e’-g’-l (nesher; aetos; Latin aquila): A bird of the genus aquila of the family falconidae.

The Hebrew nesher, meaning "to tear with the beak," is almost invariably translated "eagle," throughout the Bible; yet many of the most important references compel the admission that the bird to which they applied was a vulture.

There were many large birds and carrion eaters flocking over Palestine, attracted by the offal from animals slaughtered for tribal feasts and continuous sacrifice. The eagle family could not be separated from the vultures by their habit of feeding, for they ate the offal from slaughter as well as the vultures. One distinction always holds good. Eagles never flock. They select the tallest trees of the forest, the topmost crag of the mountain, and pairs live in solitude, hunting and feeding singly, whenever possible carrying their prey to the nest so that the young may gain strength and experience by tearing at it and feeding themselves. The vultures are friendly, and collect and feed in flocks. So wherever it is recorded that a "flock came down on a carcass," there may have been an eagle or two in it, but the body of it were vultures. Because they came in such close contact with birds of prey, the natives came nearer dividing them into families than any birds. Of perhaps a half-dozen, they recognized three eagles, they knew three vultures, four or five falcons, and several kites; but almost every Biblical reference is translated "eagle," no matter how evident the text makes it that the bird was a vulture.

For example, Mic 1:16: "Make thee bald, and cut off thy hair for the children of thy delight: enlarge thy baldness as the eagle (m "vulture"); for they are gone into captivity from thee." This is a reference to the custom of shaving the head when in mourning, but as Palestine knew no bald eagle, the text could refer only to the bare head and neck of the griffon vulture. The eagles were, when hunger-driven, birds of prey; the vultures, carrion feeders only. There was a golden eagle (the osprey of the King James Version), not very common, distinguished by its tan-colored head; the imperial eagle, more numerous and easily identified by a dark head and white shoulders; a spotted eagle; a tawny eagle, much more common and readily distinguished by its plumage; and the short-toed eagle, most common of all and especially a bird of prey, as also a small hooded eagle so similar to a vulture that it was easily mistaken for one, save that it was very bold about taking its own food.

The first Biblical reference to the eagle referred to the right bird. Ex 19:4: "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself." This "bare you on eagles’ wings" must not be interpreted to mean that an eagle ever carried anything on its back. It merely means that by strength of powerful wing it could carry quite a load with its feet and frequently was seen doing this. Vultures never carried anything; they feasted and regurgitated what they had eaten to their young.

The second reference is found in Le 11:13 and repeated in De 14:12, the lists of abominations. It would seem peculiar that Moses would find it necessary to include eagles in thislist until it is known that Arab mountaineers were eating these birds at that time. The next falls in De 28:49: "Yahweh will bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand." This also refers to the true eagle and points out that its power of sustained flight, and the speed it could attain when hastening to its hunger- clamoring young, had been observed. The next reference is in De 32:11: "As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, That fluttereth over her young, He spread abroad his wings, he took them, He bare them on his pinions."

This is good natural history at last. Former versions made these lines read as if the eagle carried its young on its wings, a thing wholly incompatible with flight in any bird. Samuel’s record of the lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan is a wonderful poetic outburst and contains reference to this homing flight of the eagle (2Sa 1:23). In Job 9:26 the arrow-like downward plunge of the hunger-driven eagle is used in comparison with the flight of time. In Job 39, which contains more good natural history than any other chapter of the Bible, will be found everything concerning the eagle anyone need know:

"Is it at thy command that the eagle mounteth up, And maketh her nest on high? On the cliff she dwelleth, and maketh her home, Upon the point of the cliff, and the stronghold. From thence she spieth out the prey; Her eyes behold it afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: And where the slain are, there is she" (Job 39:27-30). Ps 103:5 is a reference to the long life of the eagle. The bird has been known to live to an astonishing age in captivity; under natural conditions, the age it attains can only be guessed.

"Who satisfieth thy desire with good things, So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle." Pr 23:5 compares the flight of wealth with that of an eagle; Pr 30:17 touches on the fact that the eye of prey is the first place attacked in eating, probably because it is the most vulnerable point and so is frequently fed to the young. Pr 30:19: "The way of an eagle in the air; The way of a serpent upon a rock: The way of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the way of a man with a maiden."

This reference to the eagle is to that wonderful power of flight that enables a bird to hang as if frozen in the sky, for long periods appearing to our sight immovable, or to sail and soar directly into the eye of the sun, seeming to rejoice in its strength of flight and to exult in the security and freedom of the upper air. The word "way" is here improperly translated. To the average mind it always means a road, a path. In this instance it should be translated:

The characteristics of an eagle in the air; The habit of a serpent upon the rock; The path of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the manner of a man with a maid. Each of these lines stood a separate marvel to Agur, and had no connection with the others (but compare The Wisdom of Solomon So 5:10,11, and see WAY).

Isa 40:31 is another flight reference. Jer 49:16 refers to the inaccessible heights at which the eagle loves to build and rear its young. Jer 49:22 refers to the eagle’s power of flight. Eze 1:10 recounts a vision of the prophet in which strange living creatures had faces resembling eagles. The same book (17:3) contains the parable of the eagle: "Thus saith the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers, which had divers colors, came unto Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar." Ho 8:1 is another flight reference. Obad 1:4 is almost identical with Jer 49:16. The next reference is that of Micah, and really refers to the griffon vulture (Mic 1:16). In Hab 1:8 the reference is to swift flight. Mt 24:28 undoubtedly refers to vultures. In Re 4:7 the eagle is used as a symbol of strength. In Re 8:13 the bird is represented as speaking: "And I saw, and I heard an eagle (the King James Version "angel"), flying in mid heaven, saying with a great voice, Woe, woe, woe, for them that dwell on the earth, by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, who are yet to sound." The eagle makes its last appearance in the vision of the woman and the dragon (Re 12:14).

Gene Stratton-Porter


e’-a-nez ( APC 1Es 9:21):

the Revised Version (British and American)

MANES (which see), the Revised Version, margin "Harim."


er (’ozen; ous, otion, the latter word (literally, "earlet") in all the Gospels only used of the ear of the high priest’s servant, which was cut off by Peter: Mt 26:51; Mr 14:47; Lu 22:51 (not 22:50); Joh 18:10,26):

(1) The physical organ of hearing which was considered of peculiar importance as the chief instrument by which man receives information and commandments. For this reason the ear of the priest had to be specially sanctified, the tip of the right ear being touched with sacrificial blood at the consecration (Le 8:23). Similarly the ear of the cleansed leper had to be rededicated to the service of God by blood and oil (Le 14:14,17,25,28). The ear-lobe of a servant, who preferred to remain with the family of his master rather than become free in the seventh year, was to be publicly bored or pierced with an awl in token of perpetual servitude (Ex 21:6). It has been suggested that Ps 40:6 should be interpreted in this sense, but this is not probable (see below). The cutting off of the ears and noses of captives was an atrocious custom of war frequently alluded to in oriental literature, (Eze 23:25). The phrase "to open the ear," which originally means the uncovering of the ear by partially removing the turban, so as to permit a clearer hearing, is used in the sense of revealing a secret or of giving important (private) information (1Sa 9:15; 20:2,12,13; 2Sa 7:27; 1Ch 17:25; Ps 40:6), and the New Testament promises similarly that "things which eye saw not, and ear heard not" are to be revealed by the reconciled God to the heart that in gladsome surrender has come to Him to be taught by His spirit (1Co 2:9).

(2) The inner ear, the organ of spiritual perception. If the ear listens, the heart willingly submits, but often the spiritual ear is "hardened" (Isa 6:10; Zec 7:11; Mt 13:15; Ac 28:27), or "heavy" (Isa 6:10; De 29:4), either by self-seeking obstinacy or by the judgment of an insulted God. Such unwilling hearers are compared to the "deaf adder .... which hearkeneth not to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely" (Ps 58:4,5; Pr 21:13; 28:9; Ac 7:57). The expression "He that hath ears to hear let him hear" is frequent in the Synoptic Gospels, occurring 7 or 8 times: Mt 11:15; Mt 13:9,43; Mr 4:9,23 (7:16 the Revised Version (British and American) omits); Lu 8:8; 14:35, and while not found in the Fourth Gospel, it occurs seven times in Re 2 and 3. "Itching ears," on the other hand, are those that have become tired of the sound of oft-repeated truth and that long for new though deceitful teaching (2Ti 4:3). Ears may "tingle" at startling news, especially of disaster (1Sa 3:11; 2Ki 21:12; Jer 19:3).

(3) God’s ears are often mentioned in the anthropopathic style of Scripture, signifying the ability of God to receive the petitions of His people, for "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?" (Ps 94:9 also Ps 10:17; 34:15; 130:2; Is 59:1; 1Pe 3:12). But God also hears the murmurings of the wicked against Him (Nu 11:1; 2Ki 19:28; APC Wis 1:10; Jas 5:4); still it lies in His power to refuse to hear (Eze 8:18; La 3:8 compare also La 3:56).

H. L. E. Luering


er’-ing (harish):

The Hebrew word is twice translated "earing" in the King James Version (Ge 45:6; Ex 34:21). The Revised Version (British and American) rendering is "plowing": "There shall be neither plowing nor harvest."

See also De 21:4; 1Sa 8:12; Isa 30:24.


ur’-li (orthros, and related words; proi):

The word generally refers to the day, and means the hour of dawn or soon after (Ge 19:2; 2Ch 36:15; Ho 6:4; Lu 24:22). Sometimes it refers to the beginning of the season, eg. the early rain (Ps 84:6; Jas 5:7; see RAIN). It may also have the sense of "speedily" (Ps 46:5). The early morning is frequently commended as the hour for prayer. See examples of Jesus (Mr 1:35; Lu 21:38; Joh 8:2); also Abraham (Ge 19:27), Jacob (Ge 28:18), Gideon (Jud 6:38), Samuel(1Sa 15:12), David (1Sa 17:20).

G. H. Gerberding


ur’-nest (arrhabon):

Found three times in the New Testament: The "earnest of our inheritance" (Eph 1:14); "the earnest of the Spirit" (2Co 1:22; 5:5).

It has an equivalent in Hebrew ‘erabhon (found in Ge 38:17,18,20), in Latin arrabo, French arrhes and the Old English arles. The term is mercantile and comes originally from the Phoenicians. Its general meaning is that of a pledge or token given as the assurance of the fulfillment of a bargain or promise. It also carries with it the idea of forfeit, such as is now common in land deals, only from the obverse side. In other words, the one promising to convey property, wages or blessing binds the promise with an advance gift or pledge partaking of the quality of the benefit to be bestowed. If the agreement be about wages, then a part of the wages is advanced; if it be about land, then a clod given to the purchaser or beneficiary may stand as the pledge of final and complete conveyance of the property.

Figurative: In the spiritual sense, as used in the passages above named, the reference is to the work of the Spirit of God in our hearts being a token and pledge of a perfect redemption and a heavenly inheritance. There is more than the idea of security in the word as used, for it clearly implies the continuity and identity of the blessing.

C. E. Schenk



An ornamental pendant of some kind hanging from the ears has been worn by both sexes in oriental lands from the earliest times. Among the Greeks and Romans, as with western peoples in general, its use was confined to females. The ears in the statue of the Medicean Venus are pierced and probably were originally ornamented with earrings. It is clear, however, that among the Hebrews and related oriental peoples earrings were worn by both sexes. Abraham’s servant "put the earring upon (Rebekah’s) face, and the bracelets upon her hands" (Ge 24:47 King James Version), in accordance with custom, evidently, but it is implied that it was customary for men also to wear earrings, in that the relatives and friends of Job "every one (gave him) an earring of gold" (Job 42:11 King James Version).

Such ornaments were usually made of gold, finely wrought, and often set with precious stones, as archaeology has shown. Such jewels were worn in ancient times for protective as well as for decorative purposes. the Revised Version (British and American) renders "amulets" for the King James Version "earrings" in Isa 3:20, the Hebrew word (lechashim) being elsewhere associated with serpent-charming; but the earrings of Ge 35:4, also, were more than mere ornaments, so the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) may both be right in their renderings here (Kennedy). The influence of Egypt, where amulets of various kinds were worn by men and gods, by the living and the dead, is shown by recent excavations at Gezer, Taanach and Megiddo.


George. B. Eager


urth (’adhamah, ‘erets, ‘aphar; ge, oikoumene):

In a hilly limestone country like Palestine, the small amount of iron oxide in the rocks tends to be oxidized, and thereby to give a prevailing reddish color to the soil. This is especially the case on relatively barren hills where there is little organic matter present to prevent reddening and give a more blackish tinge.

‘Adhamah (compare ‘adham, "a man," and Adam) is from ‘adham, "to be red," and is used in the senses: "earth" (Ex 20:24), "land" (Ps 105:35), a "land" or country (Isa 14:2), "ground" (Ge 4:11), "the earth" (Ge 7:4).

The word most in use is ‘erets, undoubtedly from a most ancient root occurring in many languages, as English "earth," German Erde, Arabic ‘ard. It is used in most of the senses of ‘adhamah, but less as "soil" and more as "the earth" as a part of the universe; frequently with shamayim, "heavens," as in Ge 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

‘Aphar and its root word and derivatives are closely paralleled in the Arabic, and refer mainly to "dust" or "dry earth" (compare Arabic ‘afir, "to be of the color of dust"; ‘afar "dust"; ya‘fur, "a gazelle"; Hebrew ‘opher, "a gazelle"). Compare Ge 2:7: "Yahweh God formed man of the dust of the ground"; Job 2:12: ".... sprinkled dust upon their heads"; Ps 104:29: ".... they die, and return to their dust"; Ge 18:27: "dust and ashes."

In the Septuagint and New Testament, ge is used in nearly all cases, oikoumene being used a few times for the "habitable earth," as in Lu 21:26 the King James Version.


Alfred Ely Day


See ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 1, 3.


The "corners" or "ends" of the earth are its "wings" (kanephoth ha-’arets), i.e. its borders or extremities. The word in general means a wing, because the wing of a bird is used as a covering for its young, and from this meaning it acquires that of the extremity of anything stretched out. It is thus used in De 22:12: "Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four borders (wings) of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself." It thus also means the coasts or boundaries of the land surface of the earth; its extremities. It is translated "corners" in Isa 11:12; "ends" in Job 37:3, 38:13. The "four corners" of the earth (Isa 11:12) or "land" (Eze 7:2) are therefore simply the extremities of the land in the four cardinal directions.

See also ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 3.

E. W. Maunder




See ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 2.





In one passage God is said to have "founded his vault (’aghuddah) upon the earth" (Am 9:6). It is not quite certain whether this dome or vault refers to the earth itself, or to the heavens arched above it.

The latter is the usual interpretation, but in either case the reference is rather to the strength of the structure than to its form; the word implying something that is firmly bound together and hence, an arch or dome because of its stability.

See also ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 2.


urth’-’-n, (cheres, yetser; ostrakinos):

These vessels were heat-resisting and were used for cooking and for boiling clothes (Le 6:28; 11:33; 14:5,50). They were probably non-porous and took the place of the kidri or ma’ajin used in Syria today. A traveler in the interior of Palestine may still meet with the hospitality showed to David (2Sa 17:28). The generous natives brought not only gifts of food but the necessary vessels in which to cook it. An earthen vessel was used to preserve a land deed (Jer 32:14).

Figurative: In Jer 19:1 breaking of an earthen vessel was symbolical of the destruction of Jerusalem. These vessels were also used to symbolize the commonness (La 4:2) and frailness of our bodies (2Co 4:7).


James A. Patch


urth’-li (epigeios, "existing upon the earth," "terrestrial," from epi, "upon" and ge, "earth"; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) terrenus):

Of or pertaining to the earth, or to the present state of existence. The word epigeios is not found in Septuagint, but occurs in classical Greek from Plato down. In Plutarch Mor. 566 D, it occurs in the remarkable phrase, "that which is earthly of the soul."

Its meaning is primarily merely local ("being on the earth"). The word ge ("earth") has not in itself an ethical significance, and does not carry a suggestion of moral taint, such as the word kosmos ("world") has, especially in the Johannine writings, and sarx ("flesh"), especially in Paul. It does, however, suggest a certain limitation or frailty; and in some passages, the context gives the adjective epigeios an ethical color, though in the New Testament the purely local meaning is never lost sight of. It is translated "earthly" in the following passages:

(1) Joh 3:12, "if I told you earthly things," i.e. things which are realized on earth, things within the circle of human observation, truths of subjective experience (eg. the new birth); in contrast to "heavenly things," the objective truths which, as not directly realizable in human experience, must be revealed from above (the mysteries of the Divine purpose and plans). Clearly "earthly" here implies no moral contrast to the heavenly or spiritual.

(2) 2Co 5:1, "the earthly house of our tabernacle," i.e. the body with which we are clothed on earth, in contrast to the spiritual resurrection-body, "which is from heaven" (verse 2). Here again the word has a merely local, not an ethical, significance.

(3) Php 3:19, "whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things," i.e. whose thoughts rest on earth, on the pleasures of life here below.

(4) Jas 3:15, "This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly," i.e. it is on the plane of life on earth, merely human, incapable of ascending to the level of Divine wisdom. In the last two passages, the literal local meaning is still evident, but the word shades off into the moral and suggests that which is opposed to the spiritual in character. The same word is translated "terrestrial" in 1Co 15:40, and "things in (the Revised Version (British and American) "on") earth" in Php 2:10 the King James Version has "earthly" in Joh 3:31, where it translates ek tes ges = literally, "out of the earth," the reference being to the character and mission of the Baptist as partaking of the limitations of his earthly (human) origin, in contrast to the Messiah "that cometh from heaven." The the King James Version rendering is somewhat misleading, for it introduces a confusion with the "earthly" of Joh 3:12 (see Westcott in the place cited.). The Revised Version (British and American) rightly renders "of the earth."

"Earthly" is to be distinguished from "earthy" = made of earth or clay (choikos, from chous, "earth dug out," 1Co 15:47 ff).

D. Miall Edwards


urth’-kwak (ra‘ash; seismos):

1. Earthquakes in Palestine: The last earthquake which worked any damage in Palestine and Syria occurred in 1837, and destroyed the village of Safed, near Mt. Hermon, and was felt even all the way to Hebron. Since that time a few feeble shocks have been felt but no damage was done. The region is just on the edge of the great earthquake circle whose center is in Armenia, and is liable to earthquakes. The large number of references in the Bible to earthquakes, and the evident fear in the minds of the people of those times, would seem to indicate that they were more frequent in Bible times than recently.

2. Causes of Earthquakes: There are three main causes of earthquakes:

(1) Earthslips. In the slow process of cooling, the crust of the earth tends to wrinkle and fold as it contracts. This causes a stress to be set up in the strata composing the crust. If the strata are too rigid to bend there must come after a time a break or fault. The shock caused by the break, which is usually several miles below the surface of the earth, is an earthquake, and it spreads in the form of earth waves from the break as center. Seismographs in all parts of the world are now adjusted to receive the waves even though the origin is on the opposite side of the earth.

(2) Explosion of Steam or Gases under the Surface. Some earthquakes, especially those underneath the sea, are thought to be caused by water seeping through the soil and rocks and finding its way to the heated masses below. Steam is formed and if there is no escape for it, an explosion takes place whose force is felt on the surface.

(3) Volcanic. As earthquakes are of common occurrence in volcanic regions it seems likely that there is some connection between the two, but the relation has not been fully traced. It may be that the second cause is the origin of both the volcano and earthquake.

See further, DELUGE OF NOAH.

3. Earthquakes in Jerusalem: Many destructive earthquakes have been recorded in the history of Syria, but they have been mostly in the north, in the region of Aleppo. Jerusalem itself has seldom been affected by earthquakes. The Hauran beyond the Jordan is covered with volcanic remains and signs of violent shocks, and the cities on the coast have suffered much, but Jerusalem on the higher ground between has usually escaped with little destruction.

4. Earthquakes in Scripture: A number of earthquakes are mentioned in the Scriptures: (1) At Mount Sinai (Ex 19:18); (2) Korah and companions destroyed in fissure and sinking ground (Nu 16:31 Ant, IV, iii, 3); (3) in the Philistine camp in the days of Saul (1Sa 14:15); (4) after Elijah’s flight (1Ki 19:11); (5) in the reign of Uzziah, between 790 and 740 BC (Am 1:1); Zec 14:5 probably refers to the same (Ant., IX, x, 4); (6) at Christ’s death (Mt 27:51-54); (7) at Christ’s resurrection (Mt 28:2); (8) at Philippi when Paul and Silas were freed from prison (Ac 16:26). Most of these shocks seem to have been slight and caused little loss of life. Josephus mentions one in the reign of Herod, "such as had not happened at any other time, which was very destructive to men and cattle" (Ant., XV, v, 2). Professor G. A. Smith in his recent work on Jerusalem is of the opinion that earthquakes were sufficiently frequent and strong to account for the appearance and disappearance of Nehemiah’s Fountain (Jerus, I, 74). The Hebrew ra‘ash is commonly used to mean a great noise. Large earthquakes are sometimes accompanied by a rumbling noise, but as a rule they come silently and without warning.

5. Symbolic Use: In the Scriptures earthquakes are mentioned as tokens of God’s power (Job 9:6) and of His presence and anger (Ps 68:8; 18:7; Isa 13:13): "She shall be visited of Yahweh of hosts .... with earthquake, and great noise" (Isa 29:6); also as a sign of Christ’s "coming, and of the end of the world" (Mt 24:3-7). See also Re 11:13,19; 16:18.

LITERATURE. Milne, Earthquakes (Inter. Scient. series); Plumptre, Biblical Studies, 136; Dutton, Earthquakes.

Alfred H. Joy


ez (sha’anan, shal’anan, chiefly, "at ease"):

Used 19 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament, most frequently meaning tranquillity, security or comfort of mind; in an ethical sense, indicating carelessness or indifference with reference to one’s moral or religious interests.

The prophet Jeremiah used the phrase as an indication of national or tribal indifference: "Moab hath been at ease from his youth" (Jer 48:11); "I am very sore displeased with the nations that are at ease" (Zec 1:15). Frequent allusions are made also by various prophets to individuals or groups of individuals, as "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion" (Am 6:1); "Rise up, ye women that are at ease" (Isa 32:9), and "Tremble, ye women that are at ease" (Isa 32:11).

The word in another form is used also in a verbal sense and to apply to physical ease and comfort, as "My couch shall ease my complaint" (Job 7:13 compare especially 2Ch 10:4,9). Simple mental tranquillity or peace of mind is also expressed by it (Jer 46:27).

The single instance of its use in the New Testament is illustrative of its figurative but most common usage in the Old Testament, where it refers to moral indifference in the parable of the Rich Fool: "Soul .... take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry" (Lu 12:19).

Walter G. Clippinger


es’-tern (Zec 14:8).



kun’-tri (’erets mizrach):

Lit. "country of the sunrise" over against the "country of the sunset" (Zec 8:7). The two together form a poetical expression indicating the whole earth.






est, (mizrach, qedhem, qedhem, and other derivatives of the same root; anatole):

Mizrach is the equivalent of the Arabic meshriq, "the orient" or "place of sunrise." In the same way ma‘arabh, "west," corresponds to the Arabic maghrib, and both mizrach and ma‘arabh occur in Ps 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." Qadham, "to precede" (whence qedhem, "east"), and its derivatives correspond closely to the Arabic qadham, except that the Arabic derivatives do not include the signification "east." In the majority of cases "east" and other words of direction require no explanation, but the expressions "the children of the east" (bene qedhem), "the land of the children of the east" (’erets bene qedhem), and "the east country" (’erets qedhem), belong to a different category. In the story of Gideon (Jud 6:3,13; 7:12; 8:10), we find several times the expression "the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east." In Jud 8:24 it is said of the same host: "For they Go up to Kedar, and destroy the children of the east. Their tents and had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites." In Jer 49:28,29: "Go up to Kedar, and destroy the children of the east. Their tents and their flocks shall they take." In Ge 25:6: "But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." Now Ishmael is the son of Abraham and Hagar, Midian of Abraham and Keturah, Kedar the son of Ishmael, and Amalek the grandson of Esau, dwelling in Edom. It is evident that we have to do with the Syrian desert and in a general way with Arabia, especially its northern part, and with peoples like the modern Bedouin who kept camels and dwelt in tents, ‘houses of hair’ (buyut sha‘r), as they are called by the Arabs of today.

A striking passage is Ge 29:1: "Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east." As one journeys eastward through the country East of the Jordan he traverses first a region of towns and villages with fields of grain, and then the wide desert where the Bedouin wander with their herds. The line is a sharp one. Within a very few hours he passes from the settled part where the rain, though scanty, is sufficient to bring the grain to maturity, to the bare desert.

Job was "the greatest of all the children of the east" (Job 1:3). These desert people had a name for wisdom as we see from 1Ki 4:30, "Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt"; and from Mt 2:1: "Now when Jesus was born .... Wisemen from the east came."

Alfred Ely Day


es’-ter (pascha, from Aramaic paccha’ and Hebrew pecach, the Passover festival):

The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre or Estera, a Teutonic goddess to whom sacrifice was offered in April, so the name was transferred to the paschal feast.

The word does not properly occur in Scripture, although the King James Version has it in Ac 12:4 where it stands for Passover, as it is rightly rendered in the Revised Version (British and American). There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament, though some would see an intimation of it in 1Co 5:7. The Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, regarding Christ as the true paschal lamb, and this naturally passed over into a commemoration of the death and resurrection of our Lord, or an Easter feast. This was preceded by a fast, which was considered by one party as ending at the hour of the crucifixion, i.e. at 3 o’clock on Friday, by another as continuing until the hour of the resurrection before dawn on Easter morning. Differences arose as to the time of the Easter celebration, the Jewish Christians naturally fixing it at the time of the Passover feast which was regulated by the paschal moon. According to this reckoning it began on the evening of the 14th day of the moon of the month of Nican without regard to the day of the week, while the GentileChristians identified it with the first day of the week, i.e. the Sunday of the resurrection, irrespective of the day of the month. This latter practice finally prevailed in the church, and those who followed the other reckoning were stigmatized as heretics. But differences arose as to the proper Sunday for the Easter celebration which led to long and bitter controversies. The Council of Nice, 325 AD, decreed that it should be on Sunday, but did not fix the particular Sunday. It was left to the bishop of Alexandria to determine, since that city was regarded as the authority in astronomical matters and he was to communicate the result of his determination to the other bishops.

But this was not satisfactory, especially to the western churches, and a definite rule for the determination of Easter was needed. By some it was kept as early as March 21, and by others as late as April 25, and others followed dates between. The rule was finally adopted, in the 7th century, to celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the 14th day of the calendar moon which comes on, or after, the vernal equinox which was fixed for March 21. This is not always the astronomical moon, but near enough for practical purposes, and is determined without astronomical calculation by certain intricate rules adopted by ecclesiastical authority. These rules involve the Dominical Letters, or the first seven of the alphabet, representing the days of the week, A standing for the first day of the year and the one on which Sunday falls being called the Dominical for that year. There are also involved the Golden Numbers and the Epacts, the first being the numbers from 1 to 19, the cycle of the moon when its phases recur on the same days of the year, the first of the cycle being that in which the new moon falls on January 1. The Epacts indicate the moon’s age at the beginning of each year. Easter was thus fixed by these rules, but another difficulty arose when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1582, the difference between it and the Julian being then 10 days. This of course affected the determination of Easter, and its celebration by the Greek church, which has never admitted the Gregorian calendar, occurs usually at a different time from that followed by the western churches. This difference may be as much as five weeks and it may occur as late as April 30, while in the West it cannot occur later than April 25 nor earlier than March 22. Occasionally the two come together but this is rare, since the difference between the two calendars is now 13 days.

The Easter feast has been and still is regarded as the greatest in the Christian church, since it commemorates the most important event in the life of its Founder.

H. Porter


e’-bal, (har ‘ebhal; Gaibal):

Rises North of the vale of Shechem, over against Mt. Gerizim on the South. The mountain (Arabic el-Iclamiyeh) reaches a height of 1,402 ft. above the floor of the valley, and 3,077 ft. above the level of the Mediterranean. The Samaritans feign that Gerizim is the higher; but it is more than 200 ft. lower than Ebal. These two mountains overhang the pass through which runs the main artery of intercourse between East and West, the city of Nablus lying in the throat of the valley to the West. The ancient Shechem probably stood farther to the East. The lower slopes of Ebal as one ascends from Nablus are covered with gardens and orchards, the copious streams from the fountains under Gerizim washing its foot, and spreading fertility and beauty. The vine, the fig and the olive grow luxuriantly. Higher up we scramble over rough rocky terraces, where grow only the ubiquitous thistles and prickly shrubs.

From the broad summit a view of surpassing interest and beauty rewards the climber’s toil. Westward beyond the hills and the plain of Sharon with its coast line of yellow sand running from Jaffa to Carmel, stretch the blue waters of the Mediterranean. From Carmel to Gilboa, Little Hermon and Tabor, roll the fruitful breadths of Esdraelon: the uplands of Galilee, with Nazareth showing on the brow above the plain, rise away to the buttresses of Lebanon in the North. From the snowy peak of Hermon the eye ranges over the Jaulan and Mount Gilead to the Mountain of Bashan in the East, with the steep eastern wall of the Jordan valley in the foreground. The land of Moab is visible beyond the Dead Sea; and the heights around Jerusalem close the view on the South.

Round this splendid mountain, seen from afar on all sides, religious associations have gathered from old time. The Moslem Weley on the top—the usual white-domed sanctuary—where it is said the head of the Baptist is buried, is doubtless the modern representative of some ancient seat of worship. The ruins of a church show that Christians also came under the spell of the hill.

The slopes of Ebal toward Gerizim played their part in that memorable scene, when, having conquered the central region of Palestine, Joshua led the people hither, erected an altar of unhewn stones, wrote upon the stones—either engraving on the stone itself, or impressing on plaster placed there for the purpose—a copy of the law, and then, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded, placed half the tribes on the slope of Gerizim, and half on those of Ebal, and the ark with the priests and Levites in the center. Then with dramatic responses from the two divisions of the people, the blessings and the cursings of the law were read (Jos 8:30 ff; compare De 27:11 ff). In all the future, therefore, this mountain, towering aloft in the very heart of the land, would remind beholders far and near of their people’s covenant with God. It has sometimes been questioned if the reading of the law could be heard by the people in the way described. The formation of the sides of the valley at the narrowest part, and the acoustics, which have been tested more than once, leave no reasonable doubt as to the possibility.

The importance of the mountain from a military point of view is illustrated by the ruins of a massive fortress found on the summit.

W. Ewing


e’-bal (‘ebhal, "bare") or (‘obhal):

(1) A people and region of Joktanite, Arabia. See Dillmann, Genesis, and Glaser, Skizze, II, 426. The latter form of the name is that given in Ge 10:28, the former in 1Ch 1:22 and in the Sam text of Ge 10:28.

(2) A son of Shobal, son of Seir, the Horite (Ge 36:23; 1Ch 1:40).


e’-bed (‘ebhedh, "servant"):

(1) Father of Gaal, who rebelled against Abimelech (Jud 9:26-35).

(2) A companion of Ezra in his return (Ezr 8:6) = Obeth (APC 1Esdras 8:32).


e-bed-me’-lek, eb-ed-me’-lek (‘ebhedh-mekekh, "servant of the king" or "of (god) Melek"):

An Ethiopian eunuch in the service of King Zedekiah, who interceded with the king for the prophet Jeremiah and rescued him from the dungeon into which he had been cast to die (Jer 38:7-13). For this, the word of Yahweh through Jeremiah promised Ebed-meleeh that his life should be spared in the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 39:15-18).






eb-en-e’-zer (’ebhen ha-‘ezer, "stone of the help"; Abenezer):

(1) Here Israel was defeated by the Philistines, 4,000 men falling in the battle (1Sa 4:1 ff). It appears also to have been the scene of the disaster when the ark of God was captured (1Sa 4:3 ff). The place is not identified. It was over against Aphek; but this site is also unknown (compare Jos 12:18). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it between Jerusalem and Ascalon, in the neighborhood of Beth-shemesh. Conder suggests Deir Aban, fully 2 miles East of ‘Ain Shems (PEF, III, 24).

(2) A stone set up by Samuel to perpetuate the memory of the signal victory granted to Israel over the Philistines in answer to his prayer (1Sa 7:12). It stood between Mizpeh and Shen. The latter is probably identical with ‘Ain Sinia, North of Bethel. This defines the district in which it may be found; but no identification is yet possible.

W. Ewing


e’-ber (‘ebher; Eber, in Gen; Obed, in Ch):

(1) Occurs in the genealogies (Ge 10:21,25; 11:14 ff) as the great-grandson of Shem and father of Peleg and Joktan. The word means "the other side," "across," and the form "Hebrew," which is derived from it, is intended to denote the people or tribe who came "from the other, side of the river" (i.e. the Euphrates), from Haran (Ge 11:31), whence Abraham and his dependents migrated to Canaan.

(2) A Gadite (1Ch 5:13).

(3) & (4) Two Benjamites (1Ch 8:12,22).

(5) The head of a priestly family (Ne 12:20).

A. C. Grant


e’-bez (’ebhets, meaning unknown; Rhebes; the King James Version Abez):

One of the 16 cities in Issachar (Jos 19:20). The name seems to be cognate to that of the judge Ibzan (Jud 12:8-10). All else concerning it is conjecture.



A descendant of Kohath the son of Levi (1Ch 6:37).



e’-bi-o-niz’-m, e’-bio-nits (Ebionaioi, from ‘ebhyonim, "poor people"):


General Statement


1. The Poor Ones 2. Origin of the Name


1. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus 2. Origen and Jerome 3. Epiphanius’ Description 4. Justin Martyr


1. The Gospel According to the Hebrews 2. The Clementines 3. Apocalyptic Literature


1. Ebionites and Essenes 2. Organization of Ebionites


1. Christology of the Early Church 2. Paulinism of the Early Church


General Statement:

The Ebionites were a sect of heretics frequently mentioned by the early Fathers. In regard to their opinions, as in regard to those of most early heretical sects, there is the difficulty that to a large extent we are dependent for our information on their opponents. These opponents were not generally very careful to apprehend exactly the views of those whose opinions they undertook to refute. It adds to the difficulty in the present case that there is a dubiety as to the persons designated by the title. Sometimes, it is admitted, the name was used to designate all Jewish Christians irrespective of their opinions; at other times it denotes a sect akin to the Gnostics, who ascribed a purely human origin to our Lord.

There are, however, certain works, the Clementine writings, which from statements of the Fathers may be assumed to represent the views of this sect, but as these represent views to some extent divergent, it is difficult to decide which is the truly Ebionitic. There are also certain apocalyptic books which present affinities with Ebionism. The quotations from the Gospel according to the Hebrews—the only gospel the Ebionites received—likewise afford means of appreciating their views. This gospel has come down to us only in isolated quotations, for the accuracy of which we have no guarantee. Finally, it has to be borne in mind that no sect can persist through centuries of changing circumstances, and not in turn undergo change.

I. Origin of the Name.

1. The Poor Ones:

Tertullian and Epiphanius assume the sect to have received its name from a certain Ebion or Hebion. Others of the Fathers, without affirming it, use language which seems to imply the belief in a person called Ebion. This, however, is generally now regarded as a mistake. No trace of the existence of such a person is to be found. The sect in question seems to have assumed the name Ebionites, "the poor ones," from the first Beatitude (Mt 5:3), claiming to be the continuation into the new dispensation of the "poor and needy" of the Psalms, eg. psalm 69:33; 70:5; 74:21.

It has been mooted that the sect may have had a leader who assumed the title the poor man. Besides that we have no trace of his existence, the name would almost certainly have been treated as an Aramaic word and put in the status emphaticus as Ebiona, which in Greek would have become Ebionas.

2. Origin of the Name:

The ordinary view of the origin of the name has the advantage of analogy in its favor. The pre-Reformation Protestants of the 12th and 13th centuries in France called themselves "the poor men" (of Lyons). The fact that the apostle James in his Epistle implies a natural union between poverty and piety (2:5), "Did not God choose them that are poor as to the world to be rich in faith ....?" would confirm the Jewish Christians in their use of the name.

Some have been inclined to press unduly a play on the name in which some of the Fathers indulge, as if the poor views of this sect as to the person of Christ had led to their receiving this name from without.

II. Authorities for the Opinions of the Ebionites.

1. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus:

As indicated above, the main authorities for these are Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus. The characteristics of the Ebionites noted by them were, first, the negative one that they did not, like the other Gnostics, distinguish between the Supreme God and the Creator of the world—the demiurge—who was identified with the God of the Jews. With them Yahweh was the Supreme God—the God of Israel and the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The second characteristic, also negative, was that they denied the supernatural birth of our Lord. He was the son of Joseph and Mary in the ordinary sense of the word. The third was that they, along with the Cerinthians and Carpocratians, affirmed that a Divine power came down on Jesus at His baptism—the reward of His perfect holiness. According to one form of theory, the Holy Ghost was the eternal Son of God. Another view was that the power which descended upon Him was the Divine wisdom, the Logos. By the influence of this Divine power He performed miracles and taught with superhuman wisdom. But this Divine influence deserted Jesus on the Cross, hence, the cry of being forsaken (Mt 27:46). The Divine power, however, raised Him from the dead and caused Him to ascend on high. Hippolytus brings the Ebionites into close connection with the Elkasaites and with a certain Alcibiades, whose views he had to combat in Rome. The last claimed to found his views on a work of Elkasai.

2. Origen and Jerome:

From two other sources we derive further information: Origen and Jerome both notify the fact that the Ebionites translated ‘almah "young woman" (it is rendered "virgin" in our the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)). This translation, so far as the mere word is concerned, is indubitably correct. There is another point in which both afford us information. The first says (Contra Celsum, v.61) that there are two classes of Ebionites, one of which denies the miraculous conception and birth of our Lord, the other of which affirms it. Jerome, in his letter to Augustine, not only asserts the same thing but calls the one class, those affirming the miraculous birth, Nazareans, and the other Ebionites. Origen in his second book against Celsus speaks as if the only distinction between the Ebionites and other Christians was their obedience to the Mosaic law, and by their example rebuts the assertion that the Jews in becoming Christians deserted the law of their fathers. Another feature of Ebionism presented to us by Jerome (In Jesaiam, lxvi.24) is their chiliastic view—the personal reign of our Lord for 1,000 years as the Jewish Messiah.

3. Epiphanius’ Description:

The writer who gives the most voluminous account of the Ebionites—"Ebionaeans" as he calls them—is Epiphanius. With him it is at once heresy No. X and heresy No. XXX. Before discussing the Ebionites he takes up the closely related sect of the Nazareans as heresy No. XXIX. He had already in a more compendious way considered a similarly named sect, numbering it No. XVIII. It, however, is Jewish while this is Christian. The Jewish sect is distinguished by eating no animal food and offering no sacrifices. They have thus an affinity with the Essenes. They have a peculiarity that, while they honored the patriarchs, they rejected the Pentateuch which related their history. These Nazareans dwelt East of the Jordan in Gilead and Bashan. Heresy No. XXIX is the Christian Nazareans. This name had been at first applied to all Christians. Epiphanius identifies them with the Essenes and declares their distinguishing peculiarity to be the retention of circumcision and the ceremonial law. They use the Gospel of Matthew but without the genealogies. As Heresy No. XXX he proceeds to consider the Ebionites. Ebion, Epiphanius assumes to have been a man, and calls him a "polymorphic portent," and asserts that he was connected with the Samaritans, the Essenes, the Cerinthians and Carpocratians, yet desired to be regarded a Christian. The heresy originated after the flight of the church to Pella. They denied the miraculous birth of our Lord, but maintained that a Divine influence came down upon Him at His baptism. This Divine wisdom had inspired, and in a sense dwelt, in all the patriarchs. In some sense the body of Jesus was regarded as that of Adam revived. This body was crucified and rose again. They receive only the Gospel of Matthew in the form the Cerinthians use it, i.e. the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Epiphanius gives some account of this gospel and its defects. They use also other books; one which he especially describes, The Journeyings of Peter, appears to be in the main identical with the Clementine Homilies. He connects the Ebionites, as does Hippolytus, with Elkasai; from him they learned that the heavenly Christ was 96 miles high and 24 broad, and that the Holy Ghost had a female form of similar dimensions, only invisible. Although he connects the Ebionites with the Essenes he mentions that, unlike the Essenes of Josephus and Philo, the Ebionites not only permitted but enjoined matrimony on young men. Epiphanius adds as an especial enormity that the Ebionites permit second, third and even seventh marriages. Although they enjoin marriage they have a low opinion of women, crediting Eve with originating heathenism, in this agreeing with the Essenian opinion of the sex. Mysteriously Epiphanius represents, the Ebionites as not only rejecting the prophets in a body but deriding them. He also mentions the rejection of Paul by the Ebionites. It is exceedingly difficult to form a clear, self-consistent view of the doctrines of the Ebionites from the statements of Epiphanius, yet there are points in which his information is of value.

4. Justin Martyr:

Though Justin Martyr does not name the Ebionites in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew (47), he mentions two classes of Jewish Christians:

(a) those who not only themselves observe the law but would compel the Gentilebelievers also to be circumcised and keep the whole law, and will hold no communion with those who refuse to become Jews;

(b) those who, observing the Mosaic law themselves, enter into communion with uncircumcised Gentilebelievers.

The former appear to be an early form of Ebionites. It is to be noted that Justin does not ascribe to them any doctrinal divergence from the orthodox views. In the following chapter he mentions some that denied the divinity of our Lord, but these were Gentiles (hemeterougenous) "of our race."

III. Literature of the Ebionites.

One thing of importance we do owe to Epiphanius—the indication of the literature produced by the Ebionites, from which we may get their views at first hand. This includes the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Clementines (Homilies and Recognitions); to which we would add the Ascension of Isaiah and the Odes of Solomon. It may be remarked that this literature appears to represent the opinion of different classes of the Ebionites. We shall merely consider here the bearing these works have on the Ebionites.

1. The Gospel According to the Hebrews:

The Gospel according to the Hebrews we know only through quotations. We can have no certainty that these quotations are accurate. The quotations may have been interpolated, and further the book from which the quotations have been made has probably passed through several recensions. The discussion of the question of the relation of this book to the canonical Gospel of Mt is considered elsewhere (see APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS). One thing is clear, there were at least two recensions of this gospel, one nearer and the other farther from the canonical Gospel; the former, the Nazarean, differed only by omitting the genealogy from the First Gospel of the Canon. The other was more strictly Ebionite and omitted all mention of the miraculous birth. The Ebionite recension began, as Epiphanius tells us, abruptly with the calling of the Apostles. The assertion of Epiphanius that the Ebionites rejected the prophets is supported by a quotation from the Gospel according to the Hebrews in Jerome (Adv. Pelag., iii.2): "In the prophets, after they were anointed by the Spirit, sin was found." The change from akridas ("locusts") to egkridas (literally, "cakes of honey and oil"; compare Ex 16:31; Nu 11:8) in the account of the food of John may be due to the avoidance of animal food attributed to this sect. One passage, which appears to be a denunciation of wealth in itself, is an addition of a second rich man to the story of the young ruler of the synagogue. A singular verse, quoted from this gospel both by Origen and Jerome, deserves special notice for several reasons: "My mother, the Holy Ghost, took me by one of my hairs and bore me to the great mountain Tabor." The designation of the Holy Ghost as "my mother" is unexampled. It implies a materialistic view of the doctrine of the Trinity after the form of a human family. It is a note of geographical ignorance to call Tabor a "great" mountain. It is only some 2,000 ft. high and behind it are the mountains of the hill country of Galilee rising up to 4,000 ft. in Jebel Jermuk, and behind that the white top of Hermon, 10,000 ft. It is difficult to understand anyone resident in Palestine calling Tabor a "great" mountain. Rising from the plain of Esdraelon it is prominent, but with the higher mountains behind it, it could not even seem great. In a quotation by Jerome (Adv. Pelag., iii.2) our Lord declares Himself unwilling to be baptized by John as unconscious of sin. This suits the representation of Ebionite views which we find in Irenaeus that it was His sinlessness that made Jesus capable of receiving the Holy Ghost.

2. The Clementines:

The Clementine literature attributed by Epiphanius to the Ebionites is a more important source of information for their opinions. It has come down to us complete in three or four forms, the Homilies, the Recognitions, and two Epitomes which, however, differ less than the two larger works. They all seem to be recensions of an earlier work which has disappeared. The foundation of all of these is a species of religious novel on which are grafted sermons of Peter and his discussions with Simon Magus. Clement, a young Roman orphan of rank in search of a religion, meets Barnabas, who tells him of Christ, describing Him as the "Son of God," and says that He had appeared in Judea. To learn more about Jesus, Clement proceeds to Caesarea, where he meets Peter. He thereafter accompanies Peter to the various places whither the apostle pursues Simon Magus, and in course of his journeyings he meets and recognizes his father, his brother and his mother; hence, the title Recognitions. It is in the discourses of Peter that the Ebionism appears. Its theology is fundamentally Jewish and Essenian. That it is Judaizing is evidenced by the covert hostility to the apostle Paul. There are elements that are not those of orthodox Judaism. The Messiah is coequal, or nearly so, with the devil; in other words, the position is a modification of Parseeism (Hom., III, 5). If the discourse of Barnabas is excluded, our Lord is always called the "prophet" (Hom.), the "Teacher" (Recog.). He is never asserted nor assumed to be Divine. Nothing is said of His miraculous birth. At the same time in the Recognitions He is regarded as not merely man. It is said He "assumed a Jewish body" (Recog, I, 60). This agrees with what Epiphanius says of the Ebionite idea that it was as the body of Adam that the Christ appeared. The apostle Peter, who is represented as the model Christian, eats only herbs and practices frequent ablutions, quite in the manner of the Essenes. In his discourses Peter declares that the true prophet "quenches the fire of altars and represses war." These are Essenian peculiarities, but he "sanctions marriage," against Essenism as we find it in Philo and Josephus The phrase implies an opposition to some who not only did not sanction, but forbade, marriage (Hom., III, 26).

3. Apocalyptic Literature:

If the ignoring of the work and apostleship of Paul be regarded as the criterion of the Judaizers, that is to say, the Ebionites, then in apocalyptic literature we find works from which we can draw information as to views. The Ascension of Isaiah was one of the earliest of these books to be recovered in modern times. The writer refers to the martyrdom of Peter in Rome, but makes no mention of Paul (IV, 3). The description of elders and shepherds hating one another (III, 29), "lawless elders and unjust shepherds who will ravage their sheep" (III, 24), seems a view of the church’s state as it appeared to a Judaizer when the Pauline view was prevailing. Notwithstanding this not only is the Divine dignity maintained, but the doctrine of the Trinity, "They all glorified the Father of all and His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit" (VIII, 18), is affirmed. As to the person of Christ, He descended through the successive heavens to the earth to be born (IX, 13; X, 8-31). The virginity of Mary is affirmed (X, 12), and the child is born without pain, miraculously (XI, 8-14). A similar view of the birth of Christ is to be found in the Odes of Solomon (XIX, 7).

IV. History of Ebionism.

1. Ebionites and Essenes:

All authorities combine in asserting a close connection between the Ebionites and the Essenes. At first sight there are serious points of difference, principally these, the Ebionites enjoined marriage, while the Essenes, if we may believe Philo and Josephus, forbade it. This forbiddal, however, appears to have been true only of the Coenobites of Engedi. Moreover, some of the Judaizers, that is Ebionites, are charged with forbidding to marry (1Ti 4:3). The Essenes in all their varieties seem to have come over to Christianity on the fall of the Jewish state and the retreat of the church to Pella. When they joined the believers in their exile the Parsee elements began a ferment in the church and Ebionism was one of the products. This probably is the meaning of the statement that Ebion began to teach his doctrines at Pella. If we may judge from the statements of Scripture and from the earliest of the noncanonical apocalypses, the Ebionites were not at first heretical in their Christology. Only they maintained the universal obligation of the ceremonial law, holding that believers of Gentiledescent could be received into the church only if they were first circumcised. The keen dialectic of Paul forced them from this position. The abrogation of the Law was closely connected in Paul’s reasonings with the Divinity of our Lord; consequently some of them may have felt that they could maintain their views more easily by denying His supreme Divinity and the reality of the incarnation. The phenomena of His life rendered it impossible for anyone to declare Him to be merely man. Hence, the complex notion of a Divine influence—an eon, coming down upon Him. If, however, His birth were miraculous, then the supreme greatness of Moses would be impugned, consequently they were led to deny the virgin birth.

Not till Theodotus appeared was the purely humanitarian view of our Lord’s person maintained. All the Hebrew Christians, however, did not pursue the above course. A large section remained at each general stage, and to the end one portion, the Nazareans, maintained their orthodox doctrinal position, and at the same time obeyed the requirements of the Law. The dualism which is found in the Clementines is an endeavor to explain the power of evil in the world and the function of Satan. The Clementines confirm the statement of the Fathers that the Ebionites used only the Gospel of Mark, for there are more quotations from Mt than from all the other books of the New Testament put together: These quotations are, however, all from chapters after the 3rd chapter. There are, it is to be noted, several unmistakable quotations from the Fourth Gospel. In the Clementines as noticed above there is an avoidance of attributing Divinity to our Lord. He is the Teacher, the Prophet; only in the discourse ascribed to Barnabas is He called the Son of God. This, we are aware, is the reverse of the ordinarily received idea of the historic succession of beliefs. It is thought that, beginning with the belief in the purely ordinary nature of our Lord’s birth, these Jewish believers gradually added feature after feature until He was regarded as a Divine person, the Divine Logos made flesh by miraculous conception and birth. The abstract possibility of such being the course of events is not denied, but we do say that what evidence we have tends in the direction we have taken. There are elements kindred to Ebionism in the Epistle of James, the prominence given to the poor, the little prominence given to the Divinity of Our Lord or to the doctrines of grace all tend in that direction. Yet there is no developed Ebionism; the Divinity of Christ, if not stated in terms, is implied. Schwegler, followed in more recent times by Dr. Campbell of Dundee, finds a strong Ebionite bias in the Gospel of Luke, in which certainly there is no lessening of our Lord’s supreme Divinity. All that it amounts to is a prominence given to the poor. The identification of the poor with the righteous has not come down to us as a tenet of the Ebionites; it has been ascribed to them from their name. As already stated in the Ascension of Isaiah, the Divinity of the Messiah is strongly asserted. The farther down the stream of history we go more and more clearly do the Ebionite features appear, till by the time when Alcibiades, the follower of Elkasai, appeared in Rome, we have something widely removed from the Ebionism of the Clementines, far as that is from the simple position occupied by the Nazareans.

2. Organization of Ebionites:

The Jewish Christians appear to have formed an organization of their own, separate from the church Catholic. The places where they assembled they did not call ekklesiai, "churches," but sunagogai, "synagogues." If we may believe the Clementine Homilies they had evolved a complete episcopal system for themselves. We, however, must not think that every variation of faith had a separate organization for itself. Strict Jewish ceremonial allowed no Jew to eat with any other not a Jew. The "love-feasts" of the early church implied this eating in common. If GentileChristians were present, the Ebionites could not join, hence, the need of a separate church. All Jewish Christians who reverenced the law could meet together and partake of the "love-feast," whatever their belief as to the person of Christ. In short, Ebionism was a thing of individuals, whose opinion ran through the whole gamut of faith, from the Nazareans, who differed from the orthodox simply in remaining Jews, to those whose Judaism alone prevented them from becoming followers of Theodotus of Byzantium, and who therefore sank back into pure Judaism.

V. Evidence from Ebionism for the Doctrine of the Primitive Church.

1. Christology of the Early Church:

In dealing with this branch of our subject we have to consider that the tendency of those who in the early days wrote against heresy was to exaggerate the difference between the heretics and the orthodox. On the other hand we have to consider the psychological difficulty involved in a person recognizing that anyone whom he daily met, whom he saw eating and sleeping like other men, was more than man, was Divine. This difficulty, great to all, was doubly so to the Jew. Yet again we have to consider what the origin of Christian theology was. It was an attempt to give a reasoned and systematic explanation of the phenomenon of Jesus Christ. Christ’s character, His deeds and His claims had to be explained. The orthodox explanation which gradually became more definite as time rolled on was that He was the second person of the Trinity become incarnate, and the purpose of this incarnation that He might save many from their sins. This purpose He accomplished by dying on the cross and rising again. The primitive church owed its theology to Paul and John. Repugnant as much of this was to the Jews, yet the Ebionites, earnest, prejudiced Jews as they were, could not affirm in the presence of the facts of His career that Jesus was merely a man. They had to imagine a Divine influence coming down upon Him at His baptism, setting Him apart from all others. We have no trace of this at first: it stands at the end of a process of degradation of the ideal concerning the person of Christ. It was only when the effect of His personality had somewhat faded that men began to doubt His Divinity. The division of the personality seems to emerge at the same time. The earlier Ebionites, like the rest of the 1st-century believers, regarded Christ as one person; only later do they reach the notion of a heavenly eon separate from Jesus. The Ebionites seem to have held under varying forms a doctrine of the Trinity, and their holding it is an evidence that the church at large held it, not of course in that definiteness it assumed later, but essentially.

2. Paulinism of the Early Church:

To some extent the same may be said in regard to the Pauline doctrine of redemption. It is to be observed that both writers, he of the Homilies as well as the writer of the Recognitions, dislike and ignore Paul, even if they do not attempt to pillory him under the image of Simon Magus, as many have thought that they do. What, however, is also to be observed, is that they do not venture to denounce him by name. Paul and his teachings must have been, in the early part of the 2nd century, held in such deep reverence that no one could hope to destroy them by direct assault; the only hope was a flank attack. This reverence for Paul implies the reception of all he taught. All the specially Pauline doctrines of original sin, of redemption through the sacrificial death of Christ, and all the cognate ideas must have been held strongly by the early church or the Ebionites would have denounced Paul in the Clementines by name. Schwegler would argue that Justin Martyr was an Ebionite because he neither mentions nor quotes Paul. To this it may be answered that as the emperors to whom he addressed his apologies were heathens, and Trypho, with whom he had his dialogue, was a Jew, he naturally did not name one whose authority would be valueless to those he was addressing. He is equally silent as to Peter, James and John. If he does not quote Paul there are several indubitable echoes of his phrases and his thoughts.

In the face of the recent discoveries made in Egypt one cannot despair of manuscripts turning up which may throw needed light on this heresy. Were the Gospel according to the Hebrews to be found, or a manuscript of Hegesippus, we should be in a better position to decide a number of questions.


Contemporary writers on Ebionites: Irenaeus; Tertullian; Hippolytus; Origen; Eusebius, III, 27; Epiphanius; Jerome; Justin Martyr (Trypho, 47, 48) refers to the Ebionites without naming them.

Ebionite writings: Clementine Homilies; Clementine Recognitions; Clementine Epitomes; Asc Isa; Odes of Solomon. Modern church historians: Neander, General History of the Christian Religion and Church; Schrock, Kirchengeschichte; Walch, Historic der Ketzereien, I, 95-124; Baur, Kirchengeschichte, I, 172-74, and Dogmengeschichte, 140-61, and Christliche Gnosis; Schwegler, Nachapostolisches Zeitalter, 17-198; Ritschl, Altkatholische Kirche, 107-271; Matter, Gnosticisme, III, 11-28; Harnack, History of Dogma, 1-89 ff; Reuss, Hist. de la Theologie, I, 115-25; Donaldson, Christian Literature and Doctrine from the Death of the Apostles to the Nicene Council, I, 39 ff; Mansel, Gnostic Heresies, 123-26; Helgenfeld, Ketzergeschichte, 421-46, and Clementines.

Articles in theological dictionaries: Smith and Wace; RE, 1st, 2nd and 3rd eds; Jewish Encyclopedia; Holtzman u. Zopffel; Lightfoot, Galatians, Disc. III; Colin Campbell, Studies in Luke.

J. E. H. Thomson




eb’-o-ni (hobhnim (pl. only), vocalization uncertain; compare Arabic abnus):

Mentioned (Eze 27:15) along with ivory as merchandise of Tyre brought by the men of Dedan. This is the heavy, black, heart-wood of various species of Diospyros, natives of Southern India and Ceylon; the best kind is obtained from D. ebenum.

The sap-wood, being white and valueless, is cut away, but the trunks are sufficiently large to leave blocks of heart-wood 2 ft. in diameter and 10 or more ft. long. Ebony was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, as well as the Phoenicians, for various purposes; it was frequently inlaid with ivory. In Europe it has been a favorite for cabinet-making down to recent times.

E. W. G. Masterman


e’-brun (‘ebhron; the King James Version wrongly, Hebron):

A town in the territory of Asher (Jos 19:28). Probably we should read here Abdon, as in Jos 21:30; 1Ch 6:74, the substitution of the Hebrew letter resh ("r") for the Hebrew letter daleth ("d") being a common copyist’s error.




In the King James Version (Nu 33:34,35)

for ABRONAH, which see.



the Revised Version (British and American)

ETHANUS (which see).



(Ezr 6:2 margin).



ek’-se ho’-mo (idou ho anthropos, "Behold, the man!" Joh 19:5):

Pilate’s statement regarding Jesus during His trial. While the significance of this statement is somewhat debatable, yet there is little doubt, as judged from his attitude and statement immediately following, that Pilate was endeavoring to appeal to the accusers’ sympathies and to point out to them the manly qualities of Jesus. The ordinary punctuation which places an exclamation point after "Behold" and a period after "the man" is evidently incorrect if the grammatical structure in the Greek is to be observed, which gives to the second and third words the nominative form, and which therefore admits of a mild exclamation, and therefore of the emphasis upon "the man." Some, however, hold the contrary view and maintain that the utterance was made in a spirit of contempt and ridicule, as much as to say, "Behold here a mere man." See especially on this view Marcus Dods in Expositor’s Greek Testament. It would seem, however, that the former of the two views would be sustained by the chief facts in the case.

Walter G. Clippinger


e-kle-zi-as’-tez, or (qoheleth; Ekklesiastes, perhaps "member of assembly"; see below):


1. Structure of the Book

2. The Contents

3. Composite Authorship?

4. Qoheleth

5. "King in Jerusalem"

6. Date and Authorship

7. Linguistic Peculiarities

8. Certain Inconclusive Arguments

9. Canonicity

1. Structure of the Book:

Reading this book one soon becomes aware that it is a discussion of certain difficult problems of human life. It begins with a title Ec (1:1), followed by a preface (1:2-11). It has a formal conclusion (12:8-13). Between the preface and the conclusion the body of the book is made up of materials of two kinds—first a series of "I" sections, sections uttered in the 1st person singular, a record of a personal experience; and second, an alternating series of gnomic sections, sections made up of proverbs (say 4:5,6,9-12; 5:1-12; 7:1-14,16-22; 8:1-8; 9:7-10; 10:1-4; 10:8-12:7). These may be called the "thou" sections, as most of them have the pronoun of the 2nd person singular. The idea of the vanity of all things characterizes the record of experience, but it also appears in the "thou" sections (eg. 9:9). On the other hand the proverb element is not wholly lacking in the "I" sections (eg. 4:1-3).

2. The Contents:

In the preface the speaker lays down the proposition that all things are unreal, and that the results of human effort are illusive Ec (1:2,3). Human generations, day and night, the wind, the streams, are alike the repetition of an unending round (1:4-7). The same holds in regard to all human study and thinking (1:8-11). The speaker shows familiarity with the phenomena which we think of as those of natural law, of the persistence of force, but he thinks of them in the main as monotonously limiting human experience. Nothing is new. All effort of Nature or of man is the doing again of something which has already been done.

After the preface the speaker introduces himself, and recounts his experiences. At the outset he had a noble ambition for wisdom and discipline, but all he attained to was unreality and perplexity of mind (Ec 1:12-18). This is equally the meaning of the text, whether we translate "vanity and vexation of spirit" or "vanity and a striving after wind," ("emptiness, and struggling for breath"), though the first of these two translations is the better grounded.

Finding no adequate satisfaction in the pursuits of the scholar and thinker, taken by themselves, he seeks to combine these with the pursuit of agreeable sensations—alike those which come from luxury and those which come from activity and enterprise and achievement Ec (2:1-12). No one could be in better shape than he for making this experiment, but again he only attains to unreality and perplexity of spirit. He says to himself that at least it is in itself profitable to be a wise man rather than a fool, but his comfort is impaired by the fact that both alike are mortal (2:13-17). He finds little reassurance in the idea of laboring for the benefit of posterity; posterity is often not worthy (2:18-21). One may toil unremittingly, but what is the use (2:22,23)?

He does not find himself helped by bringing God into the problem. ‘It is no good for a man that he should eat and drink and make his soul see good in his toil’ Ec (2:24-26, as most naturally translated), even if he thinks of it as the gift of God; for how can one be sure that the gift of God is anything but luck? He sees, however, that it is not just to dismiss thus lightly the idea of God as a factor in the problem. It is true that there is a time for everything, and that everything is "beautiful in its time." It is also true that ideas of infinity are in men’s minds, ideas which they can neither get rid of nor fully comprehend (3:1-18). Here are tokens of God, who has established an infinite order. If we understood His ways better, that might unravel our perplexities. And if God is, immortality may be, and the solution of our problems may lie in that direction. For a moment it looks as if the speaker were coming out into the light, but doubt resumes its hold upon him. He asks himself, "Who knoweth?" and he settles back into the darkness. He has previously decided that for a man to "eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good" is not worth while; and now he reaches the conclusion that, unsatisfactory as this is, there is nothing better (3:19-22).

And so the record of experiences continues, hopeful passages alternating with pessimistic passages. After a while the agnosticism and pessimism recede somewhat, and the hopeful passages become more positive. Even though "the poor man’s wisdom is despised," the speaker says, "the words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him that ruleth among fools" Ec (9:17). He says "Surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God" (8:12), no matter how strongly appearances may indicate the contrary.

The gnomic sections are mostly free from agnosticism and pessimism. The book as a whole sums itself up in the conclusion, "Fear God, and keep his commandments" (Ec 12:13).

Of course the agnostic and pessimistic utterances in Ec are to be regarded as the presentation of one side of an argument. Disconnect them and they are no part of the moral and religious teaching of the book, except in an indirect way. At no point should we be justified in thinking of the author as really doubting in regard to God or moral obligation. He delineates for us a soul in the toils of mental and spiritual conflict. It is a delineation which may serve for warning, and which is in other ways wholesomely instructive; and in the outcome of it, it is full of encouragement.

In some passages the speaker in Ecclesiastes has in mind the solution of the problems of life which we are accustomed to call Epicurean (eg. 5:18-20; 7:16,17; 8:15; but not 2:24)—the solution which consists in avoiding extremes, and in getting from life as many agreeable sensations as possible; but it is not correct to say that he advocates this philosophy. He rather presents it as an alternative.

His conclusion is the important part of his reasoning. All things are vanity. Everything passes away. Yet (he says) it is better to read and use good words than bad words. Therefore because the Great Teacher is wise, he ever teaches the people knowledge, and in so doing he ever seeks good words, acceptable words, upright words, words of truth. "The words of the wise are as goads; and as nails well fastened" ("clinched at the back") (12:11). Such are the words of all the great masters. So (he ends) my son, be warned! There are many books in this world. Choose good ones. And his conclusion is: Reverence the Mighty Spirit. Keep to good principles. That is the whole duty of man. For everything at last becomes clear; and "good" stands out clearly from "evil."

3. Composite Authorship?:

We have noticed that our book has "I" sections and "thou" sections. Certainly these are structural marks, but as such they are capable of being interpreted in various ways. Partitional hypotheses can easily be formed, and perhaps there is no great objection to them; but there are no phenomena which cannot be accounted for by the hypothesis that we have here just the work of one author, who sometimes quotes proverbial utterances, either his own or those of other men. As proving the integrity of the book three points present themselves. First, in some cases (eg. Ec 7:14 b-16) the experience matter and the gnomic matter are closely combined in sense and in grammatical construction. Second, it is possible to interpret all the gnomic sections as a part of the continuous argument. Third, if we so interpret them the book is a unit, the argument moving forward continuously out of the speculative into the practical, and out of the darkness into the light.

4. Qoheleth:

The speaker in Ecclesiastes calls himself Qoheleth (1:1,2,12 and other places), rendered "the Preacher" in the English Versions. The word does not occur elsewhere, although it is from a stem that is in common use. Apparently it has been coined for a purpose by the author of Ecclesiastes. In form it is a feminine participle, though it denotes a man. This is best explained as a case of the using of an abstract expression for a concrete, as when in English we say "Your Honor," "Your Majesty." The other words of the stem are used of people gathering in assemblies, and the current explanation is to the effect that Qoheleth is a person who draws an audience whom he may address. To this there are two objections: First, the participle is intransitive; its natural implication is that of a person who participates in an assembly, not of one who causes the participants to assemble. Second, the assembly distinctively indicated by the words of this stem is the official assembly for the transaction of public business. Worked out on this basis Qoheleth seems to mean citizenship, or concretely, a citizen—a citizen of such respectability that he is entitled to participate in public assemblies. It is in the character of citizen-king that the speaker in Ecclesiastes relates his experiences and presents his ideas.

This word for "assembly" and its cognates are in the Greek often translated by ekklesia and its cognates (eg. De 4:10; 9:10; Jud 20:2; 21:5,8). So we are not surprised to find Qoheleth rendered by the Greek Ekklesiastes, and this Latinized into Ecclesiastes.

5. "King in Jerusalem":

The speaker in Ec speaks not only in the character of Qoheleth, but in that of "the son of David, king in Jerus" (1:1). So far as this clause is concerned the king in question might be either Solomon or any other king of the dynasty, or might be a composite or an ideal king. He is represented (1:12-2:11) as "king over Israel," and as distinguished for wisdom, for his luxuries, for his great enterprises in building and in business. These marks fit Solomon better than any other king of the dynasty, unless possibly Uzziah. Possibly it is not absurd to apply to Solomon even the phrase "all that were before me over Jerusalem," or "in Jerus" (1:16; 2:7,9; compare 1Ch 29:25; 1Ki 3:12; 2Ch 1:12). It is safer, however, to use an alternative statement. The speaker in Ec is either Solomon or some other actual or composite or ideal king of the dynasty of David.

6. Date and Authorship:

If it were agreed that Solomon is the citizen king who, in Ecclesiastes, is represented as speaking, that would not be the same thing as agreeing that Solomon is the author of the book. No one thinks that Sir Galahad is the author of Tennyson’s poem of that name. Qoheleth the king is the character into whose mouth the author of Ecclesiastes puts the utterances which he wishes to present, but it does not follow that the author is himself Qoheleth.

The statement is often made that Jewish tradition attributes the writing of Ecclesiastes to Solomon; but can anyone cite any relatively early tradition to this effect? Is this alleged tradition anything else than the confusing of the author with the character whom he has sketched? The well-known classic tradition in Babha’ Bathra’ attributes Ec to "Hezekiah and his company," not to Solomon. And the tradition which is represented by the order in which the books occur in the Hebrew Bibles seems to place it still later. Concerning this tradition two facts are to be noted: First, it classes Ecclesiastes with the 5 miscellaneous books (Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther) known as the five meghilloth, the five Rolls. Second, in the count of books which makes the number 22 or 24 it classes Ecclesiastes as one of the last 5 books (Ecclesiastes, Esther, Dan, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles). That the men who made this arrangement regarded the books of this group as the latest in the Bible is a natural inference.

7. Linguistic Peculiarities:

This agrees with the internal marks which constitute the principal evidence we have on this point. The grammatical character and the vocabulary of Ecclesiastes are exceptionally peculiar, and they strongly indicate that the book was written in the same literary period with these other latest books of the Old Testament. The true date is not much earlier or later than 400 BC (see CHRONICLES), though many place it a century or a century and a half later. Details concerning these phenomena may be found in Driver’s Introduction or other Introductions, or in commentaries. Only a few of the points will be given here, with barely enough illustrative instances to render the points intelligible.

In Ecclesiastes the syntax of the verb is peculiar. The imperfect with waw consecutive, the ordinary Hebrew narrative tense, occurs—for example, "And I applied my heart" (1:17)—but it is rare. The narrator habitually uses the perfect with waw (eg. 1:13; 2:11,12,14,15 bis. 17). In any English book we should find it very noticeable if the author were in the habit of using the progressive form of the verb instead of the ordinary form—if instead of saying "And I applied my heart" he should say "And I was applying my heart," "And I was looking on all the works," "And I was turning" (1:13; 2:11,12), and so on. Another marked peculiarity is the frequent repeating of the pronoun along with the verb: ‘I said in my heart, even I’;‘ And I was hating, even I, all my labor’ (2:1,18 and continually). The use of the pronoun as copula is abnormally common in Ecclesiastes as compared with other parts of the Hebrew Bible (eg. 4:2). The abbreviated form of the relative pronoun is much used instead of the full form, and in both forms the pronoun is used disproportionately often as a conjunction. In these and many similar phenomena the Hebrew language of Ecclesiastes is affiliated with that of the later times.

The vocabulary presents phenomena that have the same bearing. Words of the stem taqan appear in Ecclesiastes (1:15; 7:13; 12:9) and in the Aramaic of Daniel (4:36), and not elsewhere in the Bible; they are frequent in the Talmud Words of the stem zaman (3 1) are used only in Ecclesiastes, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Esther. Words of the stem shalaT, the stem whence comes our word "sultan," are frequent in Ecclesiastes—words which are used elsewhere only in the avowedly post-exilian books and in Ge 42:6, though a different word of this stem appears in the history of the time of David. Only in Ecclesiastes and Esther are found the verb kasher, "to be correct" (whence the modern Jewish kosher) and its derivative kishron. The Persian word pardec, "park" (Ec 2:5), occurs elsewhere only in Nehemiah and Canticles, and the Persian word pithgam, "official decision" or "record" (Ec 8:11), only in Es 1:20, and in the Aramaic parts of Ezra and Daniel. Ecclesiastes also abounds in late words formed from earlier stems—for example, cekhel and cikheluth, "folly" (Ec 10:6; 2:3 et al.); or medhinah, "province" (Ec 5:8), frequent in the latest books, but elsewhere found only in one passage in 1Ki (20:14,15,17,19). Especially common are new derivatives that end in "-n," for example, yithron, "profit"; ‘inyan, "travail"; checron, "that which is missing"; ra‘yon, "vexation" (Ec 1:3,13,15,17 and often). To these add instances of old words used in new meanings, and the various other groups of phenomena that are usual in such cases. No parts of the book are free from them.

The arguments for a later date than that which has been assigned are inconclusive. The Hebrew language of Ecclesiastes is more like the language of the Talmuds than is that of the Chronicler or Daniel or even Esther; but if one infers that Ecclesiastes is therefore later than the others the inference will prove to be in various ways embarrassing. The differences are better accounted for by the fact that Ecclesiastes belongs to a different type of literature from the others.

8. Certain Inconclusive Arguments:

Various passages have local color in Ec (eg. 11:1), or make the impression of being allusions to specific events (eg. 4:13- 16; 6:2,3; 9:13-18), but the difficulty lies in locating the events. Dr. Kleinert argues plausibly for the writing of the book in Egypt in the time of the Ptolemies, but other equally probable hypotheses might be devised.

It is alleged that Ecclesiastes copies from Ecclesiasticus, but it is more probable that the latter copied from the former. It is alleged that the Wisdom disputes Ecclesiastes; if it does, that does not prove that the two are contemporary. It is alleged that the writer is familiar with the philosophy of Epicurus, and therefore must have lived later than Epicurus, who died 270 BC, or even later than Lucretius of the 1st century BC. If there were proof that this was a case of borrowing, Epicurus or Lucretius might have been the borrowers; but there is no such proof; the selfishness which constitutes the nucleus of Epicureanism has exhibited itself in human literature from the beginning. The strong resemblances between Ecclesiastes and Omar Khayyam have no weight to prove that the Hebrew author was later than the Persian Ecclesiastes presents a perfectly distinct doctrine of immortality, whether it affirms the doctrine or not; but that proves a relatively early date for the doctrine, rather than a late date for Ecclesiastes. At every point the marks of Ecclesiastes are those of the Persian period, not of the Greek.

9. Canonicity:

In the early Christian centuries, as in all the centuries since, there have been disputes concerning the canonicity of Ecclesiastes. It was not questioned that Ecclesiastes belonged to the canon as traditionally handed down. No question of admitting it to the canon was raised. But it was challenged because of the agnostic quality of some of its contents, and, every time, on close examination, the challenge was decided in its favor.


There are volumes on Ecclesiastes in all the great commentaries, and treatments of it in the volumes on Introduction. A few of the many separate commentaries are those of Moses Stuart, Andover, 1864; H. Gratz, Leipzig, 1871; G. Wildeboer, Tubingen, 1898; E. H. Plumptre, Cambridge, 1881. Other works are those of J. F. Genung, Ecclesiastes, and Omar Khayyam, 1901, Words of Koheleth, 1904, and The Hebrew Literature of Wisdom in the Light of Today, 1906; C. H. H. Wright, Book of Koheleth, 1883; S. Schiffer, Das Buch Coheleth nach Talmud und Midrasch, 1885; A. H. McNeile. Introduction to Ecclesiastes, New York, 1904.

Willis J. Beecher








(’edh, "witness"):

The name of the altar erected by the trans-Jordanic tribes upon finally taking possession of Gilead (Jos 22:10,11,34); probably East of the Jordan opposite Jericho. But neither the Massoretic Text nor the Septuagint contained the word. Both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), however, insert the word on the authority of a few manuscripts. It has been suggested that it is the final ‘edh in Gal‘edh, the name given by Laban and Jacob to the memorial heap of stones erected by them in the vicinity (Ge 31:47,48). According to the Massoretic Text, the name of the altar is the entire sentence: "It is a witness between us that Yahweh is God." The opposition of the ten tribes to the erection of this altar was on the score that it was built after the pattern of the great altar of burnt offering (Jos 22:11,29), which was a horned altar forbidden in ordinary lay sacrifice. There is in it, therefore, no indication of a general opposition to lay sacrifices on altars of earth or unhewn stone (see Wiener, EPC, 198).

George Frederick Weight








ed’-i-nus (Eddeinous, Codex Alexandrinus, Eddinous):

One of the "holy singers" at Josiah’s Passover (1 Esdras 1:15). the King James Version reads here Jeduthun, the corresponding name in the parallel passage (2Ch 35:15).


e’-d’-n (‘edhen, "delight"; Edem):

(1) The land in which "Yahweh God planted a garden," where upon his creation "he put the man whom he had formed" (Ge 2:8).

In the Assyrian inscriptions idinu (Accadian, edin) means "plain" and it is from this that the Biblical word is probably derived. Following are the references to Eden in the Bible, aside from those in Ge 2 and 3: Ge 4:16; Isa 51:3; Eze 28:13; 31:9,16,18; 36:35; Joe 2:3. The Garden of Eden is said to be "eastward, in Eden" Ge (2:8); where the vegetation was luxurious (2:9) and the fig tree indigenous (3:7), and where it was watered by irrigation.

All kinds of animals, including cattle, beasts of the field and birds, were found there (2:19,20). Moreover, the climate was such that clothing was not needed for warmth. It is not surprising, therefore, that the plural of the word has the meaning "delights," and that Eden has been supposed to mean the land of delights, and that the word became a synonym for Paradise.

The location of Eden is in part to be determined from the description already given. It must be where there is a climate adapted to the production of fruit trees and of animals capable of domestication, and in general to the existence of man in his primitive condition. In particular, its location is supposed to be determined by the statements regarding the rivers coursing through it and surrounding it. There is a river (nahar) (Ge 2:10) which was parted and became four heads (ro’shim), a word which (Jud 8:16; Job 1:17) designates main detachments into which an army is divided, and therefore would more properly signify branches than heads, permitting Josephus and others to interpret the river as referring to the ocean, which by the Greeks was spoken of as the river (okeanos) surrounding the world. According to Josephus, the Ganges, the Tigris, the Euphrates and the Nile are the four rivers, being but branches of this one river. Moreover, it is contended by some, with much show of reason, that the word perath translated Euphrates is a more general term, signifying "the broad" or "deep" river, and so may here refer to some other stream than the Euphrates, possibly to a river in some other region whose name is perpetuated in the present Euphrates, as "the Thames" of New England perpetuates the memory of the Thames of Old England. In ancient times there was a river Phrath in Persia, and perhaps two. It is doubtful whether the phrase "eastward, in Eden" refers to the position with reference to the writer or simply with reference to Eden itself. So far as that phrase is concerned, therefore, speculation is left free to range over the whole earth, and this it has done.

1. Central Asia:

Columbus when passing the mouth of the Orinoco surmised that its waters came down from the Garden of Eden. It is fair to say, however, that he supposed himself to be upon the East coast of Asia. The traditions of its location somewhere in Central Asia are numerous and persistent. Naturalists have, with Quatrefages, pretty generally fixed upon the portion of Central Asia stretching East from the Pamir, often referred to as the roof of the world, and from which flow four great rivers—the Indus, the Tarim, the Sur Daria (Jaxartes), and the Ainu Daria (Oxus)—as the original cradle of mankind. This conclusion has been arrived at from the fact that at the present time the three fundamental types of the races of mankind are grouped about this region. The Negro races are, indeed, in general far removed from the location, but still fragments of them both pure and mixed are found in various localities both in the interior and on the seashore and adjacent islands where they would naturally radiate from this center, while the yellow and the white races here meet at the present time in close contact. In the words of Quatrefages, "No other region of the globe presents a similar union of extreme human types distributed round a common center" (The Human Species, 176).

Philology, also, points to this same conclusion. On the East are the monosyllabic languages, on the North the polysyllabic or agglutinative languages, and on the West and South the inflectional or Aryan languages, of which the Sanskrit is an example, being closely allied to nearly all the languages of Europe. Moreover, it is to this center that we trace the origin of nearly all our domesticated plants and animals. Naturally, therefore, the same high authority writes, "There we are inclined to say the first human beings appeared and multiplied till the populations overflowed as from a bowl and spread themselves in waves in every direction" (ibid., 177). With this conclusion, as already said, a large number of most eminent authorities agree. But it should be noted that if, as we believe, there was a universal destruction of antediluvian man, the center of dispersion had in view by these naturalists and archaeologists would be that from the time of Noah, and so would not refer to the Eden from which Adam and Eve were driven. The same may be said of Haeckel’s theory that man originated in a submerged continent within the area of the Indian Ocean.

2. The North Pole:

Dr. William F. Warren has with prodigious learning attempted to show that the original Eden was at the North Pole, a theory which has too many considerations in its support to be cast aside unceremoniously, for it certainly is true that in preglacial times a warm climate surrounded the North Pole in all the lands which have been explored. In Northern Greenland and in Spitzbergen abundant remains of fossil plants show that during the middle of the Tertiary period the whole circumpolar region was characterized by a climate similar to that prevailing at the present time in Southern Europe, Japan, and the southern United States (see Asa Gray’s lectures on "Forest Geography and Archaeology" in the American Journal of Science, CXVI, 85-94, 183-96, and Wright, Ice Age in North America, 5th edition, chapter xvii). But as the latest discoveries have shown that there is no land within several hundred miles of the North Pole, Dr. Warren’s theory, if maintained at all, will have to be modified so as to place Eden at a considerable distance from the actual pole. Furthermore, his theory would involve the existence of "Tertiary man," and thus extend his chronology to an incredible extent, even though with Professor Green (see ANTEDILUVIANS) we are permitted to consider the genealogical table of Ge 5 as sufficiently elastic to accommodate itself to any facts which may be discovered.

3. Armenia:

Much also can be said in favor of identifying Eden with Armenia, for it is here that the Tigris and Euphrates have their origin, while two others, the Aras (Araxes) emptying into the Caspian Sea and the Choruk (thought by some to be the Phasis) emptying into the Black Sea, would represent the Gihon and the Pishon. Havilah would then be identified with Colchis, famous for its golden sands. But Cush is difficult to find in that region; while these four rivers could by no possibility be regarded as branches of one parent stream.

4. Babylonia:

Two theories locate Eden in the Euphrates valley. Of these the first would place it near the head of the Persian Gulf where the Tigris and Euphrates after their junction form the Shatt el-’Arab which bifurcates into the eastern and the western arm before reaching the Gulf. Calvin considered the Pishon to be the eastern arm and the Gihon the western arm. Other more recent authorities modify theory by supposing that Gihon and Pishon are represented by the Karum and the Kerkhah rivers which come into the Shatt el-’Arab from the east. The most plausible objection to this theory is that the Biblical account represents all these branches as down stream from the main river, whereas this theory supposes that two of them at least are up stream. This objection has been ingeniously met by calling attention to the fact that 2,000 years before Christ the Persian Gulf extended up as far as Eridu, 100 miles above the present mouth of the river, and that the Tigris and the Euphrates then entered the head of the Gulf through separate channels, the enormous amount of silt brought down by the streams having converted so much of the valley into dry land. In consequence of the tides which extend up to the head of the Gulf, the current of all these streams would be turned up stream periodically, and so account for the Biblical statement. In this case the river (nahar) would be represented by the Persian Gulf itself, which was indeed called by the Babylonians nar marratum, "the bitter river." This theory is further supported by the fact that according to the cuneiform inscriptions Eridu was reputed to have in its neighborhood a garden, "a holy place," in which there grew a sacred palm tree. This "tree of life" appears frequently upon the inscriptions with two guardian spirits standing on either side.

The other theory, advocated with great ability by Friedrich Delitzsch, places Eden just above the site of ancient Babylon, where the Tigris and Euphrates approach to within a short distance of one another and where the country is intersected by numerous irrigating streams which put off from the Euphrates and flow into the Tigris, whose level is here considerably lower than that of the Euphrates—the situation being somewhat such as it is at New Orleans where the Mississippi River puts off numerous streams which empty into Lake Pontchartrain. Delitzsch supposes the Shatt el-Nil, which flows eastward into the Tigris, to be the Gihon, and the Pallacopas, flowing on the West side of the Euphrates through a region producing gold, to be the Pishon. The chief difficulties attending this theory pertain to the identification of the Pishon with the Pallacopas, and the location of Havilah on its banks. There is difficulty, also, in all these theories in the identification of Cush (Ethiopia), later associated with the country from which the Nile emerges, thus giving countenance to the belief of Josephus and many others that that river represented the Gihon. If we are compelled to choose between these theories it would seem that the one which locates Eden near the head of the Persian Gulf combines the greater number of probabilities of every kind.

(2) A Levite of the time of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:12; 31:15).


Dawson Modern Science in Bible Lands; Friedrich Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? (1881); Sayce, HCM, 95 ff; Hommel, Anc. Hebrew Tradition, 314; William F. Warren, Paradise Found, 1885.

George Frederick Wright





EDER (1)

e’-der (’edher, "flock"):

(1) One of the "uttermost cities" of Judah in the Negeb ("South") near the border of Edom (Jos 15:21), possibly Kh. el ‘Adar, 5 miles South of Gaza, but probably this is too far west.

(2) Eder (the King James Version Edar) or better Migdal Eder, mighdal ‘edher, "the tower of the flock"; Gader. After Rachel died and was buried "in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem) .... Israel journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder" (Ge 35:19,21). In Ge 35:27 he is described as proceeding to Hebron. This "tower of the flock," which may have been only a tower and no town, must therefore be looked for between Bethlehem and Hebron. Jerome says that it was one Roman mile from Bethlehem. In the Septuagint, however, 35:16 and 21 are transposed, which suggests that there may have been a tradition that Migdal Eder was between Bethel and Bethlehem. There must have been many such towers for guarding flocks against robbers. Compare "tower of the watchman" (2Ki 18:8, etc.). The phrase "Migdal Eder" occurs in Mic 4:8 where Jerusalem is compared to such a tower.

E. W. G. Masterman

EDER (2)

e’-der (‘edher, "flock").

(1) A Merarite Levite in the days of David (1Ch 23:23; 24:30); son of Mushi.

(2) A Benjamite (1Ch 8:15, the King James Version "Ader").


e’-dez: the Revised Version (British and American)

EDOS (which see).



Very frequently occurs in the phrase "the edge of the sword" (Jos 10:28, et al.) from the Hebrew peh, "lip," or saphah, "lip." Ex 28:7 and 39:4 read "ends," from qatsah, "end" (the King James Version "edge"), and Jos 13:27 has "uttermost part" for the same Hebrew word (the King James Version "edge"). In Jer 31:29 and Eze 18:2, "The children’s teeth are set on edge" (qahah, "to be blunt"), i.e. set hard one against another.


ed-i-fi-ka’-shun, ed’-i-fi:

The Greek words oikodomeo, "to build," oikodome, "the act of building," are used both literally and figuratively in the New Testament; "edify," "edifying," "edification," are the translation of the King James Version in some 20 passages, all in the figurative sense of the promotion of growth in Christian character. the Revised Version (British and American) in 2Co 10:8; 13:10; Eph 4:12,16; 1Th 5:11 renders "build up," "building up," making the force of the figure clearer to the English reader. In 1Ti 1:4 the Greek text followed by the Revised Version (British and American) has oikonomia, "dispensation," instead of oikodomia, "edifying" (the King James Version).

F. K. Farr


ed’-na (Edna):

Wife of Raguel and mother of Sarah who married Tobias (Tobit 7:2, etc.; 10:12; 11:1). "Edna" in Hebrew means "pleasure" and corresponds to Latin Anna.


e’-dum, e’-dum-its ‘edhom, "red"; Edom:

1. Boundaries:

The boundaries of Edom may be traced with some approach to accuracy. On the East of the ‘Arabah the northern border ran from the Dead Sea, and was marked by Wady el-Kurachi, or Wady el-Chasa. On the East it marched with the desert. The southern border ran by Elath and Ezion-geber (De 2:8). On the West of the ‘Arabah the north boundary of Edom is determined by the south border of Israel, as indicated in Nu 34:3 f: a line running from the Salt Sea southward of the Ascent of Akrabbim to Zin and Kadesh-barnea. This last, we are told, lay in the "uttermost" of the border of Edom (Nu 20:16). The line may be generally indicated by the course of Wady el-Fiqrah. How much of the uplands West of the ‘Arabah southward to the Gulf of ‘Aqaba was included in Edom it is impossible to say.

2. Character and Features:

The land thus indicated varies greatly in character and features. South of the Dead Sea in the bottom of the valley we have first the stretch of salt marsh land called es-Sebkha; then, beyond the line of white cliffs that crosses the valley diagonally from Northwest to Southeast, a broad depression strewn with stones and sandhills, the debris of an old sea bottom, rises gradually, and 60 miles to the South reaches a height of about 700 ft. above the level of the Red Sea, 2,000 ft. above that of the Dead Sea. From this point it sinks until it reaches the shore of the Gulf of ‘Aqaba, 45 miles farther South. The whole depression is known today as Wady el-‘Arabah (compare Hebrew ha-‘arabhah, De 2:8 the Revised Version (British and American), etc.). On either side the mountains rise steeply from the valley, their edges carved into many fantastic shapes by the deep wadys that break down from the interior (see ARABAH). The northern part of the plateau on the West forms the spacious grazing ground of the ‘Azdzimeh Arabs. The mountains rise to a height of from about 1,500 ft. to a little over 2,000 ft. This district was traversed by the ancient caravan road to South Palestine; and along the eastern side traces of the former civilization are still to be seen. The desert region to the South is higher, reaching to as much as 2,600 ft. The mountain range East of the ‘Arabah is generally higher in the South than in the North. Jebel Harun beside Petra, is 4,780 ft. above sea-level; while East of ‘Aqaba, Jebel el-Chisma may be as much as 5,900 ft. in height.

Limestone, porphyry and Nubian sandstone are the prevailing formation; but volcanic rocks are also found. The range consists mainly of rough rocky heights with many almost inaccessible peaks separated by deep gorges. But there are also breadths of fertile land where wheat, grapes, figs, pomegranates and olives are grown to advantage. The northern district is known today by the name el-Jebal, corresponding to the ancient Gebal. Seir is the name applied to the eastern range in Ge 36:8; De 2:1,5; 2Ch 20:23. It is also called Edom, and the Mount of Esau (Ob 1:8 f). Seir, however, is used for the western highlands in De 33:2. This seems to be its meaning also in Jud 5:4, where it appears as the equivalent of "the field of Edom." With this same phrase, however, in Ge 32:3 it may more fitly apply to the eastern range.

See illustration under DESERT.

3. Origin of Name:

The name Edom, "red," may have been derived from the red sandstone cliffs characteristic of the country. It was applied to Esau because of the color of his skin (Ge 25:25), or from the color of the pottage for which he sold his birthright (Ge 25:30). In Ge 36:8 Esau is equated with Edom as dwelling in Mt. Seir; and he is described as the father of Edom (36:9, Hebrew). The name however is probably much older. It may be traced in the records of the Twelfth Dynasty in Egypt. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters (Brit Mus No. 64) Udumu, or Edom, is named; and in Assyrian inscriptions the name Udumu occurs of a city and of a country. The latter may have been named from the former: this again may have been derived from a deity, Edom, who may be traced in such a name as Obed-edom (2Sa 6:10).

4. History:

The children of Esau are said to have "destroyed" the Horites who dwelt in Seir before them (Ge 14:6; De 2:22). This only means that the Horites were subdued. Esau married the daughter of Anah, a Horite (Ge 36:20—in verse 2 he is called a Hivite); and the lists in this chapter show that the races intermingled. The Horite government was in the hands of "dukes" (Ge 36:29 f, the Revised Version (British and American) "chiefs"). They were succeeded by dukes of the house of Esau (Ge 36:40 ff). This form of government gave way to that of an elective monarchy (Ge 36:31 ff); and this had existed some time before Israel left the wilderness. The then reigning king would not permit Israel to pass through the land (Nu 20:14 ff; 21:4). Israel was forbidden to "abhor an Edomite," on the ground that he was a brother; and children of the third generation might enter the assembly of the Lord (De 23:7 f). War with Edom was out of the question.

Some thirty years after the Exodus, Ramses III "smote the people of Seir." The Israelites could not have been far off. We first hear of war between Israel and Edom under Saul (1Sa 14:47). David prosecuted the war with terrific energy, slaying 18,000 Edomites (so read instead of "Syrians") in the Valley of Salt (2Sa 8:13 f) ; Joab remaining for six months in the country, which was garrisoned by Israelites, "until he had cut off every male in Edom" (1Ki 11:15 f). Hadad of the blood royal of Edom escaped to Egypt, and later became a source of trouble to Solomon (1Ki 11:14 ff, 25). The conquest of Edom opened to Israel the ports of the Red Sea, whence the expeditions of Solomon and Jehoshaphat set out. In Jehoshaphat’s time the king is called a "deputy" (1Ki 22:47). Its king acknowledged the supremacy of Judah (2Ki 3:9, etc.). Under Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, Edom revolted. Jehoram defeated them at Zair, but was unable to quell the rebellion (2Ki 8:20 ff). Amaziah invaded the country, slew 10,000 in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela which he named Joktheel (2Ki 14:7). Uzziah restored the Edomite port of Elath (2Ki 14:22). In the Syrian war Rezin regained Elath for Syria, and cast out the Jews. It was then permanently occupied by Syrians—here also probably we should read Edomites (2Ki 16:6). From the cuneiform inscriptions we learn that when Tiglath-pileser subdued Rezin, among the kings from whom he received homage at Damascus was Qaus-malaka of Edom (736 BC). Later Malik-ram paid homage to Sennacherib. To Ezarhaddon also they were compelled to render service. They gave what help they could to Nebuchadnezzar, and exulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, stirring the bitterest indignation in the hearts of the Jews (La 4:21; Eze 25:12; 35:3 ff; Ob 1:10 ff). The Edomites pressed into the now empty lands in the South of Judah. In 300 BC Mt. Seir with its capital Petra fell into the hands of the Nabateans.

5. Idumaea and the Idumeans:

West of the ‘Arabah the country they occupied came to be known by the Greek name Idumaea, and the people as Idumeans. Hebron, their chief city, was taken by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC (1 Macc 4:29,61; 5:65). In 126 BC the country was subdued by John Hyrcanus, who compelled the people to become Jews and to submit to circumcision. Antipater, governor of Idumaea, was made procurator of Judea, Samaria and Galilee by Julius Caesar. He paved the way to the throne for his son Herod the Great. With the fall of Judah under the Romans, Idumaea disappears from history.

The names of several Edomite deities are known: Hadad, Qaus, Koze, and, possibly, Edom; but of the religion of Edom we are without information. The language differed little from Hebrew.

W. Ewing


e’-dos (Edais; the King James Version Edes):

One who agreed to put away his foreign wife (APC 1Esdras 9:35); called Iddo, the King James Version "Jadan," in Ezr 10:43.


ed’-re-i (’edhre‘i; Edra-ein):

(1) One of the cities of Og, not far from Ashtaroth, where the power of his kingdom received its deathblow from the invading Israelites (Jos 12:4; Nu 21:33 ff, etc.). It seems to mark the western limit of Bashan as against Salecah on the East (De 3:10). It was given to Machir, son of Manasseh (Jos 13:31). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 24 Roman miles from Bostra. The most probable identification is with Der‘ah, a town of between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, on the southern lip of Wady Zeideh, about 29 miles as the crow flies East of the Sea of Galilee. It is the center of an exceedingly fruitful district. The accumulated rubbish in the town covers many remains of antiquity. It is, however, chiefly remarkable for the extraordinary subterranean city, as yet only partially explored, cut in the rock under the town. This is certainly very ancient, and was doubtless used by the inhabitants as a refuge in times of stress and peril. For a description see Schumacher, Across the Jordan, 121 ff.

(2) A place not identified, between Kedesh and En-hazor (Jos 19:37).

W. Ewing






1. Nomadic and Agricultural Periods 2. The Monarchical Period 3. Deuteronomic Legislation 4. Reading and Writing


1. Educational Significance of the Prophets 2. The Book of the Law 3. Wise Men or Sages 4. The Book of Proverbs 5. Scribes and Levites 6. Greek and Roman Influences


1. Subject Matter of Instruction 2. Method and Aims 3. Valuable Results of Jewish Education 4. The Preeminence of Jesus as a Teacher 5. Educational Work of the Early Disciples


I. Education Defined.

By education we understand the sum total of those processes whereby society transmits from one generation to the next its accumulated social, intellectual and religious experience and heritage. In part these processes are informal and incidental, arising from participation in certain forms of social life and activity which exist on their own account and not for the sake of their educative influence upon the rising generation. The more formal educative processes are designed

(1) to give the immature members of society a mastery over the symbols and technique of civilization, including language (reading and writing), the arts, the sciences, and religion, and

(2) to enlarge the fund of individual and community knowledge beyond the measure furnished by the direct activities of the immediate environment (compare Dewey, article on "Education" in Monroe’s CE; compare Butler, ME).

Religious education among ancient and modern peoples alike reveals clearly this twofold aspect of all education. On its informal side it consists in the transmission of religious ideas and experience by means of the reciprocal processes of imitation and example; each generation, by actually participating in the religious activities and ceremonies of the social group, imbibing as it were the spirit and ideals of the preceding generation as these are modified by the particular economic and industrial conditions under which the entire process takes place. Formal religious education begins with the conscious and systematic effort on the part of the mature members of a social group (tribe, nation, or religious fellowship) to initiate the immature members by means of solemn rites and ceremonies, or patient training, or both, into the mysteries and high privileges of their own religious fellowship and experience. As regards both the content and form of this instruction, these will in every case be determined by the type and stage of civilization reflected in the life, occupations, habits and customs of the people. Among primitive races educational method is simpler and the content of formal instruction less differentiated than on higher culture levels (Ames, PRE). All education is at first religious in the sense that religious motives and ideas predominate in the educational efforts of all primitive peoples. The degree to which religion continues preeminent in the educational system of a progressive nation depends upon the vitality of its religion and upon the measure of efficiency and success with which from the first that religion is instilled into the very bone and sinew of each succeeding generation. Here lies the explanation of the religious-educational character of Hebrew national life, and here, too, the secret of Israel’s incomparable influence upon the religious and educational development of the world. The religion of Israel was a vital religion and it was a teaching religion (Kent, GTJC).

II. Education in Early Israel.

In their social and national development the Hebrews passed through several clearly marked cultural stages which it is important to note in connection with their educational history. At the earliest point at which the Old Testament gives us any knowledge of them, they, like their ancestors, were nomads and shepherds. Their chief interest centered in the flocks and herds from which they gained a livelihood, and in the simple, useful arts that seem gradually to have become hereditary in certain families. With the settlement of the Hebrew tribes in Palestine and their closer contact with Canaanitish culture, a more established agricultural life with resulting changes in social and religious institutions gradually superseded the nomadic stage of culture. A permanent dwelling-place made possible, as the continual warfare of gradual conquest made necessary, a closer federation of the tribes, which ultimately resulted in the establishment of the monarchy under David (W. R. Smith, RS; Davidson, HE).

1. Nomadic and Agricultural Periods:

In these earliest cultural periods, both the nomadic and the agricultural, there was no distinct separation between the spheres of religion and ordinary life. The relation of the people to Yahweh was conceived by them in simple fashion as involving on their part the obligation of filial obedience and loyalty, and on Yahweh’s part reciprocal parental care over them as His people. The family was the social unit and its head the person in whom centered also religious authority and leadership, The tribal head or patriarch in turn combined in himself the functions which later were differentiated into those of priest and prophet and king. Education was a matter of purely domestic interest and concern. The home was the only school and the parents the only teachers. But there was real instruction, all of which, moreover, was given in a spirit of devout religious earnestness and of reverence for the common religious ceremonies and beliefs, no matter whether the subject of instruction was the simple task of husbandry or of some useful art, or whether it was the sacred history and traditions of the tribe, or the actual performance of its religious rites. According to Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 12) Moses himself had commanded, "All boys shall learn the most important parts of the law since such knowledge is most valuable and the source of happiness"; and again he commanded (Apion, II, 25) to teach them the rudiments of learning (reading and writing) together with the laws and deeds of the ancestors, in order that they might not transgress or seem ignorant of the laws of their ancestors, but rather emulate their example. Certain it is that the earliest legislation, including the Decalogue, emphasized parental authority and their claim on the reverence of their children: "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee" (Ex 20:12); "And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death" (Ex 21:15,17); while every father was exhorted to explain to his son the origin and significance of the great Passover ceremony with its feast of unleavened bread: "And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying, It is because of that which Yahweh did for me when I came forth out of Egypt" (Ex 13:8).

2. The Monarchical Period:

The period of conquest and settlement developed leaders who not only led the allied tribes in battle, but served as judges between their people, and were active in the maintenance of the ancestral religion. In time, sufficient cooperation was obtained to make possible the organization of strong intertribal leagues and, finally, the kingship. "This increasing political unification," says Ames, "was accompanied by a religious consciousness which became ultimately the most remarkable product of the national development" (Ames, PRE, 174 f). The establishment of the kingdom and the beginnings of city and commercial life were accompanied by more radical cultural changes, including the differentiation of religious from other social institutions, the organization of the priesthood, and the rise and development of prophecy. Elijah, the Tishbite, Amos, the herdsman from Tekoa, Isaiah, the son of Amoz, were all champions of a simple faith and ancient religious ideals as over against the worldly-wise diplomacy and sensuous idolatry of the surrounding nations. Under the monarchy also a new religious symbolism developed. Yahweh was thought of as a king in whose hands actually lay the supreme guidance of the state: "Accordingly the organization of the state included provision for consulting His will and obtaining His direction in all weighty matters" (W. R. Smith, RS, 30). Under the teaching of the prophets the ideal of personal and civic righteousness was moved to the very forefront of Hebrew religious thought, while the prophetic ideal of the future was that of a time when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa 11:9), when all "from the least of them unto the greatest of them" shall know him (Jer 31:34). Concerning the so-called "schools of the prophets" which, in the days of Elijah, existed at Bethel, Jericho and Gilgal (2Ki 2:3,1; 4:38 f), and probably in other places, it should be noted that these were associations or brotherhoods established for the purpose of mutual edification rather than education. The Bible does not use the word "schools" to designate these fraternities. Nevertheless, we cannot conceive of the element of religious training as being entirely absent.

3. Deuteronomic Legislation:

Shortly before the Babylonian captivity King Josiah gave official recognition and sanction to the teachings of the prophets, while the Deuteronomic legislation of the same period strongly emphasized the responsibility of parents for the religious and moral instruction and training of their children. Concerning the words of the law Israel is admonished: "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up" (De 6:7; 11:19). For the benefit of children as well as adults the law was to be written "upon the door-posts" and "gates" (De 6:9; 11:20), and "very plainly" upon "great stones" set up for this purpose upon the hilltops and beside the altars (De 27:1-8). From the Deuteronomic period forward, religious training to the Jew became the synonym of education, while the word Torah, which originally denoted simply "Law" (Ex 24:12; Le 7:1; 26:46), came to mean "religious instruction or teaching," in which sense it is used in De 4:44; 5:1, "This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel: .... Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and observe to do them"; and in Pr 6:23,

"For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life."

(Compare Ps 19:8; Pr 3:1; 4:2.)

4. Reading and Writing:

With the development and reorganization of the ritual, priests and Levites, as the guardians of the law, were the principal instructors of the people, while parents remained in charge of the training of the children. In families of the aristocracy the place of the parents was sometimes taken by tutors, as appears from the case of the infant Solomon, whose training stems to have been entrusted to the prophet Nathan (2Sa 12:25). There is no way of determining to what extent the common people were able to read and write. Our judgment that these rudiments of formal education in the modern sense were not restricted to the higher classes is based upon such passages as Isa 29:11,12, which distinguishes between the man who "is learned" (literally, "knoweth letters") and the one who is "not learned," and Isa 10:19, referring to the ability of a child "to write," taken together with such facts as that the literary prophets Amos and Micah sprang from the ranks of the common people, and that "the workman who excavated the tunnel from the Virgin’s Spring to the Pool of Siloam carved in the rock the manner of their work" (Kennedy in HDB). It should be added that the later Jewish tradition reflected in the Talmud, Targum and Midrash, and which represents both public, elementary and college education as highly developed even in patriarchal times, is generally regarded as altogether untrustworthy.

III. Education in Later Israel.

The national disaster that befell the Hebrew people in the downfall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity was not without its compensating, purifying and stimulating influence upon the religious and educational development of the nation. Under the pressure of adverse external circumstances the only source of comfort for the exiled people was in the law and covenant of Yahweh, while the shattering of all hope of immediate national greatness turned the thought and attention of the religious leaders away from the present toward the future. Two types of Messianic expectation characterized the religious development of the exilic period. The first is the priestly, material hope of return and restoration reflected in the prophecies of Ezekiel. The exiled tribes are to return again to Jerusalem; the temple is to be restored, its ritual and worship purified and exalted, the priestly ordinance and service elaborated. The second is the spiritualized and idealized Messianic expectation of the Second Isaiah, based on teachings of the earlier prophets. For the greatest of Hebrew prophets Yahweh is the only God, and the God of all nations as well as of Israel. For him Israel is Yahweh’s servant, His instrument for revealing Himself to other nations, who, when they witness the redemption of Yahweh’s suffering Servant, will bow down to Yahweh and acknowledge His rule. "Thus the trials of the nation lead to a comprehensive universalism within which the suffering Israel gains an elevated and ennobling explanation" (Ames, PRE, 185). In the prophetic vision of Ezekiel we must seek the inspiration for the later development of Jewish ritual, as well as the basis of those eschatological hopes and expectations which find their fuller expression in the apocalypse of Daniel and the kindred literature of the later centuries. The prophecies of the Isaiahs and the Messianic hope which these kindled in the hearts of the faithful prepared the way for the teachings of Jesus concerning a Divine spiritual kingdom, based upon the personal, ethical character of the individual and the mutual, spiritual fellowship of believers.

1. Educational Significance of the Prophets:

The educational significance of the prophetic writings of this as of the preceding periods is that the prophets themselves were the real religious leaders and representative men (Kulturtrager) of the nation. In advance of their age they were the heralds of Divine truth; the watchmen on the mountain tops whose clear insight into the future detected the significant elements in the social and religious conditions and tendencies about them, and whose keen intellect and lofty faith grasped the eternal principles which are the basis of all individual and national integrity and worth. These truths and principles they impressed upon the consciousness of their own and succeeding generations, thereby giving to future teachers of their race the essence of their message, and preparing the way for the larger and fuller interpretation of religion and life contained in the teachings of Jesus. The immediate influence of their teaching is explained in part by the variety and effectiveness of their teaching method, their marvelous simplicity and directness of speech, their dramatic emphasis upon essentials and their intelligent appreciation of social conditions and problems about them.

2. The Book of the Law:

The immediate bond of union, as well as the textbook and program of religious instruction, during the period of the captivity and subsequently, was the Book of the Law, which the exiles carried with them to Babylon. When in 458 BC a company of exiles returned to Palestine, they along with their poorer brethren who had not been carried away, restored the Jewish community at Jerusalem, and under the suzerainty of Persia, founded a new nationalism, based, even more than had been the earlier monarchy, upon the theocratic conception of Israel’s relation to Yahweh. During this period it was that writings of poets, lawgivers, prophets and sages were brought together into one sacred collection of scrolls, known later as the Old Testament canon, of which the Torah (the law) was educationally the most significant. The recognized teachers of this period included, in addition to the priests and Levites, the "wise men," or "sages" and the "scribes" or copherim (literally, "those learned in Scriptures").

3. Wise Men or Sages:

Whether or not the sages and scribes of the later post-exilic times are to be regarded as one and the same class, as an increasing number of scholars are inclined to believe, or thought of as distinct classes, the wise men clearly antedate, not only the copherim but in all probability all forms of book learning as well. Suggestions of their existence and function are met with in earliest times both in Israel and among other nations of the East. As illustrations of their appearance in preexilic Old Testament history may be cited the references in 2Sa 14:1-20; 1Ki 4:32; Isa 29:10. It is no lesser personage than King Solomon who, both by his contemporaries and later generations as well, was regarded as the greatest representative of this earlier group of teachers who uttered their wisdom in the form of clever, epigrammatic proverbs and shrewd sayings. The climax of Wisdom-teaching belongs, however, to the later post-exilic period. Of the wise men of this later day an excellent description is preserved for us in the Book of Ecclesiasticus 39:3-10; 1:1-11

"He seeks out the hidden meaning of proverbs, And is conversant with the subtleties of parables, He serves among great men, And appears before him who rules; He travels through the land of strange nations; For he hath tried good things and evil among men".

"He shows forth the instruction which he has been taught, And glories in the law of the covenant of the Lord".

"Nations shall declare his wisdom, And the congregation shall tell out his praise."

4. The Book of Proverbs:

Of the pedagogic experience, wisdom and learning of these sages, the Book of Proverbs forms the Biblical repository. Aside from the Torah it is thus the oldest handbook of education. The wise men conceive of life itself as a discipline. Parents are the natural instructors of their children:

"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, And forsake not the law of thy mother." Pr 1:8.

(Compare 4:1-4 ff; 6:20; 13:1.) The substance of such parental teaching is to be the ‘fear of Yahweh’ which "is the beginning of wisdom"; and fidelity in the performance of this parental obligation has the promise of success: "Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it." Pr 22:6.

In their training of children, parents are to observe sternness, not hesitating to apply the rod of correction, when needed (compare Pr 23:13,14), yet doing so with discretion, since wise reproof is better than "a hundred stripes" (Pr 17:10). Following the home training there is provision for further instruction at the hands of professional teachers for all who would really obtain unto "wisdom" and who can afford the time and expense of such special training. The teachers are none other than the wise men or sages whose words "heard in quiet" (Ec 9:17) are "as goads, and as nails well fastened" (Ec 12:11). Their precepts teach diligence Pr (6:6-11), chastity (7:5), charity (14:21), truthfulness (17:7) and temperance (21:17; 23:20,21,29-35); for the aim of all Wisdom-teaching is none other than

"To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion: That the wise man may hear, and increase in learning; And that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels." —Pr 1:4,5.

5. Scribes and Levites:

The copherim or "men of book learning" were editors and interpreters as well as scribes or copyists of ancient and current writings. As a class they did not become prominent until the wise men, as such, stepped into the background, nor until the exigencies of the situation demanded more teachers and teaching than the ranks of priests and Levites, charged with increasing ritualistic duties, could supply. Ezra was both a priest and a copher (Ezr 7:11; Ne 8:1 f), concerning whom we read that he "set his heart to seek the law of Yahweh, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances" (Ezr 7:10). Likewise the Levites often appear as teachers of the law, and we must think of the development of sopherism (scribism) as a distinct profession as proceeding very gradually. The same is true of the characteristic Jewish religious-educational institution, the synagogue, the origin and development of which fell within this same general period (compare SYNAGOGUE). The pupils of the copherim were the Pharisees (perushim or "separatists") who during the Maccabean period came to be distinguished from the priestly party or Sadducees.

6. Greek and Roman Influences:

The conquest of Persia by Alexander (332 BC) marks the rise of Greek influence in Palestine. Alexander himself visited Palestine and perhaps Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant, X, i, 8), befriended the Jews and granted to them the privilege of seir- government, and the maintenance of their own social and religious customs, both at home and in Alexandria, the new center of Greek learning, in the founding of which many Jews participated (see ALEXANDRIA). During the succeeding dynasty of the Ptolemies, Greek ideas and Greek culture penetrated to the very heart of Judaism at Jerusalem, and threatened the overthrow of Jewish social and religious institutions. The Maccabean revolt under Antiochus Epiphanes (174-164 BC) and the reestablishment of a purified temple ritual during the early part of the Maccabean period (161-63 BC) were the natural reaction against the attempt of the Seleucids forcibly to substitute the Greek gymnasium and theater for the Jewish synagogue and temple (Felten, NZ, I, 83 f; compare 1 Macc 1, 3, 9, 13 and 2 Macc 4-10). The end of the Maccabean period found Phariseeism and strict Jewish orthodoxy in the ascendancy with such Hellenic tendencies as had found permanent lodgment in Judaism reflected in the agnosticism of the aristocratic Sadducees. The establishment of Roman authority in Palestine (63 BC) introduced a new determining element into the environmental conditions under which Judaism was to attain its final distinguishing characteristics. The genius of the Romans was practical, legalistic and institutional. As organizers and administrators they were preeminent. But their religion never inspired to any exalted view of life, and education to them meant always merely a preparation for life’s practical duties. Hence, the influence of Roman authority upon Judaism was favorable to the development of a narrow individualistic Phariseeism, rather than to the fostering of Greek idealism and universalism. With the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans a little more than a century later (70 AD) and the cessation of the temple worship, the Sadducees as a class disappeared from Judaism, which has ever since been represented by the Pharisees devoted to the study of the law. Outside of Jerusalem and Palestine, meanwhile, the Jewish communities at Alexandria and elsewhere were much more hospitable to Greek culture and learning, at the same time exerting a reciprocal, modifying influence upon Greek thought. It was, however, through its influence upon early Christian theology and education that the Hellenistic philosophy of the Alexandrian school left its deeper impress upon the substance and method of later Christian education.

IV. Education in New Testament Times.

Elementary schools: Jewish education in the time of Christ was of the orthodox traditional type and in the hands of scribes, Pharisees and learned rabbis. The home was still the chief institution for the dispensation of elementary instruction, although synagogues, with attached schools for the young were to be found in every important Jewish community. Public elementary schools, other than those connected with the synagogues were of slower growth and do not seem to have been common until, some time after Joshua ben Gamala, high priest from 63-65 AD, ordered that teachers be appointed in every province and city to instruct children having attained the age of 6-7 years. In the synagogue schools the chazzan, or attendant, not infrequently served as schoolmaster (compare SCHOOL; SCHOOLMASTER).

1. Subject Matter of Instruction:

As in earlier times the Torah, connoting now the sacred Old Testament writings as a whole, though with emphasis still upon the law, furnished the subject-matter of instruction. To this were added, in the secondary schools (colleges) of the rabbis, the illustrative and parabolical rabbinical interpretation of the law (the haggadhah) and its application to daily life in the form of concise precept or rule of conduct (the halakhah). Together the haggadhah and halakhah furnish the content of the Talmud (or Talmuds), as the voluminous collections of orthodox Jewish teachings of later centuries came to be known.

2. Method and Aims:

As regards teaching method the scribes and rabbis of New Testament times did not improve much upon the practice of the copherim and sages of earlier centuries. Memorization, the exact reproduction by the pupil of the master’s teaching, rather than general knowledge or culture, was the main objective. Since the voice of prophecy had become silent and the canon of revealed truth was considered closed, the intellectual mastery and interpretation of this sacred revelation of the past was the only aim that education on its intellectual side could have. On its practical side it sought, as formerly, the inculcation of habits of strict ritualistic observance, obedience to the letter of the law as a condition of association and fellowship with the selected company of true Israelites to which scribes and Pharisees considered themselves to belong. The success with which the teachings of the scribes and rabbis were accompanied is an evidence of their devotion to their work, and more still of the psychological insight manifested by them in utilizing every subtle means and method for securing and holding the attention of their pupils, and making their memories the trained and obedient servants of an educational ideal. The defects in their work were largely the defects in that ideal. Their theory and philosophy of education were narrow. "Their eyes were turned too much to the past rather than the present and future." They failed to distinguish clearly the gold from the dross in their inherited teachings, or to adapt these to the vital urgent needs of the common people. In its struggle against foreign cults and foreign culture, Judaism had encased itself in a shell of stereotyped orthodoxy, the attempt to adapt which to new conditions and to a constantly changing social order resulted in an insincere and shallow casuistry of which the fantastic conglomerate mass of Talmudic wisdom of the 4th and 6th centuries is the lasting memorial.

3. Valuable Results of Jewish Education:

Nevertheless, Jewish education, though defective both in matter and in method, and tending to fetter rather than to free the mind, achieved four valuable results:

(1) it developed a taste for close, critical study;

(2) it sharpened the wits, even to the point of perversity;

(3) it encouraged a reverence for law and produced desirable social conduct; and

(4) it formed a powerful bond of union among the Jewish people. To these four points of excellence enumerated by Davidson (Historia Ecclesiastica, 80) must be added a fifth which, briefly stated, is this:

(5) Jewish education by its consistent teaching of lofty monotheism, and its emphasis, sometimes incidental add sometimes outstanding, upon righteousness and holiness of life as a condition of participation in a future Messianic kingdom, prepared the way for the Christian view of God and the world, set forth in its original distinctness of outline and incomparable simplicity in the teachings of Jesus.

4. The Preeminence of Jesus as a Teacher:

Jesus was more than a teacher; but He was a teacher first. To His contemporaries he appeared as a Jewish rabbi of exceptional influence and popularity. He used the teaching methods of the rabbis; gathered about Him, as did they, a group of chosen disciples (learners) whom He trained and taught more explicitly with a view to perpetuating through them His own influence and work. His followers called Him Rabbi and Master, and the scribes and Pharisees conceded His popularity and power. He taught, as did the rabbis of His time, in the temple courts, in the synagogue, in private, and on the public highway as the exigencies of the case demanded. His textbook, so far as He used any, was the same as theirs; His form of speech (parable and connected discourse), manner of life and methods of instruction were theirs. Yet into His message and method He put a new note of authority that challenged attention and inspired confidence. Breaking with the traditions of the past He substituted for devotion to the letter of the law an interest in men, with boundless sympathy for their misfortune, abiding faith in their worth and high destiny and earnest solicitude for their regeneration and perfection. To say that Jesus was the world’s greatest and foremost example as a teacher is to state a fact borne out by every inquiry, test and comparison that modern educational science can apply to the work and influence of its great creative geniuses of the past. Where His contemporaries and even His own followers saw only "as in a glass, darkly," He saw clearly; and His view of God and the world, of human life and human destiny, has come down through the ages as a Divine revelation vouchsafed the world in Him. Viewed from the intellectual side, it was the life philosophy of Jesus that made His teachings imperishable; esthetically it was the compassionate tenderness and solicitude of His message that drew the multitudes to Him; judged from the standpoint of will, it was the example of His life, its purpose, its purity, its helpfulness, that caused men to follow Him; and tested by its immediate and lasting social influence, it was the doctrine, the ideal and example of the human brotherliness and Divine sonship, that made Jesus the pattern of the great teachers of mankind in every age and generation. With a keen, penetrating insight into the ultimate meaning of life, He reached out, as it were, over the conflicting opinions of men and the mingling social and cultural currents of His time backward to the fundamental truths uttered by the ancient prophets of His race and forward to the ultimate goal of the race. Then with simple directness of speech He addressed Himself to the consciences and wills of men, setting before them the ideal of the higher life, and with infinite patience sought to lift them to the plane of fellowship with Himself in thought and action.

5. Educational Work of the Early Disciples:

It remained for the disciples of Jesus to perpetuate His teaching ministry and to organize the new forces making for human betterment. In this work, which was distinctly religious-educational in character, some found a field of labor among their own Jewish kinsmen, and others, like Paul, among the needy Gentiles (Ga 1:16; 2:7; 1Ti 2:7). As regards a division of labor in the apostolic church, we read of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers ( 1Co 12:28; Eph 4:11). The apostles were the itinerant leaders and missionaries of the entire church. Their work was largely that of teaching, Paul insisting on calling himself a teacher as well as an apostle (2Ti 1:11; 1Co 4:17). The prophets were men with a special message like that of Agabus (Ac 21:10,11). The evangelists were itinerant preachers, as was Philip (Ac 8:40), while the pastors, also called bishops, had permanent charge of individual churches. The professional teachers included both laymen and those ordained by the laying on of hands. Their work was regarded with highest honor in the church and community. In contrast with the itinerant church officers, apostles and evangelists, they, like the pastors, resided permanently in local communities. With this class the author of the Epistle of Jas identifies himself, and there can be little doubt that the epistle which he wrote reflects both the content and form of the instruction which these earliest Christian teachers gave to their pupils. Before the close of the 1st century the religious educational work of the church had been organized into a more systematic form, out of which there developed gradually the catechumenate of the early post-apostolic period (see CATECHIST). In the Didache, or Teachings of the Apostles, there has been reserved for us a textbook of religious instruction from this earlier period (Kent, GTJC). Necessarily, the entire missionary and evangelistic work of the apostolic church was educational in character, and throughout this earliest period of church history we must think of the work of apostles, evangelists and pastors, as well as that of professional teachers, as including a certain amount of systematic religious instruction.



Ames, Psychology of Religious Experience, chapter x; Box, article "Education," in Encyclopedia Biblica; Butler, The Meaning of Education; Davidson, History of Education; Dewey, article "Education," in Monroe’s Cyclopedia of Education; Edersheim, "The Upbringing of Jewish Children," in SJSL, and Life and Times of Jesus, I, 225 f; Fairweather, Background of the Gospels; Felten, "Schriftgelehrten, Synagogen u. Schulen," in Neutestamentliche Zeitgeschichte, I; Ginsburg, article "Education," in Kitto’s Biblical Cyclopedia; Hiegemoser u. Bock, Quellenbuch u. Uberblick d. Geschichte d. Padagogik; Katzer, articles "Jesus als Lehrer" and "Judenchristenturn," in Rein’s Encyklopadisches Handbuch d. Padagogik; Kennedy, article "Education," in HDB, I; Kohler and Gudemann, article "Education" in Jew Encyclopedia, V; Kent, Great Teachers of Judaism and Christianity and Makers and Teachers of Judaism; Laurie, Historical Survey of Pre-Christian Education; Lewit, Darstellung d. theoretischen u. praktischen Padagogik im jud. Altertume; Oehler, article "Padagogik d. Alten Testaments," in Schmid’s Encyclopadie d. Gesammten Erziehungs-u. Unterrichtswesen; Schurer, "Schriftgelehrsamkeit, Schule u. Synagoge," in Geschichte d. jud. Volkes (ed 1907); W. R. Smith, Religion of the Semites; Straussburger, Geschichte d. Unterrichts bei d. Israeliten; von Rohden, article "Katechetik" in Rein’s EHP.

H. H. Meyer


e’-duth (‘edhuth, "testimony," a technical term for the Ten Commandments or for the Law):

In Ps 60 title, "set to Shushan Eduth" (literally, "a lily (is) the testimony"); 80 title, "set to Shoshannim Eduth" (literally, "lilies (is) the testimony"). The Hebrew words appear to be intended to designate a melody by the first few words ordinarily associated with it.



e-fekt’, e-fek’-tu-al:

In the Old Testament, the Revised Version (British and American) renders "fulfilment" for "effect" in Eze 12:23 (Hebrew dabhar, "matter"); and in Jer 48:30 "His boastings have wrought nothing" for the vaguer "His lies shall not so effect" of the King James Version. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "make of none effect" occurs repeatedly: as the translation of Greek akuroo, "render void" (Mt 15:6; Mr 7:13); of katargeo, "annul" (Ro 3:3 (the King James Version "make without effect"); Ro 4:14; Ga 3:17); and of kenoo, "make empty" (1Co 1:17). the Revised Version (British and American) renders "make of none effect" in Ro 3:3; Ga 3:17; "make void" in the other cases, with no apparent reason for the lack of uniformity. Greek energeo is the opposite in meaning of katargeo above. Its derivative energes, "effective," is rendered "effectual" by English Versions of the Bible in 1Co 16:9; Phm 1:6. the Revised Version (British and American) dispenses with "effectual," "effectually," in the other cases where the King James Version has used these words as auxiliary in the translation of energeo or of energeia, "working" (2Co 1:6; Ga 2:8; Eph 3:7; 4:16; 1Th 2:13; Jas 5:16).

F. K. Farr


(betsah; oon; Latin ovum):

An oval or spheroid body produced by birds, fishes and reptiles, from which their young emerge when incubated or naturally developed. The fertile egg of a bird consists of the yolk, a small disk from which the embryo develops, the albuminous white, and a calcareous shell. The most ancient records prove that eggs have been used as an article of diet ever since the use of the flesh of fowl began. Chickens were unknown in Palestine in the days of Job, so that his query concerning the taste of the white of an egg might have referred to those of pigeons, ducks, eggs taken from the nests of geese or swans, game birds or ostriches. "Can that which hath no savor be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?" (Job 6:6, the Revised Version, margin "the juice of purslain"). In Lu 11:12 there is every possibility that the egg of our common domestic fowl is referred to as "chickens" (which see) had been imported and were numerous in Palestine at that time. "Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion?" The reference in Isa 59:5 is to the egg of a serpent, and is figurative of the schemes of evil men: "They hatch adders’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth; and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper."

Gene Stratton-Porter


eg’-la (‘eghlah, "heifer"):

Wife of David and mother of Ithream (2Sa 3:5 parallel 1Ch 3:3).


eg’-la-im (’eghlayim; Agaleim):

A place named in Isa 15:8, possibly in the South of Moab. Eusebius (Onomasticon) identifies it with Agallim, a village 8 Roman miles South of Areopolis. It cannot now be identified.


eg’-lath-shel-i-shi’-ya (‘eghlath shelishiyah):

Found in Isa 15:5; Jer 48:34 (Hebrew) in oracles against Moab. the King James Version translates "an heifer of three years old"; the Revised Version (British and American) takes it as the name of a place, but the American Revised Version, margin has "a heifer three years old," according to Septuagint. In the former case strong and unconquered cities, Zoar and Horonaim, are compared to the heifer not yet broken to the yoke. Such use of "heifer" is not infrequent (compare Jer 46:20; Ho 10:11, etc.). The majority of scholars, however, take it as a place-name. Some would read "the third Eglath," as if there were three towns of that name. No probable identification has been suggested.

W. Ewing


eg’-lon (‘eghlon, "circle"):

A king of Moab in the period of the Judges who, in alliance with Ammon and Amalek, overcame Israel and made Jericho his capital, presumably driven across the Jordan by the turmoil in his own kingdom which at that time was probably being used as a battle ground by Edom and the desert tribes (compare Ge 36:35). After 18 years of servitude the children of Israel were delivered by Ehud the Benjamite, who like so many other Benjamites (compare Jud 20:16) was left-handed. Under the pretext of carrying a present to the tyrant, he secured a private interview and assassinated him with a two-edged sword which he had carried concealed on his right side (Jud 3:19-22). Ehud made his escape, rallied the children of Israel about him and returned to conquer the Moabites (Jud 3:30).

Ella Davis Isaacs


eg’-lon (‘eghlon; Odollam):

A royal Canaanite city whose king joined the league headed by Adonizedek of Jerusalem against the Gibeonites, which suffered overwhelming defeat at the hands of Joshua (Jos 10). Joshua passed from Libnah to Lachish, and from Lachish to Eglon on his way to Hebron (10:31 ff). It was in the Shephelah of Judah (15:39). The name seems to be preserved in that of Khirbet ‘Ajlan, about 10 miles West of Beit Jibrin. Professor Petrie, however, thinks that the site of Tell Nejileh better suits the requirements. While Khirbet ‘Ajlan is a comparatively modern site, the city at Tell Nejileh must have been contemporary with that at Tell el-Chesy (Lachish). It lies fully three miles Southeast of Tell el-Chesy.

W. Ewing




1. The Basis of the Land 2. The Nile Valley 3. Earliest Human Remains 4. Climate 5. Conditions of Life 6. The Nile 7. The Fauna 8. The Flora 9. The Prehistoric Races


1. 1st and 2nd Ages: Prehistoric 2. 3d Age: Ist and IInd Dynasties 3. 4th Age: IIIrd through VIth Dynasties 4. 5th Age: VIIth through XIVth Dynasties 5. 6th Age: XVth through XXIVth Dynasties 6. 7th Age: XXVth Dynasty to Roman Times 7. 8th Age: Arabic 8. Early Foreign Connections


1. Semitic Connections 2. Abramic Times 3. Circumcision 4. Joseph 5. Descent into Egypt 6. The Oppression 7. The Historic Position 8. The Plagues 9. Date of the Exodus 10. Route of the Exodus 11. Numbers of the Exodus 12. Israel in Canaan 13. Hadad 14. Pharaoh’s Daughter 15. Shishak 16. Zerakh 17. The Ethiopians 18. Tahpanhes 19. Hophra 20. The Jews of Syene 21. The New Jerusalem of Oniah 22. The Egyptian Jew 23. Cities and Places Alphabetically


1. Language 2. Writing 3. Literature 4. Four Views of Future Life 5. Four Groups of Gods 6. Foreign Gods 7. Laws 8. Character


Egypt (mitsrayim; he Aiguptos):

Usually supposed to represent the dual of Mitsrayim, referring to "the two lands," as the Egyptians called their country. This dualism, however, has been denied by some.

I. The Country.

1. The Basis of the Land:

Though Egypt is one of the earliest countries in recorded history, and as regards its continuous civilization, yet it is a late country in its geological history and in its occupation by a settled population. The whole land up to Silsileh is a thick mass of Eocene limestone, with later marls over that in the lower districts. It has been elevated on the East, up to the mountains of igneous rocks many thousand feet high toward the Red Sea. It has been depressed on the West, down to the Fayum and the oases below sea-level. This strain resulted in a deep fault from North to South for some hundreds of miles up from the Mediterranean. This fault left its eastern side about 200 ft. above its western, and into it the drainage of the plateau poured, widening it out so as to form the Nile valley, as the permanent drain of Northeast Africa. The access of water to the rift seems to have caused the basalt outflows, which are seen as black columnar basalt South of the Fayum, and brown massive basalt at Khankah, North of Cairo.

2. The Nile Valley:

The gouging out of the Nile valley by rainfall must have continued when the land was 300 ft. higher than at present, as is shown by the immense fails of strata into collapsed caverns which were far below the present Nile level. Then, after the excavations of the valley, it has been submerged to 500 ft. lower than at present, as is shown by the rolled gravel beds and deposits on the tops of the water-worn cliffs, and the filling up of the tributary valleys—as at Thebes—by deep deposits, through which the subsequent stream beds have been scoured out. The land still had the Nile source 30 ft. higher than it is now within the human period, as seen by the worked flints in high gravel beds above the Nile plain. The distribution of land and water was very different from that at present when the land was only 100 ft. lower than now. Such a change would make the valley an estuary up to South of the Fayum, would submerge much of the western desert, and would unite the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean. Such differences would entirely alter the conditions of animal life by sea and land. And as the human period began when the water was considerably higher, the conditions of climate and of life must have greatly changed in the earlier ages of man’s occupation.

3. Earliest Human Remains:

The earliest human remains belonging to the present condition of the country are large paleolithic flints found in the side valleys at the present level of the Nile. As these are perfectly fresh, and not rolled or altered, they show that paleolithic man lived in Egypt under the present conditions. The close of this paleolithic age of hunters, and the beginning of a settled population of cultivators, cannot have been before the drying up of the climate, which by depriving the Nile of tributary streams enfeebled it so that its mud was deposited and formed a basis for agriculture. From the known rate of deposit, and depth of mud soil, this change took place about 10,000 years ago. As the recorded history of the country extends 7,500 years, and we know of two prehistoric ages before that, it is pretty well fixed that the disappearance of paleolithic man, and the beginning of the continuous civilization must have been about 9,000 to 10,000 years ago. For the continuation of this subject see the section on "History" below.

4. Climate:

The climate of Egypt is unique in the world. So far as solar heat determines it, the condition is tropical; for, though just North of the tropic which lies at the boundary of Egypt and Nubia, the cloudless condition fully compensates for higher latitude. So far as temperature of the air is concerned, the climate is temperate, the mean heat of the winter months being 52 degree and of the summer about 80 degree, much the same as Italy. This is due to the steady prevalence of north winds, which maintain fit conditions for active, strenuous work. The rainlessness and dry air give the same facility of living that is found in deserts, where shelter is only needed for temperature and not for wet; while the inundation provides abundant moisture for the richest crops.

5. Conditions of Life:

The primitive condition—only recently changed—of the crops being all raised during five cool months from November to April, and the inundation covering the land during all the hot weather, left the population free from labor during the enervating season, and only required their energies when work was possible under favorable conditions. At the same time it gave a great opportunity for monumental work, as any amount of labor could be drawn upon without the smallest reduction in the produce of the country. The great structures which covered the land gave training and organization to the people, without being any drain upon the welfare of the country. The inundation covering the plain also provided the easiest transport for great masses from the quarries at the time when labor was abundant. Thus the climatic conditions were all in favor of a great civilization, and aided its production of monuments. The whole mass of the country being of limestone, and much of it of the finest quality, provided material for construction at every point. In the south, sandstone and granite were also at hand upon the great waterway.

6. The Nile:

The Nile is the great factor which makes life possible in Northeast Africa, and without it Egypt would only be a desolate corner of the Sahara. The union of two essentially different streams takes place at Kharrum. The White or light Nile comes from the great plains of the Sudan, while the Blue or dark Nile descends from the mountains of Abyssinia. The Sudan Nile from Gondokoro is filtered by the lakes and the sudd vegetation, so that it carries little mud; the Abyssinian Nile, by its rapid course, brings down all the soil which is deposited in Egypt, and which forms the basis for cultivation. The Sudan Nile rises only 6 ft. from April to November; while the Abyssinian Nile rises 26 ft. from April to August. The latter makes the rise of the inundation, while the Sudan Nile maintains the level into the winter. In Egypt itself the unchecked Nile at Aswan rises 25 ft. from the end of May to the beginning of September; while at Cairo, where modified by the irrigation system, it rises 16 ft. from May to the end of September. It was usually drained off the land by the beginning of November, and cultivation was begun. The whole cultivable land of Egypt is but the dried-up bed of the great river, which fills its ancient limits during a third of the year. The time taken by a flush of water to come down the Nile is about 15 days from 400 miles above Khartum to Aswan, and about 6 days from Aswan to Cairo, or 80 to 90 miles a day, which shows a flow of 3 to 3 1/2 miles an hour when in flood.

7. The Fauna:

The fauna has undergone great changes during the human period. At the close of the prehistoric age there are represented the giraffe, elephant, wild ox, lion, leopard, stag, long-necked gazelle and great dogs, none of which are found in the historic period. During historic times various kinds of antelopes have been exterminated, the hippopotamus was driven out of the Delta during Roman times, and the crocodile was cleared out of Upper Egypt and Nubia in the last century. Cranes and other birds shown on early sculptures are now unknown in the country. The animals still surviving are the wolf, jackal, hyena, dogs, ichneumon, jerboa, rats, mice, lizards (up to 4 ft. long) and snakes, besides a great variety of birds, admirably figured by Whymper, Birds of Egypt. Of tamed animals, the ox, sheep, goat and donkey are ancient; the cat and horse were brought in about 2000 BC, the camel was not commonly known till 200 AD, and the buffalo was brought to Egypt and Italy in the Middle Ages.

8. The Flora:

The cultivated plants of Egypt were numerous. In ancient times we find the maize (durrah), wheat, barley and lentil; the vine, currant, date palm, dum palm, fig, olive and pomegranate; the onion, garlic, cucumber, melon and radish; the sont acacia, sycamore and tamarisk; the flax, henna and clover; and for ornament, the lotus, convolvulus and many others. The extension of commerce brought in by the Greek period, the bean, pea, sesame, lupin, helbeh, colocasia and sugar-cane; also the peach, walnut, castor-oil and pear. In the Roman and Arabic ages came in the chick pea, oats, rice, cotton, orange and lemon. In recent times have come the cactus, aloe, tomato, Indian corn, lebbek acacia and beetroot. Many European flowering and ornamental plants were also used in Egypt by the Greeks, and brought in later by the Arabs.

9. The Prehistoric Races:

The original race in Egypt seems to have been of the steatopygous type now only found in South Africa. Figures of this race are known in the caves of France, in Malta, and later in Somaliland. As this race was still known in Egypt at the beginning of the neolithic civilization, and is there represented only by female figures in the graves, it seems that it was being exterminated by the newcomers and only the women were kept as slaves. The neolithic race of Egypt was apparently of the Libyan stock. There seems to have been a single type of the Amorites in Syria, the prehistoric Egyptians and the Libyans; this race had a high, well-filled head, long nose slightly aquiline, and short beard; the profile was upright and not prognathous, the hair was wavy brown. It was a better type than the present south Europeans, of a very capable and intelligent appearance. From the objects found, and the religious legends, it seems that this race was subdued by an eastern, and probably Arabian race, in the prehistoric age.

II. The History.

The founders of the dynastic history were very different, having a profile with nose and forehead in one straight line, and rather thick, but well-formed lips. Historically the indications point to their coming from about Somali land by water, and crossing into Egypt by the Koptos road from the Red Sea. The IInd Dynasty gave place to some new blood, probably of Sudany origin. In the VIth and VIIth Dynasties foreigners poured in apparently from the North, perhaps from Crete, judging by their foreign products. The XVth and XVIth Dynasties were Hyksos, or Semitic "princes of the desert" from the East. The XVIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties were Berber in origin. The XIXth Dynasty was largely Semitic from Syria. The XXIId Dynasty was headed by an eastern adventurer Sheshenq, or Shusinak, "the man of Susa." The XXVth Dynasty was Ethiopian. The XXVIth Dynasty was Libyan. The Greeks then poured into the Delta and the Fayum, and Hellenized Egypt. The Roman made but little change in the population; but during his rule the Arab began to enter the eastern side, and by 641 AD the Arab conquest swept the land, and brought in a large part—perhaps the majority—of the ancestors of the present inhabitants. After 3 centuries the Tunisians—the old Libyans—conquered Egypt again. The later administrations by Syrians, Circassians, Turks and others probably made no change in the general population. The economic changes of the past century have brought in Greeks, Italians and other foreigners to the large towns; but all these only amount to an eightieth of the population. The Coptics are the descendants of the very mixed Egyptians of Roman age, kept separate from the Arab invaders by their Christianity. They are mainly in Upper Egypt, where some villages are entirely Coptic, and are distinguished by their superior cleanliness, regularity, and the freedom of the women from unwholesome seclusion. The Coptics, though only a fifteenth of the population, have always had a large share of official posts, owing to their intelligence and ability being above that of the Muslim.

1. 1st and 2d Ages: Prehistoric:

In dealing with the history, we here follow the dating which was believed and followed by the Egyptians themselves. All the monumental remains agree with this, so far as they can check it; and the various arbitrary reductions that have been made on some periods are solely due to some critics preferring their internal sense to all the external facts. For the details involved in the chronology, see Historical Studies, II (British School of Archaeology in Egypt). The general outline of the periods is given here, and the detailed view of the connection with Old Testament history is treated in later sections.

1st Age.

The prehistoric age begins probably about 8000 BC, as soon as there was a sufficient amount of Nile deposit to attract a settled population. The desert river valley of Egypt was probably one of the latest haunts of steatopygous Paleolithic man of the Bushman type. So soon as there was an opening for a pastoral or agricultural people, he was forced away by settlers from Libya. These settlers were clad in goatskins, and made a small amount of pottery by hand; they knew also of small quantities of copper, but mainly used flint, of which they gradually developed the finest working known in any age. They rapidly advanced in civilization. Their pottery of red polished ware was decorated with white clay patterns, exactly like the pottery still made in the mountains of Algeria. The forms of it were very varied and exquisitely regular, although made without the wheel. Their hardstone vases are finer than any of those of the historic ages. They adopted spinning, weaving and woodwork.

2nd Age.

Upon these people came in others probably from the East, who brought in the use of the Arab face-veil, the belief in amulets, and the Persian lapis lazuli. Most of the previous forms of pottery disappear, and nearly all the productions are greatly altered. Copper became common, while gold, silver and lead were also known. Heliopolis was probably a center of rule.

2. 3d Age: Ist and IId Dynasties:

About 5900 BC a new people came in with the elements of the art of writing, and a strong political ability of organization. Before 5800 BC they had established kings at Abydos in Upper Egypt, and for 3 centuries they gradually increased their power. On the carved slates which they have left, the standards of the allied tribes are represented; the earliest in style shows the standard of Koptos, the next has a standard as far North as Hermopolis, and the latest bears the standard of Letopolis, and shows the conquest of the Fayum, or perhaps one of the coast lakes. This last is of the first king of the Ist Dynasty, Mena.

The conquest of all Egypt is marked by the beginning of the series of numbered dynasties beginning with Mena, at about 5550 BC. The civilization rapidly advanced. The art was at its best under the third king, Zer, and thence steadily declined. Writing was still ideographic under Mena, but became more syllabic and phonetic toward the end of the dynasty. The work in hardstone was at its height in the vases of the early part of the Ist Dynasty, when an immense variety of beautiful stones appear. It greatly fell off on reaching the IId Dynasty. The tombs were all of timber, built in large pits in the ground.

3. 4th Age: IIIrd through VIth Dynasties:

The IInd Dynasty fell about 5000 BC, and a new power rapidly raised the art from an almost barbarous state to its highest triumphs by about 4750 BC, when the pyramid building was started. Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid in the IVth Dynasty, was one of the greatest rulers of Egypt. He organized the administration on lines which lasted for ages. He reformed the religious system, abolishing the endowments, and substituting models for the sacrifice of animals. He trained the largest body of skilled labor that ever appeared, for the building of his pyramid, the greatest and most accurate structure that the world has ever seen. The statuary of this age is more lifelike than that of any later age. The later reigns show steady decay in the character of work, with less dignity and more superficiality in the article

4. 5th Age: VIIth through XIVth Dynasties:

By about 4050 BC, the decline of Egypt allowed of fresh people pressing in from the North, probably connected with Crete. There are few traces of these invaders; a curious class of barbaric buttons used as seals are their commonest remains. Probably the so-called "Hyksos sphinxes" and statues are of these people, and belong to the time of their attaining power in Egypt. By 3600 BC, the art developed into the great ages of the XIth to the XIIth Dynasties which lasted about 2 centuries. The work is more scholastic and less natural than before; but it is very beautiful and of splendid accuracy. The exquisite jewelry of Dahshur is of this age. After some centuries of decay this civilization passed away.

5. 6th Age: XVth through XXIVth Dynasties:

The Semitic tribes had long been filtering into Egypt, and Babylonian Semites even ruled the land until the great migration of the Hyksos took place about 2700 BC. These tribes were ruled by kings entitled "princes of the desert," like the Semitic Absha, or Abishai, shown in the tomb of Beni-hasan, as coming to settle in Egypt. By 1700 BC the Berbers who had adopted the Egyptian civilization pressed down from the South, and ejected the Hyksos rule. This opened the most flourishing period of Egyptian history, the XVIIIth Dynasty, 1587-1328 BC. The profusion of painted tombs at Thebes, which were copied and popularized by Gardner Wilkinson, has made the life of this period very familiar to us. The immense temples of Karnak and of Luqsor, and the finest of the Tombs of the Kings have impressed us with the royal magnificence of this age. The names of Thothmes I and III, of the great queen Hatshepsut, of the magnificent Amenhotep III, and of the monotheist reformer Akchenaton are among those best known in the history. Their foreign connections we shall notice later.

The XIXth and XXth Dynasties were a period of continual degradation from the XVIIIth. Even in the best work of the 6th Age there is hardly ever the real solidity and perfection which is seen in that of the 4th or 5th Ages. But under the Ramessides cheap effects and showy imitations were the regular system. The great Rameses II was a great advertiser, but inferior in power to half a dozen kings of the previous dynasty. In the XXth Dynasty one of the royal daughters married the high priest of Amen at Thebes; and on the unexpected death of the young Rameses V, the throne reverted to his uncle Rameses VI, whose daughter then became the heiress, and her descendants, the high priests of Amen, became the rightful rulers. This priestly rule at Thebes; beginning in 1102 BC, was balanced by a purely secular rule of the north at Tanis (Zoan). These lasted until the rise of Sheshenq I (Shishak) in 952 BC, the founder of the XXIId Dynasty. His successors gradually decayed till the fall of the XXIIIrd Dynasty in 721 BC. The Ethiopian XXVIth Dynasty then held Egypt as a province of Ethiopia, down to 664 BC.

6. 7th Age: XXVth Dynasty to Roman Times:

It is hard to say when the next age began—perhaps with the Ethiopians; but it rose to importance with the XXVIth Dynasty under Psamtek (Psammitichos I), 664-610 BC, and continued under the well-known names of Necoh, Hophra and Amasis until overthrown by the Persians in 525 BC. From 405 to 342 the Egyptians were independent; then the Persians again crushed them, and in 332 they fell into the hands of the Macedonians by the conquest of Alexander.

The Macedonian Age of the Ptolemies was one of the richest and most brilliant at its start, but soon faded under bad rulers till it fell hopelessly to pieces and succumbed to the Roman subjection in 30 BC. From that time Egypt was ground by taxation, and steadily impoverished. By 300 AD it was too poor to keep even a copper currency in circulation, and barter became general. Public monuments entirely ceased to be erected, and Decius in 250 AD is the last ruler whose name was written in the old hieroglyphs, which were thenceforward totally forgotten. After three more centuries of increasing degradation and misery, the Arab invasion burst upon the land, and a few thousand men rode through it and cleared out the remaining effete garrisons of the empire in 641 AD.

7. 8th Age: Arabic:

The Arab invasion found the country exhausted and helpless; repeated waves of tribes poured in, and for a generation or two there was no chance of a settlement. Gradually the majority of the inhabitants were pressed into Islam, and by about 800 AD a strong government was established from Bagdad, and Egypt rapidly advanced. In place of being the most impoverished country it became the richest land of the Mediterranean. The great period of medieval Egypt was under the guidance of the Mesopotamian civilization, 800-969 AD. The Tunisian dominion of the Fatimites, 969-1171, was less successful. Occasionally strong rulers arose, such as Salah-ed-Din (Saladin), but the age of the Mamalukes, 1250-1577, was one of steady decline. Under the Turkish dominion, 1517, Egypt was split up into many half-independent counties, whose rulers began by yielding tribute, but relapsed into ignoring the Caliphate and living in continual internal feuds. In 1771 Aly Bey, a slave, succeeded in conquering Syria. The French and British quarrel left Muhamed Aly to rise supreme, and to guide Egypt for over 40 years. Again Egypt conquered Syria, 1831-39, but was compelled by Europe to retreat. The opening of the Suez Canal (1869) necessarily led to the subjection of Egypt to European direction.

8. Early Foreign Connections:

The foreign connections of Egypt have been brought to light only during the last 20 years. In place of supposing that Egypt was isolated until the Greek conquest, we now see that it was in the closest commercial relation with the rest of the world throughout its history. We have already noted the influences which entered by conquest. During the periods of high civilization in Egypt, foreign connections came into notice by exploration and by trade. The lazuli of Persia was imported in the prehistoric age, as well as the emery of Smyrna. In the Ist Dynasty, Egypt conquered and held Sinai for the sake of the turquoise mines. In the IIIrd Dynasty, large fleets of ships were built, some as much as 160 ft. long; and the presence of much pottery imported from Crete and the north, even before this, points to a Mediterranean trade. In the Vth Dynasty, King Unas had relations with Syria. From the XIIth Dynasty comes the detailed account of the life of an Egyptian in Palestine (Sanehat); and Cretan pottery of this age is found traded into Egypt.

III. The Old Testament Connections.

1. Semitic Connections:

The Hyksos invasion unified the rule of Syria and Egypt, and Syrian pottery is often found in Egypt of this age. The return of the wave, when Egypt drove out the Hyksos, and conquered Syria out to the Euphrates, was the greatest expansion of Egypt. Tahutmes I set up his statue on the Euphrates, and all Syria was in his hands. Tahutmes III repeatedly raided Syria, bringing back plunder and captives year by year throughout most of his reign. The number of Syrian artists and of Syrian women brought into Egypt largely changed the style of art and the standard of beauty. Amenhotep III held all Syria in peace, and recorded his triumphs at the Euphrates on the walls of the temple of Soleb far up in Nubia. His monotheist son, Amenhotep IV, took the name of Akhenaton, "the glory of the sun’s disc," and established the worship of the radiant sun as the Aton, or Adon of Syria. The cuneiform letters from Tell el-Amarna place all this age before us in detail. There are some from the kings of the Amorites and Hittites, from Naharain and even Babylonia, to the great suzerain Amenhotep III. There is also the long series describing the gradual loss of Syria under Akhenaton, as written by the governors and chiefs, of the various towns. The main letters are summarized in the Students’ History of Egypt, II, and full abstracts of all the letters are in Syria and Egypt, arranged in historical order.

Pal was reconquered by Seti I and his son Rameses II, but they only held about a third of the extent which formerly belonged to Amenhotep III. Merenptah, son of Rameses, also raided Southern Palestine. After that; it was left alone till the raid of Sheshenq in 933 BC. The only considerable assertion of Egyptian power was in Necoh’s two raids up to the Euphrates, in 609 and 605 BC. But Egypt generally held the desert and a few minor points along the south border of Palestine. The Ptolemies seldom possessed more than that, their aspirations in Syria not lasting as permanent conquests. They were more successful in holding Cyprus.

2. Abramic Times:

We now come to the specific connections of Egypt with the Old Testament. The movement of the family of Abram from Ur in the south of Mesopotamia up to Haran in the north (Ge 11:31) and thence down Syria into Egypt (Ge 12:5,10) was like that of the earlier Semitic "princes of the desert," when they entered Egypt as the Hyksos kings about 2600 BC. Their earlier dominion was the XVth Dynasty of Egypt, and that was followed by another movement, the XVIth Dynasty, about 2250 BC, which was the date of the migration of Terah from Ur. Thus the Abramic family took part in the second Hyksos movement. The cause of these tribal movements has been partly explained by Mr. Huntington’s researches on the recurrence of dry periods in Asia (Royal Geogr. Soc., May 26, 1910: The Pulse of Asia). Such lack of rain forces the desert peoples on to the cultivated lands, and then later famines are recorded. The dry age which pushed the Arab tribes on to the Mediterranean in 640 AD was succeeded by famines in Egypt during 6 centuries So as soon as Abram moved into Syria a famine pushed him on to Egypt (Ge 12:10). To this succeeded other famines in Canaan (Ge 26:1), and later in both Canaan and Egypt (Ge 41:56; 43:1; 47:13). The migration of Abram was thus conditioned by the general dry period, which forced the second Hyksos movement of which it was a part. The culture of the Hyksos was entirely nomadic, and agrees in all that we can trace with the patriarchal culture pictured in Gen.

3. Circumcision:

Circumcision was a very ancient mutilation in Egypt, and is still kept up there by both Muslim and Christian. It was first adopted by Abram for Ishmael, the son of the Egyptian Hagar (Ge 16:3; 17:23), before Isaac was promised. Hagar married Ishmael to an Egyptian (Ge 21:21), so that the Ishmaelites, or Hagarenes, of Gilead and Moab were three-quarters Egyptian.

At Gerar, in the south of Palestine, Egyptian was the prevailing race and language, as the general of Abimelech was Phichol, the Egyptian name Pa-khal, "the Syrian," showing that the Gerarites were not Syrians.

4. Joseph:

The history of Joseph rising to importance as a capable slave is perfectly natural in Egypt at that time, and equally so in later periods down to our own days. That this occurred during the Hyksos period is shown by the title given to Joseph—Abrekh, (’abhrekh) (Ge 41:43) which is Abarakhu, the high Babylonian title. The names Zaphnath-paaneah, Asenath, and Potipherah have been variously equated in Egyptian, Naville seeing forms of the XVIIIth Dynasty in them, but Spiegelberg, with more probability, seeing types of names of the XXIInd Dynasty or later. The names are most likely an expansion of the original document; but there is not a single feature or incident in the relations of Joseph to the Egyptians which is at all improbable from the history and civilization that we know. See JOSEPH.

5. Descent into Egypt:

The descent into Egypt and sojourn there are what might be expected of any Semitic tribe at this time. The allocation in Goshen (Ge 47:27) was the most suitable, as that was on the eastern border of the Delta, at the mouth of the Wady Tumilat, and was a district isolated from the general Egyptian population. The whole of Goshen is not more than 100 square miles, being bounded by the deserts, and by the large Egyptian city of Budastis on the West. The accounts of the embalming for 40 days and mourning for 70 days (Ge 50:3), and putting in a coffin (Ge 50:26) are exact. The 70 days’ mourning existed both in the Ist Dynasty and in the XXth.

6. The Oppression:

The oppression in Egypt began with a new king that knew not Joseph. This can hardly be other than the rise of the Berber conquerors who took the Delta from the Hyksos at the beginning of the XVIIIth Dynasty, 1582 BC, and expelled the Hyksos into Syria. It could not be later than this, as the period of oppression in Egypt is stated at 4 centuries (Ge 15:13; Ac 7:6), and the Exodus cannot be later than about 1220 BC, which leaves 360 years for the oppression. Also this length of oppression bars any much earlier date for the Exodus. The 360 years of oppression from 430 of the total sojourn in Egypt, leaves 70 years of freedom there. As Joseph died at 110 (Ge 50:26), this implies that he was over 40 when his family came into Egypt, which would be quite consistent with the history.

7. The Historic Position:

The store cities Pithom and Raamses are the sites Tell el-Maskhuta and Tell Rotab in the Wady Tumilat, both built by Rameses II as frontier defenses. It is evident then that the serving with rigor was under that king, probably in the earlier part of his long reign of 67 years (1300-1234 BC), when he was actively campaigning in Palestine. This is shown in the narrative, for Moses was not yet born when the rigor began (Ex 1; 2:2), and he grew up, slew an Egyptian, and then lived long in Midian before the king of Egypt died (Ex 2:23), perhaps 40 or 50 years after the rigorous servitude began, for he is represented as being 80 at the time of the Exodus (De 34:7). These numbers are probably not precise, but as a whole they agree well enough with Egyptian history. After the king died, Moses returned to Egypt, and began moving to get his kin away to the eastern deserts, with which he had been well acquainted in his exile from Egypt. A harsher servitude ensues, which might be expected from the more vigorous reign of Merenptah, after the slackness of the old age of Rameses. The campaign of Merenptah against Israel and other people in Palestine would not make him any less severe in his treatment of Semites in Egypt.

8. The Plagues:

The plagues are in the order of usual seasonal troubles in Egypt, from the red unwholesome Nile in June, through the frogs, insects, hail and rain, locusts, and sandstorms in March. The death of the firstborn was in April at the Passover.

9. Date of the Exodus:

The date of the Exodus is indicated as being about 1200 BC, by the 4 centuries of oppression, and by the names of the land and the city of Rameses (Ge 47:4; compare Ex 1:11). The historical limit is that the Egyptians were incessantly raiding Palestine down to 1194 BC, and then abandoned it till the invasion of Shishak. As there is no trace of these Egyptian invasions during all the ups and downs of the age of the Judges, it seems impossible to suppose the Israelites entered Canaan till after 1194 BC. The setting back of the Exodus much earlier has arisen from taking three simultaneous histories of the Judges as consecutive, as we shall notice farther on. The facts stated above, and the length of all three lines of the priestly genealogies, agree completely with the Egyptian history in putting the Exodus at about 1220 BC, and the entry into Canaan about 1180 BC.

10. Route of the Exodus:

The route of the Exodus was first a concentration at Raamses or Tell Rotab, in the Wady Tumliat, followed by a march to Succoth, a general name for the region of Bedawy booths; from there to Etham in the edge of the wilderness, about the modern Nefisheh. Thence they turned and encamped before Pi-hahiroth, the Egyptian Pa-qaheret, a Serapeum. Thus turning South to the West of the Red Sea (which then extended up to Tell el-Maskhuta), they had a Migdol tower behind them and Baal-zephon opposite to them. They were thus "entangled in the land." Then the strong east wind bared the shallows, and made it possible to cross the gulf and reach the opposite shore. They then went "three days in the wilderness," the three days’ route without water to Marah, the bitter spring of Hawara, and immediately beyond reached Elim, which accords entirely with the Wady Gharandel. Thence they encamped by the Red Sea. All of this account exactly agrees with the traditional route down the West of the Sinaitic peninsula; it will not agree with any other route, and there is no reason to look for any different location of the march.


11. Numbers of the Exodus:

The numbers of the Israelites have long been a difficulty. On the one hand are the census lists (Nu 1; 2 ; 26), with their summaries of 600,000 men besides children and a mixed multitude (Ex 12:37,38; 38:26; Nu 1:46; 11:21). On the other hand there are the exact statements of there being 22,273 firstborn, that is, fathers of families (Nu 3:43), and that 40,000 armed men entered Canaan with Joshua (Jos 4:13), also the 35,000 who fought at Ai (Jos 8:3,12), and the 32,000 who fought against Midian (Jud 7:3). Besides these, there are the general considerations that only 5,000 to 10,000 people could live in Goshen, that the Amalekites with whom the Israelites were equally matched (Ex 17:11) could not have exceeded about 5,000 in Sinai, that Moses judged all disputes, and that two midwives attended all the Israelite births, which would be 140 a day on a population of 600,000. Evidently, the statements of numbers are contradictory, and the external evidence is all in accord with lesser numbers. Proposals to reduce arbitrarily the larger numbers have been frequent; but there is one likely line of misunderstanding that may have originated the increase. In the census lists of the tribes, most of the hundreds in the numbers are 400 or 500, others are near those, and there are none whatever on 000, 100, 800 or 900. Evidently, the hundreds are independent of the thousands. Now in writing the statements, such as "Reuben, 46,500," the original list would be 46 ‘eleph, 5 hundred people, and ‘eleph means either "thousands" or else "groups" or "families." Hence, a census of 46 tents, 500 people, would be ambiguous, and a later compiler might well take it as 46,500. In this way the whole census of 598 tents, 5,550 people, would be misread as 603,550 people. The checks on this are, that the number per tent should be reasonable in all cases, that the hundreds should not fluctuate more than the tents between the first and last census, and that the total should correspond to the known populations of Goshen and of Sinai; these requirements all agree with this reading of the lists. The ulterior details beyond the Egyptian period are dealt with in Egypt and Israel, 45, 55.


12. Israel in Canaan:

Two points need notice here as incidentally bearing on the Egyptian connections:

(1) the Israelites in Palestine before the Exodus, indicated by Merenptah triumphing over them there before 1230 BC, and the raids during the Egyptian residence (1Ch 7:21);

(2) the triple history of the Judges, west, north, and east, each totaling to 120 years, in accord with the length of the four priestly genealogies (1Ch 6:4-8,22-28,33-35,39-43,14-47), and showing that the dates are about 1220 BC the Exodus, 1180 BC the entry to Canaan, 1150 BC the beginning of Judges, 1030 BC Saul (Egypt and Israel, 52-58).

13. Hadad:

The connections with the monarchy soon begin. David and Joab attacked Edom (2Sa 8:14), and Hadad, the young king, was carried off by his servants to Egypt for safety. The Pharaoh who received and supported him must have been Siamen, the king of Zoan, which city was then an independent capital apart from the priest kings of Thebes (1Ki 11:15-22). Hadad was married to the Egyptian queen’s sister when he grew up, probably in the reign of Pasebkhanu II.

14. Pharaoh’s Daughter:

The Pharaoh whose daughter was married to Solomon must have been the same Pasebkhanu; he reigned from 987-952 BC, and the marriage was about 970 in the middle of the reign. Another daughter of Pasebkhanu was Karamat, who was the wife of Shishak. Thus Solomon and Shishak married two sisters, and their aunt was queen of Edom. This throws light on the politics of the kingdoms. Probably Solomon had some child by Pharaoh’s daughter, and the Egyptians would expect that to be the heir. Shishak’s invasion, on the death of Solomon, was perhaps based upon the right of a nephew to the throne of Judah.

15. Shishak:

The invasion of Shishak (Egyptian, Sheshenq) took place probably at the end of his reign. His troops were Lubim (Libyans), Sukkim (men of Succoth, the east border) and Kushim (Ethiopians). The account of the war is on the side of the great fore- court at Karnak, which shows long lists of places in Judah, agreeing with the subjugation recorded in 1Ki 14:25,26, and 2Ch 12:2-4.

16. Zerakh:

Zerakh, or Usarkon, was the next king of Egypt, the son of Karamat, Solomon’s sister-in-law. He invaded Judah unsuccessfully in 903 BC (2Ch 14:9) with an army of Libyans and Sudanis (2Ch 16:8). A statue of the Nile, dedicated by him, and naming his descent from Karamat and Pasebkhanu, is in the British Museum.

17. The Ethiopians:

After a couple of centuries the Ethiopian kings intervened. Shabaka was appointed viceroy of Egypt by his father Piankhy, and is described by the Assyrians as Sibe, commander-in-chief of Muzri, and by the Hebrews as Sua or So, king of Egypt (2Ki 17:4). Tirhakah next appears as a viceroy, and Hezekiah was warned against trusting to him (2Ki 19:9). These two kings touch on Jewish history during their vice-royalties, before their full reigns began. Necoh next touches on Judah in his raid to Carchemish in 609 BC, when he slew Josiah for opposing him (2Ki 23:29,30; 2Ch 35:20-24).

18. Tahpanhes:

After the taking of Jerusalem, for fear of vengeance for the insurrection of Ishmael (2Ki 25:25,26; Jer 40; Jer 41; Jer 42), the remnant of the Jews fled to the frontier fortress of Egypt, Tahpanhes, Tehaphnehes, Greek Daphnae, modern Defenneh, about 10 miles West of the present Suez Canal (Jer 43:7-13). The brick pavement in front of the entrance to the fortress there, in which Jeremiah hid the stones, has been uncovered and the fortress completely planned. It was occupied by Greeks, who there brought Greek words and things into contact with the traveling Jews for a couple of generations before the fall of Jerusalem.

19. Hophra:

The prophecy that Hophra would be delivered to them that sought his life (Jer 44:30) was fulfilled, as he was kept captive by his successor, Amasis, for 3 years, and after a brief attempt at liberty, he was strangled.

20. The Jews at Syene:

The account of the Jews settled in Egypt (Jer 44) is singularly illustrated by the Aramaic Jewish papyri found at Syene (Aswan). These show the use of Aramaic and of oaths by Yahu, as stated of 5 cities in Egypt (Isa 19:18). The colony at Syene was well-to-do, though not rich; they were householders who possessed all their property by regular title- deeds, who executed marriage settlements, and were fully used to litigation, having in deeds of sale a clause that no other deed could be valid. The temple of Yahu filled the space between two roads, and faced upon 3 houses, implying a building about 60 or 70 ft. wide. It was built of hewn stone, with stone columns, 7 gates, and a cedar roof. It was destroyed in 410, after lasting from before Cambyses in 525 BC, and a petition for rebuilding it was granted in 407.

21. The New Jerusalem of Oniah:

The most flourishing period of the Jews in Egypt was when Oniah IV, the son of the rightful high priest Oniah, was driven from Jerusalem by the abolition of Jewish worship and ordinances under Antiochus. In 170 BC he fled to Egypt, and there established a new Jerusalem with a temple and sacrifices as being the only way to maintain the Jewish worship. Oniah IV was a valiant man, general to queen Cleopatra I; and he offered to form the Jewish community into a frontier guard on the East of Egypt, hating the Syrians to the uttermost, if the Jews might form their own community. They so dominated the eastern Delta that troops of Caesar could not pass from Syria to Alexandria without their assent. The new Jerusalem was 20 miles North of Cairo, a site now known as Tell el-Yehudiyeh. The great mound of the temple still remains there, with the Passover ovens beneath it, and part of the massive stone fortifications on the front of it. This remained a stronghold of free Judaism until after Titus took Jerusalem; and it was only when the Zealots tried to make it a center of insurrection, that at last it was closed and fell into decay. Josephus is the original authority for this history (see Egypt and Israel, 97- 110).

22 The Egyptian Jew:

The Jew in Egypt followed a very different development from the Babylonian Jew, and this Egyptian type largely influenced Christianity. In the colony at Syene a woman named "Trust Yahweh" had no objection to swearing by the Egyptian goddess Seti when making an Egyptian contract; and in Jer 44:15-19, the Jews boasted of their heathen worship in Egypt. Oniah had no scruple in establishing a temple and sacrifices apart from Jerusalem, without any of the particularism of the Maccabean zealots. Philo at Alexandria labored all his life for the union of Jewish thought with Greek philosophy. The Hermetic books show how, from 500 to 200 BC, religious thought was developing under eclectic influence of Egyptian Jewish, Persian, Indian and Greek beliefs, and producing the tenets about the second God, the Eternal Son, who was the Logos, and the types of Conversion, as the Divine Ray, the New Birth, and the Baptism. Later the Wisdom literature of Alexandria, 200-100 BC, provided the basis of thought and simile on which the Pauline Epistles were built. The great wrench in the history of the church came when it escaped from the Babylonian-Jewish formalism of the Captivity, which ruled at Jerusalem, and grew into the wider range of ideas of the Alexandrian Jews. These ideas had been preserved in Egypt from the days of the monarchy, and had developed a great body of religious thought and phraseology from their eclectic connections. The relations of Christianity with Egypt are outside our scope, but some of them will be found in Egypt and Israel, 124-41.

23. Cities and Places Alphabetically:

The Egyptian cities, places and peoples named in the Old Testament may briefly be noted. AVEN (Eze 30:17) or ON (Ge 41:45) is the ‘An of Egyptian, the Greek Heliopolis, now Matarieh, 7 miles North of Cairo. It was the seat of prehistoric government, the royal emblems were kept there as the sacred relics of the temple, and its high priest was "the great seer," one of the greatest of the religious officials. The schools of Heliopolis were celebrated, and it seems to have always been a center of learning. The site is now marked by the great enclosure of the temple, and one obelisk of Senusert (XIIth Dynasty). It was here that the Egyptian kings had at their installation to come and bathe in the lake in which the sun bathes daily, the ‘Ainesh-Shems, or "Lake of the Sun" of the Arabs, connected with the fresh spring here which Christian tradition attributes to the visit of the Virgin and Child. The great sycamore tree here is the successor of that under which the Virgin is said to have rested.

BAAL-ZEPHON was a shrine on the eastern site of the head of the Red Sea, a few miles South of Ismailiyeh; no trace is now known of it (Ex 14:2).

CUSHIM or Ethiopians were a part of the Egyptian army of Shishak and of Usarkon (2Ch 12:3; 16:8). The army was in 4 brigades, that of Ptah of Memphis, central Egypt; that of Amen of Thebes, Southern Egypt and Ethiopia; that of Set of the eastern frontier (Sukkim); and that of Ra, Heliopolis and the Delta.

COSHEN was a fertile district at the west end of the Wady Tumilat, 40 to 50 miles Northeast of Cairo. It was bounded by the deserts on the North and Southeast, and by the Egyptian city of Bubastis on the West. Its area was not over 100 square miles; it formerly supported 4,000 Bedouin and now about 12,000 cultivators.

LUBIM, the Libyans who formed part of the Egyptian army as light-armed archers, from very early times.

MIGDOL is the name of any tower, familiar also as Magdala. It was applied to some watchtower on the West of the Red Sea, probably on the high land above the Serapeum.

No is Thebes, in Assyrian Nia, from the Egyptian Nu, "the city." This was the capital of the XIIth Dynasty, and of the XVIIth-XXIst Dynasties. Owing to the buildings being of sandstone, which is not of much use for reworking, they have largely remained since the desolation of the city under Ptolemy X. The principal divisions of the site are:

(1) Karnak, with the temple of the XIIth Dynasty, built over by all the successive kings of the XVIIIth Dynasty, and enlarged by Seti I and Rameses II, and by Shishak, Tirhakah, and the Ptolemies. The whole temple of Amon and its subsidiary temples form the largest mass of ruins that is known.

(2) Luqsor, the temple to commemorate the divine birth of Amenhotep III (1440 BC), added to by Rameses II.

(3) The funerary temples, bordering the western shore, of the kings of the XVIIIth to XXth Dynasties. These have mostly been destroyed, by the unscrupulous quarrying done by each king on the work of his predecessors; the only temple in fair condition is that of Rameses III, which is left because no later king required its material for building.

(4) The great cemetery, ranging from the splendid rock halls of the Tombs of the Kings, covered with paintings, down to the humblest graves. For any detailed account see either Baedeker’s or Murray’s Guides, or Weigall’s Guide to Antiquities.

NOPH, the Egyptian Men-nofer, Greek Memphis, now Mitraheny, 12 miles South of Cairo. This was the capital from the foundation at the beginning of the dynasties. Thebes and Alexandria shared its importance, but it was the seat of government down to the Arab invasion. In Roman times it was as large as London North of the Thames. The outlying parts are now all buried by the rise of the soil, but more than a mile length of ruins yet remains, which are now being regularly worked over by the British School. The heart of the city is the great metropolitan temple of Ptah, nearly all of which is now under 10 feet of soil, and under water most of the year. This is being excavated in sections, as it is all private property. At the north end of the ruins is the palace mound, on which has been cleared the palace of Apries (Hophra). Other temples have been located, as well as the foreign quarter containing early Greek pottery and the temple of Proteus named by Herodotus (see Memphis, I, II, III).

PATHROS is the usual name for Upper Egypt in the prophets. It is the Egyptian Pa-ta-res, "the south land."

PIBESETH is the Egyptian Pa-Bast, Greek Bubastis, at the eastern side of the Delta, the city of the cat-headed goddess Bast. The ruins are still large, and the temple site has been excavated, producing sculptures from the IVth Dynasty onward.

PITHOM is the Egyptian Pa-Tum, the city of the Sun-god Tum or Atmu, who was worshipped on the East of the Delta. The site has remains of the fortress of Rameses II, built by the Israelites, and is now known as Tell el-Maskhuta, 11 miles West of Ismailia.

RAAMSES is the other city built by the Israelites, now Tell Rotab, 20 miles West of Ismailia. A wailed camp existed here from early times, and the temple of Rameses was built on the top of the older ruins. A large part of the temple front is now at Philadelphia, excavated by the British School.

SIN is the Greek Pelusium, Assyrian Siinu, Arabic Tineh, now some desolate mounds at the extreme East coast of Egypt.

SUCCOTH was the district of "booths," the eastern part of the Wady Tumilat. It was written in Egyptian Thuku and abbreviated to Thu in which form it appears as a Roman name. The people of Succoth were Sukkim, named in the army of Shishak (2Ch 12:3).

SYENE, Hebrew Seweneh, modern Aswan, the southern border town of Egypt at the Cataract. The greater part of the old town was on the island of Elephantine. There the Jewish papyri were found, and that was probably the Jewish settlement with the temple of Yahu. The town on the eastern bank—the present Aswan—was of less importance.

TAHPANHES, TEHAPHNEHES, Greek Daphnae, Arabic Tell Defeneh. This was the first station on the Syrian road which touched the Nile canals, about 10 miles West of Kantara on the Suez Canal. It seems to have been founded by Psammetichus about 664 BC, to hold his Greek mercenaries. The fort, built by him, abounded in Greek pottery, and was finally desolated about 566 BC, as described by Herodotus. The fort and camp have been excavated; and the pavement described by Jeremiah (chapter 43), as opposite to the entrance, has been identified.

ZOAN, Greek Tanis, Arabic San, is about 26 miles from the Suez Canal, and slightly more from the coast. The ruins of the temple are surrounded by the wall of Pasebkhanu, 80 ft. thick of brickwork, and a ring of town ruins rises high around it. The temple was built in the VIth Dynasty, adorned with many statues in the XIIth and XIIIth Dynasties, and under Rameses II had many large granite obelisks and statues, especially one colossus of the king in red granite about 90 ft. high. It is probable that the Pharaoh lived here at the time of the Exodus.

IV. The Civilization.

1. Language:

We now turn to some outline of the civilization of the Egyptians. The language had primitive relations with the Semitic and the Libyan. Perhaps one common stock has separated into three languages—Semitic, Egyptian, and Libyan. But though some basal words and grammar are in common, all the bulk of the words of daily life were entirely different in the three, and no one could be said to be derived from the other. Egyptian so far as we can see, is a separate language without any connection as close as that between the Indo-European group. From its proximity to Syria, Semitic loan words were often introduced, and became common in the XVIIIth Dynasty and fashionable in the XIXth. The language continually altered, and decayed in the later periods until Coptic is as different from it as Italian is from Latin.

2. Writing:

The writing was at first ideographic, using a symbol for each word. Gradually, signs were used phonetically; but the symbol, or some emblem of the idea of the word, continued to be added to it, now called a determinative. From syllabic signs purely alphabetic signs were produced by clipping and decay, so that by 1000 to 500 BC the writing was almost alphabetic. After that it became modified by the influence of the short Greek alphabet, until by 200 AD it was expressed in Greek letters with a few extra signs. The actual signs used were elaborate pictures of the objects in the early times, and even down to the later periods very detailed signs were carved for monumental purposes. But as early as the Ist Dynasty a very much simplified current hand had been started, and during the pyramid period this became hardly recognizable from the original forms. Later on this current hand, or hieratic, is a study by itself and was written much more fully than the hieroglyphs on monuments, as its forms were so corrupt that an ample spelling was needed to identify the word. By about 800 BC begins a much shortened set of signs, still more remote from their origins, known as demotic, which continued as the popular writing till Roman times. On public decrees the hieroglyphic and demotic are both given, showing that a knowledge of one was useless for reading the other, and that they were separate studies.

3. Literature:

The literature begins during the pyramid period, before 4000 BC, with biographies and collections of maxims for conduct; these show well-regulated society, and would benefit any modern community in which they were followed. In the XIIth Dynasty tales appear, occupied with magic and foreign travel and wonders. A long poem in praise of the king shows very regular versification and system, of the type of Ps 136, the refrain differing in each stanza and being probably repeated in chorus, while the independent lines were sung by the leader. In the XVIIIth Dynasty, tales of character begin to develop and show much skill, long annals were recorded, and in the XIXth Dynasty there is an elaborate battle poem describing the valor of Rameses II. At about 700 BC there is a considerable tale which describes the quarrels of the rival chiefs, and the great fight regulated like a tournament by which the differences were settled. Such are the principal literary works apart from business documents.

4. Four Views of Future Life:

The religion of Egypt is an enormous subject, and that by which Egypt is perhaps most known. Here we can only give an outline of the growth and subdivisions of it. There never was any one religion in Egypt during historic times. There were at least four religions, all incompatible, and all believed in at once in varying degrees. The different religions can best be seen apart by their incongruity regarding the future life.

(1) The dead wandered about the cemetery seeking food, and were partly fed by the goddess in the sycamore tree. They therefore needed to have plates of food and jars of water in the tomb, and provided perpetually by their descendants in front of the doorway to the grave. The deceased is represented as looking out over this doorway in one case. Here came in the great principle of substitution. For the food, substitute its image which cannot decay, and the carved table of offerings results. For the farmstead of animals, substitute its carved image on the walls and the animal sculptures result. For the life of the family, substitute their carved figures doing all that was wanted, sacrificing and serving, and the family sculptures result. For the house, substitute a model upon the grave, and the pottery soul-houses appear with their furniture and provisions. For the servants, put their figures doing household work, and their service is eternal. For the master himself, put the most lifelike image that can be made, and his soul will occupy that as a restful home fitted for it. This principle is still believed in. Funeral offerings of food are still put even in Muslim graves, and a woman will visit a grave, and, removing a tile, will talk through a hole to her dead husband.

(2) The dead went to the kingdom of Osiris, to which only the good were admitted, while the evil were rejected, and consumed either by monsters or by fire. This heavenly kingdom was a complete duplicate of the earthly life. They planted and reaped, sported and played. And as the Egyptian felicity consisted in making others work for them, so each man was provided with a retinue of serfs to cultivate the land for him. These ushabti figures in later times usually number 400, and often 1 in 10 of them is clad as an overseer. A special chapter of the Book of the Dead is to be recited to animate them, and this, more or less abbreviated, is often inscribed upon the figures.

(3) The dead joined the company of the immortal gods, who float on the heavenly ocean in the boat of the sun. With them they have to face the terrors of the hours of the night when the sun goes through the underworld. Long charms and directions are needed for safety in this passage, and these form a large part of the funerary tests, especially on the Tombs of the Kings in the XVIIIth-XXIst Dynasties. To reach the boat of the sun a boat must be provided in the tomb, with its sailors and sails and oars. Such are frequent from the VIth-XIIIth Dynasties.

(4) The dead were carried off by the Hathor cow, or a bull, to wait for a bodily resurrection. In order to preserve the body for some life after the present age, each part must be protected by an appropriate amulet; hence, dozens of different amulets were placed on the body, especially from about 600-400 BC.

Now it will be seen that each of these beliefs contradicts the other three, and they represent, therefore, different religious origins.

5. Four Groups of Gods:

The mythology is similarly diverse, and was unified by uniting analogous gods. Hence, when we see the compounds such as Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, or Amen-Ra or Osiris-Khentamenti, it is clear that each god of the compound belongs to a different religion, like Pallas-Athene or Zeus-Labrandeus, in Greek compounds. So far as we can at present see, the gods linked with each of the beliefs about the soul are as follows:

(1) The Soul in the Tombs and Cemetery.

With this belief belong the animal gods, which form the earliest stratum of the religion; also Sokar the god of "Silence," and Mert Sokar, the "Lover of Silence," as the gods of the dead. With this was allied a belief in the soul sometimes going to the west, and hence, Khent-amenti, a jackal-headed god, "he who is in the west," became the god of the dead.

(2) The Soul in the Heavenly Kingdom.

Osiris is the lord of this kingdom, Isis his sister-wife, Horus their son, Nebhat (Nephthys) the sister of Isis, and Set her husband. Set also was regarded as coequal with Horus. This whole mythology results probably from the fusion of tribes who were originally monotheistic, and who each worshipped one of these deities. It is certain that the later parts of this mythology are tribal history, regarded as the victories and defeats of the gods whom the tribes worshipped.

(3) The Soul in the Sun-Boat.

Ra was the Sun-god, and in other forms worshipped as Khepera and Atmu. The other cosmic gods of the same group are Nut, the heaven, and her husband Geb, the earth; Shu, space, and his sister Tefnut. Anher the Sky-god belongs to Upper Egypt.

(4) The Mummy with Amulets, Preserved for a Future Life.

Probably to this group belong the gods of principles, Hathor the female principle; Min the male principle; Ptah the architect and creator of the universe; his spouse Maat, abstract truth and justice.

6. Foreign Gods:

Foreign gods frequently appear also in Egypt, mostly from Syria. Two importations were of great effect. Aton the radiant energy of the sun, the Adon or "lord," Adonai, Adonis, was introduced as a sole deity by Akhenaton 1380 BC, and all other gods were proscribed. This was a strictly rational and scientific religion, attributing all life and power to the action of the sun’s rays; but it only lasted 20 years in Egypt, and then vanished. The other important worship was that of Zeus Sarapis. The Zeus statue is said to have been imported from Sinope by Ptolemy I, but the Sarapis was the god of Memphis, Osarhapi, the Osiris form of the Hapi bull. The Egyptian worshipped his old gods; the Greek was satisfied with Zeus; and both nations united in adoring Zeus Sarapis. The temples and ritual are too wide a subject to touch in our present space; but the essential principle was that of providing a banquet for the god, and feasting in his temple, not that of an expiatory sacrifice or burnt offering, which is Semitic.

7. Laws:

The laws are but little known until the late Greek accounts. Marriage was usual with a sister, but this may have been with a half-sister, as among the Greeks and early Hebrews. Polygamy was unusual, but was legal, as many as six wives being represented in one instance. Kings of course had unlimited harems. Divorce was unusual, but was probably easy. In Coptic times a marriage contract provides for divorce by either party, upon paying six times the marriage gift. Property was strictly guarded.

8. Character:

The national character was easygoing, kindly, never delighting in torture like the Assyrians and Romans, but liable to be too slack and careless. Firmness, decision and fortitude were held up as the leading virtues. The structure of society, the arts and the industries are outside of the scope of this article.

(For differing views on chronology and sites, see articles EXODUS; WANDERINGS OF ISRAEL; PITHOM; RAAMSES, etc., and on individual kings, etc., articles under their names, and EGYPTIAN KINGS.)


Works in English, that are the most accessible, are stated in preference to foreign works, the references to which will be seen in the books stated below.

The Country: Baedeker’s Egypt; on the flora, Petrie, Hawara, Biahmu, and Arsioe.

The History: Prehistoric: Petrie, Diospolis Parva, etc.; de Morgan, Recherches; Maspero, The Dawn of Civilization, The Struggle of the Nations, The Passing of the Empires; Petrie, Student’s History of Egypt; Breasted, A History of Egypt, etc. On the Ist-IInd Dynasties, Petrie, Royal Tombs. On the IIId-VIth Dynasties, Petrie, The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh; Murray, Saqqara Mastabas I. On the VIIth-XIVth Dynasties, Petrie, Gizeh and Rifeh; de Morgan, Dahchour, I, II. On the XVth-XXIVth Dynasties, Weigall, Guide to Antiquities; Baedeker on Thebes; Petrie, Six Temples at Thebes. On the XXVth Dynasty to Roman times, Petrie, Temple of Apries; Mahaffy, The Empires of the Ptolemies; Milne, History of Egypt under Roman Rule. On the early foreign connections, Petrie, Methods and Aims in Archaeology.

On the Semitic Connections: Petrie, Syria and Egypt from the Tell el-Amarna Tablets. On the Old Testament Connections: Petrie, Egypt and Israel.

On the Language: Murray, Elementary Grammar.

On the Writing and Literature: Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt; Petrie, Egyptian Tales, I, II.

On the Religion: Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians.

On the Customs: Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians.

On the Arts: Petrie, The Arts and Crafts of Ancient Egypt.

W. M. Flinders Petrie









e-jip’-shan (ho Aiguptios):

Mentioned in Ac 21:38, by Claudius Lysias as having "before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the ASSASSINS" (which see). Reference to this Egyptian and to the suppression of his rebellion by the procurator Felix is likewise found in Josephus (Ant., XX, viii, 6; BJ, II, xiii, 5).




e’-hi (’ehi):

Apparently a contracted form (Ge 46:21).



e’-hud (ehudh, "united," "strong"):

A Benjamite, son of Gera, deliverer of Israel from oppression by Moab (Jud 3:15-30). Gaining access alone to the presence of King Eglon under pretense of a secret errand connected with the payment of Israel’s tribute, Ehud, a left-handed man, drew the sword he had concealed upon his right side, and thrust the king through. He locked the doors of the upper chamber after him, made his escape, and with the Israelites overcame Moab at the fords of the Jordan, slaying some 10,000. Ehud’s name occurs again in the Benjamite genealogy (1Ch 7:10).

F. K. Farr


e’-ther, i’-ther:

Often in the sense still common, "one or the other" (1Ch 21:21; Mt 6:24, etc.), but also in the obsolete sense of "both" or "each" (Le 10:1; 1Ki 7:15; Joh 19:18; Re 22:2), or in place of (Revised Version) "or" (Lu 6:42; 15:8; Php 3:12; Jas 3:12).


e’-ker (’eqer, "root"):

A Jerahmeelite (1Ch 2:27).


ek’-re-bel (Ekrebel):

Appears only in APC Judith 7:18. It lay on the brook Mochmur, South of Dothart. It is identical with Akrabbein, of which Eusebius (Onomasticon) speaks as the capital of the district of Akrabattine. It corresponds to the modern ‘Akrabeh, 8 miles Southeast of Nablus.


ek’-ron, ek’-ron-it ‘eqron, "migration," "rooting out"; Akkaron:

The most northerly of the chief cities of the Philistines. It was not subdued by Joshua (13:3) but was allotted, in the division of the land, first to Judah and then to Da (Jos 15:11,45,46; 19:43). It was taken by Judah (Jud 1:18). The people of Ekron are prominent in the story of the ark in the land of the Philistines. It was they who proposed to have it sent back to Israel (1Sa 5:10; 6:16,17). After the defeat of the Philistines, when David killed Goliath, the Israelites pursued them to the gates of Ekron, which was evidently the nearest walled town in which the fugitives could take refuge (1Sa 17:52). It was the seat of the worship of the god Baalzebub, as appears in the account of the sickness and death of Ahaziah (2Ki 1:2,3,6:16). It is included among other cities in the denunciations of Amos (1:8) and of Jeremiah (25:20). Zephaniah declares that it shall be rooted up (2:4), and Zechariah speaks of its consternation at the fall of Tyre (9:5,7).

From the Assyrian records we learn that it revolted against Sennacherib and expelled Padi, the governor he had placed over it, and sent him to Hezekiah, at Jerusalem, for safe keeping. Sennacherib marched against it and Ekron called in the aid of the king of Mutsri, formerly supposed to be Egypt but now regarded by some scholars as a district of Northwestern Arabia. Sennacherib raised the siege of Ekron to defeat this army, which he did at Eltekeh, and then returned and took the city by storm and put to death the leaders of the revolt and carried their adherents into captivity. He then compelled Hezekiah to restore Padi, who was once more made governor. This affair led to the famous attack of Sennacherib on Hezekiah and Jerusalem (Rawl., Anc. Mon., II, 159). Ekron is mentioned in 1 Macc 10:89 as being given by Alexander Balas to Jonathan Maccabeus, and it appears in the accounts of the first Crusade.


An inhabitant of Ekron, used in plural in Jos 13:3 and 1Sa 5:10.

H. Porter




el e-li’-on.



(Ge 16:13 margin).



el shad’-a-i, el shad’-i.



el-beth’-el (el beth-’el, "God of Bethel"; Baithel):

By this name Jacob called the scene of his vision at Luz, when he returned from Paddan-aram (Ge 35:7).


el-e-lo’-he-iz’-ra-el, el-el’-o-he-iz’-ra-el (’el ‘elohe yisra’el, translated "God, the God of Israel" in the American Revised Version, margin and the King James Version margin):

Found only in Ge 33:20 as the name given to the altar erected at Shechem by Jacob, henceforth, known as Israel, on the parcel of ground purchased by him from the inhabitants of Shechem, his first encampment of length and importance since the return to Palestine from Paddan-aram and the eventful night at Peniel (Ge 32:30). This unusual combination of names has given occasion for much speculation and for various text emendations. Already the Septuagint sought to meet the difficulty by reading wa-yiqra’ ‘el ‘elohe yisra’el, "and he called upon the God of Israel," instead of the wa-yiqra’ lo ‘el of Massoretic Text, "and he called it El" etc. Wellhausen, followed by Dillmann, Driver and others, changes "altar" to "pillar," because the Hebrew verb, hitstsibh, is used with mitstsbhah, "pillar," in Ge 35:14,20, so making this religious act a parallel to that at Bethel. But Delitzsch, New Commentary on Genesis, properly rejects this purely fanciful change, and understands the compound name as the altar’s inscription. Dillmann well suggests that "altar" (or "pillar") be supplied, reading thus: "called it the altar of El, the God of Israel." The peculiar phrase is best and most readily understood in its close connection with the struggle at Peniel, recorded in Ge 32. Being victorious in that struggle, Jacob received the new name "Israel"; and to his first altar in Palestine he gave that name of God which appeared in his own new name, further explaining it by the appositive phrase "Elohe-Israel." Thus, his altar was called, or dedicated to, "El, the God of Israel."

Edward Mack





e’-la (Ela, APC 1Esdras 9:27):

(1) Same as Elam (Ezr 10:26).

(2) Father of Shimei (1Ki 4:18, the King James Version "Elah").

See ELAH, 2.




ELAH (1)

e’-la (’elah, "oak" or "terebinth"):

(1) A "duke" or "sheik" (head of a clan, the Revised Version (British and American) "chief") of Edom (Ge 36:41).

(2) Shimei-ben-Elah, Solomon’s commissary in Benjamin (1Ki 4:18 the King James Version).

(3) A son of Caleb the son of Jephunneh (1Ch 4:15).

(4) Father of Hoshea, last king of Israel (2Ki 15:30; 17:1).

(5) A Benjamite, son of Uzzi, one of the chiefs of the tribes when the country was settled (1Ch 9:8).

(6) King of Israel. See next article.

ELAH (2)


Son of Baasha, fourth king of Israel (1Ki 16:6-14).

He reigned two years, 888-887 BC. The statement that he came to the throne in the 26th year of Asa, reigned two years, and died in the 27th year of Asa, illustrates the Hebrew method of synchronizing the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (compare 1Ki 15:33; 16:8). Elah appears to have been a debauchee. While he was drinking himself drunk in the house of Azra, his chamberlain, Zimri, one of his military leaders, conspired against him and murdered him. According to Josephus (VIII, xii, 4) he took advantage of the absence of the army, which was at Gibbethon, to kill Elah. The extirpation of the royal family followed the murder of the king. Baasha’s dynasty had its origin in a murder and it ended in a murder. The government had no stability. These revolutions illustrate the truth that "they who take the sword shall perish with the sword."

S. K. Mosiman


(‘emeq ha-’elah, "valley of the terebinth"; he koilas Ela; A, tes druos):

The scene of the events of 1Sa 17:2 ff, referred to also in 1Sa 21:9. There can be no doubt that this is the Wady ec CunT ("valley of the tercbinth"), or part of it. This is the southernmost of the great valleys which cut through the Shephelah. Commencing near Hebron, close to Beit Sur, it descends under the name Wady es Sur in a more or less northerly direction until near Beit Nettif where it turns abruptly west and receives the name Wady ec CunT. Here it is joined by the Wady en Najil, coming from the North, and from the East by the Wady el-Jindy, down which descends an ancient road from Bethlehem. Where all these valleys coalesce the Wady ec CunT expands into a wide and level bottom, half a mile across. On a steep hill to the southern side and a little Southeast of the wide expanse is Kh. esh-Shuweikeh, the site of Socoh. That the great events of 1Sa 17:2 ff took place here there can be no doubt: the Philistines ranged themselves upon the southern hills; the Israelites to the North or Northeast. Upon the wide level valley the contest with Goliath occurred. The exact position of Saul’s forces may be a matter of speculation, but the late Principal Miller of Madras, who made a special study of the locality (Least of All Lands, chapter v), considered that the little valley ascending Northeast from Wady ec CunT to Belt Nettif was probably the actual Vale of Elah and that here the Israelites had their fortifications. His elucidation of the whole story is most convincing.

E. W. G. Masterman


e’-lam (‘elam):

(1) A son of Shem (Ge 10:22; 1Ch 1:17; see ELAMITES).

(2) A Benjamite (1Ch 8:24).

(3) A Korahite (1Ch 26:3).

(4) Heads of families in the return (Ezr 2:7 parallel Ne 7:12; Ezr 2:31 parallel Ne 7:34; Ezr 8:7; 10:2,26).

(5) A chief of the people (Ne 10:14).

(6) A priest (Ne 12:42).


e’-lam, e’-lam-its (‘elam; Ailam; Jer 49:36. Codex Sinaiticus ‘the original scribe’ reads Elam)

The scene of the events of 1Sa 17:2 ff, referred to also in 1Sa 21:9. There can be no doubt that this is the Wady ec CunT ("valley of the tercbinth"), or part of it. This is the southernmost of the great valleys which cut through the Shephelah. Commencing near Hebron, close to Beit Sur, it descends under the name Wady es Sur in a more or less northerly direction until near Beit Nettif where it turns abruptly west and receives the name Wady ec CunT. Here it is joined by the Wady en Najil, coming from the North, and from the East by the Wady el-Jindy, down which descends an ancient road from Bethlehem. Where all these valleys coalesce the Wady ec CunT expands into a wide and level bottom, half a mile across. On a steep hill to the southern side and a little Southeast of the wide expanse is Kh. esh-Shuweikeh, the site of Socoh. That the great events of 1Sa 17:2 ff took place here there can be no doubt: the Philistines ranged themselves upon the southern hills; the Israelites to the North or Northeast. Upon the wide level valley the contest with Goliath occurred. The exact position of Saul’s forces may be a matter of speculation, but the late Principal Miller of Madras, who made a special study of the locality (Least of All Lands, chapter v), considered that the little valley ascending Northeast from Wady ec CunT to Belt Nettif was probably the actual Vale of Elah and that here the Israelites had their fortifications. His elucidation of the whole story is most convincing.


1. Geographical Position and Names 2. Surface Configuration 3. Mountain Ranges 4. Rivers 5. Climate 6. Vegetation 7. Fauna 8. The Population 9. The Principal Cities 10. Apirti and the "Bandit Nations" 11. The Languages of Elam 12. History ( 1) The Earliest Period (2) Sargon of Agade and His Successors (3) The Suzerainty of the Kings of Ur (4) Elam Becomes Predominant 2280 Years BC (5) The Extension of Elamite Authority Westward (6) Babylonia Again Supreme (7) Hurbatila’s Challenge to Kuri-galzu (8) Elam Again Supreme (9) Elam Again Defeated, but Recovers (10) The Conflict between Elam and Assyria (11) Sennacherib against Chaldea and Elam (12) Assyrian Friendship and Elamite Ingratitude (13) Te-umman and the Elamite Seed-royal; Assyria’s Triumph (14) Elamite Ingratitude and Treachery (15) Elam’s Further Changes of Rulers (16) King Tammaritu’s Treachery (17) Dominion Passes from Assyria (18) The Later State of Elam 13. Elamite Religion 14. Elam’s Importance; Her Literature 15. Art during the 1st and 2nd Prehistoric Periods 16. Art in the Archaic Period, That of the Viceroys, and That of the Kings 17. Temperament of the Inhabitants of Elam


1. Geographical Position and Names:

A well-known tract, partly mountainous, whose western boundary, starting on the Northeast side of the Persian Gulf, practically followed the course of the lower Tigris. It was bounded on the North by Media, on the East by Persia and on the West by Babylonia. The Assyro-Babylonians called the tract Elamtu, expressed ideographically by the Sumerian characters for Nimma or Numma, which seems to have been its name in that language. As Numma or Elam apparently means "height," or the like, these names were probably applied to it on account of its mountainous nature. Another name by which it was known in early times was Ashshan, for Anshan or Anzan (Anzhan), one of its ancient cities. The great capital of the tract, however, was Susa (Shushan), whence its Greek name of Susiana, interchanging with Elymais, from the Semitic Elam.

2. Surface Configuration:

Elam consisted of a plain occupying a depression in the mountains of Iran or Persia. Of this the smaller part—which, however, was also the most ancient historically—lay between the Pusht-e-Kuh on the West, the Lur mountains on the North, the Bakhtiari heights to the East and Southeast, and the hills of Ahwaz to the South. The larger plain has as its northern boundary these same Ahwaz hills, and reaches to the sea on the South.

3. Mountain Ranges:

The Pusht-e-Kuh mountains are a series of very high parallel ranges described as "a veritable wall" between Mesopotamia and the elevated depression of the Kerkha. Its principal peak is in the Kebir-Kuh (2,500 meters = 8,200 ft.)—a difficult range of surprising regularity. The valleys on the Southwest slope belong properly to Babylonia, and could be invaded on that side with ease, but Northeast of the Kebir-Kuh the country is well protected not only against Mesopotamia, on the West, but also against Persia on the East. The nomad Lurs of the present day are practically independent of Persia. The mountain ranges of Luristan increase in height as one approaches the Persian plain, the loftiest summits of the principal range attaining a height of 5,000 meters (= 16,400 ft.).

4. Rivers:

From these mountain ranges descend large rivers which flow through Elam to the sea. The Kerkha (Gamas-ab) rises in the Persian plain near Nehavend, and is practically a torrent until it reaches Susa, below which it becomes less rapid, and loses itself in the Hawizeh marshes. The Ab-e-Diz, a river with a greater volume of water, is formed by the uniting of two streams above Dizful. It is so violent that it carries down boulders and even tree-trunks from the mountains, and after a winding course joins the Karun at Kut-e-Bende-Kir. The Belad-Rud, between the Ab-e-Diz and the Kerkha, rises in the mountains of Luristan, and varies greatly as to its volume, being sometimes a mere brook, and at others a large river. The Karun, with which a number of small streams unite, rises in the Bakhtiari mountains. After receiving the Ab-e-Diz and the Belad-Rud at Kut-e-Bende-Kir, it becomes an important waterway, navigable as far as Shuster. This is identified with the Biblical Ulai (Assyrian Ulaa, classical Eulaeus). In ancient times emptying itself into the Persian Gulf, which in past centuries extended much farther inland than now, it at present joins the Shattel-Arab at Mohammerah.

5. Climate:

The climate is a variable one. Between November 1 and 15 the rains begin, with Southeast and South winds, and the mountains are covered with snow. In January and February there are violent storms, and the night brings 8 degrees or 10 degrees of frost. Spring begins at the end of February, and vegetation advances so rapidly that harvest takes place about the end of April. The wind then turns South and Southwest, bringing with it a heat rising sometimes to 140 degree F., destroying all the verdure of the country. Notwithstanding the rigors of the climate, however, it was in ancient times a well-populated district, and exceedingly fruitful, as now. That the district of Arabistan is poor and barren is due to the carelessness and improvidence of the people, who, like the people of the Turkish province of Bagdad, have neglected the ancient irrigation canals which fertilized the land.

6. Vegetation:

The vegetation of Susiana is said not to be very varied. On the river banks are to be found willows, tamarisks and many kinds of acacias. Apparently there are no forests—the sacred groves referred to by Assur-bani-apli are thought by De Morgan to have been artificial plantations. Oranges and lemons, which are at present cultivated there, are late importations. The date palm has been brought from the banks of the Shatt-el-Arab, and the pomegranate and other fruit trees from the Iranian plain. Wheat and barley, sown in October and November, are harvested in April. Sorghum remains in the ground all through the dry season, and is watered artificially until October, and cut in November. Castor beans, indigo, lentils, haricots, etc., are less cultivated.

7. Fauna:

The fauna is said at present to be less numerous than formerly. It contains species both of central Asia, Europe, and, to a certain extent, Africa. The elephant, wild ass, wild ox and ostrich are no longer to be found on the Chaldeo-Elamite plain, but a few examples of the lion still exist there. Bears, panthers, wild boars, wolves, wild cats, foxes, jackals, and several species of wild dogs, however, still exist. Numbers of porcupines inhabit the brushwood by the rivers and marshes. Among the birds which do not leave the country are the eagle, vulture, falcon, raven, francolin, martin, sparrow, tomtit, wagtail, etc. The winter birds of passage are the pelican, stork, crane, cormorant, sea gull, many species of wild duck, the wild goose, bustard, woodcock, snipe, pigeon, turtledove, and numerous brilliantly colored waders. The water-courses are full of fish, among them being the barbel, silurus, carp (sometimes of great size), and gurnards similar to those of the Nile. Some of the rivers being salt, sea fish are also to be found, and it is not rare to see sharks at Shuster, and eels in the lower Karun.

8. The Population:

The population is naturally not homogeneous. Arab tribes, who are in reality Semites, occupy the plains, while Iranians inhabit the cities and dwell at the mountain bases. According to De Morgan, the original population was mainly negritic, and has mingled with the Arab stock to such an extent that mulattoes among them are not rare. He regards this type as being represented among the soldiers as well as among the people conquered by Naram-Sin about 3000 BC. Nevertheless pure Semites had settled in the country at a very early date, and it is probably on account of this that Elam is called (Ge 10:22) a son of Shem—indeed, the many Sere inscriptions found by the French explorers at Susa show how strong their influence was. It was to all appearance during the 2nd millennium BC that certain Kassites overran West Mesopotamia, and settled in the northern part of Elam, which was thereafter called by the Assyrians mat Kassi, "the land of the Cosseans." As these people seem to have spoken an Aryan language, there was apparently no really new race introduced in consequence of their invasion.

9. The Principal Cities:

The two principal cities were Susa or Shushan, called Susun in the native texts, and regarded as the old capital, situated on the Ulai (Karkha); and Anzan (Ashshan, Anshan), more to the Southwest. This latter was the capital of Cyrus the Great and his immediate predecessors, the tract having been conquered apparently by Sispis (Teispes), his ancestor, at the end of the 6th century BC. Susa, an important commercial center in the 3rd millennium BC, became again one of the three capitals of the Pets empire during the rule of the Achemenians.

10. Apirti and the "Bandit Nations":

From the inscriptions of Mal-Amir, to the East, we learn that that was the place of another kingdom called Apirti, the land of the Apharsites of Ezr 4:9. In the 2nd (so-called Median or Scythian) version of the late Persian inscriptions this name is given as Hapirti, Halpirti, and Haltupirti, and appears as the equivalent of the Babylonian Elammat (Elamtu) or Elam without the nominative ending. In the Persian version this appears as (H)uwaja or (H)uwazha, whence the modern Huz or Khuzistan. This implies that the kings of Apirti at one time held dominion over Susa, and perhaps the whole of Elam. Strabo (xi.13,1,6), quoting Nearchus, speaks of "four bandit nations" who occupied the mountains East of the Euphrates—the Amardians or Mardians on the Persian border, the Uxians, and Elymeans on the borders of Persia and Susa, and the Cosseans (Kassites) by the Medes. The Amardians would seem to have been the Apirti (Hapirti), the Uxians were probably from (H)uwaja, while the Elymeans (compare 1 Macc 6:1) were the Elamites. Among the tribes who made the history of the country, therefore, were probably the Uxians, who seem not to be mentioned in the early inscriptions.

11. The Languages of Elam:

The dialects of Susa, the second Achemenian VSS, and of Apirti, differ but slightly from each other. They are variants of an agglutinative tongue, and are apparently not related to any other known language. The statement in Ge 10:22, therefore, applies only to the Semitic section of the population, as it is unlikely that the people speaking Apirtian could be described as "sons of Shem."

12. History:

(1) The Earliest Period.

Beginning with the semi-mythical period, we have the story of the fight of the Babylonian hero Gilgames with the Elamite tyrant Humbaba, who was defeated by the hero and his helper Enki-du, and beheaded. The earliest really historical reference to the Elamites as the foes of Babylonia, however, is apparently that contained in a letter from the priest Lu-enna to the priest En-e-tarzi announcing that the Elamites had invaded Lagas and carried off considerable booty. The writer, however, had attacked the Elamites, and taken plunder from them in his turn. As there seems to be a reference to division of spoil, this is an excellent parallel to the Elamite expedition, made in alliance with the Babylonians, against the cities of the plain (Ge 14).

(2) Sargon of Agade and His Successors.

Sargon of Agade, early in his reign, attacked the Elamites, but apparently Elam only fell under the dominion of the Babylonians during the time of Naram-Sin, his son, who is seemingly shown leading his troops in that region on the splendid stele bearing his name that was found at Susa. Elam apparently regained its independence, however, during the time of Uruwus king of Kis, who invaded the country, and brought back considerable spoil. One of the chiefs of Susa about this time was Simbi-ishak. Chaldean domination, however, did not last long, for Dungi, king of Ur of the Chaldees, about 2500 BC, invaded the country, accompanied by his vassal Gudea, viceroy of Lagas. Dungi has left evidences of his conquests in the buildings which he erected at Susa, but the principal buildings of this period were constructed by Ba-sa-Susinak, son of Simbi-ishak, viceroy of Susa and potentate in Elam. He built a temple to the god Sugu, reservoirs, the gate of Susinak, and dug the Sidur canal. He was evidently one of the great rulers of the land.

(3) The Suzerainty of the Kings of Ur.

Somewhat later came Idadu I, his son Kal-Ruhuratir, and his grandson Idadu II, who in turn occupied the throne during the time of Bur-Sin, king of Ur. Elam was at this time still under Babylonian suzerainty, which continued under his successor, Gimil-Sin, who also built at Susa, his vassal being Ebarti-kin-Daddu, viceroy of Susa. Gimil-Sin was succeeded by his son Ibi-Sin as overlord in Elam, who invaded and devastated the country, probably to suppress a a revolt. There was apparently no ill-will between the two nations, however, for the viceroy of Susa is said to have married a daughter of Ibi-Sin. Another and possibly later viceroy seems to have married Mekubi, daughter of Billama, viceroy of Asnunnak, who, as Elamite princess, erected buildings at Susa.

(4) Elam Becomes Predominant 2280 Years BC.

It was probably shortly after this that Kudur-Nahhunte threw off the Semitic yoke, and, invading Babylonia, brought back much spoil to Elam. The date indicated for this ruler by the inscriptions of Assurbani-apli is 2280 BC. The positions of the rulers of Elam and Babylonia were now changed, and the kings of Babylon had to acknowledge Elamite suzerainty. As Elamite and Babylonian sovereign, Kudur-Nahhunte entrusted Susa to a feudatory ruler, and among the viceroys who governed Elam may be mentioned Sirukdu’, who constructed at Susa, and Temti-Agun, his sister’s son, who built in that city the temple to Isme-karab, "for the health of Kutir-Nahhunte and his family." After passing to other rulers, the government of Susa fell to Ebari, father of Silhaha, during whose reign Simti-Silhak ruled in Babylonia. Nur-Addi and Rim-Anum, kings of Larsa (Elassar), were his vassals.

(5) The Extension of Elamite Authority Westward.

Attapaksu (or Attahusu), Silhaha’s sister’s son, then became "shepherd of Susa." Among the temples which he built was one dedicated to the goddess Narute, and he erected a bridge near his residence. Kudur-mabuk, son of Simti-Silhak, was at this time adda ("father," probably meaning protector) of Emutbalu and the West—Amurru, the land of the Amorites, whither marched Chedorlaomer and Amraphel, with their allies, in the time of Abraham (Ge 14). Kudur-mabuk of Larsa was succeeded by his son Eri-Aku (probably the Iri-Agun of Larsa of the Elamite texts), and if he be really, as seems probable, the Arioch of Ge 14:1,9, then this is also the period when Chedorlaomer ruled in Elam. The strange thing, however, is, that the name of this last does not occur in any recognizable form, unless it be the Kudurlahgumal of certain half- legendary inscriptions (see CHEDORLAOMER). The Elamite line in Larsa was continued after the death of Eri-Aku by Rim-Sin, his brother, who succeeded him.

(6) Babylonia Again Supreme.

What the history of Elam during this period was remains to be discovered, but Hammurabi, who is identified with the Amraphel of Ge 14:1,9, seems to have invaded the country in his 30th year. In his 31st he defeated Rim-Sin of Larsa, following this up, in his 32nd, by overthrowing the army of Asnunnak. All these successes in Elam and its dependencies probably made the kingdom of Babylon supreme in the land. But more details bearing upon this period are needed. It is thought probable that the Elamite king Sadi(?) or Taki (?) came into conflict with, and was defeated by, Ammi-caduga, the 4th in descent from Hammurabi, who reigned about 1890 BC. Apparently the Elamite ruler had tried to regain his independence, but failed.

(7) Hurbatila’s Challenge to Kuri-galzu.

Omitting the names of rulers concerning whom but little or nothing is known, we come to the reign of Untas-Gal, patron of the articles Numerous temples were built by him, and sanctuaries at Susa dedicated. He has left a magnificent bronze statue representing his queen Napir-Asu. He seems to have been overthrown by Untahas-Gal, of a more legitimate line, who was likewise a builder of temples. After the apparently short reign of Kidin-Hutran came that of Hurpatila (Hurbatila), who, desiring to throw off the Babylonian yoke, challenged Kuri-galzu, king of Babylon, to battle at Dur-Dungi. The challenge was accepted, with disastrous results, for Hurbatila was captured by the Babylonian king at the place named. This, however, did not put an end to the strife, and in the end Kidin-Hutrudas was victorious over Belnadin-sum, king of Babylon, about 1180 BC.

(8) Elam Again Supreme.

Later came the military exploits of Sutruk-Nahhunte, who invaded Babylonia, slew the king Zagaga-sum-iddina, and helped by his son Kutir-Nahhunte, destroyed Sippar, and took away the stele of Naram-Sin, the code of Hammurabi, and several other monuments, which were carefully preserved at Susa. He also defeated the king of Asnunnak. It is this collection of spoils which has contributed to make the success of the French excavations at Susa what it is.

(9) Elam Again Defeated, but Recovers.

The war between Babylonia and Elam recorded for the reign of Nebuchadrezzar I (circa 1020 BC) probably took place, according to Scheil, during the reign of Silbina-hamru-Laqamar. The Elamite king was defeated on the banks of the Ulai, Elam was ravaged, and much spoil taken. The principality called Namar was detached from Susian territory and reunited to the domain of Babylonia. Apparently the Elamites now turned their attention to regaining their military prestige, the result being that an Elamite king occupied the Babylonian throne from 939 to 934 BC. The history of this period has still to be discovered, but the Babylonians apparently soon shook off the Elamite yoke. It is about this time, however, that another power—Assyria—appeared on the scene, and took the field—not only against Babylon, but also on the borders of Elam. An Elamite contemporary of Nabonassar of Babylon was Humbanigas, 742 BC.

(10) The Conflict between Elam and Assyria.

At this time, however, the Assyrians became dominant in Babylonia (see TIGLATH-PILESER and SHALMANESER), but it was probably not until the reign of Sargon of Assyria (see SARGON) that Elam came into conflict with Assyria. Merodach-baladan, a pretender to the throne of Babylon, made common cause with Humbanigas, who fought with the Assyrian army at Der. Naturally the Assyrians claim the victory, but the Babylonians say that they were defeated. After the death of Humbanigas, his successor, Sutur-Nahhundi or Ishtar-hundu (Babylonian), still befriended Merodach-baladan, and advanced to his help. Sargon first attacked the Chaldeans and defeated them at Dur-Athara, and, entering Elam, stormed and captured the cities of the land. The Elamite king took refuge in the mountains, and Merodach-baladan had to resist the Assyrians unaided.

(11) Sennacherib against Chaldea and Elam.

As Sargon had his attention fully occupied elsewhere, he made no attempt to follow up his success, and it seems not to have been until the reign of Sennacherib that any serious invasion of the country on the part of the Assyrians was made. In 697 BC that king marched again against Merodach-baladan, who had taken refuge at Nagitu and other places on the Elamite side of then elongated Persian Gulf. Here the Chaldeans, with their Elamite allies, were defeated, and the Elamite cities plundered and destroyed. Hallusu, king of Elam, on the retirement of the Assyrian troops, invaded Babylonia as being part of the territories of the Assyrian king, and having captured Assur-nadin-sum, Sennacherib’s son, who had ruled in Babylon 6 years, carried him off to Elam, setting Nergal-usezib on the throne of Babylonia. On the arrival of the Assyrian avenging host in Baby1onia, Nergal-usezib fled to Elam, but was captured near Niffer. The Elamites were evidently very dissatisfied with their king—possibly owing to his policy—and killed him in a revolt after a reign of six years. This action on the part of the Elamites, however, did not save the people from Assyrian vengeance, for Sennacherib invaded and ravaged the country from Ras to Bit-Burnaki. Apparently the Elamites had expected their new ruler, Kudurru (Kudur-Nahhunte), to save them from the reprisals of the Assyrians, but as he had failed to do this, he, in his turn, was deposed and killed after a reign of 10 months. The new king of Elam was Umman- Menanu, who espoused the cause of Musezib-Marduk, the new king of Babylon, and gathering a force of Babylonians and Elamites at Halule, fought a battle there, in which the Babylonians record success for the allies. Sennacherib, however, himself claims the victory, and describes with great wealth of detail the horrors of the fight. Next year (689 BC) Sennacherib marched into Babylonia to complete the work, and Musezib-Marduk, having been captured, was sent prisoner to Assyria. Umman-Menanu died at the end of the year, after a 4 years’ reign, and was succeeded by Humba- haldasu I (689-682 BC), of whom nothing is known. In 682 BC Humba- haldasu II mounted the throne. The death of Sennacherib and the troubles attending the accession of Esarhaddon encouraged Nabuzer-napisti-Itsir, son of Merodach- baladan, again to raise the standard of revolt. Defeat was the result, and he fled to Elam, there to be captured by Humba- haldasu and put to death.

(12) Assyrian Friendship and Elamite Ingratitude.

Friendship with Assyria was a complete reversal of Elamite policy, and to all appearance peace, though probably unpopular, persisted between the two countries for several years. Humba-haldasu’s two brothers revolted against him and assassinated him, and Urtaku, one of the murderers, took the Elamite throne. Not daring to be openly hostile to Assyria, however, he sent his brother Te-umman to intrigue in Chaldea in favor of a man named Nabuusallim, but the Chaldean chiefs answered that Na’id-Marduk, their lord, lived, and they were the servants of the king of Assyria. Also, during a famine in Elam, certain Elamite tribes migrated into Assyria to escape the scarcity, and were kindly treated by Assur-bani-apli, who had succeeded his father on the Assyrian throne. Notwithstanding this, however, Urtaku invaded Babylonia as ally of certain Chaldean tribes. Overtaken by the Assyrian army, he fought with them near his own border, but was defeated and fled. He died prematurely (by his own hand) the same year, and was succeeded by his brother Te-umman (Tepti-Humban).

(13) Te-umman and the Elamite Seed-royal; Assyria’s Triumph.

This king, who is described by Assur-bani-apli as being in the likeness of an evil spirit, immediately set to work to secure the death of all the sons of Urtaku and Umman-aldase (Humba-Haldasu II), his brother; and these princes, five in number, with 60 of the royal seed of Elam, fled and sought refuge with the Assyrian king. Te-umman immediately sent two messengers to Assur-bani-apli demanding the surrender of the fugitives. This was refused, and war broke out between the two countries immediately after. The Assyrians came up with the Elamites at Der, but Te-umman feared to join issue there, and retreating, took up a strong position near his capital, Susa, with his front protected by the river Ulai. Defections from his army now so weakened the forces of Te-umman that he endeavored to treat with Assur-bani-apli, who naturally refused to listen to terms, and ordered his troops to attack. The defeat of the Elamites was a foregone conclusion, and Te-umman perished, with his son, in the thick of the battle, as is dramatically depicted by the sculptors of Assur-bani-apli in the bas-reliefs which adorned the walls of his palace. An Assyrian general was now sent to Susa with Umman-igas, the prince chosen to succeed Te-umman, and he was proclaimed while the bodies of the fallen Elamites covered the battlefield, and the waters of the Ulai carried others down to the place of its outflow. Tammaritu, the new king’s youngest brother, was at the same time made king of Hidalu, in the mountain region. In the triumphal procession at Nineveh which took place on the Assyrian army’s return, the head of Te-umman and his son Tamritu figured, the former hanging from the neck of Dunanu, king of Gambulu, and the latter from the neck of Samgunu, Dunanu’s brother.

(14) Elamite Ingratitude and Treachery.

For a time there was peace in Elam, but soon the discontent of Samas-sum-ukin, king of Babylon, Assur-bani-apli’s brother, sought to break it. Urged by him, Umman-igas forgot the benefits which he had received at the hands of Assur-bani-apli, and sent an army into Babylonia under the command of Undasi, son of Te-umman, telling him to avenge upon Assyria the killing of his father. Notwithstanding the great strength of the allied army, they did not succeed in making headway against the Assyrians. Tammaritu, nephew of Umman-igas, after the defeat of the Elamite forces in Chaldea, revolted against him, and having defeated him, cut off his head, and took the crown. Samas-sum-ukin immediately turned his attention to the new ruler, and induced him by fresh presents to come likewise to his aid. Tammaritu therefore marched at the head of an army into Babylonia, but in his absence Indabigas, one of his servants, headed a revolt against him, and proclaimed himself king in Susa. In the battle which ensued between the two pretenders, Tammaritu was defeated, and fled to the seacoast with a part of the Elamite royal family. He ultimately embarked in a ship on the Persian Gulf with the intention of escaping, but was wrecked, and gave himself up to an Assyrian officer, who sent him to Assyria.

(15) Elam’s Further Changes of Rulers.

Indabigas, the new Elamite king, now sent an embassy to make peace with Assur-bani-apli, who at once demanded the surrender of Nabu-bel-sumati, son of Merodach-baladan, and the Assyrians whom he had enticed and taken with him. Before this demand could reach Indabigas, however, his people had revolted against him and put him to death, and Umman-aldasu, son of Attametu, sat on the throne, after defeating Indabigas on the banks of the Huthut. The same demand was made to Ummanaldasu as had been made to Indabigas, but Nabubel-sumati, not wishing to fall into the hands of the Assyrians, called on his armor-bearer to dispatch him, and the two ran each other through with their swords.

(16) King Tammaritu’s Treachery.

Nevertheless Assur-bani-apli decided to replace Tammaritu, the former Elamite king, on the throne, and to this end invaded Elam. The Assyrians were, as usual, successful, and on learning this, Umman-aldas fled to the mountains. Entering Susa, Tammaritu was once more proclaimed king of Elam, he, in return, promising to regard Assur-bani-apli as his lord, and to pay tribute. No sooner had the Assyrian army departed, than the new king of Elam began to plot against the power which had raised him. To all appearance his intentions to revolt were reported to the Assyrian king, who at once sent an army and plundered the country, and Tammaritu again fell into Assur-bani-apli’s hands. Umman-aldas now returned and resumed the government. Unwilling to regard his former efforts as fruitless, the Assyrian king decided to finally subdue the land, and to this end invaded it, the pretext being that the Elamites refused to deliver up the image of the goddess Nana, which had been carried off from Erech 1,635 years before, in the time of Kudur-Nahhunte (see (4) above). The two armies faced each other on the banks of the Itite, and after an attack in which the Assyrians were at a disadvantage, the Elamites gave way, and Umman-aldas fled to the mountains. According to the Assyrian king’s record, an enormous booty was taken, including many sacred and ancient royal statues preserved at Susa. The image of Nana was restored to its shrine at Erech with great rejoicing. In the triumphal celebrations at Nineveh, Tammaritu was one of the captive kings who drew the Assyrian king’s chariot to the temple of Ishtar, when he rendered the goddess thanks for his victories.

(17) Dominion Passes from Assyria.

To all appearance Elam now became a province of the Assyrian empire, though not for long, as this collapsed in the year 606 BC, and the center of government was shifted to Babylon, under Nabopolassar, who became its ruler. Nebuchadrezzar (604), Evil-Merodach (561), Neriglissar (559), and Nabonidus (555-538 BC), were successively masters of Elam. The mention of the kings of Elam in Jer 25:25, however, suggests that the old states of the country had practically resumed their independence; though 49:35-39 prophesies the dismemberment of the country, and the destruction of its king and princes. This is thought to refer to the annexation of the country by Teispes, and its passing, through his line—Cyrus, Cambyses, and Cyrus the Great, who were all kings of Anzan—to Darius Hystaspis. In Isa 21:2 it is apparently the later Cyrus who is referred to when Elam, with Media, is called upon "to go up" to the siege of Babylon.

(18) The Later State of Elam.

After Cyrus, the history of Elam was that of Persia, of which it henceforth formed a part. In all probability, however, the Elamites were as warlike and as intractable as ever. During the reign of the little-known Kharacenian king, Aspasine, they made incursions into Babylonia, one of the opponents of this king’s generals being Pittit, "the enemy, the Elamite"—a phrase of old standing, apparently. Elam, to its whole extent, was smitten with the sword, and Pittit (was slain or captured). One of the cities which they attacked was Apameia, probably that on the Sellas river. Ac 2:9 implies that the old language of Elam was still in use, and the Elamites were still recognized as a nationality, as late as the 1st century of our era.

13. Elamite Religion:

Owing to the many Semites in Elam, and the nearness of the Babylonian states, Babylonian deities—Anu and Anatu, Enlil and Ninlil, Merodach and Zer-panitu, Samas and Aa, Tammuz and Ishtar, Ninip, Nergal, Hadad or Rimmon, etc.—were largely worshipped (see BABEL, BABYLON). The chief deity of the non-Semitic pantheon seems to have been Insusinak, the patron-deity of Susa, identified with Ninip, the son of Enlil, by the Babylonians, who guote also other names applied to him—Lahuratil Simes, Adaene, Susinak, and Dagbak. Merodach seems to have been represented by the Sumerian character Gal, "great," and Zer-panitu was apparently called Nin-sis in Elam. Ishtar was known as Usan. Lagamar, Laqamar, or Lagamal, was apparently identified with the Babylonian Lagamal, one of the gods of Dailem near Babylon—his name is generally regarded as forming part of the name CHEDORLAOMER (which see). Nahhunte, Na’hunte, or (Babylonian) Nan-hundi was the Babylonian sun-god Samas; Kunzibami was the W. Semitic Hadad, also known by his Mitannian (Hittite) name of Tesup. Humban, Human, or Umman (Assyrian), "the god of gods," "the king," was possibly regarded as the Babylonian Merodach. The currency of Babylonian myths in Elam is suggested by the name of the goddess Belala, possibly the Babylonian Belili, sister of Tammuz. The word for "god" in Elamite was nap, explained by the Babylonians as one of the names of Enlil, implying that the Elamites regarded him as "the god" by divine right. Of their deities, six (one of them being Lagamar) were worshipped only by Elamite kings. Elam had temples and temple-towers similar to those in Babylonia, as well as sacred groves, wherein no stranger penetrated. (See ERE, under the word "Elamites.")

14. Elam’s Importance; Her Literature:

The rediscovery of the history of Elam is one of the most noteworthy things of modern research. It has revealed to us the wonderful development which that kingdom had made at an exceedingly early date, and shows that it was politically just as important as the Babylonian states 4,000 years BC, though probably hardly so advanced in art and literature. Nevertheless, the country had adopted the cuneiform method of writing, and possessed also another script, seemingly of more ancient date. As both Semitic Babylonian and Susian (Anzanite) were spoken in the country, numerous documents in both languages have been found, mostly historical, or of the nature of dedications, some of which are inscribed on objects presented to temples. There are also a number of archaic tablets of the nature of accounts, written in a peculiar cuneiform character. The cylinder-seals are either inscribed with dedications, or with the name of the owner, his father, and the god whom he worshipped, as in Babylonia. Of other literature there are but mere traces—an exorcism against mosquitos shows the desire of the people to rid themselves of the discomforts of this life. Contracts testify to the existence of laws, but the laws themselves have yet to be discovered. The stele of Hammurabi, which was found at Susa, did not belong to Elamitic literature, but to that of Babylonia.

15. Art during the 1st and 2nd Prehistoric Periods:

Elamite art during the first period was naturally rude, and it is doubtful whether metals were then used, as no traces of them were found. There were also no inscribed monuments. The pottery, however, was of extreme delicacy, and very elegant. The second period is described as being less artistic than the first. The pottery is more ordinary, and also more roughly made, though better ware also exists. Painted ornamentation is found. Vessels of white or pink limestone, some of them very large, occur, but alabaster is exceedingly rare. There is no indication of writing at this period, but rudely engraved seals, with animal forms, are found. The buildings were of crude brick or piled-up earth, though baked brick was sometimes used. A change seems to have taken place in the conditions of life at the end of this period, implying invasion by a more civilized race.

16. Art in the Archaic Period, That of Viceroys, and That of the Kings:

The indications of invasion during the second prehistoric period are confirmed, according to M. Jequier, by what is found in the layer of the archaic period, which succeeded it. This is accentuated by the numerous inscribed clay tablets, some of the which have impressions of quite remarkable cylinder-seals. The pottery is scanty and not characteristic, but the working of alabaster into vases had developed considerably, and some of the smaller forms (ointment or scent-bottles) are good and varied. Some have the form of the duck, the wild boar, and other animals. During the period of the issake or viceroys, fine sculptures in low relief occur—the scorpion-man and the sacred tree, military prisoners with their guard, siegeoperations and the dead on the battlefield; and as examples of work in the round, ivory and alabaster statuettes. Later on, during the time of the kings of Elam and Susa, the objects of art increase in number, though large objects in the round are rare. Noteworthy are the statuettes and statues in bronze, the former being very numerous. The largest production of this kind is the almost lifesize statue of queen Napir-Asu, consort of Untas-Gal, which, however, is unfortunately headless. It is a remarkable piece of work, and has great artistic merit.

17. Temperament of the Inhabitants of Elam:

In all probability Elam was much hindered in her material and intellectual development by the intractable and warlike nature of her people—indeed, the history of the country, as far as it is known, is a record of strife and conflict, and the temperament indicated by the ancient records seems to have been inherited by the wild tribes which occupy the more inaccessible districts. What conduced to quarrels and conflicts in ancient times was the law of succession, for the Elamite kings were not generally succeeded by their eldest sons, but by their brothers (see ELLASAR). The inhabitants of the towns at the present time in all probability do not differ in any essential respect from those of Persia in general, and among them there is probably no great amount of ancient Elamite blood, though the Elamite type is met with, and probably occurs, in consequence of ancient mingling, in various parts of modern Persia.


For the most complete account of the discoveries in Elam, see Memoires de la delegation en Perse, I ff, Mission scientifique en Perse, I ff, and Histoire et travaux de la delegation en Perse, all under the editorship of J. de Morgan, and written by De Morgan, V. Scheil, G. Lampre, G. Jequier, etc.; also W. K. Loftus, Chaldea and Susiana, 1857.

T. G. Pinches


el’-a-sa, ele-a’sa (Alasa; the King James Version Eleasa):

The place where Judas pitched his camp before the battle in which he was overwhelmed and slain (APC 1Macc 9:5).

It probably corresponds to the modern Khirbet il‘asa, between the two Beth-horons.


el’-a-sa (’el‘asah, "God has made"):

(1) An Israelite who had married a foreign wife (Ezr 10:22).

(2) A son of Shaphan, by whom, with Gemariah, King Zedekiah sent a message to Babylon (Jer 29:3).



e’-lath, or e’-loth (’eloth, ‘elath; Ailon (De 2:8), Ailath (2Ki 16:6)):

A seaport on the Red Sea in the territory of Edom. It is named along with Ezion-geber in the account of Israel’s journey round the land of Edom (De 2:8). It appears as Ailath, and Alion in the Septuagint, and in Josephus as Ilanis (Ant., VIII, vi, 4), while Eusebius (Onomasticon) has Aila. From this we may gather that the Aramaic Ilan or Ilana was in use as well as the Hebrew ‘elath or ‘eloth. The name, "grove," was doubtless derived from the presence of certain sacred trees. It may be identical with El-paran of Ge 14:6, and Elah of Ge 36:41. When David conquered Edom, Elath passed into the hands of Israel (2Sa 8:14). It was a position of great importance in connection with the trade with South Arabia. Here the merchant fleets of Solomon and Jehoshaphat were fitted out, and hence, they sailed (1Ki 9:26; 2Ch 8:17; 1Ki 22:48).

In the reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, Edom shook off the hand of Judah (2Ki 8:20), but under Amaziah and Uzziah it was again subdued (2Ki 14:7,10,22). Finally it was taken from Ahaz by Rezin, king of Syria. The Jews were driven out and the Syrians (Edomites?) took permanent possession (2Ki 16:6). It is identical with the modern ‘Aqaba, at the head of the gulf of that name.

W. Ewing


el-be’-rith (Jud 9:46).



el’-shi-a, the Revised Version (British and American)

ELKIAH (which see).


el-da’-a (’elda‘ah, "God has called"?):

A son of Midian (Ge 25:4; 1Ch 1:33).


el’-dad (’eldadh, "God has loved"):

One of the 70 elders chosen by Moses at the command of Yahweh to share "the burden of the people" (Nu 11:16-25). Eldad and his companion Medad were not present with the rest at the tent of meeting, yet the Spirit rested also upon them and they prophesied in the camp (Nu 11:26-29).


el’-dad, mo’-dad:

In the Septuagint they are called Eldad and Modad. In the King James Version the names are given as Eldad and Medad; meaning "God has loved" ("God loves") and "object of love" (?).

They were two of the seventy elders chosen by Moses (Nu 11:26), and while the others obeyed the summons and went to the tabernacle, these two remained in the camp and prophesied (Nu 11:26). The nature of their prophecy is not recorded, and this naturally became a good subject for the play of the imagination. It furnished the basis for a lost work which was quoted by Hermas (Vis 2 3): "The Lord is near to them who return unto him, as it is written in Eldad and Modad, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness." The Palestine Targums also filled in the subject of the prophecy of Eldad and Modad, and, as they have it, it related to the coming of Gog and Magog against Israel at the end of the days. One of the Targums has the expression, "The Lord is near to them that are in the hour of tribulation." The authors of the Targums were either dependent upon that work or upon a similar tradition; and the former of these views is the more probable. Lightfoot and Holtzman think the lengthy quotation in 1 Clem 23 and 2 Clem 11 is from the Book of Eldad and Modad. The work is found in the Stichometry of Nicephorus and consists of 400 stichoi, which would make it about twice the length of the Cant.

A. W. Fortune





(1) The word is used adjectivally to denote seniority (Lu 15:25; 1Ti 5:2).

(2) Referring to the Jewish elders of the synagogue, usually associated with the scribes and Pharisees, and New Testament passages cited in the previous article.

(3) It denotes certain persons appointed to hold office in the Christian church, and to exercise spiritual oversight over the flock entrusted to them. From the references in Ac 14:23; 20:17 it may be inferred that the churches generally had elders appointed over them. That "elders" and "bishops" were in apostolic and sub-apostolic times the same, is now almost universally admitted; in all New Testament references their functions are identical. The most probable explanation of the difference of names is that "elder" refers mainly to the person, and "bishop" to the office; the name "elder" emphasizes what he is, while "bishop," that is "overseer," emphasizes what the elder or presbyter does.


A. C. Grant


el’-der, (zaqen):

Among primitive peoples authority seems naturally to be invested in those who by virtue of greater age and, consequently, experience are best fitted to govern thus Iliad iii.149. Later the idea of age became merged in that of dignity (Il. ii.404, ii.570; Odyssey ii.14). In like manner the word patres came to be used among the Romans (Cic. Rep. 2,8,14). So also among the Germans authority was entrusted to those who were older; compare Tacitus Agricola. The same is true among the Arabians to the present day, the sheik being always a man of age as well as of authority.

From the first the Hebrews held this view of government, although the term "elder" came later to be used of the idea of the authority for which, at first, age was regarded necessary. Thus the office appears in both the Jahwist, J (9th century BC) (Ex 3:16; 12:21; 24:1, of the elders of the Hebrews; and of the Egyptians, Ge 50:7); and Elohist (E) (8th century BC) (Ex 17:5; 18:12; 19:7 (the second Deuteronomist (D2)); Jos 24:31, elders of Israel, or of the people. Compare the principle of selection of heads of tens, fifties, etc., Ex 18:13 ff, seventy being selected from a previous body of elders); compare Jahwist(j)-Elohist(e) (Nu 11:16,24). Seventy are also mentioned in Ex 24:1, while in Jud 8:14 seventy-seven are mentioned, although this might be taken to include seven princes. Probably the number was not uniform.

Elder as a title continues to have place down through the times of the Judges (Jud 8:16; 2:7); compare Ru 4:2 ff into the kingdom. Saul asked to be honored before the elders (1Sa 15:30); the elders of Bethlehem appeared before Samuel (1Sa 16:4); the elders appeared before David in Hebron (2Sa 17:15; 1Ch 11:3); elders took part in the temple procession of Solomon (1Ki 8:3; 2Ch 5:4). They continued through the Persian period Ezr 5:5,9; 6:7,14; 10:8,14; Joe 1:14 margin and the Maccabean period APC Judith 6:16; 7:23; 8:10; 10:6; 13:12; 1Macc 12:35, while the New Testament presbuteros, Mt 16:21; 26:47,57; Mr 8:31; Lu 9:22; Ac 4:5,23 makes frequent mention of the office.

The elders served as local magistrates, in bringing murderers to trial (De 19:12; 21:1 ff; Jos 20:4), punishing a disobedient son (De 21:19), inflicting penalty for slander (De 22:15), for noncompliance with the Levirate marriage law (De 25:7 ff), enforcing the Law (De 27:1), conducting the service in expiation of unwitting violation of the Law (Le 4:13 ff).

In certain passages different classes of officers are mentioned as "judges and officers" (De 16:18), "elders" and "officers" (De 31:28), "heads, tribes, elders officers" (De 29:10; Hebrew 9). It is probable that both classes were selected from among the elders, and that to one class was assigned the work of judging, and that the "officers" exercised executive functions (Schurer). In entirely Jewish communities the same men would be both officers of the community and elders of the synagogue. In this case the same men would have jurisdiction over civil and religious matters.


Schurer, GJV3, section 23, especially 175 ff Eng. edition, II, i, 149 ff; Benzinger, H A2, 51; Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 153 ff (sv. ...); BDB, 278 (...); Preuschen, Griechisch-Deutsches Handworterbuch, under the word, 958 f.

W. N. Stearns


el’-e-ad (’el‘adh, "God has testified"):

An Ephraimite, slain while making a raid, by the men of Gath (1Ch 7:21).


el-e-a’-da, (the King James Version) (’el‘adhah, "God has adorned"):

An Ephraimite (1Ch 7:20).


e-le-a’-le (’el‘aleh, "God has ascended"):

Lay in the country taken from Sihon and within the lot given to Reuben (Nu 32:3,17 f). "Their names being changed" seems to apply to all the towns mentioned. There is no indication of the other names. Elealeh is noticed with Heshbon in the oracles against Moab in Isa 15:4; 16:9; Jer 48:34. Eusebius (Onomasticon) locates it one Roman mile from Heshbon. It is represented today by el’Al, a mound crowned with ruins, about a mile North of Chesban.





el-e-a’-sa (in Hebrew identical with ELASAH, which see):

(1) A descendant of Judah (1Ch 2:39,40).

(2) A Benjamite, a descendant of Saul (1Ch 8:37; 9:43).


el-e-a’-zar, e-le-a’-zar (’el-‘azar; Eleazar, "God is helper"):

(1) The 3rd son of Aaron by Elisheba (Ex 6:23; Nu 3:2).

He married one of the daughters of Putiel, who bore him Phinehas (Ex 6:25). With his father and 3 brothers he was consecrated to the priest’s office (Ex 28:1). After the destruction of Nadab and Abihu, he occupied a more important position, and he and Ithamar "ministered in the priest’s office in the presence of Aaron their father" (Le 10:6 f; Nu 3:4; 1Ch 24:2 ff). He was given the oversight of the Levites and had charge of the tabernacle and all within it (Nu 3:32; 4:16). To Eleazar fell the duty of beating out for an altar covering the censers of Korah and his fellow-conspirators who had attempted to seize the priesthood (Nu 16:37,39). On the death of Aaron, Eleazar succeeded him (Nu 20:25 ff). He assisted Moses with the census after the plague in the plains of Moab (Nu 26:1 ff), and with Moses and the elders heard the petition of the daughters of Zelophehad who wished to be served as heirs to their father (Nu 27:1 ff). After the entrance into Canaan, Eleazar and Joshua gave effect to the decision arrived at by giving the daughters of Zelophehad a share in the land of Manasseh (Jos 17:4). He was priest and adviser to Joshua, the successor of Moses (Nu 27:19; 31:12 ff), whom he also assisted in partitioning Canaan among the tribes (Nu 34:17; Jos 14:1; 19:51; 21:1). He was buried in the hill (the Revised Version, margin "Gibeah") of Phinehas his son in the hill country of Ephraim (Jos 24:33). For some reason unknown the descendants of Ithamar seem to have held the chief position among the priests from Eli till the accession of Solomon, when Abiathar was sent into retirement, and Zadok, the descendant of Eleazar, was appointed in his place (1Ki 2:26 ff). Ezra was a descendant of Zadok (Ezr 7:1 ff); and the high priest’s office was in the family of Zadok till the time of the Maccabees.

(2) The son of Abinadab, sanctified to keep the ark of Yahweh, when it was brought from Beth-shemesh to Kiriath-jearim after being sent back by the Philistines (1Sa 7:1).

(3) The son of Dodai, one of David’s three mighty men. A famous feat of arms with David at Ephes-dammim is recorded (2Sa 23:9 f; 1Ch 11:12 f where he is named the son of Dodo).

(4) A Levite, a son of Mahli, a Merarite. It is recorded that he had no sons, but daughters only, who were married to their cousins (1Ch 23:21,22; 24:28).

(5) A priest who accompanied Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:33); the son of Phinehas. (5) and (6) may be identical.

(6) A priest who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Ne 12:42).

(7) A son of Mattathias and brother of Judas Maccabeus (APC 1Macc 2:5; 6:43 f; 2Macc 8:23).


(8, 9) Two others are mentioned in APC 1Macc 8:17; 2Macc 6:18 ff.

(10) An ancestor of Jesus, 3 generations before Joseph (Mt 1:15).

S. F. Hunter


el-e-a-zu’-rus, the Revised Version (British and American)

ELIASIBUS (which see).



That is, "chosen," "selected."

In the Old Testament the word represents derivatives of bachar, elegit;

In the New Testament eklektos. It means properly an object or objects of selection.

This primary meaning sometimes passes into that of "eminent," "valuable," "choice"; often thus as a fact, in places where the King James Version uses "chosen" (or "elect") to translate the original (eg. Isa 42:1; 1Pe 2:6). In the King James Version "elect" (or "chosen") is used of Israel as the race selected for special favor and to be the special vehicle of Divine purposes (so 4 times in Apocrypha, Tobit and Ecclus); of the great Servant of Yahweh (compare Lu 23:35; the "Christ of God, his chosen"); compare eminent saints as Jacob, Moses, Rufus (Ro 16:13); "the lady," and her "sister" of 2 Jn; of the holy angels (1Ti 5:21); with a possible suggestion of the lapse of other angels. Otherwise, and prevalently in the New Testament, it denotes a human community, also described as believers, saints, the Israel of God; regarded as in some sense selected by Him from among men, objects of His special favor, and correspondingly called to special holiness and service.

See further under ELECTION. In the English versions "elect" is not used as a verb: "to choose" is preferred; eg. Mr 13:20; Eph 1:4.

Handley Dunelm


e-lekt’ la’-di (eklekte kuria; 2 Joh 1:1):

In accordance with strict grammatical usage these words of address may be translated in three ways: "to an elect lady" (which as an address is too indefinite); or, both words being taken as proper names, "to Eklekte Kuria" (an improbable combination of two very rare names); or "to Eklekte, lady" = anglice, "to the lady (or ‘Madam’) Eklekte."

The other translations which have been given—"to the elect lady" or "to the elect Kuria"—are open to objection on account of the omission of the article; but this violation of rule is perhaps not without parallel (compare 1Pe 1:1).

The translation adopted will partly depend upon whether we regard the epistle as addressed to an individual or to a community. Dr. Rendel Harris believes this question to be settled by the discovery in the papyri of numerous instances which prove that kurios and kuria were used by ancient letter-writers as terms of familiar endearment, applicable to brother, sister, son, wife, or intimate friend of either sex (Expositor, March, 1901; see also Findlay, Fellowship in the Life Eternal, chapter iii). In the light of this suggestion we should naturally translate, "to my (dear) lady Eklekte."

Grammatically, this is strongly supported by 1Ti 1:2 and 2Ti 1:2 (Timotheo gnesio .... agapeto .... tekno =" to Tim othy my true .... beloved .... child"); and the fact that the name Eklekte has not yet been discovered, though Eklektos has, offers no grave objection. This is the translation favored by Clement of Alexandria, who says of the epistle: scripta vero est ad quandam Babyloniam nomine Electam, significat autem electionem ecclesiae sanctae ("It is written to a certain Babylonian, Electa by name; but it signifies the further election of the holy church"). It seems doubtful whether he means by the last clause that Electa is simply a personification of the church, or a real person whose name was derived from the Christian idea of election. Either way the rendering, "to the lady Electa," is suitable, and upon the whole it seems the best. Eklekte is not an adjective but a noun. If a person is intended, it is "the lady Electa"; if a church, it is designated, not "the elect Lady," but "the lady Elect." The mention of "thy elect sister" in 2 Joh 1:13 does not hinder either supposition.

See further CYRIA; JOHN, THE EPISTLES OF. Robert Law


e-lek’-shun (ekloge, "choice," "selection"):









1. Antinomies 2. Fatalism Another Thing 3. The Moral Aspects 4. "We know in Part" 5. The Unknown Future

I. The Word in Scripture.

The word is absent from the Old Testament, where the related Hebrew verb (bachar) is frequent. In the New Testament it occurs 6 times (Ro 9:11; 11:5,7,28; 1Th 1:4; 2Pe 1:10). In all these places it appears to denote an act of Divine selection taking effect upon human objects so as to bring them into special and saving relations with God: a selection such as to be at once a mysterious thing, transcending human analysis of its motives (so eminently in Ro 9:11), and such as to be knowable by its objects, who are (2 Pet) exhorted to "make it sure," certain, a fact to consciousness. It is always (with one exception, Ro 9:11; see below) related to a community, and thus has close affinity with the Old Testament teachings upon the privileged position of Israel as the chosen, selected race (see under ELECT). The objects of election in the New Testament are, in effect, the Israel of God, the new, regenerate race called to special privilege and special service. From one point of view, that of the external marks of Christianity, they may thus be described as the Christian community in its widest sense, the sense in which the sacramental position and the real are prima facie assumed to coincide. But from 2 Peter it is manifest that much more than this has to be said if the incidence of the word present to the writer’s mind is to be rightly felt. It is assumed there that the Christian, baptized and a worshipper, may yet need to make "sure" his "calling and election" as a fact to his consciousness. This implies conditions in the "election" which far transcend the tests of sacred rite and external fellowship.

II. The Mysterious Element.

Such impressions of depth and mystery in the word are confirmed by the other, passages. In Ro 9:11 the context is charged with the most urgent and even staggering challenges to submission and silence in the presence of the inscrutable. To illustrate large assertions as to the liberty and sovereignty of the Divine dealings with man, the apostle brings in Esau and Jacob, individuals, twins as yet unborn, and points to the inscrutable difference of the Divine action toward them as such. Somehow, as a matter of fact, the Eternal appears as appointing to unborn Esau a future of comparative disfavor and to Jacob of favor; a future announced to the still pregnant mother. Such discrimination was made and announced, says the apostle, "that the purpose of God according to election might stand." In the whole passage the gravest stress is laid upon the isolation of the "election" from the merit or demerit of its objects.

III. Incidence upon Community and Individual.

It is observable that the same characteristic, the inscrutable, the sovereign, is attached in the Old Testament to the "election" of a favored and privileged nation. Israel is repeatedly reminded (see eg. De 7) that the Divine call and choice of them to be the people of God has no relation to their virtues, or to their strength. The reason lies out of sight, in the Divine mind. So too "the Israel of God" (Ga 6:16) in the New Testament, the Christian community, "the new, peculiar race," holds its great privileges by quite unmerited favor (eg. Tit 3:5). And the nature of the case here leads, as it does not in the case of the natural Israel, to the thought of a Divine election of the individual, similarly inscrutable and sovereign. For the idea of the New Israel involves the thought that in every genuine member of it the provisions of the New Covenant (Jer 31:31 f) are being fulfilled: the sins are remembered no more, and the law is written in the heart. The bearer of the Christian name, but not of the Christian spiritual standing and character, having "not the Spirit of Christ, is none of his" (Ro 8:9). The chosen community accordingly, not as it seems ab extra, but as it is in its essence, is a fellowship of individuals each of whom is an object of unmerited Divine favor, taking effect in the new life. And this involves the exercise of electing mercy. Compare eg. 1Pe 1:3. And consider Ro 11:4-7 (where observe the exceptional use of "the election," meaning "the company of the elect").

IV. Cognate and Illustrative Biblical Language.

It is obvious that the aspects of mystery which gather round the word "election" are not confined to it alone. An important class of words, such as "calling," "predestination" "foreknowledge," "purpose," "gift," bears this same character; asserting or connoting, in appropriate contexts, the element of the inscrutable and sovereign in the action of the Divine will upon man, and particularly upon man’s will and affection toward God. And it will be felt by careful students of the Bible in its larger and more general teachings that one deep characteristic of the Book, which with all its boundless multiplicity is yet one, is to emphasize on the side of man everything that can humble, convict, reduce to worshipping silence (see for typical passages Job 40:3,1; Ro 3:19), and on the side of God everything which can bring home to man the transcendence and sovereign claims of his almighty Maker. Not as unrelated utterances, but as part of a vast whole of view and teaching, occur such passages as Eph 2:8,9 and Ro 11:33-36, and even the stern, or rather awestruck, phrases of Ro 9:20,21, where the potter and the clay are used in illustration.

V. Limitations of Inquiry Here. Scope of Election.

We have sought thus in the simplest outline to note first the word "election" and then some related Scriptural words and principles, weighing the witness they bear to a profound mystery in the action of the Divine will upon man, in the spiritual sphere. What we have thus seen leaves still unstated what, according to Scripture, is the goal and issue of the elective act. In this article, remembering that it is part of a Bible Encyclopedia, we attempt no account of the history of thought upon election, in the successive Christian centuries, nor again any discussion of the relation of election in Scripture to extra-Scriptural philosophies, to theories of necessity, determination, fatalism. We attempt only to see the matter as it lies before us in the Bible. Studying it so, we find that this mysterious action of God on man has relation, in the Christian revelation, to nothing short of the salvation of the individual (and of the community of such individuals) from sin and condemnation, and the preservation of the saved to life eternal. We find this not so much in any single passage as in the main stream of Biblical language and tone on the subject of the Divine selective action. But it is remarkable that in the recorded thought of our Lord Himself we find assertions in this direction which could hardly be more explicit. See Joh 6:37,44,45; 10:27-29. To the writer the best summary of the Scriptural evidence, at once definite and restrained, is the language of the 17th Anglican art.: "They which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God’s purpose by His Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity."

VI. Perseverance.

The anxious problem of PERSEVERANCE will be treated under that word. It may be enough here to say that alike what we are permitted to read as revealed, and what we may humbly apprehend as the reason of the case, tend to the reverent belief that a perseverance (rather of the Lord than of the saints) is both taught and implied. But when we ponder the nature of the subject we are amply prepared for the large range of Scriptures which on the other hand condemn and preclude, for the humble disciple, so gross a misuse of the doctrine as would let it justify one moment’s presumption upon Divine mercy in the heart which is at the same time sinning against the Divine love and holiness.

VII. Considerations in Relief of Thought.

We close, in view of this last remark, with some detached notes in relief, well remembering the unspeakable trial which to many devout minds the word before us has always brought.

1. Antinomies:

First in place and importance is the thought that a spiritual fact like election, which belongs to the innermost purpose and work of the Eternal, necessarily leads us to a region where comprehension is impossible, and where we can only reverently apprehend. The doctrine passes upward to the sphere where antinomies live and move, where we must be content to hear what sound to us contradictions, but which are really various aspects of infinite truth. Let us be content to know that the Divine choice is sovereign; and also that "his tender mercies are over all his works," that ‘He willeth not the death of a sinner,’ that "God is love." Let us relieve the tension of such submissive reliance by reverently noting how the supreme antinomy meets one type of human need with its one side, and with its other another. To the "fearful saint" the Divine sovereignty of love is a sacred cordial. To the seeking penitent the Divine comprehensiveness of love opens the door of peace. To the deluded theorist who does not love and obey, the warnings of a fall and ruin which are possible, humanly, from any spiritual height, are a merciful beacon on the rocks.

2. Fatalism Another Thing:

Further, we remember that election, in Scripture, is as different as possible from the fatal necessity of, eg. the Stoics. It never appears as mechanical, or as a blind destiny. It has to do with the will of a God who has given us otherwise supreme proofs that He is all-good and all-kind. And it is related to man not as a helpless and innocent being but as a sinner. It is never presented as an arbitrary force majeure. Even in Ro 9 the "silence" called for is not as if to say, "You are hopelessly passive in the grasp of infinite power," but, "You, the creature, cannot judge your Maker, who must know infinitely more of cause and reason than his handiwork can know." The mystery, we may be sure, had behind it supreme right and reason, but in a region which at present at least we cannot penetrate. Again, election never appears as a violation of human will. For never in the Bible is man treated as irresponsible. In the Bible the relation of the human and Divine wills is inscrutable; the reality of both is assured.

3. The Moral Aspects:

Never is the doctrine presented apart from a moral context. It is intended manifestly to deepen man’s submission to—not force, but—mystery, where such submission means faith. In the practical experience of the soul its designed effect is to emphasize in the believer the consciousness (itself native to the true state of grace) that the whole of his salvation is due to the Divine mercy, no part of it to his merit, to his virtue, to his wisdom. In the sanctified soul, which alone, assuredly, can make full use of the mysterious truth, is it designed to generate, together and in harmony, awe, thanksgiving and repose.

4. "We Know in Part":

A necessary caution in view of the whole subject is that here, if anywhere in the regions of spiritual study, we inevitably "know in part," and in a very limited part. The treatment of election has at times in Christian history been carried on as if, less by the light of revelation than by logical processes, we could tabulate or map the whole subject. Where this has been done, and where at the same time, under a sort of mental rather than spiritual fascination, election has been placed in the foreground of the system of religious thought, and allowed to dominate the rest, the truth has (to say the least) too often been distorted into an error. The Divine character has been beclouded in its beauty. Sovereignty has been divorced from love, and so defaced into an arbitrary fiat, which has for its only reason the assertion of omnipotence. Thus, the grievous wrong has been done of aischron ti legein peri tou Theiou, "defamation of God." For example, the revelation of a positive Divine selection has been made by inference to teach a corresponding rejection ruthless and terrible, as if the Eternal Love could ever by any possibility reject or crush even the faintest aspiration of the created spirit toward God. For such a thought not even the dark words of Ro 9:18 give Scriptural excuse. The case there in hand, Pharaoh’s, is anything but one of arbitrary power trampling on a human will looking toward God and right. Once more, the subject is one as to which we must on principle be content with knowledge so fragmentary that its parts may seem contradictory in our present imperfect light. The one thing we may be sure of behind the veil is, that nothing can be hidden there which will really contradict the supreme and ruling truth that God is love.

5. The Unknown Future:

Finally, let us from another side remember that here, as always in the things of the Spirit, "we know in part." The chosen multitude are sovereignly "called, .... justified, .... glorified" (Ro 8:29,30). But for what purposes? Certainly not for an end terminating in themselves. They are saved, and kept, and raised to the perfect state, for the service of their Lord. And not till the cloud is lifted from the unseen life can we possibly know what that service under eternal conditions will include, what ministries of love and good in the whole universe of being.

Handley Dunelm



The Revised Version, margin rendering of chashmal, of Eze 1:4,27; 8:2 Septuagint elektron, Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) electrum). Both the King James Version and the English Revised Version have "amber" while the American Standard Revised Version has "glowing metal." Gesenius says electrum must not be understood as being here used for amber, but for a kind of metal remarkable for brightness, compounded of gold and silver. "Amber" is undoubtedly a poor rendering, as the Hebrew term means "polished brass." the American Standard Revised Version has the more correct rendering. Amber, however, may well have been known to Ezekiel (Encyclopaedia Biblica, which see).


A. W. Fortune


el’-e-ment, (ta stoicheia, "the letters of the alphabet," "the elements out of which all things are formed," "the heavenly bodies," "the fundamental principles of any art or science"):

(1) In 2Pe 3:10, the constituent parts of the physical universe ("elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat," the American Revised Version, margin "the heavenly bodies").

(2) In Ga 4:3,1, the Revised Version (British and American) has "rudiments," as in the King James Version margin, and in Col 2:8,20, where the reference is to imperfect Jewish ordinances.



e’-lef (ha-’eleph, "the ox"):

A place in the lot of Benjamin not far from Jerusalem (Jos 18:28). The name is omitted by Septuagint, unless, indeed, it is combined with that of Zelah. It may be identical with Lifta, a village W. of Jerusalem (Conder, HDB, under the word).

Others identify Lifta with Nephtoah.



(Job 40:15 the King James Version margin, the American Revised Version, margin "hippopotamus," the Revised Version (British and American) "ivory"); 1Ki 10:22 the King James Version margin; 2Ch 9:21 the King James Version; APC 1Macc 3:34; 6:28 ff; 8:6 Possibly in Job it is the extinct mammoth.






e-lu’-ther-us (Eleutheros; APC 1Macc 11:7; 12:30):

A river separating Syria and Phoenicia.


e-lev’-’-n, (hoi hendeka):

The eleven apostles remaining after the death of Judas. The definite article used serves to designate them as a distinct and definite group whose integrity was not destroyed by the loss of one of the twelve. The college of "the Twelve" had come to be so well recognized that the gospel writers all used on occasions the word with the definite article to represent the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. This custom still remained and the numeral merely changed, as, "Afterward he was manifested unto the eleven" (Mr 16:14; compare Lu 24:9,33; Ac 2:14). On the other hand, however, the substantive is also sometimes used, as "The eleven disciples went into Galilee" (Mt 28:16; compare also Ac 1:26). As an illustration of the fixedness of usage, Paul refers to the eleven as "the twelve" when he recounts the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection: "And that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve" (1Co 15:5).

Walter G. Clippinger





el-ha’-nan (’elchanan, "whom God gave"):

(1) A great warrior in the army of David who slew a Philistine giant. There is a discrepancy between 2Sa 21:19 and 1Ch 20:5. In the former passage we read, "And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan, the son of Jaare-oregim the Beth-lehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam"; while in the latter we are told, "And there was again war with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam." Most modern critics prefer as the original text of the latter part of the two discrepant statements the following: "and Elhanan the son of Jair the Beth-lehemite slew Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam." It is contended that the Chronicler slightly modified the text before him, in order to bring it into harmony with 1Sa 17, where David is said to have slain a Philistine giant Goliath. There is almost unanimous agreement that "Jaare-oregim" is a corrupt reading, and the "Jair" in 1Ch is to be preferred. From Jerome to the present some scholars identify Elhanan with David, and thus remove the discrepancy. Ewald ( Hist, III, 70) argued that the name "Goliath" was inserted in 1Sa 17 and 21 by the narrators whose compositions are embodied in Samuel, Elhanan being the real victor over Goliath, while David’s antagonist was simply called "the Philistine."

(2) The son of Dodo of Bethlehem, one of David’s mighty men (2Sa 23:24; 1Ch 11:26). Some moderns think that there was only one Elhanan, and that he was the son of Dodo of the clan of Jair.

John Richard Sampey


e’-li (‘eli):

A descendant of Ithamar, the fourth son of Aaron, who exercised the office of high priest in Shiloh at the time of the birth of Samuel. For the first time in Israel, Eli combined in his own person the functions of high priest and judge, judging Israel for 40 years (1Sa 4:18). The incidents in Eli’s life are few; indeed, the main interest of the narrative is in the other characters who are associated with him. The chief interest centers in Samuel. In Eli’s first interview with Hannah (1Sa 1:12 ff), she is the central figure; in the second interview (1Sa 1:24 ff), it is the child Samuel. When Eli next appears, it is as the father of Hophni and Phinehas, whose worthless and licentious lives had profaned their priestly office, and earned for them the title "men of Belial" (or "worthlessness").

Eli administered no stern rebuke to his sons, but only a gentle chiding of their greed and immorality. Thereafter he was warned by a nameless prophet of the downfall of his house, and of the death of his two sons in one day (1Sa 2:27-36), a message later confirmed by Samuel, who had received this word directly from Yahweh Himself (1Sa 3:11 ff). The prophecy was not long in fulfillment. During the next invasion by the Philistines, the Israelites were utterly routed, the ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas were both slain. When the news reached Eli, he was so overcome that he "fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck brake, and he died" (1Sa 4:18). The character of Eli, while sincere and devout, seems to have been entirely lacking in firmness. He appears from the history to have been a good man, full of humility and gentleness, but weak and indulgent. His is not a strong personality; he is always overshadowed by some more commanding or interesting figure.

A. C. Grant


e’-li or a’-le, la’-ma, sa-bak’-tha-ni.



e-li’-ab (’eli’abh, "God is father"):

(1) Prince of the tribe of Zebulun in the Exodus (Nu 1:9; 2:7; 7:24,29; 10:16).

(2) A Reubenite, father of Dathan and Abiram (Nu 16:11,12; 26:8 f; De 11:6).

(3) Eldest son of Jesse and brother of David (1Sa 16:6), once called Elihu (1Ch 27:18). He was of commanding appearance (1Sa 16:6) and when serving with Saul’s army at the time when it was confronting the Philistines and Goliath, was inclined to lord it over his brother David (1Sa 17:28 f). His daughter Abihail became a Wife of Rehoboam (2Ch 11:18).

(4) An Ephraimite, an ancestor of Samuel (1Ch 6:27); called Eliel in 1Ch 6:34, and Elihu in 1Sa 1:1.

(5) A Gadire warrior with David (1Ch 12:9), one of 11 mighty men (1Ch 12:8,14).

(6) A Levite musician (1Ch 15:18,20; 16:5).

(7) An ancestor of Judith (APC Judith 8:1; compare APC Judith 9:2).

F. K. Farr


e-li’-a-da, (’elyadha‘, "God is knowing." Compare HPN, 219, 266, 301; Epidae, or Elidae):

(1) One of the sons of David (2Sa 5:16; 1Ch 3:8; called BEELIADA, 1Ch 14:7 (which see)).

(2) A descendant of Benjamin and a captain in the army of Jehoshaphat, commander of 200,000 men (2Ch 17:17).

(3) Father of Rezon, an "adversary" of Solomon (1Ki 11:23, the King James Version "Eliadah").


e-li’-a-das (Eliadas):

A son of Zamoth who had married a strange wife (APC 1Esdras 9:28); called Elioenai in Ezr 10:27.


e-li’-a-dun, the Revised Version (British and American)

ILIADUN (which see).





e-li’-a-ba, e-li-a’-ba (’elyach-ba’," God hides"):

One of David’s 30 mighty men (2Sa 23:32; 1Ch 11:33).


e-li’-a-kim (’elyaqim; Eliakeim, "God sets up"):

(1) The son of Hilkiah who succeeded Shebna as gorvernor of the palace and "grand vizier" under Hezekiah (Isa 22:20). The functions of his office are seen from the oracle of Isaiah in which Shebna is deposed and Eliakim set in his place (Isa 22:15 ff). He is the "treasurer" (the Revised Version, margin "steward"), and is "over the house" (Isa 22:15).

At his installation he is clothed with a robe and girdle, the insignia of his office, and, having the government committed into his hand, is the "father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah" (Isa 22:21). The key of the house of David is laid on his shoulder, and he alone has power to open and shut, this being symbolic of his absolute authority as the king’s representative (Isa 22:22).

One of Solomon’s officials is the first mentioned as occupying this position (1Ki 4:6), and this office was continued in both the Northern and Southern Kingdom (1Ki 16:9; 18:3; 2Ki 10:5; 15:5). Its importance is seen from the fact that after Azariah was smitten with leprosy, Jotham his heir "was over the household, judging the people of the land" (2Ki 15:5).

When Sennacherib sent an army against Jerusalem in 701, Eliskim was one of these Jewish princes who held on behalf of Hezekiah a parley with the Assyrian officers (2Ki 18:18,26,37; Isa 36:3,11,22). As a result of the invader’s threats, he was sent by Hezekiah in sackcloth to Isaiah, entreating his prayers to Yahweh on behalf of Jerusalem (2Ki 19:2; Isa 37:2).

(2) The original name of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, whom Pharaoh-necoh made king of Judah (2Ki 23:34; 2Ch 36:4).

(3) A priest who assisted at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, rebuilt after his return from Babylon (Ne 12:41).

(4) A grandson of Zerubbabel and ancestor of Jesus (Mt 1:13).

(5) An ancestor of Jesus (Lu 3:30).

S. F. Hunter


e-li’-a-li (Elialei):

APC 1Esdras 9:34; possibly corresponds to "Binnui" in Ezr 10:38.


e-li’-am (’eli’-am, "people’s God"?):

(1) Father of Bathsheba (2Sa 11:3); in 1Ch 3:5 called Ammiel.

(2) One of David’s "thirty," son of Ahithophel the Gilonite (2Sa 23:34).


e-li-a-o-ni’-as (Elialonias):

A descendant of Phaath Moab (APC 1Esdras 8:31); called "Eliehoenai" in Ezr 8:4.





e-li’-a-saf (’elyacaph, "God has added"):

(1) Son of Deuel; prince of the tribe of Gad in the Exodus (Nu 1:14; 2:14; 7:42,47; 10:20).

(2) Son of Lael; prince of the Gershonites (Nu 3:24).


e-li’-a-shib (’elyashibh, "God restores"):

(1) A descendant of David (1Ch 3:24).

(2) Head of the eleventh course of priests (1Ch 24:12).

(3) The high priest in the time of Nehemiah. He, with his brethren the priests, helped in the rebuilding of the wall (Ne 3:1). But later he was "allied unto Tobiah" the Ammonite (Ne 13:4) and allowed that enemy of Nehemiah the use of a great chamber in the temple (Ne 13:5); and one of his grandsons, a son of Joiada, married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite and was for this expelled from the community by Nehemiah (Ne 13:28).


(4, 5, 6) Three Israelites, one a "singer," who had married foreign wives (Ezr 10:24,27,36).

(7) Father of Jehohanan (Ezr 10:6); probably identical with (3) above. Called Eliasib in APC 1Esdras 9:1.

F. K. Farr





e-li-as’-i-bus (Eliasibos, the King James Version Eleazurus):

One of the holy singers who had married a foreign wife (APC 1Esdras 9:24); called "Eliashib" in Ezr 10:27.


e-li-as’-i-mus (Eliasimos; the King James Version Elisimus):

One who had married a foreign wife (1 Esdras 9:28).


e-li’-a-sis (Eliasis):

One who had married a foreign wife (APC 1Esdras 9:34); corresponds to "Jaasu" in Ezr 10:37.


e-li’-a-tha (’eli’-athah, "God has come"):

A Hemanite, head of the twentieth division of the temple musicians (1Ch 25:4,27).


e-li’-dad (’elidhadh, "God has loved"):

Prince of Benjamin in the division of the land (Nu 34:21);

perhaps the same as ELDAD (which see).


e-li-e-ho’-e-ni (’elyeho‘enay, "to Yahweh are mine eyes"):

(1) (the King James Version Elioenai) a Korahite doorkeeper (1Ch 26:3).

(2) (the King James Version Elihoenai) Head of a family in the Return (Ezr 8:4).


e-li’-el, el’-i-el (’eli’el, "El is God," or "my God is God"):

(1, 2, 3) Mighty men of David (1Ch 11:46,47; 12:11).

(4) A chief of Manasseh, east of the Jordan (1Ch 5:24).

(5, 6) Two chiefs of Benjamin (1Ch 8:20,22).

(7) A chief Levite from Hebron (1Ch 15:9,11):

(8) A Kohathite in the line of Elkshah, Samuel and Heman (1Ch 6:34).

See ELIAB (4).

(9) A Levite of the time of Hezekiah (2Ch 31:13).


el-i-e’-na-i (’eli‘enay):

A Benjamite chief (1Ch 8:20).


el-i-e’-zer, e-li-e’-zer (’eli‘ezer; Eliezer, "God is help"):

(1) The chief servant of Abram (Ge 15:2); the American Standard Revised Version "Eliezer of Damascus," the English Revised Version "Dammesek Eliezer." The Hebrew is peculiar: literally, "And the son of the possession (mesheq) of my house is Dammeseq (of) Eliezer." A possible but unlikely meaning is that his property would become the possession of Damascus, the city of Eliezer. Targum Syriac (Revised Version margin) read "Eliezer the Damascene": this supposes a reading, "Eliezer ha- dammasqi" or "mid-dammeseq." The text may be corrupt: the assonance between mesheq and Dammeseq is suspicious. Abram calls Eliezer "one born in my house" i.e. a dependant, a member of his household, and so regards him as his heir, Lot having gone from him (Ge 13). Eliezer is probably the servant, "the eider of his house, that ruled over all that he had," of Ge 24.

(2) The 2nd son of Moses and Zipporah, called thus for "the God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh" (Ex 18:4; 1Ch 23:15 ff).

(3) A son of Becher, one of the sons of Benjamin (1Ch 7:8).

(4) A priest who assisted in bringing up the ark from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:24).

(5) The son of Zichri, ruler over the Reubenites in the time of David (1Ch 27:16).

(6) The son of Dodavahu of Mareshah who prophesied the destruction of the ships which Jehochaphat, king of Judah, built, because he had done so in cooperation with Ahaziah, king of Israel (2Ch 20:35 ff).

(7) One of the messengers whom Ezra sent to Iddo, the chief at Casiphia, with the request for ministers for the Temple (Ezr 8:16 ff).

(8, 9, 10) A priest, a Levite, and one of the sons of Harim who had married non-Israelitish women (Ezr 10:18,23,11).

(11) An ancestor of Jesus in the genealogy given by Luke (Lu 3:29).

S. F. Hunter








el-i-ho’-ref (’elichoreph, "God of autumn"?):

A scribe of Solomon and son of Shisha (1Ki 4:3).


e-li’-hu (’elihu; Eleiou, "He is (my) God," or "my God is He"):

(1) An ancestor of Samuel (1Sa 1:1), called Eliel in 1Ch 6:34 and Eliab in 1Ch 6:27. See ELIAB.

(2) Found in 1Ch 27:18 for Eliab, David’s eldest brother (1Sa 16:6); called "one of the brethren of D."

(3) A Manassite who joined David at Ziklag (1Ch 12:20).

(4) A Korahite porter (1Ch 26:7).

(5) A friend of Job. See next article.

(6) An ancestor of Judith (APC Judith 8:1).


(’elihu, ‘elihu’," He is (my) God"; Elious):

One of the disputants in the Book of Job; a young man who, having listened in silence to the arguments of Job and his friends, is moved to prolong the discussion and from his more just views of truth set both parties right. He is of the tribe of Buz (compare Ge 22:21), a brother-tribe to that of Uz, and of the family of Ram, or Aram, that is, an Aramean. He is not mentioned as one of the characters of the story until chapter 32; and then, as the friends are silenced and Job’s words are ended, Elihu has the whole field to himself, until theophany of the whirlwind proves too portentous for him to bear. His four speeches take up chapters 32-37. Some critics have considered that the Elihu portion of the Book of Job was added by a later hand, and urge obscurities and prolixities, as well as a different style, to prove that it was the work of an inferior writer. This estimate seems, however, to take into account only the part it plays in a didactic treatise, or a theological debate. It looks quite different when we read it as a real dramatic element in a story; in other words, when we realize that the prevailing interest of the Book of Job is not dialectic but narrative.

Thus viewed, the Elihu episode is a skillfully managed agency in preparing the denouncement. Consider the situation at the end of Job’s words (Job 31:40). Job has vindicated his integrity and stands ready to present his cause to God (Job 31:35-37). The friends, however, have exhausted their resources, and through three discourses have been silent, as it were, snuffed out of existence. It is at this point, then, that Elihu is introduced, to renew their contention with young constructive blood, and represent their cause (as he deems) better than they can themselves. He is essentially at one with them in condemning Job (Job 34:34-37); his only quarrel with them is on the score of the inconclusiveness of their arguments (32:3,1). His self-portrayal is conceived in a decided spirit of satire on the part of the writer, not unmingled with a sardonic humor. He is very egotistic, very sure of the value of his ideas; much of his alleged prolixity is due to that voluble self-deprecation which betrays an inordinate opinion of oneself (compare Job 32:6-22). This, whether inferior composition or not, admirably adapts his words to his character. For substance of discourse he adds materially to what the friends have said, but in a more rationalistic vein; speaks edifyingly, as the friends have not done, of the disciplinary value of affliction, and of God’s means of revelation by dreams and visions and the interpreting of an intercessory friend (Job 33:13-28).

Very evidently, however, his ego is the center of his system; it is he who sets up as Job’s mediator (Job 33:5-7; compare Job 9:32-35), and his sage remarks on God’s power and wisdom in Nature are full of self-importance. All this seems designed to accentuate the almost ludicrous humiliation of his collapse when from a natural phenomenon the oncoming tempest shows unusual and supernatural signs. His words become disjointed and incoherent, and cease with a kind of attempt to recant his pretensions. And the verdict from the whirlwind is: "darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge." Elihu thus has a real function in the story, as honorable as overweening self-confidence is apt to be.

John Franklin Genung


e-li’-ja (’eliyahu or (4 times) ‘eliyah, "Yah is God"; Septuagint Eleiou, New Testament Eleias or Elias, the King James Version of New Testament Elias):



1. The Judgment of Drought 2. The Ordeal by Prayer 3. At Horeb 4. The Case of Naboth 5. Elijah and Ahaziah 6. Elijah Translated 7. The Letter to Jehoram






(1) The great prophet of the times of Ahab, king of Israel. Elijah is identified at his first appearance (1Ki 17:1) as "Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead." Thus his native place must have been called Tishbeh. A Tishbeh (Thisbe) in the territory of Naphtali is known from Tobit 1:2; but if (with most modern commentators) the reading of the Septuagint in 1Ki is followed, the word translated "sojourners" is itself "Tishbeh," locating the place in Gilead and making the prophet a native of that mountain region and not merely a "sojourner" there.


I. The Works of Elijah.

In 1Ki 16:29-34 we read of the impieties of Ahab, culminating in his patronage of the worship of the Tyrian Baal, god of his Tyrian queen Jezebel (1Ki 16:31). 1Ki 16:34 mentions as another instance of the little weight attached in Ahab’s time to ancient prophetic threatenings, the rebuilding by Hiel the Bethelite of the banned city of Jericho, "with the loss" of Hiel’s eldest and youngest sons. This is the situation which calls for a judgment of Yahweh, announced beforehand, as is often the case, by a faithful prophet of Yahweh.

1. The Judgment of Drought:

Whether Elijah was already a familiar figure at the court of Ahab, the narrative beginning with 1Ki 17:1 does not state. His garb and manner identified him as a prophet, in any case (2Ki 1:8; compare Zec 13:4). Elijah declared in few words that Yahweh, true and only rightful God of Israel, whose messenger he was, was even at the very time sending a drought which should continue until the prophet himself declared it at an end. The term is to be fixed, indeed, not by Elijah but by Yahweh; it is not to be short ("these years"), and it is to end only when the chastisement is seen to be sufficient. Guided, as true prophets were continually, by the "word of Yahweh," Elijah then hid himself in one of the ravines east of ("before") the Jordan, where the brook Cherith afforded him water, and ravens brought him abundant food ("bread and flesh" twice daily), 1Ki 17:2-6. As the drought advanced the brook dried up. Elijah was then directed, by the "word of Yahweh," as constantly, to betake himself beyond the western limit of Ahab’s kingdom to the Phoenician village of Zarephath, near Sidon. There the widow to whom Yahweh sent him was found gathering a few sticks from the ground at the city gate, to prepare a last meal for herself and her son. She yielded to the prophet’s command that he himself should be first fed from her scanty store; and in return enjoyed the fulfillment of his promise, uttered in the name of Yahweh, that neither barrel of meal nor cruse of oil should be exhausted before the breaking of the drought. (Josephus, Ant, VIII, xiii, 2, states on the authority of Menander that the drought extended to Phoenicia and continued there for a full year.) But when the widow’s son fell sick and died, the mother regarded it as a Divine judgment upon her sins, a judgment which had been drawn upon her by the presence of the man of God. At the prayer of Elijah, life returned to the child (1Ki 17:17-24).

"In the third year," 1Ki 18:1 (Lu 4:25; Jas 5:17 give three years and six months as the length of the drought), Elijah was directed to show himself to Ahab as the herald of rain from Yahweh. How sorely both man and beast in Israel were pressed by drought and the resulting famine, is shown by the fact that King Ahab and his chief steward Obadiah were in person searching through the land for any patches of green grass that might serve to keep alive some of the king’s own horses and mules (1Ki 18:5,6). The words of Obadiah upon meeting with Elijah show the impression which had been produced by the prophet’s long absence. It was believed that the Spirit of God had carried Elijah away to some unknown, inaccessible, mysterious region (1Ki 18:10,12). Obadiah feared that such would again be the case, and, while he entreated the prophet not to make him the bearer of a message to Ahab, appealed to his own well-known piety and zeal, as shown in his sheltering and feeding, during Jezebel’s persecution, a hundred prophets of Yahweh. Elijah reassured the steward by a solemn oath that he would show himself to Ahab (1Ki 18:15). The king greeted the prophet with the haughty words, "Is it thou, thou troubler of Israel?" Elijah’s reply, answering scorn with scorn, is what we should expect from a prophet; the woes of Israel are not to be charged to the prophet who declared the doom, but to the kings who made the nation deserve it (1Ki 18:17,18).

2. The Ordeal by Prayer:

Elijah went on to challenge a test of the false god’s power. Among the pensioners of Jezebel were 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah—still fed by the royal bounty in spite of the famine. Accepting Elijah’s proposal, Ahab called all these and all the people to Mt. Carmel (1Ki 18:19,20). Elijah’s first word to the assembly implied the folly of their thinking that the allegiance of a people could successfully be divided between two deities: "How long go ye limping between the two sides?" (possibly "leaping over two thresholds," in ironical allusion to the custom of leaping over the threshold of an idol temple, to avoid a stumble, which would be unpropitious; compare 1Sa 5:1-5). Taking the people’s silence as an indication that they admitted the force of his first words, Elijah went on to propose his conditions for the test: a bullock was to be offered to Baal, a bullock to Yahweh, but no fire put under; "The God that answereth by fire, let him be God." The voice of the people approved the proposal as fair (1Ki 18:22-24). Throughout a day of blazing sunshine the prophets of Baal called in frenzy upon their god, while Elijah mocked them with merciless sarcasm (1Ki 18:25-29). About the time for the regular offering of the evening sacrifice in the temple of Yahweh at Jerusalem, Elijah assumed control. Rebuilding an ancient altar thrown down perhaps in Jezebel’s persecution; using in the rebuilding twelve stones, symbolizing an undivided Israel such as was promised to the patriarch Jacob of old; drenching sacrifice and wood with water from some perennial spring under the slopes of Carmel, until even a trench about the altar, deep and wide enough to have a two-ce’ah (half-bushel) measure set in it, was filled—the prophet called in few and earnest words upon the God of the fathers of the nation (1Ki 18:30-37). The answer of Yahweh by fire, consuming bullock, wood, altar and the very dust, struck the people with awe and fear. Convinced that Yahweh was God alone for them, they readily carried out the prophet’s stern sentence of death for the prophets of the idol god (1Ki 18:38-40). Next the prophet bade Ahab make haste with the meal, probably a sacrificial feast for the multitude, which had been made ready; because rain was at hand. On the mountain top Elijah bowed in prayer, sending his servant seven times to look out across the sea for the coming storm. At last the appearance of a rising cloud "as small as a man’s hand" was reported; and before the hurrying chariot of the king could cross the plain to Jezreel it was overtaken by "a great rain" from heavens black with clouds and wind after three rainless years. With strength above nature, Elijah ran like a courier before Ahab to the very gate of Jezreel (1Ki 18:41-46).

3. At Horeb:

The same night a messenger from Jezebel found Elijah. The message ran, "As surely as thou art Elijah and I am Jezebel" (so the Septuagint), "so let the gods do to me, and more also" (i.e. may I be cut in pieces like a sacrificed animal if I break my vow; compare Ge 15:8-11,17,18; Jer 34:18,19), "if I make not thy life as the life of one of" the slain prophets of Baal "by to-morrow about this time." Explain Elijah’s action how we may—and all the possible explanations of it have found defenders—he sought safety in instant flight. At Beersheba, the southernmost town of Judah, he left his "servant," whom the narrative does not elsewhere mention. Going onward into the southern wilderness, he sat down under the scanty shade of a desert broom-bush and prayed that he might share the common fate of mankind in death (1Ki 19:1-4). After sleep he was refreshed with food brought by an angel. Again he slept and was fed. In the strength of that food he then wandered on for forty days and nights, until he found himself at Horeb, the mountain sacred because there Yahweh had revealed Himself to Moses (1Ki 19:5-8). The repetition of identical words by Elijah in 1Ki 19:10 and 14 represents a difficulty. Unless we are to suppose an accidental repetition by a very early copyist (early, since it appears already in the Septuagint), we may see in it an indication that Elijah’s despondency was not easily removed, or that he sought at Horeb an especial manifestation of Yahweh for his encouragement, or both. The prophet was bidden to take his stand upon the sacred mount; and Yahweh passed by, heralded by tempest, earthquake and thunderstorm (19:9-12). These were Yahweh’s fore-runners only; Yahweh was not in them, but in the "still small voice," such as the prophets were accustomed to hear within their souls. When Elijah heard the not unfamiliar inner voice, he recognized Yahweh present to hear and answer him. Elijah seems to be seeking to justify his own retreat to the wilderness by the plea that he had been "very jealous," had done in Yahweh’s cause all that mortal prophet could do, before he fled, yet all in vain! The same people who had forsaken the law and "covenant" of Yahweh, thrown down His altars and slain His prophets, would have allowed the slaughter of Elijah himself at the command of Jezebel; and in him would have perished the last true servant of Yahweh in all the land of Israel (19:13,14).

Divine compassion passed by Elijah’s complaint in order to give him directions for further work in Yahweh’s cause. Elijah must anoint Hazael to seize the throne of Syria, Israel’s worst enemy among the neighboring powers; Jehu, in like manner, he must anoint to put an end to the dynasty of Ahab and assume the throne of Israel; and Elisha, to be his own successor in the prophetic office. These three, Hazael and his Syrians, Jehu and his followers, even Elisha himself, are to execute further judgments upon the idolaters and the scorners in Israel. Yahweh will leave Himself 7,000 (a round number, a limited but not an excessively small one, conveying a doctrine, like the doctrine of later prophets, of the salvation of a righteous remnant) in Israel, men proof against the judgment because they did not share the sin. If Elijah was rebuked at all, it was only in the contrast between the 7,000 faithful and the one, himself, which he believed to number all the righteous left alive in Israel (1Ki 19:15-18).

4. The Case of Naboth:

The anointing of Hazael and of Jehu seems to have been left to Elijah’s successor; indeed, we read of no anointing of Hazael, but only of a significant interview between that worthy and Elisha (2Ki 8:7-15). Elijah next appears in the narrative as rebuker of Ahab for the judicial murder of Naboth. In the very piece of ground which the king had coveted and seized, the prophet appeared, unexpected and unwelcome, to declare upon Ahab, Jezebel and all their house the doom of a shameful death (1Ki 21). There was present at this scene, in attendance upon the king, a captain named Jehu, the very man already chosen as the supplanter of Ahab, and he never forgot what he then saw and heard (2Ki 9:25,26).

5. Elijah and Ahaziah:

Ahab’s penitence (1Ki 21:28,29) averted from himself some measure of the doom. His son Ahaziah pulled it down upon his own head. Sick unto death from injuries received in a fall, Ahaziah sent to ask an oracle concerning his recovery at the shrine of Baal-zebub in Ekron. Elijah met the messengers and turned them back with a prediction, not from Baal-zebub but from Yahweh, of impending death. Ahaziah recognized by the messengers’ description the ancient "enemy" of his house. A captain and fifty soldiers sent to arrest the prophet were consumed by fire from heaven at Elijah’s word. A second captain with another fifty met the same fate. A third besought the prophet to spare his life, and Elijah went with him to the king, but only to repeat the words of doom (2Ki 1).

6. Elijah Translated:

A foreboding, shared by the "sons of the prophets" at Beth-el and Jericho, warned Elijah that the closing scene of his earthly life was at hand. He desired to meet the end, come in what form it might, alone. Elisha, however, bound himself by an oath not to leave his master. Elijah divided Jordan with the stroke of his mantle, that the two might pass over toward the wilderness on the east. Elisha asked that he might receive a firstborn’s portion of the spirit which rested upon his master. "A chariot of fire, and horses of fire" appeared, and parted the two asunder; "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2Ki 2:1-11).

7. The Letter to Jehoram:

In 2Ch 21:12-15 we read of a "writing" from Elijah to Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. The statements of 2Ki 3:11,12 admit of no other interpretation than that the succession of Elisha to independent prophetic work had already occurred in the lifetime of Jehoshaphat. It has been pointed out that the difficult verse, 2Ki 8:16, appears to mean that Jehoram began to reign at some time before the death of his father; it is also conceivable that Elijah left a message, reduced to writing either before or after his departure, for the future king of Judah who should depart from the true faith.

II. The Work of Elijah.

One’s estimate of the importance of the work of Elijah depends upon one’s conception of the condition of things which the prophet confronted in Northern Israel. While it is true that the reign of Ahab was outwardly prosperous, and the king himself not without a measure of political sagacity together with personal courage, his religious policy at best involved such tolerance of false faiths as could lead only to disaster. Ever since the time of Joshua, the religion of Yahweh had been waging its combat with the old Canaanite worship of the powers of Nature, a worship rendered to local deities, the "Baalim" or "lords" of this and that neighborhood, whose ancient altars stood "upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree" (De 12:2). The god imported from Phoenicia by Jezebel bore also the title Baal; but his character and his worship were worse and more debasing than anything that had before been known. Resistance offered by the servants of Yahweh to the claims of the queen’s favored god led to persecution, rightly ascribed by the historian to Jezebel (1Ki 18:4). In the face of this danger, the differences between the worship of Yahweh as carried on in the Northern Kingdom and the same worship as practiced at Jerusalem sank out of sight. The one effort of Elijah was to recall the people from the Tyrian Baal to Yahweh, the God of their fathers. The vitality of the true religion in the crisis is shown by the fidelity of such a man as Obadiah (1Ki 18:3 f), or by the perseverance of a righteous remnant of 7,000, in spite of all that had happened of persecution (1Ki 19:18). The work begun by Elijah was finished, not without blood, by Jehu; we hear no more of the worship of the Tyrian Baal in Israel after that anointed usurper’s time (2Ki 9; 10). To say that Elijah at Horeb "learns the gentleness of God" (Strachan in HDB) is to contradict the immediate text of the narrative and the history of the times. The direction given Elijah was that he should anoint one man to seize the throne of Syria, another to seize that of Israel, and a prophet to continue his own work; with the promme and prediction that these three forces should unite in executing upon guilty Israel the judgment still due for its apostasy from Yahweh and its worship of a false god. Elijah was not a reformer of peace; the very vision of peace was hidden from his eyes, reserved for later prophets for whom he could but prepare the way. It was his mission to destroy at whatever cost the heathen worship which else would have destroyed Israel itself, with consequences whose evil we cannot estimate. Amos and Hosea would have had no standing-ground had it not been for the work of Elijah and the influences which at Divine direction he put in operation.

III. Character of the Prophet.

It is obvious that the Scripture historian does not intend to furnish us with a character-study of the prophet Elijah. Does he furnish even the material upon which such a study may profitably be attempted? The characterization found in Jas 5:17, "Elijah was a man of like passions (margin, "nature") with us," is brief indeed; but examination of the books which have been written upon the life of Elijah leads to the conclusion that it is possible to err by attaching to events meanings which those events were never intended to bear, as well as by introducing into one’s study too much of sheer imagination. It is easy, for example, to observe that Elijah is introduced to the reader with suddenness, and that his appearances and disappearances in the narrative seem abrupt; but is one warranted in arguing from this a like abruptness in the prophet’s character? Is not the sufficient explanation to be reached by observing that the historian’s purpose was not to give a complete biography of any individual, whether prophet or king, but to display the working of Yahweh upon and with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah through the prophets? Few personal details are therefore to be found recorded concerning even such a prophet as Elijah; and none at all, unless they have a direct bearing upon his message. The imagination of some has discerned a "training of Elijah" in the experiences of the prophet; but to admit that there must have been such a training does not oblige us to discover traces of it in the scenes and incidents which are recorded. Distrusting, for the reasons above suggested, any attempt at a detailed representation of the prophet’s inner life, one may seek, and prize, what seems to lie upon the surface of the narrative: faith in Yahweh as God of Nature and as covenant God of the patriarchs and their descendants; consuming "zeal" against the false religion which would displace Yahweh from the place which must be His alone; keen vision to perceive hypocrisy and falsehood, and sharp wit to lash them, with the same boldness and disregard of self that must needs mark the true prophet in any age.

IV. Miracles in the Elijah Narratives.

The miraculous element must be admitted to be prominent in the experiences and works of Elijah. It cannot be estimated apart from the general position which the student finds it possible to hold concerning miracles recorded in the Old Testament. The effort to explain away one or another item in a rationalistic way is wholly unprofitable. Elijah’s "ravens" may indeed be converted by a change of vowel-points into "Arabians"; but, in spite of the fact that Orientals would bring offerings of food to a holy hermit, the whole tenor of the narrative favors no other supposition than that its writer meant "ravens," and saw in the event another such exercise of the power of Yahweh over all things as was to be seen in the supply of meal and oil for the prophet and the widow of Zarephath, the fire from heaven, the parting of the Jordan, or the ascension of the prophet by whirlwind into heaven. Some modern critics recognize a different and later source in the narrative of 2Ki 1; but here again no real difficulty, if any difficulty there be, is removed. The stern prophet who would order the slaughter of the 450 Baal prophets might well call down fire to consume the soldiers of an apostate and a hostile king. The purpose and meaning of the Elijah chapters is to be grasped by those who accept their author’s conception of Yahweh, of His power, and of His work in Nature and with men, rather than by those who seek to replace that conception by another.

V. Elijah in the New Testament.

Malachi (4:5) names Elijah as the forerunner of "the great and terrible day of Yahweh," and the expectation founded upon this passage is alluded to in Mr 6:15 parallel Lu 9:8; Mt 16:14 parallel Mr 8:28 parallel Lu 9:19; Mt 27:47-49 parallel Mr 15:35,36. The interpretation of Malachi’s prophecy foreshadowed in the angelic annunciation to Zacharias (Lu 1:17), that John the Baptist should do the work of another Elijah, is given on the authority of Jesus Himself (Mt 11:14). The appearance of Elijah, with Moses, on the Mount of Transfiguration, is recorded in Mt 17:1-13 parallel Mr 9:2-13 parallel Lu 9:28-36, and in Mt 11:14 parallel Mr 9:13 Jesus again identifies the Elijah of Malachi with John the Baptist. The fate of the soldiers of Ahaziah (2Ki 1) is in the mind of James and John on one occasion (Lu 9:54). Jesus Himself alludes to Elijah and his sojourn in the land of Sidon (Lu 4:25,26). Paul makes use of the prophet’s experience at Horeb (Ro 11:2-4). In Jas 5:17,18 the work of Elijah affords an instance of the powerful supplication of a righteous man.

(2) A "head of a father’s house" of the tribe of Benjamin (1Ch 8:27, the King James Version "Eliah").

(3) A man of priestly rank who had married a foreign wife (Ezr 10:21).

(4) A layman who had married a foreign wife Ezr 10:26.


The histories of Israel and commentaries on Kings are many. Those which tend to rationalizing tend also to decrease the importance of Elijah to the history. F. W. Robertson, Sermons, 2nd series, V; Maurice, Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Sermon VIII; Milligan, Elijah ("Men of the Bible" series); W. M. Taylor, Elijah the Prophet.

F. K. Farr


e-li’-ka (’eliqa’," God is rejector(?)"):

The Harodite (Uradite), one of David’s guard, the "thirty" (2Sa 23:25).

Omitted from 1Ch 11:27.


e’-lim (’elim, "terebinths"; Aileim):

The second encampment of the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It was a contrast to the previous camp called "Marah" because of the bitterness of the waters, for there "were twelve springs of water, and threescore and ten palm trees" (Ex 15:27; 16:1; Nu 33:9 f). The traditional site is an oasis in Wady Ghurundel, circa 63 miles from Suez.



e-lim’-e-lek (’elimelekh, "my God is king"; Abeimelech, Alimelek):

Elimelech was a member of the tribe of Judah, a native of Bethlehem Judah, a man of wealth and probably head of a family or clan (Ru 1:2,3; 2:1,3). He lived during the period of the Judges, had a hereditary possession near Bethlehem, and is chiefly known as the husband of Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ru and ancestress of David the king. Because of a severe famine in Judea, he emigrated to the land of Moab with his wife and his sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Not long afterward he died, and his two sons married Moabite women, Ru and Orpah. Ten years in all were spent in Moab, when the two sons died, and the three widows were left. Soon afterward Naomi decided to return to Judah, and the sequel is told in the Book of Ruth.


J. J. Reeve





el-i-o’-nas (Elionas, Elionais): The name of two men who had married foreign wives (APC 1Esdras 9:22,23), corresponding respectively to "Elioenai" and "Eliezer" in Ezr 10:22,31.


e-li’-fal, el’-i-fal (’eliphal, "God has judged"):

Son of Ur, one of the mighty men of David’s armies (1Ch 11:35). the Revised Version (British and American) in a footnote identifies him with Eliphelet, son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite (2Sa 23:34; ef Davis, Dict. of the Bible, under the word "Ur"). See also 1Ch 14:5,7.


e-lif’-a-lat (Eliphalet; APC 1Esdras 8:39; 9:33):

Called "Eliphelet" in Ezr 8:13; 10:33.


el’-i-faz, e-li’-faz (’eliphaz, "God is fine gold" (?)):

(1) Son of Esau by Adah, and father of Teman, Kenaz and Amalek (Ge 36:4,10; 1Ch 1:35 f).

(2) See next article.


The first and most prominent of the three friends of Job (Job 2:11), who come from distant places to condole with and comfort him, when they hear of his affliction.

That he is to be regarded as their leader and spokesman is shown by the greater weight and originality of his speeches (contained in Job 4; Job 5; Job 15; Job 22), the speeches of the other friends being in fact largely echoes and emotional enforcements of his thoughts, and by the fact that he is taken as their representative (Job 42:7) when, after the address from the whirlwind, Yahweh appoints their expiation for the wrong done to Job and to the truth.

He is represented as a venerable and benignant sage from Teman in Idumaea, a place noted for its wisdom (compare Jer 49:7), as was also the whole land of Edom (compare Ob 1:8); and doubtless it is the writer’s design to make his words typical of the best wisdom of the world. This wisdom is the result of ages of thought and experience (compare Job 15:17-19), of long and ripened study (compare Job 5:27), and claims the authority of revelation, though only revelation of a secondary kind (compare Eliphaz’ vision, Job 4:12 ff, and his challenge to Job to obtain the like, Job 5:1).

In his first speech he deduces Job’s affliction from the natural sequence of effect from cause (Job 4:7-11), which cause he makes broad enough to include innate impurity and depravity (Job 4:17-19); evinces a quietism which deprecates Job’s selfdestroying outbursts of wrath (Job 5:2,3; compare Job’s answer, Job 6:2,3; 30:24); and promises restoration as the result of penitence and submission. In his second speech he is irritated because Job’s blasphemous words are calculated to hinder devotion (Job 15:4), attributes them to iniquity (Job 15:5,6), reiterates his depravity doctrine (Job 15:14-16), and initiates the lurid descriptions of the wicked man’s fate, in which the friends go on to overstate their case (Job 15:20-35). In the third speech he is moved by the exigencies of his theory to impute actual frauds and crimes to Job, iniquities indulged in because God was too far away to see (22:5-15); but as a close holds open to him still the way of penitence, abjuring of iniquity, and restoration to health and wealth (22:21-30). His utterances are well composed and judicial (too coldly academic, Job thinks, 16:4,5), full of good religious counsel abstractly considered.

Their error is in their inveterate presupposition of Job’s wickedness, their unsympathetic clinging to theory in the face of fact, and the suppressing of the human promptings of friendship.

John Franklin Genung


e-lif’-e-le-hu (’eliphelehu, "May God distinguish him," the King James Version Elipheleh):

The eleventh of the fourteen doorkeepers mentioned as "brethren of the second degree" and as appointed in connection with the bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem by David (1Ch 15:18).





e-liz’-a-beth (Elisabet, Westcott and Hort Eleisdbet, from Heb ‘elishebha‘ (Elisheba), "God is (my) oath," i.e. a worshipper of God):

Wife of Zacharias the priest and mother of John the Baptist (Lu 1:5 ff). Elisabeth herself was of priestly lineage and a "kinswoman" (the King James Version COUSIN, which see) of the Virgin Mary (Lu 1:36), of whose visit to Elisabeth a remarkable account is given in Lu 1:39-56.






e-li’-sha ‘elisha‘, "God is salvalion"; Septuagint Eleisaie; New Testament Elisaios, Eliseus, (Lu 4:27 the King James Version):



1. His Call 2. His Preparation 3. The Parting Gift of Elijah


1. Record of His Career 2. His Ministry in a Private Capacity 3. His Ministry in a Public and National Capacity 4. Characteristics of His Ministry

(1) In Comparison with Elijah

(2) General Features of His Ministry


A prophet, the disciple and successor of Elijah. He was the son of Shaphat, lived at Abel-meholah, at the northern end of the Jordan valley and a little South of the Sea of Galilee. Nothing is told of his parents but the father’s name, though he must have been a man of some wealth and doubtless of earnest piety. No hint is given of Elisha’s age or birth-place, and it is almost certain that he was born and reared at Abel-meholah, and was a comparatively young man when we first hear of him. His early life thus was spent on his father’s estate, in a god-fearing family, conditions which have produced so many of God’s prophets. His moral and religious nature was highly developed in such surroundings, and from his work on his father’s farm he was called to his training as a prophet and successor of Elijah.


I. His Call and Preparation.

The first mention of him occurs in 1Ki 19:16. Elijah was at Horeb, learning perhaps the greatest lesson of his life; and one of the three duties with which he was charged was to anoint Elisha, the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet in his stead.

1. His Call:

Elijah soon went northward and as he passed the lands of Shaphat he saw Elisha plowing in the rich level field of his father’s farm. Twelve yoke of oxen were at work, Elisha himself plowing with the twelfth yoke. Crossing over to him Elijah threw his mantle upon the young man (1Ki 19:19). Elisha seemed to understand the meaning of the symbolic act, and was for a moment overwhelmed with its significance. It meant his adoption as the son and successor of Elijah in the prophetic office. Naturally he would hesitate a moment before making such an important decision. As Elijah strode on, Elisha felt the irresistible force of the call of God and ran after the great prophet, announcing that he was ready to follow; only he wished to give a parting kiss to his father and mother (1Ki 19:20). Elijah seemed to realize what it meant to the young man, and bade him "Go back again; for what have I done to thee?" The call was not such an urgent one as Elisha seemed to think, and the response had better be deliberate and voluntary. But Elisha had fully made up his mind, slew the yoke of oxen with which he was plowing, boiled their flesh with the wood of the implements he was using, and made a farewell feast for his friends. He then followed Elijah, making a full renunciation of home ties, comforts and privileges. He became Elijah’s servant; and we have but one statement describing their relationship (2Ki 3:11): he "poured water on the hands of Elijah."

2. His Preparation:

They seem to have spent several years together (1Ki 22:1; 2Ki 1:17), for Elisha became well known among the various schools of the prophets. While ministering to the needs of his master, Elisha learned many deep and important lessons, imbibed much of his spirit, and developed his own religious nature and efficiency until he was ready for the prophetic service himself. It seems almost certain that they lived among the schools of the prophets, and not in the mountains and hills as Elijah had previously done. During these years the tie between the two men became very deep and strong. They were years of great significance to the young prophet and of careful teaching on the part of the older. The lesson learned at Horeb was not forgotten and its meaning would be profoundly impressed upon the younger man, whose whole afterlife shows that he had deeply imbibed the teaching.

3. The Parting Gift of Elijah:

The final scene shows the strong and tender affection he cherished toward his master. Aware that the end was near, he determined to be with him until the last. Nothing could persuade him to leave Elijah. When asked what should be done for him, before his master was taken away, he asks for the elder son’s portion, a double portion, of his master’s spirit (2Ki 2:9). He has no thought of equality; he would be Elijah’s firstborn son. The request shows how deeply he had imbibed of his master’s spirit already. His great teacher disappears in a whirlwind, and, awestruck by the wonderful sight, Elisha rends his clothes, takes up the garment of Elijah, retraces his steps to the Jordan, smites the waters to test whether the spirit of Elijah had really fallen upon him, and as the water parts, he passes over dry shod. The sons of the prophets who have been watching the proceedings from the hills, at once observe that the spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha, and they bowed before him in reverence and submission (2Ki 2:12-15). Elisha now begins his prophetic career which must have lasted 50 years, for it extended over the reign of Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Joash. The change in him is now so manifest that he is universally recognized as Elijah’s successor and the religious leader of the prophetic schools. The skepticism of the young prophets regarding the translation of Elijah found little sympathy with Elisha, but he is conciliatory and humors them (2Ki 2:16-18).

II. His Prophetic Career.

1. Record of His Career:

As we study the life of Elisha we look first at the record of his career. The compiler of these records has followed no strict chronological order. Like other scripture writers he has followed the system of grouping his materials. The records in 2Ki 2:19-5:27 are probably in the order of their occurrence. The events in chapters 6-9 cannot be chronologically arranged, as the name of the king of Israel is not mentioned. In 6:23 we are told that the Syrians came no more into the land of Israel, and 6:24 proceeds to give an account of Ben-hadad’s invasion and the terrible siege of Samaria. In chapter 5 Gehazi is smitten with leprosy, while in chapter 8 he is in friendly converse with the king. In chapter 13 the death of Joash is recorded, and this is followed by the record of his last interview with Elisha (2Ki 13:14-19) which event occurred some years previously.

2. His Ministry in a Private Capacity:

When he began his career of service he carried the mantle of Elijah, but we read no more of that mantle; he is arrayed as a private citizen (2Ki 2:12) in common garmerits (beghadhim). He carries the walking-staff of ordinary citizens, using it for working miracles (2Ki 4:29). He seems to have lived in different cities, sojourning at Bethel or Jericho with the sons of the prophets, or dwelling in his own home in Dothan or Samaria (2Ki 6:24,32). He passed Shunem so frequently on foot that a prophet’s chamber was built for his special use (2Ki 4:8-11).

(1) Elijah’s ministry began by shutting up the heavens for three and a half years; Elisha’s began by healing a spring of water near Jericho (2Ki 2:21). One of these possessed certain noxious qualities, and complaint is made to Elisha that it is unfit for drinking and injurious to the land (2Ki 2:19). He takes salt in a new vessel, casts it into the spring and the waters are healed so that there was not "from thence any more death or miscarrying" (2Ki 2:21).

(2) Leaving Jericho, ‘a pleasant situation,’ he passes up to the highlands of Ephraim, doubtless by the Wady Suweinit, and approaches Bethel, a seat of Baal worship and headquarters of idolatry. The bald head, or perhaps closely cropped head, of Elisha, in contrast with that of Elijah, provoked the ridicule of some "young lads out of the city" who called after him Go up, thou baldhead,’ their taunt manifesting the most blatant profanity and utter disregard of God or anything sacred. Elisha, justly angered, turned and cursed them in the name of Yahweh. Two bears soon break forth from the woods of that wild region and make fearful havoc among the boys. Elisha may have shown severity and a vindictiveness in this, but he was in no way to blame for the punishment which overtook the boys. He had nothing to do with the bears and was in no way responsible for the fate of the lads. The Septuagint adds that they threw stones, and the rabbis tell how Elisha was himself punished, but these attempts to tone down the affair are uncalled for and useless (2Ki 2:23,14).

(3) From Bethel Elisha passed on to Mt. Carmel, the home of a school of the prophets, spent some time there and returned to Samaria the capital (2Ki 2:25). His next deed of mercy was to relieve the pressing needs of a widow of one of the prophets. The name of the place is not given (2Ki 4:1-7)

(4) On his many journeys up and down the country, he frequently passed by the little village of Shunem, on the slopes of "Little Hermon." The modern name is Solam. It was about three miles from Jezreel. Accustomed to accept hospitality of one of the women of the place, he so impressed her with his sanctity that she appealed to her husband to build a chamber for the "holy man of God, that passeth by us continually." This was done, and in return for this hospitality a son was born to the woman, who suddenly dies in early boyhood and is restored to life by the prophet (2Ki 4:8-37).

(5) Elisha is next at Gilgal, residing with the sons of the prophets. It is a time of famine and they are subsisting on what they can find. One of them finds some wild gourds (paqqu‘oth), shreds them into the pot and they are cooked. The men have no sooner begun to eat than they taste the poison and cry to Elisha, "O man of God, there is death in the pot." Throwing in some meal, Elisha at once renders the dish harmless and wholesome (2Ki 4:38-41).

(6) Probably at about the same time and place and during the same famine, a man from Baal-shalishah brought provisions as a present to Elisha—twenty loaves of fresh barley bread and fresh ears of grain. Unselfishly Elisha commands that it be given to the people to eat. The servant declared it was altogether insufficient for a hundred men, but Elisha predicts that there will be enough and to spare (2Ki 4:42-44). This miracle closely resembles the two miracles of Jesus.

(7) The next incident is the healing of Naaman, the leprous commander of the Syrian army (2Ki 5:1-19). He is afflicted with the white leprosy, the most malignant kind (2Ki 5:27). A Jewish maiden, captured in one of their numerous invasions of Eastern Palestine, and sold into slavery with a multitude of others, tells her mistress, the wife of Naaman, about the wonder-working Elisha. The maiden tells her mistress that Elisha can heal the leprosy, and Naaman resolves to visit him. Through the king he obtains permission to visit Elisha with a great train and rich presents. The prophet sends his servant to tell him to dip seven times in the Jordan and he will be healed. Naaman is angered at the lack of deference on the part of Elisha and turns away in a rage to go home. Better counsels prevail, and he obeys the prophet and is cured. Elisha absolutely refuses the rich presents Naaman offers, and permits the Syrian to take some earth from Yahweh’s land, that he may build an altar in Syria and worship Yahweh there. The idea was that a God was localized and could be worshipped only on his own land. Elisha grants Naaman permission apparently to worship Rimmon while avowedly he is a worshipper of Yahweh. The prophet appreciates the difficulties in Naaman’s path, believes in his sincerity, and by this concession in no way proves that he believes in the actual existence of a god named Rimmon, or that Yahweh was confined to his own land, or in any way sanctions idolatrous worship. He is conciliatory and tolerant, making the best of the situation.

(8) An act of severity on the part of Elisha follows, but it was richly deserved. Gehazi’s true character now manifests itself. He covets the rich presents brought by Naaman, runs after him, and by a clever story secures a rich present from the general. Elisha divines his trick and dooms him and his family to be afflicted with Naaman’s leprosy forever (2Ki 5:20-27).

(9) A group of the sons of the prophets, probably at Jericho, finding their quarters too small, determine to build new quarters near the Jordan. While felling the timber the ax-head of one, a borrowed tool, fell into the water and disappeared. It would have been useless to have attempted to search for it in that swift and muddy stream, so he cries in distress to the prophet. Elisha breaks off a stick, casts it in the spot where the ax fell, and makes the iron swim on the surface (2Ki 6:1-7).

3. His Ministry in a Public and National Capacity:

Elisha’s services to his king and country were numerous and significant.

(1) The first one recorded took place during the attempt of Jehoram to resubjugate Moab which had revolted under King Mesha. In company with Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom, his southern allies, the combined hosts found themselves without water in the wilderness of Edom. The situation is desperate. Jehoram appeals to Jehoshaphat, and on discovering that Elisha was in the camp all three kings appeal to him in their extremity. He refuses any help to Jehoram, bidding him appeal to the prophets of his father Ahab and his mother Jezebel. For Jehoshaphat’s sake he will help, calls for a minstrel, and under the spell of the music receives his message. He orders them to dig many trenches to hold the water which shall surely come on the morrow from the land of Edom and without rain. He moreover predicted that Moab would be utterly defeated. These predictions are fulfilled, Mesha is shut up in his capital, and in desperation sacrifices his firstborn son and heir on the walls in sight of all Israel. In great horror the Israelites withdraw, leaving Mesha in possession (2Ki 3:4-27).

(2) His next services occurred at Samaria. The king of Syria finds that his most secret plans are divulged in some mysterious way, and he fails more than once to take the king of Israel. He suspects treachery in his army, but is told of Elisha’s divining powers. Elisha is living at Dothan; and thither the king of Syria sends a large army to capture him. Surrounded by night, Elisha is in no way terrified as his servant is, but prays that the young man’s eyes may be opened to see the mountains full of the chariots and horses of Yahweh. Going forth to meet the Syrians as they close in, Elisha prays that they may be stricken with blindness. The word canwerim is used only here and in Ge 19:11 and probably means mental blindness, or bewilderment, a confusion of mind amounting to illusion. He now tells them that they have come to the wrong place, but he will lead them to the right place. They follow him into the very heart of Samaria and into the power of the king. The latter would have smitten them, but is rebuked by Elisha who counseled that they be fed and sent away (2Ki 6:8-23). Impressed by such mysterious power and strange clemency the Syrians ceased their marauding attacks.

(3) The next incident must have occurred some time previous, or some time after these events. Samaria is besieged, the Israelites are encouraged to defend their capital to the last, famine prices prevail, and mothers begin to cook their children and eat them. The king in horror and rage will wreak vengeance on Elisha. The latter divines his purpose, anticipates any action on the king’s part, and predicts that there will be abundance of food on the morrow. That night a panic seized the Syrian host. They imagined they heard the Hittires coming against them, and fled in headlong rout toward the Jordan. Four lepers discover the deserted camp and report the fact to the king. He suspects an ambuscade, but is persuaded to send a few men to reconnoiter. They find the camp deserted and treasures strewing the path right to the Jordan. The maritans lose no time in plundering the camp and Elisha’s predictions are fulfilled to the letter (2Ki 6:24-7).

(4) The prophet’s next act was one of great significance. It was the carrying out of the first order given to Elijah at Horeb, and the time seemed ripe for it. He proceeds north to Damascus and finds Benhadad sick. Hearing of his presence the king sends a rich present by the hands of his chief captain Hazael and inquires whether he will recover. Elisha gives a double answer. He will recover, the disease will not be fatal, yet he will die. Fixing his eyes on Hazael, Elisha sees a fierce and ruthless successor to Benhadad who will be a terrible scourge to Israel. The man of God weeps, the fierce captain is ashamed, and when told of what he shall do, represents himself as a dog and not able to do such things. But the prospect is too enticing; he tells Benhadad he will recover, and on the morrow smothers him and succeeds to the throne (2Ki 8:7-15).

(5) The next, move of Elisha was even more significant. It is the fulfilling of the second order given Elijah at Mt. Horeb. The Israelites are fighting the Syrians in defense of Ramoth-gilead. The king, Jehoram, is wounded and returns home to Jezreel to recover. Elisha seizes on the opportune moment to have the house of Ahab avenged for its many sins. He dispatches one of the young prophets with a vial of oil to Ramoth-gilead with orders to anoint Jehu, one of the captains of the army, as king over Israel. The young prophet obeys, delivers his message and flees. Jehu tries to conceal the real nature of the interview, but is forced to tell, and is at once proclaimed king. He leaps into his chariot, drives furiously to Jezreel, meets the king by the vineyard of Naborb, sends an arrow through his heart, tramples to death the queen Jezebel, butchers the king’s sons and exterminates the royal family. He then treacherously murders the priests of Baal and the revolution is complete; the house of Ahab is destroyed, Baal worship overthrown and an able king is upon the throne (2Ki 9; 10).

(6) Elisha retains his fervent and patriotic spirit until the last. His final act is in keeping with his long. life of generous deeds and faithful patriotic service. He is on his death bed, having witnessed the fearful oppressions of Israel by Hazael who made Israelites as dust under his feet. The young king Joash visits him, weeps over him, calling him, "My father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof." The dying prophet bids him take his bow and arrow and shoot eastward, an act symbolic of his victory over Syria. Being then commanded to smite upon the ground, he smites three times and stops. The prophet is angry, tells him he should have smitten many times, then he would have smitten Syria many times, but now he shall smite her only thrice (2Ki 13:14-19).

(7) The last wonder in connection with Elisha occurs after this death. His bones were reported to have vitalizing power (2Ki 13:20-21). Tradition says that the man thus restored to life lived but an hour; but the story illustrates something of the reverence held for Elisha.

4. Characteristics of His Ministry:

(1) In Comparison with Elijah.

In many respects Elisha is a contrast to his great predecessor. Instead of a few remarkable appearances and striking events, his was a steady lifelong ministry; instead of the rugged hills his home was in the quiet valley and on the farm; instead of solitariness he loved the social life and the home. There were no sudden appearances add disappearances, people always knew where to find him. There were no long seasons of hiding or retirement, he was constantly moving about among the people or the prophetic schools. There were no spectacular revolutions, only the effect of a long steady ministry. His career resembled the latter portion of Elijah’s more than the earlier. Elijah had learned well his lesson at Horeb. God is not so much in the tempest, the fire and the earthquake, as in the "still small voice" (1Ki 19:12). Elijah was a prophet of fire, Elisha more of a pastor. The former called down fire out of heaven to consume those sent to take him; Elisha anticipates the king when he comes to take him (2Ki 6:32,33) and gives promises of relief. He merely asks for blindness to come upon the army which surrounded him at Dothan, and spares them when the king would have smitten them (2Ki 6:21-23). Elijah was austere and terrible, but Elisha was so companionable that the woman at Shunera built him a chamber. His prophetic insight could be helped more by the strains of music than by the mountain solitude (2Ki 3:15). Some of his miracles resemble Elijah’s. The multiplication of the oil and the cruse is much like the continued supply of meal and oil to the widow of Zarephath (1Ki 17:10-16), and the raising of the Shunammite’s son like the raising of the widow’s son at Zarephath (1Ki 17:17-24).

(2) General Features of His Ministry.

His services as a pastor-prophet were more remarkable than his miracles. He could be very severe in the presence of deliberate wrongdoing, stern and unflinching when the occasion required. He could weep before Hazael, knowing what he would do to Israel, yet he anointed him king of Syria (2Ki 8:11-15). When the time was ripe and the occasion opportune, he could instigate a revolution that wiped out a dynasty, exterminated a family, and caused the massacre of the priests of Baal (2Ki 8; 9). He possessed the confidence of kings so fully that they addressed him as father and themselves as sons (2Ki 6:21; 13:14). He accompanied an army of invasion and three kings consult him in extremity (2Ki 3:11-19). The king of Syria consults him in sickness (2Ki 8:7,8). The king of Israel seems to blame him for the awful conditions of the siege and would have wreaked vengeance on him (2Ki 6:31). He was something of a military strategist and many times saved the king’s army (2Ki 6:10). The king of Israel goes to him for his parting counsel (2Ki 13:14-19). His advice or command seemed to be always taken unhesitatingly. His contribution to the religious life of Israel was not his least service. Under Jehu he secured the destruction of the Baal worship in its organized form. Under Hazael the nation was trodden down and almost annihilated for its apostasy. By his own ministry many were saved from bowing the knee to Baal. His personal influence among the schools of the prophets was widespread and beneficial. He that escaped the sword of Hazael was slain by Jehu, and he that escaped Jehu was slain by Elisha. Elisha finished the great work of putting down Baal worship begun by Elijah. His work was not so much to add anything to religion, as to cleanse the religion already possessed. He did not ultimately save the nation, but he did save a large remnant. The corruptions were not all eradicated, the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat were never fully overcome. He passed through a bitter and distressing national humiliation, but emerged with hope. He eagerly watched every turn of events and his counsels were more frequently adopted than those perhaps of any other prophet. He was "the chariots of Israel and tire horsemen thereof" (2Ki 13:14). No condemnation of calf-worship at Da and Bethel is recorded, but that does not prove that he fully sanctioned it. His was a contest between Yahweh worship and Baal worship. The corrupted form of Yahweh worship was a problem which Amos and Hosea had to face nearly a century later.

III. General Estimate.

His character was largely molded by his home life. He was friend and benefactor of foreigner as well as of Israelite. He was large-hearted and generous, tolerant to a remarkable degree, courageous and shrewd when the occasion required, a diplomat as well as a statesman, severe and stern only in the presence of evil and when the occasion demanded. He is accused of being vindictive and of employing falsehood with his enemies. His faults, however, were the faults of his age, and these were but little manifested in his long career. His was a strenuous pastor’s life. A homeloving and social man, his real work was that of teaching and helping, rather than working of miracles. He continually went about doing good. He was resourceful and ready and was gifted with a sense of humor. Known as "the man of God," he proved his right to the title by his zeal for God and loving service to man.


Driver, LOT, 185 f; W. R. Smith, Prophets of Israel, 85 ff; Cornill, Isr. Prophets, 14 f, 33 ff; Farrar, Books of Kings; Kuenen, Religions of Israel, I, 360 ff; Montefiore, Hibbert Lectures, 94 f; Maurice, Prophets and Kings, 142; Liddon, Sermons on Old Testament Subjects, 195-334.

J. J. Reeve


e-li’-sha (’elishah, "God saves"; Elisa, Eleisai):

Mentioned in Ge 10:4 as the eldest son of Javan, and in Eze 27:7 as the source from which the Tyrians obtained their purple dyes. On the ground of this latter statement attempts have been made to identify it with Southern Italy or the north of Africa. Josephus (Ant., I, vi, 1) identified Elisha with the Aeolians. The Targum on Ezekiel gives "the province of Italy." Other suggestions include Hellas, Ells, and Alsa; the last named is a kingdom mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna Letters, but its precise location is unknown. It is impossible as yet to claim certainty for any of these conjectures.

A. C. Grant


e-lish’-a-ma (’elishama‘, "God has heard"):

(1) Grandfather of Joshua and son of Ammihud; prince of the tribe of Ephraim in the Exodus (Nu 1:10; 7:48,53; 1Ch 7:26).

(2) A son of David, born in Jerusalem (2Sa 5:16; 1Ch 3:8).

(3) By textual corruption in 1Ch 3:6 for Elishua, another of David’s sons; compare 2Sa 5:15.

(4) A scribe of Jehoiakim (Jer 36:12,20,21).

(5) One "of the seed royal," grandfather of Ishmael, the slayer of Gedaliah (2Ki 25:25; Jer 41:1).

(6) A man of the tribe of Judah (1Ch 2:41).

(7) One of the priests appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2Ch 17:8).

F. K. Farr


e-lish’-a-fat (’elishaphat, "God is judge"):

This man figures in the Levitical conspiracy against Athaliah, to make Joash king. He was one of the "captains of hundreds" employed in the enterprise by Jehoiada the priest (2Ch 23:1).


e-lish’-e-ba (’elishebha‘, "God swears," "God is an oath"):

Daughter of Amminadab, sister of Nashon, wife of Aaron, mother of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, the foundress, therefore, of the entire Levitical priesthood (Ex 6:23).


el-i-shu’-a, e-lish’-u-a (’elishua‘, "‘ God is rich," "God is salvation"):

Son of David (2Sa 5:15; 1Ch 14:5); apparently called Elishama (1Ch 3:6). In the latter locus we have most probably a misreading by the copyist of the name Elishua.


e-lis’-i-mus, the Revised Version (British and American)

ELIASIMUS (which see).


e-li’-u (Eliou; the Revised Version (British and American) ELIHU):

One of the ancestors of Judith (APC Judith 8:1), and therefore of the tribe of Simeon.


e-li’-ud (Elioud, "God my praise"):

An ancestor of Jesus, four generations before Joseph (Mt 1:15).


el-i-za’-fan, e-liz’-a-fan (’elitsaphan; Septuagint Eleisaphan, Elisaphan, Elisapa, Elisaphat, "God has protected; compare tsephanyah, Zephaniah, "Yah has protected," and the Phoenician, tsephanba‘al, Baal has protected"):

(1) The son of Uzziel, the son of Kohath, and so a prince of the Levitical class of the Kohathites (Nu 3:30; 1Ch 15:8; 2Ch 29:13). But in 1Ch 15:8; 2Ch 29:13 his class seems to be coordinate with that of the Kohathites. He is called Elzaphan in Ex 6:22; Le 10:4.

(2) A "prince" or chief of Zebulun, who represented that tribe in the division of the land (Nu 34:25). Walter R. Betteridge


e-li’-zur (’elitsur; Septuagint Eleiour, Elisour, "My God is a rock"; compare Zuriel "my rock is God" (Nu 3:35)):

A chief or prince of the tribe of Reuben (Nu 1:5; 2:10; 7:30,35; 10:18).


el-ka’-na (’elqanah, "God has possessed"):

(1) An Ephraimite, the father of Samuel (1Sa 1:1-28; 2:11-20). Of his two wives, Hannah, the childless, was best beloved. At Shiloh she received through Eli the promise of a son. Elkanah, with Hannah, took the young Samuel to Shiloh when he was weaned, and left him with EIi as their offering to Yahweh. They were blessed with three other sons and two daughters.

(2) The second son of Korah (Ex 6:24), who escaped the fate of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Nu 26:11).

(3) One "next to the king" in Jerusalem in the time of Ahaz; slain by one Zichri of Ephraim in war with Pekah (2Ch 28:7).

(4) One of the Korahites among David’s "mighty men" (1Ch 12:1,6).

(5) A Levite, possibly the same as (2) above (1Ch 6:23,15,36).

(6) Another Levite of the same line (1Ch 6:26,35).

(7) Another Levite, ancestor of Berechiah (1Ch 9:16).

(8) Another Levite (if not the same as (4) above), one of the "doorkeepers for the ark" (1Ch 15:23).

F. K. Farr


el-ki’-a (Elkia; the King James Version Elcia):

An ancestor of Judith (APC Judith 8:1).


el’-kosh-it (ha-’elqoshi; Septuagint Elkesaiou, Elkaiseou, Elkeseou):

Used with the article "the Elkoshite" (Na 1:1). Probably a gentilic adjective giving the home of the prophet; not definitely identified. Three traditions may be noted:

(1) The Nestorians venerate the supposed tomb of the prophet in the village of Alqush not far from the east bank of the Tigris, about two days’ journey almost directly north of Mosul.

(2) Jerome states in the prologue to his commentary on Na that the village of Helkesei in Galilee was pointed out to him as Elkosh. This Helkesei is probably El-Kauzeh between Ramieh and Bint Jebeil.

(3) The treatise De Vitis Prophetarum of the Pseudo-Epiphanius says that Nahum came from "Elkesei beyond Jordan towards Begabor and was of the tribe of Simeon." Nestle has shown that the words "beyond Jordan" are probably a gloss, and that for Begabor should be read Betogabra, the modern Beit Jibrin in Southern Palestine. In favor of this identification may be urged the following facts:

(a) that parallels to the name Elkosh, such as Eltekeh and Eltekon, are found in the southern country;

(b) that the word probably contains the name of the Edomite god Qaush, whose name appears in the names of Edomite kings in the Assyrian inscriptions of the 8th and 7th centuries BC, such as Qaush-malaka and the like.

(c) that the internal evidence of the prophecy makes the Judean origin of the prophet almost certain.

LITERATURE. Davidson, "Nah," "Hab," "Zeph," in Cambridge Bible, 9-13; G. A. Smith, "Book of the Twelve," in Expositor’s Bible, Commentary on Nah; Billerbeck and Jeremias, Beitraege zur Assyriologie, III, 91 ff; Peiser, ZATW, 1897, 349; Nestle, PEFS, 1879, 136.

Walter R. Betteridge


el-a’-sar (’ellacar):

1. The Name and Its Etymology:

The city over which Arioch (Eri-Aku) and other Babylonian kings ruled (Ge 14:1). The Semitic-Babylonians form of its name is (al) Larsa, "the city Larsa," a form which implies that the Hebrew has interchanged r and s, and transposed the final vowel. Its Sumerian name is given as Ararwa, apparently for Arauruwa, "light-abode," which, in fact, is the meaning of the ideographic group with which it is written. The ruins of this ancient site are now known as Senqara, and lie on the East bank of the Euphrates, about midway between Warka (Erech) and Muqayyar (Ur of the Chaldees). In addition to the name Larsa, it seems also to have been called Aste azaga "the holy (bright, pure) seat" (or throne), and both its names were apparently due to its having been one of the great Babylonian centers of sun-god worship.

2. Its Holy Places:

Like most of the principal cities of Babylonia, it had a great temple-tower, called E-dur-an-ki, "house of the bond of heaven and earth." The temple of the city bore the same name as that at Sippar, i.e. E-babbar, "House of Light," where the sun-god Samas was worshipped. This temple was restored by Ur-Engur, Hammurabi (Amraphel), Burna-burias, Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus. Among the tablets found on this site by Loftus was that which gives measures of length and square and cube roots, pointing to the place as one of the great centers of Babylonian learning. Besides the remains of these temples, there are traces of the walls, and the remains of houses of the citizens. The city was at first governed by its own kings, but became a part of the Babylonian empire some time after the reign of Hammurabi.


Loftus, Chaldea and Susiana; Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies?; Zehnpfund, Babylonien in seinen wichtigsten Ruinenstatten, 53- 54.

T. G. Pinches



Ho 4:13 the King James Version, but in the Revised Version (British and American)

TEREBINTH (which see).


el-ma’-dam (WH Elmadam; Textus Receptus of the New Testament Elmodam; the King James Version Elmodam):

An ancestor of Jesus, according to Luke’s genealogy, in the 6th generation before Zerubbabel (Lu 3:28).


el-na’-am (’elna‘am, "God is delightfulness"; compare Phoenician "Gadnaam"):

According to Massoretic Text the father of two of David’s warriors (1Ch 11:46); according to Septuagint himself one of the warriors.


el-na’-than (’elnathan, "God has given"):

(1) The grandfather of Jehoiachin (2Ki 24:8).

(2) A courtier of Jehoiakim; he was one of those sent to Egypt to bring back the prophet Uriah (Jer 26:22), and one of those who heard the reading of Jeremiah’s roll and entreated Jehoiakim not to burn the roll (Jer 36:12,25)—possibly the same person as (1) above.

(3, 4, 5) The name of two "chief men"—unless textual corruption has introduced the name at its second occurrence—and of one "teacher" sent for by Ezra from the camp at the river Ahava (Ezr 8:16).

F. K. Farr





e-lo’-him, el’-o-hem.



e’-loi, e-lo’-i.



e’-loi, e-lo’i, la’-ma, sa-bakh-tha’-ni, or (Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthanei):

The forms of the first word as translated vary in the two narratives, being in Mark as first above and in Mt as in second reading.

With some perversions of form probably from Ps 22:1 (’eli ‘eli lamah ‘azabhtani). A statement uttered by Jesus on the cross just before his death, translated, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46; Mr 15:34).

There is an interesting but difficult problem in connection with the interpretation of this passage. There seems to be a mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew.

The first two words, whether in Hebrew or Aramaic, have sufficient similarity to each other and each sufficient similarity to the name itself to warrant the jeer that Jesus was calling upon Elias, or the sincere supposition of those who might not fully understand the language, that he was actually calling on Elias.

The forms lema and lama used in Matthew and Mark respectively (Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek) represent the various possible forms, the first the Aramaic, and the second the Hebrew. The various readings and translations of the latter word, sabachthani, only add confusion to an effort at ultimate explanation of the real statement. Certainly the influence of the Aramaic played a geat part in the translation and transmission of the original. The spirit revealed by Jesus in this utterance seems to be very much like that displayed in the Garden when He cried out to have the cup removed from Him.

Walter G. Clippinger

ELON (1)

e’-lon (’elon "terebinth"):

(1) A Zebulunite, who judged Israel ten years, and was buried in Aijalon (Jud 12:11,12).

(2) A son of Zebulun (Ge 46:14; Nu 26:26).

(3) A Hittite whose daughter Esau wedded (Ge 26:34; 36:2).

ELON (2)

e’-lon (’elon, a "terebinth"; Ailon):

An unidentified town in the territory of Da named between Ithlah and Timnah (Jos 19:43). It is possibly identical with Elon-beth-Hanan which, along with Shaalbim and Bethshemesh, formed one of Solomon’s commissariat districts (1Ki 4:9).

Conder has suggested Beit’ Anan, about 4 miles Northwest of Neby Samwil: it is quite uncertain.


e’-lon-its: Descendants of ELON (which see (2) Nu 26:26).



"Moses said .... I am not eloquent" (’ish debharim, "a man of words" (Ex 4:10)); but Aaron could "speak well." In Isa 3:3 the Revised Version (British and American) bin, "intelligent," is rendered "skilful (enchanter)," the King James Version "eloquent (orator)." Apollos was "an eloquent man" (logios, "full of words" (Ac 18:24, the King James Version margin, "a learned man")).





el-pa’-al (’elpa‘al, "God has wrought" (compare el‘asah, Jer 29:3)):

The name of a descendant of Benjamin (1Ch 8:11,12,18).


el-pa’-let: (the Revised Version (British and American) ELPELET):

The name of a son of David (1Ch 14:5).






el’-te-ke, (’elteqeh Jos 19:44, ‘elteqe’ (Jos 21:23); Codex Vaticanus Alkatha; Codex Alexandrinus, Elketho):

A place in the territory of Da named between Ekron and Gibbethon (Jos 19:44), and again between Beth-horon and Gibbethon, as given to the Kohathite Levites (Jos 21:23). It is probably identical with the Assyrian Altaqu, where Sennacherib (Hexagon prism inscrip.) claims to have defeated the allied armies of the Philistines and the Egyptians. It should probably be sought somewhere East of Ekron. Beit Likia, the place marked Eltekeh on the PEF map, seems a position for such an encounter.

It is about 2 1/2 miles Southwest of Beth-horon the Upper.

W. Ewing


el’-te-kon (’elteqon, "founded by God"):

A city in the hill country of Judah (Jos 15:59) near BETH-ANOTH (which see) to be looked for, therefore, a little North of Hebron. Site unknown.


el-to’-lad (’eltoladh, "kindred of God"):

A city of Judah in the Negeb near Edom (Jos 15:30); in Jos 19:4 ascribed to Simeon. Probably the same as Tolad (1Ch 4:29), the Arabic article "el" being omitted. Site unknown.


e’-lul, e-lool’ (’elul, Ne 6:15; Eloul, APC 1Macc 14:27):

The 6th month of the Hebrew year, corresponding to August-September. The derivation is uncertain.



e-lu’-za-i (’el‘uzai, "God is my strength"; compare UZZIEL):

One of David’s heroes (1Ch 12:5).





el-i-ma’-is (Elumais):

This name, representing the Old Testament Elam (see ELAM), was given to a district of Persia lying South of Media and North of Susiana. In APC 1Macc 6:1 the common reading, which is adopted by the King James Version, refers to Elymais as a rich city in Persia. No other reference, however, to such a city is found except in Josephus (Ant., XII, ix, 1) who simply follows 1 Macc. The text should therefore be corrected to read as in the Revised Version (British and American), "in Elymais in Persia there was a city."


el’-i-mas (Elumas, "wise"; Ac 13:8).






el-za’-bad (’elzabhadh, "God has given"; Compare ZABDIEL and ZEBADIAH):

(1) The ninth of David’s Gadite heroes (1Ch 12:12).

(2) A Korahite doorkeeper (1Ch 26:7).





e-ma’-da-bun (Emadaboun); the King James Version, Madiabun (APC 1Esdras 5:58):

The head of a family of Levites who superintended the repair of the temple; not named in Ezr 3:9.


e-ma-the’-is (Amathias; Emeus; Codex Vaticanus, Emaththis; Codex Alexandrinus, Ematheis; the King James Version, Amatheis):

One of the sons of Bebai (APC 1Esdras 9:29), called "Athlai" in Ezr 10:28.


em-bam’-ing (chanaT, "to spice"):

Embalming. is mentioned in Scripture only in the cases of Jacob and Joseph (Ge 50:2 f, 26). It was a distinctly Egyptian invention and method of preserving the bodies of men and animals. Examples of it reach back to over 3,000 years ago.

It prevailed to some extent among the peoples of Asia, and at a later period among the Greeks and Romans, but was in origin and use distinctly non-Israelitish.



em-bras’:The word has two distinct meanings in the Old Testament:

(1) to clasp and hold fondly in the arms, pointing to a common custom (Ge 29:13; 33:4; 48:10; 2Ki 4:16; So 2:6; 8:3 compare Ac 20:10), and

(2) to have sexual intercourse (Pr 4:8; 5:20; Ec 3:5). It seems to have acquired this technical sense in later Jewish usage.


em-broid’-er-i (riqrnah; the King James Version Needlework):

Riqmah was applied to any kind of cloth which showed designs in variegated colors. The method of manufacture is unknown. The designs may have been woven into cloth or drawn in by a needle or hook (Jud 5:30; Ps 45:14; Eze 16:10,13,18; 26:16; 27:7,16,24).

Ma‘aseh raqam is translated "the work of the embroiderer" in the Revised Version (British and American) instead of "needlework" (Ex 26:36; 27:16; 28:39; 36:37; 38:18; 39:29; Jud 5:30; Ps 45:14).

Raqam, "embroiderer," occurs in Ex 35:35; 38:23. The fact that this word is used instead of ‘aragh, "weaver," would lead us to suppose that the embroiderers’ work was either different from that of the weaver or that a "raqam" was especially skilled in fine weaving. Another word, choshebh, is used to describe a skillful weaver. "Cunning work" in the King James Version of Ex 26:1,31; 28:6,15; 35:33,15; 36:8,35; 39:3,1 is rendered in the American Standard Revised Version "work of the skillful workmen." The passage has been freely rendered "designers."

In the Revised Version (British and American) of Ex 28:39 shabhats is translated "weave."

In Ex 28:4 occurs the word tashbets, which is translated "broidered" in the King James Version and "checker work" in the Revised Version (British and American). If this kind of work is what it is supposed to be, it is more truly "needlework" than the embroidery. This work is still done in some of the Syrian cities and towns, especially in Damascus. Small caps for men to wear under their ordinary headdress and loose outer garments or dressing-gowns are the forms in which it is commonly seen. The checker-work effect is obtained by sewing in a cotton string between two pieces of cloth, so as to form designs. The patterns Usually run to straight lines such as zigzags or squares. The effect is striking, and we can well imagine would have made an impressive priest’s robe, especially if costly materials were used.

See also CRAFTS.

James A. Patch


e-mek-ke’-ziz (‘emeq qetsits; the King James Version Valley of Keziz (Jos 18:21)):

A town in Benjamin named between Beth-hoglah and Beth-arabah, and therefore to be sought in the plain, probably South of Jericho. The name has not been recovered.





em’-er-odz ‘ophalim, techorim:

These words are used in the account of the plague which broke out among the Philistines while the captive Ark of the Covenant was in their land. ‘Ophalim literally means rounded eminences or swellings, and in the Revised Version (British and American) is translated "tumors" (1Sa 5:6-12). In the Hebrew text of this passage the Qere substitutes for it the word techorim, a term which occurs in the next chapter in the description of the golden models of these swellings that were made as votive offerings (1Sa 6:11-17). The swellings were symptoms of a plague, and the history is precisely that of the outbreak of an epidemic of bubonic plague. The older writers supposed by comparison of the account in 1Sa with Ps 78:66 that they were hemorrhoids (or piles), and the older English term in the King James Version is a 16th-century form of that Greek word, which occurs in several medical treatises of the 16th and 17th centuries. There is, however, no evidence that this identification is correct. In the light of the modern research which has proved that the rat-flea (Pulex cheopis) is the most active agent in conveying the virus of plague to the human subject, it is worthy of note that the plague of tumors was accompanied by an invasion of mice (‘akhbor) or rats. The rat is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, although it was as common in Canaan and Israelite times as it is today, a fact demonstrated by the frequency with which their bones occur in all strata of the old Palestinian cities, so it is probable that the term used was a generic one for both rodents.

The coincidence of destructive epidemics and invasions of mice is also recorded by Herodotus (ii.141), who preserves a legend that the army of Sennacherib which entered Egypt was destroyed by the agency of mice. He states that a statue of Ptah, commemorating the event, was extant in his day. The god held a mouse in his hand, and bore the inscription: "Whosoever sees me, let him reverence the gods." This may have been a reminiscence of the story in Isa 37:36.

For other references see PLAGUE.

Alex. Macalister


e’-mim (’emim; Ommaein, Ommein, or Ommiein):

Stated to have been the earlier inhabitants of Moab (De 2:10,11), and to have been of tall stature, and hence, "accounted Rephaim (or giants) as the Anakim" or the Zamzummim of Ammon (De 2:20). As the name was given to them by the Moabites, it may not have been that by which they called themselves. A tall race, known to the Israelites as REPHAIM (which see), once existed in Southern Palestine as well as on the East side of the Jordan, but its exact relationship is unknown. In the time of Abraham the Emim were living in the Moabite district of Shaveh-kiriathaim, identified with the modern Kureiyat (Ge 14:5).

A. H. Sayce



In the King James Version (only in Eze 16:24,31,39; 17:22) refers literally to physical elevation; the Revised Version (British and American) in the last passage renders "lofty" (Hebrew talul, "uplifted," "heaped up") and in the others "vaulted place" (Hebrew gabh, "rounded place," "mound" the English Revised Version, margin "a vaulted chamber").





e-ma’-us, em’-a-us (Emmaous, derivation uncertain, but probably from chammath, "a hot spring"):

Josephus (BJ, IV, i, 3) says: "Now Emmaus, if it be interpreted, may be rendered ‘a warm bath’ for therein is a spring of warm water useful for healing." Here he is referring to the hot springs near Tiberias. Possibly the same Greek name may not always have been derived from the same Hebrew, and as Cheyne suggests (2) may have come from ha-motsah (see below).

1. Emmaus of the Apocrypha:

A place where Judas Maccabeus defeated Gorgias (APC 1Macc 4); it was "in the plain" (APC 1Macc 3:40); it was subsequently fortified by Bacchides (APC 1Macc 9:50). It is frequently mentioned by Josephus (Ant., XIV, xi, 2; BJ, I, xi, 2; II, v, 1; xx, 4; IV, viii, 1; V, i, 6), and also in the Talmud and Midrash. It is now the modern mud-village of ‘Amwas, 20 miles along, and a little North of, the main road from Jerusalem to Jaffa. In the 3rd century it was called Nicopolis and was an episcopal see; in early Christian times it was famous for a spring of reputed healing qualities.

2. Emmaus of Luke:

The Emmaus of Lu 24:13, a village 60 furlongs (stadia) from Jerusalem. Early Christian tradition appears to have identified it with (1) and hence, to harmonize the distance, some manuscripts have 160 furlongs. Eusebius and Jerome place this Emmaus at ‘Amwas; but in the first place

(1) was a city and not a village (kome), and secondly

(2) the distance, 40 miles there and back, is an almost impossible one for the narrative.

In Crusading times this difficulty appears to have been realized, and on what grounds is not known, Kubeibeh at just over 60 stadia, Northwest of Jerusalem, was selected as the site of Emmaus. There a fine church was built which has in recent years been rebuilt and today a Franciscan hospice and school, attached to the church, and a newer German Roman Catholic hospice, combine with the considerable picturesqueness of the place itself to fortify the tradition.

A much more probable site is Quloniyeh, a village about 35 stadia from Jerusalem, on the road to Jaffa. Josephus narrates (BJ, VII, vi, 6) that Vespasian "assigned a place for 800 men only whom he had dismissed from his army which he gave them for their habitation; it is called Emmaus and is distant from Jerusalem 60 furlongs." This is almost certainly the Emmaus of Luke; it is highly probable that the name quloniyeh is derived from the fact of its being this Colonia. Close to this place is a ruin known as Bet Mizza, which is probably the Mozah (ha-motsah) of Jos 18:26 which in the Talmud (Cukk. 45) is also described as a colonia. Today it is a "colony" of Jews who have revived and always use the old name Motsah for their settlement.

Other suggestions for this Emmaus are

(a) el Khamsa, considerably over 60 stadia Southwest of Jerusalem (Conder);

(b) Koriet el ‘enab, some 10 stadia farther a1ong the Jerus-Jaffa road than Kuloniyeh (LB, etc.); and

(c) ‘Artas, S. of Bethlehem, where remains of Roman baths have been found (Mrs. Finn). In not one of the places suggested are there any hot springs.

E. W. G. Masterman


em’-er (Emmer):

Head of a family, some of whom had married foreign wives (APC 1Esdras 9:21).

Called "Immer" in Ezr 10:20.


em’-er-uth (Emmerouth; the King James Version Meruth; APC 1Esdras 5:24):

Corresponding to "Immer" in Ezr 2:37.



Transliterated from the Greek Emmor, the translation of Hebrew chamor, "ass" (Ac 7:16 the King James Version; the Revised Version (British and American) "Hamor", which see).


emp’-er-er ho sebastos; Latin augustus:

The title of the Roman emperors; (Ac 25:21,25).



emp’-ti, emp’-ti-er (kenos):

"Empty," adjective meaning void, etc., as the translation of req, riq, reqam, etc., occurs in the literal sense of "with nothing" (Ge 31:42; Job 22:9); in 2Sa 1:22, it is equivalent to "in vain," "hungry" (Isa 29:8); in some instances the meaning is comparative only; baqaq, "to gush out," "to pour out," "to empty" is used adjectivally (Ho 10:1, "Israel is an empty vine"; but the Revised Version (British and American) takes the Hebrew word in its original sense of "pouring out," rendering "Israel is a luxuriant vine"); tohu, "emptiness" (Job 26:7); kenos, "empty" is so translated (Mr 12:3); in Mt 12:44, the Greek word is scholazo, "to be free," "unoccupied"; "to empty" (verb) is the translation of baqaq (Na 2:2), of dalal, "to become poor," etc. (Isa 19:6, the English Revised Version "minished," the American Standard Revised Version "diminished"). the Revised Version (British and American) has "empty" for "vain" (Eph 5:6), "emptied himself" for "made himself of no reputation" (Php 2:7), "emptied out" for "gathered" (2Ki 22:9; 2Ch 34:17, margin "poured out").

W. L. Walker


em-u-la’-shun (zelos, parazeloo):

Occurs twice in the New Testament, once in a bad sense and once in a good sense.

(1) In Ga 5:20 the King James Version it is the translation of zelos ("zeal," "earnestness," "enthusiasm") where it is classed among "the works of the flesh" and signifies the stirring up of jealousy or envy in others, because of what we are, or have, or profess. The Greek word is used in this sense in Ac 13:45; Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; Jas 3:14,16; 2Co 12:20; Ga 5:20; the Revised Version (British and American) translated by "jealousy." It denotes a work of the flesh or lower nature, which Christians often fail sufficiently to guard against; it pleases "the flesh" to excite such a feeling in others.

(2) In Ro 11:14 the King James Version "emulation" is the translation of parazeloo ("to make one zealous or jealous"), and is there used in a good sense. "If by any means I may provoke to emulation (the Revised Version (British and American) jealousy) them that are my flesh" (compare Ro 10:19, quoted from De 32:21). It is well to "provoke to emulation" in this sense, those who are slow or indifferent, by the example of earnestness and zeal on our part. This is not to please "the flesh," but to serve "the Spirit."

W. L. Walker


(‘ayin (compare Arabic ‘Ain)):

The Hebrew word for "spring" or "fountain" (Ge 16:7; Nu 33:9; Ne 2:14; Pr 8:28 (feminine plural)). It occurs in numerous compound words, as EN-GEDI, EN-HADDAH, EN-HAKKORE, EN-HAZOR, EN-RIMMON, EN-ROGEL, EN-SHEMESH (which see). In the same way the word ‘Ain is a very common component of Arabic names of places throughout Palestine and Syria at the present day. Places with names compounded with "En-" were almost certainly located near a spring.



en’-dor ‘en dor, Jos 17:11; ‘en dor, 1Sa 28:7; ‘en do’r, Ps 83:10; Codex Alexandrinus, Nendor; Codex Vaticanus, Aeldor:

A town in the lot of Issachar assigned to Manasseh (Jos 17:11). Here dwelt the woman who had a familiar spirit, whom Saul consulted on the night before the battle of Gilboa (1Sa 28:7). Here also, according to Ps 83:10, perished fugitives of Sisera’s army, after their defeat at the Kishon. The place was therefore not far from the Kishon and Tabor.

It is generally identified with the modern Endur, a small village on the northern slope of Jebel ed-Duchy, with several ancient caves. It is not far from Nain and Shunem, and looks across the valley along which the broken ranks of Sisera may have attempted to make their way eastward to the open uplands, and thence to their native North. Coming hither from Gilboa, eluding the Philistine outposts under cover of the darkness, Saul would cross the Vale of Jezreel, and pass round the eastern base of the mountain, the Philistines being on the west.

W. Ewing



In 1Sa 28:3-25, it is narrated how Saul, in despair of mind because Yahweh had forsaken him, on the eve of the fatal battle of Gilboa, resorted in disguise to "a woman that had a familiar spirit" (’obh: see DIVINATION; NECROMANCY), at En-dor, and besought the woman to divine for him, and bring him up from the dead whom he should name. On the woman reminding him how Saul had cut off from the land those who practiced these arts—a proof of the existence and operation of the laws against divination, witchcraft, necromancy, etc. (Le 19:31; De 18:9-14)—the king assured her of immunity, and bade her call up Samuel. The incidents that followed have been the subject of much discussion and of varied interpretation. It seems assumed in the narrative that the woman did see an appearance, which the king, on her describing it, recognized to bethat of Samuel.

This, however, need be only the narrator’s interpretation of the events. It is not to be credited that the saintly Samuel was actually summoned from his rest by the spells of a professional diviner. Some have thought that Samuel, by God’s permission, did indeed appear, as much to the woman’s dismay as to the king’s; and urge in favor of this the woman’s evident surprise and terror at his appearance (1Sa 28:12 ff), and the true prophecy of Saul’s fate (1Sa 28:16-19).

It may conceivably have been so, but the more reasonable view is that the whole transaction was a piece of feigning on the part of the woman. The Septuagint uses the word eggastrimuthos ("a ventriloquist") to describe the woman and those who exercised kindred arts (1Sa 28:9). Though pretending ignorance (1Sa 28:12), the woman doubtless recognizes Saul from the first. It was she who saw Samuel, and reported his words; the king himself saw and heard nothing. It required no great skill in a practiced diviner to forecast the general issue of the battle about to take place, and the disaster that would overtake Saul and his sons; while if the forecast had proved untrue, the narrative of the witch of En-dor would never have been written. Saul, in fact, was not slain, but killed himself. The incident, therefore, may best be ranked in the same category as the feats of modern mediumship.

James Orr


en-eg’-la-im, en-eg-la’-im (‘en ‘eghlayim, "fountain of calves"?):

In Ezekiel’s vision of the waters it is one of the two points between which "fishers shall stand" (Eze 47:10).

The situation must be near the entrance of the Jordan into the Dead Sea (see EN-GEDI).

Tristram (Bible Places, 93) identifies it with ‘Ain Hajlah (compare BETH-HOGLAH);

Robinson (BRP, II, 489), with ‘Ain Feshkah.


en-gad’-i (Sirach 24:14 the Revised Version (British and American), "on the sea shore").



en-gan’-im (‘en gannim, "spring of gardens"):

(1) A town in the territory of Judah, named with Zanoah and Eshtaol (Jos 15:34). It is probably identical with the modern Umm Jina, South of Wady ec-Carar, not far from Zanoah (Zanu‘a).

(2) A town in the lot of Isaachat (Jos 19:21), assigned to the Gershonite Levites (21:29). In 1Ch 6:73 it is replaced by Anem. It probably corresponds to the Ginnea of Josephus (Ant., XX, vi, 1; BJ, III, iii, 4), and may certainly be identified with the modern Jenin, a prosperous village on the southern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, with beautiful gardens, fruitful orchards and plentiful supplies of water from the local springs.

W. Ewing


en’-ge-di, en-ge’-di (‘en gedhi, "fountain of the kid"):

Identical with the present Ain Jidi. According to 2Ch 20:2 it is the same as Hazazon-tamar, mentioned in Ge 14:7 as occupied by the Amorites and as having been attacked by Chedorlaomer after leaving Kadesh and El Paran on his way to the Vale of Siddim. The place is situated upon the West shore of the Dead Sea about midway between the North and the South ends, and was included in the territory of Judah (Jos 15:62). The spot is rendered attractive by the verdure clothing it by reason of immense fountains of warm water, 80 degrees F., which pour out from beneath the limestone cliffs.

In the time of Solomon (So 1:14) palms and vines were cultivated here. Josephus also mentions its beautiful palm groves.

In the time of Eusebius it was still a place of importance, but since the Middle Ages it has been almost deserted, being occupied now only by a few Arabs. The oasis occupies a small area a few hundred feet above the Dead Sea marked by the 650 ft. sedimentary terrace heretofore described (see DEAD SEA). The limestone borders rise so abruptly to a height of 2,000 ft. immediately on the West, that the place can be approached only by a rock-cut path. Two streams, Wady Sugeir and Wady el- Areyeh, descend on either side through precipitous rocky gorges from the uninhabitable wilderness separating it from Bethlehem and Hebron. It was in the caves opening out from the sides of these gorges that David took refuge from Saul (1Sa 24:1). During the reign of Jehoshaphat (2Ch 20:2), the children of Ammon, Moab and Mt. Seir attempted to invade Judah by way of En-gedi, but were easily defeated as they came up from the gorges to occupy the advantageous field of battle chosen by Jehoshaphat.

George Frederick Wright


en-had’-a (‘en chaddah, "swift fountain"):

A town in the lot of Issachar mentioned along with En-gannim (Jos 19:21).

It is probably identical with Kefr Adan, a village some 3 miles West of Jenin.


en-hak’-o-re, en-hak-o’-re (‘en ha-qore’," spring of the partridge"):

Interpreted (Jud 15:19) as meaning "the spring of him that called." So the Septuagint: pege tou epikaloumenou. The spring was in Lehi but the site is unknown.


en-ha’-zor (‘en chatsor; pege Asor):

A city in the territory of Naphtali mentioned along with Kedesh, Edrei and Iron (Jos 19:37). The ancient name probably survives in that of Hazireh, on the slopes West of Kedesh. "En" however points to a fountain. and no fountain has been found here.





en-rim’-on (‘en-rimmon, "the fountain of Rimmon" (see RIMMON), or perhaps "the spring of the pomegranate"; Eromoth, Rhemmon):

A city of Judah (Jos 15:32), "Ain and Rimmon"; ascribed to Simeon (Jos 19:7; 1Ch 4:32, "Ain, Rimmon"). In Ne 11:29 mentioned as reinhabited after the Captivity. Zec 14:10, runs: "All the land shall be made like the Arabah, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem." It must have been a very southerly place. In the Eusebius, Onomasticon, ("Erimmon") it is described as a "very large village 16 miles South of Eleutheropolis." Kh. Umm er Rumamin, 9 miles North of Beersheba is the usually accepted site. See PEF, 398; Sh XXIV.

E. W. G. Masterman


en-ro’-gel (‘en roghel; pege Rhogel; meaning uncertain, but interpreted by some to mean "the spring of the fuller"):

No argument from this meaning can be valid because

(1) it is a very doubtful rendering and

(2) "fulling" vats are common in the neighborhood of most town springs and are today plentiful at both the proposed sites. G. A. Smith thinks "spring of the current," or "stream," from Syriac rogulo, more probable.

(1) En-rogel was an important landmark on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Jos 15:7; 18:16). Here David’s spies, Jonathan and Ahimaaz, hid themselves (2Sa 17:17), and here (1Ki 1:9) "Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel," when he anticipated his father’s death and caused himself rebelliously to be proclaimed king.

(2) The identification of this important landmark is of first-class importance in Jerusalem topography. Two sites have been proposed:

(a) The older view identifies En-rogel with the spring known variously as "the Virgin’s Fount," ‘Ain sitti Miriam and ‘Ain Umm el deraj, an intermittent source of water which rises in a cave on the West side of the Kedron valley opposite Siloam (see GIHON). The arguments that this is the one Jerusalem spring and that this must have been a very important landmark are inconclusive. The strongest argument for this view is that put forward by M. Clermont-Ganneau, who found that a rough rock surface on the mountain slope opposite, an ascent to the village of Silwan, is known as es Zechweleh, a word in which there certainly appears to linger an echo of Zoheleth. The argument is, however, not as convincing as it seems. Firstly, Zoheleth was a stone; this is a natural rock scarp; such a stone might probably have been transferred from place to place. Secondly, it is quite common for a name to be transferred some miles; instances are numerous. Thirdly, the writer, after frequent inquiries of the fellahin of Silwan, is satisfied that the name is by no means confined to the rock scarp near the spring, but to the whole ridge running along from here to, or almost to, Bir Eyyub itself. The strongest argument against this identification is, however, that there are so much stronger reasons for identifying the "Virgin’s Fount" with Gihon (see GIHON), and that the two springs En-rogel and Gihon cannot be at one site, as is clear from the narrative in 1Ki 1.

(b) The view which places En-rogel at Bir Eyyub in every way harmonizes with the Bible data. It has been objected that the latter is not a spring but a well. It is today a well, 125 ft. deep, but one with an inexhaustible supply—there must be a true spring at the bottom. Probably one reason it only overflows today after periods of heavy rain is that such enormous quantities of debris have now covered the original valley bed that the water cannot rise to the surface; much of it flows away down the valley deep under the present surface. The water is brackish and is impregnated with sewage, which is not extraordinary when we remember that a large part of the rock strata from which the water comes is overlaid by land constantly irrigated with the city’s sewage.

Although the well may itself be of considerable antiquity, there is no need to insist that this is the exact position of the original spring En-rogel. The source may in olden times have arisen at some spot in the valley bottom which is now deeply buried under the rubbish, perhaps under the southernmost of the irrigated gardens of the fellahin of Silwan. The neighborhood, at the junction of two deep valleys—not to count the small el wad, the ancient Tyropceon—is a natural place for a spring. There would appear to have been considerable disturbance here. An enormous amount of debris from various destructions of the city has collected here, but, besides this, Josephus records a tradition which appears to belong to this neighborhood. He says (Ant., IX, x, 4) that an earthquake took place once at Eroge—which appears to be En-rogel—when "half of the mountain broke off from the remainder on the West, and rolling 4 furlongs, came to stand on the eastern mountain till the roads, as well as the .king’s gardens, were blocked." It is sufficient that En-rogel is to be located either at Bir Eyyub or in its immediate neighborhood; for practical purposes the former will do. En-rogel was an important point on the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin. The line passed down the lower end of the Kidron valley, past En- rogel (Bir Eyyub) and then up the Valley of Hinnom (Wady er Rababi)—a boundary well adapted to the natural conditions.

With regard to David’s spies (2Sa 17:17), whereas the Virgin’s Fount—the great source of the city’s water supply (see GIHON)—just below the city walls (see ZION) was an impossible place of hiding, this lower source, out of sight of almost the whole city and removed a considerable distance from its nearest point, was at least a possible place. Further, the facts that it was off the main road, that it afforded a supply of one of the main necessities of life—water—and that there were, as there are today, many natural caves in the neighborhood, greatly added to its suitability.

Here too was a most appropriate place for Adonijah’s plot (1Ki 1:9). He and his confederates dared not go to Gihon, the original sacred spring, but had to content themselves with a spot more secluded, though doubtless still sacred. It is recorded (1Ki 1:40,41) that the adherents of Solomon saluted him at Gihon (the Virgin’s Fount) and the people "rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them. And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him (at En-rogel) heard it as they had made an end of eating." The relative positions of these two springs allow of a vivid reconstruction of the narrative as do no other proposed identifications. The two spots are out of sight the one of the other, but not so far that the shout of a multitude at the one could not be carried to the other.

E. W. G. Masterman


en-she’-mesh (‘en shemesh, "spring of the sun"):

An important landmark on the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin (Jos 15:7; 18:17).

The little spring ‘Ain el chand, East of Bethany, the last spring on the road descending to Jericho, seems to suit the conditions. ‘Ain el chaud is usually called the "Apostles’ Fountain" by Christians, on account of a tradition dating from the 15th century that the apostles drank there.


en-tap’-u-a, en-ta-pu’-a (‘en tappuach; pege Thaphthoth, "apple spring"):

Probably in the land of Tappuah which belonged to Manasseh, although Tappuah, on the border of Manasseh, belonged to Ephraim (Jos 17:7 f). It lay on the border of Ephraim which ran southward East of Shechem, and is probably to be identified with the spring at Yasuf, about 3 miles North of Lebonah.



Only in 1Ti 1:12 (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)) in the sense of "strengthen" (Greek endunamoo, "endue with strength").


e-na’-im (‘enayim, "place of a fountain"; Ainan; Ge 38:14 (the King James Version "in an open place"; Ge 38:21 the King James Version "openly")):

A place which lay between Adullam and Timnath; probably the same as Enam (Jos 15:34). Also mentioned in close connection with Adullam. It was in the Shephelah of Judah. The Talmud (Pesik. Rab. 23) mentions a Kephar Enaim. Conder proposes Khurbet Wady ‘Alin, which is an ancient site, evidently of great strength and importance, lying between Kh. ‘Ain Shems and the village of Deir Aban. The ruins crown a lofty and almost isolated hill; the greatest objection to the identification is that there is no fountain at all in the immediate neighborhood. There may have been one in earlier times. See PEF, III, 128.

E. W. G. Masterman



See preceding article.


e’-nan (‘enan, "having fountains," or "eyes," i.e. "keen-eyed"; in Septuagint Ainan):

The father of Ahira, and prince of Naphtali at the first census of Israel (Nu 1:15; 2:29; 7:78,83; 10:27).


e-nas’-i-bus (Enasibos, APC 1Esdras 9:34):

Corresponding to "Eliashib" in Ezr 10:36.



See WAR.


According to the version of the wanderings of Israel given in Nu 33, they "encamped by the Red Sea" (Nu 33:10) after leaving Elim and before entering the Wilderness of Sin.




The occult arts, either supposedly or pretentiously supernatural, were common to all oriental races. They included enchantment, sorcery, witchcraft, sooth-saying, augury, necromancy, divination in numberless forms, and all kinds of magic article Nine varieties are mentioned in one single passage in the Pentateuch (De 18:10,11); other varieties in many passages both in the Old Testament and New Testament, eg. Le 19:26,31; Isa 2:6; 57:3; Jer 27:9; Mic 5:12; Ac 8:9,11; 13:6,8; Ga 5:20; Re 9:21.

The extent of the magic arts (forbidden under Judaism and Christianity) may incidentally be seen from the fact that the Scriptures alone refer to their being practiced in Chaldea (Da 5:11), Babylon (Eze 21:21), Assyria (2Ki 17:17), Egypt (Ex 7:11), Canaan (Le 18:3,11; 19:26,31), Asia (Ephesus, Ac 19:13,19), Greece (Ac 16:16), Arabia also, as "customs from the East," etc. (Isa 2:6) indicates. These secret arts were prohibited by the laws of Moses (De 18:9-12), inasmuch as they constituted a peculiar temptation to Israel to apostatize. They were a constant incentive to idolatry, clouded the mind with superstition, tended and were closely allied to imposture (Mt 24:24). The term "enchantment" is found only in the Old Testament and its Hebrew originals indicate its varieties.

(1) laTim, and lehaTim "to wrap up," "muffie," "cover," hence, "clandestine," "secret." It was this hidden element that enabled the magicians of Egypt to impose on the credulity of Pharaoh in imitating or reproducing the miracles of Moses and Aaron; "They .... did in like manner with their enchantments" (Ex 7:11,22). Their inability to perform a genuine miracle is shown by Ex 8:18.

(2) nachash, "to hiss," "whisper" referring to the mutterings of sorcerers in their incantations. Used as a derivative noun this Hebrew word means "a serpent." This involves the idea of cunning and subtlety. Although employed in the wider sense of augury or prognostication, its fundamental meaning is divination by serpents. This was the form of enchantment sought by Balaam (Nu 24:1). Its impotence against the people of God is shown by Nu 23:23 m. Shalmaneser forced this forbidden art upon the Israelites whom he carried captive to Assyria (2Ki 17:17). It was also one of the heathen practices introduced during the apostasy under Ahab, against which Elijah protested (compare 1Ki 21:20).

(3) lachash, "to whisper," "mutter," an onomatopoetic word, like the above, in imitation of the hiss of serpents. It is used of the offensive practice of serpent charming referred to in Ec 10:11, and as Delitzsch says, in the place cited., "signifies the whispering of formulas of charming." See also Isa 3:3, "skilful enchanter"; Jer 8:17, "serpents, cockatrices (the Revised Version (British and American) "adders") .... which will not be charmed"; Ps 58:4,5, "the voice of charmers (the Revised Version, margin "enchanters"), charming never so wisely." Ophiomancy, the art of charming serpents, is still practiced in the East.

(4) chebher, "spell," from chabhar, "to bind," hence, "to bind with spells," "fascinate," "charm," descriptive of a species of magic practiced by binding knots. That this method of imposture, eg. the use of the magic knot for exorcism and other purposes, was common, is indicated by the monuments of the East. The moral mischief and uselessness of this and other forms of enchantment are clearly shown in Isa 47:9,12. This word is also used of the charming of serpents (De 18:11; Ps 58:5).

(5) ‘anan, "to cover," "to cloud," hence, "to use covert arts." This form of divination was especially associated with idolatry (so Gesenius, Hebrew Lexicon). Delitzsch, however, in a note on this word (Isa 2:6), doubts the meaning "conceal" and thinks that it signifies rather "to gather auguries from the clouds." He translates it "cloud-interpretive" (Mic 5:12). This view is not generally supported. Rendered "enchanters" (Jer 27:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "soothsayers"; so also in Isa 2:6). Often translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "practice augury," as in Le 19:26; De 18:10,14; 2Ki 21:6; 2Ch 33:6; a form of magical art corresponding in many respects to that of the Greek mantis, who uttered oracles in a state of divine frenzy. Septuagint kledonizomai, i.e. augury through the reading or acceptance of a sign or omen. A kindred form of enchantment is mentioned in the New Testament (2Ti 3:13; Greek goetes, "enchanters," "jugglers," the original indicating that the incantations were uttered in a kind of howl; rendered "seducers" the King James Version, "impostors" the Revised Version (British and American); compare Re 19:20). The New Testament records the names of several magicians who belonged to this class of conscious impostors: Simon Magus (Ac 8:9); Bar-Jesus and Elymas (Ac 13:6,8); the slave girl with the spirit of Python ("divination," Ac 16:16); "vagabond (the Revised Version (British and American) "strolling") Jews, exorcists" (Ac 19:13; compare Lu 11:19); also the magicians of Moses’ day, named Jannes and Jambres (2Ti 3:8).

All these forms of enchantment claimed access through supernatural insight or aid, to the will of the gods and the secrets of the spirit world. In turning away faith and expectation from the living God, they struck a deadly blow at the heart of true religion. From the enchanters of the ancient Orient to the medicine-men of today, all exponents of the "black art" exercise a cruel tyranny over the benighted people, and multitudes of innocent victims perish in body and soul under their subtle impostures. In no respect is the exalted nature of the Hebrew and Christian faiths more clearly seen than in their power to emancipate the human mind and spirit from the mental and moral darkness, the superstition and fear, and the darkening effect of these occult and deadly articles.

For more detailed study see DIVINATION; ASTROLOGY.

Dwight M. Pratt


qets, ‘ephec, kalah; telos, sunteleo:

The end of anything is its termination, hence, also, final object or purpose.

It is the translation of several Hebrew and Greek words, chiefly in the Old Testament of qets (properly, "a cutting off") and other words from the same root (Ge 6:13, "The end of all flesh is come before me"); ‘acharith, "hinder part," is also frequently translated "end" (De 11:12; Ps 37:37,38, American Revised Version: "There is a happy end to the man of peace .... The end of the wicked shall be cut off"; the English Revised Version "latter end" (Ps 37:37), margin "reward" or "future posterity"; Ps 73:17; Jer 5:31); coph (from cuph "to come to an end") is several times translated "end" (2Ch 20:16; Ec 3:11; 7:2). "End" in the sense of purpose is the translation of lema‘an, "to the intent" (Ex 8:22, "to the end thou mayest know"), and of dibhrah (from dabhar, "to speak"); Ec 7:14 "to the end that man should find nothing after him" (the Revised Version (British and American) "should not find out anything (that shall be) after him"). "Ends of the earth" is the translation of ‘ephec, "extremities" (De 33:17; Ps 22:27), also of kanaph, "wing" (Job 37:3; 38:13). Other words are netsah, "utmost" (Job 34:36), tequphah, "circuit," "revolution" (Ex 34:22; 2Ch 24:23, the Revised Version, margin "revolution"), etc. The verb occurs almost invariably in the phrase "to make an end," as the translation of kalah, "to finish," "complete" (Ge 17:3; De 20:9; Jer 26:8, etc.); also of nalah, "to complete" (Isa 33:1), and shalam, "to finish" (Isa 38:12,13).

In Da 9:24, the Iteb text has chatham, "to seal up" ("to complete or finish"), but the margin, followed by the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American), Driver and most moderns, has hathem, "to finish," "end," "complete," a difference of one letter, but practically none in the sense, "to bring to an end"; compare "to finish the transgression," which precedes.

In the New Testament the common word for "end" is telos "an end," "completion," "termination" (Mt 10:22; 24:6; Joh 13:1, the Revised Version, margin "to the uttermost"; Ro 6:21, "The end of those things is death"; Ro 6:22, "the end eternal life; Ro 10:4, Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness"; Re 21:6; Re 22:13, etc.); ekbasis, "outgoing" (Heb 13:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "issue"); sunteleia, "full end," is used of "the end of the world" (Mt 13:39; Heb 9:26); peras, "extremity," "the ends of the world" (Ro 10:18); akros, "a point, end" (Mt 24:31, "from one end of heaven to the other"). End as purpose is the translation of eis to, "with a view to" (Ac 7:19; Ro 1:11; 4:16; 1Th 3:13); of eis touto, "unto this" (Joh 18:37; Ro 14:9; 2Co 2:9); of pros to, "toward this" (Lu 18:1). "To end" (verb) is pleroo, "to fill up" (Lu 7:1; Ac 19:21); once ginomai, "to become" (Joh 13:2, "supper being ended," which the Revised Version (British and American) corrects, giving, "during supper").

For "end" the Revised Version (British and American) has "uttermost part" (Jos 15:8, etc.), "latter end" (Ps 73:17; the English Revised Versionps 37:38; Pr 5:4); "issue" (Da 12:8, margin "latter end"; Heb 13:7); "side" (Eze 41:12). Conversely, it has "end" for "uttermost part" (Jos 15:5); for "side" (De 4:32); for "conclusion" (Ec 12:13); for "an end" (Pr 23:18); "a reward," margin "sequel" or "future," Hebrew "latter end"; "final" (Heb 6:16); for "an end of" (Job 18:2), "snares for" (the American Standard Revised Version "hunt for"); for "at one end" (Jer 51:31), "on every quarter"; for "until the day and night come to an end" (Job 26:10), "unto the confines of light and darkness"; for "have an end" (Lu 22:37), "hath fulfillment," margin, Greek "end"; for "to the end for" (1Pe 1:13), "perfectly on"; "at the end of" for "in these last days" (Heb 1:2); "His end was nigh" for "He died" (Heb 11:22); "its own end," instead of "for himself" (Pr 16:4, margin "his own purpose"); "neither is there any end to" instead of "for thine iniquities are infinite" (Job 22:5); "to this end" for "therefore" (Mr 1:38; 1Ti 4:10); for "for this cause," "to this end" (Joh 18:37 twice), "unto this end" (1Pe 4:6); "to this end" for "for this purpose" (Ac 26:16; 1 Joh 3:8); "to which end" for "wherefore" (2Th 1:11); "to the end" is inserted in Ge 18:19 bis, and several other passages.

For "ends of the earth" see ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 2.

W. L. Walker





Archaic for "damage"; Ezr 4:13 the King James Version: "Thou shalt damage the revenue of the kings," the Revised Version (British and American) "It will be hurtful unto the kings" (Aramaic nezaq);

compare APC 1Esdras 6:33.



The sense of this word has suffered weakening since the time of the King James Version. Then it implied utmost exertion and success; now rather forlorn hope and possible failure. Thus the Revised Version (British and American) reads "giving diligence," "give diligence," for the King James Version "endeavoring," "endeavor," in Eph 4:3; 2Pe 1:15, respectively; but "endeavored" is suffered to remain in 1Th 2:17 (spoudazo, "hasten," "exert oneself"). Compare also Ac 16:10, the King James Version "endeavored," the Revised Version (British and American) "sought" (Greek zeteo, "seek").


end’-i-urnz (shephattayim):

Used once (Eze 40:43 the King James Version) in the margin only. In text, both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "hooks," denoting stalls or places for the fastening of victims for sacrifice, or perhaps the two hearthstones. The term is a corruption from another word similar in form and identity of usage. This word, "andiron," from Middle English, has assumed many peculiar forms, as "anderne," "aundirne," from which the form is doubtless derived, though this is not the original and has no relation to it. the American Revised Version, margin reads, "According to Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) and Syriac, ledges."


end’-les (akatalutos (Heb 7:16), aperantos (1Ti 1:4)):

This English word occurs twice in the New Testament, and is there represented by the two Greek words above noted.

(1) In Heb 7:16 Jesus is said to be a priest "after the power of an endless life." The word means literally, as in the Revised Version, margin, "indissoluble." It is not simply that Christ’s priesthood was eternal. The priesthood was based upon His possession, by nature, of a life which in time and eternity death could not touch. This distinguished Him essentially from priests under the law.

(2) In 1Ti 1:4, Paul warns Timothy against giving heed in his ministry to "fables (muthoi) and endless (limitless) genealogies." The allusion seems to be to the series of emanations (aeons) in Gnostic speculation, to which no limit could be set.

Distinct from the above are the words denoting "everlasting," "eternal," which see.

James Orr


en-dou’, en-du’:

"Endow" meant originally "to provide with a dowry"; "indue" took the meaning "clothe"; the likeness between the literal meanings has confused the metaphorical use of the words in spite of their difference in origin. Thus we find in Ge 30:20, the King James Version "endued me with a good dowry" the Revised Version (British and American) "endowed" (zabhadh, "bestow upon," "endow"); Ex 22:16, the King James Version "endow her to be his wife" the Revised Version (British and American) "pay a dowry for her" mahar, "purchase" "endow"; compare De 22:29; 2Ch 2:12,13, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "endued" with understanding (from yadha‘, "know"); and Lu 24:49, the King James Version "endued with power," the Revised Version (British and American) "clothed" (enduo, "clothe").

F. K. Farr


See ASTRONOMY, sec. III, 2.



Used in the Bible

(1) in the sense of "continue," "last," as in Ps 9:7, "The Lord shall endure for ever" (the American Standard Revised Version "Yahweh sitteth as king forever"); Ps 30:5, "Weeping may endure for a night" (the Revised Version (British and American) "tarry" margin "may come in to lodge at even"); Joh 6:27, "the meat which endureth," the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "the food which abideth";

(2) in the sense of "bear" (Heb 12:20): "bear up under," hardship, persecution, etc. (2Ti 3:11; 1Pe 2:19); "to remain under" (Heb 10:32; 12:2; Jas 1:12; 5:11); "to be strong, firm" (Heb 11:27); "to persevere" beneath a heavy burden (Mt 10:22).


en-e-mes’-ar (Enemessar, Enemessaros):

Generally allowed, since Grotius, to be a corruption, though occasionally defended as an alternative form, of Shalmaneser (APC Tobit 1:2,15, etc.) who carried Israel captive to Nineveh, as related in 2 Ki. Among the captives was Tobit, taken from Thisbe in Gilead, where the prophet Elijah was born and for a time lived. The writer of Tobit makes Sennacherib the son (1 15), as well as the successor of Enemessar, whereas, according to the Assyrian inscriptions, Sennacherib was the son of Sargon. This is only one of several serious historical difficulties in the narrative of Tobit. The corruption of the name is variously explained. Rawlinson supposes the first syllable of the word "Shal" to have been dropped, comparing the Bupalussor of Abydenus for Nabopolassar. Dr. Pinches takes Enemessar for Senemessar, the "sh" being changed to "s" and then to the smooth breathing, though the rough breathing more commonly takes the place of a dropped "s"; both scholars admit the easy transposition of the liquids "m" and "n". Shalman-asharid is the Assyrian form of Shalmaneser.

J. Hutchison


en’-e-mi (’oyebh, tsar, tsar; echthros):

"Enemy," "enemies," are frequent words in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word most often so translated is ‘oyebh, meaning perhaps literally, "one who hates"; very frequent in the Psalms, eg. 3:7; 6:10; 7:5; 8:2; 9:3,1; 13:2, where the cry is often for deliverance from enemies. Another word for "enemy," found chiefly in the poetical books, is tsar, or tsar, "distresser," "straitener" (Nu 10:9; Job 16:9; Ps 27:2,12, the Revised Version (British and American) "adversary," etc.); also tsarar (Es 3:10; Ps 8:2; 10:5 the King James Version, etc.). Other words are ‘ar, "one awake" (1Sa 28:16 the King James Version; Da 4:19 the King James Version); sane’, perhaps, "to be sharp or bite" (Ex 1:10; Pr 25:21; 27:6); sharar, "to watch" (Ps 5:8; 27:11), and qum, "to stand up," or "withstand" (Ex 32:25).

In the New Testament echthros, "enemy," "opponent," is the only word translated "enemy" (Mt 5:43,14; Mr 12:36; Lu 1:71,74, etc.; Ro 5:10; 11:28, etc.), once with anthropos ("a man"), joined to echthros (Mt 13:28).

In the Revised Version (British and American) "adversary" is frequently substituted for "enemy" (Nu 24:8; De 32:41; Ps 6:7; 7:6; 44:10, etc.); for "O thou enemy," etc. (Ps 9:6) we have "The enemy are come to an end"; instead of "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isa 59:19) we have "For he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Yahweh driveth" (with the text of the King James Version in margins); for "The fire of thine enemies shall devour them" (Isa 26:11), "Fire shall devour thine adversaries" (text of the King James Version in the margin).

The frequent reference to enemies in the Old Testament is what we should expect to see in these early times on the part of a people settling in a land that had been occupied by other tribes, worshipping other gods. The spirit of their law was that expressed by our Lord in His Sermon on the Mount, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy." This He changed: "but I say unto you, Love your enemies." An approach toward this spirit had been made in the later prophets by their inclusion of the whole world under one God, who had a gracious purpose toward all, but the near statement of it we only find in Pr 25:21 (quoted by Paul, Ro 12:20). See also Ex 23:4, and compare 2Ki 6:22; 2Ch 28:15.

W. L. Walker


e-ne’-ne-us, en-e-ne-us (Enenios; the King James Version Enenius, the Revised Version, margin "Enenis"):

Occurring only in Apocrypha. According to APC 1Esdras 5:8, Eneneus was one of the 12 leaders over the returning exiles from Babylon under Zerubbabel. Ezr 2 contains the parallel list of the returning leaders but omits Eneneus, giving only 11; but Eneneus corresponds to Nahamani (Ne 7:7).





From ‘arabh, "to pledge," Jer 30:21, the King James Version "Who is this that engaged his heart?"; the Revised Version (British and American) "he that hath had boldness?"; the Revised Version, margin Hebrew "hath been surety for his heart?"


en’-jin (2Ch 26:15; Eze 26:9; APC 1Macc 6:51; 13:43 f).



in’-glish vur’-shunz:


1. Introductory 2. The Bible in Anglo-Saxon and Norman Times 3. John Wycliffe 4. How Far Was the 14th-Century Version Wycliffe’s Work? 5. From Wycliffe to Tyndale 6. William Tyndale 7. Miles Coverdale 8. Matthew’s Bible 9. Richard Taverner 10. The Great Bible (Cranmer’s Bible) 11. Reaction, 1541-57 12. Edward VI 13. Mary 14. The Geneva Bible (the "Breeches Bible") 15. The Bishops’ Bible 16. Rheims and Douai Version 17. The Authorized Version 18. The Apocrypha 19. Further Revisions 20. English Revised Version 21. American Revised Version 22. Has the Revised Version (British and American) Displaced the King James Version? 23. LITERATURE


English Versions of the Scriptures.

1. Introductory:

The battle for vernacular Scripture, the right of a nation to have the sacred writings in its own tongue, was fought and won in England. Ancient VSS, such as the Syriac and the Gothic, were produced to meet obvious requirements of the teacher or the missionary, and met with no opposition from any quarter. The same was the case with the efforts of the Anglo-Saxon church to provide portions of Scripture for the use of the people. Even in later times the Latin church seems to have followed no consistent policy in permitting or forbidding the translation of the Scriptures. In one country the practice was forbidden, in another it was regarded with forbearance or permitted under authority (Addis and Arnold, Catholic Dictionary, London, 1884, article "Bible"); and so it came about that the different nations of Europe came by the inestimable boon of an open Bible in different ways. Germany, for example, after the attempts of numerous translators who seem to have been quite untrammeled in their work owed, under Providence, to the faith, the intrepidity and the genius of Luther the national version which satisfied it for more than three centuries, and, after a recent and essentially conservative revision, satisfies it still. In England, as related below, things took a different course. In the Reformation period the struggle turned mainly on the question of the translation of the Bible.

2. The Bible in Anglo-Saxon and Norman Times:

The clergy and learned men had always of course access to the Scriptures in the Vulgate, a translation of the original Scriptures into Latin completed by Jerome at the very beginning of the 5th century; and from this version—the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.)—practically all further translations were made till the days of Luther. Within a century or little more after the landing of Augustine in England and his settlement at Canterbury (597 AD) Caedmon, a monk of Whitby, produced (670) his metrical version of the Bible, hardly indeed to be reckoned a version of the Scriptures in the ordinary sense, though it paved the way for such. Bede of Jarrow (672-735) translated the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer and, according to the beautiful letter of his pupil, Cuthbert, breathed his last on the completion of his translation of the Gospel of John into the language of the people. Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne in the county of Dorset (died 709), translated the Psalter in another translation with which the name of King Alfred is associated; and the other efforts of that ruler to spread the knowledge of the Scriptures among his people are well known. Notice, too, should be taken of the glosses. "The gloss," says Eadie (English Bible, I, 14, note), "was neither a free nor yet a literal translation, but the interlinear insertion of the vernacular, word against word of the original, so that the order of the former was really irrespective of idiom and usage." The finest example of these is seen in the Lindisfarne Gospels, which were written in Latin about the year 700, and provided with an interlinear translation about 950 by Aldred, the priest. These with a version of a considerable section of the Old Testament by Aelfric, archbishop of Canterbury about the year 990, comprise the main efforts at Bible translation into English before the Norman Conquest. In Anglo-Saxon there is no proof of the existence of any translation of the complete Bible, or even of the complete New Testament. The sectional VSS, moreover, cannot be shown to have had any influence upon succeeding versions. For nearly three centuries after the Conquest the inter-relations of the different sections of the people and the conditions of the language prevented any real literary progress. The period, however, was marked by the appearance of fragmentary translations of Scripture into Norman French. From some Augustinian monastery, too, in the north of the East Midland district of England, about the year 1200, appeared the Ormulum, a curious metrical work of some 20,000 lines, consisting of a paraphrase of the Gospel of the day and an explanatory homily for 32 days of the year. Like the work of Caedmon the monk, it was not exactly Bible translation, but it doubtless prepared the way for such. Three versions of the Psalter, naturally always a favorite portion of Scripture with the translator, are assigned to the first half of Wycliffe’s century. The reformer himself in one of his tracts urges a translation of the Bible to suit the humbler classes of society, on the plea that the upper classes already have their version in French. It was only in the long and splendid reign of Edward III (1327-77), when the two races that had existed in the country since the Conquest were perfectly united, that the predominance of English asserted itself, and the growth of the power and of the mental activity of the people instinctively demanded a new form of expression. The century of Wycliffe, it is to be remembered, was also that of Langland, Gower and Chaucer.

3. John Wycliffe:

Born in Yorkshire about the year 1320, Wycliffe was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, of which he soon became a Fellow and was for a short time Master, resigning the latter position in the year 1361 on his presentation to a living in Lincolnshire. He died at Lutterworth in Leicestcrshire in 1384. It was during the last quarter of his life that he came forward as a friend of the people and as a prolific writer on their behalf. Notwithstanding the external glory of the reign of Edward III, there was much in the ecclesiastical and social circumstances of the time to justify popular discontent. The Pope derived from England alone a revenue larger than that of any prince in Christendom. The nobles resented the extortion and pretensions of the higher clergy; and, according to Green, "the enthusiasm of the Friars, who in the preceding century had preached in praise of poverty, had utterly died away and left a crowd of impudent mendicants behind it." The Black Death, "the most terrible plague the world ever witnessed," fell in the middle of the century and did much further to embitter the already bitter condition of the poor. In France things were no better than in England, and the Turk had settled permanently in Europe. It is not wonderful that Wycliffe began, as is said, his version of the New Testament with the Book of Revelation. With his social teaching the present article is not specially concerned. It probably involved no more than the inculcation of the inherently democratic and leveling doctrines of Christianity, though some of the Lollards, like the Munster peasants in the German Reformation, associated it with dangerous socialistic practice. In any case the application of Christianity to the solution of social problems is not in any age easy to effect in practice. His tracts show (Eadie, I, 59 ff) that it was from what Wycliffe had felt the Bible to be to himself that there sprang his strong desire to make the reading of it possible for his countrymen. To this was due the first English version of the Bible. To this also was likewise due the institution of the order of "poor priests" to spread the knowledge of the Bible as widely as possible throughout the country.

4. How Far Was the 14th-Century Version Wycliffe’s Work?:

There is some uncertainty as to the exact share which Wycliffe had in the production of the 14th century version. The translation of the New Testament was finished about the year 1380 and in 1382 the translation of the entire Bible was completed, the greater part of the Old Testament being the work of Nicholas Hereford, one of the reformer’s most ardent supporters at Oxford. The work was revised on thoroughly sound principles of criticism and interpretation, as these are explained in the prologue to the new edition, by John Purvey, one of Wycliffe’s most intimate friends during the latter part of his life, and finished in 1388. "Other scholars," says Mr. F. G. Kenyon, of the British Museum, "assisted him in his work, and we have no certain means of knowing how much of the translation was actually done by himself. The New Testament is attributed to him, but we cannot say with certainty that it was entirely his own work" (Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, 200, 3rd edition, London, 1898). This entirely corresponds with the position taken up by Forshall and Madden, the editors of the great Oxford edition of Wycliffe’s version issued in 4 large quarto volumes in 1850. That work was undertaken to honor Wycliffe and in some measure to repay England’s indebtedness to the reformer. The editors were men of the first literary rank; they spent 22 years upon this work; and it is recognized as a credit at once to the scholarship and research of Oxford and of England. Its honest and straightforward Introduction answers by anticipation by far the greater part of the criticisms and claims put forth by Dr. Gasquet (Our Old English Bible and Other Essays, London, 1898; 2nd edition, 1908). The claim is made that the work published in Oxford in 1850 is really not Wycliffe’s at all but that of his bitterest opponents, the bishops of the English church who represented the party of Rome. Gasquet’s work on this subject is mainly worthy of notice on account of his meritorious research in other departments of the English Reformation. His arguments and statements are met by Kenyon (op. cit., 204-8). The controversy is further noticed in The Age of Wycliffe, by G. M. Trevelyan (2nd edition, London, 1908), a work which cannot be too highly praised for its deep research, its interesting exposition and its cordial appreciation of the reformer and his works. "Nothing," says Trevelyan (Appendix, 361), "can be more damning than the licenses to particular people to have English Bibles, for they distinctly show that without such licenses it was thought wrong to have them." The age of printing, it is to be remembered, was not yet. The Wycliffe Bible was issued and circulated in copies each of which was written by the hand. About 170 copies of this manuscript Bible are still in existence. They form a striking proof of what England and the world owe to the faith, the courage and the labor of John Wycliffe and his "poor priests."

5. From Wycliffe to Tyndale:

It is a remarkable fact that before the year 1500 most of the countries of Europe had been supplied with a version of the Scriptures printed in the vernacular tongue, while England had nothing but the scattered copies of the Wycliffe manuscript version. Even Caxton, eager as was his search for works to translate and to print, while he supplied priests with service- books, preachers with sermons, and the clerk with the "Golden Legende," left the Scriptures severely alone. Nor was there a printed English version, even of the New Testament, for close on half a century after Caxton’s death, a circumstance largely due to the energy of the Tudor dictatorship and the severity of the Arundelian Constitutions enacted by Convocation at Oxford in the year 1408:against Wycliffe and his work. These enactments forbade "upon pain of the greater excommunication the unauthorized translation of any text of the Scriptures into English or any other tongue by way of a book, pamphlet, treatise or the reading of such." Meanwhile the study of the new learning, including that of the original languages of Scripture, though generally resisted by the clergy, was greatly promoted by the invention of printing.

6. William Tyndale:

Erasmus, perhaps the chief representative name of the new age in the domain of learning, was professor of Greek at Cambridge from 1509 to 1524, and in the 2nd year of his professorship William Tyndale, an Oxford student in the 26th year of his age, migrated to Cambridge to study Greek. Ten years later Tyndale returned to his native county—Gloucestershire—to take up a private tutorship and there formed the determination which became the one fixed aim of his life—to put an English translation, not of the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) but of the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, into the hands of his countrymen. "If God spared him life," he said, "ere many years he would cause a boy that driveth a plow to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope did." Erasmus at Cambridge had uttered a similar aspiration. "He boldly avows his wish for a Bible open and intelligible to all. ....‘ I long for the day when the husbandman shall sing to himself portions of the Scriptures as he follows the plow, when the weaver shall hum them to the time of his shuttle, when thetraveler shall while away with their stories the weariness of his journey’"( Green, History of the English People, 1st edition, 308). In 1522 Tyndale went to London to try to find a patron for his work in Tunstall, bishop of London, who had studied Greek with Latimer at Padua and was one of the most noted humanists of the day. To show himself capable for the work, Tyndale took with him to London a version of a speech of Isocrates. But the Bishop of London’s service was full; and after spending a year with a friendly alderman in London, "at last," he says in the Preface to his Five Books of Moses, "I understood not only that there was no room in my Lord of London’s palace to translate the New Testament, but also that there was no place to do it in all England." He left the country and never returned to it. He spent the remaining twelve years of his life in exile and for the most part in great hardship, sustained by steady labor and by the one hope of his life—the giving to his countrymen of a reliable version of the Holy Scriptures in their own tongue. He went first to Hamburg, and there, as it seems, issued in the year 1524 versions of Mt and Mr separately, with marginal notes. Next year he removed to Cologne, and arranged for the printing of the complete New Testament, the translation of which he accomplished alone, from the study of the Greek text of Erasmus in its original and revised editions and by a comparison of these with the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) and several European vernacular versions which, as already stated, had anticipated that of England. The story of the interruption by Cochlaeus of the actual work of printing, and of his warning the King and Wolsey of the impending invasion of England by Lutheranism, reads like a romance. His interference resulted in the prohibition by the city authorities of the printing of the work and in the sudden flight of Tyndale and his assistant, Joye, who sailed up the Rhine with the precious sheets already printed of their 3,000 quarto edition to Worms, the city of the famous Diet in which Luther four years before had borne his testimony before the Emperor. The place was now Lutheran, and here the work of printing could be carried out in security and at leisure. To baffle his enemies, as it seems, a small octavo edition was first printed without glosses; then the quarto edition was completed. The "pernicious literature" of both editions, without name of the translator, was shipped to England early in 1526; and by 1530 six editions of the New Testament in English (three surreptitiously) were distributed, numbering, it is computed, 15,000 copies. The unfavorable reception of Tyndale’s work by the King and the church authorities may in some measure be accounted for by the excesses which at the moment were associated with the Reformation in Germany, and by the memories of Lollardism in connection with the work of Wycliffe.

So vehement was the opposition at any rate to Tyndale’s work, and so determined the zeal in buying up and burning the book, that of the six editions above mentioned there "remains of the first edition one fragment only; .... of the second one copy, wanting the title-page, and another very imperfect; and of the others, two or three copies which are not however satisfactorily identified" (Westcott, History of the English Bible, 45, London, 1868). Meanwhile Tyndale took to working on the Old Testament. Much discussion has taken place on the question whether he knew Hebrew (see Eadie, I, 209 ff). Tyndale’s own distinct avowal is that it was from the Hebrew direct that such translation of the Old Testament as he accomplished was made. Very early in 1531 he published separately versions of Ge and Deuteronomy, and in the following year the whole of the Pentateuch in one volume, with a preface and marginal glosses. In 1534 appeared the Book of Jon, with a prologue; and in the same year a new version of the New Testament to counteract one made by Joye from the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) This has been described by Westcott (op. cit., 185) as "altogether Tyndale’s noblest monument," mainly on account of its short and pregnant glosses. "Bengel himself is not more terse or pointed." A beautifully illuminated copy of this edition was struck off on vellum and presented to Queen Anne Boleyn; and an edition of his revised New Testament was printed in London—"The first volume of Holy Scripture printed in England"—in 1536, the year of the Queen’s death. Tyndale had for some time lived at Antwerp, enjoying a "considerable yearly exhibition" from the English merchants there; but his enemies in England were numerous, powerful and watchful. In 1534 he was betrayed and arrested; and after an imprisonment of nearly a year and a half at the castle of Vilorde, about 18:miles from Brussels, he was strangled and then burned in 1536, the same year as that of the death of the Queen. The last days of the hero and martyr may have been cheered by the news of the printing of his revised edition of the New Testament in England.

7. Miles Coverdale:

Miles Coverdale, who first gave England a complete and authorized version of the Bible, was a younger contemporary of Tyndale. Tyndale was a year younger than Luther, who was born in 1483, and Coverdale was four years younger than Tyndale. Born in the North Riding of Yorkshire, he found his way to Cambridge at the time when Erasmus was professor of Greek, and appears at an early date—how is not known—to have got into the good graces of Crumwell, the "malleus monachorum," factotum and secretary to Wolsey, and later on the King’s principal abettor in his efforts to render the Church of England thoroughly national, if not to an equal extent Protestant. Adopting the liberal party in the church, he held Lutheran or evangelical views of religion, east off his monastic habit, and, as Bale says, gave himself up wholly to the preaching of the gospel. He is found in 1527 in intimate connection with More and Crumwell and probably from them he received encouragement to proceed with a translation of the Bible. In 1528 he was blamed before Tunstall, bishop of London, as having caused some to desert the mass, the confessional and the worship of images; and seeking safety, he left England for the Continent. He is said by Foxe to have met Tyndale at Hamburg in 1529, and to have given him some help in the translation of the Pentateuch. An uncertainty hangs over Coverdale’s movements from 1529 to 1535, a period during which much was happening that could not fail to be powerfully changing opinion in England.

The result of the Assembly held at Westminster by Warham in May, 1530, and of the Convocation held under his successor, Cranmer, in December, 1534, was that in the latter it was petitioned that "his Majesty would vouchsafe to decree that the sacred Scriptures should be translated into the English tongue by certain honest and learned men, named for that purpose by his Majesty, and should be delivered to the people according to their learning." Crumwell, meanwhile, who had a shrewd forecast of the trend of affairs, seems to have arranged with Coverdale for the printing of his translation. However this may be, by the year 1534 "he was ready, as he was desired, to set forth" (i.e. to print) his translation; and the work was finished in 1535. And thus, "as the harvest springs from the seed which germinates in darkness, so the entire English Bible, translated no one knows where, presented itself, unheralded and unanticipated, at once to national notice in 1535" (Eadie, I, 266). It is declared on the title-page to be "faithfully and truly translated out of Douche and Latyn into Englishe: MDXXXV." Coverdale’s own statements about his work leave the impression that he was a conspicuously honest man. Unlike Tyndale who regarded himself as, in a way, a prophet, with his work as a necessity Divinely laid upon him, Coverdale describes that he had no particular desire to undertake the work—and how he wrought, as it were, in the language of these days, under a committee from whom he took his instructions and who "required-him to use the Douche (i.e. the German) and the Latyn." He claims further to have done the work entirely himself, and he certainly produced a new version of the Old Testament and a revised version of the New Testament. He used, he says, five sundry interpreters of the original languages. These interpreters were, in all probability, the Vulgate, Luther’s version, the Zurich or Swiss-German Bible, the Latin version of Pagninus, and he certainly consulted Tyndale on the Pentateuch and the New Testament. He successfully studied musical effect in his sentences and many of the finest phrases in the King James Version are directly traced to Coverdale. His version of the Psalms is that which is retained and is still in daily use in the ritual of the Church of England. Two new editions of Coverdale’s version were issued in 1537 "with the King’s most gracious license," and after this the English Bible was allowed to circulate freely. Certain changes in the title-page, prefaces and other details are discussed in the works mentioned at the end of this article.

8. Matthew’s Bible:

Convocation meanwhile was not satisfied with Coverdale’s translation, and Coverdale himself in his honest modesty had expressed the hope that an improved translation should follow his own. Accordingly in 1537—probably at the suggestion of, and with some support from, Crumwell and certainly to his satisfaction—a large folio Bible appeared, as edited and dedicated to the King, by Thomas Matthew. This name has, since the days of Foxe, been held to be a pseudonym for John Rogers, the protomartyr of the Marian persecution, a Cambridge graduate who had for some years lived in intimacy with Tyndale at Antwerp, and who became the possessor of his manuscript at his death. Besides the New Testament, Tyndale, as above mentioned, had published translations of the Pentateuch, the Book of Jonah, and portions of the Apocrypha, and had left a manuscript version of Joshua to 2 Chronicles. Rogers, apparently taking all he could find of the work of Tyndale, supplemented this by the work of Coverdale and issued the composite volume with the title, "The Bible, which is all the Holy Scriptures, in which are contayned the Olde and Newe Testaments, truely and purely translated into English by Thomas Matthew. Esaye I, Hearken to, ye heavens, and thou earth, geave eare: for the Lord speaketh. MDXXXVII." After the banning and burning of Tyndale’s New Testament on its arrival in England 11 years before, it is not easy to account for the royal sanction with which the translation appeared. It was probably granted to the united efforts of Cranmer and Crumwell, aided perhaps by the King’s desire to show action independent of the church. The royal sanction, it will be noted, was given in the same year in which it was given to Coverdale’s second edition. That version became the basis of our present Bible. It was on Matthew’s version that for 75 years thereafter all other versions were based.

9. Richard Taverner:

Matthew’s first edition of 1,500 copies was soon exhausted, and a new edition was issued with some revision by Richard Taverner, a cultivated young layman and lawyer who had in his early years been selected by Wolsey for his college at Oxford. He was imprisoned in its cellar for reading Tyndale’s New Testament; but he was soon released for his singular musical accomplishments. He was an excellent Grecian, of good literary taste and of personal dignity. For the Old Testament curiously enough he made, good Grecian as he was, no use of the Septuagint; but throughout aimed successfully at idiomatic expression, as also at compression and vividness. Some of his changes are kept in the King James Version, such as "parables" for "similitudes" and in Mt 24:12, "The love of the many shall wax cold," and others. He also does greater justice to the Greek article. His dedication to the king is manly and dignified and compares most favorably with the dedications of other translators, including that of the King James Version. The book appeared in two editions, folio and quarto, in 1539, and in the same year two editions, folio and quarto, of the New Testament. The Bible and the New Testament were each reprinted once, and his Old Testament was adopted in a Bible of 1551. But with these exceptions Taverner’s version was practically outside of influence on later translations.

10. The Great Bible (Cranmer’s Bible):

The next Bible to appear was named from its size. Its pages are fully 15 inches long and over 9 inches broad. It was meant to be in a way a state edition, and is known as the Great Bible. As sufficiently good type, paper and other requisites could not be found in England, it was resolved that it should be printed in Paris. Coverdale and Grafton, the printer, went to Paris to superintend the printing; but the French church authorities interfered and the presses, types and workmen had to be transferred to London where the work was finished. It was the outcome of the Protestant zeal of Crumwell who wished to improve upon the merely composite volume of Tyndale and Coverdale. Its origin is not very accurately known, and authorities such as Hume, Burnet and Froude have ventured upon statements regarding it, for which there is really no proof (Eadie, I, 356 ff). The duty of editor or reviser was by Crumwell assigned to Coverdale who, as a pliant man and really interested in the improvement of the English version, was quite willing to undertake a work that might supersede his own. The rapidity with which the work was executed and the proofs of the minute care devoted to it by Coverdale may appear remarkable to those who are acquainted with the deliberate and leisurely methods of the large committee that produced the King James Version in the reign of King James or the Revised Version (British and American) in the reign of Queen Victoria. Of course Coverdale had been over all the work before and knew the points at which improvements were to be applied; and a zealous and expert individual can accomplish more than a committee. Luther translated the New Testament and, after revising his work with Melanchthon, had it printed and published in less than a year. The printing of the Great Bible began in May, 1538, and was completed in April, 1539, a handsome folio, printed in black letter, with the title, "The Byble in Englyshe, that is to say, the contents of all the holy scripture, bothe of the olde and newe testament, truly translated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by the dylygent studye of dyverse excellent learned men, expert in the forsayde tongues. Prynted by Rychard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch. Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. 1539." The elaborate notes for which asterisks and various other marks are provided were never supplied; but the actual translation shows devoted attention to the work and much fine appreciation of the original languages and of English. In the New Testament the version derived assistance from the Latin version of Erasmus, and in the Old Testament from Munster and Pagninus. Variations in the text could of course be got from the Complutensian Polyglot. The Great Bible shows considerable improvement upon Tyndale in the New Testament, and upon Coverdale in the Old Testament. "So careful," says Eadie (I, 370), "had been Coverdale’s revision and so little attachment had he to his own previous version, that in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah the Bible of 1539 differs in nearly forty places from his version of 1535." The clergy of course had no love for Crumwell and still less for his work, though to avert clerical prejudices, Coverdale had made concessions in his translation. The work was cordially welcomed by the people, and a copy was ordered to be printed for every parish church, the cost to be paid half by the parson and half by the parishioners. A further revision of this version was carried out by Coverdale for a second edition which appeared in April, 1540, and is known as Cranmer’s Bible, mainly from the judicious and earnest preface which the archbishop wrote for it. "It exhibits a text formed on the same principles as that of 1539, but after a fuller and more thorough revision" (Westcott, 254). Two other editions followed in the same year and three more in the year following (1541).

11. Reaction, 1541-57:

After the publication of the Great Bible (1539-41) no further advance took place for many years. The later years of Henry VIII indeed were marked by serious reaction. In 1542 Convocation with the royal consent made an attempt, fortunately thwarted by Cranmer, to Latinize the English version and to make it in reality what the Romish version of Rheims subsequently became. In the following year Parliament, which then practically meant the King and two or three members of the Privy Council, restricted the use of the English Bible to certain social classes that excluded nine-tenths of the population; and three years later it prohibited the use of everything but the Great Bible. It was probably at this time that there took place the great destruction of all previous work on the English Bible which has rendered examples of that work so scarce. Even Tunstall and Heath were anxious to escape from their responsibility in lending their names to the Great Bible. In the midst of this reaction Henry VIII died, January 28, 1547. 12. Edward VI:

No new work marked the reign of Edward VI, but great activity prevailed in the printing of previous versions Thirty-five New Testaments and thirteen Bibles were published during his reign of six years and a half; and injunctions were issued urging every person to read "the very lively Word of God" and for a copy of the Great Bible with the English paraphrase of Erasmus to be set up in every church. By royal order a New Testament was to be sold for 22nd, a sum representing as many shillings of present value.

13. Mary:

Less repressive work regarding the translation and diffusion of Scripture than might have been expected occurred in the reign of Mary, though in other directions the reaction was severe enough. According to Lord Burghley, during the three years and nine months of Mary’s reign, the number of 400 persons perished—men, women, maidens and children—by imprisonment, torment, famine and fire. Among the martyrs were Cranmer and Rogers; Coverdale escaped martyrdom only by exile and the powerful intervention of the king of Denmark. The copies of the Bibles in the churches were of course burned; and—though individual translations were not specified—proclamations were issued against certain books and authors. Still the books were not, as formerly, bought up and confiscated; and so the activity of Edward’s reign in the production of Bibles left copies widely distributed throughout the country at the close of Mary’s reign. At this time a New Testament was printed at Geneva which had great influence upon future versions of the Bible.

14. The Geneva Bible (the Breeches Bible):

This New Testament was issued in 1557 and was most probably the work of West Whittingham, an English exile who had married Calvin’s sister. It was translated from the Greek and compared carefully with other versions It had also a marginal commentary which was more complete than anything similar that had yet appeared in England; and it was the first translation that was printed in roman letter and in which chapters were divided into verses. Calvin wrote for it an introductory epistle, and it had also an address by the reviser himself. A few months after its publication the more serious task of the revision of the whole Bible was begun and continued for the space of two years and more, the translators working at it "day and night." Who the translators were is not said; but Whittingham, probably with Gilby and Sampson, stayed at Geneva for a year and a half after Elizabeth came to the throne, and saw the work through. It was finished in 1560, and in a dignified preface was dedicated to Elizabeth. The cost was met by members of the Congregation at Geneva, among whom was John Bodley, father of the founder of the great library at Oxford. Its handy form—a modest quarto—along with its vigorously expressed commentary, made it popular even with people who objected to its source and the occasional Calvinistic tinge of its doctrines. It became and remained the popular edition for nearly three- quarters of a century. The causes of its popularity are explained in Westcott, 125 f. Bodley had received the patent for its publication; and upon his asking for an extension of the patent for twelve years, the request was generously granted by Archbishop Parker and Grindly, bishop of London, though the Bishops’ Bible was already begun.

The "Breeches Bible."

The Geneva version is often called the "Breeches Bible" from its translation of Ge 3:7: "They sewed figleaves together, and made themselves breeches." This translation, however, is not peculiar to the Genevan version. It is the translation of perizomata in both the Wycliffe VSS; it is also found in Caxton’s version of the "Golden Legende."

15. The Bishops’ Bible:

Queen Elizabeth, the beginning of whose reign was beset with great difficulties, restored the arrangements of Edward VI. A copy of the Great Bible was required to be provided in every church, and every encouragement was given to the reading of the Scriptures. The defects of the Great Bible were admitted, and were the not unnatural result of the haste with which—notwithstanding its two revisions—it had been produced. These became more apparent when set beside the Geneva version, which, however, the archbishop and clergy could hardly be expected to receive with enthusiasm, as they had had nothing to do with its origin and had no control over its renderings and marginal notes. Archbishop Parker, moreover, who had an inclination to Biblical studies, had at the same time a passion for uniformity; and probably to this combination of circumstances may be traced the origin of the Bishops’ Bible. Parker superintended the work, which was begun in 1563-64; he was aided by eight bishops—from whom the version received its name—and other scholars. It appeared in a magnificent volume in 1568, without a word of flattery, but with a preface in which the revisers express a lofty consciousness of the importance of their work. It was published in 1568: cum privilegio regiae Majestatis. A revised and in many places corrected edition was issued in 1572, and another in 1575, the year of the archbishop’s death. The general aim of the version is a quaint literality, but along with this is found the use of not a few explanatory words and phrases not found in the original text. More exact notice also than in previous versions is taken of the use of the Greek article and of the particles and conjunctions. It bears marks, however, of the hand of the individual translators by whom the work was done; and of the want of the revision of each translator’s work by the rest, and of some general revision of the whole. The Genevan version was the work of collegiate labor, to which much of its superiority is due. Though Parker did not object to the circulation of the Genevan version, Convocation after his death made some unsuccessful attempts to popularize the Bishops’ Bible; but the Genevan translation was not easily thrust aside. "It grew," says Eadie (II, 35), "to be in greater demand than the Bishops’ or Cranmer’s. Ninety editions of it were published in the reign of Elizabeth, as against forty of all the other versions Of Bibles, as distinct from New Testaments, there were twenty-five editions of Cranmer’s and the Bishops’, but sixty of the Genevan."

16. Rheims and Douai Version:

The production of an official version of the sacred Scriptures for English Roman Catholics was probably due more to rivalry with the Reformers than to any great zeal of the authorities of the Roman church for the spread of vernacular Scripture; though, according to the Arundelian Constitution above mentioned, it was only to the printing and reading of unauthorized translations that objection was then taken by the Roman authorities. But if there was to be a special version for Catholics, it was clearly reasonable that the work should be done by Catholics and accompanied by Catholic explanations. This was undertaken by some English Catholic scholars who, on the success of the Reformation in England, had left the country and settled at Douai in the Northeast of France, with a short transference of their seminary to Rheims. The version was probably produced under the influence of (Cardinal) Allen and an Oxford scholar, Gregory Martin. It was made from the Vulgate, the Bible of Jerome and Augustine, and not, like the Protestant VSS, from the Hebrew and Greek originals. The New Testament was issued from Rheims in 1582 and the Old Testament from Douai in 1609. The main objection to the version is the too close adherence of the translators to the words of the original and the too great Latinizing of the English, so that their translation "needs," as Fuller said, "to be translated." Still they have a few words which along with a few Latinisms were adopted by the translators of the King James Version, such as "upbraideth not," "bridleth his tongue," at his own charges, and others; and they have the special merit of preserving uniformity of rendering. The translation met with no great success and the circulation was not large.

17. The Authorized Version:

The King James Version owed its origin to a chance remark regarding mistranslations in the existing versions made at the Hampton Court Conference, a meeting of bishops and Puritan clergy held (1604) in the interest of religious toleration before James was actually crowned. The meeting was ineffectual in all points raised by the Puritans, but it led to the production of the English Bible. Dr. Reynolds, president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, probably with some reference to the rivalry between the Bishops’ Bible and the Genevan version, remarked on the imperfections of the current Bibles. The remark was not very enthusiastically received except by the King, who caught eagerly at the suggestion of a fresh version, "professing that he could never yet see a Bible well translated in English," and blaming specially the Genevan version, probably on account of the pointed character of its marginal notes. Probably with the aid of the universities, the King without delay nominated the revisers to the number of fifty-four from among the best Hebrew and Greek scholars of the day. Only 47 actually took part in the work which, however—officially at least—they were in no hurry to begin; for, although named in 1604 and with all the preliminaries arranged before the end of that year, they did not begin their work till 1607. Their remuneration was to be by church preferment, for which the archbishop was to take measures. The immediate expenses, the King suggested, should be supplied by the bishops and chapters who, however, did not respond. "King James’ version never cost King James a farthing," says Eadie (II, 153 f), who here gives some interesting information on this aspect of the revision. They wrought in six companies of which two met respectively in Westminster, Cambridge and Oxford. Elaborate rules, given in full in most histories of the Bible, were laid down for the revisers’ guidance, the King being particularly insistent upon Rule 9, which provided for the revision of the work of each Company by the rest. When any Company had finished the revision of a book, it was to be sent to all the rest for their criticism and suggestions, ultimate differences of opinion to be settled at a general meeting of each Company. Learned men outside the board of revisers were to be invited to give their opinions in cases of special difficulty.

18. The Apocrypha:

One of the Cambridge Companies was specially appointed to revise the Apocrypha, in which considerable license was taken, as the seven members composing the Company had probably no very firm belief in the inspiration of its books. The marginal notes, too, are freer in character than those of the Old Testament. By the early translators, Tyndale and Coverdale, the Apocrypha was simply accepted as part of the heritage of the church; it had a place likewise in the Great Bible, the Bishops’ Bible and most even of the Gentvan copies. But by the middle of the 17th century opinion even in the Church of England had changed regarding it, and it was about this time that Bibles began to be printed having the canonical books only. The Apocrypha is now hardly at all printed otherwise than separately (note also should be taken of the treatment of the Apocrypha in the Revised Version (British and American), as stated below).

Impressed with the importance of their task, the revisers worked strenuously at it for two years; and nine months more were devoted to revision by a special committee consisting of two members from each center, and in 1611 the result of the work appeared. It is not wonderful that the work was described by a contemporary entitled to give a judgment on it (Selden, Table Talk) as "the best translation in the world"—a verdict that later opinion has abundantly ratified. It was the copestone of a work on which 90 years of solid labor had by different hands been expended, and it was done by half a hundred of the foremost scholars of the day who knew Hebrew and Greek, and who also knew English For three centuries it has grown in popular esteem, and it is justly regarded as one of the best possessions and one of the most unifying influences of the widely scattered English-speaking race.

On the title-page as issued in 1611 the version is described as "newly translated out of the original tongues" and as "appointed to be read in churches," two statements not easy to reconcile with the actual facts. The first rule for the revisers’ guidance provided that the work was to consist in a revision of the Bishops’ Bible: it was not said that it was to be a new translation. There is, further, no sanction of the version by King, Parliament, Convocation or Privy Council. Like Jerome’s version twelve centuries before, it was left to find acceptance as best it might by its own intrinsic merit.

19. Further Revisions:

Already in the days of the Commonwealth proposals were made for a new version; but though several meetings were held of a committee appointed by Parliament for the purpose in 1657, nothing came of the movement (Lewis, History of Translations, 354). For nearly half a century the chief rival of the King James Version was the Geneva Bible which was in wide private use. Formal revision was not undertaken again till the reign of Queen Victoria. But between 1611 and the date of the recent revision not a few small alterations had been silently introduced into the King James Version, as was indeed only to be expected if the changes in the orthography of the language were to be correctly represented on the printed page. Advancing literary criticism, too, and minute linguistic study showed that since the days of the revisers many words had changed their meaning, and that verbal inaccuracies and a few less venial errors could be proved in the revisers’ work. But what probably weighed most with scholars in inducing them to enter upon a new version was the extraordinary increase that since the last revision had taken place in our knowledge of the Hebrew text and more especially of the Greek text of Scripture. Important manuscripts had been brought to light of which the 17th-century revisers knew nothing, and scholars had with minute care examined and compared all the early copies of the Scripture studies which, without altering the main import of the gospel story, were shown to have considerable importance on the actual words’ and sometimes on the meaning of the text. After much discussion of the subject in special volumes and in the leading magazines and reviews of Britain and America, there was a general agreement among scholars that a fresh version was advisable.

20. English Revised Version:

The history of the English revision is given at length in the preface to the English Revised Version of the New Testament. It originated with the Convocation of Canterbury of the Church of England in the year 1870, when a committee of 16 members was appointed with power to add to its numbers. By this committee invitations to join it were issued to the outstanding Hebrew and Greek scholars of the country, irrespective of religious denomination, and eventually two Companies were formed, one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament, consisting each of 27 members, in which all the churches of the country were represented, the Roman Catholics alone excepted, and Dr. Newman had been invited to join the New Testament committee. The churches of America were also invited to cooperate, and this they did by forming two Companies corresponding to the British with due provision for the mutual comparison of results and suggestions. Where the suggestions from America were not accepted by the British revisers, they were recorded in an appendix to the published volume. The names of the revisers and the rules and principles laid down for the procedure of both Companies will be found in Eadie (II, 481 ff). The New Testament was published in May, 1881; the work occupied the Company for about 40 days in each year for 10 years. The Old Testament revision occupied the Company for 792 days in a period of 14 years. The entire Bible was published in May, 1885. It did not include the Apocrypha, a revision of which was issued separately in 1895.

21. American Revised Version:

This was undertaken, not by Convocation, but by the University Presses, a special Company being formed for the purpose from the Old Testament and New Testament Companies. For AMERICAN REVISED VERSION see separate article.


22. Has the Revised Version (British and American) Displaced the American Version?:

The Revised Version (British and American) has been before the English-speaking world for a quarter of a century and it can hardly be said with safety that it has as yet made any progress in displacing the King James Version in public esteem. Of course as much could be said for the King James Version in its day. It was very slow in gaining acceptance with the people: and yet unreasoning affection for its very words and phraseology is now one of the main obstacles to the acceptance of an admittedly more scientifically based original text and a more correct and not displeasing rendering of the same. A large number of the changes are certainly not such as appeal strongly to popular sympathy. "The Greek text of the New Testament of 1881 has been estimated to differ from that of 1611 in no less than 5,788: readings, of which about a quarter are held notably to modify the subject-matter; though even of these only a small proportion can be considered as of first-rate importance" (Kenyon, 239). On the other hand Hebrew, and especially the cognate Semitic languages, are now a great deal better known than before 1611, and considerable improvement is noticeable in the bringing out of the meaning in the poetical and prophetical books. The Revised Version (British and American) contains the best results of the scholarship of the Victorian age and cannot fail to be regarded as of the greatest utility to the reader and student of the King James Version. In the religious life the mind is essentially conservative, and nothing but time will show whether the undoubted merits of the Revised Version (British and American) are such as to outweigh the claims of sentiment and affection with which the King James Version is held.



Perhaps the most complete work on the subject in all its aspects is that by Dr. John Eadie, The English Bible: an External and Critical History of the Various English Translations of Scripture, 1876. Eadie was himself one of the revisers of 1870, and some of his concluding chapters contain "Remarks on the Need of Revision of the English New Testament." He is also highly appreciative but judiciously critical of his predecessors in the same field, eg. of Lewis, Complete History of Several Translations of the Holy Bible and New Testament into English, 1731, 1818; and Christopher Anderson, The Annals of the English Bible, 2 volumes, 1845, 1 volume rev. edition, 1862. An earlier and also very good book is Westcott’s General View of the History of the English Bible, 1868. Westcott was also one of the revisers of 1870 and criticizes the work of the various translators as well as narrates the succession of the translations. A good discussion of the internal history of the text will also be found in the History of the English Bible by Dr. Moulton, another of the revisers. Kenyon, Our Bible and Ancient manuscripts, 1895, considers specially the text on which the successive English versions were based. He writes judiciously also on the Wycliffe period and on the Revised Version (British and American). The Wycliffe period should also be studied in Forshall and Madden, 4 volumes, 4to, Oxford, 1850; England in the Age of Wycliffe, by G. M. Trevelyan; Dr. Gasquet’s Our Old English Bible and Other Essays, 1908; and Lechler’s John Wycliffe and His English Precursors, translated and edited by Lorimer. For the Reformation period generally Foxe’s History of the Ac and Monuments of the Church still deserves to be studied. "Foxe’s story is doubtless substantially true, although disfigured by credulity and bitter prejudice." For Tyndale’s special work see William Tyndale, a Biography, by R. Demaus, new edition by Lovett, 1886; and Fry’s Bibliographical Descriptions of the Editions of the New Testament, Tyndale’s Version in English Fry has also written special works on the Great Bible, Cranmer’s Bible and the Genevan Version. The King James Version is very fully described in the works above mentioned, and in this connection notice is due to Scrivener, The Authorised Edition of the English Bible, 1884, and more especially to his careful and thorough "Introduction" to the Quarto Paragraph Bible, 1873. More popular histories of the Bible are those of Stoughton, Pattison, 1874, and Professor Milligan of Glasgow, 1895. General histories of England and of English literature may also be profitably consulted on the history of the Bible and its translation into the vernacular, such as those of Hume, Burnet, Hallam, Froude, Green and Gardiner. The revision of the King James Version called forth a large literature, either in the way of preparation for it or of criticism of it when carried through. To this literature many of the revisers themselves contributed, among whom may be mentioned Eadie, Ellicott, Westcott, Humphry, Newth and Kennedy; nor should the important contributions of Archbishop Trench and Dean Alford, though of a slightly earlier generation, be overlooked. The American revisers also republished a series of Essays written by some of their number on Biblical Revision: Its Necessity and Purpose, 1879; and account should be taken also of the Documentary History of the American Committee on Revision prepared by that committee for the use of its members.

J. Hutchison


en-graft’ (Jas 1:21 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) IMPLANT).









Its usual sense is "to impose something," as a command, a charge or a direction. In this last sense it is used in Job 36:23, i.e. "Who hath directed?" In Es 9:31 it means "to command"; in Phm 1:8, "to order" or "direct."


en-larj’, en-larj’-ment:

"To enlarge" is very frequently used figuratively: "God enlarge Japheth" (Ge 9:27), i.e. "make him a great nation"; or "Thou hast enlarged my steps under me" (2Sa 22:37), i.e. "Thou hast given me success." A very peculiar use of "enlarge" is found in the King James Version Ps 4:1: "Thou hast enlarged me" (the Revised Version (British and American) "set me at large"), i.e. "Thou hast given me freedom, deliverance from distress." "Our heart is enlarged" (platuno; 2Co 6:11), and "Be ye also enlarged" (2Co 6:13), express great love of one party to another. See also 1Sa 2:1, "My mouth is enlarged," i.e. "full of praise." Eze 41:7, "were broader" (the King James Version "an enlarging").

Enlargement, the King James Version, Es 4:14 from rawach, "to enlarge," "to respite," is rendered "relief" by the Revised Version (British and American) in better harmony with "deliverance" with which the word is paired.

A. L. Breslich



(1) ‘or, "illumination" in every sense, used in the ordinary sense of giving natural light (Ps 97:4 the King James Version; see also Ezr 9:8) or as a sign of health and vigor (1Sa 14:27,29). "His eyes were enlightened," literally, "became bright." He had become weary and faint with the day’s exertions and anxieties, and now recovers (see Job 33:30 and compare Ps 13:3). Thus in sickness and grief, the eyes are dull and heavy; dying eyes are glazed; but health and joy render them bright and sparkling, as with a light from within.

(2) In Ps 18:28 the King James Version, The word naghah, figuratively describes the believer’s deliverance from the gloom of adversity and the restoration of joy in the knowledge of God.

(3) Most frequently the terms so translated mean the giving of spiritual light to the soul (Ps 19:8; Eph 1:18, photizo; Heb 6:4; 10:32). This spiritual enlightening the Spirit of God brings about through the Divine word (Ps 119:130; 2Ti 3:15; 2Pe 1:19). Sin mars the intellectual discernment; "but he that is spiritual discerneth all things" (1Co 2:15 King James Version, margin).

M. O. Evans


en’-mi-ti (’ebhah; echthra):

"Enmity" (hate) occurs as the translation of ‘ebhah in Ge 3:15, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed," and in Nu 35:21,22, where the absence of enmity on the part of the man-slayer modifies the judgment to be passed on him.

In the New Testament "enmity" is the translation of echthra: Lu 23:12; Ro 8:7, "The mind of the flesh is enmity against God." Jas 4:4, "The friendship of the world is enmity with God" (because "the world" is preferred to God); in Eph 2:15,16, Christ is said to have "abolished in his flesh the enmity," by His cross to have "slain the enmity," that is, the opposition between Jew and Gentile, creating in Himself "one new man, (so) making peace."


W. L. Walker


en’-a-tan (Ennatan; the King James Version Eunatan (a misprint)):

One of Ezra’s messengers to fetch Levites for the temple service (APC 1Esdras 8:44); called "Elnathan" in Ezr 8:16.


e’-nok (chanokh, "initiated"; Henoch):

(1) The eldest son of Cain (Ge 4:17,18).

(2) The son of Jared and father of Methuselah, seventh in descent from Adam in the line of Seth (Jude 1:14). He is said (Ge 5:23) to have lived 365 years, but the brief record of his life is comprised in the words, "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Ge 5:24). The expression "walked with God" denotes a devout life, lived in close communion with God, while the reference to his end has always been understood, as by the writer of He, to mean, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him" (Heb 11:5).

See further, APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, sec. II, i, 1.

A. C. Grant


In Ge 4:17 it is narrated that Cain, who had taken up his abode in the land of Nod, East of Eden (verse 16), built there a city, and called it after the name of his firstborn son Enoch. It is impossible to fix more definitely the locality of this first of cities, recorded, as Delitzsch says (Genesis, in the place cited.), as registering an advance in civilization. The "city" would be a very simple affair, a place of protection for himself, wife and household, perhaps connected with the fear spoken of in Ge 4:14.













The marginal rendering in the King James Version of Ho 6:9 for "lewdness," and in the Revised Version (British and American) of Le 18:17; 19:29; 20:14 for "wickedness." In each case it is the translation of zimmah, meaning originally, "thought" or "plot," mostly in a bad sense, lewdness, wickedness; in Le it is unnatural wickedness—incest.


e’-nos, e’-nosh (’enosh, "mortal"; ‘Enos):

In the New Testament (the Revised Version (British and American) and the King James Version) and the Old Testament (the King James Version except 1Ch 1:1), the form is Enos; in the Old Testament (the Revised Version (British and American) and 1Ch 1:1 the King James Version), the form is Enosh. The son of Seth and grandson of Adam (Ge 4:26; 5:6 ff; 1Ch 1:1; Lu 3:38). Enosh denotes man as frail and mortal. With Enosh a new religious development began, for "then began men to call upon the name of Yahweh" (Ge 4:26). There seems to be an implied contrast to Ge 4:17 ff which records a development in another department of life, represented by Enoch the son of Cain.

S. F. Hunter



This is an Old English word now obsolescent. It is common in the King James Version. In the American Standard Revised Version it is nearly always replaced by the more modern "inquire," a few times by "seek" and "ask," once by "salute" (1Ch 18:10). With this one exception in the Old Testament the change does not affect the meaning. In Ac 23:15, "enquire something more perfectly" is substituted by "judge more exactly." In Mt 10:11, "search out" replaces it. In Mt 2:7,16, "learned exactly" replaces "inquired diligently."













Synonymous with "to pursue," "ensue" is found in 1Pe 3:11 the King James Version as a translation of dioko, "to follow after," "to pursue."

Also in APC Judith 9:5, "such as ensued after" (ta metepeita, "the things that follow").



Found but 5 times in the Scriptures (the King James Version), once in the Old Testament, yet most significant as illustrating the process of mental, moral and spiritual confusion and enslavement.

(1) Physical:

Used of physical entanglement, as in the mazes of a labyrinth (bukh, to involve, "be perplexed"). At Moses’ command the children of Israel, before crossing the Red Sea, took the wrong way in order to give Pharaoh the impression that they were lost in the wilderness and cause him to say "They are entangled in the land" (Ex 14:3).

(2) Mental:

pagideuo, "to entrap," "ensnare," with words, as birds are caught in a snare; compare Ec 9:12. The Pharisees sought to "entangle" (the Revised Version (British and American) "ensnare") Jesus in His talk (Mt 22:15).

(3) Moral:

‘empleko, "to inweave," hence, intertwine and involve. "A god soldier of Jesus Christ," says Paul, does not "entangle himself," i.e. become involved, "in the affairs of this life" (2Ti 2:4). Having "escaped the defilements of the world," Christians are not to be "again entangled therein" (2Pe 2:20).

(4) Spiritual:

enecho, "to hold in," hence, to hold captive, as a slave in fetters or under a burden. Having experienced spiritual emancipation, freedom, through Christ from bondage to sin and false religion (Ga 5:1; compare Ga 4:8), the Gentiles were not to become "entangled again in a yoke of bondage" by submission to mere legal requirements, as the external rite of circumcision.

With reference to the thoroughness and irresistibleness of God’s judgments, we read in Na 1:10, "For entangled like thorns" (the King James Version "while they be folden together as thorns"), damp, closely packed and intertwined, "they are consumed utterly as dry stubble" (the King James Version "devoured as stubble fully dry").

Dwight M. Pratt





en’-vi (qin’ah; zelos, phthonos):

"Envy," from Latin in, "against," and video, "to look," "to look with ill-will," etc., toward another, is an evil strongly condemned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is to be distinguished from jealousy. "We are jealous of our own; we are envious of another man’s possessions. Jealousy fears to lose what it has; envy is pained at seeing another have" (Crabb’s English Synonyms). In the Old Testament it is the translation of qin’ah from kana’," to redden," "to glow" (Job 5:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy," margin "indignation"; in Isa 26:11 the Revised Version (British and American) renders "see thy zeal for the people"; Pr 27:4, etc.); the verb occurs in Ge 26:14, etc.; Nu 11:29 the King James Version; Ps 106:16; Pr 3:31, etc.; in the New Testament it is the translation of phthonos, "envy" (Mt 27:18; Ro 1:29; Ga 5:21, "envyings," etc.); of zelos, "zeal", "jealousy," "envy" (Ac 13:45), translated "envying," the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy" (Ro 13:13; 1Co 3:3; 2Co 12:20; Jas 3:14,16); the verb phthoneo occurs in Ga 5:26; zeloo in Ac 7:9; 17:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "moved with jealousy"; 1Co 13:4, "charity (the Revised Version (British and American) "love") envieth not."

The power of envy is stated in Pr 27:4: "Who is able to stand before envy?" (the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy"); its evil effects are depicted in Job 5:2 (the Revised Version (British and American) "jealousy"), in Pr 14:30 (the Revised Version, margin "jealousy"); it led to the crucifixion of Christ (Mt 27:18; Mr 15:10); it is one of "the works of the flesh" (Ga 5:21; compare Ro 1:29; 1Ti 6:4); Christian believers are earnestly warned against it (Ro 13:13 the King James Version; 1Co 3:3 the King James Version; Ga 5:26; 1Pe 2:1). In Jas 4:5 "envy" is used in a good sense, akin to the jealousy ascribed to God. Where the King James Version has "The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy," the Revised Version (British and American) reads "Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?"; the American Revised Version, margin "The spirit which he made to dwell in us he yearneth for even unto jealous envy"; compare Jer 3:14; Ho 2:19 f; or the English Revised Version, margin "That spirit which he made to dwell in us yearneth (for us) even unto jealous envy." This last seems to give the sense; compare "Ye adulteresses" (Ho 2:4), the American Revised Version, margin "That is, who break your marriage vow to God."

W. L. Walker


ep-e’-ne-tus (Epainetos, "praised"):

One of the Christians at Rome to whom greetings are sent by Paul (Ro 16:5). All that is known of him is told here. Paul describes him as

(1) "my beloved,"

(2) "who is the firstfruits of Asia unto Christ."

Textus Receptus of the New Testament has "firstfruits of Achaia" but this wrong reading is due to 1Co 16:15. He was one of the first Christians in the Roman province of Asia.

This salutation brings up the question of the destination of Ro 16:3-16, for it is argued that they are addressed to the church in Ephesus owing to the fact that Prisca and Aquila and Epenetus are known to have dwelt in Asia. On the other hand, there are more than 20 others in this list who are not known to have spent any time in Asia. Prisca and Aquila had once dwelt in Rome (Ac 18:2), and there is nothing unusual in an Ephesian dwelling in the capital of the empire. An interesting discovery was made in Rome of an inscription in which was the name of Epenetus, an Ephesian.

S. F. Hunter


ep’-a-fras (Epaphras):

A contracted form of Epaphroditus. He must not, however, be confounded with the messenger of the Philippian community. He was with Paul during a part of his 1st Roman imprisonment, joining in Paul’s greetings to Philemon (Phm 1:23). Epaphras was the missionary by whose instrumentality the Colossians had been converted to Christianity (Col 1:7), and probably the other churches of the Lycus had been founded by him. In sending his salutation to the Colossians Paul testified, "He hath much labor for you, and for them in Laodicea, and for them in Hierapolis" (Col 4:13). Epaphras had brought to Paul good news of the progress of the gospel, of their "faith in Christ Jesus" and of their love toward all the saints (Col 1:4). Paul’s regard for him is shown by his designating him "our beloved fellow-servant," "a faithful minister of Christ" (Col 1:7), and "a bondservant of Christ Jesus" (Col 4:12 margin) . The last designation Paul uses several times of himself, but only once of another besides Epaphras (Php 1:1).

S. F. Hunter


e-paf-ro-di’-tus (Epaphroditos, "lovely"):

Mentioned only in Php 2:25; 4:18. The name corresponds to the Latin Venustus (= handsome), and was very common in the Roman period. "The name occurs very frequently in inscriptions both Greek and Latin, whether at full length Epaphroditus, or in its contracted form Epaphras" (Lightfoot, Philippians, 123). Epaphroditus was the delegate of the Christian community at Philippi, sent with their gift to Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. Paul calls him "my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier." "The three words are arranged in an ascending scale: common sympathy, common work, common danger and toil and suffering" (Lightfoot, l. c.). On his arrival at Rome, Epaphroditus devoted himself to "the work of Christ," both as Paul’s attendant and as his assistant in missionary work. So assiduously did he labor that he lost his health, and "was sick nigh unto death." He recovered, however, and Paul sent him back to Philippi with this letter to quiet the alarm of his friends, who had heard of his serious illness. Paul besought for him that the church should receive him with joy and hold him in honor.

S. F. Hunter


e’-fa ‘ephah, "darkness"; Gephar (Ge 25:4), Gaipha (Isa 60:6):

The name of three persons in the Old Testament, both masculine and feminine

(1) The son of Midian, descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah (Ge 25:4; 1Ch 1:33), mentioned again in Isa 60:6 as a transporter of gold and frankincense from Sheba, who shall thus bring enlargement to Judah and praise to Yahweh. According to Fried. Delitzsch, Schrader, and Hommel, ‘Ephah is an abbreviation of ‘Ayappa, the Kha-yappa Arabs of the time of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon. See treatment of this view in Dillmann’s Commentary on Ge (Ge 25:4).

(2) A concubine of Caleb (1Ch 2:46).

(3) The son of Jahdai, a descendant of Judah (1Ch 2:47).

Charles B. Williams


e’-fa (’ephah):

A dry measure of about one bushel capacity. It corresponds to the bath in liquid measure and was the standard for measuring grain and similar articles since it is classed with balances and weights (Le 19:36; Am 8:5) in the injunctions regarding just dealing in trade. In Zec 5:6-10 it is used for the utensil itself.



e’-fi, e’-fa-i (‘ephay, in Qere, ‘ophai, in Kethibh; Iophe, Ophe, "gloomy," "obscuring," in the Septuagint, Septuagint):

"The Netophathite," whose sons were numbered among "the captains of the forces" left in Judah after the carrying away to Babylon (Jer 40 Jer 47). His sons assembled at Mizpah with Gedaliah, governor of the scattered Jews, and with him were slain by Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah (Jet 41:3).


e’-fer ‘epher, "calf," "young deer"; Apher, Opher:

(1) The second son of Midian, descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah (Ge 25:4; 1Ch 1:33). See further Dillmann’s Commentary on Genesis (Ge 25:4).

(2) The third son of Ezra, descended from the tribe of Judah (1Ch 4:17).

(3) The first of five heads of their fathers’ houses, "mighty men of valor, famous men," in the halftribe of Manasseh, who dwelt between Bashan and Mt. Hermon (1Ch 5:23,14).


e-fes-dam’-im (’ephec dammim):

Some spot between Socoh and Azekah (1Sa 17:1) where the Philistines were encamped; called in 1Ch 11:13, "Pas- dammin." Ephes" end of" or "boundary" and the whole word may mean the "boundary of blood." The deep red color of the newly plowed earth in this situation is noticeable and may have given origin to the idea of "blood" (compare ADUMMIM). Cheyne suggests that from ‘adhummin, to dammim, is an easy step, and that the former, meaning "red brown earth," may have been the original. No other satisfactory locality has been found to explain the name or fix the site.

E. W. G. Masterman


e-fe’-zhan (Ephesios), e-fe’-zhanz:

A term which, as in Ac 19:28,34,35 and Ac 21:29, was applied to those natives or residents of the city of Ephesus who were adherents of the cult of the goddess Diana. A Jew or a Christian, though a native of Ephesus, would probably have been designated as such, rather than as an Ephesian.




1. External Evidence 2. Internal Evidence



1. Title 2. The Inscription 3. The Evidence of the Letter Itself 4. Conclusion


1. Peter 2. Johannine Writings 3. Colossians






I. Authenticity.

1. External Evidence:

None of the epistles which are ascribed to Paul have a stronger chain of evidence to their early and continued use than that which we know as the Epistle to the Ephesians. Leaving for the moment the question of the relation of Eph to other New Testament writings, we find that it not only colors the phraseology of the Apostolic Fathers, but is actually quoted. In Clement of Rome (circa 95 AD) the connection with Ephesians might be due to some common liturgical form in xlvi.6 (compare Eph 4:6); though the resemblance is so close that we must feel that our epistle was known to Clement both here and in lxiv (compare Eph 1:3-4); xxxviii (compare Eph 5:21); xxxvi (compare Eph 4:18); lix (compare Eph 1:18; 4:18). Ignatius (died 115) shows numerous points of contact with Ephesians, especially in his Epistle to the Ephesians. In chap. xii we read: "Ye are associates and fellow students of the mysteries with Paul, who in every letter makes mention of you in Christ Jesus." It is difficult to decide the exact meaning of the phrase "every letter," but in spite of the opinion of many scholars that it must be rendered "in all his epistle," i.e. in every part of his epistle, it is safer to take it as an exaggeration, "in all his epistles," justified to some extent in the fact that besides Ephesians, Paul does mention the Ephesian Christians in Ro (16:5); 1Co (15:32; 16:8,19); 2Co (1:8 f); 1Ti (1:3) and 2Ti (1:18). In the opening address the connection with Eph 1:3-6 is too close to be accidental. There are echoes of our epistle in chap. i (Eph 6:1); ix (Eph 2:20-22); xviii (oikonomia, Eph 1:10); xx (Eph 2:18; 4:24); and in Ignat. ad Polyc. v we have close identity with Eph 5:25 and less certain connection with Eph 4:2, and in vi with Eph 6:13-17.

The Epistle of Polycarp in two passages shows verbal agreement with Eph: in chap. i with Eph 1:8, and in xii with Eph 4:26, where we have (the Greek is missing here) ut his scripturis dictum est. Hermas speaks of the grief of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to suggest Ephesians (Mand. X, ii; compare Eph 4:30). Sim. IX, xiii, shows a knowledge of Eph 4:3-6, and possibly of 5:26 and 1:13. In the Didache (4) we find a parallel to Eph 6:5: "Servants submit yourselves to your masters." In Barnabas there are two or three turns of phrase that are possibly due to Ephesians. There is a slightly stronger connection between II Clement and Ephesians, especially in chap. xiv, where we have the Ephesian figure of the church as the body of Christ, and the relation between them referred to in terms of husband and wife. This early evidence, slight though it is, is strengthened by the part Ephesians played in the 2nd century where, as we learn from Hippolytus, it was used by the Ophites and Basilides and Valentinus. The latter (according to Hip., Phil., VI, 29) quoted Eph 3:16-18, saying, "This is what has been written in Scripture," while his disciple Ptolemais is said by Irenaeus (Adv. Haer., i.8, 5) to have attributed Eph 5:13 to Paul by name. According to the addenda to the eighth book of the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria, Theodotus, a contemporary of Valentinus, quoted Eph 4:10 and 30 with the words: "The apostle says," and attributes Eph 4:24 to Paul. Marcion knew Ephesians as Tertullian tells us, identifying it with the epistle referred to in Col 4:16 as ad Laodicenos. We find it in the Muratorian Fragment (10b, l. 20) as the second of the epistles which "Paul wrote following the example of his predecessor John." It is used in the letter from the church of Lyons and Vienne and by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and later writers. We can well accept the dictum of Dr. Hort that it "is all but certain on this evidence that the Epistle was in existence by 95 AD; quite certain that it was in existence by about fifteen years later or conceivably a little more" (Hort, Judaistic Christianity, 118).

2. Internal Evidence:

To this very strong chain of external evidence, reaching back to the very beginning of the 2nd century, if not into the end of the 1st, showing Ephesians as part of the original Pauline collection which no doubt Ignatius and Polycarp used, we must add the evidence of the epistle itself, testing it to see if there be any reason why the letter thus early attested should not be accredited to the apostle.

(1) That it claims to be written by Paul is seen not only in the greeting, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus," but also in Eph 3:1, where we read: "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles," a phrase which is continued in 4:1: "I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord." This claim is substantiated by the general character of the epistle which is written after the Pauline norm, with greeting and thanksgiving, leading on to and serving as the introduction of the special doctrinal teaching of the epistle. This is the first great division of the Pauline epistles and is regularly followed by an application of the teaching to practical matters, which in turn yields to personal greetings, or salutations, and the final benediction, commonly written by the apostle’s own hand. In only one particular does Ephesians fail to answer completely to this outline. The absence of the personal greetings has always been marked as a striking peculiarity of our letter. The explanation of this peculiarity will meet us when we consider the destination of the epistle (see III below).

(2) Further evidence for the Pauline authorship is found in the general style and language of the letter. We may agree with von Soden (Early Christ. Lit., 294) that "every sentence contains verbal echoes of Pauline epistles, indeed except when ideas peculiar to the Epistle come to expression it is simply a mosaic of Pauline phraseology," without accepting his conclusion that Paul did not write it. We feel, as we read, that we have in our hands the work of one with whom the other epistles have made us familiar. Yet we are conscious none the less of certain subtle differences which give occasion for the various arguments that critics have brought against the claim that Paul is the actual author. This is not questioned until the beginning of the last century, but has been since Schleiermacher and his disciple Usteri, though the latter published his doubts before his master did his. The Tubingen scholars attacked the epistle mainly on the ground of supposed traces of Gnostic or Montanist influences, akin to those ascribed to the Colossians. Later writers have given over this claim to put forward others based on differences of style (De Wette, followed by Holtzmann, von Soden and others); dependence on Colossians (Hitzig, Holtzmann); the attitude to the Apostles (von Soden); doctrinal differences, especially those that concern Christology and the Parousia, the conception of the church (Klopper, Wrede and others). The tendency, however, seems to be backward toward a saner view of the questions involved; and most of those who do not accept the Pauline authorship would probably agree with Julicher (Encyclopedia Biblica), who ascribes it to a "Pauline Christian intimately familiar with the Pauline epistles, especially with Colossians, writing about 90," who sought in Ephesians "to put in a plea for the true catholicism in the meaning of Paul and in his name."

(3) Certain of these positions require that we should examine the doctrinal objections. (a) First of these is the claim that Ephesians has a different conception of the person and work of Christ from the acknowledged epistles of Paul. Not only have we the exaltation of Christ which we find in Col 1:16 ff, but the still further statement that it was God’s purpose from the beginning to "sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth" (Eph 1:10). This is no more than the natural expansion of the term, "all things," which are attributed to Christ in 1Co 8:6, and is an idea which has at least its foreshadowing in Ro 8:19,20 and 2Co 5:18,19. The relation between Christ and the church as given in Eph 1:22 and 5:23 is in entire agreement with Paul’s teaching in Ro 12, and 1Co 12. It is still the Pauline figure of the church as the body of Christ, in spite of the fact that Christ is not thought of as the head of that body. The argument in the epistle does not deal with the doctrine of the cross from the standpoint of the earlier epistles, but the teaching is exactly the same. There is redemption (Eph 1:7,14; 4:30); reconciliation (Eph 2:14-16); forgiveness (Eph 1:7; 4:32). The blood of Christ shed on the cross redeems us from our sin and restores us to God. In like manner it is said that the Parousia is treated (Eph 2:7) as something far off. But Paul has long since given up the idea that it is immediately; even in 2Th 2 he shows that an indeterminate interval must intervene, and in Ro 11:25 he sees a period of time yet unfulfilled before the end. (b) The doctrine of the church is the most striking contrast to the earlier epistles. We have already dealt with the relation of Christ to the church. The conception of the church universal is in advance of the earlier epistles, but it is the natural climax of the development of the apostle’s conception of the church as shown in the earlier epistles. Writing from Rome with the idea of the empire set before him, it was natural that Paul should see the church as a great whole, and should use the word ekklesia absolutely as signifying the oneness of the Christian brotherhood. As a matter of fact the word is used in this absolute sense in 1Co 12:28 before the Captivity Epistles (compare 1Co 1:2; 10:32). The emphasis here on the unity of Jew and Gentile in the church finds its counterpart in the argument of the Epistle to the Romans, though in Ephesians this is "urged on the basis of God’s purpose and Christian faith, rather than on the Law and the Promises."

Neither is it true that in Ephesians the Law is spoken of slightingly, as some say, by the reference to circumcision (2:11). In no case is the doctrinal portion of the epistle counter to that of the acknowledged Pauline epistles, though in the matter of the church, and of Christ’s relationship to it and to the universe, there is evidence of progress in the apostle’s conception of the underlying truths, which none the less find echoes in the earlier writings. "New doctrinal ideas, or a new proportion of these ideas, is no evidence of different authorship." (c) In the matter of organization the position of Ephesians is not in any essential different from what we have in 1 Cor.

(4) The linguistic argument is a technical matter of the use of Greek words that cannot well be discussed here. The general differences of style, the longer "turgid" sentences, the repetitions on the one hand; the lack of argument, the full, swelling periods on the other, find their counterpart in portions of Romans. The minute differences which show themselves in new or strange words will be much reduced in number when we take from the list those that are due to subjects which the author does not discuss elsewhere (e.g. those in the list of armor in Eph 6:13 ff). Holtzmann (Einl, 25) gives us a list of these hapax legomena (76 in all). But there are none of these which, as Lock says, Paul could not have used, though there are certain which he does not use elsewhere and others which are only found in his accepted writings and here. The following stand out as affording special ground for objection. The phrase "heavenly places" (ta epourania, Eph 1:3,10; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) is peculiar to this epistle. The phrase finds a partial parallel it in 1Co 15:49 and the thought is found in Php 3:20. The devil (ho diabolos, Eph 4:27; 6:11) is used in place of the more usual Satan (satanas).

But in Ac Paul is quoted as using diabolos in 13:10 and satanas in 26:18. It is at least natural that he would have used the Greek term when writing from Rome to a Greek-speaking community. The objection to the expression "holy" (hagiois) apostles (Eph 3:5) falls to the ground when we remember that the expression "holy" (hagios) is Paul’s common word for Christian and that he uses it of himself in this very epistle (Eph 3:8). In like manner "mystery" (musterion), "dispensation" (oikonomia) are found in other epistles in the same sense that we find them in here. The attack on the epistle fails, whether it is made from the point of teaching or language; and there is no ground whatever for questioning the truth of Christian tradition that Paul wrote the letter which we know as the Epistle to the Ephesians.

II. Place and Date of Writing.

The time and place of his writing Ephesians turn on the larger question of the chronology of Paul’s life (see PAUL) and the relation of the Captivity Epistles to each other; and the second question whether they were written from Caesarea or Rome (for this see PHILEMON, EPISTLE TO). Suffice it here to say that the place was undoubtedly Rome, and that they were written during the latter part of the two years’ captivity which we find recorded in Ac 28:30. The date will then be, following the later chronology, 63 or 64 AD; following the earlier, which is, in many ways, to be preferred, about 58 AD.

III. Destination.

To whom was this letter written?

1. Title:

The title says to the Ephesians. With this the witness of the early church almost universally agrees. It is distinctly stated in the Muratorian Fragment (10b, 1. 20); and the epistle is quoted as to the Ephesians by Irenaeus (Adv. Haer., v.14, 3; 24, 3); Tertullian (Adv. Marc., v.11, 17; De Praesc., 36; De Monag., v); Clement of Alexandria (Strom., iv.65; Paed., i.18) and Origen (Contra Celsum, iii.20). To these must be added the evidence of the extant manuscripts and VSS, which unite in ascribing the epistle to the Ephesians. The only exception to the universal evidence is Tertullian’s account of Marcion (circa 150 AD) who reads Ad Laodicenos (Adv. Marc., v.11: "I say nothing here about another epistle which we have with the heading ‘to the Ephesians,’ but the heretics ‘to the Laodiceans’ ....( v.17): According to the true belief of the church we hold this epistle to have been dispatched to the Ephesians, not to the Laodiceans; but Marcion had to falsify its title, wishing to make himself out a very diligent investigator").

2. The Inscription:

This almost universal evidence for Ephesus as the destination of our epistle is shattered when we turn to the reading of the first verse. Here according to Textus Receptus of the New Testament we read "Paul unto the saints which are at Ephesus (en Epheso) and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." When we look at the evidence for this reading we find that the two words en Epheso are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, and that the corrector of the cursive known as 67 has struck them out of his copy. Besides these a recently described MS, Cod. Laura 184, giving us a text which is so closely akin to that used by Origen that the scribe suggests that it was compiled from Origen’s writings, omits these words (Robinson, Ephesians, 293). To this strong manuscript evidence against the inclusion of these two words in the inscription we must add the evidence of Origen and Basil. Origen, as quoted in Cramer’s Catena at the place, writes: "In the Ephesians alone we found the expression ‘to the saints which are,’ and we ask, unless the phrase ‘which are’ is redundant, what it can mean. May it not be that as in Exodus He who speaks to Moses declares His name to be the Absolute One, so also those who are partakers of the Absolute become existent when they are called, as it were, from non-being into being?" Origen evidently knows nothing here of any reading en Epheso, but takes the words "which are" in an absolute, metaphysical sense. Basil, a century and a half later, probably refers to this comment of Origen (Contra Eun., ii.19) saying: "But moreover, when writing to the Ephesians, as to men who are truly united with the Absolute One through clear knowledge, he names them as existent ones in a peculiar phrase, saying ‘to the saints which are and faithful in Christ Jesus.’ For so those who were before us have handed it down, and we also have found (this reading) in old copies." In Jerome’s note on this verse there is perhaps a reference to this comment on Origen, but the passage is too indefinitely expressed for us to be sure what its bearing on the reading really is. The later writers quoted by Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, 384 f) cannot, as Robinson shows (Eph, 293), be used as witnesses against the Textus Receptus. We may therefore conclude that the reading en Epheso was wanting in many early manuscripts, and that there is good ground for questioning its place in the original autograph. But the explanations suggested for the passage, as it stands without the words, offend Pauline usage so completely that we cannot accept them. To take "which are" in the phrase "the saints which are" (tois ousin) as absolute, as Origen did; or as meaning "truly," is impossible. It is possible to take the words with what follows, "and faithful" (kai pistois), and interpret this latter expression (pistois) either in the New Testament sense of "believers" or in the classical sense of "steadfast." The clause would then read either "to the saints who are also believers," or "to the saints who are also faithful," i.e. steadfast. Neither of these is wholly in accord with Paul’s normal usage, but they are at least possible.

3. The Evidence of the Letter Itself:

The determining factor in the question of the destination of the epistle lies in the epistle itself. We must not forget that, save perhaps Corinth, there was no church with which Paul was so closely associated as that in Ephesus. His long residence there, of which we read in Ac (chapters 19; 20), finds no echo in our epistle. There is no greeting to anyone of the Christian community, many of whom were probably intimate friends. The close personal ties, that the scene of Ac 20:17-38 shows us existed between him and his converts in Ephesus, are not even hinted at. The epistle is a calm discussion, untouched with the warmth of personal allusion beyond the bare statement that the writer is a prisoner (Eph 3:1; 4:1), and his commendation of Tychicus (Eph 6:21,22), who was to tell them about Paul’s condition in Rome. This lack of personal touch is intensified by the assumption underlying Eph 3 and 4 that the readers do not know his knowledge of the mysteries of Christ. In 3:2 and 4:21,22 there is a particle (eige, "if indeed") which suggests at least some question as to how far Paul himself was the missionary through whom they believed. All through the epistle there is a lack of those elements which are so constant in the other epistles, which mark the close personal fellowship and acquaintance between the apostle and those to whom he is writing.

4. Conclusion:

This element in the epistle, coupled with the strange fact of Marcion’s attributing it to the Laodiceans, and the expression in Col 4:16 that points to a letter coming from Laodicea to Colosse, has led most writers of the present day to accept Ussher’s suggestion that the epistle is really a circular letter to the churches either in Asia, or, perhaps better, in that part of Phrygia which lies near Colosse. The readers were evidently Gentiles (Eph 2:1; 3:1,2) and from the mission of Tychicus doubtless of a definite locality, though for the reasons given above this could not well be Ephesus alone. It is barely possible that the cities to whom John was bidden to write the Revelation (Re 1-3) are the same as those to whom Paul wrote this epistle, or it may be that they were the churches of the Lycus valley and its immediate neighborhood. The exact location cannot be determined. But from the fact that Marcion attributed the epistle to Laodicea, possibly because it was so written in the first verse, and from the connection with Colossians, it is at least probable that two of these churches were at Colosse and Laodicea. On this theory the letter would seem to have been written from Rome to churches in the neighborhood of, or accessible to, Colosse, dealing with the problem of Christian unity and fellowship and the relations between Christ and the church and sent to them by the hands of Tychicus. The inscription was to be filled in by the bearer, or copies were to be made with the name of the local church written in, and then sent to or left with the different churches. It was from Ephesus, as the chief city of Asia in all probability, that copies of this circular letter reached the church in the world, and from this fact the letter came to be known in the church at large as that from Ephesus, and the title was written "to the Ephesians," and the first verse was made to read to the "saints which are in Ephesus."

IV. Relation to Other New Testament Writings.

Ephesians raises a still further question by the close resemblances that can be traced between it and various other New Testament writings.

1. Peter:

The connection between Ephesians and 1 Peter is not beyond question. In spite of the disclaimer of as careful a writer as Dr. Bigg (ICC) it is impossible to follow up the references given by Holtzmann and others and not feel that Peter either knew Ephesians or at the very least had discussed these subjects with its author. For, as Dr. Hort tells us, the similarity is one of thought and structure rather than of phrase. The following are the more striking passages with their parallels in 1 Peter: Eph 1:3 (1Pe 1:3); 1:18-20 (1Pe 1:3-5); 2:18-22 (1Pe 2:4-6); 1:20-22 (1Pe 3:22); 3:9 (1Pe 1:20); 3:20 (1Pe 1:12); 4:19 (1Pe 1:14). The explanations that 1 Peter and Ephesians are both from the pen of the same writer, or that Ephesians is based on 1 Pet, are overthrown, among other reasons, by the close relation between Ephesians and Colossians.

2. Johannine Writings:

The connection with the Apocalypse is based on Eph 2:20 as compared with Re 21:14; Eph 3:5 and Re 10:7; Eph 5:11 and Re 18:4, and the figure of the bride of the Lamb (Re 19:7; compare Eph 5:25). Holtzmann adds various minor similarities, but none of these are sufficient to prove any real knowledge of, let alone dependence on Ephesians. The contact with the Fourth Gospel is more positive. Love (agape) and knowledge (gnosis) are used in the same sense in both Ephesians and the Gospel. The application of the Messianic title, the Beloved (Eph 1:6), to Christ does not appear in the Gospel (it is found in Mt 3:17), but the statement of the Father’s love for Him constantly recurs. The reference to the going up and coming down of Christ (Eph 4:9) is closely akin to Joh 3:13 ("No man hath ascended into heaven, but he," etc.). So, too, Eph 5:11,13 finds echo in Joh 3:19,20; Eph 4:4,7 in Joh 3:34; Eph 5:6 in Joh 3:36. Eph 5:8 f is akin to 1 Joh 1:6 and Eph 2:3 to 1 Joh 3:10.

3. Colossians:

When we turn to Colossians we find a situation that is without parallel in the New Testament. Out of 155 verses in Ephesians, 78 are found in Colossians in varying degrees of identity. Among them are these: Eph 1:6 parallel Col 1:13; Eph 1:16 ff parallel Col 1:9; Eph 1:21 ff parallel Col 1:16 ff; Eph 2:16 parallel Col 2:20; Eph 4:2 parallel Col 3:12; Eph 4:15 parallel Col 2:19; Eph 4:22 parallel Col 3:9; Eph 4:32 parallel Col 3:12 ff; Eph 5:5 parallel Col 3:5; Eph 5:19 ff parallel Col 3:16 ff; Eph 6:4 parallel Col 3:21; Eph 6:5-9 parallel Col 3:22-4:1. For a fuller list see Abbott (ICC, xxiii). Not only is this so, but there is an identity of treatment, a similarity in argument so great that Bishop Barry (NT Commentary for English Readers, Ellicott) can make a parallel analysis showing the divergence and similarity by the simple device of different type. To this we must add that there are at least a dozen Greek words common to these two epistles not found elsewhere. Over against this similarity is to be set the dissimilarity. The general subject of the epistles is not approached from the same standpoint.

In one it is Christ as the head of all creation, and our duty in consequence. In the other it is the church as the fullness of Christ and our duty—put constantly in the same words—in consequence thereof. In Ephesians we have a number of Old Testament references, in Colossians only one. In Ephesians we have unique phrases, of which "the heavenly spheres" (ta epourania) is most striking, and the whole treatment of the relation of Jew and Gentile in the church, and the marriage tie as exemplified in the relation between Christ and the church. In Colossians we have in like manner distinct passages which have no parallel in Ephesians, especially the controversial section in chapter 2, and the salutations. In truth, as Davies (Ephesians, Paul to Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians.) well says: "It is difficult indeed to say, concerning the patent coincidences of expression in the two epistles, whether the points of likeness or of unlikeness between them are the more remarkable." This situation has given rise to various theories. The most complicated is that of H. Holtzmann, who holds that some passages point to a priority of Colossians, others to that of Ephesians; and as a result he believes that Colossians, as we have it, is a composite, based on an original epistle of Paul which was expanded by the author of Ephesians—who was not Paul—after he had written this epistle. So Holtzmann would give us the original Colossians (Pauline), Ephesians (based on it), and the present Colossians (not Pauline) expanded from the former through the latter. The theory falls to the ground on its fundamental hypothesis, that Colossians as it stands is interpolated. The most reasonable explanation is that both Colossians and Ephesians are the work of Paul, written at practically the same time, and that in writing on the same subjects, to different people, there would be just the differences and similarity which we have in these epistles. The objection that Paul could not repeat himself and yet differ as these two letters do is purely imaginary. Zahn shows us that men do just this very thing, giving an account of Bismarck’s speaking on a certain subject to a group of officers and later to a large body of men, and yet using quite different language. Moreover, Paul is not averse to repeating himself (compare Romans and Galatians and 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy) when to do so will serve his purpose. "Simultaneous authorship by one writer," and that writer Paul, is the only explanation that will satisfy all the facts in the case and give them due proportion.

V. The Purpose.

If our interpretation of the circumstances, composition and destination of Ephesians be right, we are now in a position to look beneath the surface and ask why the apostle wrote it. To understand its central theme we must remember that Paul, the prisoner of the Lord, is writing in the calm of his imprisonment, far from the noise and turmoil, the conflict and strife, that marked his earlier life. He is now able to look out on the church and get a view of it in its wholeness, to see the part it is to play in God’s scheme for the restoration of the human race, to see God’s purpose in it and for it and its relation to Him. With this stand-point he can write to the churches about Ephesus on the occasion of Tychicus’ return to Colosse, not to correct false views on some special point, but to emphasize the great central truth which he had put in the very forefront of his letter. God’s eternal purpose is to gather into one the whole created universe, to restore harmony among His creatures and between them and Himself. The apostle’s whole prayer is for this end, his whole effort and desire is toward this goal: that they may have full, clear knowledge of this purpose of God which He is working out through Christ Jesus, who is the head of the church, the very fullness of Him who is being fulfilled all over the world. Everything, for the apostle, as he looks forth upon the empire, centers in the purpose of God. The discord between the elements in the church, the distinction between Jew and Gentile, all these must yield to that greater purpose. The vision is of a great oneness in Christ and through Him in God, a oneness of birth and faith and life and love, as men, touched with the fire of that Divine purpose, seek to fulfil, each in himself, the part that God has given him to play in the world, and, fighting against the foes of God, to overcome at last.

It is a noble purpose to set before men this great mystery of the church as God’s means by which, in Christ, He may restore all men to union with Himself. It is an impossible vision except to one who, as Paul was at the time, is in a situation where the strife and turmoil of outside life can enter but little, but a situation where he can look out with a calm vision and, in the midst of the world’s discord, discern what God is accomplishing among men.

VI. Argument.

The Argument of Ephesians is as follows:

Ephesians 1:1,2: Greeting.

Ephesians 1:3-10: Hymn of praise to God for the manifestation of His purpose for men in Christ Jesus, chosen from the beginning to a holy life in love, predestined to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, in whom as the Beloved He has given us grace (1:3-6). Redeemed by the blood of Christ by whom we have forgiveness of sins through His grace abounding in us and making us know the mystery of His purpose, namely, to unite all in one, even the entire universe (1:7-10).

Ephesians 1:11-14: For this Israel has served as a preparation, and to this the Gentiles are come, sealed unto salvation by the Holy Spirit of power.

Ephesians 1:15,16 a: Thanksgiving for their faith.

Ephesians 1:16-21: Prayer that they may, by the spirit of wisdom and revelation, know their destiny and the power of God to fulfill it.

Ephesians 1:22-2:10: Summary of what God has done in Christ. Christ’s sovereignty (1:22,23), and headship in the church (1:22,23); His work for men, quickening us from a death of sin into which man has sunk, and exalting us to fellowship with Christ by His grace, who has created us for good works as part of His eternal purpose (2:1-10).

Ephesians 2:11-13: The contrast between the former estate of the Gentiles, as strangers and aliens, and their present one, "near" by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:14-18: Christ, who is our peace, uniting Jew and Gentile and reconciling man to God through the cross; by whom we all have access to the Father.

Ephesians 2:19-22: This is theirs who as fellow-citizens of the saints, built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, become a sanctuary of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 3:1-21: A digression on the "mystery," i.e. the revelation to Paul, together with a prayer that men may grasp it. The "mystery" is that all men, Jews and Gentiles, are partakers of the promise. Of this Paul is a minister, to whom has been given the stewardship of that mystery, unfolding to all creatures God’s wisdom, in accord with His eternal purpose (3:1-13). Prayer that they may live up to their opportunities (3:14-19). Doxology (3:20,21).

Ephesians 4:1-6: The outcome of this privilege, the fulfillment of the Divine purpose, must show itself in unity of life in the Christian fellowship.

Ephesians 4:7-16: The different gifts which the Christians have are for the upbuilding of the church into that perfect unity which is found in Christ.

Ephesians 4:17-24: The spiritual darkness and corruption of the old Gentilelife set over against the enlightenment and purity and holiness of the new life in Christ.

Ephesians 4:25-6:9: Special features of the Christian life, arising out of the union of Christians with Christ and making for the fellowship in the church. On the side of the individual: sins in word (4:25-30); of temper (4:31,32); self-sacrifice as opposed to self- indulgence (5:1-8); the contrast of the present and the past repeated (5:9-14); general behavior (5:15-20); on the side of social relations: husband and wife exemplified in the relation of Chris~t and the church (5:23-33); children and parents (6:1-4); servants and masters (6:5-9).

Ephesians 6:19-20: The Christian warfare, its foes and armor and weapons.

Ephesians 6:21-24: Conclusion.

VII. Teaching

The keynote to the doctrinal basis of the epistle is struck at the very outset. The hymn of praise centers in the thought of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is to Him that the blessing is due, to Him, who had chosen us from the beginning, in whom there is redemption in Eph (1:3-7). God as the very heart and soul of everything, "is over all, and through all, and in all" (4:6). He is the Father from whom all revelation comes (1:17), and from whom every human family derives its distinctive characteristics (3:15). But He is not only Father in relation to the universe: He is in a peculiar sense the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1:3). The eternity of our Lord is distinctly asserted (1:4,5) as of one existing before the foundation of the world, in whom everything heavenly as well as earthly is united, summed up (1:10; compare 2:12; 4:18). He is the Messiah (the Beloved (1:6) is clearly a Messianic term, as the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," shows (Mt 3:17)). In Him we are quickened (2:5). He is made flesh (2:15). He died on the cross (2:16), and by His blood (1:7) we have redemption (4:30), and reconciliation with God (2:16). He whom God raised from the dead (1:20), now is in heaven (1:20; 4:8) from which place He comes (4:8), bringing gifts to men. (This interpretation makes the descent follow the ascent, and the passage teaches the return of Christ through His gifts of the Spirit which He gave to the church.)

He who is in heaven fills all things (4:10); and, from a wealth which is unsearchable (3:8), as the Head of the church (1:22), pours out His grace to free us from the power of sin (2:1). To this end He endues us with His Spirit (3:16). This teaching about God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is no abstract theorizing. It is all intensely practical, having at its heart the purpose of God from the ages, which, as we saw above, is to restore again the unity of all things in Him (1:9,10); to heal the breach between man and God (2:16,17); to break down the separation between Jew and Gentile, and to abolish the enmity not only between them, but between them and God. This purpose of God is to be accomplished in a visible society, the one church, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (2:20), of which Jesus Christ is the head of the corner, into which men are to be admitted by holy baptism, where they own one Lord, hold to one faith, in one God and Father of all who is above all and through all (4:4-7).

The teaching as to the church is one of the most striking elements of the epistle. In the first place we have the absolute use of the term, which has been already discussed. The apostle sees the whole Christian community throughout the world bound together into a unity, one fellowship, one body. He has risen to a higher vision than man had ever had before. But there is a further teaching in the epistle. Not only is the church throughout the world one body, but it is the body of Christ who is its Head (Eph 1:21 f). He has, as Lightfoot suggests, the same relation to the church which in Eph 1:10 He has to the universe. He is its Head, "the inspiring, ruling, guiding, combining, sustaining power, the mainspring of its activity, the center of its unity, and the seat of its life." But the relation is still closer. If, as the evidence adduced would necessitate, one accepts J. Armitage Robinson’s explanation of pleroma, as that without which a thing is incomplete (Eph, 255 f), then the church, in some wonderful mystery, is the complement of Christ, apart from which He Himself, as the Christ, lacks fullness. We are needed by Him, that so He may become all in all. He, the Head of restored humanity, the Second Adam, needs His church, to fulfill the unity which He came upon earth to accomplish (compare Stone, Christian Church, 85, 86). Still further, we find in this epistle the two figures of the church as the Temple of the Spirit (2:21 ff; , and the Bride of Christ (5:23 ff)). Under the latter figure we find the marriage relation of the Lord to Israel, which runs through the Old Testament (Hos 2:16, et al.), applied to the union between Christ and the church. The significance is the close tie that binds them, the self-sacrificing love of Christ and the self-surrender of obedience on the part of the church; and the object of this is that so the church may be free from any blemish, holy and spotless. In the figure of the Temple, which is an expansion of the earlier figure in 1Co 3:16; 2Co 6:16, we see the thought of a spiritual building, a sanctuary, into which all the diverse elements of the churches grow into a compact unity.

These figures sum up the apostle’s thought of that in which the Divine purpose finds its fulfillment. The progress forward to that fulfillment is due to the combined effort of God and man. "The church, the society of Christian men .... is built and yet it grows. Human endeavor and Divine energy cooperate in its development" (Westcott). Out of this doctrinal development the apostle works out the practical life by which this Divine purpose can find its fulfillment. Admitted into the fellowship of the church by baptism, we become members one of another Eph (4:25). It is on this basis that he urges honesty and patience and truth in our intercourse with each other, and pleads for gentleness and a forgiving spirit (4:25- 32). As followers of God we are to keep free from the sins that spring from pride and self-indulgence and any fellowship with the spirit of evil (5:1-14). Our life is to be lived as seeking the fulfillment of God’s purpose in all the relationships of life (5:15-6:9). All is to be done with the full armor of the Christian soldier, as is fitting for those who fight spiritual enemies (6:10 ff). The epistle is preeminently practical, bringing the significance of the great revelation of God’s will to the everyday duties of life, and lifting all things up to a higher level which finds its ideal in the indwelling of Christ in our hearts, out of which we may be filled with all the fullness of God (3:17-19).

VIII. LITERATURE. J. Armitage Robinson, Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians; Westcott, Epistle to the Ephesains; Abbott, "Ephesians and Colossians," International Critical Commentary; Moule, "Ephesians," Cambridge Bible; Salmond, "Ephesians," Expositor’s Greek Testament; Macpherson, Commentary on Ephesians; Findlay, "Epistle to the Ephesians," Expositor’s Bible; Alexander, "Colossians and Ephesians," Bible for Home and School; Haupt, Meyer’s Exeget. und krit. Kommentar; von Soden, Handcommentar; Hort, Prolegomena to the Epistles to the Romans and Ephesians; Dale, Lectures on the Ephesians.

Charles Smith Lewis


ef’-e-sus (Ephesos, "desirable"):

A city of the Roman province of Asia, near the mouth of the Cayster river, 3 miles from the western coast of Asia Minor, and opposite the island of Samos. With an artificial harbor accessible to the largest ships, and rivaling the harbor at Miletus, standing at the entrance of the valley which reaches far into the interior of Asia Minor, and connected by highways with the chief cities of the province, Ephesus was the most easily accessible city in Asia, both by land and sea. Its location, therefore, favored its religious, political and commercial development, and presented a most advantageous field for the missionary labors of Paul. The city stood upon the sloping sides and at the base of two hills, Prion and Coressus, commanding a beautiful view; its climate was exceptionally fine, and the soil of the valley was unusually fertile.

Tradition says that in early times near the place where the mother goddess of the earth was born, the Amazons built a city and a temple in which they might worship. This little city of the Amazons, bearing at different times the names of Samorna, Trachea, Ortygia and Ptelea, flourished until in the early Greek days it aroused the cupidity of Androclus, a prince of Athens. He captured it and made it a Greek city. Still another tradition says that Androclus was its founder. However, under Greek rule the Greek civilization gradually supplanted that of the Orientals, the Greek language was spoken in place of the Asiatic; and the Asiatic goddess of the temple assumed more or less the character of the Greek Artemis. Ephesus, therefore, and all that pertained to it, was a mixture of oriental and Greek Though the early history of the city is obscure, it seems that at different times it was in the hands of the Carians, the Leleges and Ionians; in the early historical period it was one of a league of twelve Ionfan cities. In 560 BC it came into the possession of the Lydians; 3 years later, in 557, it was taken by the Persians; and during the following years the Greeks and Persians were constantly disputing for its possession. Finally, Alexander the Great took it; and at his death it fell to Lysimachus, who gave it the name of Arsinoe, from his second wife. Upon the death of Attalus II (Philadelphus), king of Pergamos, it was bequeathed to the Roman Empire; and in 190, when the Roman province of Asia was formed, it became a part of it. Ephesus and Pergamos, the capital of Asia, were the two great rival cities of the province. Though Pergamos was the center of the Roman religion and of the government, Ephesus was the more accessible, the commercial center and the home of the native goddess Diana; and because of its wealth and situation it gradually became the chief city of the province. It is to the temple of Diana, however, that its great wealth and prominence are largely due. Like the city, it dates from the time of the Amazons, yet what the early temple was like we now have no means of knowing, and of its history we know little except that it was seven times destroyed by fire and rebuilt, each time on a scale larger and grander than before. The wealthy king Croesus supplied it with many of its stone columns, and the pilgrims from all the oriental world brought it of their wealth. In time the temple possessed valuable lands; it controlled the fishcries; its priests were the bankers of its enormous revenues. Because of its strength the people stored there their money for safe-keeping; and it became to the ancient world practically all that the Bank of England is to the modern world.

In 356 BC, on the very night when Alexander the Great was born, it was burned; and when he grew to manhood he offered to rebuild it at his own expense if his name might be inscribed upon its portals. This the priests of Ephesus were unwilling to permit, and they politely rejected his offer by saying that it was not fitting for one god to build a temple to another. The wealthy Ephesians themselves undertook its reconstruction, and 220 years passed before its final completion. Not only was the temple of Diana a place of worship, and a treasure-house, but it was also a museum in which the best statuary and most beautiful paintings were preserved. Among the paintings was one by the famous Apelles, a native of Ephesus, representing Alexander the Great hurling a thunderbolt. It was also a sanctuary for the criminal, a kind of city of refuge, for none might be arrested for any crime whatever when within a bowshot of its walls. There sprang up, therefore, about the temple a village in which the thieves and murderers and other criminals made their homes. Not only did the temple bring vast numbers of pilgrims to the city, as does the Kaaba at Mecca at the present time, but it employed hosts of people apart from the priests and priestesses; among them were the large number of artisans who manufactured images of the goddess Diana, or shrines to sell to the visiting strangers.

Such was Ephesus when Paul on his 2nd missionary journey in Ac (18:19-21) first visited the city, and when, on his 3rd journey (19:8-10; 20:31), he remained there for two years preaching in the synagogue (19:8,10), in the school of Tyrannus (19:9) and in private houses (20:20). Though Paul was probably not the first to bring Christianity to Ephesus, for Jews had long lived there (2:9; 6:9), he was the first to make progress against the worship of Diana. As the fame of his teachings was carried by the pilgrims to their distant homes, his influence extended to every part of Asia Minor. In time the pilgrims, with decreasing faith in Diana, came in fewer numbers; the sales of the shrines of the goddess fell off; Diana of the Ephesians was no longer great; a Christian church was rounded there and flourished, and one of its first leaders was the apostle John. Finally in 262 AD, when the temple of Diana was again burned, its influence had so far departed that it was never again rebuilt. Diana was dead. Ephesus became a Christian city, and in 341 AD a council of the Christian church was held there. The city itself soon lost its importance and decreased in population. The sculptured stones of its great buildings, which were no longer in use and were falling to ruins, were carried away to Italy, and especially to Constantinople for the great church of Saint Sophia. In 1308 the Turks took possession of the little that remained of the city, and deported or murdered its inhabitants. The Cayster river, overflowing its banks, gradually covered with its muddy deposit the spot where the temple of Diana had once stood, and at last its very site was forgotten.

The small village of Ayasaluk, 36 miles from Smyrna on the Aidin R. R., does not mark the site of the ancient city of Ephesus, yet it stands nearest to its ruins. The name Ayasaluk is the corruption of three Greek words meaning "the Holy Word of God." Passing beyond the village one comes to the ruins of the old aqueduct, the fallen city walls, the so-called church of John or the baths, the Turkish fort which is sometimes called Paul’s prison, the huge theater which was the scene of the riot of Paul’s time, but which now, with its marble torn away, presents but a hole in the side of the hill Prion. In 1863 Mr. J. T. Wood, for the British Museum, obtained permission from the Turkish government to search for the site of the lost temple of Diana. During the eleven years of his excavations at Ephesus, $80,000 were spent, and few cities of antiquity have been more thoroughly explored. The city wall of Lysimachus was found to be 36,000 ft. in length, enclosing an area of 1,027 acres. It was 10 1/2 ft. thick, and strengthened by towers at intervals of 100 ft. The six gates which pierced the wall are now marked by mounds of rubbish. The sites and dimensions of the various public buildings, the streets, the harbor, and the foundations of many of the private houses were ascertained, and numerous inscriptions and sculptures and coins were discovered. Search, however, did not reveal the site of the temple until January 1, 1870, after six years of faithful work. Almost by accident it was then found in the valley outside the city walls, several feet below the present surface. Its foundation, which alone remained, enabled Mr. Wood to reconstruct the entire temple plan. The temple was built upon a foundation which was reached by a flight of ten steps. The building itself was 425 ft. long and 220 ft. wide; each of its 127 pillars which supported the roof of its colonnade was 60 ft. high; like the temples of Greece, its interior was open to the sky. For a further description of the temple, see Mr. Wood’s excellent book, Discoveries at Ephesus.

E. J. Banks


ef’-lal (’ephlal, "judgment"):

A descendant of Judah (1Ch 2:37).


ef’-od (’ephowdh (28 times), ‘ephodh (20 times), ‘ephodh; Septuagint epomis, ephoth, ephod, ephoud, stole exallos, stole bussine):

(1) A sacred vestment originally designed for the high priest (Ex 28:4 ff; 39:2 ff), and made "of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen," held together by two shoulder-pieces and a skillfully woven band which served as a girdle for the ephod. On the shoulderpieces were two onyx stones on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. It is not known whether the ephod extended below the hips or only to the waist. Attached to the ephod by chains of pure gold was a breastplate containing twelve precious stones in four rows. Underneath the ephod was the blue robe of the ephod extending to the feet of the priest. The robe of the ephod was thus a garment comprising, in addition to the long robe proper, the ephod with its shoulderpieces and the breastplate of judgment.

(2) From the historical books we learn that ephods were worn by persons other than the high priest. Thus, the boy Samuel was girded with a linen ephod while assisting the aged high priest (1Sa 2:18); the priests at Nob, 85 in number, are described as men wearing a linen ephod (1Sa 22:18); and David was girded with a linen ephod when he danced in the procession that brought the ark into Jerusalem (2Sa 6:14). The ephod was considered appropriate for the king on this solemn and happy occasion; but it would be reading into the narrative more than it contains to infer that lay worshippers were regularly clothed with the ephod; nor are we to suppose that priests other than the high priest were accustomed to wear ephods as rich and elaborate as that of the high priest. Abiathar, who became high priest after the assassination of his father by Doeg, probably brought to the camp of David the ephod worn by the high priest in his ministrations at Nob (1Sa 23:6), and through this ephod David sought in certain crises to learn Yahweh’s will (1Sa 23:9; 30:7). Some have argued that the ephod, which Abiathar brought in his hand, was an image rather than a priestly garment, but there seems no sufficient reason for regarding it as other than a vestment for the high priest. The ephod behind which the sword of Goliath was kept wrapped in a cloth may well have been a garment suspended from the wall or itself wrapped in a protecting cloth (1Sa 21:9).

(3) The ephod mentioned in Jud 17:5; 18:14 f; Ho 3:4 is associated with teraphim and other idolatrous images. We may frankly confess that we do not know the shape, size and use of the ephod in these cases, though even here also the ephod may well have been a priestly garment. The same remark holds good of the ephod made by Gideon, and which became an object of idolatrous worship in Israel (Jud 8:27). It has been argued that a vestment would not cost seventeen hundred shekels of gold. Possibly Gideon set up an apparatus of worship containing other articles just as the mother of Micah began with the promise to make a graven image and a molten image, and afterward added an ephod and teraphim (Jud 17:1-5). Moreover, if gems and brilliants were put on Gidcon’s ephod, who can say that it did not cost seventeen hundred shekels? LITERATURE.

Braun, De vestitu sacerdotum (1698), 462 ff; Ugolini, Thesaurus antiquitatum sacrarum (1744-69), XII, 785 f; Ancessi, Annales de philos. chretienne, 1872; Konig, Rel. Hist. of Israel, 107 ff; Van Hoonackcr, Le sacerdoce levitique (1899), 370 ff; Foote, The Ephod, in "Johns Hopkins University Circulars," 1900.

John Richard Sampey


e’-fod (’ephodh):

Father of Hanniel, prince of Manasseh (Nu 34:23).


ef’-a-tha, ef-a’-tha (Ephphatha):

Aramaic word used by Christ (Mr 7:34), the ‘ethpa‘al imperative of Aramaic pethach (Hebrew pathach), translated, "Be (thou) opened"; compare Isa 35:5. The Aramaic was the sole popular language of Palestine (Shurer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, IIg, 9) and its use shows that we have here the graphic report of an eyewitness, upon whom the dialectic form employed made a deep impression. This and the corresponding act of the touch with the moistened finger is the foundation of a corresponding ceremony in the Roman Catholic formula for baptism.


e’-fra-im, e’-fra-im (’ephrayim, "double fruit"):

1. The Patriarch:

The younger of the two sons of Joseph and Asenath, born in Egypt. He and his brother Manasseh were adopted by Jacob, and ranked as his own sons, each becoming the ancestor of a tribe in Israel. In blessing his grandchildren, despite their father’s protest, Jacob preferred the younger, foreshadowing the future eminence of his descendants (Ge 41:50 ff; 48:20 ff). In the Blessing of Jacob however, the two are included under the name of Joseph (Ge 49:22 f).

2. The Tribe:

At the first census on leaving Egypt, Ephraim’s men of war numbered 40,500; and at the second census they are given as 32,500 (Nu 1:33; 26:37). See, however, article NUMBERS. The head of the tribe at the Exodus was Elishama, son of Ammihud (Nu 1:10). With the standard of the tribe of Ephraim on the West of the tabernacle in the desert march were Manasseh and Benjamin (Nu 2:18 ff). The Ephraimite among the spies was Hoshea (i.e. Joshua), the son of Nun (Nu 13:8). At the division of the land Ephraim was represented by prince Kemuel, son of Shiphtan (Nu 34:24). The future power of this tribe is again foreshadowed in the Blessing of Moses (De 33:17). When Moses died, a member of the tribe, Joshua, whose faith and courage had distinguished him among the spies, succeeded to the chief place in Israel. It was natural that the scene of national assemblies, and the center of the nation’s worship, should be chosen within the land occupied by the children of Joseph, at Shechem and Shiloh respectively. The leadership of Ephraim was further emphasized by the rule of Samuel. From the beginning of life in Palestine they enjoyed a certain prestige, and were very sensitive on the point of honor (Jud 7:24; 8:1; 12:1 ff). Their acceptance of and loyalty to Saul, the first king chosen over Israel, may be explained by his belonging to a Rachel tribe, and by the close and tender relations existing between Joseph and Benjamin. But they were never reconciled to the passing of the scepter to Judah in the person of David (2Sa 2:8 f). That Israel would have submitted to the sovereignty of Absalom, any more than to that of David, is not to be believed; but his revolt furnished an opportunity to deal a shrewd blow at the power of the southern tribe (2Sa 15:13). Solomon’s lack of wisdom and the crass folly of Rehoboam in the management of the northern tribes fanned the smoldering discontent into a fierce flame. This made easy the work of the rebel Jeroboam; and from the day of the disruption till the fall of the Northern Kingdom there was none to dispute the supremacy of Ephraim, the names Ephraim and Israel being synonymous. The most distinguished of Ephraim’s sons were Joshua, Samuel and Jeroboam I.

3. The Territory:

The central part of Western Palestine fell to the children of Joseph; and, while the boundaries of the territory allotted to Ephraim and Manasseh respectively are given in Jos 16; 17:1 ff, it seems to have been held by them in common for some time (17:14). The Canaanites in certain cities of both divisions were not driven out. It was probably thought more profitable to enslave them (16:10; 17:13). The boundaries of Ephraim cannot be followed with accuracy, but roughly, they were as follows: The southern boundary, agreeing with the northern border of Benjamin, started from Bethel, and passed down westward by nether Beth-horon and Gezer toward the sea (16:3; in verse 5 it stops at upper Beth-horon); it turned northward to the southern bank of the brook Kanah (Wady Kanah) along which it ran eastward (17:10) to Michmethath (the plain of Mukhneh); thence it went northward along the western edge of the plain to Shechem. It then bent eastward and southward past Taanath-shiloh (Ta‘ana), Janoah (Yankun) to Ataroth and Naarah (unidentified) and the Jordan (16:7). From Ataroth, which probably corresponds to Ataroth-addar (16:5), possibly identical with the modern et-Truneh, the southern border passed up to Bethel. Along the eastern front of the land thus defined there is a steep descent into the Jordan valley. It is torn by many gorges, and is rocky and unfruitful. The long slopes to the westward, however, furnish much of the finest land in Palestine. Well watered as it is, the valleys are beautiful in season with cornfields, vineyards, olives and other fruit trees. The uplands are accessible at many points from the maritime plain; but the great avenue of entrance to the country runs up Wady esh-Sha‘ir to Nablus, whence, threading the pass between Gerizim and Ebal, it descends to the Jordan valley. In this favored region the people must have lived in the main a prosperous and happy life. How appropriate are the prophetic allusions to these conditions in the days of Ephraim’s moral decay (Isa 28:1,4; Jer 31:18; Ho 9:13; 10:11, etc.)!

W. Ewing


(1) A position apparently of some importance, since the position of Baal-hazor (probably = Tell ‘Asur) where Abraham’s sheep- farm was located, is determined by relation to it (2Sa 13:23). That it lay North of Jerusalem seems to be indicated in 2Sa 13:34. It may be identical with the Ephraim of Eusebius, Onomasticon, 20 Roman miles North of Jerusalem, and therefore to be sought somewhere in the neighborhood of Sinjil and el- Lubban. Connected with this may have been the name Aphaerema, a district in Samaria mentioned in 1 Macc 11:34; Ant, XIII, iv, 9.

(2) The town near the wilderness to which Jesus retired after the raising of Lazarus (Joh 11:54). This probably corresponds to Ephrem of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s .v. "Afra") 5 Roman miles East of Bethel. This may be the place named along with Bethel by Josephus (BJ, IV, ix, 9). It probably answers to eT-Taiyebeh, a large village about 4 miles North of Beitin. The antiquity of the site is attested by the cisterns and rock tombs. It stands on a high hill with a wide outlook including the plains of Jericho and the Dead Sea.


W. Ewing


(ya‘ar ‘ephrayim):

The word ya‘ar (Hebrew) probably agrees in meaning with the Arabic wa‘r, which indicates a rough country, abounding in rocks, stones and scrub, with occasional trees; not a "forest," as we understand the term. Here Absalom was defeated and slain (2Sa 18:6 ff, the King James Version "wood of Ephraim"). It must be sought, therefore, East of the Jordan, in the neighborhood of Mahanaim; but no identification is yet possible.




(har ‘ephrayim):

Means that part of the mountain which fell to Ephraim (Jos 19:50, etc.). The natives speak today of Jebel Nablus, Jebel Cafed, etc., meaning that section of the central range which is subject to each city. It is better therefore to retain the rendering of the King James Version, and not to read with the Revised Version (British and American) "hill-country of Ephraim."




e’-fra-im-it (’ephrayim; singular ‘ephrathi):

A member of the tribe of Ephraim (Jos 16:10, etc.).



e’-fra-in (2Ch 13:19), the Revised Version (British and American)

EPHRON, which see.


ef’-rath, e’-frath, ef’-ra-tha, ef-ra’-tha (’ephrath; Ephratha; Ge 35:16; 48:7); (’ephrathah, in the other references: Jos 15:59 (in added verse of Septuagint only); Ru 4:11; 1Ch 2:19,24,50; Ps 132:6; Mic 5:2, the King James Version "Ephratah"):

The name either of Bethlehem itself or of a district in which Bethlehem was situated. A man of this place was called an Ephrathite (Ru 1:2; 1Sa 17:12). It is held by many authorities that the Ephrath where Rachel was buried (Ge 35:16; 48:7) was a different place, the words "the same is Bethlehem" being a gloss. The reading in Ps 132:6 is doubtful; the Revised Version, margin has "Ephraim."

E. W. G. Masterman


ef’-rath-it, e’-frath-it.



e’-fron (’ephron, "fawnlike"):

The Hittite of whom Abraham bought the field and cave of Machpelah (Ge 23:8 ff; 25:9; 49:30). The transaction was conducted in true oriental fashion, with excessive courtesy; but the large sum of 400 shekels’ weight of silver was in the end required (compare 33:19; 1Ki 16:24).



e’-fron (‘ephron; Ephron):

(1) 2Ch 13:19: "And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Beth-el with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephron with the towns thereof." Another reading is "Ephraim" (Revised Version, margin). This is thought by many to be identical with Ophrah (‘ophrah, Jos 18:23) and perhaps with Ephraim (‘ephrayim, 2Sa 13:23) which both have been localized at the lofty town of eT Taiyibeh.

(2) A city East of the Jordan between Carnion (Ashteroth-karnain) and Scythopolis (Beisan): "Then Judas gathered together all the Israelites that were in the country. .... Now when they came unto Ephron (this was a great city in the way as they should go, very well fortified) they could not turn from it either on the right hand or on the left, but they must needs pass through the midst of it" (1 Macc 5:45,46 the King James Version; Ant, XII, viii, 5; also 2 Macc 12:27). Buhl and Schumacher propose Kacr Wady el Ghafr, a ruined tower which completely commands the deep Wady el Ghafr, but the ruins appear to be scanty.

(3) Mt. Ephron: The border of Judah is described (Jos 15:9): "It went out to the cities of Mount Ephron." The position will depend on that of Nephtoah and of Kiriath-jearim.

E. W. G. Masterman


ep-i-ku-re’-anz (Epikoureioi):


1. Social and Political Causes 2. Egoistic Hedonism 3. Back to Nature 4. Ataraxy 5. Pleasure Is the Absence of Pain 6. Social Contract 7. Atomic Theory 8. Materialism 9. Theory of Ideas 10. Epicurean Gods 11. Consensus Gentium 12. Causes of Success 13. Complete Antithesis of Paul’s Teaching 14. LITERATURE


The Epicureans with the STOICS (which see) encountered Paul in Athens (Ac 17:18). They were the followers of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in Samos in 341 BC, and who taught first in Asia Minor and afterward in Athens till his death in 270 BC. His system, unlike most philosophies, maintained its original form, with little development or dissent, to the end of its course. The views of Paul’s opponents of this school may therefore be gathered from the teaching of Epicurus.

1. Social and Political Causes:

The conditions for the rise of Epicureanism and Stoicism were political and social rather than intellectual. Speculative thought had reached its zenith in the great constructive ideals of Plato, and the encyclopaedic system of Aristotle. Criticism of these would necessarily drive men back upon themselves to probe deeper into the meaning of experience, as Kant did in later times. But the conditions were not propitious to pure speculation. The breaking up of the Greek city-states and the loss of Greek independence had filled men’s minds with a sense of insecurity. The institutions, laws and customs of society, which had hitherto sheltered the individual, now gave way; and men demanded from philosophy a haven of rest for their homeless and weary souls. Philosophy, therefore, became a theory of conduct and an art of living.

Epicurus deprecated the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, whether as philosophy or science, and directed his inquiries to the two practical questions: What is the aim of life? and How to attain to it? Philosophy he defined as "a daily business of speech and thought to secure a happy life."

2. Egoistic Hedonism:

His ethical teaching is therefore the central and governing factor of Epicurus’ philosophy. It belongs to the type generally described as Egoistic Hedonism. The same general principles had been taught by Aristippus and his school, the Cyrenaics, a century earlier, and they were again revived in the 17th century in England by Thomas Hobbes. The aim and end of life for every man is his own happiness, and happiness is primarily defined as pleasure. "Wherefore we call pleasure the Alpha and Omega of a blessed life. Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge every good thing" (Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus). So far Epicurus might seem to be simply repeating the view of the Cyrenaics. But there are important differences. Aristippus held the pleasure of the moment to be the end of action; but Epicurus taught that life should be so lived as to secure the greatest amount of pleasure during its whole course. And in this larger outlook, the pleasures of the mind came to occupy a larger place than the pleasures of the body. For happiness consists not so much in the satisfaction of desires, as in the suppression of wants, and in arriving at a state of independence of all circumstances, which secures a peace of mind that the privations and changes of life cannot disturb. Man’s desires are of various kinds: "Some are natural, some are groundless; of the natural, some are necessary as well as natural, and some are natural only. And of the necessary desires, some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live." Man’s aim should be to suppress all desires that are unnecessary, and especially such as are artificially produced. Learning, culture, civilization and the distractions of social and political life are proscribed, much as they were in the opposite school of the Cynics, because they produce many desires difficult to satisfy, and so disturb the peace of the mind. This teaching has been compared to that of Rousseau and even of Buddha. Like the former, Epicurus enjoins the withdrawal of life from the complexities and perplexities of civilization, to the bare necessities of Nature, but he stops short of the doctrine of Nirvana, for life and the desire to live he regards as good things.

3. Back to Nature:

He even rises above Naturalism to a view that has some kinship with modern Spiritualism, in his affirmation of the mastery of mind over adverse circumstances. "Though he is being tortured on the rack, the wise man is still happy."

4. Ataraxy:

Epicurus’ definition of the end of life and of the way to it bears a superficial resemblance to that of his opponents, the Stoics. The end sought by both is ataraxia, "imperturbability," a peace of mind that transcends all circumstances, and the way to it is the life according to Nature. But Nature for Epicurus is purely physical and material, and the utmost happiness attainable is the complete absence of pain.

5. Pleasure Is the Absence of Pain:

He justly protests against the representation of his teaching as gross and immoral. "When we say, then, that pleasure is the end and aim, we do not mean the pleasures of the prodigal, or the pleasures of sensuality, as we are understood to do by some, through ignorance, prejudice or willful misrepresentation. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and trouble in the soul" (Letter to Menoeceus). His own life was marked by a simplicity verging on asceticism, and by kindly consideration for his friends. But theory was capable of serving the purposes of worse men to justify license and selfishness.

6. Social Contract:

Justice and ordinary morality were recognized in the system as issuing from an original social compact, such as Hobbes and Rousseau supposed, and resting upon the self-interest and happiness of individuals who entered into the compact the better to gain those ends. Ordinary morality has therefore no stronger sanction than the individual’s desire to secure his own happiness. Against public violations of the moral code, the sanction finds its agent in the social order and the penalties it inflicts; but the only deterrent from secret immorality is the fear of being found out, and the necessarily disturbing character of that fear itself. Friendship, the supreme virtue of Epicureanism, is based upon the same calculating selfishness, and is to be cultivated for the happiness it begets to its owners. The fundamental defect of the system is its extreme individualism, which issues in a studied selfishness that denies any value of their own to the social virtues, and in the negation of the larger activities of life.

Epicurus had no interest in knowledge for its own sake, whether of the external world, or of any ultimate or supreme, reality. But he found men’s minds full of ideas about the world, immortality and the gods, which disturbed their peace and filled them with vain desires and fears. It was therefore necessary for the practical ends of his philosophy to find a theory of the things outside of man that would give him tranquillity and serenity of mind.

7. Atomic Theory:

For this purpose Epicurus fell back upon Democritus’ atomic theory of the world. The original constituents of the universe, of which no account could be given, were atoms, the void, and motion. By a fixed law or fate, the atoms moved through the void, so as to form the world as we know it. The same uniform necessity maintains and determines the abiding condition of all that exists. Epicurus modified this system so far as to admit an initial freedom to the atoms, which enabled them to divert slightly from their uniform straight course as they fell like rain through space, and so to impinge, combine and set up rotatory motions by which the worlds, and all that is in them, came into being.

8. Materialism:

He did not follow the idea of freedom in Nature and man beyond the exigencies of his theory, and the thoroughly materialistic nature of his universe precluded him from deducing a moral realm. By this theory he gets rid of the causes of fear and anxiety that disturb the human mind. Teleology, providence, a moral order of the universe, the arbitrary action of the gods, blind fate, immortality, hell, reward and punishment after death, are all excluded from a universe where atoms moving through space do everything. The soul, like the body, is made of atoms, but of a smaller or finer texture. In death, the one like the other dissolves and comes to its end.

9. Theory of Ideas:

From the same premises one would expect the complete denial of any Divine beings. But it is a curiosity of the system that a grossly materialistic theory of knowledge should require the affirmation of the existence of the gods. Men’s ideas are derived from thin material films that pass from the objects around them into the kindred matter of their minds. It follows that every idea must have been produced by a corresponding object. Men generally possess ideas of gods. Therefore, gods must exist to produce those ideas, which come to men in sleep and dreams. But they are not such gods as men generally believe to exist. They are constituted of the same atomic matter as men, but of a still finer texture. They dwell in the intermundia, the interspaces outside the worlds, where earthly cares and the dissolution of death cannot approach them. They are immortal and completely blessed. They cannot therefore know anything of the world, with its pain and its troubles, nor can they be in any way concerned with it. They are apotheoses of the Epicurean sage, entirely withdrawn from the world’s turmoil, enjoying a life of calm repose, and satisfied with the bounty that Nature provides for them.

10. Epicurean Gods:

"For the nature of the gods must ever in itself of necessity enjoy immortality with supreme repose, far removed and withdrawn from our concerns; since exempt from every pain, exempt from all dangers, strong in its own resources, not wanting aught of us, it is neither gained by favors nor moved by anger" (Lucretius). All religion is banned, though the gods are retained. Epicurus’ failure to carry the logic of his system to the denial of the gods lies deeper than his theory of ideas.

11. Consensus Gentium:

He was impressed by the fact that "a steadfast unanimity continues to prevail among all men without exception" that gods exist. "A consciousness of godhead does not allow him to deny the existence of God altogether. Hence, his attempt to explain the fact so as not to interfere with his general theory" (Wallace, Epicureanism, 209). During his lifetime, Epicurus attracted a large following to his creed, and it continued to flourish far down into the Christian era. It was presented to the Roman world by the poet Lucretius in his poem De natura rerum, which is still the chief source for the knowledge of it. One Old Testament writer, the author of Eccl, may have been influenced by its spirit, though he did not adopt all its ideas.

12. Causes of Success:

The personal charm and engaging character of Epicurus himself drew men to him, and elevated him into the kind of ideal sage who personified the teaching of the school, as was the custom of all schools of philosophy. The system was clear-cut and easily understood by ordinary men, and it offered a plausible theory of life to such as could not follow the profounder and more difficult speculations of other schools. Its moral teaching found a ready response in all that was worldly, commonplace and self-seeking in men that had lost their high ideals and great enthusiasms. Above all it delivered men from the terrors of a dark superstition that had taken the place of religion. It is a remarkable revelation of the inadequacy of Greek religion that Epicurus should have relegated the gods from the visible world, without any sense of loss, but only the relief of a great deliverance.

13. Complete Antithesis of Paul’s Teaching:

It was inevitable that the teaching of Paul should have brought this school up against him. He came to Athens teaching a God who had become man, who had suffered and died to accomplish the utmost self-sacrifice, who had risen from the dead and returned to live among men to guide and fashion their lives, and who at last would judge all men, and according to their deeds reward or punish them in a future world. To the Epicurean this was the revival of all the ancient and hated superstitions. It was not only folly but impiety; for Epicurus had taught that "not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believe about them, is truly impious."


Hicks, Stoic and Epicurean (whose translations are adopted in all quotations in this article); Zeller, Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics; Wallace, Epicureanism; Lucretius, De natura rerum.

T. Rees








ep’-i-fi (Epiphi):

Name of a month mentioned in connection with Pachon in APC 1Macc 6:38.



e-pis’-’-l (epistole, "a letter," "epistle"; from epistello, "to send to"):


1. New Testament Epistles 2. Distinctive Characteristics 3. Letter-Writing in Antiquity 4. Letters in the Old Testament 5. Letters in the Apocrypha 6. Epistolary Writings in the New Testament 7. Epistles as Distinguished from Letters 8. Patristic Epistles 9. Apocryphal Epistles


1. New Testament Epistles:

A written communication; a term inclusive of all forms of written correspondence, personal and official, in vogue from an early antiquity. As applied to the twenty-one letters, which constitute well-nigh one-half of the New Testament, the word "epistle" has come to have chiefly a technical and exclusive meaning. It refers, in common usage, to the communications addressed by five (possibly six) New Testament writers to individual or collective churches, or to single persons or groups of Christian disciples. Thirteen of these letters were written by Paul; three by John; two by Peter; one each by James and Jude; one—the epistle to the Hebrews—by an unknown writer.

2. Distinctive Characteristics:

As a whole the Epistles are classified as Pauline, and Catholic, i.e. general; the Pauline being divided into two classes: those written to churches and to individuals, the latter being known as Pastoral (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus; some also including Philemon; see Lange on Romans, American edition, 16). The fact that the New Testament is so largely composed of letters distinguishes it, most uniquely, from all the sacred writings of the world. The Scriptures of other oriental religions—the Vedas, the Zend Avesta, the Tripitaka, the Koran, the writings of Confucius—lack the direct and personal address altogether. The Epistles of the New Testament are specifically the product of a new spiritual life and era. They deal, not with truth in the abstract, but in the concrete. They have to do with the soul’s inner experiences and processes. They are the burning and heart-throbbing messages of the apostles and their confreres to the fellow-Christians of their own day. The chosen disciples who witnessed the events following the resurrection of Jesus and received the power (Ac 1:8) bestowed by the Holy Spirit on, and subsequent to, the Day of Pentecost, were spiritually a new order of men. The only approach to them in the spiritual history of mankind is the ancient Hebrew prophets. Consequently the Epistles, penned by men who had experienced a great redemption and the marvelous intellectual emancipation and quickening that came with it, were an altogether new type of literature. Their object is personal. They relate the vital truths of the resurrection era, and the fundamental principles of the new teaching, to the individual and collective life of all believers. This specific aim accounts for the form in which the apostolic letters were written. The logic of this practical aim appears conspicuously in the orderly Epistles of Paul who, after the opening salutation in each letter, lays down with marvelous clearness the doctrinal basis on which he builds the practical duties of daily Christian life. Following these, as each case may require, are the personal messages and affectionate greetings and directions, suited to this familiar form of address.

The Epistles consequently have a charm, a directness, a vitality and power unknown to the other sacred writings of the world. Nowhere are they equaled or surpassed except in the personal instructions that fell from the lips of Jesus. Devoted exclusively to experimental and practical religion they have, with the teachings of Christ, become the textbook of the spiritual life for the Christian church in all subsequent time. For this reason "they are of more real value to the church than all the systems of theology, from Origen to Schleiermacher" (Schaff on St. Paul’s Epistles, History of the Christian Church, 741). No writings in history so unfold the nature and processes of the redemptive experience. In Paul and John, especially, the pastoral instinct is ever supreme. Their letters are too human, too personal, too vital to be formal treatises or arguments. They throb with passion for truth and love for souls. Their directness and affectionate intensity convert their authors into prophets of truth, preachers of grace, lovers of men and missionaries of the cross. Hence, their value as spiritual biographies of the writers is immeasurable. As letters are the most spontaneous and the freest form of writing, the New Testament Epistles are the very life-blood of Christianity. They present theology, doctrine, truth, appeal, in terms of life, and pulsate with a vitality that will be fresh and re-creative till the end of time. (For detailed study of their chronology, contents and distinguishing characteristics, see articles on the separate epistles.)

3. Letter-Writing in Antiquity:

While the New Testament Epistles, in style and quality, are distinct from and superior to all other literature of this class, they nevertheless belong to a form of personal and written address common to all ages. The earliest known writings were epistolary, unless we except some of the chronologies and inscriptions of the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian kings. Some of these royal inscriptions carry the art of writing back to 3800 BC, possibly to a period still earlier (see Goodspeed, Kent’s Historical Series, 42-43, secs. 40-41), and excavations have brought to light "an immense mass of letters from officials to the court—correspondence between royal personages or between minor officials," as early as the reign of Khammurabi of Babylon, about 2275 BC (ibid., 33). The civilized world was astonished at the extent of this international correspondence as revealed in the Tell el-Amarna Letters (1480 BC), discovered in Egypt in 1887, among the ruins of the palace of Amenophis IV. This mass of political correspondence is thus approximately synchronous with the Hebrew exodus and the invasion of Canaan under Joshua.

4. Letters in the Old Testament:

As might be expected, then, the Old Testament abounds with evidences of extensive epistolary correspondence in and between the oriental nations. That a postal service was in existence in the time of Job (Job 9:25) is evident from the Hebrew term ratsim, signifying "runners," and used of the mounted couriers of the Persians who carried the royal edicts to the provinces. The most striking illustration of this courier service in the Old Testament occurs in Es 3:13,15; 8:10,14 where King Ahasuerus, in the days of Queen Esther, twice sends royal letters to the Jews and satraps of his entire realm from India to Ethiopia, on the swiftest horses. According to Herodotus, these were usually stationed, for the sake of the greatest speed, four parasangs apart. Hezekiah’s letters to Ephraim and Manasseh were sent in the same way (2Ch 30:1,6,10). Other instances of epistolary messages or communications in the Old Testament are David’s letter to Joab concerning Uriah and sent by him (2Sa 11:14,15); Jezebel’s, to the elders and nobles of Jezreel, sent in Ahab’s name, regarding Naboth (1Ki 21:8,9); the letter of Ben-hadad, king of Syria, to Jehoram, king of Israel, by the hand of Naaman (2Ki 5:5-7); Jehu’s letters to the rulers of Jezreel, in Samaria (2Ki 10:1,2,6,7); Sennacherib’s letter to Hezekiah (2Ki 19:14; Isa 37:14; 2Ch 32:17), and also that of Merodach- baladan, accompanied with a gift (2Ki 20:12; Isa 39:1). Approximating the New Testament epistle in purpose and spirit is the letter of earnest and loving counsel sent by Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon. It is both apostolic and pastoral in its prophetic fervor, and is recorded in full (Jer 29:1,4-32) with its reference to the bitterly hostile and jealous letter of Shemaiah, the false prophet, in reply.

As many writers have well indicated, the Babylonian captivity must have been a great stimulus to letter-writing on the part of the separated Hebrews, and between the far East and Palestine. Evidences of this appear in the histories of Ezra and Nehemiah, e.g. the correspondence, back and forth, between the enemies of the Jews at Jerusalem and Artaxerxes, king of Persia, written in the Syrian language (Ezr 4:7-23); also the letter of Tattenai (the King James Version "Tatnai") the governor to King Darius (Ezr 5:6-17); that of Artaxerxes to Ezra (Ezr 7:11 ff), and to Asaph, keeper of the royal forest (Ne 2:8); finally the interchange of letters between the nobles of Judah and Tobiah; and those of the latter to Nehemiah (Ne 6:17,19; so Sanballat verse 5).

5. Letters in the Apocrypha:

The Old Testament Apocrypha contains choice specimens of personal and official letters, approximating in literary form the epistles of the New Testament. In each case they begin, like the latter, in true epistolary form with a salutation: "greeting" or "sendeth greeting" (APC 1Macc 11:30,32; 12:6,20; 15:2,16), and in two instances closing with the customary "Fare ye well" or "Farewell" (2 Macc 11:27-33,34-38; compare 2Co 13:11), so universally characteristic of letter-writing in the Hellenistic era.

6. Epistolary Writings in the New Testament:

The most felicitous and perfect example official correspondence in the New Testament is Claudius Lysias’ letter to Felix regarding Paul (Ac 23:25-30). Equally complete in form is the letter, sent, evidently in duplicate, by the apostles and elders to their Gentilebrethren in the provinces of Asia (Ac 15:23-29). In these two letters we have the first, and with Jas 1:1, the only, instance of the Greek form of salutation in the New Testament (chairein). The latter is by many scholars regarded as probably the oldest letter in epistolary form in the New Testament, being in purport and substance a Pastoral Letter issued by the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem to the churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. It contained instructions as to the basis of Christian fellowship, similar to those of the great apostle to the churches under his care.

The letters of the high priest at Jerusalem commending Saul of Tarsus to the synagogues of Damascus are samples of the customary letters of introduction (Ac 9:2; 22:5; compare Ac 28:21; also Ac 18:27). As a Christian apostle Paul refers to this common use of "epistles of commendation" (2Co 3:1; 1Co 16:3) and himself made happy use of the same (Ro 16:1 ff); he also mentions receiving letters, in turn, from the churches (1Co 7:1). Worthy of classification as veritable epistles are the letters, under the special guidance of the Holy Spirit, to the seven churches of Asia (Re 2:1-3:22). In fact, the entire Book of Re is markedly epistolary in form, beginning with the benedictory salutation of personal and apostolic address, and closing with the benediction common to the Pauline epistles. This again distinguishes the New Testament literature in spirit and form from all other sacred writings, being almost exclusively direct and personal, whether in vocal or written address. In this respect the gospels, histories and epistles are alike the product and exponent of a new spiritual era in the life of mankind.

7. Epistles as Distinguished from Letters:

This survey of epistolary writing in the far East, and especially in the Old Testament and New Testament periods, is not intended to obscure the distinction between the letter and the epistle. A clear line of demarcation separates them, owing not merely to differences in form and substance, but to the exalted spiritual mission and character of the apostolic letters. The characterization of a letter as more distinctly personal, confidential and spontaneous, and the epistle as more general in aim and more suited to or intended for publication, accounts only in part for the classification. Even when addressed to churches Paul’s epistles were as spontaneous and intimately and affectionately personal as the ordinary correspondence. While intended for general circulation it is doubtful if any of the epistolary writers of the New Testament ever anticipated such extensive and permanent use of their letters as is made possible in the modern world of printing. The epistles of the New Testament are lifted into a distinct category by their spiritual eminence and power, and have given the word epistle a meaning and quality that will forever distinguish it from letter. In this distinction appears that Divine element usually defined as inspiration: a vitality and spiritual endowment which keeps the writings of the apostles permanently "living and powerful," where those of their successors pass into disuse and obscurity.

8. Patristic Epistles:

Such was the influence of the New Testament Epistles on the literature of early Christianity that the patristic and pseudepigraphic writings of the next century assumed chiefly the epistolary form. In letters to churches and individuals the apostolic Fathers, as far as possible, reproduced their spirit, quality and style.


9. Apocryphal Epistles:

Pseudo-epistles extensively appeared after the patristic era, many of them written and circulated in the name of the apostles and apostolic Fathers. See APOCRYPHAL EPISTLES. This early tendency to hide ambitious or possibly heretical writings under apostolic authority and Scriptural guise may have accounted for the anathema pronounced by John against all who should attempt to add to or detract from the inspired revelation (Re 22:18,19). It is hardly to be supposed that all the apostolic letters and writings have escaped destruction. Paul in his epistles refers a number of times to letters of his that do not now exist and that evidently were written quite frequently to the churches under his care (1Co 5:9; 2Co 10:9,10; Eph 3:3); "in every epistle" (2Th 3:17) indicates not merely the apostle’s uniform method of subscription but an extensive correspondence. Col 4:16 speaks of an "epistle from Laodicea," now lost, doubtless written by Paul himself to the church at Laodicea, and to be returned by it in exchange for his epistle to the church at Colosse.

Dwight M. Pratt









e’-kwal isos:

In Eze 18:25; 29; 33:17,20, "The way of the Lord is not equal" translates Hebrew yittakhen for takhan, "to weigh," and means "is not adjusted to any fixed standard," "arbitrary," "fitful," and, therefore, "not equitable, fair, or impartial" Septuagint ("is not set straight"). Compare same Hebrew word in 1Sa 2:3, where the Lord is said to ‘weigh actions.’ "Equal," therefore, is what will bear the closest investigation and strictest judgment. In Mt 20:12, "made them equal" means "put them upon the same footing," i.e. regarded their brief service as though it were the very same as our long hours of toil. In Lu 20:36 the context restricts the equality to a particular relation. The precise meaning of isos in Joh 5:18, "making himself equal with God," is clearly defined by the preceding clause, for our Lord’s opponents say that He has "called God his own Father" (Greek idion patera, i.e. His Father in a peculiar and exclusive sense; compare idiou huiou of Ro 8:32, applying the same adjective to the Son in His relation to the Father, i.e. His Son in a sense in which no one else can claim the title). They correctly interpreted the language of Jesus as declaring that He was the Son of God in a way that put Him on an equality with God. The charge against Him is not that He said that He was "like" (homoios), but that He was "equal" (isos), i.e. of the very same rank and authority.

H. E. Jacobs


e-kwol’-i-ti (isotes):

In 2Co 8:14, literally, ." out of equality," i.e. "in equal proportion" or "that there may be equality." In Php 2:6, it occurs in a paraphrase of Greek to einai isa theo, "the being on an equality with God." In this much-discussed passage, isa, according to a not unusual Attic idiom, is construed adverbially (see Meyer on passage), meaning, therefore, not ‘the being equal’ (the King James Version), which would require ison, but "the having equal prerogatives and privileges." The personal equality is one thing; the equality of attributes is another, and it is the latter which is here expressed (Lightfoot). The "being on an equality" and the "having equal prerogatives" are both deductions from the possession of "the form of God." The thought is that if He who had "the form of God" had under all circumstances exercised His Divine attributes, He would have been employing only what belonged to Him, and would in no way have derogated from what belongs only to God. We regard this as referring to the incarnate Son in His historical manifestation.

H. E. Jacobs



Is synonymous with "uprightness," which is found in Pr 17:26; Isa 59:14; Mal 2:6 in place of the King James Version "equity." Ec 2:21 has "skilfulness" and the Revised Version, margin "success" for the King James Version "equity." The context favors this translation of kishron, which is derived from kasher, "to succeed."

Equity is the spirit of the law behind the letter; justice is the application of the spirit of equity; honesty is the general everyday use of justice or fairness, equity being the interior or abstract ideal. The Court of Equity overrides the Court of Common Law, deciding not upon terms, but the spirit of the deed.

M. O. Evans


ar (‘er, "watcher"; Er’):

(1) The eldest son of Judah, the son of Jacob, by Shua the Canaanite. Judah took for him a wife named Tamar. It is recorded that Er "was wicked in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh slew him" (Ge 38:3,6,7; 46:12).

(2) "Er the father of Lecah" is mentioned among "the sons of Shelah the son of Judah" (1Ch 4:21).

(3) An ancestor of Jesus in Luke’s genealogy in the 7th generation before Zerubbabel (Lu 3:28).



We find no definite era in use in Old Testament times, and such usage does not appear until we reach the period of the Maccabees. There are some references to important events that might have served as eras had they been generally accepted and constantly employed. Such was the Exodus; and this is referred to as the starting-point in fixing the date of the building of Solomon’s temple (1Ki 6:1), and also for the date of Aaron’s death (Nu 33:38).

An earthquake is referred to by Amos 1:1 as a well-known event by which to date the beginning of his prophetic career; and Ezekiel in two passages refers to the captivity of Judah as a date for marking certain events in his life. Of these the Exodus would have been the most appropriate event to use as an era, since it marked the birth of the Hebrew nation; but the universal custom of antiquity was to date from the regnal years of the kings, as we see in the history of Egypt and Babylonia and Assyria; this custom was followed by the Israelites as soon as the kingdom was established, and was continued down to the Captivity. After the return of the Jews they naturally adopted the regnal years of the Persian kings, under whose rule they were, until the overthrow of the kingdom by Alexander. After this event, the era that prevailed most widely in Syria was that of the Seleucid kingdom, which began in 312 BC, and must have been familiar to the Jews, and we have evidence that they made use of it. When Simon the Maccabee secured the independence of the Jews from the Seleucid king, Demetrius II, in 141-140, they began to date their instruments and contracts from this event as is stated in 1 Macc 13:41,42; and we find that the year of their independence is fixed by reference to the Seleucid era, the first year of Simon being the 170th of that era (see Josephus, Ant, XIII, vi, 7).

After this they used the era of Simon, dating by his regnal years; but whether they used this as a permanent era during the Asmonean Dynasty or dated simply from the accession of each king, we do not know. There is no doubt that the Seleucid era continued to be used throughout the country for several centuries after the downfall of the Seleucid kingdom, as we have abundant evidence from inscriptions. When the Romans took possession of Syria and Palestine, their era was of course employed by Roman officials, but this did not prevail among the people. The dynasty of the Herods sometimes employed their own regnal years and sometimes those of the emperors, as appears from their coins. The Jews must have been familiar with the eras employed by some of the Phoenician towns, such as Tyre and Sidon. Tyre had a local era which began in 126 BC, and Sidon one beginning in 112 BC; and most of the towns on the coast used the era of Alexander, dating from the battle of Issus, until the establishment of the Seleucid era. The Jews would be familiar with these from their commercial connections with the coast towns, but we do not know that they used them. They did not adopt the era of the Creation until after the time of Christ. It was fixed at 4,000 years before the destruction of the later temple, or 3760 BC.

H. Porter


e’-ran (‘eran, "watcher," "watchful"; Eden):

The son of Ephraim’s oldest son Shuthelah (Nu 26:36).

Eranites, the descendants of Eran (same place) .


e-ras’-tus (Erastos, "beloved"):

The name occurs three times, each time denoting a companion of Paul.

(1) Erastus was sent with Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia while Paul remained in Asia for a while. They are designated "two of them that ministered unto him" (Ac 19:22).

(2) "Erastus the treasurer of the city" sent greetings to the Christians in Rome (Ro 16:23). He was apparently an important person in the Corinthian community, and with Gaius probably represented that church in these fraternal relations with the Roman community.

(3) Erastus is one who, in 2Ti 4:20, "remained at Corinth."

We have no means of discovering whether one or more than one person is meant in these references. A. C. Headlam (HDB, under the word) thinks it improbable that one who held an office implying residence in one locality should have been one of Paul’s companions in travel. On the other hand Paul may be designating Erastus (Ro 16:23) by an office he once held, but which he gave up to engage in mission work.

S. F. Hunter


e’-rek, er’-ek (’erekh; Orech):

1. Etymology of the Name:

The second of the cities founded by Nimrod, the others being Babel, Accad and Calneh (Ge 10:10). The derivation of the name is well known, Erech being the Semitic-Babylonian Uruk, from the Sumerian Unug, a word meaning "seat," probably in the sense of "residential city." The character with which it is written enters into the composition of the Babylonian names of Larsa and Ur of the Chaldees.

2. Position and Nature of the Ruins:

Its identification with Warka, on the left bank of the Euphrates, half-way between Hillah (Babylon) and Korna, is beyond a doubt. It is thought that the Euphrates must have flowed nearer to the city in ancient times, as the Gilgames legend relates that that hero and his companion Enkidu washed their hands in the stream after having killed the divine bull sent by the goddess Ishtar to destroy them. The shape of the ruin is irregular, the course of the walls of the Northeast having been seemingly determined by that of the Nile canal (Shatt-en-Nil), which flowed on that side. The extreme length of the site from North to South is over 3,000 yds., and its width about 2,800 yds. This space is very full of remains of buildings; and the foundations of the walls, with their various windings, gateways and defenses, are traceable even now.

3. Its Patron-Deities and Their Temples:

Two great deities, Ishtar and Nanaa, were worshipped in this city, the temple of the former being E-anna, "the house of heaven" (or "of Anu," in which case it is probable that the god of the heavens, Anu, was also one of the patrons of the city). The shrine dedicated to Ishtar is apparently now represented by the ruin known as Buwariyya or "reed-mats," and so called on account of the layers of matting at intervals of 4 or 5 ft. This is the great temple-tower (ziq-qurat) of the place, called E-gipar-imina, "the house of 7 enclosures." The remains are situated in a large courtyard measuring 350 ft. by 270 ft. As in the case of other Babylonian erections, the corners are directed toward the cardinal points, and its height is about 100 ft. above the desert-plain.

As Erech is mentioned with Babylon, Niffer (Calneh) and Eridu, as one of the cities created by Merodach (Nimrod), it is clear that it was classed with the oldest foundations in Babylonia. It was the city of Gilgames, the half-mythical king of the earliest period, who seems to have restored the walls and temples. Its earliest known ruler of historical times was Ensag-kus-anna, about 4,000 BC.

4. History of the City’s Temples, etc.:

The celebrated shrine of Ishtar was already in existence in the time of Lugal-zaggi-si, who came somewhat later. King Dungi (2600 BC) restored E-anna and built its great wall. This was in the time of the great Ur Dynasty, but later the city seems to have come under the dominion of the kings of Isin, Libit-Ishtar having apparently restored the sanctuary of Ishtar on E- gipara. Another great ruler of the early period was Sin-gasid, king of Erech, who was a patron of E-anna; and when he restored this shrine, he endowed it with grain, wool, oil and 1 shekel of gold. There seems also to have been a shrine to Nergal, god of war, which was restored by King Sin-gamil. About 2280 BC Kudur-Nanchunde, the Elamite king, plundered the city, and carried off the statue of the goddess Nanaa, which was only restored to its place by Assur-bani-apli, the Assyrian king, about 635 BC. Samsu-iluna seems to have surpassed his father Hammurabi (Amraphel) in the restoration of the city’s temples, and other rulers who did not forget Erech were Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus.

5. Literature Referring to Erech:

Many tablets have been found on the site, and give promise of interesting discoveries still to come. Having been the capital of the hero-king Gilgames, who saw the wonders of the wide world, spoke with the Babylonian Noah face to face, and almost attained immortality as a living man, it was always a place of romance. Poetical compositions concerning it exist, one of the most interesting being a lamentation possibly written after the invasion of Kudur-Nanchundi, when famine was rife in the city, blood flowed like water in E-ulbar, the house of Istar’s oracle, and the enemy heaped up fire in all the goddess’ lands as one heaps up embers.

6. The City’s Numerous Names:

The consideration in which the city was held is made plain by the geographical lists, from which it would seem that it had no less than 11 names, among them being Illab or Illag, Tir-anna, "the heavenly grove"; Ub-imina, "the 7 regions"; Uru- gipara-imina, "the city of the 7 enclosures"; and Uruk-supuri, "Erech of the folds" (the name which it always bears in the Gilgames legend), given to it either on account of its being a center where pastoral tribes gathered, or because of the flocks kept for sacrifice to its deities.

7. Tablets and Tombs of Late Date:

Besides the inscriptions of the kings already mentioned, tablets of the reigns of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadrezzar, Nabonidus, Cyrus, Darius and some of the Seleucids have been found on the site. In the ruins of the town and the country around, numerous glazed earthenware (slipper-shaped) coffins and other receptacles, used for and in connection with the burial of the dead, occur. These are mostly of the Parthian period, but they imply that the place was regarded as a necropolis, possibly owing to the sanctity attached to the site.


Schrader, KAT; Loftus, Chaldoea and Susiana, 162 ff; Fried. Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? 221 f; Zehnpfund, Babylonien in seinen wichtigsten Ruinenstatten, 48 ff.

T. G. Pinches


er-i-a-koo’, e-ri-a-ku’:

1. The Name and Its Etymology:

This is the probable Sumerian reading of the well-known Babylonian name written with the characters for "servant" (Sem wardu or ardu) and the group standing for the Moon-god Sin (written En-zu = Zu-en), otherwise Aku, the whole meaning "servant of the Moon-god." This ruler, who was king of Larsa (ELLASAR, compare that article), is generally identified with the ARIOCH (which see) of Ge 14:9. Several Assyriologists read the name with the Semitic Babylonian pronunciation of Warad-Sin; and, if this be correct, there would be a certain amount of doubt as to the generally received identification; though this, on the other hand, might simply prove that the ancient Hebrews obtained their transcription from a Sumerian source.

2. Inscriptions Mentioning Eri-Aku:

In addition to a number of contract-tablets, the following inscriptions mentioning Eri-Aku or Warad-Sin are known:

(1) A dedication, by Kudur-mabuk, "father of Martu" (Amurru, the land of the Amorites), son of Simti-Silchak, of some sacred object to the Moon-god Nannar, for his own life and that of Eri-Aku, his son, the king of Larsa.

(2) A dedication, by Eri-Aku, to Ishtar of Challabu, for his own life and that of his father and begetter Kudur-mabuk. The text records the restoration of Istar’s sanctuary.

(3) A dedication, by Eri-Aku, to the god Nannar, for the preservation of his own life and that of his father, Kudur-mabuk. The restoration of several temples is referred to.

(4) An inscription of Eri-Aku, "the powerful man," "the nourisher of Ur (of the Chaldees), the king of Larsa, the king of Sumer and Akkad; son of Kudur-mabuk, the father of Emutbala." The text records that he raised the wall of Ur, called "Nannar is the consolidator of the foundations of the land," high like a mountain.

(5) A dedication by Eri-Aku to Nin-insina (titles as above). It records the building of the temple E-u-namtila, for his own life, and the life of Kudurmabuk, the father his begetter.

3. The Nationality of His Family:

These inscriptions and others show that Eri-Aku belonged to an Elamite family which held the throne of Larsa, a state which, in common with Babylonia itself, acknowledged the suzerainty of Elam. Kudurmabuk would seem, from motives of policy, to have given his sons Sumerian and Semitic Babylonian names; and it is noteworthy that he did not retain the rule of Larsa for himself, but delegated it to his offspring, keeping for himself the dominion of Emutbala and, as his own inscription shows, the land of the Amorites. With regard to these it may be noted, that the expression adda, "father," probably means simply "administrator."

4. Eri-Aku and Rim-Sin:

Eri-Aku seems to have died while his father was still alive, and was succeeded by Rim-Sin, who, as Francois Thureau-Dangin points out, must have been his brother. As in the case of Eri-Aku, Kudur-mabuk inaugurated the reign of Rim-Sin by a dedication; but there seems to be no inscription in which Rim-Sin makes a dedication for the life of his father, implying that Kudur-mabuk died soon after his second son came to the throne.

And here the question of the identification of Eri-Aku with Eri-Eaku (var. -Ekua) claims consideration. This name occurs on certain tablets of late date from Babylonia, and is coupled with a name which may be read Kudur-lachgumal (for Kudurlachbgomar, i.e. Chedorlaomer), and Tud-chul, 1 (NOTE: 1 Written Tudchula, but the syllabaries indicate the final a as silent.) the Biblical Tidal.

5. Is Eri-Aku to Be Identified with Eri-Eaku?:

These inscriptions are very mutilated, but from the smaller one it would seem that Eri-(E)aku had a son named Durmah-ilani, who ravaged some district, and there were floods at Babylon. (But) his son slaughtered him like a lamb, and old man and child (were slain) with the sword. Similar things seem to be said of Tudchul or Tidal. The larger fragment gives further details of the life of Durmach-ilani, who had usurped royal power and had been killed with the sword. If the events recorded belong to this period, they must have taken place after the death of Eri-Aku (-Eaku, -Ekua), but before that of Kudur-lachgumal. It is to be noted that, in accordance with Elamite usage, the crown did not pass to the eldest son after a king’s death, but to the king’s eldest brother. In Elam this led to endless conflicts, and the same probably took place in Larsa until incorporated with the states of Babylonia.

6. A Historical Romance:

The fact that the history of Kudur-lachgumal (?) forms the subject of a poetical legend suggests that the texts mentioning these kings may have belonged to a kind of historical romance, of which Chedorlaomer (Amraphel), Arioch, and Tidal were the heroes—and, in truth, this is implied by their style. That they are utterly apocryphal, however, remains to be proved.


See "Inscriptions and Records Referring to Babylonia and Elam," etc., Journal of the Victoria Institute, 1895-96 (also separately); and the articles CHEDORLAOMER and ELAM, section 12 (5).

T. G. Pinches


e’-ri, e’-rits (‘eri, "watcher"):

The fifth of the seven sons of Gad (Ge 46:16; Nu 26:16).

Patronymic, Erites (same place) , a clan of Gad.


ur, er’-er:

To err is in the Old Testament the translation of shaghah, and ta‘ah, both of which mean literally, ." to wander," "to go astray." We have shaghah in 1Sa 26:21, "I have played the fool, and have erred"; Job 19:4, "Mine error remaineth with myself," i.e. "is my own concern," or, perhaps, "only injures myself"; Ps 119:118; Isa 28:7 the King James Version (thrice); ta‘ah, Ps 95:10; Pr 14:22; Isa 35:8. It means also "to cause to err" (Isa 3:12; 30:28, "a bridle that causeth to err"; Jer 23:13,12; "Their lies (i.e. the unreal deities, creatures of their own imagination) have caused them to err," Am 2:4).

In the New Testament the word is generally planaomai, "to wander" (Mr 12:24,27; Heb 3:10; Jas 5:19); astocheo, "to miss the mark," "to swerve," occurs twice (1Ti 6:21; 2Ti 2:18).

Error in the Old Testament represents various words: sheghaghah, "mistake," "oversight" (Ec 5:6; compare Pr 20:25 and see INQUIRE); meshughah, with the same meaning, "wandering" (Job 19:4; compare Ps 19:12); shal, "rashness," "mistake" (2Sa 6:7, "God smote him there for his error," the Revised Version, margin "rashness"); shalu, Aramaic "mistake" (Da 6:4); to‘ah, "injury" (Isa 32:6).

In the New Testament we have plane, "wandering" (Ro 1:27; Jas 5:20; 1 Joh 4:6; Jude 1:11, "the error of Balaam"); agnoema, "ignorance" (Heb 9:7, margin, Greek "ignorances"). For "is deceived" (Pr 20:1) the Revised Version (British and American) has "erreth," margin "or reeleth"; for "them that are out of the way" (Heb 5:2), "the ignorant and erring"; for "deceit" (1Th 2:3), "error."

The English word "error" has the same original meaning as the Hebrew and Greek main words, being derived from erro, "to wander." "To err is human," but there are errors of the heart as well as of the head. The familiar phrase just quoted seems to have its equivalent in the marginal rendering of Ge 6:3, "in their going astray they are flesh." Errors through ignorance are in the Bible distinguished from errors of the heart and willful errors (Le 5:18; Nu 15:22; Eze 45:20).

W. L. Walker





e-sar-had’-on (’ecar-chaddon; Assyrian Asur-ach-iddina, "Ashur hath given a brother"):

During his lifetime, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, made his favorite son, Esarhaddon (680-668 BC), the viceroy of Babylon; and although he was not the eldest son, he decreed that he should become the legal heir to the throne of Assyria. Sennacherib, having been slain in 681, apparently by two of his sons, who are called in the Old Testament Adrammelech and Sharezer (2Ki 19:37), Esarhaddon proceeded to Nineveh, where the rebellion which followed the death of his father collapsed, having existed for about a month and a half. The Old Testament informs us that the murderers of his father fled to Armenia. This is corroborated by the inscriptions which say that at Melid, in the land of Hanirabbat, which can be said to be in Armenia, Esarhaddon fought the rebels and defeated them; whereupon he was proclaimed king. His father had been so displeased with Babylon that he had attempted to annihilate the city by making it a swamp. Esarhaddon, however, having been infatuated with the ancient culture of the Babylonians, adopted a conciliatory attitude toward the people. Immediately he planned to restore the city on magnificent proportions. The foundations of his work were laid with impressive ceremonies, and in every way he endeavored to ameliorate the inhabitants by his gracious deeds. Even at Nippur evidences of his work in restoring the ancient shrine of Ellil are seen. The kings of the West who became his vassals, among them being Manasseh of Judah, were required to furnish building materials for his operations in Babylonia. His work in that land explains why the Judean king was incarcerated at Babylon (2Ch 33:11) instead of Assyria.

Esarhaddon was first compelled to defend the kingdom against the inroads of the hordes from the North. The Gimirra (perhaps referring to Gomer of the Old Testament), who were called Manda, seemed to pour into the land. A decisive victory was finally gained over them, and they were driven back into their own country. Afterward, the Medes and the Chaldeans were also subjugated. He then directed his attentions toward the West. Sidon having revolted against Assyria, Esarhaddon laid siege to the city, which after three years was finally captured and destroyed. He built another city upon the same site, which he called Kar-Esarhaddon, and endeavored to revive its commerce. And, as is mentioned in Ezr 4:2; compare 10, he repopulated the city (Samaria) with captives from Elam and Babylonia.

The capture of Tyre was also attempted, but, the city being differently situated, a siege from the land was insufficient to bring about submission, as it was impossible to cut off the commerce by sea. The siege, after several years, seems to have been lifted. Although on a great monolith Esarhaddon depicts Ba‘al, the king of Tyre, kneeling before him with a ring through his lips, there is nothing in the inscriptions to bear this out.

His work in Canaan was preparatory to his conquest of Egypt. Tirhakah, the Ethiopian king of Egypt, was attacked on the borders, but no victory was gained. Several years later he crossed the borders and gained a decisive victory at Iskhupri. He then proceeded to lay siege to Memphis, which soon capitulated; and Egypt, to the confines of Nubia, surrendered to Assyria. Esarhaddon reorganized the government, and even changed the names of the cities. Necoh was placed over the 22 princes of the land. In 668, Egypt revolted and Esarhaddon, while on his way to put down the revolt, died. He had arranged that the kingdom be divided between two of his sons: Ashurbanipal was to be king of Assyria, and Shamash-shum-ukin was to reign over Babylonia. The nobles decreed, however, that the empire should not be divided, but Shamash-shum-ukin was made viceroy of Babylonia.

A. T. Clay


e’-so (‘esaw, "hairy"; Esau):

Son of Isaac, twin brother of Jacob. The name was given on account of the hairy covering on his body at birth: "all over like a hairy garment" (Ge 25:25). There was a prenatal foreshadowing of the relation his descendants were to sustain to those of his younger brother, Jacob (Ge 25:23). The moment of his birth also was signalized by a circumstance that betokened the same destiny (Ge 25:26).

The young Esau was fond of the strenuous, daring life of the chase—he became a skillful hunter, "a man of the field" (’ish sadheh). His father warmed toward him rather than toward Jacob, because Esau’s hunting expeditions resulted in meats that appealed to the old man’s taste (Ge 25:28). Returning hungry from one of these expeditions, however, Esau exhibited a characteristic that marked him for the inferior position which had been foretokened at the time of his birth. Enticed by the pottage which Jacob had boiled, he could not deny himself, but must, at once, gratify his appetite, though the calm and calculating Jacob should demand the birthright of the firstborn as the price (Ge 25:30-34). Impulsively he snatched an immediate and sensual gratification at the forfeit of a future glory. Thus he lost the headship of the people through whom God’s redemptive purpose was to be wrought out in the world, no less than the mere secular advantage of the firstborn son’s chief share in the father’s temporal possessions. Though Esau had so recklessly disposed of his birthright, he afterward would have secured from Isaac the blessing that appertained, had not the cunning of Rebekah provided for Jacob. Jacob, to be sure, had some misgiving about the plan of his mother (Ge 27:12), but she reassured him; the deception was successful and he secured the blessing. Now, too late, Esau bitterly realized somewhat, at least, of his loss, though he blamed Jacob altogether, and himself not at all (Ge 27:34,36). Hating his brother on account of the grievance thus held against him, he determined upon fratricide as soon as his father should pass away (Ge 27:41); but the watchful Rebekah sent Jacob to Haran, there to abide with her kindred till Esau’s wrath should subside (Ge 27:42-45).

Esau, at the age of forty, had taken two Hittite wives, and had thus displeased his parents. Rebekah had shrewdly used this fact to induce Isaac to fall in with her plan to send Jacob to Mesopotamia; and Esau, seeing this, seems to have thought he might please both Isaac and Rebekah by a marriage of a sort different from those already contracted with Canaanitish women. Accordingly, he married a kinswoman in the person of a daughter of Ishmael (Ge 28:6,9). Connected thus with the "land of Seir," and by the fitness of that land for one who was to live by the sword, Esau was dwelling there when Jacob returned from Mesopotamia. While Jacob dreaded meeting him, and took great pains to propitiate him, and made careful preparations against a possible hostile meeting, very earnestly seeking Divine help, Esau, at the head of four hundred men, graciously received the brother against whom his anger had so hotly burned. Though Esau had thus cordially received Jacob, the latter was still doubtful about him, and, by a sort of duplicity, managed to become separated from him, Esau returning to Seir (Ge 33:12-17). Esau met his brother again at the death of their father, about twenty years later (Ge 35:29). Of the after years of his life we know nothing.

Esau was also called Edom ("red"), because he said to Jacob: "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage" (Ge 25:30). The land in which he established himself was "the land of Seir," so called from Seir, ancestor of the Horites whom Esau found there; and called also Edom from Esau’s surname, and, it may be, too, from the red sandstone of the country (Sayce).

"Esau" is sometimes found in the sense of the descendants of Esau, and of the land in which they dwelt (De 2:5; Ob 1:6,8,18,19).

E. J. Forrester


e’-sa (Esaias):

the King James Version for Isaiah (APC 2Esdras 2:18; Ecclesiasticus 48:22).











1. Definition

2. Signs Preceding the Parousia

3. Events Preceding the Parousia

(1) The Conversion of Israel

(2) The Coming of the Antichrist

4. The Manner of the Parousia


1. Its Universality

2. The Millennium

3. The Resurrection of Believers

4. The Resurrection-Body







I. Doctrinal and Religious Significance.

The subject of eschatology plays a prominent part in New Testament teaching and religion. Christianity in its very origin bears an eschatological character. It means the appearance of the Messiah and the inauguration of His work; and from the Old Testament point of view these form part of eschatology. It is true in Jewish theology the days of the Messiah were not always included in the eschatological age proper, but often regarded as introductory to it (compare Weber, Judische Theol. 2, 371 ff). And in the New Testament also this point of view is to some extent represented, inasmuch as, owing to the appearance of the Messiah and the only partial fulfillment of the prophecies for the present, that which the Old Testament depicted as one synchronous movement is now seen to divide into two stages, namely, the present Messianic age and the consummate state of the future. Even so, however, the New Testament draws the Messianic period into much closer connection with the strictly eschatological process than Judaism. The distinction in Judaism rested on a consciousness of difference in quality between the two stages, the content of the Messianic age being far less spiritually and transcendentally conceived than that of the final state. The New Testament, by spiritualizing the entire Messianic circle of ideas, becomes keenly alive to its affinity to the content of the highest eternal hope, and consequently tends to identify the two, to find the age to come anticipated in the present. In some cases this assumes explicit shape in the belief that great eschatological transactions have already begun to take place, and that believers have already attained to at least partial enjoyment of eschatological privileges. Thus the present kingdom in our Lord’s teaching is one in essence with the final kingdom; according to the discourses in John eternal life is in principle realized here; with Paul there has been a prelude to the last judgment and resurrection in the death and resurrection of Christ, and the life in the Spirit is the first- fruits of the heavenly state to come. The strong sense of this may even express itself in the paradoxical form that the eschatological state has arrived and the one great incision in history has already been made (Heb 2:3,1; 9:11; 10:1; 12:22-24). Still, even where this extreme consciousness is reached, it nowhere supersedes the other more common representation, according to which the present state continues to lie this side of the eschatological crisis, and, while directly leading up to the latter, yet remains to all intents a part of the old age and world-order. Believers live in the "last days," upon them "the ends of the ages are come," but "the last day," "the consummation of the age," still lies in the future (Mt 13:39,40,49; 24:3; 28:20; Joh 6:39,44,54; 12:48; 1Co 10:11; 2Ti 3:1; Heb 1:2; 9:26; Jas 5:3; 1Pe 1:5,20; 2Pe 3:3; 1 Joh 2:18; Jude 1:18).

The eschatological interest of early believers was no mere fringe to their religious experience, but the very heart of its inspiration. It expressed and embodied the profound supernaturalism and soteriological character of the New Testament faith. The coming world was not to be the product of natural development but of a Divine interposition arresting the process of history. And the deepest motive of the longing for this world was a conviction of the abnormal character of the present world, a strong sense of sin and evil. This explains why the New Testament doctrine of salvation has grown up to a large extent in the closest interaction with its eschatological teaching. The present experience was interpreted. in the light of the future. It is necessary to keep this in mind for a proper appreciation of the generally prevailing hope that the return of the Lord might come in the near future. Apocalyptic calculation had less to do with this than the practical experience that the earnest of the supernatural realities of the life to come was present in the church, and that therefore it seemed unnatural for the full fruition of these to be long delayed. The subsequent receding of this acute eschatological state has something to do with the gradual disappearance of the miraculous phenomena of the apostolic age.

II. General Structure.

New Testament eschatology attaches itself to the Old Testament and to Jewish belief as developed on the basis of ancient revelation. It creates on the whole no new system or new terminology, but incorporates much that was current, yet so as to reveal by selection and distribution of emphasis the essential newness of its spirit. In Judaism there existed at that time two distinct types of eschatological outlook. There was the ancient national hope which revolved around the destiny of Israel. Alongside of it existed a transcendental form of eschatology with cosmical perspective, which had in view the destiny of the universe and of the human race. The former of these represents the original form of Old Testament eschatology, and therefore occupies a legitimate place in the beginnings of the New Testament development, notably in the revelations accompanying the birth of Christ and in the earlier (synoptical) preaching of John the Baptist. There entered, however, into it, as held by the Jews, a considerable element of individual and collective eudaemonism, and it had become identified with a literalistic interpretation of prophecy, which did not sufficiently take into account the typical import and poetical character of the latter. The other scheme, while to some extent the product of subsequent theological development, lies prefigured in certain later prophecies, especially in Dnl, and, far from being an importation from Babylonian, or ultimately Persian, sources, as some at present maintain, represents in reality the true development of the inner principles of Old Testament prophetic revelation. To it the structure of New Testament eschatology closely conforms itself.

In doing this, however, it discards the impure motives and elements by which even this relatively higher type of Jewish eschatology was contaminated. In certain of the apocalyptic writings a compromise is attempted between these two schemes after this manner, that the carrying out of the one is merely to follow that of the other, the national hope first receiving its fulfillment in a provisional Messianic kingdom of limited duration (400 or 1,000 years), to be superseded at the end by the eternal state. The New Testament does not follow the Jewish theology along this path. Even though it regards the present work of Christ as preliminary to the consummate order of things, it does not separate the two in essence or quality, it does not exclude the Messiah from a supreme place in the coming world, and does not expect a temporal Messianic kingdom in the future as distinguished from Christ’s present spiritual reign, and as preceding the state of eternity. In fact the figure of the Messiah becomes central in the entire eschatological process, far more so than is the case in Judaism. All the stages in this process, the resurrection, the judgment, the life eternal, even the intermediate state, receive the impress of the absolute significance which Christian faith ascribes to Jesus as the Christ. Through this Christocentric character New Testament eschatology acquires also far greater unity and simplicity than can be predicated of the Jewish schemes. Everything is practically reduced to the great ideas of the resurrection and the judgment as consequent upon the Parousia of Christ. Much apocalyptic embroidery to which no spiritual significance attached is eliminated. While the overheated fantasy tends to multiply and elaborate, the religious interest tends toward concentration and simplification.

III. Course of Development.

In New Testament eschatological teaching a general development in a well-defined direction is traceable. The starting-point is the historico-dramatic conception of the two successive ages. These two ages are distinguished as houtos ho aion, ho nun aion, ho enesios aion, "this age," "the present age" (Mt 12:32; 13:22; Lu 16:8; Ro 12:2; 1Co 1:20; 2:6,8; 3:18; 2Co 4:4; Ga 1:4; Eph 1:21; 2:2; 6:12; 1Ti 6:17; 2Ti 4:10; Tit 2:12), and ho aion ekeinos, ho aion mellon, ho aion erchomenos, "that age," "the future age" (Mt 12:32; Lu 18:30; 20:35; Eph 2:7; Heb 6:5). In Jewish literature before the New Testament, no instances of the developed antithesis between these two ages seem to be found, but from the way in which it occurs in the teaching of Jesus and Paul it appears to have been current at that time. (The oldest undisputed occurrence is a saying of Johanan ben Zaqqay, about 80 AD.) The contrast between these two ages is (especially with Paul) that between the evil and transitory, and the perfect and abiding. Thus, to each age belongs its own characteristic order of things, and so the distinction passes over into that of two "worlds" in the sense of two systems (in Hebrew and Aramaic the same word ‘olam, ‘olam, does service for both, in Greek aion usually renders the meaning "age," occasionally "world" (Heb 1:2; 11:3), kosmos meaning "world"; the latter, however, is never used of the future world). Compare Dalman, Die Worte Jesu, I, 132-46. Broadly speaking, the development of New Testament eschatology consists in this, that the two ages are increasingly recognized as answering to two spheres of being which coexist from of old, so that the coming of the new age assumes the character of a revelation and extension of the supernal order of things, rather than that of its first entrance into existence. Inasmuch as the coming world stood for the perfect and eternal, and in the realm of heaven such a perfect, eternal order of things already existed, the reflection inevitably arose that these two were in some sense identical. But the new significance which the antithesis assumes does not supersede the older historicodramatic form. The higher world so interposes in the course of the lower as to bring the conflict to a crisis.

The passing over of the one contrast into the other, therefore, does not mark, as has frequently been asserted, a recession of the eschatological wave, as if the interest had been shifted from the future to the present life. Especially in the Fourth Gospel this "de-eschatologizing" process has been found, but without real warrant. The apparent basis for such a conclusion is that the realities of the future life are so vividly and intensely felt to be existent in heaven and from there operative in the believer’s life, that the distinction between what is now and what will be hereafter enjoyed becomes less sharp. Instead of the supersedure of the eschatological, this means the very opposite, namely, its most real anticipation. It should further be observed that the development in question is intimately connected and keeps equal pace with the disclosure of the preexistence of Christ, because this fact and the descent of Christ from heaven furnished the clearest witness to the reality of the heavenly order of things. Hence, it is especially observable, not in the earlier epistles of Paul, where the structure of eschatological thought is still in the main historico-dramatic, but in the epistles of the first captivity (Eph 1:3,10-22; 2:6; 3:9,10; 4:9,10; 6:12; Php 2:5-11; 3:20; Col 1:15,17; 3:2; further, in Heb 1:2,3; 2:5; 3:4; 6:5,11; 7:13,16; 9:14; 11:10,16; 12:22,23). The Fourth Gospel marks the culmination of this line of teaching, and it is unnecessary to point out how here the contrast between heaven and earth in its christological consequences determines the entire structure of thought. But here it also appears how the last outcome of the New Testament progress of doctrine had been anticipated in the highest teaching of our Lord. This can be accounted for by the inherent fitness that the supreme disclosures which touch the personal life of the Saviour should come not through any third person, but from His own lips.

IV. General and Individual Eschatology.

In the Old Testament the destiny of the nation of Israel to such an extent overshadows that of the individual, that only the first rudiments of an individual eschatology are found. The individualism of the later prophets, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel, bore fruit in the thought of the intermediate period. In the apocalyptic writings considerable concern is shown for the ultimate destiny of the individual. But not until the New Testament thoroughly spiritualized the conceptions of the last things could these two aspects be perfectly harmonized. Through the centering of the eschatological hope in the Messiah, and the suspending of the individual’s share in it on his personal relation to the Messiah, an individual significance is necessarily imparted to the great final crisis. This also tends to give greater prominence to the intermediate state. Here, also, apocalyptic thought had pointed the way. None the less the Old Testament point of view continues to assert itself in that even in the New Testament the main interest still attaches to the collective, historical development of events. Many questions in regard to the intermediate period are passed by in silence. The Old Testament prophetic foreshortening of the perspective, immediately connecting each present crisis with the ultimate goal, is reproduced in New Testament eschatology on an individual scale in so far as the believer’s life here is linked, not so much with his state after death, but rather with the consummate state after the final judgment. The present life in the body and the future life in the body are the two outstanding illumined heights between which the disembodied state remains largely in the shadow. But the same foreshortening of the perspective is also carried over from the Old Testament into the New Testament delineation of general eschatology. The New Testament method of depicting the future is not chronological. Things lying widely apart to our chronologically informed experience are by it drawn closely together. This law is adhered to doubtless not from mere limitation of subjective human knowledge, but by reason of adjustment to the general method of prophetic revelation in Old Testament and New Testament alike.

V. The Parousia.

1. Definition:

The word denotes "coming," "arrival." It is never applied to the incarnation of Christ, and could be applied to His second coming only, partly because it had already become a fixed Messianic term, partly because there was a point of view from which the future appearance of Jesus appeared the sole adequate expression of His Messianic dignity and glory. The explicit distinction between "first advent" and "second advent" is not found in the New Testament. It occurs in Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Abraham 92:16. In the New Testament it is approached in Heb 9:28 and in the use of epiphaneia for both the past appearance of Christ and His future manifestation (2Th 2:8; 1Ti 6:14; 2Ti 1:10; 4:1; Tit 2:11,13). The Christian use of the word parousia is more or less colored by the consciousness of the present bodily absence of Jesus from His own, and consequently suggests the thought of His future abiding presence, without, however, formally coming to mean the state of the Saviour’s presence with believers (1Th 4:17). Parousia occurs in Mt 24:3,17,39; 1Co 15:23; 1Th 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2Th 2:1,8; Jas 5:7,8; 2Pe 1:16; 3:4,12; 1 1Joh 2:28. A synonymous term is apokalupsis, "revelation," probably also of pre- Christian origin, presupposing the pre-existence of the Messiah in hidden form previous to His manifestation, either in heaven or on earth (compare Apocrypha Baruch 3:29; 1:20; Ezra 4; APC 2Esdras 7:28; Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of Levi 18; Joh 7:27; 1Pe 1:20). It could be adopted by Christians because Christ had been withdrawn into heaven and would be publicly demonstrated the Christ on His return, hence used with special reference to enemies and unbelievers (Lu 17:30; Ac 3:21; 1Co 16; 2Th 1:7,8; 1Pe 1:13,10; 5:4). Another synonymous term is "the day of the (Our) Lord," "the day," "that day," "the day of Jesus Christ." This is the rendering of the well-known Old Testament phrase. Though there is no reason in any particular passage why "the Lord" should not be Christ, the possibility exists that in some cases it may refer to God (compare "day of God" in 2Pe 3:12). On the other hand, what the Old Testament with the use of this phrase predicates of God is sometimes in the New Testament purposely transferred to Christ. "Day," while employed of the parousia generally, is, as in the Old Testament, mostly associated with the judgment, so as to become a synonym for judgment (compare Ac 19:38; 1Co 4:3). The phrase is found in Mt 7:22; 24:36; Mr 13:32; Lu 10:12; 17:24; 21:34; Ac 2:20; Ro 13:12; 1Co 1:8; 3:13; 5:5; 2Co 1:14; Php 1:6; 2:16; 1Th 5:2,4 (compare 5:5,8); 2Th 2:2; 2Ti 1:12,18; 4:8; Heb 10:25; 2Pe 3:10.

2. Signs Preceding the Parousia:

The parousia is preceded by certain signs heralding its approach. Judaism, on the basis of the Old Testament, had worked out the doctrine of "the woes of the Messiah," chebhele ha-mashiach, the calamities and afflictions attendant upon the close of the present and the beginning of the coming age being interpreted as birth pains of the latter. This is transferred in the New Testament to the parousia of Christ. The phrase occurs only in Mt 24:8; Mr 13:8, the idea, in Ro 8:22, and allusions to it occur probably in 1Co 7:26; 1Th 3:3; 5 Besides these general "woes," and also in accord with Jewish doctrine, the appearance of the Antichrist is made to precede the final crisis. Without Jewish precedent, the New Testament links with the parousia as preparatory to it, the pouring out of the Spirit, the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the conversion of Israel and the preaching of the gospel to all the nations. The problem of the sequence and interrelation of these several precursors of the end is a most difficult and complicated one and, as would seem, at the present not ripe for solution. The "woes" which in our Lord’s eschatological discourse (Mt 24; Mr 13; Lu 21) are mentioned in more or less close accord with Jewish teaching are:

(1) wars, earthquakes and famines, "the beginning of travail";

(2) the great tribulation;

(3) commotions among the heavenly bodies; compare Re 6:2-17.

For Jewish parallels to these, compare Charles, Eschatology, 326, 327. Because of this element which the discourse has in common with Jewish apocalypses, it has been assumed by Colani, Weiffenbach, Weizsacker, Wendt, et al., that here two sources have been welded together, an actual prophecy of Jesus, and a Jewish or Jewish-Christian apocalypse from the time of the Jewish War 68-70 (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 5, 3). In the text of Mark this so-called "small apocalypse" is believed to consist of 13:7,8,14-20,24-27,30,31. But this hypothesis mainly springs from the disinclination to ascribe to Jesus realistic eschatological expectations, and the entirely unwarranted assumption that He must have spoken of the end in purely ethical and religious terms only. That the typically Jewish "woes" bear no direct relation to the disciples and their faith is not a sufficient reason for declaring the prediction of them unworthy of Jesus. A contradiction is pointed out between the two representations, that the parousia will come suddenly, unexpectedly, and that it will come heralded by these signs. Especially in Mr 13:30,32 the contradiction is said to be pointed. To this it may be replied that even after the removal of the assumed apocalypse the same twofold representation remains present in what is recognized as genuine discourse of Jesus, namely, in Mr 13:28,29 as compared with 13:32,33-37 and other similar admonitions to watchfulness. A real contradiction between 13:30 and 13:32 does not exist. Our Lord could consistently affirm both: "This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished," and "of that day or that hour knoweth no one." To be sure, the solution should not be sought by understanding "this generation" of the Jewish race or of the human race. It must mean, according to ordinary usage, then living generation. Nor does it help matters to distinguish between the prediction of the parousia within certain wide limits and the denial of knowledge as to the precise day and hour. In point of fact the two statements do not refer to the same matter at all. "That day or that hour" in 13:32 does not have "these things" of 13:30 for its antecedent. Both by the demonstrative pronoun "that" and by "but" it is marked as an absolute self-explanatory conception. It simply signifies as elsewhere the day of the Lord, the day of judgment. Of "these things," the exact meaning of which phrase must be determined from the foregoing, Jesus declares that they will come to pass within that generation; but concerning the parousia, "that (great) day," He declares that no one but God knows the time of its occurrence. The correctness of this view is confirmed by the preceding parable, Mark 13:28,29, where in precisely the same way "these things" and the parousia are distinguished. The question remains how much "these things" (verse 29; Lu 21:31), "all these things" (Mt 24:33,14, Mr 13:30), "all things" (Lu 21:32) is intended to cover of what is described in the preceding discourse. The answer will depend on what is there represented as belonging to the precursors of the end, and what as strictly constituting part of the end itself; and on the other question whether Jesus predicts one end with its premonitory signs, or refers to two crises each of which will be heralded by its own series of signs. Here two views deserve consideration. According to the one (advocated by Zahn in his Commentary on Mt, 652-66) the signs cover only Mt 24:4-14.

What is related afterward, namely, "the abomination of desolation," great tribulation, false prophets and Christs, commotions in the heavens, the sign of the Son of Man, all this belongs to "the end" itself, in the absolute sense, and is therefore comprehended in the parousia and excepted from the prediction that it will happen in that generation, while included in the declaration that only God knows the time of its coming. The destruction of the temple and the holy city, though not explicitly mentioned in Mt 24:4-14, would be included in what is there said of wars and tribulation. The prediction thus interpreted would have been literally fulfilled. The objections to this view are:

(1) It is unnatural thus to subsume what is related in 24:15-29 under "the end." From a formal point of view it does not differ from the phenomena of 24:4-14 which are "signs."

(2) It creates the difficulty, that the existence of the temple and the temple-worship in Jerusalem are presupposed in the last days immediately before the parousia.

The "abomination of desolation" taken from Da 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; compare Sirach 49:2—according to some, the destruction of the city and temple, better a desecration of the temple-site by the setting up of something idolatrous, as a result of which it becomes desolate—and the flight from Judea, are put among events which, together with the parousia, constitute the end of the world. This would seem to involve chiliasm of a very pronounced sort. The difficulty recurs in the strictly eschatological interpretation of 2Th 2:3,1, where "the man of sin" (see SIN, MAN OF) is represented as sitting in "the temple of God" and in Re 11:1,2, where "the temple of God" and "the altar," and "the court which is without the temple" and "the holy city" figure in an episode inserted between the sounding of the trumpet of the sixth angel and that of the seventh. On the other hand it ought to be remembered that eschatological prophecy makes use of ancient traditional imagery and stereotyped formulas, which, precisely because they are fixed and applied to all situations, cannot always bear a literal sense, but must be subject to a certain degree of symbolical and spiritualizing interpretation. In the present case the profanation of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes may have furnished the imagery in which, by Jesus, Paul and John, anti-Christian developments are described of a nature which has nothing to do with Israel, Jerusalem or the temple, literally understood.

(3) It is not easy to conceive of the preaching of the gospel to all the nations as falling within the lifetime of that generation. It is true Ro 1:13; 10:18; 15:19-24; Col 1:6; 1Ti 3:16; 2Ti 4:17 might be quoted in support of such a view. In the statement of Jesus, however, it is definitely predicted that the preaching of the gospel to all the nations not only must happen before the end, but that it straightway precedes the end: "Then shall the end come" (Mt 24:14). To distinguish between the preaching of the gospel to all the nations and the completion of the Gentilemission, as Zahn proposes, is artificial. As over against these objections, however, it must be admitted that the grouping of all these later phenomena before the end proper avoids the difficulty arising from "immediately" in Mt 24:29 and from "in those days" in Mr 13:24.

The other view has been most lucidly set forth by Briggs, Messiah of the Gospels, 132-65. It makes Jesus’ discourse relate to two things:

(1) the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple;

(2) the end of the world.

He further assumes that the disciples are informed with respect to two points:

(1) the time;

(2) the signs.

In the answer to the time, however, the two things are not sharply distinguished, but united into one prophetic perspective, the parousia standing out more conspicuously. The definition of the time of this complex development is: (a) negative (Mr 13:5-8); (b) positive (Mr 13:9-13). On the other hand in describing the signs Jesus discriminates between (a) the signs of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (Mr 13:14-20); (b) the signs of the parousia (Mr 13:24-27). This view has in its favor that the destruction of the temple and the city, which in the question of the disciples figured as an eschatological event, is recognized as such in the answer of Jesus, and not alluded to after a mere incidental fashion, as among the signs. Especially the version of Lu 21:20-24 proves that it figures as an event. This view also renders easier the restriction of Mr 13:30 to the first event and its signs. It places "the abomination of desolation" in the period preceding the national catastrophe. The view that the two events are successively discussed is further favored by the movement of thought in Mr 13:32 ff. Here, after the Apocalypse has been brought to a close, the application to the disciples is made, and, in the same order as was observed in the prophecy, first, the true attitude toward the national crisis is defined in the parable of the Fig Tree and the solemn assurance appended that it will happen in this generation (13:28-31); secondly, the true attitude toward the parousia is defined (13:32-37). The only serious objection that may be urged against this view arises from the close concatenation of the section relating to the national crisis with the section relating to the parousia (Mt 24:29: "immediately after .... those days"; Mr 13:24: "in those days"). The question is whether this mode of speaking can be explained on the principle of the well-known foreshortening of the perspective of prophecy. It cannot be a priori denied that this peculiarity of prophetic vision may have here characterized also the outlook of Jesus into the future which, as Mr 13:32 shows, was the prophetic outlook of His human nature as distinct from the Divine omniscience. The possibility of misinterpreting this feature and confounding sequence in perspective with chronological succession is in the present case guarded against by the statement that the gospel must first be preached to all the nations (compare Ac 3:19,25,26; Ro 11:25; Re 6:2) before the end can come, that no one knows the time of the parousia except God, that there must be a period of desolation after the city shall have been destroyed, and that the final coming of Jesus to the people of Israel will be a coming not of judgment, but one in which they shall hail Him as blessed (Mt 23:38,39; Lu 13:34,35), which presupposes an interval to account for this changed attitude (compare Lu 21:24: "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"). It is not necessary to carry the distinction between the two crises joined together here into the question as put by the disciples in Mt 24:3, as if "when shall these things be?" related to the destruction of the temple exclusively, as the other half of the question speaks of the coming of Jesus and the end of the world. Evidently here not the two events, but the events (complexly considered) and the signs are distinguished. "These things" has its antecedent not exclusively in 24:2, but even more in 23:38,39.

The disciples desired to know not so much when the calamitous national catastrophe would come, but rather when that subsequent coming of the Lord would take place, which would put a limit to the distressing results of this catastrophe, and bring with it the reacceptance of Israel into favor. This explains also why Jesus does not begin His discourse with the national crisis, but first takes up the question of the parousia, to define negatively and positively the time of the latter, and that for the purpose of warning the disciples who in their eagerness for the ultimate issue were inclined to foreshorten the preceding calamitous developments. That Jesus could actually join together the national and the cosmical crises appears from other passages, such as Mt 10:23, where His interposition for the deliverance of the fugitive disciples is called a "coming" of the Son of Man (Mt 16:28; Mr 9:1; Lu 9:27, where a coming of the Son of Man in His kingdom (Matthew), or a coming of the kingdom of God with power (Mark), or a seeing of the kingdom of God (Luke) is promised to some of that generation). It is true these passages are frequently referred to the parousia, because in the immediately preceding context the latter is spoken of. The connection of thought, however, is not that the parousia and this promised coming are identical. The proximate coming is referred to as an encouragement toward faithfulness and self- sacrifice, just as the reward at the parousia is mentioned for the same purpose. The conception of an earlier coming also receives light from the confession of Jesus at His trial (Mt 26:64; where the "henceforth" refers equally to the coming on the clouds of heaven and to the sitting at the right hand of God; compare Mr 14:62; Lu 22:69). The point of the declaration is, that He who now is condemned will in the near future appear in theophany for judgment upon His judges. The closing discourses of John also have the conception of the coming of Jesus to His disciples in the near future for an abiding presence, although here this is associated with the advent of the Spirit (Joh 14:18,19,21,23; 16:16,19,22,23). Finally the same idea recurs in Rev, where it is equally clear that a preliminary visitation of Christ and not the parousia for final judgment can be meant (Joh 2:5,16; 3:3,10; compare also the plural "one of the days of the Son of man" in Lu 17:22).

3. Events Preceding the Parousia:

(1) The Conversion of Israel:

To the events preceding the parousia belongs, according to the uniform teaching of Jesus, Peter and Paul, the conversion of Israel (Mt 23:39; Lu 13:35; Ac 1:6,7; 3:19,21; where the arrival of "seasons of refreshing" and "the times of restoration of all things" is made dependent on the (eschatological) sending of the Christ to Israel), and this again is said to depend on the repentance and conversion and the blotting out of the sins of Israel; Ro 11, where the problem of the unbelief of Israel is solved by the twofold proposition: (1) that there is even now among Israel an election according to grace; (2) that in the future there will be a comprehensive conversion of Israel (Ro 11:5,25-32).

(2) The Coming of the Antichrist:

Among the precursors of the parousia appears further the Antichrist. The word is found in the New Testament in 1Joh 2:18,22; 4:3; 2Joh 1:7 only, but the conception occurs also in the Synoptics, in Paul and in Revelation. There is no instance of its earlier occurrence in Jewish literature. Anti may mean "in place of" and "against"; the former includes the latter. In Joh it is not clear that the heretical tendencies or hostile powers connected with the anti- Christian movement make false claim to the Messianic dignity. In the Synoptics the coming of false Christs and false prophets is predicted, and that not merely as among the nearer signs (Mr 13:6), but also in the remote eschatological period (Mr 13:22). With Paul, who does not employ the word, the conception is clearly the developed one of the counter-Christ. Paul ascribes to him an apokalupsis as he does to Christ (2Th 2:6,8); his manner of working and its pernicious effect are set over against the manner in which the gospel of the true Christ works (2Th 9-12). Paul does not treat the idea as a new one; it must have come down from the Old Testament and Jewish eschatology and have been more fully developed by New Testament prophecy; compare in Da 7:8,20; 8:10,11 the supernaturally magnified figure of the great enemy. According to Gunkel (Schopfung und Chaos, 1895) and Bousset (Der Antichrist in der Uberlieferung des Judenthums, des New Testament und der allen Kirche, 1875) the origin of the conception of a final struggle between God and the supreme enemy must be sought in the ancient myth of Chaos conquered by Marduk; what had happened at the beginning of the world was transferred to the end. Then this was anthropomorphized, first in the form of a false Messiah, later in that of a political tyrant or oppressor. But there is no need to assume any other source for the idea of a last enemy than Old Testament eschatological prophecy (Ezekiel and Daniel and Zechariah). And no evidence has so far been adduced that the Pauline idea of a counter-Messiah is of pre-Christian origin. This can only be maintained by carrying back into the older period the Antichrist tradition as found later among Jews and Christians. It is reasonable to assume in the present state of the evidence that the combination of the two ideas, that of the great eschatological enemy and that of the counter- Messiah, is a product of Christian prophecy. In fact even the conception of a single last enemy does not occur in pre- Christian Jewish literature; it is found for the first time in Apocrypha Baruch 40:1,2, which changes the general conception of 4 Ezra to this effect. Even in the eschatological discourse of Jesus the idea is not yet unified, for false Christs and false prophets in the plural are spoken of, and the instigator of "the abomination of desolation," if any is presupposed, remains in the background. In the Epistle of John the same plural representation occurs (1Joh 2:18,22; 2Joh 1:7), although the idea of a personal Antichrist in whom the movement culminates is not only familiar to the author and the reader (1Joh 2:18, "as ye heard that antichrist cometh"), but is also accepted by the writer (1Joh 4:3, "This is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it cometh; and now it is in the world already"; compare 2Th 2:7, "The mystery of lawlessness doth already work").

Various views have been proposed to explain the concrete features of the Pauline representation in 2Th 2 and that of Re 13 and 17. According to Schneckenburger, JDT, 1859, and Weiss, SK, 1869, Paul has in mind the person whom the Jews will acclaim as their Messiah. The idea would then be the precipitate of Paul’s experience of hostility and persecution from the part of the Jews. He expected that this Jewish Messianic pretender would, helped by Satanic influence, overthrow the Roman power. The continuance of the Roman power is "that which restraineth," or as embodied in the emperor, "one that restraineth now" (2Th 2:6,7). (For an interesting view in which the roles played by these two powers are reversed, compare Warfield in The Expositor, 3rd series, IV, 30-44.) The objection to this is that "the lawless one," not merely from Paul’s or the Christian point of view, but in his own avowed intent, opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or worshipped. This no Jewish pretender to the Messiahship could possibly do: his very Messianic position would preclude it. And the conception of a counter-Christ does not necessarily point to a Jewish environment, for the idea of Messiahship had in Paul’s mind been raised far above its original national plane and assumed a universalistic character (compare Zahn, Einleitung in das NT(1), I, 171). Nor does the feature that according to 2Th 2:4, "the lawless one" will take his seat in the temple favor the view in question, for the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes and later similar experiences may well have contributed to the figure of the great enemy the attribute of desecrator of the temple. It is not necessary to assume that by Paul this was understood literally; it need mean no more than that the Antichrist will usurp for himself Divine honor and worship. Patristic and later writers gave to this feature a chiliastic interpretation, referring it to the temple which was to be rebuilt in the future. Also the allegorical exegesis which understands "the temple" of the Christian church has found advocates. But the terms in which "the lawless one" is described exclude his voluntary identification with the Christian church. According to a second view the figure is not a Jewish but a pagan one. Kern, Baur, Hilgenfeld and many others, assuming that 2Th is post-Pauline, connect the prophecy with the at-one- time current expectation that Nero, the great persecutor, would return from the East or from the dead, and, with the help of Satan, set up an anti-Christian kingdom. The same expectation is assumed to underlie Re 13:3,12,14 (one of the heads of the beast smitten unto death and his death stroke healed); 17:8,10,11 (the beast that was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss; the eighth king, who is one of the seven preceding kings).

As to Paul’s description, there is nothing in it to make us think of a Nero reappearing or redivivus. The parousia predicated of the lawless one does not imply it, for parousia as an eschatological term means not "return" but "advent." The Antichrist is not depicted as a persecutor, and Nero was the persecutor paragraph excellence. Nor does what is said about the "hindering" or the "hinderer" suit the case of Nero, for the later Roman emperors could not be said to hold back Nero’s reappearance. As to Revelation, it must be admitted that the role here ascribed to the beast would be more in keeping with the character of Nero. But, as Zahn has well pointed out (Einleitung in das NT(1), II, 617-26), this interpretation is incompatible with the date of Revelation. This book must have been written at a date when the earlier form of the expectation that Nero would reappear still prevailed, namely, that he would return from the East to which he had fled. Only when too long an interval had elapsed to permit of further belief in Nero’s still being alive, was this changed into the superstition that he would return from the dead. But this change in the form of the belief did not take place until after Revelation must have been written. Consequently, if the returning Nero did figure in Revelation, it would have to be in the form of one reappearing from the East. As a matter of fact, however, the beast or the king in which Nero is found is said by Re 13:1; 17:8 to have been smitten unto death and healed of the death stroke, to come up out of the sea or the abyss, which would only suit the later form of the expectation. It is therefore necessary to dissociate the description of the beast and its heads and horns entirely from the details of the succession of the Roman empire; the prophecy is more grandly staged; the description of the beast as partaking of several animal forms in Re 13:2 refers back to Daniel, and here as there must be understood of the one world-power in its successive national manifestations, which already excludes the possibility that a mere succession of kings in one and the same empire can be thought of. The one of the heads smitten unto death and the death stroke healed must refer to the world-power to be made powerless in one of its phases, but afterward to revive in a new phase. Hence, here already the healing of the death stroke is predicated, not merely of one of the heads, but also of the beast itself (compare Re 13:3 with 13:12).

And the same interpretation seems to be required by the mysterious statements of Re 17, where the woman sitting upon the beast is the metropolis of the world-power, changing its seat together with the latter, yet so as to retain, like the latter in all its transformations, the same character whence she bears the same name of Babylon (17:5). Here as in Re 13 the beast has seven heads, i.e. passes through seven phases, which idea is also expressed by the representation that these seven heads are seven kings (17:10), for, as in Da 7, the kings stand not for individual rulers, but for kingdoms, phases of the world-power. This explains why in Re 17:11 the beast is identified with one of the kings. When here the further explanation, going beyond Re 13, is added, that the beast was and is not and is about to come up out of the abyss (13:8), and in 13:10,11 that of the seven kings five are fallen, one is, the other is not yet come, and when he comes must continue a little while, to be followed by the eighth, who is identical with the beast that was and is not, and with one of the seven, the only way to reconcile these statements lies in assuming that "the beast," while in one sense a comprehensive figure for the world-power in all its phases, can also in another sense designate the supreme embodiment and most typical manifestation of the world-power in the past; in respect to this acute phase the beast was and is not and is to appear again, and this acute phase was one of seven successive forms of manifestation, and in its reappearance will add to this number the eighth. Although a certain double sense in the employment of the figures thus results, this is no greater than when on the other view Nero is depicted both as "the beast" and as one of the heads of "the beast." Which concrete monarchies are meant by these seven phases is a matter of minor importance. For a suggestion compare Zahn, op. cit., II, 624: (1) Egypt; (2) Assyria; (3) Babylon; (4) the Medo-Persian power; (5) the Greco-Alexandrian power; (6) the Roman power; (7) a short-lived empire to succeed Rome; (8) the eighth and last phase, which will reproduce in its acute character the fifth, and will bring on the scene the Antichrist, the counterpart and, as it were, reincarnation of Antiochus Epiphanes. The seer evidently has his present in the Roman phase of the power of the beast, and this renders it possible for him to give in Re 17:9 another turn to the figure of the seven heads, interpreting it of the seven mountains on which the woman sits, but this apocalyptic looseness of handling of the imagery can furnish no objection to the view just outlined, since on any view the two incongruous explanations of the seven heads as seven mountains and seven kings stand side by side in Re 17:9 and 10. Nor should the mysterious number of 666 in 13:18 be appealed to in favor of the reference of the beast to Nero, for on the one hand quite a number of other equally plausible or implausible solutions of this riddle have been proposed, and on the other hand the interpretation of Nero is open to the serious objection, that in order to make out the required number from the letters of Nero’s name this name has to be written in Hebrew characters and that with scriptio defectiva of Qesar (Neron Qesar) instead of Qeisar, the former of which two peculiarities is out of keeping with the usage of the book elsewhere (compare Zahn, op. cit., II, 622, 624, 625, where the chief proposed explanations of the number 666 are recorded). Under the circumstances the interpretation of the figure of the beast and its heads must be allowed to pursue its course independently of the mystery of the number 666 in regard to which no certain conclusion appears attainable.

The following indicates the degree of definiteness to which, in the opinion of the writer, it is possible to go in the interpretation of the prophecy. The terms in which, Paul speaks remind of Daniel’s description of the "little horn." Similarly Re attaches itself to the imagery of the beasts in Daniel. Both Paul and Re also seem to allude to the self- deification of rulers in the Hellenistic and Roman world (compare Zeitsehrift fur neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 1904, 335 ff). Both, therefore, appear to have in mind a politically organized world-power under a supreme head. Still in both cases this power is not viewed as the climax of enmity against God on account of its political activity as such, but distinctly on account of its self-assertion in the religious sphere, so that the whole conception is lifted to a higher plane, purely spiritual standards being applied in the judgment expressed. Paul so thoroughly applies this principle that in his picture the seductive, deceptive aspect of the movement in the sphere of false teaching is directly connected with the person of "the lawless one" himself (2Th 2:9-12), and not with a separate organ of false prophecy, as in Re 13:11-17 (the second beast). In Revelation, as shown above, the final and acute phase of anti-Christian hostility is clearly distinguished from its embodiment in the Roman empire and separated from the latter by an intermediate stage. In Paul, who stands at a somewhat earlier point in the development of New Testament prophecy, this is not so clearly apparent. Paul teaches that the "mystery of lawlessness" is already at work in his day, but this does not necessarily involve that the person of "the lawless one," subsequently to appear, must be connected with the same phase of the world-power, with which Paul associates this mystery already at work, since the succeeding phases being continuous, this will also insure the continuity between the general principle and its personal representative, even though the latter should appear at a later stage. It is impossible to determine how far Paul consciously looked beyond the power of the Roman empire to a later organIzation as the vehicle for the last anti-Christian effort. On the other hand, that Paul must have thought of "the lawless one" as already in existence at that time cannot be proven. It does not follow from the parallelism between his "revelation" and the parousia of Christ, for this "revelation" has for its correlate simply a previous hidden presence for some time somewhere, not an existence necessarily extending to Paul’s time or the time of the Roman empire, far less a pre- existence, like unto Christ’s, in the supernatural world. Nor is present existence implied in what Paul says of "the hindering power." This, to be sure, is represented as asserting itself at that very time, but the restraint is not exerted directly upon "the lawless one"; it relates to the power of which he will be the ultimate exponent; when this power, through the removal of the restraint, develops freely, his revelation follows. According to 13:9 his "parousia is according to the working of Satan," but whether this puts a supernatural aspect upon the initial act of his appearance or relates more to his subsequent presence and activity in the world, which will be attended with all powers and signs and lying wonders, cannot be determined with certainty. But the element of the supernatural is certainly there, although it is evidently erroneous to conceive of "the lawless one" as an incarnation of Satan, literally speaking. The phrase "according to the working of Satan" excludes this, and "the lawless one" is a true human figure, "the man of sin" (or "the man of lawlessness," according to another reading; compare the distinction between Satan and "the beast" in Re 20:10), Re 13:3. The "power" and "signs" and "wonders" are not merely "seeming"; the genitive pseudous is not intended to take them out of the category of the supernatural, but simply means that what they are intended to accredit is a lie, namely, the Divine dignity of "the lawless one." Most difficult of all is the determination of what Paul means by the hindering power or the hinderer in 13:7.

The most common view refers this to the Roman authority as the basis of civil order and protection, but there are serious objections to this. If Paul at all associated the Antichrist in any way with the Roman power, he cannot very well have sought the opposite principle in the same quarter. And not only the hindering power but also the hindering person seems to be a unit, which latter does not apply to the Roman empire, which had a succession of rulers. It is further difficult to dismiss the thought that the hindering principle or person must be more or less supernatural, since the supernatural factor in the work of "the lawless one" is so prominent. For this reason there is something attractive in the old view of von Hofmann, who assumed that Paul borrowed from Dnl, besides other features, also this feature that the historical conflict on earth has a supernatural background in the world of spirits (compare Da 10). A more precise definition, however, is impossible. Finally it should be noticed that, as in the eschatological discourse of Jesus "the abomination of desolation" appears connected with an apostasy within the church through false teaching (Mr 13:22,23), so Paul joins to the appearance of "the lawless one" the destructive effect of error among many that are lost (2Th 2:9-12). The idea of the Antichrist in general and that of the apostasy in particular reminds us that we may not expect an uninterrupted progress of the Christianization of the world until the parousia. As the reign of the truth will be extended, so the forces of evil will gather strength, especially toward the end. The universal sway of the kingdom of God cannot be expected from missionary effort alone; it requires the eschatological inter-position of God.

4. The Manner of the Parousia:

In regard to the manner and attending circumstances of the parousia we learn that it will be widely visible, like the lightning (Mt 24:27; Lu 17:24; the point of comparison does not lie in the suddenness); to the unbelieving it will come unexpectedly (Mt 24:37-42; Lu 17:26-32; 1Th 5:2,3). A sign will precede, "the sign of the Son of Man," in regard to the nature of which nothing can be determined. Christ will come "on the clouds," "in clouds," "in a cloud," "with great power and glory" (Mt 24:30; Mr 13:26; Lu 21:27); attended by angels (Mt 24:31(compare Mt 13:41; 16:27; Mr 8:38; Lu 9:26); Mr 13:27; 2Th 1:7).

Continued 8177


VI. The Resurrection.

The resurrection coincides with the parousia and the arrival of the future neon (Lu 20:35; Joh 6:40; 1Th 4:16). From 1Th 3:13; 4:16 it has been inferred that the dead rise before the descent of Christ from heaven is completed; the sounds described in the later passage are then interpreted as sounds accompanying the descent (compare Ex 19:16; Isa 27:13; Mt 24:31; 1Co 15:52; Heb 12:19; Re 10:7; 11:15; "the trump of God" = the great eschatological trumpet). The two words for the resurrection are egeirein, "to wake," and anistanai, "to raise," the latter less common in the active than in the intransitive sense.

1. Its Universality:

The New Testament teaches in some passages with sufficient clearness that all the dead will be raised, but the emphasis rests to such an extent on the soteriological aspect of the event, especially in Paul, where it is closely connected with the doctrine of the Spirit, that its reference to non-believers receives little notice. This was already partly so in the Old Testament (Isa 26:19; Da 12:2). In the intervening Jewish literature the doctrine varies; sometimes a resurrection of the martyrs alone is taught (Enoch 90); sometimes of all the righteous dead of Israel (Psalms of Solomon 3:10 ff; Enoch 91-94.); sometimes of all the righteous and of some wicked Israelites (Enoch 1-36); sometimes of all the righteous and all the wicked (Ezra 4 APC 2Esdras 5:45; 7:32; ). Josephus ascribes to the Pharisees the doctrine that only the righteous will share in the resurrection. It ought to be noticed that these apocalyptic writings which affirm the universality of the resurrection present the same phenomena as the New Testament, namely, that they contain passages which so exclusively reflect upon the resurrection in its bearing upon the destiny of the righteous as to create the appearance that no other resurrection was believed in. Among the Pharisees probably a diversity of opinion prevailed on this question, which Josephus will have obliterated. our Lord in His argument with the Sadducees proves only the resurrection of the pious, but does not exclude the other (Mr 12:26,27); "the resurrection of the just" in Lu 14:14 may suggest a twofold resurrection. It has been held that the phrase, he anastasis he ek nekron Lu 20:35; Ac 4:2, always describes the resurrection of a limited number from among the dead, whereas he anastasisis ton nekron would be descriptive of a universal resurrection Plummer, Commentary on Lu 20:35, but such a distinction breaks down before an examination of the passages.

The inference to the universality of the resurrection sometimes drawn from the universality of the judgment is scarcely valid, since the idea of a judgment of disembodied spirits is not inconceivable and actually occurs. On the other hand the punishment of the judged is explicitly affirmed to include the body (Mt 10:28). It cannot be proven that the term "resurrection" is ever in the New Testament eschatologically employed without reference to the body, of the quickening of the spirit simply (against, Fries, in ZNTW, 1900, 291 ff). The sense of our Lord’s argument with the Sadducees does not require that the patriarchs were at the time of Moses in possession of the resurrection, but only that they were enjoying the covenant-life, which would in due time inevitably issue in the resurrection of their bodies. The resemblance (or "equality") to the angels (Mr 12:25) does not consist in the disembodied state, but in the absence of marriage and propagation. It has been suggested that Hebrews contains no direct evidence for a bodily resurrection (Charles, Eschatology, 361), but compare 11:22,35; 12:2; 13:20. The spiritualism of the epistle points, in connection with its Pauline type of teaching, to the conception of a pneumatic heavenly body, rather than to a disembodied state.

2. The Millennium:

The New Testament confines the event of the resurrection to a single epoch, and nowhere teaches, as chiliasm assumes, a resurrection in two stages, one, at the parousia, of saints or martyrs, and a second one at the close of the millennium. Although the doctrine of a temporary Messianic kingdom, preceding the consummation of the world, is of pre-Christian Jewish origin, it had not been developed in Judaism to the extent of assuming a repeated resurrection; the entire resurrection is always placed at the end. The passages to which this doctrine of a double resurrection appeals are chiefly Ac 3:19-21; 1Co 15:23-28; Php 3:9-11; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 1:5-12; Re 20:1-6. In the first-named passage Peter promises "seasons of refreshing," when Israel shall have repented and turned to God. The arrival of these coincides with the sending of the Christ to the Jews, i.e. with the parousia. It is argued that Peter in Ac 3:21, "whom the heavens must (present tense) receive until the times of restoration of all things," places after this coming of Jesus to His people a renewed withdrawal of the Lord into heaven, to be followed in turn, after a certain interval, by the restoration of all things. The "seasons of refreshing" would then constitute the millennium with Christ present among His people. While this interpretation is not grammatically impossible, there is no room for it in the general scheme of the Petrine eschatology, for the parousia of Christ is elsewhere represented as bringing not a provisional presence, but as bringing in the day of the Lord, the day of judgment (Ac 2:17-21). The correct view is that "the seasons of refreshing" and "the times of restoration of all things" are identical; the latter phrase relates to the prospects of Israel as well as the former, and should not be understood in the later technical sense. The present tense in Ac 3:21 "must receive" does not indicate that the reception of Christ into heaven still lies in the future, but formulates a fixed eschatological principle, namely, that after His first appearance the Christ must be withdrawn into heaven till the hour for the parousia has come. In 1Co 15:23-28 two tagmata, "orders," of the resurrection are distinguished, and it is urged that these consist of "believers" and "non-believers." But there is no reflection here upon non-believers at all, the two "orders" are Christ, and they that are Christ’s. "The end" in 15:24 is not the final stage in the resurrection, i.e. the resurrection of non- believers, but the end of the series of eschatological events. The kingdom of Christ which comes to a close with the end is not a kingdom beginning with the parousia, but dates from the exaltation of Christ; it is to Paul not future but already in operation.

In 1Th 4:13-18 the presupposition is not that the readers had worried about a possible exclusion of their dead from the provisional reign of Christ and from a first resurrection, but that they had sorrowed even as the Gentiles who have no hope whatever, i.e. they had doubted the fact of the resurrection as such. Paul accordingly gives them in 4:14 the general assurance that in the resurrection of Jesus that of believers is guaranteed. The verb "precede" in 4:15 does not imply that there was thought of precedence in the enjoyment of glory, but is only an emphatic way of affirming that the dead will not be one moment behind in inheriting with the living the blessedness of the parousia. In 4:17, "so shall we ever be with the Lord," the word "ever" excludes the conception of a provisional kingdom. 2Th 1:5-12 contains merely the general thought that sufferings and glory, persecution and the inheritance of the kingdom are linked together. There is nothing to show that this glory and kingdom are aught else but the final state, the kingdom of God (2Th 1:5). In Php 3:9-11, it is claimed, Paul represents attainment to the resurrection as dependent on special effort on his part, therefore as something not in store for all believers. Since the general resurrection pertains to all, a special grace of resurrection must be meant, i.e. inclusion in the number of those to be raised at the parousia, at the opening of the millennial kingdom. The answer to this is, that it was quite possible to Paul to make the resurrection as such depend on the believer’s progress in grace and conformity to Christ, seeing that it is not an event out of all relation to his spiritual development, but the climax of an organic process of transformation begun in this life. And in verse 20 the resurrection of all is joined to the parousia (compare for the Pauline passages Vos, "The Pauline Eschatology and Chiliasm," PTR, 1911, 26-60).

The passage Re 20:1-6 at first sight much favors the conception of a millennial reign of Christ, participated in by the martyrs, brought to life in a first resurrection, and marked by a suspension of the activity of Satan. And it is urged that the sequence of visions places this millennium after the parousia of Christ narrated in Re 19. The question of historic sequence, however, is in Revelation difficult to decide. In other parts of the book the principle of "recapitulation," i.e. of cotemporaneousness of things successively depicted, seems to underlie the visions, and numbers are elsewhere in the book meant symbolically. These facts leave open the possibility that the thousand years are synchronous with the earlier developments recorded, and symbolically describe the state of glorified life enjoyed with Christ in heaven by the martyrs during the intermediate period preceding the parousia. The terms employed do not suggest an anticipated bodily resurrection. The seer speaks of "souls" which "lived" and "reigned," and finds in this the first resurrection. The scene of this life and reign is in heaven, where also the "souls" of the martyrs are beheld (Re 6:9). The words "this is the first resurrection" may be a pointed disavowal of a more realistic (chiliastic) interpretation of the same phrase. The symbolism of the thousand years consists in this, that it contrasts the glorious state of the martyrs on the one hand with the brief season of tribulation passed here on earth, and on the other hand with the eternal life of the consummation. The binding of Satan for this period marks the first eschatological conquest of Christ over the powers of evil, as distinguished from the renewed activity to be displayed by Satan toward the end in bringing up against the church still other forces not hitherto introduced into the conflict. In regard to a book so enigmatical, it were presumptuous to speak with any degree of dogmatism, but the uniform absence of the idea of the millennium from the eschatological teaching of the New Testament elsewhere ought to render the exegete cautious before affirming its presence here (compare Warfield, "The Millennium and the Apocalypse," PTR, 1904, 599-617).

3. The Resurrection of Believers:

The resurrection of believers bears a twofold aspect. On the one hand it belongs to the forensic side of salvation. On the other hand it belongs to the pneumatic transforming side of the saving process. Of the former, traces appear only in the teaching of Jesus (Mt 5:9; 22:29-32; Lu 20:35,36). Paul clearly ascribes to the believer’s resurrection a somewhat similar forensic significance as to that of Christ (Ro 8:10,23; 1Co 15:30-32,55-58). Far more prominent with him is, however, the other, the pneumatic interpretation. Both the origin of the resurrection life and the continuance of the resurrection state are dependent on the Spirit (Ro 8,10,11; 1Co 15:45-49; Ga 6:8). The resurrection is the climax of the believer’s transformation (Ro 8:11; Ga 6:8). This part ascribed to the Spirit in the resurrection is not to be explained from what the Old Testament teaches about the Spirit as the source of physical life, for to this the New Testament hardly ever refers; it is rather to be explained as the correlate of the general Pauline principle that the Spirit is the determining factor of the heavenly state in the coming eon. This pneumatic character of the resurrection also links together the resurrection of Christ and that of the believer. This idea is not yet found in the Synoptics; it finds expression in Joh 5:22-29; 11:25; 14:6,19. In early apostolic teaching a trace of it may be found in Ac 4:2. With Paul it appears from the beginning as a well-established principle. The continuity between the working of the Spirit here and His part in the resurrection does not, however, lie in the body. The resurrection is not the culmination of a pneumatic change which the body in this life undergoes. There is no preformation of the spiritual body on earth. Ro 8:10,11; 1Co 15:49; 2Co 5:1,2; Php 3:12 positively exclude this, and 2Co 3:18; 4:7-18 do not require it.

The glory into which believers are transformed through the beholding (or reflecting) of the glory of Christ as in a mirror is not a bodily but inward glory, produced by illumination of the gospel. And the manifestation of the life of Jesus in the body or in the mortal flesh refers to the preservation of bodily life in the midst of deadly perils. Equally without support is the view that at one time Paul placed the investiture with the new body immediately after death. It has been assumed that this, together with the view just criticized, marks the last stage in a protracted development of Paul’s eschatological belief. The initial stage of this process is found in 1 Thessalonians: the resurrection is that of an earthly body. The next stage is represented by 1 Corinthians: the future body is pneumatic in character, although not to be received until the parousia. The third stage removes the inconsistency implied in the preceding position between the character of the body and the time of its reception, by placing the latter at the moment of death (2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians), and by an extreme flight of faith the view is even approached that the resurrection body is in process of development now (Teichmann, Charles). This scheme has no real basis of fact. 1 Thessalonians does not teach an unpneumatic eschatology (compare 4:14,16). The second stage given is the only truly Pauline one, nor can it be shown that the apostle ever abandoned it. For the third position named finds no support in 2Co 5:1-10; Ro 8:19; Col 3:4. The exegesis of 2Co 5:1-10 is difficult and cannot here be given in detail. Our understanding of the main drift of the passage, put into paraphrase, is as follows: we feel assured of the eternal weight of glory (4:17), because we know that we shall receive, after our earthly tent-body shall have been dissolved (aorist subjunctive), a new body, a supernatural house for our spirit, to be possessed eternally in the heavens. A sure proof of this lies in the heightened form which our desire for this future state assumes. For it is not mere desire to obtain a new body, but specifically to obtain it as soon as possible, without an intervening period of nakedness, i.e. of a disembodied state of the spirit. Such would be possible, if it were given us to survive till the parousia, in which case we would be clothed upon with our habitation from heaven (= supernatural body), the old body not having to be put off first before the new can be put on, but the new body being superimposed upon the old, so that no "unclothing" would have to take place first, what is mortal simply being swallowed up of life (5:2,4). And we are justified in cherishing this supreme aspiration, since the ultimate goal set for us in any case, even if we should have to die first and to unclothe and then to put on the new body over the naked spirit, since the ultimate goal, I say, excludes under all circumstances a state of nakedness at the moment of the parousia (5:3). Since, then, such a new embodied state is our destiny in any event, we justly long for that mode of reaching it which involves least delay and least distress and avoids intermediate nakedness. (This on the reading in 5:3 of ei ge kai endusamenoi ou gumnoi heurethesometha. If the reading ei ge kai ekdusamenoi be adopted the rendering of 5:3 will have to be: "If so be that also having put off (i.e. having died), we shall not at the end be found naked." If eiper kai ekdusamenoi be chosen it will be: "Although even having put off (i.e. having died) we shall not at the end be found naked." These other readings do not materially alter the sense.) The understanding of the passage will be seen to rest on the pointed distinction between being "clothed upon," change at the parousia without death (5:2,4), to be "unclothed," loss of the body in death with nakedness resulting (5:4), and "being clothed," putting on of the new body after a state of nakedness (5:3). Interpreted as above, the passage expresses indeed the hope of an instantaneous endowment with the spiritual body immediately after this life, but only on the supposition that the end of this life will be at the parousia, not for the case that death should intervene before, which latter possibility is distinctly left open. In Ro 8:19 what will happen at the end to believers is called a "revealing of the sons of God," not because their new body existed previously, but because their status as sons of God existed before, and this status will be revealed through the bestowal upon them of the glorious body. Col 3:3,1 speaks of a "life .... hid with Christ in God," and of the "manifestation" of believers with Christ in glory at the parousia, but "life" does not imply bodily existence, and while the "manifestation" at the parousia presupposes the body, it does not imply that this body must have been acquired long before, as is the case with Christ’s body. In conclusion it should be noted that there is ample evidence in the later epistles that Paul continued to expect the resurrection body at the parousia (2Co 5:10; Php 3:20,21).

4. The Resurrection-Body:

The main passage informing us as to the nature of the resurrection body is 1Co 15:35-58. The difficulty Paul here seeks to relieve does not concern the substance of the future body, but its kind (compare 1Co 15:35 "With what manner of body do they come?"). Not until 1Co 15:50 is the deeper question of difference in substance touched upon. The point of the figure of "sowing" is not that of identity of substance, but rather this, that the impossibility of forming a concrete conception of the resurrection body is no proof of its impossibility, because in all vegetable growth there appears a body totally unlike that which is sown, a body the nature and appearance of which are determined by the will of God. We have no right to press the figure in other directions, to solicit from it answers to other questions. That there is to be a real connection between the present and the future body is implied rather than directly affirmed. 1Co 15:36 shows that the distinction between the earthly body and a germ of life in it, to be entrusted with it to the grave and then quickened at the last day, does not lie in the apostle’s mind, for what is sown is the body; it dies and is quickened in its entirety. Especially the turn given to the figure in 15:37—that of a naked grain putting on the plant as a garment—proves that it is neither intended nor adapted to give information on the degree of identity or link of continuity between the two bodies. The "bare grain" is the body, not the spirit, as some would have it (Teichmann), for it is said of the seed that it dies; which does not apply to the Pneuma (compare also 15:44). The fact is that in this entire discussion the subjective spirit of the believer remains entirely out of consideration; the matter is treated entirely from the standpoint of the body. So far as the Pneuma enters into it, it is the objective Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. As to the time of the sowing, some writers take the view that this corresponds to the entire earthly life, not to the moment of burial only (so already Calvin, recently Teichmann and Charles). In 15:42,43 there are points of contact for this, inasmuch as especially the three last predicates "in dishonor," "in weakness," "a natural body," seem more applicable to the living than to the dead body. At any rate, if the conception is thus widened, the act of burial is certainly included in the sowing. The objection arising from the difficulty of forming a conception of the resurrection body is further met in 15:39-41, where Paul argues from the multitude of bodily forms God has at His disposal. This thought is illustrated from the animal world (15:39); from the difference between the heavenly and the earthly bodies (15:40); from the difference existing among the heavenly bodies themselves (15:41). The structure of the argument is indicated by the interchange of two words for "other," allos and heteros, the former designating difference of species within the genus, the latter difference of genus, a distinction lost in the English version. In all this the reasoning revolves not around the substance of the bodies but around their kind, quality, appearance (sarx in 15:39 = soma, "body," not =" flesh").

The conclusion drawn is that the resurrection body will differ greatly in kind from the present body. It will be heteros, not merely allos. The points of difference are enumerated in 15:42,43. Four contrasts are named; the first three in each case appear to be the result of the fourth. The dominating antithesis is that between the soma psuchikon and the soma pneumatikon. Still Paul can scarcely mean to teach that "corruption," "dishonor," "weakness" are in the same sense necessary and natural results of the "psychical" character of the earthly body, as the corresponding opposites are necessary and natural concomitants of the pneumatic character of the resurrection body. The sequel shows that the "psychical body" was given man at creation, and according to 15:53 corruption and death go together, whereas death is not the result of creation but of the entrance of sin according to Paul’s uniform teaching elsewhere. Hence, also the predicate sarkikos is avoided in 15:46,47, where the reference is to creation, for this word is always associated in Paul with sin. The connection, therefore, between the "natural (psychical, margin) body" and the abnormal attributes conjoined with it, will have to be so conceived, that in virtue of the former character, the body, though it need not of itself, yet will fall a prey to the latter when sin enters. In this lies also the explanation of the term "psychical body." This means a body in which the psuche, the natural soul, is the vitalizing principle, sufficient to support life, but not sufficient to that supernatural, heavenly plane, where it is forever immune to death and corruption. The question must be asked, however, why Paul goes back to the original state of man’s body and does not content himself with contrasting the body in the state of sin and in the state of eternal life. The answer is found in the exigency of the argument. Paul wished to add to the argument for the possibility of a different body drawn from analogy, an argument drawn from the typical character of the original creation-body. The body of creation, on the principle of prefiguration, pointed already forward to a higher body to be received in the second stage of the world-process: ‘if there exists a psychical body, there exists also a pneumatic body’ (15:44). The proof lies in Ge 2:7. Some think that Paul here adopts the Philonic doctrine of the creation of two men, and means 1Co 15:45 b as a quotation from Ge 1:27. But the sequence is against this, for Paul’s spiritual man appears on the scene last, not first, as in Philo. Nor can the statement have been meant as a correction of Philo’s sequence, for Paul cannot have overlooked that, once a double creation were found in Ge 1 and 2, then Philo’s sequence was the only possible one, to correct which would have amounted to correcting Scripture.

If Paul does here correct Philo, it must be in the sense that he rejects the entire Philonic exegesis, which found in Genesis a twofold creation (compare 1Co 11:7). Evidently for Paul, Ge 2:7 taken by itself contains the proof of his proposition, that there is both a psychical and a pneumatic body. Paul regarded the creation of the first Adam in a typical light. The first creation gave only the provisional form in which God’s purpose with reference to man was embodied, and in so far looked forward to a higher embodiment of the same idea on a higher pneumatic plane (compare Ro 5:14): "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven" (1Co 15:47); "of" or "from heaven" does not designate heavenly material, for even here, by not giving the opposite to choikos, "earthly," Paul avoided the question of substantiality. A "pneumatic" body is not, as many assume, a body made out of pneuma as a higher substance, for in that case Paul would have had pneumatikon ready at hand as the contrast to choikon. Only negatively the question of substance is touched upon in 1Co 15:50: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," but the apostle does not say what will take their place. Compare further, for the non-substantial meaning of pneumatikos, Ro 15:27; 1Co 9:11; 10:3,1; Eph 1:3; 5:19; 6:12; Col 1:9. The only positive thing which we learn in this direction is formal, namely, that the resurrection body of the believer will be the image of that of Christ (1Co 15:49).

VII. The Change of Those Living at the Parousia.

This is confined to believers. Of a change in the body of non-believers found living or raised at the parousia the New Testament nowhere speaks. The passages referring to this subject are 1Co 15:51-53; 2Co 5:1-5; Php 3:20,21. The second of these has already been discussed: it represents the change under the figure of a putting-on of the heavenly body over the earthly body, in result of which what is mortal is swallowed up so as to disappear by life. This representation starts with the new body by which the old body is absorbed. In 1Co 15 and Php 3, on the other hand, the point of departure is from the old body which is changed into a new. The difference between the resurrection and the charge of the living is brought out in 2Co 5:1-5 in the two figures of "putting on" and "putting on over" endusasthai and ependusasthai. Some exegetes find in 1Co 15:51-53 the description of a process kept in such general terms as to be equally applicable to those raised and to those transformed alive. If this be adopted it yields new evidence for the continuity between the present body and the resurrection body. Others, however, find here the expectation that Paul and his readers will "all" survive until the parousia, and be changed alive, in which case no light is thrown on the resurrection- process. The more plausible exegesis is that which joins the negative to "all" instead of to the verb, and makes Paul affirm that "not all" will die, but that all, whether dead or surviving, will be changed at the parousia; the difficulty of the exegesis is reflected in the early attempts to change the reading. In Php 3:20,21 there are no data to decide whether the apostle conceives of himself and his readers as living at the moment of the parousia or speaks generally so as to cover both possibilities.

VIII. The Judgment.

The judgment takes place on a "day" (Mt 7:22; 10:15; 24:36; Lu 10:12; 21:34; 1Co 1:8; 3:13; 2Ti 4:8; Re 6:17), but this rests on the Old Testament conception of "the day of Yahweh," and is not to be taken literally, whence also "hour" interchanges with "day" (Mr 13:32; Re 14:7). While not confined to an astronomical day the judgment is plainly represented as a definitely circumscribed transaction, not as an indefinite process. It coincides with its parousia. Of a judgment immediately after death, the New Testament nowhere speaks, not even in Heb 9:27,28. Its locality is the earth, as would seem to follow from its dependence on the parousia (Mt 13:41,42; Mr 13:26,27), although some infer from 1Th 4:17 that, so far as believers are concerned, it will take place in the air. But this passage does not speak of the judgment, only of the parousia and the meeting of believers with Christ. The judge is God (Mt 6:4,6,14,18; 10:28,32; Lu 12:8 ff; 21:36; Ac 10:42; 17:30,31; Ro 2:2,3,5,16; 14:10; 1Co 4:3-5; 5:13; Heb 12:25; 13:4; 1Pe 1:17; 2:23; Re 6:10; 14:7), but also Christ, not only in the great scene depicted in Mt 25:31-46, but also in Mr 8:38; 13:26 ff; Mt 7:22; Lu 13:25-27; Ac 17:31; 2Co 5:10; Re 19:11, whence also the Old Testament conception of "the day of Yahweh" is changed into "the day of the Lord" (1Co 5:5; 2Co 1:14; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10). In the sense of the final assize the judgment does not in earlier Jewish eschatology belong to the functions of the Messiah, except in Enoch 51:3; 55:4; 61:8 ff; 62:1 ff; 63. Only in the later apocalypses the Messiah appears as judge (4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 13; Apocrypha Baruch 72:2 (compare Sibylline Oracles 3 286)). In the more realistic, less forensic, sense of an act of destruction, the judgment forms part of the Messiah’s work from the outset, and is already assigned to Him by the Baptist and still more by Paul (Mt 3:10,11,12 = Lu 3:16,17; 2Th 2:8,10,12).

The one representation passes over into the other. Jesus always claims for Himself the judgment in the strictly forensic sense. Already in His present state He exercises the right to forgive sin (Mr 2:5,10). In the Fourth Gospel, it is true, He denies that His present activity involves the task of judging (Joh 8:15; 12:47). That this, however, does not exclude His eschatological judgeship appears from Joh 5:22,27 (notice the article in 5:22 "the whole judgment," which proves the reference to the last day). But even for the present, though not directly, yet indirectly by His appearance and message, Christ according to John effects a judgment among men (8:16; 9:39), which culminates in His passion and death, the judgment of the world and the Prince of the world (12:31; 14:30; 16:11). A share of the judgment is assigned to angels and to the saints (Mt 13:39,41,49; 16:27; 24:31; 25:31; 1Th 3:13; 2Th 1:7; Jude 1:14 f). In regard to the angels this is purely ministerial; of believers it is affirmed only in 1Co 6:1-3 that they will have something to do with the act of judgment itself; passages like Mt 19:28; 20:23; Lu 22:30; Re 3:21 do not refer to the judgment proper, but to judging in the sense of "reigning," and promise certain saints a preeminent position in the kingdom of glory. The judgment extends to all men, Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, as well as the Galilean cities (Mt 11:22,24); all nations (Mt 25:32; Joh 5:29; Ac 17:30,31; Ro 2:6,16; 2Co 5:10). It also includes the evil spirits (1Co 6:3; 2Pe 2:4; Jude 1:6). It is a judgment according to works, and that not only in the case of non-believers; of believers also the works will come under consideration (Mt 25:34 ff; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 5:10; Re 22:12). Side by side with this, however, it is taught already in the Synoptics that the decisive factor will be the acknowledgment of individuals by Jesus, which in turn depends upon the attitude assumed by them toward Jesus here, directly or indirectly (Mt 7:23; 19:28; 25:35-45; Mr 8:38).

By Paul the principle of judgment according to works is upheld, not merely hypothetically as a principle preceding and underlying every soteriological treatment of man by God (Ro 2), and therefore applying to non-Christians for whose judgment no other standard is available, but also as remaining in force for Christians, who have already, under the soteriological regime of grace, received absolute, eternal acquittal in justification. This raises a twofold problem: (a) why justification does not render a last judgment superfluous; (b) why the last judgment in case of Christians saved by grace should be based on works. In regard to (a) it ought to be remembered that the last judgment differs from justification in that it is not a private transaction in foro conscientiae, but public, in foro mundi. Hence, Paul emphasizes this element of publicity (Ro 2:16; 1Co 3:13; 2Co 5:10). It is in accordance with this that God the Father is always the author of justification, whereas as a rule Christ is represented as presiding at the assize of the last day. As to (b), because the last judgment is not a mere private but a public transaction, something more must be taken into account than that on which the individual eternal destiny may hinge. There can be disapproval of works and yet salvation (1Co 3:15). But the trial of works is necessary for the sake of the vindication of God. In order to be a true theodicy the judgment must publicly exhibit and announce the complete overthrow of sin in man, and the complete working out in him of the idea of righteousness, including not merely his acquittal from the guilt, but also his deliverance from the power, of sin, not merely his imputed righteousness, but also his righteousness of life. In order to demonstrate this comprehensively, the judgment will have to take into account three things: faith (Ga 5:5), works done in the Christian state, sanctification. Besides this the works of the Christian appear as the measure of gracious reward (Mt 5:12,46; 6:1; 10:41,42; 19:28; 20:1-16; 25:14-45; Mr 9:41; Lu 6:23,15; 1Co 3:8,14; 9:17,18; Col 2:18; 3:24; Heb 10:35). These works, however, are not mechanically or commercially appraised, as in Judaism, for Paul speaks by preference of "work" in the singular (Ro 2:7,15; 1Co 3:13; 9:1; Ga 6:4; Eph 4:12; Php 1:6,22; 1Th 1:3; 2Th 1:11). And this one organic product of "work" is traced back to the root of faith (1Th 1:3; 2Th 1:11 where the genitive pisteos is a gen. of origin), and Paul speaks as a rule not of poiein but of prassein, i.e. of the practice, the systematic doing, of that which is good.

The judgment assigns to each individual his eternal destiny, which is absolute in its character either of blessedness or of punishment, though admittedly of degrees within these two states. Only two groups are recognized, those of the condemned and of the saved (Mt 25:33,14; Joh 5:29); no intermediate group with as yet undetermined destiny anywhere appears. The degree of guilt is fixed according to the knowledge of the Divine will possessed in life (Mt 10:15; 11:20-24; Lu 10:12-15; 12:47,48; Joh 15:22,24; Ro 2:12; 2Pe 2:20-22). The uniform representation is that the judgment has reference to what has been done in the embodied state of this life; nowhere is there any reflection upon the conduct or product of the intermediate state as contributing to the decision (2Co 5:10). The state assigned is of endless duration, hence described as aionios, "eternal." While this adjective etymologically need mean no more than "what extends through a certain eon or period of time," yet its eschatological usage correlates it everywhere with the "coming age," and, this age being endless in duration, every state or destiny connected with it partakes of the same character. It is therefore exegetically impossible to give a relative sense to such phrases as pur aionion, "eternal fire" (Mt 18:8; 25:41; Jude 1:7), kolasis aionios, "eternal punishment" (Mt 25:46), olethros aionios, "eternal destruction" (2Th 1:9), krisis aionios or krima aionion, "eternal judgment" (Mr 3:29; Heb 6:2). This is also shown by the figurative representations which unfold the import of the adjective: the "unquenchable fire" (Mt 3:12), "the never-dying worm" (Mr 9:43-48), "The smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever" (Re 14:11), "tormented day and night forever and ever" (Re 20:10). The endless duration of the state of punishment is also required by the absolute eternity of its counterpart, zoe aionios, "eternal life" (Mt 25:46). In support of the doctrine of conditional immortality it has been urged that other terms descriptive of the fate of the condemned, such as apoleia, "perdition," phthora, "corruption," olethros, "destruction," thanatos, "death," point rather to a cessation of being. This, however, rests on an unscriptural interpretation of these terms, which everywhere in the Old Testament and the New Testament designate a state of existence with an undesirable content, never the pure negation of existence, just as "life" in Scripture describes a positive mode of being, never mere existence as such. Perdition, corruption, destruction, death, are predicated in all such cases of the welfare or the ethical spiritual character of man, without implying the annihilation of his physical existence. No more support can be found in the New Testament for the hypothesis of an apokatastasis panton, "restoration of all things," i.e. absolute universalism implying the ultimate salvation of all men. The phrase occurs only in Ac 3:21, where, however, it has no cosmical reference but relates to the fulfillment of the promises to Israel.

Josephus uses it of the restoration of the Jews to their land after the Captivity, Philo of the restoration of inheritances in the year of jubilee (compare Mal 4:6; Mt 17:11; Mr 9:12; Ac 1:6). Absolute universalism has been found in Ro 5:18; 1Co 15:22,28; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20, but in all these passages only a cosmical or national universalism can be found, not the doctrine of the salvation of all individuals, which latter would bring the statements in question in direct contradiction to the most explicit deliverances of Paul elsewhere on the principle of predestination and the eternity of the destiny of the wicked.

IX. The Consummate State.

Side by side with "the future age," and characterizing it from a less formal point of view, the phrase "kingdom of God" designates the consummate state, as it will exist for believers after the judgment. Jesus, while making the kingdom a present reality, yet continues to speak of it in accordance with its original eschatological usage as "the kingdom" which lies in the future (Mt 13:43; 25:34; 26:29; Mr 9:47; Lu 12:32; 13:28,29; 21:31). With Paul the phrase bears preponderatingly an eschatological sense, although occasionally he uses it of the present state of believers (Ro 14:17; 1Co 4:20; 6:9,10; 15:24,50; Ga 5:21; Eph 5:5; Col 1:13; 4:11; 1Th 2:12; 2Th 1:5; 2Ti 4:1,18). Elsewhere in the NewTestament the eschatological use occurs in Heb 12:28; Jas 2:5; 2Pe 1:11; Re 11:15. The idea is universalistic, unpolitical, which does not exclude that certain privileges are spoken of with special reference to Israel. Although the eschatological kingdom differs from the present kingdom largely in the fact that it will receive an external, visible embodiment, yet this does not hinder that even in it the core is constituted by those spiritual realities and relations which make the present kingdom. Still it will have its outward form as the doctrine of the resurrection and the regenerated earth plainly show. Hence, the figures in which Jesus speaks of it, such as eating, drinking, reclining at table, while not to be taken sensually, should not on the other hand be interpreted allegorically, as if they stood for wholly internal spiritual processes: they evidently point to, or at least include, outward states and activities, of which our life in the senses offers some analogy, but on a higher plane of which it is at present impossible to form any concrete conception or to speak otherwise than in figurative language. Equivalent to "the kingdom" is "life." But, unlike the kingdom, "life" remains in the Synoptics an exclusively eschatological conception.

It is objectively conceived: the state of blessedness the saints will exist in; not subjectively as a potency in man or a process of development (Mt 7:14; 18:8,9; 19:16,29; 25:46; Mr 10:30). In John "life" becomes a present state, and in connection with this the idea is subjectivized, it becomes a process of growth and expansion. Points of contact for this in the Synoptics may be found in Mt 8:22 (Lu 9:60); Lu 15:24; 20:38. When this eschatological life is characterized as aionios, "eternal," the reference is not exclusively to its eternal duration, but the word has, in addition to this, a qualitative connotation; it describes the kind of life that belongs to the consummate state (compare the use of the adjective with other nouns in this sense: 2Co 5:1; 2Ti 2:10; Heb 5:9; 9:12,15; 2Pe 1:11, and the unfolding of the content of the idea in 1Pe 1:4). With Paul "life" has sometimes the same eschatological sense (Ro 2:7; 5:17; Tit 1:2; 3:7), but most often it is conceived as already given in the present state, owing to the close association with the Spirit (Ro 6:11; 7:4,8,11; 8:2,6; Ga 2:19; 6:8; Eph 4:18). In its ultimate analysis the Pauline conception of "life," as well as that of Jesus, is that of something dependent on communion with God (Mt 22:32; Mr 12:27 = Lu 20:38; Ro 8:6,7; Eph 4:18). Another Pauline conception associated with the consummate state is that of doxa,"glory." This glory is everywhere conceived as a reflection of the glory of God, and it is this that to the mind of Paul gives it religious value, not the external radiance in which it may manifest itself as such. Hence, the element of "honor" conjoined to it (Ro 1:23; 2:7; 8:21; 9:23; 1Co 15:43). It is not confined to the physical sphere (2Co 3:18; 4:16,17). The outward doxa is prized by Paul as a vehicle of revelation, an exponent of the inward state of acceptance with God. In general Paul conceives of the final state after a highly theocentric fashion (1Co 15:28); it is the state of immediate vision of and perfect communion with God and Christ; the future life alone can bring the perfected sonship (Ro 6:10; 8:23,19; compare Lu 20:36; 2Co 4:4; 5:6,7,8; 13:4; Php 1:23; Col 2:13; 3:3,1; 1Th 4:17).

The scene of the consummate state is the new heaven and the new earth, which are called into being by the eschatological palingenesia "regeneration" (Mt 5:18; 19:28; 24:35; 1Co 7:31; Heb 1:12; 12:26,27; 2Pe 3:10; 1 Joh 2:17; Re 21:1, in which last passage, however, some exegetes understand the city to be a symbol of the church, the people of God). An annihilation of the substance of the present world is not taught (compare the comparison of the future world-conflagration with the Deluge in 2Pe 3:6). The central abode of the redeemed will be in heaven, although the renewed earth will remain accessible to them and a part of the inheritance (Mt 5:5; Joh 14:2,3; Ro 8:18-22; and the closing visions of the Apocalypse).

X. The Intermediate State.

In regard to the state of the dead, previously to the parousia and the resurrection, the New Testament is far less explicit than in its treatment of what belongs to general eschatology. The following points may here briefly be noted:

(1) The state of death is frequently represented as a "sleeping," just as the act of dying as a "falling asleep" (Mt 9:24; Joh 9:4; 11:11; 1Co 7:39; 11:30; 15:6,18,20,51; 1Th 4:13,15; 2Pe 3:4). This usage, while also purely Greek, rests on the Old Testament. There is this difference, that in the New Testament (already in the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical books) the conception is chiefly used with reference to the righteous dead, and has associated with it the thought of their blessed awaking in the resurrection, whereas in the Old Testament it is indiscriminately applied to all the dead and without such connotation. With Paul the word always occurs of believers. The representation applies not to the "soul" or "spirit," so that a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection would be implied. It is predicated of the person, and the point of comparison is that as one who sleeps is not alive to his surroundings, so the dead are no longer en rapport with this earthly life. Whatever may have been the original implications of the word, it plainly had become long before the New Testament period a figurative mode of speech, just as egeirein, "to wake," was felt to be a figurative designation of the act of the resurrection. Because the dead are asleep to our earthly life, which is mediated through the body, it does not follow that they are asleep in every other relation, asleep to the life of the other world, that their spirits are unconscious. Against the unconsciousness of the dead compare Lu 16:23; 23:43; Joh 11:25,26; Ac 7:59; 1Co 15:8; Php 1:23; Re 6:9-11; 7:9. Some have held that the sleep was for Paul a euphemism employed in order to avoid the terms "death" and "to die," which the apostle restricted to Christ. 1Th 4:16 shows that this is unfounded.

(2) The New Testament speaks of the departed after an anthropomorphic fashion as though they were still possessed of bodily organs (Lu 16:23,14; Re 6:11; 7:9). That no inference can be drawn from this in favor of the hypothesis of an intermediate body appears from the fact that God and angels are spoken of in the same manner, and also from passages which more precisely refer to the dead as "souls," "spirits" (Lu 23:46; Ac 7:59; Heb 12:23; 1Pe 3:19; Re 6:9; 20:4).

(3) The New Testament nowhere encourages the living to seek converse with the dead. Its representation of the dead as "sleeping" with reference to the earthly life distinctly implies that such converse would be abnormal and in so far discountenances it, without explicitly affirming its absolute impossibility. Not even the possibility of the dead for their part taking knowledge of our earthly life is affirmed anywhere. Heb 12:1 does not necessarily represent the Old Testament saints as "witnesses" of our race of faith in the sense of spectators in the literal sense, but perhaps in the figurative sense, that we ought to feel, having in memory their example, as if the ages of the past and their historic figures were looking down upon us (Lu 16:29; Ac 8:9; 13:6 ff; 19:13 ff).

(4) As to the departed saints themselves, it is intimated that they have mutual knowledge of one another in the intermediate state, together with memory of facts and conditions of the earthly life (Lu 16:9,19-31). Nowhere, however, is it intimated that this interest of the departed saints in our earthly affairs normally expresses itself in any act of intercession, not even of intercession spontaneously proffered on their part.

(5) The New Testament does not teach that there is any possibility of a fundamental change in moral or spiritual character in the intermediate state. The doctrine of a so-called "second probation" finds in it no real support. The only passages that can with some semblance of warrant be appealed to in this connection are 1Pe 3:19-21 and 4:6. For the exegesis of the former passage, which is difficult and much disputed, compare SPIRITS IN PRISON. Here it may simply be noted that the context is not favorable to the view that an extension of the opportunity of conversion beyond death is implied; the purport of the whole passage points in the opposite direction, the salvation of the exceedingly small number of eight of the generation of Noah being emphasized (1Pe 3:20). Besides this it would be difficult to understand why this exceptional opportunity should have been granted to this peculiar group of the dead, since the contemporaries of Noah figure in Scripture as examples of extreme wickedness. Even if the idea of a gospel-preaching with soteriological purpose were actually found here, it would not furnish an adequate basis for building upon it the broad hypothesis of a second probation for all the dead in general or for those who have not heard the gospel in this life. This latter view the passage is especially ill fitted to support, because the generation of Noah had had the gospel preached to them before death. There is no intimation that the transaction spoken of was repeated or continued indefinitely. As to the second passage (1Pe 4:6), this must be taken by itself and in connection with its own context. The assumption that the sentence "the gospel (was) preached even to the dead" must have its meaning determined by the earlier passage in 1Pe 3:19-21, has exercised an unfortunate influence upon the exegesis. Possibly the two passages had no connection in the mind of the author. For explaining the reference to "the dead" the connection with the preceding verse is fully sufficient. It is there stated that Christ is "ready to judge the living and the dead." "The living and the dead" are those who will be alive and dead at the parousia. To both the gospel was preached, that Christ might be the judge of both. But that the gospel was preached to the latter in the state of death is in no way indicated. On the contrary the telic clause, "that they might be judged according to men in the flesh," shows that they heard the gospel during their lifetime, for the judgment according to men in the flesh that has befallen them is the judgment of physical death. If a close connection between the passage in 1Pe 3 and that in chapter 4 did exist, this could only serve to commend the exegesis which finds in the earlier passage a gospel-preaching to the contemporaries of Noah during their lifetime, since, on that view, it becomes natural to identify the judgment in the flesh with the Deluge.

(6) The New Testament, while representing the state of the dead before the parousia as definitely fixed, nevertheless does not identify it, either in degree of blessedness or punishment, with the final state which follows upon the resurrection. Although there is no warrant for affirming that the state of death is regarded as for believers a positively painful condition, as has been mistakenly inferred from 1Co 11:30; 1Th 4:13, nevertheless Paul shrinks from it as from a relatively undesirable state, since it involves "nakedness" for the soul, which condition, however, does not exclude a relatively high degree of blessedness in fellowship with Christ (2Co 5:2-4,6,8; Php 1:23). In the same manner a difference in the degree or mode of punishment between the intermediate state and the age to come is plainly taught. For on the one hand the eternal punishment is related to persons in the body (Mt 10:28), and on the other hand it is assigned to a distinct place, Gehenna, which is never named in connection with the torment of the intermediate state. This term occurs in Mt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; Lu 12:5; 18:9; 23:33; Mr 9:43,15,47; Jas 3:6. Its opposite is the eschatological kingdom of God (Mr 9:47). The term abussos differs from it in that it is associated with the torment of evil spirits (Lu 8:31; Ro 10:7; Re 9:1,2; 11:7; 20:1), and in regard to it no such clear distinction between a preliminary and final punishment seems to be drawn (compare also the verb tartaroun, "to bind in Tartarus"; of evil spirits in 2Pe 2:4). Where the sphere of the intermediate state is locally conceived, this is done by means of the term Hades, which is the equivalent of the Old Testament She’ol. The passages where this occurs are Mt 11:23; 16:18; Lu 16:23; Ac 2:27,31; 1Co 15:55 (where others read "death"); Re 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14. These passages should not be interpreted on the basis of the Greek classical usage, but in the light of the Old Testament doctrine about She’ol. Some of them plainly employ the word in the non-local sense of the state of death (Mt 16:18; possibly Ac 2:27,31; 1Co 15:55 (personified); Re 1:18; 6:8 (personified); Re 20:13 (personified)). The only passage where the conception is local is Lu 16:23, and this occurs in a parable, where aside from the central point in comparison, no purpose to impart topographical knowledge concerning the world beyond death can be assumed, but the imagery is simply that which was popularly current. But, even if the doctrine of Hades as a place distinct from Gehenna should be found here, the terms in which it is spoken of, as place of torment for Dives, prove that the conception is not that of a general abode of neutral character, where without blessedness or pain the dead as a joint- company await the last judgment, which would first assign them to their separate eternal habitations. The parable plainly teaches, whether Hades be local and distinct from Gehenna or not, that the differentiation between blessedness and punishment in its absolute character (Lu 16:26) is begun in it and does not first originate at the judgment (see further, HADES).


Besides the articles on the several topics in the Bible Dictionaries and in Cremer’s Lexicon of New Testament Greek, and the corresponding chapters in the handbooks on New Testament Theology, the following works and articles may be consulted: Bousset, Die Religion des Judenthums2, 1906, especially 233-346; id, Der Antichrist in der Ueberlieferung des Judenthums, des New Testament und der alten Kirche, 1895; Bruston, La vie future d’apres Paul, 1895; Charles, Eschatology Hebrew, Jewish and Christian: A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life, 1899; Cremer, Ueber den Zustand nach dem Tode3, 1892; Grimm, "Ueber die Stelle 1 Kor 15:20-28," ZWT, 1873; Haupt, Die eschatologischen Aussagen Jesu in den synoptischen Evangelien, 1895; Kabisch, Eschatologie des Paulus in ihren Zusammenhangen mit dem Gesamtbegriff des Paulinismus, 1893; Kennedy, Paul’s Conceptions of the Last Things, 1904; Kliefoth, Christliche Eschatologie, 1886; Klopper, "Zur Paulinischen Lehre von der Auferstehung: Auslegung von 2 Kor 5:1-6," JDT, 1862 (the author modified his views in his commentary on 2 Cor); Kostlin, "Die Lehre des Apostels Paulus von der Auferstehung," JDT, 1877; Luthardt, Lehre von den letzten Dingen3, 1885; Muirhead, The Eschatology of Jesus, 1904; Oesterley, The Doctrine of the Last Things, 1908; Philippi, Die biblische und kirchliche Lehre vom Antichrist, 1877; Rinck, Vom Zustande nach dem Tode, 1885; Salmond, The Christian Doctrine of Immortality5, 1901; Schwally, Das Leben nach dem Tode, 1892; Sharman, The Teaching of Jesus about the Future According to the Synoptic Gospels, 1909; Stahelin, "Zur Paulinischen Eschatologie," JDT, 1874; Teichmann, Die Paulinischen Vorstellungen von Auferstehung und Gericht, 1896; Volz, Judische Eschatologie von Daniel bis Akiba, 1903; Waitz, "Ueber 2 Kor 5:1-4," JPT, 1882; Wetzel, "Ueber 2 Kor 5:1-4," SK, 1886; Wendt, Die Begriffe Fleisch und Geist im biblischen Sprachgebrauch, 1878.

Geerhardus Vos



Contents ( A) Scope of Article (B) Dr. Charles’ Work (C) Individual Religion in Israel


1. Idea of God 2. Idea of Man Body, Soul and Spirit 3. Sin and Death


Had Israel No Belief in a Future Life? 1. Reserve on This Subject: Hopes and Promises Largely Temporal 2. A Future State not Therefore Denied Belief Non-Mythological 3. Survival of Soul, or Conscious Part 4. The Hebrew Sheol


(a) Nature and Grace—Moral Distinctions (b) Religious Hope of Immortality 1. Sheol, Like Death, Connected with Sin 2. Religious Root of Hope of Immortality Not Necessarily Late 3. Hope of Resurrection (1) Not a Late or Foreign Doctrine (2) The Psalms (3) The Book of Job (4) The Prophets (5) Daniel—Resurrection of Wicked


Judgment a Present Reality 1. Day of Yahweh (1) Relation to Israel (2) To the Nations 2. Judgment beyond Death (1) Incompleteness of Moral Administration (2) Prosperity of Wicked (3) Suffering of Righteous with Wicked 3. Retribution beyond Death


1. Sources (1) Apocrypha (2) Apocalyptic Literature (3) Rabbinical Writings 2. Description of Views (1) Less Definite Conceptions (2) Ideas of Sheol (3) The Fallen Angels (4) Resurrection (5) Judgment The Messiah (6) The Messianic Age and the Gentiles (7) Rabbinical Ideas LITERATURE


Eschatology of the Old Testament (with Apocryphal and Apocalyptic Writings).

(A) Scope of Article:

By "eschatology," or doctrine of the last things, is meant the ideas entertained at any period on the future life, the end of the world (resurrection, judgment; in the New Testament, the Parousia), and the eternal destinies of mankind. In this article it is attempted to exhibit the beliefs on these matters contained in the Old Testament, with those in the Jewish apocryphal and apocalyptic writings that fill up the interval between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

(B) Dr. Charles’ Work:

The subject here treated has been dealt with by many writers (see "Literature" below); by none more learnedly or ably than by Dr. R. H. Charles in his work on Hebrew, Jewish and Christian eschatology (A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life in Israel, in Judaism, and in Christianity). The present writer is, however, unable to follow Dr. Charles in many of his very radical critical positions, which affect so seriously the view taken of the literary evidence, and of the development of Israel’s religion; is unable, therefore, to follow him in his interpretation of the religion itself. The subject, accordingly, is discussed in these pages from a different point of view from his.

(C) Individual Religion in Israel.

One special point in which the writer is unable to follow Dr. Charles in his treatment, which may be noticed at the outset, is in his idea—now so generally favored—that till near the time of the Exile religion was not individual—that Yahweh was thought of as concerned with the well-being of the people as a whole, and not with that of its individual members. "The individual was not the religious unit, but the family or tribe" (op. cit., 58). How anyone can entertain this idea in face of the plain indications of the Old Testament itself to the contrary is to the present writer a mystery. There is, indeed, throughout the Old Testament, a solidarity of the individual with his family and tribe, but not at any period to the exclusion of a personal relation to Yahweh, or of individual moral and religious responsibility. The pictures of piety in the Book of Genesis are nearly all individual, and the narratives containing them are, even on the critical view, older than the 9th century. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, are all of them, to the writers of the history, individuals; Moses, Joshua, Caleb, are individuals; the deeds of individuals are counted to them for righteousness; the sins of others slay them. If there had been ten righteous persons in Sodom, it would have been spared (Ge 18:32). It was as an individual that David sinned; as an individual he repented and was forgiven. Kings are judged or condemned according to their individual character. It is necessary to lay stress on this at the beginning; otherwise the whole series of the Old Testament conceptions is distorted.

I. Fundamental Ideas.

The eschatology of the Old Testament, as Dr. Charles also recognizes, is dependent on, and molded by, certain fundamental ideas in regard to God, man, the soul and the state after death, in which lies the peculiarity of Israel’s religion. Only, these ideas are differently apprehended here from what they are in this writer’s learned work.

1. Idea of God:

In the view of Dr. Charles, Yahweh (Yahweh), who under Moses became the God of the Hebrew tribes, was, till the time of the prophets, simply a national God, bound up with the land and with this single people; therefore, "possessing neither interest nor jurisdiction in the life of the individual beyond the grave. .... Hence, since early Yahwism possessed no eschatology of its own, the individual Israelite was left to his hereditary heathen beliefs. These beliefs we found were elements of Ancestor Worship" (op. cit., 52; compare 35). The view taken here, on the contrary, is, that there is no period known to the Old Testament in which Yahweh—whether the name was older than Moses or not need not be discussed—was not recognized as the God of the whole earth, the Creator of the world and man, and Judge of all, nations. He is, in both Ge 1 and Ge 2, the Creator of the first pair from whom the whole race springs; He judged the whole world in the Flood; He chose Abraham to be a blessing to the families of the earth (Ge 12:3); His universal rule is acknowledged (Ge 18:25); in infinite grace, displaying His power over Egypt, He chose Israel to be a people to Himself (Ex 19:3-6). The ground for denying jurisdiction over the world of the dead thus falls. The word of Jesus to the Sadducees is applicable here: "Have ye not read .... I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Mt 22:31,32). The Old Testament instances of resurrection in answer to prayer point in the same direction (1Ki 17:21 ff; 2Ki 4:34 ff; compare Ps 16:10; 49:15, etc.; see further, below).

2. Idea of Man:

According to Dr. Charles, the Old Testament has two contradictory representations of the constitution of man, and of the effects of death. The older or pre-prophetic view distinguishes between soul and body in man (pp. 37 ff, 45 ff), and regards the soul as surviving death (this is not easily reconcilable with the other proposition (p. 37) that the "soul or nephesh is identical with the blood"), and as retaining a certain self-consciousness, and the power of speech and movement in Sheol (pp. 39 ff). This view is in many respects identical with that of ancestor worship, which is held to be the primitive belief in Israel (p. 41). The other and later view, which is thought to follow logically from the account in Ge 2:7, supposes the soul to perish at death (pp. 41 ff). We read there that "Yahweh God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The "breath of life" (nishmath chayyim) is identified with the "spirit of life" (ruach chayyim) of Ge 6:17, and is taken to mean that the soul has no independent existence, but is "really a function of the material body when quickened by the (impersonal) spirit" (p. 42). "According to this view the annihilation of the soul ensues inevitably at death, that is, when the spirit is withdrawn" (p. 43). This view is held to be the parent of Sadduceeism, and is actually affirmed to be the view of Paul (pp. 43-44, 409)—the apostle who repudiated Sadduceeism in this very article (Ac 23:6-9). Body, Soul and Spirit.

The above view of man’s nature is here rejected, and the consistency of the Old Testament doctrine affirmed. The Biblical view has nothing to do with ancestor worship (compare the writer’s Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament, 135-36). In Ge 1:26,27 man is created in God’s image, and in the more anthropomorphic narrative of Ge 2:7, he becomes "a living soul" through a unique act of Divine inbreathing. The soul (nephesh) in man originates in a Divine inspiration (compare Job 32:8; 33:4; Isa 42:5), and is at once the animating principle of the body (the blood being its vehicle, Le 17:11), with its appetites and desires, and the seat of the self-conscious personality, and source of rational and spiritual activities. It is these higher activities of the soul which, in the Old Testament, are specially called "spirit" (ruach). Dr. Charles expresses this correctly in what he says of the supposed earlier view ("the ruach had become the seat of the highest spiritual functions in man," p. 46; see more fully the writer’s God’s Image in Man, 47 ff). There is no ground for deducing "annihilation" from Ge 2:7. Everywhere in Ge man is regarded as formed for living fellowship with God, and capable of knowing, worshipping and serving Him.


3. Sin and Death:

It follows from the above account that man is regarded in the Old Testament as a compound being, a union of body and soul (embracing spirit), both being elements in his one personality. His destiny was not to death, but to life—not life, however, in separation of the soul from the body (disembodied existence), but continued embodied life, with, perhaps, as its sequel, change and translation to higher existence (thus Enoch, Elijah; the saints at the Parousia). This is the true original idea of immortality for man (see IMMORTALITY). Death, accordingly, is not, as it appears in Dr. Charles, a natural event, but an abnormal event—a mutilation, separation of two sides of man’s being never intended to be separated—due, as the Scripture represents it, to the entrance of sin (Ge 2:17; 3:19,22; Ro 5:12; 1Co 15:21,22). It is objected that nothing further is said in the Old Testament of a "Fall," and a subjection of man to death as the result of sin. In truth, however, the whole picture of mankind in the Old Testament, as in the New Testament, is that of a world turned aside from God, and under His displeasure, and death and all natural evils are ever to be considered in relation to that fact (compare Dillmann, Alttest. Theol., 368, 376 ff; God’s Image in Man, 198 ff, 249 ff). This alone explains the light in which death is regarded by holy men; their longing for deliverance from it (see below); the hope of resurrection; the place which resurrection—"the redemption of our body" (Ro 8:23)—after the pattern of Christ’s resurrection (Php 3:21), has in the Christian conception of immortality.

II. Conceptions of the Future Life—Sheol.

Had Israel No Belief in a Future Life?:

It is usual to find it contended that the Israelites, in contrast with other peoples, had not the conception of a future life till near the time of the Exile; that then, through the teaching of the prophets and the discipline of experience, ideas of individual immortality and of judgment to come first arose. There is, however, a good deal of ambiguity of language, if not confusion of thought, in such statements. It is true there is development in the teaching on a future life; true also that in the Old Testament "life" and "immortality" are words of pregnant meaning, to which bare survival of the soul, and gloomy existence in Sheol, do not apply. But in the ordinary sense of the expression "future life," it is certain that the Israelites were no more without that notion than any of their neighbors, or than most of the peoples and races of the world to whom the belief is credited.

1. Reserve on This Subject: Hopes and Promises Largely Temporal:

Israel, certainly, had not a developed mythology of the future life such as was found in Egypt. There, life in the other world almost over-shadowed the life that now is; in contrast with this, perhaps because of it, Israel was trained to a severer reserve in regard to the future, and the hopes and promises to the nation—the rewards of righteousness and penalties of transgression—were chiefly temporal. The sense of individual responsibility, as was shown at the commencement, there certainly was—an individual relation to God. But the feeling of corporate existence—the sense of connection between the individual and his descendants—was strong, and the hopes held out to the faithful had respect rather to multiplication of seed, to outward prosperity, and to a happy state of existence (never without piety as its basis) on earth, than to a life beyond death. The reason of this and the qualifications needing to be made to the statement will afterward appear; but that the broad facts are as stated every reader of the Old Testament will perceive for himself. Abraham is promised that his seed shall be multiplied as the stars of heaven, and that the land of Canaan shall be given them to dwell in (Ge 12:1-3; 15); Israel is encouraged by abundant promises of temporal blessing (De 11:8 ff; 28:1-14), and warned by the most terrible temporal curses (De 28:15 ff); David has pledged to him the sure succession of his house as the reward of obedience (2Sa 7:11 ff). So in the Book of Job, the patriarch’s fidelity is rewarded with return of his prosperity (chapter 42). Temporal promises abound in the Prophets (Ho 2:14 ff; 14; Isa 1:19,26, etc.); the Book of Pr likewise is full of such promises (3:13 ff, etc.).

2. A Future State not Therefore Denied:

All this, however, in no way implies that the Israelites had no conceptions of, or beliefs in, a state of being beyond death, or believed the death of the body to be the extinction of existence. This was very far from being the case. A hope of a future life it would be wrong to call it; for there was nothing to suggest hope, joy or life in the good sense, in the ideas they entertained of death or the hereafter. In this they resembled most peoples whose ideas are still primitive, but to whom it is not customary to deny belief in a future state. They stand as yet, though with differences to be afterward pointed out, on the general level of Semitic peoples in their conceptions of what the future state was. This is also the view taken by Dr. Charles. He recognizes that early Israelite thought attributed a "comparatively large measure of life, movement, knowledge and likewise power (?) to the departed in Sheol" (op. cit., 41). A people that does this is hardly destitute of all notions of a future state. This question of Sheol now demands more careful consideration. Here again our differences from Dr. Charles will reveal themselves.

Belief Non-Mythological.

It would, indeed, have been amazing had the Israelites, who dwelt so long in Egypt, where everything reminded of a future life, been wholly destitute of ideas on that subject. What is clear is that, as already observed, they did not adopt any of the Egyptian notions into their religion. The simplicity of their belief in the God of their fathers kept them then and ever after from the importation of mythological elements into their faith. The Egyptian Amenti may be said, indeed, to answer broadly to the Hebrew Sheol; but there is nothing in Israelite thought to correspond to Osiris and his assessors, the trial in the hall of judgment, and the adventures and perils of the soul thereafter. What, then, was the Hebrew idea of Sheol, and how did it stand related to beliefs elsewhere?

3. Survival of Soul, or Conscious Part:

That the soul, or some conscious part of man for which the name may be allowed to stand, does not perish at death, but passes into another state of existence, commonly conceived of as shadowy and inert, is a belief found, not only among the lower, so-called nature-peoples, but in all ancient religions, even the most highly developed. The Egyptian belief in Amenti, or abode of the dead, ruled over by Osiris, is alluded to above; the Babylonian Arallu (some find the word "Sualu" = she’ol), the land of death, from which there is no return; the Greek Hades, gloomy abode of the shades of the departed, are outstanding witnesses to this conception (the various ideas may be seen, among other works, in Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality, I (ideas of lower races, Indian, Egyptian Babylonian, Persian and Greek beliefs); in Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, Religion of Ancient Babylonians, and Gifford Lectures, Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia; Dr. Charles, Eschatology, chapter iii, on Greek conceptions). The Hebrew conception of Sheol, the gathering-place of the dead, is not in essentials dissimilar. "The resemblance," says Dr. Salmond, "between the Hebrew Sheol, the Homeric Hades, and Babylonian Arallu is unmistakable" (op. cit., 3rd edition, 173). As to its origin, Dr. Charles would derive the belief from ancestor worship. He supposes that "in all probability Sheol was originally conceived as a combination of the graves of the clan or nation, and as thus its final abode" (op. cit., 33). It is far from proved, however, that ancestor worship had the role he assigns to it in early religion; and, in any case, the explanation inverts cause and effect. The survival of the soul or shade is already assumed before there can be worship of ancestors. Far simpler is the explanation that man is conscious from the first of a thinking, active principle within him which disappears when death ensues, and he naturally thinks of this as surviving somewhere else, if only in a ghost-like and weakened condition (compare Max Muller, Anthropological Religion, 195, 281, 337-38). Whatever the explanation, it is the case that, by a sure instinct, peoples of low and high culture alike all but universally think of the conscious part of their dead as surviving. On natural grounds, the Hebrews did the same. Only, in the Scriptural point of view, this form of survival is too poor to be dignified with the high name of "immortality."

4. The Hebrew Sheol:

It is not necessary to do more than sketch the main features of the Hebrew sheol (see SHEOL). The word, the etymology of which is doubtful (the commonest derivations are from roots meaning "to ask" or "to be hollow," sha’al), is frequently, but erroneously, translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "grave" or "hell." It denotes really, as already said, the place or abode of the dead, and is conceived of as situated in the depths of the earth (Ps 63:9; 86:13; Eze 26:20; 31:14; 32:18,24; compare Nu 16:30; De 32:22). The dead are there gathered in companies; hence, the frequently recurring expression, "gathered unto his people" (Ge 25:8; 35:29; 49:33; Nu 20:24, etc.), the phrase denoting, as the context shows, something quite distinct from burial. Jacob, e.g. was "gathered unto his people"; afterward his body was embalmed, and, much later, buried (Ge 50:2 ff). Poetical descriptions of Sheol are not intended to be taken with literalness; hence, it is a mistake, with Dr. Charles, to press such details as "bars" and "gates" (Job 17:16; 38:17; Ps 9:14; Isa 38:10, etc.). In the general conception, Sheol is a place of darkness (Job 10:21,22; Ps 143:3), of silence (Ps 94:17; 115:17), of forgetfulness (Ps 88:12; Ec 9:5,6,10). It is without remembrance or praise of God (Ps 6:5), or knowledge of what transpires on earth (Job 14:21). Even this language is not to be pressed too literally. Part of it is the expression of a depressed or despairing (compare Isa 38:10 ff) or temporarily skeptical (thus in Ecclesiastes; compare 12:7,13,14) mood; all of it is relative, emphasizing the contrast with the brightness, joy and activity of the earthly life (compare Job 10:22, "where the light is as midnight"—comparative). Elsewhere it is recognized that consciousness remains; in Isa 14:9 ff the shades (repha’im) of once mighty kings are stirred up to meet the descending king of Babylon (compare Eze 32:21). If Sheol is sometimes described as "destruction" (Job 26:6 margin; Job 28:22; Pr 15:11 margin) and "the pit" (Ps 30:9; 55:23), at other times, in contrast with the weariness and trouble of life, it is figured and longed for as a place of "rest" and "sleep" (Job 3:17 ff; 14:12,13). Always, however, as with other peoples, existence in Sheol is represented as feeble, inert, shadowy, devoid of living interests and aims, a true state of the dead (on Egyptian Babylonian and Greek analogies, compare Salmond, op. cit., 54-55, 73-74, 99 ff, 173-74). The idea of Dr. Charles, already commented on, that Sheol is outside the jurisdiction of Yahweh, is contradicted by many passages (De 32:22; Job 26:6; Pr 15:11; Ps 139:8; Am 9:2, etc.; compare above).

III. The Religious Hope—Life and Resurrection.

(a) Nature and Grace—Moral Distinctions:

Such is Sheol, regarded from the standpoint of nature; a somewhat different aspect is presented when it is looked at from the point of view of grace. As yet no trace is discernible between righteous and wicked in Sheol; the element of retribution seems absent. Reward and punishment are in this world; not in the state beyond. Yet one must beware of drawing too sweeping conclusions even here. The state, indeed, of weakened consciousness and slumbrous inaction of Sheol does not admit of much distinction, and the thought of exchanging the joys of life for drear existence in that gloomy underworld may well have appalled the stoutest hearts, and provoked sore and bitter complainings. Even the Christian can bewail a life brought to a sudden and untimely close. But even on natural grounds it is hardly credible that the pious Israelite thought of the state of the godly gathered in peace to their people as quite the same as those who perished under the ban of God’s anger, and went down to Sheol bearing their iniquity. There is a pregnancy not to be overlooked in such expressions as, "The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol" (Ps 9:17), a "lowest Sheol" unto which God’s anger burns (De 32:22), "uttermost parts of the pit" (Isa 14:15; Eze 32:23) to which the proud and haughty in this life are consigned. Dr. Charles goes so far as to find a "penal character of Sheol" in Psalms 49 and 73 (op. cit., 74). Consolation breathes in such utterances as, "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for there is a happy end to the man of peace" (Ps 37:37), or (with reference to the being taken from the evil to come), "He entereth into peace; they rest in their beds, each one that walketh in his uprightness" (Isa 57:2; compare Isa 57:21 "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked"). Even Balaam’s fervent wish, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his" (Nu 23:10), seems weakened when interpreted only of the desire for a green and blessed old age. It is possible to read too much into Old Testament expressions; the tendency at the present time would seem to be to read a great deal too little

(P. Fairbairn, Typology of Scripture, I, 173 ff, 422 ff, may profitably be consulted).

(b) Religious Hope of Immortality:

To get at the true source and nature of the hope of immortality in the Old Testament, however, it is necessary to go much farther than the idea of any happier condition in Sheol. This dismal region is never there connected with ideas of "life" or "immortality" in any form. Writers who suppose that the hopes which find utterance in passages of Psalms and Prophets have any connection with existence in Sheol are on an altogether wrong track. It is not the expectation of a happier condition in Sheol, but the hope of deliverance from Sheol, and of restored life and fellowship with God, which occupies the mind. How much this implies deserves careful consideration.

1. Sheol, Like Death, Connected with Sin:

It has already been seen that, in the Old Testament, Sheol, like death, is not the natural fate of man. A connection with sin and judgment is implied in it. Whatever Sheol might be to the popular, unthinking mind, to the reflecting spirit, that really grasped the fundamental ideas of the religion of Yahweh, it was a state wholly contrary to man’s true destiny. It was, as seen, man’s dignity in distinction from the animal, that he was not created under the law of death. Disembodied existence, which is of necessity enfeebled, partial, imperfect existence, was no part of the Divine plan for man. His immortality was to be in the body, not out of it. Separation of soul and body, an after-existence of the soul in Sheol, belong to the doom of sin. Dr. Salmond fully recognizes this in his discussion of the subject. "The penal sense of death colors all that the Old Testament says of man’s end. It is in its thoughts where it is not in its words" (op. cit., 159; see the whole passage; compare also Oehler, Theology of the Old Testament, I, 242 ff, English translation; A. B. Davidson, Theology of the Old Testament, 432 ff, 439 ff). The true type of immortality is therefore to be seen in cases like those of Enoch (Ge 5:24; compare Heb 11:5) and Elijah (2Ki 2:11); of a bare "immortality of the soul," Scripture has nothing to say.

It is on all hands conceded that, so far as the hope of immortality, in any full or real sense, is found in the Old Testament, it is connected with religious faith and hope. It has not a natural, but a religious, root. It springs from the believer’s trust and confidence in the living God; from his conviction that God—his God—who has bound him to Himself in the bonds of an unchanging covenant, whose everlasting arms are underneath him (De 33:27; compare Ps 90:1), will not desert him even in Sheol—will be with him there, and will give him victory over its terrors (compare A. B. Davidson, Commentary on Job, 293-95; Salmond, op. cit., 175).

2. Religious Root of Hope of Immortality:

Life is not bare existence; it consists in God’s favor and fellowship (Ps 16:11; 30:5; 63:3). The relevant passages in Psalms and Prophets will be considered after. Only, it is contended by the newer school, this hope of immortality belongs to a late stage of Israel’s religion—to a period when, through the development of the monotheistic idea, the growth of the sense of individuality, the acute feeling of the contradictions of life, this great "venture" of faith first became possible. One asks, however, Was it so? Was this hope so entirely a matter of "intuitous ventures, and forecasts of devout souls in moments of deepest experience or keenest conflict," as this way of considering the matter represents? Not Necessarily Late.

That the hope of immortality could only exist for strong faith is self-evident. But did strong faith come into existence only in the days of the prophets or the Exile? Exception has already been taken to the assumption that monotheism was a late growth, and that individual faith in God was not found in early times. It is not to be granted without demur that, as now commonly alleged, the Psalms and the Book of Job, which express this hope, are post-exilian products. If, however, faith in a covenant-keeping God is of earlier date—if it is present in patriarchal and Mosaic days—the question is not, Why should it not give rise to similar hopes? but rather, How should it be prevented from doing so? If a patriarch like Abraham truly walked with God, and received His promises, could he, any more than later saints, be wholly distrustful of God’s power to keep and deliver him in and from Sheol? It is hard to credit it. It is replied, there is no evidence of such hope. Certainly these ancient saints did not write psalms or speak with the tongues of prophets. But is there nothing in their quiet and trustful walk, in their tranquil deaths, in their sense of uncompleted promises, in their pervading confidence in God in all the vicissitudes of life, to suggest that they, too, were able to commit themselves into the hands of God in death, and to trust Him to see that it was, or would ultimately be, well with them in the future? Thus at least Jesus understood it (Mt 22:32); thus, New Testament writers believed (Heb 11:13,14). Faith might falter, but in principle, this hope must have been bound up with faith from the beginning.

3. Hope of Resurrection:

This raises now the crucial question, What shape did this hope of immortality assume? It was not, as already seen, an immortality enjoyed in Sheol; it could only then be a hope connected with deliverance from the power of Sheol—in essence, whether precisely formulated or not, a hope of resurrection. It is, we believe, because this has been overlooked, that writers on the subject have gone so often astray in their discussions on immortality in the Old Testament. They have thought of a blessedness in the future life of the soul (thus Charles, op. cit., 76-77); whereas the redemption the Bible speaks of invariably embraces the whole personality of man, body and soul together. Jesus, it may be remembered, thus interprets the words, "I am the God of Abraham," etc. (Mt 22:32), as a pledge not simply of continued existence, but of resurrection. This accords with what has been seen of the connection of death with sin and its abnormality in the case of man. The immortality man would have enjoyed, had he not sinned, would have been an immortality of his whole person. It will be seen immediately that this is borne out by all the passages in which the hope of immortality is expressed in the Old Testament. These never contemplate a mere immortality of the soul, but always imply resurrection.

(1) Not a Late or Foreign Doctrine.

If the above is correct, it follows that it is a mistake to place the belief in resurrection so late as is often done, still more to derive it from Zoroastrianism (thus, Cheyne, Origin of Psalter, lecture viii) or other foreign sources. It was a genuine corollary from the fundamental Israelite beliefs about God, man, the soul, sin, death and redemption. Professor Gunkel emphasizes "the immeasurable significance" of this doctrine, and speaks of it as "one of the greatest things found anywhere in the history of religion," but thinks "it cannot be derived from within Judaism itself, but must take its origin from a ruling belief in the Orient of the later time" (Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verstandniss des New Testament, 32-33; for criticism of Gunkel’s positions see the writer’s Resurrection of Jesus, 255 ff). To make good his theory, however, he has to discount all the evidences for the belief furnished by the earlier Old Testament writings, and this, it is believed, cannot be done successfully. It was before noted that cases of resurrection appear in the historical books (1Ki 17:21 ff; 2Ki 4:34 ff). It is not impossible that the reverent care of the patriarchs for their dead was, as with the Egyptians, inspired by some hope of this kind (Ge 23; 50:5,25; Ex 13:19; compare Heb 11:22). In any case an impartial survey of the evidence proves that the thought of resurrection colors all the later expressions of the hope of immortality (see IMMORTALITY; compare also the writer’s appendix on the subject in Christian View of God, 2OO ff).

(2) The Psalms.

The passages in the Psalms in which faith rises to the hope of immortality are principally Ps 16:8-11; 17:15; 49:14,15; 73:24. There are a few others, but these are the chief, and so far as they are allowed to express a hope of immortality at all, they do so in a form which implies resurrection. Dr. Cheyne, believing them to be influenced by Zoroastrianism, formerly granted this (Origin of Psalter, lecture viii); now he reads the passages differently. There is no good reason for putting these psalms in post-exilian times, and, taken in their most natural sense, their testimony seems explicit. Ps 16:8-11 (cited in Ac 2:24-31 as a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ) reads "My flesh also shall dwell in safety (or confidently, margin). For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption (or the pit, margin). Thou wilt show me the path of life," etc. In Ps 17:15, the Psalmist, after describing the apparent prosperity of the wicked, says, "As for me, I shall behold thy face in rightousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with beholding thy form" (King James Version, the English Revised Version, "with thy likeness"). Cheyne (op. cit., 406) refers this to the resurrection (compare Delitzsch, Perowne, etc.). Yet more explicit is Ps 49:14,15, "They (the wicked) are appointed as a flock for Sheol .... and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. .... But God will redeem my soul from the power (hand, margin) of Sheol; for he will receive me." The last clause, literally, ." He will take me," has, as Perowne, Delitzsch, Cheyne (formerly), even Duhm, allow, allusion to cases like those of Enoch and Elijah. It cannot, however, contemplate actual bodily translation; it must therefore refer to resurrection. Similar in strain is Ps 73:24, "Thou wilt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Dr. Charles grants that, in Psalms 49 and 73, "God takes the righteous to Himself" in heaven (pp. 76- 77), but fails to connect this with the doctrine of resurrection which he finds appearing about the same time (p. 78).

(3) The Book of Job.

Before looking at the prophets, a glance should be taken at the Book of Job, which, irrespective of date (it is quite unwarrantably made post-exilian), reflects patriarchal conditions. Ch 14 raises the question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" (14:14), and it is to be remarked that the form in which it does it, is the possibility of bodily revival. The appearances hostile to man’s living again are enumerated (14:7-12), then faith, reasserting itself, flings itself on God to accomplish the apparently impossible: "Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time and remember me. .... Thou wouldest call and I would answer thee: thou wouldest have a desire to the work of thy hands" (14:13-15; margin reads "Thou shalt call," etc.). Dr. A. B. Davidson says, "To his mind this involves a complete return to life again of the whole man" (Cambridge Commentary on Job, in the place cited.). With this must be taken the splendid outburst in 19:25-27, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," etc., which, whatever doubts may attach to the precise rendering of certain clauses, undoubtedly expresses a hope not inferior in strength to that in the verse just quoted.

(4) The Prophets.

The presence of the idea of resurrection in the Prophets is not doubted, but the passages are put down to exilic or preexilic times, and are explained of "spiritual" or "national," not of individual, resurrection (compare Charles, op. cit., 128-29). It seems plain, however, that, before the figure of resurrection could be applied to the nation, the idea of resurrection must have been there; and it is by no means clear that in certain of the passages the resurrection of individuals is not included. Cheyne granted this regarding the passages in Isa (25:6-8; 26:19): "This prospect concerns not merely the church-nation, but all of its believing members, and indeed all, whether Jews or not, who submit to the true king, Yahweh" (op. cit., 402). There is no call for putting the remarkable passages in Hos—"After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him" (6:2); "I will ransom them from the power of Sheol: I will redeem them from death: O death, where are thy plagues? O Sheol, where is thy destruction?" (13:14)—later than the time of that prophet. In them the idea of resurrection is already fully present; as truly as in the picture in Eze 37:1-10 of the valley of dry bones. The climax is, however, reached in Isa 25:6-8; 26:19, above referred to, from which the individual element cannot be excluded (compare Salmond, op. cit., 211-12: "The theme of this great passage, 26:19, therefore, is a personal, not a corporate resurrection").

(5) Daniel—Resurrection of Wicked.

Finally, in the Old Testament we have the striking statement in Da 12:2, "And many of them that sleep in the dust .... shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament," etc. The peculiarity of this passage is, that in it, for the first time, is announced a resurrection of the wicked as well as of the righteous (compare in the New Testament Joh 5:28,29; Ac 24:15; Re 20:12 ff). The word "many" is not to be understood in contrast with "all," though probably only Israel is in view. The event is connected with a "time of trouble" (Da 12:1) following upon the overthrow of Antiochus, here representative of Antichrist. The really difficult problem is, How did this conception of the resurrection of the wicked come about? The resurrection of the righteous, it has been seen, is a corollary from the covenant-faithfulness of Yahweh. But this does not apply to the wicked. Whence then does the idea come? It is given as a revelation, but even revelation connects itself with existing ideas and experiences. The resurrection of the wicked, certainly, does not arise, like that of the righteous, from the consciousness of an indissoluble union with God, but it may well arise from the opposite conviction of the judgment of God. As the sense of individuality grew strong—and it is granted that the teaching of the prophets did much to strengthen that feeling—and the certainty of moral retribution developed, it was inevitable that this should react on the conception of the future, in making it as certain that the wicked should be punished, as that the good should be rewarded, in the world to come. Naturally too, as the counterpart of the other belief, this shaped itself into the form of a resurrection to judgment. We are thus brought, as a last step, to consider the idea of judgment and its effects as found in the prophetic teaching.

IV. The Idea of Judgment—the Day of Yahweh.

Judgment a Present Reality:

It was seen that, under Mosaism, the promises and threatenings of God were mainly confined to the present life, and that the sense of distinctions in Sheol, though not absent, was vague and wavering. Through temporal dispensations men were trained to faith in the reality of moral retribution. Under the prophets, while the judgments of God on nations and individuals were still primarily viewed as pertaining to this life, there gradually shaped itself a further idea—that of an approaching consummation of history, or Day of Yahweh, when God’s enemies would be completely overthrown, His righteousness fully vindicated and His kingdom established in triumph throughout the earth. The developments of this idea may now briefly be exhibited. In this relation, it need only be stated that the writer does not follow the extraordinary mangling of the prophetic texts by certain critics, accepted, though with some misgiving, by Dr. Charles.

1. Day of Yahweh:

The "Day of Yahweh," in the prophetic writings, is conceived of, sometimes more generally, as denoting any great manifestation of God’s power in judgment or salvation (e.g. the locusts in Joe 2), sometimes more eschatologically, of the final crisis in the history of God’s kingdom, involving the overthrow of all opposition, and the complete triumph of righteousness (e.g. Isa 2:2-5; Joe 3; Am 9:11 ff; Zec 14, etc.). The two things are not unconnected; the one is the prelude, or anticipatory stage, of the other. That feature of prophetic vision sometimes spoken of as the absence of perspective is very conspicuous in the fact that chronology is largely disregarded, and the "Day of Yahweh" is seen looming up as the immediate background of every great crisis in which the nation may for the time be involved (Assyrian invasions; Babylonian captivity; Maccabean persecution). The one thing ever certain to the prophet’s mind is that the "Day" is surely coming—it is the one great, dread, yet for God’s people joyful, event of the future—but the steps by which the goal is to be reached are only gradually revealed in the actual march of God’s providence.

(1) Relation to Israel.

The "Day" is in its primary aspect a day of judgment (Isa 2:12); not, however, to be thought of as a day of vengeance only on the adversaries of Israel (Am 5:18 ff). Israel itself would be the first to experience the strokes of the Divine chastisement: "You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities" (Am 3:2). God’s judgments on Israel, while retributive, were also purifying and sifting; a "remnant" would remain, who would be the seed of a holier community (Isa 6:13; Am 9:9; Ze 3:13,10, etc.). The Book of Ho beautifully exhibits this aspect of the Divine dealings.

(2) To the Nations.

Of wider scope is the relation of the "Day" to the Gentileworld. The nations are used as the instruments of God’s judgments on Israel (Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians), but they, too, would in turn be judged by Yahweh (compare the prophecies against the nations in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nahum, Habakkuk, etc.). The end would be, although this does not fully appear in every prophet, that a remnant of the heathen also would turn to Yahweh, and be rescued from the judgment (Zec 14:16). More generally, an extension of the kingdom of God would take place till the earth was filled with God’s glory (e.g. Isa 2:2-5, with Mic 4:1-5; Isa 42:4; 66:3-6; Jer 12:14-16; 16:19-21; Eze 16:53,55,61, God will turn the captivity of Sodom and her daughters; Am 9:11; Hab 2:14; compare Ps 22:27-31; 65:2,5; 86:9). These events, in prophetic speech, belong to "the latter days" (Isa 2:2; Jer 48:47; Eze 38:16; Ho 3:5; Mic 4:1). In Daniel’s great prophecy of the four kingdoms, these are represented as broken in pieces by the kingdom of heaven, symbolized by a stone cut out of the mountain without hands (Da 2:44,45; compare Dan 7:27). The kingdom is given by the Ancient of Days to one "like unto a son of man" (Da 7:13). Haggai and Zechariah, the post-exilian prophets, share in these glowing hopes (Hag 2:6,7; Zec 2:10; 8:20-23; 14:16). In Malachi is found one of the noblest of all the prophetic utterances: "From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles," etc. (1:11); and prophecy closes with the announcement of Him, Yahweh’s messenger, by whom this "great and terrible day of Yahweh" is to be brought in (Mal 4).

2. Judgment beyond Death:

The purview, in what is said of the "Day of Yahweh," is thus seen to be confined to earth, though the references to resurrection, and the passages in the close of Isa (65:17; 66:22) about "new heavens and a new earth" imply a further vista. The hope of immortality—of resurrection life—in the case of the righteous has already been considered. But what of judgment after death in the case of the wicked? Only dim premonitions of retribution, it was seen, are found in the earlier doctrine of Sheol. There are frequent references to "judgment" in the Psalms, sometimes on the world (e.g. 96:13; 98:9; compare 50), sometimes on individuals (e.g. 1:5), but it is doubtful if any of them look beyond earth. Yet many things combined to force this problem on the attention.

(1) Incompleteness of Moral Administration.

There was the sharpening of the sense of individual responsibility in the prophetic age (Jer 31:29,30; Eze 18:2 ff), and the obvious fact of the incompleteness of the Divine moral administration in the present life, as respects the individual. The working of moral laws could be discerned, but this fell far short of exact individual retribution. Life was full of moral anomalies and perplexities (compare JOB, BOOK OF).

(2) Prosperity of Wicked.

There was the special difficulty that the wicked did not always seem to meet with the punishment due to their misdeeds in time. On the contrary they often seemed to flourish, to have success in their schemes, to triumph over the godly, who were afflicted and oppressed. This was the enigma that so painfully exercised the minds of the psalmists (Pss 10; 17; 37; 49; 73, etc.). The solution they found was that the prosperity of the wicked did not endure. It came to a sudden end (Ps 37:35,36; 73:18-20), while the righteous had a sure compensation in the future (Ps 17:15; 49:15; 73:24, etc.). It was not, however, always the case that the wicked were thus visibly cut off. Besides, a sudden end hardly seemed an adequate punishment for a long career of triumphant iniquity, and, if the righteous were recompensed hereafter, the thought lay near that the wicked might be, and should be, also.

(3) Suffering of Righteous with Wicked.

There was the kindred fact that, in the calamities that overtook the wicked, the righteous were often the involuntary sharers. The wicked did not suffer by themselves; the godly were involved in the storm of judgment (war, captivity, plagues) that broke upon them. Here was something else calling for redress at the hands of a God of righteousness.

3. Retribution beyond Death:

From these causes the thought almost necessarily presented itself of the extension of retribution for the wicked into the state beyond death. Hence, as before seen, Sheol did come in the later age to assume something of a penal character for the unrighteous. There was a wrath of God that burned to the lowest Sheol (De 32:22; compare Charles, op. cit., 74). But this abode of the shades was not, for the evil any more than for the good, a fitting sphere for moral recompense. If, for the complete reward of the righteous, a resurrection-state was necessary, did not the same hold true for the wicked? It is questioned whether the very definite announcements of an individual judgment in Ec 11:9; 12:14 refer to the state beyond death—it is probable that they do (compare Salmond, op. cit., 216-17). The first clear intimation of a resurrection of the wicked, however, is found, as already said, in Da 12:2, which likewise implies judgment. Perhaps a hint of the same idea is given in Isa 66:24: "They shall go forth (the prophet is speaking of the times of the new heavens and the new earth, verse 22), and look upon the dead bodies of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." Dr. Charles connects this with the idea of Gehenna as "a place of punishment for rebellious and apostate Jews," which he thinks also to be implied in Isa 50:11 (op. cit., 158). It is the same word "abhorrence" (dera’on), found in the above passage, which is rendered in Da 12:2 "contempt," and the punishment "is conceived of as eternal" (pp. 158-59).

It is hardly possible to carry the subject farther within the limits of the Old Testament. Further developments belong to the later Judaism.

V. Later Jewish Conceptions—Apocryphal, Apocalyptic, Rabbinical.

1. Sources:

The sources of our knowledge of the eschatological conceptions among the Jews in the immediately pre-Christian period are:

(1) Apocrypha.

The books of the Old Testament Apocrypha (see APOCRYPHA), taken over, with the exception of 2 Esdras, from the Septuagint. 2 Esdras, better known as 4 Esdras, is more properly classed with the apocalyptic writings. The original work consists only of chapters 3-14, with a passage in chapter 7 not found in the ordinary version. The book is post-Christian (circa 80-96 AD).

(2) Apocalyptic Literature.

(See article under that head, II, i, 1; II, ii.) The remains of this litereature consist of the Sibylline Oracles (oldest parts, Book III, from 2nd century BC), the Book Enoch (see below), the Psalms of Solomon (70-40 BC), with the Apocrypha Baruch (50-100 AD), the Book of Jubilees, and Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs (see below), the Assumption of Moses (early 1st century AD), and the Ascension of Isaiah (before 50 AD). A good deal turns on the dating of some of these books. Several (Apocrypha Baruch, Assumption of Moses, Ascension of Isaiah, with 4 Esdras) are post-Christian. The Book of Jubilees and Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs have also usually been regarded as such, but Dr. Charles argues for dates going back to the close of the 2nd century BC for both. Late Jewish and Christian additions are recognized in the latter. Formerly Dr. Charles dated Jubilees "before 10 AD." The chief dispute relates to (the "Similitudes") of the Book of Enoch chapters 37-70. These important sections are held by some (Dr. Stanton, etc.) to be post-Christian (end of 1st century AD)- -a view to which we incline; Dr. Charles and others place them in the 1st century BC. Most of the remaining portions of the book are assigned to dates in the 2nd century BC. To the above should be added the notices of Jewish opinions in Josephus

(3) Rabbinical Writings.

For rabbinical ideas, we are chiefly dependent on the Talmudic writings and the Targums—sources whose late character makes their witness often doubtful (see TALMUD; TARGUM).

2. Description of Views:

It is only possible to summarize very briefly the varying and frequently conflicting conceptions on eschatological subjects to be gleaned from this extensive literature. The representations are often wildly imaginative, and, so far as they are not genuine developments from Old Testament ideas, have value only as they may be supposed to throw light on the teachings of the New Testament. With one or two exceptions, little is to be gathered from the apocryphal books, and it will be best to treat the subject under headings.

(1) Less Definite Conceptions.

In the apocryphal Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of the Son of Sirach) we remain still on the old ground of Sheol as a place in which there is no remembrance, thanksgiving or retribution (Sirach 17:27,28; 41:3,1, etc.; a somewhat different note is heard in 21:10). It is the same in Baruch (2:17) and Tobit (3:6). In 1 Macc we have simply the Old Testament phrases, "gathered to his fathers" (2:69), "gathered to his people" (14:30). In the Book of Wisdom, the influence of Greek ideas is seen in a doctrine of the immortality of the soul only (2:23; 3:1-4; 4:13,14; 15:3; not a resurrection), possibly of pre- existence (8:20). The wicked suffer punishment in Sheol (3:1-10; 5:1-14, etc.).

(2) Ideas of Sheol.

Generally, however, in the apocalyptic books, a marked change is seen in the ideas of Sheol. It is still the place of the dead, but is regarded more as a state intermediate between death and the resurrection for such as shall be raised; in which righteous and wicked are separated; in which the wicked suffer punishment. The Book of Enoch distinguishes four abodes for the departed—two for the righteous, and two for the wicked (21:1-13). One class of the wicked (those already punished in this life) remain there forever, while the others are raised, and pass to the torment of Gehenna (17:2). The righteous are in Paradise—"the garden of life" (61:12), "the garden of righteousness" (67:3). This character of Sheol as a place of punishment (intermediate or final) is met with frequently (Book of Jubilees 7:29; 22:22; 2 Macc 6:23; Psalter of Solomon 14:6; 15:11; 16:2, etc.). In certain places, Dr. Charles says, "Sheol has become an abode of fire, and therefore synonymous so far with Gehenna. .... In several passages in the Similitudes, and throughout Enoch 91-104, Sheol and Gehenna are practically identical" (op. cit., 237). Similar ideas are found in the Slavonic version of Enoch (ibid., 261 ff).

(3) The Fallen Angels.

Much prominence in the Book of Enoch is given to the fallen angels (those who sinned with women, Ge 6:2). They are consigned in the judgment to ever-burning fire (En 21:1-6; 90:20-25).

(4) Resurrection.

Ideas of the resurrection vary, In Enoch 22, the righteous and one class of the wicked are raised; elsewhere all the righteous are raised and none of the wicked (En 61:5; 90:33; Psalter of Solomon 3:16); sometimes there is to be a resurrection of all, just and unjust (En 51:1,2). 2 Macc dwells much on the resurrection, which seems to embrace all Israel (3:16; 13:9; 7:9,14,23, etc.). For the Gentiles there is no resurrection (7:14,36). In Enoch 90:38, the bodies of the righteous are described as "transformed" in the resurrection (compare in the "Similitudes," 39:7; 51:4; 62:15). The doctrine of the resurrection (universal) is taught in the Apocrypha Baruch 30:2-5; 50; 51, and in 4 Esdras 7:32-37. In Josephus the Pharisees are said to have believed in the resurrection of the righteous only (Ant., XVIII, i, 3). This does not coincide with Paul’s statement in Ac 24:15.

(5) Judgment.

The reality of a final judgment, supervening upon the intermediate judgment in Sheol, is strongly affirmed in most of the apocalyptic books. The Book of Enoch speaks much of this final judgment. It describes it as "the great day," "the righteous judgment," "the great day of judgment" "the last judgment," "the judgment of all eternity" (10:6,12; 16:1; 19:1; 22:4,11; 25:4; 90:26,27, etc.). Wicked angels and men are judged, and sentenced to Gehenna—a doom without end.

The Messiah:

An interesting point is the relation of the Messiah to this judgment. With the exception of 4 Esd, the apocryphal books are silent on the Messiah. In the apocalyptic books the Messiah does appear, but not always in the same light. In the Sibylline Oracles (3), Psalms of Solomon (17; 18), Apocrypha Baruch (39; 40) and in 4 Esdras (13:32 ff) the appearance of Messiah is associated with the overthrow and judgment of the ungodly worldly powers; in the older portions of Enoch (90:16-25) God Himself executes this judgment, and holds the great assize—the Messiah does not appear till after. In the section of Enoch, chapters 37-70, on the other hand, the Messiah appears definitely as the judge of the world, and titles resembling those in the New Testament, "the Righteous One" (38:2; 53:6), "the Elect One" (40:5; 45:3,4, etc.), above all, "the Son of Man" (46:2-4; 48:2, etc.), are given Him. It is these passages which suggest Christian influence, especially as the conception is not found elsewhere in pre-Christian Apocalypse, and the Book of Jubilees, which refers otherwise to Enoch, makes no mention of these passages. Yet another idea appears in later Apocalypse, that, namely, of a limited reign of Messiah, after which take place the resurrection and judgment. 4 Esdras has the extraordinary notion that, after a reign of 400 years, the Messiah dies (7:28,29). God in this case is the judge.

(6) The Messianic Age and the Gentiles.

The Messianic age, when conceived of as following the judgment (the older view), is unlimited in duration, has Jerusalem for its center, and includes in the scope of its blessing the converted Gentiles (Sibylline Oracles 3:698-726; Enoch 90:30,37; compare 48:5; 53:1; Psalms of Solomon 17:32-35). The righteous dead of Israel are raised to participate in the kingdom. Already in Enoch 90:28,29 is found the idea that the new Jerusalem is not the earthly city, but a city that comes down from heaven, where, as in 4 Esdras, the Messianic reign is limited, the blessed life after resurrection is transferred to heaven.

(7) Rabbinical Ideas.

Little is to be added from the rabbinical conceptions, which, besides being difficult to ascertain precisely, are exceedingly confused and contradictory. Most of the ideas above mentioned appear in rabbinical teaching. With the destruction of the hostile world-powers is connected in later rabbinism the appearance of "Armilus"—an Antichrist. The reign of Messiah is generally viewed as limited in duration—400 years (as in 4 Esdras), and 1,000 years being mentioned (compare Schurer, History of Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Div. II, Vol. II, 179, English translation). At its close takes place a renovation of the world, resurrection (for Israelites only, certain classes being excluded), judgment, and eternal heavenly happiness for the righteous. The punishments of the wicked appear mostly to be regarded as eternal, but the view is also met with of a limited duration of punishment (see authorities in Schurer, op. cit., 183; Edersheim, Jesus the Messiah, appendix. XIX, and other works noted in "Literature" below).


R. H. Charles, D. D., A Crit. History of the Doctrine of a Future Life (1899); apocalyptic works translated and edited by same writer (Book of Enoch, Apocrypha Baruch, Book of Jubilees, Testament of the 12 Patriarchs, etc.); V. H. Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah (1886); S. D. F. Salmond, Christian Doct of Immortality (4th edition, 1901); A. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, edition 1906 (especially appendix. XIX); E. Schurer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (Div. II, Vol. II, English translation). Old Testament Theologies: Oehler, A. B. Davidson, etc.; articles in Dictionaries: Hastings, Encyclopedia Biblica, etc. For fuller lists, see Charles.

James Orr


es-choo’ (cur; ekklino):

Only 4 times in the King James Version (Job 1:1,8; 2:3; 1Pe 3:11), in all of which the American Standard Revised Version renders by the appropriate form of "turn away from."


es-dra-e’-lon, (yizre‘e’l; in Apocrypha the name varies: Esdrelon, Esdraelon, Esdrelom, Esrelon, Esrechon):

1. The Name:

The Greek name of the great plain in Central Palestine (Judith 3:9; 7:3, etc.). It is known in Scripture by the Hebrew name "valley of Jezreel" (Jos 17:16; Jud 6:33, etc.). It is called ‘emeq in Jud 5:15, which properly denotes "a depression," or "deepening," and is used more commonly of the vale running eastward between Gilboa and Little Hermon. Biq‘ah is the term usually employed (2Ch 35:22, etc.), which accurately describes it, "an opening," a level space surrounded by hills. The modern name is Merj ibn ‘Amr, "meadow of the son of Amr."

2. Position and Description:

It lies between Gilboa and Little Hermon on the East, and Mt. Carmel on the West. It is enclosed by irregular lines drawn from the latter along the base of the foothills of Nazareth to Tabor; from Tabor, skirting Little Hermon and Gilboa to Jenin, and from Jenin along the North edge of the Samaritan uplands to Carmel. These sides of the triangle are, respectively, about 15, 15 and 20 miles in length. North of Jenin a bay of the plain sweeps eastward, hugging the foot of Mt. Gilboa. An offshoot passes down to the Jordan valley between Gilboa and Little Hermon; and another cuts off the latter hill from Tabor. The average elevation of the plain is 200 ft. above the level of the Mediterranean. The Vale of Jezreel between Zer‘in and Beisan, a distance of about 12 miles, descends nearly 600 ft., and then sinks suddenly to the level of the Jordan valley. The chief springs supplying water for the plain are those at Jenin and at Megiddo. The former are the most copious, and are used to create a "paradise" on the edge of the plain. Those at Megiddo drive mills and serve for irrigation, besides forming extensive marshes. The springs near Zer‘in, three in number, ‘Ain Jalud, possibly identical with the well of Harod, being the most copious, send their waters down the vale to the Jordan. The streams from the surrounding heights are gathered in the bed of the Kishon, a great trench which zigzags through the plain, carrying the water through the gorge at Carmel to the sea. For the most of its course this sluggish stream is too low to be available for irrigation. The deep, rich soil, however, retains the moisture from the winter rains until far on in the year, the surface only, where uncovered by crops, being baked to brick in the sun. When winter sets in it quickly absorbs the rain, great breadths being turned to soft mud. This probably happened in the battle with Sisera: the northern cavalry, floundering in the morass, would be an easy prey to the active, lightly armed foot-soldiers. The fertility of the plain is extraordinary: hardly anywhere can the toil of the husbandman find a greater reward. The present writer has ridden through crops of grain there, when from his seat on the saddle he could no more than see over the tops of the stalks. Trees do not flourish in the plain itself, but on its borders, eg. at Jenin, the palm, the olive and other fruit trees prosper. The oak covers the slopes of the hills North of Carmel.

3. Part Played in History:

This wide opening among the mountains played a great part in the history of the land. This was due to the important avenues of communication between North and South that lay across its ample breadths. The narrow pass between the promontory of Carmel and the sea was not suitable for the transport of great armies: the safer roads over the plain were usually followed. So it happened that here opposing hosts often met in deadly strife. Hardly an equal area of earth can so often have been drenched with the blood of men. No doubt many conflicts were waged here in far-off times of which no record remains. The first battle fought in the plain known to history was that in which Sisera’s host was overthrown (Jud 5:20). The children of the East were surprised and routed by Gideon’s 300 chosen men in the stretches North of Zer‘in (Jud 7). Near the same place the great battle with the Philistines was fought in which Saul and his sons, worsted in the plain, retired to perish on the heights of Gilboa (1Sa 31). In the bed of the Kishon at the foot of Carmel Elijah slaughtered the servants of Baal (1Ki 18:40). Dark memories of the destruction of Ahab’s house by the furiously driving Jehu linger round Jezreel. Ahaziah, fleeing from the avenger across the plain, was overtaken and cut down at Megiddo (2Ki 9). In the vale by Megiddo Josiah sought to stay the northward march of Pharaoh-necoh, and himself fell wounded to death (2Ki 23:30; 2Ch 35:20 ff). The army of Holofernes is represented as spreading out over all the southern reaches of the plain (Judith 7:18,19). Much of the fighting during the wars of the Jews transpired within the circle of these hills. It is not unnatural that the inspired seer should place the scene of war in "the great day of God" in the region so often colored crimson in the history of his people—the place called in the Hebrew tongue "Har-Magedon" (Re 16:14,16).

Esdraelon lay within the lot of Issachar (Jos 19:17). The Canaanite inhabitants were formidable with their chariots of iron (Jos 17:16,18). The tribe does not appear to have prosecuted the conquest with vigor. Issachar seems to have resumed the tent life (De 33:18), and ignobly to have secured enjoyment of the good things in the land by stooping to "taskwork" (Ge 49:14 f).

4. Arab Raids:

Through many centuries the plain was subject to raids by the Arabs from the East of the Jordan. The approach was open and easy, and the rich breadths of pasture irresistibly attracted these great flock masters. The Romans introduced some order and security; but with the passing of the eastern empire the old conditions resumed sway, and until comparatively recent times the alarm of an Arab invasion was by no means infrequent.

The railway connecting Haifa with Damascus and Mecca crosses the plain, and enters the Jordan valley near Beisan.

W. Ewing


(or 4 Ezr):

These names have been applied respectively to the first two and the last two chapters of 2 (4) Esdras in the Latin Bible of 1462. In matter these chapters, which are of Christian origin, agree in the main with the genuine parts of 2 (4) Esdras. See foregoing article.






ez’-dras, es’-dras:


1. Name 2. Contents 3. Relation to Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah 4. Versions 5. Date and Authorship



1. Name:

In some of the Greek uncials (Codex Vaticanus, etc.) of the Septuagint the book is called Esdras, Codex Alexandrinus (or Proton); so in the editions of Fritzsche, Tischendorf, Nestle and Swete. It is absent from Codex Sinaiticus and in Codex Alexandrinus its name is Ho Hiereus = The Priest, i.e. Ezra, who is emphatically the priest. It is also called 1 Esdras in the old Latin and Syriac VSS, as well as in the English, Welsh and other modern translations. In the English and other Protestant Bibles which generally print the Apocrypha apart, this book stands first in the Apocrypha under the influence partly of its name, and in part on account of its contents, as it seemed a suitable link between the canonical and the apocryphal writings. The English 2 Esdras is the apocalyptic Esdras and stands immediately after the English and Greek 1 Esdras. The Vulgate, following Jerome’s version, gave the names 1, 2 and 3 Esdras to our Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 Esdras, respectively, and in editions of the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) down to that of Pope Sixtus (died 1590) these three books appear in that order. The name 3 Esdras is, therefore, that current in the Roman church, and it has the sanction of the 6th article of the Anglican Creed and of Miles Coverdale who in his translation follows the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) in naming the canonical Ezra, Nehemiah and the apocryphal 1 Esdras, 1, 2 and 3 Esdras, respectively. Other reformers adhered to these titles. In Fritzsche’s commentary on the Apocrypha 3 Esdras is preferred and he treats this book first. In Kautzsch’s German edition of the Apocrypha and in most recent German works the Latin designation 3 is revived. The English commentators Bissell (Lange) and Wace (Speaker’s Commentary) follow the custom of the Bible and speak of 1 Esdras, placing the book first in the collection, and this is the prevailing custom among English Protestant theologians. The name 2 Esdras has also been given to this book, the canonical Ezra and Nehemiah being then counted as one—1 Esdras. See Origen quoted by HE, V, 25; Zunz, Der Gottesdienst, Vortrage Berlin, 1832, 15.

2. Contents:

With the exception of 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6—the incident of the royal banquet and the contest for a prize of the three young men—the present books agree in everything essential, down to the minutest details, with the canonical Ezra and part of 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah. Before discussing the relation between 1 Esdras and the Biblical books named (see next section), it will be advantageous to give an outline of the book now specially under consideration, with reference to the parallel passages in the corresponding parts of the Canon. It will be seen that practically the whole of Ezr is concerned, and for explanations of the parts common to this book and to Ne reference may be made to the Century Bible Commentary on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

1. 1 Esdras 1 = 2Ch 35:1-36:21 and maybe analyzed thus: 1 Esdras 1:1-20 = 2Ch 35:1-19: Josiah’s great Passover. 1 Esdras 1:21 f has no exact parallel. 1 Esdras 1:23-31 = 2Ch 35:20-27: The death of Josiah. This took place on the battlefield at Megiddo according to 2Ki 23:29, but 1 Esdras 1:31 and 2Ch 35:24 say he died at Jerusalem. 1 Esdras 1:32-58 = 2Ch 36:1-21, closing years of the monarchy followed by the exile in Babylon.

2. 1 Esdras 2:1-15 = Ezr 1:1-11: The return from Babylon through the edict of Cyrus.

3. 1 Esdras 2:16-26 = Ezr 4:7-24. Certain Persian officials in Samaria induced King Artaxerxes I (died 424 BC) to stop the work of rebuilding the temple, which is not resumed until the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspis (519 BC).

4. 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 has no parallel in any part of the Old Testament. King Darius (Hystaspis?) makes a great feast, after which he returns to his bedchamber but finds sleeping very difficult. Three young men belonging to his bodyguard resolve each to make a sentence to be written down and placed under the king’s pillow, so that upon rising from his bed he might hear the three sayings read to him. The question which each one seeks to answer is, What in this world is strongest? The first says it is "wine," the second, that it is "the king." The reply of the third is "woman, though strongest of all is truth" (from this arose the Latin saying Magna dst veritas et prevalebit). The third is declared the best, and as a reward the king offers him whatever he might wish. This young man happened to be Zerubbabel (Zorobabel), and the request that he makes is that King Darius might perform the vow which he made on coming to the throne to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple and to restore the sacred vessels removed to Babylon. This request is at once granted, and there follows an account of the home-coming of Jews exiled in Babylon and the protection accorded them by the Persian government similar to what we read of in 1 Esdras 1 as taking place in the reign of Cyrus. But many things in this narrative are striking and indeed odd. Zerubbabel is called a young man. Among those mentioned in 1 Esdras 5:5 Zerubbabel is not named, though his son Joakim is. In the very next verse (5:6) this Joakim is identified with the young man (Zerubbabel) who won the king’s prize for writing the wisest sentence, though the sense is not quite clear; perhaps Zerubbabel is meant in 1 Esdras 5:6. Fritzsche argues that Joakim can alone be meant. This whole episode stands in no organic connection with the rest of 1 Esdras, and if it is omitted the narrative is continuous. Besides this the account given of the return from Babylon contradicts what is said in 1 Esdras 1 and the corresponding part of Ezr. We must regard 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 as a Jewish haggadah which at an early time was written in the margin as supplying illustrative matter and then got incorporated into the text. Nevertheless, from a literary point of view this part of the book is the gem of the whole.

5. 1 Esdras 5:7-73 = Ezr 2-4:1-5: The names of those who returned with number of animals (horses, etc.) (1 Esdras 5:7- 43); altar of burnt offering erected (1 Esdras 5:48); sacrifices offered on it (1 Esdras 5:50). Foundation of the temple laid (1 Esdras 5:56 f). The Jews refuse the offer of the Samaritan party to help in the rebuilding of the temple, with the result that this party had the work stopped (1 Esdras 5:66-73). Ezra 4:6-24 finds its parallel in 1 Esdras 2:16-30 (see above). 1 Esdras 2:30 and 5:73 are evidently duplicates.

6. 1 Esdras 6:1-7:15 = Ezr 5:1-6:22: Building of the temple resumed through the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah (1 Esdras 6:1 f). Persian officials unsuccessfully oppose the work (1 Esdras 6:3-34) which is soon completed, the temple being then dedicated (1 Esdras 7:1-11). Observance of the Passover (1 Esdras 7:12-15). Between 1 Esdras 7 and 8 there is an interval of some 60 years, for chapter 8 begins with the arrival of Ezra (458 BC).

7. 1 Esdras 8:1-67 = Ezr 7:1-8:36: Journey of Ezra and his party from Babylon to Jerusalem bearing letters of authority from King Artaxerxes I (died 424 BC) (1 Esdras 8:1-27); list of those who return (1 Esdras 8:28-40); gathering together of the party by the river Ahava; incidents of the journey; the arrival (1 Esdras 8:41).

8. 1 Esdras 8:68-90 = Ezr 9: Ezra’s grief on hearing of the marriage of some Jews with foreign wives (1 Esdras 8:68- 73). His confession and prayer (1 Esdras 8:74-90).

9. 1 Esdras 8:91-9:36 = Ezr 10: The means used to end the mixed marriages; lists of the men (priests and others) who had married strange wives.

10. 1 Esdras 9:37-55 = Ne 7:73 b through 8:12: The reforms of Ezra. In the Canonical Scriptures Ne 7:73 b through 10 gives the history of Ezra, not that of Nehemiah—the two never labored or lived together at Jerusalem. (The name Nehemiah in Ne 8:9 and 10:1 is an evident interpolation.) In 1 Esdras Nehemiah is not once mentioned in this section. In 1 Esdras 9:49 (parallel Ne 8:9) "Attharates" is the word used, and as a proper name (see 1 Esdras 5:40, "Nehemiah and Attharates"). The majority of modern scholars assign this section to Ezra, adding it to Ezr 10, or incorporating it into the Ezra narrative. So Ewald, Wellhausen, Schrader, Klostermann, Baudissin, Budde and Ryssel. The present writer defends this view in the Century Bible in Ezra- Nehemiah-Esther, 242 f. In this case 1 Esdras borrows from Chronicles and Ezra alone and not from Nehemiah. It should be remembered however that Ezra-Nehemiah formed originally but one book. Some will say that Chronicles preceded Ezra-Nehemiah as a single book, but for this there is no evidence (see Century Bible, 4). The last verse of 1 Esdras in all manuscripts ends in the middle of a sentence: "And they assembled ...." showing that the closing part of the book has been lost. The present writer suggests that the missing part is Ne 8:13-10, which begins, "And on the second day were gathered together (assembled) the heads of fathers’ houses," etc., the same verb being used in the Septuagint Greek of both passages with a very slight difference (episunechthesan, and sunechthesan, in Ezra and Esdras respectively).

3. The Relation to Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah:

Since Ne 7:73 b through 8:12 belongs to the Book of Ezra (see above) describing the work of Ezra, not that of Nehemiah, the contents of 1 Esdras are parallel with those of Ezra alone with the exception of chapter 1 which agrees with 2Ch 35:1-36:21. Various explanations have been offered, the following being the principal: (1) that 1 Esdras is a compilation based on the Septuagint of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah: so Keil, Bissell and formerly Schurer (GJV, II, ii, 179 f; Herzog2, I, 496); the arguments for this opinion are well marshaled by Bissell in his Commentary on the Apocrypha (Lange); (2) that 1 Esdras is an independent Greek translation from a now lost Hebrew (or Aramaic) origin in many respects superior to our Massoretic Text: so Whiston, Pohlmann, Herzfeld, Fritzsche, Ginsburg, Cheyne, Thackeray, Nestle, Howarth, Torrey and Bertholet. Most of these writers hold that the original 1 Esdras included the whole of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah; (3) the bulk of those who support view 2 argue that the original 1 Esdras formed the real Septuagint version of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, what exists in our present Septuagint being another Greek translation, probably by Theodotion (fl, about 150 AD), just as we now know that what up to 1772 (the date of the publication in Rome of the Codex Chisianus) was considered as the Septuagint of Da is really Theodotion’s version. Howarth (see articles in the Academy, 1893; PSBA, XXIX, etc.), and Torrey (Ezra Studies) stoutly champion this view. The evidence offered is of two kinds, external and internal:

(1) External Evidence.

(a) Josephus uses this version as his source for the period, though for other Old Testament books he follows the Septuagint. (b) In the foreword to the Syriac version of 1 Esdras in Walton’s Polyglot it is said that this version follows the Septuagint, which surely counts for nothing since copies of the Septuagint known to us contain both 1 Esdras and the Greek translation reckoned up to recently as the true Septuagint. (c) Howarth maintains, but without proof, that in Origen’s Hexapla, 1 Esdras takes the place of our Septuagint version, and that the same is true of the Virus Itala.

(2) Internal Evidence.

(a) It is said by Dr. Gwyn, Thackeray and Howarth that the Greek of the true Septuagint of Daniel and that of 1 Esdras are very similar in character, which however only goes to prove that one man translated both.

(b) Howarth holds that the Greek of Daniel and Ezra in the orthodox Septuagint version is very literal, as was all Theodotion’s translation work. But such statements have to be received with very great caution, as in judging of style so much depends on the personal equation. The present writer has compared carefully parts ascribed with confidence to Theodotion and the Septuagint without reaching the above conclusions. At the most the matter has not been set at rest by any facts or reasoning as yet supplied. It must be admitted that 1 Esdras and Josephus preserve the true sequence of the events chronicled in Ne 7:73 b through 10, the Massoretic Text and the Greek version based on it having gone wrong at this point, probably through the mixing of Hebrew skins or leaves. Those who see in 1 Esdra the true Septuagint agree almost to a man that 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 is a late interpretation, never having had a Hob original. This may account in a large degree for the vigor and elegance of the Greek Howarth, however, parts company with his friends Torrey, Bertholet, etc., by arguing strenuously for this part. (See more fully in Century Bible, Ezra, etc., 27 ff.)

4. Versions:

1 Esdras exists in the following ancient versions in addition to the Greek text which may or may not be a translation (see 3 above):

(1) Latin: (a) Jerome. (b) Vulgate.

(2) Syriac: (a) The Peshitta. The Peshitta, given in Walton’s Polyglot and with a critically revised text by Lagarde (Libri Veteris Testamenti Apocrypha Syriace, 1861). (b) The Hexaplar Syriac version. For details of manuscripts, etc., see "Literature" below.

5. Date and Authorship:

Nothing is known or can be conjectured as to the author or translator of 1 Esdras, nor can anything be positively affirmed as to the date. If the work be the genuine Septuagint text this would give it an earlier origin than the view which makes it depend on the Septuagint. But this is to say but little. As Josephus (died 95 AD) used this book it must have been written some years before he wrote his history (say 67 AD). We must assume that it existed some time before the beginning of our era. Ewald, on account of some resemblances to the earliest of the Sibylline Books, dates 1 Esdras about 190 BC. But admitting dependence in this matter—which is doubtful—it is impossible to say which is dependent and which is independent in such cases.


The most important books have been named at the end of the general article on APOCRYPHA (which see). Recent contributions by Howarth and Torrey have been mentioned in the course of the foregoing article.

T. Witton Davies


Or The Apocalyptic Esdras:


1. Name 2. Contents 3. Language 4. Versions 5. Origin of the Book 6. Date



This book was not received by the Council of Trent as canonical, nor has it ever been acknowledged as such by the Anglican church.

1. Name:

The book is not found in the Septuagint and no complete copy of the Greek text is known, though at one time it did exist. The oldest extant name is "The Prophet Ezra" (Esdras ho prophetes; see Clement of Alexandria, Strom., iii.16): It has been often called the Latin Esdras because it exists more completely in that language; compare the name Greek Esdras for 1 Esdras.

3 Esdras is the designation in old editions of the Vulgate, 1 Esdras being Ezr and Neh, 2 Esdras denoting what in English is called 1 Esdras. But in editions of the Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) later than the Council of Trent, and also in Walton’s Polyglot, Ezra is called 1 Esdras, Nehemiah, 2 Esdras, 1 Esdras = 3 Esdras, the present book (the Latin Esdras) being known as 4 Esdras. In authorized copies of the Vulgate, i.e. in those commonly used, this book is lacking. On account of its contents, Westcott, following the example of Anastasius Sinaita (bishop of Antioch from 559 AD), called the book the "Apocalypse of Esdras." But as Tischendorf in 1866 edited a later and inferior work with this title the present writer suggests the name "The Apocalyptic Esdras." Of all the Jewish apocalypses this is the sublimest and most pleading.


2. Contents:

The original work consists of 2 Esdras 3-14, chapters 1 f and 15 f being late additions. The entire book of 16 chapters exists in the Latin version only, the other versions containing chapters 3-14 only. The real 2nd (apocalyptic) Esdras, consisting of chapters 3-14, is made up of 7 visions given to Ezra in exile 30 years after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The drift of these visions is, How can a just and loving God allow His own people to suffer so much? The problem thus raised is fully and beautifully dealt with. For lack of space the present writer must refer for a fuller analysis to the article APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, sec. I, 5, and the literature there cited. For 2 Esdras 1 ff and 15 ff see under ESDRAS 5 AND 6.

3. Language:

Though no complete text even of 2 Esdras 3-14 has survived, a careful examination of the Latin shows that it has been made from a Greek original.

(1) Some fragments of the Greek can be traced, as 5:35 in Clement of Alexandria and 8:23 in the Apostolical Constitutions.

(2) The order of the twelve prophets in 1:39 f follows that in the Septuagint.

(3) The Latin version bears throughout clear traces of Greek idiom.

Thus the gen. is used with the comparative (5:3; 11:29); we have the genitive (not ablative) absolute in 10:9, the double negative and the use of de (Greek apo) and ex (Greek ek) with the genitive in various parts. But there are cogent reasons for concluding that the Greek version implied in the Latin itself implies a Hebrew original, and the proof is similar to that of a Greek version as the basis of the Latin In the Greek there are idioms which are Hebrew, not Greek, not even in their frequency Hellenistic Greek. The participle used to strengthen the finite verb is the regular Hebrew idiom of the absolute with the finite verb: see 4:2 (excedens excessit); 5:30 (odiens odisti). For other examples see Gunkel (in Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen u. Pseud. des Altes Testament, 332 f); R. H. Charles (Enc Brit, X, 106). Ewald was the first to defend a Hebrew original, but in 1866 he was followed by his distinguished pupil Wellhausen and also by R. H. Charles (Apoc Bar, lxxii).

4. Versions:

(1) Latin.

The Latin version is far the most important and on it the English Versions of the Bible depends. But all published editions of the Latin text (those of Fabricius, Hilgenfeld, Fritzsche, etc.) go back to one and the same MS, the so-called Codex Sangermanensis (date 822), which omits a large part of the text between 2 Esdras 7:36 and 7:37 Any reader of the English text can see the lack of continuity between these verses. In 1875 Bensly published the missing fragment with an Introduction and critical notes. In 1895 Bensly and James published a critical edition of The Fourth Book of Ezra in Latin, restoring the missing fragment and correcting with the aid of the best-known manuscripts.

(2) Other Versions.

There are Syriac (Peshitta), Ethiopic, Arabic, Armenian and yet other VSS, but all depend on the lost Greek except one of the two extant Arabic translations. The number and variety of versions show that 2 Esdras was widely circulated. By the Greek and Latin Fathers it was quoted as a genuine prophetical work. Its importance in the estimation of the medieval Roman church is vouched for by the fact that it has reached us in a number of wellknown manuscripts of the Scriptures, and that it was added to the authorized Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 AD.) as an appendix.

5. Origin of the Book:

Two main views may briefly be noted:

(1) That of Kabisch (Das vierte Buch Esra, 1889) who holds that the editor of the book freely used a goodly number of sources, subtracting, adding and altering to suit his purpose. He gives a list of probable sources. R. H. Charles (Enc Brit, X, 107) is inclined to adopt this analysis.

(2) Gunkel (loc. cit.) maintains and tries to prove that the book is the production of a single writer. Yet he admits that the book contains a large number of inconsistencies which he explains by assuming that the editor made free use of oral and written traditions. The two views do not therefore stand very far apart, for both take for granted that several sources have been used. It is simply a question of more or less.

Wellhausen is probably right in saying that the author of 2 (4) Esdras had before him the Apocrypha of Baruch, written under the impression awakened by the destruction of Jerusalem in 71 AD.

6. Date:

The opinion of the best modern scholars is that the book was written somewhere in the East in the last decade of the 1st century of our era. This conclusion rests mainly on the most likely interpretation of the vision of the Eagle and the Lion in 2 Esdras 11:1-12:51; but also on the fact that Clement of Alexandria (died 217 AD) quotes the Greek of 5:35.


Besides the literature referred to above see Schurer, A Hist of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II, iii, 93 ff (Ger. edition 4, III, 315 ff); the articles in HDB (Thackeray) and Encyclopedia Biblica (James); the New Sch-Herz under the word "Pseudepigrapha, Old Testament" (G. Beer), and in the present work under APOCRYPHA and APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE.

T. Witton Davies


ez’-dris, es’-dris (Esdris):

A leader mentioned in APC 2Macc 12:36 in best texts and adopted in the Revised Version (British and American) for Gorgias of the King James Version. Grotius conjectured "men of Ephron" from 12:27.


es’-e-bon (APC Judith 5:15) = HESHBON (Revised Version (British and American)), the chief city of the Ammonites.


es-e-bri’-as, e-se’-bri-as.



e’-sek (eseq; Septuagint Adikia):

The name given by Isaac to a well dug by his servants, for the use of which the herdsmen of Gerar strove with them—"contention" (Ge 26:20). It lay in the neighborhood of Rehoboth and Gerar: but the site is not identified.


es-er-e-bi’-as (Eserebias):

One of the chiefs of the priests (APC 1Esdras 8:54).


e’-shan (’esh‘an; Esan; the King James Version Eshean):

A town of Judah in the uplands of Hebron (Jos 15:52). No satisfactory identification has yet been suggested. Some think the name may be a corruption of Beersheba (Encyclopaedia Biblica, which see).





esh’-ban (’eshban; perhaps "thoughtful," "intelligent"; Asban):

Name of a chief of the Horites (Ge 36:26; 1Ch 1:41).


esh’-kol (’eshkol, "cluster"; Eschol):

The brother of Mamre and Aner, the Amorite allies of Abraham who took part with him in the pursuit and defeat of Chedorlaomer’s forces (Ge 14:13,14). He lived in the neighborhood of Hebron (Ge 13:18), and may have given his name to the valley of Eshcol, which lay a little North of Hebron (Nu 13:23).


esh’-kol (’eshkol; Pharagx botruos), "a cluster of grapes":

The spies came to Hebron "and they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes" (Nu 13:23,14; 32:9; De 1:24). It was a valley near Hebron rich in vineyards. Fruitful vineyards are still the most characteristic feature of the environs of Hebron, especially on the North. No particular valley can be identified, though popular tradition favors the wide and fertile valley, near the traditional site of "Abraham’s oak," a little to the West of the carriage road just before it enters the outskirts of Hebron.

E. W. G. Masterman


esh’-e-an, e’-she-an.



e’-shek (‘esheq, "oppressor"):

A descendant of Jonathan, son of Saul, first king of Israel (1Ch 8:39).





esh’-ta-ol (’eshta’ol; Astaol):

A town in the Shephelah of Judah named next to Zorah (Jos 15:33; 19:41). Between these two cities lay Mahaneh-dan (the camp of Dan) where the Spirit of the Lord began to move Samson (Jud 13:25), and where he was buried (Jud 16:31). A contingent from Eshtaol formed part of the 600 Danites who captured Laish (Jud 18:2,11).

It is probably represented by the modern Ashu‘a, about a mile and a half East of Zorah, the modern Car‘ah.


esh’-ta-ol-its, eshta-u’-lits (ha’eshta’uli, literally, "the Eshtaolite"; the King James Version):

Inhabitants of Eshtaol, named among the descendants of Shobal, the son of Caleb (1Ch 2:53).


esh-te-mo’-a, esh’-te-mo-a (’eshtemoa‘):

A Levitical city in the hill country of Judah (Jos 21:14; 1Ch 6:57); Eshtemoh (’eshtemoh, Jos 15:50). In 1ch 4:17,19, Eshtemoa is said to be a Maacathite and "son" of Ishbah. David after routing the Amalekites sent a present to his friends in (among other places) Eshtemoa (1Sa 30:28).

It is now es-Semu‘a, a considerable village of evident antiquity some 8 miles South of Hebron.





esh’-ton (’eshton, "uxorious"):

A name found in the genealogical table of Judah (1Ch 4:12).


es’-li (Eslei, Esli; probably for Hebrew ‘atsalyahu):

An ancestor of Jesus in Luke’s genealogy, the 10th before Joseph, the husband of Mary (Lu 3:25).





es-pouz’-al, es-pouz’:

In the King James Version these words, following English usage of an earlier day, are used to signify either marriage or betrothal, while the American Standard Revised Version discriminates, and uses them only for marriage. For example, in 2Sa 3:14, "I espoused to me" (Hebrew ‘erasti li) becomes "I betrothed to me." So also, in Mt 1:18; Lu 1:27; 2:5 which refer to the relation between Joseph and Mary before the birth of Jesus, "espoused" (mnesteuo) becomes "betrothed." On the other hand, "espoused" is retained in So 3:11 ("the day of his espousals"—that is, day of marriage); in Jer 2:2 ("the love of thine espousals"—that is, the love of married state); and in 2Co 11:2 ("I espoused (hermosamen) you to one husband").

E. J. Forrester



"Espy" in modern English means "to catch sight of," rather than "to explore secretly." the Revised Version (British and American) therefore retains it in Ge 42:27, "He espied his money" (Hebrew ra’ah, "see"), while in Jos 14:7 "espy out the land" (the King James Version) becomes "spy out the land." the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "watch" for "espy" in Jer 48:19, and "searched out" for "espied" in Eze 20:6, with a gain in accuracy of rendering

(compare the context).


es’-ril, ez’-ril:

the Revised Version (British and American) EZRIL (which see).


es’-rom, ez’-rom (Esrom):

the King James Version, the Greek form of Hezron (thus the Revised Version (British and American)) (Mt 1:3; Lu 3:33).


es-senz’,( Essenoi, Essaioi):

Contents I. THE NAME

Forms It Assumes—Etymology, Origin


1. Philo (1) Description from Quod Omnis Probus Liber (2) Description from Quotation in Eusebius, Preposition Evang. (3) Description of Therapeutae from De Vita Contemplativa

2. Josephus (1) Description from Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII, i, 5 (2) Description from Wars of the Jews, II, viii, 2-13 (3) Incidental Notices

3. Pliny 4. Hegesippus 5. Porphyry 6. Hippolytus—Uses Josephus, but to Some Extent Independent 7. Epiphanius—Confused Account


1. Government 2. Doctrines


1. Essenes and Chasidhim 2. Position of Essenes in Josephus 3. Doctrinal Affinities 4. Essenes and Pythagoras 5. Buddhism and Essenism 6. Parseeism and Essenism 7. Essenism Mainly Jewish


1. Reasons for Holding the Essenes to Be the Writers of the Apocalypses 2. Objections Answered


1. Resemblances between Essenism and Christianity 2. Points of Difference 3. Disappearance of Essenism in Christianity 4. Monachism LITERATURE


When Josephus describes the sects of the Jews, he devotes most of his time and attention to the third of these sects, the Essenes. Strangely enough, although there are frequent references in the New Testament to the other two sects, the Sadducees and Pharisees, no reference has been found to the Essenes. Notwithstanding this silence of the Gospels, the prominence of this third sect is undeniable. Even in Egypt they are known. Philo, the Jewish philosopher, gives an account of these Essenes in terms that, while in the main resembling those used in Josephus, yet differ enough to prove him clearly an independent witness. Another contemporary, Pliny the Naturalist, also mentions these Essenes. Approximately a century later we have a long account of the habits and tenets of these sectaries in Hippolytus’ Refutation of All Heresies. A century and a half later still Epiphanius describes these under various titles. Despite the fact that no reference to the Essenes can be found in the Gospels or the Acts, at all events under that name, there can be no doubt of their existence. Would one understand the Palestine in which our Lord’s ministry was carried on, he must comprehend the place occupied by the Essenes.

I. The Name.

This assumes several forms in different authors—indeed sometimes two forms appear in the same author. Josephus uses most frequently the form of the name which stands at the head of this article, but sometimes he speaks of individuals as "Essaeans" (BJ, II, vii, 3; viii, 4). This latter form is that preferred by Philo, a form that is adopted by Hegesippus as quoted by Eusebius, IV, 22. Pliny in his Natural History, v.15 writes "Essaeans." Hippolytus also has "Essenus." Epiphanius has mixed his information so that this sect appears with him under several names as "Ossaei" and "Jessaei." Forms It Assumes—Etymology, Origin:

It is clear that the name is not primarily Greek—it has passed into Greek from another tongue, since none of the forms has any easy derivation in Greek. Notwithstanding, there have been attempts to derive it from some Greek root, but all are preposterous as etymologies. The etymology must be sought either in Hebrew or its cognate, Aramaic The usage in regard to the translation of proper names is our only guide. Reasoning from the practice as seen in the Greek translation of the Scriptures and in Josephus, we can deduce that the first letter of the original word must have been one of the gutturals ‘, chapter, h, ‘.That the second letter was a sibilant is certain, and the last was probably y, ‘,for the final "n" in the common form of the name is due to the desire to render the word suitable for Greek accidence. We may say that to us the two most likely derivations are ‘asiya’," doers" or ‘aciya’," healers." Our preference is for the latter, as one of the characteristics of the Essenes dwelt upon by Josephus is the fact that they were healers by means of herbs and incantations (BJ, II, viii, 6). This view is held by the great mass of investigators, as Bellerman, Gfrorer, Hamburger, Herzfeld, Dahm, etc. The name "Therapeutae" given by Philo to the kindred sect in Egypt supports this etymology, as it would be in one of its senses a translation of it. Lightfoot’s objection that it is improbable that the ordinary name of the sect "should have been derived from a pursuit which was merely secondary and incidental" does not follow analogy. The term "Methodist" was derived from a purely temporary characteristic of the society that gathered round Wesley. The extreme probability, from the fact that the name is not found in the New Testament, is that it was the nature of a nickname, like "Quakers" applied to the Society of Friends. The multitude that followed Our Lord affords evidence of the influence that a reputation for healing gave to one.

II. The Authorities for the Tenets of the Essenes.

Philo and Josephus, as contemporaries and Jews, are necessarily our principal sources of information. Next is Pliny, though a contemporary of the sect, yet as a Roman, of necessity receiving his information secondhand. There is next in point of date Hippolytus in his work Refutation of All Heresies, written more than a century after the fall of the Jewish state and the disappearance of the Essenes. One point in his favor as an authority is his habit of quoting from sources that would be reckoned good even now. He seems to have founded to some extent on Josephus, but he appears to have made use of some other source or sources as well. Slightly later is Porphyry. He avowedly draws all his information from Josephus The latest of the ancients who may be reckoned as authorities is Epiphanius. Writing in the 4th century, and naturally of a somewhat confused intellect, any statement of his unsupported by other authority is to be received with caution.

1. Philo:

In estimating the evidence that Philo gives concerning the Essenes, we must remember that he was living in Alexandria, not shut up in a Ghetto, but mingling to some extent with the scholars and philosophers of that city. The Jewish community there appears to have been more completely Hellenized than any other assemblage of Jews. The object of Philo’s numerous works seems to have been the twofold one of commending Jewish religious thought to the Greek philosophic society in which he mingled, and of commending Greek philosophy to his Jewish kinsmen. The geographic distance from Palestine may be to some degree neglected from the frequent communications between it and Egypt. The work in which Philo devotes most attention to the Essenes is his early work, Quod Omnis Probus Liber, "that every good man is free." This treatise is intended for a Gentile audience—the "Lawgiver of the Jews" is introduced casually first, and then more emphatically, till he is named. The Essenes are brought forward as the very flower and perfection of Mosaism.

(1) Description from Quod Omnis Probus Liber.

"There is a portion of that people called Essenes—over four thousand in my opinion. They are above all servants (therapeutai) of God. They do not sacrifice animals but study to preserve the sanctity of life. They live in villages, avoiding all cities on account of the lawlessness of those that inhabit them. Some of these men cultivate the soil, others live by peaceful arts and so benefit themselves and all their neighbors. They do not lay up treasures of gold or silver for themselves, judging contentment and frugality the great riches. With them are no makers of arms or of military engines and no one is occupied with anything connected with war. They all avoid commerce and navigation, thinking that these employments make for covetousness. They possess no slaves, holding all men to be free and all are expected to aid one another as real (gnesiois) brethren. They devote their attention to the moral part of philosophy—to the neglect of logic—using, as instructors, the laws of their country which it would have been impossible for the human mind to devise save by Divine inspiration. They abstain from all work on the seventh day, which they look on as sacred. On it they assemble in sacred buildings which are called synagogues and, seated in order according to age, they hear the Scriptures (tas biblous) read and expounded. They are thus taught to choose what is right and to avoid what is wrong. They use a threefold criterion—love of God, love of virtue, love of man. They carefully avoid oaths and falsehood—they regard God as the author of all good. They all dwell in companies, so that no one has a dwelling absolutely his own. They have everything in common, their expenses, their garments, their food. When they work for wages they do not retain these for themselves, but bring it into the common stock. The sick are not neglected when they are unable to contribute to the common store. They respect their seniors as if they were their parents. Such men never can be enslaved. As a proof of this none of the many oppressors of their land were able to bring any accusation against the Holy Essenes."

The above is a very much condensed summary of the passage on the Essenes in Philo, QOPL. No one can fail to be struck with the resemblance all this has in the first place to the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount and the practice of the early church. Although celibacy is not mentioned it is implied in the picture here presented of the Essenes. There is another account in a passage quoted from Philo by Eusebius, Preparatio Evangelica, VIII, 11:

(2) Description from Quotation in Eusebius, Preposition Evang.

"Our lawgiver trained (eleipsen, "anointed") ten thousands of his followers and formed them into a community called Essenes from their holiness. They dwell as numerous communities in many cities and villages of Judea." It will be observed that this contradicts the statement above that there were only 4,000 Essenes and that they avoided cities. "This sect is not hereditary. There are no children nor youths among the Essenes as such persons are unstable. No one among them has property of his own. They regard all possessions as part of a common stock. They all dwell in the same place, forming themselves into clubs and societies. They do everything for the benefit of the whole society, but different members take up different employments, laboring ceaselessly despite cold or heat. Before sunrise they go to their work and do not quit it till sunset. Some are tillers of the soil, some shepherds, some tend bees, some are artisans. These men when they have received their wages give them up to the general manager who purchases what is necessary. Those who live together eat at the same table day after day. Their dress also is common. In winter they have thick cloaks, in summer light mantles. Each takes what he wants. When anyone falls sick he is cured from their common resources. Old men, even if they happen to be childless, are as if they had a numerous offspring of affectionate children. They repudiate marriage because they look on woman as a selfish creature and specially addicted to jealousy and hypocrisy, thus likely to dissolve their brotherhood. A man bound to a woman is hampered by his affection, is no longer a free man but a slave" (compare 1Co 7:1. Paul mentions the same difficulties in regard to wedlock).

(3) Description of Therapeutae from De Vita Contemplativa:

In his Treatise De Vita Contemplativa Philo, commencing with a reference to the Essenes, passes on to describe a similar class of coenobites who have their settlements near the Moerotic Lake. These he calls Therapeutae, or in the feminine, Therapeutrides, a title which he interprets as "healers." While there are many points of resemblance, there are also not a few features of difference. We shall give as full an extract as in the previous instances.

It is related that they have separate houses and only come together for worship or for feasts. They have parallel societies for men and for women. As in the case of the Essenes there is a reading of ancient sacred books and an exposition of the passage read. The name Therapeutae, with the explanation of the name given by Philo, affords a link, as said above, with the Essenes, if the etymology of their name which we have seen reason to prefer be the true one. There seems also to be some connection between these Jewish monks and the Christian monks of some three centuries later. It ought to be remarked that many suspicions have been thrown on the authenticity of De Vita Contemplativa. Although critical names of authority may be named on that side, yet it may be doubted whether the reasons are sufficient. Lucius, who is the main opponent, does so mainly to invalidate the existence of the Therapeutae. He thinks De Vita Contemplativa was composed by a Christian to give an antiquity to the Christian monks. To prove a practice to have been Jewish would be far from commending it to Christians. But more, the resemblance to the Christian monks, although close on some points, in others of importance the difference is equally prominent. While the common feast suggests the Agapae of the early church, we must remember that this was not a monastic peculiarity. The fact that a female community existed alongside of the male and joined with them in worship is out of harmony with what we know of early monasticism. The feast of the 50th day has no parallel in Christianity.

2. Josephus:

Like Philo, Josephus wrote for a non-Jewish audience. In Rome the philosophic ideas held in the Hellenic world were prevalent, so he, as much as Philo, had a temptation to be silent on any subject which might shock the sensibilities or provoke the ridicule of his masters. In particular, in describing the habits and tenets of the Essenes, for whom he professed so high an admiration, he would need to be specially careful to avoid causes of offense, as in such a case he would be liable to be involved in their condemnation. In dealing with the notices he gives of the Essenes we would consider the descriptions at length first, and then the incidental notices of individual Essenes.

(1) Description from Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII, i, 5

The description which comes earliest in history—not, however, the earliest written—is in Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII, in connection with the census and survey under Quirinius (Cyrenius) and the resistance to it by Judas of Gamala. He there (Ant., XVIII, i, 5) begins by referring to their theological position, that they believed in the most absolute preordination. They teach the immortality of souls and a state of rewards and punishments. Although they dedicated gifts to the temple they offered no sacrifices, presumably bloody sacrifices, as they have offerings of their own. A singular statement is made that "they are on this account excluded from the common court" (koinou temenismatos). They occupy themselves with husbandry. "They excel in justice all other men." They have all things in common. They neither marry wives nor keep slaves. He says, as does Philo, that they number over four thousand men. They appoint "good men priests who should receive the fruits of their labor for the sake of corn and food."

(2) Description from Wars of the Jews, II, viii, 2-13

A much fuller account is found in the earlier written treatise on the Wars of the Jews, II, viii, 3. In this work he emphasizes the ascetic side of Essenism.

"The Essenes," he says, "reject pleasures as vice. They despise marriage though they do not absolutely repudiate it, but are suspicious of women. They despise riches and have all things in common. They think oil a defilement. They wear white garments. They elect overseers (epimeletai) to manage their common affairs, much as the Christian bishops did those of the churches under them. They have no one city but many of them dwell in every city." It may be observed that this statement is a contradiction of Philo’s statement and that of Josephus himself above, that they were only 4,000. "When any of them go from one city to another they find the houses of those of their sect open to them as if they were their own." It is probable that as the apostles, when sent out by our Lord to preach, were on entering a city to ask who in it was worthy, the traveling Essenes would inquire who in it were Essenes. Like the apostles they took nothing with them when they traveled save weapons for defense against robbers, just as the apostles had at the time of the Last Supper two swords with which they had likely provided themselves for similar reasons. "They get up before sunrise and offer up prayers which they have received from their ancestors. They are then dismissed to their several employments to the fifth hour, they bathe in cold water, put on white linen garments and enter the refectory as if into a temple. Food is set before each." Much like the Christian grace before meat, a priest offers up prayer. Again, as grace after meat, when the meal is finished the priest again prays. "Both before and after their refection they sing praise to God. As Christ commanded His disciples and said, ‘Swear not at all,’ they avoid oaths, indeed esteem them worse than perjury. New members were admitted to the society by baptism, and oaths were laid upon them that they were to be submissive to those in authority in the society. They were to keep the doctrines of the sect secret. They kept the Sabbath with greater strictness than did any other section of the Jews. Heinous sins were punished by expulsion from the order which, as they felt their oaths still binding on them, amounted to death. Judicial sentences are arrived at with the utmost care; decisions are come to by an assembly of not less than a hundred who are chosen to be judges. When once the sentence has been pronounced it stands fixed. They regard the bodies as corruptible but the souls are immortal. They believe in a Paradise resembling the Islands of the Blest." One thing is to be observed: "they are bound by oath to preserve the sacred books of their sect, ta haireseos auton biblia, and the names of the angels." They utter predictions by means of their sacred books, which predictions are generally fulfilled. There is, however, another sort of Essenes who do not avoid marriage.

The philosopher Porphyry mentions that Josephus had an account of the Essenes in the second book against the Gentiles. If this means Contra Apienem, no such passage is to be found in that work now. It may, however, be some work of Josephus which has not come down to us, which Porphyry has misnamed, though this is unlikely.

(3) Incidental Notices:

This is not, however, the whole of the information concerning the Essenes which we can gather from Josephus. The earliest of these incidental notices occurs under the reign of Jonathan (Ant., XIII, v, 9), when the historian mentions the three sects of the Jews, when the only peculiarity he assigns to the Essenes is that they believe that everything happens according to fate. Next, in relating the fate of Antigenus, he tells how Judas, an Essene teaching in the temple, when he saw Antigonus, declared that he was proved a false prophet, as he had foretold that Antigonus was to die that day at Struto’s tower (Caesarea), and he was now six hundred furlongs off from there. Here the statement that the Essenes were excluded from the temple seems directly contradicted. In the days of Herod (XV, x, 4,5) Josephus relates that while Herod demanded oaths of submission from others he excused the Essenes, from the favor he had to them on account of one Menahem, a member of this sect, who foretold his reign. This Essene seems to have been about the court and to have nothing of the coenobitic agriculturist about him. The Essenian fame for prediction and the interpretation of dreams is related in regard to Archelaus, the son of Herod (BJ, II, vii, 3). Archelaus had a dream, and applied to an Essene, Simon or Simeon, who foretold the end of his reign. In singular contrast to what had been said by Philo of the objection the Essenes had in regard to everything connected with war, one of the leading generals of the Jews when they rebelled against the Romans was John the Essene, who was made governor of certain toparchies in the North (BJ, II, xx, 4). He was killed in the battle near Ascalon with which the war began, which ended in the capture of Jerusalem by Titus (BJ, III, ii, 1). There is also mention of a gate of the Essenes in Jerusalem, which seems to imply that a number of them permanently resided there.

3. Pliny:

Pliny speaks of the Essenes in his Natural History (v.17) in somewhat rhetorical terms. They dwell on the west side of the Dead Sea—"a wonderful race without women, without money, associates of the palms." They are recruited by those wearied of life, broken in fortunes. "Thus a race is eternal through thousands of ages (seculorum) in which no one is born; so fruitful to them is repentance of life in others." He refers to the fertility of Engedi and adds, "now burned up."

4. Hegesippus:

There is an enigmatical passage quoted by Eusebius from Hegesippus in which the Essaeans (Essenes), the Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbotheans, Samaritans and Pharisees are declared to hold different opinions about circumcision among the sons of Israel "against the tribe of Judah and of Christ" (kata tes phules Iouda kai Christou).

5. Porphyry:

Porphyry’s note regarding the Essenes is simply taken from Josephus

6. Hippolytus:—Uses Josephus, but to Some Extent Independent

In the great work of the mysterious bishop, Hippolytus, discovered some sixty years ago, there is a description of the Essenes. Although the work is a Refutation of All Heresies, implying that the opinions maintained were erroneous and required to be refuted, the author does nothing to exhibit the erroneousness of the Essene tenets or habits. In regard to the Gnostic heresies Hippolytus endeavored to reach original sources; presumably he did so in the present case. Although there is no doubt of his indebtedness to Josephus, yet for the features where he differs from Josephus, or supplements him, we may assume that he has behind his statements some authority which he regarded as valid. In some cases there may be a suspicion that in his eagerness to show that certain heresies were derived from this or that heathen philosophical system he has modified the heresy to suit the derivation he has supposed. This, however, does not apply to the Essenes. In the ninth book of his Refutation of All Heresies, Hippolytus takes up Jewish sects (haireseis) which, following Josephus, he reckons as three. The first he discusses is the Essenes. They are very devotional and temperate and eschew matrimony. They despise wealth, and from sharing with the destitute they do not turn away (compare Mt 5:42; the verb used is the same). Anyone joining the sect must sell all that he has (compare Mt 19:21; the same words are used in Ac 4:32,37). Overseers epimeletai are chosen by show of hands cheirotonein (Ac 14:23). They do not stay in one city but many settle in every city. They dress always in white, but do not own two cloaks or two pairs of shoes, much as our Lord’s instructions to His apostles when He sent them out two and two (Mt 10:10). Their daily course of conduct is described very much in the same terms as those used by Josephus Before dawn they begin their day by prayer and singing a hymn. They return from their work before midday, at the fifth hour, and bathemselves in cold water and clothemselves in garments of white linen. After that they repair into the common apartment. They seat themselves in silence; the cook places food before each individual. The priest prays and pronounces a blessing on the food. At the end of the meal the priest again prays, and those who have partaken join in singing a hymn of thanksgiving. They lay aside their white linen garments, and resume their ordinary clothing and betake themselves again to their occupations. Supper at sunset is conducted in a similar manner. All obey the president (proestos) in whatever he enjoins. No one amongst them is in the habit of swearing. They are careful to read the law and the prophets. Other works of faithful men they also study. All that join the sect are put on probation. The entrant receives a white robe and a linen girdle, and is supplied with an axe for the purposes mentioned in De 23:13. He has to take solemn oaths to worship God, to be just, not to hate anyone who injures him, but to pray for him (compare Mt 5:44). He promises also to show respect to all in authority, as all authority is from God (1Pe 2:13). He is not to divulge the secret doctrines of the society. There follows a description of the fate of those expelled from the society and the mode of conducting trials, borrowed from Josephus Hippolytus proceeds to give an account of four different subsects of the Essenes, all seeming of more than even the wonted fanaticism of the Essenes. One sect would not use coins because of the image of the Emperor on them, inasmuch as this was of the nature of idolatry. Others were prepared to enforce circumcision at the point of the sword. According to Hippolytus the Zealots were Essenes. Later he mentions the class that were freer and did not abjure marriage. A very marked point of difference between the tenets of the Essenes, as described by Philo and Josephus, and those attributed to them by Hippolytus, is in regard to the doctrine of the resurrection. Hippolytus affirms that they did believe in the resurrection of the body. The others, while not in terms denying that they did believe in it, ignore it in such a way as might lead the reader, as indeed it did Bishop Lightfoot, to think that they denied it altogether. The treatment Paul received at Athens when he preached the resurrection showed how incongruous this doctrine seemed to the Greeks. Philo and Josephus wrote for Greek audiences—for the Romans, so far as culture went, were Greeks—and had to consider their taste. Another point held in abeyance by both those writers was the Messianic hopes that we know from the New Testament were so prevalent. Hippolytus says "all sections look for the Messiah," but held that He was to be merely man born in the ordinary way. The reason of Philo’s silence and that of Josephus is easily understood. They had commended the Essenes so highly; if they mentioned that they had treasonable hopes of a Messiah who should rule the world, their own personal loyalty would become doubtful. For our part we should regard all the positive elements in Hippolytus’ description as worthy of acceptance.

7. Epiphanius—Confused Account:

The last authority to whom we would refer is Epiphanius. In his anxiety to make up the number of heresies, the Essenes figure repeatedly under different names. He declares the Essenes to be a sect of the Samaritans closely associated with the Sebuans and Gortheni. Among the Jews he has three sects whom he calls Hemerobaptistae, Nazaraei and Osseni. Besides he has a sect called Sampseans, evidently also Essenes, which he mixes up with the followers of Elkaisa. He does not seem to have any clear idea about their tenets or habits. The Samaritan sects differ about the three Jewish feasts, but he does not make it clear in what they differ. The Sebuans seem to have reversed the order of the Jewish feasts, but whether the Essenes and Gortheni did so likewise is not clear. That the Essenes whom we are considering were not Samaritans appears to be as certain as anything about this enigmatic sect can be. The obscure sentence quoted by Eusebius from Hegesippus might be interpreted as supporting this statement of Epiphanius, but it is too enigmatic to be pressed. As to the three Jewish sects the first named—Hemerobaptistae—suits the daily washings of the Essenes, but he asserts that they agree with the Sadducees in denying the resurrection. The Nazareans or Nazarenes are not to be confounded with a Christian sect of nearly the same name. They resided in the district East of Jordan. They held with the Jews in all their customs, believing in the patriarchs, but did not receive the Pentateuch, though they acknowledged Moses. The Osseni are the likest to the Essenes, as they are said to dwell near the Dead Sea, only it is on the side opposite to Engedi. Epiphanius leaves them to denounce Elxai and his brother Jexais, of which latter nothing further is known.

III. Deductions and Combinations.

From the characteristics so many, so confusing, indeed, in some respects so contradictory, it is difficult to get a consistent picture. They are said to be only four thousand, yet they are many ten thousands. They reside in Engedi, a company of coenobites. They dwell in villages and avoid towns, yet they dwell many in every city and in populous communities. They avoid everything connected with war, yet one of their number is one of the trusted generals of the Jews in their rebellion against the Romans. They keep away from the Temple, yet one of them, Judas, is teaching in the Temple when he sees Antigonus, whose death he had foretold. The only way in which any consistency can be brought into these accounts is by taking advantage of what Josephus and Hippolytus say about the subsections into which the Essenes were distinguished.

A parallel the present writer has elsewhere used of the Methodists is illuminative. While the most prominent body of Methodists are Arminians, there are the Calvinistic Methodists. While Wesleyan Methodists do not allow women to preach, the Primitive Methodists do. This is so far confirmed by the fact that while the abjuring of marriage is a marked feature in the representation of Philo, yet the latter says that one class of the Essenes not only do not themselves oppose matrimony but regard those that do oppose it as enemies of the human race. The residents in Engedi formed but a small proportion of the Essenes. It is probable that of them the statement, found alike in Philo and Josephus, that they were 4,000, applies. All the features of the picture of the daily common meals, rising before sunrise, joint devotions, may be true in their fullness only of the community by the Dead Sea. What Philo says (quoted by Eusebius, Preposition Evan., VIII, 11), that among the Essenes "there are no youths or persons just entering on manhood, only men already declining towards old age," would indicate that the settlement at Engedi was an asylum for those who, having borne the burden and heat of the day, now retired to enjoy repose.

1. Government:

They had communities apparently all over Palestine, if not also beyond its bounds, over each of which there was a president appointed (Hip., IX, 15). This would mean that in towns of any size they would have a synagogue. They appear to have had houses of call, though it may have been that every member of the Essene community kept open house for all members of their sect who might be traveling. The traveler, when he came to a city, would inquire for any that were Essenes, as the apostles were commanded by their Lord, in similar circumstances, to inquire ("search out") who in a city were "worthy." The common meals might to some extent be observed in these different scattered communities, probably at intervals, not daily as at Engedi. At these the secret sacred books, read and studied with so great regularity at Engedi, would also be read. In this synagogue not only would the canonical books be preserved but also those other books which gave them the names of the angels, as now in the synagogues of Palestine the library preserved in the synagogue may be used by those connected with it throughout the week. The head of the community at Engedi might have some suzerainty over all the different communities, but in regard to this we have no information. One external feature which would at once make the Essenes known to each other was the fact that they always dressed in white linen. They had priests probably in every one of their communities. The Jewish exorcists in Ephesus, in whom Bishop Lightfoot (Col, 93) recognizes Essenes, were the sons of one Sceva, a high priest (archiereus, Ac 19:14). The high-priesthood was evidently not connected with the temple at Jerusalem, for no such name appears in the list of high priests. It thus most probably was an Essenian high-priesthood.

2. Doctrines:

In regard to their tenets, their belief in the absolute preordination by God of everything appears the feature in the doctrinal position which most appealed to Josephus Hippolytus affirms in terms their belief in the resurrection of the body. This point, as above noted, Philo and Josephus ignore. The passage in Hippolytus is the more striking from the fact that the latter portion so closely resembles the parallel passage in Josephus. Josephus as we have suggested above, avoided crediting the Essenes with belief in resurrection because of the ridicule to which it would expose not only the Essenes, his proteges, but also himself. Hippolytus, writing with information other than what might be got from Josephus or Philo and as, writing for Christian readers, without the fear of ridicule, in regard to the resurrection of the body, boldly and in terms ascribes that doctrine to them. The silence of our two main witnesses as to the Essenes cherishing any Messianic hopes cannot be pressed, as their silence may be explained as above mentioned by fear of the suspicions of Rome in regard to any such hopes. The statement of Hippolytus that all the Jews had these expectations may be said to cover this case. The abjuring of marriage and the shunning of everything connected with war seem to be prominent opinions in some sections of the Essenes, but not held by others.

IV. History and Origin.

There is much in Essenism that is difficult to understand. We have seen contradictory features assigned to the Essenes by different authorities; but even in the case of those features concerning which there is least dubiety the new difficulty emerges as to how it appeared as a characteristic of a Jewish sect. This is especially the case in regard to abstinence from marriage. Easterners always have an earnest desire to have sons to keep their memory green, for on a death many of them had and still have ceremonies which only the son of the dead can perform. Yet despite this they avoided marriage. The Jews with their Messianic hopes desired children, as no one knew but that his child might prove the child of promise, the Christ of God.

1. Essenes and Chasidhim:

The earliest note of the existence of the Essenes, as of the Pharisees and Sadducees, is under the pontificate of Jonathan, the successor of Judas Maccabeus (Ant., XIII, v, 9). Josephus says "at this time there were three sects of the Jews," and proceeds to name them. If this, however, were precisely true, it is singular that there is no mention of any of these sects in either of the books of the Maccabees. The only sect named is the Hasideans (chacidhim) who are called (1 Macc 2:42) "mighty men of Israel, every one that offered himself willingly for the law" (the King James Version "voluntarily devoted himself to the law"; Greek hekousiazomenos). These again are not mentioned by Josephus The meaning of the word is "saints," and in this sense it appears frequently in the Psalms. A parallel in modern history to their warlike activity and their claim to saintliness may be found in the Cameronians of "society folk" in Scotland toward the end of the 17th century. They were Peden’s "praying folk," yet they fought and won battles. When William of Orange came they formed the Cameronian regiment which helped to quell the clans and checked their advance after Killiecrankie. Some have identified these Hasideans with the Pharisees (as W. Robertson Smith, article "Assidaeans," Encyclopedia Biblica, and others). Hitzig would regard their successors as the Essenes. The great resemblance there was between the Pharisees and the Essenes renders it not improbable that originally they were really one sect and split off. If Josephus is to be trusted this division must have occurred, if not before the Maccabean struggle, at least early during its continuance. The Sadducean authors of 1 Maccabees may have grouped them together. According to Josephus, John Hyrcanus was a Pharisee, from which it may be presumed that Judas Maccabeus and his brethren belonged to the same sect of the Jews. The Assideans deserted Maccabeus, so that it would seem at least possible that by that time the separation had become complete, so that the Hasideans are now to be regarded as Essenes. It would seem as if they deserted the Maccabeans when they—the Maccabeans—made alliances with heathen powers like Rome. Then they objected to the high-priestly family being passed over for the Hasmoneans, hence their foolish surrender to Bacchides because Alcimus (called by Josephus Jacimus = Jehoiakim) was with him, a descendant of the race of the high priests. All this is utterly unlike the quiet contemplative lives of the coenobites in Engedi. It would seem that the thousand who died in the wilderness themselves, their wives, their children and their cattle (1 Macc 1:29- 38), were more like the inhabitants of Engedi. Before leaving the Hasideans it must be said that the representation of the connection of the Hasideans with Judas Maccabeus put in the mouth of Alcimus by the writer of 2 Macc 14:6 is not trustworthy. After this desertion of the Maccabeans the more religious of them retired to Engedi, while the rest of the party were scattered over the country in the various cities and villages.

2. Position of Essenes in Josephus:

As above mentioned the earliest mention of Essenes is by Josephus (Ant., XIII, v, 9) while Jonathan was high priest. The next is the story of Judas the Essene seated in the Temple surrounded by his scholars "who attended him (paremenon) in order to learn the art of foretelling," thinking that the appearance of Antigonus in the Temple courts proved his prophecy false that he was that day to die in Strato’s tower (Caesarea). Judas is evidently a resident in Jerusalem and meets his pupils in the Temple courts. This would imply that he had no horror of the Temple nor was debarred from its courts. He had no repugnance for residence in cities. Menahem, the next figure that presents itself, shows a man who is mingling in court circles. He inflicts on Herod, the son of the favorite counselor of the high priest, a playful domestic chastisement and prophesies his future greatness. Herod, as we are told, always favored the Essenes in consequence. Later Archelaus consults Simon or Simeon, an Essene, as to the interpretation of a dream. He is at all events resident in Jerusalem and known in the court circles. He may have been Simeon of Lu 2:25-35. It must, however, be observed that the name is one of the commonest among the Jews at that time. After this they disappear, unless Hippolytus’ identification of the Zealots with a section of the Essenes is admitted. Those in Engedi were aside from the course of the war, though if Pliny’s representation is to be taken as accurate the vines and palm trees of Engedi had been burned and the settlement had been rendered desolate. They may have betaken themselves to Pella like the Christians, so as not to be involved in the destruction of the city and the Temple. The communities of the sect in Asia Minor disappear also. To all appearance they are absorbed in the church.

3. Doctrinal Affinities:

Owing to the fact that so many of the doctrines and practices attributed to the Essenes have no resemblance to anything else in Judaism the question of origin has a special meaning in regard to them. Although like all Easterners the Jews have a desire for progeny—indeed the man who has no child occupies a secondary place in social esteem-yet the Essenes, or at all events some of them, shunned marriage. Despite the elaborate system of animal sacrifices that claimed to originate with Moses whom they venerated, they abjured bloody sacrifices. Although the seed of Aaron were anointed priests, they set up priests of their own. Their habit of morning and evening prayer, timed by the rising and setting of the sun, suggested sun- worship. The external resemblance of these tenets of the Essenes to those of the Pythagoreans impressed Josephus, and was emphasized by him all the more readily, since thus he brought himself and his nation into line with Greek thought. This suggestion of Josephus has led some, eg. Zeller, to the deduction that they were Jewish neo-Pythagoreans. The features of resemblance are formidable when drawn out in catalogue. He shows that like the Pythagoreans the Essenes regarded asceticism a means of holiness. Both abstained from animal food and bloody sacrifices, admired celibacy and, dressing in white linen garments, had frequent washings. Both prohibited oaths, both formed a corporate body into which admission was had by act of initiation and after probation. Community of goods was the custom in both. Both believed in transmigration of souls. The value of this formidable list is lessened by the fact that there is something of uncertainty on both sides as to the precise views and customs. Philo and Josephus unquestionably Hellenized the views of the Essenes when they presented them before readers educated in Greek culture; further the views of Pythagoras have come down to us in a confused shape.

4. Essenes and Pythagoras:

As to the assertion that the Pythagoreans dressed in white linen, Diogenes Laertius says that linen was not yet invented. Zeller has no sufficient evidence that the Essenes avoided the flesh of animals as food, and Diogenes Laertius expressly says that Pythagoras ate fish, though rarely (VIII, 18). While there seems no doubt as to the Pythagorean belief in the transmigration of souls, it seems certain that this was not a doctrine of the Essenes. Neither Philo nor Josephus attribute this view to them. This is the more striking that, immediately after dealing with the Essenes, Josephus proceeds to take up the doctrines of the Pharisees to whom he does attribute that view. Moreover the distinctive views of the Pythagoreans as to numbers and music have no sign of being held by the Essenes. On the other hand the fact that Pythagoras had a wife seems to throw doubt on their alleged preference for celibacy. Another chronological difficulty has to be met. The Pythagoreans as a society were put down in the 5th century before Christ. They may be regarded as having disappeared, till in the 2nd century AD they reappear as prominent neo-Pythagoreans. It is true that Cicero and Seneca mention Pythagoreans, but only as individuals who would claim to be the followers of Pythagoras, and not as members of a sect: they were without influence even in Italy.

5. Buddhism and Essenism:

Chronology is equally against the view favored by Hilgenfeld that the influence of Buddhism may be traced in Essenism. As late as the end of the 2nd century AD, Clement of Alexandria, although acquainted with the name Buddha, is ignorant of his tenets and of divisions of his followers. The Alexandria which Hilgenfeld identified with Alexandria of Egypt, in which there was a Buddhist settlement, was really to be found in Bactria, where a Buddhist settlement was likely.

6. Parseeism and Essenism:

There is more to be alleged in favor of Parsee influence being traceable. Neither geography nor chronology protests against this influence. The Jews were for centuries under the domination of the Persians, who were followers of Zoroaster. They seem on the whole to have been favored by the Persian rulers, a state of matters that would make the Jews all the more ready to view with sympathy the opinions and religion of these masters. Moreover the Persian worship had spread away to the west, far beyond Syria. At the same time it is easy to exaggerate the points of resemblance. The dualism alleged to be a leading feature in Essenism is more a matter of deduction than of distinct statement. Indeed the proofs alleged by Zeller are almost ludicrous in their insufficiency, since Philo says that the Essenes shun marriage because women are selfish (philautos), and Josephus, that they do so because women are addicted to excess (aselgeia); that therefore they regard the female generally as under the dominion of the evil principle, the fact being that this is really a part of the Hellenizing which the Essene views underwent at the hands of Philo and Josephus. The alleged sun-worship is scarcely more worthy of credit: it is a deduction not even plausible. When carefully looked at the evidence points the other way. Their first prayer is offered not at sunrise but before it (BJ, II, viii, 5); in other words, they work while it is day. Their evening orisons are offered after the sun has set. At the same time their elaborate angelology seems to be due to the influence of the Zend-Avesta, but in this the Essenes merely shared with the rest of the Jews. We know that the Jews brought the names of the angels with them from Babylon.

7. Essenism Mainly Jewish:

The most singular feature in Essenism is really a feature of Judaism emphasized out of proportion. It was unlike the Jews to shun marriage, yet in seasons when special holiness was required intercourse between the sexes was forbidden (Ex 19:15; 1Sa 21:5). The whole act of sexual intercourse was regarded as unclean (Le 15:16-18). In the Pauline Epistles uncleanness is used as equivalent to fornication (Ro 1:24; 6:19, etc.). So also in 2Pe 2:10. Such a view naturally led to the idea which soon became regnant in Christianity that the state of virginity was one of special sanctity (Re 14:4). The respect they gave to the unmarried state may be exaggerated. If Philo’s representation (quoted in Euseb., Preposition Evan., VIII, 11) be correct, men were not admitted until maturity was attained and passed, when, therefore, such desires had begun to die down. Their avoidance of marriage is a matter of less importance. Their extreme reverence for the Sabath is of a piece with their celibacy. Their avoidance of the Temple sacrifices, so far as they did so, may well be due to something of more than contempt for the religion of the Sadducean high-priestly party. Moreover the long residence of Israel in Babylon, when the Temple worship had to be in abeyance, and the consequent prevalence of synagogue worship, tended to lessen the importance of the sacrifices of the Temple. Thus it would seem that the Essenes were really a Jewish sect that had retained more of the Zoroastrian elements than had the rest of the Jews.

V. Relation to the Apocalyptic Books.

Among the features of Essenism which seem to have impressed Josephus most was the fact that they had sacred books of their sect which they preserved, as also the names of the angels, thus bringing the Essenian special books into connection with angelology. These books their proselytes were bound by oath to preserve (BJ, II, viii, 7). Concerning the kindred sect of the Therapeutae, Philo says, "They have also writings of ancient men" (De Vita Contemp., III). On the other hand we have a mass of writings the same in character, dependent on one another, all apparently proceeding from one school of Jewish thought. Of the three sects of the Jews from which alone they could have proceeded the Sadducees are excluded because, while the apocalyptic books are full of angels, they believe neither in angel nor spirit (Ac 23:8). While doctrinally the Pharisees might suit, the fact that practically there is no reference to any of these books in the Talmud, which proceeded from the Pharisaic school, renders them unlikely to have been the authors. The Essenes seem to us to have been the school from which these apocalyptic works proceeded. The sect, at the fall of the Jewish state, disappeared in Christianity, and in the Christian church these books are preserved.

1. Reasons for Holding the Essenes to Be the Writers of the Apocalypses:

The section of the Essenes who dwelt as coenobites beside the Dead Sea were in circumstances specially liable to see visions and to have distorted views of morality, so that the composition of pseudonymous writings, literary forgeries, might seem right. As seen in the study of the apocalyptic books there is the undue prominence given to sexual sin—a prominence that seems to be symptomatic of the unhealthy mental state engendered by celibacy. These writings are the product of a school that professed to have secret sacred books. In 2 (4) Esdras 14:45,46 we have an account of how, while 24 of the sacred books were published to the multitude, 70 were retained for the "worthy," that is, for some inner circle, some brotherhood like the Essenes. In the Assumption of Moses, Joshua is commanded to place the revelations given him "in certain vessels and anoint them with oil of cedar." Such an order would be held as explaining at once the disappearance of the book for the years succeeding Moses and its opportune reappearance. On the one hand we have a sect that professes to have secret sacred books, and on the other we have sacred books that have been composed by a school that must have had many features which we recognize as Essenian. Further, the Essenes disappeared in the Christian church, and in the Christian church and not among the Jews are these books preserved.

2. Objections Answered:

The main objection to this ascription is the prominence of the Messianic hope in the apocalyptic books, and the absence of any notice in Josephus and Philo that the Essenes had this hope. But from neither of these writers could be discovered that any of the Jews cherished this hope. Yet from the New Testament we know that this hope was a prominent feature in national aspirations. Philo, associating perpetually with Greeks, would be sensitive to the ridicule to which such views would expose him, and how it would undo much of his laborious efforts to commend Judaism to the Greeks as a higher philosophy. Josephus had not only that motive, but the more serious one of personal safety. To have enlarged on Messianic hopes and declared these hopes to have been cherished by these Essenes whom he had praised so much would be liable to bring him under suspicion of disloyalty to Rome. The silence of these two writers proves nothing because it proves too much; and further we have easy explanation of this silence. The assumption of Dr. Charles that the Essenian ideal was ethical and individualistic is pure assumption. There is another objection that while the doctrine of resurrection is recognized in these books we know nothing of the Essenes holding it. That the Greeks and their scholars in philosophy, the Romans, looked at the idea of resurrection from the dead as a subject for ridicule would be reason sufficient for Philo and Josephus to suppress such a feature in their description of the Essenes. From them it could not be learned that the Pharisees ever had any such belief. It is also objected that while the Essenes held the pre-existence of souls, there is no trace of this belief in the apocalyptic books. Josephus, however, does not really assert that they believed in the prior existence of individual souls, but rather in a soul-stuff from which individual souls were separated. Thus both positively and negatively we think there is a strong case for the Essenes being regarded as the authors of the apocalyptic books. Further objections are brought forward by Dr. Charles as applicable to the Assumption of Moses specially. One is the interest manifested in the Temple by the writer while, so says Dr. Charles, "the Essene was excluded from its courts," and refers to Josephus, Ant, XVIII, i, 5. He must have forgotten, while penning this sentence, Ant, XIII, xi, 2, in which Judas, the Essene, is represented as teaching in the Temple. His objection that Josephus credits the Essenes with a belief in a paradise beyond the ocean like the Greek Islands of the Blest, appears to us to lay too much stress on what is in both cases figurative language. Moreover, in Enoch the description of Paradise (chapters 24-26) would almost seem to be the original from which Josephus (BJ, II, viii, 11) drew his picture. He seems to regard our ignorance of how far the Essenes agreed with the rest of their countrymen in considering the enemies of Israel "the wicked," as evidence that they disagreed with them on that point.

VI. The Essenes and Christinaity.

1. Resemblances between Essenism and Christianity:

That there were many points of resemblance between the Essenes and the church in its earliest form cannot be denied. The Essenes, we are told, maintained a community of goods and required anyone who joined their society to sell all he had and present it to the community (Hippolytus, Adv. Heret., ix; x; Josephus, BJ, II, viii, 3), just as so many of the primitive Christians did in Jerusalem (Ac 4:37). Another peculiarity of the Essenes—noted by Josephus (BJ, II, viii, 4)—that they moved about from city to city, and wherever they went found accommodation with members of their order, although perfect strangers, may be compared with our Lord’s instructions to His disciples when He sent them forth (Mt 10:11): "Into whatsoever city or village ye shall enter, search out who in it is worthy." When one thinks of who those worthy persons could be, and what was the evidence by which their worthiness was expected to be established, one is almost obliged to suppose that it was some specially easily recognized class that was so designated. If the worthiness in question was the moral quality, there are so many ideas of moral worth that when the apostles inquired, on entering a city, who was worthy, before they could act on the answer they would need to discover what was the criterion of worthiness in the mind of him from whom they had inquired. If, however, this term was the private designation of the members of a sect, one by which they, in speaking of each other, indicated that they were co-members, as the "Quakers" speak of each other as "Friends," the inquiry for those who were worthy would be simple enough. If the Essenes were "the worthy," then identification would be complete, but we cannot assume that. The majority of the points in which the Essenes resembled the primitive Christians are noted above in connection with each feature as it appears in the passage or passages of the authorities that record it, and to these we refer our readers.

2. Points of Difference:

At the same time, although there are thus many points of likeness, it is not to be denied that there are also many features in Essenism which are at variance with the practice of the early church and the teaching of our Lord and His apostles. The most prominent of these is the difference of attitude toward marriage and the female sex. Our Lord sanctified marriage by His presence at the marriage at Cana of Galilee, although He himself never married. He used the festivities of marriage again and again as illustrations. He drew women to Him and had none of the contempt of the sex which Josephus and Philo attribute to the Essenes. The apostles assume the marriage relationship as one into which Christians may be expected in due course to enter, and give exhortations suited to husbands and wives (1Pe 3:1-7; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18,19). The apostle Paul uses the relation of husband and wife as the symbol of the relation of Christ to His church (Eph 5:32). The writer of the Epistle to the He declares, "Marriage is honorable in all" (Heb 13:4 the King James Version). Another point in which the Essenes differed from the practice of our Lord and His disciples was the exaggerated reverence the former gave to the Sabbath, not even moving a vessel from one place to another on the seventh day. our Lord’s declaration, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mr 2:27), cuts at the feet of that whole attitude. The point of His conflict with the Pharisees was His disregard of the Sabbath as fenced by their traditions. The Essenes shrank from contact with oil, which our Lord certainly did not do. On the contrary He rebuked the Pharisee for his neglect (Lu 7:46). He was twice anointed by women, and in both cases commended the deed. The purely external and material bulked largely in the opinions of the Essenes. our Lord emphasized the internal and spiritual. Many have held and do hold that our Lord was an Essene. If at the beginning of His career He belonged to this sect He must have broken with it long before the end of His ministry.

Why our Lord Never Meets the Essenes. There are some phenomena which, irrespective of these resemblances and differences, have a bearing on the relation between Essenism and Christianity. The first is the fact that our Lord, who met so many different classes of the inhabitants of Palestine—Pharisees and Sadducees, Zealots and Herodians, publicans, Samaritans, Greeks—never is recorded to have met an Essene. The common answer, which satisfied even Bishop Lightfoot, is that they were so few and lived so retired that it was no marvel that He never encountered any of them. They had little or no effect on the national life. This mistaken answer is due to forgetting that though both Josephus and Philo say the Essenes were 4,000 they also declare that they were "many in every city," that there were "ten thousands of them." our Lord must have met them; but if the name "Essene" was a designation given from without like "Quakers," then they may appear in the Gospels under another name. There is a class of persons three times referred to—those "that waited for the consolation of Israel" (Lu 2:25 the King James Version), "looking for the redemption" (Lu 2:38), "waited for the kingdom of God" (Mr 15:43 the King James Version; Lu 23:51 the King James Version). There are thus Simeon and Anna at the beginning of His earthly life, and Joseph of Arimathea at the end, connected with this sect. If, then, this sect were the Essenes under another name, the difficulty would be removed. If, further, in any sense our Lord belonged, or had belonged, to the Essenes, then as He would be perpetually meeting and associating with them, these meetings would not be chronicled. A man cannot meet himself. If they are the authors of the apocalyptic books, as we contend, then the title "waiters for the kingdom of God" would be most suitable, full as these books are of Messianic hopes. If this opinion is correct our Lord’s assumption of the title "Son of Man" is significant, taken in connection with the prominence given to that title in the Enoch books.

3. Disappearance of Essenism in Christianity:

Another significant phenomenon is the disappearance of Essenism in Christianity. Bishop Lightfoot, in his dissertation on the Colossian Heresy (Comm. on Col, 21-111), proves that it was Essenism. These Essenes must have been baptized into Christ, or they could not have got entry into the Christian communities which had been drawn to Christ from heathenism. But that is not the only heresy that is connected with the Essenes. The Ebionites seem to have been Essenes who had passed over into Christianity. In the Apostolical Constitutions the Ebionites and Essenes are brought into very close connection. Epiphanius, in his confused way, mixes up the various names under which the Essenes appear in his works with a certain Elkaisa, a connection also to be found in Hippolytus, an earlier and better authority. But Elkaisa claimed to be a Christian. His leading follower, Alcibiades, appeared in Rome and was resisted by Hippolytus. The Clementine Homilies, a religious novel of which Peter is the hero, has many Essenian features. It is assumed to be Ebionite, but that only makes the evidence that the Essenes had become Christians all the more convincing. The Ebionites were Christians, if defective in their views, and the presence of Essenian features in a work proceeding from them emphasizes the identity. See EBIONISM.

4. Monachism:

There is another phenomenon, more extensive and important than those we have considered above—the presence of Monachism in the church. Notwithstanding that our Lord prayed "not that" the disciples be taken "out of the world," but that they be kept "from the evil" (Joh 17:15), implying that they were not to retire into solitude, and that the apostle Paul regards it as demonstrating the falsity of our possible interpretation of an exhortation of his that it would imply that the disciples "must needs go out of the world" (1Co 5:10); yet the monks did retire from the world and regarded themselves as all the holier for so doing, and were regarded so by others. The apostle Paul declares the "forbidding to marry" one of "the doctrines of demons," yet very soon asceticism set in and virginity was regarded as far holier than the married state. Retirement from the world and asceticism were the two cardinal characteristics of Monachism. Despite that these were in antagonism to the teachings of Christ and His apostles, within little more than a century after our Lord’s ascension Monachism began to appear, and prevailed more and more and continues to this day. These characteristics, retirement from the world and asceticism, especially forbidding to marry, were marked features of Essenism. The wholesale entrance of the Essene sect into the church would explain this. On the other hand this wholesale passing over into Christianity of so intensely Jewish a sect implies a historic connection or affinity. It is true that the catechetic school of Alexandria praises the contemplative life, so admired by their contemporaries, the neo-Platonists, and that philosophy which had been looked at askance by the church was, so to say, taken under their protection by the Alexandrian school, and the retirement of solitaries into the deserts or the formation of monasteries served to promote this contemplation. This led to all the extravagances of the monks being regarded as heights of philosophy. Such views were a cause, but as certainly were they also effects. The cause of these effects as it seems to us was to some extent the admiration extended by Philo, the Alexandrian, to the Essenes and Therapeutae, and the influence of Philo on his Christian successors in Alexandria.


Sources: Philo, Josephus, Pliny, Hegesippus, Porphyry, Hippolytus, Epiphanius. Secondary Literature: Besides works specially on the Essenes, the following are mentioned: Frankel, Die Essaer; Lucius, Der Essenismus; Ginsburg, Essenes; and portions of books, as Delaunay, Moines et Sibylles, 1-88; Thomson, Books Which Influenced our Lord, 74-122; Ritschl, Die Entstehung der alt-katholischen Kirche, 179-203; Lightfoot, Commentary on Col, 7-111, 347-417.

There are in histories of the Jews discussions of the questions in order. Of these may be noted: Ewald, Hist of Israel, V, 370-71; Gratz, Geschichte der Juden, III, 657-63; Schurer, The Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II, ii, 188-218, translation. This opens with a fairly full account of the literature up to the date of the 2nd German edition; Zeller, Geschichte der Philos. der Griechen, III, ii, 2, pp. 235-93. There are also articles in various Bible and theological dictionaries, as Smith and Wace, Dict. of Eccles Biography; Smith and Fuller, Dict. of the Bible; HDB; Jewish Encyclopedia; RE; Schenkel, Bibel-Lexikon; M’Clintock, Theological Dict.

At the same time, while submitting these as a sample, and only as a sample, of the vast literature of the subject, we agree in the advice given by F. C. Conybeare—in HDB, under the word: "The student may be advised to study for himself the very limited documentary sources relating to the Essenes and then to draw his own conclusions." We feel the importance of this advice all the more that perusal has shown us that most of these secondary writers have considered exclusively the coenobite community at Engedi to the neglect of the wider society. After the student has formed opinions from a careful study of the sources he may benefit by these secondary works.

J. E. H. Thomson



While the King James Version uses both "estate" and "state" with the meaning of "condition," the American Standard Revised Version distinguishes, using "state" for the idea of condition, "estate" for position; and replaces "estate" of the King James Version by more definite expressions in many cases. Compare Col 4:7 the King James Version, "All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you," but 4:8, the King James Version "might know your estate" the Revised Version (British and American) "may know our state"; Lu 1:48 the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "the low estate" (of the Lord’s hand-maiden); Mr 6:21, the King James Version "chief estates" the Revised Version (British and American) "chief men"; Da 11:7,20,21,38, the King James Version "his estate," the Revised Version (British and American) "his place," both with margin "his office."

F. K. Farr


es-tem’ (chashabh; hegeomai):

"To esteem" means sometimes simply "to think" or "reckon"; in other connections it means "to regard as honorable" or "valuable." We have examples of both senses in the Bible. The word most often so translated in the Old Testament is chashabh, meaning perhaps originally, "to bind," hence, "combine," "think," "reckon" (Job 41:27 the King James Version; Isa 29:16,17; 53:4; La 4:2). In Isa 53:3 we have the word in the higher sense, "We esteemed him not." This sense is expressed also by ‘arakh, "to set in array," "in order" (Job 36:19, the King James Version "Will he esteem thy riches?" the English Revised Version "Will thy riches suffice?" margin "Will thy cry avail?" which the American Standard Revised Version adopts as the text); also by tsaphan, "to hide," "to conceal" (Job 23:12, the King James Version "I have esteemed the words of his mouth," the Revised Version (British and American) "treasured up"); qalah, "to be light," is translated "lightly esteemed" (1Sa 18:23, "I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed"), also qalal, same meaning (1Sa 2:30, "They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed"). In the New Testament, hegeomai, "to lead out," is used in the sense of "counting honorable," etc. (Php 2:3 the Revised Version (British and American) "counting"; 1Th 5:13; perhaps Heb 11:26, but the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "accounting"); krino, "to judge," is used in the sense of "to reckon" (Ro 14:5 twice); also logizomai, "to reckon" (Ro 14:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "accounteth"); hupselos, "high," "exalted," is rendered "highly esteemed" in Lu 16:15 the King James Version, but in the Revised Version (British and American) "exalted"; exoutheneo, "to think nothing of," is translated "least esteemed" (1Co 6:4 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of no account").

The following changes in the Revised Version (British and American) are of interest: for "He that is despised and hath a servant, is better than he that honoreth himself and lacketh bread" (Pr 12:9), "Better is he that is lightly esteemed"; for "Better is he than both they, which hath not yet been" (Ec 4:3), "Better than them both did I esteem him," margin "Better than they both is he"; for "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay" (Isa 29:16), "Ye turn things upside down!" (margin, "Oh your perversity!"), "Shall the potter be esteemed (the English Revised Version "counted") as clay," etc.—in this connection a forcible assertion of the necessary possession of knowledge by the Creator of man.

W. L. Walker


es’-ter (’ecter, akin to the Zend tstara, the Sanskrit stri, the Greek aster, "a star," Esther):

Esther was a Jewish orphan, who became the queen of Xerxes, in some respects the greatest of the Persian kings. She was brought up at Susa by her cousin Mordecai, who seems to have held a position among the lower officials of the royal palace. Vashti, Xerxes’ former queen, was divorced; and the most beautiful virgins from all the provinces of the empire were brought to the palace of Susa that the king might select her successor. The choice fell upon the Jewish maiden. Soon after her accession a great crisis occurred in the history of the Jews. The entire people was threatened with destruction. The name of Esther is forever bound up with the record of their deliverance. By a course of action which gives her a distinguished place among the women of the Bible, the great enemy of the Jews was destroyed, and her people were delivered. Nothing more is known of her than is recorded in the book which Jewish gratitude has made to bear her name.

Change of Name:

The change in the queen’s name from Hadassah hadacah, "a myrtle," to Esther, "a star," may possibly indicate the style of beauty for which the Persian queen was famous. The narrative displays her as a woman of clear judgment, of magnificent self- control, and capable of the noblest self-sacrifice.


John Urquhart



1. The Canonicity of Esther 2. Its Authorship 3. Its Date 4. Its Contents 5. The Greek Additions 6. The Attacks upon the Book 7. Some of the Objections 8. Confirmations of the Book

This book completes the historical books of the Old Testament. The conjunction "w" (waw = and), with which it begins, is significant. It shows that the book was designed for a place in a series, the waw linking it on to a book immediately preceding, and that the present arrangement of the Hebrew Bible differs widely from what must have been the original order. At present Esther follows Ecclesiastes, with which it has no connection whatever; and this tell-tale "and," like a body- mark on a lost child, proves that the book has been wrenched away from its original connection. There is no reason to doubt that the order in the Septuagint follows that of the Hebrew Bible of the 3rd or the 4th century BC, and this is the order of the Vulgate, of the English Bible, and other VSS: The initial waw is absent from Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 Chronicles and Nehemiah. The historical books are consequently arranged, by the insertion and the omission of waw, into these four divisions: Genesis to Numbers; Deuteronomy to 2 Kings; 1 Chronicles to Ezra; Nehemiah and Esther.


1. The Canonicity of Esther:

Of the canonicity of the book there is no question. That there was a distinct guardianship of the Canon by the Jewish priesthood has figured less in recent discussions than it should. Josephus shows that there was a Temple copy which was carried among the Temple spoils in the triumph of Vespasian. The peculiarities of the Hebrew text also prove that all our manuscripts are representatives of one standard copy. In the Jewish Canon Esther had not only a recognized, but also a distinguished, place. The statement of Junilius in the 6th century AD that the canonicity of Esther was doubted by some in his time has no bearing on the question. The high estimation of the book current among the ancient Jews is evident from its titles. It is usually headed "Megillath Esther" (the volume of Esther), and sometimes "Megillah" (the volume). Maimonides says that the wise men among the Jews affirm that the book was dictated by the Holy Spirit, and adds: "All the books of the Prophets, and all the Hagiographa shall cease in the days of the Messiah, except the volume of Esther; and, lo, that shall be as stable as the Pentateuch, and as the constitutions of the oral law which shall never cease."

2. Its Authorship:

By whom was the book written? This is a point in regard to which no help is afforded us either by the contents of the book or by any reliable tradition. Mordecai, whose claims have been strongly urged by some, is excluded by the closing words (Es 10:3), which sum up his life work and the blessings of which he had been the recipient. The words imply that when the book was written, that great Israelite had passed away.

3. Its Date:

Light is thrown upon the date of the book by the closing references to Ahasuerus (Es 10:2): "And all the acts of his power and of his might, .... are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?" The entire history, therefore, of Xerxes was to be found in the state records when the book was written. In other words, Xerxes had passed away before it saw the light. That monarch was assassinated by Artabanus in 465 BC. This gives us, say 460 BC, as the highest possible date. The lowest possible date is the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander in 332 BC; for the royal records of the Median and Persian kings are plainly in existence and accessible, which they would not have been had the empire been overthrown. The book must have been written, therefore, some time within this interval of 128 years. There is another fact which narrows that interval. The initial waw shows that Esther was written after Neh, that is, after 430 BC. The interval is consequently reduced to 98 years; and, seeing that the Persian dominion was plainly in its pristine vigor when Esther was written, we cannot be far wrong if we regard its date as about 400 BC.

4. Its Contents:

The book is characterized by supreme dramatic power. The scene is "Shushan the palace," that portion of the ancient Elamitic capital which formed the fortified residence of the Persian kings. The book opens with the description of a high festival. All the notabilities of the kingdom are present, together with their retainers, both small and great. To grace the occasion, Vashti is summoned to appear before the king’s guests; and, to the dismay of the great assembly, the queen refuses to obey. A council is immediately summoned. Vashti is degraded; and a decree is issued that every man bear rule in his own house (Es 1). To find a successor to Vashti, the fairest damsels in the empire are brought to Shushan; and Hadassah, the cousin and adopted daughter of Mordecai, is of the number. Esther (2) closes with a notice of two incidents:

(1) the coronation of Hadassah (now and henceforth named "Esther") as queen;

(2) Mordecai’s discovery of a palace plot to assassinate the king.

Chapter 3 introduces another leading personage, Haman, the son of Hammedatha, whose seat the king had set "above all the princes that were with him." All the king’s servants who are at the king’s gates prostrate themselves before the powerful favorite. Mordecai, who is not a trained courtier but a God-fearing Jew, refrains. Though expostulated with, he will not conform. The matter is brought to Haman’s notice for whose offended dignity Mordecai is too small a sacrifice. The whole Jewish people must perish. Lots are cast to find a lucky day for their extermination. The king’s consent is obtained, and the royal decree is sent into all the provinces fixing the slaughter for the 13th day of the 12th month.

The publication of the decree is followed by universal mourning among the Jews (Es 4). News of Mordecai’s mourning is brought to Esther, who, through the messengers she sends to him, is informed of her own and her people’s danger. She is urged to save herself and them. She eventually decides to seek the king s presence at the risk of her life. She presents herself (chapter 5) before the king and is graciously received. Here we breathe atmosphere of the place and time. Everything depends upon the decision of one will—the king’s. Esther does not attempt too much at first: she invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Here the king asks Esther what her petition is, assuring her that it shall be granted. In reply she requests his and Haman’s presence at a banquet the following day. Haman goes forth in high elation. On his way home he passes Mordecai, who "stood not up nor moved for him." Haman passes on filled with rage, and unbosoms himself to his wife and all his friends. They advise that a stake, fifty cubits high, be prepared for Mordecai’s impalement; that on the morrow he obtain the royal permission for Mordecai’s execution; and that he then proceed with a merry heart to banquet with the queen. The stake is made ready.

But (Es 6) that night Xerxes cannot sleep. The chronicles of the kingdom are read before him. The reader has come to Mordecai’s discovery of the plot, when the king asks what reward was given him. He is informed that the service had received no acknowledgment. It is now early morn, and Haman is waiting in the court for an audience to request Mordecai’s life. He is summoned to the king’s presence and asked what should be done to the man whom the king desires to honor. Believing that the king can be thinking only of him, he suggests that royal honors be paid him. He is appalled by the command to do so to Mordecai. Hurrying home from his lowly attendance upon the hated Jew, he has hardly time to tell the mournful story to his wife and friends when he is summoned to Esther’s banquet. There, at the king’s renewed request to be told her desire, she begs life for herself and for her people (Es 7). The king asks in astonishment, who he is, and where he is, who dared to injure her and them. The reply is that Haman is the adversary. Xerxes, filled with indignation, rises from the banquet and passes into the palace garden. He returns and discovers that Haman, in the madness of his fear, has thrown himself on the queen’s couch, begging for his life. That act seals his doom. He is led away to be impaled upon the very stake he had prepared for the Jew. The seal of the kingdom is transferred to Mordecai (Es 8). Measures are immediately taken to avert the consequence of Haman’s plot (Es 9-10). The result is deliverance and honor for the Jews. These resolve that the festival of Purim should be instituted and be ever after observed by Jews and proselytes. The decision was confirmed by letters from Esther and Mordecai.

5. The Greek Additions:

The Septuagint, as we now have it, makes large additions to the original text. Jerome, keeping to the Hebrew text in his own translation, has added these at the end. They amount to nearly seven chapters. There is nothing in them to reward perusal. Their age has been assigned to 100 BC, and their only value consists in the indication they afford of the antiquity of the book. That had been long enough in existence to perplex the Hebrew mind with the absence of the name of God and the omissions of any reference to Divine worship. Full amends are made in the additions.

6. The Attacks upon the Book:

The opponents of the Book of Esther may undoubtedly boast that Martin Luther headed the attack. In his Table-Talk he declared that he was so hostile "to the Book of Esther that I would it did not exist; for it Judaizes too much, and has in it a great deal of heathenish naughtiness." His remark in his reply to Erasmus shows that this was his deliberate judgment. Referring to Esther, he says that, though the Jews have it in their Canon, "it is more worthy than all" the apocryphal books "of being excluded from the Canon." That repudiation was founded, however, on no historical or critical grounds. It rested solely upon an entirely mistaken judgment as to the tone and the intention of the book. Luther’s judgment has been carried farther by Ewald, who says: "We fall here as if from heaven to earth; and, looking among the new forms surrounding us, we seem to behold the Jews, or indeed the small men of the present day in general, acting just as they now do." Nothing of all this, however, touches the historicity of Esther.

The modern attack has quite another objective. Semler, who is its real fens et origo, believed Esther to be a work of pure imagination, and as establishing little more than the pride and arrogance of the Jews. DeWette says: "It violates all historical probability, and contains striking difficulties and many errors with regard to Persian manners, as well as just references to them." Dr. Driver modifies that judgment. "The writer," he says, "shows himself well informed on Persian manners and institutions; he does not commit anachronisms such as occur in Tobit or Judith; and the character of Xerxes as drawn by him is in agreement with history." The controversy shows, however, no sign of approaching settlement. Th. Noldeke (Encyclopaedia Biblica) is more violent than De Wette. "The story," he writes, "is in fact a tissue of improbabilities and impossibilities." We shall look first of all at the main objections urged by him and others and then at the recent confirmations of the historicity of Esther.

7. Some of the Objections:

(1) "There is something fantastic, but not altogether unskillful," says Noldeke, "in the touch whereby Mordecai and Haman are made to inherit an ancient feud, the former being a member of the family of King Saul, the latter a descendant of Agag, king of Amalek." It is surely unworthy of a scholar to make the book responsible for a Jewish fable. There is absolutely no mention in it of either King Saul or Agag, king of Amalek, and not the most distant allusion to any inherited feud. "Kish, a Benjamite" is certainly mentioned (Es 2:5) as the great-grandfather of Mordecai; but if this was also the father of Saul, then the first of the Israelite kings was a sharer in the experiences of the Babylonian captivity, a conception which is certainly fantastic enough. One might ask also how an Amalekite came to be described as an Agagite; and how a childless king, who was cut in pieces, became the founder of a tribe. But any semblance of a foundation which that rabbinic conceit ever had was swept away years ago by Oppert’s discovery of "Agag" in one of Sargon’s inscriptions as the name of a district in the Persian empire. "Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite" means simply that Haman or his father had come from the district of Agag.

(2) The statement that Es 2:5,6 represents Mordecai as having been carried away with Jeconiah from Jerusalem, and as being therefore of an impossible age, is unworthy of notice. The relative "who" (2:6) refers to Kish, his great-grandfather.

(3) "Between the 7th and the 12th years of his reign, Xerxes’ queen was Amestris, a superstitious and cruel woman (Herod. vii.114; ix.112), who cannot be identified with Esther, and who leaves no place for Esther beside her" (Driver). Scaliger long ago identified Esther with Amestris, an identification which Prideaux rejected on account of the cruelty which Herodotus has attributed to that queen. Dr. Driver has failed to take full account of one thing—the striking fact that critics have leveled this very charge of cruelty against the heroine of our book. It is quite possible that Esther, moving in a world of merciless intrigue, may have had to take measures which would form a foundation for the tales recorded by the Greek historian.

(4) The aim of the book is said to be the glorification of the Jews. But, on the contrary, it is merely a record of their being saved from a skillfully planned extirpation.

(5) The description of the Jews (Es 3:8) as "dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of" the kingdom is said to be inapplicable to the Persian period. That argument is based upon an ignorance of the ancient world which investigation is daily correcting. We now know that before the time of Es Jews were settled both in Eastern and in Southern Egypt, that is, in the extreme west of the Persian empire. In the troubles at the end of the 7th and of the 6th centuries BC, multitudes must have been dispersed, and when, at the latter period, the ties of the fatherland were dissolved, Jewish migrations must have vastly increased.

(6) The Hebrew of the book is said to belong to a much later period than that of Xerxes. But it is admitted that it is earlier than the Hebrew of Chronicles; and recent discoveries have shown decisively that the book belongs to the pers period.

(7) The suggestion is made (Driver) "that the danger which threatened the Jews was a local one," and consequently, that the book, though possessed of a historical basis, is a romance. But against that are the facts that the observance of the feast has from the first been universal, and that it has not been observed more fully or more enthusiastically in any one place than in the others.

(8) There is no reference to it, it is urged, by Chronicles, Ezra or Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus). But Chronicles ends with the proclamation of Cyrus, granting permission to the Jews to return and to rebuild the Temple. There is little to be wondered at that it contains no reference to events which happened 60 years afterward. In Ezra, which certainly covers the period of Esther, reference to the events with which she was connected is excluded by the plan of the work. It gives the history of the return, the first part under Zerubbabel in 536 BC, the second under Ezra himself, 458 BC. The events in Esther (which were embraced within a period of a few months) fell in the interval and were connected with neither the first return nor the second. Here again the objector is singularly oblivious of the purpose of the book to which he refers. There is quite as little force in the citation of Ecclesiasticus. In dealing with this time Ben Sira’s eye is upon Jerusalem. He magnifies Zerubbabel, "Jesus the son of Josedek," and Nehemiah (49:11-13). Even Ezra, to whom Jerusalem and the new Jewish state owed so much, finds no mention. Why, then, should Esther and Mordecai be named who seem to have had no part whatever in rebuilding the sacred city?

(9) The book is said to display ignorance of the Persian empire in the statement that it was divided into 127 provinces, whereas Herodotus tells us that it was partitioned into 20 satrapies. But there was no such finality in the number, even of these great divisions of the empire. Darius in his Behistun inscriptions gives the number as 21, afterward as 23, and in a third enumeration as 29. Herodotus himself, quoting from a document of the time of Xerxes, shows that there were then about 60 nations under the dominion of Persia. The objector has also omitted to notice that the medhinah ("province") mentioned in Es (1:1) is not a satrapy but a subdivision of it. Judea is called a medhinah in Ezr 2:1, and that was only a small portion of the 5th satrapy, that, namely, of Syria. But the time is past for objections of this character. Recent discoveries have proved the marvelous accuracy of the book. "We find in the Book of Esther," says Lenormant (Ancient History of the East, II, 113), "a most animated picture of the court of the Persian kings, which enables us, better than anything contained in the classical writers, to penetrate the internal life and the details of the organization of the central government established by Darius."

8. Confirmations of the Book:

These discoveries have removed the discussion to quite another plane—or rather they have ended it. Since Grotefend in 1802 read the name of Xerxes in a Persian inscription and found it to be, letter for letter, the Ahasuerus of Eat, research has heaped up confirmation of the historical character of the book. It has proved, to begin with that the late date suggested for the book cannot be maintained. The language belongs to the time of the Persian dominion. It is marked by the presence of old Persian words, the knowledge of which had passed away by the 2nd century BC, and has been recovered only through the decipherment of the Persian monuments. The Septuagint translators were unacquainted with them, and consequently made blunders which have been repeated in our own the King James Version and in other translations. We read (Es 1:5,6 the King James Version) that "in the court of the garden of the king’s palace," "were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple," etc. As seen in the ruins of Persepolis, a marked feature in the Persian palace of the period was a large space occupied by pillars which were covered with awnings. It may be noted in passing that these were situated, as the book says, in the court of the palace garden. But our knowledge of the recovered Persian compels us now to read: "where was an awning of fine white cotton and violet, fastened with cords of fine white linen and purple." White and blue (or violet) were the royal Persian colors. In accord with this we are told that Mordecai (Es 8:15) "went forth from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white." The highly organized postal system, the king’s scribes, the keeping of the chronicles of the kingdom, the rigid and elaborate court customs, are all characteristic of the Persia of the period. We are told of the decree obtained by Haman that "in the name of King Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring" (or signet). It was not signed but sealed. That was the Persian custom. The seal of Darius, Xerxes’ father, has been found, and is now in the British Museum. It bears the figure of the king shooting arrows at a lion, and is accompanied by an inscription in Persian, Susian and Assyrian: "I, Darius, Great King." The identification of Ahasuerus, made by Grotefend and which subsequent discoveries amply confirmed, placed the book in an entirely new light. As soon as that identification was assured, previous objections were changed into confirmations. In the alleged extravagances of the monarch, scholars saw then the Xerxes of history. The gathering of the nobles of the empire in "the third year of his reign" (Es 1:3) was plainly the historical assembly in which the Grecian campaign was discussed; and "the seventh year," in which Esther was made queen, was that of his return from Greece. The book implies that Susa was the residence of the Persian kings, and this was so. The proper form of the name as shown by the inscriptions was "Shushan"; "Shushan the Palace" indicates that there were two Susas, which was the fact, and birah ("palace") is a Persian word meaning fortress. The surprisingly rigid etiquette of the palace, to which we have referred, and the danger of entering unbidden the presence of the king have been urged as proof that the book is a romance. The contrary, however, is the truth. "The palace among the Persians," says Lenormant, "was quite inaccessible to the multitude. A most rigid etiquette guarded all access to the king, and made it very difficult to approach him. .... He who entered the presence of the king, without having previously obtained permission, was punished with death" (Ancient History of the East, II, 113-14; compare Herodotus i.99). But a further, and peculiarly conclusive, testimony to the historical character of the book is afforded by the recovery of the palace of Xerxes and Esther. An inscription of Artaxerxes Mnemon found at Susa tells us that it was destroyed by fire in the days of Artaxerxes Longimanus, the son and successor of Xerxes. Within some 30 years, therefore, from the time of Esther, that palace passed from the knowledge of men. Nevertheless, the references in the book are in perfect accord with the plan of the great structure as laid bare by the recent French excavations. We read (Es 4) that Mordecai, clad in sackcloth, walked in "the broad palace of the city, which was before the king’s gate." The ruins show that the House of the Women was on the East side of the palace next to the city, and that a gate led from it into "the street of the city." In Es 5:1, we read that Esther "stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house." "The king," we also read, "sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the entrance of the house," and that from the throne he "saw Esther the queen standing in the court." Every detail is exact. A corridor led from the House of the Women to the inner court; and at the side of the court opposite to the corridor was the hall, or throne-room of the palace. Exactly in the center of the farther wall the throne was placed and from that lofty seat the king, overlooking an intervening screen, saw the queen waiting for an audience. Other details, such as that of the king’s passing from the queen’s banqueting-house into the garden, show a similarly exact acquaintance with the palace as it then was. That is a confirmation the force of which it is hard to overestimate. It shows that the writer was well informed and that his work is characterized by minute exactitude.

The utter absence of the Divine name in Esther has formed a difficulty even where it has not been urged as an objection. But that is plainly part of some Divine design. The same silence is strictly maintained throughout in regard to prayer, praise and every approach toward God. That silence was an offense to the early Jews; for, in the Septuagint additions to the book, there is profuse acknowledgment of God both in prayer and in praise. But it must have struck the Jews of the time and the official custodians of the canonical books quite as painfully; and we can only explain the admission of Esther by the latter on the ground that there was overwhelming evidence of its Divine origin and authority. Can this rigid suppression be explained? In the original arrangement of the Old Testament canonical books (the present Hebrew arrangement is post-Christian), Esther is joined to Nehemiah. In 1895 I made a suggestion which I still think worthy of consideration: More than 60 years had passed since Cyrus had given the Jews permission to return. The vast majority of the people remained, nevertheless, where they were. Some, like Nehemiah, were restrained by official and other ties. The rest were indifferent or declined to make the necessary sacrifices of property and of rest. With such as these last the history of God’s work in the earth can never be associated. In His providence He will watch over and deliver them: but their names and His will not be bound together in the record of the labor and the waiting for the earth’s salvation.

John Urquhart




1. Name 2. Contents 3. Original Language 4. Versions 5. Date




The Book of Esther in the oldest manuscripts of the Septuagint (BAN, etc.) contains 107 verses more than in the Hebrew Bible. These additions are scattered throughout the book where they were originally inserted in order to supply the religious element apparently lacking in the Hebrew text. In Jerome’s version and in the Vulgate, which is based on it, the longest and most important of these additions are taken out of their context and put together at the end of the canonical book, thus making them to a large extent unintelligible. In English, Welsh and other Protestant versions of the Scriptures the whole of the additions appear in the Apocrypha.

1. Name:

In the English Versions of the Bible the full title is "The Rest of the Chapters of the Book of Esther, which are found neither in the Hebrew, nor in the Chaldee." Since in the Septuagint, including the editions by Fritzsche, Tischendorf and Swete, these chapters appear in their original context, they bear no separate title. The same is true of Brereton’s English translation of the Septuagint; but in Thompson’s translation the whole of the Apocrypha is omitted, so that it is not strictly a translation of the whole Septuagint.

2. Contents:

In Swete’s edition of the Septuagint the interpretations constituting "the Rest of Esther" (sometimes given as "Additions to Esther") are designated by the capital letters of the alphabet, and in the following enumeration this will be followed. The several places in the Greek Bible are indicated in each case.

A (Latin, English, Ad Es 11:2; 12:6): Mordecai’s dream; how he came to honor. Precedes Es 1:1.

B (Latin, English, Ad Es 13:1-7): Letter of Artaxerxes. Follows Es 3:13.

C (Latin, English, Ad Es 13:8-14:19): The prayers of Mordecai and Esther. Follows Es 4:17.

D (Latin, Ad Es 15:4-19; English, 16:1-16): Esther visits the king and wins his favor. Follows C, preceding immediately Es 5.

E (Latin, English, Ad Es 16:1-24): Another letter of Artaxerxes. Follows Es 8:12. F (Latin, English, Ad Es 10:4-11): Epilogue describing the origin of the Feast Purim. Follows Es 10:3.

But besides the lengthy interpolations noticed above there are also in the Septuagint small additions omitted from the Latin and therefore from the English, Welsh, etc., Apocrypha. These short additions are nearly all explanatory glosses. In the Century Bible (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) the exact places where the insertions occur in the Septuagint are indicated and described in the notes dealing with the relevant passages of the canonical text. With the help thus given any English reader is able to read the additions in their original setting. Unless they are read in this way they are pointless and even in most cases senseless.

3. Original Language:

All scholars agree that "The Rest of Esther" was written originally in Greek Both external and internal evidence bears this out. But the Greek text has come down to us in two recensions which differ considerably.

(1) The commonly received text supported by the manuscripts B, A, N, and by Josephus (Ant., XI, i).

(2) A revision of (1) contained in the manuscripts 19, 93a and 108b. In the last two manuscripts both recensions occur. This revised text has been ascribed by many recent scholars (Lagarde, Schurer, R. H. Charles) to Lucian. In his Libr. Vet. Test. Canon. Graece, Pars Prior, 1833 (all published), Lagarde gives on parallel pages both recensions with critical notes on both.

4. Versions:

The two Greek texts are also given by Fritzsche (1871) and Swete (1891) in their editions of the Septuagint, and also by Scholz in his German Commentary on the Book of Esther (1892). For the ancient versions see "Esther Versions."

5. Date:

Practically all modern scholars agree in holding that "The Rest of Esther" is some decades later than the canonical book. In his commentary on Es (Century Bible) the present writer has given reasons for dating the canonical Es about 130 BC. One could not go far astray in fixing the date of the original Greek of the Additions to Esther at about 100 BC. It is evident that we owe these interpolations to a Jewish zealot who wished to give the Book of Es a religious character. In his later years John Hyrcanus (135-103 BC) identified himself with the Sadducean or rationalistic party, thus breaking with the Pharisee or orthodox party to which the Maccabeans had hitherto belonged. Perhaps we owe these additions to the zeal aroused among orthodox Jews by the rationalizing temper prevailing in court circles. R. H. Charles (Encyclopedia Brit, XI, 797b) favors a date during the early (?) Maccabean period; but this would give the Ad Esther an earlier date than can be ascribed to the canonical Esther.


See the literature cited above, and in addition note the following: Fritzsche, Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apokryphen (1851), 67-108; Schurer, History of the Jewish People, II, iii, 181 ff (Ger. edition 4, III, 449 ff); Ryssel (in Kautzsch, Apocrypha, 193 ff); Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, 257 if; the articles in the principal Bible Dictionaries, including Jewish Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition).

See also under ESTHER.

T. Witton Davies


es’-ti-mat, es-ti-ma’-shun (‘arakh, ‘erekh):

These words, meaning "to set in order," "valuation," are used in connection with the priestly services in Le 5:15,18; 6:6; 27:14, and frequently; Nu 18:16.


e-si-e’-lus (Esuel, Esuelos; the King James Version Syelus):

One of the governors of the Temple in the time of Josiah (APC 1Esdras 1:8); called "Jehiel" in 2Ch 35:8.


e’-tam ‘eTam; Codex Alexandrinus, Apan, Codex Vaticanus, Aitan:

(1) Mentioned in Septuagint along with Tekoa, Bethlehem and Phagor (Jos 15:59). In 2Ch 11:6 it occurs, between Bethlehem and Tekoa, as one of the cities built "for defense in Judah" by Rehoboam. Josephus writes that "there was a certain place, about 50 furlongs distant from Jerusalem which is called Ethan, very pleasant it is in fine gardens and abounding in rivulets of water; whither he (Solomon) used to go out in the morning" (Ant., VIII, vii, 3). Mention of ‘Ain ‘Aitan, which is described as the most elevated place in Palestine, occurs in the Talmud (Zebhachim 54b), and in the Jer. Talmud (Yoma’ 3 fol 41) it is mentioned that a conduit ran from ‘Atan to the Temple.

The evidence all points to ‘Ain ‘Atan, the lowest of the springs supplying the aqueduct running to Solomon’s pools. The gardens of Solomon may very well—by tradition, at any rate—have been in the fertile valley below ‘Urtas. The site of the ancient town Etam is rather to be looked for on an isolated hill, with ancient remains, a little to the East of ‘Ain ‘Atan. 1Ch 4:3 may also have reference to this Etam.

(2) A town assigned to Simeon (1Ch 4:32). Mentioned with EN-RIMMON (which see), identified by Conder with Khurbet ‘AiTun in the hills Northwest of Beersheba.

(3) The rock of Etam, where Samson took up his dwelling after smiting the Philistines "hip and thigh with a great slaughter" (Jud 15:8,11), was in Judah but apparently in the low hill country (same place) . The rocky hill on which lies the village of Beit ‘Atab, near Sur‘ah (Zorah), was suggested by Conder, but unless (3) is really identical width (1), which is quite possible, the cavern known as ‘Arak Isma‘in, described by Hanauer (PEFS, 1886, 25), suits the requirements of the story better. The cavern, high up on the northern cliffs of the Wady Isma‘in, is a noticeable object from the railway as the train enters the gorge.

E. W. G. Masterman


e-tur’-nal (‘olam; aionios, from aion):

The word "eternal" is of very varying import, both in the Scriptures and out of them.

1. ‘Olam:

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word ‘olam is used for "eternity," sometimes in the sense of unlimited duration, sometimes in the sense of a cycle or an age, and sometimes, in later Hebrew, in the signification of world. The Hebrew ‘olam has, for its proper New Testament equivalent, aion, as signifying either time of particular duration, or the unending duration of time in general. Only, the Hebrew term primarily signified unlimited time, and only in a secondary sense represented a definite or specific period. Both the Hebrew and the Greek terms signify the world itself, as it moves in time.

2. Aion, Aionios:

In the New Testament, aion and aionios are often used with the meaning "eternal," in the predominant sense of futurity. The word aion primarily signifies time, in the sense of age or generation; it also comes to denote all that exists under time- conditions; and, finally, superimposed upon the temporal is an ethical use, relative to the world’s course. Thus aion may be said to mean the subtle informing spirit of the world or cosmos—the totality of things. By Plato, in his Timaeus, aion was used of the eternal Being, whose counterpart, in the sense-world, is Time. To Aristotle, in speaking of the world, aion is the ultimate principle which, in itself, sums up all existence.. In the New Testament, aion is found combined with prepositions in nearly three score and ten instances, where the idea of unlimited duration appears to be meant. This is the usual method of expressing eternity in the Septuagint also. The aionios of 2Co 4:18 must be eternal, in a temporal use or reference, else the antithesis would be gone.

3. Aidios:

In Ro 1:20 the word aidios is used of Divine action and rendered in the King James Version "eternal" (the Revised Version (British and American) "everlasting"), the only other place in the New Testament where the word occurs being Jude 1:6, where the rendering is "everlasting," which accords with classical usage. But the presence of the idea of eternal in these passages does not impair the fact that aion and aionios are, in their natural and obvious connotation, the usual New Testament words for expressing the idea of eternal, and this holds strikingly true of the Septuagint usage also. For, from the idea of aeonian life, there is no reason to suppose the notion of duration excluded. The word aionios is sometimes used in the futurist signification, but often also, in the New Testament, it is concerned rather with the quality, than with the quantity or duration, of life. By the continual attachment of aionios to life, in this conception of the spiritual or Divine life in man, the aeonian conception was saved from becoming sterile.

4. Enlargement of Idea:

In the use of aion and aionios there is evidenced a certain enlarging or advancing import till they come so to express the high and complex fact of the Divine life in man. In Greek, aiones signifies ages, or periods or dispensations. The aiones of Heb 1:2, and 11:3, is, however, to be taken as used in the concrete sense of "the worlds," and not "the ages," the world so taken meaning the totality of things in their course or flow.

5. Eternal Life:

Our Lord decisively set the element of time in abeyance, and took His stand upon the fact and quality of life—life endless by its own nature. Of that eternal life He is Himself the guarantee—"Because I live, ye shall live also" (Joh 14:19). Therefore said Augustine, "Join thyself to the eternal God, and thou wilt be eternal."


James Lindsay


e-tur’-ni-ti (olam; Greek equivalent, aion):


1. Contrast with Time 2. In the Old Testament 3. In the New Testament 4. The Eternal "Now" 5. Defect of This View 6. Philosophical Views 7. Time Conceptions Inadequate 8. All Succession Present in One Act to Divine Consciousness 9. Yet Connection between Eternity and Time 10. The Religious Attitude to Eternity



1. Contrast with Time:

Eternity is best conceived, not in the merely negative form of the non-temporal, or immeasurable time, but positively, as the mode of the timeless self-existence of the Absolute Ground of the universe. The flux of time grows first intelligible to us, only when we take in the thought of God as eternal—exalted above time. Timeless existence—being or entity without change—is what we here mean by eternity, and not mere everlastingness or permanence through time. God, in His internal being, is raised above time; in His eternal absoluteness, He is throned above temporal development, and knows, as the Scriptures say, no changeableness. The conception of eternity, as without beginning or ending, leaves us with but a negation badly in need of filling out with reality. Eternity is not a mere negative idea; to make of eternity merely a blank and irrelevant negation of temporality would not satisfy any proper theory of being; it functions as the positive relation to time of that eternal God, who is King of all the eons.

2. In the Old Testament:

In the Old Testament, God’s eternity is only negatively expressed, as implying merely indefinitely extended time (Ge 21:33; De 33:27), though Isa 40:28 takes more absolute form. Better is the view of eternity, objectively considered, as a mode of being of God in relation to Himself. For He was eternal, while as yet the world and time were not. But even in the New Testament, the negative form of expression prevails.

3. In the New Testament:

Time, with its succession of events, helps to fill out such idea as we can form of the eternal, conceived as an endless progress. But, as finite beings, we can form no positive idea of eternity. Time is less contradictory of eternity, than helpful in revealing what we know of it. Plato, in his Timaeus, says that time is the "moving image of eternity," and we may allow that it is its type or revelation. Not as the annulment of time, though it might be held to be in itself exclusive of time, is eternity to be taken, but rather as the ground of its reality.

4. The Eternal "Now":

Eternity might, no doubt, be taken as just time no longer measured by the succession of events, as in the finite universe. But, on a strict view, there is something absurd in an eternity that includes time, and an eternity apart from time is a vain and impossible conception. Eternity, as a discharge from all time limits, is purely negative, though not without importance. Eternity, absolutely taken, must be pronounced incommensurable with time; as Aquinas said, non sunt mensurae unius generis. Eternity, that is to say, would lose its character as eternal in the very entering into relations with the changeful or becoming. Eternity, as in God, has, since the time of Augustine and the Middle Ages, been frequently conceived as an eternal Now. The Schoolmen were wont to adopt as a maxim that "in eternity is one only instant always present and persistent." This is but a way of describing eternity in a manner characteristic of succession in time; but eternal Deity, rather than an eternal Now, is a conception far more full of meaning for us.

5. Defect of This View:

To speak of God’s eternity as an eternal Now—a present in the time-sense—involves a contradiction. For the eternal existence is no more described by the notion of a present than by a past or a future. Such a Now or present presupposes a not-now, and raises afresh the old time-troubles, in relation to eternity. Time is certainly not the form of God’s life,

His eternity meaning freedom from time. Hence, it was extremely troublesome to theology of the Middle Ages to have a God who was not in time at all, supposed to create the world at a particular moment in time.

6. Philosophical Views:

Spinoza, in later times, made the eternity of God consist in His infinite—which, to Spinoza, meant His necessary—existence. For contingent or durational existence would not, in Spinoza’s view, be eternal, though it lasted always. The illusoriness or unreality of time, in respect of man’s spiritual life, is not always very firmly grasped. This wavering or uncertain hold of the illusiveness of time, or of higher reality as timeless, is still very prevalent; even so strong- souled a poet as Browning projects the shadow of time into eternity, with rarely a definite conception of the higher life as an eternal and timeless essence; and although Kant, Hegel and Schopenhauer may have held to such a timeless view, it has by no means become a generally adopted doctrine so far, either of theologians or of philosophers. If time be so taken as unreal, then eternity must not be thought of as future, as is done by Dr. Ellis McTaggart and some other metaphysicians today. For nothing could, in that case, be properly future, and eternity could not be said to begin, as is often done in everyday life.

The importance of the eternity conception is seen in the fact that neo-Kantian and neo-Hegelian thinkers alike have shown a general tendency to regard time-conceptions as unfit, in metaphysics, for the ultimate explanation of the universe.

7. Time-Conceptions Inadequate:

Eternity, one may surely hold, must span or include, for God’s eternal consciousness, the whole of what happens in time, with all of past, present or future, that lies within the temporal succession. But we are by no means entitled to say, as does Royce, that such wholeness or totality of the temporal constitutes the eternal, for the eternal belongs to quite another order, that, namely, of timeless reality. Eternity is not to be defined in terms of time at all. For God is to us the supra-temporal ens perfectissimum, but One whose timeless self-sufficiency and impassable aloofness are not such as to keep Him from being strength and helper of our temporal striving. Our metaphysical convictions must not here be of barren and unfruitful sort for ethical results and purposes.

8. All Succession Present in One Act to Divine Consciousness:

Eternity is, in our view, the form of an eternal existence, to which, in the unity of a single insight, the infinite series of varying aspects or processes are, together-wise, as a totum simul, present. But this, as we have already shown, does not imply that the eternal order is nowise different, essentially, from the temporal; time is not to be treated as a segment of eternity, nor eternity regarded as interminable duration; the eternal cannot pass over into the temporal; for, an eternal Being, who should think all things as present, and yet view the time-series as a succession, must be a rather self- contradictory conception. For the Absolute Consciousness, time does not exist; the future cannot, for it, be thought of as beginning to be, nor the past as having ceased to be.

9. Yet Connection Between Eternity and Time:

After all that has been said, however, eternity and time are not to be thought of as without connection. For the temporal presupposes the eternal, which is, in fact, its positive ground and its perpetual possibility. These things are so, if only for the reason that the Divine mode of existence does not contradict or exclude the human mode of existence. The continuity of the latter—of the temporal—has its guaranty in the eternal. The unconditioned eternity of God brings into harmony with itself the limitations and conditions of the temporal. For time is purely relative, which eternity is not. No distinctions of before and after are admissible in the eternity conception, hence, we have no right to speak of time as a portion of eternity. Thus, while we maintain the essential difference between eternity and time, we at the same time affirm what may perhaps be called the affinity between them. The metaphysics of eternity and its time-relations continue to be matter of proverbial difficulty, and both orders—the eternal and the temporal—had better be treated as concrete, and not left merely to abstract reflection. Our idea of the eternal will best be developed, in this concrete fashion, by the growth of our God-idea, as we more completely apprehend God, as actualized for us in His incarnate Son.

10. The Religious Attitude to Eternity:

Thus, then, it is eternity, not as immeasurable time, but rather as a mode of being of the immutable God, who is yet progressively revealing Himself in time, which we have here set forth. This is not to say that the religious consciousness has not its own need of the conception of God as being "from everlasting to everlasting," as in Ps 90:2, and of His kingdom as "an everlasting kingdom" (Da 4:3). Nor is it to make us suppose that the absolute and self-existent God, who so transcends all time-dependence, is thereby removed far from us, while, on the contrary, His very greatness makes Him the more able to draw near unto us, in all the plenitude of His being. Hence, it is so truly spoken in Isa 57:15, "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite." Hence, also the profound truthfulness of sayings like that in Ac 17:27,28, "He is not far from each one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being." After all that has been said, our best knowledge of eternity, as it exists in God, is not developed in any metaphysical fashion, but after the positive and timeless modes of the spiritual life—the modes of trust and love.


H. Cremer, Lexicon of New Testament Greek, English edition, 1880; G. B. Winer, Grammar of New Testament Greek, 3rd edition, 1882; R. C. French, Synonyms of the New Testament, 9th edition, 1880; E. H. Plumptre, The Spirits in Prison, 3rd edition, 1885; J. Orr, Christian View of God and the World, lst edition, 1893; I. A. Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, English edition, 1885; J. H. Stirling, Philosophy and Theology, 1890; J. Lindsay, Studies in European Philosophy, 1909; The Fundamental Problems of Metaphysics, 1910.

James Lindsay


eth-ka’-zin (‘ittah qatsin; the King James Version Ittah Kazin):

A town on the eastern border of Zebulun, mentioned between Gath-hepher and Rimmon (Jos 19:13). The site is not identified. "Ittah" of the King James Version is due to misunderstanding of the Hebrew letter "he" locale.


e’-tham (’etham; Othom, Ex 13:20; Bouthan, Nu 33:6,7; in 33:8 the Septuagint has a different reading, "in their wilderness" showing another pointing for the word):

The name used to be explained as the Coptic Atium, "border of the Sea" (Gesenius, Lexicon, under the word) which would agree with the Hebrew (Nu 33:8) where the "wilderness of Etham" is noticed instead of that of Shur (Ex 15:22) East of the Red Sea (see SHUR). At Etham (Ex 13:20), the Hebrews camped in the "edge," or at "the end," of the desert West of the sea that they were to cross (see EXODUS). This camp was probably near the North end of the Bitter Lakes, a march from Succoth. Brugsch (Hist. Egypt, II, 359) would compare Etham with the Egyptian Khetam ("fort"), but the Hebrew word has no guttural. The word Khetam is not the name of a place (see Pierret, Vocab. hieroglyph., 453), and more than one such "fort" seems to be noticed (see PITHOM). In the reign of Seti II a scribe’s report mentions the pursuit of two servants, apparently from Zoan, to the fortress of I-k-u southward, reaching Khetam on the 3rd day; but if this was the "Khetam of Rameses II," or even that "of Minepthah," it would not apparently suit the position of Etham.


C. R. Conder.


e’-than (’ethan, "firm," "enduring"; Gaithan):

(1) A wise man with whom Solomon is compared (1Ki 4:31). Called there "Ethan the Ezrahite," to whom the title of Ps 89 ascribes the authorship of that poem.

(2) A "son of Kishi," or "Kishaiah," of the Merari branch of the Levites, and, along with Heman and Asaph, placed by David over the service of song (1Ch 6:44; 15:17,19).


(3) An ancestor of Asaph of the Gershomite branch of the Levites (1Ch 6:42).


eth’-a-nim (’ethanim):

The seventh month of the Jewish year (1Ki 8:2). The word is of Phoenician origin and signifies "perennial," referring to living streams. It corresponds to September-October.



e-tha’-nus, the King James Version Ecanus (Apocrypha):

One of the scribes who wrote for forty days at the dictation of Ezra (APC 2Esdras 14:24).


eth-ba’-al, eth’-ba-al (’ethba‘al, "with Baal"):

"King of the Sidonians," and father of Jezebel whom Ahab king of Israel took to wife (1Ki 16:31).


e’-ther (‘ether; Ather):

A town in Judah (Jos 15:42), near Libnah, assigned to Simeon (Jos 19:7). Kh. el ‘Atr (identical in spelling with Ether) is possibly the site.

It is near Beit Jibrin and is described as "an ancient site: cisterns, foundations, quarried rock and terraces" (PEF, III, 261, 279).




1. The Blessings of the Kingdom (1) Nature of the Kingdom (2) Blessedness of the Kingdom (3) Righteousness—Its Contrasts (4) Apocalyptic Theories

2. The Character of the Subjects of the Kingdom (1) Condition of Entrance (2) Christ’s Attitude to Sin (3) Attainment of Righteousness (a) Repentance (b) Faith "Coming" to Christ (c) Imitation of Christ—Service Example of Jesus

3. Commandments of the King The Great Commandments (a) Love to God God’s Worship, etc. The Church (b) Duty to Man Exemplified in Christ The New Motives


1. Eternal Life 2. Its Source in God 3. Through the Son 4. Need of New Birth 5. Nature of Faith 6. Fruits of Union with Christ LITERATURE


I. In the Synoptic Gospels.

If, following the custom prevalent at present, we adopt, as the general name for the teaching of Jesus in the Synoptists, the Kingdom of God, then the divisions of His ethical teaching will be (1) the Blessings of the Kingdom, (2) the Character of the Subjects, (3) the Commandments of the King.

1. The Blessings of the Kingdom:

(1) Nature of the Kingdom.

"The Kingdom of God" was not a phrase invented by Jesus. It was used before Him by the Baptist. Its proximate source, for both Jesus and John, was the prophet Daniel, who uses it in very striking passages (2:44,45; 7:13,14). The idea of a kingdom of God goes back to the very commencement of the monarchy in Israel, when the prophet Samuel told those who demanded a king that Yahweh was their king, and that they should desire no other. Through all the subsequent history of the monarchy, which was, on the whole, so disappointing to patriotic and pious minds, the conviction lingered that, if God Himself were king, all would be well; and, when at length the Hebrew state was destroyed and the people were carried into captivity, the prophets still believed that for their country there was a future and a hope, if only Yahweh would take to Himself His great power and reign. In the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament such sentiments so greatly prevailed that Schurer has compiled, from the apocryphal literature, a kind of Messianic creed, embracing no fewer than eleven articles, which he supposes to have prevailed before the Advent. It may be doubtful how far such beliefs had taken possession of the general mind. Many of the Sadducees were too satisfied with things as they were to concern themselves about such dreams. But the Pharisees undoubtedly gave a large place in their minds to Messianic expectations, and for these the Zealots were ready to fight. It is, however, to the prosdechomenoi, as they are called, because they were "waiting for the consolation of Israel," that we must look for the purest expression of this heritage derived from the piety of the past. In the hymns at the beginning of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, with which the birth of Jesus was greeted, we encounter an intense and lofty conception of the kingdom of God; and, as the earthly home in which Jesus grew up belonged to this select section of the population, there is little doubt that it was here He imbibed both His Messianic ideas and the phraseology in which these were expressed. His use of the term, the kingdom of God, has sometimes been spoken of as an accommodation to the beliefs and language of His fellow-countrymen. But it was native to Himself; and it is not unlikely that the very commonness of it in the circle in which He grew up rendered Him unconscious of the difference between His own conception and that which prevailed outside of this circle. For, as soon as He began to preach and to make known the sentiments which He included within this phrase, it became manifest that He and His contemporaries, under a common name, were thinking of entirely different things.

They emphasized the first half of the phrase—"the kingdom"; He the second—"of God." They were thinking of the external attributes of a kingdom—political emancipation, an army, a court, subject provinces; He of the doing of God’s will on earth as it is done in heaven. Even He had felt, at one stage, the glamor of their point of view, as is manifest from the account of the Temptation in the Wilderness; but He had decisively rejected it, resolving not to commence with an external framework on a large scale, to be subsequently filled with character, but to begin with the individual, and trust to time and Providence for visible success. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem proves that He never abandoned the claim to be the fulfiller of all the Old Testament predictions about the kingdom of God; but His enemies not unnaturally interpreted the failure of that attempt as a final demonstration that their own view had been the correct one all along. Still, God was not mocked, and Jesus was not mocked. When, at the end of a generation, the Jewish state sank into ruin and the city by which Jesus was martyred had been destroyed, there were springing up, all over the world, communities the members of which were bound more closely to one another than the members of any other kingdom, obeyed the same laws and enjoyed the same benefits, which they traced up to a King ruling in the heavens, who would appear again on the great white throne, to be the Judge of quick and dead.

(2) Blessedness of the Kingdom.

The enemies of Jesus may be said to have carried out to the bitter end their conception of the kingdom of God, when they nailed Him to a tree; but, in the face of opposition, He carried out His own conception of it too, and He never abandoned the practice of employing this phrase as a comprehensive term for all the blessings brought by Him to mankind. He used, however, other nomenclature for the same objects, such as Gospel, Peace, Rest, Life, Eternal Life, Blessedness. His exposition of the last of these, at the commencement of the Sermon on the Mount, is highly instructive. Seldom, indeed, has the structure of the Beatitudes been clearly understood. Each of them is an equation, in which "blessed" stands on the one side and on the other two magnitudes—the one contained in the subject of the sentence, such as "the poor in spirit," "the meek," and so on; and the other contained in a qualifying clause introduced by "for." Sometimes one of these magnitudes may be a minus quantity, as in "they that mourn"; but the other is so large a positive magnitude that the two together represent a handsome plus, which thoroughly justifies the predicate "blessed." It is remarkable that the first and the eighth of the reasons introduced by "for" are the same: "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," justifying the statement that this is Christ’s own name for the blessedness brought by Him to the world; and the sentences between these, introduced in the same way, may be looked upon as epexegetic of this great phrase. They embrace such great conceptions as comfort, mercy, the inheritance of the earth, the vision of God and sonship, which are all certainly blessings of the kingdom; and the list does not finish without mentioning a great reward in heaven—an immortal hope, which is the greatest blessing of all.

(3) Righteousness—Its Contrasts.

If the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount was to expound at length any one of these bright conceptions, it might have been expected to be the kingdom of God itself; and this we should have desired. But the one to which this honor fell has still to be mentioned. It is "righteousness." In one of the Beatitudes the speaker had promised that to be filled with this should be part of the blessedness which He was expounding; and, when He had finished the Beatitudes, He turned back to this conception and devoted the rest of His discourse to its interpretation. Nowhere else, in the reports of His preaching which have come down to us, is there to be found an exposition so sustained and thorough. There is no better way of describing a new thing, with which those who listen are unfamiliar, than to contrast it with something with which they are perfectly acquainted; and this was the method adopted by Jesus. He contrasted the righteousness with which the subjects of the kingdom were to be blessed with the figure of the righteous man familiar to them, first, in the discourses of the scribes, to which they were wont to listen in the synagogue, and secondly, in the example of the Pharisees, to whom they were wont to look up as the patterns of righteousness. It is well known what ample opportunities He found, by means of this felicitous disposition, for probing to the very depths of morality, as well as for covering His opponents with ridicule and exploding the honor in which they stood with the masses. The whole of this scheme is, however, exhausted long before the Sermon comes to a close; and the question is, whether, in the latter half of the Sermon, He still keeps up the exposition of righteousness by contrasting it with the ordinary course of the world. I am inclined to think that this is the case, and that the key to the latter half of the discourse is the contrast between righteousness and worldliness. The doctrine, at all events, which issues from the whole discussion is that the righteousness promised is distinguished by three characteristics—inwardness, as distinguished from the externality of those who believed morality to extend to outward words and deeds alone, and not to the secret thoughts of the heart; secrecy, as distinguished from the ostentation of those who blew a trumpet before them when they were doing their alms; and naturalness, like that of the flower or the fruit, which grows spontaneously from a healthy root, without forcing.


(4) Apocalyptic Theories. This substitution of righteousness for the kingdom in the greatest public discourse which has come down to us is a significant indication of the direction in which the mind of Jesus was tending, as He drew away from the notions and hopes of contemporary Judaism. It is evident that He was filling the idea of the kingdom more and more with religious and moral contents, and emptying it of political and material elements. There are scholars, indeed, at the present day, who maintain that His conception of the kingdom was futuristic, and that He was waiting all the time for an apocalyptic manifestation, which never came. He was, they think, expecting the heavens to open and the kingdom to descend ready made to the earth, like the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse. But this is to assume toward Jesus exactly the attitude taken up toward Him in His own day by Pharisees and high priests, and it degrades Him to the level of an apocalyptic dreamer. It ignores many sayings of His, of which the parable of the Mustard Seed may be taken as an example, which prove that He anticipated for Christianity a long development such as it has actually passed through; and it fails to do justice to many passages in His teaching where He speaks of the kingdom as already come. Of the latter the most remarkable is where He says, "The kingdom of God is within you"—a statement preceded by a distinct rejection of the notion of an apocalyptic manifestation; for the word "observation," which He employs in describing the way in which the kingdom is not to come, is an astronomical term, describing precisely such a phenomenon as He is supposed by such scholars as John Weiss and Schweitzer to have been expecting. The more it became evident that He was not to command the homage of the nation, the more did He devote Himself to the education of the Twelve, that they might form the nucleus of His kingdom upon earth; and it was certainly not with apocalyptic visions that He fed their receptive minds.

2. The Character of the Subjects of the Kingdom:

(1) Conditions of Entrance.

The righteousness described so comprehensively in the Sermon on the Mount is not infrequently spoken of as the condition of entrance to the kingdom of God; but this is altogether to misunderstand the mind of Jesus. The righteousness described by Him is the gift of God to those who are already inside the kingdom; for it is the supreme blessing for the sake of which the kingdom is to be sought; and the condition imposed on those who are outside is not the possession of righteousness, but rather a bottomless sense of the want of it. The more utterly they feel their own lack of righteousness, the more ready are they for entrance into the kingdom. They must "hunger and thirst after righteousness." It has been remarked already that the description, in the Beatitudes, of the character of the candidates for the kingdom is sometimes of a negative character; and indeed, this is the account in the teaching of Jesus generally of those whom He attracts to Himself. They are drawn by a sense of boundless need in themselves and by the apprehension of an equivalent fullness in Him; He calls those "that labor and are heavy laden," that He may give them rest.

(2) Christ’s Attitude to Sin.

The first word of the prophetic message in the Old Testament was always the denunciation of sin; and only after this had done its work did the vision of a good time coming rise on the horizon. The same was repeated in the message of John the Baptist; and it did not fail to reappear in the teaching of Jesus, though His mode of treating the subject was entirely His own. He did not, like the prophets, take up much time with convicting gross and open sinners. Perhaps He thought that this had been sufficiently done by His predecessors; or, perhaps He refrained because He understood the art of getting sinners to convict themselves. Yet, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, He showed how profoundly He understood the nature and the course of the commonest sins. If, however, He thus spared transgressors who had no covering for their wickedness, He made up for this leniency by the vigor and even violence with which He attacked those who hid their sins under a cloak of hypocrisy. Never was there a prophetic indignation like that with which He assailed such sinners in Mt 23; and He shaped the same charges into an unforgettable picture in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. He never named the Sadducees in the same unreserved manner as He thus designated their antagonists; but in more parables than one it is possible that He had them in view. The Unjust Judge was probably a Sadducee; and so was the Rich Man at whose gate the beggar Lazarus was wont to sit. The sin of the Sadducees, at all events, did not escape His prophetic animadversion. In Lu especially He alludes with great frequency to worldliness and the love of money as cankers by which the life of the human soul is eaten out and its destiny destroyed. Thus did Jesus exercise the prophetic office of denouncing all the sins of His time; and He showed what, in this respect, He thought of mankind in general when He began a sentence with, "If ye then, being evil" (Lu 11:13), and when He gave the dreadful description of the heart of man which begins, "Out of the heart come forth evil thoughts" (Mt 15:19).

(3) Attainment of Righteousness.

To all serious students of the Sermon on the Mount it is well known that the popular notion of it, as containing a simple religion and an easy-going morality, is utterly mistaken; on the contrary, the righteousness sketched by the Preacher is far loftier than that ever conceived by any other religious teacher whatever. Not only, however, does He thus propose to conduct human beings to a platform of attainment higher than any attempted before, but He, at the same time, recognizes that He must begin with men lower than almost any others have allowed. It is here that the ethics of Jesus differ from those of the philosophers. He takes the task much more seriously; and, as the ascent from the one extreme to the other is much longer, so the means of reaching the goal are much more difficult. Philosophers, assuming that man is equal to his own destiny, lay the demands of the moral law before him at once, taking it for granted that he is able to fulfill them; but the path adopted by Jesus is more remote and humbling. There are in it steps or stages which, in His teaching, it is easy to discern.

(a) Repentance:

The first of these is repentance. This was a watchword of all the prophets: after sin had been denounced, penitence was called for; and no hope of improvement was held out until this had been experienced. In the message of John the Baptist it held the same place; and, in one of the Gospels, it is expressly stated that Jesus began His ministry by repeating this watchword of His predecessor. Not a few of the most touching scenes of His earthly ministry exhibit penitents at His feet, the most moving of them all being that of the woman who was "a sinner"; and, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, we have a full-length picture of the process of repentance.

(b) Faith:

The second step is faith—a word of constant recurrence in the teaching Of Jesus. In many cases it is connected with His healing ministry; but this was a parable of a more interior ministry for the soul. In many cases it formed a school of preparation for the other, as in the case of the man borne of four, who was brought to Christ for the healing of his body, but was presented, in addition, with the gift of the forgiveness of his sins. In healing him Jesus expressly claimed the power of forgiving sins; and, in His great saying at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, He showed the connection which this was to have with His own death.

(c) Imitation of Christ—Service:

Instead of speaking of faith and of believing, Jesus frequently spoke of "coming" to Himself; and then followed the invitation to "follow" Him, which, accordingly, is the third stage. Following Him meant, in many cases, literally leaving home and occupation, in order to accompany Him from place to place, as He journeyed through the land; and, as this involved sacrifice and self-denial, He frequently combined with "following" the invitation to take up "the cross." But by degrees this literal meaning dropped away from the invitation, or at least became secondary to that of imitation, which must be the only meaning when Paul, adopting the language of his Master, calls upon men and women to be "followers" of him, as he was of Christ. It is seldom that Jesus, in so many words, calls upon others to imitate Himself; indeed, He does so less frequently than Paul; but it is implied in following Him, if not literally expressed; and it was a direct consequence of keeping company with Him and coming under the influence of His example. It is highly characteristic that, in the only place where He directly calls upon others to "learn" from Him, the virtue to which He draws attention is meekness—"Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart." The same quality was often emphasized by Him, when He was describing the character which He wished to see exhibited by others, "For every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Lu 14:11). In spite, however, of the importance thus attached by Him to humility, He not only combined with it, as has been pointed out by Bushnell, in his famous chapter on the character of Christ in Nature and the Supernatural, the most stupendous personal claims, but also attributed to His followers a position of personal distinction among men, and called upon them to perform services far beyond the reach of ordinary mortals, saying to them, "Ye are the salt of the earth," "Ye are the light of the world," and ordering them to make disciples of all nations. The principle by which this apparent contradiction is bridged over is another favorite idea of His teaching, namely, Service. He who is able to serve others on a large scale is, in a sense, superior to those he serves, because he is furnished with the resources of which they stand in need; yet he places himself beneath them and forgets his own claims in ministering to their necessities. There are few of the utterances of Jesus in which the very genius of His ethical system is more fully expressed than that in which He contrasts greatness as it is conceived among men of the world with greatness as He conceives it and His followers must learn to conceive it: "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." Of this difficult rule, He was able to add, He Himself had given, and was still to give, the most perfect illustration; for "even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mt 20:25 ff the King James Version).

This reminds us that, while the character of the subjects of the kingdom is to be learned from the words of Jesus, it may be also derived from His example. That which He demanded from others He fulfilled in His own conduct; and thus the dry precepts of the moral law were invested with the charm of a living personality. Brief as the records of His life are, they are wonderfully rich in instruction of this kind; and it is possible, by going through them with study and care, to form a clear image of how He bore Himself in all the departments of human life—in the home, in the state, in the church, as a friend, in society, as a man of prayer, as a student of Scripture, as a worker, as a sufferer, as a philanthropist, as a winner of souls, as a preacher, as a teacher, as a controversialist, and so on. This is the modern imitation of Christ—that of the details of His earthly existence—the Imitation of a Kempis was an imitation of the cosmical history of the Son of God, as He moves on His Divine mission from heaven to the cross and back to the throne of the universe. See the writer’s Imago Christi.

3. Commandments of the King:

The Great Commandments.

In accordance with Scriptural usage, Jesus called by the name of "commandments" those actions which we call "duties"; and He has made this part of our subject easy by reducing the commandments to two: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mt 22:37-39). He did not invent either of these commandments; for both occur in the Old Testament (De 6:5; Le 19:18). There, however, they lie far apart and are buried out of sight. The second of them was still more deeply buried under a misinterpretation of the scribes, to which reference is made in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus rescued them from oblivion; He showed the vital and indissoluble connection between the sentiments which they enforce—love of God and love of man—which had been long and violently separated; and He lifted them up into the firmament of ethics, to shine forever as the sun and moon of duty.

(a) Love to God:

It has been denied by some writers on Christian ethics that there can be any such thing as duties to God, and by writers on philosophical ethics love to God is not generally regarded as coming within the scope of their science. But the duty of man is concerned with all the objects, and especially all the beings, he is related to; and to Jesus the outflow of man’s heart toward Him who is the author of his being and the source of all his blessings seemed the most natural of actions. "I love Yahweh" was a sentiment to which mankind had risen even in the Old Testament (Ps 116:1), where it corresponds with not a few expressions of the Divine love equally fervent; and it is not a figure of speech at all when Jesus demands love for His Father from heart and soul, strength and mind.

Love to God involves, however, love to what may be called the Things of God, toward which Jesus always manifested tenderness and honor. Those who are not themselves ecclesiastically minded have, indeed, taken it for granted that Jesus

was indifferent, if not hostile, to the objects and actions by which the Almighty is honored; and it is often said that the only service of God which mattered in His eyes was the service of man. But, although, like the prophets before Him, Jesus exposed with withering rebuke the hypocrisy of those who put ritual in the place of righteousness, it requires no more than a glance at His sayings, and the other records of His life, to perceive that His mind was occupied no less with duties to God than with duties to men; indeed, the former bulk more largely in His teaching. The only arrangement of religion with which He seems out of sympathy is the Sabbath; but this was due to a peculiarity of the times; and it is quite conceivable that in other circumstances He might have been a strenuous supporter of Sabbath observance. If there had been in His day a Sadducean attempt to rob the people of the day of rest, He would have opposed it as strenuously as He did the Pharisaic attempt to make it a burden and a weariness to the common man. By declaring the Sabbath to have been made for man (Mr 2:27) He recognized that it was instituted at the beginning and intended for the entire course of man’s existence upon earth. With the other things of God, such as His House, His Word, and His Worship, He manifested sympathy equally by word and deed; He frequented both the Temple and the synagogue; so imbued was His mind with the lit of the Old Testament that He spoke habitually in its spirit and phraseology, having its figures and incidents perfectly at command; and by both precept and example He taught others to pray.

Nothing is commoner than the statement that Jesus had nothing to do with the founding of the church or the arrangement of its polity; but this is a subjective prejudice, blind to the facts of the case. Jesus realized that the worship of the Old Testament was passing away, but He was Himself to replace it by a better order. He did not merely breathe into the air a spirit of sweetness and light; if this had been all He did, Christianity would soon have vanished from the earth; but He provided channels in which, after His departure, His influence should flow to subsequent generations. Not only did He found the church, but He appointed the most important details of its organization, such as preaching and the sacraments; and He left the Twelve behind Him not only as teachers, but as those who were able to instruct other teachers also. There may be ecclesiastical arrangements which are worked in a spirit far removed from the love of God; and such are of course contrary to the mind of Christ; but the love of God, if it is strong, inevitably overflows into the things of God, and cannot, in fact, permanently exist without them.

(b) Duty to Man:

As has been hinted above, the sayings of our Lord about the details of duty to man are less numerous than might have been expected, but what may be lacking in numbers is made up for in originality and comprehensiveness. Many single sayings, like the Golden Rule (Mt 7:12) and the lovely word about a cup of cold water given in the name of Christ (Mt 10:42), are revolutionary in the ethical experience of mankind; and so are such parables as the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son and the Unmerciful Servant. The commandment to love enemies and to forgive injuries (Mt 5:43-48), if not entirely novel, received a prominence it had never possessed before. The spirit of all such sayings of Jesus is the same: He seeks to redeem men from selfishness and worldliness and to produce in them a godlike passion for the welfare of their fellow- creatures. These they may bless with gifts of money, where such may be required, still more with sympathy and helpfulness, but most of all with the gospel.

Besides such directions as to the behavior of man to man, there are also among the words of Jesus memorable maxims about the conduct of life in the family, in the state, and in society; and here again He taught even more by example than by precept. As son, brother and friend, He fulfilled all righteousness; but He also, as teacher, determined what righteousness was. Thus He opposed the laxity as to divorce prevalent in His time, pointing back to the pure ideal of Paradise. His conception of womanhood and His tenderness toward childhood have altered entirely the conceptions of men about these two conditions. He was a patriot, glorying in the beauty of His native Galilee and weeping over Jerusalem; and though, from birth to death, He was exposed to constant persecution from the constituted authorities, He not only obeyed these Himself but commanded all others to do the same. Nothing moved Him more than the sight of talents unused, and, therefore, it lay deep in His system of thought to call upon everyone to contribute his part to the service of the body politic; but no less did He recognize the right of those who have done their part of the general task to share in the fruits of industry; "for the laborer is worthy of his hire" (Lu 10:7).

Priceless, however, as are the commandments of Jesus in regard to the things of man, as well as in regard to the things of God, it is not in these that we have to seek His ethical originality, but in the new motive brought into play by Him for doing the Divine will, when once it has been ascertained. As He made it easy to love God by revealing God’s love, so did He make it easy to love man by revealing the greatness of man, as an immortal creature, who has come from God and is going to God. Whatever is done to man, good or evil, Jesus esteems as done to Himself; for the great saying to this effect, in the account of the Last Judgment in Mt 25, though applicable in the first place to Christians, may be extended to men in general. The corollary of the fatherhood of God is the brotherhood of men; and the second great commandment stands under the protection of the first.

II. In the Fourth Gospel.

1. Eternal Life:

In the Fourth Gospel Eternal Life takes the same place as the kingdom of God in the other three. The author is not, indeed, unaware that Jesus employed the latter phrase for the sum of the blessings brought by Him to the world; and it has already been remarked that the Synoptists occasionally employ "life" as an equivalent for the phrase they usually make use of. The reason of John’s preference for his own phrase may have lain in some personal idiosyncrasy, or it may have been due to the Gentileenvironment in which he wrote. But the phrase is one suggestive and instructive in itself in the highest degree. It had already entered deeply into the language of religion before the time of Christ; indeed, in every part of Holy Writ the idea is common that separation from God is death, but that union with Him is life.

2. Its Source in God:

In the teaching of Jesus, as this is found in John, the world lies in death, because it has become separated from God, and the children of men are in danger of perishing everlastingly as the punishment of their sin; but "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life" (Joh 3:16).

3. Through the Son:

This life is, first, in God, who abides in everlasting blessedness; but it is not, even in Him, at rest, but agitated with an impulse to communicate itself. Then, it is in the Son—"For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself" (Joh 5:26); not, however, for Himself alone, but for the purpose of being communicated to those destitute of it. For this reason He was made flesh and dwelt among us; and He communicated it through His words, which were "words of eternal life." The words of Jesus, as thus bringing life, are the "light" of the world; and they are the "truth"—two favorite expressions of this Gospel—or He of whom they speak is Himself the light and the truth; He said Himself, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." He is in His word in such a way that, when it is received in the right spirit, He enters the soul personally—"ye in me, and I in you" (Joh 14:20). As food is taken into the body, to sustain life, so does He become the life of the soul; He is the "bread of life" and the "water of life" (Joh 6:35). As, however, bread has to be broken, before it is eaten, and water to be poured out, when it is drunk, so does the virtue which is in the Son of God only become available through His death—"I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Joh 6:51).

4. Need of New Birth:

The world lying dead in sin, a new birth is required for those who are to enter into life; and this is necessary even for so fine a character as Nicodemus (Joh 3:3,5,7). Without this change, the children of men are insensible to Divine revelations; and even the children of privilege, who had enjoyed the Old Testament revelation, were indifferent to eternal life, when it came near to them in the person of Christ. Hence, there was required a special drawing on the part of God to awaken the sleeping soul—"No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him" (Joh 6:44); and, where this influence was not responded to, there might be the most violent and persistent opposition to Christ on the part of those who believed themselves to be the favorites of heaven. The new birth is accompanied with spiritual vision—"seeing the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:3)—and, throughout the Fourth Gospel, remarkable stress is laid on the virtue of such seeing or knowing. It leads so directly to faith that to "know" and to "believe" are virtually the same act (Joh 10:38). Faith is the reception into the soul of the life eternal, or of Him who has been discerned by the spiritual vision and who is Himself the life. It is the eating of the bread of life, the drinking of the water of life, and it makes and keeps alive.

5. Nature of Faith:

Since faith is thus the means whereby the eternal life becomes a personal possession, it is the one thing needful and the sum of all the commandments—"This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (Joh 6:29). It is the unique commandment, comprehending all the commandments, and it "worketh by love" toward the fulfillment of them all. What these are is, however, less brought out in detail in this Gospel than in the others, for it is a peculiarity of the mind of Jesus, as recorded by John, to deal with central principles and to assume that the consequences will follow as a matter of course. Of the organization, for example, of the community which was to perpetuate His influence, after He had left the world, He says much less in this Gospel than even in the Synoptists; yet He characterizes the very essence of the new body in such words as this, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me" (Joh 17:23). In the last half of this saying there is a hint of the influence to be exerted on the outside world by the display of Christian character, with the result of producing belief; but this aim was to be sought more directly through testimony (Joh 15:27) and the "word" of the disciples (Joh 17:20). Thus would even the distant, "which are not of this fold," be brought in, so that there might be "one flock" and "one shepherd" (Joh 10:16). Inside the fold it is the greatest privilege and honor, as well as responsibility, to feed the "sheep" and to feed the "lambs" (Joh 21:15,16,17).

6. Fruits of Union with Christ:

Character and conduct are, even for the disciples of Christ, "commandments," as, indeed, Jesus does not disdain to speak of the various parts of His own vocation by the same humble name, implying the necessity of moral effort and the temptation to failure (Joh 15:10). Therefore, they are also proper subjects for prayer. He prayed for the disciples, both that they might be kept from the evil in the world and that they might be sanctified through the truth (Joh 17:15,17), and doubtless He expected them to ask the same things for themselves, as theirs was to be a life of prayer (Joh 16:24). But, in the last resort, they are the fruits of union with Himself, and eternal life is not merely a gift of the future, to be given at the death of the body, but is enjoyed even now by those who abide in the vine.


Monographs on the ethics of Jesus in German by Grimm and in English by King; compare also Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Social Question, and Jesus Christ and the Christian Character; relevant portions works of larger scope, such as Jacoby, New Testament Ethik, Wendt, The Teaching of Jesus, and the handbooks of New Testament theology by Weiss, Holtzmann, Schlatter, Feine, Weinel, Stevens. Very ample references to literature in Stalker, The Ethic of Jesus.

James Stalker




1. Rise of Ethics 2. Ethics as a Science 3. A Normative Science 4. Relation to Cognate Sciences (1) Ethics and Metaphysics (2) Ethics and Psychology The "Ought" 5. Relation of Christian Ethics to Moral Philosophy (1) Not an Opposition (2) Philosophical Postulates (3) Method 6. Relation of Christian Ethics to Dogmatics (1) The Connection (2) The Distinction (3) Theological Postulates (a) The Christian Idea of God (b) The Christian Doctrine of Sin (c) The Responsibility of Man


1. Greek Philosophy (1) Sophists (2) Socrates (3) Plato (4) Aristotle (5) Stoics and Epicureans (6) Stoicism (7) Stoicism and Paul 2. Scholasticism 3. Reformation Descartes and Spinoza 4. English Moralists 5. Utilitarianism 6. Evolutionary Ethics 7. Kant 8. German Idealists (1) Hegel (2) Watchwords: Pleasure and Duty


1. Ethics of the Old Testament (1) Religious Characteristics of Hebrew Ethics (a) The Decalogue (b) Civil Laws (c) Ceremonial Laws (d) Prophecy (e) Books of Wisdom (f) Apocryphal Books (2) Limitations of Old Testament Ethics (a) As to Intent (b) As to Extent 2. Outline of New Testament Ethics (1) Ethics of Jesus and Paul (2) Character (3) Inwardness of Motive (4) Ultimate End 3. The Ethical Ideal (1) Holiness (2) Christlikeness (3) Brotherhood and Unity of Man 4. The Dynamic Power of the New Life (1) The Dynamic on Its Divine Side (2) The Dynamic on Its Human Side 5. Virtues, Duties and Spheres of the New Life (1) The Virtues (a) The Heroic Virtues (b) The Amiable Virtues (c) The Theological Virtues (2) The Duties (a) Duties toward Sel