not so much a history as a commentary. There is much of retrospect in it, but its main outlook is forward. The rabbins speak of it as "the Book of Reproofs." It is the text of all prophecy; a manual of evangelical oratory; possessing "all the warmth of a Bernard, the flaming zeal of a Savonarola, and the tender, gracious sympathy of a Francis of Assisi." The author’s interest is entirely moral. His one supreme purpose is to arouse Israel’s loyalty to Yahweh and to His revealed law. Taken as a whole the book is an exposition of the great commandment, "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." It was from Deuteronomy that Jesus summarized the whole of the Old Covenant in a single sentence (Mt 22:37; compare De 6:5), and from it He drew His weapons with which to vanquish the tempter (Mt 4:4,7,10; compare De 8:3; 6:16,13).

3. Analysis:

Deuteronomy is composed of three discourses, followed by three short appendices:

(1) De 1:1-4:43, historical; a review of God’s dealings with Israel, specifying in great detail where and when delivered (De 1:1-5), recounting in broad oratorical outlines the chief events in the nation’s experience from Horeb to Moab (De 1:6-3:29), on which the author bases an earnest appeal to the people to be faithful and obedient, and in particular to keep clear of all possible idolatry (De 4:1-40). Appended to this first discourse is a brief note (De 4:41-43) concerning Moses’ appointment of three cities of refuge on the East side of the Jordan.

(2) De 4:44-26:19, hortatory and legal; introduced by a superscription (De 4:44-49), and consisting of a resume of Israel’s moral and civil statutes, testimonies and judgments. Analyzed in greater detail, this second discourse is composed of two main sections:

(a) chapters 5-11, an extended exposition of the Ten Commandments on which theocracy was based;

(b) chapters 12-26, a code of special statutes concerning worship, purity, tithes, the three annual feasts, the administration of justice, kings, priests, prophets, war, and the private and social life of the people. The spirit of this discourse is most ethical and religious. The tone is that of a father no less than that of a legislator. A spirit of humanity pervades the entire discourse. Holiness is its ideal.

(3) De 27:1-31:30, predictive and minatory; the subject of this third discourse being "the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience." This section begins with directions to inscribe these laws on plastered stones to be set up on Mt. Ebal (De 27:1-10), to be ratified by an antiphonal ritual of blessings and cursings from the two adjacent mountains, Gerizim and Ebal (De 27:11-26). These are followed by solemn warnings against disobedience (De 28:1-29:1), and fresh exhortations to accept the terms of the new covenant made in Moab, and to choose between life and death (De 29:2-30:20). Moses’ farewell charge to Israel and his formal commission of Joshua close the discourse (De 31). The section is filled with predictions, which were woefully verified in Israel’s later history. The three appendices, spoken of above, close the book:

(a) Moses’ So (De 32), which the great Lawgiver taught the people (the Law was given to the priests, De 31:24-27);

(b) Moses’ Blessing (De 33$), which forecast the future for the various tribes (Simeon only being omitted);

(c) a brief account of Moses’ death and burial (De 34$) with a noble panegyric on him as the greatest prophet Israel ever had. Thus closes this majestic and marvelously interesting and practical book. Its keyword is "possess"; its central thought is "Yahweh has chosen Israel, let Israel choose Yahweh."

4. Ruling Ideas:

The great central thought of Deuteronomy is the unique relation which Yahweh as a unique God sustains to Israel as a unique people. "Hear O Israel; Yahweh our God is one Yahweh." The monotheism of Deuteronomy is very explicit. Following from this, as a necessary corollary almost, is the other great teaching of the book, the unity of the sanctuary. The motto of the book might be said to be, "One God, one sanctuary."

(1) Yahweh, a Unique God.

Yahweh is the only God, "There is none else besides him" De (De 4:35,39; 6:4; 32:39), "He is God of gods, and Lord of lords" (De 10:17), "the living God" (De 5:26), "the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments" (7:9), who abominates graven images and every species of idolatry (De 7:25,26; 12:31; 13:14; 18:12; 20:18; 27:15), to whom belong the heavens and the earth (De 10:14), who rules over all the nations (De 7:19), whose relation to Israel is near and personal (De 28:58), even that of a Father (De 32:6), whose being is spiritual (De 4:12,15), and whose name is "Rock" (De 32:4,15,18,30,31). Being such a God, He is jealous of all rivals (De 7:4; 29:24-26; 31:16,17), and hence, all temptations to idolatry must be utterly removed from the land, the Canaanites must be completely exterminated and all their altars, pillars, Asherim and images destroyed (De 7:1-5,16; 20:16-18; 12:2,3).

(2) Israel, a Unique People.

The old Israel had become unique through the covenant which Yahweh made with them at Horeb, creating out of them "a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation" (Ex 19:6). The new Israel who had been born in the desert were to inherit the blessings vouchsafed to their fathers, through the covenant just now being made in Moab (De 26:16-19; 27:9; 29:1; 5:2,3). By means of it they became the heirs of all the promises given unto their fathers the patriarchs (De 4:31; 7:12; 8:18; 29:13); they too became holy and peculiar, and especially beloved of Yahweh (De 7:6; 14:2,21; 26:18,19; 28:9; 4:37), disciplined, indeed, but for their own good (De 8:2,3,5,16), to be established as a people, as Yahweh’s peculiar lot and inheritance (De 32:6,9; 4:7).

(3) The Relation between Yahweh and Israel a Unique Relation.

Other nations feared their deities; Israel was expected not only to fear Yahweh but to love Him and cleave to Him (De 4:10; 5:29; 6:5; 10:12,20; 11:1,13,12; 13:3,4; 17:19; 19:9; 28:58; 30:6,16,20; 31:12,13). The highest privileges are theirs because they are partakers of the covenant blessings; all others are strangers and foreigners, except they be admitted into Israel by special permission (De 23:1-8).

5. Unity:

The essential unity of the great kernel of Deuteronomy (De 5-26) is recognized and freely allowed by nearly everyone (e. g. Kautzsch, Kuenen, Dillmann, Driver). Some would even defend the unity of the whole of De 1-26 (Knobel, Graf, Kosters, Colenso, Kleinert). No other book of the Old Testament, unless it be the prophecies of Ezekiel, bears such unmistakable signs of unity in aim, language and thought. "The literary style of Deuteronomy," says Driver, "is very marked and individual; in his command of a chaste, yet warm and persuasive eloquence, the author of Deuteronomy stands unique among the writers of the OT" (Deuteronomy, lxxvii, lxxxviii). Many striking expressions characterize the style of this wonderful book of oratory: e. g. "cause to inherit"; "Hear O Israel"; the oft-repeated root, meaning in the Qal verb-species "learn," and in the Piel verb-species "teach"; "be willing"; "so shalt thou exterminate the evil from thy midst"; "as at this day"; "that it may be well with thee"; "the land whither thou goest in to possess it"; "with all thy heart and with all thy soul"; and many others, all of which occur frequently in Deuteronomy and rarely elsewhere in the Old Testament, thus binding, so far as style can, the different sections of the book into one solid unit. Barring various titles and editorial additions (De 1:1-5; 4:44-49; 29:1; 33:1,7,9,22; 34:1) and a few archaeological notes such as De 2:10-12,20-23; 3:9,11,14; 10:6-9, and of course the last chapter, which gives an account of Moses’ death, there is every reason necessary for supposing that the book is a unit. Few writings in the entire field of literature have so clear a unity of purpose or so uniform a style of address.

6. Authorship:

There is one passage bearing upon the authorship of Deuteronomy wherein it is stated most explicitly that Moses wrote "this law." It reads, "And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi. .... And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished (i.e. to the end), that Moses commanded the Levites, that bare the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee" (De 31:9,24-27). This passage is of more than traditional value, and should not be ignored as is so often done (e. g. by Ryle, article "Deuteronomy," HDB). It is not enough to say that Moses was the great fountain-head of Hebrew law, that he gave oral but not written statutes, or, that Moses was only the traditional source of these statutes. For it is distinctly and emphatically stated that "Moses wrote this law." And it is further declared (De 31:22) that "Moses wrote this song," contained in De 32. Now, these statements are either true, or they are false. There is no escape. The authorship of no other book in the Old Testament is so explicitly emphasized. The present writer believes that Moses actually wrote the great body of Deuteronomy, and for the following general reasons:

(1) Deuteronomy as a Whole Is Eminently Appropriate to What We Know of Moses’ Times.

It closes most fittingly the formative period of Israel’s history. The historical situation from first to last is that of Moses. The references to foreign neighbors—Egypt, Canaan, Amalek, Ammon, Moab, Edom—are in every case to those who flourished in Moses’ own times. As a law book its teaching is based upon the Ten Commandments. If Moses gave the Ten Commandments, then surely he may have written the Book of Deuteronomy also. Besides, the Code of Hammurabi, which antedates Moses by at least 700 years, makes it possible certainly that Moses also left laws in codified or written form.

(2) Deuteronomy Is Represented as Emanating from Moses.

The language is language put into Moses’ mouth. Nearly forty times his name occurs, and in the majority of instances as the authoritative author of the subject-matter. The first person is used predominatingly throughout: "I commanded Joshua at that time" De (De 3:21); and "I charged your judges at that time" (1:16); "And I commanded you at that time" (De 1:18); "I have led you forty years in the wilderness" (De 29:5). "The language surely purports to come from Moses; and if it was not actually used by him, it is a most remarkable case of impersonation, if not of literary forgery, for the writer represents himself as reproducing, not what Moses might have said, but the exact words of Moses" (Zerbe, The Antiquity of Hebrew Writing and Lit., 1911, 261).

(3) Deuteronomy Is a Military Law Book, a Code of Conquest, a Book of Exhortation.

It was intended primarily neither for Israel in the desert nor for Israel settled in Canaan, but for Israel on the borderland, eager for conquest. It is expressly stated that Moses taught Israel these statutes and judgments in order that they should obey them in the land which they were about to enter (De 4:5,14; 5:31). They must expel the aborigines (De 7:1; 9:1-3; 20:17; 31:3), but in their warfare they must observe certain laws in keeping with theocracy (De 20:1-20; 23:9-14; 21:10-14; 31:6,7), and, when they have finally dispossessed their enemies, they must settle down to agricultural life and live no longer as nomads but as citizens of a civilized land (De 19:14; 22:8-10; 24:19-21). All these laws are regulations which should become binding in the future only (compare Kittel, History Of the Hebrews, I, 32). Coupled with them are prophetic exhortations which seem to be genuine, and to have had their birth in Moses’ soul. Indeed the great outstanding feature of Deuteronomy is its parenetic or hortatory character. Its exhortations have not only a military ring as though written on the eve of battle, but again and again warn Israel against allowing themselves to be conquered in religion through the seductions of idolatry. The book in short is the message of one who is interested in Israel’s political and religious future. There is a paternal vein running throughout it which marks it with a genuine Mosaic, not a merely fictitious or artificial, stamp. It is these general features, so characteristic of the entire book, which compel one to believe in its Mosaic authorship.

7. Deuteronomy Spoken Twice:

Certain literary features exist in Deuteronomy which lead the present writer to think that the bulk of the book was spoken twice; once, to the first generation between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea in the 2nd year of the Exodus wanderings, and a second time to the new generation, in the plains of Moab in the 40th year. Several considerations point in this direction:

(1) The Names of the Widely Separated Geographical Places Mentioned in the Title (De 1:1,2).

"These are the words which Moses spake unto all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di-zahab"; to which is added, "It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea." If these statements have any relevancy whatever to the contents of the book which they introduce, they point to a wide area, from Horeb to Moab, as the historico-geographical background of the book. In other words, Deuteronomy, in part at least, seems to have been spoken first on the way between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea, and later again when Israel were encamped on the plains of Moab. And, indeed, what would be more natural than for Moses when marching northward from Horeb expecting to enter Canaan from the south, to exhort the Israel of that day in terms of De 5-26? Being baffled, however, by the adverse report of the spies and the faithlessness of the people, and being forced to wait and wander for 38 years, what would be more natural than for Moses in Moab, when about to resign his position as leader, to repeat the exhortations of De 5-26, adapting them to the needs of the new desert-trained generation and prefacing the whole by a historical introduction such as that found in De 1-4?

(2) The Double Allusion to the Cities of Refuge (De 4:41-43; 19:1-13).

On the supposition that De 5-26 were spoken first between Horeb and Kadesh-barnea, in the 2nd year of the Exodus, it could not be expected that in this section the names of the three cities chosen East of the Jordan should be given, and in fact they are not (De 19:1-13); the territory of Sihon and Og had not yet been conquered and the cities of refuge, accordingly, had not yet been designated (compare Nu 35:2:14). But in De 4:41-43, on the contrary, which forms a part of the historical introduction, which ex hypothesi was delivered just at the end of the 39 years’ wanderings, after Sihon and Og had been subdued and their territory divided, the three cities of refuge East of the Jordan are actually named, just as might be expected.

(3) Section De 4:44-49.

The section De 4:44-49, which, in its original form, very probably introduced chapters 5-26 before these chapters were adapted to the new situation in Moab.

(4) The Phrase "Began Moses to Declare This Law" (De 1:5).

The phrase "began Moses to declare this law" (De 1:5), suggesting that the great lawgiver found it necessary to expound what he had delivered at some previous time. The Hebrew word translated "to declare" is found elsewhere in the Old Testament only in De 27:8 and in Hab 2:2, and signifies "to make plain."

(5) The Author’s Evident Attempt to Identify the New Generation in Moab with the Patriarchs.

"Yahweh made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day," i.e. with us who have survived the desert discipline (De 5:3). In view of these facts, we conclude that the book in its present form (barring the exceptions above mentioned) is the product of the whole 39 years of desert experience from Horeb on, adapted, however, to meet the exigencies of the Israelites as they stood between the victories already won on the East of the Jordan and those anticipated on the West. The impression given throughout is that the aged lawgiver’s work is done, and that a new era in the people’s history is about to begin.

8. Deuteronomy’s Influence in Israel’s History:

The influence of Deuteronomy began to be felt from the very beginning of Israel’s career in Canaan. Though the references to Deuteronomy in Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings are comparatively few, yet they are sufficient to show that not only the principles of Deuteronomy were known and observed but that they were known in written form as codified statutes. For example, when Jericho was taken, the city and its spoil were "devoted" (Jos 6:17,18) in keeping with De 13:15 ff (compare Jos 10:40; 11:12,15 with De 7:2; 20:16,17). Achan trespassed and he and his household were stoned, and afterward burned with fire (Jos 7:25; compare De 13:10; 17:5). The fact that his sons and his daughters were put to death with him seems at first sight to contradict De 24:16, but there is no proof that they suffered for their father’s sin (see ACHAN; ACHOR); besides the Hebrews recognized the unity of the household, even that of Rahab the harlot (Jos 6:17). Again when Ai was taken, "only the cattle and the spoil" did Israel take for a prey unto themselves (Jos 8:27), in keeping with De 20:14; also, the body of the king of Ai was taken down before nightfall from the tree on which he had been hanged (Jos 8:29), which was in keeping with De 21:23 (compare Jos 10:26,27). As in warfare, so in worship. For instance, Joshua built an altar on Mt. Ebal (Jos 8:30,31), "as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded" (De 27:4-6), and he wrote on them a copy of the law (Jos 8:32), as Moses had also enjoined (De 27:3,8). Moreover, the elders and officers and judges stood on either side of the ark of the covenant between Ebal and Gerizim (Jos 8:33), as directed in De 11:29; 27:12,13, and Joshua read to all the congregation of Israel all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings (Jos 8:34,35), in strict accord with De 31:11,12.

But the passage of paramount importance is the story of the two and a half tribes who, on their return to their home on the East side of the Jordan, erected a memorial at the Jordan, and, when accused by their fellow-tribesmen of plurality of sanctuary, emphatically disavowed it (Jos 22:29; compare De 12:5). Obviously, therefore, Deuteronomy was known in the days of Joshua. A very few instances in the history of the Judges point in the same direction: e. g. the utter destruction of Zephath (Jud 1:17; compare De 7:2; 20:16 f); Gideon’s elimination of the fearful and faint-hearted from his army (Jud 7:1-7; compare De 20:1-9); the author’s studied concern to justify Gideon and Manoah for sacrificing at altars other than at Shiloh on the ground that they acted in obedience to Yahweh’s direct commands (Jud 6:25-27; 13:16); especially the case of Micah, who congratulated himself that Yahweh would do him good seeing he had a Levite for a priest, is clear evidence that Deuteronomy was known in the days of the Judges (Jud 17:13; compare De 10:8; 18:1-8; 33:8-11). In 1Sa 1:1-9,21,24 the pious Elkanah is pictured as going yearly to worship Yahweh at Shiloh, the central sanctuary at that time. After the destruction of Shiloh, when the ark of the covenant had been captured by the Philistines, Samuel indeed sacrificed at Mizpah, Ramah and Bethlehem (1Sa 7:7-9,17; 16:5), but in doing so he only took advantage of the elasticity of the Deuteronomic law: "When .... he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; then it shall come to pass that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices" (De 12:10,11). It was not until Solomon’s time that Israel’s enemies were all subdued, and even then Solomon did not observe strictly the teachings of Deuteronomy; "His wives turned away his heart," so that he did not faithfully keep Yahweh’s "covenant" and "statutes" (1Ki 11:3,11). Political disruption followed, and religion necessarily suffered. Yet Jehoiada the priest gave the youthful Joash "the crown" and "the testimony" (2Ki 11:12; compare De 17:18). King Amaziah did not slay the children of the murderers who slew his father, in conscious obedience apparently to the law of Deuteronomy (2Ki 14:6; compare De 24:16). Later on, Hezekiah, the cultured king of Judah, reformed the cult of his day by removing the high places, breaking down the pillars, cutting down the Asherahs, and even breaking in pieces the brazen serpent which Moses had made (2Ki 18:4,22). Hezekiah’s reforms were unquestionably carried through under the influence of Deuteronomy.

It is equally certain that the prophets of the 8th century were not ignorant of this book. For example, Hosea complains of Israel’s sacrificing upon the tops of the mountains and burning incense upon the hills, and warns Judah not to follow Israel’s example in coming up to worship at Gilgal and Beth-aven (Ho 4:13,15). He also alludes to striving with priests (Ho 4:4; compare De 17:12), removing landmarks (Ho 5:10; compare De 19:14), returning to Egypt (Ho 8:13; 9:3; compare De 28:68), and of Yahweh’s tender dealing with Ephraim (Ho 11:3; compare De 1:31; 32:10). The courage of Amos, the shepherd-prophet of Tekoa, can best be explained, also, on the basis of a written law such as that of Deuteronomy with which he and his hearers were already more or less familiar (Am 3:2; compare De 7:6; 4:7,8). He condemns Israel’s inhumanity and adultery in the name of religion, and complains of their retaining overnight pledges wrested from the poor, which was distinctly forbidden in Deuteronomy (Am 2:6-8; compare De 24:12-15; 23:17). Likewise, in the prophecies of Isaiah there are conscious reflections of Deuteronomy’s thought and teaching. Zion is constantly pictured as the center of the nation’s religion and as Yahweh’s secure dwellingplace (Isa 2:2-4; 8:18; 28:16; 29:1,2; compare Mic 4:1- 4). In short, no one of the four great prophets of the 8th century BC—Isaiah, Micah, Amos, Hosea—ever recognized "high places" as legitimate centers of worship.

9. The Critical Theory:

Over against the Biblical view, certain modern critics since De Wette (1805) advocate a late origin of Deuteronomy, claiming that it was first published in 621 BC, when Hilkiah found "the book of the law" in the temple in the 18th year of King Josiah (2Ki 22:8 ff). The kernel of Deuteronomy and "the book of the law" discovered by Hilkiah are said to be identical. Thus, Dr. G. A. Smith claims that "a code like the Book of Deuteronomy was not brought forth at a stroke, but was the expression of the gradual results of the age-long working of the Spirit of the Living God in the hearts of His people" (Jerusalem, II, 115). According to Dr. Driver, "Deuteronomy may be described as the prophetic reformulation and adaptation to new needs, of an older legislation." It is probable that there was a tradition, if not a written record, of a final legislative address delivered by Moses in the steppes of Moab: the plan followed by the author would rest upon a more obvious motive, if he thus worked upon a traditional basis. But be that as it may, the bulk of the laws contained in Deuteronomy is undoubtedly far more ancient than the author himself.

...." What is essentially new in Deuteronomy is not the matter, but the form. .... The new element in Deuteronomy is thus not the laws, but their parenetic setting" (Deuteronomy, lxi, lvi). This refined presentation of the matter would not be so very objectionable, were Drs. Smith and Driver’s theory not linked up with certain other claims and allegations to the effect that Moses in the 15th century BC could not possibly have promulgated such a lofty monotheism, that in theological teaching "the author of Deuteronomy is the spiritual heir of Hosea," that there are discrepancies between it and other parts of the Pentateuch, that in the early history of Israel down to the 8th century plurality of sanctuaries was legally permissible, that there are no traces of the influence of the principal teachings of a written Deuteronomy discoverable in Hebrew literature until the time of Jeremiah, and that the book as we possess it was originally composed as a program of reform, not by Moses but in the name of Moses as a forgery or pseudepigraph. For example, F. H. Woods says, "Although not a necessary result of accepting the later date, the majority of critics believe this book of the law to have been the result of a pious fraud promulgated by Hilkiah and Shaphan with the retention of deceiving Josiah into the belief that the reforms which they desired were the express command of God revealed to Moses" (HDB, II, 368). Some are unwilling to go so far. But in any case, it is claimed that the law book discovered and published by Hilkiah, which brought about the reformation by Josiah in 621 BC, was no other than some portion of the Book of Deuteronomy, and of Deuteronomy alone. But there are several considerations which are opposed to this theory:

(1) Deuteronomy emphasizes centralization of worship at one sanctuary (12:5); Josiah’s reformation was directed rather against idolatry in general (2Ki 23:4 ff).

(2) In De 18:6-8, a Levite coming from the country to Jerusalem was allowed to minister and share in the priestly perquisites; but in 2Ki 23:9, "the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened bread among their brethren." And according to the critical theory, "Levites" and "priests" are interchangeable terms.

(3) The following passages in Exodus might almost equally with Deuteronomy account for Josiah’s reformation: Ex 20:3; 22:18,20; 23:13,14,32,33; 34:13,14-17.

(4) The law book discovered by Hilkiah was recognized at once as an ancient code which the fathers had disobeyed (2Ki 22:13). Were they all deceived? Even Jeremiah (compare Jer 11:3,4)? "There were many persons in Judah who had powerful motives for exposing this forgery if it was one" (Raven, Old Testament Introduction, 112).

(5) One wonders why so many archaic and, in Josiah’s time, apparently obsolete laws should have been incorporated in a code whose expre (De 7:18,22), and to blot out Amalek (De 25:17-19), the last remnants of whom were completely destroyed in Hezekiah’s time (1Ch 4:41-43). Especially is this true of the score and more of laws peculiar to Deuteronomy, concerning building battlements on the roofs of houses (De 22:8), robbing birds’ nests (De 22:6,7), the sexes exchanging garments (De 22:5), going out to war (De 20:1 ff), etc.

(6) Especially remarkable is it that if Deuteronomy were written, as alleged, shortly before the reign of Josiah, there should be no anachronisms in it betraying a post-Mosaic origin. There are no allusions to the schism between Judah and Israel, no hint of Assyrian oppression through the exaction of tribute, nor any threats of Israel’s exile either to Assyria or Babylonia, but rather to Egypt (De 28:68). "Jerusalem" is never mentioned. From a literary point of view, it is psychologically and historically well-nigh impossible for a writer to conceal all traces of his age and circumstances. On the other hand, no Egyptologist has ever discovered any anachronisms in Deuteronomy touching Egyptian matters. From first to last the author depicts the actual situation of the times of Moses. It is consequently hard to believe, as is alleged, that a later writer is studying to give "an imaginative revivification of the past."

(7) The chief argument in favor of Deuteronomy’s late origin is its alleged teaching concerning the unity of the sanctuary. Wellhausen lays special emphasis upon this point. Prior to Josiah’s reformation, it is claimed, plurality of sanctuaries was allowed. But in opposition to this, it is possible to point victoriously to Hezekiah’s reformation (2Ki 18:4,22), as a movement in the direction of unity; and especially to Ex 20:24, which is so frequently misinterpreted as allowing a multiplicity of sanctuaries. This classical passage when correctly interpreted allows only that altars shall be erected in every place where Yahweh records His name, "which presumably during the wanderings and the time of the judges would mean wherever the Tabernacle was" (Mackay, Introduction to Old Testament, 110). This interpretation of this passage is confirmed and made practically certain, indeed, by the command in Ex 23:14-19 that Israel shall repair three times each year to the house of Yahweh and there present their offering. On the other hand, Deuteronomy’s emphasis upon unity of sanctuary is often exaggerated. The Book of Deuteronomy requires unity only after Israel’s enemies are all overcome (De 12:10,11). "When" Yahweh giveth them rest, "then" they shall repair for worship to the place which "God shall choose." As Davidson remarks: "It is not a law that is to come into effect on their entry into Canaan; it is to be observed from the time that Yahweh shall have given them rest from all their enemies round about; that is, from the times of David, or more particularly, Solomon; for only when the temple was built did that place become known which Yahweh had chosen to place His name there" (Old Testament Theology, 361). Besides, it should not be forgotten that in Deuteronomy itself the command is given to build an altar in Mt. Ebal (De 27:5-7). As a matter of fact, the unity of sanctuary follows as a necessary consequence of monotheism; and if Moses taught monotheism, he probably also enjoined unity of worship. If, on the other hand, monotheism was first evolved by the prophets of the 8th century, then, of course, unity of sanctuary was of 8th-century origin also.

(8) Another argument advanced in favor of the later origin of Deuteronomy is the contradiction between the laws of Deuteronomy and those of Lev-Nu concerning the priests and Levites. In Nu 16:10,35,40, a sharp distinction is drawn, it is alleged, between the priests and common Levites, whereas in De 18:1-8, all priests are Levites and all Levites are priests. But as a matter of fact, the passage in Deuteronomy does not invest a Levite with priestly but with Levitical functions (compare De 18:7). "The point insisted upon is that all Levites shall receive full recognition at the sanctuary and be accorded their prerogatives. It goes without saying that if the Levite be a priest he shall serve and fare like his brethren the priests; if he be not a priest, he shall enjoy the privileges that belong to his brethren who are Levites, but not priests" (J. D. Davis, article "Deuteronomy," in Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, 117). The Book of Deuteronomy teaches not that all the tribe, but only the tribe of Levi may exercise priestly functions, thus restricting the exercise of priestly prerogatives to one and only one tribe. This was in perfect harmony with Lev-Nu and also in keeping with the style of popular discourse.

(9) Recently Professor Ed. Naville, the Egyptologist, has propounded a theory of the origin of "the Book of the Law" discovered by Hilkiah, which is not without some value. On the analogy of the Egyptian custom of burying texts of portions of "the Book of the Dead" at the foot of statues of gods and within foundations of temple walls, as at Hermopolis, he concludes that Solomon, when he constructed the Temple, probably deposited this "Book of the Law" in the foundations, and that when Josiah’s workmen were about their tasks of repairing the edifice, the long-forgotten document came to light and was given to Hilkiah the priest. Hilkiah, however, upon examination of the document found it difficult to read, and so, calling for Shaphan the scribe, who was more expert in deciphering antique letters than himself, he gave the sacred roll to him, and he in turn read it to both Hilkiah and the king. The manuscript may indeed have been written in cuneiform. Thus, according to Naville, "the Book of the Law," which he identifies with Deuteronomy, must be pushed back as far as the age of Solomon at the very latest. Geden shares a similar view as to its date: "some time during the prosperous period of David and the United Monarchy" (Intro to the Hebrew Bible, 1909, 330).

But why not ascribe the book to the traditional author? Surely there can be no philosophical objection to doing so, in view of the now-known Code of Hammurabi, which antedates Moses by so many hundreds of years! No other age accounts so well for its origin as that of the great lawgiver who claims to have written the bulk of it. And the history of the disintegration of the book only shows to what extremes a false method may lead; for example, Steuernagel separates the "Thou" and "Ye" sections from each other and assigns them to different authors of late date: Kennett, on the other hand, assigns the earliest strata to the period of the Exile (Jour. of Theol. Studies, 1904), On the whole, no theory is so satisfactory as that which, in keeping with De 31:22,24, ascribes to Moses the great bulk of the book. See also CRITICISM; PENTATEUCH.


On the conservative side: James Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament, The Bross Prize, 1906; article "Deuteronomy," Illustrated Bible Dict., 1908; James Robertson, The Early Religion of Israel, 1892; article "Deuteronomy," The Temple Bible Dict., 1910; John D. Davis, article "Deuteronomy," Davis’ Dict. of the Bible, 1911; John H. Raven, Old Testament Intro, 1906; A. S. Geden, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, 1909; W. Moller, Are the Critics Right? 1903; R. B. Girdlestone, The Student’s Deuteronomy, 1899; Hugh Pope, The Date of the Composition of Deuteronomy, 1911; A. S. Zerbe, The Antiquity of Hebrew Writing and Lit., 1911; Ed. Naville, The Discovery of the Book of the Law under King Josiah, 1911; E. C. Bissell, The Pentateuch: Its Origin and Structure, 1885; G. L. Robinson, The Expositor, "The Genesis of Deuteronomy," October and November, 1898, February, March, May, 1899; W. H. Green, Moses and the Prophets, 1891; The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch, 1895; A. M. Mackay, The Churchman’s Introduction to the Old Testament, 1901; J. W. Beardslee, Outlines of an Introduction to the Old Testament, 1903; G. Vos, The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes, 1886.

On the other side: S. R. Driver, A Crit. and Exeg. Commentary on Deuteronomy, 1895; The Hexateuch, by J. Estlin Carpenter and G. Harford-Battersby, I, II, 1900; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 1908; W. Robertson Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, 1895; A. Kuenen, The Hexateuch, 1886; H. E. Ryle, article "Deuteronomy," HDB, 1898; G. F. Moore, article "Deuteronomy," Encyclopedia Bibl., 1899; J. A. Paterson, article "Deuteronomy," Encyclopedia Brit, VIII, 1910.

In German: De Wette, Dissert. crit-exeget., 1805; Kleinert, Das De u. d. Deuteronomiker, 1872; Wellhausen, Die Comp. des Hexateuch. u. d. hist. Bucher des Altes Testament, 1889; Gesch. Israels, 1895; Steuernagel, Der Rahmen des Deuteronomy, 1894; Entsteh. des dt. Gesetzes, 1896.

George L. Robinson


de-vis’:"A scheme," "invention," "plot." In the Old Testament it stands for six Hebrew words, of which the most common is machashebheth (from chashabh, "to think," "contrive"). In the New Testament it occurs only twice, once for Greek enthumesis (Ac 17:29), and once for noema (2Co 2:11). Sometimes the word means simply that which is planned or invented, without any evil implication, as in 2Ch 2:14; Ac 17:29 (of artistic work or invention), and Ec 9:10 (in the general sense of reasoning or contriving). But more frequently it is used in an evil sense, of a wicked purpose or plot, "Let us devise devices against Jeremiah" (Jer 18:18); "For we are not ignorant of his (i.e. Satan’s) devices" (2Co 2:11), etc.

D. Miall Edwards


dev’-’-l. See DEMON; SATAN.


de-vot’-ed, (cherem).



de-vo’-shun, (sebasmata): For the King James Version "your devotions" (Ac 17:23), the Revised Version (British and American) has "the objects of your worship," which is probably the intended meaning of the King James Version. the Revised Version (British and American) reads "devotion" for the King James Version "prayer" in Job 15:4 (the Revised Version, margin "meditation," Hebrew siach).


de-vout’ (eulabes, eusebes, sebomai, "pious," "dutiful," "reverential"): The word is peculiar to Luke. Applied to Simeon (Lu 2:25), Cornelius (Ac 10:2,7), Ananias (Ac 22:12). "Devout proselytes" (Ac 13:43, the King James Version "religious proselytes"), with possible reference to the proselytes of righteousness as distinguished from the proselytes of the gate (see PROSELYTE). "Devout women of honorable estate" (Ac 13:50), proselytes to Judaism and wives of the men in high position among the heathen (see Josephus, BJ, II, xx, 2). "Devout Greeks" (Ac 17:4), probably, though not necessarily, proselytes of the gate, heathen by birth, who attended the synagogue services and worshipped God. "Devout persons" (Ac 17:17), proselytes of the gate.

M. O. Evans


du (Tal; drosos).

1. Formation of Dew:

Two things are necessary for the formation of dew, moisture and cold. In moist countries there is less dew because the change in temperature between day and night is too small. In the deserts where the change in temperature between day and night is sometimes as much as 40 degrees F., there is seldom dew because of lack of moisture in the atmosphere. Palestine is fortunate in being near the sea, so that there is always a large percentage of water vapor in the air. The skies are clear, and hence, there is rapid radiation beginning immediately after sunset, which cools the land and the air until the moisture is condensed and settles on cool objects. Air at a low temperature is not capable of holding as much water vapor in suspension as warm air. The ice pitcher furnishes an example of the formation of dew. Just as the drops of water form on the cool pitcher, so dew forms on rocks, grass and trees.

2. Value of Dew in Palestine:

In Palestine it does not rain from April to October, and were it not for the dew in summer all vegetation would perish. Dew and rain are equally important. If there is no rain the winter grass and harvests fail; if no dew, the late crops dry up and there is no fruit. Failure of either of these gifts of Nature would cause great want and hardship, but the failure of both would cause famine and death. Even on the edge of the great Syrian desert in Anti-Lebanon, beyond Jordan and in Sinai, a considerable vegetation of a certain kind flourishes in the summer, although there is not a drop of rain for six months. The dews are so heavy that the plants and trees are literally soaked with water at night, and they absorb sufficient moisture to more than supply the loss due to evaporation in the day. It is more surprising to one who has not seen it before to find a flourishing vineyard practically in the desert itself. Some of the small animals of the desert, such as the jerboa, seem to have no water supply except the dew. The dew forms most heavily on good conductors of heat, such as metals and stones, because they radiate their heat faster and cool the air around them. The wetting of Gideon’s fleece (Jud 6:38) is an indication of the amount of dew formed, and the same phenomenon might be observed any clear night in summer in Palestine

3. Importance to Israel:

Dew was a present necessity to the people of Israel as it is today to the people of the same lands, so Yahweh says, "I will be as the dew unto Israel" (Ho 14:5). Dew and rain are of equal importance and are spoken of together in 1Ki 17:1. It was especially valued by the children of Israel in the desert, for it supplied the manna for their sustenance (Ex 16:13; Nu 11:9).

4. Symbol of Blessing:

Isaac in blessing Jacob asked that the "dew of heaven" (Ge 27:28) may be granted to him; that these things which make for fertility and prosperity may be his portion. "The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples as dew from Yahweh" (Mic 5:7), as a means of blessing to the nations. "Blessed of Yahweh for .... dew" (De 33:13).

5. Symbol of Refreshment:

Dew is the means of refreshing and reinvigorating all vegetation. Many Scripture references carry out this idea. The song of Moses says, "My speech shall distill as the dew" (De 32:2). "A cloud of dew" (Isa 18:4) refreshes the harvesters. "My head is filled with dew" (So 5:2). "Like the dew of Hermon" (Ps 133:3). "Thou hast the dew of thy youth" (Ps 110:3). "Thy dew is as the dew of herbs" (Isa 26:19). Job said of the time of his prosperity, "The dew lieth all night upon my branch" (Job 29:19).

Other figures use dew as the symbol of stealth, of that which comes up unawares (2Sa 17:12), and of inconstancy (Ho 6:4; 13:3). God’s knowledge covers the whole realm of the phenomena of Nature which are mysteries to man (Job 38:28; Pr 3:20).

Alfred H. Joy


di’-za-hab, diz’-a-hab di-za-habh; Septuagint Katachrusea, (literally, "abounding in gold"):

The name occurs in a list apparently intended to fix definitely the situation of the camp of Israel in the plains of Moab (De 1:1). No place in the region has been found with a name suggesting this; and there is no other clue to its identification. Some names in the list are like those of stations earlier in the wanderings. Thinking that one of these may be intended Burckhardt suggested Mina edh-Dhahab, a boat harbor between Ras Mohammad and ‘Aqaba. Cheyne gets over the difficulty by accepting a suggestion of Sayee that Di-zahab corresponds to Me-zahab (Ge 36:39); this latter he then transforms into Mitzraim, and identifies it with the North Arabian Mucri (Encyclopedia Biblica, under the word). The changes, however, seem greater than can be justified.

W. Ewing


di’-a-dem: There are seven Bible references to the diadem, four in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament. The Hebrew words do not mark any clear distinctions.

(1) tsaniph, tsanoph, tsaniphah (all from tsanaph, primarily "to wrap," "dress," "roll") mean a headdress in the nature of a turban or piece of cloth wrapped or twisted about the head. The word is also rendered "hood," "mitre." Job 29:14: "My justice was as a robe and a diadem" (RVm, "turban"); Isa 62:3: "a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

(2) tsephirah, means "a crown," "diadem," i.e. something round about the head; Isa 28:5 "a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people."

(3) mitsnepheth, means an official turban or tiara of priest or king, translated also "mitre." Eze 21:26: "Remove the mitre, and take off the crown."

(4) diadema, the Greek word in the New Testament for "diadem," means "something bound about the head." Found 3 t, all in Re 12:3: "a great red dragon .... and upon his heads seven diadems" (the King James Version "crowns"); Re 13:1: "a beast .... and on his horns ten diadems"; 19:11,12: "a white horse .... and upon his head are many diadems." See CROWN.

William Edward Raffety


di’-al, a’-haz:

1. Hezekiah’s Sickness and the Sign

2. The Sign a Real Miracle

3. The "Dial" a Staircase

4. Time of Day of the Miracle

5. Hezekiah’s Choice of the Sign

6. Meaning of the Sign

7. The Fifteen "Songs of Degrees"

1. Hezekiah’s Sickness and the Sign:

One of the most striking instances recorded in Holy Scripture of the interruption, or rather reversal, of the working of a natural law is the going back of the shadow on the dial of Ahaz at the time of Hezekiah’s recovery from his illness. The record of the incident is as follows. Isaiah was sent to Hezekiah in his sickness, to say:

"Thus saith Yahweh, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee; on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of Yahweh. .... And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up unto the house of Yahweh the third day? And Isaiah said, This shall be the sign unto thee from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps? And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Ahaz" (2Ki 20:5-11). And in Isa 38:8, it is said, "Behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps, which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the dial whereon it was gone down."

2. The Sign a Real Miracle:

The first and essential point to be noted is that this was no ordinary astronomical phenomenon, nor was it the result of ordinary astronomical laws then unknown. It was peculiar to that particular place, and to that particular time; otherwise we should not read of "the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent .... to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land" (2Ch 32:31). It is impossible, therefore, to accept the suggestion that the dial of Ahaz may have been improperly constructed, so as to produce a reversal of the motion of the shadow at certain times. For such a maladjustment would have occasioned the repetition of the phenomenon every time the sun returned to the same position with respect to the dial. The narrative, in fact, informs us that the occurrence was not due to any natural law, known or unknown, since Hezekiah was given the choice and exercised it of his own free will, as to whether a shadow should move in a particular direction or in the opposite. But there are no alternative results in the working of a natural law. "If a state of things is repeated in every detail, it must lead to exactly the same consequences." The same natural law cannot indifferently produce one result, or its opposite. The movement of the shadow on the dial of Ahaz was, therefore, a miracle in the strict sense of the term. It cannot be explained by the working of any astronomical law, known or unknown. We have no information as to the astronomical conditions at the time; we can only inquire into the setting of the miracle.

3. The "Dial" a Staircase:

It is unfortunate that one important word in the narrative has been rendered in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) by a term which describes a recognized astronomical instrument. The word "dial" (ma’aloth) is usually translated "degrees," "steps," or "stairs," and indeed is thus rendered in the same verse. There is no evidence that the structure referred to had been designed to serve as a dial or was anything other than a staircase, "the staircase of Ahaz." It was probably connected with that "covered way for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without," which Ahaz turned "round the house of Yahweh, because of the king of Assyria" (2Ki 16:18 the Revised Version, margin). This staircase, called after Ahaz because the alteration was due to him, may have been substituted for David’s "causeway that goeth up," which was "westward, by the gate of Shallecheth" (1Ch 26:16), or more probably for Solomon’s "ascent by which he went up unto the house of Yahweh" which so impressed the queen of Sheba (2Ch 9:4).

4. Time of Day of the Miracle:

At certain times of the day the shadow of some object fell upon this staircase, and we learn from both 2Ki and Isa that this shadow had already gone down ten steps, while from Isa we learn in addition that the sun also was going down. The miracle therefore took place in the afternoon, when the sun moves on its downward course, and when all shadows are thrown in an easterly direction. We are not told what was the object that cast the shadow, but it must have stood to the west of the staircase, and the top of the staircase must have passed into the shadow first, and the foot of the staircase have remained longest in the light. The royal palace is understood to have been placed southeast of the Temple, and it is therefore probable that it was some part of the Temple buildings that had cast its shadow down the stairway in full view of the dying king, as he lay in his chamber. If the afternoon were well advanced the sun would be moving rapidly in altitude, and but little in azimuth; or, in other words, the shadow would be advancing down the steps at its quickest rate, but be moving only slowly toward the left of those who were mounting them. It may well have been the case, therefore, that the time had come when the priests from Ophel, and the officials and courtiers from the palace, were going up the ascent into the house of the Lord to be present at the evening sacrifice; passing from the bright sunshine at the foot of the stairs into the shadow that had already fallen upon the upper steps. The sun would be going straight down behind the buildings and the steps already in shadow would sink into deeper shadow, not to emerge again into the light until a new day’s sun had arisen upon the earth.

5. Hezekiah’s Choice of the Sign:

We can therefore understand the nature of the choice of the sign that was offered by the prophet to the dying king. Would he choose that ten more steps should be straight- way engulfed in the shadow, or that ten steps already shadowed should be brought back into the light? Either might serve as a sign that he should arise on the third day and go up in renewed life to the house of the Lord; but the one sign would be in accordance with the natural progress of events, and the other would be directly opposed to it. It would be a light thing, as Hezekiah said, for the shadow to go forward ten steps; a bank of cloud rising behind the Temple would effect that change. But no disposition of cloud could bring the shadow back from that part of the staircase which had already passed into it, and restore it to the sunshine. The first change was, in human estimation, easily possible, "a light thing"; the second change seemed impossible. Hezekiah chose the seemingly impossible, and the Lord gave the sign and answered his prayer. We need not ask Whether the king showed more or less faith in choosing the "impossible" rather than the "possible" sign. His father Ahaz had shown his want of faith by refusing to put the Lord to the test, by refusing to ask a sign, whether in the heaven above or in the earth beneath. The faith of Hezekiah was shown in asking a sign, which was at once in the heaven above and in the earth beneath, in accepting the choice offered to him, and so putting the Lord to the test. And the sign chosen was most fitting, Hezekiah lay dying, whether of plague or of cancer we do not know, but his disease was mortal and beyond cure; he was already entering into the shadow of death. The word of the Lord was sure to him; on "the third day" he would rise and go up in new life to the house of God.

6. Meaning of the Sign:

But what of the sign? Should the shadow of death swallow him up; should his life be swiftly cut off in darkness, and be hidden until a new day should dawn, and the light of a new life, a life of resurrection, arise? (Compare Joh 11:24.) Or should the shadow be drawn back swiftly, and new years be added to his life before death could come upon him? Swift death was in the natural progress of events; restoration to health was of the impossible. He chose the restoration to health, and the Lord answered his faith and his prayer.

We are not able to go further into particulars. The first temple, the royal palace, and the staircase of Ahaz were all destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and we have no means of ascertaining the exact position of the staircase with respect to Temple or palace, or the number of the steps that it contained, or the time of the day, or the season of the year when the sign was given. It is possible that if we knew any or all of these, a yet greater significance, both spiritual and astronomical, might attach to the narrative.

7. The Fifteen "Songs of Degrees":

Fifteen years were added to the life of Hezekiah. In the restoration of the second temple by Herod fifteen steps led from the Court of the Women to the Court of Israel, and on these steps the Levites during the Feast of Tabernacles were accustomed to stand in order to sing the fifteen "songs of degrees" (Pss 120-134). At the head of these same steps in the gateway, lepers who had been cleansed from their disease presented themselves to the priests. It has been suggested that Hezekiah himself was the compiler of these fifteen "songs of the steps," in thankfulness for his fifteen years of added life. Five of them are ascribed to David or as written for Solomon, but the remaining ten bear no author’s name. Their subjects are, however, most appropriate to the great crises and desires of Hezekiah’s life. His great Passover, to which all the tribes were invited, and so many Israelites came; the blasphemy of Rabshakeh and of Sennacherib’s threatening letter; the danger of the Assyrian invasion and the deliverance from it; Hezekiah’s sickness unto death and his miraculous restoration to health; and the fact that at that time he would seem to have had no son to follow him on the throne—all these subjects seem to find fitting expression in the fifteen Psalms of the Steps.

E. W. Maunder


di’-a-mund. See STONES, PRECIOUS.


di-an’-a (Artemis "prompt," "safe"): A deity of Asiatic origin, the mother goddess of the earth, whose seat of worship was the temple in Ephesus, the capital of the Roman province of Asia. Diana is but the Latinized form of the Greek word Artemis, yet the Artemis of Ephesus should not be confused with the Greek goddess of that name.

She may, however, be identified with the Cybele of the Phrygians whose name she also bore, and with several other deities who were worshipped under different names in various parts of the Orient. In Cappadocia she was known as Ma; to the Syrians as Atargatis or Mylitta; among the Phoenicians as Astarte, a name which appears among the Assyrians as Ishtar; the modern name Esther is derived from it. The same goddess seems to have been worshipped by the Hittites, for a female deity is sculptured on the rocks at Yazili Kaya, near the Hittite city of Boghazkeui. It may be shown ultimately that the various goddesses of Syria and Asia Minor all owe their origin to the earlier Assyrian or Babylonian Ishtar, the goddess of love, whose chief attributes they possessed. The several forms and names under which she appears axe due to the varying developments in different regions.

Tradition says that Diana was born in the woods near Ephesus, where her temple was built, when her image of wood (possibly ebony; Pliny, NH, xvi. 40; Ac 19:35) fell from the sky (see also ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 8 (2)). Also according to tradition the city which was later called Ephesus was founded by the Amazons, and Diana or Cybele was the deity of those half-mythical people. Later when Ephesus fell into the possession of the Greeks, Greek civilization partly supplanted the Asiatic, and in that city the two civilizations were blended together. The Greek name of Artemis was given to the Asiatic goddess, and many of the Greek colonists represented her on their coins as Greek. Her images and forms of worship remained more Asiatic than Greek Her earliest statues were figures crudely carved in wood. Later when she was represented in stone and metals, she bore upon her head a mural headdress, representing a fortitled city wall; from it, drapery hung upon each side of her face to her shoulders. The upper part of her body was completely covered with rows of breasts to signify that she was the mother of all life. The lower arms were extended. The lower part of the body resembled a rough block, as if her legs had been wrapped up in cloth like those of an Egyptian mummy. In later times her Greek followers represented her with stags or lions standing at her sides. The most renowned of her statues stood on the platform before the entrance to her temple in Ephesus. As the statues indicate, she impersonated the reproductive powers of men and of animals and of all other life.

At the head of her cult was a chief priest, originally a eunuch who bore the name and later the title Megabyzos. Under him were priests known as Essenes, appointed. perhaps from the city officials, for but a single year; it was their duty to offer the sacrifices to the goddess in behalf of the city. Other subordinate classes of priests known as Kouretes, Krobatai and Hilroi performed duties which are now obscure. The priestesses were even more numerous, and, probably from their great numbers, they were called Melissai or bees; the Ephesian symbol therefore which appears commonly upon the coins struck in the city, is a bee. The Melissai, which in the early times were all virgins, were of three classes; it is no longer known just what the special duties of each class were. The ritual of the temple services consisted of sacrifices and of ceremonial prostitution, a practice which was common to many of the religions of the ancient Orient, and which still exists among some of the obscure tribes of Asia Minor.

The temple of Diana was not properly the home of the goddess; it was but a shrine, the chief one, devoted to her service. She lived in Nature; she was everywhere wherever there was life, the mother of all living things; all offerings of every possible nature were therefore acceptable to her; hence, the vast wealth which poured into her temple. Not only was she worshipped in her temple, but in the minute shrines or naoi which were sometimes modeled after the temple. More frequently the shrines were exceedingly crude objects, either of silver or stone or wood or clay. They were made at Ephesus by dependents of the temple, and carried by the pilgrims throughout the world. Before them Diana might also be worshipped anywhere, just as now from the soil of the sacred Mesopotamian city of Kerbela, where the sons of Ali were martyred, little blocks are formed and are carried away by the Shiah Moslems that they may pray upon sacred ground wherever they may be. The makers of the shrines of Diana formed an exceedingly large class among whom, in Paul’s time, was Demetrius (Ac 19:24). None of the silver shrines have been discovered, but those of marble and of clay have appeared among the ruins of Ephesus. They are exceedingly crude; in a little shell-like bit of clay, a crude clay female figure sits, sometimes with a tambourine in one hand and a cup in the other, or with a lion at her side or beneath her foot. Though the shrines were sold as sacred dwelling-places of the goddess, that the pilgrims who carried them to their distant homes, or buried them in the graves with their dead, might be assured of her constant presence, their real purpose was to increase the temple revenues by their sale at a price which was many times their cost. With the shrines of Diana may be compared the household gods of clay found in abundance among the ruins of the earlier Babylonian cities, especially those cities in which temples to the goddess Ishtar stood.

E. J. Banks


di-as’-po-ra. See DISPERSION.


dib’-la (dibhlah, "circle"; Deblatha): The name occurs only in Eze 6:14 (the King James Version "Diblath"), and the place has not been identified. If the reading is correct it may possibly be represented by Dibl, a village in Upper Galilee, South of Tibnin. But more likely it is a scribal error for Riblah.


dib’-la-im, dib-la’-im (dibhlayim, "two cakes"): A native of Northern Israel and father of Gomer, the wife of Hosea (Ho 1:3).








di’-bon (dibhon, "washing"; Daibon):

(1) A city of Moab captured by the Amorites (Nu 21:30), and held by them at the invasion by Israel. It was taken and given to the tribe of Gad, whence it is called Dibon-gad (Nu 32:34; 33:45). In Jos 13:17 it is reckoned to Reuben. Along with other cities in the territory North of the Arnon, Dibon changed hands several times between Moab and Israel. Mesha claims it (MS), and in Jer 48:18,22 it is named among the cities of Moab. The form of the name, Dimon, in Isa 15:9, may have been given to make it resemble the Hebrew dam, "blood," to support the play upon words in the verse (HDB, under the word). It is represented by the modern Dhiban, about 4 miles North of Aroer (‘Ara‘ir), on the line of the old Roman road. The ruins that spread over two adjacent knolls are of no importance: walls, a tower, cistern, etc. Near Dibon the famous Moabite Stone was found.

(2) A town in Judah, occupied after the exile (Ne 11:25). It may be the same as Dimonah (Jos 15:22); unidentified.

W. Ewing


dib’-ri (dibhri, "eloquent" (?)): A Danite, whose daughter Shelomith married an Egyptian. Their son was "cut off" (stoned) for blasphemy (Le 24:11).




dik’-shun-a-riz: A dictionary is a word-book or a list of words arranged in some fixed order, generally alphabetical, for ready reference, and usually with definitions or longer treatises. The vocabulary or glossary is a mere list of words, often without definitions; the Lexicon or dictionary of language (words or concepts) has bare definitions, and the alphabetical encyclopedia or dictionary of knowledge or information (objects, things, subjects, topics, etc.) has longer treatises, but they are all dictionaries: the alphabetical order being the main essential in modern use. There is, however, historically no good reason why the dictionary should not be logical or chronological. The earliest use of the word as quoted by Murray’s Dictionary (Joh. de Garlandia, circa 1225) was of a collection of words classified and not alphabetical. So, too, almost the earliest use in English (J. Withal’s Dictionarie, 1556) was of a book of words classified by subjects. A book like Roget’s Thesaurus, which is a list of classified words without definition, or a systematic encyclopedia of treatises like Coleridge’s unfortunate experiment, the Encyclopedia Metropolitana, is a dictionary in the historic sense. The earliest books usually quoted in the lists of Biblical dictionaries were also in fact classified or chronological, and not alphabetical (Eusebius’ Onomasticon; Jerome’s De viris illustribus). Classified word lists, syllabaries, etc., of pre-alphabetic times, as well as in Chinese and other non-alphabetic languages of today, are of course also non-alphabetic, but strictly dictionaries.

In pre-alphabetic times the dictionaries include, besides the syllabaries of which there were many examples in Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Cyprus, etc., and the word lists proper, chronological lists of kings and various classified lists of tribute, and of astronomical or other objects. They include, in short, all the many lists where the material is grouped round a series of catchwords.

The alphabetical dictionary began with the alphabet itself, for this is a list of names of objects. The earlier alphabetical dictionaries were sometimes called alphabets. In a sense the alphabetical acrostics are dictionaries rather than acrostics, and Ps 119, where considerable material is grouped under each letter of the alphabet, comes rather close to the dictionary idea.

So long as the quantity of literary material remained small, there was very little need for the development of the alphabetical dictionary, and the examples are rather few, the Lexicon of Suidas being perhaps the most noteworthy. With the immense increase in literary material there was a rapidly growing appreciation of the advantage of alphabetical arrangement, over the chronological or the systematic, in all cases where the object is to refer to a specific topic, rather than to read a book through or survey many topics with reference to their relation to one another. The number of alphabetical dictionaries of knowledge increased rapidly with the growth of learning from the 13th century; now it has become legion and there are few subjects so narrow that they cannot boast their dictionary of information.

1. Bible Dictionaries:

The earliest Bible dictionary is usually counted the Eusebius, Onomasticon of Eusebius, a geographical encyclopedia; then came Jerome’s De nominibus hebraicis, and his De viris illustribus (chronological). The more noteworthy steps in the history of Bible dictionaries are represented by the names of Alsted, Calmet, Winer, Kitto, William Smith, Fairbairn, Schenkel. The best recent dictionaries among the larger works are the Encyclopedia Biblica, standing for the extreme higher critical wing; Hastings, representing the slightly less radical; and this present International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, which represents a growing distrust of the extreme positions of the 19th century higher critics. All of these are on a large scale and stand for the latest and best scholarship, and the same quality is reflected in at least two of the recent single-volume dictionaries, A Standard Bible Dictionary (M. W. Jacobus), and the single-volume Hastings’ dictionary. Both of these in tendency stand between Cheyne’s Encyclopedia Biblica and this dictionary, Hastings facing rather toward Cheyne, and Jacobus toward this present work.

2. Bibliography:

The John Crerar Library list of encyclopedias forms an excellent guide to the literature of general encyclopedias within its scope, which includes chiefly technology and physical and social sciences, but includes among its reference books very admirably chosen first-reference dictionaries to language, history, fine arts, and even philosophy and religion.

Kroeger, Alice B. Guide to the Study and Use of Reference Books, 2nd edition, Boston, 1908, is an admirable introduction. Its select lists and bibliographical references supplemented by the John Crerar and other reference library lists will give complete orientation.

Following is a list of previous dictionaries:


Ayre, J. Treasury of Bible Knowledge. London, 1866.

Barnum, Samuel W. A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Appleton, 1867.

Barr, John. A Complete Index and Concise Dictionary of the Holy Bible. New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1852.

Bastow, J. A. Biblical Dictionary. London, 1848, 3 volumes; condensed edition, London, 1859; 4th edition, 1877.

Beck, J. C. Vollstand. bibl. Worterbuch. Basel, 1770, 2 volumes.

Besser, H. Bibl. Worterbuch. Gotha, 1866.

Bible Cyclopaedia, The. London: Parker, 1841.

Bost, J. A. Dictionnaire de la Bible. Paris, 1865.

Bourazan, F. A. Sacred Dictionary. London: Nisbet, 1890.

Brown, John. A Dictionary of the Holy Bible. Edinburgh, 1768, 4th edition; London: Murray, 1797; American edition, from the 12th Edinburgh edition, New York: Harper, 1846.

Calmet, A. Dict. historique, critique, chronologique, geographique et litteral de la Bible. Paris, 1719.

Calmet, Augustine. Dictionary of the Holy Bible. 5th edition, revised and enlarged, 5 volumes, London: Holdsworth, 1829; new edition, London: Bohn, 1847; abridged by Buckley, new edition, London: Routledge, 1862.

Cassell’s Bible Dictionary. Illustrated with nearly 600 engravings; London and New York, 2 volumes: Cassell, 1866; new edition, 1869.

Cheyne, T. K. and Black, J. S. Encyclopedia Biblica. London, 1899-1903, 4 volumes.

Conder, F. R. and C. R. A Handbook to the Bible. London: Longmans, 1879; 2nd edition, 1880, New York: Randolph, no date (1880).

Dalmasius, J. A. Dictionarium manuale biblicum. Aug. Vind., 1776, 2 volumes.

Davis, J. D. Dictionary of the Bible. Philadelphia, 1898; new edition, 1903.

Eadie, John. A Biblical Cyclopaedia. London: Rel. Tr. Soc., 1848; 14th edition, London: Griffin, 1873.

Easton, M. G. Illustrated Bible Dictionary. London: Nelson; New York: Methodist Book Concern, 1893.

Fairbairn, Patrick. The Imperial Bible Dictionary. London: Blackie, 1866, 2 volumes.

Farrar, John. A Biblical and Theological Dictionary. London: Mason, 1852; new edition, London: Wesl. Conf. Off., 1889.

Faussett, A. R. The Englishman’s Bible Encyclopedia. London: Hodder, 1878. Republished with title. Bible Cyclopaedia, Critical and Expository. New York: Funk, 1891.

Gardner, J. Christian Encyclopedia. Edinburgh, no date

Gebhardt, G. L. Biblisches Worterb. Lemgo, 1793-96, 3 volumes.

Goodhue, W. and Taylor, W. C. Pictorial Dictionary of the Holy Bible. London, 1843, 2 volumes.

Granbery, John C. Bible Dictionary. Nashville: So. Meth. Pub. Soc., 1883.

Green, S. Biblical and Theol. Dictionary. London, 1840, 1860.

Guthe, H. Kurzes Bibelworterbuch. 1903.

Hagen. Lexicon biblicum. Paris, 1905-, 4 volumes (Roman Catholic).

Hamburger. Realencyklopadie fur Bibel und Talmud. New edition 1896-97; 2 volumes and 4 supplementary volumes (Jewish point of view).

Hamburger, J. Biblisch-talmudisches Worterbuch. Strelitz, 1866.

Hastings. Dictionary of the Bible. Edinburgh and New York, 1898-1902, 4 volumes and supplementary vol, 1904. 1-vol edition, 1909.

Hastings, James, and others. Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels. New York: Scribner; Edinburgh: Clark, 1906-8, 2 volumes.

Haupt, C. G. Bibl. Real-Encyklopadie. Quedlinb., 1820-27, 3 volumes.

Hezel, W. F. Biblisches Real-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1783-85, 3 volumes.

Hoffmann, A. C. Allgem. Volks-Bibellexikon. Leipzig, 1842.

Hunter, R. Concise Bible Dict. London: Cassell, 1894.

Inglis, James. Bible Text Cyclopaedia. London: Houlston, 1861; new edition, Rel. Tr. Soc., 1865, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1877.

Jacobus, M. W. A Standard Bible Dictionary. New York: Funk, 1909.

Jones, William. The Biblical Cyclopaedia; or Dictionary of the Holy Scriptures. London: Wightman, 1840; new edition, Tegg, 1847; revised, 1873.

Kitto, John. Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature. 3rd ed., edition Alexander, Edinburgh, 1862-65, 3 volumes (best edition of Kitto), and after.

Krehl. Neutestamentl. Handworterbuch. Gottingen, 1857.

Lawson, J. P. Bible Cyclopaedia. London, 1849, 3 volumes.

Leun, F. G. Bibl. Encyklopadie. Gotha, 1793-98, 4 volumes.

Macbean, A. Dictionary of the Bible. London, 1779.

Macpherson, John. The Universal Bible Dictionary. London: Hodder, 1892.

Malcom, Howard. New Bible Dictionary. Boston: Gould; New York: Sheldon, 1852.

Malcom, H. Dictionary of the Bible. London, 1854.

Oetinger, F. C. Biblisches Worterb. Stuttgart, 1849.

Oliver, P. Scripture Lexicon. Birmingham, 1784; London, 1843.

Otho, J. H. Lex. Rabbinico-philologicum. Geneva, 1675.

Rand, W. W. A Dictionary of the Holy Bible. New York: Am. Tr. Soc., no date (1859); rev. edition, 1886.

Ravanel, P. Bibliotheca Sacra. Geneva, 1660.

Rawson, A. L. The Bible Handbook, for Sunday Schools. 4th edition, New York: Thompson, 1870.

Rechenbergius, A. Hierolexicon reale collectum. Leipzig und Frankfort, 1714, 2 volumes.

Rice, Edwin W. People’s Dictionary of the Bible. Philadelphia: Am. S. S. U., 1893.

Riehm and Bathgen. Handworterbuch des biblischen Altertums. Bielefeld, 1893-94, 2 volumes.

Roberts, Francis. Clavis Bibliorum. 1675.

Robinson, E. Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Worthington, 1879.

Schaff, Philip. A Dictionary of the Bible. Philadelphia: Am. S. S. U., 1880; 5th edition, 1890.

Schenkel. Bibel Lexikon. 1869-75, 5 volumes.

Schneider, M. C. F. Worterb. ub. d. Bibel. Leipzig, 1795-1817, 4 volumes.

Simon, Richard. Grand dictionnaire de la Bible. Lyons, 1693.

Smith, W. Dictionary of the Bible. London, 1860-63, 3 volumes; 2nd edition, Smith and Fuller, 1893.

Smith, W. Dictionary of the Bible. Boston, no date, 4 volumes.

Smith, W. Bible Dictionary. Acme edition, New York: Alden, 1885.

Vigouroux. Dictionnaire de la Bible contenant tous les noms de personnes, de lieux .... mentionnes dans les s. Ecritures. Paris, 1895-.

Vollbeding, J. C. Bibl. Worterb. Berlin, 1800-1805, 3 volumes.

Watson, R. Biblical and Theol. Dictionary. London, 1831; New York, also Nashville.

Wahl, C. A. Bibl. Handworterb. Leipzig, 1828, 2 volumes.

Walbrecht, C. L. Biblisch. Worterbuch. Gottingen, 1837.

Westcott, A., and Watt, J. Concise Bible Dictionary. London: Isbister, 1893.

Wilson, T. Complete Christian Dictionary. London, 1661.

Winer, G. B. Biblisches Realworterb. 3rd edition, 1847-48, 2 volumes (still useful).

Zeller, H. Biblisches Worterb. Stuttgart, 1855-58, 2 volumes.

Other recent one-volume dictionaries are: Angus (1907), Bevis (1900); Gamble (1906), Ewing (1910), Hyamson (1907), Piercy (1908).

3. General Religious Encyclopedias:

Next in importance for Bible students to the Bible dictionaries are the general dictionaries of religious knowledge. Many of the more recent of these, such as the Hauck edition of RE, the new Sch-Herz, Jew Encyclopedia, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and in general all the larger and some of the smaller recent ones have articles of real importance for Bible study, often better than some of the specific Bible dictionaries.


Abbott, Lyman. A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge. New York: Harper, 1875.

Addis, William E. A Catholic Dictionary. New York: Cath. Pub. Soc. Co., 1884; 4th edition, revised, London: Paul, 1893.

Aschbach. Kirchenlexikon. n. p. 1846-51, 4 volumes.

Benham, William. Dictionary of Religion. London and New York: Cassell, 1887.

Buchberger. Kirchliches Handlexikon. Munchen, 1907 (short but comprehensive).

Buck, Charles. A Theological Dictionary. Enlarged by Dr. Henderson. London: Tegg, 1847; American edition, revised and enlarged by George Bush; Philadelphia: Desliver, no date

Ceccaroni, A. Dizionaro ecclesiastico illustrato. Milano.

Dwight, H. O., Tupper, H. O., Jr. and Bliss, E. M. The Encyclopedia of Missions. New York, 1904.

Eadie, J. The Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia. London: Griffin, 1847; new edition, 1875.

Eden, Robert. The Churchman’s Theological Dictionary. 2nd edition, London: Parker, 1846; new edition, 1859.

Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, The; or, Dictionary of the Bible. Rev. edition, Philadelphia: Claxton, 1870.

Farrar, John. An Ecclesiastical Dictionary. London: Mason, 1853, revised, 1871.

Gardner, James. The Christian Encyclopedia. London: Groombridge, 1854; new edition, 1858.

Glaire, J. B. Dictionnaire universel des sciences eccl~esiastiques. Paris, 1868, 2 volumes.

Herbermann, Pace, Pellen, Shahan and Wynne. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York, 1906-, 15 volumes.

Herzog. Realencyclopadie fur protestantische Theologie u. Kirche. 1853-68, 21 volumes; 3rd ed., edition Hauck, 1896-1908, 21 volumes, translation New York, 1908-(best of all the ecclesiastical dictionaries).

Herzog, J. J. A Protestant, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia. Vols I and II. Philadelphia: Lindsay, 1858-60.

Holtzmann and Zopffel. Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirchenwesen. 2nd edition, Brunswick, 1888 (Prot).

Jackson, Samuel Macauley. Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge and Gazetteer. New York: Christian Lit. Co., 1890, 1891; 3rd edition, New York: Maynard, 1893.

Jackson, S. M. The New Schaff-Herzog. New York: Funk, 1908, sq. (good and modern).

Jewish Encyclopedia. New York, 1901-6, 12 volumes (most scholarly).

Lichtenberger, F. Dict. des sci. eccl. Paris, 1877-82, 15 volumes (French Protestant).

McClintock, John and Strong, James. Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 10 volumes. New York: Earper, 1867-81. With supplements in 2 volumes, 1890.

Marsden, J. B. A Dictionary of Christian Churches and Sects. London: Bentley, 1857.

Migne. Encycl. theologique. Paris, 1844-75 (over 100 special lexicons).

Moroni. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica. Venice, 1840-79, 103 volumes, and Index, 6 volumes.

Among the older ones the huge encyclopedia of Migne, which is a classified series of alphabetical dictionaries, and the Moroni, with its 109 volumes, are still of great usefulness to the scholar on out-of-the-way topics, not so much for Biblical topics but at least for Biblical related matters.

Perthes. Handlexikon fur evangelische Theol. Gotha, 1890-1901, 3 volumes.

Robinson, John. Theological, Biblical and Ecclesiastical Dictionary. London: Whittaker, 1815; 4th edition, 1835.

Schaff, Philip and Jackson, Samuel Macauley. A Religious Encyclopedia. New York: Christian Lit. Co., 1882; 3rd edition, New York: Funk, 1891. Together with an Encyclopedia of Living Divines, etc.

Schaffer. Handlexikon der kath. Theologie. Ratisbon, 1881-91, 3 volumes.

Schiele. Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Tubingen, 1909-, 5 volumes.

Shipley, Orby. A Glossary of Ecclesiastical Forms. London: Rivingtons, 1871.

Staunton, William. An Ecclesiastical Dictionary, New York: Prot. Ep. S. S. U., 1861.

Vacant and Mangenot. Dictionnaire de theologie catholique. Paris, 1903-.

Wetzer and Welte. Kirchenlexicon. Freiburg, 1847-60; 2nd edition, 1880-91, 13 volumes, and index, 1903 (Roman Catholic scientific best).

4. Dictionaries of Comparative Religion:

The monumental dictionary in this class superseding all others is Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, but Forlong has served a useful purpose and some of the special dictionaries like Roscher are quite in the same class with Hastings.


Balfour, E. Cyclopaedia of India, and of East and South Asia. 3rd edition, London, 1885, 3 volumes.

Beale, Th. W. Oriental Biographical Dictionary. Calcutta, 1881; London, 1894.

Brewer, E. C. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London, 1905.

Encyclopedia of Islam. London: Luzac.

Forlong, J. G. R. Faiths of Man; a Cyclopaedia of Religions. London, 1906, 3 volumes.

Hastings, James. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Edinburgh, Clark; New York, Scribner, 1908-.

Hazlitt, W. C. Faiths and Folklore; a Dictionary of National Beliefs. London, 1905.

Hughes, T. P. Dictionary of Islam. London, 1885.

5. Denominational Dictionaries:

The admirable Jewish and Catholic encyclopedias mentioned above, like the Methodist M’Clintock and Strong, belong rather to general than denominational encyclopedias, but the Catholic dictionaries of Addis and of Thien are denominational in the same sense as those of the Episcopal, Lutheran, etc., churches, mentioned below, among which perhaps the best executed example is the Lutheran Encyclopedia of Jacobs.


Addis, W. E. A Catholic Dictionary, 3rd edition, New York, 1884.

Benton, A. A. The Church Cyclopaedia. Philadelphia, 1884.

Burgess, G. A. Free Baptist Cyclopaedia. Chicago: Free Bapt. Cyclop. Co., 1889.

Cathcart, Wm. The Baptist Encyclopedia. Philadelphia, 1881, 2 volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia. New York, 1907 and following. See General Religious Encyclopedias.

Hook, Walter F. A Church Dictionary. Philadelphia: Butler, 1853; 7th edition, Tibbals, 1875.

Jacobs, H. E. and Haas, J. A. W. The Lutheran Cyclopedia. New York, 1905.

Jewish Encyclopedia. See General Theological Encyclopedias.

Nevin, A. Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Philadelphia, 1884.

Simpson, M. Cyclopaedia of Methodism. Philadelphia, 1878.

Thein, J. Ecclesiastical Dictionary. New York, 1900 (Roman Catholic).


Blunt, J. H. Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, etc. London, 1892.

Blunt, J. H. Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology. Philadelphia, 1870.

Brewer, E. C. A Dictionary of Miracles. Philadelphia, 1884.

Brodrick, M. Concise Dictionary of Egyptian Archaeol. London, 1902.

Cabrol. Dictionnaire d’archeologie chretienne et de liturgie. Paris, 1907-.

Chevalier, Ul. Repertoire des sources hist. du moyen-age. Bio-bibliog. Paris, 1905-7.

———Repertoire des sources historiques du moyen-age. Topo-bibliog. Montbeliard, 1894-1903, 2 volumes.

Fabricius, J. A. Bibliotheca latina mediae et infimae aetatis. Patavii, 1754, 6 volumes in 3.

Julian, J. edition A Dictionary of Hymnology. New York, 1892.

Kraus. Real-Encyklopadie der christlichen Alterthumer. Freiburg i. Br., 1882-86, 2 volumes.

Lee, F. G. A Glossary of Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Terms. London, 1877.

Martigny. Dictionnaire des antiquites chretiennes. 2nd edition, Paris, 1877.

Pauly. Realencyk. der klass. Altertumswissenschaft. Stuttgart, 1842-66, 6 volumes; edition Wissowa, 1894 and later.

Roscher, W. H. Lexikon der griechischen und romischen Mythologie. Leipzig, 1884-1902, 5 volumes.

Smith, Wm. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Boston, 1849, 3 volumes.

Smith, Wm. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Boston, 1854-57, 2 volumes.

Smith, Sir William, Wayte, William, and Marindin, G. E. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. 3rd edition, enlarged London: Murray; Boston: Little, 1890-91, 2 volumes.

Smith, W. and Cheetham, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities. Boston, 1875-1880, 2 volumes.

Smith, W. and Wace, H. A Dictionary of Christian Biography. Boston, 1877-87, 4 volumes; abridged edition by Wace and Piercy, 1911.

Stadler and Helm. Heiligenlexikon. 1858-82, 5 volumes.

Wolcott, Mackenzie E. C. Sacred Archaeology. London: Reeve, 1868.

6. Universal Encyclopedias:

What has been said of general religious encyclopedias applies almost equally to Biblical articles in the good general encyclopedias. Among these the Encyclopedia Britannica, of which a new edition appeared in 1911, is easily first, and has maintained through its many editions a high standard. The previous edition was edited by Professor Robertson Smith, who gave a peculiarly high quality of scholarship to its Biblical articles, while at the same time rather tingeing them with extreme views. Among the British encyclopedias, Chambers’ is still kept up to a high standard. The recent American editions include the New International, the Nelson, and the Americana, the former, perhaps, contributing most on Bible matters. The annual supplement to the International gives a useful resume of the progress of Biblical archaeology during each year.


America and England

Adams, Charles Kendall. Universal Cyclopaedia and Atlas. New York: Appleton, 1905, 12 volumes.

American Cyclopaedia. New York, 1858-63, 16 volumes; new edition, 1873-76 ("Appleton’s encyclopedia").

Chambers, Ephraim. Cyclopaedia. London, 1728.

Chambers’ Encyclopedia. London, 1860-68, 10 volumes; new edition, 1901.

Colby, Frank Moore. Nelson’s Encyclopedia. (circa 1905-6), 12 volumes.

Encyclopedia Americana. New York: The Americana Co. (circa 1903-4), 16 volumes.

Encyclopedia Britannica. 1771; 9th edition, 1875-89, 29 volumes and Index, sup., 11 volumes, Index and atlas, 1902-3; 11th edition, Cambridge, England, 1910-11, 28 volumes.

Gilman, D. C. New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, 1907 (circa 1902-7), 20 volumes.

Hunter. Encyclopaedic Dictionary. London, New York, 1879-88, 7 volumes.

Johnson’s New Universal Encyc. New York, 1874-78, 4 volumes; new edition, 1893-95, 8 volumes.

Knight. English Cyclopedia. London, 1854-73, 27 volumes, and 4 supplementary volumes.

New International Year Book. New York: Dodd, 1908-.

Rees. New Encyclopedia. London, 1802-20. 45 volumes.

Schem. Deutsch-amerikanisches Konversations-Lex. New York, 1870-74.

Smedley (Coleridge?). Encyclopedia Metropolitana. 1818-45, 30 volumes (classed with some alphabetical sections).


Bayle. Dict. historique et critique. Rotterdam, 1695-97 (very widely circulated).

Berthelot, Derenbourg and others. La grande encyclopedie. See below.

Corneille, Thomas. (Dict.) Paris, 1694.

Dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture. 1851-58, 16 volumes.

Diderot and D’Alembert. Encyclopedic. Paris, 1751-52, 28 volumes; 5 sup. volumes, Amsterdam, 1776-77; 2 volumes Index, Paris, 1780. (Also Voltaire, Rousseau, etc. This is in the history of dictionary encyclopedias "the encyclopedia" paragraph excellence and epoch-making in the history of "free thought." Many editions; 1st edition, 30,000 copies.)

Encyclopedie des gens du monde. 1833-45, 22 volumes.

Encyclopedie du XIXe siecle. 1837-59, 75 volumes; 3rd edition, 1867-72. Continues as Annuaire encyc.

Encyclopedie moderne. 1846-51; new edition, 1856-72, 30 volumes, 12 sup. volumes, atlas, 2 volumes.

Furetiere. (Dict.) Rotterdam, 1690.

Grande encyclopedic. Paris: Lamirault, 1885-1903, 31 volumes (known as Lamirault’s).

Larousse. Diet. univ., 1865-90; 17 volumes; new edition, 1895.

———. Dict. complet illustre. 129th edition, 1903.

Moerin. Grand dict. historique. Lyons, 1674.

Nouveau Larousse illustre. Paris, 1898-1904, 8 volumes.

Panckoucke and Agasse. Encyclopedie methodique. Paris, 1782-1832, 166 volumes, text, 51 volumes, illus. (classed -alphabetic method like Migne).


Allgemeine Realencyklopadie fur das katholische Deutschland. 1846-49, 13 volumes; 4th edition, 1880-90.

Brockhaas. Konversationslexikon. 14th edition, 1901 (B. and Meyer are the standard German encyclopedias).

Ersch and Gruber. Allgemeine encyklopadie. 1813-90, 99 plus 43 plus 25 volumes (scholarly and exhaustive; many articles are complete treatises).

Herder. Konversationslexikon. Freiburg, 1853-57, 5 volumes; 3rd edition, 1901-8, 8 volumes (Roman Catholic; high grade).

Hubner. Reales-, Staats-, Zeitungs-und Konversations-Lexikon; 31st edition, Leipzig, 1824-28.

Jablonski. Lexikon .... Leipzig, 1721.

Koster and Roos. (Encyc.) Frankfort, 1778-1804, 23 volumes (stops at "Kinol").

Krunitz (and others). Oekonomisch-technolog. Encykl. Berlin, 1773-1858, 242 volumes.

Ludewig, Y. J. von. Grosses, vollstandiges, Universal-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1731-54, 68 volumes ("Zedler," which was publisher’s name; most admirable and still useful; on account of the vast number of topics it often serves when all other sources fail).

Meyer. Konversations-lexikon. Leipzig, 1840-52, 37 volumes; 6th edition, 1902, 20 volumes; 7th edition, abridged, 1907, 6 volumes (Meyer and Brockhaus are the standard German encyclopedias).

Pierer. Universallexikon. 7th edition, 1888-93, 12 volumes.

Spamer. Illustriertes Konversationslexikon. 1869-79, 8 volumes, supplementary volumes, 1879-82; 2nd edition, 1884-91.

Zedler. Universal-Lexikon. See Ludewig above.


Berri. Enciclopedia popolare economica. Milan, 1871. Coronelli. Biblioteca universale. Venice, 1701, 7 volumes (incomplete).

Lessona and Valle. Dizionario universale. Milan, 1874-83.

Nuova encic. popolare italiana. Turin, 1841-51, 14 volumes; 6th edition, 1875-89, 25 volumes, sup., 1889-99.

Piccola enciclopedia Hoepli. Milan, 1891.


De algemeene Nederlandsche Encyclopedic. Zutphen, 1865-68, 15 volumes.

Lobel. (Encyc.) Amsterdam, 1796-1810 ("first enc according to modern ideas").

Mollerup. Nordisk Konversationsleksikon. 3rd edition, Copenhagen, 1883-94.

Nieuwenhuis Woordenboek. Leyden, 1851-68.

Sijthoff. Woordenboek voor Kennis en Kunst. Leyden, 1891.

Winkler Prins. Geillustreerde Encyclopedie. Amsterdam, 1905, sq. 3rd edition

Russia and Poland

Meijer. Konversationsleksikon. 1889-94.

Brockhaus and Efron. Entciklopedicheskij Slovai. Petersburg, 1890-1902, 35 volumes.

Jushakow. Boljsaja Enciklopedija. Petersburg, 1899.

Sikoroski, Warsaw, 1890.

Orgelbrand. Encjklopedya Powszechna. Warsaw, 1859-68, 28 volumes.


Blangstrup. Store Illustererede Konversationsleksikon. Copenhagen, 1891-1901, 12 volumes.

Johnsen, Norsk Haandbog. 1879-88.

Nordisk Familjsbok; Konversationslexikon. Stockholm, 1876-99, 20 volumes.

Salmonsen. Store Illustrerede Konversationsleksikon. Kjobenhavn, 1893-1907, 18 volumes.

Spain and Portugal

Diccionario Popular Hist. Geogr. Mytholog. Biograph. Lisbon, 1876-90, 16 volumes.

Enciclopedia Universal Illustrada Europeo-Americana. Barcelona, 1907-(Catholic).

Costa. Diccionario Universal Portuguez.

Lemos. Enciclopedia Portugueza Illustrada. 254 numbers to 1903.

Mellados. Enciclopedia moderna. Madrid, 1848-51, 34 volumes; 3 volumes of charts.

Montaner y Simon. Diccionario Encic Hispano-Americano. Barcelona, 1887-99, 25 volumes.


Arabian Encyc. Discontinued when it reached the 9th vol, Beirut, 1876-87.

Enciclop. Romana. Herrmannstadt, 1896-1903, 3 volumes (Rumanian).

Kober. Slovnik Nancny. Prague, 1860-87, 12 volumes.

Otto. Ottuv Slovnik Nancny. Prague, 1888-1901, 17 volumes.

Pallas Nagy Lexikona. Budapest, 1893-97, 16 volumes; sup. 1900.

7. Dictionaries of Philosophy:

The dictionaries of philosophy often bear on Bible study almost as much as the religious dictionaries. Baldwin’s Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, which is the most comprehensive work, is also very full in its bibliographical reference, and has in volumes III and IV a colossal bibliography of philosophy continued and kept up to date in the Psychological Index. The dictionary of Eisler is on the historical principle and of very great importance in interpreting the doctrines of Biblical theology.


Baldwin, J. M. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, New York, 1901 and following.

Eisler, R. Philosophisches Worterbuch. Berlin, 1904, 2 volumes; new edition, 3 volumes.

Frank. Dictionnaire des sciences philosophiques. 3rd edition, 1885.

8. Dictionaries of Art and Music:

The dictionaries of architecture often treat of Egyptian Babylonian, and sometimes Palestinian matters. The dictionaries of painting, engraving, music, etc., have less direct matter but are important and necessary in view of the fact that so large a part of the best work is on Biblical themes.


Architectural Publication Society. Dictionary of Architecture. London, 1852-92, 6 volumes.

Bryan, Michael. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. New edition London: Bell, 1903-5, 5 volumes.

Champlin, John Denison, Jr. Cyclopedia of Painters and Painting. New York: Scribner, 1892 (circa 1885-87), 4 volumes.

Clement, Mrs. Clara Erskine Handbook of Christian Symbols.

Gwilt, Joseph. Encyclopedia of Architecture. New edition London: Longmans, 1888.

James, Ralph N. Painters and Their Works. London, 1896.

Muller, Hermann Alexander. Allgemeines Kunstlerlexicon. 3rd edition Frankfurt a. M., 1895-1901, 5 volumes.

Nagler, G. K. Neues allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon. 2. Aufl. Linz., 1904-7, volumes 1-10.

Seubert. Allgemeines Kunstlerlex. Frankfurt, 1879, 3 volumes.

Sturgis, Russell. Dictionary of Architecture and Building. New York: Macmillan, 1901, 3 volumes.

Thieme, Ulrich, and Becker, Felix. Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler. Leipzig, 1907.

Viollet-le-Duc, Eugene Emmanuel. Dictionnaire raisonne de l’architecture. Paris, 1868, 10 volumes.


Baker, Theodore. Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. New York: Schirmer, 1900.

Champlin, John Denison, Jr. Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. New York: Scribner, 1893.

Eitner, R. Biog-bibliog. Lexikon d. Musiker. Leipzig, 1900-4, 10 volumes.

Fetis, Frantsois Joseph. Biographie universelle des musiciens. 2nd edition Paris, 1860-66, 8 volumes; 2nd sup. 1875-81.

Grove, George. Dictionary of Music. London: 1878-89, 4 volumes and supplements, 2nd edition by J. A. Fuller Maitland, 1905.

Kornmuller. Lexikon der kirchlichen Tonkunst. 2nd edition Ratisbon, 1891-95, 2 volumes.

Mendel and Reissmann. Musikalisches Konversations-lexikon. Berlin, 1870-83, 12 volumes and supplements.

Riemann, Hugo. Musik-Lexikon. 4th edition, 1894.

———. Dictionary of Music. London (1899).

Many of these bear occasionally or indirectly on Biblical topics.

9. Dictionaries of Social Science:


Birkmeyer. Encykl. der Rechtswissenschaft. Berlin, 1901.

Bliss, William Dwight Porter. New Encyclopedia of Social Reform. New York: Funk, 1908.

Bluntschli. Deutsches Staatsworterbuch. 1857-70, 2 volumes; new edition, 1869-74, 3 volumes.

Bruder. Staats-Lexikon of the Gorres Society. Freiburg i. Br., 1889-97, 5 volumes; 4th ed., edition Bachem, 1908-(Roman Catholic).

Buisson, F. Dictionnaire de pedagogie. Paris, 1882, 4 volumes.

Conrad, J. Handworterbuch der Staatswissenschaften. Jena, 1898 sq. 3rd edition to Vol XVIII (1911).

Conrad, Elster, Lexis and Loening. Handworterbuch der Staatswissenschaften. 1889-98, 6 volumes; 2 sup. volumes.

Cyclopaedia of Temperance and Prohibition. New York: Funk, 1891.

Elster. Worterbuch der Volkswirtschaft, 1808, 2 volumes; 2nd edition, 1907-.

Fay and Chailley. Nouveau dict. d’economie politique. Paris: 1891-92, 2 volumes.

Holtzendorff, F. von. Encyk. der Rechtswissenschaft. 6th edition, 1903-.

Lalor, J. J. Cyclopaedia of Political Science. New York, 1889-90, 3 volumes.

Palgrave, R. H. I. Dictionary of Political Economy. London, 1894-96, 3 volumes.

Reichesberg. Handworterbuch der schweizer. Volkswirtschaft. 1901.

Rotteck and Welcker. Staatslex. Altona, 1835-44, 15 volumes; 3rd edition, 1856-66, 14 volumes.

Schmid, K. A. Encyclopadie d. Erziehungswesens. Gotha.

Sonnenschein, W. S. Cyclopaedia of Education, arr. and edition by A. W. Fletcher, Syracuse, 1899.

Wagener, H. Staats-und Gesellschafts-Lex. Berlin, 1859-68, 26 volumes.

10. Dictionaries of Geography:

The modern gazetteers are indispensable for identifications.


Chisholm, George Goudie. Longmans’ Gazetteer of the World. London, 1902.

Hunter, W. W. Imperial Gazetteer of India. London, 1881, 9 volumes.

Lippincott’s New Gazetteer. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1906.

Ritter’s geographisch-statistisches Lexikon. 9. umgearb. Aufl. Leipzig, 1905-6. 2 volumes.

Vivien de Saint Martin, Louis. Nouveau dictionnaire de geographie universelle. Paris, 1879-95, 7 volumes.

11. Biographical Dictionaries:

The great modern biographical dictionaries, although of little use for Scripture names, are of much value to the Biblical student for the writings on Biblical subjects, and in the case of ancient biography, of much value for contemporary persons in other lands.


Aa, Anton Jacobus van der. Biographisch Woorden-boek der Nederlander. Haarlem, 1876-78, 21 volumes.

Academie royale de Belgique. Biographie nationale. Bruxelles. 1866-1907, volumes 1-19.

Allgemeine deutsche Biographie. Leipzig: 1875-1906, 52 volumes.

Allgemeine deutsche Biographie. Leipzig: Duncker, 1875-1900, 45 volumes.

Allibone, S. A. A Critical Dictionary of English Literature. Philadelphia, 1870-72, 3 volumes; 1891, 2 volumes.

Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, edition by J. G. Wilson. New York: Appleton, 1888-1900, 7 volumes.

Biografiskt Lexikon ofver namnkunnige svenske Man. Stockholm, 1874, 23 volumes.

Biographisches Jahrbuch und deutscher Nekrolog. Berlin, 1897-1906, 9 volumes.

Bricka, Carl Frederik. Dansk biografisk Lexikon. 1887-1905, 19 volumes.

Century Cyclopedia of Names, edition by B. E. Smith. New York: Century Co. (circa 1894).

Dictionary of National Biography, edition by Leslie Stephen. London: Smith; New York: Macmillan, 1885-1900, 63 volumes.

Feller, F. X. de. Biographie universelle ou dictionnaire historique. Paris, 1847-50, 8 volumes in 4.

Giles, Herbert Allen. A Chinese Biographical Dictionary. London: Quaritch, 1898.

Glasius, B. Godeleerd Nederland. 1851-56, 3 volumes.

Hoefor, Ferdinand. Nouvelle biographie universelle. Paris: Didot, 1852-66, 46 volumes.

Hofberg, Herman. Svenskt biografiskt Handlexikon. Stockholm, 1906, volumes 1-2.

Joecher, C. G. Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1750-51.

Lamb’s Biographical Dictionary of the United States. Boston, 1900-1903, 7 volumes.

Michaud, Joseph Frantsois. Biographie universelle. Paris, 1842-65, 45 volumes.

National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: White, 1892-1906, 13 volumes.

Schaff and Jackson. Encyclopedia of Living Divines and Christian Workers. New York, 1887.

Vapereau, L. G. Dictionnaire universel des litterateurs. Paris, 1876.

Vapereau. Dictionnaire des contemporains. Paris, 1858; 6th edition, 1893; supplements, 1895.

———. Dictionnaire des litterateurs. 1876; 2nd edition, 1884.

Wurzbach, C. von. Biographisches Lexikon Oesterreichs. 1856-91, 60 volumes.

———. Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreichs. Wien: Zamarski, 1856-91, 60 volumes.

12. Dictionaries of Language:

The lexicons of the Biblical languages and versions are treated under the head of the respective languages. The chief dictionaries in English are the great Murray and the encyclopaedic Century. The best one-vol dictionaries are perhaps the Standard and the last edition of Webster.


Brown, F., Driver, S. R., Briggs, C. A. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Boston, 1906.

Thayer, J. H. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. New York, 1887; corrected edition, 1889.

Century-Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon. New York: Century Co. (circa 1889-1901), 6 volumes.

Murray, James Augustus Henry. New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888-.

Standard Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Funk.

Stormonth’s Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Scribner, 1899.

Webster, Noah. International Dictionary of the English Language. Springfield (Mass.), 1891 (circa 1864-90); new edition, 1909.

Worcester, Joseph Emerson. Dictionary of the English Language. New edition, enlarged Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1891.

The article, "Dictionary" in the new Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition) (11th edition) covers the whole matter of dictionaries of language with extraordinary fullness.

E. C. Richardson





di-drak’-ma: Two drachmas.



did’-i-mus (Didumos, i.e. "twin"): The surname of thOMAS (which see).


(muth, gawa‘; apothnesko, teleutao): "To die," etc., is of very frequent occurrence, and in the Old Testament is generally the translation of muth, meaning perhaps originally, "to be stretched out" or "prostrate." "To die," should be the consequence of eating the forbidden fruit (Ge 2:17; compare Ge 20:7; 2Ki 1:4,6). "Die" is commonly used of natural death (Ge 5:8; 25:8). It is used also of violent death (Ge 26:9,11; Ex 21:20); punitive (Ex 19:12; 21:12,14; 28:43; Nu 4:15; Eze 3:1:8 ff); as the result of willfulness or indifference (Pr 10:21; 15:10; 19:16). To die "the death of the righteous" is something to be desired (Nu 23:10).

In the New Testament the word for "to die," etc., is generally apothnesko, "to die off or away," used of dying in all forms: of natural death (Mt 22:24); of violent death (Joh 11:50,51; 19:7; Ac 25:11); of the death of Christ (Joh 12:33); of death as the consequence of sin (Joh 8:21,24; Ro 8:13); teleutao, "to end (life)," also occurs several times (Mt 15:4); thnesko, "to die," occurs once (Joh 11:21), and apollumi, "to destroy" (Joh 18:14); in Ac 25:16 (Textus Receptus) we have eis apoleian, "to destruction."

Figurative Use:

The figurative use of "to die" is not frequent, if indeed it ever occurs. In 1Sa 25:37 it may be equivalent to "faint," "His heart died within him, and he became as a stone," but this may be meant literally. In Am 2:2 it is said that Moab "shall die," i. e. perish as a nation. Paul describes the condition of the apostles of Christ as "dying, and behold, we live" (2Co 6:9), and says, "I die daily" (1Co 15:31), but the references may be to exposure to death. When in Ro 7:9 he says, "When the commandment came .... I died," he may mean that it rendered him liable to death. In Ro 6:2 we have "we who died to sin," i.e. in Christ, and in our acceptance of His death as representing ours; similarly we read in 2Co 5:14, "One died for all, therefore all died" (Revised Version (British and American)), i.e. representatively, and in Col 2:20 "if ye died with Christ"; 3:3, "for ye died," the Revised Version (British and American) (in Christ). Compare 2Ti 2:11; 1Pe 2:24. Of the changes in the Revised Version (British and American) may be mentioned "abode" for "died" (Ge 25:18, margin "or settled, Hebrew fell"); "he that is to die" for "worthy of death" (De 17:6); "died" for "are dead" (Joh 6:49,58, and the American Standard Revised Version Joh 8:52,53); "though he die" for "were dead" (Joh 11:25); "many died" for "were dead" (Ro 5:15); "died for nought" for "in vain" (Ga 2:21); "when his end was nigh" for "died" (Heb 11:22). Of special importance are the changes from "be, are, were, dead" in Ro 6:2,7,8; 2Co 5:14; Col 2:20; 3:3; 2Ti 2:11, and "having died" for "being dead" in 1Pe 2:24, as bringing out the truth that in the sight of God all men died in Christ. See also DEATH.

W. L. Walker


di’-et (’aruchah, "prescribed"): A daily allowance or portion of food, as that given by King Evil-merodach to Jehoiachin, king of Judah (Jer 52:34 the King James Version; compare 2Ki 25:30).


(qur, "to dig", chathar; diorusso, "to dig through"): "I have digged (dug) and drunk strange waters" (2Ki 19:24). In his campaigns on foreign soil, where the enemy had stopped up the watersprings, Sennacherib would at once dig fresh wells for his armies. "They dig through houses" (Job 24:16; Mt 6:19,20 margin). Walls of eastern houses are often made of mud or clay, and frequently have no windows; and as the threshold of a Syrian house is sacred, the thief breaks in through the wall (see Trumbull, The Threshold Covenant).

M. O. Evans


dig’-ni-tiz, dig’-ni-ti (Hebrew marom, se’eth, gedhullah): Rank or position, not nobility or austerity of personal character or bearing, is denoted by this word in its Old Testament occurrences (Ge 49:3; Es 6:3; Ec 10:6; Hab 1:7). In 2Pe 2:10; Jude 1:8, "dignities" (doxai) are angels, lofty spiritual beings, possible objects of blasphemy; compare the context in both passages.


di’-ke (dike, "justice"): The avenging justice of God personified as a goddess (Ac 28:4). See JUSTICE.


dik’-la (diqlah, "place of palms"): One of the "sons" of Joktan (Ge 10:27; 1Ch 1:21). Perhaps a south-Arabian tribal or place-name connected with a palm-bearing district.


dil’-e-an (dil‘an, "cucumber"): A town in the Shephelah of Judah named with Migdal-gad and Mizpeh (Jos 15:38, the English Revised Version "Dilan"), which lay probably on the North of Lachish and Eglon. It has not been identified.


dil’-i-jens, dil’-i-jent-li: This word is used in various senses in our English Bibles.

1. In the Old Testament:

In Ezr 5:8, "with diligence" means "with care"; in Ezr 6:12; 7:17, "with speed," "speedily"; in Pr 4:23 "watchfulness"; in De 4:9; 6:17; 19:18; Ps 77:6; Pr 27:23; Isa 55:2; Mic 7:3, "with care," "scrupulously," "earnestly." Sometimes it means "early" "with haste" (Job 8:5; Pr 8:17). It may mean "industrious," "exacting" (Pr 10:4; 12:27; 22:29).

2. In the New Testament:

The American revisers have rendered "diligence" for various words in the King James Version, e. g. for "business" in Ro 12:11; "giving diligence" for "endeavoring" (Eph 4:3); "give diligence" for "study" (2Ti 2:15,), for "labor" (Heb 4:11); "diligently" for "carefully" (Php 2:28; Heb 12:17); "be diligent in" for "meditate upon" (1Ti 4:15). It is well also to remember that the Old English meaning of diligence is "with love," from diligo, "to love."

G. H. Geberding




di-min’-ish: the Revised Version (British and American) has retained nearly all passages of the King James Version where "to diminish" is used. Some of these uses have become obsolete: De 4:2, "neither shall ye diminish from it." "Diminish" generally means "to reduce," "to lessen." In this sense it is employed in Eze 5:11 from the Hebrew gara‘, literally, "to shear." The picture of shearing the beard, expressing degradation and loss of manhood, may underlie this passage.


dim’-na (dimnah, "dung"; Damna): A city of the Merarite Levites in the territory of Zebulun (Jos 21:35). The name is probably a clerical error for Rimmon.


di’-mon, di-mo’-na. See DIBON.


di’-na (dinah, "justice"): The daughter of Jacob and Leah, whose violation by Shechem, son of Hamor, caused her brothers, especially Simeon and Levi, to slay the inhabitants of Shechem, although they had induced the Shechemites to believe, if they would submit to circumcision, Shechem, the most honored of all the house of his father, would be permitted to have the maiden to whom his soul clave for wife (Ge 34:1-31). The political elements of the story (compare Ge 34:21-23, 30) suggest a tribal rather than a personal significance for the narrative.

Nathan Isaacs


di’-na-its (dinaye’): A people mentioned in Ezr 4:9, as settled in the city of Samaria by Osnappar (Assurbanipal). The identification is uncertain.


din’-ha-ba, din-ha’-ba (dinhabhah): The royal city of Bela, son of Beor; king of Edom (Ge 36:32; 1Ch 1:43). There may be a resemblance in the name of Hodbat et-Teneib. about 8 miles East of Heshbon; but this is in the land of Moab, and probably much too far to the North. No satisfactory identification has been proposed.


din’-er (ariston; Mt 22:4; Lu 11:38 (the Revised Version, margin "breakfast"); Lu 14:12; compare Ru 2:14; Joh 21:13): In oriental as in classical lands it was customary, in ancient times, as now, to have but two meals in the day, and the evidence, including that of Josephus, goes to show that the second or evening meal was the principal one. The "morning morsel," as the is Talmud calls it, was in no sense a "meal." The peasant or artisan, before beginning work, might "break (his) fast" (Joh 21:12,15) by taking a bit of barley bread with some simple relish, but to "eat (a full meal) in the morning" was a reproach (Ec 10:16). The full meal was not to be taken until a little before or after sunset, when the laborers had come in from their work (Lu 17:7; compare the "supper time" of Lu 14:17). The noon meal, taken at an hour when climatic conditions called for rest from exertion (the ariston of the Greeks, rendered "dinner" in English Versions of the Bible, Mt 22:4; Lu 11:38, the Revised Version, margin "breakfast"), was generally very simple, of bread soaked in light wine with a handful of parched corn (Ru 2:14), or of "pottage and bread broken into a bowl" (Bel and the Dragon 33), or of bread and broiled fish (Joh 21:13). Many, when on journey especially, content with one meal a day, taken after sunset. In general, eating at other times casual and informal; evening is the time for the formal meal, or feast. See MEALS.

George B. Eager


di-o-nish’-i-a (Dionusia, "festivals of Dionysus" (Bacchus)): The rural (vintage) Dionysia were celebrated in the month of Poseideon (19th day), which is roughly our December. The celebration consisted of feasts, processions, songs and (sometimes) scenic performances. The Ascolia formed one of the most prominent features. After sacrificing a goat to the god, they filled the wine-skin with wine, made it slippery on the outside with oil, and then tried to hop on it with one leg. Whoever fell down furnished great sport for the spectators, but if anyone succeeded in maintaining an upright position to the end, he was declared victor. The demarch conducted the festival, the expenses of which were paid by the deme. The Lenea were celebrated on the 12th of Gamelion (January) in Athens, and later in Ionia in Asia Minor. At this festival also the new wine was tasted. A procession was formed and they marched through the city, indulging in all sorts of jesting and buffoonery, to attend the pantomimic performances.

The Anthesteria (Flower-Feast) came in the month of Anthesterion (February), when the first flowers appeared. This festival resembled somewhat our Christmas. On the first day (11th of the month) the wine-cask was opened; on the second was the feast of pitchers. Wine was drunk, and contests in trumpet-playing were held. At the drinking contest everybody was permitted to make as much merriment as he pleased. There was also a mystic marriage of the king archon’s wife to Dionysus (compare the marriage of the Doges of Venice to the sea). On the third day they offered pots filled with vegetables to Hermes, Conductor of the Dead. This day was sacred to the gods of the nether world and to the spirits of the departed (All Souls’ Day); and the people celebrated Persephone’s resurrection and reunion with the god.

The Greater, or City Dionysia, were held in Elaphebolion (March) as a spring festival. This is the most important of all the Dionysia (for us), since practically all the great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed in conjunction with this festival. All the demes took part. They accompanied the ancient image of Dionysus Eleutherios (from Eleutherae in Boeotia, one of the first places in which the worship of the god was established in Greece), as it was carried in solemn procession from the Lenaeon (the original center of his cult in Athens) to a small temple in the Ceramicus in the northwestern part of the city, while choruses of men and boys sang the dithurambos (the ancient hymn to Dionysus). Crowned with the vine and dressed in unusual costumes, they greeted the god with loud shouts of joy.

The festival was revived with great pomp by the Pisistratidae. In theater of Dionysus all the people beheld an imposing rehearsal of their great achievements. Even the poorest and humblest were given an opportunity to see and hear the contests between the professional rhapsodists, who recited Homer, between choruses specially trained to sing the dithyrambs, and between poets, whose great dramatic productions were presented for the first time. The state set aside a special fund for the purchase of tickets for those who were too poor to buy for themselves. Comedies, tragedies and satyr dramas were presented after elaborate preparation and at a great expenditure of money. The prize, a bronze tripod, was erected with an appropriate inscription on the Street of Tripods. The awarding of prizes to the victors concluded the festival.

The quinquennial festival at Brauron in Attica was also celebrated with extraordinary license and merriment. The city of Athens sent delegates regularly to attend the festival.

There were also Dionysiac clubs in Athens at the time of the Peloponnesian War. These had peculiar doctrines and observances. They had their foundation in Orphic mysticism. The members refrained from eating the flesh of animals. They possessed holy scriptures and had peculiar propitiatory rites. The Dionysiac religious observance continued as a state cult down to 366 AD. See BACCHUS.

J. E. Harry


di-o-nish’-i-us (Dionusios, surnamed "the Areopagite"): One of the few Athenians converted by Paul (Ac 17:34). We know nothing further about him (see AREOPAGUS). According to one account he was the first bishop of the church at Athens; according to another he suffered martyrdom in that city under Domitian. We are even told that he migrated to Rome and was sent to Paris, where he was beheaded on Montmartre (Mount of the Martyr). The patron saint of France is Denys; compare the French "Denys d’Halicarnasse" (Dionysius of Halicarnassus). The mystical writings which were circulated in the Middle Ages and are still extant, are pronounced by the best authorities to be forgeries, and date from a period not earlier than the 5th century.

J. E. Harry


di-o-ni’-sus (Dionusos): The youngest of the Greek gods. In Homer he is not associated with the vine. In later Greek legend he is represented as coming from India, as traversing Asia in a triumphal march, accompanied by woodland beings, with pointed ears, snub noses and goat-tails. These creatures were called satyrs. The vine was cultivated among European-Aryans first in Thrace, and here Dionysus is said to have established his worship first in Europe. Then the cult of Dionysus passed down through the Balkan peninsula to Thebes; and in the localized form of the myth the deity was born here—son of Zeus and Semele. " Offspring of Zeus on high .......................... Thou that carest for all Who on Bacchus in Italy call And in Deo’s sheltered plain Of Eleusis lord dost reign, Whither worshippers repair! O Bacchus that dwellest in Thebes, On whose broad and fertile glebes Fierce warriors from the dragon’s teeth rose, Where Ismenus softly flows, The city that Semele bare!" —Sophocles, Antigone. Among all the Greek deities none appealed more vividly to the imagination than Dionysus. Greek tragedy is a form of worship, the ritual cult of the god of wine, who makes the initiate wise and the ungodly mad. Dionysus speaks most strongly to the sense and to the spirit at the same time. There is nothing monotonous in the Dionysiac legend; it is replete with both joy and sorrow—in some aspects it is a "passion" in others a triumph. All the passion plays of the world (even the Oberammergau Schauspiel) are in the ancient spirit. One Dionysus after another has been substituted, but from the first there has been a desire on the part of the devotee to realize his god vividly with thrilling nearness, to partake of his joys and sorrows and triumphs in his manifold adventures. In the early myths Dionysus was one of the lesser gods; he is mentioned only twice in the Iliad and twice in the Odyssey; but he is always represented as being more nearly akin to man than the great august deities of Olympus.

He is a man-god, or god-man. To the inhabitants of the vine-clad slopes of Attica, to which his cult had been brought from Phrygia through Thracian Boeotia, he was particularly dear. At their vintage feasts last year’s cask of wine was opened; and when the new year brought life again to the vines, the bountiful god was greeted with songs of joyful praise. The burial of the wine in the dark tomb of the jars through the winter, and the opening of these jars at the spring festival symbolized the great awakening of man himself, the resurrection of the god’s worshippers to a fuller and more joyous life. The vine was not the only manifestation of the god—oil and wheat were also his; he was the god of ecstasy, the giver of physical joy and excitement, the god of life, the god of certain laws of Nature, germination and extinction, the external coming into being and the dying away of all things that are, fructification in its widest aspect whether in the bursting of the seed-grain that lies intreasured in the earth, or in the generation of living creatures. Hence, the prominence given to the phallus in the solemn processions in honor of the god.

Nicanor (2 Macc 14:33) and Antiochus Epiphanes (2 Macc 6:7) thought that the cult of Dionysus would not be objectionable to the Jews. Ptolemy Philopator branded the Jews with an ivy-leaf (3 Macc 2:29), which was sacred to Dionysus. See also BACCHUS.

J. E. Harry


di-os-ko-rin’-thi-us: A certain (unidentified) month (2 Macc 11:21). See CALENDAR; TIME.


di-os’-ku-ri (Dioscouroi; in Ac 28:11, the King James Version Castor and Pollux, the Revised Version (British and American) thE TWIN BROTHERS; in margin, "Dioscuri"): The sign of the ship on which Paul sailed from Melita to Syracuse and Rhegium. The Dioscuri (i.e. sons of Zeus), Castor and Pollux, are the two chief stars in the constellation of the Twins. Some 4,000 years BC they served as pointers to mark the beginning of the new year by setting together with the first new moon of springtime. The constellation of the Twins was supposed to be especially favorable to sailors, hence, ships were often placed under the protection of the twin gods.

E. W. Maunder


di-ot’-re-fez (Diotrephes): A person mentioned in 3Joh 1:9,10 as contentiously resisting the writer’s authority and forbidding others from exercising the Christian hospitality which he himself refused to show.

The words "who loveth to have the preeminence, among them" may indicate that he was a church official, abusing his position, chief stars in the constellation of the Twins. Some 4,000 years BC they served as pointers to mark the beginning of the new year by setting together with the first new moon of springtime. The constellation of the Twins was supposed to be especially favorable to sailors, hence, ships were often placed under the protection of the twin gods.


Priests when offering a sin offering were required to dip a finger into the blood of the sacrificed bullock and "to sprinkle of the blood seven times before Yahweh" (compare Le 4:6, et al.). See also the law referring to the cleansing of infected houses (Le 14:51) and the cleansing of a leper (Le 14:16). In all such cases "to dip" is "to moisten," "to besprinkle," "to dip in," the Hebrew Tabhal, or the Greek bapto. See also ASHER. In Ps 68:23 "dipping" is not translated from the Hebrew, but merely employed for a better understanding of the passage: "Thou mayest crush them, dipping thy foot in blood" (the King James Version "that thy foot may be dipped in the blood"). Re 19:13 is a very doubtful passage. the King James Version reads: "a vesture dipped in blood" (from bapto, "to dip"); the Revised Version (British and American) following another reading (either rhaino, or rhantizo, both "to sprinkle"), translates "a garment sprinkled with blood." the Revised Version, margin gives "dipped in." See also SOP.

A. L. Breslich


di’-fath (diphath): A son of Gomer, son of Japheth, son of Noah (1Ch 1:6), called RIPHATH (which see) in the corresponding genealogy in Ge 10:3.


dis-a-lou’:"To disallow" as used in the Scriptures means either "to oppose," "not permit" (Hebrew no’, Nu 30:5,8,11), or "to reject" (Greek apodokimazo, literally, "to consider useless," 1Pe 2:4,7 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "rejected").


dis-a-nul’. See ANNUL.


dis-a-point’:"To disappoint" may be used transitively or intransitively. In the former case it naturally has a more forceful meaning. Therefore the Revised Version (British and American) changes the translation of the King James Version wherever "disappoint" is used with an object: Job 5:12, "frustrateth"; Ps 17:13, "confront him," the Revised Version, margin "forestall"; Judith 16:6, "brought them to nought"; but the Revised Version (British and American) retains "disappoint" where the person wh disappoints is not expressed. Compare Pr 15:22.


di-zurn’:Five Hebrew words are thus translated: bin, yadha‘, nakhar, ra’ah and shama‘. It may simply mean "observe" (bin), "I discerned among the youths" (Pr 7:7); or discriminating knowlege, "A wise man’s heart discerneth time and judgment" (Ec 8:5, yadha‘); "He discerned him not, because his hands," etc. (Ge 27:23, nakhar); "Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked" (Mal 3:18, ra’ah); "So is my lord the king to discern good," etc. (2Sa 14:17, shama‘). In the New Testament the words anakrino, diakrino and dokimazo are thus translated, expressing close and distinct acquaintance with or a critical knowledge of things. Used in 1Co 2:14 the King James Version of "the things of the spirit of God"; in 1Co 11:29 of "the (Lord’s) body" in the sacrament; in Mt 16:3 of "the face of the heaven"; in Heb 5:14 of a clear knowledge of good and evil as the prerogative of a full-grown man. See also next article.

Henry E. Dosker


di-zurn’-inz, (diakriseis pneumaton, "judicial estimation," "through judgment or separation"): Occurs in 1Co 12:10 as being one of the gifts of the Spirit. The Greek word occurs in Heb 5:14; and Ro 14:1: "But him that is weak in faith receive ye, yet not for decision of scruples." This translation scarcely expresses the meaning, which Thayer has freely rendered, "not for the purpose of passing judgment on opinions, as to which one is to be preferred as the more correct." Taking these three passages together it is evident that the Greek term which is rendered "discerning" means a distinguishing or discriminating between things that are under consideration; hence, the one who possessed the gift of "discernings of spirits" was able to make distinction between the one who spoke by the Spirit of God and the one who was moved by a false spirit. This gift seems to have been exercised chiefly upon those who assumed the role of teachers, and it was especially important in those days, because there were many false teachers abroad (see 2Joh 1:7; Ac 20:29,30). See also SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

A. W. Fortune



(1) Usually a substantive (mathetes, "a learner," from manthano, "to learn"; Latin discipulus, "a scholar"): The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher (didaskalos). See Mt 10:24; Lu 6:40. In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist (Mt 9:14; Lu 7:18; Joh 3:25); also of the Pharisees (Mt 22:16; Mr 2:18; Lu 5:33); of Moses (Joh 9:28). But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus. (a) In the widest sense (Mt 10:42; Lu 6:17; Joh 6:66, and often). It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels. But (b) especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples (Mt 10:1; 11:1; 12:1, et al.). In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians (Ac 6:1,2,7; 9:36 (feminine, mathetria); Ac 11:26, "The disciples were called Christians"). Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples (Ac 19:1-4).

(2) We have also the verb, matheteuo, "Jesus’ disciple" (literally, "was discipled to Jesus," Mt 27:57); "Make disciples of all the nations" (the King James Version "teach," Mt 28:19); "had made many disciples" (the King James Version "taught many," Ac 14:21); "every scribe who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven" (the King James Version "instructed," Mt 13:52). The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as "one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example."

The Old Testament has neither the term nor the exact idea, though there is a difference between teacher and scholar among David’s singers (1Ch 25:8), and among the prophetic guilds the distinction between the rank and file and the leader (1Sa 19:20; 2Ki 6:5).

G. H. Trever


dis’-i-plin (mucar): In the King James Version only in Job 36:10, where it refers to moral discipline, the strenuous cultivation of the righteous life; the Revised Version (British and American) "instruction." the Revised Version (British and American) in 2Ti 1:7 has "discipline" for a Greek word (sophronismos) meaning "sobering"; in 2Ti 3:16 margin, for Greek paideia, "instruction." In classic Greek paideia means "education," mental culture. Through the influence of the Septuagint, which translates the Hebrew mucar by paideia, the meaning of "chastisement" accompanies paideia in the New Testament. Compare Heb 12:5,7,8,11.

See CHASTISEMENT; and for ecclesiastical discipline see CHURCH.


dis-kum’-fit, dis-kum’-fi-tur (hum, mehumah): These words are now obsolete or at least obsolescent and are confined in Biblical literature wholly to the Old Testament. The meaning in general is "to annoy," "harass," "confuse," "rout" and "destroy." The most common usage is that based upon the root meaning, "to trouble" or "annoy," sometimes to the point of destruction (Jos 10:10; Jud 4:15; 1Sa 7:10; 2Sa 22:15).

The King James Version errs in the translation in Isa 31:8, where the meaning is obviously "to become subject to task work" or "to place a burden upon one." There seems also to be an unwarranted use of the word in Nu 14:45, where it means rather "to bruise" or "strike." The purest use is perhaps in 1Sa 14:20, where the statement is made that "every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture."

Walter G. Clippinger


dis-kors’:In the Revised Version (British and American) of Ac 20:7,9, the translation of Greek dialegomai (the King James Version "preach"), elsewhere rendered, according to the implications of the context, "reason" or "dispute," as Ac 17:2; 19:9 (the King James Version "disputing," the Revised Version (British and American) "reasoning"); Jude 1:9.


dis-kuv’-er: In modern usage the word "discover" signifies "to get first sight or knowledge of," "to ascertain," or "to explore." Such usage appears in 1Sa 22:6 of the discovery of David’s hiding-place, where the Hebrew uses yadha‘. In the King James Version the word "discover" often occurs in a sense now archaic or even obsolete. (Note in the cases cited below the Hebrew word is galah, except Jer 13:26 (chashaph, "to make bare") and Hab 3:13 (‘arar, "to make naked").)

(1) "To exhibit," "uncover" (or "betray"), in which examples the English Revised Version also reads with the King James Version "discover"; the American Standard Revised Version "uncover" (Ex 20:26; Job 12:22; Isa 57:8 ("discovered thyself" the King James Version and the English Revised Version); Jer 13:26; La 2:14; Ho 7:1; Na 3:5).

(2) "To cause to be no longer a covering," "to lay bare" (2Sa 22:16 the King James Version).

(3) "To bring to light," "disclose" (1Sa 14:8,11 (the English Revised Version with the King James Version "discover")).

(4) "To unmask" or "reveal oneself" (Pr 18:2 the King James Version).

(5) "To take away the covering of" (Isa 22:8 the King James Version).

(6) "To lay bare" (Hab 3:13). In Ps 29:9, the King James Version reads: "The voice of the Lord .... discovereth the forests," where the Revised Version (British and American) reads, "strippeth the forests bare," i.e. "strippeth the forests of their leaves" (Perowne, The Psalms, I, 248); "strippeth bare the forests" (Briggs, Psalms, I, 251, 253).

In the New Testament (the King James Version), the word "discover" occurs as a translation of the Greek anaphanantes in Ac 21:3, and for katenooun in Ac 27:39, where the Revised Version (British and American) reads in the first instance "had come in sight of," and in the latter case "perceived."

W. N. Stearns


dis-krep’-an-siz, bib’-li-kal:

1. Definition:

By this term should be understood substantial disagreements in the statements of Biblical writers. Such disagreements might subsist between the, statements of different writers or between the several statements of a single writer. Contradictions of Biblical views from extra-Biblical sources as history, natural science, philosophy, do not fall within the scope of our subject.

2. Criticism versus Doctrine of Inerrancy:

Observant Bible readers in every age have noted, with various degrees of insight, that the Scriptures exhibit manifold interior differences and contrasts. Differences of literary form and method have ever seemed, except to those who maintained a mechanical theory of inspiration, wholly natural and fitting. Moreover, that there was progress in the Biblical revelation, especially that the New Testament of Jesus Christ signifies a vastly richer revelation of God than the Old Testament, has been universally recognized. In fulfilling the law and the prophets Christ put a marked distance between Himself and them, yet He certainly affirmed rather than denied them. The Christian church has ever held to the essential unity of the Divine library of the Holy Scriptures. Moreover, the evangelical churches have recognized the Bible as "the only and sufficient rule of both faith and practice." Indeed, in the generation following the Reformation, the strictest and most literal theory of inspiration and inerrancy found general acceptance. Over against such a body of presuppositions, criticism, some generations later, began to allege certain errors and discrepancies in the Bible. Of course the orthodox sought to repel all these claims; for they felt that the Bible, whatever the appearances might seem to indicate, must be free from error, else it could not be the word of God. So there came with criticism a long period of sturdy defense of the strictest doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. Criticism, however, kept on its way. It has forced the church to find a deeper and surer ground of confidence in the authority of the Bible as the witness to God’s self-revelation to man. In our day the church has for the most part overcome the notion that the certainty of the saving grace of God in Christ stands or falls with the absolute inerrancy of each several statement contained in the Bible. Still there remains, and doubtless ever must remain, a need of a clear understanding of the issue involved in the allegation—along with other "human limitations"—of Biblical discrepancies.

3. Synopsis of the Argument:

Alleged discrepancies pertain

(1) to statements of specific, concrete facts, and

(2) to the utterance of principles and doctrines. Under the first head fall disagreements respecting numbers, dates, the form and order of historical events, records of spoken words, geography, natural history, etc. Under the second head fall disagreements respecting moral and religious truths, the "superhistorical" realities and values. Our inquiry resolves itself into three parts:

(1) to determine whether there be discrepancies, of either or both sorts, in the Bible;

(2) to obtain at least a general understanding of the conditions and causes that may have given rise to the discrepancies, real or apparent;

(3) to determine their significance for faith.

4. Alleged Discrepancies Pertaining to Facts:

As to the first point, it should be observed that apparent inconsistencies may not be real ones; as so often in the past, so again it may come about that the discovery of further data may resolve many an apparent contradiction. On the other hand, the affirmation a priori that there can be and are no real discrepancies in the Bible is not only an outrage upon the human understanding, but it stands also in contradiction to the spirit of freedom that is of faith. Besides, it should not be overlooked that the discoveries of modern historical and archaeological research, which have tended to confirm so many Biblical statements, seem just as surely to reveal error in others.

In any event we must bow to reality, and we may do this with fearless confidence in "the God of things as they are." But are there real discrepancies in the Bible? It is no part of the present plan to attempt the impossible and at all events useless task of exhibiting definite statistics of all the alleged discrepancies, or even of all the principal ones. Passing by the childish folly that would find a "discrepancy" in mere rhetorical antitheses, such as that in Pr 26:4,5 ("Answer not a fool," and "Answer a fool according to his folly"), or instances of merely formal contrariety of expression, where the things intended are manifestly congruous (e. g. Mt 12:30; Lu 11:23 contrasted with Mr 9:40; Lu 9:50: "He that is not with me is against me," "He that is not against us is for us"), it will serve our purpose to notice a few representative examples of real or apparent discrepancy.

The chronologies of Kings and Chronicles are inconsistent (compare CHRONOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT). The genealogies in Ge 46; Nu 26; 1Ch 2:7 show considerable variations. The two lists of exiles who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2; Ne 7:6 ff) show many discrepancies, including a marked difference in the enumeration. The accounts of the creation in Ge 1 and 2 (compare CREATION)—to take an example dependent upon the results of modern criticism—are mutually independent and in important particulars diverse. But the center of interest in our inquiry is the gospel history. Since Tatian and his Diatessaron in the 2nd century, the variations and contrasts in the Gospels have not only been noted and felt, but many have striven to "harmonize" them. After all, however, there remain some irreducible differences. The Gospels, generally speaking, do not give us ipsissima verba of Jesus; in reporting His discourses they show many variations. In so far as the essential meaning is the same in all, no one speaks of discrepancies; but where the variation clearly involves a difference of meaning (e. g. Mt 12:39,40 and Lu 11:29,30), one may say that at least a technical discrepancy exists. In recording sayings or events the evangelists manifestly do not always observe the same chronological order; Lk, e. g. records in wholly different connections sayings which Mt includes as parts of the Sermon on the Mount (e. g. the Lord’s Prayer, Mt 6:9 ff; Lu 11:1-4; compare JESUS CHRIST; CHRONOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). We have two distinct genealogies of Jesus (Mt 1:1-16; Lu 3:23 ff; compare GENEALOGY). We may even note that Pilate’s superscription over the cross of Jesus is given in four distinct forms. Here, however, the discrepancy is not real except in the most technical sense, and is worth mentioning only to show that the evangelists’ interest does not lie in a mere objective accuracy. That a perfect agreement as to the significance of an event exists where there are undeniable discrepancies in external details may be illustrated by the two accounts of the healing of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:5 ff; Lu 7:1 ff). Of enormously greater interest are the various accounts of the appearances of the risen Christ. If a complete certainty as to the form and order of these events is necessary to faith, the case is not a happy one, for the harmonists have been unable to render a perfect account of these matters (compare JESUS CHRIST; RESURRECTION). Turning from the Gospels to apostolic history, we meet some real problems, e. g. how to relate Paul’s autobiographical notes in Ga 1$ with the accounts in Acts.

5. Alleged Discrepancies Pertaining to Doctrine:

The discrepancies thus far noted pertain to historical matters, and not one of them involves the contradiction of a fact in which faith is interested. But are there also real or apparent discrepancies in matters of doctrine? Many scholars maintain, for instance, that the ideal of the prophets and that of the priestly class stand in a relative (not absolute) opposition to each other (compare, e. g. Isa 1:11; Mic 6:8 with the ritualism of Le and Dt). Or, to turn to the New Testament, some would assert—among them Luther—that James stands in opposition to Paul in respect to faith and works (compare Jas 2:17 ff in contrast with Ga 2:16 and many other passages in Paul). But particular interest attaches to the problem of Christ’s attitude toward the Old Testament law. His "but I say unto you" (Mt 5:22 and passim) has been interpreted by many as a distinct contradiction of the Old Testament. Another question of acute interest is the agreement of the Johannine picture of Jesus with that of the Synoptists.

It can scarcely require proof that some of these alleged discrepancies are not such at all. For example, Jesus’ attitude toward the Old Testament was one of profound reverence and affirmation. He was perfectly conscious that the Old Testament law represented a stage in the Divine education of mankind. His "but I say unto you" was not a denying of the degree of advancement represented by the Old Testament law, but a carrying out of the principle of the law to its full expression (compare LAW; FULFIL). Of course, the Divine education of Israel did not mean the mere inculcation of the truth in a fallow and hitherto unoccupied soil. There was much superstition and error to be overcome. If then one should insist that the errors, which revelation was destined to overcome, still manifest themselves here and there in the Old Testament, it may be replied that at all events the one grand tendency of Divine revelation is unmistakably clear. An idea is not "Scriptural" simply by virtue of its having been incidentally expressed by a Biblical writer, but because it essentially and inseparably belongs to the organic whole of the Biblical testimony. In the case of James versus Paul the antithesis is one of emphasis, not of contradiction of a first principle. And as for the variations in the gospel history, these do not deserve to be called real discrepancies so long as the Gospels unite in giving one harmonious picture and testimony concerning the personal life and the work and teaching of Jesus. Even from this point of view, John, though so much more theological, preaches the same Christ as the Synoptists.

6. Causes of Discrepancies:

As to the conditions under which discrepancies may arise, it may suffice, first, to call attention to the general law that God in revealing Himself to men and in moving men by His Spirit to speak or write, never lifts them out of the normal relations of human intelligence, so far as matters of history or science are concerned. It is their witness to Himself and His will which is the result of revelation and inspiration. Their references to history and Nature are not therefore in any sense super-human; accordingly they have no direct authority for faith (compare REVELATION; INSPIRATION). On this basis the divergences of human traditions or documents as exhibited in different genealogies, chronologies and the like are natural in the best sense and wholly fitting. As for the rest, errors of copyists have played a part.

7. Their Significance for Faith:

Faith, however, has no interest in explaining away the human limitations in God’s chosen witnesses. It is God’s way to place the heavenly "treasure in earthen vessels" (2Co 4:7). It seems that God has purposely led the church to see, through the necessity of recognizing the human limitations of the Bible, just where her faith is grounded. God has made Himself known through His Son. The Scriptures of the New Testament, and of the Old Testament in preparation for Him, give us a clear and sufficient testimony to the Christ of God. The clearness and persuasive power of that testimony make all questions of verbal and other formal agreement essentially irrelevant. The certainty that God has spoken unto us in His Son and that we have this knowledge through the Scripture testimony lifts us above all anxious concern for the possible errors of the witnesses in matters evidently nonessential.


Besides the literature noted under REVELATION and INSPIRATION, see J. W. Haley, An Examination of the Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Andover, 1873; M. S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, New York, 1883; Kahler, Zur Bibelf rage, Leipzig, 1907.

J. R. Van Pelt


dis’-kus (diskos, "the summons of the discus," 2 Macc 4:14 margin, "to the game of the discus," the King James Version "the game of discus"): The discus was a round stone slab or metal plate of considerable weight (a kind of quoit), the contest of throwing which to the greatest distance was one of the exercises in the Greek gymnasia, being included in the pentathlon. It was introduced into Jerusalem by Jason the high priest in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, 175-164 BC, in the Palaestra he had formed there in imitation of the Greek games. His conduct led to his being described in 2 Macc 4:13,14 as that "ungodly man" through whom even the priests forsook their duties to play at the discus. A statue of a discobolos (discus-thrower) is in the British Museum. From discus we have the words "disc," "dish," "desk." See GAMES.

W. L. Walker


di-zez’, di-zez’-iz (chalah, choli; nosos): Palestine, from its position and physical conditions, ought to be a healthy country. That it is not so depends on the unsanitary conditions in which the people live and the absence of any attempts to check the introduction or development of zymotic diseases. The number of marshes or pools is fairly small, and the use of active measures to destroy the larvae of mosquitos might easily diminish or abolish the malarial fevers which now prevail all over the country.

The freeing of Ismailieh and Port Said from these pests is an object-lesson in sanitation. When one examines the conditions of life in towns and villages all over the country, the evidences of the ravages of these fevers and their sequelae appear on every hand as they affect all ages from infancy to middle age, and one meets but few individuals of extreme old age. The absence of any adequate system of drainage and the pollution of the water supplies are also factors of great importance in preserving this unhealthiness.

In ancient times it was regarded as healthier than Egypt, as it well might be, hence, the diseases of Egypt are referred to as being worse than those of Palestine (De 7:15; 28:60; Am 4:10). The sanitary regulations and restrictions of the Priestly Code would doubtless have raised the standard of public health, but it is unlikely that these were ever observed over any large area. The types of disease which are referred to in the Bible are those that still prevail. Fevers of several kinds, dysentery, leprosy, intestinal worms, plague, nervous diseases such as paralysis and epilepsy, insanity, ophthalmia and skin diseases are among the commonest and will be described under their several names. Methods of treatment are described under MEDICINE; PHYSICIAN. The word "disease" or "diseases" in the King James Version is changed to "sickness" in the Revised Version (British and American) in 2Ki 1:2; 8:8; Mt 9:35, and left out in Joh 5:4; while in Mt 8:17 "sicknesses" is replaced by "diseases." the Revised Version (British and American) also changes "infirmity" in Lu 7:21 to "diseases," and in Ps 38:7 "a loathsome disease" is changed to "burning."

Alex. Macalister




The rendering in English Versions of the Bible in some connections of three Hebrew and one Greek word. The qe‘arah of Ex 25:29; 37:16; Nu 4:7 was apparently a kind of salver, in this case of gold, for holding the loaves of the "presence bread." The same word represents the silver "platters" (Nu 7:13 ff) brought by the princes as a dedication gift. The cephel of Jud 5:25 was a large bowl, so translated in Jud 6:38. "Lordly dish" is literally, "bowl of (fit for) nobles." The tsallachath of 2Ki 21:13; Pr 19:24; 26:15 (last two the King James Version "bosom" after the Septuagint) refers probably to the wide, deep dish in which the principal part of the meal was served. Of somewhat similar form may have been the trublion (Septuagint for qe‘arah) mentioned in connection with the Passover meal (Mt 26:23; Mr 14:20).

Benjamin Reno Downer


di’-shan, di’-shon (dishan, dishon, "antelope," "pygarg"): A Horite clan, mentioned as the youngest "son" and elsewhere as the "grandson" of Seir. The form Dishon occurs several times in the list of Horite clans, together with many other totem names (Ge 36$ passim; 1Ch 1:38,41). See Gray, HPN, 89.


dis-on’-es-ti: Only in 2Co 4:2, the King James Version rendering of Greek aischune; the King James Version elsewhere and the Revised Version (British and American) uniformly, "shame."


dis-o-be’-di-ens, (marah; apeitheo, parakouo): The word used chiefly in the New Testament has the general meaning of a lack of regard for authority or rulership. The stronger meaning of actual stubbornness or violence is perhaps conveyed in the Old Testament (1Ki 13:26; Ne 9:26; compare 1Ki 13:21).

In the New Testament there seem to be two rather clearly defined uses of the word, one objective and practical, the other ethical and psychological. The first refers more to conduct, the second to belief and one’s mental attitude toward the object of disobedience. To the first belong such passages as refer to the overt act of disobedience to one’s parents (Ro 1:30; 2Ti 3:2). Illustrating this more fully, the translation according to the King James Version of 1Ti 1:9 is given as "unruly" in the Revised Version (British and American). By far the greater emphasis, however, is placed upon the distinctly ethical quality in which disobedience is really an attitude of the mind and finds its essence in a heart of unbelief and unfaithfulness (1Pe 2:7,8; Eph 2:2; 5:6; Col 3:6). In the latter three references "children (sons) of disobedience" are mentioned, as if one should become the very offspring of such an unhappy and unholy state of mind. The classic phrase of New Testament literature (Ac 26:19) contains both the practical and the ethical aspects. Paul’s convictions were changed by the vision and his conduct was made to conform immediately to it.

Walter G. Clippinger


dis-or’-der-li (ataktos): The word is found four times in the Epistles to the Thess (1Th 5:14; 2Th 3:6,7,11), "Withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly."; "We behaved not ourselves disorderly."; "We hear of some that walk among you disorderly." The word is a military term and has reference to the soldier who does not keep the ranks (inordinatus, Liv). Then it refers to people who refuse to obey the civil laws, and thus it gets its meaning, "disorderly." It points to members in the early church, who, by their lives, became a reproach to the gospel of Christ (compare 1Th 4:11,12).

Henry E. Dosker


dis-pach’:Occurs Tobit 7:8 in the sense of dispatch of business, "Let this business be dispatched" (the Revised Version (British and American) "finished"); 2 Macc 12:18, "before he had dispatched anything" (the Revised Version (British and American) "without accomplishing"); The Wisdom of Solomon 11:19 (20) in the sense of finishing, destroying, "dispatch them at once" (the Revised Version (British and American) "consume"); 2 Macc 9:4 "dispatch the journey" (katanuein), which may mean "finish it quickly" Revised Version (British and American) spells "despatch."


dis-pen-sa’-shun: The Greek word (oikonomia) so translated signifies primarily, a stewardship, the management or disposition of affairs entrusted to one. Thus 1Co 9:17, the King James Version "A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me," the Revised Version (British and American) "I have stewardship entrusted to me." The idea is similar in Eph 3:2 parallel Col 1:25 (the Revised Version, margin "stewardship"). In Eph 1:10 God’s own working is spoken of as "dispensation."




dis-pur’-shun, (diaspora):

1. Golah and Dispersion

2. Purpose of Dispersion

3. Causes of Dispersion

4. Extent of Dispersion

5. The Eastern Dispersion

6. The Egyptian Dispersion

7. Testimony of Aramaic Papyri

8. Jewish Temple at Syene

9. Theories of the Syene Settlement

10. Importance of the Discovery

11. A New Chapter of Old Testament History

12. Alexandrian Judaism

13. The Jews and Hellenism

14. The Septuagint

15. Early Evidence of a Jewish Community

16. The Dispersion in Syria

17. In Arabia

18. In Asia Minor

19. Among Greeks Proper

20. The Roman Dispersion

21. Jews and Pompey

22. Jews and the First Caesars

23. Influence of Jews in the Early Roman Empire

24. Jews in Italy, Gaul, Spain and North Africa.

25. The Numbers of the Dispersion

26. Jewish Proselytism

27. Internal Organization

28. Unity of the Jewish People

29. Dispersion Influenced by Greek Thought

30. The Dispersion a Preparation for the Advent of Christ

31. The Dispersion an Auxiliary to the Spread of the Gospel

1. Golah and Dispersion:

The Dispersion is the comprehensive designation applied to Jews living outside of Palestine and maintaining their religious observances and customs among the Gentiles. They were known as the Golah (Aramaic Galutha’), the captivity—an expression describing them in relation to their own land; and the Diaspora, the Dispersion, an expression describing them in relation to the nations among whom they were scattered. On a notable occasion Jesus said, "Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, ye cannot come. The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?" (Joh 7:34,35).

2. Purpose of Dispersion:

In 2 Maccabees certain priests of Jerusalem are represented as praying to God: "Gather together our Dispersion, set at liberty them that are in bondage among the heathen" (2 Macc 1:27; compare 2 Esdras 2:7; Jas 1:1; 1Pe 1:1). The thought of such a Dispersion as a punishment for the disobedience of the people finds frequent expression in the Prophets: Hosea (Ho 9:3), Jeremiah (Jer 8:3; 16:15, etc.), Ezekiel (Eze 4:13), and Zechariah (Zec 10:9). And it appears also in the Deuteronomic Law (De 28:25; 30:1). That the Dispersion of the Jews was for the benefit of the Gentiles is a conception to which expression is given in utterances of psalmists and prophets (Ps 67; Mic 5:7, etc.). It is found also in the Apocrypha Baruch, a work belonging to the 1st century AD: "I will scatter this people among the Gentiles, that they may do good to the Gentiles" (1:7).

3. Causes of Dispersion:

The causes of the Dispersion most obvious to the student of Old Testament history were the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, when the king of Assyria carried Israel away into his own land and placed them in Halah, and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (2Ki 17:5 ff); and when in the reign of Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, Judah was carried away into Babylonia (2Ki 24:14). See CAPTIVITY. But there were other captivities which helped to scatter the children of Abraham. Ptolemy I of Egypt (322-285 BC) by his expeditions to Palestine and his capture of Jerusalem added largely to the Jewish population of Alexandria. Antiochus the Great of Syria (223-187 BC) removed from the Jewish communities in Mesopotamia and Babylon 2,000 families and settled them in Phrygia and Lydia (Josephus, Ant, XII, iii, 4). Pompey after his capture of Jerusalem in 63 BC carried off hundreds of Jews to Rome, where they were sold as slaves, but, afterward, many of them obtained their freedom and civic rights.

4. Extent of Dispersion:

There was, besides, a voluntary emigration of Jewish settlers for purposes of trade and commerce into the neighboring countries, and especially into the chief cities of the civilized world. The successors of Alexander, and their successors in turn, encouraged immigration into their territories and the mingling of nationalities. They needed colonists for the settlements and cities which they established, and with the offer of citizenship and facilities for trade and commerce they attracted many of the Jewish people.

"In this way," says Philo, "Jerus became the capital, not only of Judea, but of many other lands, on account of the colonies which it sent out from time to time into the bordering districts of Egypt, Phoenicia, Syria, Coele-Syria, and into the more distant regions of Pamphylia, Cilicia, the greater part of Asia Minor as far as Bithynia, and the remotest corners of Pontus. And in like manner into Europe: into Thessaly, and Boeotia, and Macedonia, and Aetolia, and Attica and Argos, and Corinth, and into the most fertile and fairest parts of the Peloponnesus. And not only is the continent full of Jewish colonists, but also the most important islands, such as Euboea, Cyprus, and Crete. I say nothing of the countries beyond the Euphrates. All of them except a very small portion, and Babylon, and all the satrapies which contain fruitful land, have Jewish inhabitants" (Philo, Leg ad Caium, 36).

About the middle of the 2nd century BC the Sibylline Oracles could say of the Jewish people: "Every land and every sea is full of thee" (3:271). About the same period the Roman Senate, being anxious to extend protection to the Jews, had a circular letter written in their favor to the kings of Egypt, Syria, Pergamum, Cappadocia and Parthia, and to a great number of provinces, cities and islands of the Mediterranean, where presumably there was a larger or smaller number of Jews (1 Macc 15:15 ff). It is no surprise, therefore, to read that for the Feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem, there were present after the ascension of Jesus: "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians" (Ac 2:9-12).

5. The Eastern Dispersion:

The Eastern Dispersion, caused by the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, seems to have increased and multiplied, and to have enjoyed a considerable measure of liberty, and of prosperity. When the return from the captivity took place Under Zerubbabel, it was only a small proportion of the exiles who sought a home again in the land of their fathers. Nor did the numbers who accompanied Ezra from Babylon greatly diminish the exiles who remained behind. In the time of Christ, Josephus could speak of the Jews in Babylenia by "innumerable myriads" (Ant., XI, v, 2). He also tells us of the 2,000 Jewish families whom Antiochus transferred from Babylon and Mesopotamia to Phrygia and Syria. Of the peculiarities of the Jews as a people living apart and observing their own customs and arousing the ill-will of the neighbors, we have a glimpse in the Persian period in the Book of Es (3:8). Babylonia remained a focus of eastern Judaism for centuries, and from the discussions in rabbinical schools there were elaborated the Talmud of Jerusalem in the 5th century of our era, and the Talmud of Babylon a century later. The two chief centers of Mesopotamian Judaism were Nehardea, a town on the Euphrates, and Nisibis on the Mygdonius; an affluent of the Chaboras, which were also centers of Syrian Christianity.

6. The Egyptian Dispersion:

The Egyptian Dispersion is of special interest and importance, and recent discoveries have thrown unexpected light upon it. As far back as the days of Sheshenq, the founder of the 22nd Dynasty, the Shishak of 1Ki 14:25 f; 2Ch 12:2 f, who invaded Palestine in the 10th century BC, and engraved on the South wall of the great Temple of Karnak the names of many districts and cities he had captured, prisoners of war and hostages may have been carried off to Egypt by the conqueror. At a later time Jewish mercenaries are said to have fought in the expedition of Psammetichus II against Ethiopia, to which expedition belong the famous inscriptions of Abu Simbel (594-589 BC). So we learn from the well-known Letter of Aristeas. But the clearest and best-known example of a settlement of Jews in Egypt is that connected with the prophet Jeremiah. When Gedaliah, the governor of Judea, after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, had been treacherously murdered, the depressed and dispirited remnant under Johnnan, the son of Kareah, resolved to take flight into Egypt, against the counsel of Jeremiah. A host of fugitives, including Jeremiah and his friend Baruch, accordingly set out thither, and settled at Migdol and Tahpanhes and Noph (Memphis), and in the country of Pathros in upper Egypt (Jer 43$; 44$). It was in Egypt with those fugitives that Jeremiah ended his life. Many of the fugitives were taken prisoners by Nebuchadrezzar on one of his latest expeditions to the west, and were transported to Babylon (Josephus, Ant, X, ix, 7; compare Jer 43:8 f).

7. Testimony of Aramaic Papyri:

Of this colony of Jews it is natural to see a strong confirmation in the recent discovery of Aramaic papyri at Assouan, the Syene of the ancients. The papyri were the contents of a deed box of a member of a Jewish colony in upper Egypt, and the deeds refer to house property in which Jews are concerned. Here then at Assouan, about 470 BC is a colony of Jews who have acquired houses and other property, and have become bankers and money lenders, within a century of the death of Jeremiah. In the papyri there is evidence of the existence of a tribunal of the Hebrews, a court where cases could be decided, as fully recognized by law as any of the other courts, Egyptian or Persian, for Egypt, "the basest of kingdoms," was then subject to a Persian suzerain. Most significant of all, Yahweh is acknowledged as the God of the Jews, and the existence of a chapel and even of an altar of sacrifice is beyond all doubt. Evidently these Jews in Egypt did not consider that an altar of Yahweh could not stand anywhere else than at Jerusalem, or that outside Jerusalem the worship of the synagogue was the only worship of the God of their fathers. These facts are rendered still more striking when we regard them as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: "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. In that day there shall be an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Yahweh" (Isa 19:18,19). These papyri give information similar to that which the clay tablets discovered at Nippur give regarding the house of Murashu Sons (see CAPTIVITY) about the same time—the time when Ezra was setting out from Babylon to restore at Jerusalem the worship of the temple which Zerubbabel had rebuilt. It was just about a century from the time that Jeremiah had gone down to Egypt that we have the first of these deeds, and it was the grandfathers, or great-grandfathers, of the persons concerned whom he had accompanied thither so much against his will.

8. Jewish Temple at Syene:

These papyri were discovered in 1904, and a year or two later, additional papyri were discovered in a mound which stands on the site of the ancient Elephantine or Yeb, an island in the Nile, on the frontier also. One of these papyri contains a petition from the Jewish colony in Elephantine addressed to Bagohi (called Bagoas by Josephus, Ant, XI, vii, 7), the Persian governor of Judah, about 408 BC. They ask for assistance to enable them to rebuild the temple of Yahweh in Elephantine, which had been destroyed at the instigation of the priests of the rain-headed Egyptian god Khnub, who had a temple in the fortress of Yeb or Elephantine. This Jewish temple had been erected to Yahweh at least 125 years before and had been spared by Cambyses in 525 BC when he destroyed all the temples erected to the gods of Egypt. The destruction of the temple at Yeb occurred in the 14th year of Darius, 411 BC. It contained an altar for burnt sacrifice, and there were gold and silver vessels in which the blood of sacrifice was collected. The head of the college of priests presenting this petition is Jedoniah, a name found in an abbreviated form in Jadon (Ne 3:7).

9. Theories of the Syene Settlement:

An attempt has been made to show that the bearers of these Hebrew names were descended from the captivity of the Northern Kingdom. It is suggested that they had come into Egypt with the Persian army under Cambyses from their adopted homes in Assyria and the cities of the Medes and had obtained possessions on the southern frontier of Egypt. Names believed to point to the Northern Kingdom, like Hosea and Menahem, occur very frequently, but this is too narrow a foundation for such a theory, and the Israelite origin of the Syene colonists is not established (JQR (1907), 441 ff). There is more to be said in favor of the view that they were the descendants of a Jewish military colony. That Jewish mercenaries fought in the campaigns of the Pharaohs we have already seen. And that Elephantine was an important garrison town on the frontier is also certain. Josephus (Ant., XIV, vi, 2) mentions a Jewish military colony holding a post at Pelusium in the century before Christ, and this might be a similar garrison stationed at the opposite extremity of the land in the 5th century. Such a garrison would attract Jews engaged in business and in the occupations of civil life, and so a distinct Jewish community would be formed. It has even been suggested that the tidings of the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem furnished the motive to these Egyptian Jews to build the temple and rear the altar of burnt offering which the heathen priests of Khnub had destroyed.

10. Importance of the Discovery:

While the petition to the religious authorities at Jerusalem indicates that the priests of Elephantine regarded their temple as dependent upon the temple at Jerusalem, it is significant. that they were also, as is shown in their letter, in communication with Delaiah and Shelemiah the sons of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria. That this was Nehemiah’s enemy (Ne 4:1; 6:1, etc.) is impossible, for he lived nearly a century earlier. But the association with descendants of his, themselves Samaritans, gives a schismatical appearance to the position of the Elephantine temple. The existence of this temple with its priesthood, its altar of sacrifice, and its offerings, from 500 years BC, is an important fact in the history of the Dispersion. It was meant to keep those Jewish exiles true to the religion of their fathers and in religious fellowship with their brethren in Palestine. For a like purpose the Temple of Onias at Leontopolis was erected in the early years of the Maccabean struggle. Onias had to flee from Jerusalem with a number of priests and Levites, and for the aid he rendered to Ptolemy Philometor, the king of Egypt, he received a gift of land upon which he built a temple like to the Temple at Jerusalem. Professor Flinders Petrie believes he has discovered this temple of Onias IV at Tel el-Yehudiyeh (Hyksos and Israelite Cities, 31). The discovery confirms the account given of the temple by Josephus, who is our only authority for its erection (Ant., XIII, iii, 2; XIV, viii, 2).

11. A New Chapter of Old Testament History:

The Elephantine-Syene papyri have added a new and valuable chapter to Old Testament history. We know now of a Jewish temple in Egypt which certainly reaches 400 years further into antiquity than the temple of Onias IV at Leontopolis, and we obtain important information as to the relations of its priesthood with the leaders of the Jerusalem Jews and the Samaritans. We know now from unbiased authorities that the Jewish settlements in the Valley of the Nile are much older than has hitherto been believed. We have valuable confirmation not only of the notices in the Book of Jeremiah, but also of the statements in the later Hellenistic literature. Moreover, it is now shown that the skepticism which has prevailed in some quarters as to the very existence of any considerable Egyptian Dispersion before the time of Alexander the Great is unwarranted (Peters, Die judische Gemeinde von Elephantine-Syene, 50 f; Schurer, GJV4, III, 19 f) .

12. Alexandrian Judaism:

What exactly were the fortunes of this Jewish community at a later time, no record has yet been found to tell. Possibly it decayed in course of time, for Herodotus who visited Egypt about 450 BC makes no mention of it and found no Jews in sufficient numbers to attract his attention. It was undoubtedly with the founding of Alexandria in 332 BC that the flourishing period of Judaism in Egypt commenced. Alexander the Great had hastened from the field of victory at Issus 333 BC, through Syria by way of Tyre, the siege of which occupied him some months, showing clemency to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and severity to the recalcitrant inhabitants of Gaza till by its eastern gate he entered Egypt and took possession of the land of the Pharaohs. The Jews appear to have been friendly to Macedonian conquest, and in Alexander’s new city they received the rights of citizenship and two quarters all to themselves. That they were restricted to their own quarters does not appear, and in the time of Philo, at the commencement of the Christian era, they had synagogues and places of prayer in all parts of the city. Alexander died in 323 BC but the favor which he had accorded to the Jews was continued by the Ptolemies who succeeded to his Egyptian empire. The first Ptolemy, Lagi or Soter (322-285 BC), increased the Jewish population of Alexandria by raids into Palestine on which he brought back a large number of captives, both Jews and Samaritans. Other Jews, hearing of his liberality and of the prosperity of their coreligionists, were attracted to Egypt and settled in Alexandria of their own accord (Josephus, Ant, XII, i, 1). Under their own ethnarch they enjoyed great prosperity and had full religious liberty. The principal synagogue of the city was on a scale of great magnificence. In the reign of Ptolemy Philometor (182-146 BC) they were allowed to set up the temple at Leontopolis, as we have already noticed. In the time of Philo the Jewish colony in Egypt was considered to number a million.

13. The Jews and Hellenism:

It was in Alexandria that the Jews first came so powerfully under the influence of Hellenism, and here that the peculiar Greco- Jewish philosophy sprang up of which Philo was the most notable representative. The same soil was eminently favorable to early Christianity which had from the end of the 2nd century onward its greatest teachers and their learned catechetical school. See ALEXANDRIA.

14. The Septuagint:

The great monument of Hellenistic Judaism, which had its chief seat in Alexandria, is the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, which became such a powerful praeparatio evangelica, and was the Bible of the Apostles and the first Christians, even of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is ascribed in the Letter of Aristeas to the interest of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285- 247 BC) in a proposal to secure a copy of the Jewish Law in an accessible translation for the famous Royal Library. It is more likely that as familiarity with their Hebrew tongue diminished in their new surroundings, the need of an intelligible version of the Law to begin with was felt, and Jewish hands were set to work to produce it. In course of time the rest followed, but from the tradition of its being the work of 70 or 72 translators it is known as the Septuagint. See SEPTUAGINT.

15. Early Evidence of a Jewish Community:

The question has been raised whether too much has not been made of a Jewish community in Alexandria so early, and it has been asserted that we can scarcely speak of a Jewish Dispersion anywhere before the Maccabean period in the second half of the 2nd century BC. The evidence as we have seen points to the existence of Jewish communities continuously from the days of Jeremiah. Papyri prove the presence of Jews in Egypt, not only in the towns but in country districts from a comparatively early period. A remarkable inscription has recently come to light showing that at Schedia, some 20 miles from Alexandria, there existed a Jewish community which had built a synagogue and dedicated it to the honor of Ptolemy III Euergetes (247-222 BC) and his queen Berenice. If such a community was organized in the little town of Schedia at that date, we can well believe the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria to have had a considerable Jewish community at a still earlier date.

16. Dispersion in Syria:

When we turn to Syria, we find large numbers of Jews, notwithstanding the hatred of Greeks and Syrians. Josephus (BJ, VII, iii, 3) says that it is the country which has the largest percentage of Jewish inhabitants, and Antioch among the towns of Syria had the preeminence. In Damascus, which seems to have had a Jewish quarter or Jewish bazaars in the days of Ahab (1Ki 20:34 and Burney’s note at the place), the Jewish population was numbered by thousands. From Galilee and Gilead and the region of the Hauran, Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan brought bodies of Jews, who were settlers among a pagan population, for safety to Judea (1 Macc 5).

17. In Arabia:

Even in Arabia Judaism had considerable footing. Edward Glaser, who prosecuted valuable archaeological researches in Arabia (see Hilprecht, Recent Researches in Bible Lands, 131 ff), professes to have found Himyaritic inscriptions of the 4th and 5th centuries of our era which are monotheistic and therefore Jewish, but there is still uncertainty as to this. In the beginning of the 6th century a Jewish king actually reigned in Arabia, and because of his persecution of the Christians he was attacked and overthrown by the Christian king of Abyssinia.

18. In Asia Minor:

Of the widespread distribution of the Dispersion in Asia Minor there is abundant testimony, not only in the texts of the apostles, but in classical and early Christian literature and in the epigraphic literature which has been accumulating for the last 30 years. At Pergamum, in Lydia, in Karia, at Magnesia, at Tralles, at Miletum, in Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Pontus, considerable Jewish communities existed at the beginning of the Christian era. At Smyrna the Jews played a prominent part in the death of Polycarp 155 AD, being especially zealous in heaping up fagots upon the fire that consumed the martyr. In his Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia Sir William Ramsay mentions numerous indications found on inscriptions of Jewish settlers, and his chapter on "The Jews in Phrygia" focuses the results of his inquiries (op. cit., 667 ff; compare 649 ff). He has also made it extremely probable that long before Paul’s day there was a strong body of Jews in Tarsus of Cilicia, and he holds that a Jewish colony was settled there as early as 171 BC. "The Seleucid kings," he says, like the Ptolemies, "used the Jews as an element of the colonies which they founded to strengthen their hold on Phrygia and other countries." But it is difficult to trace out the profound influence they exerted in the development of their country from the fact that they adopted to such an extent Greek and Roman names and manners, and were thus almost indistinguishable. At Laodicea and Hierapolis there have been found many evidences of their presence: for example, at the latter place an inscription on a gravestone tells how the deceased Publius Aelius Glycon mortified a sum of money to provide for the decoration of his tomb every year at the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

19. Among Greeks Proper:

The Dispersion among the Greeks proper had attained to considerable dimensions in the time of Christ. Philo, as noticed above, mentions Thessaly, Boeotia, Macedonia, Aetolia, Attica, Argos, Corinth and the fairest and most fertile parts of the Peloponnesus as having Jewish inhabitants. Inscriptions recovered from Delphi and elsewhere relating to the manumission of slaves in the 2nd century BC contain the names of Jews (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 325 f). In Sparta and Sicyon, Jews lived in the days of the Maccabees (1 Macc 15:23). At Philippi we know from Ac 16:16 there was a proseuche, or place of of prayer, and at Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth there were synagogues in Paul’s time. On the islands of the Greek archipelago and the Mediterranean there were Jews. Cyprus, the home of Barnabas, had a large Jewish population; and Euboea and Crete are named by Philo as Jewish centers. Rhodes has the distinction of having produced two opponents of Judaism in the first half of the 1st century BC. Clearchus of Soli, a disciple of Aristotle, introduces in one of his dialogues a Jew from Coele-Syria, Hellenic not in speech only but in mind, representing him as having come in his travels to Asia Minor and there conversed with Aristotle. Such an experience may have been rare so early; the incident may not be fact, but fiction; yet such as it is it tells a tale of the spread of Judaism.

20. The Roman Dispersion:

The relations of Rome with the Jewish people lend special interest to the Dispersion there. Jews do not appear to have been settled in Rome before the Maccabean period. There is a certain pathos in the appeal made to the Roman state by Judas Maccabeus, amid the difficulties that were gathering round his position, for "a league of amity and confederacy" with the Roman people (1 Macc 8:17-32). His brother and successor, Jonathan, followed this up later (1 Macc 12:1-4,16). And in 140 BC Simon sent a delegation which concluded a treaty, offensive and defensive, with Rome, which was duly intimated by the Senate to their allies in various countries, especially of the East. During the stay of the mission at Rome its members seem to have made attempts at religious propagandism, and the praetor Hispalus compelled them to return to their homes for attempting to corrupt Roman morals by introducing the worship of Jupiter Sabazius which is no doubt the Roman interpretation of the Lord of Hosts (Yahweh Sabaoth). But ere long in Rome, as in Alexandria, they formed a colony by themselves, occupying Trastevere, the Transtiberine portion of the city, together with an island in the Tiber. Their prosperity grew with their numbers. When Cicero in 59 BC was defending Flaccus he speaks of gold being sent out of Italy, and all the provinces, to Jerusalem, and there was present among his listeners a large body of Jews interested in the case.

21. Jews and Pompey:

When Pompey had captured Jerusalem in 63 BC, he brought back with him to Rome a number of Jewish captives. They were sold as slaves, but many of them received their freedom and rights to citizenship. When Julius Caesar, who was a great patron and protector of the Jews, was assassinated, they wept over him for nights on end.

22. Jews and the First Caesars:

Augustus protected and encouraged them. Tiberius, however, adopted repressive measures toward them, and 4,000 Jews were deported by him to Sardinia while others were driven out of the city. With the downfall of Sejanus, the unworthy favorite of Tiberius, this repressive policy was reversed and they were allowed to return to Rome. Claudius again devised measures against them (circa 50 AD), and they were banished from the city. They had, however, so multiplied and they had attained such influence that it was impossible to get rid of them altogether.

23. Influence of Jews in the Early Roman Empire:

Their customs and religious observances brought down upon them the scorn of Juvenal and others, while Empire their faith and worship had attractions for the thoughtful and the superstitious.

"The Jews from the time of the first Caesar," says Sir Samuel Dill, "have worked their way into every class of society. A Jewish prince had inspired Caligula with an oriental ideal of monarchy. There were adherents of Judaism in the household of the great freedmen of Claudius, and their growing influence and turbulence compelled that emperor to expel the race from his capital. The worldly, pleasure-loving Poppea had, perhaps, yielded to the mysterious charms of the religion of Moses. But it was under the Flavians, who had such close associations with Judea, that Jewish influences made themselves most felt. And in the reign of Domitian, two members of the imperial house, along with many others, suffered for following the Jewish mode of life" (Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, 84).

In recent excavations, which have laid bare much of subterranean Rome, many Jewish tombs have been examined and have yielded much additional knowledge of the conditions of Jewish life in the capital of the Caesars. Probably Jews gracing Pompey’s triumph after his Syrian campaign, 61 BC, made the first Roman catacombs similar to those on Jewish hillsides and especially round Jerusalem; and in these Jewish catacombs pagans and Christians were never laid.

24. Jews in Italy, Gaul, Spain and North Africa:

In Italy, apart from Roman and Southern Italy, where they were widely spread, the number of Jews at the beginning of our era was not large. In Southern Gaul they were numerous and in Spain they were numerous and powerful. In North Africa there were Jewish communities in many centers, and Cyrene was the home of a large and flourishing Jewish population.

25. The Numbers of the Dispersion:

It is not easy to form a trustworthy estimate of the Jewish population of the world in the times of Christ. Harnack reckons up four or four and a half millions (Expansion of Christianity, I, 10) within the Roman Empire. The Judaism of the Dispersion would at least be several times more numerous than the Judaism of Palestine.

26. Jewish Proselytism:

The question has been discussed how far the Jews of the Dispersion recruited their ranks by proselytism. That they should maintain a propaganda on behalf of their ancestral faith would only be in keeping with the character of their religion as a religion of revelation. Although they had to live within "the hedge of the Law" to protect them against the corruptions and idolatries of the Gentiles, there was nevertheless at the heart of Judaism a missionary purpose, as we see from the universalism of the Psalms and the Prophets. Judaism was burdened with a message which concerned all men, to the effect that there was one God, holy and spiritual, Creator of heaven and earth, who had committed to the family of Abraham in trust for the world His Law. To witness for the Living God, and to proclaim His Law, was the chief element of the Jewish propaganda in the Roman empire, and their system of proselytism enabled them to gain adherents in numbers. In this the Old Testament Scriptures and the observance of the Sabbath were important factors, and enabled them to win the adherence of intelligent and educated people.

27. Internal Organization: That the Jews of the Dispersion had an internal organization with courts of their own, having considerable jurisdiction, not only in spiritual but in civil affairs, there is no doubt. This would only be in accordance with the analogy of their constitution as seen in the New Testament, and of their commercial organization in many lands to this day.

28. Unity of the Jewish People:

In all the lands of their Dispersion the Jews never lost touch with the land of their fathers, or Jerusalem, the city of the Great King. The bond of unity was maintained by the pilgrimages they made from all the countries where they were scattered to their three great national feasts; by the payment of the half-shekel toward the services of the Temple as long as it stood; and by their voluntary submission, so long as they had a national polity, to the decrees of the great Sanhedrin.

29. Dispersion Influenced by Greek Thought:

That Judaism was influenced in its Dispersion by contact of the larger world of life and thought in which the Jews had their place outside of Palestine we can see by the example of Alexandria. It was there that it felt most powerfully the penetrating and pervasive influence of Greek thought, and the large apocryphal and apocalyptic literature which sprang up there is one of the most notable results. "The Alexandrian Jew was in reality both a Jew and a Greek; he held the faith of Yahweh and sincerely worshipped the God of his fathers, but he spoke the Greek language, had received a Greek education, and had contracted many Greek ideas and habits. Still those in his position were Jews first, and Greeks afterward, and on all ‘The fundamentals’ were in thorough sympathy with their Palestinian brethren" (Fairweather, From the Exile to the Advent, 109 f).

30. The Dispersion a Preparation for the Advent of Christ:

The Jewish people thus widely distributed over the Roman world with their monotheism, with their Scriptures, and with their Messianic hopes, did much to prepare the way for the advent of the Redeemer who was to be the fulfillment of Jewish expectation and hope. It was due to the strange and unique influence of Judaism and to the circulation of the glowing visions of Israel’s prophets among the nations, that there was so widespread an expectation, mentioned by Tacitus, by Suetonius and by Josephus, that from Judea would arise a Ruler whose dominion would be over all. It is now believed that Virgil’s conception of the Better Age which was to be inaugurated by the birth of a child was derived from Isaiah’s prophecies. And not only did the Jewish Dispersion thus prepare the way for the world’s Redeemer in the fullness of the time, but when He had come and suffered and died and risen and ascended, it furnished a valuable auxiliary to the proclamation of the gospel. Wherever the apostles and the first preachers traveled with the good news, they found Jewish communities to whom they offered first the great salvation.

31. The Dispersion an Auxiliary to the Spread of the Gospel:

The synagogue services lent themselves most effectively to the ministry of Paul and his colleagues, and it was to the synagogue that they first repaired in every city they visited. Even to this day this preservation of "the dispersed of Israel" is one of the marvels of the Divine government of the world, proving the truth of the word of God by one of the earliest prophets: "I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, like as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least kernel fall upon the earth" (Am 9:9).


Schurer, GJV4, III, 1 ff; Harnack, Expansion of Christianity, I, 1-40; Fairweather, Background of the Gospel and From the Exile to the Advent; Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Diaspora"; Sayce and Cowley, Aramaic Papyri Discovered at Assuan; Oestcrley and Box, Religion and Worship of the Synagogue.

T. Nicol.


(dis-po-zish’-un diatagai): Only in Ac 7:53, "received the law by the disposition of angels," where it bears the meaning of "administration"; the Revised Version (British and American) "as it was ordained by angels."


dis-pu-ta’-shun: In Ac 15:2, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "questioning" for the King James Version "disputation" (Greek suzetesis). In Ro 14:1, the King James Version "doubtful disputations" becomes in the Revised Version (British and American) "decision of scruples" (Greek diakriseis dialogismon, literally, "discussions of doubts"). The Greek in neither case implies what the word "dispute" has come to mean in modern English, but rather "to discuss" or "argue."


dis’-taf (pelekh): This word occurs once in Pr 31:19; "spindle" is found in the same passage. In the Revised Version (British and American) the meanings of the two words have been exchanged. See SPINNING.


dis-til’:Only found twice in the English Bible (De 32:2; Job 36:27), in both cases in its original meaning of "to fall in drops," as dew or rain (derived through French from Latin de, "down," stillo, "to drop"). It does not occur in its later technical sense, for the process we call distilllation was not known in ancient times.


dis-tinkt’-li: Only Ne 8:8, "They read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly." Probably the better rendering is the Revised Version, margin "with an interpretation," i.e. translating into Aramaic. The Hebrew word is a participle of the verb parash =" to make distinct." The corresponding Aramaic word occurs in Ezr 4:18 =" plainly" the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), better "translated" the Revised Version, margin.


dich: The word is used indiscriminately in the King James Version to represent at least three different ideas: a conduit or trench (2Ki 3:16); a reservoir or cistern; or simply a pit or hole in the ground. In the Revised Version (British and American) this distinction is observed more carefully. Compare Job 9:31; Ps 7:15 ("pit"), and Isa 22:11 ("reservoir"), the former meaning a pit or any similar place of destruction or corruption; the latter a reservoir or cistern of water. The New Testament usage (Mt 15:14 the King James Version) corresponds somewhat with the former. See also 2Ki 3:16 ("trenches").


di’-verz, di-vurs’, di-vur’-si-tiz: "Divers" meaning "various," "different in kind," is now obsolete and used only as a synonym of "several," i.e. more than one. The distinction between "divers" and "diverse" in the King James Version seems to be that the former is the wider term, the latter being restricted to the meaning of "different in kind," while "divers" is also used to express difference of number. the Revised Version (British and American) retains "diverse" in all instances but changes "divers" nearly everywhere, except where it has the meaning "several." Compare Mt 24:7; Lu 21:11; Heb 9:10, and others. It is hard to understand why the Revised Version (British and American) retains "divers" as a translation of poikilos, in Mt 4:24 Mr 1:34, et al., because poikilos certainly cannot have the meaning "several" but "different in kind," and the idea expressed in these passages is not that some of the people had several diseases but that different people had different kinds of diseases. The same is true in Heb 13:9 where "divers" does not refer to number but to various kinds of teaching. Heb 2:4 and Jas 1:2 rightly change the reading of the King James Version "divers" to "manifold."

In other passages the Revised Version (British and American) changes "divers" to "diverse," and thus renders the idea of the original text "different in kind." Compare De 25:13 f; Pr 20:10,23. Other passages are changed the better to render the original text: De 22:9, "two kinds of seed"; Jud 5:30, "dyed"; 2Ch 30:11, "certain men"; Mr 8:3 and Ac 19:9, "some." the King James Version reads. in all these passages "divers." the Revised Version (British and American) changes the King James Version Heb 1:1 "at sundry times and in divers manners," an expression often found in Old English, to "by divers portions and in divers manners."

"Diversities" is found twice as translation of diairesis, literally, "distribution" (1Co 12:4 ff), but the Revised Version (British and American) changes the King James Version, 1Co 12:28, "diversities" to "divers kinds," as translation of gene, "kinds."

A. L. Breslich


di’-vez. See LAZARUS.


di-vid’:It is difficult to decide whether ragha‘ (Job 26:12; Isa 51:15; Jer 31:35) should be rendered "to stir up" or "to still." The Hebrew has both meanings. Some render "He causes the sea to tremble." the Revised Version (British and American) reads "to stir" in text and "to still" in margin, while the King James Version has "to divide" in all three cases. 2Ch 35:13, "carried them quickly" (the King James Version "divided them speedily"). Since cholaq, may mean either "to distribute" or "to be smooth," Ho 10:2 reads "their heart is divided" in the text, but offers "smooth" in margin (the King James Version "divided"). The Greek orthotomeo, means "to cut straight," hence, the more literal translation of 2Ti 2:15, "handling aright the word of truth" (note "holding a straight course in the way of truth" or "rightly dividing the word of truth"; the King James Version "rightly dividing").

A. L. Breslich



1. Definition

2. Kinds of Divination

3. Fundamental Assumption in Divination

4. Legitimate and Illegitimate Divination

5. The Bible and Divination

6. Modes of Divination Mentioned in the Bible:

Those Approved and Those Condemned

7. Terms Used in the Old Testament in Connection with Divination

8. Divination and Prophecy


1. Definition:

Divination is the act of obtaining secret knowledge, especially that which relates to the future, by means within the reach almost exclusively of special classes of men.

2. Kinds of Divination:

Of this there are two main species:

(1) artificial,

(2) inspirational, or, as it was called in ancient times (Cicero, Lord Bacon, etc.), natural divination.

Artificial divination depends on the skill of the agent in reading and in interpreting certain signs called omens. See AUGURY. In inspirational or natural divination the agent is professedly under the immediate influence of some spirit or god who enables the diviner to see the future, etc., and to utter oracles embodying what he sees. Among the Romans artificial divination prevailed almost exclusively, the other having vogue largely among the Greeks, a proof surely of the more spiritual trend of the Greek mind. Yet that great Roman, Cicero, in his memorable treatise on Divination, says he agrees with those who take cognizance of these two distinct kinds of divination. As examples of inspirational divination he instances men dreaming or in a state of ecstasy (De Divinatione, i. 18). But though Cicero arranges diviners according to their pretentions, he does not believe in any superhuman communication. Thus he explains dreams on psychological principles much as modern psychologists would (op. cit. ii.63 ff). As a matter of fact Cicero was an atheist, or at least an agnostic.

The Latin word divinatio was confined almost exclusively to divination by outward signs, though its etymology (deus, "god") suggests that it denoted originally the other kind—that due to the inspiration of superhuman beings. Chrysippus (died at Athens 207 BC), though himself a Greek philosopher, defines the word in a way which would have commanded the approval of nearly every Roman, including Cicero himself who gives it. "Divination," Cicero makes him say (op. cit. ii.63), is "a power in man which foresees and explains those signs which the gods throw in his way." The Greeks were, on the other hand, a more imaginative and emotional people, and with them inspirational divination held much the larger place. The Greek (mantis) bears a close resemblance to the Old Testament prophet, for both claimed to be inspired from without and to be superhumanly informed. The Greek term for divination (he) mantike (= he mantike techne) has reference to the work of the mantis, and it hardly ever means divination of the lower sort—that by means of signs.

3. Fundamental Assumption in Divination:

Underlying all methods of divination there lay the belief that certain superhuman spiritual beings (gods, spirits) possess the secret knowledge desired by men, and that, on certain conditions, , they are willing to impart it.

(1) The word "divination" itself, from deus, "god," or divus, "pertaining to god," carries with it the notion that the information obtained came from deity. Similarly the Greek mantike implies that the message comes to the mantis from gods or spirits by way of inspiration.

(2) Astrology, or astromancy, is but one form of divination and it rests upon the ultimate belief that the heavenly bodies are deities controlling the destinies of men and revealing the future to those who have eyes to see. According to the Weltanschauung or conception of the universe advocated by Hugo Winckler, Alfred Jeremias (see The Old Testament in the Light of the East) and others, terrestrial events are but shadows of the celestial realities (compare Plato’s doctrine of ideas). These latter represented the mind of the gods (see ASTROLOGY secs. 1,2).

(3) On hepatoscopy, or divining from the liver, see below, 6, (2), (c).

(4) It can be proved that among the ancient peoples (Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc.) the view prevailed that not only oracles but also omens of all kinds are given to men by the gods and express the minds of these gods.

4. Legitimate and Illegitimate Divination:

Among the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans the diviner stood in the service of the state and was officially consulted before wars and other great enterprises were undertaken. But among these and other ancient peoples certain classes of diviners were prohibited by the government from exercising their calling, probably because they were supposed to be in league with tile gods of other and hostile nations. The gods of a people were in the beliefs of the time the protectors of their people and therefore the foes of the foes of their proteges. It is on this account that witchcraft has been so largely condemned and punished (see WITCHCRAFT). Necromancy is uniformly forbidden in the Old Testament (see Le 19:31; De 18:11; Isa 8:19; 19:3), probably on account of its connection with ancestor worship. But among other ancient peoples it was allowed and largely practiced. Note that the Hebrew words translated (De 18:11) "consulter with a familiar spirit" and "wizards" denote alike such persons as seek oracles from the spirits of the dead (see the present writer’s Magic, Divination, and Demonology among the Hebrews, 85 ff). The early Fathers believed that in the divination of heathenism we have the work of Satan who wished to discredit the true religion by producing phenomena among pagan races very similar to the prophetical marvels of the chosen people. This of course rests on a view of the Old Testament prophet which makes him a "predicter" and little if anything more. See PROPHECY.

5. The Bible and Divination:

The attitude of the Bible toward divination is on the whole distinctly hostile and is fairly represented by De 18:10 f, where the prophet of Yahweh is contrasted with diviners of all kinds as the only authorized medium of supernatural revelation. Yet note the following:

(1) Balaam (Nu 22-24) was a heathen diviner whose words of blessing and of cursing were believed to have magical force, and when his services are enlisted in the cause of Yahwism, so that, instead of cursing he blessed Israel, there is not a syllable of disapproval in the narrative.

(2) In Isa 3:2 diviners are ranked with judges, warriors and prophets as pillars of the state. They are associated with prophets and seers in Jer 27:9; 29:8; Eze 22:28 (compare 13:6-9; 12:24). It is true that the prophets and diviners mentioned in these passages use utter falsehoods, saying peace where there is none; all the same the men called prophets and diviners are classed together as similar functionaries.

Pure Yahwism in its very basal principle is and must ever have been antagonistic to divination of every kind, though inspirational divination has resemblances to prophetism and even affinities with it. Why then does the Bible appear to speak with two voices, generally prohibiting but at times countenancing various forms of divination? In the actual religion of the Old Testament we have a syncretism in which, though Yahwism forms the substructure, there are constituents from the religions of the native aborigines and the nations around. The underlying thought in all forms of divination is that by employing certain means men are able to obtain knowledge otherwise beyond their reach. The religion of Israel made Yahweh the source of that knowledge and the prophet the medium through which it came to men. We have an analogous example of syncretism resulting in the union of opposite elements in ancient Zarathustraism (Zoroastrianism) which, though in its central principle inconsistent with divination by omens, yet took on from the native Turanian cults of Persia certain forms of divination, especially that by lot (see Lenormant, La Divination, 22 ff). Nor should it be forgotten that the Bible is a library and not a book, and where so many writers, living at widely separated times, have been at work it is natural to look for diversity of teaching, though no one can deny that in fundamental matters Bible authors are wonderfully consistent.

6. Modes of Divination Mentioned in the Bible:

For modes of divination in vogue among the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc., see the relevant works and dictionary articles. The species of divination spoken of in the Bible may be arranged under two heads: (1) those apparently sanctioned, and (2) those condemned in the Bible.

Those Approved and Those Condemned:

(1) Methods of Divination Tacitly or Expressly Sanctioned in the Bible.

(a) The following are instances of inspirational divination:

(i) The case of Balaam has already been cited. He was a Moabite and therefore a heathen soothsayer. His word of blessing or of curse is so potent that whether he blesses or curses his word secures its own realization. So far is his vocation from being censured that it is actually called into the service of Yahweh (see Nu 22-24).

(ii) To dreams the Bible assigns an important place as a legitimate means of revealing the future. Such dreams are of two kinds:

(aa) Involuntary or such as come unsought. Even these are regarded as sent for guidance in human affairs. The bulk of the dreams spoken of in the Bible belong to this class: see Ge 20:3,1 (Abimelech); 28:2 f; 31:10-14 (Jacob); 37:5-9 (Joseph; see ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 6); 40:5-21 (Pharaoh’s butler and baker); 41:1-35 (Pharaoh); Jud 7:9-14 (Gideon and an unnamed man); Da 1:17 (Daniel had understanding of dreams); Da 2:1-49 (Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation by Daniel); Mt 1:20; 2:13 f, 19 f (Joseph, husband of Mary the virgin); 27:19; see also Jer 23:25 ff, where the lawfulness of prophetic dreams is assumed (compare 23:32, where "lying dreams" imply genuine ones). In the document usually ascribed by modern critics to the Elohist (E), dreams bulk largely as the above examples serve to show. Among the Babylonians belief in the significance of dreams gave rise to a science (oneiromancy) so elaborate that only special interpreters called seers (singular, baru) were considered able to explain them (see Lenormant, op. cit., 143, for examples).

(bb) The other species of dreams consists of such as are induced by what is called "incubation," i.e. by sleeping in a sacred place where the god of the place is believed to reveal his secrets to the sleeper. Herodotus (iv.172) says that the Nasamonians, an Egyptian tribe, used to practice divination by sleeping in the graves of their ancestors. The dreams which then came to them were understood to be revelations of their deified ancestors. See Herod. i.181 for another instance of incubation in Nineveh. We have a reference to this custom in Isa 65:4 ("that sit among the graves"), where Yahweh enters into judgment with the Jews for their sin in yielding to this superstition. Solomon’s dream (1Ki 3:5-15) came to him at the high place of Gibeon. See also DREAM, DREAMER.

(b) But the Bible appears in some places to give its approval to some kinds of artificial or (as it may be called) ominal divination.

(i) Sortliege or divination by lot. The use of the lot as a means of ascertaining the will of Deity is referred to at least without expressed censure, and, as the present writer thinks, with tacit approval, in many parts of the Bible. It was by lot that Aaron decided which of the two goats was to be for Yahweh and which for Azazel (Le 16:7-10). It was by lot that the land of Canaan was divided after the conquest (Nu 26:56 ff; Jos 18; 19). For other Biblical instances see Jos 7:14 (Achan found out by lot); 1Ch 6:54 ff; 24:5 ff; 25:8 f; 26:13 f; Es 3:7 ("They cast Pur, that is, the lot"; see Century Bible in the place cited.); Ne 10:34; 11:1; Jon 1:7 ("The lot fell upon Jonah"); Mt 27:35; Ac 1:26. In the URIM AND THUMMIM (which see), as explained by modern scholars, the same principle is applied, for these two words, though etymologically still obscure, stand for two objects (pebbles?), one denoting yes or its equivalent, and the other number Whichever the high priest took from his ephod was believed to be the answer to the question asked. In all cases it is taken for granted that the lot cast was an expression and indication of the Divine will. See AUGURY, IV, 3.

(ii) Hydromancy, or divination by water. In Ge 44:5 Joseph is represented as practicing this kind of divination and not a word of disapproval is expressed. See AUGURY, IV, 2.

(Iii)we read in the Old Testament of other signs or omens which are implicitly approved of, thus Jud 6:36-40 (Gideon’s fleece); 1Sa 14:8-13 (Jonathan decides whether or not he is to attack the Philistines by the words which he may happen to hear them speak).

(2) Modes of Divination Condemned.

The following methods of divination are explicitly or implicitly condemned in the Old Testament:

(a) Astromancy (= Astrology). See ASTROLOGY.

(b) Rhabdomancy, or the use of the divining rod, referred to apparently in Ho 4:12 (which may be paraphrased: "My people ask counsel of a bit of wood, and the rod made thereof answers their questions"); Eze 8:17 ("They put a rod (EV "the branch") to their nose").

(c) By an examination of the liver of animals; see Eze 21:21. This mode of divining, hepatoscopy, as it is has been called, was very widespread among the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc., of the ancient world, and it is still in vogue in Borneo, Burma and Uganda. We have no evidence that it was practiced among the Israelites, for in the above passage it is the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) who is said to have "looked in the liver."

Opinions differ as to how the state of the liver could act as an omen. Jastrow says the liver was considered to be the seat of life, and that where the liver of the animal sacrificed (generally a sheep) was accepted, it took on the character of the deity to whom it was offered. The soul of the animal as seen in the liver became then a reflector of the soul of the god (see EB, XX, 102 f). On the other hand, Alfred Jeremias says that in the view of the ancient Babylonians the lines and forms of the sheep’s liver were regarded as reflecting the universe and its history (The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, I, 61). Neither of these explanations is made probable by its advocates.

(d) By teraphim (compare TERAPHIM); see 1Sa 15:23; Eze 21:21; Zec 10:2.

(e) Necromancy, or consulting the dead; see Le 19:31; 20:6; De 18:11; Isa 8:19; 19:3; see above.

(f) Divination through the sacrifice of children by burning (see De 18:10). The context makes it almost certain that the words translated "that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" (EV; but read and render "that burns his son or his daughter in the fire") refer to a mode of obtaining an oracle (compare 2Ki 3:27). The Phoenicians and Carthaginians sacrificed their children to Kronos in times of grave national danger or calamity (Porphyry Apud Euseb. Praep. Ev. iv.64,4; Diod. Sic. xx.14).

7. Terms Used in the Old Testament in Connection with Divination:

These are examined in detail in T. Witton Davies’ Magic, Divination, and Demonology among the Hebrews and Their Neighbors. See also the article "Divination" in Encyclopedia Biblica by the same writer. The following brief notes must suffice here.

(1) kecem, generally rendered "divination," is a general term for divination of all kinds. In Eze 21:21 (26) it stands for divination by arrows while in 1Sa 28:8 it is used of divination through the medium of an ‘obh ("familiar spirit"). On the derivation of the word see EB, article "Magic," section 3.

(2) me‘onen, probably from a Semitic root (compare Arabic ‘anna) which denotes to emit a hoarse nasal sound such as was customary in reciting the prescribed formula (see CHARM). For "oak of the me‘onim" see AUGUR’S OAK. Some say the word means one who divines from the clouds, deriving from ‘anan, "a cloud," though nothing in the context suggests this sense, and the same remark applies to the meaning "one who smites with the evil eye," making the term a denominative from ‘ayin, "eye." The usual rendering in the King James Version is plural "observers of times" and in the Revised Version (British and American) "them that practice augury" (Dt. 18:10,14).

(3) The verb nichesh, of which lichesh, is but a variant, is probably a denominative from nachash, "a serpent" (l and n interchange in Hebrew), denoting "to hiss," "to whisper" (like a serpent), then "to utter divinatory formulas." As it is used for so many kinds of divination, W. R. Smith concludes that it came to be a general term for divine. The participle of this verb is translated "enchanter" in De 18:10, the cognate verb, "to use enchantments" in Le 19:26; 2Ki 21:6; 2Ch 33:6, and the corresponding noun "enchantment" in Nu 23:23; 24:1.

(4) gazerin, literally, "cutters," i.e. such as kill (in Arab, the cognate verb =" to slaughter") for the purpose of examining the liver or entrails as omens. Perhaps the etymology implies "sacrifice," animals being sacrificed as an appeal to deity. The word occurs only in Da (2:27; 4:7 (4); 5:7,11), and is translated "soothsayers." Some think they were "astrologers," the etymology in that case referring to the dividing of the heavens with a view, by casting the horoscope, to forecasting the future.

(5) ‘ashshaph (the King James Version "astrologer," the Revised Version (British and American) "enchanter"), occurs only in Da in the Hebrew (1:20; 2:2) and in the Aramaic (2:10; 4:4 (7), etc.) parts of the book. The term is probably taken from the Babylonian and denotes a magician and especially an exorcist rather than a diviner.

(6) kasda’im, the same word as the Greek (Chaldaioi) (English Verisons, "Chaldeans"), denotes in Da (1:4, etc.) where alone it occurs, not the people so designated but a class of astrologers. This usage (common in classical writers) arose after the fall of the Babylonian empire, when the only Chaldeans known were astrologers and soothsayers. See further, MAGIC. For "spirit of divination" (Ac 16:16) see PYTHON; PHILIPPI.

8. Divination and Prophecy:

Inspirational divination and Old Testament prophecy have much in common. Both imply the following conditions:

(1) the primitive instinct that, craves for secret knowledge, especially that relating to the future;

(2) the belief that such knowledge is possessed by certain spiritual beings who are willing on certain terms to impart it;

(3) such secret knowledge is imparted generally to special classes of men (rarely women) called diviners or (Bab) seers and prophets.

Many anthropologists (Tylor, Frazer, etc.) and Old Testament scholars (Wellhausen, W. Robertson Smith, etc.) consider prophecy to be but an outgrowth and higher form of divination. The older theologians almost to a man, and a goodly number of moderns, take precisely the opposite view, that divination is a corruption of prophecy. Probably neither view is strictly true. Sometimes in human life we find evidences of progress from lower to higher. Sometimes the process is the very reverse. It is important to take notice of the differences as well as the resemblances between the diviner and the prophet.

(1) The Old Testament prophet believes in a personal God whose spokesman he considers himself to be. When he spoke or wrote it was because he was, at least professedly, inspired and informed by Yahweh. "Thus says Yahweh," was the usual formula with which he introduced his oracles. The Greek and Roman mantis, on the other hand, worked himself up to the necessary ecstatic state by music, drugs (intoxicants, etc.), sacrificial smoke and the like. Sometimes it has been thought a sufficient means of divination to swallow the vital portions of birds and beasts of omen. It was believed that by eating the hearts of crows, or moles, or of hawks, men took into their bodies the presaging soul of the creature (Frazer, Golden Bough (NOTE: Separation, distinction: "I will put a division (the Revised Version, margin "sign of deliverance") between my people and thy people" (Ex 8:23). The Hebrew word here is pedhuth =" ransom," "redemption" (compare Ps 111:9), but the reading is doubtful. The King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) follow Septuagint, Syriac and Vulgate, which render "set a distinction," perhaps on the basis of a different reading from that of our Hebrew text.), II, 355).

(2) The mantis practiced his art as a remunerative occupation, charging high fees and refusing in most cases to ply his calling without adequate remuneration. The local oracle shrines (Delphi, Clavis, etc.) were worked for personal and political ends. The Old Testament prophet, on the other hand, claimed to speak as he was bidden by his God. It was with him a matter of conviction as to what lives men ought to live, what state of heart they should cultivate. So far from furthering his own material interests, as he could by saying what kings and other dignitaries wished to hear, he boldly denounced the sins of the time, even when, as often, he had to condemn the conduct of kings and the policy of governments. Look, for example, at Isaiah’s fearless condemnation of the conduct of Ahaz in summoning the aid of Assyria (Isa 7 ff), and at the scathing words with which Jeremiah censured the doings of the nation’s leaders in his day (Jer 9:26, etc.), though both these noble prophets suffered severely for their courage, especially Jeremiah, who stands out as perhaps the finest recorded example of what, in the face of formidable opposition, the religious teacher ought ever to be. Of Micaiah ben Iralab, King Ahab of Israel said, "I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." What reward did this prophet have for his fidelity to his conscience and his God? Imprisonment (1Ki 22:1-35). Had he pleased the king by predicting a happy, prosperous future that was never to be, he would have been clothed in gorgeous robes and lodged in a very palace.


In addition to the references above and the full bibliography prefixed to the present writer’s book named above (Magic, etc.), note the following: Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire de la divination dans l’antiquite; E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture 3, I, 78-81; 117- 33; II, 155; J. G. Frazer, Golden Bough 2, I, 346; II, 355; III, 342, et passim, and the articles in the principal Bible dictionaries.

T. Witton Davies






di-vin, di-vin’-er. See AUGURY; ASTROLOGY; DIVINATION.


di-vizh’-un: Used in English Versions of the Bible in the following senses:

(1) A separate body of people

(a) of the tribal divisions of Israel (Jos 11:23; 12:7; 18:10);

(b) of sections of a tribe, "the divisions of Reuben" (Jud 5:15,16 the King James Version; but the Revised Version (British and American) rightly substitutes "the watercourses of Reuben"; in Job 20:17 the same word is rendered "rivers");

(c) of the (late) organization of priests and Levites into classes or families who ministered in the temple in rotation; translated "courses" generally in the King James Version, and always in the Revised Version (British and American) (1Ch 24:1; 26:1,12,19; Ne 11:36; compare 2Ch 35:5). Much prominence is given by the Chronicler to the 24 classes of priests, singers, and doorkeepers, who served in turns in the temple (compare Lu 1:5,8).

(3) In the New Testament, dissension, disunion, schism (Lu 12:51; Ro 16:17; 1Co 3:3 the King James Version, omitted the Revised Version (British and American); 1Co 1:10; 11:18; Ga 5:20).

D. Miall Edwards




(to apostasiou): The Scripture doctrine of divorce is very simple. It is contained in Mt 19:3-12.

We are not called upon to treat of divorce in the Mosaic legislation (De 24:1-4). That was passed upon by Jesus in the above discussion and by Him ruled out of existence in His system of religion. After Jesus had spoken as above, the Mosaic permission of divorce became a dead letter. There could not be practice under it among His disciples. So such Old Testament divorce is now a mere matter of antiquarian curiosity.

It may be of interest in passing to note that the drift of the Mosaic legislation was restrictive of a freedom of divorce that had been practiced before its enactment. It put in legal proceedings to bar the personal will of one of the parties. It recognized marriage as a social institution which should not be disrupted without reference to the rights of society in it. In this restrictive character "the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ" (Ga 3:24). But here, as in numerous other instances, Christ went behind the enactments to primitive original principles whose recognition would make the law of none effect, because no practice was to be permitted under it. Thus the Old Testament is disposed of.

Of course what Jesus said will dominate the New. In fact, Jesus is the only author in the New Testament who has treated of divorce. It has been thought that Paul had the subject in hand. But we shall find on examination, further along, that he did not. We need then look nowhere but to Mt 19 for the Scripture doctrine of divorce.

True, we have other reports of what Jesus said (Mr 10:2-12; Lu 16:18). But in Mt 19 we have the fullest report, containing everything that is reported elsewhere and one or two important observations that the other writers have not included. Luke has only one verse where Matthew has ten. Luke’s verse is in no necessary connection with context. It seems to be a mere memorandum among others of the spiritual or ethical teachings of Christ. Luke however caught the gist of the whole teaching about divorce in recording the prohibition to put away one wife and marry another. The records in Mt 19 and Mr 10 cover one and the same occasion. But there is nothing in Mark that is not in Matthew; and the latter contains nearly a third more of text than the former. There is nothing, however, essential in Matthew that is not in Mark, save the clause "except for fornication." That exception will be treated further along. We seem to be justified then in saying that the total doctrine of the Scripture pertaining to divorce is contained in Mt 19.

Attention must be called to the fact that, in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-32), Jesus treated of divorce, and that in every essential particular it agrees with the elaboration in Mt 19. Jesus there as plainly as in the argument with the Pharisees put Moses’ permission of divorce under ban; as plainly there declared the putting away of one partner to marry another person to be adultery. This may also be noticed, that the exception to the absolute prohibition is in the text of the Sermon on the Mount.

We have then a summary of the New Testament doctrine of divorce stated by Christ Himself as follows: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Mt 19:9). This puts Him in line with the ideal of the monogamic, indissoluble family which pervades the whole of the Old Testament.

1. The Family:

It may be well here to treat of the exception which Christ made in His rule to the indissolubility of marriage. It is very widely maintained in the Christian church that there should be no divorce for any cause whatever. This position is in plain contradiction to Christ’s teaching in Mt 15 and Mt 19. One of the grounds adduced for this denial of divorce in case a partner is guilty of adultery is that Luke and Mark do not record the exception. It is a difficult matter to invade the psychology of writers who lived nearly two thousand years ago and tell why they did not include something in their text which someone else did in his. Neither Luke nor Mark were personal disciples of the Lord. They wrote second hand. Matthew was a personal disciple of Christ and has twice recorded the exception. It will be a new position in regard to judgment on human evidence when we put the silence of absentees in rank above the twice expressed report of one in all probability present—one known to be a close personal attendant.

This may be said: Matthew’s record stands in ancient manuscript authority, Greek and also the Versions. And on this point let it be noted that the testimony of the manuscripts was up before the English and American Revisers, and they have deliberately reaffirmed the text of 1611 and given us the exception in Christ’s rule in each place (Mt 5:32; 19:9). This makes the matter as nearly res adjudicata as can be done by human wisdom.

Let us consider the rationality of the exception. That feature has had scant attention from theologians and publicists, yet it will bear the closest scrutiny. In fact it is a key to much that is explanatory of the basic principle of the family. To begin with, the exception is not on its face an after-thought of some transcriber, but was called out by the very terms of the question of the Pharisees: "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" This plainly called for a specification from Jesus of exceptions which he would allow to the rule against divorce. It is fortunate that the Pharisees asked the question in the form they did, for that put on Jesus the necessity of enumerating such exceptions as he would allow. He mentioned one, and but one in reply. That puts the matter of exceptions under the rule in logic: Expressio unius-exclusio alterius. All other pretenses for divorce were deliberately swept aside by Christ—a fact that should be remembered when other causes are sought to be foisted in alongside this one allowed by Christ. The question may come up, Whose insight is likely to be truest?

Why, then, will reason stand by this exception? Because adultery is per se destructive of monogamic family life. Whoever, married, is guilty of adultery has taken another person into family relation. Children may be born to that relation—are born to it. Not to allow divorce in such case is to force an innocent party in marriage to live in a polygamous state. There is the issue stated so plainly that "the wayfaring man need not err therein," and "he who runs may read," and "he who reads may run." It is the hand of an unerring Master that has made fornication a ground for divorce from the bond of matrimony and limited divorce to that single cause. Whichever way we depart from strict practice under the Savior’s direction we land in polygamy. The society that allows by its statutes divorce for any other cause than the one that breaks the monogamic bond, is simply acting in aid of polygamy, consecutive if not contemporaneous.

Advocates of the freedom of divorce speak of the above view as "the ecclesiastical." That is an attempt to use the argument ad invidiam. The church of Christ held and holds its views, not because ecclesiastics taught it, but because Christ taught it, and that in His teaching we have a statement out from the righteousness, wisdom, insight and rationality of the all-wise God.

2. Paul:

Paul is the only other New Testament author besides Christ who has been supposed to treat of divorce. But a careful examination of Paul’s writing will disclose the fact that he has nowhere discussed the question—for what cause or causes a man might put away his wife, or a woman her husband, with liberty of marriage to another person. If Paul has treated of divorce at all it is in 1Co 7. But even a careless reading of that chapter will disclose the fact that Paul is not discussing the question for what causes marriage might be disrupted, but the question of manners and morals in the relation. Paul has not modified Christ in any respect. It has been supposed that in 7:15 Paul has allowed divorce to a believing partner who has been deserted by one unbelieving, and so he has been sometimes understood as adding desertion to the exception Christ made as cause for divorce.

But Paul has not said in that verse or anywhere else that a Christian partner deserted by a heathen may be married to someone else. All he said is: "If the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage (dedoulotai) in such cases: but God hath called us in peace." To say that a deserted partner "hath not been enslaved" is not to say that he or she may be remarried. What is meant is easily inferred from the spirit that dominates the whole chapter, and that is that everyone shall accept the situation in which God has called him just as he is. "Be quiet" is a direction that hovers over every situation. If you are married, so remain. If unmarried, so remain. If an unbelieving partner deserts, let him or her desert. So remain. "God hath called us in peace." Nothing can be more beautiful in the morals of the marriage relation than the direction given by Paul in this chapter for the conduct of all parties in marriage in all trials.

Many reasons might be given why Paul could not have given liberty of remarriage, besides the one that he did not in his text; but attention should be called to the fact that such an assumption of authority in divorce would soon have brought him into conflict with the Roman government. Paul’s claim that he was a Roman citizen was of some value to himself. Would not some Roman citizen have claimed to scrutinize pretty closely Paul’s right to issue a decree of divorce against him because he had "departed" from a wife who had become a Christian? There would be two sides to such divorces. Would not Paul, careful, shrewd, politic as he was, have known that, and have avoided an open rupture with a government that did not tolerate much interference with its laws? That neither Paul nor anyone else ever put such construction upon his language, is evidenced by the fact that there is no record in history of a single case where it was attempted for 400 years after Paul was in his grave, and the Roman Empire had for a century been Christian. Then we wait 400 years more before we find the suggestion repeated. That no use was ever made of such construction of Paul in the whole era of the adjustment of Christianity with heathenism is good evidence that it was never there to begin with. So we shall pass Paul as having in no respect modified the doctrine of divorce laid down by Christ in Mt 19.

3. Remedies for Marriage Ills:

In all civilized countries the machinery of legislation and law can always be open for removal or relief of troubles in marriage without proceeding to its annulment. If a father is cruel to his children, we do not abolish the parental relation, but punish the father for his cruelty. If he deserts his children, we need not assist him to rear other children whom he can desert in turn, but we can punish him for his desertion. What can be done by law in case of parent and child can be done in case of husband and wife. By putting in absolute divorce (frequently for guilty and innocent alike) we invite the very evils we seek to cure. We make it the interest of a dissatisfied party to create a situation that a court will regard as intolerable, and so he or she may go free. Then by affording an easy way out of the troubles of married life we are inviting carelessness about entering marriage. We say by divorce statutes to a young woman: "If your husband deserts you, you may have another. If he is cruel, you may have another. If he fails to support you, you may have another. If he is drunken, you may have another. If he is incompatible or makes you unhappy, you may have another"—and yet others beyond these. When an easy road is thus made out of marriage, will there be proper caution about entering into marriage? By just as much as a crevice for relief of the miseries of married life is opened by divorce, by so much the flood gates are opened into those miseries. The more solemnly society is impressed that the door of marriage does not swing outward as well as inward the more of happiness and blessing will it find in the institution. See FAMILY.

C. Caverno



1. Subordinate Position of Woman:

Woman, among the Hebrews, as among most nations of antiquity, occupied a subordinate position. Though the Hebrew wife and mother was treated with more consideration than her sister in other lands, even in other Semitic countries, her position nevertheless was one of inferiority and subjection. The marriage relation from the standpoint of Hebrew legislation was looked upon very largely as a business affair, a mere question of property. A wife, nevertheless, was, indeed, in most homes in Israel, the husband’s "most valued possession." And yet while this is true, the husband was unconditionally and unreservedly the head of the family in all domestic relations. His rights and prerogatives were manifest on every side. Nowhere is this more evident than in the matter of divorce. According to the laws of Moses a husband, under certain circumstances, might divorce his wife; on the other hand, if at all possible, it was certainly very difficult for a wife to put away her husband. Unfortunately a double standard of morality in matters pertaining to the sexes is, at least, as old as Moses (see Ex 7-11).

2. Law of Divorce: Deuteronomy 24:1-4:

The Old Testament law concerning divorce, apparently quite clear, is recorded most fully in De 24:1 ff. A perusal of the commentaries will, nevertheless, convince anyone that there are difficulties of interpretation. The careful reader will notice that the renderings of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) differ materially. the King James Version reads in the second part of De 24:1: "then let him write a bill," etc., the Revised Version (British and American) has "that he shall write," etc., while the Hebrew original has neither "then" nor "that," but the simple conjunction "and." There is certainly no command in the words of Moses, but, on the other hand, a clear purpose to render the proceeding more difficult in the case of the husband. Moses’ aim was "to regulate and thus to mitigate an evil which he could not extirpate." The evident purpose was, as far as possible, to favor the wife, and to protect her against an unceremonious expulsion from her home and children.

3. Marriage a Legal Contract:

As already suggested, marriage among the Hebrews, as among most Orientals, was more a legal contract than the result of love or affection. It would be, however, a great mistake to assume that deep love was not often present, for at all times the domestic relations of the Hebrew married couple have compared most favorably with those of any other people, ancient or modern. In its last analysis it was, nevertheless, a business transaction. The husband or his family had, as a rule, to pay a certain dowry to the parents or guardians of the betrothed before the marriage was consummated. A wife thus acquired could easily be regarded as a piece of property, which, without great difficulty, could be disposed of in case the husband, for any reason, were disposed to rid himself of an uncongenial companion and willing to forfeit the mohar which he had paid for his wife. The advantage was always with the husband, and yet a wife was not utterly helpless, for she, too, though practically without legal rights, could make herself so intolerably burdensome and hateful in the home that almost any husband would gladly avail himself of his prerogatives and write her a bill of divorcement. Thus, though a wife could not divorce her husband, she could force him to divorce her.

4. Divorce Applicable Only to Wives:

The following words of Professor Israel Abrahams, Cambridge, England, before "the Divorce Commission" (London, November 21, 1910), are to the point: "In all such cases where the wife was concerned as the moving party she could only demand that her husband should divorce her. The divorce was always from first to last, in Jewish law, the husband’s act." The common term used in the Bible for divorce is shilluach ‘ishshah, "the sending away of a wife" (De 22:19,29). We never read of "the sending away of a husband." The feminine participle, gerushah, "the woman thrust out," is the term applied to a divorced woman. The masculine form is not found.

5. Process and Exceptions:

The Mosaic law apparently, on the side of the husband, made it as difficult as possible for him to secure a divorce. No man could unceremoniously and capriciously dismiss his wife without the semblance of a trial. In case one became dissatisfied with his wife,

(1) he had to write her a BILL OF DIVORCEMENT (which see) drawn up by some constituted legal authority and in due legal form. In the very nature of the case, such a tribunal would use moral suasion to induce an adjustment; and, failing in this, would see to it that the law in the case, whatever it might be, would be upheld.

(2) Such a bill or decree must be placed in the hand of the divorced wife.

(3) She must be forced to leave the premises of her former husband. Divorce was denied two classes of husbands:

(1) The man who had falsely accused his wife of antenuptial infidelity (De 22:13 ff), and

(2) a person who had seduced a virgin (De 22:28 f). In addition, a heavy penalty had to be paid to the father of such damsels.

It is probable that a divorced wife who had not contracted a second marriage or had been guilty of adultery might be reunited to her husband. But in case she had married the second time she was forever barred from returning to her first husband, even if the second husband had divorced her or had died (De 24:3 f). Such a law would serve as an obstacle to hasty divorces. Divorces from the earliest times were common among the Hebrews. All rabbis agree that a separation, though not desirable, was quite lawful. The only source of dispute among them was as to what constituted a valid reason or just cause.

6. Grounds of Divorce (Doubtful Meaning of Deuteronomy 24:1):

The language in De 24:1 ff has always been in dispute. The Hebrew words, ‘erwath dabhar, on which a correct interpretation depends, are not easy of solution, though many exegetes, influenced possibly by some preconceived notion, pass over them quite flippantly. The phrase troubled the Jewish rabbis of olden times, as it does Jewish and Christian commentators and translators in our day. the King James Version renders the two words, "some uncleanness," and in the margin, "matter of nakedness." The latter, though a literal translation of the Hebrew, is quite unintelligible. the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version both have: "some unseemly thing." Professor Driver translates the same words "some indecency." The German the Revised Version (British and American) (Kautzsch) has "etwas Widerwartiges" ("something repulsive"). We know of no modern version which makes ‘erwath dabhar the equivalent of fornication or adultery. And, indeed, in the very nature of the case, we are forced to make the words apply to a minor fault or crime, for, by the Mosaic law, the penalty for adultery was death (De 22:20 ff). It is, however, a question whether the extreme penalty was ever enforced. It is well known that at, and some time before, the time of our Saviour, there were two schools among the Jewish rabbis, that of Shammai and that of Hillel. Shammai and his followers maintained that ‘erwath dabhar signified nothing less than unchastity or adultery, and argued that only this crime justified a man in divorcing his wife. Hillel and his disciples went to the other extreme. They placed great stress upon the words, "if she find no favor in his eyes" immediately preceding ‘erwath dabhar (De 24:1), and contended that divorce should be granted for the flimsiest reason: such as the spoiling of a dish either by burning or careless seasoning. Some of the rabbis boldly taught that a man had a perfect right to dismiss his wife, if he found another woman whom he liked better, or who was more beautiful (Mishnah, GiTTin, 14 10). Here are some other specifications taken from the same book: "The following women may be divorced: She who violates the Law of Moses, e. g. causes her husband to eat food which has not been tithed . . . She who vows, but does not keep her vows . . . She who goes out on the street with her hair loose, or spins in the street, or converses (flirts) with any man, or is a noisy woman. What is a noisy woman? It is one who speaks in her own house so loud that the neighbors may hear her." It would be easy to extend the list, for the Mishna and rabbinic writings are full of such laws.

From what has been said, it is clear that adultery was not the only valid reason for divorce. Besides, the word adultery had a peculiar significance in Jewish law, which recognized polygamy and concubinage as legitimate. Thus a Hebrew might have two or more wives or concubines, and might have intercourse with a slave or bondwoman, even if married, without being guilty of the crime of adultery (Le 19:20), for adultery, according to Jewish law, was possible only when a man dishonored the "free wife" of a Hebrew (Le 20:10 ff).

Divorcement, Bill of:

This expression, found in De 24:1,3; Isa 50:1; Jer 3:8 is the translation of the Hebrew cepher kerithuth. The two words, literally rendered, signify a document or book of cutting off, i.e. a certificate of divorce given by a husband to a wife, so as to afford her the opportunity or privilege of marrying another man. The Hebrew term is rendered by the Septuagint biblion apostasion. This is also found in the New Testament (Mr 10:4). Mt 5:31 has "writing of divorcement" in English Versions of the Bible, but Mt 19:7 the King James Version has "writing," while the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version have "bill." The certificate of divorce is called geT, plural giTTin, in the Talmud. There is an entire chapter devoted to the subjects in the Mishna It is not positively known when the custom of writing bills of divorcement commenced, but there are references to such documents in the earliest Hebrew legislation. The fact that Joseph had in mind the putting away of his espoused wife, Mary, without the formality of a bill or at least of a public procedure proves that a decree was not regarded as absolutely necessary (Mt 1:19). The following was the usual form of a decree:

On the ____ day of the week ____ in the month ____ in the year ____ from the beginning of the world, according to the common computation in the province of ____ I ____ the son of ____ by whatever name I may be known, of the town of ____ with entire consent of mind, and without any constraint, have divorced, dismissed and expelled thee ____ daughter of____by whatever name thou art called, of the town who hast been my wife hitherto; But now I have dismissed thee ____ the daughter of ____ by whatever name thou art called, of the town of ____ so as to be free at thy own disposal, to marry whomsoever thou pleasest, without hindrance from anyone, from this day for ever. Thou art therefore free for anyone (who would marry thee). Let this be thy bill of divorce from me, a writing of separation and expulsion, according to the law of Moses and Israel. ____ , the son of ____ , witness

Spiritual Application.

The Hebrew prophets regarded Yahweh not only as the father and king of the chosen people, and thus entitled to perfect obedience and loyalty on their part, but they conceived of Him as a husband married to Israel. Isaiah, speaking to his nation, says: "For thy Maker is thy husband; Yahweh of hosts is his name" (54:5). Jeremiah too makes use of similar language in the following: "Return, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am a husband unto you" (3:14). It is perfectly natural that New Testament writers should have regarded Christ’s relation to His church under the same figure. Paul in 2Co says: "I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ" (11:2); see also Mt 9:15; Joh 3:29; Re 19:7. Any unfaithfulness or sin on the part of Israel was regarded as spiritual adultery, which necessarily broke off the spiritual ties, and divorced the nation from God (Isa 1:21; Eze 16:22; Re 2:22). See also MARRIAGE.


Amram, Jewish Law of Divorce according to the Bible and Talmud, London, 1897; Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages, London, 1896; Mackie, Bible Manners and Customs, London, 1898; The Mishna, Translated into English, De Sola and Raphall, London, 1843; Benzinger, Hebraische Archdalogie, Freiburg, 1894; Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebraischen Archdologie, 1894.

W. W. Davies


dok’-ter: (In Lu 2:46 didaskalos) "doctor" is equivalent to "teacher," which latter is the translation of the Revised Version (British and American). So in Lu 5:17; Ac 5:34, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "doctors," "doctor," of the law (nomodidaskalos). See EDUCATION; RABBI; SCRIBES.


dok’-trin: Latin doctrina, from doceo, "to teach," denotes both the act of teaching and that which is taught; now used exclusively in the latter sense.

1. Meaning of Terms:

(1) In the Old Testament for

(a) leqach "what is received," hence, "the matter taught" (De 32:2; Job 11:4; Pr 4:2; Isa 29:24, the American Standard Revised Version "instruction");

(b) she-mu‘ah, "what is heard" (Isa 28:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "message," the Revised Version, margin "report");

(c) mucar, "discipline" (Jet 10:8 margin), "The stock is a doctrine" (the Revised Version British and American) "instruction" of vanities, i. e. "The discipline of unreal gods is wood (is like themselves, destitute of true moral force" (BDB)).

(2) In the New Testament for

(i) didaskalia =

(a) "the act of teaching" (1Ti 4:13,16; 5:17; 2Ti 3:10,16), all in the Revised Version (British and American) "teaching";

(b) "what is taught" (Mt 15:9; 2Ti 4:3). In some passages the meaning is ambiguous as between (a) and (b).

(ii) didache, always translated "teaching" in the Revised Version (British and American), except in Ro 16:17, where "doctrine" is retained in the text and "teaching" inserted in the margin =

(a) the act of teaching (Mr 4:2; Ac 2:42, the King James Version "doctrine");

(b) what is taught (Joh 7:16,17; Re 2:14,15,24, the King James Version "doctrine"). In some places the meaning is ambiguous as between (a) and (b) and in Mt 7:28; Mr 1:22; Ac 13:12, the manner, rather than the act or matter of teaching is denoted, namely, with authority and power.

2. Christ’s Teaching Informal:

The meaning of these words in the New Testament varied as the church developed the content of its experience into a system of thought, and came to regard such a system as an integral part of saving faith (compare the development of the meaning of the term "faith"):

(1) The doctrines of the Pharisees were a fairly compact and definite body of teaching, a fixed tradition handed down from one generation of teachers to another (Mt 16:12, the King James Version "doctrine"; compare Mt 15:9; Mr 7:7).

(2) In contrast with the Pharisaic system, the teaching of Jesus was unconventional and occasional, discursive and unsystematic; it derived its power from His personality, character and works, more than from His words, so that His contemporaries were astonished at it and recognized it as a new teaching (Mt 7:28; 22:33; Mr 1:22,27; Lu 4:32). So we find it in the Synoptic Gospels, and the more systematic form given to it in the Johannine discourses is undoubtedly the work of the evangelist, who wrote rather to interpret Christ than to record His ipsissima verba (Joh 20:31).

3. Apostolic Doctrines:

The earliest teaching of the apostles consisted essentially of three propositions:

(a) that Jesus was the Christ (Ac 3:18);

(b) that He was risen from the dead (Ac 1:22; 2:24,32); and

(c) that salvation was by faith in His name (Ac 2:38; 3:16). While proclaiming these truths, it was necessary to coordinate them with Hebrew faith, as based upon Old Testament revelation.

The method of the earliest reconstruction may be gathered from the speeches of Peter and Stephen (Ac 2:14-36; 5:29-32; 7:2-53). A more thorough reconstruction of the coordination of the Christian facts, not only with Hebrew history, but with universal history, and with a view of the world as a whole, was undertaken by Paul. Both types of doctrine are found in his speeches in Acts, the former type in that delivered at Antioch (Ac 13:16-41), and the latter in the speeches delivered at Lystra (Ac 14:15-17) and at Athens (Ac 17:22-31). The ideas given in outline in these speeches are more fully developed into a doctrinal system, with its center removed from the resurrection to the death of Christ, in the epistles, especially in Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. But as yet it is the theological system of one teacher, and there is no sign of any attempt to impose it by authority on the church as a whole. As a matter of fact the Pauline system never was generally accepted by the church. Compare James and the Apostolic Fathers.

4. Beginnings of Dogma:

In the Pastoral and General Epistles a new state of things appears. The repeated emphasis on "sound" or "healthy doctrine" (1Ti 1:10; 6:3; 2Ti 1:13; 4:3; Tit 1:9; 2:1), "good doctrine" (1Ti 4:6) implies that a body of teaching had now emerged which was generally accepted, and which should serve as a standard of orthodoxy. The faith has become a body of truth "once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3). The content of this "sound doctrine" is nowhere formally given, but it is a probable inference that it corresponded very nearly to the Roman formula that became known as the Apostles’ Creed. See DOGMA.

T. Rees


do’-kus. See DOK.


do’-di, do’-da-i (1Ch 27:4). See DODO.


do’-da-nim (dodhanim, "leaders"): In Ge 10:4, the son of Javan, the son of Japheth. This would place the Dodanim among the Ioninns. The parallel passage 1Ch 1:7, with the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch, has, however, "Rodanim," which is probably the true reading. This identifies the people with the Rhodians (compare on Eze 27:15 under DEDAN).


do-dav’-a-hu (dodhawahu, "loved of God"; the King James Version Dodavah): Father of Eliezer of Mareshah, a prophet in the days of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 20:37).


do’-do, (dodho, dodhay, "beloved"):

(1) The grandfather of Tola of the tribe of Issachar, one of the judges (Jud 10:1).

(2) "The Ahohite," father of Eleazar, one of David’s heroes, and (2Sa 23:9; 1Ch 11:12) himself the commander of one of the divisions of the army (1Ch 27:4).

(3) The Bethlehemite, father of Elhanan, one of David’s mighty men (2Sa 23:24; 1Ch 11:26).


do. See DEER.


do’-eg (do’-egh "anxious," "cared for"): "The Edomite," a servant of Saul, who watched David’s intercourse with the priest Ahimelech, then denounced the priest to the king, and later executed his command to slay the priests at Nob. The position he held is described as that of "the mightiest" of Samuel’s herdsmen (1Sa 21:7 margin). Septuagint reads: "tending the mules." Rabbinical legends speak of him as the greatest scholar of his time. The traditional title of Ps 52 associates the composition of that Psalms with the events that led to the slaying of the priests (1Sa 21:7; 22:9,18,22).

Nathan Isaacs


kelebh; (compare Arabic kelb, "dog"); kuon; (and diminutive kunarion): References to the dog, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, are usually of a contemptuous character. A dog, and especially a dead dog, is used as a figure of insignificance. Goliath says to David (1Sa 17:43):" Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves?" David says to Saul (1Sa 24:14): "After whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea." Mephibosheth says to David (2Sa 9:8): "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?" The same figure is found in the words of Hazael to Elisha (2Ki 8:13). The meaning, which is obscure in the King James Version, is brought out well in the Revised Version: "But what is thy servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?" The characteristically oriental interrogative form of these expressions should be noted.

Other passages express by inference the low esteem in which dogs are held. Nothing worse could happen to a person than that his body should be devoured by dogs (1Ki 14:11; 16:4; 21:19,23, etc.). Job 30:1 says of the youth who deride him that he disdained to set their fathers with the dogs of his flock. In Php 3:2 and Re 22:15, dogs are coupled with evil-workers, sorcerers, etc. In Mt 7:6 we read: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine." Job 30:1 (cited above) refers to the use of dogs to guard flocks; and the comparison of inefficient watchmen with dumb dogs (Isa 56:10) implies that at least some dogs are useful. In the apocryphal Book of Tob, Tobias’ dog is his companion on his travels (Tobit 5:16; 11:4; on this see Expository Times, XI, 258; HDB, IV, 989; Geiger, Civilization of E. Iranians, I, 85 ff).

There is further the reference to the greyhound (Pr 30:31 English Versions) as one of the four things which are "stately in their going." But the rendering, "greyhound," rests solely upon inference, and is contrary to the Septuagint and Vulgate, which have respectively alektor and gallus, i.e. "cock," the King James Version margin "horse." The Hebrew has zarzir mothnayim, which the King James Version margin renders "girt in the loins." the Revised Version, margin has "warhorse," Hebrew "well girt (or, well knit) in the loins." In support of the meaning, "girt," for zarzir, there is the word zer, which, with zarzir, is assigned to the obsolete root zarar and the Arabic zirr, "button," from zarr, "to button", "to compress." Further, to render zarzir by "cock" logically requires a change in the text, for mothnayim, "loins," becomes superlative and inappropriate (see Encyclopedia Biblica, under the word "Cock"). On the other hand, the Arabic zarzur is a starling (compare Arabic zarzar, "to utter cries," said of birds; carcar, "to cry out"; carcar, "cockroach," or "cricket"). Also, according to Encyclopedia Biblica (s. v. "Cock"), "the Talmudic zarzir .... means some bird (a kind of raven)." If the text stands, there appears to be no better rendering than "girt in the loins," which might fairly be taken to refer to a war horse or to a greyhound. The Persian greyhound would in that case be understood, a hairy race, which, according to the Royal Natural History, is less fleet than the English breed and is used in chasing gazelles and in hunting the wild ass, and which according to Doughty (Arabia Deseria) is kept by the Bedouin. "These dogs are said to be sometimes girdled by their owners to prevent them from over-eating and becoming fat" (L. Fletcher, British Museum (Natural History)).

Domestic dogs have probably been derived from various species of wolves and jackals. In this connection, it is noteworthy that the dogs of certain regions greatly resemble the wolves of those regions. The pariah dogs of Syria and Palestine resemble the jackals, especially in color and in the tail, differing in their greater size and in the shape of muzzle and ears. It is fair to assume that they are much the same as existed in Bible times. They are in general meek and harmless creatures, and are valuable as scavengers, but disturb the night with their barking. Each quarter of the city has its own pack of dogs, which vigorously resents any invasion of its territory. A dog which for any reason finds itself in foreign territory gets home as quickly as possible, and is lucky if it does not have to run the gauntlet of a pack of vicious foes. The pariah dog is sometimes brought up to be a sheep dog, but the best shepherd dogs are great wolfish creatures, which are usually obtained from Kurdistan.

Alfred Ely Day


dog’-ma (dogma, from dokeo, "that which seems," "an opinion," particularly the opinion of a philosopher):

1. As Law and Ordinance:

In the decadent period of Greek philosophy, the opinion, or ipse dixit, of the master of a philosophical school came to be quoted as authoritative truth; also, the opinion of a sovereign imposed as law upon his subjects: a decree or ordinance of the civil authority. The word never appears in English Versions of the Bible, although it is used 5 times in the Greek New Testament, but with the one exception of Ac 16:4, in a sense widely different from that which ecclesiastical usage has given to it from the 2nd century downward. "Dogma" is used in the New Testament,

(1) of Roman laws: "a decree (Greek dogma) from Caesar Augustus" (Lu 2:1); "the decrees of Caesar" (Ac 17:7) = the whole body of Roman law;

(2) of ordinances of religious law: "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph 2:15); "the bond written in ordinances" (Col 2:14) = the Mosaic ordinances as expressing the moral law which condemned the sinner, and whose enmity Christ abolished by His death. It is a significant revelation of the spirit of Greek theology that all the Greek commentators understood by ordinances in these two places, the gospel as a body of dogmas which had removed the commandment or bond that was against us (see Lightfoot, Colossians, at the place);

(3) of the decrees of the Council of Jerusalem (Ac 15:20), which Paul and his companions delivered to the Gentilechurches (Ac 16:4). Here we have one element that entered into the later ecclesiastical meaning of the word. These dogmas were decisions on religious matters, imposed by a more or less authoritative council of the church as a condition of admission to its membership.

2. As Formulated Teaching:

There is however one important difference. These decrees relate to moral and ceremonial matters, but from the 2nd century downward, dogma means especially a theological doctrine. In Greek theology "doctrine" and "dogma" meant the same thing. Each had its origin in the opinion of some great teacher; each rested upon revelation and claimed its authority; each meant an exposition of a particular truth of the gospel, and of the whole Christian truth, which the church adopted as the only right exposition. Each word might be used for the teaching of a philosopher, or of a heretic, although for the latter, "heresy" became the regular term. On the one side stood the doctrines or dogmas of the majority or the "Catholic" church, and on the other side, those of the heretics. So long as the "Catholic" ideal of orthodoxy and uniformity of belief held the field, there was no room for the distinction now made between "doctrine," as a scientific and systematic expression of the truth of the Christian religion, and "dogma," as those truths "authoritatively ratified as expressing the belief of the church." This distinction could only arise when men began to think that various expressions of Christian truth could coexist in the church, and is therefore quite modern and even recent. Dogma in this sense denotes the ancient conception of theology as an authoritative system of orthodoxy, and doctrine, the modern conception, outside the dogmatic churches, where theology is regarded as a scientific exposition of truth.


Harnack, History of Dogma, I, chapter i; Drummond, Studies in Christian Doctrine, 1-7.

T. Rees


dok (Dok, Dagon): A small fortress, "little stronghold" near Jericho (1 Macc 16:15), built by Ptolemy, son of Abubus, where he entertained and murdered his father-in-law Simon Maccabeus and his two sons. Josephus (Ant., XIII, viii, 1; BJ, I, ii, 3) calls the place Dagon and places it above Jericho. The name persists in Ain Duk with its copious springs of excellent water about 4 miles Northwest of Jericho. Some ancient foundations in the neighborhood are possibly those of Ptolemy’s fortress, but more probably of a Templars’ station which is known to have stood there as late as the end of the 13th century. For its importance in earlier Jewish history, see Smith, HGHL, 250, 251.

J. Hutchinson


dol’-fool (’oach, "howling"): The "doleful creatures" referred to in Isa 13:21 are probably "jackals," although some have suggested "leopard," or "hyena." The older English Versions of the Bible gives "great owls." The word rendered "doleful lamentation" in Mic 2:4 (niheyah) is simply a form of the word ordinarily translated "wailing" (nehi). Compare the King James Version margin.


dol’-fin. See BADGER.


do-min’-yun: In Eph 1:21; Col 1:16 the word so translated (kuriotes) appears to denote a rank or order of angels. The same word is probably to be so interpreted in Jude 1:8 (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "dominion"), and in 2Pe 2:10 (the King James Version "government," the Revised Version (British and American) "dominion"). See ANGEL.


doom: Occurs only once in the King James Version (2 Esdras 7:43), "The day of doom shall be the end of this time" (the Revised Version (British and American) "the day of judgment"); but the Revised Version (British and American) gives it as the rendering of tsephirah, in Eze 7:7,10 (the King James Version "the morning," the Revised Version, margin "the turn" or "the crowning time"; but the meaning is not yet quite certain); and in 1Co 4:9 (epithanatios, "as men doomed to death," the King James Version "appointed (originally "approved") unto death"). Our word "doom" is connected with the word "deem," and signifies either the act of judging or (far more often) the sentence itself or the condition resulting therefrom (compare "Deemster" of Isle of Man and Jersey). Generally, but not always, an unfavorable judgment is implied. Compare Dryden, Coronation of Charles II, i, 127: " Two kingdoms wait your doom, and, as you choose, This must receive a crown, or that must lose." J. R. Van Pelt


dor: Most commonly the rendering of Hebrew pethach, "doorway," deleth, "door" proper (the two distinguished in Ge 19:6), or of Greek thura, which represents both meanings. The door proper was usually of wood, frequently sheeted with metal, sometimes of one slab of stone, as shown in excavations in the Hauran. It turned on pivots (the "hinges" of Pr 26:14) working in sockets above and below, and was provided with a bolt (2Sa 13:17) or with lock and key (Jud 3:23). The doorway was enclosed by the stone threshold (1Ki 14:17), the two doorposts on either side, and the lintel above (Ex 12:7). Doors were frequently two-leaved, and folding ones are mentioned in connection with the temple (1Ki 6:34). Where "door" is used in connectio with city gates (Ne 3:1 ff) it refers to the door proper which swings on its hinges as distinguished from the whole structure. The custom of fastening to the doorposts small cases containing a parchment inscribed with the words of De 6:4-9; 11:13-21 had its origin in the command there given. See also GATE; HOUSE.


(1) Christ is "the door" into the gospel ministry (Joh 10:1,2,7); ministers must receive their authority from Him, and exercise it in His spirit.

(2) ‘Through faith in Him also both shepherds and sheep enter into the kingdom of God (Joh 10:9), and find all their spiritual needs supplied.’

(3) The figure in Re 3:20 is expressive of Christ’s patient, persistent and affectionate appeal to men.

(4) Elsewhere also of opportunity (Mt 25:10; Ac 14:27; 1Co 16:9; 2Co 2:12; Re 3:8).

(5) Of freedom and power (Col 4:3). See also ACHOR; SHEPHERD.

Benjamin Reno Downer


dor’-kep-er (sho‘er): The gates of an oriental city and of the temple courts so closely resembled the door of a house that the same Hebrew word was used for doorkeeper and gatekeeper. It is often translated by the less definite word "porter". In the preexilic writings (2Sa 18:26; 2Ki 7:10,11) reference is made to porters at the gates of the cities Mahanaim and Samaria. In these early writings there is also mention of a small number of "keepers of the threshold" of the temple, whose duties included the gathering of money from the people for temple purposes, and the care of the sacred vessels (2Ki 12:9; 22:4; 23:4). They held an honorable position (2Ki 25:18), and occupied chambers in the temple (Jer 35:4). The same term is used to describe officers in the household of the king of Persia (Es 2:21; 6:2).

Differing from these "keepers of the threshold" in some respects are the doorkeepers or porters mentioned in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. These formed a numerous sacred order (1Ch 9:22; 23:5) from the time of David. Their duties and the words describing them in two passages, "keepers of the thresholds" (1Ch 9:19) and "porters of the thresholds" (2Ch 23:4), connect them in some measure with the "keeper of the threshold" referred to above. They guarded the gates of the house of Yahweh (1Ch 9:23), closing and opening them at the proper times (1Ch 9:27) and preventing the unclean from entering the sacred enclosure (2Ch 23:19); they had charge of the sacred vessels and of the free-will offerings (2Ch 31:14), and dwelt in the chambers about the temple (1Ch 9:27). They were Levites, and came in from the Levitical villages every seventh day for service in their turn (1Ch 9:25). Their office was honorable, ranking with the singers, after the priests and Levites (Ezr 2:42; 1Ch 15:18).

In Ps 84:10, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God," the word is not used in its technical sense. the Revised Version, margin gives "stand (the King James Version margin "sit") at the threshold," to an eastern mind a situation of deep humility (compare title of the Ps and 1Ch 9:19).

In the New Testament the order of temple doorkeepers is not referred to. But a doorkeeper (thuroros) is mentioned in connection with a private house (Mr 13:34), with the high priest’s house (Joh 18:16,17), and with sheep-folds (Joh 10:3), a maid serving as doorkeeper in some cases (Ac 12:13).

George Rice Hovey


dor’-post. See HOUSE.


dof’-ka (dophqah, "drover"): A desert camp of the Israelites, the first after leaving the wilderness of Sin (Nu 33:12,13). See WANDERINGS OF ISRAEL.


dor, do’-ra (do’r, dor, "habitation," "circle"; Dor; Josephus, Dora; modern TanTurah): A town of the coast of Palestine, South of Carmel (Apion, II, 10; Vita, 8), about 8 miles North of Caesarea. It was occupied in the earliest times by the Canaanites and probably belonged to Phoenicia, tradition saying that it was a Sidonian colony. It furnished an abundance of the shell-fish so valuable for the manufacture of the Tyrian purple, and this would have led the Phoenicians to occupy the site. In the 12th century BC, the region was occupied by the northern people who raided the whole Syrian coast and Egypt. They were driven back by the Egyptians, but renewed the attack, and the weakness of Egypt in the middle of the century enabled them to settle in the coast region South of Carmel; a tribe of them occupied Dor, and others the territory to the limits of the desert of Sinai, and became the Philistine people so well known by their contests with the Hebrews. Naphoth-dor, "the heights of Dor," may be the slopes of Carmel inland from TanTurah. Dor fell within the territory assigned to Manasseh (Jos 17:11; compare Ant, V, i, 22). It was the seat of a king who possessed other towns on the heights back of the coast. He was one of the allies of Jabin of Hazor in the conflict with Joshua (Jos 11:2) and was conquered by him (Jos 12:23), but Dor was not occupied by the Israelites (Jos 17:11; Jud 1:27).

The inhabitants of Dor were at enmity with the Phoenician towns and it would seem that the Sidonians seized it to obtain its rich supplies of shell-fish, and this probably caused the war of retaliation waged by the Philistines, under the lead of Ashkelon, against Sidon in the middle of the 11th century. Sidon was besieged by land, and the inhabitants were compelled to flee to Tyre. Dor seems to have been occupied by Solomon since he placed one of his purveyors in the town (1Ki 4:11), and Tiglath-pileser III reduced it and set a governor over it (Rawl., Phoenician., 84). Here Tryphon was besieged by Antiochus, but escaped to Apamea (1 Macc 15:11,13,15; Ant, XIII, vii, 2). It was made free by Pompey, and joined to the province of Syria (XIV, iv, 4). The youths of the place set up a statue of Tiberius in the Jewish synagogue, an outrage that was reported to Publius Petronius by Agrippa, and reparation was made (XIX, vi, 3). It does not seem to have been of much importance in later times, though the fortifications still remaining on the ruined site, from the period of the Middle Ages, show that it was then occupied. It is now only a miserable village nestled in the ruins.

H. Porter


dor’-kas (Dorkas, the Greek equivalent of Aramaic tabitha, "a gazelle"): The name was borne by a Christian woman of Joppa. She is called a disciple (mathetria: Ac 9:36, the only place in the New Testament where the feminine form is used). She seems to have had some means and also to have been a leader in the Christian community. Dorcas was beloved for the manner in which she used her position and means, for she "was full of good works, and almsdeeds which she did." Among her charities was the clothing of the poor with garments she herself made (Ac 9:39), and by following her example, numerous "Dorcas societies" in the Christian church perpetuate her memory. There is a local memorial in the "Tabitha School" in Jaffa devoted to the care and education of poor girls.

Her restoration to life by Peter is recorded. At the time of her death Peter was in Lydda where he had healed Aeneas. Being sent for, he went to Joppa, and, by the exercise of the supernatural powers granted to him, "he presented her alive" to the mourning community. In consequence of this miracle "many believed on the Lord" (Ac 9:42).

S. F. Hunter


do-rim’-e-nez (Dorumenes): Father of Ptolemy Macron (1 Macc 3:38; 2 Macc 4:45); probably the same man who fought against Antiochus the Great (Polyb. v.61).


do-sith’-e-us (Dositheos):

(1) A captain of Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 12:19-25); along with Sosipater he captured Timotheus after the battle of Carnion, but granted him his life and freedom on the representation that "he had in his power the parents of many of them and the brethren of some," who, if they put him to death, should "be disregarded."

(2) A soldier in the army of Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 12:35); he made a special attack upon Gorgias, governor of Idumaea, the opposing general, and would have taken the "accursed man" prisoner but for the interference of a Thracian horseman.

(3) A Jew, son of Drimylus (3 Macc 1:3) who rescued Ptolemy Philopator from a plot of Theodotus. He afterward proved an apostate from Judaism.

(4) A Levite priest who "in the 4th year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra" carried the translation of the Book of Esther to Alexandria (Additions to Esther 11:1).

J. Hutchison


do-te’-a (the King James Version, incorrectly, Judea; Dotaia): Another form of the name DOTHAN (which see).


dot: "To dote" means either "to be weakminded" or "to be foolishly fond." In the latter sense it is employed in Eze 23:5 ff; in the former, in Jer 50:36 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "shall become fools"); the King James Version Sirach 25:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) "lacking understanding"), and the King James Version 1Ti 6:4 (the Revised Version, margin "to be sick"; the King James Version margin"a fool").


do’-tha-im: Mentioned in Judith 4:6 and frequently in connection with the invasion of Holofernes. See next article.


do’-than (dothayin, dothan, "two wells," "double feast"; Dothaeim): A place to the North of Shechem whither Jacob’s sons went for pasture for the flocks; where Joseph who followed them was sold to the Ishmaelites, after having been imprisoned in a "pit" (Ge 37:17 ff). Here in later days the eyes of Elisha’s servant were opened to see the mountain "full of horses and chariots of fire," guarding his master from the encircling Syrians (2Ki 6:13 ff). This is certainly to be identified with Tell Dothan, which lies on the East of the ancient road leading from Gilead across Esdraelon to the seacoast, and thence to Egypt. It is about 5 miles to the Southwest of Jenin. There are some traces of old buildings, two cisterns—Dothayin or Dothayin =" two cisterns" or "pits"- -and one copious spring. Excellent pasture is found in the surrounding plain, and on the adjoining slopes.

W. Ewing


dub’-’-l (shanah, "to repeat," as in counting; kaphal, "to fold over," or "double," as a cloth): A word used quite frequently in the Old Testament. Jacob ordered his sons to take double money in their hands, i.e. twice the necessary amount (Ge 43:12,15). If a thief be caught with a living animal he was to restore double (Ex 22:4); if property be stolen out of the house of one to whom it is entrusted he was to restore double (Ex 22:7,9). The firstborn was to receive a double portion of the inheritance (De 21:17). Likewise also by a beautiful symbol Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to fall upon him (2Ki 2:9). Degrees of punishment or sufferings were also expressed by the idea of a doubling (Isa 61:7; Jer 16:18; 17:18; Zec 9:12).

The use of the second Hebrew form in Job 11:6 and Job 41:13 seems quite confusing in its translation. the King James Version translates it simply "double," but the Revised Version (British and American) gives it its expanded and derived meaning, "manifold in understanding," and "who shall come within his jaws," respectively, "manifold" in the first instance meaning multiplied, and "jaws" doubtless meaning the double row of teeth. The classic phrases in the New Testament are those used by James to represent instability and a wavering disposition, dipsuchos, literally, "doubleminded" (Jas 1:8; 4:8).

Walter G. Clippinger


dout: This word, found only a score of times in the Bible, translates nevertheless about half as many different Hebrew and Greek originals with a corresponding variety of meanings.

In Ge 37:33 "without doubt" is to be taken in the common sense of "certainly"; in Job 12:2 in the sarcastic sense of "indeed!" In Da 5:12,16, it is used as a difficult problem or mystery to be explained, and these are the only cases of its employment in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament it is about equally used to translate diaporeo, and diakrino, and their cognates. The first means "to be without resource," "utterly at a loss," "nonplussed"; and the second, "to judge diversely." For the first, see Joh 13:22; Ac 2:12 the King James Version; Ac 5:24 the King James Version; Ac 10:17 the King James Version; Ac 25:20 the King James Version; and Ga 4:20 the King James Version. For the second see Mt 21:21; Mr 11:23; Ac 10:20; Ro 14:23. The last-named is deserving of particular attention. "He that doubteth is condemned (the King James Version "damned") if he eat," means that in a case of uncertainty as to one’s Christian liberty, it were better to err on the side of restraint. In Lu 12:29 "to be of doubtful mind" (meteorizo, literally, "to suspend"; see Thayer, under the word), means "to be driven by gusts," or "to fluctuate in mid-air."

Here, as in Mt 14:31, "doubt" does not indicate a lack of faith, but rather "a state of qualified faith": its weakness, but not its absence.

In Joh 10:24 "doubt" translates airo psuchen, which literally means "to lift up the soul" or "to keep one in suspense"; so the Revised Version (British and American). See also DISPUTATION.

James M. Gray


do. See BREAD.


duv (tor, yonah; peristera; Latin Zenaedura carolinensis): A bird of the family Columbidae. Doves and pigeons are so closely related as to be spoken and written of as synonymous, yet there is a distinction recognized from the beginning of time. It was especially marked in Palestine, because doves migrated, but pigeons remained in their chosen haunts all the year. Yet doves were the wild birds and were only confined singly or in pairs as caged pets, or in order to be available for sacrifice. Pigeons, without question, were the first domesticated birds, the record of their conquest by man extending if anything further back than ducks, geese and swans. These two were the best known and the most loved of all the myriads of birds of Palestine. Doves were given preference because they remained wild and were more elusive. The thing that escapes us is usually a little more attractive than the thing we have. Their loving natures had been noted, their sleek beautiful plumage, their plump bodies. They were the most precious of anything offered for sacrifice. Their use is always specified in preference to pigeons if only one bird was used; if both, the dove is frequently mentioned first. Because of their docility when caged, their use in sacrifice, and the religious superstition concerning them, they were allowed to nest unmolested and, according to species, flocked all over Palestine. The turtle-dove nested in gardens and vineyards, and was almost as tame as the pigeons. The palm turtle-dove took its name from its love of homing in palm trees, and sought these afield, and in cities, even building near the temple in Jerusalem. It also selected thorn and other trees. It has a small body, about ten inches in length, covered with bright chestnut- colored feathers, the neck dappled with dark, lustrous feathers. The rock dove swarmed over, through, and among the cliffs of mountains and the fissures of caves and ravines. The collared turtle-dove was the largest of the species. It remained permanently and homed in the forests of Tabor and Gilead, around the Dead Sea, and along the Jordan valley. This bird was darker than the others and took its name from a clearly outlined collar of dark feathers encircling the neck, and was especially sought for caged pets on account of its size and beauty.

In all, the dove is mentioned about fifty times in the Bible. Many of these references are concerning its use in sacrifice and need not all be mentioned. The others are quoted and explained from a scientific standpoint and in accordance with the characteristics and habits of the birds. The first reference to the dove occurs in Ge 8:8-12, in the history of the flood; then follows its specified use in sacrifice; note of its migratory habits is made, and then in poetry, prophecy, comparison, simile and song, it appears over and over throughout the Bible.

In Ge 8:8-12, we read, "And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated." Noah first sent out a raven, because it was a strong, aggressive bird and would return to its mate. But the raven only flew over the water and returned to perch on the ark. This was not satisfactory, so Noah in looking for a bird better suited to his purpose, bethought him of the most loving and tender bird he knew—the dove. It not only would return to the ark, but would enter and go to the cage of its mate, and if it found green food it would regurgitate a portion for her or its young, or if not nesting he could tell by its droppings if greenery had been eaten and so decide if the waters were going down. And this is precisely what happened. The dove came back, and the watching Noah saw it feed its mate little green olive leaves, for the dove never carries food in the beak, but swallows and then regurgitates it to mate and young. This first reference to birds was made on account of the loving, tender characteristics of the species; the next, because they were the most loved by the people, and therefore chosen as most suitable to offer as sacrifice (Ge 15:9). In Le 1:14 f, doves are mentioned as sacrifice: "And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar." In Le 5:7 the proper preparation of the sacrifice is prescribed. For method of handling sacrifice see 5:8,9,10. In Le 12:6 the law for a sacrifice for a mother is given, and 12:8 of same chapter provides that if she be too poor to offer a lamb, doves or pigeons will suffice. In Le 14:4-8 the reference for the sacrifice of a leper is merely to "birds," because it is understood that they are pigeons and doves, and it contains the specification that if the victim is too poor to afford so elaborate a sacrifice, a smaller one will suffice. The birds are named in 14:22: "Two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin-offering, and the other a burnt-offering" (compare Le 15:14,29; Nu 6:10). When David prayed for the destruction of the treacherous, he used the dove in comparison, and because he says he would "lodge in the wilderness" he indicates that he was thinking of the palm turtle. " And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! Then would I fly away, and be at rest" (Ps 55:6). In chanting a song of triumph, David used an exquisite thought. " When ye lie among the sheepfolds, It is as the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her pinions with yellow gold" (Ps 68:13). He referred to the rock dove because the metallic luster on its neck would gleam like gold in sunshine, and the soft grayish- white feathers beneath the wings as he would see the bird above him in flight would appear silver-like. By this quotation David meant that in times of peace, when men slept contentedly at home among their folds, their life was as rich with love and as free in peace as the silver wing of the dove that had the gold feathers and was unmolested among the inaccessible caves and cliffs. In Ps 74:19 the term "turtle-dove" is used to indicate people whom the Almighty is implored to protect: "Oh deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the wild beast: forget not the life of thy poor for ever."

Solomon uses the dove repeatedly in comparison or as a term of endearment. In So 1:15; 4:1; 5:12, he compares the eyes of his bride full, tender, beautiful, with those of a dove. In So 2:12 he uses the voice of the dove as an indication of spring. In So 2:14 he addresses the bride as a rock dove, In So 5:2 is another term of endearment, this time used in the dream of the bride (compare So 6:9). Isa 38:14 has reference to the wailing, mournful dove note from which the commonest species take the name "mourning dove." The reference in Isa 60:8 proves that the prophet was not so good an observer, or so correct in his natural history as David, who may have learned from the open. As a boy, David guarded the flocks of his father and watched the creatures around him. When exulting over the glory of the church in the numerous accessions of Gentiles, Isaiah cried, "Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?" This proves that he confounded pigeons and doves. Doves were wild, mostly migratory, and had no "windows." But the clay cotes of pigeons molded in squares so that one large cote sheltered many pairs in separate homes had the appearance of latticed windows and were used as a basis in estimating a man’s wealth. This reference should be changed to read, "and as pigeons to their windows." In Jer 8:7 the fact is pointed out that doves were migratory; and in Jer 48:28 people are advised to go live in solitary places and be peaceable, loving and faithful, like the rock doves. See also Eze 7:16: "But those of them that escape shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, every one in his iniquity." This merely means that people should be driven to hide among the caves and valleys where the rock doves lived, and that the sound of their mourning would resemble the cry of the birds. It does not mean, however, that the doves were mourning, for when doves coo and moan and to our ears grow most pitiful in their cries, they are the happiest in the mating season. The veneration cherished for doves in these days is inborn, and no bird is so loved and protected as the dove—hence, it is unusually secure and happy and its mournful cry is the product of our imagination only. The dove is the happiest of birds. Ho 7:11 and Ho 11:11 each compares people with doves; the first, because the birds at times appear foolishly trusting; the second, because, while no bird is more confiding, none is more easily frightened. "And Ephraim is like a silly dove, without understanding: they call unto Egypt, they go to Assyria" (Ho 7:11). "They shall come trembling as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will make them to dwell in their houses, saith Yahweh" (Ho 11:11). The reference in Na 2:7 is to the voice of the birds.

New Testament references will be found in a description of the baptism of Jesus (Mt 3:16). People are admonished to be "harmless as doves" (Mt 10:16). "And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves" (Mt 21:12). This proves that these birds were a common article of commerce, probably the most used for caged pets, and those customarily employed for sacrifice.

Dove’s Dung (chari yonim, Kethibh for dibhyonim): 2Ki 6:25: "And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver." This seems so repulsive that some commentators have tried to prove the name applied to the edible root of a plant, but the history of sieges records other cases where matter quite as offensive was used to sustain life. The text is probably correct as it stands.

Gene Stratton-Porter


dou’-ri: In all Hebrew marriages, the dowry held an important place. The dowry sealed the betrothal. It took several forms. The bridegroom presented gifts to the bride. There was the mohar, "dowry" as distinguished from matttan, "gifts to the members of the family" (compare Ge 24:22,53; Ge 34:12). The price paid to the father or brothers of the bride was probably a survival of the early custom of purchasing wives (Ge 34:12; Ex 22:17; 1Sa 18:25; compare Ru 4:10; Ho 3:2). There was frequently much negotiation and bargaining as to size of dowry (Ge 34:12). The dowry would generally be according to the wealth and standing of the bride (compare 1Sa 18:23). It might consist of money, jewelry or other valuable effects; sometimes, of service rendered, as in the case of Jacob (Ge 29:18); deeds of valor might be accepted in place of dowry (Jos 15:16; 1Sa 18:25; Jud 1:12). Occasionally a bride received a dowry from her father; sometimes in the shape of land (Jud 1:15), and of cities (1Ki 9:16). In later Jewish history a written marriage contract definitely arranged for the nature and size of the dowry.

Edward Bagby Pollard


dok-sol’-o-ji (doxologia, "a praising," "giving glory"): A hymn or liturgical formula expressive of praise to God, as the Gloria in Excelsis (an expansion of Lu 2:14), sometimes called the Greater Doxology, and the Gloria Patri ("Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without end, Amen") also known as the Lesser Doxology.

The clause, "as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be," was probably added to the original simple formula to emphasize the church’s dissent from the Arian conception of Christ.

The term is applied in particular to the concluding paragraph of the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:13 margin, "For thine is the kingdom," etc.; compare 1Ch 29:11, and see LORD’S PRAYER).

To the same general class belong Ps 41:13; 72:18 f; 89:52; Ro 16:27; Eph 2:20; 1Ti 1:17; Jude 1:25; Re 5:13 f; 19:1-3, and the modern stanza beginning "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow."

M. O. Evans


drak’-ma, (drachme): The word is used in the Septuagint as the rendering of beqa‘, "half-shekel," which must refer to the light standard for the shekel, as its weight was about 62 grains. In the New Testament the word occurs only in Lu 15:8,9, where it is rendered "a piece of silver" (m "drachma"). It was commonly taken as equivalent to the Roman denarius, though not strictly so.


drag’-un (tannin, plural tannim, tannoth; drakon):

Tannin and the plural tanninim occur 14 times, and in English Versions of the Bible are variously rendered "dragon," "whale," "serpent" or "sea-monster"; but La 4:3, the King James Version "sea-monster," the King James Version margin"sea calves," the Revised Version (British and American) "jackals." Tannim occurs 12 times, and is rendered "dragons," the Revised Version (British and American) "jackals," except in Eze 29:3, where the King James Version has "dragon" (the American Standard Revised Version "monster"), and in Eze 32:2, where the King James Version has "whale" and the English Revised Version and the King James Version margin"dragon" (the American Standard Revised Version "monster"). Tannoth occurs once, in Mal 1:3, where it is rendered "dragons," the Revised Version (British and American) "jackals." Drakon occurs 12 times in Re 12; 13; 16; and 20, where it is uniformly rendered "dragon." (Compare Arabic tinnin, the constellation, Draco.) Tannoth (Septuagint domata, "dwellings") is a feminine plural form as if from tannah, but it suits the context to give it the same meaning as tannim.

In Ex 7:9,10,12, tannin is used of the serpents which were produced from Aaron’s rod and the rods of the Egyptian magicians, whereas in Ex 4:3 and 7:15, for the serpent produced from Aaron’s rod, we find nachash, the ordinary word for serpent. In two passages we find "whale," the Revised Version (British and American) "sea-monster"; Ge 1:21: "And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that moveth"; Job 7:12: "Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, that thou settest a watch over me?" Other passages (the English Revised Version and the King James Version) are De 32:33: "Their wine is the poison of dragons (the American Standard Revised Version "serpents"), and the cruel venom of asps"; Ne 2:13: "And I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the dragon’s (the American Standard Revised Version "jackal’s") well" (the King James Version "dragon well"); Ps 91:13: "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the serpent (the King James Version "dragon") shalt thou trample under foot "; Ps 148:7: "Praise Yahweh from the earth, ye sea-monsters (the King James Version "dragons"), and all deeps"; Jer 51:34: "Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, .... like a monster" (the King James Version "dragon"). Here also two tannim passages; Eze 29:3: "Thus saith the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster (the King James Version "dragon") that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself"; and Eze 32:2: "Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou wast likened unto a young lion of the nations: yet art thou as a monster (the English Revised Version "dragon," the King James Version "whale") in the seas; and thou didst break forth with thy rivers and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers." The foregoing passages offer no especial difficulties in the interpretation of the word tannin. All may fairly be understood to refer to a serpent or sea-monster or some imaginary creature, without invoking any ancient myths for their elucidation. The same may be said of the passages in Revelation. A dragon is taken as the personification of Satan, as of Pharaoh in the passages in Ezekiel. It is of course true that ancient myths may more or less distantly underlie some of these dragon and serpent references, and such myths may be demonstrated to throw additional light in certain cases, but at least the passages in question are intelligible without recourse to the myths. This however is not equally true of all the tannin passages. In Ps 74:12 we read: "Yet God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters (the King James Version "dragons") in the waters." Compare Isa 27:1; 51:9 f.

The three passages just cited seem to denote each some particular act, and are referred by Canon Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica, under the word "Dragon") to the old Babylonian myth of the conflict of Marduk and Tiamat in the Assyrian creation- legend (thus Gunkel, etc.). Indeed he refers to that myth not only these passages, but also Jer 5:24; Eze 29:3-6; 32:2-8 and Job 7:12, which have been cited above. In translating the last two passages, Canon Cheyne uses the definite article, "the dragon," instead of "a" as in the Revised Version (British and American), which makes a great difference in the meaning. In Ps 87:4, it is clear that Rahab is a country, i.e. Egypt. Isa 30:7 is to the same point. In Isa 51:9,10, "that didst cut Rahab in pieces" and "that didst pierce the monster" (the King James Version "dragon"), are two coordinate expressions of one idea, which is apparently the defeat of the Egyptians, as appears in the reference to the passage of the Red Sea. In Isa 27:1, "leviathan the swift serpent" and "leviathan the crooked serpent" and "the monster (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "dragon") that is in the sea" have been identified with Babylon, Persia and Egypt (Encyclopedia Biblica, under the word "Dragon," 4). It is more probable that the first two expressions are coordinate, and amount to "leviathan the swift and crooked serpent," and that the verse may therefore refer to Babylonia and Egypt. Ps 74:12-15 is more in line with the idea of the article in EB, but it is nevertheless susceptible of an explanation similar to that of the other two passages.

Tannim, "dragons" (the Revised Version (British and American) "jackals") occurs in Job 30:29; Ps 44:19; Isa 13:22; 34:13; 35:7; 43:20; Jer 9:11; 10:22; 14:6; 49:33; 51:37; tannoth, "dragons" (the Revised Version (British and American) "jackals") is found in Mal 1:3. In all these passages, "jackal" suits the context better than "dragon," "sea-monster" or "serpent." An exception to the rendering of "dragon" or "serpent" or "sea-monster" for tannin is found in La 4:3: "Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones." the King James Version has "seamonster," the King James Version margin"sea calves." A mammal is indicated, and the Revised Version (British and American) apparently assumes that tannin is an error for tannim. Two other exceptions are in Eze 29:3 and Eze 32:2, where English Versions of the Bible renders tannim by "dragon," since in these two passages "jackal" obviously will not suit. See JACKAL.

On the constellational dragons or snakes, see ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 1-5.

Alfred Ely Day


(Ne 2:13 the King James Version). See JACKAL’S WELL.








dra’-ma mim’-ik. See GAMES.


draft (aphedron; Mt 15:17; Mr 7:19): "Closet," "sink" or "privy" (Rheims), literally, "place for sitting apart" (compare 2Ki 10:27, "draught-house," and Mishna "water-house"). According to the Mishna, Jehu turned the temple of Baal in Samaria into public latrines, "waterhouses." Mark adds here (Mr 7:19) that by this saying Jesus cleansed all articles of food, i.e., declared them to be clean.


dro’-er, (sho’ebh mayim, from sha’abh, "to bale up" water): In Syria and Palestine, outside of Mt. Lebanon and the Anti- Lebanon, the springs of water are scarce and the inhabitants of these less favored places have always depended upon wells and cisterns for their water supply. This necessitates some device for drawing the water. In the case of a cistern or shallow well, an earthenware water jar or a bucket made of tanned goats’ skin is lowered into the water by a rope and then raised by pulling up the rope hand over hand (probably the ancient method), or by running the rope over a crude pulley fixed directly over the cistern or well. In the case of deep wells, the rope, attached to a larger bucket, is run over a pulley so that the water may be raised by the drawers walking away from the well as they pull the rope. Frequently animals are hitched to the rope to do the pulling.

In some districts where the water level is not too deep, a flight of steps leading down to the water’s edge is constructed in addition to the opening vertically above the water. Such a well is pointed out near Haran in Mesopotamia as the one from which Rebekah drew water for Abraham’s servant. In Ge 24:16 we read that Rebekah "went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up."

The deep grooves in their curbs, worn by the ropes as the water was being raised, attest to the antiquity of many of the wells of Palestine and Syria. Any one of the hundreds of grooves around a single well was many years in being formed. The fact that the present method of drawing water from these wells is not making these grooves, shows that they are the work of former times.

The drawing of water was considered the work of women or of men unfit for other service (Ge 24:11,13,13; 1Sa 9:11; Joh 4:7). In Syria, today, a girl servant willingly goes to draw the daily supply of water, but seldom is it possible to persuade a boy or man to perform this service. When the well or fountain is at a distance, or much water is needed, tanned skins or earthen jars are filled and transported on the backs of men or donkeys.

Water drawing was usually done at evening time (Ge 24:11), and this custom has remained unchanged. There is no sight more interesting than the daily concourse at a Syrian water source. It is bound to remind one of the Bible stories where the setting is a wellside (Ge 24; Joh 4).

The service of water drawing was associated, in early times, with that of hewer of wood (De 29:11). Joshua made the Gibeonites hewers of wood and drawers of water in exchange for their lives (Jos 9:21,23,17). The inhabitants of Nineveh were exhorted to draw water and fill the cisterns of their fortresses in preparation for a siege (Na 3:14).

Figurative: Water drawing is mentioned in the metaphor of Isa 12:3, "Ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."

James A. Patch


drem, drem’-er (chalom, chelem; onar): In all time dreams and their interpretation have been the occasion of much curious and speculative inquiry. Because of the mystery by which they have been enshrouded, and growing out of a natural curiosity to know the future, much significance has been attached to them by people especially of the lower stages of culture. Even the cultured are not without a superstitious awe and dread of dreams, attaching to them different interpretations according to local color and custom.

Naturally enough, as with all other normal and natural phenomena for which men could assign no scientific and rational explanation, they would be looked upon with a certain degree of superstitious fear. " Dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air And more inconstant than the wind." —Shakespeare.

1. Physiological and Psychological Ground:

While a fully satisfactory theory of dreams has not yet been established and while it is hardly possible that there will ever be a satisfactory explanation for each individual dream, yet through the rapid discoveries of physiological psychology in the recent decade or more, much new light is thrown on the subject. With the contribution modern psychology has made to our knowledge of the association of ideas through the connected relation of certain cortical centers and areas, it has come to be pretty well established that the excitation of certain bodily organs or surfaces will stimulate certain brain areas. Conversely the stimulation of certain cortical areas will produce a response in certain bodily regions over which these centers or areas preside.

Connecting thought processes are therefore dependent upon the proper correlation of ideas through what are known physiologically as the association centers. If then it comes to pass that, as occurs in dreams, only fragmentary ideas or loosely connected trains of thought occur, and if, as frequently happens, there is momentary connection, but little connection with normal waking experience, it will easily be seen that the excitation of certain centers will awaken certain trains of thought which are but poorly related to the balance of one’s thinking processes. Much is being said about the dissociation of ideas and the disturbance of personality of which dreams are one of several forms. Others are hallucinations, trances, visions, etc.

Dreams are abnormal and sometimes pathological. Sleep is a normal experience. Perfect and natural sleep should be without dreams of any conscious occurrence. Perhaps psychologically there can be no such thing as perfectly dreamless sleep. Such a condition would probably be death itself. Nature doubtless has her silent vigils, keeping watch in the chambers of the soul during the deepest sleep. The only difference is that they do not come to the threshold of consciousness. Thus, dreams are to the sleeping state what visions and hallucinations are to the waking state, and like them have their ground in a distorted image-making function. While the source of the materials and the excitant may not be the same in each case, yet functionally they are the same.

The stimuli of dreams may be of two kinds. First, they may be physical and objective, or they may be due to suggestions and the association of ideas. They may be due to some physical disorder, such as imperfect digestion or circulation, improper ventilation or heating, or an uncomfortable position. Since by the very nature of the case dreams do not occur in a conscious state, the real cause cannot easily be discoverable and then only after the subject is entirely awakened through the effects of it.

They may also be due to the association of ideas. Suggestion plays a large part. The vividness and recency of a conscious impression during the waking state may be thrown up from the subconscious region during the sleeping hours. The usual distorted aspect of dreams is doubtless due to the uncoupling of groups of ideas through the uncoupling of the cortical association areas, some of them being less susceptible than others to the existing stimulus.

The materials of dreams need not be recent; they may have been furnished by the conscious processes a long time before, but are brought to the threshold only by means of some train of ideas during a semi-conscious state. It is interesting to note that while time and space seem quite real in dreams, the amount covered in a single dream may occupy but a moment of time for the dreamer.

2. History of Belief in Dreams:

Dreams have always played an important part in the literature and religion of all peoples. They have furnished mythologies; they have been the sources of systems of necromancy; they have become both the source and the explanation of otherwise inexplicable acts of Providence. Growing out of them we have a theory of nightmares and demonology. They have become the working material of the prophet both Biblical and pagan. Medieval civilization is not without its lasting effects of dreams, and modern civilization still clings with something of reverence to the unsolved mystery of certain dreams. While we have almost emerged from anything like a slavish adherence to a superstitious belief in dreams, we must still admit the possibility of the profound significance of dreams in the impressions they make upon the subject.

3. Dreams in the Old Testament:

The Bible, contrary to a notion perhaps too commonly held, attaches relatively little religious significance to dreams. Occasionally, however, reference is made to communications from God through dreams (Ge 20:6; 1Ki 3:5; Mt 1:20; 2:12,13,19,22). It recognizes their human relations more frequently. In the Old Testament literature, dreams play but little part except in the books of Genesis and Daniel, in which there are abundant references to them. For their moral bearings the most important ones perhaps are those referred to in Ge 37:5-10. An uncritical attitude will give to them a lifeless and mechanical interpretation. A sympathetic and rational explanation gives them beauty, naturalness and significance. Joseph was the youngest and most beloved son of Jacob. He was just in the prime of adolescence, the very period of day dreaming. He was perhaps inordinately ambitious. This was doubtless heightened by the attentions of a doting father. The most natural dream would be that suggested by his usual waking state, which was one of ambition and perhaps unhealthy rivalry (see ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 6). The source of Pharaoh’s dreams and his solicitude are likewise capable of interpretation on somewhat natural grounds (Ge 41:7-32). The significance of them was given by Joseph.

Another illustration of the psychological exposition preceding is the dream of Solomon (1Ki 3:5,11-15). In this narrative, after Solomon had done what pleased Yahweh and had offered a most humble prayer on an occasion which to him was a great crisis and at the same time a moment of great ecstasy in his life, he doubtless experiences a feeling of sweet peace in consequence of it. His sleep would naturally be somewhat disturbed by the excitement of the day. The dream was suggested by the associations and naturally enough was the approving voice of Yahweh.

Dreaming and the prophetic function seem to have been closely associated (De 13:1,3,1). Whether from a coldly mechanical and superstitious, a miraculous, or a perfectly natural point of view, this relation is consistent. The prophet must be a seer, a man of visions and ideals. As such he would be subject, as in his waking states, so in his sleeping states, to extraordinary experiences. The remarkable dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, who stands out as an exceptional example, afford an illustration of what may be styled a disturbed personality (Da 2:3-45; 4:5-19). The effort made by the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers, according to the best skill of the Orientals, was unavailing. Daniel, whether by extraordinary intellectual insight or by Divine communication, was able by his interpretation and its moral to set before the king a powerful lesson.

The New Testament gives still less place and importance to dreams than the Old Testament. There are only six references and one citation to dreams or dreamers. It is significant that all these references are by Mt, and still more significant that Jesus nowhere refers to dreams, evidently attaching little if any importance to them. The references in Matthew are confined entirely to warnings and announcements (Mt 1:20; 2:12,13,19,22; 27:19). Once a citation (Ac 2:17) is used for illustrative purposes (compare Joe 2:28). See also \AUGURY, IV, 5; DIVINATION, VI, 1, l(b); MAGIC; REVELATION.

Whether God communicates directly or indirectly by dreams is still unsettled. With our present knowledge of spirit communication it would not seem unreasonable to assume that He may reveal Himself directly; and yet on the other hand the safest and perhaps surest explanation for our own day and experience is that in dream states the mind is more impressionable and responsive to natural causes through which God speaks and operates. That dreams have been and are valuable means of shaping men’s thoughts and careers cannot be denied, and as such, have played an important part in the social and moral life of individuals and of society. A valuable modern illustration of this is the dream of Adoniram Judson Gordon (see How Christ Came to Church), through the influence of which his entire religious life and that of his church were completely transformed.


Judd, Psychology; Cutten, The Psychological Phenomena of Christianity; Ladd, Philosophy of Knowledge; Baldwin, Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology; Ellis, The World of Dreams (Houghton, Mifflin Co.).

Walter G. Clippinger


drej: A mixture of oats and barley (Job 24:6 the King James Version margin; the King James Version "corn"; the Revised Version (British and American) "provender"). The Hebrew word is belil, usually "mixed grain," ZDMG, XLVIII, 236: grain not ground and boiled in water. Compare Job 6:5; Isa 30:24.


dregs: The "sediments," "lees," "grounds of liquor"; only in plural. In the King James Version it stands for:

(1) Hebrew qubba‘ath, "bowl," "chalice," found only in Isa 51:17,22: "the dregs of the cup of trembling"; "the dregs of the cup of my fury." the Revised Version (British and American) correctly changes "dregs" into "bowl."

(2) Hebrew shemarim, "sediments" or "dregs," especially lees of wine. "The dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring (the American Standard Revised Version "drain") them out and drink them" (Ps 75:8), i.e. God gives to the wicked the cup of wrathful judgment, which they must drink to the last drop.


In the Hebrew and Greek there is a wonderful wealth of terminology having to do with the general subject of dress among the ancient Orientals. This is reflected in the numerous synonyms for "dress" to be found in English Versions of the Bible, "apparel," "attire," "clothes," "raiment," "garments," etc. But the words used in the originals are often greatly obscured through the inconsistent variations of the translators. Besides there are few indications even in the original Hebrew or Greek of the exact shape or specific materials of the various articles of dress named, and so their identification is made doubly difficult. In dealing with the subject, therefore, the most reliable sources of information, apart from the meaning of the terms used in characterization, are certain well-known facts about the costumes and dress-customs of the orthodox Jews, and others about the forms of dress worn today by the people of simple life and primitive habits in modern Palestine. Thanks to the ultraconservatism and unchanging usages of the nearer East, this is no mean help. In the endeavor to discover, distinguish and deal with the various oriental garments, then, we will consider:

1. The Meaning of Terms;

2. The Materials;

3. The Outer Garments;

4. The Inner Garments;

5. The Headdress;

6. The Foot-gear;

7. The Dress of Jesus and His Disciples.

1. Meaning of Terms:

There was originally a sharp distinction between classical and oriental costume, but this was palpably lessened under the cosmopolitanism of the Roman Empire. This of course had its effect both in the modification of the fashions of the day and upon the words used for articles of clothing in the New Testament.

(1) The terms most used for clothes in general were, in the Old Testament, cadhin, simlah, salmah, and in the New Testament himation (Mt 21:7; 24:18; 26:65; Lu 8:27) and enduma (Mt 22:11 f; compare Mt 7:15), plural, though the oldest and most widely distributed article of human apparel was probably the "loin-cloth" (Hebrew ‘ezor), entirely different from "girdle" (Greek zone). Biblical references for clothes are nearly all to the costume of the males, owing doubtless to the fact that the garments ordinarily used indoors were worn alike by men and women.

(2) The three normal body garments, the ones most mentioned in the Scriptures, are cadjin, a rather long "under garment" provided with sleeves; kethoneth (Greek chiton), a long-sleeved tunic worn over the cadhin, likewise a shirt with sleeves (see Masterman, DCG, article "Dress"); and simlah (Greek himation), the cloak of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), used in the plural for "garments" in general; and the "girdle" (Greek zone; Arabic zunnar). The "headdress" (two types are now in use, the "turban" and the "kufiyeh") is never definitely named in the Bible, though we know it was the universal custom among ancient Orientals to cover the head.

(3) The simlah (Greek himation) signifies an "outer garment" (see below), a "mantle," or "cloak" (see lexicons). A kindred word in the Greek himatismos, (translated "raiment" in Lu 9:29, "garments" in Mt 27:35, and "vesture" in Joh 19:24) stands in antithesis to himation. The Greek chiton, Hebrew kethoneth, the "under garment," is translated "coat" in Mt 5:40, "clothes" in Mr 14:63. The Hebrew word me‘il, Greek stole, Latin stola, stands for a variety of garment used only by men of rank or of the priestly order, rendered the Revised Version (British and American) "robe." It stands for the long garments of the scribes rendered "long robes" (Mr 12:38; Lu 20:46) and "best robe" in the story of the Prodigal Son (Lu 15:22). (For difference between me‘il and simlah, see Kennedy, one-vol HDB, 197.) Oriental influences led to the adoption of the long tunic in Rome, and in Cicero’s time it was a mark of effeminacy. It came to be known in its white form as tunica alba, or "white tunic," afterward in English "alb."

Other New Testament terms are porphuran, the "purple" (Lu 16:19); the purple robe of Jesus is called himation in Joh 19:2; lention, "the towel" with which Jesus girded himself (13:4,5); then othonion, "linen cloth" (Lu 24:12; Joh 19:40); sindon, "linen cloth" (Mt 27:59); and bussos, "fine linen" (Lu 16:19).

The primitive "aprons" of Ge 3:7, made of "sewed fig-leaves," were quite different from the "aprons" brought to the apostles in Ac 19:12. The latter were of a species known among the Romans as semicinctium, a short "waist-cloth" worn especially by slaves (Rich, Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq.).

2. The Materials:

Anthropology, Scripture and archaeology all witness to the use by primitive man of skins of animals as dress material (Ge 3:21, "coats of skin"; compare Heb 11:37, "went about in sheepskins, in goatskins").

Even today the traveler will occasionally see in Palestine a shepherd clad in "a coat of skin." Then, as now, goat’s hair and camel’s hair supplied the materials for the coarser fabrics of the poor. John the Baptist had his raiment, enduma, of camel’s hair (literally, "of camel’s hairs," Mt 3:4). This was a coarse cloth made by weaving camel’s hairs. There is no evidence that coats of camel’s skin, like those made of goat’s skin or sheep’s skin have ever been worn in the East, as imagined by painters (see Meyer, Bleek, Weiss and Broadus; but compare HDB, article "Camel"). The favorite materials, however, in Palestine, as throughout the Orient, in ancient times, were wool (see Pr 27:26, "The lambs are for thy clothing") and flax (see Pr 31:13, where it is said of the ideal woman of King Lemuel, "She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands"). The finest quality of ancient "linen" seems to have been the product of Egypt (see LINEN). The "silk" of Pr 31:22 the King James Version is really "fine linen," as in the Revised Version (British and American). The first certain mention of "silk" in the Bible, it is now conceded, is in Re 18:12, as the word rendered "silk" in Eze 16:10,13 is of doubtful meaning.

3. The Outer Garments:

(1) We may well begin here with the familiar saying of Jesus for a basal distinction: "If any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat (Greek chiton), let him have thy cloak (himation) also" (Mt 5:40). Here the "coat" (Hebrew kethoneth) was the ordinary "inner garment" worn by the Jew of the day, in which he did the work of the day (see Mt 24:18; Mr 13:16). It resembled the Roman "tunic," corresponding most nearly to our "long shirt," reaching below the knees always, and, in case it was designed for dress occasions, reaching almost to the ground. Sometimes "two coats" were worn (Lu 3:11; compare Mt 10:10; Mr 6:9), but in general only one. It was this garment of Jesus that is said by John (Joh 19:23) to have been "without seam, woven from the top throughout."

(2) The word himation, here rendered "cloak," denotes the well-known "outer garment" of the Jews (see Mt 9:20,21; 14:36; 21:7,8; but compare also Mt 9:16; 17:2; 24:18; 26:65; 27:31,35). It appears in some cases to have been a loose robe, but in most others, certainly, it was a large square piece of cloth, like a modern shawl, which could be wrapped around the person, with more or less taste and comfort. Now these two, with the "girdle" (a necessary and almost universal article of oriental dress), were commonly all the garments worn by the ordinary man of the Orient. The "outer garment" was frequently used by the poor and by the traveler as his only covering at night, just as shawls are used among us now.

(3) The common Hebrew name for this "outer garment" in the Old Testament is as above, simlah or salmah. In most cases it was of "wool," though sometimes of "linen," and was as a rule certainly the counterpart of the himation of the Greek (this is its name throughout the New Testament). It answered, too, to the pallium of the Romans. It belonged, like them, not to the endumata, or garments "put on," but to the periblemata, or garments "wrapped, around" the body. It was concerning this "cloak" that the Law of Moses provided that, if it were taken in pawn, it should be returned before sunset—"for that is his only covering, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? .... for I am gracious" (Ex 22:27). The Jewish tribunals would naturally, therefore, allow the "inner garment" to be taken by legal process, rather than the outer one (Mt 5:40; Lu 6:29); but Jesus virtually teaches that rather than have difficulty or indulge animosity one would better yield one’s rights in this, as in other matters; compare 1Co 6:7.

Some identify the simlah of the ancient Hebrews with modern aba, the coarse blouse or overcoat worn today by the Syrian peasant (Nowack, Benzinger, Mackie in HDB); but the distinction between these two garments of the Jews, so clearly made in the New Testament, seems to confirm the conclusion otherwise reached, that this Jewish "outer garment" closely resembled, if it was not identical with, the himation of the Greeks (see Jew Encyclopedia, article "Cloke" and 1-vol HDB, "Dress," 197; but compare Masterman, DCG, article "Dress," 499, and Dearmer, DCG, article "Cloke"). In no respect has the variety of renderings in our English Versions of the Bible done more to conceal from English readers the meaning of the original than in the case of this word simlah. For instance it is the "garment" with which Noah’s nakedness was covered (Ge 9:23); the "clothes" in which the Hebrews bound up, their kneading-troughs (Ex 12:34); the "garment" of Gideon in Jud 8:25; the "raiment" of Ru (3:3); just as the himation of the New Testament is the "cloak" of Mt 5:40, the "clothes" of Mt 24:18 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "cloak"), the "garment" (Mr 13:16 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "cloak").

4. The Under Garments:

(1) In considering the under garments, contrary to the impression made by English Versions of the Bible, we must begin with the "loin-cloth" (Hebrew ‘ezor), which unlike the "girdle" (see GIRDLE), was always worn next to the skin. The figurative use made of it in Isa 11:5, and Jer 13:11, e. g. will be lost unless this is remembered. Often it was the only "under garment," as with certain of the prophets (Elijah, 2Ki 1:8; compare John the Baptist, Mt 3:4; Isa 20:2, Jer 13:1 ff). In later times it was displaced among the Hebrews by the "shirt" or "tunic" (see TUNIC). The universal "sign of mourning" was the girding of the waist with an ‘ezor or "hair-cloth" (English Versions, "sack-cloth"). A "loincloth" of "linen" was worn by the priests of early times and bore the special name of ‘ephodh (1Sa 2:18; compare 2Sa 6:14 ff).

(2) The ordinary "under garment," later worn by all classes—certain special occasions and individuals being exceptions—was the "shirt" (Hebrew kethoneth) which, as we have seen, reappears as chiton in Greek, and tunica in Latin It is uniformly rendered "coat" in English Versions of the Bible, except that the Revised Version, margin has "tunic" in Joh 19:23. The well-known piece of Assyrian sculpture, representing the siege and capture of Lachish by Sennacherib, shows the Jewish captives, male and female, dressed in a moderately tight garment, fitting close to the neck (compare Job 30:18) and reaching almost to the ankles; which must represent the kethoneth, or kuttoneth of the period, as worn in towns at least. Probably the kuttoneth of the peasantry was both looser and shorter, resembling more the modern kamis of the Syrian fellah (compare Latin camisa, and English "chemise").

(3) As regards sleeves, they are not expressly mentioned in the Old Testament, but the Lachish tunics mentioned above have short sleeves, reaching half-way to the elbows. This probably represents the prevailing type of sleeve among the Hebrews of the earlier period. An early Egyptian picture of a group of Semitic traders (circa 2000 BC) shows a colored tunic without sleeves, which, fastened on the left shoulder, left the right bare. Another variety of sleeves, restricted to the upper and wealthy classes, had long and wide sleeves reaching to the ground. This was the tunic worn by Tamar, the royal princess (2Sa 13:18, "A garment of divers colors upon her; for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins appareled"), "the tunic of (i.e. reaching to) palms and soles" worn by Joseph, familiarly known as the "coat of many colors" (Ge 37:3), a rendering which represents now an abandoned tradition (compare Kennedy, HDB). The long white linen tunic, which was the chief garment of the ordinary Jewish priest of the later period, had sleeves, which, for special reasons, were tied to the arms (compare Josephus, Ant., III, vii, 2).

(4) Ultimately it became usual, even with the people of the lower ranks, to wear an under "tunic," or "real shirt" (Josephus, Ant., XVII, vi, 7; Mishna, passim, where it is called chaluq). In this case the upper tunic, the kuttoneth proper, would be removed at night (compare So 5:3, "I have put off my garment").

The material for the tunic might be either

(1) woven on the loom in two pieces, and afterward put together without cutting (compare Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq., article "Tunica"), or

(2) the garment might be woven whole on a special loom, "without seam," i.e. so as to require no sewing, as we know from the description given in Joh 19:23, and from other sources, was the chiton worn by our Lord just before His crucifixion. The garments intended by the Hebrew (Da 3:21-27), rendered "coats" the King James Version, have not been certainly made out. The King James Version margin has "mantles" the English Revised Version "hosen" the American Standard Revised Version "breeches" (see HOSEN). For "coat of mail" (1Sa 17:5) see ARMOR.

5. The Headdress:

When the Hebrews first emerged into view, they seem to have had no covering for the head except on special demand, as in case of war, when a leather-helmet was worn (see ARMOR). Ordinarily, as with the fellah of Palestine today, a rope or cord served as a fillet (compare 1Ki 20:32, and Virgil, Aeneid (Dryden), iv.213: "A golden fillet binds his awful brows"). Such "fillets" may be seen surviving in the representation of Syrians on the monuments of Egypt. Naturally, in the course of time, exposure to the Syrian sun in the tropical summer time would compel recourse to some such covering as the modern kufiyeh, which lets in the breeze, but protects in a graceful, easy way, the head, the neck and the shoulders. The headgear of Ben- hadad’s tribute carriers (see above) resembles the Phrygian cap.

The head covering, however, which is best attested, at least for the upper ranks of both sexes, is the turban (Hebrew tsaniph, from a root meaning to "wind round"). It is the ladies’ "hood" of Isa 3:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "turban"; the "royal diadem" of Isa 62:3, and the "mitre" of Zec 3:5, the Revised Version, margin "turban" or "diadem." Ezekiel’s description of a lady’s headdress: "I bound thee with attire of fine linen" (Eze 16:10 margin), points to a turban. For the egg-shaped turban of the priests see BONNET (the Revised Version (British and American) "head-tires"). The hats of Da 3:21 (the Revised Version (British and American) "mantles") are thought by some to have been the conical Babylonian headdress seen on the monuments. According to 2 Macc 4:12 the Revised Version (British and American) the young Jewish nobles were compelled by Antiochus Epiphanes to wear the petasos, the low, broad-brimmed hat associated with Hermes. Other forms of headdress were in use in New Testament times, as we learn from the Mishna, as well as from the New Testament, e. g. the suddar (soudarion) from Latin sudarium (a cloth for wiping off perspiration, sudor) which is probably the "napkin" of Joh 11:44; 20:7, although there it appears as a kerchief, or covering, for the head. The female captives from Lachish (see above) wear over their tunics an upper garment, which covers the forehead and falls down over the shoulders to the ankles. Whether this is the garment intended by the Hebrew in Ru 3:15, rendered "vail" by the King James Version and "mantle" by the Revised Version (British and American), and "kerchiefs for the head" (Eze 13:18 the Revised Version (British and American)), we cannot say. The "veil" with which Rebekah and Tamar "covered themselves" (Ge 24:65; 38:14) was most likely a large "mantle" in which the whole body could be wrapped, like the cadhin (see above). But it seems impossible to draw a clear distinction between "mantle" and "veil" in the Old Testament (Kennedy). The case of Moses (Ex 34:33) gives us the only express mention of a "face-veil."

6. Footgear:

The ancient Hebrews, like Orientals in general, went barefoot within doors. Out of doors they usually wore sandals, less frequently shoes. The simplest form of sandal then, as now, consisted of a sole of untanned leather, bound to the foot by a leather thong, the shoe-latchet of Ge 14:23 and the latchet of Mr 1:7, etc. In the obelisk of Shalmaneser, however, Jehu’s attendants are distinguished by shoes completely covering the feet, from the Assyrians, who are represented as wearing sandals fitted with a heel-cap. Ladies of Ezekiel’s day wore shoes of "sealskin" (Eze 16:10 the Revised Version (British and American)). The soldiers’ "laced boot" may be intended in Isa 9:5 (the Revised Version (British and American), margin). Then, as now, on entering the house of a friend, or a sacred precinct (Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15), or in case of mourning (2Sa 15:30), the sandals, or shoes, were removed. The priests performed their offices in the Temple in bare feet (compare the modern requirement on entering a mosque).

7. The Dress of Jesus and His Disciples:

In general we may say that the clothes worn by Christ and His disciples were of the simplest and least sumptuous kinds. A special interest must attach even to the clothes that Jesus wore. These consisted, it seems quite certain, not of just five separate articles (see Edersheim, LTJM, I, 625), but of six. In His day it had become customary to wear a linen shirt (chaluq) beneath the tunic (see above). That our Lord wore such a "shirt" seems clear from the mention of the laying aside of the upper garments (himatia, plural), i.e. the "mantle" and the "tunic," before washing His disciples’ feet (Joh 13:4). The tunic proper worn by Him, as we have seen, was "woven without seam" throughout, and was of the kind, therefore, that fitted closely about the neck, and had short sleeves. Above the tunic would naturally be the linen girdle, wound several times about the waist. On His feet were leather sandals (Mt 3:11). His upper garment was of the customary sort and shape, probably of white woolen cloth, as is suggested by the details of the account of the Transfiguration (Mr 9:3), with the four prescribed "tassels" at the corners. As to His headdress, we have no description of it, but we may set it down as certain that no Jewish teacher of that day would appear in public with the head uncovered. He probably wore the customary white linen "napkin" (sudarium), wound round the head as a turban, with the ends of it falling down over the neck. The dress of His disciples was, probably, not materially different.

In conclusion it may be said that, although the dress of even orthodox Jews today is as various as their lands of residence and their languages, yet there are two garments worn by them the world over, the Tallith and the ‘arba‘ kanephoth (see DCG, article "Dress," col. 1). Jews who affect special sanctity, especially those living in the Holy Land, still wear the Tallith all day, as was the common custom in Christ’s time. As the earliest mention of the ‘arba‘ kanephoth is in 1350 AD, it is clear that it cannot have existed in New Testament times.


Nowack’s and Benzinger’s Hebrew Archaologie; Tristram, Eastern Customs in Bible Lands; Rich, Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq.; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 625, and elsewhere; articles on "Dress," "Clothing," "Costumes," etc., HDB, DCG, Jew Encyclopedia (by Noldeke) in Encyclopedia Biblica (by Abrahams and Cook); Masterman, "Dress and Personal Adornment in Mod. Palestine," in Biblical World, 1902, etc.

George B. Eager






(shekhar; sikera; from shakhar, "to be or become drunk"; probably from the same root as sugar, saccharine): With the exception of Nu 28:7, "strong drink" is always coupled with "wine." The two terms are commonly used as mutually exclusive, and as together exhaustive of all kinds of intoxicants.

Originally shekhar seems to have been a general term for intoxicating drinks of all kinds, without reference to the material out of which they were made; and in that sense, it would include wine. Reminiscences of this older usage may be found in Nu 28:7 (where shekhar is clearly equivalent to wine, as may be seen by comparing it with 28:14, and with Ex 29:40, where the material of the drink offering is expressly designated "wine").

When the Hebrews were living a nomadic life, before their settlement in Canaan, the grape-wine was practically unknown to them, and there would be no need of a special term to describe it. But when they settled down to an agricultural life, and came to cultivate the vine, it would become necessary to distinguish it from the older kinds of intoxicants; hence, the borrowed word yayin ("wine") was applied to the former, while the latter would be classed together under the old term shekhar, which would then come to mean all intoxicating beverages other than wine (Le 10:9; Nu 6:3; De 14:26; Pr 20:1; Isa 24:9). The exact nature of these drinks is not clearly indicated in the Bible itself. The only fermented beverage other than grape-wine specifically named is pomegranate-wine (So 8:2: "the juice of my pomegranate," the Revised Version, margin "sweet wine of my pomegranate"); but we may infer that other kinds of shekhar besides that obtained from pomegranates were in use, such as drinks made from dates, honey, raisins, barley, apples, etc. Probably Jerome (circa 400 AD) was near the mark when he wrote, "Sikera in the Hebrew tongue means every kind of drink which can intoxicate, whether made from grain or from the juice of apples, or when honeycombs are boiled down into a sweet and strange drink, or the fruit of palm oppressed into liquor, and when water is colored and thickened from boiled herbs" (Ep. ad Nepotianum). Thus shekhar is a comprehensive term for all kinds of fermented drinks, excluding wine.

Probably the most common sort of shekhar used in Biblical times was palm or date-wine. This is not actually mentioned in the Bible, and we do not meet with its Hebrew name yen temarim ("wine of dates") until the Talmudic period. But it is frequently referred to in the Assyrian-Babylonian contract tablets (cuneiform), and from this and other evidence we infer that it was very well known among the ancient Semitic peoples. Moreover, it is known that the palm tree flourished abundantly in Biblical lands, and the presumption is therefore very strong that wine made of the juice of dates was a common beverage. It must not be supposed, however, that the term shekhar refers exclusively to date-wine. It rather designates all intoxicating liquors other than grape-wine, while in few cases it probably includes even wine.

There can be no doubt that shekhar was intoxicating. This is proved

(1) from the etymology of the word, it being derived from shakhar, "to be or become drunk" (Ge 9:21; Isa 29:9; Jer 25:27, etc.); compare the word for drunkard (shikkar), and for drunkenness (shikkaron) from the same root;

(2) from descriptions of its effects: e. g. Isaiah graphically describes the stupefying effect of shekhar on those who drink it excessively (Isa 28:7,8).

Hannah defended herself against the charge of being drunk by saying, "I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink," i.e. neither wine nor any other intoxicating liquor (1Sa 1:15). The attempt made to prove that it was simply the unfermented juice of certain fruits is quite without foundation. Its immoderate use is strongly condemned (Isa 5:11,12; Pr 20:1; see DRUNKENNESS). It was forbidden to ministering priests (Le 10:9), and to Nazirites (Nu 6:3; Jud 13:4,7,14; compare Lu 1:15), but was used in the sacrificial meal as drink offering (Nu 28:7), and could be bought with the tithe-money and consumed by the worshipper in the temple (De 14:26). It is commended to the weak and perishing as a means of deadening their pain; but not to princes, lest it might lead them to pervert justice (Pr 31:4-7).

D. Miall Edwards


drum’-e-da-ri, drom’-e-da-ri. See CAMEL.


"To drop" expresses a "distilling" or "dripping" of a fluid (Jud 5:4; Pr 3:20; So 5:5,13; Joe 3:18; Am 9:13; compare 1Sa 14:26, "the honey dropped" (margin "a stream of honey")); Job 29:22 and Isa 45:8 read "distil" (the King James Version "drop"). The continuous "droppings" of rain through a leaking roof (roofs were usually made of clay in Palestine, and always liable to cracks and leakage) on a "very rainy day" is compared to a contentious wife (Pr 19:13; 27:15); "What is described is the irritating, unceasing, sound of the fall, drop after drop, of water through the chinks in the roof" (Plumptre, in the place cited); compare also the King James Version Ec 10:18 (the Revised Version (British and American) "leaketh").


drop’-si (hudropikos, "a man afflicted with hudrops or dropsy"): Both forms of this disease occur in Palestine, that in which the limbs and body are distended with water called anasarca, depending generally on cardiac or renal disease, and the form confined to the abdomen, usually the result of liver infection. The latter is the commoner, as liver disease is a frequent result of recurrent attacks of malarial fever. The man was evidently able to move about, as he had entered into the Pharisee’s house (Lu 14:2).


dros (sigh): The refuse of smelting of precious metal (Pr 25:4; 26:23); used figuratively of what is base or worthless (Isa 1:22,25; Eze 22:18,19; Ps 119:119).


drout. See FAMINE.


drov. See CATTLE.


droun’-ing. See PUNISHMENTS.


drum (tumpanon): This was the Hebrew toph, "tabret" or "timbrel," a hand-drum, consisting of a ring of wood or metal covered with a tightly drawn skin, with small pieces of metal hung around the rim, like a tambourine. It was raised in the one hand and struck with the other, usually by women, but sometimes also by men, at festivities and on occasions of rejoicing. See 1 Macc 9:39, the Revised Version (British and American) "timbrels."

DRUNKENNESS drunk’-’-n-nes (raweh, shikkaron, shethi; methe):

I. Its Prevalance.

The Bible affords ample proof that excessive drinking of intoxicants was a common vice among the Hebrews, as among other ancient peoples. This is evident not only from individual cases of intoxication, as Noah (Ge 9:21), Lot (Ge 19:33,15), Nabal (1Sa 25:36), Uriah made drunk by David (2Sa 11:13), Amnon (2Sa 13:28), Elah, king of Israel (1Ki 16:9), Benhadad, king of Syria, and his confederates (1Ki 20:16), Holofernes (Judith 13:2), etc., but also from frequent references to drunkenness as a great social evil. Thus, Amos proclaims judgment on the voluptuous and dissolute rulers of Samaria "that drink wine in (large) bowls" (Am 6:6), and the wealthy ladies who press their husbands to join them in a carousal (Am 4:1); he also complains that this form of self-indulgence was practiced even at the expense of the poor and under the guise of religion, at the sacrificial meals (Am 2:8; see also Isa 5:11,12,22; 28:1-8; 56:11 f). Its prevalence is also reflected in many passages in the New Testament (e. g. Mt 24:49; Lu 21:34; Ac 2:13,15; Eph 5:18; 1Th 5:7). Paul complains that at Corinth even the love- feast of the Christian church which immediately preceded the celebration of the Eucharist, was sometimes the scene of excessive drinking (1Co 11:21). It must, however, be noted that it is almost invariably the well-to-do who are charged with this vice in the Bible. There is no evidence to prove that it prevailed to any considerable extent among the common people. Intoxicants were then an expensive luxury, beyond the reach of the poorer classes. See DRINK, STRONG.

II. Its Symptoms and Effects.

These are most vividly portrayed:

(1) some of its physical symptoms (Job 12:25; Ps 107:27; Pr 23:29; Isa 19:14; 28:8; 29:9; Jer 25:16);

(2) its mental effects: exhilaration (Ge 43:34), jollity and mirth (1 Esdras 3:20), forgetfulness (1 Esdras 3:20), loss of understanding and balance of judgment (Isa 28:7; Ho 4:11);

(3) its effects on man’s happiness and prosperity: its immediate effect is to make one oblivious of his misery; but ultimately it "biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder," and leads to woe and sorrow (Pr 23:29-32) and to poverty (Pr 23:21; compare Pr 21:17; Ecclesiasticus 19:1); hence, wine is called a "mocker" deceiving the unwise (Pr 20:1);

(4) its moral and spiritual effects: it leads to a maladministration of justice (Pr 31:5; Isa 5:23), provokes anger and a contentious, brawling spirit (Pr 20:1; 23:29; 1 Esdras 3:22; Ecclesiasticus 31:26,29 f), and conduces to a profligate life (Eph 5:18; "riot," literally, profligacy). It is allied with gambling and licentiousness (Joe 3:3), and indecency (Ge 9:21 f). Above all, it deadens the spiritual sensibilities, produces a callous indifference to religious influences and destroys all serious thought (Isa 5:12).

III. Attitude of the Bible to the Drink Question.

Intemperance is condemned in uncompromising terms by the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well as by the semi- canonical writings. While total abstinence is not prescribed as a formal and universal rule, broad principles are laid down, especially in the New Testament, which point in that direction.

1. In the Old Testament:

In the Old Testament, intemperance is most repugnant to the stern ethical rigorism of the prophets, as well as to the more utilitarian sense of propriety of the "wisdom" writers. As might be expected, the national conscience was but gradually quickened to the evil of immoderate drinking. In the narratives of primitive times, excessive indulgence, or at least indulgence to the point of exhilaration, is mentioned without censure as a natural thing, especially on festive occasions (as in Ge 43:34 the Revised Version, margin). But a conscience more sensitive to the sinfulness of overindulgence was gradually developed, and is reflected in the denunciations of the prophets and the warning of the wise men (compare references under I and II, especially Isa 5:11 f, Isa 22$; 28:1-8; Pr 23:29-33). Nowhere is the principle of total abstinence inculcated as a rule applicable to all. In particular cases it was recognized as a duty. Priests while on duty in the sanctuary were to abstain from wine and strong drink (Le 10:9; compare Eze 44:21). Nazirites were to abstain from all intoxicants during the period of their vows (Nu 6:3 f; compare Am 2:12), yet not on account of the intoxicating qualities of wine, but because they represented the simplicity of the older pastoral life, as against the Canaanite civilization which the vine symbolized (W. R. Smith, Prophets of Israel, 84 f). So also the Rechabites abstained from wine (Jer 35:6,8,14) and social conveniences, because they regarded the nomadic life as more conducive to Yahweh-worship than agricultural and town life, with its temptations to Baal-worship. In Daniel and his comrades we have another instance of voluntary abstinence (Da 1:8-16). These, however, are isolated instances. Throughout the Old Testament the use of wine appears as practically universal, and its value is recognized as a cheering beverage (Jud 9:13; Ps 104:15; Pr 31:7), which enables the sick to forget their pains (Pr 31:6). Moderation, however, is strongly inculcated and there are frequent warnings against the temptation and perils of the cup.

2. Deutero-Canonical and Extra-Canonical Writings:

In Apocrypha, we have the attitude of prudence and common sense, but the prophetic note of stern denunciation is wanting. The path of wisdom is the golden mean. "Wine is as good as life to men, if thou drink it in its measure; .... wine drunk in season and to satisfy is joy of heart, and gladness of soul: wine drunk largely is bitterness of soul, with provocation and conflict" (Ecclesiasticus 31:27-30 the Revised Version (British and American)). A vivid picture of the effects of wine-drinking is given in 1 Esdras. 3:18-24. Stronger teaching on the subject is given in the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. The use of wine is permitted to him who can use it temperately, but abstinence is enjoined as the wiser course (Testament to the Twelve Patriarchs, Jud 1:16:3).

3. In the New Testament:

In the New Testament, intemperance is treated as a grave sin. Only once, indeed, does our Lord explicitly condemn drunkenness (Lu 21:34), though it is implicitly condemned in other passages (Mt 24:49 = Lu 12:45). The meagerness of the references in our Lord’s teaching is probably due to the fact already mentioned, that it was chiefly prevalent among the wealthy, and not among the poorer classes to whom our Lord mainly ministered. The references in Paul’s writings are very numerous (Ga 5:21; Eph 5:18, et al.). Temperance and sobriety in all things are everywhere insisted on (e. g. Ac 24:25; Ga 5:23; 2Pe 1:6). A bishop and those holding honorable position in the church should not be addicted to wine (1Ti 3:2 f; Tit 1:7 f; 2:2 f). Yet Jesus and His apostles were not ascetics, and the New Testament gives no rough-and-ready prohibition of strong drink on principle. In contrast with John the Baptist, who was a Nazirite from birth (Lu 1:15), Jesus was called by His enemies a "wine-bibber" (Mt 11:19). He took part in festivities in which wine was drunk (Joh 2:10).

There are indications that He regarded wine as a source of innocent enjoyment (Lu 5:38 f; 17:8). To insist on a distinction between intoxicating and unfermented wine is a case of unjustifiable special pleading. It must be borne in mind that the drink question is far more complex and acute in modern than in Biblical times, and that the conditions of the modern world have given rise to problems which were not within the horizon of New Testament writers. The habit of excessive drinking has spread enormously among the common people, owing largely to the cheapening of alcoholic drinks. The fact that the evil exists today in greater proportions may call for a drastic remedy and a special crusade. But rather than defend total abstinence by a false or forced exegesis, it were better to admit that the principle is not formally laid down in the New Testament, while maintaining that there are broad principles enunciated, which in view of modern conditions should lead to voluntary abstinence from all intoxicants. Such principles may be found, e. g. in our Lord’s teaching in Mt 16:24 f; Mr 9:42 f, and in the great Pauline passages—Ro 14:13-21; 1Co 8:8-13.

IV. Drunkenness in Metaphor.

Drunkenness very frequently supplies Biblical writers with striking metaphors and similes. Thus, it symbolizes intellectual or spiritual perplexity (Job 12:25; Isa 19:14; Jer 23:9), bewilderment and helplessness under calamity (Jer 13:13; Eze 23:33). It furnishes a figure for the movements of sailors on board ship in a storm (Ps 107:27), and for the convulsions of the earth on the day of Yahweh (Isa 24:20). Yahweh’s "cup of staggering" is a symbol of affliction, the fury of the Lord causing stupor and confusion (Isa 51:17-23; compare Isa 63:6; Jer 25:15 ff; Eze 23:33; Ps 75:8). The sword and the arrow are said to be sodden with drink like a drunkard with wine (De 32:42; Jer 46:10). In the Apocalypse, Babylon (i.e. Rome) is portrayed under the figure of a "great harlot" who makes kings "drunken with the wine of her fornication"; and who is herself "drunken with the blood of the saints, and ... of the martyrs of Jesus" (Re 17:2,6).

D. Miall Edwards


droo-sil’-a (Drousilla, or Drousilla): Wife of Felix, a Jewess, who along with her husband "heard (Paul) concerning the faith in Christ Jesus" during Paul’s detention in Caesarea (Ac 24:24).

Beta text gives the rendering "Drusilla the wife of Felix, a Jewess, asked to see Paul and to hear the word." The fact that Drusilla was a Jewess explains her curiosity, but Paul, who was probably acquainted with the past history of her and Felix, refused to satisfy their request in the way they desired, and preached to them instead concerning righteousness and self-restraint and the final judgment. At this "Felix was terrified" (Ac 24:25). Beta text states that Paul’s being left in bonds on the retirement of Felix was due to the desire of the latter to please Drusilla (compare Ac 24:27). Probably this explanation, besides that of the accepted text, was true also, as Drusilla, who was a member of the ruling house, saw in Paul an enemy of its power, and hated him for his condemnation of her own private sins.

The chief other source of information regarding Drusilla is Josephus. Drusilla was the youngest of the three daughters of Agrippa I, her sisters being Bernice and Mariamne. She was born about 36 AD and was married when 14 years old to Azizus, king of Emeza. Shortly afterward she was induced to desert her husband by Felix, who employed a Cyprian sorcerer, Simon by name, to carry out his purpose. She was also influenced to take this step by the cruelty of Azizus and the hatred of Bernice who was jealous of her beauty. Her marriage with Felix took place about 54 AD and by him she had one son, Agrippa, who perished under Titus in an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The mention by Josephus of "the woman" who perished along with Agrippa (Ant., XX, vii, 2) refers probably not to his mother Drusilla but to his wife.

C. M. Kerr

DUALISM du’-al-iz’-m. See PHILOSOPHY.


du. See DUTY.


duk: The rendering in the King James Version in Ge 36:15 ff; Ex 15:15, and 1Ch 1:51 ff of ‘alluph (the American Standard Revised Version and the English Revised Version, margin "chief"), and in Jos 13:21 of necikhim ("dukes," the Revised Version (British and American) "princes"). It occurs also, as the rendering of strategos, in 1 Macc 10:65 (the Revised Version (British and American) "captain"). Elsewhere necikhim is translated "princes" or "principal men." The fact that with two exceptions the term is applied in English Versions of the Bible only to the chiefs of Edom has led to the impression that in the family of Esau the chiefs bore a special and hereditary title. But ‘alluph was a general term for tribal chief or prince (compare Zec 9:7; 12:5,6; the Revised Version (British and American) "chieftains," the King James Version "governors").

Moreover, at the time the King James Version was made the word "duke" was not used as a title in England: the term had the same general force as dux, the word employed in the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) So Sir T. Elyot (died 1546) speaks of "Hannibal, duke of Carthage" ( The Governor, II, 233); Shakespeare, Henry V, III, 2, 20, "Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould" (compare Midsummer Night’s Dream, I, 1, 21); Sylvester (1591) Du Bartas, "The great Duke, that in dreadful aw upon Mt. Horeb learned the eternal law." In a still earlier age Wycliff uses the word of the Messiah (Mt 2:6); and in Select Works, III, 137, "Jesus Christ, duke of oure batel."

Yet in all probability the Hebrew word was more specific than "chief" or "duke" in the broad sense. For if ‘alluph is derived from ‘eleph, "thousand," "tribe," the term would mean the leader of a clan, a "chiliarch" (compare Septuagint, Zec 9:7; 12:5,6). the American Standard Revised Version has eliminated the word "duke." See CHIEF.

J. R. Van Pelt


dul’-si-mer. See MUSIC under Nebhel and Sumphonia.


du’-ma (dumah, "silence"): This word occurs in the Old Testament with the following significations:

(1) the land of silence or death, the grave (Ps 94:17; 115:17);

(2) a town in the highlands of Judah between Hebron and Beersheba, now ed-Daume (Jos 15:52);

(3) an emblematical designation of Edom in the obscure oracle (Isa 21:11,12);

(4) an Ishmaelite tribe in Arabia (Ge 25:14; 1Ch 1:30). According to the Arabic geographies this son of Ishmael rounded the town of Dumat-el-Jandal, the stone-built Dumah, so called to distinguish it from another Dumah near the Euphrates. The former now bears the name of the Jauf ("belly"), being a depression situated half-way between the head of the Persian Gulf and the head of the gulf of Akaba. Its people in the time of Mohammed were Christians of the tribe of Kelb. It contained a great well from which the palms and crops were irrigated. It has often been visited by European travelers in recent times. See Jour. Royal Geog. Soc., XXIV (1854), 138-58; W. G. Palgrave, Central and Eastern Arabia, chapter ii. It is possible that the oracle in Isa (number 3 above) concerns this place.

Thomas Hunter Weir


dum (alam, ‘illem, literally, "tied in the tongue"; kophos): Used either as expressing the physical condition of speechlessness, generally associated with deafness, or figuratively as meaning the silence produced by the weight of God’s judgments (Ps 39:2-9; Da 10:15) or the oppression of external calamity (Ps 38:13). As an adjective it is used to characterize inefficient teachers destitute of spirituality ("dumb dogs," Isa 56:10). The speechlessness of Saul’s companions (Ac 9:7) was due to fright; that of the man without the wedding garment was because he had no excuse to give (Mt 22:12). Idols are called mute, because helpless and voiceless (Hab 2:18,19; 1Co 12:2). The dumbness of the sheep before the shearer is a token of submission (Isa 53:7; Ac 8:32).

Temporary dumbness was inflicted as a sign upon Ezekiel (3:26; 24:27; 33:22) and as a punishment for unbelief upon Zacharias (Lu 1:22). There are several cases recorded of our Lord’s healing the dumb (Mt 15:30; Mr 7:37; Lu 11:14, etc.). Dumbness is often associated with imbecility and was therefore regarded as due to demoniac possession (Mt 9:32; 12:22). The evangelists therefore describe the healing of these as effected by the casting out of demons.

This is especially noted in the case of the epileptic boy (Mr 9:17). The deaf man with the impediment in his speech (Mr 7:32) is said to have been cured by loosening the string of his tongue. This does not necessarily mean that he was tongue- tied, which is a condition causing lisping, not stammering; he was probably one of those deaf persons who produce babbling, incoherent and meaningless sounds. I saw in the asylum in Jerusalem a child born blind and deaf, who though dumb, produced inarticulate noises.

In an old 14th-century psalter "dumb" is used as a verb in Ps 39: "I doumbed and meked and was ful stille."

Alexander Macalister


dung (’ashpoth, domen, peresh; skubalon, etc.): Nine different words occurring in the Hebrew have been translated "dung" in the Old Testament. The word used to designate one of the gates of Jerusalem (’ashpoth, Ne 2:13; 3:14) is more general than the others and may mean any kind of refuse. The gate was probably so named because outside it was the general dump heap of the city. Visitors in recent years riding outside the city walls of Jerusalem, on their way to the Mt. of Olives or Jericho, may have witnessed such a dump against the wall, which has existed for generations.

The first mention made of dung is in connection with sacrificial rites. The sacred law required that the dung, along with what parts of the animal were not burned on the altar, should be burned outside the camp (Ex 29:14; Le 4:11; 8:17; 16:27; Nu 19:5). The fertilizing value of dung was appreciated by the cultivator, as is indicated by Lu 13:8 and possibly Ps 83:10 and Isa 25:10.

Dung was also used as a fuel. Eze 4:12,15 will be understood when it is known that the dung of animals is a common fuel throughout Palestine and Syria, where other fuel is scarce. During the summer, villagers gather the manure of their cattle, horses or camels, mix it with straw, make it into cakes and dry it for use as fuel for cooking, especially in the winter when wood or charcoal or straw are not procurable. It burns slowly like peat and meets the needs of the kitchen. In Mesopotamia the writer saw it being used with forced draft to fire a steam boiler. There was no idea of uncleanness in Ezekiel’s mind, associated with the use of animal dung as fuel (Eze 4:15).

Figuratively: Dung was frequently used figuratively to express the idea

(a) of worthlessness, especially a perishable article for which no one cares (1Ki 14:10; 2Ki 6:25; 9:37; Job 20:7; Ps 83:10; Jer 8:2; 9:22; 16:4; 25:33; Ze 1:17; Php 3:8 (the American Standard Revised Version "refuse")). Dunghill was used in the same way (1Sa 2:8; Ezr 6:11; Ps 113:7; Isa 25:10; Da 2:5; 3:29; Lu 14:35; La 4:5);

(b) as an expression of disgust (2Ki 18:27; Isa 36:12);

(c) of rebuke (Mal 2:3).

James A. Patch


dun’-jun. See PRISON.


dung’-hil (’ashpoth, 1Sa 2:8, madhmenah, etc., with other words; kopria, Lu 14:35): Dung heap, or place of refuse. To sit upon a dunghill (1Sa 2:8; Ps 113:7; La 4:5) is significant of the lowest and most wretched condition. To turn a house into a dunghill (Da 2:5; 3:29), or be flung upon a dunghill (Lu 14:35), marks the extreme of ignominy. See also DUNG.


du’-ra (dura’): The name of the plain on which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, set up the great golden image which all his subjects were ordered to worship (Da 3:1). Oppert placed it to the Southeast of Babylon, near a small river and mounds bearing the name of Douair or Duair, where, also, was what seemed to be the base of a great statue (Exped. scientifique en Mesopotamie, I, 238 f). Others have believed that name to indicate a portion of the actual site of Babylon within the great wall (duru) of the city—perhaps the rampart designated dur Su-anna, "the rampart (of the city) Lofty-defense," a name of Babylon.

The fact that the plain was within the city of Babylon precludes an identification with the city Duru, which seems to have lain in the neighborhood of Erech (Hommel, Grundriss, 264, note 5). It is noteworthy that the Septuagint substitutes Deeira, for Dura, suggesting that the Greek translators identified it with the Babylonian Deru, a city which apparently lay toward the Elamite border. It seems to have been called also Dur-ili, "god’s rampart." That it was at some distance is supported by the list WAI, IV, 36 [38], where Duru, Tutul and Gudua (Cuthah), intervene between Deru or Dur-ili and Tindir (Babylon). "The plain of the dur" or "rampart" within Babylon would therefore seem to be the best rendering.

T. G. Pinches


dur (proskairos): Used for "endure" (which see), the King James Version Mt 13:21 (the Revised Version (British and American) "endureth").


dust (‘aphar; koniortos, chous): Small particles of earth. The word has several figurative and symbolic meanings:

(1) Dust being the material out of which God is said to have formed man (Ge 2:7), it became a symbol of man’s frailty (Ps 103:14, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust"; compare Ge 18:27; Job 4:19, etc.), and of his mortality (Ge 3:19, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"; compare Job 34:15; Ps 104:29; Ec 3:20; 12:7, etc.) Hence, it is used figuratively for the grave (Ps 22:15,29; 30:9; Da 12:2).

(2) Such actions as to lie in the dust, to lick the dust, to sprinkle dust on the head, are symbols expressive of deep humiliation, abasement or lamentation (e. g. Job 2:12; 42:6, Ps 72:9; Isa 2:10; 47:1; 49:23; La 2:10; 3:29; Eze 27:30; Mic 7:17; Re 18:19). Hence, such expressions as "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust," i.e. out of their state of lowliness (1Sa 2:8; Ps 113:7).

(3) Throwing dust was an act expressive of execration. Thus, Shimei "cursed" David and "threw stones at him, and cast dust," literally, "dusted (him) with dust" (2Sa 16:13). So the crowd which Paul addressed at Jerusalem manifested their wrath against him by tossing about their garments and casting dust into the air (Ac 22:23).

(4) Shaking the dust off one’s feet against anyone (Mt 10:14; Mr 6:11; Lu 9:5; 10:11; Ac 13:51) is symbolic of renunciation, as we would say "washing one’s hands of him," an intimation that all further intercourse was at an end. It was practiced by the Pharisees on passing from Gentileto Jewish soil, it being a rabbinical doctrine that the dust of a heathen land defiles.

(5) It is also used figuratively for an innumerable multitude (e. g. Ge 13:16; 28:14; Job 27:16; Ps 78:27).

(6) The expression "Yahweh will make the rain of thy land powder and dust" (De 28:24) means the dust in consequence of the drought shall fall down instead of rain on the dry ground. In Judea and vicinity during a sirocco, the air becomes filled with sand and dust, which are blown down by the wind with great violence.

D. Miall Edwards


du’-ti (dabhar; opheilo):

The word duty occurs only three times in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. In the Old Testament it is the translation of dabhar, which, meaning originally "speech," or "word," came to denote any particular "matter" that had to be attended to. In the two places where it is rendered "duty" (2Ch 8:14; Ezr 3:4) the reference is to the performance of the Temple services—praise and sacrifice—and it is probably from these passages that the phrase "taking duty" in church services is derived. In other passages we have different words employed to denote the priests’ dues: the King James Version Le 10:13,14, hok ("statutory portion"); De 18:3, mishpat ("judgment"). In Pr 3:27, we have a reference to duty in the moral sense, "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due," ba‘-al (i.e. as in the King James Version margin, "from the owners thereof"). In Ex 21:10 we have the "duty of marriage" (‘onah), that which was due to the wife.

In the New Testament "duty" is expressed by opheilo, "to owe," "to be due." In Lu 17:10, we have "Say, ... we have done that which it was our duty to do," and in Ro 15:27 the King James Version, it is said of the Gentiles with reference to the Jewish Christians, "Their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things," the American Standard Revised Version "they owe it." In Mt 18:34 we have "till he should pay all that was due" (opheilo, "owing"), and in 1Co 7:3 the King James Version, "Render unto the wife due opheile benevolence," the American Standard Revised Version "her due." See also ETHICS.

W. L. Walker



The rendering in English Versions of the Bible of the Hebrew word dak, "thin," "small," in Le 21:20, where a list is given of physical failings which forbade man of the seed of Aaron to officiate at the altar, though he might partake of the sacrificial gifts. The precise meaning of the Hebrew word here is uncertain; elsewhere it is used of the lean kine (Ge 41:3) and blasted ears (verse 23) of Pharaoh’s dream; of the grains of manna (Ex 16:14), of the still, small voice (1Ki 19:12), of dust (Isa 29:5), etc. Septuagint and Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A. D.) suggest defective eyes; but "withered" would perhaps best express the meaning. See PRIESTS AND LEVITES.

F. K. Farr



(1) In the Old Testament "dwell" is a translation of 9 words, of which by far the most frequent is yashabh, "to sit down," translated "dwell" over 400 times (Ge 4:20; Jos 20:4; 1Ch 17:1,4,5, etc.); also very frequently "sit," and sometimes "abide," "inhabit," "remain." Another word often rendered "dwell" is shakhan or shakhen ("to settle down"), from which is derived the rabbinic word shekhinah (literally, "that which dwells"), the light on the mercy-seat which symbolized the Divine presence (Ex 25:8, etc.). In order to avoid appearing to localize the Divine Being, wherever God is said to "dwell" in a place, the Targum renders that He "causes His Shekinah to dwell" there.

(2) In the New Testament "dwell" most frequently stands for oikeo, or one of its compounds; also skenoo, and (chiefly in the Johannine writings) meno, which, however, is always translated "abide" in the Revised Version (British and American), and generally in the King James Version. Mention may be made of the mystical significance of the word in some New Testament passages, of the indwelling of the Father or of the Godhead in Christ (Joh 14:10; Col 1:19; 2:9), of the believer in Christ (Joh 6:56 the King James Version; Eph 3:17), and in God (1 Joh 4:15 the King James Version; compare Ps 90:1; 91:1), and of the Holy Spirit or God in the believer (Joh 14:17; the King James Version 1Joh 3:24; 4:15 f).

D. Miall Edwards


di, di’-ing (me’oddam, hamuc, tebhul, cebha‘):

Four different Hebrew words have been translated "dyed": the King James Version

(a) me’-oddam, found in Ex 25:5; 26:14; 35:7; 36:19; 39:34;

(b) hamuts (the Revised Version, margin "crimsoned") (Isa 63:1);

(c) tebhul (Eze 23:15). Tebhul is probably more correctly rendered "flowing turban" as in the Revised Version (British and American) of the above verses (Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Lexicon);

(d) gebha‘, "dyed" is so translated in the American Standard Revised Version of Jud 5:30 (BDB); compare Arabic sabagh.

The above references and other color words mentioned elsewhere (see COLOR) indicate that the Israelites were acquainted with dyed stuffs, even if they themselves did not do the dyeing. An analysis of the various Biblical references shows but four colors which were produced on cloth by dyeing, namely, purple, blue (violet), crimson and scarlet. Of these, purple is the one best known because of the many historical references to it. It was the symbol of royalty and luxury. Because of its high price, due to the expensive method of obtaining it, only royalty and the rich could afford purple attire. One writer tells us that the dyestuff was worth its weight in silver. Probably it was because of its scarcity, and because it was one of the very limited number of dyes known, rather than for any remarkable beauty of color, that the purple was so much sought after. If Pliny’s estimate is to be accredited, then "in the dye the smell of it was offensive and the color itself was harsh, of a greenish hue and strongly resembling that of the sea when in a tempestuous state."

1. Purple and Blue:

The purple and blue dyes were extracted from shellfish. The exact process used by the ancients is still a question in spite of the attempts of early writers to describe it. Tyre and Sidon were noted as the suppliers of these colors, hence, the name "Tyrian purple." The inhabitants of these cities were at first simply dealers in the purple (Eze 27:7,24), but they afterward became the manufacturers, as the heaps of the emptied shells of the Murex trunculus, which still exist in the vicinity of these cities, testify. The pigment was secreted by a gland in the lining of the stomach. The shell was punctured and the fish removed in order to secure the dye. The juice, at first whitish, changed on exposure to yellowish or greenish and finally to red, amethyst or purple, according to the treatment. A modified color was obtained by first dipping the textile in a cochineal bath and then in the purple, Tyrian purple was considered most valuable when it was "exactly the color of clotted blood and of a blackish hue" (Pliny). See also LYDIA; thYATIRA.

Besides the shellfish above mentioned, several other species are noted by different writers, namely, Murex branderis, Murex erinaceus, Murex buccinum (purpura haemastoma). This latter species is still used by the dwellers on the shores where it is found. Various species of the murex are found today at Haifa (Syria), about the Greek isles and on the North coast of Africa. The purple color has been produced from them by modern chemists, but it is of historical interest only, in the light of the discovery of modern artificial dyes with which it could not compete commercially.

Two words have been used in the Hebrew Bible to describe the colors from shellfish:

(a) ‘argaman (Greek porphura). This has been translated "purple";

(b) tekheleth which was probably a shade of violet, but has been translated "blue" in both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American).

2. Crimson and Scarlet:

As indicated elsewhere (See COLORS), three Hebrew words have been rendered crimson or scarlet:

(a) karmil (compare Arabic kirmiz and English "carmine"),

(b) tola’, and

(c) shani. We know nothing further about the method of producing these colors than that they were both obtained from the kermes insect which feeds on a species of live oak growing in Southern Europe and Turkey in Asia. The modern dyer can obtain several shades from the cochineal insect by varying the mordants or assistants used with the dye. Pliny mentions the same fact as being known by the ancient Egyptians. Some of the Syrian dyers still use the kermes, commonly called dud ("worms"), although most of them hove resorted to the artificial European dyes which they indiscriminately call dud frangy ("foreign worms").

The "rams’ skins dyed red" mentioned in Exodus are still made in Syria. After the ram’s skin has been tanned in sumac, it is laid out on a table and a solution of the dye, made by boiling dud in water, is rubbed on. After the dye is dry, the skin is rubbed with oil and finally polished. No native product is more characteristic of the country than the slippers, Bedouin shoes, and other leather articles made from "rams’ skins dyed red" (see TANNER).

3. Other Dyes Probably Known:

Other dyes probably known were:

(1) Madder.

In Jud 10:1, we read that "after Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah." These were probably names of clans. In the Hebrew they are also color words. Tola‘ is the scarlet dye and pu’ah, if, as is probable, it is the same as the Arabic fuwah, means "madder." This would add another dyestuff. Until the discovery of alizarin, which is artificial madder, the growing of fuwah was one of the industries of Cyprus and Syria. It was exported to Europe and was also used locally for producing "Turkey red" on cotton and for dyeing dull reds on wool for rug making (see thYATIRA). It was the custom near Damascus for a father to plant new madder field for each son that was born. The field began to yield in time to support the boy and later become his inheritance. Madder is mentioned in the Talmud and by early Latin writers. A Saracenic helmet and a shield of similar origin, in the possession of the writer, are lined with madder-dyed cotton.

(2) Indigo. Another dye has been discovered among the Egyptian mummy cloths, namely, indigo. Indigo blue was used in weaving to form the borders of the cloths. This pigment was probably imported from India.

(3) Yellows and Browns. Yellows and browns of doubtful origin have also been found in the Egyptian tombs. The Jews acquired from the Phoenicians the secret of dyeing, and later held the monopoly in this trade in some districts. A Jewish guild of purple dyers is mentioned on a tombstone in Hieropolis. In the 12th century AD Jews were still dyers and glass workers at Tyre. Akhissar, a Jewish stronghold in Asia Minor, was famous as a dyeing city. See also ATTIRE; DYED ATTIRE.


See "Crafts" especially in Wilkinson, Perrot and Chipiez, Jew Encyclopedia, and HDB.

James A. Patch


dis’-en-ter-i (dusenteria):

In Ac 28:8 the Revised Version (British and American) uses this word in place of the phrase "bloody flux" of the King James Version to describe the disease by which the father of Publius was affected in Malta at the time of Paul’s shipwreck. The acute form of this disease is often attended with high temperature, hence, Luke speaks of it as "fever and dysentery" (puretois kai dusenteria).

The disease is still occasionally epidemic in Malta where there have been several bad outbreaks among the garrison in the last century, and it has proved to be an intractable and fatal disease there. It is due to parasitic microbe, the Bacillus dysenteriae. In 2Ch 21:19 there is reference to an epidemic of a similar nature in the days of Jehoram. The malady, as predicted by Elisha, attacked the king and assumed a chronic form in the course of which portions of the intestine sloughed. This condition sometimes occurs in the amoebic form of dysentery, cases of which sometimes last over two years.

Alexander Macalister